James Campion: In Praise of ‘Vegan Is Love’

My wife is a vegan and we are raising our daughter vegan. I am not a vegan nor am I a vegetarian. I am, for those familiar with this space, nothing. I could scarcely call myself human, really. I traded in my integrity for a moped and a six-pack of Genesee Cream Ale in 1981. This makes almost everyone I know better than me. This is an interesting base in which to run an elitist egomaniacal construct. But I manage.

For those unfamiliar with the term, vegan is, according to Webster’s, “a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also: one who abstains from using animal products (as leather).”

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James Campion: In Praise of 'Vegan Is Love'.

Susan Michaud: Find fair events that don’t terrorize animals

During the summer, local fairs often feature “mutton busting” and “pig wrestling.”

For those who don’t know what mutton busting is, terrified sheep try to get kids off their backs. If an animal jumped on your back, you would do everything you could to try to get it off, and most of us would be traumatized by the experience.

Likewise, pigs try to get away from “wrestlers” because they are also terrified. If an animal attacked you and wouldn’t let go, you would do everything you could to get away, and most people would be traumatized.

Kids and adults should not terrorize animals. It’s a bad lesson for kids to learn and bad for adults to model cruelty to animals. Let’s find some real fun.

— Susan Michaud, Black Earth

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Susan Michaud: Find fair events that don't terrorize animals.

One Thousand Madison Area Vegans/Vegetarians

Notice to Madison area restaurants!

There are 1000 people in Madison who LOVE to dine on delicious and healthful vegan meals!

We just received a notice from Dave, the organizer of the Madison Area Vegetarian Meetup Group, announcing that the 1000th person has joined the group! This is truly exciting news.

Started in late 2007, the Group has steadily gained members and has expanded to much more than eating at restaurants or holding potlucks. As of this posting there have been 130 meetups. Besides dinners, lunches, and breakfasts at popular local restaurants, there have been meetups which include bowling, overnight camping, picnicking, board games, vegan dessert baking classes, pumpkin picking, apple picking, hiking, sushi class, sledding, and mini-golf.

The very first meetup in October of 2007 consisted of eleven attendees for a lunch buffet. Compare that to a recent dinner at Jamerica restaurant on Willy Street where there were so many attendees that it had to be split into two nights, which is not uncommon these days.

Alliance for Animals loves this group! Dave has done so much to encourage beautiful, nutritious, and delicious vegan choices. The meetups are fun and also family friendly. If you haven’t joined yet, do it today at Madison Area Vegetarian Meetup Group.

Although this is a vegetarian group, all meals are vegan. Dave explains it this way:

“This group has members who are vegetarian, vegan, and just interested. Everyone is welcome. I think it’s important for our events to have a menu that not only has something for everyone, but where everyone can eat everything.”

In 2008 Dave Friedman received AFA’s Heart of Madison Award, in honor of all he has done to organize a wide variety of dining experiences that are all vegan friendly.

If you would like to receive weekly e-newsletters from AFA’s Simply Vegan program, which features recipes, links, news, and all kinds of information on veganism visit our Simply Vegan website and scroll down to the sign up box on the left.

Julie Grosso: TB case shows banning elephant performances is wise

Dear Editor: An elephant named Topsy, currently traveling with the Piccadilly Circus, tested positive for tuberculosis. As you may know, the Piccadilly Circus recently performed at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Luckily, Topsy was not traveling with Piccadilly at the time. However, Topsy, who is handled by Franklin Murray of Elephant Walk, is scheduled to be at the Bristol Renaissance Faire this summer.

Transmission of TB may occur during activities such as touching or riding an elephant, and being touched by an elephant. Although there has been significant progress in TB testing for elephants, there are still many cases where an elephant has tested negative for TB only to test positive at a later date. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal welfare regulations require all captive elephants to be periodically tested for TB. In addition, due to the possibility of humans transmitting TB to elephants, those who have direct contact with elephants should be tested for tuberculosis on at least an annual basis.

Murray has been accused of animal cruelty by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This is a good reminder of the cruelty that occurs in the circus and that elephants in the circus are a public safety risk. I thank the Dane County supervisors for making the wise decision to ban elephant performances.

Julie Grosso


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Julie Grosso: TB case shows banning elephant performances is wise.

Letter to Dane County’s P&F Committee | One Shared Planet

You banned elephant acts in Dane County because you understood that it is wrong to profit from the suffering of social, sentient, intelligent, and emotional animals. I trust then that you will see the parallel with trapping in Dane County parks: if you accept money from the state, Dane County and a few trappers will benefit financially from the suffering and deaths of social, sentient, intelligent, and emotional animals.

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Letter to Dane County’s P&F Committee | One Shared Planet.