vegansaurus!

Jul 09

Elephant Raju is saved after 50 years of abuse, cries during rescue

imageThis is Raju! See how happy he looks? Well happiness is a brand new feeling for Raju as he was only recently rescued from years of abuse. Get the tissues! No, really, I might be crying a bit.

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Raju had been working as a begging elephant in Allahabad. People would give the mahout tips in exchange for ‘blessings’ by Raju. Most of the food he got was inappropriate for an elephant. However, half starving, Raju would eat almost anything.

His mahout would beat him to make him keep begging and he was made to wear spiked chains that dug into his skin. 

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But after 50 years, Raju has finally been rescued, thanks to Wildlife SOS, India. Raju’s “owner” didn’t want to give him up:

His mahout and previous owner were non-cooperative and made things very difficult to rescue Raju. They put more chains on him and pulled the spikes tighter and then had people blocking the roads leading to the rescue truck. 

Awful!!! Makes me so mad! But Wildlife SOS did not give up! But after dealing with those terrible people, Raju himself was a challenge. It took a while to gain enough trust with Raju to get him on the truck to safety, but after coaxing with fruit, they say Raju realized he was finally in good hands, and he began to cry.

imageFrom Wildlife SOS:

Have you ever seen a grown elephant cry? This photo is a reminder to all that elephants have strong emotional lives and they have the ability to suffer deeply. This photo was taken of Raju when the rescue mission first began. He had a flood of tears from his eyes when our team first moved in to secure his freedom Some would question that Raju was truly weeping. However, our team that witnessed this moment know differently. This photo is shared at this moment not with the intention of depressing everybody, but with the hope that we can use it as an educational tool to enlighten others that elephants around the world need our help.

Here’s Raju now! This is him munching on a jackfruit at the sanctuary. He looks so pleased!!!!

imageAnd Wildlife SOS bought a literal truckload of jackfruit for him!

imageThese are the elephants he will now live with:

imageHe’ll finally have elephant companions!

If you want to help Raju, they have a donation page just for him. You can also donate directly to Wildlife SOS India to support their work to save other abused elephants. Help if you can!

Jul 07

It’s Summertime! Make Magic Vegan Banana Ice Cream!

imageI’ve written about the super-simple, delightfully healthy frozen banana ice cream trick before, but I thought we could use a refresher since it’s hot as all get out again! And happy day, I found a nice how-to video from our fave chef Kathy Patalsky! The pic above is hers, this vid will show you how to make this at home! Spoiler: It’s very easy! Here you go:

I took the liberty of looking up some exciting banana ice cream recipes for you guys, because I’m so nice to you. And I’m super into taking liberties. Here are the recipes that peaked my interest:

imageSpiced rum, caramel, and cardamom banana ice cream from Produce on Parade!

imageCaramelized Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream from Je Suis Alimentageuse!

imageAnd OMG, a Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake!!! From Eugenie Kitchen.

imageAnd, for good measure, another from Kathy Patalsky: Almond Butter, Caramel Swirled, Vanilla Bean-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. YUM!

Yay! What’s your favorite way to make magic banana ice cream? Tell me!

Jul 04

Animal News You Can Use: Happy Fourth of July!

If you are, like I am, getting ready for a big BBQ today, check out my coworker Sayara Thurston’s good piece on why “Cutting Back on Meat Doesn’t Have to Mean Fewer BBQs.”

And while there are a number of good reasons to enjoy a holiday from meat, the Washington Postreports this week on an important one. In their words, “How much your meat addiction is hurting the planet.”

Do you think ag-gag laws are nuts? Well, so does this meat industry pundit, who writes in his column, “The Insanity of Ag-Gag Laws,” that “The real damage done by ag-gag laws is the sense that animal agriculture has something to hide.” You think?

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: Got World Cup fever? So do these turkeys!

P.P.S. Cartoon of the week: How cats end up with nine lives.

Jun 27

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Big week, and now a big weekend!

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What a week!

CNN did a major feature on Compassion Over Killing’s new undercover investigation at a broiler chicken factory in North Carolina. You can watch CNN’s piece here — highly recommend.

Speaking of CNN, I was glad to be on CNN Headline News last night with the always wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell discussing pig protection. If you want to meet Jane, she’ll be speaking at the Taking Action for Animals gala Saturday night in D.C.!

And on the pig protection front, my colleague Matt Prescott shares some good news about the impending demise of the gestation crate in this new column.

Of course, the meat industry’s not too pleased with our work, and is pushing for ag-gag bills to ban our whistleblowing exposés. Iowa Public TV ran a nice feature on the topic this week.

And now for a big weekend: More than 1,000 folks will be at the Taking Action for Animals conference … hope to hang with you there!

P.S. Video of the week: Just a puppy and piglet playing. No big deal.

Jun 24

Spotted in NYC: Beyond Meat vegan chicken at Fresh&Co!

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I’ve been eating at the Fresh&Co. on 29th and Park for several months now (quinoa bowl, represent!) and totally didn’t notice this until today—they carry Beyond Meat chicken! Huzzah! You prob already knew, but in case you didn’t, I thought I’d give you a heads up. Because I am so nice to you.

A Eulogy for Frostie the Snowgoat

imageHi everyone. I have very sad news this morning, I just learned that Frostie, the baby goat Edgar’s Mission recently rescued, has passed away. For those of you who have been following Frostie’s story, you know it’s a story about the triumph of a bright little spirit. When Edgar’s Mission rescued Frostie, he had a terrible lice infestation, was severely dehydrated, and had a debilitating condition called joint navel ill. Frostie couldn’t walk on his own, but Edgar’s Mission was determined to save him and they outfitted him with his own wheelchair. Frostie took to the wheelchair like a champ. And, before we knew it, Frostie was walking—or more like dancing!—on his own. 

Like many people, I was taken in by Frostie’s story. I found these two gifs and sent them to everyone I know. I’ve been living off the happy vapors of these gifs for weeks now. I’m sure you can see why:

Frostie in May:
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A few weeks later:
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Sadly, Frostie would only be with us a short time. In the past 24 hours or so, Edgar’s Mission discovered Frostie was sick; not long after, the poor little guy was gone. Turns out our dear Frostie was “riddled with abscesses” along his spinal column. You can read more on Edgar’s Mission’s Facebook page. But they say it was only in his last hours that Frostie was in pain, so at least we know he probably was just as happy as he looked before then. 

I’m hesitant to say Frostie was special, because I imagine that if every little baby goat were given the chance Frostie was, they too would show us just how wonderful they are. But, as should be obvious by now, he definitely touched my heart. So I just want to thank Edgar’s Mission for saving little Frostie and introducing him to the world and I want to let Frostie know, you will be missed, little pal. My hope going forward is that you were able to open at least some hearts and teach people that all animals are worthy of love and kindness, every single last one.

I’m reminded today of one of my favorite poems (and I only have a few). It happens to be about a goat and makes me think of Frostie. I’ll leave you with that:

IT HAPPENS LIKE THIS 

I was outside St. Cecelia’s Rectory
smoking a cigarette when a goat appeared beside me.
It was mostly black and white, with a little reddish
brown here and there. When I started to walk away,
it followed. I was amused and delighted, but wondered
what the laws were on this kind of thing. There’s
a leash law for dogs, but what about goats? People
smiled at me and admired the goat. “It’s not my goat,”
I explained. “It’s the town’s goat. I’m just taking
my turn caring for it.” “I didn’t know we had a goat,”
one of them said. “I wonder when my turn is.” “Soon,”
I said. “Be patient. Your time is coming.” The goat
stayed by my side. It stopped when I stopped. It looked
up at me and I stared into its eyes. I felt he knew
everything essential about me. We walked on. A police-
man on his beat looked us over. “That’s a mighty
fine goat you got there,” he said, stopping to admire.
“It’s the town’s goat,” I said. “His family goes back
three-hundred years with us,” I said, “from the beginning.”
The officer leaned forward to touch him, then stopped
and looked up at me. “Mind if I pat him?” he asked.
“Touching this goat will change your life,” I said.
“It’s your decision.” He thought real hard for a minute,
and then stood up and said, “What’s his name?” “He’s
called the Prince of Peace,” I said. “God! This town
is like a fairy tale. Everywhere you turn there’s mystery
and wonder. And I’m just a child playing cops and robbers
forever. Please forgive me if I cry.” “We forgive you,
Officer,” I said. “And we understand why you, more than
anybody, should never touch the Prince.” The goat and
I walked on. It was getting dark and we were beginning
to wonder where we would spend the night.

-James Tate

Donate to Edgar’s Mission here

Jun 23

Adorkable rescue piglets to brighten your Monday!

Omg, lil piglets, you need to stop. This is Magpie, Rudy, and Georgina Grace Wiggle Bottom, three new residents at Animal Place! They have a sad story (as usual):

The three piglets were born at a petting zoo which, like most petting zoos, profits off cuteness and discards the animals when they age. In this case, the birth was unexpected and the zoo didn’t want any of the piglets at all—in fact, two were sold for slaughter before an individual could intervene. We ache for these two piglets who will never know joy like the pigs at Animal Place. Luckily, the three remaining piglets were saved and brought to our sanctuary.

Luckily indeed! And lucky for us to have another cute reminder of why we don’t support bullish like petting zoos. Sure, tell me how you’ve seen with your very own eyes how they treat the animals sooooo nice…until they don’t need them any more! Bullish. 

Thanks again, Animal Place! Donate here so these little babes can eat yummy food and live with new friends for the rest of their lives. 

Jun 20

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: look who got $10 million to help animals!

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Modern Meadow, the start-up company producing cultured meat and leather (without killing animals, or as I call it: in meatro) just raised $10 million to expand its life-saving work.

Speaking of fortunes, my coworker Josh Balk has a great Fortune magazine column this week about how the pork industry’s antics opposing animal welfare reforms are anti-free market.

In other news, did you know there’s a World Meat Congress? Well, they’re not too happy with our work passing laws to improve the treatment of farm animals. There’s a lot of corporate policy progress on farm animal protection issues too, and I was glad to be on Al Jazeera this week discussing it (minutes9:00–19:00).

Not to be outdone, CNN has a new video this week with Dr. Sanjay Gupta entitled, “Eat Less Meat,” in which he argues that meat is one “of the biggest risk factors for early death.” Perhaps people will take his advice, especially in light of sky-high meat prices right now.

You know what price isn’t sky-high, though? The price of Taking Action for Animals, the awesome conference in DC June 27-30—it’s only $75. Hope to see you there!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: The bravest pigeon you’ve ever seen.

Jun 19

NYC: Comedy night to benefit ASPCA! Have a few laughs for the sake of animals!

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Hi friends! NYC standup comic and personal friend Phil Gable is back with another benefit show for the animals! This time, the money will go to ASPCA. The show, Dogs in Rehab, is in honor of the ASPCA’s canine Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. The center sounds AMAZING: 

the first facility dedicated to providing behavioral rehabilitation for undersocialized canine victims of cruelty, such as those confiscated from puppy mills and hoarding situations. Physically healthy, fearful dogs rescued in cruelty cases conducted by the ASPCA and by other groups are eligible for treatment at the Center. Once admitted, dogs undergo an intensive rehabilitation regimen with the goal of improving their well-being and helping them become suitable for adoption.

Where: Player’s Theater Loft (West Village)
When: Friday, June 27
Tickets are $27 dollars but there are a lot of great comics and, more importantly, the full ticket price of $27 will go to the ASPCA! The last show was super-fun—lots of dog humor! I think that is my new favorite genre. 
Tickets are available online only! You can’t buy them at the door. Get them now!

Jun 18

YASSSSSSSSSSS.
(Look for this everywhere soon, but I know they for sure have it at Nooch Market.)

YASSSSSSSSSSS.

(Look for this everywhere soon, but I know they for sure have it at Nooch Market.)