New York has Yoga for Bears! Yes, really! »
Yeah, I said it. Unfortunately, it’s not what you’re thinking: Yoga for Bears does not feature bears doing yoga, but it’s the next best thing. The event kicks off with a full-length yoga class for all levels, followed by vegan lunch, and a talk and Q&A with Animals Asia. You’ll leave with all sorts of knowledge about how to get involved with Animals Asia and a rad T-shirt. Worth the $50 ticket price? I think so, especially since flexibility is a highly desired trait among soldiers in the bear army.
Yao Ming visits bears! Worlds collide! »
Dating an NBA fanboy has its perks: I know who Yao Ming is! He’s a 7’6” kid who came from China to America with a simple dream: Make millions playing professional basketball. He did that and more — Yao went to the NBA playoffs four times with the Houston Rockets, among other accomplishments, before he retired last year.
I know what you’re thinking: Why is this relevant, Sarah? Well, our friend Yao, a WildAid ambassador, went to visit some bears rescued from bile farms at the Animals Asia sanctuary in Chengdu, China. He even petted Belton Kleberg (how’s that for a stately bear name?), a three-legged bear who had been illegally trapped in the wild before ending up on a bile farm and undergoing the "free drip" method of bile extraction—he got a little bear manicure from Yao during a health check. Yao also visited bears at the fence line, and the graveyard (cue all the tears of baby Jesus).
Pretty rad, Yao! Your visit will hopefully make people more aware of the bile bear’s plight and join the bear army. Let’s get this shit trending on Twitter, by the way: #beararmy
Guest post: Black bears need your help in Connecticut! »
Black bears are in trouble in Connecticut! I know what you’re thinking: “There are bears in Connecticut? I thought Connecticut was just full of old rich people sitting around counting their money.” And you’d be RIGHT; that part totally sucks. But we have bears, too! They are awesome! And right now the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has asked the governor to allow permits to some idiots to go out and shoot black bears dead because apparently we have too many now, even though we have had approximately NONE for the past 150 years since they went extinct in the state around 1850. EXTINCT, guys.
The government is basing this assumption on complete hearsay, rather than any actual scientific evidence of the number of bears that currently exist in the state. I think we have too many old rich people in the state and maybe they should provide permits for broke folks like me to—I digress.
Over the past couple decades the black bear population has totally rebounded, because bears are hardcore like that, and now people are all upset: They’re seeing bears more often, and occasionally one gets in someone’s backyard and rummages through their smelly garbage. Look, if you don’t want to see animals in your backyard, don’t have a motherfucking backyard; animals lived there before you and probably don’t give a shit whether you think you own the grass or not. And also, maybe don’t have such smelly garbage, NASTY.
Meat consumption is responsible for more human deaths per year (45,000 on average) than black bears (1 on average), so if you’re really that scared of shit and A=B and A+B=C then maybe stop chowing down on the steaks instead of shooting beautiful harmless bears that are just moseying around. Black bears are like the most docile of all the bears!
They’ve already approved this malarkey in New Jersey, without any scientific evidence of increased bear sightings there. Significant errors were found in the tally of reports, and hunters went all murder-happy and started killing mother bears and cubs and see what happens when you give morons permission to shoot stuff?
This is my drawn-out way of asking you guys to join me in telling the governor to NOT allow black bear hunting in Connecticut. Kids, the bears need our help, and every signature counts, so do me the biggest favor ever and sign my petition. I will love you forever and also I promise I won’t come after you when they issue the rich people hunting permits. Unless you own a pink KitchenAid standing mixer, ‘cause goddamn I really want one. The end. Sign the petition.
Rachel Gary is from Connecticut, where she spends most of her time hiking, reading, tricking her family into eating delicious vegan baked goods, and avoiding doing laundry. As her responsible adult alter ego, she is an editor for an environmental and engineering firm.
[image, “Cub’s first look at the world,” courtesy the North American Bear Center]
Dream big, rescued moon bears! »
Remember this rescue? Pretty rad, right?
Here’s something else rad to build on that radness (rad-squared?): One of the rescued bears, named Dream, is making great progress at Animals Asia's Moon Bear Rescue Center in Vietnam. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Dream had emergency surgery to fix her awesome bear mouth. Despite missing her left front paw and the right one being deformed and practically unusable, now she's all about eating, especially dried fruit and flavored water.
Bears! They’re just like us! Sending you all our get-well wishes (they’re better than other wishes because they are vegan), Dream and the rest of the bears! I’ll make sure the bear army has a bear infirmary, just in case.
[Photo credit: Animals Asia]
Fourteen moon bears rescued from bile farm; farmer vows to help end bile trade! »
[The team transferring a bear for transport]
So, this is like, good news, but kind of gross? Fourteen moon bears were rescued from a bile farm in southern Vietnam, so that’s good, but they had a bunch of health problems indicating they might have been taken from the wild and trapped, so that’s gross. Not to mention that 40 bears are still imprisoned on that same farm.
We’ve talked about bile farming before. The main bullet point to take away from this presentation: It’s nasty. But apparently one of the owners of this farm, Mr Nguyen Ngoc Tien, realized the error of his ways and surrendered his share of the bears to Animals Asia rather than selling the bears. Now he’s encouraging other bile farmers to do the same. So, high-five to this guy!
Now the bears are hanging at the Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Center outside Hanoi. They’re recovering from fractured teeth, infected mouths, skin conditions, abdominal hernias, obesity, and probably internal damage from the bile farming practice. Go, bears, go! You’re needed in the bear army!
Grizzlies make a comeback! Go bears! »
Christ, you guys: BEARS. You know I’m on bears like white on the Republican Party, so let me advise you of some bodacious bear news in between bouts of holiday anxiety: A court has reversed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2007 decision to remove grizzly bears from the endangered species list.
I have two dominant feelings about this news: 1. SAY WHAT, USFWS? Just because grizzlies got it on sufficiently and maybe got killed less to surpass your recovery goal of 500 bears in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in the past 30 years doesn’t mean that you can ignore climate change’s affect on the bear population’s health, as conservationists and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (successfully) argued. 2. HOORAY! The three judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took into account the decline in the population of whitebark pines, whose nuts are a major source of food for grizzlies to increase their fat reserves before hibernation. Bears love deez nuts! I bet they make a mean pesto with ‘em!
[Photo by Barbara Miers via Flickr]
Mo’ money, mo’ problems, except when it comes to polar bears, Canada says! »
Some researchers asked Canadians how much money they’d be willing to cough up to save the Arctic Circle’s bad-ass polar bears, and all told, it equalled $6.3 billion. Since there are only 15,000 polar bears left in existence, that equals out to about $450,000 per bear! Each Canadian household would pay an average of $508 toward polar bear conservation.
Apparently we have the bears’ intrinsic cuteness as well as Coca-Cola advertising partially to thank, but who cares what gets people motivated to save the planet—especially the bears? Polar bears are rad! Can we appropriate some of that hypothetical money? This bear army needs cash to get moving!
[photo by Will Keightley via Flickr]
Baby bears playing in the road! Look at them wrestling, OMG. This is another tip from my grandpa—he’s always got his eye out for cute animal stuff for me! Thanks, gramps.
These little bears are so cute and I want one too! They are so rascally! And everybody loves a rascal.
Top 10 links of the week: a joyful skip through veganism! »
[Downer that the whale is in captivity but we can still appreciate its beauty. PS: Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Sorry dudes, I haven’t done links in a few weeks, so this list spans the last month or so. Were you guys sad without links? Which kinds of links do you like the best? I want to know so I can do the best possible job!
"Here’s the big secret that no one wants to talk about: We’re not very good at keeping what’s inside a cow’s intestines out of the meat." Ew. From Huffpo, "Doctors Take Aim at Antibiotic Resistance from Factory Farming.”
Apparently in Ukraine, restaurants keep bears and make them drink vodka. Well, not any more! Really though, wtf.
From Grist: “Is your Cheese Killing the Planet?” The article says, “bottom line: the vegans are right,” but I think their real message is one we’ve heard many a time: “bottom line: CHEESE IS YUM YUM! WEEEEEE!” Maybe we can add some comments.
Good piece from NYT: “Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs.” Word.
Should we be surprised at cruelty in industrial farming? Em, no. An opinion piece from the Guardian.
Some AR peeps burnt down a building in Germany that was set to be a factory farm. Discussion topic of the week: What do you think about property destruction as a form of protest in the animal rights movement? Or any movement, I guess.
From Treehugger, study reveals mammal populations are down. Fucking A, you thought you just had to worry about the fish!
Bonus link: If I don’t say this every week, I mean this every week: don’t forget to read our Laura’s Week in Vegan over at SFWeekly every Friday! And leave comments to make her feel nice. Laura deserves to feel nice. We all do! Except some people.
Murder-suicides: not just for humans anymore! »
A mother bear in China killed her cub and then herself. Why? To escape the bear bile industry. You know, FUCKING BILE, that tasty digestive juice produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. That shit contains a chemical that can be synthesized now used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat heart arrhythmia, so this industry is totally still relevant—NOT.
The bears, Asiatic black bears or “moon bears,” at such bile farms have their gall bladders “milked” (GAG ME) daily in “crush cages,” which don’t provide enough room for bears to stand upright or turn around. You can tell it hurts them because the bears moan and chew their paws while this is happening. No SHIT it hurts!
This is what bear bile farming looks like.
And that’s exactly how the mother bear knew what was up: Reports claim she heard her cub crying while workers attempted to poke a milking hole in his little bear tummy. She BUSTED OUT OF HER NEARBY CAGE and scattered the workers. After an unsuccessful attempt to free her cub, she gave him a hug and then strangled him to death. Finally, she dropped the poor dead cub to the ground before running headfirst into a fucking wall.
This whole disaster supports my theories that 1) bears are awesome and 2) humans are terrible. Please donate to Animals Asia to help end bear farming. I’m going to go vomit now.