Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
Big week, so buckle up!
First, the Sunday New York Times had a cover feature about the meat industry’s efforts to ban investigations by HSUS and fellow animal protection groups. It even included a full-color HSUS photo of a crated pig on A1 of the paper. As well, the NYT editorial board condemned the industry’s effort, noting “the ag-gag laws guarantee one thing for certain: increased distrust of American farmers.”
(Another interesting NYT story)
Speaking of pigs, remember last year’s major HSUS investigation into a then-Tyson supplier gestation crate confinement facility? Well, we announced this week that several of the people caught on the video were convicted of criminal animal cruelty.
Finally, I did a half-hour segment on Miami’s NPR affiliate this week about the need to reduce per capita rates of meat consumption.
Have a great weekend!
P.S. Video of the week
P.P.S. Live in Mass? Hope to see you Sunday!
Why are tens of thousands of pigs dying in China? »
NPR investigates, but fails to find out why 18,000 pigs died during January and February in the Zhejiang village of Zhulin, or why nearly 3,000 dead pigs were found in the Huangpu River last week. The Huangpu supplies Shanghai with drinking water.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post quoted Zhejiang villagers saying farmers dumped pigs in the river because there were too many for government disposal areas. In addition, villagers said some farmers may have dumped pigs because of a crackdown on selling diseased pigs for human consumption.
Pork is the most popular meat in China. Half the world’s pigs live there, as The Salt has previously reported. China’s state media reported this week that 46 people have been jailed in Zhejiang for selling diseased pigs. Last year, police in the province confiscated about 11 tons of meat from sick pigs, according to the state-run China Daily.
The only things we know for sure is that those pigs lived terrible lives, and that they didn’t deserve whatever awful death came to them. Better check the sources of all your pork products, omnivores.
[Photo by Wolfgang Staudt via Flickr]
Animals Asia sanctuary stays in Vietnam! »
Last year Animals Asia’s $2 million, 29-acre Rescue Center in Tam Dao National Park was threatened with eviction by the Vietnamese government. But they worked it out, and can stay! “Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has concluded that the rescue center’s operation should be maintained, and that construction on the project’s second phase should continue,” said Communications Manager Maya Gottfried.
This is wonderful news not only for the 104 resident bears, but the 77 human employees of the center, as well as the tens of thousands bears being held and milked for their bile in China and Vietnam. Thanks, Vietnam! And thanks to Animals Asia for tireless work on behalf of the bears.
[Photos via Animals Asia]
Animal News You Can Use! »
Paul Shapiro weekly dose of all things animals! Yes!
Especially the week after Thanksgiving, it’s good to remind ourselves of the undeniable fact: demand for meat continues to fall in the US. Check out my friend Harish’s latest post on the topic.
In that vein, here’s a cool piece about the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (in NYC) working with HSUS to implement Meatless Mondays.
And in that vein, Temple Grandin has some advice for US pork producers still defending their immobilization of pigs in tiny cages. She argues in this interview: “For example, look at sow-gestation stalls. So many companies have stopped using them, and others are moving away from it, but you have those people out there who are still defending it. It’s going away, it needs to go away, let it go away.”
Video of the week: Caught on tape—breaking undercover video clandestinely shot just yesterday of my felines.
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s weekly dose of all things animals! Yes!
Pork Magazine editorialized this week about what a “tough year” HSUS created in the US with its “laser focus on pork production.” Pork’s editor concludes: “Now, HSUS won’t go away; in fact it has gained strength. It has the formula down and will replicate its strategies within the pork sector as well as across the agriculture sector.”
Related: Metz Culinary Management is the latest major pork buyer to demand that its pork suppliers end their use of gestation crates…
On the other side of the world, Forbes has a sobering yet hopeful look at the challenges the animal movement faces in China and how Humane Society International is working to move the ball forward there. This interview is really worth the read.
Finally, check out this interesting new article on how the rise in demand for vegetarian food is largely coming from meat-eaters who are reducing the number of animals they’re eating.
Six years ago this week, Arizona voters made their state the first in the US to ban veal crates, and second to ban gestation crates. And four years ago this week, Californians banned both of those practices, as well as cramped cages for laying hens. Congratulations and happy anniversary to the thousands of awesome animal advocates who labored so tirelessly on those campaigns!
Video of the week: Ever feel like someone else is freeloading off your hard work? This cat may feel the same!
Americans eating feces-filled fish! Yum yum! »
Love to eat dead water animals? Well, enjoy some pig and geese shit with your tasty tilapia carcass! YUM YUM.
Yep, Americans are consuming insane amounts of dead fish that were raised on feces in China (where, according to Bloomberg, 27 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from). Check it out:
At Chen Qiang’s tilapia farm in Yangjiang city in China’s Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, Chen feeds fish partly with feces from hundreds of pigs and geese. That practice is dangerous for American consumers, says Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety. ‘The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella,’ says Doyle, who has studied foodborne diseases in China.
On a sweltering, overcast day in August, the smell of excrement is overpowering. After seeing dead fish on the surface, Chen, 45, wades barefoot into his murky pond to open a pipe that adds fresh water from a nearby canal. Exporters buy his fish to sell to U.S. companies.
So, not only are your dead fish being fed shit, they’re actually being raised in it, too. Well, the ones who even survive the ordeal and make it into your shitty dinner. Pro tip for home cooks: just douse with extra fresh lemon juice to cover up that shit stank! Oh, and maybe get a tetanus shot? And also, a barf bag?
And it’s not just fish! Shrimp, one of the absolute worst things you can eat if you give a shit about the environment or AMAZING SEA TURTLES (Indonesian shrimp trawlers kill 26 pounds of sea creatures for every 1 pound of shrimp they collect! ONE POUND. Please read Eating Animals for more fun facts like this!) is feeling the funk, too. It all starts at Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Trading & Processing Export Enterprise in Vietnam (8 percent of the shrimp Americans eat comes from Vietnam), where dead shrimps are stored in water that’s deemed “not safe for drinking” and “workers stand on a dirty floor sorting shrimp one hot September day. There’s trash on the floor, and flies crawl over baskets of processed shrimp stacked in an unchilled room in Ca Mau.”
Seriously, someone get me to Long John Silver’s for a basket of deep-fried salmonella STAT! USA! USA!
[H/t to genius news juggernaut Eve Batey for the awesome/awful link!]
Professor Paws presents Responsible Dog Ownership! »
These children, who live in Guangzhou, China, are learning “how to make friends, with Professor Duoduo.” If I knew better, I would identify Professor Duoduo for you, but I like to imagine s/he is not one of the adult women pictured, but the shaggy dog standing between them. More canine tenure!
Responsible Dog Ownership was put on in June by Guangzhou Public Security Bureau got together with Animals Asia’s Professor Paws, which is “a school-based dog education program designed to show that dogs are friends” that started in Hong Kong in 2004 and opened in Guangzhou in 2008. The PSB attended some Professor Paws courses, and suggested that the group put on a community-wide event, to educate adults as well as kids. “Promoting responsible dog care could reduce conflict between dog owners and non-dog owners, especially in Guangzhou where the number of dogs being kept by residents is increasing every year.”
Animals Asia says that the event went really well, though they didn’t provide specific information on attendance. The pictures make it look pretty charming, however.
Everyone learns to love dogs! Hooray!
[photos courtesy Animals Asia]
A giant panda cub gets silly for the camera at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China! What a goof! Why are pandas so damn cute?! I think it’s all the eye makeup. It’d be garish on anyone else—but not on you, silly!
Photo by Mitsuaki Iwago/Minden/Solent via The Telegraph
Two panda cubs having a wrestle! HuffPo brings news that the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in partnership with explore.org has set up two live panda-cams, starring four panda toddlers who live at the center.
Watching little pandas play is good for what ails you. Bad day at work? The pandas are eating bamboo! Fight with a loved one? Pandas wrestling! Lonely? Four panda cubs are napping in a big fuzzy heap!
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! (on Thursday!) »
Now that I’m back to work I am much calmer. What Allen and his family would put up with because they still have some warm feelings left towards me will not fly with people at the office. I’m still knitting like I’m about to drop a litter of little Marks but at least I’ve stopped waiting for Allen in the dark, only to dramatically switch on the light and shake the ice in my glass as he enters, effectively giving him heart palpitations. I didn’t want to, but Allen said that it was either him or my imitation of Glenn Close on Damages (not especially close: I don’t own any crisp ladies’ suits, so I sit around in an African-print muumuu), and I want to keep this relationship going because Allen knows how to cook.
If I started questioning anyone again, however, I would start with a dog that likes guitar so much that he stops smiling when the guitar is not being played. Clearly the dog is on something, I would say intimidatingly, as I leaned over a desk to show off my middle-aged lady cleavage, and I am going to find out what it is is. And then, I would say slowly but impeccably enunciated, I am going to destroy you. I will take everything away from you. Everything.
My next case involves an assault. “Where’s the victim?” you might ask me, “it just looks like a confused bird.” That is my case. Why was my client being videotaped? Why was he being harrassed? More importantly, what kind of sick and twisted individual would get a bird drunk and then stick a decoy in front of him? Who would leak this to the press? (Amazing twist: I did it. The guitar-loving dog’s supplier had this video of one of my clients and was going to release it if I didn’t drop my suit, so I beat her to the punch and released it myself, making my client appear sympathetic).
Here’s one I don’t even have to make up dramatic plot twists for: A Chinese man was poisoned to death while eating cat stew. I can’t even say anything, you guys. Apparently people are eating cat stew now? And apparently other people are poisoning the stew for some kind of weird government thing? But also, rich people are eating cat stew? The guy who did the poisoning has been caught and I wonder what jail is like for poisoners. Are there levels? Do you get treated better or worse depending on the medium you used for your poison? Where does cat stew fall? I kind of hope that there is an animal-rights activist in jail with him. And that they meet. And that there is a reality show filmed about their encounters and also that the poisoner learns that it is wrong to both poison soup in order to kill a rival but also just as wrong to turn a cat into soup.
That’s it for this week. Please send me links for next week and have a court-free week. However, if you have to appear in court this week, please do so; my sentiment should not be taken as an instruction. Pay your debt to society and leave my name out of it.
Final note: for some reason your emails were going through a time hole and appearing in my AOL inbox, which I checked regularly in high school but no longer use. I have no idea how this happened but I am not ignoring you (I swear) and will use links everyone sent me this year (the ones AOL hasn’t deleted) next week. Promise.