“Bound Together Books and PM Press continue to try to prop up and foist veg*n antagonist Lierre Keith onto the radical community in the Bay Area. Today, at the 15th Annual San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair, where she was scheduled to be a featured speaker, Keith was served her just desserts for her obnoxious attacks on veg*ns in The Vegetarian Myth. She was pied in the middle of her speech in the main auditorium at the SF County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.”
Assault is not the way to go, and yet I crack a tiny smile because in addition to being a veggie-hating loon, she’s also a trans-phobic loon affiliated with RadLesFes, which “is ‘unalterably opposed’ to 1) anyone, but specifically lesbians in the context of RadLesFes, who in the slightest endorse BDSM or pornography, and 2) trans people, specifically referring to all trans-related health interventions pejoratively as ‘mutilations’.”
Keith also claims to be an anarchist; when she was pied at the Anarchist Bookfair, though, she called the fucking cops.
I know new words are fun, but you can’t just go around inventing them willy-nilly! “Cybersex”: very important word development; “femivore”: SOME BULLSHIT.
The New York Times offers up this new concoction as a combination of locavorism and modern housewifery and/or feminism. The writer, Peggy Orenstein from our very own Berkeley, Calif., has a few friends who grow their own food and now are all buying chickens. Then BAM! Femivores! No, it’s actually not people who eat women. It’s women who are stay-at-home moms and make all their own stuff like clothes and now I guess eggs.
To be honest, I think I’m missing a few steps. You can read for yourself and see. Or maybe it’s just that the whole literary aesthetic is too distracting because it makes me want to vom. Who can say. Check it out:
"All of these gals—these chicks with chicks—are stay-at-home moms, highly educated women who left the work force to care for kith and kin. I don’t think that’s a coincidence: the omnivore’s dilemma has provided an unexpected out from the feminist predicament, a way for women to embrace homemaking without becoming Betty Draper. ‘Prior to this, I felt like my choices were either to break the glass ceiling or to accept the gilded cage,’ says Shannon Hayes, a grass-fed-livestock farmer in upstate New York."
Glass ceiling or gilded cage? I know that’s a quote, but bleeeeeh! I need a shower! And what about men who grow their own food? Or women who grow their own food and have a job outside the home? Or what about words that already exist and aren’t ridiculous? I also doubt that this is anything new. Isn’t this just kind of a farmer? What makes them femivores? That they have chickens or that they are middle class?
Presenting another op-ed by one of our writers, Steve! His views do not necessarily represent those of Vegansaurus as a whole, but as one of our regular contributors, we’re happy to give him the space to express his opinions. If you would like to write an op-ed for Vegansaurus, please contact Laura.
Listen up, it’s time for some tough love. We need to face facts: the fur fight is over, and our side lost. At least for now. We were starting to worry after the furtastrophe at Fashion Week 2010, but for me, it didn’t really sink in until watching Blair swan around in that horrific hat on Gossip Girl last week. The fashion industry is going all-in on fur, and no one really seems to care. How did it get this way? The New York Times attempts to make sense of it all in a behind-the-scenes look at fur’s comeback.
Did the designers forget that wearing fur is fraught with controversy? Or did they simply stop caring? For the first time in more than two decades, more designers are using fur than not. Almost two thirds of those in New York are, based on a review of more than 130 collections that were shown on Style.com last month, which is a surprising development during a recession. And it didn’t just happen because of some idea that was floating around in the collective designer ether. Rather, fur became a trend because of a marketing campaign.
In other words, everything we know about the fashion industry is still true. Fashion isn’t democracy; fashion is fascism. It’s a top-down, command-and-control system driven by a handful of individuals and corporations who make it their business to dictate what the rest of us should desire. When something is “in fashion,” it’s not because everyone started wearing it spontaneously and captured the attention of fashion journalists; it’s because a decision was made in boardrooms to drive the entire public towards a particular look. This is unlike any other form of marketing, where companies respond to existing demand or compete for your attention. It is the pure manufacturing of consent.
While you were sleeping The big furriers, like Saga Furs, have been on top of things for the last decade or so. Instead of trying to convince the public that fur isn’t cruel (thereby having the debate on our terms), they’ve been quietly working from the inside, pushing fur as just another material to love and admire for its own beauty. They get designers while they’re still in design school, they sponsor design contests, and they give free fur pelts to designers, both as students and at design houses, to use however they want. And with the fur fights of the ’80s and ’90s long faded from memory, fur has been stripped of its controversy among designers.
"We were seeing all of these new possibilities in which you can use fur in a very light way," [designer Alexa] Adams said. "Fur gives a richness in texture. It’s like discovering something new that also has an interesting history."
Several young designers echoed that sentiment, saying they were less interested in fur as a luxury statement or an act of defiance than as a novel design. [Designer Alexander] Wang said he had not intended to use fur in his collection but decided to after seeing so many plush fabrics that resembled fur. “The point was to create that rich, luscious feel while blending the lines between what was real and what was fake,” he said.
For designers, it’s no longer about the usefulness of fur, or about fur coats as a luxury statement, or even as a backlashy anti-statement. It’s about having one more texture on their palette to work with. Missoni’s fall 2010 collection shows this at its most gratuitous. What’s the fur doing in there?
It’s not keeping anyone warm; it’s just a design element like any other. The usual vegan response would be to point out how many great replacements there are. But unless a piece has been designed with faux fur in mind, like Karl Lagerfeld’s surprising fall 2010 collection for Chanel, designers will always want the widest possible range of materials available to them. And the more designers learn about how to work with fur, the more they like it. The furriers gambled on this theory, and it paid off.
Unfortunately, PETA’s anti-fur activism is part of the problem. Their campaigns and posturing come off as dated and tired, or irrelevant. “Watch out for PETA’s red paint, here’s what everyone is wearing this season” is a familiar lede among lazy journalists for a reason: there’s just nothing to fear out of PETA anymore. “I’d rather go naked” has gone from bold and shocking to yet another platform for self-promoting celebrities to self-promote, and in the process, turning fur into a proxy fight between celebrity fan bases.
"Fur is dead" is dead Problem is, we’re having the argument on their terms. “Fur is dead,” “worst-dressed celebrities,” and boycott campaigns all have the same thing in common: they’re steeped in a free-market, fashion-centric mindset. What’s “in” right now will be “out” later, and what’s “out” right now will be rediscovered again. Today’s anti-fur activism has no hope but to live as a permanent cog in the fashion machine, with this season’s moral determination ready to be cycled out of style with a single “FUR IS BACK” headline. Would it surprise me to learn that Anna Wintour is loving all of this? It gives everyone in fashion an excuse to appear like they understand what people are thinking and feeling as they alternately take out and bring back fur.
The fashion industry is never going to care about animal rights in any lasting way. Hell, they barely care about human rights. Children and slaves work long hours at their factories in poor countries, while women and girls in rich countries starve themselves to look like walking clothes hangers.
So, fuck ‘em. Stop trying to convince fashion to care. They don’t care. Fur is a material to them, the masses will just keep buying what they’re told to buy, and we’ll never convince devoted fans that the stern moralizing of a red-paint-throwing activist is worth more than their imagined celebrity friendship.
As California goes, so goes the nation Which is why we must outlaw fur, starting in California. Fashion is fascism, and the antidote to fascism is democracy. The solution is simple: use California’s ballot proposition system to outlaw the sale, production, and importation of fur. Exclude the fur in your closet and the fur in the secondhand store so no one will think jackbooted thugs are coming to raid your closet. Run ads on how kittens and puppies are grown for fur in China then falsely labeled, or make it about rich bankers in fur coats vs the middle class, or whatever. We have plenty of good arguments and snappy rhetoric. Pick the best and go with it.
If we win, fur will be off-limits to the biggest market in America. Designers will stop using it because it can’t sell, and in another 10 years, everyone will have forgotten fur exists as a material for fashion. Rich people will find refuge in places like Monte Carlo or Dubai to buy their illicit fur coats, but at least it will be gone from the department stores. And even if we lose, we still win. We’ll spend months putting forth the idea that animals aren’t ours to use for something entirely unnecessary, and at the end of those months, people will have to cast a vote and decide either way. Unlike a consumer decision like a boycott that can be put off indefinitely, people will have to search their souls and decide how they feel, on a deadline.
As gestation crate and battery cage bans were to animal welfare, fur is the perfect starter issue for animal rights. Fur is brutal and horrific, and the only arguments in favor of its use are aesthetic or symbolic. Medical research and even cosmetics testing can be justified in terms of human benefit, as specious as those justifications may be. Eating meat goes even deeper, evoking feelings of scarcity and survival. But fur? Who cares. Does anyone truly care about the creative latitude of fashion designers and fashion editors? Doubtful. So put it to a vote and find out.
Awesome art, crazy-ass email, superlative videos, puppy birthday AND MORE in this week's link-o-rama!
Hey, let’s wish happy birthday to my parents’ dog, Oliver, who turns three big years old today! Oliver (at left, shown here with his older brother, Beauregard) works as a therapy dog, has a charmingly insouciant underbite, and wants to be your bestest friend. Happy birthday, little fellow!
Fun times vegan-style events! The Out of Place art show at SPACE Gallery (1141 Polk St. at Hemlock Street) tonight, Friday Mar. 12, features your Vegansaur Jonas! It costs $3 and runs from 8 to midnight, and will be catered by Black Orchid Bakery. Is there enough culture in your life? Probably not, you philistine, so get over there and appreciate some damn art.
On Saturday, Mar. 13, you can attend “The Nutrition Prescription” lecture by Donald Forrester, M.D., presented by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society, at the Institute of Aging at 3600 Geary Blvd. (between Arguello Boulevard and Palm Avenue). The lecture begins at 8 p.m. and costs $10, or participate in the veg potluck at 6:30 p.m. and pay just $2. Contact the SFVS for further information.
Late update: The LGBT Army of Compassion will hold a demonstration against animal cruelty on Sunday, Mar. 14 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market (UN Plaza) in San Francisco. Brochures (such as this pdf) and signs will be provided. For further information, contact the LGBT AC.
OK Canada, for most of the items on this list of “10 foods of the future,” you’re cool again. Or at least acceptable (we don’t go in for that “non-traditional fish” or “new fabricated cuts of meat” nonsense).
Probably better that you eat Canadian meat, anyway (if you’re going to eat DEATH and all) as the U.S. is one of the top-five” least safe food producers in the world, along with China, Turkey, Iran, and Spain. I am SO PROUD.
Seriously, Walnuts? “Vote McCain, because BACON!” You nasty.
OK, Bob Barker has always been a total sleazy lecher, but his love for animals is pure and true: he just gave $2.5 million to renovate a building on Sunset Boulevard in L.A. for PETA—it’ll be called the Bob Barker Building, natch.
Beloved blog Sociological Images present maps that illustrate where animals for food and crops for food are grown in the U.S. Fruits, nuts and vegetables and chickens come from California!
That milk that makes you roll your eyes every time you open the fridge because ew is from California, too, right? Maybe not! Make your friends and relations find out where their dairy products originate at where is my milk from (also useful for soy milks).
If little Oliver weren’t too stubborn/dumb(?) to play any version of “fetch” (because “fetch” does NOT mean “I throw the ball and you chase after it and hide it”), I would have definitely gotten him this for his birthday. [link and photo from Pawesome!]
Food & Wine magazine is shocked to find Berliners eating vegetarian food, as opposed to “Wiener Schnitzel and Currywurst.” Being very well traveled vegans, we are not.
Did you know that East Asian people eat CATS and DOGS? How SAVAGE!! The Chinese government is at present “considering legislation” to ban eating these particular animals, which is probably good considering how awful their living conditions are prior to slaughter. It of course does NOTHING for the rest of the animals raised for consumption in China, but as long as our precious puppies and kitties are protected, we can all sleep at night, right?
Holy Mary in a handbag, have you read this insanator email from an anti-The Cove wacko to Rich FourFour? It is the craziest best: “The humans being protecting wolfs(the whales / dolphins)is the devil! Devil! Devil! Devil! Destroy the devil for protect the human fish! The shark is a friend of the fish. The shark eats only the fish that dead / was damaged.”
How about another photo? Party penguin has stripped off his dress whites and is ready to get down! [Photo via Andrew Evans of National Geographic]
Delightful Ruben Studdard went vegetarian 18 months ago, switched to a vegan diet six months ago, and lost 100 pounds! Man, when I went vegan for keeps I lost like zero pounds, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, AMERICA, WHY DO I STILL HAVE FLESH ON MY VEGAN BONES?? Seriously, we’re super-happy for you, Ruben, keep living your wonderful, cruelty-free life.
There is still time for you to fit this into your social schedule: there is going to be a pretty awesome art show at SPACE gallery (that’s right next to the Hemlock, on Polk St.) tonight from 8 p.m. to midnight. Nine decently awesome artists are showing work—including me (but I’m indecently awesome)!
The door fee is a paltry $3, which for the first 25 people gets them a bag of goodies. There will also be vegan pastries from Black Orchid Bakery (which we’ve been dying to try for a while now!), some DJ, and a live art battle (not entirely sure how that’s going to go down, but I think it’ll be cool)!
Three percent of their profits from the handbags go toward helping disabled children in Hanoi, Vietnam: “Our goal is to purchase needed rehabilitation equipment and double each child’s daily food budget to provide a balanced, nutritious diet.” Shweet! They’re also environmentally friendly and all that good crap. I recently got this wallet from them and it’s super-dope. Well made and I’ve stopped losing my credit cards.
"Discover the glorious variety of life on earth and the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to stay alive."
Yowza! Take it easy with the adjectives! But this does seem pretty exciting. The Discovery Channel has put together a cool-looking series called Life. It’s the second chapter of their popular series Planet Earthand focuses on all the amazing animals we got here on Earth. There’s 10 episodes, including Birds, Insects, and Creatures of the Deep. Yeah that’s cool but guess what number 10 is!: Primates
OMG I love me some primates! Especially the apes!* They’re all cool with their “I eerily resemble a human but not quite” shtick. Robots are like that too except apes are way cuter. Except for maybe Number 5.
The series airs Mar.21 through April 18th.
*I know, I know, we’re technically apes too, but you know what I mean.
Unless you’ve been living in a fantasyland that involves subsisting on only defrosted leftovers from SF Vegan Bakesales (hey, I don’t judge!), you probably know we vegans can benefit greatly from supplementing our deep-fried vegan Twinkie intake with some raw greens now and then.
Whether or not you fall into the camp that refrains from cooking their food, if you enjoy yummies that taste amazing and are still healthful for you, I highly recommend checking out the excitingly awesome products from the brand-new raw vegan superfoods company Vivapura, located super-close to the Tree of Life raw vegan retreat center in Patagonia, Ariz., which is a tiny town (pop. 1,000) 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border where approximately one in 10 residents is a raw food vegan.
Since I live just up the road from Vivapura (I’m currently living and working at working at the Tree of Life), I recently had a chance to drop by the Vivapura warehouse factory and sample a bunch of their stuff. According to Vivapura’s website, superfoods are “plant-based foods that boast extraordinary energizing and healing properties due to their abundance and density of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, and other vital nutrients.” From the stuff I tried, I have to say I can’t feel a noticeable change in my body, but either way, Vivapura’s stuff tastes amazing. Their superfood products range from raw regulars like cacao nibs, cocounut flakes, gogi berries etc. to more obscure items like wild-harvested spirulina crunchies (spirulina is a protein-packed algae that tastes way better than it should) and several proprietary blends of upscale, nutella-like coconut chocolate crème spread. All of their products are organically grown, ethically sourced and sold at really reasonable prices! (Note: Vivapura does sell a few bee-derived products, which I avoid of course, but everything else is animal-product-free.)
As of right now, Vivapura is only available to SF Bay Area folks through ordering directly from the company’s website or the Tree of Life Culture of Life Store. The good news is Director of Retail Sales Erika Rier assures me Vivapura has laid the groundwork to get their loveliness into Rainbow Grocery, and other local Bay Area independent organic stores really soon. If you want Vivapura products sooner rather than later (which, trust me, you do!) Rier says to request them from your independent local organic retailer.
This is the latest post by Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown. Thanks, Sarah! [image from Vivapura]
Follow Your Heart’s new Reduced Fat Vegenaise has been floating around health food stores for a few months now, but is totally lacking visibility on the internets (well, besides here). It deserves more love! Made with heart=healthy flaxseed and olive oil, this stuff has about half the fat and calories of original Veganaise. This means you can put twice the amount on your sandwich/nachos/toast/spaghetti!
And what’s more, its taste is seriously on par with the traditional stuff. Weird, huh?! Find it at your local health food store. It has a yellow label. It’s adorable! A perfect dip for steamed artichokes!
I love an easy blog giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment on any post over at Veg888’s Blog before Saturday, Mar. 27, and you’ll have a chance to win a Raw for 30 Days DVD. I’m not sure if this is the DVD in question or not, but either way, free is a good deal!
Just because as vegans we’re all smart and stuff about food labels, doesn’t mean everyone else is. When polled, more people trust food labels with the word “natural” than people who trust the word “organic,” which is crazy. “Organic” is the word that’s actually regulated by governments, while “natural” is marketing fluff that anyone can print on a label, even if you’re selling Dupont’s All-Natural Diesel Crisps.
So Lifehacker put together a handy guide on food labels and certifications, including a breakdown of the different grades of USDA Organic, a list of certifiers you should trust, and this really useful eco-labels verifier from Consumer Reports. You’ll be unsurprised to know that words like “free range,” “free-roaming,” “hormone-free,” and “antibiotic-free” are as meaningless as “tastes better!” and “kids love it!” but people trust them anyway. Send this one around—though I can’t help wonder how much of it is actual confusion and how much of it is wishful thinking.
I saw this story on the news Saturday night (shut up! I wouldn’t have gone out even if I did have somewhere to go!) and gee whiz, what a cutie! A little Masai giraffe was just born at Safari West, an African safari park in wine country. His name is Stretch McCovey, after some San Francisco Giants hall of fame player who was probably nowhere near as good as Mike Schmidt. But his nickname was Stretch, and this is a baby giraffe, get it? But for real, that’s a cute name. And just look at his face! SO CUTE! He’s all like, “DID I STUTTER?”
Really, I say this a lot, but I think baby giraffes are my new favorite animal! This is the 14th giraffe born at Safari West and in total, they now have the largest privately owned giraffe herd in the United States!
As soon as I saw it was some tourist attraction, I was immediately like, “ABUSE!” but turns out this place isn’t so bad. And according to Vegansaur Steve, it’s pretty great! “I’ve been to Safari West (stayed overnight, did the full tour) and it seems to be the real deal,” he says. “Virtually no enclosures, just wide open spaces and the animals seemed very suited to the hot, dry environment of wine country.”
And Safari West has a blurb about their breeding programs in the new born announcement:
Breeding Success—Safari West is committed to the management of captive populations to support wild populations, and continues to put significant effort into the conservation of the many species which call Safari West home…. “To allow our animals to exhibit naturalistic behaviors, including reproduction, we make every attempt to provide our wildlife with the most naturalistic settings possible. This includes multi-acre habitats, wooded areas, streams, and ponds,” says Nancy Lang, Ph.D. The environments found on the 400-acre wildlife preserve at Safari West are much like those found in the exotic and untamed lands of the African continent.
That kind of does sound great! I also found this bit in their FAQ: “Safari West is not a zoo or a theme park, nor are we a drive-through park. We are an African Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp. Safari West Wildlife Preserve is a private facility whose primary focus is on conservation through education.”
Sounds pretty legit. And Steve told me that thanks to Safari West, Scimitar-Horned Oryx populations are being introduced into northern central Africa after being nearly hunted to extinction. Kudos!
No wonder killer whales have been getting testy. They know what’s up. The team behind Oscar-winning documentary The Cove brought in their undercover cameras to catch a high-end sushi restaurant in Santa Monica serving whale meat, and if there’s one, who knows how many others are doing it too. Someone give these vegans another Oscar. Or a fucking medal. Because this shit isn’t just outrageous, it’s illegal:
Last week, several federal agents, including one from the Border Patrol and one who speaks Japanese, joined their team. Once again, the chef and wait staff more than once identified the meat as whale, the affidavit said, and it may have been obtained from a Mercedes parked behind the restaurant.
Armed with a search warrant, federal officials on Friday went searching for evidence from the restaurant, including marine mammal parts as well as various records and documents. The possession or sale of marine mammals is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and can lead to a year in prison and a fine of $20,000.
Buying illegal whale meat out of a trunk parked in a back alley? SKETCHY. Time to reevaluate your lives, fuckfaces. IN PRISON.
Whales are having a seriously bad month. Because now the National government in New Zealand wants to join Japan’s illegal death party and lift its own restrictions on whaling. Really New Zealand? What happened to you? After years of being a leader in the fight to end whale hunting, now you’re trotting out the same old excuses of “but we neeeeeeed to do this for scientific research”? Right. And if a few extra “research” whales just happen to fall off a truck on their way to Santa Monica, then, well, waste not, want not! It’s “eco-meat!”
[Correction: New Zealand wants to bring back commercial whaling, not just expand “research” whaling. So it’s EVEN WORSE.]
Forensic scientists are sinking dead pigs into the ocean to see how human bodies might decompose in the water—way to be FREAKS. And then marine biologists are collaborating with them to study dead zones and the animals that can inhabit them. I say collaborating, every online article says, “piggybacking.” WTF is up with puns when people are writing about gross animal stuff? They are relentless. But regardless, two studies for one pig!
All I can say is at least they are dead before they put them in the ocean. I couldn’t tell at first. Apparently they get the pigs from the butcher. What about all the children? Where will they get their saturated fat?!
The best part is that according to this article from 2008, America’s meat habit is a huge contributing factor to the dead zones. So when they get these pigs, are they contributing to the very problem they wish to solve? Survey says: YES!
Great. I haven’t even had my coffee yet, and I’m ready to kill either myself or everyone else. I haven’t decided yet. (Although after coffee, the world will seem sparkly and full of bunnies again, and I’ll call off the doom parade. Until then: don’t cross me, human race! I’m warning you!)
Here’s an infographic showing the world’s top 20 countries by number and type of endangered species, just in case you feel like breaking off a piece of this misanthropic funk for yourself. Ecuador is No. 1, America is only No. 2, and China has some catching up to do at No. 6. Get on it, China! Keep building those coal-fired power plants and dumping industrial waste in your rivers! You can do it!
Here’s my favorite part: “About 900 species of plants and animals have gone extinct in the last five centuries, and more than 10,000 others are now on the verge of joining them.” SUPER! We are doing SO WELL! 900 species in the last five centuries vs. 10,000 in the next few years (or week). UGH.
Britain, Britain, Britain. You love our kind like no other. You invented the word “vegan.” You have Mildred’s in Soho, vegan bed and breakfasts in quaint-as-fuck row houses, and thanks to mad cow disease, you gave us a solid year of winning every vegan vs. meat eater flame war on the internet. Britain, I wish I knew how to quit you. Get Lily Allen to ditch the fur hats, and you’d be perfect.
Now they’re passing new legislation, drawn up by their Equality and Human Rights Commission, that expands the usual human rights protections granted to religions to any sincerely held belief system—including veganism! They even call us out by name: “A person who is a vegan chooses not to use or consume animal products of any kind. That person eschews the exploitation of animals for food, clothing, accessories or any other purpose and does so out of an ethical commitment to animal welfare.”
Excluded from the list of beliefs worthy of protection: fascism, Marxism, and Jediism—Scientology made the cut. Every rose has its thorn, I guess.
The latest “animal pictures of the week” from the Telegraph is seriously top of the pops, people. Too goddamn cute! They of course are tainted as most of the pictures are of animals in zoos but still, it’s hard not to swoon from their adorableness. I LOVE THE DAMN ANIMALS!
Above we have Thai the otter, who appears to be saying grace before chowing done on that weird shrimp cake. There’s also this adorable monkey in China, who they claim is catching snowflakes in his mouth. Could that really be true? I HOPE SO IT’S SO CUTE!
If you follow @TelegraphPics on Twitter, you can get tweets whenever they put up a new gallery. You can also be more like me because I follow them on Twitter. Everybody is always trying to be me! Jeez!
The International Bird Rescue Research Center wants to train YOU in oil spill response
Remember in 2007 when the Cosco Busan shipping barge spilled 53,500 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay, killing and maiming tens of thousands of birds, seals, and other wildlife in the process? That was so much fun. The worst part of it may have been all the volunteers who went down to beaches to help with bird rescue and clean up, but were turned away and told that their help wasn’t wanted at the beginning of the spill, when most of the damage happens. Truly fantastic. Well this is your chance to get trained up and ready to be part of the official response to the next oil spill (and there will be a next time, DEPRESSING but guaranteed) as part of a statewide effort to not suck next time this happens.
The International Bird Rescue Research Center is now accepting applications to join their Oil Spill Response Team. You must submit your application by Mar. 26, and the training orientation will take place on April 10 at their bird center in Fairfield.
I went out there after the Cosco Busan spill and managed to get in a brief training, which amounted to watching a video explaining all the ways exposure to oil can make you sick. And that’s really all they can do when volunteers try and get trained during a disaster instead of before. In the end, I was qualified to refill pans of water while more capable hands scrubbed very confused looking ducks with toothbrushes and dishwashing soap. This is going to be much more intensive, with field trips, three training sessions, and 160 volunteer hours before you can graduate. You will come out of it as a bird-rescuing GOD.
I. HEART. PESTO. For reals, I could eat the stuff with a spoon! What am I talking about, could eat the stuff with a spoon?! Been there, ate that! But since I’ve become vegan, my pesto consumption has fallen off due to the fact that traditional pesto tends to have parmesan in it. LAME. However, today for your viewing pleasure, I present two vegan pestos!
I recently wrote about the vegan bolanis available at Whole Foods and other places. If you recall, I mentioned that the bolanis are a tad dry but the company that makes them also makes several vegan sauces that I imagine accompany them nicely. Although, the first sauce I got to go with the lentil bolani I was buying was not made by them. It’s a cheeseless pesto made by Pasta, etc. in Sonoma county. I think Pasta, etc. is a restaurant? They don’t have a website as far as I can tell (who doesn’t have a website? It’s like, why don’t you join us in the ’90s?) so I can’t be sure. If anyone can shed light on this, please do. But let me tell you! This pesto is the sheezy! I love it! And I have to say it goes better with the lentil bolani than the other. It actually goes GREAT with the bolani. I love garlic, and this does have some bite, but it’s not overpowering. It’s got a very fresh, lemony flavor and the little bits of cashew are super. This pesto is also good in pasta, though it’s a lot runnier than the pesto I’m used to. I like to put this pesto into pasta with tomato sauce. You know, like a big spoonful on top after you’ve mixed the pasta and tomato sauce together. Fantastico!
The East and West Gourmet Aphgan Food pesto is OK. It’s got more of a traditional pesto texture—thicker and pastier. I think this would probably be better on pasta than the other; or maybe not better, but definitely more like pesto usually tastes. It has kind of a bitter flavor to it, maybe because of the parsley? My mom never put parsley in her pesto. It’s OK on the lentil bolani (side note: I didn’t really like either pesto on the pumpkin or spinach bolanis (haven’t tried the potato yet) but I think pesto is a perfect choice for the lentil ones) but the Pasta, etc. one goes better with it.
Both of these are available at the SOMA Whole Foods (I know the Whole Foods CEO is crazy but I’m not ready to give it up!). The Pasta, etc. one is in the section with the fresh pastas and pre-packaged cheeses. The bolani people’s one is next to the bolanis in a little freezer.
Fake meats and smug vegans, elephant geniuses, killer snakes, your very own puppies AND MORE in today's link-o-rama!
Pugs becoming men, men becoming wolves: Werepug Bar Mitzvah!
They are few, but crucial: Your vegan events! Fun times at the San Francisco Public Library! On Saturday, Mar. 6 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Noe Valley branch (451 Jersey St. at Castro Street) Maya Donelson will host a workshop on rooftop gardening. And on Tuesday, Mar. 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bernal Heights branch (500 Cortland Ave. at Moultrie Street), you can learn all about urban composting. Both events are free and open to the public.
On Thursday, Mar. 11 Blood and Sunshine will release their latest E.P., Change Is in the Weather, at 9 p.m. at Thee Parkside in San Francisco. Why should you care? First, because half the band, Joseph Macrino, is vegan and loves your Vegansaurus. Second, because he and James Brennan (the other half of the band, no doy), have decided to plant a tree for every 200 miles they travel on tour. See how much they love the environment? A LOT, is how much. The show costs $6, which in this economy is basically nothing, so go already!
Next Saturday, Mar. 13 from noon to 2 p.m. the PETA Pack—which includes Friend of Vegansaurus’ Cinnaholic—is having a bake sale in front of the PETA Oakland office, at 538 Grand Ave. The proceeds will benefit PETA’s Investigations and Rescue fund.
Also on Saturday, Mar. 13 is the next meeting of the Bay Area Vegetarians book club! The book is Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz; be at Vegi Food at 2085 Vine St. (at Henry Street) in Berkeley at 1 p.m. to discuss it. RSVP here.
Help the great state of Indiana end live bait dog training by sending an email to Natural Resources Commission and Governor Mitch Daniels. This practice is seriously vile: people throw a wild-caught coyote or fox into a pen with a pack of dogs to “train” the dogs for hunting.
WHO WANTS A PUPPY? Uh, me! AND YOU! Get over to the East Bay SPCA, they have pit bull puppies right now! [thanks, Brittney of Eye on Blogs!]
Vice interviews the Rosaire family, who run a circus-cum-exotic-animal-sanctuary. Vice would like you to know that this issue is not as simple as “circuses are bad, free the animals,” you small-minded PETA assholes.
Meanwhile, elephants are proving themselves even smarter than anyone thought, most recently at math. Probably elephants have greater math skills than me, because they weren’t societally conditioned to hate and fear it.
According to a survey by Canadian bacon company, 43 percent of respondents would rather eat bacon than have sex. Ugh, that’s cool ‘cause I’d rather not have sex with you bacon-crazed grossies. Arguably, this is a reason against moving to Canada.
You’re kidding—poop from all the animals crammed into “megafarms” is a major pollutant? It’s causing huge environmental problems? And agricultural interests are fighting every effort to regulate the disposal of all this poop? I AM SO SHOCKED RIGHT NOW.
Continuing the fucked-up news, the Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA shelter in Leitchfield, Ken., was broken into last week. The perpetrator(s) “brought a very cat-aggressive dog into the office, beat her severely, and then released two cats from their cages.” the perpetrator(s) took money from the shelter and left; the dog killed the cats. Here is further information about the crimes and donating to the organization.
Hey everybody! Starting today, it’s open season on wild Burmese pythons in Florida for the next six weeks! If you have a Florida hunting license, you can chop a snake’s head off with a big knife! It’s totally cool, though, because thanks to irresponsible snake-buyers, Hurrican Andrew, and participants in Florida’s “active exotic animal trade,” plus the pythons’ crazy-high fertility, there are snakes EVERYWHERE, ruining Florida’s natural ecosystem and begging to be murdered. Anyway, they are naturally vicious—one time a family pet got out of its cage and strangled a toddler! KILL ‘EM ALL BANG BANG BANG.
Never mind Florida, actually, let’s go to Argentina! Buenos Aires is now bursting with veg restaurants, and it sounds (and looks!) goddamn amazing.
Cow philosophy: thought-provoking, or obnoxious wanking? Really, you tell me; I can’t decide whether it’s an interesting way to make point, or if I just want to slap the dude because the answer is so obvious, even asking is angering. UGH.
Poor old Knut: first he’s the tiny star of screen and song; then he’s reviled as “anti-social” and “dangerous;” now the Berlin Zoo is trying to mate him with his first cousin, which PETA Germany advises against because of the extra risk of their offspring inheriting genetic abnormalities. Just neuter him, and it’ll be all right, they say! But: “The castration of Knut would cause dismay among his fans around the world and would reduce his market value.” I think the first problem here is referring to the procedure as “castration,” but what do I know, I’m a lady.
Jonathan Kauffman likes Enjoy Vegetarian more than I do, but not nearly as much as Laura does. But that bitch likes everything and I am always in a bad mood/have indigestion, so can you really trust either one of us? (hint: probably not)
JSF “shuns” fake meat (including seitan, which, what?); Anneli Rufus think it’s “like having sex with a blow-up doll.” PLEASE PLEASE tell me what you think, I AM DYING TO KNOW. For reals, let’s discuss.
Welcome to our national nightmare: killing really cute animals, for the environment! What? Yes, and also to expand our narrow palates, which are so embarrassingly American (everything tastes like chicken!). If only we were as sophisticated as the French, while as self-reliant as migrant workers in a Dorothea Lange photograph (only less dusty because ugh)! Plus, the environment needs saving, and also Slow Food and eating locally and getting your food blog nominated for internet awards, plus being a total badass (read: getting a feature in Meatpaper magazine)—how can one person do it all? It is most perplexing.
Thank goodness The New York Times knows: kill, butcher, and eat your own rabbits! No, not even kidding a little bit; this is THE answer to all of the “problems” of wealthy, conscience-plagued omnivores with time on their hands and bloodlust in their hearts. It’s not evil, though, because the rabbits are raised on small farms, and the babies are left with their mothers for eight of the 12 weeks they live on those farms before they’re killed. It’s so humane! Serious Eats actually made a video of John Fazio’s rabbit farm, in which you can see some baby bunnies in a nest their mother made of her own fur. It’s super-great to see how “happy” the rabbits look in their tiny wire-floor cages! Honestly, I could not watch this video past 1:23, where Fazio reaches into such a nest to pet some of the babies; it was too depressing. You all are welcome to finish it, though, and report back on how it ends. This farm also features in the Times article; apparently his signature is selling rabbit carcasses with their heads still attached. Delightful.
Adorably, the Times Dining section photo editor also popped by to write a little post about all the different photos that Jennifer May took of the rabbits on Fazio’s farm. And with so many pictures, how to find the one that “carefully illustrate[s] this sensitive topic”—i.e., doesn’t make you rise up with pitchforks against everyone involved in the article? Turns out the ideal image is “the one that says ‘deal with it.’” HAR HAR, Dining section Photo Editor Tiina Loite! You are the wittiest! Just cold putting it out there, all that hard truth.
I think the best part of the pro-eating-rabbit argument is how it’s supposed to be all economic and awesome, but the “how to murder, cut up and cook bunnies” class cost $100 per person and some of its participants had to fly cross-country to attend. That is super-environmentally friendly, for sure. Beware the photos from this event—some of them are quite nasty. The Pasternaks, who run a rabbit farm in Marin County, actually “travel regularly to Haiti to teach families to raise rabbits on foraged food.” Clever! Of course, rabbits’ and humans’ diets do not differ so significantly, meaning that the food a rabbit is eating could be food for a human; “[a] seven-pound live rabbit might weigh four pounds cleaned;” and [i]n the kitchen, rabbit can be a challenge,” but YES, let’s teach poor people to raise rabbits for food. That is definitely a smart idea.
Whatever. Murder rabbits for fun and profit and patriotism and the economy and the environment and individualism and liberty and every other excuse you need to invent to get yourself through it. You know it’s disgusting. We know it’s disgusting. At least we can sleep at night, knowing our efforts to be better citizens of the world and eat lots of exciting foods don’t involve the slaughter of innocents.
In a morbid bid to capitalize on the SeaWorld tragedy, the World Society for Protection of Animals has hired Work Club to create a new campaign to dissuade British tourists from patronizing “cruel” attractions while on vacation. In other words, don’t go to SeaWorld.
I can’t tell, are those condescending quotation marks on “cruel” or not? I’m going to err on the side of condescending because, well, they are kind of dicks. Now to be fair, like I said, they are just criticizing the timing of such a campaign, not the message—“cruel” aside, they remain neutral on that. But that seems like the opposite of logic to me. This is perfect timing, considering the tragedy is not at all an isolated incident. The WSPA claims that this specific whale contributed to two other human deaths. And forget this whale, the BBC gives us a laundry list of carnage caused by other killer whales. Also, it’s not just that this has happened before, there are factors that lead to the incident such as inadequate confinement and generally poor conditions. SeaWorld is not going to tell the public about this, so the WSPA has to. That’s fucked up in its own right.
“Or, you know, maybe don’t enslave your fellow intelligent mammal species, as a start, and then just blow up all the motherfucking “Sea Worlds” and any zoo that isn’t run like the San Diego Wild Animal Park—thousands of acres where the creatures can roam free and hump in the sun, etc.”—Wonkette, which I adore, wanted to let you all know that some crazies at a website called Rightly Concerned posted something really gross last week titled “Bible ignored, trainer dies" that says that if Sea World Orlando officials had been reading the Old Testament, they’d have known that disobedient animals "shall be stoned," just like naughty oxen, so get on that already and kill it, KILL IT NOW BEFORE IT KILLS AGAIN DEMON SPAWN OF THE SEA.
Alternative title: The IWC sucks and I heart Mister Splashy Pants
According to my new favorite animal welfare group, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), this is an important week in the fight to end whaling. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida this week to discuss a proposal that would legalize commercial whaling. More specifically: Greenland wants to kill humpback whales! WTF Greenland?
While commercial whaling is currently illegal, WDCS says that together Japan, Norway and Iceland kill over 2,000 whales each year. I guess they just want to be able to do it legally. A-holes! Jeez, Iceland, I used to think you were cool. Now I think you’re a big jerk.
To read more about this new proposal and see how you can help, visit WDCS’s website.
To learn more about humpback whales, stay right here! I mean, go to the WDCS site and then come back here and share my love for humpback whales.
When I was about five years old, my family went to Alaska for some unknown reason. I have many fond memories of this trip—I mean it was the first time I saw Weird Science (hello hotel cable!)—but when asked about my trip, I would proudly declare, “I saw half a dozen humpback whales!” It’s a melodic sentence, isn’t it? It’s also true! We were often on a boat, and kept seeing humpback whales jumping out of the water. It was AWESOME.
Humpback whales are super-popular because they are crazy sea acrobats and the males sing really intense whale songs. And guess what else! Each humpback whale’s flukes (duh that means the lobes of its tail [thanks, Joel!]) is distinct. You know, like fingerprints and snowflakes! Because of this, people have been able to totally document individual whales for decades. There’s famous ones like Salt, pictured here, who WDCS calls the “grand dame of the whale world” because she’s been photographed so many times and has a bunch of kids. Mister Splashy Pants is another famous humpback, he got his name in an online voting contest run by Greenpeace. A real internet celebrity!
If they legalized whaling, who’s to say that Mister Splashy Pants and Salt wouldn’t be the next casualties?! If you want to help Mister Splashy Pants, or the Notorious MSP as I will now call him, head over to Greenpeace and see what you can do. And at whaleadoption.org you can adopt Salt and any of her pals—you get a plush whale and everything. Not to mention mad props from Poseidon, I’m sure. Stop whaling! [Image of Salt and “stop whaling” icon from the WDCS website]
Dispatch from the Inner Sunset: Social Kitchen & Brewery!
Eater revealed that SF Weekly revealed what I’ve been revealing for months, since they were supposed to open in January, if you’re unlucky enough to be my Twitter or Facebook friend: something is happening (finally!) in the erstwhile Eldos/Wunder Beer space at 1326 9th Ave.
On its face it’s a great space (they even have parking!), and it’s weird and sad that attempts to make it a happy brewpubby place to be have failed and it’s been empty for two years. But if you look under the rock, there’s usually some crawlies under the crazy-high, what-are-you-thinking-this-is-the-Sunset rent. So, I’m really excited that a gung-ho group of people with industry cred have banded together to make this a place you want to hang out and drink craft brews!
Rich Higgins, cicerone, will no doubt be brewing up beers that match his impeccable gustatory instinct (full disclosure: I know Rich and his adorable wife IRL and can attest that this is a man who can put beer together with delicious!) and apparently, the plan is for some vegetarian and vegan eats on the menu, even though we’re not sure who is cooking them yet (Higgins is actually hella good at food too, but for these purposes he’s the brewmaster). Maybe since nobody works at Ubuntu anymore they can get some hot chickpea fries and romesco sauce action going on without being sued?
Anyway, I am looking forward to drinking sure-to-be delicious happy local beers in a congenial environment! Which is saying a lot, since it’s less than a block from my living room, where the beer is free (For me, not for you, sucka).
Also, being the Vegansaur that I am, I might suggest that the #1 most violent thing that happens at McDonald’s is actually the billions of animals that are slaughtered every year to make their “food.” Ugh, the whole scene is just SO BAD. Fuck fast “food” restaurants.