Thought you might all enjoy this one, particularly the ending sentence.
Business List: [log in to unmask]
Open List: [log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "ZNet Commentaries" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2004 10:08 PM
Subject: Z / Is Your Car Vegan? / Sep 21
> Sustainers PLEASE note:
> --> You can change your email address or cc data or temporarily turn off
mail delivery via:
> --> If you pass this comment along to others -- periodically but not
repeatedly -- please explain that Commentaries are a premium sent to
Sustainer Donors of Z/ZNet and that to learn more folks can consult ZNet at
> --> Sustainer Forums Login:
> Today's commentary:
> ZNet Commentary
> Is Your Car Vegan? September 21, 2004
> By Mickey Z
> With that irrational question, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Sharon
Bernstein begins an August 23, 2004 press release...I mean, article called
"Automakers Getting a Taste for Vegan Values." Bernstein is referring to the
Toyota Prius...a car she claims not only "impeccable green credentials," but
is vegan to boot.
> What is a vegan car? According to Toyota, the L.A. Times, and other
uninformed, trendy souls, the Prius qualifies because its seats aren't
leather. That's it. Simple, huh?
> Not wanting to miss out on the corporate greenwashing, Ford Motor Company
recently ran what Bernstein calls "an eight-page advertisement in the New
Yorker magazine touting the company's green credentials. The ad led off with
the boast that 11 members of the design team for the company's
soon-to-be-released hybrid Escape SUV are vegetarians, and its leader is a
> Even Mercedes Benz, Bernstein informs us, will offer a "non-leather
package starting with the 2005 model year, in response to customer
> This is what democracy, uh...drives like?
> "As a marketer you want to identify with the passionate group," said Bob
Kurilko, vice president of marketing for the automobile website Edmunds.com.
> "The middle of the bull's-eye is where you want to focus your marketing,
and then you want to expand your message around that. If you draw these
concentric circles, the middle of the bull's-eye right now is the vegan."
> The revolution may not be televised...but it could get stuck in traffic.
> The rest of Bernstein's piece falls into the blah-blah-blah category but
no matter; she's already done a fine job of lying...lying that car companies
give a shit about the environment or animal rights and lying that
automobiles can magically become "vegan" merely by replacing leather with
> News flash: Automobiles can never have "impeccable green credentials" (by
any reasonable definition)...and the car culture is unambiguously
> Each week in the U.S., roughly one million animals are flattened by cars,
trucks, SUVs and other fossil-fuel burning killers. That number, of course,
does not include household "pets" or insects. It also does not count those
living things (human, animal, and otherwise) that suffer or die due to
exhaust emissions and the role they play in pollution and global warming.
> In addition, that weekly one million death count does not do justice to
the innumerable creatures who perish when entire eco-systems are
exterminated in order to make way for highways, off-ramps, parking lots,
strip malls, airports, and other auto-centric structures. Then there's the
use of non-vegan substances like anti-freeze, bio-diesel fuel, hydraulic
brake fluid, and asphalt binder-all of which contain animal ingredients.
Finally, consider the faceless animals that suffer and die during the
scientifically useless and morally indefensible laboratory testing of
> The L.A. Times dug up a handful of alleged vegans ready to offer their
stamp of approval to an internal combustion engine wrapped in steel as long
as the seats weren't leather. As a result, millions will sleep better
believing that conditions are improving and corporations are getting the
> Question: why would anyone trust a corporate-owned media to report the
truth about corporate behavior?
> During the last century, an area equal to all the arable land in Ohio,
Indiana, and Pennsylvania was paved in the U.S. which requires maintenance
costing over $200 million a day...the surreptitious cost of the car culture
totals nearly $464 billion a year in the U.S. alone, much of that going to
the sustentation of waging perpetual war to keep the world safe for
> You might bicker with the specifics surrounding issues pertaining to
veganism, animal rights, and the environment...but allowing the auto
industry to anoint itself "green" is an unambiguously giant step in the
> Skip the Prius and get yourself a used bicycle.
> Mickey Z. is the author of two brand new books: "The Seven Deadly
Spins:Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda" (Common Courage Press) and "A
Gigantic Mistake: Articles and Essays for Your Intellectual
Self-Defense"(Library Empyreal/Wildside Press). For more information, please
VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Discussion List
Subscription control: http://list.uvm.edu/archives/vtbikepedpolicy-l.html.
For help: email [log in to unmask] with the word "help" in the message body.