Ursa Major, Israeli Animals, NFL Anti-Fur Dudes & John Corbett Talks Pig


• Ursa Major is a Vermont-based men’s skincare line that has gained a cult following in men’s shops throughout the states. Their packaging design is quite appealing, featuring the namesake,  The Great Bear. The products are vegan, not tested on animals and the ingredients are sourced from sustainable farms and are organic at least 50% of the time. They are gluten, petrochemical, sulfate, paraben and synthetic fragrance-free. Not to mention they’ve won accolades including Esquire Magazine’s “Best Shave Cream” of 2012.

Big Kahuna Skin Care SetThree Musketeer Traveler Set

Speaking of things not tested on animals – many of the major brands who already tested on animals, and even the ones who used to be against animal testing, but have buckled under pressure from China to test their products on animals, will not be welcomed into any Israeli markets or stores. Starting January 1st of 2013, Israel has effectively outlawed the import, sale and marketing of any and all cosmetics and household products tested on animals. This is the most significant law of it’s kind in the world. The EU passed a similar ban, which was also scheduled to take effect in 2013, but has been delayed. What’s wrong with vivisection (animal testing) you ask? Click here.

The Israeli Knesset in session


• Two NFL strongmen, Buffalo Bills defensive end Shawne Merriman and New York Jets safety, Brett Lockett both showed some inked skin for Peta’s “Ink not Mink” campaign – proving that strong men are kind to animals – and probably think you look like an ignorant, jerk in fur. And yes, the ball is synthetic.
• Another famous dude who is speaking up for animals is John Corbett (Sex and the City, United States of Tara) in a new video for Farm Sanctuary.
“In “The Doctor,” John Corbett’s famous voice brings us the story of a charismatic pig who earned his name for his endearing assistance to medical caregivers at an emergency rescue site.”


O! The Sacrifices

• “Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages,” according to a new article in the Guardian. While this dire news is certainly good motivation, I simply prefer bragging about what I eat. Gosh, being vegan is (excuse me while I shove this chocolate chip cookie, coconut-cream ice-cream sandwich into my face) so hard. It’ll be (sorry, just let me take one more bite of this grilled wild mushroom paté burger with heirloom tomato, basil leaves and rosemary aioli) such an exercise in deprivation and sacrifice. I just don’t know how we’ll do it (pass the aged cashew cheese platter, please… Oh wait, the tapioca cheese gravy fries…. No! NYC’s best doughnuts, which happen to be vegan).

Germany’s Strongest Man, Tofu is Gay & Vegetables Terrorize Men

The Evolution of Man: Patrik Baboumian

“The Evolution of Man” series is based around the article I wrote for VegNews Magazine’s “The Man Issue”. In this episode I interview strongman, Patrick Baboumian, who won Germany’s Strongest Man 2011 Competition. Baboumian currently holds the German crown in strength sports and is vegan.

But It doesn’t matter that Germany’s Strongest Man is a vegan. When it comes to identifying with meat-eating, there seems to be an association with masculinity that reaches across many cultures.  And likewise, when it comes to eating vegetables (or specifically avoiding meat) it’s considered feminine or gay. According to the gay European news website “Pink News” a German ad agency recently was “outed” and forced to apologize for a 2009 ad that surfaced, labeling tofu as “gay meat”. Not only is this homophobic and sexist (insinuating that both femininity and homosexuality are to be rejected as inferior) but it’s also using those popular isms in an attempt to insult those who eat tofu.

Deutscher Strongman Meister 2011 - Patrik Baboumian - Deutsche Strongman Meisterschaft - FlashreportAn den Kugeln konnte er nach 4 Punkten Rückstand im Kopf-an-Kopf an Daniel Wildt vorbeiziehen - Deutsche Strongman Meisterschaft - Flashreport

Scholz & Friends designed the ad, which shows a steak branded with the words ‘Tofu ist schwules fleisch’ for a restaurant chain, but it was never used in public, Der Spiegel reported.http://lgbtweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/wpid-71_2194_2750.jpg

A spokesman for Scholz & Friends told Der Spiegel that the firm apologised for the steak advert, which has been hosted on the Art Directors Club website after the campaign won a prize in the competition it was designed for.


This example is a much more obvious form of the themes I’ve addressed again and again on The Discerning Brute. Typically the homophobic sentiment surrounding vegetarianism and veganism is underhanded. This ad, however, went with bold clarity. They apologized to the gays they offended (but not to women or those who eat tofu).

There was also a recent study conducted in the Journal of Consumer Research, and the conclusion was, not surprisingly, that consumers are influenced by a strong association of meat with masculinity.

“To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American food,” the authors write. “Soy is not. To eat it, they would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.”


The Pugilists, Kowtow & Under Armour Strives for Eco

• What could more soothing than a pair of comfortable, organic, fair trade, drawstring cotton shorts? New Zealand’s ‘Kowtow‘ features basics like tees, tanks and shorts in all organic and fair trade cotton.

• Under Amour is striving to go green, which is good news for athletes. They are incorporating more and more recycled materials. According to the site, “In 2011, we estimate that we will convert over 2,000,000 one liter plastic bottles into performance products.”

• BJJ black belt and vegan David Meyer took the gold in his division at the 2012 American Cup Brazilian Jiujitsu Finals.

He was quoted on Fuel For the Fighter saying, “I began eating only foods close to the source, eliminating meat and fish from my diet in 1985, and now I eat no dairy or eggs.  I’m 49 years old and in top physical shape, still competing full force against fighters half my age.”

Take at look at the match:

  • In other MMA news, vegetarian Georgi Karakhanyan won his match in only 53 seconds! He now has 18 wins in a 21 fight career, and was quoted on Fuel for the Fighter saying “I am a devoted vegetarian and I give this a lot of credit for my strength.  The reason why I became a vegetarian is because I do not like animals being hurt. but I also believe that being a vegetarian is a healthy way to live.  As for people who say, “You can’t fight if you’re a vegetarian!” I say, I don’t need to eat meat to kick their ass!”

• Vegetarian wrestler Sushil Kumar is going to London after qualifying for the Olympics. The wrestler from Delhi is a PETA India supporter who said,”Look at me, I defeated non-vegetarians from America and Kazakhstan in the Olympics. So, you can see that vegetarians have a lot of strength”.

Catalytic Clothing: Breathtaking

One approach to sustainable fashion is to make clothing that has a minor or nearly harmless impact on the environment, animals and people. But what if you could take it further, and instead of just being neutral, you could actually destroy pollution with every step you take? What if you could convert your entire existing wardrobe into an arsenal that fights industrial and motor-vehicle air pollution? This is the concept behind Catalytic Clothing. Artist, designer Professor Helen Storey MBE and scientist Professor Tony Ryan OBE collaborated on the “art intervention” where a photocatalyst is added to the wash cycle of clothing, transforming otherwise ordinary tee shirts, jeans or a cotton blazer into super-clothes.
Catalytic Clothing harnesses the power of a photocatalyst to break down air borne pollutants. A catalyst is a term used to describe something that makes a reaction proceed at a greater rate but isn’t actually consumed during that reaction. A photocatalyst gains the energy it needs to be active from light.