Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vegans, Censorship, versus Americanness

Around 1995 I became a regular Internet user. Shortly after that, I discovered Déjà News. That was a bulletin board where anyone could post questions or ideas. Sometime later, Google bought that site and renamed it Google Groups. These Groups were divided into various interests, computers, relationships, astrophysics, you get the idea.

On January 27, 2004, I was a casual reader of many food "news groups", one group is That group mainly discusses barbecue and meat. On that day, I saw a post with (by now) 23 posts by 14 authors and their responses. The original poster, a vegetarian or group of vegetarians had inappropriately "attacked" the barbecue posters with this post:

Call 1-888-VEG-FOOD for a free vegetarian starter kit!topic/

I say inappropriate, as the group is allowed to discuss barbecue. Nobody ever talks about submarines or  asphalt there. Vegans complaining of meat there is well, silly.

Some of the responses to this vegans' post are funny. Some serious. Now-a-days that type of post is termed "trolling". Trying to incite reaction or controversy. I was the fifth or sixth person to respond in this series of posts by (most likely) PETA organizers. My words are a quote from the author P. Morton Shand. He wrote a book about food in the 1920s. His article is styled: Sentimental Vegetarianism.

Shortly after posting this quote, I was banned from further posting at ALL newsgroups owned or controlled by Google. Groups like alt.heraldry or

It took me quite a while to understand what had happened. Google did not send me word that I was banned. I could not find an email address for Google or the groups (which I could not have posted at, anyway). When I did, I received an email response from Google. It did not inform me of my accusers or what I had done. It said I was banned. This, while not censorship by a government is an inappropriate response from Google, never the less. Over the years, since 2004, I have occasionally come across the name or email of someone in the legal department at Google, and I've tried to contact them about this problem. As of 2012, I have no response from anyone.

My problem with this is that I quoted someone else. The vegans had no business with their recriminations. Peta or the vegans came to They started the fight of words. But when my words "beat" them. They ran to teacher and cried "foul". The hypocrisy of this is obvious. I found this copy of the stuff from some site, unconnected with either Google, or the vegetarian/peta worshippers. I have it posted here as proof that:

1. I was banned from posting at all internet sites controlled by Google.
2. That the ban was erroneous.

The emails back and forth between myself and the Google administrators follow.

Mark Preston
Usenet poster

Posts: n/a
Default Vegetarians, Trolling, Political Correct/Incorrect

Date: 2004-01-27 15:24:21 PST

Subject: I'm fed up with this jackass

I posted the following at thread count number 7:


A Book of Food
by Morton P. Shand
(NY : Knopf, 1928)

Sentimental Vegetarianism (page 160)

The Sentimental Vegetarians are the most numerous and illogical of the
different sects of dietetic vegetarians, quasi-vegetarians,
frutarians, nutarians and the raw vegetable nourishment stalwarts. If
the pretensions of the sentimental vegetarians are to be taken seriously,
not only must humanity forgo all animal foods, including milk and
eggs, from ethical motives, but true to the essentially democratic principal
of "sois mon frere, ou je te tu," every single race of mankind should be
constrained -- by force of arms failing peaceful persuasion, since the
offence is greater in the eating than in the killing -- to abstain
from meat nourishment for all eternity.

After making the world safe for vegetarianism, the next step would be
the organization of armed, vegetarianized, humanity (or vegetarianized
armed humanity - it does not matter which, but propagandists would
declare there was a world of difference) to prevent non-carnivorous animals
being devoured by carnivorous, and to put a stop to the outrage of
carnivorous animals preying on each other."

Shortly after January 27, 2004. I noticed that my posts to all the
newsgroups were not getting onto the usenet.

At first I suspected a computer problem. I work with pretty much junk
computers, an ISP that costs all of $55 per year, etc.

Yet somehow I knew that the problem wasn't a computer glitch. So while
Googling around the Google home page, I found: 
I wrote them with the following:

From: Mark Preston
Subject: Posts not posting.
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 15:19:49 -0800 (PST)

For weeks now, none of my posts to:


have been posted. The page asking for my email and password has accepted
those values. Those being the same I have used with Google/Deja since
1995. Am I blacklisted or something? I rarely flame . . . I know you are
reading this and saying "OH YEAH" but, it true. In the 8 plus years of
positng I've flamed only at one other poster.

what gives?

Mark Preston
(address and phone number snipped)

Here is the response I received:

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your note. Your posting account has been placed on hold due
to excessive complaints from other Usenet users. Following is an example
of these complaints:

(Mark Preston)
Subject: Call_1-888-VEG-FOOD_for_a_free_vegetarian_starter_kit
Date: 27 Jan 2004 15:23:12 -0800
Lines: 24
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-Trace: 1075245792 7485 (27 Jan 2004
23:23:12 GMT)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 23:23:12 +0000 (UTC)

Please review the Google Terms of Service and Posting Frequently asked
Questions for an overview of Google Posting Standards.

Posting Terms

Posting Style

The Google Team

To which I replied:

From: Mark Preston
Subject: [#7971364] Posts not posting.
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 10:15:36 -0800 (PST)

Dear Googlers:

Please understand, that without knowing the specifics of who complained,
(vegetarians for example), I can't possibly know how to deal with my
removal from the Usenet.

If the complainers are complaining about something specific, please
tell me which news group or groups. I don't want their names, but if
the are vegetarians, please read below.

I must have enough information, because, I think it is possible that
people, vegetarians especially, could be forwarding my original post to
groups of vegetarians, asking them to complain. As I can't remove the
post, (and somewhat, in the spirit of free speech) don't want to, I
need to understand very specifically what is required here. If I can't
determine where the offense is, it is likely to be repeated. You know,
at least in American jurisprudence, one as a right to be faced with
one's accusers. Should so-called cyberspace be different? Due to the
inability to determine where and what the fault is, I would like an
email contact with you people. Let me know what you think "fair" is.


Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 11:24:57 -0800

To: "Mark Preston"
Subject: [#7971364] Posts not posting.

Thank you for your note. With regards to the types of complaints that
we received, we provided an example in our first email, a post to

If you are unclear on the rules of posting, please refer to our posting
terms at .
We're sorry we can't be of further assistance in this matter.

With regards to posting while blocked, those posts that were made
during that time were lost. You will need to repost those messages if
they do not appear in the archives. We are in the process of unblocking
your account. You should be able to post again shortly.

The Google Team

The so-called "animal rights" movement, now in the same heat as the blacks
during the US civil rights movement is out of balance.

By the bye: I had posted my bit about vegetarianism to a
year or more ago. Nobody ever posted a response.

Obviously, free speech is of much less importance to these people than
self-serving posts, attacking meat, bbq, wherever else they post OT.

Thoughtful comments welcome.


Mark Preston
in Cyber-Space "limbo".