View Full Version : Advocacy too narrowly focused?

10-27-2006, 03:45 PM
Please don't get me wrong, I deeply admire all the great work that the bicycle community in Portland has done to make it such a wonderful place to live and ride. I've just had a hard time getting as involved as I'd like to be because the focus seems to be so much on cars vs. bicycles, to the point that a broader vision is often neglected. I understand that groups like SHIFT have made it a point that their goal is simply that of 'bringing people together for bike fun', but it is frustrating when the food served at the car-free day is a meat dish when sustainability and environmentalism are at the core of their reasoning for choosing to bike instead of drive. I've been to a few Meet'n'Greets and other bike events and noticed the same thing. It just blows me away that the connection isn't being made. This isn't to say the bicycle advocacy community has the responsibility to take on every liberal minded agenda out there... just try to connect the dots. Jonathan posted a reminder on this site to vote for parks and streams, which I think is a positive and natural thing for the community to take into consideration. Why can't we as a whole become more involved in the compass of ideals that includes bicycling as a general mode of transportation? I believe there isn't as much of a divide between many of these issues as a lot of us like to believe.

On a positive note, I LOVE bicycling in this town, so thank you all for the work you've done.

10-27-2006, 05:35 PM
I understand that groups like SHIFT have made it a point that their goal is simply that of 'bringing people together for bike fun', but it is frustrating when the food served at the car-free day is a meat dish

Are you the meal police?

Sounds like the one who's narrowing the advocacy is you.

Why can't we as a whole become...

"We as a whole" is who exactly? People who love and ride bikes? Great! But that's an amorphous, diverse, wonderfully eclectic and sometimes weird amalgamation of folks you'd best not try to lump into categories according to what they eat, or how they connect their own dots. When you're serious about advocating for bicyclists' rights, "Share the Road," etc. count me in, but please don't try to sign me up for special issue agendas that don't directly relate to that.

"Bikes, Burgers, and Beer Forever" - ok, that's my agenda

Climber (SHIFT rules)

10-27-2006, 06:25 PM
Climber, I totally respect your sentiments. I guess there really is no advocacy 'group' as a whole, since we are all individual. Also, I don't mean to be the meal police, and believe everyone should eat whatever they want. Maybe the angle I should have taken was that since a lot of us are bicycling for environmental and social reasons, we naturally have other, closely related concerns. It would just make me, and I'm assuming several others, feel more comfortable taking part in local bicycle advocacy if there were at least veg options at bike events, and if there was a general urge to strive for environmental change as a whole. You are correct that we are a weird amalgamation of folks- that being the case, many of us are veg so it would just be nice to have the option.

TCR Punk
10-27-2006, 06:37 PM
You are correct that we are a weird amalgamation of folks- that being the case, many of us are veg so it would just be nice to have the option.

You do have an option. Don't eat the meat product. No one is forcing you to eat meat, I hope. Or are they... bastards.

10-27-2006, 08:29 PM
Hmmm, I guess I do not equate how bicycle advocacy automatically allies me with the environmental movement. Sure, I am concerned about our environment, but I do not necessarily share the same viewpoints of those in the environment community.

If I were to attend a bicycle themed event, I would expect for it to be expressly for that purpose. If there is another or secondary agenda for that same event, it should be clearly stated.

As for food, what can I say... I love it all. If a vegetarian offering is what you crave, then get in contact with the organizers and see what can be done, or bring your own.

10-27-2006, 08:44 PM
Don't eat the meat product.

okay, well what about a veg *option* in addition to meat, as shanti suggested? i also find it strange that at the events i've attended there aren't any veg options for those of us who do bike for environmental, sustainability, and a wide range of other reasons. by only serving meat, it's excluding a lot of us who would be more inclined to join in and be a part of this important community.

i don't believe shanti was being the 'meal police' by bringing this up. after all, events are sometimes centered around food, and it's an important issue to a number of us. i find it impossible to believe that everyone who attends these events only bike for fun. people do sometimes (actually, many times) bike for a number of different reasons, a major one being environmental/sustainability... offering a vegetarian option in addition to the meat option would make a lot of sense, and make a lot of people happy. now isn't that a good thing? :)

10-28-2006, 12:37 AM
as a mostly vegan diner myself i see/agree with what shanti is saying. if anyone is biking for environmental/sustainability reasons (like a lot of full-time bikers, right? no? maybe not?) and thinks eating beef or chicken is no big deal, nothing more than eating, that's either naive or ignorant. it's 2006, you're not going to not make it through the winter, we've got lots of food options now (many of which do not require the subjugation and slaughter of animals! right on.).

there is no shortage of very interesting/informative literature on the environmental/economic/health consequences of cattle, pig and poultry farming. maybe check it out sometime...or don't.

10-28-2006, 08:34 AM
Eat meat. Bike. Poo an animal figurine.

10-28-2006, 08:59 AM
All the *free* food at Carfree Days was meat-free.

And the food for sale always included at least one vegan option. The meat dishes available for sale were all ridiculously expensive free-range, organic, lived as happy a life as you could hope.

This food was being sold for donations to raise money for Get Lit, the bike light giveaway program. The food cart was brought by an individual under his own steam. We were happy to have him there, but it was hardly an official Shift program.

In fact, you may be surprised to learn that most "Shift" events aren't in any way official -- most are just people stepping up and doing their own thing. So why complain? You're always welcome to just step up and do yours. If that's the Militant Vegant Feeding Frenzy (cf Food Not Bombs), that's fabulous, I'll be first in line.

10-28-2006, 11:28 AM
Eat meat. Bike. Poo an animal figurine.

Hehe :)

I prefer PETA - or People Eating Tasty Animals.

10-28-2006, 06:33 PM
i love meat, bikes, streams, parks, voting, all sorts of stuff

riding a bike has NOTHING to do with what political views you have.


10-29-2006, 05:12 AM
riding a bike has NOTHING to do with what political views you have.

I couldn't agree more. If nothing else, I like to ride to escape the world for a little while, especially this time of year with all the political attack adds.

10-29-2006, 06:40 AM
I have to agree that the best thing about bicycle advocacy in this town is that people step up and make things happen. If you want a veg/vegan alternative, get some like-minded people together and provide those choices at local events.

I hunt and eat meat, and part of why I ride is environmental. In my estimation animals consuming other animals isnít the problem: itís one animal group overpopulating the planet. Due to that belief, Iíve chosen not to breed Ė but Iím not going to get pissy with bicycle compatriots who consider themselves environmentalists and have children. Especially when the event has nothing to do with my views of exponential population growth.

10-29-2006, 12:39 PM
riding a bike has NOTHING to do with what political views you have.

wow. nothing? i mean, not...a...thing? at all? ever?

10-30-2006, 07:56 PM
wow. nothing? i mean, not...a...thing? at all? ever?
nope, not a damn thing. i know right wing republicans who ride all the time, and i know some uber lefties who ride aswell.

STOP USING BIKES AS PLATFORM FOR YOUR PROPAGANDA. if you would like to talk politics, i'll get off my ride and we can talk. if not, just ride and have a good time and stop using bikes. i love my bike and everything that comes with it. stop trying to make it something that it is not.....it's fun, liberating, frustrating, transportation, it's your own little world that can take you anywhere so STOP TREATING IT LIKE IT'S YOUR BITCH

10-30-2006, 10:19 PM
i'm 'straight edge' cause i dont need extra risks, expenses, or complications, plus past family adiction, 'car free' cause i've never needed to drive, its expensive, and sounds like a lot more trouble than its worth. i ride a bike because its fun and i like being able to work on it myself. i dont eat meat cause i dont like the idea of it.

fuck some politics, politicians, and advocacy, shits not worth the headaches. i just live

10-31-2006, 12:43 AM
oh. see, cuz i thought that if one was to decide to start biking as a means of transportation as a result of deciding they didn't want to support the oil industry and their US govt. cronies in their crazy adventures all over the globe, overthrowing foreign governments, propping up dummy politicians and crushing the will of the people, that would be an easy way to make a political statement with biking. 'fuck that, i'd rather not participate" (or at the very least minimize your "participation" as much as possible)

i mean, that, i thought, was just one of many ways one could politicize their biking. i mean that would be if biking could reflect political views, but they don't. ever. never.

so i've been outdone. i graciously bow out.

10-31-2006, 03:07 PM
i'm sorry. one more thing: it seems as though this guy has been mixing his politics with bicycles. fool.


10-31-2006, 04:35 PM
i thought you bowed out

10-31-2006, 07:34 PM
Anything can be made political. I drive a car, and it has a V8 and it is fast. I love supercars, and I could care less if they melt the ice caps. See, there is something made political.
Yes, you too can make riding a bike political. However, if you feel the urge to stand up on a soap box to spew your emotions about how you feel, then get off the bike and don't make others think you represent me because I ride a bike too.
There are advocacy groups for everything and a bicycle advocacy group should be just for that, bicycles.
As an FYI, I rode the worst day of the year ride, and they served a vegan meal, and I was fine with that, if I wanted meat, I could have just ran down the road and picked up a burger.
I like to hunt, fish and eat meat, but I don't use cycling as my platform to promote killing Bambi's mom and dad. I would ask you not to use cycling to promote your political opinions even if I agree with them, which I probably don't.

10-31-2006, 09:36 PM
i think all rainperimeter was saying is that bikes can be politicized, much to the dismay of fixforlife. and yeah, just like nm973 said, anything can. and in slight defense of rainperimeter, he/she didn't try to endorse anything in conjuntion with biking, but just pointed out that yes, anything, including bikes can be used as your platform for political commentary.

the fact of the matter is that many things, as seemingly unrelated as you find them to be or wish them to be, get joined together for political, anti-political or apolitical causes or whatever you want to call them.

and it happens all the time. so get over it.

11-01-2006, 06:51 AM
fixforlife isnt saying that they CAN'T be political sounding boards, he is saying that they arent inertly political. they're just metal frames with metal parts two wheels.

11-01-2006, 02:53 PM
i love meat, bikes, streams, parks, voting, all sorts of stuff

riding a bike has NOTHING to do with what political views you have.


For some people, biking is about putting on team spandex, loading the carbon-fiber bike onto the SUV, and spending the weekend riding with the club. For others, it's about hipster posing. And for others still, it's an expression of their politics. Your assertion that it isn't political is as nonsensical as somebody else asserting that everybody bikes as an expression of their political views.

And by the way, I've known some pretty hard core punks who were vegan environmentalists. Maybe the event should be changed to "vegan only", and if you want meat BRING YOUR OWN FOOD. How does that sound?

cap'n pastry
11-02-2006, 12:34 PM
Wow, dudes and dudettes,
what's with all the hatin'?

A girl asks if she can get a little non-meat food at the bike fun, and y'all come down like she's marching you off to bike re-education camps.

Elly was right - Bike Fun in Portland is a DIY affair, although a lot of folks get together so we don't have to each do it our own self.

Personally I love bacon much more than is morally correct, and I remember what it was like to be a vegetarian for 10 years (where's the love in the buffet line besides the mashed potatos?).
But it's not my cast iron to bear, so I'm a little lax on bringing the non-dairy fattener to Breakfast on the Bridges. If someone else does, though, I'm all for it.

Be the bike fun you want to see in the world...

11-02-2006, 03:15 PM
Personally I love bacon much more than is morally correct...

Guilty. :D

The pig is truly a noble beast.

11-03-2006, 10:13 AM
Some people simply love to bike.

11-03-2006, 08:22 PM
I'm glad to see this thread has ended up on bacon, because it's something that is close to my heart (pun intended) -- known around my house as "The Lord's Food." But more importantly, bacon is a topic that's far more interesting and relevant than the bile that spewed forth after the original post.

Here's to bacon! And to not participating in mental masturbation!