Guest post: Good news from Canada: The Toronto Zoo’s elephants are headed to the PAWS sanctuary!  »

Today was an awfully good day for animals in Toronto. On top of the news of the city council vote to ban shark-fin products, councillors also voted to send the Toronto Zoo’s three elephants to the PAWS animal sanctuary in California next summer.

Back in May, I posted at Vegansaurus about the three elephants: Toka, Thika, and Iringa. The Toronto Zoo recommended that month that their elephant program be phased out and the elephants moved to a better location, in part because research has shown that elephants in smaller herds suffer ill effects.

Zoocheck Canada and animal activist/Vegansaurus favorite Bob Barker both recommended that the elephants be transferred to the Performing Animals Welfare Society sanctuary (the beneficiary of Saturday’s SF Vegan Bakesale!) in California, and that is where Toka, Thika, and Iringa will go in a few months.

I’m sure something will piss me off again pretty soon, but for now I’ll enjoy the satisfaction of politicians deciding to do the right thing.

[photo by jacob earl via Flickr]


Bob Barker was right: spay and neuter, dammit!  »

Good news, you guys! Down from 20 million in the 1970s, fewer than 4 million unwanted cats and dogs will be euthanized this year, and many animal advocates believe that spaying and neutering has played the biggest role in the decrease. Four million is still 4 million too many, right?
Though we still have a long way to go, spaying and neutering has become the law in many states, counties and cities—some even require all shelter animals to be sterilized. Not only does this practice eliminate unnecessary killing, but it also makes pets easier to manage, less aggressive and healthier overall. A win-win-win! Spaying and neutering has definitely become safer and more affordable over the years; most low-cost shelters charging around $50 to neuter a male cat and $60 to spay a female cat, and about $150 for a female dog, and between $150 and $250 (depending on size) to neuter a male. In the long run, and for the lives of the animals, it’s totally worth it. So remember, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!” Thanks, Bob!

[Bob Barker image via scenestirz on Flickr; kitten image via jamesm.00001 on Flickr]


Bob Barker honored with prestigious Veg Award! You get a recipe!  »

My friend Lena Fay is the UnOfficial president of the Bob Barker Fan Club. I interviewed her earlier today about her adoration of all things Bob Barker, and for a better understanding in general, via text message.

Vegansaurus: Can you explain in two or three sentences your love for Bob Barker and why you are the president of his fan club?
Lena Fay: Bob Barker made me understand the unparalleled charisma of dirty old men.

Is he a dirty old man?
Kind of. He hooked up with the Barker Beauties.

Who are the Barker Beauties?
The girls who run The Price is Right games who are always in swimsuits.

So there you have it! As it happens, Lena Fay isn’t the only fan of Bob Barker; so are vegan animal-rights advocates Mercy for Animals! MFA, along with Barker, are throwing a huge, fancy bash on June 4 in the Hollywood Hills! They will honor the “hidden heroes”—undercover investigators who risk their lives and safety to expose the horrific cruelty animals endure at factory farms, hatcheries and slaughterhouses—and Barker himself will receive an award! Bob Barker has spend the last 30-plus years as a crusader for animal rights, yo. He can put his Compassionate Leadership Award next to his 19 Emmys from The Price Is Right!

Lena Fay often uses her Facebook status to announce her obsession surrounding Bob Barker and The Price Is Right. One of those nights, not too long ago, I decided to to a little investigative, undercover work myself. And I stumbled across this recipe! A vegan enchilada bake that calls for a crushed Fritos topping, and side of vegan sour cream? I too, found myself loving Bob Barker.

(I totally would have posted the picture, but then I realized it’s probably a stock photo! With dairy cheese and meat! And we know what kind of shenanigans that leads to…)

[Photo via Hidden Heroes Party]


Toronto Zoo elephants are getting new digs thanks to Bob Barker!   »

I was pretty sad when Bob Barker retired from The Price is Right, but it’s hard to argue with how he’s spent his time since. He’s an impressive activist for animals [Ed.: Always spay and neuter your pets!], and now he gets some credit for another victory: the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo will soon be moving to a more pachyderm-appropriate location than, you know, Canada.

I love Toka, Thika and Iringa; that’s why I want to see them in a better home. Toronto’s not as cold as some people think—we do not live in igloos here—but it’s definitely a lot chillier than an elephant’s natural habitat. Their current facility at the Toronto Zoo just isn’t cutting it, and a new one would be prohibitively expensive. Also, the three ladies are no spring pachyderms anymore, and as they get older, January in Canada is only going to get rougher on them. Bob Barker agrees, so much so that he’s offered to foot the bill himself in order to get the three Toronto elephants somewhere more comfortable. He’s suggested sanctuaries in California and Tennessee.
That kind of move is closer than ever before now that the Toronto Zoo Board has agreed that the elephants should be moved to a new home, either a zoo or a sanctuary. The board decided last week that their 36-year elephant program should end, but they haven’t yet figured out where its three residents should go. They’ve opened it up to other interested zoos, and the Granby zoo in Quebec wants them. Their facility, which is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, certainly seems like a better fit than the Toronto Zoo’s outdated digs, but Quebec’s climate isn’t any better for elephants than Toronto’s, frankly.

Another option that’s being considered is a sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. run by the Performing Animal Welfare Society, which is the option supported by Barker and the watchdog group Zoocheck Canada. The Toronto Zoo board worries that it’s not AZA-accredited like a zoo can be, but Barker and Zoocheck vouch for the sanctuary and point out that the California climate is certainly a better fit for an animal with a natural habitat in places like Africa and India.

It’s going to take a couple years for the process of finding a new home and moving the elephants to be complete, but the good news right now is that one way or another, Toka, Thinga and Iringa will end up somewhere more suitable for them. A lot of people in Toronto will probably be sad to see them go, but this is my suggestion: once the elephants have moved on, how about putting up a display honoring the elephants’ time in Toronto and explaining why they were moved and where they’ve gone? It’s a great way to teach kids that being a good steward of animals, not maintaining a tourist attraction at all costs, is what’s really important.

Terri lives in Toronto, Ont., where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues. Photo from the National Post.


Megan Rascal curates all the vegan news you need to know in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

You may have heard that our dear Meave has gone to be a Republican in Georgia so in her absence, I’m taking over link-o-rama this week! Let’s turn this party inside out! Just kidding, it’ll probably be similar, just slightly more vapid, as me and Meave are similar, I’m just slightly more vapid. Let the games begin!

If you are wondering what the top picture is all about, it’s a new campaign from La Leche, a group dedicated to educating people on the benefits of breastfeeding (I’m a supporter). I thought I’d note that the fantastically popular and extra lame “Got Milk?” franchise made a deal with La Leche so they can use their stupid tag for good—you know, instead of its regular, milk-mongering evil. Hmm, this gives me ideas for, “the other white meat,” eh?

This week in beauty contests, is doing a Hottest Chef in America competition and one handsome young vegan chef has made it to the final round! Portland’s Wes Hannah could very well be the next Hottest Chef in America! I don’t know about you but I would tap that seven ways from Sunday! Yes, friends, my vote is in: Hannah 2011! 

In rescued-circus-animal news, remember those dear lions rescued from Bolivian circuses that Meave told you all about? Well, they touched down in Denver on Wednesday! Safe and sound! With Bob Barker on hand to yell, “Lion No. 1, come on down!” You know, “mimicking the way contestants were introduced on his game show The Price Is Right. Ever heard of it?

This Dish is Vegetarian has the lowdown on a crazy restaurant in Brooklyn where you can eat a steak and then buy a briefcase made out of the same cow? Is this what progress looks like?

The Verdant Life has an awesome looking recipe for broccoli vegan-cheezy pot pies (pictured above)—can I get a what-what?! That looks crazy good. I’m so ready for this. You could make that for your Great American Meatout party! And invite me!

Everyone’s favorite vegan, Sarah Kramer, has made some super-cute journals to sell with 100 percent of the proceeds going to help the sweet dog she is fostering. Get yours! And foster dogs!

In famous non-vegans, Mike Vick was going to be on Oprah and now he’s not? I kind of wanted to see that. Word is he canceled for “personal reasons.” Would that personal reason be cowardice? Probably not but zing!

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is having a free bird care class in SF on Sunday! Go forth! Care for birds! Maybe they will finally teach us the secret of flight!

Over at you can read a review of the movie Chow Down that I’m actually going to see tomorrow night. Does it sound a bit boring? Maybe I’m just immediately bored when I hear about middle-aged males. The world kind of revolves around middle-aged males, that’s why the world is so boring. Mystery solved! But I’m excited anyway—there’s a panel! And panels are nothing if not nonstop excitement!

Lastly, I want you to read all about Pinnacle over at HuffPo! Very soon, I am going to write all about it so you might as well read up and get ready! OMG also! I was at Lula’s last night and guess who was there: Pinnacle founder Joshua Katcher! I said hi because I’m totally a confident and outgoing individual. He was super-handsome! And nice, which is less important but a definite plus.

On a final note: don’t forget to remind your pals on Sunday about Meatless Monday! And don’t forget to read Laura’s SFist post and the Week in Vegan! Be well and TGIF, motherfuckers!

[Picture of model with lady-dog from Pinnacle; adorable picture of pigeon in cast from the New York City Pigeon Rescue Central FB page]


Happy-time puppy pictures from Jorge Garcia and Cuddly Canines!  »

You guys. YOU GUYS!

First, because I am like a newborn baby who knows nothing outside of her internet bubble of journo-criticism, esoteric fashion (Should Be on The Nanny, I love you), Bay Area gossip/news, and Wonkette, did you know there is at least one dog adoption organization that takes MOSTLY PUPPIES, because I had NO IDEA!! Someone should have told me, I would visit it every day. Even the most hideously disfigured rescue animals are 1,000 times more adorable than any “zooborns” photos. But back to the puppies: this place, Cuddly Canines Rescue!, is somewhere in the wilds of Los Angeles, who knows, that place is an enormous sprawl, and they have something like 1 billion puppies and mother dogs and ex-mother dogs in various foster homes awaiting adoption. In the meantime, they are looking cuuuuute on the internet.

Should you take time between convulsions of teeny-tiny nosies and itty-bitty pink tongues and weensy paws and just-opened eyes oh man some of them don’t even have hair yet UGH and read their stories, mostly you’ll get angry; pregnant dogs abandoned in shelters, running in the streets without collars, wandering parking lots; week-old puppies dumped at shelters in cardboard boxes—people are horrible. Please spay and neuter your companion animals of every species.

How did Vegansaurus find out about Cuddly Canines and its zillions of puppies? Jorge Garcia just adopted two wee dogs through them! Look at these little monsters!

PUPPIES PUPPIES I WANT TO EAT THEM. Aren’t they darlings? Of course they are, they are puppies! We live in the U.S., we only see adorable puppies here. These two are called Pip—the weest one in the back—and Smidge, and we could probably call them the luckiest dogs of the month, too. They are so well loved!

You see, pals, dogs of all ages need adopting. There is absolutely no “need” to buy a dog to get a puppy—can we let Jorge Garcia and his pair of earmuffs put that lie to rest? Always, always look for adoptable animals; it’s our responsibility as animal-lovers and animal-rights advocates to encourage everyone we’ve ever met to do this. Maybe instead of just harping about it like shrews, though, we could try harping on about it with PHOTOS OF ADORABLE PUPPIES HOLY MOLY.

When I am ready to quit my crazy single life of dog-sitting and book-reading, I will retire to farm needy babies and puppies, eventually creating a mass of adorability so concentrated residents within 100 miles will have constant smiles.

[puppy photos via Cuddly Canines Rescue! Pip and Smidge photos via Further Dispatches]


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