Bay Area Vegetarians

The Bay Area Vegetarians linked to my Maker Faire 2008 post in their summary of their presence at the Maker Faire.


And then there were those who looked from a distance at our model of battery caged hens, read our sign about WHY VEGAN, but didn’t approach. As one blogger frankly posted in a reference to Bay Area Vegetarians “various ‘activist’ vendors pushing everything from a vegan lifestyle (been avoiding that booth)”.

What I said in my original post was:

Gone are the generic arts-and-crafts vendors from the years before, replaced with various “activist” vendors pushing everything from a vegan lifestyle (been avoiding that booth) to awesome chocolates to composting toilets to amazing beer.

Their site seems to be having some stability issues. My response, in case it is lost (in all of its unedited wordpress submission form glory):

That particular quote is just ever so slightly out of context; beyond the “avoid” part, it was meant as a compliment to the organizers of the Faire in that they opened up what had been a cheesy vendor area to a group of people that were passionate to selling their causes in such a venue.

But let me take a moment to explain the “avoiding that booth” part.

You might not be surprised to find that the image of the chickens in cages offended me, but you might find it interesting why.

I find industrialized meat production to be an extreme offense to nature and to the health of the human race. It is unnatural. It is poisoning our land and us.

Of that, I think we all agree. You might be surprised to learn that I also shun the “organic” products of the likes of Whole Foods, many of which are flown in from far away places (thus consuming mass quantities of fossil fuels) or have been made with such oddities as “organic high fructose corn syrup”. No thanks, if I’m gonna be “green” like all the hipsters, I know that asparagus in August is unnatural.

My avoidance of the booth was more because my initial impression was that your stance is fundamentalist. That Bay Area Vegans were there to sway opinion and gain supporters through sensationalist headlines and viscerally unpleasant imagery.

I have little patience for fundamentalism, regardless of form, and I had no energy or interest in confronting fundamentalism in the otherwise open forum of ideas that is the Maker Faire.

With that said, I am the first to admit that I have no experience with this organization and am looking forward to learning more. In particular, I would like to understand how an entirely animal free method of food production is compatible with the various species of commonly eaten domesticated vegetables that have been selected to best survive in conjunction with domesticated animals as their source of fertilizer.

Thousands of years of symbiotic, human perpetuated, evolution is awfully hard to overcome. The industrialized meat and vegetable complexes made a hell of a success at such denial in the last 50 years. I would like to see us not make a similar set of mistakes in the next 50.

The pendulum swings wide and the answer to sustainable perpetuation of species typically lies somewhere in the middle.

Regardless of anything else, the Bay Area Vegetarians have quite a collection of what look to be very yummy recipes.

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12 Responses to “Bay Area Vegetarians”

  1. John C. Randolph says:

    That cake recipe might be OK, if you got rid of the margarine and used butter. Margarine is crap.


  2. Papa Joe says:

    Bill, Bill Bill, when will u learn that to make any comment other than to agree with these veggie types is tantamount to all out war.
    they r right and the rest of the real world is wrong. they do not realize that they r deforesting the world by eating plant matter. their aim is to eat all the green food so there will be no more plant food for animals to eat and thereby making us all vegetarians… i think?!.

    as with most things today it has to be politisized. too bad because it seemed like a fun thing.

  3. Bill says:

    Beware these vegans, not only are they fundamentalist, but they have a high tendency to be violent. Not directly violent, but as liberals they will use the state to coerce people to live they way they want- by banning smoking, or banning trans fats, or, if they get their way, banning meat.

    Its wise not to associate with the unhinged, but even wiser when they have an expressed desire to use violence.

  4. Papa Joe says:

    … and so it goes…

  5. Jeffrey J Hoover says:

    I totally agree with your stance on this, and I can see how even bringing it up could bring you grief.

    The problem is that I am loath to engage with fundamentalist in general. Someone could be a fundamentalist with regard to computer games (“WoW sucks, Everquest is the one true MMORPG!”), computer systems (“Long live Amiga!”), etc. Just try googling “emacs vs. vi” and read the flame wars that go back decades. Some people like NPR, some like FOX News. I don’t try to change them, unless I can. 😉 I certainly don’t try once I see that I can’t.

    Amazingly, some people can not imagine people with differing opinions being friendly towards each other and agreeing to disagree. That saddens me. One of my best friends is vegan and she and I get a long fine, we just use different parts of the grill.

    Rodney King’s question remains unanswered, but maybe we’re getting closer with dialogs.

  6. annbb says:

    To borrow a few lyrics from Jack Johnson:

    By now we should know
    How to communicate instead of coming to blows

    I must agree with JJHoover – fundamentalists, no matter WHAT they’ve decided to be fundamental about aren’t people I want to spend time with. (And no, I’m not saying EVERY vegan is a fundamentalist).

    Um, brother dear, isn’t this the second time you’ve gotten yourself trouble with the vegans?? (And then have them misconstrue what you actually said?) Watch out for yourself, little bro. I’d hate to see their violence affect you in any way.

    BTW – your dandelion picture is wonderful – Imagine flying 30 feet off the ground and getting “caught” in a hole in a rock that has enough dirt in to be able to grow! Lovely! (photo of C & R was also great).


  7. John C. Randolph says:


    I wouldn’t say that Bill got himself into trouble with the veggies. More like, they picked a fight with him, and I’m sure they’ve been bitterly disappointed that he failed to fit their prejudices.


  8. Houman says:

    Wow – and here I was, thinking that there are actually important and very significant things happening all around the world.

  9. Jeffrey J Hoover says:

    LOL. Yeah, the interweb is full of all things, so that would include “important”, “significant”, “silly” and “petty” among other tags.

  10. Papa Joe says:

    i am eating spinach tonight…with my steak, of course!!!

  11. ash ponders says:

    I’m going to have to take my fundamentalist agonistic approach here again. I don’t know the right answers, but I can proved you don’t either.

  12. Amie says:

    People love to take quotes out of context to make their arguments. You have a very strong sense of food ethics and know more about where you food comes from that probably most of the western world. Don’t let a few mlitant vegans get you down.

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