Sometimes it’s almost our birthdays and we feel unaccomplished and sad; sometimes there are kiwi shortages, and robots milk cows: it’s this week’s link-o-rama! »
Ein Geburtstagskuchen! Really, any cake is a birthday cake if you deem it so. This is vegan Schwarzwälderkirschtorte—lecker! [photo by benjamin_lebsanft]
Tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 20, Dolores Park Works will hold a Dolores Park Clean-up! Your Vegansaurus wholeheartedly endorses this endeavor, what with loving Dolores Park so terribly, terribly much, and we owe it to our neighborhood to go! Meet at the Dolores Park Works-branded toolbox behind the tennis courts at 18th and Dolores Streets at 10 a.m. tomorrow; DPW will provide all the equipment, and work is scheduled until 2 p.m.
There’s an international kiwi crisis brewing as the trees are being clobbered by a nasty bacteria called PSA. “International” because Italy actually produces more kiwifruits than New Zealand, annually. The U.S. and Russia, among others, are looking at meagre winter harvests, so countries that import most of their staples can expect those prices to increase between 11 and 20 percent next year. Because poor countries don’t have enough problems! In China, the government has begun distributing food subsidies in the form of money and actual comestibles, as food prices there went up 10 percent in ONE MONTH, and inflation grows faster than people’s incomes. UGH.
Meanwhile we are still the luckiest jerks: California is full of awesome farmers markets, and we’ve got Local Harvest, which helps you determine not just your nearest awesome farmers markets, but where all the food sold there came from. The USDA keeps a national list of farmers markets, too. If you can take advantage of this, DO IT. You owe it to everyone who eats food with a massive carbon footprint because that’s the only food they can get. We’re so well off, there’s no excuse not to be selective about our groceries. You eat vegan, local, organic food, and know that in that part of your life you really are doing your best. No brags, no smugs, just dedication to the right thing. Well OK, maybe we in the U.S. aren’t the best-best off: Grist hosts two solid debates on the Food Safety Modernization Act that, in part reveal that our current standards are depressingly low. Um, so maybe you’d like a recipe for spiced sweet potatoes? Possibly the most depressingly recounted recipe ever written in English?
Our pal Justine Quart, interviewer of vegan burlesque queens, has written a fantastic article in the SFAppeal on the problem of shark fin soup in San Francisco and how it’s being addressed. Goodness it is an EXCELLENT article, you really must read it. A horrible human being has been strangling seagulls with beer cans since at least Nov. 3. Thank goodness, Wild Rescues saved one gull this week! Here’s a small good thing: the California Beer and Beverage Distributors doubled the bounty for the fuckface bird-torturer. If you need to indulge in a little vicarious revenge, Netflix is streaming Whale Wars season three. Just imagine you are steering the boat, only it’s your fist, and it’s going right into the bird-strangler’s throat. When you open your eyes again, you have committed zero violent acts, just as it should be.
Hooray, it’s the Week in Vegan, by our own Laura! Unfortunately she made a small error regarding my number-one dream husband Vincent Kartheiser, as the public transportation-lover/car-despising vegan around here is me. Whoops! Lely: the dairy maintenance company of the future? Because robotics? Your Vegansaurus finds all this suspicious and a little creepy. Really, the cows are actually happy? REALLY? Perhaps in this same future we’ll all be wearing nutria-skin hats—nutria, the ethical fur! HA. Or, OK this isn’t so strange: Eric Hanson has drawn a sort of “geography of Thanksgiving,” with illustrations based on the most popular Google recipe searches measured on the day before Thanksgiving. Kentucky’s is “broccoli casserole,” which could be gross, or delicious, depending. Crossing our fingers for delicious, Kentucky!
East Bay Vegan Bakesale! Plus sexy pandas, peek-a-boo owls, and your big fat pets in this week’s (abbreviated) link-o-rama! »
Hello, tiny owl! This is Sam Adams, a resident of the Pennsylvania Audubon Society Center bird sanctuary, who really wants to be in pictures. So much so that he hogged this nice couples’ wedding photo, but that is all right with us because marriage is patriarchal nonsense, while saving owls is wonderful and right. [photo by Hoffer Photography/Rex Features]
No Worries Filipino Vegetarian Cuisine will hold its grand opening celebration tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 30 from 4 to 9 p.m. You can enjoy a special chef’s menu and live music, and an Oakland city official will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. You know Vegansaurus loves No Worries, and we expect this chef’s menu to be extra-tasty. See you at 1442 Franklin Street (at 15th Street) in Oakland!
Hey Boston-area readers! Friend of Vegansaurus, vegan, and ridiculously talented writer Kevin Fanning is participating in a reading as part of Arts at the Armory in Somerville, Mass., on Monday, Nov. 1. You should go! It is like 15 minutes from Boston, no excuses. Buy a chapbook while you’re there, tell them Vegansaurus sent you.
Have you dreamed of growing your own shiitake mushrooms? You are in luck, San Francisco: the Studio for Urban Projects in conjunction with 18 Reasons presents a one-day workshop on exactly that! Led by Maria Finn, the workshop will take place on Monday, Nov. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Studio for Urban Projects at 3579 17th St. at Dolores. The registration fee is $45 per person, which also includes all the materials you’ll need to “inoculate and care for your own shiitake log.” Further information, including registration, here.
Friday, Nov. 5 is Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day. We’ll give you a more detailed post next week, but mark this on your calendars now: the Northern California protest is set for 3 p.m. that day at the Consulate General of Japan, at 50 Fremont St. in San Francisco. For now, read the official WWAWD site for more information.
Good news, panda-lovers: All of 19 little pandas were born in captivity this year as of last week, the most since 18 in 2006. Chinese scientists credit their success in part to the panda porn program, which shows dumb young male pandas what they’re supposed to be doing with the female pandas—you have no time for adorable, chaste snuggling, pandas. Get to business or die trying, as it were.
Animals who maybe could use a little less human intervention: your cats and dogs, which are all as MORBIDLY OBESE as ALL ENGLISH-SPEAKING WHITE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, and the Medicare won’t pay for canine-sized Hoverounds, so stop feeding them from your dang plates. Seriously. If you really can’t resist giving your little puppykins treats, toss ‘em some vegetables while you’re chopping them up for your dinner. The dogs I live with eat everything except raw garlic and leafy greens; they love raw onion and every other piece of produce they’ve tried. It’s a win-win! Winston loves bananas, and look how healthy and happy he is! Or at least healthy.
Finally, mark another entry in the Annals of Self-Promotion: Laura’s “Week in Vegan” column debuts in the SF Weekly today! She’s great, go read it!
From the place past depressed we believe is called “giving up,” it’s your weekend events, and some links that aren’t too upsetting! »
[Adélie penguins at Half Moon Bay, Antarctica, via Google Street View]
Events and activities for you
Obviously you’ll be at VegFest XI sometime this weekend, but we’ve got a separate preview for that. Have you read it? Go read it.
Meanwhile on Saturday, MickaCoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue will hold a Feather Their Nests! fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m., which includes a silent auction, vegan snacks, and wine! Suggested donation is $20; see the invitation for location, directions, and details.
LGBT Compassion will protest the sale of live chickens and eggs at Heart of the City Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. The group will meet, as always, near the poultry vendor (who has a big trailer covered with blue tarps) in the northeast corner of the market, near the water fountains. More information available online.
A new SwapSF returns on Saturday, Oct. 16, which seems like forever away, but considering how popular and fun this event is, you should consider buying a $6 ticket now. What is SwapSF? What are you, new?
You might also want to register now for one of Animal Place’s chicken care classes. The next one will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Sacramento SPCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will cost $10 per person, which includes lunch.
A little light reading
How about some recipes! This one, for pickled green tomatoes, is already vegan. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the spicy pickled crunch has a singular appeal. This is an easily veganizable recipe for panade from Tartine Bread, a book which I would most definitely like to own, oh yes. And these recipes from Project Just Desserts guest chef Janet Hudson for pumpkin moonshine and pumpkin moonshine cupcakes, are out of control. If the heat hasn’t put our hopes of pumpkins off until November, we are buying one this weekend and making our own bathtub pumpkgin (y/n?).
A pair of Australian scientists postulate that, based on historical record, up to one third of mammals considered extinct may still be living, and if we look hard enough, we’ll find them again. You guys I am holding out SO HARD for the ridiculous, peaceful flightless birds (despite their not being mammals, whatever) of New Zealand, you have no idea how sweet and innocent they were. Speaking of animal-crazy people, four of good ol’ Butterstick’s biggest fans recently spent a week volunteering at his new home at the Conservation Center in Sichuan Province. These ladies went to China exclusively to clean panda cages and feed pandas, which allowed them to touch ol’ Butterstick for the first time. It’s nuts, but it’s an adorable nuts, right?
Today in self-promotion, our raw food reporter Sarah E. Brown writes about spiritually motivated vegans; VegNews discusses vegan zines, like our pals Soyfucker and Susie Cagle, and naturally our own Laura and Jonas; and Laura tells the story of Dino Bike in The Bold Italic. And if you have the Cute Overload 2010 calendar, you may note that the photo for today, Friday Oct. 1, is of this dog with whom Meave presently lives. She calls him Bosie (as in Lord Alfred Douglas) and finds him incorrigible.
Is that the pungent odor of bitter disgust mixed with maniacal enthusiasm? Why yes, it’s this week’s link-o-rama! »
What ho, young Philip! When Your Vegansaurus leads with a bunny photo, it means there’s an adoption event this weekend, and this one is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at George in Berkeley! Harvest Home Sanctuary and House Rabbit Society buns will be waiting for you in the Fourth Street Shopping Center at 1824 Fourth St.—big buns and little buns, baby buns and grown-up buns, ready for you to meet and befriend and take home to love forever and ever. Wee Philip here, along with his mum and littermates were dumped outside a pet store. Wouldn’t you love to end his nightmare by taking him and a sibling home? Look at his little paws, they are chocolate-dipped!
And what else is happening this weekend, Vegansaurus?
How about dinner and a movie tonight? As in, Friday, Sept. 17! OK it’s not original, but the details are: attend a screening of Bicycle Bride by local filmmaker Hassan Zee at Maharani Restaurant, and eat your heart’s (NOT stomach’s; heart’s. stomach lies; heart encourages) content at a massive vegan buffet! Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the film screens at 7:15. Tickets cost $25, which is a good deal for ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAN FOOD, plus a movie! Maharani is at 1122 Post St., between Van Ness and Polk Streets.
Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday are action days for anti-circus leafleting in Stockton! This is organized by Humanity Through Education, who direct you here for details. Leafleting and protesting will take place at the Stockton Arena, at 248 Fremont St., at 5:30 this evening, 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, and 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. Contact Pat Cuviello with questions and/or to RSVP.
If you missed the previous two discussions about “Preparing Yourself and Your Animal Companion for a Disaster,” the SFPL will present one more on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Glen Park Branch, at 2825 Diamond St. The discussion will be held by a panel of experts from the SF Disaster Preparedness Coalition for Animals. Your Vegansaurus is fine with your blasé attitude toward earthquake preparedness, but if you have companion animals, you owe it to them to be ready.
Also on Weds., Sept. 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Excelsior branch, check out the documentary Dark Water Rising: Survival Stories of Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues. The Excelsior Branch is located at 2200 Mission St. at Cotter Street.
Vegansaurus, I need something to read!
Peter Singer reminds pescatarians of the massive cost of catching their dinners, in particular that “is no humane slaughter requirement for wild fish caught and killed at sea.” Of course Rick Moonen, who prides himself in serving “sustainable” fish at his restaurant in Las Vegas, is staunchly against the GMO salmon. On this single, solitary, lone point, Your Vegansaurus and Rick Moonen find agreement—this shit is fucked up. Now stop acting like serving fish is at all sustainable in any environment, Moonen, and work on developing gourment mock-fish. Then you’ll be a real ocean warrior. Oh, and do tell us how you stand on tuna?
People are so good at killing animals these days! Last week, caretakers in Kyoto, Japan, somehow caused the death of Xin Xin the panda during an attempt to collect his sperm, which they were going to use to artificially inseminate his partner Tan Tan. Chinese panda experts are investigating. Poor Xin Xin was on loan (like a vase!) from China, and per the agreement, Japan apparently owes $500,000 for his death. Goodnight, sweet prince; may heaven be a nonstop party. In Honker Bay, Calif., a contractor working for Chevron drained a 700-acre “duck pond,” and whoops, the 1,500 fish living there had no water and DIED. Sorry, fish! Chevron totally had all the right permits and everything! Well, Professional Lab and Research Services, Inc., of North Carolina won’t be torturing or murdering any animals for the foreseeable future, thanks to…Peta. Sometimes old uncle Peta stops embarrassing us and does something awesome, like shut down a horrible, abusive lab that was testing ANIMAL CARE PRODUCTS.
Adorable-drawing break! Check out Tiny Pets, the sweetest little Tumblr you ever saw! The concept is super-simple: the artist draws a little portrait of your pet! This one of Josie is noteworthy first because of her little rescued-on date—everyone loves a rescue cat!—and second because it’s reminiscent of a classic “mom” tattoo. Buy a pet portrait from Tiny Pets, whose own cat came from BARC in Brooklyn! Or at least check out the archives to see every singular pet portrait, they really are wonderful.
Now, back to the unhappiness: LGBT Compassion reports that they have identified the factory farms that supply the birds being sold at Heart of the City Farmers Market, one of which is Gemperle Farms, which used to supply Trader Joe’s with eggs until they were exposed as extreme hen torturers. For more information on this breaking news, please contact LGBT Compassion. For more information on why Colonel Sanders should be as big an icon as George Washington or Jesus or something, please read Josh Ozersky’s ridiculous column. Or not, as it may induce violent rage and you don’t want to hit the first innocent person you see. Read this nice story about poor chickens who were being “hoarded”—like pillows or toenail clippings, but actual LIVING CREATURES—but have since been rescued and now live at our beloved Animal Place.
Hey guys, don’t worry about the egg recall, or any food recalls, really: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the worst citizens of our beloved country, isn’t! He’s going to stop the food-safety bill from passing, all by his lonesome, for no specific reason! Our theory: he hates you! He wants people to die from food-borne illnesses! Then there will be fewer people to vote against him in his next election! Unfortunately for Evil Tom Coburn, the longer the horrorshow of “meat production” remains a media talking point, the less meat people actually eat. So unless nightmarish conditions on factory farms allow E. coli or Salmonella to infiltrate our precious fruits and vegetables again, his plan to kill people through food defeats itself! Very slowly! Evil Tom Coburn: secretly loves irony. What we need to do is get in on this science-magic from China that grows vegetables without sunlight or soil—that will save us from runoff and soil erosion and pesticides and Evil Tom Coburn’s plan to force us to eat animal poop. Help us, China! Help us all afford produce untainted by bacteria and devils!
Happy stories time? How about a video of a three-month-old orphaned otter learning to swim in a bathtub? Right? Little Garaint is being rehabbed at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Highbridge, Somerset; part of that involves socialization, and instead of meeting lots of people (bad!), Garaint is making friends with Mollie the Labrador retriever puppy, and another baby otter called Snuffles. SNUFFLES THE BABY OTTER. OK, now laugh and cry with this slideshow from Pup My Ride, a program by Best Friends Animal Society that takes dogs from shelters and puppy mills to “local rescue partners with highly successful adoption programs.” More weeping, you say? How about the story of The Old Lady Pigeons’ Retirement Home, which should be adapted into a mystery-solving series ASAPly. It is the sweetest story that may also cause you to cry, because life is so hard and ugly and lovely.
One of us is all of us: Morrissey’s racism and our reputation »
Being part of a (self-selected) minority really makes you aware of your image outside of your group. When one of you says or does something brilliant, everyone gets to feel proud of that individual’s achievement; when someone pulls a ridiculous stunt (hello, Peta!), you’re left embarrassed and angry—it’s not just that individual’s or organization’s shame, it’s the whole group’s. Such is the way of the world, forever and ever.
So when we read things like this interview with animal-rights hero Morrissey, in which he decries the use of Canadian brown bear fur to make Beefeaters’ hats and awful treatment of animals in China, we’re happy that he keeps to his longtime message of humane treatment of animals. Unfortunately, he disappoints us, going on to disparage apparently all Chinese people ever because of “the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare,” and whoops, there goes his reputation and credibility. That’s our icon!
Of course this is a gross and stupid thing to say, and we’re sorry that Morrissey thinks that way. Plenty of us have relatives that hold racist beliefs without event understanding that those things they are saying are racist, which isn’t to defend Morrissey; we’ve heard ugly things from people we love before—we’ve said ugly, ignorant things before learning otherwise. We hope that he’ll learn better as well, and apologize and mean it, because here’s the thing: we can’t apologize for him. We can’t apologize for all the idiotic, borderline-misogynist stuff Peta does, no matter how much the public seems to expect us to, and we certainly can’t take responsibility for the personal views of one man, even if he is one of the most famous members of our little group. There’s no VeganList they post to so we can all approve of their plans beforehand.
Morrissey, we appreciate your work on behalf of animal rights. You were the inspiration to a lot of people who stopped eating animals, and your shitty racism must really hurt them, your hardcore fans. In the future, you absolutely must stop being such an asshole. If you’re going to remain a racist—which you should grow out of, lots of people your age learned differently, you know—keep it to yourself. Not everything you say is a brilliant pearl of “truth” or “wisdom.” Stick to advocating for the worldwide humane treatment of animals, exclusively, and the animal-rights community will support you.
If you persist in sullying our reputation with your nasty talk, however, we’re going to have to denounce you. The world judges us by our celebrities and spokespeople, and those people cannot hold baldly racist beliefs. Good luck making amends; we’ll be here when you’re ready to fight animal abuse without the pointless racism.
Lax food safety standards make veganism a safer choice »
"Food safety" is totally conceptual, right? Like "equal rights for all humans," everyone’s all for it in theory, but in practice it just…isn’t.
The forced labor camps in Iowa where all the Salmonella-eggs came from had “pits beneath laying houses where chicken manure was piled four to eight feet high” and “hens that had escaped from laying cages [were] tracking through the manure.” Not to mention the “meat and bone meal” chicken feed tested positive for Salmonella AND was kept in bins full of holes! Want to feel worse? Read all the stories on Chow’s list of the terrible history of the DeCoster farms.
Or, OK, leave off the half-million recalled eggs; maybe they were some kind of huge outlier. An FDA inspector hadn’t seen the inside of one of those chicken-prisons in at least six years, anyway. How’s the meat industry doing? Very poorly, is the answer! They’ve fought every change to every regulation, claiming that they follow all the rules and new ones are unnecessary. Now a super-rare strain of E. coli has appeared in ground beef from Cargill, but the American Meat Institute says that they’re so busy working on preventative measures, which would be blown all to pieces if the Dept. of Agriculture dared to list this new scary E. coli as an illegal substance in ground beef. Even though it has already make people sick, and forced a recall of 8,500 pounds of Cargill ground beef—no no, it’s not THAT bad! Shut up and listen to the nice executives, FDA.
And if you don’t eat meat: how about some honey from China? It’s full of delicious antibiotics! Not that China has time to worry about one company’s scam; it discovered that 402 tons of imported dairy products—99.8 percent of total dairy imports!—were full of Enterobacter sakazakii, plus “excessive amount of nitrites, zinc and total bacterial count.” Wait, E. sakazakii has “historically high case fatality in infants,” up to 80 percent, and the aforementioned “dairy products” were POWDERED MILK FORMULA? That people FEED THEIR INFANTS? Way to go, every country involved in this disgusting scandal, which include Australia, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, the U.S., and of course China: you are all reprehensible. [news links via Tom Scocca]
Of course it’s safer—and more humane, but duh—not to eat animal products, but for how much longer? If we don’t change our methods of food production, the world is fucked. The animal-borne bacteria will get into our produce because giant farms aren’t careful with their runoff, and we’ll all perish of some kind of horrible E. coli/Salmonella hybrid. Good luck out there, everyone.
Cute picture of the day! I saw this picture on Telegraph.co.uk and thought I’d share because it’s totally adorbs. According to WWF, the giant panda is one of the world’s most threatened animals. This panda is at The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. I can’t tell how legit this place is. They’re not a zoo and they are focused on giant panda conservation. Back in the day, they “rescued” 6 pandas from the wild but they say they are proud to have not taken a panda from the wild in 20 years. That’s pretty good. Ultimately they want to introduce more giant pandas into the wild so that’s pretty good. They also seem to be very considerate about the size of panda enclosures—they look totally huge.
They have one line I kind of like: “Humans, as the most intelligent species on the planet, have the duty to protect the giant panda, the environment, and ultimately ourselves.” I don’t know if we’re really the most intelligent species* but I do think we’re the biggest threat to animals and this idea that we have a duty to protect them is right up my alley. This is how I feel when people accuse me of caring more about animals than people. It’s not that I care more about animals, it’s that I think we have an obligation to protect animals since we are the main threat to them. Kids and animals, we have to protect them from us since they can’t do it themselves. At least that’s my opinion on the matter!
Back to pandas! Why are they so cute? Is it because they wear so much makeup? Genius idea!: we should all dress like pandas! Like, everyday! You go first.
*”species” is a total joke, btw! It barely means anything. That’s my word.
Monkey saves puppy? Monkey saves puppy! »
I saw this picture and had to share it! It’s a damn MONKEY holding a PUPPY! Can you handle it? It’s actually a downer as the monkey is said to be saving the puppy from the terrible pipeline explosion that just happened in Nanjing, China. Several people died and a ton of people were injured. But the monkey saved the puppy!
Do we have any readers in China? I can’t get any info on this besides the picture. What’s the deal with this monkey? What’s he wearing? It’s either some sort of contraption to keep him captive or he’s totally into S&M.
There’s not even that much info online about the accident at all but according to Time.com, this is one of a growing number of industrial accidents in China. This is especially interesting because I didn’t know Time still existed. Time also has pictures of a recent oil spill in China, though not a single one addresses any animals that may have been affected.
Moral of the story: monkey saves puppy!
UPDATE! There’s evidence that the picture is from 2008? WTF? NowPublic.com is lying to me! Why does everyone lie to me?! Well there was a pipeline explosion and there was an oil spill but as far as monkeys saving puppies, the jury is out.
New moral of the story: WTF and can anyone shed light on this?