What do the 46 million turkeys killed for Thanksgiving say about our ethics?

We celebrate lots of things. Some holidays matter more than others, of course. There are those relevant to our history, traditions, faith. There are others we celebrate, because, let’s face it: as a species, we’re inherently indulgent. And, lest we forget, our sacred corporations need holidays, too.

The celebrations rooted in religion bring with them a nod to something greater than the celebrator. They bring a need to contemplate, to take stock of our place in the world, the universe. And as indulgent and superficial as many of us can be on Christmas or Easter, there is, ultimately, a humbleness…

Communes are back.

While millions of Americans have been begrudgingly sheltering in their McMansions since March, another trend is taking hold of the pandemic-addled country. Intentional communities or communes (now sometimes modernized as “pods” or “bubbles”) are going mainstream.

The trend, which began before the pandemic, looks to linger long after life returns to normal, too. In January, the New York Times reported on the rise of intentional communities and communes.

“Though many residents of intentional communities are undoubtedly frustrated by climate inaction and mounting economic inequality, others are joining primarily to form stronger social bonds,” The Times reports.

Community gardens foster community…

It’s been more than 20 years since environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill climbed down from a giant thousand-year-old California redwood tree named Luna.

Ms. Hill caught the attention of the world when she became a spokesperson for Luna. In total, she spent 738 days in the Humboldt County redwood (December 10, 1997 to December 18, 1999). She lived on a six-foot platform nearly 200 feet above the ground.

Like other environmental activists, Ms. Hill was protesting the Pacific Lumber Company’s deforestation plans. She descended only after reaching an agreement with the lumber company that protected Luna and 200 feet surrounding…

Roger Daltry on The Who Sell Out album cover

Beans. All of them. From coffee to cacao to soy and all the rest, beans are about to be busier than ever saving the planet and humanity.

Humans have been eating and drinking beans for thousands of years. Anthropologists confirmed in recent discoveries that our ancestors were predominantly plant-eaters. …

Woodstock Festival, 1969

By the mid-1960s, a change had taken hold of America. It was the kind of radical demand for change that brought our country into existence in the first place — the belief that freedom is a birthright, that we all deserve equal rights, peace, love, and happiness. That there is a better way than the status quo. This idealism was a revolution in the works: one tied to business, technology, food, art, the planet, and consciousness itself. It rejected war and greed inflicted by governments and corporate interests. …

Swedish metal band Avatar is vegan

Swedish heavy metal band Avatar may not be top of mind when you think of typical vegans, but like others making the plant-based shift, the band is proving the diet can appeal to anyone.

Vegan diet stereotypes have deep roots in Woodstock-era long-haired rock ’n’ roll. You know it: that whole counterculture ethos of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out away from mainstream media, politics, and, of course, food. This made healthy and ethical eating trends long ostracized as fringe hippie stuff. But a lot has shifted since the 1960s. Rock ’n’ roll, for one, has evolved from its…

People ask me a lot of questions about parenting. It’s not because I look like I have any idea what I’m doing. I barely look like I showered most days. Mostly I get questions because I’m a single parent raising my almost seven-year-old daughter vegan since birth (and long before). I get a lot of the questions I got as a vegan for more than 20 years myself: Do we get enough protein? Don’t we miss meat? Does my child actually eat vegetables? Is she healthy? Yes. No. Yes. Yes.

We simply can’t maintain the status quo of raising 55…

Kevin Smith eyes a Mooby’s Cow Tipper

The first thing my six-year-old daughter notices about Kevin Smith is that the color of his blazer matches the largely purple color scheme of his pop-up restaurant, Mooby’s. We’re seated in one of its booths, looking out at Santa Monica Blvd., which is less busy than it should be on a late Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles.

Before Smith sits down with us, he’s making the rounds, greeting reporters, employees, friends, and fans. He bumps elbows — the unofficial COVID handshake — with a few. He even goes in for a hug to some. His real-life presence is the opposite…

A Venn Diagram of a “perfect” vegan would intersect around a few key areas: avoiding all animal products; working to change existing policies and practices that exploit animals; taking every measure to protect or rescue as many animals from cruelty as possible; and being a consistent voice of encouragement for other humans to do the same. In this diagram of ideals, Damien Mander stands dead center.

Founder and CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAFP), Mander didn’t come to animal rights out of an inherent love for animals. Nor was it disdain for the meat and dairy industries that set…

Joaquin Phoenix is using his success to help animals.

Arthur Fleck is different. This is evident in the first five seconds of “Joker,” as tears drip down the clown for hire’s painted face. Fleck, played by actor Joaquin Phoenix, is of course, on his way to becoming Joker, the infamous DC Comics Batman villain.

Fleck’s chilly laugh — the result of a neurological disorder likely caused by beatings as a child — is a window into his unrelenting grief. He tells his mother, who nicknamed him Happy, that he hasn’t been “happy” one day out of his entire life.

Fellow actors have praised Phoenix’s performance. “It’s one of the…

Jill Ettinger


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store