Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Abolitionist: What’s the aetiology of veganism in a insane world Bob?
Bob: I don’t think that the world is so insane; it’s just
the behaviour of its human inhabitants that is. The world is a
beautiful, abundant, colorful, sensual, life-sustaining and supportive
Garden of Eden, currently uncomfortably enduring and trembling from the
temporary insanity of human(un)kind’s appetite for flesh. That is the
unsustainable insanity that could make our species itself just
The world in its intrinsic sanity is now showing quite normal signs of impatience and intolerance for that mass aberrant
behavior of the human, who should know better. Those who do know better
What is insane about the world – war, violence, hunger, scarcity, disease, pollution?
Cadaver eating and trans-species reproductive secretion and excretion consumption are at the root of all of that insanity. Wars
are fought over competition for resources such as oil, water, and land,
all squandered for meat and dairy.
Violence is the main ingredient on our plate, if we are corpse eaters. We must remember
that every meal that is fast food is slashed food. It is insane that we
would seek nourishment from mass murder, a bloody stabbing,
dismemberment, decapitation. The consumption of meat actually influences
body physiology toward violent inclination.
I invite you to listen to my program archived at GoVeganRadio.com for an interesting exploration of this subject. The insanity of hunger
in an abundant world is more of the insanity of meat and dairy, where if
all grain fed to animals were diverted to the human population, world
hunger would end tomorrow.
Equally insane is the dedication of an acre of land to the production of less than 200 pounds of so-called “edible” cow flesh,
when tens of thousands of pounds of truly edible potatoes or carrots
could be grown there. Yes it seems like an insane world, so full of
suffering from disease and horrible death. Yet when Professor T. Colin
Campbell of Cornell University exposed specifics of the China Project,
the largest study ever between diet and health, he concluded that “70 to
80 per cent of all fatal disease is preventable, and the cause of that
disease is animal protein, and not much of it.”
It can seem like an insane world when accelerated environmental devastation seems to be the order of the day. That is the
order because of the order placed for meat. Too bad the label doesn’t
list the true ingredients – deforestation, soil erosion,
desertification, global warming, toxic waste. Many people are
recognising the insanity, seeking a solution, and concluding that it is
to live vegan.
It is the way.
It is the counterbalance to a world gone crazy.
Quoting a 65 year old man who just became vegan: “It is the truth of life”. And, it is spreading. Will it spread fast enough to
save us from the insanity of potential extinction? 25% of 100,000
college students surveyed in the U.S. say that having access to vegan
meals is important to them. Young people are recognising that if there
is to be a world for them, we must go vegan. And each of us must do it.
We can’t just leave it to Paul McCartney or the eccentric
artist who lives down the street. It has to be a mass movement
revolution because there’s no time for evolution. People know that
there’s something wrong with the direction of the world, that it’s out
of balance. Going vegan is about the only thing that can set things
right. Personally, I’m optimistic – because it is the cause with the
Abolitionist: How long have you been a vegan?
Bob: I am happily and deliciously vegan for over 20 years
now after a 13 year period of pseudo-vegetarian pre-veganism. I was in
my college cooking daze in 1971 when I looked down at my plate and
realised it was someone's body upon it.
I can claim food-source ignorance growing up in very urban non-agricultural New York City, where if you told me salami grew
on a salami tree and peas grew in cans, I would have believed you. I was
used to buying non-descript cellophane-wrapped "food cutlets"; but one
night I saw "the body", and I realised that someone was killed to get to
my plate, and that he or she probably suffered great pain getting
there, presumably non-voluntarily. Propaganda would have us believe
that animals recognise their reason for existence and voluntarily jump
into frying pans. Propaganda ignores their feelings. They cry and they
scream and they bleed.
So, 33 years ago, I announced that I was going (what I thought was) "vegetarian", much to the horror of my future
ex-mother-in-law, the butcher's wife, who yelled at me, "You're going to
die if you eat like that!" Of course she's right, but statistically I
will die further in the future than if I continued my flesh-eating ways.
But at that pre-vegan, and seemingly pre-tofu (awareness) time
(Paleozoic era?), I rationalised that maybe the oceans were here to feed
us, and I continued to eat sea creatures, and by advice from "health
food store nutritionists" bought their milk and cheese and eggs.
Logically, ethically, I had to eliminate ocean animals from my diet, eventually recognising the suffering in their suffocation.
I also learned that every glass of milk and every slice of cheese meant
momma cows and baby calves would suffer the sadness of separation and
the infanticide that becomes veal; and the slashed-food burger that
momma becomes when she can give no more. And I learned that chickens go
from shell to hell, debeaked, confined, ground alive.
So today I have concluded that the only true "vegetarian" is a "vegan", and one who would show himself or herself "vegetarian" by
having a cheese omelette and a glass of milk is accomplishing none of
the objectives of vegetarianism, not impacting favorably on one's
health, nor the environment, nor alleviating animal suffering.
Abolitionist: What’s your perfect space Bob?
Bob: Green with trees, colorful wild flowers, warm
sunshine, blue skies, near water, birds singing, dogs running, cows
mooing, ducks swimming, lambs playing, bunnies snuggling, horses
neighing, pigs roaming, chickens clucking, deer grazing, butterflies
dancing, organic vegan food, good music, NO car and truck noises, NO
smell of flesh cooking, NO meat-eaters, hunters, or fishermen…
Abolitionist: Tell us about your campaigns against circuses.
Bob: You can read about that in the police blotter. I now
have the dubious distinction of a perfect trifecta in Southern
California over the past few years, having been arrested at circus
protests at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, and
the San Diego Sports Arena. I was never convicted of anything as I was
merely exercising my constitutional right to free speech, but the
bullhorn or megaphone can be a cop magnet, and false arrest is their
solution for the disturbance that truth can bring, especially if my
performance represents a disturbance to profits.
In LA, for example, off-duty police are hired by the circus for security, so a threat to the circus is a threat to a
paycheck. I suggest to attendees that they are better than this, that
surely they are above attending a show based on the subjugation of the
weaker, that we have evolved from a barbarism that would make unnatural
tricks performed by the fearfully weak “entertainment”. I ask “what kind
of example is this for children, what does it teach them – that power
over another is good, that violence is entertainment?” I remind them
that every ticket that they buy supports animal abuse, that maybe that
dollar being placed on the counter might help buy another bullock to
beat the elephant, or set of chains to keep her swaying neurotically in
unnatural confinement, this magnificent familial animal who would roam
30 miles daily in the wild, but who instead was kidnapped from mother
and habitat and beaten into compliance.
“Hopefully today is not the day she goes berserk from such an unnatural life and breaks free from her chains and tramples your
child – or transmits tuberculosis to your child.” I look at the king of
beasts, the king of the jungle, in his tiny cage waiting to be summoned
to perform. It is so sad. He is not treated as a king. He is lucky if
the circus remembers to give him water in his steamy railroad car
enclosure. “Welcome to the cruelest show on earth. The animals here have
been brutally beaten for your entertainment. Henry Ringling North said
that the animals perform based on fear. How much fear would it take for
you to jump through a hoop of fire? Mommy, Daddy, please don’t take me
to a show that hurts animals like the circus. I love animals!”
Did you have a happy day at the circus today? Please remember that the animals never do.
Abolitionist: A special interest of yours is speciesistic language.
Language reinforces prejudice. If our language ok’s attitudes and referential meanings about animals then nonhuman animals
will always be considered 'marginal considerations' to the serious
business of life. Your thoughts please?
Bob: Speciesism is pervasive in language and serves to
reinforce the notion of non-human as sub-human, or even worse – as mere
objects. Particularly bothersome to me are references to an animal as
“it” as opposed to “he” or “she”, “him” or “her”. An animal is not an
object or a thing, It was such bizarre thinking by Descartes that an
animal is a mindless machine that allowed vivisection to emerge as
acceptable “science”. Unfortunately, law often objectifies animals as
property. In Defense of Animals’ campaign to change language from
“owner” to “guardian” of companion animals is certainly admirable in
reflecting more responsibility and stewardship in animal care. Okay,
that’s one word down and about another 700,000 to go in the English
language, replete with speciesist idiomatic expressions like “there’s
more than one way to skin a cat” or “kill two birds with one stone”. I’m
not the least bit interested in even one way to skin a cat or in
killing any birds.” Perhaps we can “pull two carrots with one tug”. In
“3 blind mice”, the wife cuts off their tails with a carving knife”, and
I have never seen such a sight in my life and I hope that she’s
arrested on animal cruelty charges. We humans feel so superior when we
call someone a pig, cow, monkey, chicken, dog, rat, weasel, or snake.
Such “demonization” makes it easier to conduct warfare on such
sub-humans. The war against animals has itself been waged for a long
long time. Massive slaughters are not “killing”, they are “culling”.
Mechanized systematic murder is not “killing” it is “harvesting”, as if
cows were corn and geese were grapes. .Superior man may think he is
being insulting calling someone “bird brain”, but the capacity of a
bird’s brain is truly quite remarkable in its ability to navigate and
remember long distance travel, to recall sometimes a thousand locations
of stored food, to maintain a lifelong partnership with a mate. Often
humans condemn others as “acting like animals”, but it is not the
animals who are conducting deadly war, engaging in serial killing,
murdering for fun, abusing their young and their elderly, and destroying
the earth. Maybe humans should act more like animals. Until they do,
I’m sure that when animals get upset with each other they will ask
themselves – “why are you acting like such a human?”
Abolitionist: How long has your radio show ‘Go Vegan With Bob Linden’ been a part of Californian culture
and what’s the general response been like to hearing your vegan
Bob: The planet's first-and-only commercial vegan radio show, GO VEGAN WITH BOB LINDEN (www.GoVeganRadio.com 818-623-6477, has been broadcast for almost 3 1/2 years, now in Los Angeles and
San Diego at the moment, and looking to add back San Francisco and then
Seattle. Listener response has been most encouraging - often attracting
stations' largest weekly audiences - because people are hungry for
information and views not available elsewhere in the media (meaty-uh?).
No parent wants to poison his or her child, so that parent should know
that meat is fecal-covered, and those poopburgers present an E Coli food
poisoning threat. No parent wants to kill his or her child, so that
parent should know that in the age of Mad Cow, one bite of a
carcassburger or flesh steak can be fatal, with symptoms dormant for
Vegan issues encompass all that is of the greatest and gravest importance, from world peace, to sustainability and
survivability, to human health, world hunger, morality and ethics. But
the reaction to the show that is important to me is exemplified by the
listener who approached me at an event recently and said "about 6 months
ago I was just going up and down the radio dial and I stopped on your
show. I just want you to know that for the last 6 months, I haven't
eaten anything with animal ingredients".
Abolitionist: How about sponsors of the radio station? Are they supportive? Any trouble from them?
Bob: When I broadcast the very first show over three years
ago, I feared that the radio station would change the locks on the
building so that I wouldn't be able to do a 2nd show, considering that
the subject matter would satirize and insult most of the other sponsors
on the station, such as McDevil's, Murder King, When-Dies, Yucky Tucky K
illing F or C ash, Up-chuck E Cheese, Outbreak Steak House, etc. So I
booked Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA, for my first guest and figured
if I only have one show, let's make it a big one!!! Fortunately,
apparently, radio station ownership and management don't seem to listen
to their own stations, so we have now aired probably 160, or so, shows. I
must purchase the airtime from radio stations, which can be quite
expensive. I attempt to cover those costs with advertising for vegan and
cruelty-free products and services only, and donations and grants; I
have some wonderful advertisers on the air who offer alternatives to
animal0based products such as Vegenaise, Vegan Gourmet cheese
alternatives, Chicken-Free-Chicken, Whole Soy creamy cultured soy, as
well as healthy products like Lundberg organic rice, Kombucha elixirs,
etc. Vegetarian restaurants have been supportive, as have animal rights
groups including PETA, IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS, LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS,
FARM, etc. I did not foresee any financial challenges in covering the
cost of the show when it first began, as it sold out within 2 weeks.
Then along came 9/11 and the economy collapsed, definitely making it
more difficult even 'til now. But somehow, the show must go on, and it
has survived, giving the animals and a message of compassion at least
Abolitionist: What kind of shows have you done so far?
Bob: What kind of shows haven't I done?
At the time when the program was first going on the air, a
potential advertiser asked me "after 3 or 4 shows, what will be left to
say?" A vegan show is about everything. Going vegan is the solution to
just about all that ails this planet. Subjects range from animal
experimentation to cookie recipes. Of course, there's a lot of deserved
Bush - bashing, since he is no friend to animals nor environment. In
fact, I point to the behavior of Bush and Cheney as positive proof of
the presence of the human form of Mad Cow in the United Steaks. Guests
have ranged from spokespeople for the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) to
former United Steaks Attorney General Ramsey Clark, to celebrities like
Linda Blair, Ed Asner, Casey Kasem, Alexandra Paul. And there are the
people who do so much for animals. I am so heartened to know that they
are everywhere in the world. They are the guests on my show who are a
constant parade of modern day heroes and saints. I am basically a
student of vegetarianism and the show is like a course study. I was
interested to find a pilot vegetarian program in a California prison
where inmates showed a 90 per cent reduction in behavioral problems. I
had a group of African Americans whose decision to live biblically lead
them to create a vegan village devoid of the heart disease, cancer,
stroke, and violence suffered by their brothers and sisters on the
standard American diet of death. When people ask me how I get my
protein, I ask them how they avoid theirs, after Professor T. Colin
Campbell of Cornell University informed the GO VEGAN audience that 70 to
80 per cent of fatal disease is preventable, and the cause of that
disease is animal protein - and not much of it. I gasped to learn from
Mad Cowboy Howard Lyman that euthanized dogs and cats get rendered into
the human food chain along with chicken poop and feathers in animal
feed. GO VEGAN WITH BOB LINDEN sees everything through the vegan filter -
and sees war, conflict over resources including water and oil,
avoidable only through a vegan world..
Abolitionist: How far do you take the Ahimsa message?
Bob: The invitation to GO VEGAN is as Ahimsa as a message
can get, for the basis of peace is in living vegan, the basis of
compassion is living vegan, the basis of sharing is living vegan. The
lightest footprint would be made by the shoes of a vegan (non-leather,
of course). It is great to be for peace, for non-violence, for justice,
for the environment. If you are talking the talk - but with the blood of
a murder victim dripping off your sandwich down your chin - are you
really walking the walk? And all humans need to consider joining the
vegan parade, or it is off the cliff! The continued abnormal practice of
meat eating is a horrible death sentence for children who will be
doomed to a thirsty, hungry, infertile, toxic world. With meat
squandering a third of all resources, using half of freshwater supplies,
accounting for half of all water pollution, as well as deforestation,
erosion, desertification, and global warming, any responsible individual
must decide to GO VEGAN. 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of
wheat, 2500 gallons to produce a pound of beef? 250 pounds of beef per
acre, 30,000 pounds of potatoes? If all humans worldwide adopt the dead
animal diet, oil reserves last less than 50 years; if all humans go
vegan, oil supplies last longer than 250 years.
Abolitionist: What other animal rights campaigns are you particularly drawn to?
Bob: Obviously I oppose consumption of all animal
products for "food", as well as clothing meaning leather, wool, fur, and
silk. I am particularly dismayed by animal experimentation whose
sadness is the betrayal read in the terrified eyes of the animal in the
cages, asking us how we can be so removed from our hearts and how we can
do the unthinkable. I also actively oppose animal exploitation in
"entertainment" including circus, rodeo, bullfighting, horseracing, zoo,
captive sea animal, "sport", as if hunting and fishing ever were, and
the various and sundry campaigns that regularly arise, such as Adidas
making kangaroos into shameful soccer shoes.
Abolitionist: How would you convince a vivisector to give up their murderous ways?
Bob: I would urge all vivisectors to please come out of
their hidden, dark, windowless, dungeons and perform their "work" in
full public view, lighted by bright sunshine, with glass walls, for all
to see. Also, all animal experimenters, like sex offenders, should have
to register with local governments so that residents can be alerted that
there's a vivisector living in their neighborhood and they can take
more diligent action to protect their animals and children.
Abolitionist: You have said “Everyday is 9/11 for the animals” so you recognise an animal holocaust. Can you talk about that?
Bob: The death camps are on overtime all the time to
satisfy a hunger for cadaver and a thirst for blood. Ten billion
innocents in the U.S. annually, ten thousand million innocents devoured
in the automated atrocity of mechanized mayhem and murder, where there
was once an Auschwitz, there is now a Cow-schwitz. It's a holocaust a
minute, every hour, every day, for non-human animals and the human
animals who eat them.. The poor innocent are born into a death sentence
in an unnatural world, having committed no crime, subject to mutilation
without anesthesia, intense confinement, beatings, stabbings, and
boiling, dismembered, skinned alive, fully feeling, and subsidized by
the cult of the meat eater. Nazi Germany exists today. It is the meat
industry, just following orders, just slashing throats, for your orders -
for hamburger, for pork, for breasts. Meat is mass murder, the product
of an endless war on animals, the weakest most oppressed beings on
earth, who have no voice, except their screams, who have no vote, except
their tears, who have no ally, except the vegan.
Abolitionist: Mock meats. Should we go there?
Bob: Go anywhere where the food is vegan and not made of
animals or animal ingredients. People transitioning from eating animals
can now enjoy textures and flavors similar to foods familiar to them,
without sacrificing anything (or anyone).So bring on the veggie burger
and the tofu dog, the soy ice cream and the rice milk. There's vegan
cheese that melts for pizza, nachos, and enchiladas. As long as there
are no animal ingredients, who cares if what we are eating is called
"chicken", "bull's penis", or "eye of a cannibal". As long as there are
no animal ingredients, let's eat! But let's also remember our organic
fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, legumes...
Abolitionist: As vegans we are aware of our clothing and accessories, what household cleansers we use, our décor and
cosmetics etc. Is love non-exempt from the moral implications of animal
Bob: In terms of a greater love, or connected spirituality, or affection, going vegan is all about love, even loving
the meat-eater in spite of his or her actions, being sympathetic to how
brainwashed he or she must be, what a hell it must be to crave flesh to
this day and make one's stomach a graveyard, without being repulsed by
what is being swallowed or how "it" was prepared, or who "it" was.
Abolitionist: What about dating a meat-eater – What’s gone through your mind when you are out on a date with a meat-eater or
don’t you do it?
Bob: I am not the best to ask about boy-girl affairs, as I
mentioned that I became a vegetarian just prior to marrying the
butcher's daughter. Chemistry and compatibility are a unique combination
to come in one person, in a world where opposites often attract and
eyes, brain, heart, and other body parts make for irrational counsel.
What would seem more interesting - two vegan animal rights people living
happily ever after in the matrimonial bliss of chronic complaint, yawn,
"I know where you get your protein, I know your shoes aren't leather, I
know you have a life" - or - "sweetie, that's so cute that you would
want to go to the rodeo...you can't possibly know what happens to the
animals..." But then, how much mouthwash qualifies as antiseptic,
sanitizing a meat eater's mouth for a kiss. And could one really have an
equal and understanding relationship if both haven't evolved to vegan?
The mixed relationship (vegan and corpse eater) is challenging,
naturally. Vegans look at the world in a particular way, making us
picky, picky, picky in our already-reduced "meet market" universe. Right
now, I'm perfectly happy to watch "Blind Date" on TV.
Abolitionist: What is your long-term goal for the Movement and where do you see yourself 10 years down the track?
Bob: Ten years from now it would be great if I were living a more decadent life at the beach in Hawaii, sucking organic
coconut milk, perhaps again working as a Program Director of music radio
stations - as was my "normal" career before my "animal calling".
Ten years from now at that Hawaii location it would be great to say how thankful I was that meat was banned nine years earlier
by the United Nations after its indisputable recognition as the greatest
and worst threat to the survival and health of humankind, as greatest
and worst cause of world hunger and environmental devastation including
resource squandering, air and water pollution, global warming,
deforestation, erosion, desertification, etc., and that meat was banned
ultimately in recognition of the injustice of the pain, suffering, and
murder of the innocent.
Mad Cow, Bird Flu, Scrapie, CWD, Heart Attack, Cancer, Stroke, Diabetes , Arthritis, E Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria also I'm
sure would have been considered in that meat ban 9 years ago, which then
lead to a world of peace and a world of plenty. Disease was conquered,
so animal experiments were discontinued. People, off meat, became more
compassionate and aware through their vegan diets and chose not to wear
any animal skins or hairs, or to attend shows where animals were
exploited. It was curtains for Ringling Brothers.
All McDonald's closed their doors for good. Yes, 10 years from now, it would be just perfect to celebrate 9 years of a vegan
world. It would be great if there were a Museum of Vegetarianism, and
university-level vegetarian course studies. (I'd like to teach a class
in speciesist language. An animal would never be called an "it" again.
Thanks to all the vegans for making the decision to be the best, most caring people on Earth, and thanks to all pre-Vegans with
open minds, who think for themselves, who are about to join the most
conscious movement in the world. It is the only way to peace.
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