9 November 2017

Mark Bittman On Vegetarian Cooking For A Green Planet

“On Point,” NPR, November 7, 2017

Full Disclosure: I am chickenadvocate!
– Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns

In case you missed it, you can tune in to On Point and listen to the show to which I posted two comments, yesterday and today, slightly edited & condensed below. There are several excellent comments by others as well – along with some less excellent ones. Feel free to add your own – excellent – voice to the conversation.



Karen holding a chicken

chickenadvocate commented:

I'm delighted with the growing enthusiasm for plant-based eating and cooking, most especially for food that is animal-free. So it was pretty nice, listening to the show today. Yet the question remains: why the taboo on mentioning animals except furtively and in passing when discussing animal-based diets? Mark Bittman has written columns over the years prompted by investigations of the horrible conditions endured by the majority of animals raised and killed for consumption, yet he comes across in his columns and broadcast interviews as essentially apathetic, indifferent, and glib toward these animals. The "environment" is invoked (good), human health and wellbeing are invoked (good), but when it comes to the animals, there's a Big Black Hole.

Why do people seek to delete the animals from these discussions? What right do we have to inflict misery on other sentient creatures and then make sure they don't "disrupt" the conversation? This is not a rhetorical question. I have eaten a totally vegan diet since 1983 and I am now 73 years old. I have never felt the least deprived. I cook for myself and, traveling, I find delicious vegan cuisine in every town and city I visit. I have many vegan friends and colleagues and no one is bitching & moaning about feeling, or being, deprived. Just the opposite.

Bittman goes out of his way to distance himself from "animals" and "ethics" and "vegan" as if there were something superior about not being moved by compassion and fairness toward animals. As if there were something inferior about caring, actively, about animals. It's not a "religion" at all for most vegans. It isn't about "purity."

To those who think humans "have to eat meat," this simply isn't so. Gandhi and Leonardo da Vinci are two proofs of that fallacy. Both men cared deeply and actively about human beings; they also cared deeply, and actively, about animals and the earth, a matter of public record.
Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns




  • Wednesday, November 15: Turkeys - Who Are They?, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. A presentation by Karen Davis in Brooks Hall at 6pm. Sponsored by Animal Justice Advocates. All are welcome!
  • Sunday, November 19: ThanksLiving Feast, Detroit, MI. UPC's Hope Bohanec will be speaking.
  • Thursday, November 23: Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck, Santa Rosa, CA. UPC hosts this Thanksgiving event.


Please join us and bring your friends!

Rhubarb at the sanctuary crowing
UPC sanctuary rooster Rhubarb. Photo by Davida G. Breier.