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.


Fascist jerky landlords can suck it! (and no, this isn’t about Ike’s Place)  »

Just saw this good news from the LA Times!:

State legislation that would make it illegal for landlords in California to require animal declawing or devocalization as a condition of tenancy passed in the Assembly on a 63-7 vote Thursday…

AB 2743 also would forbid landlords from giving preferential treatment to tenants with declawed or devocalized animals and from advertising in a way designed to discourage applicants whose animals have not been declawed or devocalized.

Yay! Go kitties, shred the carpet, shred the carpet, go kitties! And puppies, your vocal cords will soon be safe!

This seems like maybe it’ll be hard to enforce but still, a very positive step! I HATE the idea of devocalizing dogs. It’s completely crazy. Someone actually suggested I do this to my dog Figaro. I’m serious! I mean, the boy does seem to be 75 percent lung power—he’s loud as all getup. But I’m always like, he talks way less than I do! And everybody LOVES me. But can you imagine? If you couldn’t talk? Barking is just how a dog expresses her or himself; if they can’t bark, how are they supposed to tell you when Mitsy is breaking into your brand-new bag of pita? I ask you!

And declawing—don’t get me started! Did you know declawing is pretty rare outside of North America? BECAUSE IT’S INHUMANE AND CRAZY! It’s illegal in many countries and I swear it’s the same countries where capital punishment is illegal. I’m not saying causation but I think there’s totally a correlation. Countries advanced enough to recognize the death penalty as cruel and inhumane are also advanced enough to recognize the need to protect those who can’t protect themselves—like poor lil’ kitties. It’s like that Gandhi quote, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” DUH EVERYBODY.

In other animal cruelty news, here’s Figaro in his latest photo shoot!:

(It’s cruelty because I’m making him read Nathanial West. But I’m like, put down the Cosmo and get some damn culture, Figaro!)


Feral cat controversy, jerks in Missouri, junk in your wine, and MORE in today’s link-o-rama!  »

[image from Lucia Oberste of Zoomie’s Pet Care]

Fun-times vegan-style events!
OK there’s only one this week, and it’s not even 100 percent vegan, but one is better than zero, right? Right! So: Tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 3 from 5 to 11 p.m. in the Laskie Street parking lot (off Mission Street, between 8th and 9th Streets) in San Francisco you can attend the first Underground Street Food event! The website is a garish nightmare and requires you to subscribe to a mailing list for details, but it might be worth checking out.

Items of social and political import!
It seems like supperclubs in New York are having as much fun and success as they are in San Francisco. Although we are sure none holds a candle to our beloved friends at Brassica.

Ellen, the Humane Society, Halo products and are sponsoring Stamps to the Rescue campaign, selling first-class stamps with images of adopted shelter animals, and donating 1 million meals to animal shelters.

Salon has a neat little slideshow of five of the “least green” “green foods” campaigns, including those from Sara Lee, Fiji water, McDonald’s, Monsanto, and Syngenta.

So what’s the deal with zoophilia? Is it a legitimate sexual orientation? Can it ever be acceptable behavior?

NATO has decided that hey, we are not as tragically underfunded and pathetic as U.S. public schools, we do not need Pizza Huts, Burger Kings, or Dairy Queens on our bases in Afghanistan any more; our canteens serve the same food, anyway.

Remember the horror that was the Paula Deen dinner party? James Brady Ryan of Pop Torture took it a step further and served only Sandra Lee “semi-homemade” dishes. Yes, it actually does end in vomiting.

Actually homemade: Vegetarian Times has four vegan cheese recipes! I’m making the goat cheese as soon as I get my hands on some cashews—review to come.

Apparently fresh produce carts are not as popular in New York City as the mayor had hoped, or at least not in the areas he would like them to be set up.

Geraldine Baum would like you to know that she buys and wears fur because she’s cold, and because her Russian grandmother said it was a very important status symbol, SO THERE.

There’s a feral cat colony in Daly City that needs feeding a few times a week—please contact Nadine May for more information.

Oh awesome, New Jersey: let’s reclassify feral cats as “exotic” animals so instead of following a successful trap, neuter, release program, we can just try to shoot them to death!

Even more awesome: Brenda Shoss of Kinship Circle organized an email petition of Missouri state legislators, asking them to vote against opening a horse slaughterhouse—currently illegal in the U.S.—and in return many representatives harrassed her.

It’s hard out there for an omni-locavore; “there are a lot of people out there who raise great animals for us to use, and they don’t have the opportunity to get them to us because the slaughterhouses are going away.”

Paul Shapiro of the HSUS is working on a campaign in Ohio for Nov. 2010 similar to California’s 2008 Prop. 2. There’s also a little interview with him in the Mar. 22 issue of Restaurant News.

Even Josh Ozersky, the coolest eating-est dude who ever ate a cool thing, advocates giving up bluefin tuna, lest the species be eaten to extinction.

Watch out for 2008 pinot noirs from the Anderson Valley; winemakers have been using isinglass, “milk byproducts,” and egg whites to alter the extra-smoky flavors left by the wildfires during that year’s grape-growing season.

Should mainstream food writers “disclose” their food preferences, specifically their vegetarianism? The Accidental Hedonist says no.

Pescetarians can ease their consciences with a new U.S.-based “Which Fish to Eat?” guide from GOOD. Hooray.

And eaters of pigs can feel better knowing their pork suppers won’t be made from pigs who cannot walk or stand on their own anymore, or at least not in California.

Why won’t the U.S. government pay for more Plumpy’nut? It’s super-successful, it’s cheap, and it’s vegetarian. What is Plumpy’nut? Basically, magic.

Daz and Chip, two best-friend otters who lived in Nelson, New Zealand, died within an hour of each other this week.

Late addition video to cheer you up! Clever bunny Pallina makes the bed and opens a jar! (link from Cute Overload)


It’s a boy!  »

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!

[Images from Safari West website and this Sonoma county real estate blog]


Op-Ed: California should have an animal abuser registry  »

Presenting another op-ed, this time from guest contributor Kaya Coleman! The views expressed in this op-ed do not necessarily represent those of Vegansaurus as a whole, but we’re happy to give her the space to express her opinions. If you would like to write an op-ed for Vegansaurus, please contact Laura.

Cheyenne Cherry is a perfect example of why California should register people convicted of animal cruelty like they do sex offenders.

When trashing her former roommate’s apartment, Cheyenne Cherry stuck the girl’s cat, Tiger Lily, in a 500-degree oven, and left it there to die. She’s calling the act “a joke.” The horrifying idea that someone purposely trapped a cat in a hot oven, ignoring her crying and scratching at the oven door, is truly frightening. Cherry shows no remorse for her actions—she even taunted the animal rights activists who held signs like “Justice for Tiger Lily” outside the courtroom at her trial, sticking her tongue out and shouting “It’s dead, bitch!”

Cherry was sentenced to two years in jail, and she can’t own a pet for three years. But really, is that enough? Research shows that there is a strong correlation between animal abuse and other crimes, including rape, robbery, murder, sexual homicide, and domestic abuse.

Not surprisingly, this isn’t Cherry’s first offense. Last year, she took a Yorkshire terrier using a BB gun, and robbed a man of his iPod at gunpoint.

It’s amazing the monstrosities people are capable of when it comes to animals. How far removed is roasting a cat from roasting a turkey? What’s the difference, besides the way society views one animal as a pet and the other as food? Cheyenne Cherry did something cruel and outrageous enough to land in the news, but people do nearly the same thing every night when they prepare dinner. Where do we draw the line? And what about the connection between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans? History tells us it’s close—disturbingly close.

Thankfully, Cheyenne Cherry won’t be lurking near your local animal shelter any time soon; still, it’s scary that people like her exist. An online registry, like California’s sex offender registry would not only enable people to know whether animal abusers are living in their neighborhood, but also act as a resource for shelters adopting out pets, and help law enforcement track people like Cherry: people who abuse animals, run dog-fighting rings, hoard and neglect animals—who often relocate to flee punishment — so that they can be caught and convicted.

Thanks to Kayla Coleman for this guest post! Kayla is a freelance artist and writer in the Bay Area. When she’s not baking vegan goods or spoiling her pets, she is working on her up and coming blog, Babe in Soy Land — look for it!


Pigs in your blankets, our jerk governor, stopping animal-torture porn, chocolates good and bad, and hottt vegan action in this week’s HUGE-ASS link-o-rama!  »

Hey North Bay, busy on Monday, Sept. 21? There’s a sign-making party in Petaluma for World Farmed Animals Day (coming up!) that you could attend. Contact Kate Danaher for further information—location, supplies needed, etc.— and be ready for action from 6 to 9 p.m.

Win an ice cream party with Coconut Bliss ice cream! You guys this stuff is AMAZING, the cappuccino flavor is the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Enter the contest, invite Vegansaurus, have the NIGHT of your LIFE.

California passed Prop. 2 in November, totally awesome! Going further, the state legislature recently passed a bill banning tail-docking in the dairy industry—just the kind of action we hoped the vote would spur. UNFORTUNATELY, our meathead (hilarious!!!) governor still has not signed that bill into law. All kinds of good-looking and/or famous people support it; join them, California residents, and tell that overtanned insanator to end the needless suffering of dairy cows already.

Farm Sanctuary’s newsletter, incidentally, is attractive and informative; if you need more email, this is something worth reading.

SF Appeal ran a great piece about how to get vegan options into restaurants, and it includes an interview with Laura so what’s not to love? No, really. SAY IT TO MY FACE. Signed, Laura.

You know who’s awesome? No, besides Laura: our pal Amit Gupta! His brand-spanking*-new book, Photojojo, is in the top 10 in its Amazon category! He is the most Super Amit we know!

What’s wrong with the world: Torture porn is back! Or, “back,” because, what in the HELL? Help HSUS remind Congress that filming the cruel deaths of animals for people’s sexual gratification is FUCKED UP BEYOND BELIEF and should be banned forever, no question. Honestly, what kind of freakshow wouldn’t ban this?

Ezra Klein, Vegansaurus’ honorary little brother, is extremely concerned by all the antibiotics in your animals—a full 70 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. are used in “food animal production,” which is dooming meat-eaters to death by super-bacteria, like, tomorrow. Whoops, guys.

Who wants to make a pink dinosaur these magical-looking Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles? The new PPK cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, is nearly here!

Meat chocolate. With salami aftertaste. On purpose. Gag.

An employee of a Brazilian McDonald’s sued the company, using Super Size Me as evidence to prove that eating the devil’s own food-type products daily for two years had deleterious effects on his health. Ooh, someone sued McDonald’s, thrilling—except, he didn’t introduce the film until his appeal, which he won. Fuck yeah, little guy.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to a “shots fired” call in May, and found the victim to be an itty bitty pit bull puppy with multiple gunshot wounds! They named him Remy, and thanks to their efforts he is better, but not fully recovered. Oakland Animal Shelter is asking for donations to cover the costs of the many surgeries poor little Remy has had and will need. If everyone who entered our contests donated $5, it’d be really helpful. You cannot deny the puppy in a cast.

Did you know that Vegansaurus (OK, Meave) loves the opera? SFMike of Civic Center blog says that opening night is a terrible time to go, but Leah Garchik reports a bright spot: While “[f]ewer than 10 dinner guests had RSVP’d pledges of allegiance to broccoli; at dinner, 170 declared themselves veggies.” It appears as if the upper echelons of San Francisco society have decided eating veg is in (again?), to which we say, lay off the fur and we can be BFFs, you beautiful lunatics. brings us news from Harvard, specifically that The Crimson editorial board supports campus-wide “Meatless Mondays” and demands more and better vegetarian dishes in the dining halls. You smartypants overprivileged Muppet Babies have your hearts in the right place; demand and ye shall receive! (that’s how it works for you guys, right?)

Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma traced what happened to the body parts of a specific commercially raised pig and discovered a lot more than packaged meat. As savvy Vegansaurus readers will already know, that single pig wound up in 185 items. SO GROSS. The best/worst part is all of the non-food items the pig is used in automobile paint, cigarette filters, chewing gum and best of all, BULLETS. It’s extremely frustrating being vegan in a world like this.

Several Football stars are going (mostly) vegan. I mean, bros who play football are like, the very definition of manly, right? I mean they beat each other up and grab crotches all day long and these ones (the manliest of all!) happen to sit down to organic, vegan meals. How delightful! Is taken?

Ooh, Vegan Month of Food 2009 is coming! How will we top last year’s? It is a mystery only TIME WILL TELL!!

The Babycakes ladies are crazy, right? Probably! But we can certainly appreciate** their love of frosting.

*yow! The link-o-rama is racy today! all making painful jokes with single-entendres and using words like “racy.” The heat is getting to us!
the only difference between this scenario and Saturdays at Vegansaurus HQ is that our frosting, ahem, “escapades” involve swimsuits and aprons instead of matching onesies. yow!


Californians: Call your senator TODAY and say NO to AB 979! It’s SUPER WHACK!  »

Born Free has the details, but basically AB 979 has the potential to invalidate numerous city and county ordinances that protect consumers and wildlife by giving the state Fish and Game Commission total control over them. For example, AB 979 could repeal ordinances that ban the use of Conibear traps after dogs or cats were maimed or killed; limit the use of bows and arrows in developed areas; and restrict fishing in certain areas; and repeal local laws prohibiting the killing of songbirds. It’s a really bad idea SO CALL RIGHT NOW!

Don’t know who your senator is? It’s okay.


Arnold is lame; Arizona is awesome  »

It is better living for animals in Arizona, thanks to SB 1115. The governor signed the bill yesterday, which passed 28 to 1 in the Arizona state Senate, and 53 to 1 in its House. Impressive!

The legislation addresses mostly dog and horse issues. More broadly, it “prohibit[s] the intentional, staged fighting of any species of animal.” Did you know that people make different kinds of animals fight each other? Fucking sickening. But! no longer in Arizona!

Compare this to California Governor Fuckface, who cannot deal with the fact that people concern themselves with animal welfare. Oh how I hate that man.


The folks behind The Meatrix just made “Uncaged,” this pretty awesome YES on Prop. 2 video, definitely worth checking out! And if you live in California, remember to vote YES on Prop. 2 if you have a heart, soul or conscience!

[via HumaneCalifornia]

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