Is Iowa Rep. Steve King the worst person in Congress? »
He sure hates animals a lot!
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.
Congratulations, Steve King; you may be a plain old asshole representative in the House, but you’re the president of the He-Man Animal-Haters Club in our hearts.
[video via Wonkette]
Paul Shapiro presents: Meatless Monday, mischief in Iowa, and HSUS is Hitler? »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!
Want to start your Monday off well? HSUS’s Meatless Monday video won a Telly Award!
The irony of this one really made my day. The Iowa Farm Bureau—the same folks who supported a bill to ban hidden cameras on factory farms—recently had an employee doing something on his coworkers’ chairs that he might not have been doing had he known there was a camera there. What exactly was he doing? See for yourself.
Industry publication Meatingplace isn’t exactly a fan of HSUS. In fact, they recently compared us to Hitler. Well, in their new issue, while they didn’t exactly say they like us, they did editorialize about our gestation crate efforts with words that were quite remarkable. Specifically about McDonald’s and gestation crates, they said HSUS got “the last word in its long argument with the meat industry,” that it’s “game over,” that “the McDonald’s announcement makes the move inevitable” and that it’s “is a game-changer.” And in the same issue but a separate article, Meatingplace concluded that “HSUS is kicking down crates left and right — not to mention doors.” Boom.
Photo of the week: My cat Sam getting ready in the morning—isn’t he cute?!:
Video of the week: This past Saturday was Cesar Chavez Day. Here’s a great short video of the heroic farm worker advocate speaking about animal protection, including farm animals.
Paul Shapiro Presents: Pigs, pigs, and more adorable pigs! »
It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Woohoo!
First, some good news: Wolfgang Puck—perhaps the world’s most famous chef—sent a letter to thousands of California’s high-end restaurants urging them to support the state’s upcoming ban on selling foie gras (effective July). In the immortal words of Billy Madison, that’s quacktastic!
Now for bad news: The Iowa legislature has sent a bill to the governor that, if signed into law, would essentially ban our undercover investigations at factory farms. The Des Moines Register editorialized against the bill, saying if it passes, “whistle-blowers could be fined or jailed for telling the truth.” The Iowa City Press-Citizen also called on Gov. Terry Branstad to get out his veto pen, dubbing it the “Kill the Messenger Bill.” Indeed, there are constitutionality concerns, and Iowans can urge the governor to veto through this HSUS page.
Pork Magazine reports on HSUS’s shareholder resolution calling on Tim Hortons restaurant chain to do better when it comes to the treatment of animals in its supply chain, as did dozens of Canadian media outlets, like the Toronto Star.
Mercy For Animals staged a protest against the ag-gag bill in Iowa. From MFA:
On Tuesday, both the Iowa Senate and House passed a bill aimed at preventing farm workers from documenting and exposing acts of cruelty to animals - an effort championed by corporate factory farming interests.
The bill is currently on the desk of Iowa’s governor. MFA is urging him to veto this dangerous and misguided legislation.
Take Action:Call Iowa’s governor Terry Branstad today at (515) 281-5211 and urge him to veto the ag-gag bill.If you are an Iowa resident, please use this form to urge Governor Branstad to veto SF 431/HF 589, a bill designed to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute brave whistleblowers who dare to speak out against cruelty to animals, corporate corruption, dangerous working conditions, environmental violations, and food safety concerns.
What are factory farms trying to hide? This (scary video):
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com
Dog hero rescues adorable kittens from unfathomable human evil! »
Happy! Sad! Kittens! Puppy! This story has it all.
Loving lab Reagan found kittens sealed in a Meow Mix bag in the middle of the road, carried them all the way home, and wouldn’t stop whining until his owner opened the bag. She could hear faint feline mewls, but was unprepared for the bag’s contents. Inside, she discovered two kittens, now named Tipper and Skipper, covered in the carnage of the other two (or three) kittens that were run over by a car.
"The instinct of the dog was to nurture and not kill the kittens. With all the blood some dogs would have responded to the scent. Reagan the dog is a hero," said Linda Blakely from Iowa’s Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary, who fostered the little boos. Reagan is the best! This just goes to show, once again, that animals are cooler than people. Seriously—a dog named after a Republican is like ‘WTF people, DON’T MURDER KITTENS.’
“Whether them being dumped out is an act of cruelty or desperation we will never know,” added Blakely. Uh, really? You mean to tell me there is some uncertainty as to whether sealing kittens in a cat food bag and dumping them into oncoming traffic to be gruesomely slaughtered qualifies as a fucking ACT OF CRUELTY? I mean, seriously, who does that?! Ugh.
Reagan is awesome! Yay Reagan! This is a happy story! And a miracle! Blakely was unsure whether Tipper and Skipper, weak and traumatized from the experience (duh), would live through the first few days—they had to be bottle-fed every two hours. But then they did! And now they are healthy, handsome, well adjusted kitties looking for their forever home. I would say that if you are in Iowa, and maybe lonely you are lonely, you should adopt them now! But since the news video has gone viral [video!], people from all over the world are competing for the lucky cats. So adopt another one of countless rescued kittens, wherever you are! Or foster some, like me.
Aurora Wells is a writer and artist living in San Francisco with persistent dreams and borrowed kittens. She will do pretty much anything for that vegan cookie.
"Farms, Lies and Videotape: Who gets to tell the story of America’s largest livestock farms?" is a report by the Ration about undercover videos by Humane Society employees and the ways the ag industry is trying to prevent them.
Especially good: At 4:40, when Iowa state Sen. Tom Rielly argues against the making of such videos because HSUS/the videographers are “going out and making all kinds of money attacking the industry that they don’t agree with.” This is definitely the most nonsensical “reasoning” I’ve heard yet. Yes, state Senator Rielly, what HSUS and (the very good-looking although that isn’t germane shut up) Cody Carlson are doing is financially profiting from egg producers’ systemic abuse of chickens. Is being a genius difficult?
Perez Hilton speaks out against Factory Farming! He says, “Whether you are a meat-eater or VEGAN you can stand behind animals in the meat trade.” That’s cool, but just go vegan. Then we won’t have an issue like factory farms, where animals are tortured and sexually abused (humans are the worst).
Florida and Iowa are trying to make undercover investigations of factory farms ILLEGAL! To which Perez, a Florida native responds “A citizen’s right to document cruelty to animals—wherever it occurs—is crucial to helping local, state, and federal officials enforce anti-cruelty laws. What we need are more cameras on factory farms, not fewer.”
I love celebrities who stand up for animals. I love them even more when they are VEGAN. I’m a pop culture whore. I don’t want to discuss how upset I am about boycotting Water for Elephants. The book is incredible! Robert Pattinson is the vamp of my dreams! Don’t try to tell me he’s not a vampire in real life, the conversation won’t go very well.
You know that idiot, Iowa state Rep. Annette Sweeney? She’s trying to outlaw the filming of animal undercover investigations and it’s the wack attack. And, oh look, she’s the former executive director of the Iowa Angus Association. Quelle surprise! If I could throw up on one person today (and it’s looking like it might happen, too much party-hardy for Laura), it would be that woman.
The video above is pretty amazing. In it, she talks about how undercover animal investigations are staged, right before pulling apart a display from opposing activists. OH THE IRONY. Even trying to backtrack she sounds like the idiot she is.
Unfortunately, the bill passed the Republican-dominated Iowa House, but its passage remains uncertain in the state’s Democrat-controlled Senate. It could possibly be discussed in the Senate as early as today. If you’re in Iowa (or can pass this on to people who live in Iowa! Along with this message: GET OUT. I joke! Looks like a great place.), please contact your state senator, and let them know that you strongly oppose the passage of S.J. 727.
Vegans vote 2010: November election results! »
A mixed bag, you guys. We are really, really happy that Arizonans failed Prop. 109 and that Missourians passed Prop. B; it is pretty depressing that the three other constitutional amendments to guarantee the RIGHT to KILL STUFF passed, and with such high margins; it’s much more depressing that you can still shoot animals in a damn pen in North Dakota. What kind of a jerk are you, you won’t even make an effort to kill an animal like an adult? You are the kind of person who absolutely should not have a hunting license, if you won’t even put yourself in any discomfort or risk missing. Disgusting.
Wag of the finger to your Vegansaurus’ state, whose voters failed Prop. 21 because they hate protected wilderness or something. Extra high-fives to Montana voters for finally getting this initiative passed 20 years after the first attempt. We’re really sad about Nancy Pelosi, you guys. That weepy orange puppet of the tobacco companies is just The Worst and we can’t imagine having to stomach even more of his gross face for the next two years. Happy elections, everyone.
Arizona: Prop. 109 - Failed!
Prop. 110 - Failed.
Prop. 301 - Failed!
With 37 of 39 precincts reporting, Prop. 110 failed by 5,000 votes. Not much! Still, Prop. 109 was much more important, and you clobbered it. Excellent work!
North Dakota: Measure 2 - Failed.
Back to the shootin’ pen with you, North Dakotan wildlife, so the rich spoiled people can feel good about what skilled “hunters” they are. Cass, Grand Forks, and Sioux Counties: you’re still cool.
South Carolina: Amendment 1 - Passed.
Oh South Carolina. Passed with nearly 89 percent of the vote. At least North Dakota had the grace to fail the “no more shooting at caged animals” measure at 43.5 percent to 56.5 percent. You all just swept this “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of squirrels with my .22” amendment on through.
Tennessee: Constitutional Amendment - Passed.
You’re the worst, 90 percent of Tennessee voters. Nearly 1.3 million of you all thought, My goodness, you know what we need? The right to bear arms AND use them to shoot bears, in Tennessee, forever. Seriously, was this Basil Marceaux dot com’s scheme? That man does seem to like a gun.
Your Vegansaurus November 2010 ballot measure voting guide! »
Have you voted yet today? If not, your Vegansaurus has compiled a list of the animal-rights-related legislation on the ballots this election, with advice on how we would vote on each question along with a brief explanation. The pink dinosaur is a helpful dinosaur.
The pink dinosaur is a politically active dinosaur, too! You had better vote today, friends—your two valid excuses are that you have already voted by absentee ballot, or are prohibited for legal reasons (underage, felon, are actually a very clever non-human animal, etc.). We used Ballotpedia to get the basic information for all the measures; you can also look at your local secretary of state’s site, or google a bit for more comprehensive voting guides. Now: read this, get out, and vote.
Arizona: Prop. 109 - NO!
Why: The Humane Society calls it a “power grab to grab to block future wildlife protection ballot initiatives.” Also we think amending any state’s constitution to add “the right to hunt stuff” sort of cheapens the idea of a constitution (not to mention, hunting is gross).
Prop. 110 - YES!
Why: Would you rather have state trust land secretly sold at massive discounts, or have its use put to a vote, as it belongs to you, the citizens of Arizona?
Prop. 301 - NO!
Why: You don’t want the “leftover” money in your state’s land conservation fund thrown into your general fund, do you? Unless you don’t like public land.
Arkansas: Issue 1 - NO!
Why: This is another proposed state constitutional amendment guaranteeing citizens—of Arkansas this time, duh—the right to hunt. Yuck. Better, the National Rifle Association says that the amendment would give Arkansans the “strongest right to hunt and fish in the United States.” Shut it down.
California: Prop. 21 - YES!
Why: It creates a source of funding for our state parks that doesn’t rely on state funds, which do tend to fluctuate. All the wildlife and nature preservation organizations are for it.
Iowa: Measure 1 - YES!
Why: First, permanent revenue for your state parks, soil and water restoration, and the other lovely projects is good, and it’s supported by nature and wildlife preservation organizations. Second, it’s sort of vaguely opposed by the Iowa Farm Bureau and no one else.
Missouri: Prop. B - YES!
Why: We’ve mentioned Prop. B a bit; HSUS talks about it much more often; here’s a little article in the NY Times, too. If you don’t vote for the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, then you hate puppies, and what kind of person hates puppies?
Montana: I-161 - YES!
Why: Yes it’s odd that your Vegansaurus is advising a “yes” vote on a hunting initiative, but this one is different: It increases the costs of licenses for out-of-state hunters, allows for future adjustment of these costs for inflation, and some of the new income would go to preserving and restoring habitat. If your state allows hunting, why not get something positive out of it?
North Dakota: Measure 2 - YES!
Why: What kind of soulless jerk “hunts” by shooting “big-game” animals in a pen? Sometimes they’re even TAME? Oh right, people like this killer. Anyway, Measure 2 makes it illegal to set it up, profit from it, or do the shooting—what kind of “thrill of the chase” hunting bullshit is it if you aren’t even chasing? Jesus. Please vote “yes.”
Oregon: Measure 76 - YES!
Why: It extends the “15 percent of state lottery profits fund natural resources” plan. No one in Oregon has registered any official arguments against it. So.
South Carolina: Amendment 1 - NO!
Why: This is the third—alphabetically speaking—state constitutional amendment that would make it a right of every South Carolina citizen to hunt and fish. Obviously as vegans we find that disgusting, but as U.S. citizens we find “hunting and fishing” to be significantly less important than, say, “universal suffrage.”
Tennessee: Constitutional Amendment: NO!
Why: How insecure are you in the existing laws that you feel it necessary to amend your state constitution to guarantee your rights to hunt and fish forever and ever? Someday, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee, you’ll look at these amendments with the same chagrin as the nation does the 18th Amendment. Maybe you want to avoid that by not doing any amending in the first place.