Sorry, Vegans. That’s not what we do.

What a wonderful story. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

And then, once I had sufficiently recovered, I laughed some more.

Apparently, the owners of a chain of vegan cafes in California – a chain which features irritatingly named “affirmation” dishes such the “accepting” sushi bowl and the “grateful” kale salad – wait for it… aren’t vegan.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems that the husband and wife team behind Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre haven’t been completely open about this lifestyle choice, and perhaps even less surprisingly, their patrons aren’t hugely happy now that they’ve found out about it:

“They are duping vegans to support their animal killings,” screams one post on the Facebook boycott page. “Fxxxing HYPOCRITES!!!! Hope they will be FLAME BURNED and eaten by Meat Eaters,” says another.

Sorry, Vegans. That’s not what we do. In my several (or more) years of eating meat, I have yet to eat human flesh. Especially hypocritical human flesh. Most other stuff: sure. I’ve tried sanctimonious lamb chops before and only last week I had a delicious overly sincere fillet steak, just to mix things up a bit.

The Engelharts spawned an entire industry with a carefully marketed message of peace, love and sharing, which includes a sister vegan Mexican restaurant, Gracias Madre, in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The couple have written several books, including Sacred Commerce: Business as a Path of Awakening and Kindred Spirit: Fulfilling Love’s Promise. Their personal website is named Eternal Presence and references the board game they created in 2004, called The Abounding River Board Game, which was on every table in their San Francisco flagship; and which they said would train players to embrace “an unfamiliar view of Being Abundant” and develop a “spiritual foundation” for looking at money.

Right on.

To be completely honest, it’s actually unclear (to me, at least) whether the couple had actively claimed to be vegan, or whether the hoards of puny leaf-nibblers visiting their restaurants along the west coast had just taken it as read. If it’s the latter, they were wrong.

Personally, while I’m sure that many diners will be choosing not to go to any of their outlets after learning this news, it wouldn’t put me off. Sure, the lack of any decent protein on the plate might be a bit of a downer, but you don’t sell 28,000 dishes a day if you can’t do something fairly special with a lentil. Or something.

No solar

Much hilarity around the internet this morning as self-appointed God and champignon of free speech (except when it offends him) Stephen Fry shared this little gem about a North Carolina town rejecting solar power after Ms Mann, a retired science teacher nogal, told a public meeting that:

plants near solar farms do not thrive because there wasn’t enough sunshine left over for them to photosynthesise.

Worst Mannsplaining ever.
Her husband (qualifications unknown) added:

solar panels suck up all the energy from the sun.

And, in all honesty, you’d actually be hard pressed to disagree with that.

But these aren’t good reasons to reject solar power. No. Good reasons to reject solar power are its massive inefficiency, the fact that it only works during the day and actually takes power from the grid the rest of the time (many learned folks refer to this as “night”), and its “hidden” environmental costs: the land use and habitat loss on their installation, and the massive water use and the nasty chemicals that go into making the photovoltaic cells.

When Ms Mann also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying “no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer”, she was only half wrong. Chemicals like arsenic, cadmium telluride, hexafluoroethane, lead, and polyvinyl fluoride aren’t exactly the healthiest things to be using in any manufacturing process. Of course, the half wrong bit is that the solar panels don’t cause cancer where they are installed – that’s all left over in the third world country that’s producing them.

So that’s alright then, isn’t it?

Next week – the conveniently overlooked problems of wind power, including the killing of bats and birds, the 40-storey eyesores being erected all over our beautiful countryside and the fact that it is destroying the local yachting industry by using up all the breeze.

World’s Biggest Windmill

Not really, but still – nice story: they’ve put a couple of VAWTs on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Well, they couldn’t really put them on the Eiffel Tower anywhere else, could they?

If you’ve ever seen the Eiffel Tower in real life, you’ll know that it’s not small. Here it is with its head in the clouds in the height of summer, 2012 with the boy wonder in the foreground, and a handy indicator of where the turbines have been fitted just above the 2eme étage:


Amazingly, despite their hugely elevated position, they’re not even at the height of the wind turbines in Caledon just up the road from Cape Town. Suddenly, Gustav’s big project doesn’t seem quite so huge. Or maybe wind turbines are just generally horribly invasive. Hey, you decide.

The 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity they’ll produce each year is about enough to self-sustain the commercial section on the tower’s first floor, but not much else.

Look, it’s something. And I do understand that this is really all just about visibility. To be honest, short of putting a set of huge blades on the top of the tower itself, it’s probably about as good as it’s going to get. Especially in a country which produces around 80% of its electricity from nuclear. But while wind is good because it’s renewable, it’s may not be quite as green as you think. Here’s an interesting “back-of-the-envelope calculation” by Popular Science magazine on which are the nastiest forms of electricity generation if you happen to be, say… a bird (as one of the endangered Blue Cranes near Caledon might self-identify, for example).


You can read more here, but the gist of it is that Coal is downright evil (we knew this), solar plants fry birds:

Rewire reports that during the test, operators fired up a third of the 110-megawatt facility’s mirrors, concentrating sunlight on a spot 1,200 feet off the ground. Over a six-hour period, biologists counted 130 “streamers,” or trails of smoke and water left behind as birds ignited and plummeted to their deaths. Rewire’s anonymous source said that at least one of the birds “turned white hot and vaporized completely.”

and we already knew that wind turbines kill birds and bats.

Sadly, despite our current (no pun intended) electricity woes, it seems like nuclear isn’t the er… cleanest option for SA either (although not necessarily for environmental reasons).

So we have the choice of evil coal (which we’re going to use), the horribly inefficient and not-ever-so-nice-after-all solar and wind, or the allegedly dangerously corrupt nuclear.

Or we could do fracking… Now there’s a good idea.

More Parisian flickritude

Fear The Dolphins

“The following scenarios may be upsetting to young children. Reader discretion is advised.”

A couple of years ago, I wrote about Taiji and the dolphin hunt. In that post, I had a bit of a go at certain organisations which sought to ban the local population from carrying out their centuries old way of life, simply because of some misguided, emotional attachment to one mammal above another. Many other people have written – and continue to write – about Taiji and the dolphin hunt, but, it seems, few from my point of view. Things were thrown, people got angry and I even got some swear words sent to me in an email.

What I didn’t realise then was that something far more sinister was going on under the surface (so to speak). These human organisations are merely dolphin sympathizers, double agents preparing and softening up mankind for the inevitable Dolphin Apocalypse. I learned this from the very informative website,, which opened my eyes to the horrifying and previously unconsidered threat to our very existence that lies beneath our oceans.

Dolphins control 70% of the Earth’s surface, including many major rivers. How can one say this? Well, it is a fact that the majority of Earth’s surface is covered by water, 70% to be precise. Dolphins, of course, live in the ocean and they even admit that they are the kings of the sea in the theme song to Flipper.
Also they control the rivers because there is a group of animals known as river dolphins that are related to the better known group of ocean-dwelling dolphins. These animals do, in fact, share similar policies and values and are allied publicly. A good analogy for this situation is the following: ocean-dwelling dolphins are to river dolphins like Nazi Germany is to Fascist Italy.

Yes. Suddenly, it all becomes clear, doesn’t it? The dolphins, who already have intellectual (bigger brains) and territorial – well, aquatorial – advantage over the human race are surely just waiting for the perfect moment (many of these scenarios are listed here and make harrowing reading) to strike and take full control of the planet.

Dolphins do have the ability to attack and destroy humans. One of these abilities is that they can use the sonar waves that they use in echolocation for more devious purposes. Since ultrasound can be used to breakup kidney stones it is very obvious that dolphins have the capacity to emit certain types of sound waves from their melon to destroy particles in a human body.


They could use this ability to loosen large chunks of ice from the poles and create icebergs. (Titanic?) These icebergs melt as they travel through warm water. This will add more water to the oceans and cause coastal flooding. Dolphins will then gain more and more control of the Earth’s surface.

At first, I too was skeptical. But when you are open-minded enough to step back and take in the bigger picture, it’s abundantly clear that we have been repeated lied to and fed pro-dolphin propaganda throughout our developing years.

Why else would SeaWorld, Green Peace, The Wild Dolphin Project, The Dolphin Institute, Blue Dolphin Alliance, and the Miami Dolphins be created? They all are designed to be aides for the dolphin’s control. These cult-like businesses/organizations try to make you feel bad for the dolphins and they attempt to get you involved with their manipulative cause.

And you can add the devious Sea Shepherd to that list as well. Presumably, they believe that their interference in the human/dolphin situation in Taiji will buy them some sort of amnesty when the dolphins finally rise up and conquer mankind. But even a fool can surely see that the dolphins cannot be trusted and once they have enslaved or killed the rest of the human race, these sorry traitors will soon follow. (And I think all us rational human beings would fully support the dolphins in that act, at least.)

For too long, we have lived our lives oblivious to the insidious threat of the Dolphin Apocalypse. No longer.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen; lend me your ears, because you have ears!
You have opposable thumbs!
You stand upright and tall.


Do not be a sleeping partner in the dolphins’ evil plan. Spread the word and when the day comes, let us be prepared to fight for the 30% of this planet that we still control!

Viva, Mankind! Viva! Amandla!

Wind Turbine Kills Really Rare Bird – WHAT NEXT?

And continuing with matters electrifying

“OMG! We’re all going to die!” So say the environMENTALists anyway, citing global warming and coal and fossils and whatnot. Thus, they are all behind the wholly barmy plan to only generate electricity through “green” means, namely wind and solar. And while I have no issue with the renewable energy thing per se, their instance that it should be at the exclusion of everything else is short sighted and, frankly, stupid.
Also, it irritates the hell out of me (and there’s a lot in there) that I have to listen to their constant whining on the internet, which (here at least) is fuelled by dirty black stuff from Mpumalanga.

And anyway, as 40 birdwatchers found out this week,  renewable methods aren’t that green anyway, as they watched, dismayed, as an extremely rare white-throated needletail, sighted only 8 times in the last 170 years get killed by the fast rotating blades of a wind turbine in Scotland.

Dead. Not resting. Not pining for the fjords.
Dead. No more. Shuffled off this mortal coil. Gone to join the choir invisible.

About 30 birdwatchers travelled to the island to see the unusual visitor, which has only been recorded five times in the UK since 1950. However, they then saw it die after colliding with the wind turbine.

Birdwatcher David Campbell, from Surrey, told the BBC Scotland news website that the incident took place late on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Campbell, who is now making his way home to south east England, said: “We just watched the whole thing with dismay.”

Horrible. What a way to eliminate a species. And while the authorities say that they place wind turbines thoughtfully and carefully to prevent this sort of incident, it didn’t prevent this one, now did it?

However, while I blame the wind turbine, it does seem that Mr Campbell has a bit of a history around rare birds:

He added that on a previous bird watching trip he had seen a migratory wryneck hit by a train.

And I think we can probably work out who emerged from that little encounter more unscathed, can’t we?

But, Mr Campbell aside, there’s a serious message for South Africa here, especially since Eskom has just got the go ahead to build a monster 46-turbine wind farm  just down the road from the beautiful Namaqua National Park. I suspect that you, dear reader, can do the mathematics here.

The wind farm is to be called “Sere”:

…the Nama word for “cool breeze”

Does anyone know the Nama word for “widespread and horrific massacre of migratory birds”?
Just asking.

And then there’s the solar thing. Because the bunnyhuggers insist that wind is safe (which it’s obviously not if you’re a rare bird or if you don’t like explosions) and they also insist that solar is safe too. Why on (what’s left of the) earth would you believe them?

What if the last of our already endangered rhinos stumbles into its local solar array? I don’t think that it take a huge amount of imagination to see that it would almost certainly be cooked instantly. And while it would probably make a very tasty snack, it would be gone. Dead. No more. Shuffled off th… look, you get what I’m saying.

“Oh. That will never happen!” say the greenies.

Ja. Right.

Just like the white throated needletail “will never” fly into a wind turbine.

It’s plainly obvious from the white-throated-needletail-sliced-to-death-in-a-wind-turbine incident and the hypothetical rhino-scorched -by-concentrated-sunlight issue that we need to shelve these sort of dangerous projects until independent research has shown exactly how much of a hazard they are to our endangered species.

I’m almost tempted to launch an online petition.


UPDATE: Does anyone have any data on wave power killing dolphins?