Hey, animal-rights advocates in North Dakota! Here is some news you can use!
North Dakota Pets Rally to Fight Animal Cruelty
There are only two states in the U.S. that don’t recognize animal cruelty as a serious crime: North and South Dakota. A measure on the ballot this November seeks to change that in North Dakota.
Pets of all stripes have come out in support of Measure 5, which would make extreme animal cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony in the state.
If your pet supports this measure, you can upload his pic here.
Get it together, North Dakota. South Dakota is the superior Dakota by dint of Mount Rushmore alone; by protecting your pets, you can achieve the higher status your geographical location would seem to warrant!
If you don’t believe us, trust the endorsements Measure 5 has received by organizations you love, like HSUS, Best Friends Animal Society, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. And if you don’t care about them, care about these 100 percent adorable animals who are all about protecting their brethren and sistren. Yes on 5, North Dakotans!
"Matrix" chicken farms are creepy art, not reality »
Here’s a creepy idea: Given that modern chicken farming causes so much pain, why not just lobotomize the things and turn them into unconscious protein-growing machines, à la Matrix? Wired posted about it last week, a reader told us about it, and we kinda freaked out here in the back room. How is that better than going vegan?! That’s so f-ed up!
Then we chilled out. Because as the savviest (nerdiest) of nerds such as myself might notice, Wired's post is on the mag's culture blog, not on any of its science pages. Deep breaths, vegans. This ain't real; this is an architecture student's creation for a design show. ART. It's supposed to make you think, not actually happen. And people thinking about the logical extension of how their food is currently produced? I'd call that good news all around.
Read a whole big long interview with the artist if you’re so inclined. You’ll notice dude’s not a saint—he says he could never go vegan, which is a ridiculous thing to say—but I think he’s clever and provocative and good news in general. Red pills for all!
Poor kitty, awful people »
This is poor Tinkerbell who was set on fire and severely burned. The Houston Herald has the full story. They think some jerky kids probably did it but no one will come forward so the shelter caring for Tinkerbell is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whatever terrible person did this. WTF is wrong with people? Why would you do that? I hope they get them. Whatever horrible person did this, they need some serious help. People make me so angry sometimes!
You can donate to the shelter here. Beyond that, raise your kids right, so they don’t do stuff like this.
[photo by The Animal Shelter of Texas County via the Houston Herald]
WTF? Twyla Francois exposes the practice of tooth breaking and boar bashing. This is totally effed. But the video is not scary, there’s only a little bit of graphic footage at the end and it’s not directly on the video, it’s on the TV in the video. Come on, Canada! How can you allow this?!
I had never heard of this cruel practice and apparently the Canadian government doesn’t care about it so let’s try to spread the word and raise awareness.
Twyla Francois is head of investigation for Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals and central region Director of the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition. Go ‘head, girl!
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
Several years ago I was very lonely. I was working full-time in a video store and had very few career aspirations; I had just ended a spectacular stint of dating with someone who was awesome and attractive but with whom I had very little in common; and when I wasn’t yelling at people to put their returns on the goddamned shelf of the counter that said “RETURNS” in large capital letters I was crying and playing video games. That’s when my friend Pali (who runs Rocket Dog Rescue) called and asked if I might like to adopt a pet.
"We’ve got a lot of hamsters here." she said.
"I have now had several hamsters," I replied. "I would like to move up in the world."
"What were you thinking of?" she asked.
“A rabbit. A big one.”
"There are plenty of those," she said. "Get down here before six o’clock."
I jumped into a cab to the SF SPCA immediately, and within the hour returned home with a giant black bunny whom I respectfully named Ms. Cleo. This is a good story, but it gets better. Let me tell you something about bunnies: they poop. A lot. And chew. They chew everything. Oh, and they live forever! Had I had my degree in psychology already, I would have understood that I was transferring my desire for a ”good object” (read: a boyfriend) onto a furry animal of the wrong sex and expecting too much out of her. In time, Ms. Cleo and I came to love each other very much, and frequently hung out on my bed watching television and eating celery and pellets. However, I must stress that rabbits—and all animals, while we’re at it—are a big commitment; you really need to decide whether you’re ready to have all of your cables/clothes/bed frames chewed and pooped upon before you decide that you can adopt one. I remember (before my stint at In Defense of Animals, of course) how horrified I was to read that a tradition of the Hilton family—the Paris Hiltons—was to buy up a whole bunch of rabbits and chicks on Easter, and then give them away after the holiday was over and their cuteness had worn off (Source: Paris Hilton’s wonderful Confessions of an Heiress, which I totally own!). I also thought that this must be a very isolated thing and that most people don’t treat animals this way. Au contraire, mon frère: people are fucking ridiculous.
First, STOP GIVING ANIMALS AS PRESENTS!!! Remember the stuff I wrote before about Rabbits being a huge commitment? Yeah, that doesn’t change just because it’s their year! This seems pretty obvious to me, but in China rabbits are multiplying like crazy and wreaking havoc. Here’s what happens: Someone gets a rabbit for the New Year, they get all excited, buy a cage, and think “awesome! Now I have a friend!” Then the rabbit chews up everything and sometimes scratch. In the case of one woman, the rabbit, while adorable, chewed through every cable in the house and ate her resume to boot! Not such an awesome gift anymore, right? You know, especially since she didn’t even ask for or think of taking care of a rabbit. And you know what else? If you don’t have them fixed, rabbits will breed, leaving you with a whole bunch of offspring to deal with. Of course, some people step up to the task, but others are giving up very quickly ensuring that shelters and rabbit rescues are overflowing with rabbits whose only crime was being an animal on the Chinese Zodiac. And being criminally adorable, but that’s another story.
Second, STOP SENDING ANIMALS IN THE MAIL! Again, this is something I thought would be both common knowledge and common sense. For example, “Man, I need to return these awesome Bones DVDs to Netflix and this copy of “Band Hero” to Gamefly. OH SHIT! I forgot that I have to get John’s dog back to him tomorrow when he gets back from vacation. Hmmm, maybe I should just box and mail him as well. That way, John and the dog both arrive tomorrow and I can watch some more television instead of taking care of responsibilities—nah, too dangerous!” Don’t you wish everyone thought like that? Me too! Except people don’t! They send puppies priority mail in airless boxes with the added bonus of no food and/or water! Why? No idea! Perhaps the woman who did this thought it might be cheaper or easier to send a puppy this way. She actually went back for a refund of her money after being charged with animal cruelty! I cannot believe she did not know that mailing puppies is not the preferred way to get animals to their destination. She’s now trying to get the dog back, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon—or at all, if everyone involved is lucky.
God, seriously, let’s look at something happy for a second before my mind explodes into a giant volcano of rage and sadness. What have you got fur us today, internets? OH MY GOD, a cross-eyed opossum, you say? That can’t be! and yet! And here’s the story of Heidi the cross-eyed opossum’s rise to fame.
All better! send me links for next week and have a safe Wednesday out there!
Good news!: Unilever stops animal testing for tea! »
Peta has been fighting against Unilever and their cruel animals tests for Lipton tea and PG Tips for many years and finally, Unilever has promised to end testing animals for tea effective immediately! Huzzah! This is super good news considering Lipton is "the best-selling branded tea in the world."
From Unilever’s site:
Unilever remains committed to its ambition of eliminating animal testing by investing in alternative methods.
Where legal or regulatory requirements call for testing on animals to demonstrate the safety of Unilever’s tea-based beverages or ingredients, Unilever seeks to minimise the testing required and the number of animals involved, and the testing is provided by third parties.
Unilever has made a substantial investment in new non-animal approaches to research and testing including, since 2004, an annual investment of €3m on non-animal approaches for assuring consumer safety. Our research has made good progress in developing new approaches and we work continually with international research and policy groups to share our experience.
Yay for good news! Of course, according to Peta, Unilever has many other companies that do test on animals, and don’t miss the magic words “the testing is provided by third parties,” but this is progress. The tests they were doing for Lipton were all about like eating a ton of sugar and fat and seeing if tea helps you not die. First of all, it’s pretty easy to find some people who already eat a ton of fat and sugar and test the tea on them; second, torturing animals so that we humans can sit around eating poison and not die is ridiculous. Eff that!
Last week, Mercy for Animals released this video documenting the horrible cruelty at a catfish slaughterhouse in Mesquite, Texas. This video is not for kids—brace yourself. I watched it once and that’s all I can handle. Mostly, they are skinning the catfish alive while they are still flopping around and gasping for air. It’s highly disturbing. Over and over, I just kept thinking, “why can’t they just kill them first?” They specifically tell the undercover worker to “clean them” while the fish are still alive. Why?
If you don’t already know: yes, fish can feel pain. Fish are also a lot smarter than people assume. Isn’t that always the way? Go to Mercy for Animal’s website to see how you can take action and/or donate to the cause.
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
What? Oh, I didn’t see you through this haze of prescription painkillers and tertiary muscle relaxants. That’s right, today’s WTF Wednesday is brought to you by the letters V, I, C, O, D, I, and N! That means that this post will be both mercifully short and also make no sense whatsoever. Just imagine we are all at an awesome party, sitting on beanbag chairs under a blacklight. That is how I feel right now, and so should you. Except I hope you can move your back, because I can’t move mine. Or walk straight. Enough of my whining, this is a party!
First off, here are some bears doing yoga. It actually looks more like Tai chi to me, but what do I know? The last time i did any kind of exercise was a jacked-up sun salutation on a Wii balance board (why does that fucking thing groan every time you step onto it? Does it know that it is lowering my self-esteem each time I want to play Rhythm Parade?). I always feature bad things happening to bears, so I thought I would post something awesome. Just forget that the bears are in a zoo, because zoos are horrible. Just focus on the amazing stretches they can do. Who even knew Bears stretched? And who knew that they could be even more adorable? I certainly didn’t.
And while we’re on the subject of bears, here is what happens when a stupid Toronto weatherman tries to throw pumpkins at polar bears. I mentioned last week that I do not believe that all animals love pumpkins. Example, this otter, whose look clearly states, “You want to be next, stupid? Why would you think I’d want a pumpkin? Did you get me a fucking Kindle or what?” I bet that otter wasn’t going to be reading the new Jodi Picoult, either. Anyway, here’s today’s lesson: Don’t throw shit at animals from high places. It is traumatizing and not at all pleasant, and you deserved to lose your microphone and also be ridiculed by the internet. Allen watched that video like five times last night. He was dying. I mean literally choking for breath. He was laughing that hard. Between that and this video of an Ellen writer going through a haunted house (“you are so rude!!!!!”), he was really on fire.
Fine, it wouldn’t be WTF Wednesday without some sad news: a porn star strangled a dog. Say it with me: WHAT THE FUCK. Why would you do that, porn star Jason Creed, a.k.a. Shane Michael Thompson? Why would you just take your three-legged puppy and beat it, strangle it to death, and then try to pass it off as a seizure? Here is some news: Seizures and BEING BEATEN AND STRANGLED TO DEATH present quite differently. I don’t even watch House and I know that. And why the fuck would you adopt a three-legged dog, who was obviously already coping with large difficulties in life, and then abuse it? What is wrong with you? Did you not realize that there is a special room in a special circle of hell that is devoted to people who are deliberately cruel to animals? Maybe you were drunk or high, which makes it even worse. Not even Vicodin can take the harsh edge off the idea of a poor unsuspecting dog being attacked by a third-tier gay porn actor. Thank god his friends and roommates turned him in, although what disturbs me EVEN FURTHER is that they also stated that they had known about the abuse. Why didn’t you speak up before the dog was murdered? At least this guy is in jail. I could make all sorts of jokes about that, but I won’t; partly because this story is too sad and partly because I have standards.
That is it for this week. As always, please send me links for next week or leave them in the comments. Have an awesome week!
[photo by South Beds News Agency via the Telegraph]
Annals of animal cruelty: Maria, murdered in a drive-by »
You see a lot of horrible things when you spend a lot of time on the internet. There’s that girl throwing puppies into a river a couple of weeks ago, factory workers torturing chickens, and this one video of Stella McCartney talking about foxes going mad at a fur farm (which I co-opted and used as my signature catchphrase during the summer of 2005. It was “This fox has gone mad!” in response to EVERYTHING, in the voice of Stella McCartney. I don’t know how I have any friends left). And we’re not even going to touch the marine tossing the puppy off the cliff. The point is, by now I’m pretty hardened; the stupid assholes on this planet rarely surprise me anymore. However, the news that some fuckheads in Santa Fe, N.M. did a drive-by on a FUCKING DWARF GOAT really upset me.
WHO DOES THAT? WHY? There are just so many questions! The Nigerian dwarf goat, MARIA, was just chilling in her front yard, minding her business, eating some grass or a delicious piece of garbage she had scavenged, and some douchebags just roll up and shoot her dead for shits and giggles. Maybe they were jealous? The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Maria was quite popular; people from the neighborhood often came over in the evening to visit her and two goat companions, who could brighten their day with a “hello” nuzzle. Maybe they hate rescue animals? The women who owned Maria have a whole menagerie of animals they had adopted from bad situations and were giving a more awesome life. Maybe these fuckers just hated the sense of community these animals brought to the neighborhood. Coming up with reasons isn’t very productive, though. The point is, these fuckers are horrible people and while they are still at large, the Santa Fe police department is taking this very seriously and is going to bring them up on multiple charges (felonies!).
Instead of falling apart, this community has grown even tighter. Neighbors helped her owners comfort the dying Maria, and have also offered to spend time with the surviving animals. It’s just sad to think about people doing stuff like murdering innocent animals, especially since this isn’t such an uncommon occurrence. Reading some of the comments that this incident has generated around the internet reveals that using animals for target practice happens much more often than one would think, and I am heartbroken to read anecdotes about sheep being shot with crossbows from an ATV, and cows being shot at with semi-automatic weapons.
If you think I’m not being serious about this, allow me to direct you to several links that will make your blood run cold and your anger centers run red-hot:
- Kids in England shooting at family pets with Airsoft and BB guns. This story includes a heartbreaking incident in which a terrified family cat was shot on the roof of her home.
- Pigeon shoots! People actually trap pigeons in order to release them and IMMEDIATELY SHOOT THEM. They let the CHILDREN to MANGLE and TORTURE THE PIGEONS WHO DO NOT DIE RIGHT AWAY. Just for fun! Graphic video included.
- Adorable young dogs were shot execution-style (between the eyes at point-blank range) and then deliberately placed their dead bodies for others to find.
I figured three links were enough, but the internet is rife with videos, photos, and articles of the horrible things people do to the animal friends and companions who are not only innocent but defenseless against the treachery of human behavior. I didn’t mean to end the post this way—it was mainly going to be just my outrage at and loathing of of Maria’s killers, but the additional links are just too much. Animal cruelty is just so incredibly wrong. Please pass that message along.
Catalonia bans bullfighting! Viva España! »
Bullfighting is so nasty and I fucking* hate it! So I was very glad when Meave reported that an amendment to the animal protection laws in Catalonia, Spain passed! Bullfighting is so over, jack!
I was totally happy about this animal victory but on Facebook today, one of my Spanish friends criticized the motives behind the ban, claiming it’s a matter of politics and not concern for animals. My friend Santi, who says he hates bullfighting, also had this to say:
They are doing it to say we are not Spanish. Make no mistake, Catalans also like bullfighting considering the number of people turning up to arenas. They have used this to say we are not like them to the world!
I do have to point out that the anti-bullfighting side used the fact that bullfighting has been declining in popularity as an indicator of public thought, so I question just how much Catalans like the “sport.” According to the Barcelona Reporter, “Barcelona’s last bullring is so unprofitable that the company managing it intends to give up the business next year.” The Guardian also reported the ban, focusing on the political implications of the issue. Pro-bullfighting peeps are saying Catalonia is using the ban as a big fuck-you to the rest of Spain.
Guess what has two thumbs and couldn’t give a shit about the motives that ban bullfighting?! THIS GUY! Bullfighting is disgusting and anyone who likes it is despicable. I said it! I don’t care why, I’m just glad it’s on its way out. Another thing I’m a fan of: matadors getting totally thrashed by bulls. I’m pro that. Fuck those douchebags.
Many of the bullfighting supporters also say the ban is an attack on Spain’s cultural heritage. An op-ed on cnn.com from last month addressed this cultural heritage argument. See, major news outlets aren’t always big ol’ jerkwads! The author, Jordi Casamitjana, is a consultant for PROU, a super-dope anti-bullfighting organization. Casamitjana says:
Many pro-bullfighting activists have argued that the “sport” is an important part of the Spanish culture and should not be banned. But cultural heritage is no excuse for inflicting pain on a frightened and confused animal. This campaign is not a matter of arbitrary prohibitions or of stomping on people’s individual freedoms. It is a matter of suffering.
Do you love this guy or what?
If you don’t think bullfighting is fucking repulsive, watch a few youtube videos like this one supplied by SHARKonline. I don’t want to post them on here because they make me cry and I don’t want to make you guys cry because then you’ll all be at work looking like a bunch of nancies.
Bonus! The story of Ferdinand the bull! Of course in real life, they’d totally stab him to death but still, Ferdinand is totally adorbs:
[can’t see the video? watch it on vegansaurus.com!]
*My parents are dedicated Vegansaurus readers and they get upset at the foul language because they are so very old and square. So to them, I must apologize for dropping the f-bomb but bullfighting makes me so mad!
[bull illustration from PROU website]