How a comic's talent got pushed out of Whole Foods for inappropriate signage

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122 Responses to “How a comic's talent got pushed out of Whole Foods for inappropriate signage”

  1. flopart says:

    So. Nobody wants to talk about how Mister T is a racist caricature created by white people for the amusement of white people?

    Because that’s what I think is really messed up about this sign.

    Plus, “The 80s! LOL” trend in humor and the visual references of young artists who were mostly in grade school or diapers during said decade is getting old.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Mr. T is known for his trademark African Mandinka warrior hairstyle, his gold jewelry, and his tough-guy image…Tureaud next worked as a bouncer. It was at this time that he created the persona of Mr. T. In 1970, he legally changed his name to Mr. T. His wearing of gold neck chains and other jewelry was the result of customers losing the items or leaving them behind at the night club after a fight. –Wikipedia

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._T

      Can we talk about why you don’t think that an African-American performer created his own image?

  2. juicebox says:

    while i don’t work at whole foods, i do work at trader joe’s, and it is my experience that certain customers will complain about anything, and continue to complain until whatever it is upset them is removed. perhaps paul could shed some light on the terms of his dismissal. i don’t imagine whole foods would fire an employee over one complaint. but when paying customers make enough noise, the company has to do something. unfortunately, that something never is telling the customers to learn to deal with it.

    • sdmikev says:

      I worked in the grocery industry from 1984 through 2000, and you’re right. People will complain about anything and everything.
      I swear the following is 100 percent true.
      This older retired guy that used to shop in our store all the time came into my produce department complaining (as usual) this time that the bags were really hard to open and was making a big deal about it. I just stood there for a second and finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I said, “look, if this is your biggest concern of the day, that it takes you 7 seconds to open a plastic produce bag, maybe you should consider yourself lucky.”

  3. knappa says:

    Read the source and you find that it wasn’t just Pat from Achewood complaining, but old white lady racists.

    http://paulmaybury.tumblr.com/post/2979767645/this-is-the-sign-that-more-or-less-got-me-pushed

  4. Cowicide says:

    Bah, fuck Whole Foods anyway…

  5. rebdav says:

    I pity the fool that doesn’t eat Mr T cereal, I pity him! Anyone remember that one?

    The most interesting vegan was a woman I met in Portland. The only meat or animal products she would ever eat/use were those which had been hunted by herself or people she knew. This hunting thing surprised me since she was such an earth muffin otherwise. When asked about shooting the animals she responded that it was kinder than being mauled by a cougar. Something makes me think she would eat eggs and milk only from happy pet animals.

  6. Blue says:

    Right! That’s Vegans, Wholefoods and Old White Ladies on my blacklist!

    Being ‘offended’ seems like the equivalent of those people who fake illness in order to get attention from medical staff.

    It gets them the opportunity to feel special and the center of attention and they get to indulge themselves at the expense of others.

  7. MsLeading says:

    So, one vegan allegedly acts like an asshole (and I seriously doubt the vegan had more clout than the racist old lady), and it’s open season for negative generalizations about all vegans everywhere? Real classy, everyone. A small portion of vegans are assholes, and a small portion of assholes also happen to be vegan. It’s not related. I’m not only a vegan, I’m an activist – someone who hands out leaflets, has vegan bake sales to raise awareness, occasionally protests at fur factories – and I would never, not in a million years, complain about or even be slightly bothered by a sign that advertises meat in a place that sells meat. And yeah, I’m aware that I sound like every oversensitive hyper-offended vegan stereotype right now, but seriously, this gets SO OLD. The one vegan you know or heard of does not give you basis for generalizing.

    @rebdav, she wasn’t a vegan, regardless of what she called herself.

  8. Jason baker says:

    I will take this opportunity, as I do every time Whole Foods does something stupid (which is to say, with some frequency) to encourage you to shop at your local natural foods grocery co-op instead. Go co-op and keep your hard earned dollars (or alternative local currency) out of the hands of the corporate food chain!

    In full disclosure, like about 15,000 other people in my town, I’m an owner of my local co-op.

    Comic book fascists need not apply.

    • chgoliz says:

      My local natural food store? Hah.

      Every single one of them was bought out by Whole Foods or went under as a result of them taking over the market.

      A few new ones have cropped up in a few places. They’re mostly vitamins and supplements, not someplace I can shop for a week’s worth of groceries for a family.

      Count me as one of the veg*ns who doesn’t believe one vegan got this guy fired. I’m guessing the amount of time he spent creating each sign, and using recognizable celebrity images without attribution or permission would be more likely explanations. Also, we don’t know anything about what he’s like as an employee. Lots of great artists throughout history have been lousy at showing up on time and being pleasant to customers.

      • travtastic says:

        Hey, we don’t even have Whole Foods around here. The nearest relevant place to my apartment is a vitamin store with a sign out front that advertises “All-Natural Internal Cleansing” products. Consider yourself lucky.

        • chgoliz says:

          Yikes. You have my sympathy.
          _______________

          In other news, do we have any evidence that one vegan complained about one sign and that is the sole reason someone lost their job?

          Or is this just a handy excuse for getting our daily quota of bigotry out on a still-acceptable target?

          • Tanant says:

            At the risk of moving things back on topic.. I’m pretty sure the vegan thing has nothing to do with it, it’s just background noise.

            I mean, I do kinda like the material on a personal level, but as a pro working for a client? You do your best to deliver good stuff, push the boundaries, BUT recognize that it’s the client’s money and the client’s product, not yours.

            quoting Paul: “..I was doing these weird displays towards the end, that the customers actually loved, but were against their apparent Wholefoods image/rules/BS” (from http://paulmaybury.tumblr.com/post/2979284486/long-ago-before-i-broke-off-to-full-time-draw)

            No mention of a vegan in sight.

          • chgoliz says:

            That is helpful.

            Apparently, the corporation’s “BS” included not being impressed with the following:

            Any ways, here’s my Andy signage. It was interactive. You could flip the sign up in the middle to see all the week’s deals. Also, all the stuff around his stenciled head was torn up flyers from that week.

            What grocery store customer knows to walk up to a floor sign and flip it up in the middle to see if there’s anything underneath?

            And I venture to suppose that when you work for a company which prides itself on green issues such as not wasting paper, taking the current printed fliers to use as a part of your “artwork” won’t go down well.

            There are enough legitimate reasons to criticize Whole Foods: the fact that they’re not willing to subsidize an individual artist with a regular paycheck isn’t one of them.

  9. robulus says:

    Hey flopart. You know the Elvis Presley version of “Glory Glory Hallelujah”? Can you hear in your head the climactic “His Truth is marching on!”?

    Now sing, as loud as you can, to that tune, “You kids, get, off, my, laaaawwwwwwn!”

  10. Anonymous says:

    “How a comics talent”

    Poor fellow has been though a lot. Will you now deny him the apostrophe to which he is entitled by rule of grammar and possession of artistic merit?

  11. roboton says:

    Dude couldn’t handle the “pressure” whatever it was, and quit. Sounds like a snowflake artiste who can’t deal with the real world to me. (The reason I know this, is because I was one, for many years, to my own detriment.)

    But anyway, don’t let that bit of truth get in the way of your fantasy of artists being the victims of vegans and organic grocery stores, which all things considered, this seems pretty damn petty to me.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have a vegan friend that I met at art school (SVA!) who’s been keeping with it for over a decade. She makes steaks and burgers for her meat eating friends. It happens!

  13. J_L_S says:

    Meat is good food for good people. Vegans aren’t good people so they can’t eat meat.

  14. libraryboi says:

    A lot of the comments remind me of the ignorant jerk who was kept out of the Berlin night club in an earlier post. Some really ignorant remarks on display here.

    @J_L_S “Meat is good food for good people. Vegans aren’t good people so they can’t eat meat.”

    And people are describing vegans as food fascists. Really?

    • EH says:

      And people are describing vegans as food fascists. Really?

      Sense of humor, dude.

      • DoctressJulia says:

        This is a typical silencing technique. It is used on feminists (‘feminazis’/’feminuts’), liberals, (‘LIEberals’, ‘libtards’), and the like. I personally don’t think that calling vegans ‘food fascists’ is in the least bit humorous. They are vegans. They don’t eat any animal products. That’s it. Telling someone to ‘lighten up’ or ‘take a joke’ when you insult them is a crock of shit.

        • mn_camera says:

          Not eating animal products is one thing, and I’m fine with someone not eating meat or cheese or whatever. Much like attending the church of your choice, or reading or not reading certain publications, or wearing the color green. Go right ahead. No one’s stopping you, no one cares.

          Demanding that others live according to your particular belief system is quite another thing. Demanding that a commercial establishment take down a sign promoting a product simply because you, as only one customer of many, don’t consume that product is just plain ludicrous. And self-righteous to the point of being…well, borderline fascistic.

          Do you fail to recognize any distinction in there? Really?

          • Cefeida says:

            The way you just wrote that makes it sound like you’re implying veganism is about trying to force others to follow it, and that the woman in question represented all vegans, Are you really saying that?

            There’s a lot of unwarranted vegan-hate in this thread. If dissing vegans as a whole is the trigger response to a dick move by one vegan, then humour should probably take a back seat for a while. You know, until people stop thinking non-omnivores are fascists.

            In other words, your joke is only feeding the haters right now.

            (disclaimer: I am not a vegan. )

          • mn_camera says:

            The vegan who made the complaint is clearly so inclined.

            And if you bother to look upthread, I did not make the original comment, I took issue with someone who feels that anyone demanding the suppression of an idea deserves respect.

            Such skill at missing a point is clearly acquired, not learned.

            I don’t care what vegans do. I care that some of them feel it’s their right to demand that I live according to their precepts, much like I reject the idea that a Baptist, a Mormon, a Muslim, or a Libertarian have any standing to demand I live according to theirs.

            Since you’re clearly comprehension-impaired, I’ll restate it for you: Do what you like, don’t feel that you can require me to do as you like.

            I don’t hate vegans, I do despise self-appointed, censorious pontificators. The particular vegan in question, I despise for that reason, not veganism, misguided ideology though it is.

            Get it now?

          • travtastic says:

            …not veganism, misguided ideology though it is.

            So now I’m misguided, too? You learn so much reading comment threads! I thought I was a fucking alright guy, man!

            You and the other ones so philosophically inclined are really good at not looking like angry flamers.

    • sapere_aude says:

      And people are describing vegans as food fascists. Really?

      There are two types of vegans: (1) Those who have made a personal choice not to use animal products; but who don’t try to impose that choice on others; and (2) Those who have made it their personal mission in life to crusade against the use of animal products; and who feel they have the right – nay the duty – to tell other people what they can and cannot eat.

      I have no problem with the former type of vegan. (Though I question whether a strictly vegan diet is really all that healthy.)

      But, as for the latter type of vegan, I can’t think of a better way to describe these dogmatic anti-meat activists than “food fascists”. Can you?

      • travtastic says:

        Let’s take “vegans”, and replace it with “muslims”. Then let’s take “to tell other people what they can and cannot eat”, and replace that with “commit acts of terrorism”. Once that’s done, let’s look back and decide if this still sounds as polite and even-handed as you seem to think it does.

        • sapere_aude says:

          I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make; but I have no problem calling extremist Muslims (along with extremist Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.) “religious fascists”. I have no problem calling militant anti-abortion crusaders “reproductive fascists”. I have no problem calling people who want to ban burqas, or baggy pants, or miniskirts “clothing fascists”. I have no problem calling outspoken homophobes “sexuality fascists”. So, I certainly don’t have a problem with calling dogmatic vegans who want to impose their dietary choices on the rest of us “food fascists”. And, frankly, I don’t care if it doesn’t sound polite or even-handed. Anyone who tries to impose their beliefs, values, or lifestyle choices on me, against my will, doesn’t deserve to be treated politely.

          You can eat whatever you want. I don’t care. I’m going to eat whatever I want. You got a problem what that, then it’s your problem, not mine. Like I said, I’ve got no problem with vegans who don’t try to impose their dietary choices on others. Nor do I have any problem with Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, atheists, conservatives, progressives, socialists, libertarians, pro-lifers, pro-choicers, gays, straights, bisexuals, shoe fetishists, Yankees fans, or people who think Greedo shot first (though they’re wrong), as long as they don’t try to shove their beliefs, values, or lifestyle choices down other people’s throats. But anyone who doesn’t respect the rights of others to make their own choices, and to live their lives in accordance with their own beliefs and values – anyone who, if given the power to do so, would outlaw practices they personally find objectionable, with no regard for the rights of others who do not find these practices objectionable – deserves to be called a “fascist” as far as I’m concerned.

          • travtastic says:

            My point is that you’re taking a tiny, tiny minority of a given group, and giving them both equal weight. “There’s this, and there’s this.”

            Maybe I live some kind of ultra-sheltered life, but I’ve never met a militant vegan. Plenty with strong opinions, but that comes with the territory for any kind of alternative lifestyle; if you weren’t opinionated, you wouldn’t be doing it. But never a single one who would start an argument over it.

            So the implication is that your remark is similar to saying “Well, there’s terrorist Muslims, and non-terrorist Muslims.” I’m not sure that you intended it that way, but you’re framing it such that it seems like there’s a ton of in-your-face-abuse vegans out there.

            inb4 everyone else calls me hypersensitive and typical.

          • sapere_aude says:

            So the implication is that your remark is similar to saying “Well, there’s terrorist Muslims, and non-terrorist Muslims.” I’m not sure that you intended it that way, but you’re framing it such that it seems like there’s a ton of in-your-face-abuse vegans out there.

            Well, actually I was framing it more-or-less that way. Yes, there are terrorist Muslims and non-terrorist Muslims. Of course, the non-terrorist Muslims VASTLY outnumber the terrorist Muslims; but the tiny percentage of Muslims who are terrorists are causing all the trouble, so they naturally get more attention than their numbers alone would merit.

            The same might be true with vegans; though I really don’t have any statistics about how many vegans there are out there, and what percentage of them are arrogant jerks who loudly take offense whenever anyone consumes animal products. I have no real way of knowing whether the loud, arrogant jerks who cause all the trouble represent the majority of vegans or just a tiny minority. But, like Muslim terrorists, the amount of attention they get has more to do with how much trouble they cause than with their actual numbers.

            The problem is that nice vegans tend to be invisible: perhaps a few of their friends, relatives, and coworkers know they are vegans; but most people do not. The vegans who get all the public attention are those loud, arrogant jerks who complain about animal products at the supermarket. Perhaps if the nice vegans spoke up more often, and said something like, “Hey, we choose not to eat meat; but what you do is your own business; please don’t judge us by the actions of a few misguided zealots,” there would be less of a stereotype that all vegans are food fascists.

            Nonetheless, I still stand by my claim that some vegans (perhaps just a small minority; but some, nonetheless) are food fascists.

          • travtastic says:

            I feel no particular obligation to be an apologist for jerks who happen to share my diet.

            While we’re on the subject, this is actually quite like all the times back during the “9/11 Mosque” circus that we had to listen to pundits saying that much of it is the fault of “normal” Muslims not apologizing for how the crazies act.

            No personal offense here, honestly, but the entire concept is ridiculous.

            Do you seriously think that it’s the responsibility of anyone to apologize for the actions of others? Would you ask that all Jews apologize for Israeli war crimes? Do you apologize for what goes on in factory farms before every meal?

          • sapere_aude says:

            You absolutely shouldn’t feel obligated to be an apologist for jerks who happen to share your diet; nor should moderate Muslims feel obligated to denounce Muslim terrorists just to prove that they don’t sympathize with them.

            But it would be helpful if the “nice” vegans were more visible in society. It’s easy to look around the world and see that the vast majority of Muslims aren’t terrorists. It’s not so easy to look around the world and see that the vast majority of vegans aren’t jerks. That’s because the “nice” vegans tend not to call attention to themselves.

            Like it or not, the public face of veganism is PETA, “preachy” vegan celebrities and bloggers, and jerks who troll supermarkets loudly complaining about the sale of animal products. As long as that’s the public face of veganism, that’s how non-vegans are going to perceive vegans in general. If vegans want to overcome their public image of being food fascists, then the nice vegans, who choose not to consume animal products but aren’t “preachy” about it, are going to have to be more outspoken.

            It’s no different in principle than moderate Republicans who don’t want to be identified with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Sure, I’m more than willing to concede that not all conservatives are wingnuts like Palin and Beck; but, like it or not, those wingnuts have become the public face of the conservative movement. If you want to convince people that not all Republicans support Sarah Palin or agree with Glenn Beck, then you’re gonna have to speak up and say, “Hey, these people don’t represent me; nor do they represent the vast majority of Republicans.” If lots of moderate Republicans speak up and say this, then public perceptions will change. If they don’t, then the public will continue to assume that Palin and Beck represent what the Republican Party is all about. Likewise, if lots of vegans were to speak up and say, “Hey, PETA and the loudmouths in the supermarket don’t represent me; nor do they represent the vast majority of vegans,” then public perceptions of vegans would change. But if the “nice” vegans don’t speak up, then they have no one but themselves to blame for the fact that the public equates veganism with food fascism.

          • travtastic says:

            Well, again. I am neither the world’s sociology teacher, nor my brother’s keeper. I do my part by not being a jerk.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            “I do my part by not being a jerk.”

            no no you mean:

            “I do my part by not trying to be a jerk.”

            Whether or not you succeed is always and ever up to the judgment of others.

            No person ought to be the judge in their own case, after all.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Hmmm…I’ll say: no, no and no.

  15. chgoliz says:

    At the parent teacher conference last week for my 3rd grader, the teacher thought it was very important for me to know that my daughter, along with another student, were the “good” kind of vegetarians because they never spoke about it to the other kids, as opposed to another student who sometimes talked about becoming a vegetarian to her classmates.

    Whenever I eat a meal with business associates or family/family friends (who are not my actual friends), I spend the entire meal being told gory stories about killing animals. It’s really important for me to hear every hunting story, every rancher story, and every meat processing story they know. I also hear a lot about kwashiorkor.

    Don’t worry: I’m the “good” kind of vegetarian too. I keep my mouth shut, just like I’m supposed to.

  16. elbrucio says:

    I don’t know about this specific case, but I’ve seen people “pushed out” of employment before. It’s basically when management tells an employee they can either quit or get fired. It looks better on a resume to say they quit, but they’re still out of a job rather suddenly.

  17. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Moderator note: Compose yourselves.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Forget Whole Foods, his talents are welcome over at Trader Joe’s!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m vegan, and I find that sign hilarious. I hate people who have sticks shoved up their butt, and makes everyone look bad.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Of course he should have been sacked … the grammar is atrocious, as is the use of tautology!

  21. hohum says:

    I have noticed that the meat (well, the seafood particularly) is more prominently displayed in Whole Foods than many other large grocery chains. As a vegetarian, this doesn’t offend me — they’re a grocery store, they sell groceries, that includes meat. And, since it their meat is so observable (incidentally, ‘Observable Meat’ is what I call my skinny jeans) you would think this woman would already have enough beef (hah) with the store, certainly she would understand that they sell meat. It’s not rubbing it in anyone’s face, it’s just advertising. Advertising something you know they sell. If it really bugs you, don’t get pissy about the signs, go find yourself a vegan grocery instead. I have noticed far more vocal, nasty customers at Whole Foods stores than at local co-ops, farmers’ markets, etc. Comes with the territory of being a mass consumable, I suppose, but really… it’s just grocery shopping…!

    BTW, never eaten a sirloin steak in my life yet positively love the sign…!

  22. awjtawjt says:

    Y’all are crazy to be judging a person by what they eat or don’t eat. The only acceptable form of discrimination is based on total synaptic connectivity.

  23. Hanglyman says:

    My favorite is the Granny Smith apples one. Something very sinister about it…

  24. travtastic says:

    Oh hai u aggressive mob!

    Here’s the deal: I don’t eat animal products. That being said, I would not be inclined to raise a fuss about a sign in a grocery store. I am not a fascist, I do not try to ram ideas into people’s heads; I just don’t eat animals.

    Now that being said, where is the line drawn between mouth-foaming food nazism and informed dialogue? I think killing and eating/using animals is wrong. I find it to be cruel and senseless. Am I supposed to then just shut up and not talk about it? Should I just sit here humbly with my plate of grass that I can’t eat because of all my vitamin deficiencies?

    Any words of advice would be much appreciated.

    • mn_camera says:

      I think killing and eating/using animals is wrong. I find it to be cruel and senseless. Am I supposed to then just shut up and not talk about it?

      Works for me. Don’t want to eat meat? Fine by me, I don’t much care what you do or don’t do.

      Make a fuss telling me I’m not supposed to because you think so?

      Have a nice steaming cup of STFU.

      Why is that so hard to grasp, really? I’ll even make a nice, evenhanded deal with you. You stop telling me I’m supposed to do something you believe in, and I won’t tell you to do something.

      The minute you un-stop, so will I.

  25. travtastic says:

    I think we’re all missing a crucial point here: the word ‘boneless’ is underlined. Mr. T is espousing the benefits of not having to debone your meat, or worry about choking to death.

    And so, Mr. T is also trying to maximize corporate profits by urging the consumer to purchase more fully-processed meats, which are sold at a premium compared to their less-fully-processed brethren. Comparably, he could be raving about the time saved by only buying your salads pre-cut and bagged.

    • spriggan says:

      I think you may be grossly misinformed. And angry. I will have steak for dinner in your honor.

      • travtastic says:

        Wow, that’s so well-thought and humorous! I’m going to go cry now, because someone is talking about eating steak.

        Thank you for ruining my life. I’m going to stew in my anger, while all the polite, reasoned gentleman and ladies of this thread toss about the term “food fascist”, as all gents tend to do in polite society.

        • spriggan says:

          You’re right. I’m sorry. it was chicken.
          I never used the term facist.
          But for you I’d bust out failure.
          Eat some more soy it seems to keep you harmonize, or centered or whatever there travspastic.

      • travtastic says:

        Oh, by the way, did you know that PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals? rofl. You can go ahead and use that one next time, it’s cool.

        Oh, hi again. I was thinking next time, what you could do is link to a picture of a big, huge cheeseburger. Underneath you can put “HA, you don’t eat that! But I’m going to eat it!” Or maybe, if you want to trump your previous literary gem, you could instead say “Your face is a steak.”

        That will without a doubt prevent me from coming to your house and throwing all your meat out, while screaming about animal rights.

        • spriggan says:

          threatening me over the internet, oh so tough. come on over string bean, you’ll be me next meal. (see how wasy that is)

          • travtastic says:

            I totally threatened you. I’m a crazy, tough person who loves violence. And your reading comprehension is truly off the charts.

            You are truly a gem, my friend! Stay classy!

          • spriggan says:

            Nah you’re not tough. Not even crazy. Just a troll. A boring one at that.
            I didn’t bother proofing my typing because I honestly didn’t care that much. Still don’t. There’s nothing worth typing that would knock you off your high horse. So crazy chasing windmills. I’m done feeding you. You still lose.

          • travtastic says:

            In all seriousness, it blows my mind to this day how people will be so incredibly nasty to random people on the internet, when they most definitely would not in real life.

          • spriggan says:

            “In all seriousness, it blows my mind to this day how people will be so incredibly nasty to random people on the internet, when they most definitely would not in real life.”

            This all started because I made the joke (yes it was meant as a joke), “I think you may be grossly misinformed. And angry. I will have steak for dinner in your honor.” This was in response to your comment:

            “I think we’re all missing a crucial point here: the word ‘boneless’ is underlined. Mr. T is espousing the benefits of not having to debone your meat, or worry about choking to death.

            And so, Mr. T is also trying to maximize corporate profits by urging the consumer to purchase more fully-processed meats, which are sold at a premium compared to their less-fully-processed brethren. Comparably, he could be raving about the time saved by only buying your salads pre-cut and bagged.”

            My view, as someone who works in the grocery industry is: you have little to no idea where you food comes from, what it takes to get it to you, or who has handled and done what to it. Vegetarians/Vegans/the majority of the goddamned public at large don’t realize most of their fresh produce is grown in China/Chile/Mexico and has a huge carbon foot print compared to the the locally grown chicken/beef/fish I might consume. yes I try to buy locally (and don’t even get me started on Fiji water). Or if you’re an organics buff:

            “Organic farming standards do not allow the use of synthetic pesticides, but they do allow the use of specific pesticides derived from plants. The most common organic pesticides, accepted for restricted use by most organic standards, include Bt, pyrethrum and rotenone. Rotenone has high toxicity to fish and aquatic creatures, causes Parkinson’s disease if injected into rats, and shows other toxicity to mammals.”

            and:

            “Several studies corroborate this finding by having found that 25 percent of organic food carries synthetic pesticide residues, in comparison to 77 percent of conventional food.”
            (both cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food#Safety_and_pesticides

            Further yet:

            “Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well.” (cited here: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html)

            and finally:

            “In December 2005, the 2006 agricultural appropriations bill was passed with a rider allowing 38 synthetic ingredients to be used in organic foods. Among the ingredients are food colorings, starches, sausage and hot-dog casings, hops, fish oil, chipotle chili pepper, and gelatin. This allowed Anheuser-Busch in 2007 to have its Wild Hop Lager certified organic “even though [it] uses hops grown with chemical fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides.” (cited here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification#Misrepresentation_of_the_term_organic)

            When I said you were grossly misinformed, I was referring more to the advertising aspect of your response. As a Sign Artist our number one duty is to ADVERTISE. Sometimes this includes informing the customer about the product but ultimately it is up to them to do their own research and make their own decisions about the food they choose to purchase and consume.

            VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET AND STAY OUT OF MY PANTRY.

            Mr.T isn’t trying to maximize corporate profits, the whole damned corporation is doing that. That’s the point. We’re in the business to do business, so let’s do business (god love you Richard Prior) If you don’t like it, don’t buy retail. Grow your own damn food. There’s plenty of land left in this country to do so with. Mr.T (the satire thereof not the persona) is just a lure to catch you eye, make you laugh, and consider the product offered for purchase. If it’s not for you move on, no harm no foul. I don’t jump to anger at tampon ads just because I don’t own a vagina. But a significant portion of the populous does and the advertisers are following the rule ‘shoot enough arrows and you’ll hit the target’ Don’t you think Geico was aware the millions they’ve spent on advertising didn’t have anything to do with geckos and cave men and more about getting your attention for 30 seconds?

            I said you were angry because you seemed to jump at others making jabs/judgement calls as a rallying cry for you beliefs. I was just trying to make a joke because you seemed to get so riled up.

            In all honesty I didn’t join this discussion to pick sides on Vegan/Vegetarianism/Omnivores/Carnivores. People have already picked their sides, and no matter how much information you throw at them they will continue to eat what they want/like/believe is right, and it is their right (again personal experience directly related to a large communities food chain where it is my responsibility to provide them with information)

            Again, vote with YOUR wallet.

            I just wanted to discuss my craft. I’m proud of what I do and those many who I’ve trained in the art. It is often overlooked or goes unnoticed. Most people don’t realize there’s a small group of people hand making signs daily that customers will spend and average of 3 seconds looking at, if they even notice them at all. It is a lost and dying art in the modern world of high quality quick print point of purchase signs in the land of retail chains and the millions the spend on advertising agencies/campaigns. (do you know we trace our history from peripatetic sign painters who largely died out during the depression only to be revived by the hot-rodding pin stripers returning from WWII?)

            I’m as nasty online as I am in real life. Come to my store and ask me which soy/almond/coconut/rice milk is the best, I’ll simply tell you, “I don’t know I don’t even drink regular milk, but this one sells the most.” Ask me about the soy faux meats, “I don’t know, I don’t eat them, but I’ll be happy to show you where they are.”

            Just for the love of god don’t ask me what 5 dollar Pinot Noir is *really* good and goes well with Tofu. I have no answer for that and I doubt many would.

          • travtastic says:

            Well, for one, my comment about the boneless steaks couldn’t have been more obviously tongue-in-cheek if I had linked the entire thing to a picture of tongue tonguing a cheek.

            Second off, I’m going to have to read this comment in segments throughout the week, as I get time. It could do well with a serialization of some kind.

            Thirdest, acting rational after a bunch of ridiculous comments doesn’t make up for being unreasonably aggressive and hateful towards millions of people you have never met.

            Fourthly, having someone go take personal offense to a less-than-serious description of a sign is weird. Having it be compounded by the fact that said person is some kind of sign artisan is probably the strangest thing that has ever happened to me.

            Fifthmost, for all the intimate details you seem to know about me and my philosophical leanings on minute issues like organic pesticides, I’m going to have to ask for a divorce.

          • chgoliz says:

            The “boneless…corporate profits” comment was a joke. Pretty hilarious, in fact.

            Stressful day/week/life?

  26. The Mudshark says:

    On his tumblr there are some sample pages for a Conan-Comic he did for a pitch at Dark Horse, and damn: I want to read that.
    That is not to say the ones Cary Nord did aren´t extremely awesome as well.

  27. Paul Maybury says:

    Wow, lots of sudden attention over this. I just want to state I have nothing against Vegans, and I still have a lot of friends over at Wholefoods. And yeah, I was a pretty good employee, I even have the team member of the month button to prove it.

    ALSO, thanks for the legend bit, while a legend I am not, it’s nice to know people enjoy my work.

    -Paul

  28. W. James Au says:

    I’d like to remind everyone that Mr. T pities all of us. Not just vegans, but meat eaters too. And people who are right-handed, and those who are left, and we who drink coffee, and they who drink tea. And so on and so forth, each and everyone. In the eyes of Mr. T., we are all fools, and we are always prospects for his pity.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Some writer ran into Mr. T in public and gormlessly asked him if he still pities the fool, to which Mr. T. replied, “I pity the fool who asks me if I still pity the fool.”

  29. spriggan says:

    As someone who works as a Sign Artist for Trader Joe’s, this happens ALL THE TIME! Vegans/Vegetarians never seem to have a sense of humor. And most shoppers always seem to have an agenda. We used to have a woman who came in at least once a week to yell at us about cage free eggs. All eggs under our private label ARE CAGE FREE. Essentially she was complaining that we were giving our customers the right to vote with their wallet. She never even bought eggs. *facepalm*

  30. Anonymous says:

    @MsLeading: “A small portion of vegans are assholes, and a small portion of assholes also happen to be vegan. It’s not related.”

    With a bit of data, a chi-squared test could determine whether being an asshole and being a vegan are really independent.

  31. strangefriend says:

    . . And Paul Maybury sez:
    “I woke up a legend, took a nap and was a regular dude again.”

  32. Wickedashtray says:

    In what way is the Irish pig sign offensive?

  33. pidg says:

    ARGH

    This sort of thing gets me so upset. I work in (theatre) marketing and know how hard it can be to find cool people who are actually talented enough to do creative stuff like this.

    I guess the employer didn’t realise that for the ONE complaint, the signs probably brought in 100s of curious customers.

  34. jonw says:

    I am offended every time I go into Whole Foods, by all the crap postered everywhere about a “healthy plant based diet.” As a carnivore, my alternative lifestyle can be hard for others to understand, but I don’t think it would help anybody for me to demand the person who made the signs be fired. These vegans are way out of line.

  35. sixta says:

    How can that get you fired?

  36. AlisdairC says:

    Er, if the vegan shopper was that exercised by the poster, so incensed at its attempt to sell steak, what the hell was him or her doing in a shop that sells meat in the first place?

  37. petsounds says:

    I am a vegan. I shop at Whole Foods. I have never complained about any of the offensive signs on the walls. Does that mean they aren’t offensive? No, it’s still one-sided propaganda (I’ve never seen a poster for any vegan product there). But I try to be tolerant of everyone so I let the big photos of bloody meat and fish roll off.

    I will say though that I’ve been harassed and cajoled much more by insecure meat-eaters than I have ever seen a vegan do to an omnivore.

  38. Robert says:

    Should we pity the fool who fired Maybury?

  39. MAS says:

    I used to go to the WholeFoods market nearby. I had to stop going there because of the really bad attitude of many of the customers. Militant vegans, uptight, Nordic-Track thin bitches (really, no other way to describe these rude people), and the general stench of “self righteousness” was just too much to bear.

  40. Anonymous says:

    This is killing the messenger. Why attack an artist and throw him out of work and continue to patronize a store that sells these bad, bad products?

  41. zapan says:

    VEGAAAAAAAANS !
    Seriously enough with those food fascists.

  42. ZDepthCharge says:

    Cory you might want to turn down the hyperbole. Calling this guy a comics legend is like calling someone who’s had one story published in Analog in 1998 a science fiction legend. Not to dismiss Mr. Maybury’s work, but less he’ a myth, he aint no legend.

    • Anonymous says:

      ps – the person calling himself a “legend” is Paul(he clearly said that in jest(which he JUST retracted)), and his “hyperbole” was perfectly fine/acceptable. No one is LIKENING HIM to a Jack Kirby.. YOU made that idiotic assumption/REACH.

      …However, how he got “pushed out” IS rather “legendary”. Imagine, if it were Hulk Hogan he drew instead of Mr.T he would probably still have his job.

      • ZDepthCharge says:

        The only assumption I made was assuming Cory wrote the headline. It wouldn’t be out of character (one of the reasons I dig Cory’s brain) for Cory to indulge in the hyperbole. Now if you just happen to hit BB instead of passing on to the article (I tried actually, but the site wasn’t friendly to the anti-script stuff I’m running) you’d maybe also assume Cory wrote the headline.
        So from that angle, who would have a clue that Paul was making a joke?
        So, please, do not call me down for being “idiotic”.
        Also, I didn’t say anything about Jack Kirby or any other comic legend.
        You sound angry in your post Anon. Instead of slapping you with a “Christ what an asshole!”, I suggest perhaps a day with a unicorn chaser?

    • PaulR says:

      Um, me, I’d say, for a 23 year old, he’s doing pretty good:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Maybury

    • Ceronomus says:

      I have to agree. Kirby was a legend. Maybury? He’s interesting, but he hasn’t really DONE anything.

  43. kspraydad says:

    Just wondering…wouldn’t Whole Foods have had to make a deal with Mr. T (as this is an obvious use of his character) before even displaying this sign?

    So…did the people that approved and made that deal get fired?

  44. Anonymous says:

    Also, as a vegan, do not lump the ****** who got him fired with all vegans, nor with the ******* at Whole Foods who fired him.

  45. Cassandra says:

    I’m vegan, and I find that sign hilarious.

    When you’re vegan, some people might pity you for not eating meat, and tell you so. If you’re going to be vegan, you have to be ok with that, recognize that it comes with the territory, and that if you believe that it’s ok for you to make the food choices that work best for you, you also have to believe that it’s ok for other people to make the food choices that work for them, even if you personally don’t agree with the food choices they might make. *sigh*

  46. dainel says:

    Is Mr T cutting his own fingers?

  47. Cefeida says:

    His comment under one of the signs http://paulmaybury.tumblr.com/tagged/Wholefoods#2979284486 says that he quit because of the pressure from corporate, not that he was fired. Subtle difference, but nonetheless important in reporting.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is semantics, he was fired. I’ve seen it time and time again how companies create hostile work environments specifically for the purpose of getting someone to quit so they don’t have to fire them and deal with all the paperwork and potential legal and unemployment insurance issues. Things can get bad quick and grocery stores in particular are infamous for this tactic.

  48. mn_camera says:

    It’s not about Whole Foods, it’s not about signs, it’s not about vegans.

    It’s about being so utterly self-righteous that it’s not enough to disagree with an idea, it’s necessary to prevent the idea itself from standing or falling on its own by preempting its expression.

    And that’s for a rather minor idea here. Nothing remotely as damaging as Libertarianism or religious fundamentalism, just the idea of selling meat – at a grocery store! Admittedly, a rather overpriced and somewhat pompous grocery store, still, a general interest grocery store nonetheless. One that relies for its custom on more than the complaining one or few.

  49. billster says:

    I believe that the customer probably felt that Maybury, and thus Whole Foods, were calling vegans “fools” for not eating meat.

    Lord.

  50. Rayonic says:

    So either:
    1) The vegan really believed that the sign was calling him a fool and that he deserves to be pitied.
    or
    2) He got the reference and still complained about it to be a dick.

    Firing the artist was a complete overreaction. Sure, Whole Foods has to cater to the douchebag demographic (among others), but was anybody really calling for his head?

  51. TravelDude says:

    I find intolerant people … intolerable. I dislike smokers smoking in restaurants where my air can be poisoned by their fumes, but I have no qualms about them smoking outside where I can easily avoid them. The Vegan who complained about the sign either has no sense of humor, never heard of the “A-Team”, or was just looking for an opportunity to argue. And such people are not restricted to Vegans. Unfortunately, the spineless Whole Foods lackey who acted upon this information should have displayed more backbone. He (or she) lost a valuable resource from stupidity simply by listening to one loud and irresponsible voice. Unfortunately, this behavior has become rampant in all areas of society, including politics. Act before discovering all the facts to appease the incorrigible few making the loudest noises and then back peddle, when necessary, after the damage is done.

  52. The Life Of Bryan says:

    A butthurt vegan; whoda thunk it?

    Must be all the fiber.

  53. Daneel says:

    Reminds me of the signs outside City Market on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36998705@N00/173433477

  54. Cara D says:

    How do you find a vegan at a dinner party?

    Don’t worry, they’ll let you know.

    • redesigned says:

      hilarious! thanks for the laugh, i’m going to tell that joke.

    • travtastic says:

      How do you find someone with interesting, relevant things to talk about?

      It’s easy, you look for the ones making stereotype jokes about people they’ve never met.

  55. tygertyger says:

    Obligatory “I’m a vegan and I don’t object to this sign” comment.
    Most vegans keep to themselves. Some are idiots. In that sense, we’re no different from meat eaters.
    I do wonder if any of this has to do with using Mr. T’s image without permission.

  56. Frank S. says:

    Just this week I tried and abandoned the Citizen Radio podcast because half of the show was self-righteous vegan proselytization. They started with a facetious silliness – “Do you know people actually cut up cute animals who love their children and hand out their flesh to people in cars? – and ended by thanking meat eaters for still listening (even though they were ignorant). I’m reminded of the famous Christian missionary who lost his faith when he found a tribe that was quite content in their world view. I’m an animal, a natural omnivore, I eat meat sparingly because it is less expensive and I’m trying to lose a bit of weight. I hate the what the meat industry does to their animals and I will contribute by not eating fast food and limiting my intake. I won’t be preached to and called ignorant for using the canine teeth evolution gave me.

  57. Nash Rambler says:

    I’m clearly going to be in the minority here, but I think that it wasn’t just this one sign that got Paul “pushed-out.” Looking over the other signs he did, it’s pretty clear that while he is a talented artist, he wasn’t doing what he was hired to do – produce signage that sold Whole Foods products. In advertising, being clever and flexing your artistic chops takes a backseat to selling the product, and that’s not where his emphasis was.

    • spriggan says:

      Bingo.

      Need a job? How’s your lettering?

    • Anonymous says:

      Those signs would have caught my eye, make me stop, read them and possibly check out the products listed. Normally I just ignore those sign boards. At least for me, he would have accomplished his purpose – which was to stir up interest in the products.

  58. sally599 says:

    The last time I was in whole foods was to buy some potted mums in the fall—apparently some dirt rubbed off of the pots. The cashier looked at her hands in disgust and then pulled out a spray bottle of something and proceeded to clean the entire conveyor belt and bagging area. I can only assume that none of their organic veggies have ever grown in dirt but instead magically appear, left by tiny elves every morning.

  59. Cefeida says:

    “he wasn’t doing what he was hired to do – produce signage that sold Whole Foods products.”

    You wouldn’t be drawn to a store that puts up crazy signs like that? I know I’d at least look twice, and want to come closer to check it out. From there to the doors and checkout isn’t a long journey.

    Sally599,come on. I think it’s normal that a cashier, who deals with people and the products they buy, wants to have clean hands. I bought a t-shirt at Whole Foods once, I wouldn’t want your potted plant dirt on it were I next in line.

    • sally599 says:

      I buy plants in every store and I’ve never had it happen anywhere else. I don’t have a problem with a wet rag or something if the dirt spills, but this was just dry dust on the outside of the pot. It didn’t actually get the belt dirty, it just gets your hands dusty when you pick it up. So being environmentally sensitive and consistent with the stores mission she wasted 3 paper towels and sprayed a sanitizing agent around. My point is that people at whole foods are the least tolerant and most inconsistent people I have ever encountered and it’s not just the customers.

      • Cefeida says:

        I kind of think it should happen everywhere else- not wastefully, but if something spills on the belt or your hands, clean it. Even the dust you describe can get other things dirty. Better to play it safe.

        Of course I wasn’t there so I can’t say if the three paper towels were excessive and wasteful or not ;) I’ll have to take your word for it.

        Wouldn’t know about the attitude, I’ve only been to Whole Foods three or four times, but whenever I visit America I find it the most reliable place to find the food I eat…like…oh, say, celery root. I was amazed at how hard it was to find a celery root in the Malibu area. I thought they were all health freaks down there, but I guess that doesn’t involve home cooking :D

    • spriggan says:

      You would. But that only works in smaller store. Once you have a ‘corporate culture’ and a large cahin it doesn’t matter how hippie you where when you started.

  60. Crashproof says:

    Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re being offended.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I go into Whole Foods because their produce is better than the other stores in my area. The other stores produce seems to be already going downhill and barely lasts a few days at home. That said I find many of the people shopping there to be in their own little world (stopping in the middle of aisles ignoring others, wandering aimlessly, eating food from the buffets before buying it, etc).

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