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Dan Piraro
April 26, 2006

"The Bizarro Baloney Show" hit the University on Monday, bombarding audience members with obscene puppetry, songs, cartoons and videos, sending the audience in Columbia Hall into frequent fits of raucous laughter and ending in a standing ovation.

Dan Piraro, the author of the Bizarro comic, was at the center of it.

But in an interview with the Emerald, soft-spoken yet sharp-tongued Piraro drove around campus and described his life. In an ultimately futile 30-minute trip to find wireless Internet to upload his most recent cartoons for printing on the world's funny pages, Piraro alternated between the absurd and the poignant, reflecting on art, advertising, selling out and redemption.

The Eugene Veg Education Network and the Survival Center invited Piraro to perform in Eugene as part of an 8-show, 12-day West Coast tour. Piraro called the show "21st century vaudeville � 90 minutes of things I thought would be fun to do in front of strangers."
Much of the show was dedicated to promoting veganism. Piraro, a strict vegan, donated all profits from the show to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, a shelter in New York that Piraro said rescues animals from abuse in the food-service industry and allows them to live as they would in nature.

With his daughter Killian, who is in her twenties, playing violin in the background, Piraro said, "I was raised as a guiltless, blissful meat-eater. I thought vegans were hippies with too much time on their hands."

Piraro said after visiting an animal shelter, he saw animals as sentient, emotional beings and began researching the meat industry's harm to the environment. A cartoon video he showed argued that humans did not evolve to eat meat, citing humans' teeth structures, digestive processes and inability to catch prey as evidence. After the cartoon, Piraro argued that although doctors say meat is healthy, they've also said in the past that smoking cigarettes is healthy.
Hate-mailers argued in favor of Fox News' impartiality and against Darwinian evolution and global warming. One simply told Piraro to keep his "fag-loving, vegan, pussy cartoon out of papers in America's heartland."

full story: ART/2006/04/26/444f3f07c83fb

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