Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Egos, Meat & Women": 20 Questions With Through These Walls

Image courtesy Chris Gooden
In case you aren't aware, Pittsburgh has a great local music scene.  There are so many amazing local bands that play throughout the city at various venues.  Through These Walls is one of Pittsburgh's hottest metal bands right now.  Not only do they have great stage personas, but you could easily grab a beer with anyone of the four guys and not be bored.  They begin recording their first album on November 5, so I thought this would be a great time to snag an interview. 

When I first bumped into Brad Travis (guitar) and Ryan Goodworth (bass), we were all in elementary school.  Of course I was obsessed with Barbie Jeeps and hair accessories back then (and they were obsessed with setting things on fire). Since then, along with Chris Callen (vocals, guitar) and Jesse Lee (drums), they have formed Through These Walls and turned into some talented guys.  Ladies, these guys love women, so if you're interested, do your homework (by reading this exclusive interview) and catch up on what else they love.  Visit their Myspace to check out their music & hit up a show.  You know you'll be on the South Side anyway.  They have one coming up on December 3 at the Smiling Moose (South Side, Carson Street).  Check out their Facebook page, become a fan, you have to know the drill by now.

Band Name:
Through These Walls

Chris Callen, 25 (Vocals, Guitar), Day Job: Graphic Designer
Brad Travis, 24 (Guitar), Day Job: Cook
Ryan Goodworth, 24 (Bass), Day Job: Remodeler
Jesse Lee, 22, (Drums), Day Job: Best Buy Supervisor

Where they can be seen playing:
The Smiling Moose
Lava Lounge
Shadow Lounge
Mr. Smalls
Club Octane
Altar Bar

The Vintage Rush: How did Through These Walls start?
Through These WallsChris and Brad decided to start jamming one night and realized that we could start up something that Pittsburgh hadn’t heard yet. 

TVR: You’ve rocked a lot of drummers and bassists since the band started.  Do you feel the band is at its best right now?

TTW: Yes, we finally feel that we have the line-up in place that is what we have been hoping for since the start. Our older music significantly sounds fuller and tighter with Jesse and Ryan in the line-up now.

TVR: What is your favorite beer?
CC: Rolling Rock
BT: New Castle Brown Ale
RG: Troegenator Double Bock
JL: Pabst Blue Ribbon

TVR: Favorite piercing on a girl?
JL: Tongue/Labret

TVR: I've noticed Jager bottles incorporated into your stage set-up, what is the best Jager induced story you have for us while completely trashed?
CC: Back in like 2003, my good friend Buddy had a party around X-mas time, and after a bottle of Jager I decided to attack and demolish the Christmas tree in his apartment, I was so out of control that the only way to subdue me was for Buddy to knock me out over the head with a frying pan.
BT: One evening Ryan decided to throw a small party. Instead of playing beer pong with beer we decided to play with Jager. In my whole “career” of beer pong I’ve never been able to beat Ryan one-on-one. Well since my game was on while he and I were a team I thought I could beat him. I lost and my body couldn’t take anymore Jager. So I passed out in Ryan’s living room. Well I fell face forward into the living room. I woke up the next morning with puke on my left shoulder. Not sure how I was able to puke on my shoulder but it happened.
RG: Its more of a summer than just one story… it was when Brad and I drank 19 bottles in 5 months to start the collection for the light box that you see during our live performance. But if I had to choose one night it’d be when, while hammered, we decided to play Jager pong and the loser had to eat a moth.
JL: The time that I drank Jager with the Clarks was a pretty cool memory.

TVR: Let’s talk egos, do you feel your ego gets in the way of creating good music, or does your music sustain your ego? How so?
CC: I think that having a musical ego drives who we are, and sets a standard for what we demand out of each other, and the way that we carry ourselves. If you can’t be confident and excited about what you do, then no one else will for you.
BT:I like to just call ego confidence. If you don’t have any faith in yourself to think that you are a good musician then you’ll never be able to be at your best. I feel my “ego” has only made me better. Like battling a brother to be the best at something its like my ego is my brother and it challenges me to make myself a better guitarist and writer.
RG: I think that you have to have a small ego to get on stage and demand the attention of the crowd, so I feel like my ego, in a small way, fuels my creativity and drive to write good music that demands the attention of your audience.
JL: I don’t have an ego, I have passion for my music. My ego shows when I beat the shit of out people.

TVR: Who writes the music for the band?
TTW: Chris and Brad write most of the music, and then take it to Ryan and Jesse to work out and add other elements.

TVR: Can you cook? What do you like to make most?
CC:  Yes, chicken with brown rice and steamed veggies.
BT:  Yes, but I don’t like to cook at home since I do it for a living
RG:  Yes, working in a French restaurant for 6 years, with Brad, showed me how to cook all types of food.
JL:   Sure, eggs.

TVR: How many tattoos do you have? Tell us the story behind your favorite tattoo.
CC: 2, right arm, a cross on fire with demon wings. Signifying my belief that good does not exist without evil and that there is no way to be all good, or all evil, we are all made up of both, and its up to us how we let each side unfold.
BT: 6 , left arm, New Castle Brown Ale logo, woke up on my 22nd birthday with it, don’t remember.
RG: 2 , my right arm, a memorial to my grandfather.
JL: 5 , skeleton key on my right wrist. It’s linked to my nautical star symbolizing that music is the key to my existence.

TVR: What are your thoughts on Ke$ha?
CC: She’s no Gaga, but I’d do them both, at the same time.
BT: She’s a valley girl that the record industry created. No talent.
RG: Who?
JL: She’s an edgy pop star that I don’t have a problem with, pretty hot.

TVR: What music do you listen to when writing songs?
CC: It depends on the current vibe of my mindset and the current musical kick I’m listening to, and the fullness of the moon.
BT: Depends on the mood.
RG: Though I haven’t written any of the songs yet, what I play is heavily influenced by what I listen to.
JL: Billy Holiday and Hoagy Carmichael amongst other 1930’s and 1940’s tunes.

TVR: Best band/artist ever?
CC: Pink Floyd/U2
BT: Prince
RG: CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
JL:  Jesse Lacey

TVR: Do you think that Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA, would buy a Through These Walls album?
CC: I’m currently looking into purchasing a guitar strap made of polar bear fur and hyde, so no.
BT:  No, most PETA people are hippies.
RG: Cows, Chicken, Pig, Duck, Deer, Game Hen, Boar, Shark, Crab, Shrimp, etc., etc, are all delicious foods… so no.
JL:  Yes, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.

TVR: Best moment on stage ever?
CC: Performing in front of around 8,000 people at a festival in Tennessee back in 2003 was a pretty awesome achievement for me.
BT: Opening up for The 69 Eyes because of the magnitude of how big they are internationally.
RG: My first show, all of my friends and family were there to support me.
JL: Having to play one song with ¾’s of a drumstick without anyone ever noticing.

TVR: Most embarrassing moment on stage ever?
CC: Once I screamed so hard into the microphone that I blacked out and hit my head on the microphone (while it was on the mic stand), which woke me up so I could catch myself.
BT: First time performing Sixxx Thirty, awful.
RG: Almost passing out during my first show because of the hot lights.
JL: Playing ¾’s of a song with one drumstick without anyone noticing.

TVR: How many times a day do you check facebook?
CC: I’m on 24/7
BT: Once or twice an hour.
RG: Countless.
JL: 26 times, everyday.

TVR: What’s your favorite article of clothing?
CC:  My Gun’s N’ Roses briefs, I’m currently 9-0-1 when wearing them...in sexual situations.
BT: My Gucci shoes.
RG: My black billed beanie.
JL:  My knit hat.

TVR: What’s your favorite article of clothing, on a female?
CC:  Stripper boots/Very high heels, and band t-shirts.
BT:  Fishnets
RG:  Wife beater – no bra.
JL:  Anything skin tight or nothing at all.

TVRHottest girl, alive or dead, or both?
CC:  Rhianna & Marilyn Monroe.
BT:  Brea Bennett & Scarlett Johansson.
RG:  Marisa Miller & Audrey Hepburn.
JL:  Lauren Bacall circa 1945 & Sarah Chalke.

TVRStatement you want the world to know about you, something crazy, something insane, anything.
CC:  "She can’t get pregnant if she’s on all fours and you’re listening to Prince."
BT:  "Can we delete this question?"
RG:  "I’m single."
JL:  "Ask me things, 724-650-2288."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Marc Jacobs: Resort 2011 Embroidered Capsleeve Dress

Kate Hudson covers the latest issue of ELLE magazine wearing one of the most adorable dresses I've seen in a while.  It is the ultimate feminine look.  Of course, I fell in love with it.  It is by Marc Jacobs and comes from their Resort 2011 collection. 

Image courtesy of Elle Magazine

Getty Images
SPOTTED: Leighton Meester wearing the same adorable dress at V Magazine's New York Party

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Wonderful World of Olive Oils
Your guide to choosing the right olive oil on a shelf filled with many options.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to the Italians, is the reason why they stay looking so young and beautiful.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is chock full of vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin E, Omega-9 oil and antioxidants.  But, Extra Virgin Olive Oil isn't the only thing on the shelf.  There's also Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil and Pomace Oil. 

First, let's talk about the regions of the world that Olive Oil comes from.  Most of the Olive Oil you see is from either Italy, Greece or Spain.  However, some will come from France and also from right here in the United States, in California. 

Also, the colors of olive oils can vary.  They can range from a gold color to a dark green color.  The deeper the color of the oil, the more flavorful it is. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is considered the best.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is derived from the very first pressing of the olives.  As I mentioned earlier, it holds the highest amount of vitamins and nutrients, which makes it very valuable.  It is good for your heart, your skin and much more. 

Virgin Olive Oil
This comes also from the first pressing of the olives.  Virgin Olive Oil is less mild than Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Since it also comes from the first pressing of the olives, the only characteristic that separates the two is the acidity level.  (Extra Virgin has a lower acidity level than Virgin).

Pure Olive Oil
Pure Olive Oil is somewhat filtered and processed.  It lacks most of the Vitamin E content that Extra Virgin Olive Oil holds.  It's also only used for heavy, high-heat cooking.  (You wouldn't want to use this in a vinaigrette, you'd want to use it to pan-fry something.)

Pomace Oil
Pomace is what is left of the olive after all of the oil and water has been removed through processing.  If you read my blog, I quoted Teresa Guidice, where she referred to Pomace Oil being the same thing as making "weave out of the hair you find in your drain."  (In "Skinny Italian").  While the quote is trash-i-licious, it's true.  Pomace Oil is the the garbage of the olive.  You'd only want to use this for extremely high heat cooking.  There is not much vitamin or nutrient quality. 

Organic Olive Oils
When the olives are growing, their biggest enemy is something called an olive fly.  Olive flies eat the olive from the inside out (they live inside of the olive).  To prevent this from happening, farmers use pesticides to kill the olive flies.  Organic Olive Oils are pressed from olives grown without the use of these pesticides. 

The Social Network: Is this the movie of a generation?

"The movie got a lot of stuff wrong and a lot of random details right."-Mark Zuckerberg

Image courtesy of Sony

After high school, I left for Penn State University to study Architecture.  During my freshman year, things were very peaceful (well, as peaceful as they can be).  However, during the first couple of months of sophomore year, Facebook came about.  I can remember being stuck in the "studio" late, working on a presentation, at about 2am.  A guy at the drafting table behind me asked me if I had "a facebook."  I remember thinking, "Is that a Penn State yearbook?"  Like, something on paper.  After that, all everyone was obsessed with, was Facebook.  If you were at a cool frat party, you had to take photos, not for a scrapbook of college memories, but to find the perfect one (cropped, of course) to be your profile picture. 

So, the day after this guy asked me about Facebook (after crashing for a total of about 2 hours), I borrowed my roommate's digital camera, snapped a photo of myself and made a Facebook page.  This was still when you had to have a university email (granted, I was just at a state University) and it was only open for students. 

Then, I remember when Facebook was open to companies, thinking "this is SO creepy."  One of the girls in my class was "in a relationship" with an older guy, a guy out of college, and he suddenly was able to have a facebook page through his work account.

I have been an avid user of Facebook since 2004 and it probably knows me better than my best friends.  But, I never really thought about where it came from.  I knew it was designed in a Harvard dorm by Mark Zuckerberg, but I never really thought about it.  Yet, this site knows me better than my best friends.

"The Social Network" truly is the movie of a generation.  Rather, a movie that describes an entire generation: our generation.  Despite whether you like Facebook, hate Facebook, have a Facebook account, don't have a Facebook account, this movie is about the span of events, or the drama, that took place when the website that DEFINES our generation was getting off the ground. 

Based on the novel, "The Accidental Billionaires", you follow Mark Zuckerberg (portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg) from start of TheFacebook (an idea) to an ambiguous finish (because Facebook is still growing today).  Jesse Eisenberg ROCKED this role.  As Zuckerberg, you can't really tell what he's up to, as his emotions are pretty locked away, but you can see the genius in him shining through his apathy and the barriers he puts up.  It is implied that Facebook, or "The Facebook", was created originally for Mark to get the girl who hates him fall in love with him.  Zuckerberg denies this, but we'll get to that later.  You see the highs (the almost instant success, the millions of dollars, the parties), the lows...and the lawsuits.  One of the lawsuits aimed at Zuckerberg coming from his former best friend, Eduardo Saverin. 

Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg's business partner and Facebook co-founder, played by Andrew Garfield, is the guy who sees this as a business venture.  He supplies Zuckerberg with the money Facebook needs to intially get started. 

Then, Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake), the founder of Napster, enters the mix and stirs things up.  While he takes the company to it's ultimate level, his schematics break up the partnership, and friendship, of Zuckerberg and Saverin.  I have to say that I LOVED (and hated) Justin Timberlake's performance here.  J.Tim really had me believing that he was Sean Parker, a coked-out Internet badboy.  (Plus, in the movie, Parker points out that he's being sued by everyone who attended the Grammy's: does that include Justin Timberlake himself, who during the time of Napster, was in one of the most popular "boy-bands" in the world)? 

Image courtesy of Sony
Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake in "The Social Network"

So, how does Mark Zuckerberg feel about this movie?  In a recent interview (a much awaited response from Zuckerberg) he revealed that the story about creating Facebook to get back at a girl is completely false.  Throughout every scene in the film, the real Zuckerberg was actually dating Priscilla Chan, whom he is still dating today.  "They framed it as though I wanted to get girls or into some social institution", Zuckerberg explained.  "I've been dating the same girl since before Facebook."  So, the screenwriter fabricated the story a little.  The movie was amazing, despite if some of it was not real.  However, what the Hell do you expect from Hollywood?  Cry me a river, Zuckerberg. 

Zuckerberg said that the film "got a lot of stuff wrong and random details right."  One of the random details being that every hoodie Eisenberg wore on film was an actual piece of clothing worn by Mark Zuckerberg during the time period of Facebook's creation. 

I could seriously blog about this movie for hours.  It is probably one of the best movies I've ever seen; the cast is impeccable, the plot keeps you motivated, the background music is hot and the fact that you want to update your Facebook status after you see it makes it just THAT much more monumental.

Image courtesy of Sony

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miracle Berries...
the deceptive arousal of the tastebuds
(Probably way over $100 dollars of miracle berries here) 

Otherwise pegged as "LSD for your tongue."  Also known as the miracle fruit, it contains miraculin, which blinds your tastebuds after you consume it and tricks your mind into thinking that sour foods taste sweet. The berry itself tastes mildly sweet. 

These deceptive berries cost about $2 each.  The New York Times suggests the berry has a cult following, as people throw berry tasting parties, otherwise known as "flavor-tripping parties".  They offer the berries to their guests, along with plenty of sour foods and beers to taste.  The article in NY Times goes on to mention that someone (post berry) thought that Tabasco sauce tasted like doughnut glaze. 

The effects of the miraculin can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Everything about it has been proven to be safe.   

(image via New York Times)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Girl on the Go: "The Quarter Life Crisis"- A budding career, shoe obsessions and dealing with co-workers who talk too much
& why it is SO important to DE-STRESS

Just thinking about a massage calms you down, right? They are so worth every penny.

Lately, I have been wearing myself entirely too thin.  I mean, way too thin.  I am writing 3 novels (one is basically done), hunting agents, writing query after query, promoting my blog, trying to network my way into local newspapers (so far, so good, I might say) and, oh yes, working with the egotistical chefs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to support my heel addiction.  Whew, I think that's everything.  Well, we can always add my alphabet of disasters with meeting all of the wrong guys.  But, let's not. 

First off, being an assistant is one heck of a nightmare.  Sure, you learn a lot.  For the first six months, you feel cool.  Then, it hits you, that you are just an assistant.  The person you are assisting can shout out orders....and you have to take them.  If I was a personal assistant to an editor over at ELLE, I'd be thrilled.  However, I am an assitant to personality chefs.  I.e. chefs who talk too much for their own good that they probably can't even cook (because their brains only have enough space to support their ego). 

Yesterday, I realized I had hit my my limit.  I spent the day with a 23 year old who talked about himself for the entire day, then "cooked" for about twenty minutes- like whipped up some hummus.  That's it.  Normally, I don't mind listening to people; I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  Plus, hey, I hope to have a powerful career in journalism one day.  However, something inside of me was repulsed by listening to this kid ramble about how awesome and deep he is.  So primally repulsed, that I developed a migraine that I am still recovering from.  It wasn't the kid's fault, it was the realization in myself, that I shouldn't be an assistant.  Bam, misery ensues.  I have so many projects going on in my own life and instead of working on them, I have to listen to other people talk about how awesome they are. 

But, these are the obstacles of your early twenties, the 25 year old girl.  Working with people who annoy you, who only care about their own promotions and working like a mad-woman to build your own career.  All, while keeping up society's pressures to find your perfect husband, stay fit and keep up with the latest fashions.  And... keep up with your obsession to cook at home.  And c'mon, every Girl on the Go wants to change the world.  No pressure there, right? 

So, how do you keep yourself grounded?  How do you keep your glowing smile even when you are frustrated at work? The most important thing is to stay positive.  It is easy to feel trampled on in a fast paced world, but always think of positive things.  Think of your puppy waiting for you at home.  At work, just figure out a way to stay out of the drama.  When things get chaotic (and trust me, they always do), I excuse myself from the room and go get a cup of coffee.  It's not rocket science and it just barely works, but the best advice is to not participate in drama.  No one feels like they have to work anymore, apparently, but everyone is stuck in the same place for 8 hours, so just make the best of it. 

Also, do something relaxing every single day.  Go get a quick manicure: they are cheap, fast and ultra-relaxing.  On your days off, don't lay around and sulk, go do something really fun.  Really fun activities seem to energize me for my work week.  It's Fall, go to a pumpkin farm and buy pumpkins to carve.  Stop at Starbucks and grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte before hand. 

Spend a day at a spa.  Get a massage.  Trust me, it IS SO WORTH IT.  Okay, I cannot stress how de-stressing a massage or a facial is. Light candles when you're at home.  The little things count!

The most important thing, I must repeat, is to never even acknowledge negative thoughts.  They are entirely too destructive to a Girl on the Go.  You are too beautiful to get frazzled.  Just destress, forget about work, relax, and smile. 
OPI Burlesque
Released in September, the OPI 2010 holiday collection is a combination of nail color and cinema.  It is a collaboration with Christina Aguilera's debut film, "Burlesque" (also stars Cher).  I am completely obsessed with the glitter colors.  I'm usually not a fan of glitter (eye shadows, nail colors, etc.) but this collection has me debating on changing my mind. 

images via OPI.com

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fashion's "It" Girl Nicole Richie covers October UK InStyle

As I've said before, I love Nicole Richie's sense of style.  I love House of Harlow & Winter Kate, so I was excited to see her on the cover of UK InStyle.  She ditched her bohemian look and graced the pages with sharp, high fashion looks.  Inside she talks about her troubled past, keeping her family life private & the tattoos she regrets.  Earlier this week, she released her second novel, "Priceless".  (It has been getting awful reviews, but at least the girl is trying to live an honest life now.) TIP: In case you are dying to know, the nail color Nicole is wearing in these photos is Bronze Libertine from Dior. 

On her partying days: "One thing about me is that I've always taken responsibility for my own actions whether they're good or bad. Even when I was going through my tough time, that was a situation that I created. People ask me, do I blame Hollywood or my parents? No, I don't blame my parents. It had nothing to do with them. I created it and manifested it and I got myself through it with the help of a lot of great people."

On her tattoos: "I'm a Virgo and the sign is a virgin. So when I was 16, I got the word virgin tattooed on my wrist, thinking I was sooo deep and cool. And now I just look really weird having virgin written across my wrist and I have to explain it."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: J'aime Chanel

Image via Elle.com

October 5, 2010, Chanel held its Spring/Summer 2011 fashion show in Paris, France at the Grand Palais.  For me, Chanel is like the mother of fashion. It is the perfect representation of a woman who is groomed, sophisticated and elegant.  The setting was grand: a backdrop similar to a French garden & a full orchestra.  Celebrities lined up to see what Chanel had in store for the world, including Rachel Bilson, Rihanna & Keira Knightley.  Fashion critics are raving that Karl Lagerfeld is a genius, as this show was one to make history.  The only models to walk for Mr. Lagerfeld (Chanel's chief designer) were the world's top models, including Erin Wasson, Karolina Kurchova and Coco Rocha. 

Image via my FAVORITE street fashion blog, The Sartorialist

Rachel Bilson

LOVE this look

Chanel stays true to their classic Jackie-O tweed jacket

Images via Elle.com

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): Do they take it too far or are their shocking tactics clever?

PETA's disturbing protests: are they losing more than they gain?
PETA: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."  PETA began in 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia by Animal Rights activist, Alex Pacheco.  It is now run by Pacheco and Ingrid Newkirk and is the largest animal activist group in the world (this statistic has been provided by...PETA). 
When I originally sat down to write this blog post, I had every intention of slamming PETA.  It is not that I don't support their goals.  Their goals are very similar to my own, I just don't believe that fair treatment of animals equals vegetarianism.  After all, humans, by nature, are carnivores.  I am outraged, to the point of vomitting, by the treatment of animals.  I am outraged by everything ranging from how animals are skinned for their fur, and left to bleed to death to how chickens are kept alive in a coma-like state for a few weeks, debeaked, and slaugtered.  I would like to hope that local farms will someday be noted for their proper treatment of animals and large-scale operations to mass produce chicken for sloppy Americans who need their McDonald's chicken nugget fix will cease to exist.  Or, at least be regulated better. 

Back to why I didn't support PETA, though.  My original stance on the subject was that no organization could be serious if they have people like Jenna Jameson, Khloe Kardashian and various strippers repping them.  I then went on to look through more of their ads, only to find even worse.  For instance, a half slaughtered chick hanging with two half slaughtered pigs.  If you thought the American based PETA was shocking, research PETA Europe- it's way worse.  At St. Paul's Cathedral in London, a giant group of naked men and women scattered themselves to play dead on the steps, while wearing bear masks and drenched in fake blood.  Their attempt to protest bear-skinning was fairly outrageous and offensive.  Who really wants to see bloody naked people at a church?  Not me, certainly not most people.  How is this organization legit?  Why can't you inform us while wearing, say, a blazer? 

Or, how about the time that PETA protesters demonstrated live human meat trays in Times Square?  Rather, the time they wrapped up paid actors (doused in blood) in plastic wrap and stuck labels that read "fresh human" on them.  Does PETA take their shock value too far?  Does it go beyond the point of being noticed to being disgusted with the organization itself?  In many of their ads, PETA is even bold enough to suggest that people who wear fur, eat meat, or go to the circus are similar to the Nazis (and the way they treated Jewish people during the Hollocaust).

Then, however, I was curious to see more.  So I kept scrolling through their ads and their website.  And then, it hit me.  Since humans naturally are drawn in by sheer shock value, PETA may be smarter than I originally gave them credit for.  Maybe the ads, the outrageous demonstrations are just tactics to get our attention.  Maybe they have so many because the attention spans of many are so short and this is a really serious subject. 

PETA uses light advertisements, for example, Audrina Patridge holding a cute puppy to sugarcoat the seriousness of the situation, however.  Once you get to their website and videos, it's not about girls with wings, or "angels who save the animals" anymore.  It is about the real slaughter. 

After sorting through a bit of PETA's website, you feel sad, horrified and just miserable.  As sad as it is, it is just a small glimpse of how horrible we, as humans, treat the animals of this planet.  Even fish are mistreated.  Salmon, naturally carnivores, are being reengineered to eat corn. 

PETA popping up in pop culture:  In "Sex and the City: The Movie", a member of PETA throws red paint onto Samantha Jones.  Is it okay for PETA members to throw red paint on fur during Fashion Week?

Let's take a look at some of PETA's (less bloody) propaganda:
Jenna Jameson for PETA (pretty tacky, right?)
This is one of PETA's many ads that makes you question their sanity. 
Audrina Patridge of The Hills for PETA

Owain Yeoman for PETA

All images via PETA

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Skinny on Pasture-Raised Eggs:
There are so many types of eggs on the Market, which do I choose?

American chickens lay 78 billion eggs per year, bringing in a profit of 7 million dollars.  With that said, there seem to be a lot of eggs on the market today.  "Cage Free", "Organic", "Omega 3"...What do all of these terms mean?  Which ones are healthier?  Are they worth spending the extra money for?  Studies are showing that all eggs have pretty equal nutritional profiles but there are a few things to know before you pick your egg. 

An organic egg simply refers to an egg from a hen that has been given no hormones or antibiotics.  No fertilizers or pesticides are involved.  However, none of this has anything to do with how the animals are kept.  The hens can still be kept in battery cages, debeaked, starved and recieving no light.   

A cage free egg comes from a chicken that is obviously not kept in a battery cage.  However, that is the only regulation (that they are not kept in a battery cage for their whole life).  The hens can still be abused, debeaked, and kept in tight living quarters.  To be a cage free hen, by regulations, the hen must recieve a little "outside access".  HOWEVER, how much "outside access" they recieve is not defined.  They might only be outside for a day during their 7 week life span.  (Chickens are killed for their meat after only 7 weeks).

An Omega 3 enhanced egg simply means that the hen was fed flax seed. 

So, are there any eggs that come from healthy chickens?  Yes!  These come from Pasture-Raised hens.  These can also be known as Pastured or Humanely-Raised eggs. 
The purpose of this blog is not to scare you into becoming a vegan (and stop eating animals and all of their products), it is rather to simply do a little research on what you eat! Pastured raised hens are raised in the pasture, are required to have at 1.5 square feet of floor space and are fed grass and organic food.  Now, these eggs are proven to be way healthier for you because the hens were healthy when they were producing the eggs. 

A cheap egg from the grocery store might be just as healthy for you as an organic egg, BUT it came from an abused chicken who was tortured.  An animal who was tortured, pumped full of hormones to grow faster cannot be producing eggs as healthy for a human as a hen who was raised normally.  Further, the meat of a chicken cannot be healthy. 

Think about your omelet or your General Tso's chicken, which are some favorites here in America (among many other chicken and egg dishes).  What sits on your plate is an abused life resurrected into your meal.  How can that be healthy? 

Try to stick to local farms.  Farmer's Markets sell eggs- choose those eggs!  As for the winter months- Whole Foods sells Pasture-Raised eggs! They are a little more expensive, but your health should be something worth spending money on!

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