UnFair–Vegan Unfriendly Excursion

On Thursday the family traveled to the Delaware County Fair. For those not familiar with New York State, there is NYC–vast metropolitan famous city, then there are much more rural swathes of land (and smaller cities).

Walking around the county fair, with all the livestock, country music and folks wearing cowboy hats eating all manner of fried foods, most people may find it hard that we were less than three hours from Manhattan.

Personally I detest county fairs. It’s not the provincial flare or the homespun activities. I enjoy that part lots. It’s just not a fun place for a vegan (or animals) from livestock to tigers in tiny cages.

From the Land-O-Lakes butter scupture (w/ a man and pig in an oddly obscene pose) to the hundreds of animals locked up in small pens, I felt like an alien on a planet of barbaric oppressors. Sure young people learn lots of useful skills in caring for an animal and everyone is free to eat the foods s/he desires, but at what cost?

We are trashing the planet and our bodies while also causing tremendous suffering to animals through our demands to consume a diet high in meat and dairy products.

A direct outgrowth of my coming out experience has been to become much more aware of other oppression in the world. As a result, I have become (and am becoming more fully) a Quaker, a feminist, an anti-racist, and a vegan. So much death and violence in the world; who wants to be part of that culture?

We talk about changing the world. Many complain about our political leaders who do not follow policies that protect our planet and life. You can do something. Try to abstain from meat and dairy at least once a week. It will do wonders for your body and will give a break to the overtaxed planet. And to my fellow vegans–know of any vegan fairs???

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Anonymous on August 19, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    as another Quirky-Queer-Quaker, I feel for what you’re saying. In my attempts to simplify my own life, I’ve cut out 98% of the meat, but am still heavy on the dairy side. I only bring meat products into my home for one reason, and that is for the First Day Carry-In Lunch we have at meeting. I tried bringing in some vegetarian/vegan food items, and I ended up bringing most of it home again. I personally am not trying to change anyone, since I’m doing this all on my own. PLUS I grew up on a hog/beef cattle farm in central Ohio, so I know that in my own families situation, that the severe cruelty issues put forth by PETA aren’t neccesarily true in all situations. I stubled across an interesting website on some similar issues, http://www.myfootprint.org I found it to be an informative and fun site. And on another note, other then the feelings you had for the animals at the fair, weren’t those young farm boys HOT?!?! lol

  2. Tonya on August 21, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Hey Peterson
    Love all the photos. My visits are always longer when there are pictures involved. I am a visual kinda girl.

  3. Elliot on August 22, 2006 at 12:45 am

    Hey, Peterson

    Oh, those poor animals. I’ve recently started to stay away more from meat and am now eating much more tofu and drinking more Silk milk and all that stuff. I feel healthier and I know I’m doing something good for the environment. It’s nice to feel that I’m helping other creatures who are only trying to survive in the world, just like humans. I think that if more people were like this, we would have a much better world.

    Peace out,


  4. CrackerLilo on August 22, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    Watching those sweet pandas and reading about animals’ ability to feel pain and pleasure has made meat *much* less compelling to me. Also, being allergic to eggs has made me try vegan baking.

  5. Plain Foolish on August 23, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    Wow. A tiger?! I must admit that my home county has never been wealthy enough to afford a tiger for the county fair. Usually, the most unusual animal present is an emu being raised for the eggs, meat, and feathers.

    My take is a little different, and I see some redeeming qualities even for a vegan. I’ll be sitting with this to see if a post emerges, but primarily, most people in this country have no idea of the relationship between themselves, their food, and the earth.

    At a fair, the canned tomatoes don’t come from California. They come from local gardens and local kitchens. The gigantic squash was raised by Mrs. Whoosit by over near the old mine. She grows sugar pumpkins for the fall, and the squash is a kind of ad for her produce stand, along with her entry of pumpkin preserve in the canning category.

    Even with the meat and dairy, the conditions seem to vary by fair. Ours still uses an old building, and the livestock barn is breezier than the one where all the politicians, church groups, and social clubs go to hand our literature. I used to wonder if the fair commissioners were trying to say something.

  6. Anonymous on August 23, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    I agree with the knowing where your food comes from bit. I also try to stress, and live up to, knowing what is IN THE FOOD. In my opinion, we don’t need to have zucchini in March. They ought to be present in the grocery in the summer, when they are grown, in my state at least. We also don’t need 87 different laundry soaps, of which most contain dangerous phosphates and are of a petroleum base. But now I’m off on a tangent…

    as for the livestock barns being “breezier” then the other buildings, dontcha think it has to do with controlling the smell perhaps? Just a thought…

  7. Plain Foolish on August 24, 2006 at 11:09 am

    A little, but even the 4-H barn for things like sewing and canning projects is cooler, since it, like the livestock barn, the scouts barn, the canning barn, the horses barn, and the main fair office, was oriented to catch most of the breeze, and most of them have awnings to shade the air coming in.

    The politicians, etc. are stuck in the least comfortable building on the fairgrounds for the duration. Thus, my occasional musing. One church got so tired of being in there that they raised money to rent a space every year, and put up a cooling station with water and an air conditioned tent in which to listen to preaching and singing. All the politicians give out fans.

    As for eating food in season, I mostly agree. Mostly, because I also know what a chore putting up for the other seasons can be. Most people have no concept of what it’s like to stand in the heat of summer over a pot of boiling water, processing blackberries – which at least has the advantage of being yummy and kind of like a treat. Doing up beans is purely awful, and riskier. It’s the non-acidic stuff that can be the breeding grounds of botulin if you don’t sterilize your jars, or process them at the proper temperature or pressure, or make some other mistake. “But grandma did it this way!” Yeah, and grandma had a shorter projected lifespan.

    I tend to eat with the seasons, but even I draw the line at homecanned beans and tomatoes (in one jar, so the tomatoes can acidify the beans) for most of the winter. Though I’ve thought on doing some 3-bean salad, since there’s no longer anyone in the house allergic to vinegar.

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