We can’t even use leeches.
No one gets into this veggie thing to make life easier for themselves. Everywhere we look there are vicious bastards making things harder for us. Food has animals in it. Drink has animals in it. Crockery and clothes and toiletries have animals in them. And when we’re ill we’re up against another stupid thing: Even medicine has animals in it. Here comes another pain in your ass. Maybe literally, depending on what your medicine’s for.
What’s the what?
Some medicines have gelatine in them, which isn’t veggie or vegan. Some have cholecalciferol (vitamin D) or lanolin from sheep, others have lactose monohydrate from cows. All three may or may not be vegetarian. They’re definitely not vegan. Some have magnesium stearate, stearic acid and lactic acid which can be derived from vegan-friendly plants, or animal-unfriendly dead animals. Some have glycocholic acid, which is basically bile from an animal’s stomach, proving, once again, people are fucking disgusting. And there could be a bunch of other stuff for all I know. They’re chugging stomach bile. God knows what they’ll go after next.
Even if ingredients are as vegan as lettuce they might be packed into dirty-bad gelatine capsules and blow the whole thing. And even if ingredients are vegan and they’re packed into harmless vegan caplets, medicine has to be tested on animals before humans can get a shot at it.
And we’re not down on medicine here. This isn’t ableism shaming people who need to take stuff. I am very definitely not suggesting people stop taking medicine, and very definitely not stopping taking mine. People need medicine to live. At the very least we need medicine to live less miserably, and even the Vegan Society says we need to look after our health in a non-vegan world. Still, this gives us the kind of dilemma those know-nothing naysayers think they’re onto with their “Yeah but what if you were on a desert island” shit.
So what’s a veggie to do? First, we can check medication ingredients at www.medicines.org.uk or your local equivalent. There we’ll be able to find the ingredients that manufacturers don’t always list in their sleeve notes, and hopefully find brands that make the same thing without dead animal parts. Researching this article, for example, I was delighted to discover the only painkillers that have ever helped with my hilarious spinal injury might contain fucking milk, marking the 58th time I’ve ruined my life for you people.
Second, we can be hypocrites trying our best and failing in a world that isn’t ready for us. If my aunt Mabel has a headache, she can take paracetamol and avoid gelatine capsules. She’s happy, the cows are happy, the high ground’s of the moral type. If my aunt Mabel has diabetes and her pancreas is on the fritz she can do anything she likes. If the only thing keeping her alive is a dose of Creon, which uses pancreatic enzymes from poor little pigs, it turns out I like aunt Mabel more than I like pigs.
It doesn’t feel great to say it but we should be honest here. I’m not falling back on “survival of the fittest” or “top of the food chain” weak-ass carnivore arguments. I’m saying there are times we have to be hypocrites or die. I don’t want to die. And I don’t want aunt Mabel to die.
Unless I get a mention in her will, in which case I’m a hundred percent supporting the pigs.
Vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, omnivores, pescatarians, flexitarians, fruitarians… Every one of these tedious knobs explained so you can decide which you’re going to be, starting now.
My Life As A Hypocrite
How a spider spurred my veggie awakening and with it my wider Zero awakening and with it your wider Zero awakening and with it a general saving of animals, humanity and the planet.
How, why and which I went vegan. Well, not which. But how and why. And which you should too.
Six solid reasons for going veggie. Each of them so convincing you’ll be mortified you haven’t done it already.
Gelatine and the Newbie Pitfalls
Bits of animals are hidden everywhere: in marshmallows, in red food dye, in fake fingernails, even in meat and fish and everything. Swot up on what you need to miss out on.
In search of protein
I scream, you scream, we all scream for protein. Let’s just calm down and eat some. It’s basically everywhere.
What's The Deal With Eggs?
Prepare yourself for the dullest of dull questions meat-eaters will ask you, armed with a bit of knowledge and a lot of spunk.
Because even being ill is an ethical pickle for the self-righteous vegetarian. Between gelatine capsules and mandatory animal testing, you’re best just maintaining perfect health forever.
What should we feed our fellow omnivores? Should we force our morality on other creatures? Will a leopard ever want a bit of tofu? Just three of the questions I’m not all that into but wrote about anyway.
Putting lipstick on a pig. And shoving botox in a mouse. And giving a bunch of animals a ton of tumours.
As Veganuary hit and I finished updating the Veggieness section of this here website, I was lightning-bolted by one of my many micro-epiphanies: Ever since Covid demanded I spend less time in the kitchen and more time in bed I’ve become a lousy, lazy vegan.
Veganuary: What, why, how, when and who
Veganuary aims to get people trying veganism for a month, drawing them in with time-limited new year faddishness. Last year it had more than half a million sign ups, with about 85% committing to cutting down on meat and dairy thereafter, and a solid 40% aiming to stay vegan for all time. That’s decent, given the most popular new year’s resolution – getting and using an annual gym membership – has a success rate of less than 3% I assume.
As with many hells, the road to veganism is paved with good intentions…
Stem in a teacup? Celling out? (It’s been a while)
You’ll recall they made a stem cell burger a while back. It was funded by one of the guys from Google taking a break off reading your emails and spying on what you spaff to. He gave a few hundred grand to a couple of mad scientists taking a break off stitching hitchhikers’ mouths to hobos’ bumholes.
Mr Zero’s unfeasibly grand re-veggiefication scheme: part two
As you’ll recall I’ve been terribly ill, mummy’s brave little soldier keeping his chin up through the flu, a chest infection, a spot of whooping cough and very little in the way of blogging. Throughout this charming episode I’ve had a number of very helpful people explain it’s all down to my vegetarianism, there having been no documented cases of illness among meat eaters.
Mr Zero’s unfeasibly grand re-veggiefication scheme: part one
In the days before my epic post-qualifying/pre-job slouchfest, back when I was an overworked and increasingly tetchy student, I bashed out a few new year’s resolutions to fill up a bit of space on what was becoming a seriously neglected blog. However, comeuppances being what they are, I’m now forced to put some effort into doing whatever it was I said I’d do, and all to satisfy an audience of precisely no one. How I hate myself.
Operation Parmesan: It begins
As the days count down and 2011 draws to a close I have some unfinished business to attend to, an outstanding resolution yet to be instood. I speak, of course, of Operation Parmesan, the unprecedented assault on the world of cuisine that will make the Hiroshima bombing look like an inappropriate historical event to make reference to.
And The Jetsons melted down Rosie for kicks
It’s a hard and trying task, all this Zero business. All this research, all this protesting, all this motivating the troops and doing the groupies. At times I grow weary. People cannot live on self-righteousness alone. It can’t be all hard work and hand wringing and so from time to time I put down my tools, tramp down from the moral high ground to the sewer in which the rest of you live, and have a night off. A couple of nights ago I watched a film. Naturally, I was able to turn it pretty quickly into hard work and handwringing.
Words are my power
You’ll recall how I’ve been writing for my uni’s studentmag. It’s some full on proper do-gooding, converting everyone on campus to my splendid way of life and raising issues usually neglected by right-on students such as Fairtrade, vegetarianism, feminism, environmentalism… Oh. Right.