All posts filed under: thoughts

About criminal animals. E.P. Evans (1906) The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals

I have been adding some books that have been inspirational to me to an album on my facebook account, and I will be adding them here as well. Some are books that I have read a long time ago, some are more recent works. I also want to note that it’s not because a book is featured here, that I agree with everything that is written in it . Or that I find all books equally good! This is an oldy (1906). Historian E.P Evans gives a detailled account of cases throughout history where animals who had ‘murdered’ or attacked humans, or animal ‘pests’ or infestations, were prosecuted (sometimes even with an appointed lawyer), and when found guilty, executed or excommunicated. I used this book in my doctoral research and wrote a chapter about ‘criminal animals’ in my PhD (2002, Anthopocentrism and Speciesism in Contemporary Criminology). Many people dismiss the prosecution and execution of animals as a bizarre and outdated practice from medieval times. But it is still practiced today, although not formally recognised as such. Other …

Nearly one third of youngsters find vegan labelled products more appealing

A recent US study by Morning Consult on consumer trends covered these three topics: 1) online versus in store shopping habits 2) purchasing considerations and 3) product labelling. In this last section on product labelling, respondents were asked to indicate whether respective terms made food more or less appealing to them. The terms included free range, glutenfree, fresh, natural flavours and another dozen or so terms. A vegan labelled product Stats with respect to the term vegan: Overall, 17% said the term vegan made the product more appealing to buy. 35% said the term vegan made the product neither less nor more appealing. Another 35% said it made the product less appealing. And 12% said they didn’t know, or had no opinion. So that means that over half of respondents (52%) find a vegan labelled product more appealing or neither less or more appealing (combined). ‘Fresh’ was found to be the most appealing term to label a product with, while ‘vegan’ was overall the least. 81% of respondents say that a food or beverage product would be more appealing …

Yield

Pinnacle of speciesism: when an animal is reduced to her function or yield   Animals are not ‘egg’, ‘bacon’, ‘wool’ or ‘milk’, but each and every one sentient feeling beings, who can suffer pain, each with their own individuality. Spotted in a shop in Valkenburg (the Netherlands)

Can I look at you in peace now? Premiere of Dominion in Ghent

A couple of weeks ago, the documentary Dominion was shown for the first time to a public audience in Belgium. The premiere was in the Sphinx cinema, in the heart of the city of Ghent (next to the McDonalds, oh the irony). The screening was organised by the ‘Dominion Movement Belgium’. Dominion is an Australian documentary (2018) and is announced as following (website): Exposing the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture through drones, hidden & handheld cameras, the feature-length film explores the morality and validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom.

First Vegan Street festival in Brussels!

Saturday was the first edition of Vegan Street Festival in Brussels. It was organised by Veganizer BXL, and supported by the city of Brussels and Beyond Carnism. A vegan festival in the heart of Brussels, with lots of foodstalls, live music, and from 2 to 8 PM there were also talks scheduled in a nearby café. Great! The festival took place at the Marché aux poissons (the fish Market). Oh the irony, to have a vegan market here 🙂 We made sure to be there early, as we know from experience with other vegan events, that it usually gets really crowded in the afternoon, and foodstalls usually sell out after a couple of hours (which reading by the comments afterwards, was the case here too). As we were there early noon, we did not get to attend any of the talks (some talks in the morning would have been nice too). We strolled around, saw a lot of familiar faces and businesses, and chatted with friends. But also got to discover some businesses that were new …

Recommended literature: Animal Rights, Human Rights (David Nibert)

I recently read ‘Animal Rights. Human Rights. Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation‘ by David Nibert (2002) and found it truly inspiring. The thesis of the book is that human oppression of other animals is primarily motivated by economic interests, and is profoundly and permanently intertwined with oppression of other humans. The economic forces fueling oppression have intensified with the development of capitalism. The oppression of humans and other animals developed in tandem, each fueling the other. Nibert uses a three fold theory of oppression. This theory explains how oppressions takes place through mutually reinforcing social and economic mechanisms. There are three interactive forces: Economic exploitation, competition. The exploitation of other animals (and humans) is driven by economic forces. The motivation for the development and institutionalization of oppressive practices is primarly material, not attitudinal. Prejudice is the product of these arangements. Not the cause. The importance of power. A powerful elite (pivileged humans) uses political force over the oppressed, and they wield the power of the state. Ideological control. Oppression requires rationalisation and legitimation. Ideologies like …

Vegan brownie at Cat Café Dreamcathers, Ghent

Dreamcathers is a cat cafe in between the city hall and the Vrijdagmarkt, in a small alley. It is not far from vegan lunch bar Mie Vie. There are a couple of resident cats who are up for adoption. Dreamcathers work together with the organisations Dierenasiel Gent (shelter Ghent) and Kat Zoekt thuis (Cat looking for a home). Dreamcathers has vegan cakes and brownies and also offers drinks to enjoy while being among the cats (I think all the cakes are vegan, but not quite sure). Cats and vegan cake: a great combination! 🙂 I was here a couple of weeks ago with a friend, after our lunch at vegan cafe Mie Vie. Dreamcatchers works with timeslots. It is advised to make a reservation, but you can always try to inquire on the day itself to check availability. So I did (telephoned beforehand) and it was no problem to come over. The entrance fee is 3 euro per person (if you become a member, which is 10 euro, the entrance fee is reduced to 1,5€). …

Why some of us cannot (simply) educate ourselves

Misogyny. Ableism. Ageism. Vystopia. Health-shaming. These are some of the words that I have come to learn more about in recent years. After a long period in which I hardly found the time nor had the energy to follow up any literature closely, I have recently refound a drive and eagerness to pick up some ‘more serious’ stuff again. I have been reading about vegan activism, the sociology of human-animal relations, intersectionality and the entanglement of the oppression of humans with that of other animals. I am also picking up information from discussions in facebook groups, blogs and other online articles. I have looked up terminology that was new to me, discovered new authors, and am trying to work my head around theories and hypotheses. I still have many questions, but I am learning (aren’t we all, always?), helped with feedback provided on online platforms. View this post on Instagram I feel this is a must read for anyone in the animal rights movement, ànd those fighting for human rights. Truly inspirational. It seemed like so …

Dare to think. Dare to speak

Dare to think. Dare to talk. Dare to act. when you see animal abuse when someone says one needs to eat animals to be healthy when someone invites you for a visit to a zoo when it is said that it all comes down to personal choice when someone says cow’s milk is necessary for strong bones when it is said that eating animals is ‘natural’ when someone says it has always been done this way when it is said that animals don’t have feelings when at a barcecue, someone shoves a ‘steak’ up your face when someone says ‘humane meat’ is better when someone replies but a cow ‘gives’ milk when the rights of animals are violated Speak up! #animalrights #vegan Inspired by a clip made by my Alma Mater, Ghent University:

A look inside Bed & Breakfast AM/PM in Bruges

Bruges is visited by millions of tourists each year. Some only spend one day in Bruges, others come for a short city trip and stay overnight, possibly combined with excursions to other touristic hotspots in Flanders, like Flanders Fields or the coastal area. As I live near Bruges myself, I hardly know any places to stay overnight (or at least, not well enough to recommendend any). To my surprise, I saw a vegetarian bed and breakfast listed on Happy Cow last year, called AM/PM.  And through some mutual friends, I also heard that the hosts of the B&B, Tiny and Kevin, are more and more exploring veganism, and that they also serve vegan breakfast! (NOTE: see update below) As such, I asked them if I could pay them a visit, to take a look inside! And so a couple of weeks ago, I had a nice chat with host Tiny, about the renovation of the house, their journey to veganism and their experiences with running a bed & breakfast in Bruges! Bed & breakfast AM/PM is …