Animal Place went and did some awesome shit again, rescuing these cute-ass calves from slaughter and putting up pictures of their cuteness for us to love on. Look at this ridiculous baby drinking milk because milk is for calves, not stupid humans! You drink that milk, you Cute Stuff McGee!
Because you love cows and they are the most beautiful, amazing creatures and you want to support their welfare, throw a little of your hard-earned dollar dollar bills at the good people of Animal Place. They’re doing the work a lot of us can’t but wish we could so hey, if you’ve got some extra dinero, buy me a cake. When you’re done with that, spend the rest on these awesome calves. BABY COWS I LOVE YOU.
Top 10 links of the week: a hoverboard adventure through veganism! »
Guess what! Ecorazzi tells us that fewer dogs and cats are being euthanized in the United States! Holler! Go spay and neuter programs, get your progress on!
The Humane Society is having an event in D.C. next weekend! You should go!
Remember that awful pig farm video? It got Safeway and some others to stop buying pigs from that supplier! One down, a zillion to go.
On July 28, Animal Planet is going to show a Gulf Oil Spill special! Let’s watch it and get depressed. Stone cold bummer.
"Grizzly Bear In Yellowstone National Park Was Just Protecting Cubs, Say Park Rangers." Yay park rangers! Huffpo has the story.
Fish are totally eating a shit-ton of plastic. What can we do? What do you do to reduce your plastic usage? I need help.
Over at Grist, read about “The Most Important Fish in the Sea" and how Virginia is a jerk.
Chick-Fil-A says it’s cow appreciation day? And that means we should eat chicken? Hardy har har!
The Telegraph has some super-funny animal pictures by photographer Joanne Williams! See monkey below.
I love Mercy for Animals. I volunteered to table for them once while I was living in Chicago. Man, it’s great having bros get in your face about WHY and HOW could you possibly be vegan?! Not to mention being told you “aren’t getting enough protein.” To which I would reply, “Do I LOOK sickly? Do I LOOK malnourished?” The answers were always “no.” Though you cannot see me right now, let me tell you, I am neither of those things.
But this post is about something else entirely! I know with all the videos about the mistreatment of pigs, elephants, cows and monkey-dog rodeos as of late, your weepy eyes and broken hearts CANNOT TAKE MUCH MORE! So I am presenting to you, on behalf of Mercy for Animals, a video about rescued calves! These calves apparently cost only $10 each, as they were of no economic value to E6 Cattle Company in Hart, Texas. We can all buy calves to rescue!**
These four survivors, now known as Roy, Ari, Mercy and Bob, are in recovery, loved and cared for at The Gentle Barn Sanctuary in Santa Clarita, Calif.
*It’s also great tabling for a non-profit vegan company you love, standing up for animals and showing the world what a healthy, happy vegan looks like!
**Totally illegal unless you have a farm, right? ‘Cause I do I a very nice backyard.
Four dead in Japan thanks to E. coli »
Super shitty news out of Japan: Four people are dead and at least 56 are sick—after eating raw beef at a popular chain barbecue restaurant in Tonami in Toyama Prefecture. Totally fucking awful.
What’s really scary about this (besides EVERYTHING) is that we’re discovering more and more variations of E. coli that are super crazy dangerous. Before there was just O157:H7 to worry about, and now there are at least six more types of E. coli. Shudder. I’m telling you, we’re gonna see more and more horrific stuff like this happening.
In extra-super-disturbing news, many of these E. coli variations aren’t even looked for in labs, so there’s a chance that even the most stringently tested dead cow (that’s like 1 percent anyway) is gonna be teaming with all sorts of delicious E. coli that nobody ever even looked for. Hide your kids, hide your wife. Or you know, stop eating that (literal) shit because it ain’t safe.
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
You guys, I was wrong about only my pride being hurt in my fall down the stairs the other week. Turns out my body lulled me into a false sense of security with this whole “you only twisted your ankle” bit, and then threw me a curveball by taking my back out again. Honestly, I do not know how long I am going to survive, considering how often I’m falling down stairs, having my feet run over by shopping carts, and laying around watching Pawn Stars in an ibuprofen haze (600 mg! Holla!). Actually, the last part is pretty OK, considering that I could be doing much worse TV-wise. I’ve also been swearing a lot more now that scientific studies are telling me that it has a numbing effect and am enjoying flashing the webpages that informed me of this at Allen every time that he informs me that referring to things as “goddamn dinner, fuckers!” instead of saying “I’m hungry” is “not very nice.”
Speaking of Allen, we had our third anniversary last week. Trust me, no one is more surprised that he hasn’t yet murdered me and left me at the bottom of a lake somewhere than me. Instead, he actually bought me a new pair of professional shoes (sensible!) and took me out to dinner at Millennium (delicious!). I hadn’t eaten at Millennium since about 2005 because I am a bigger fan of shiny electronics than food, but goddamn (stop telling me not to swear, mom! It’s numbing my pain!), you guys, it was amazing, and I have the least refined palate in history! The best part of the dinner (besides spending time with my sweet babboo), was our server, Elizabeth, with whom I share an allergy to Codeine, and the table behind us that was made up of four middle-aged men talking about show tunes and bitchy out-of-town guests. I cannot tell you how much I wanted to turn around and screech “OH MY GOD! I ALSO LOVE THAT RECORDING OF FOLLIES!” at them, but making sure that I was not the only one having a good time really sobered me up. God, I hate being in a stable and responsible relationship.
Here’s something else that sobered me up: The comments that I got two weeks ago that suggested that the cow in the “jumping cow” video may have not been unhappy. I have to admit, my first thought was also “man, this video is cute” but changed to “WTF!” the second I saw the riding crop. I see a lot of these kinds of videos, though, and so I thought that this week we could all play a game: Cute, or OFFENSIVE and WRONG.
Our subject is the now-infamous baby-penguin-getting-tickled video. This video is adorable because the penguin seems fairly happy wandering around being cute, but here are my questions: Is it okay to tickle a baby penguin? And does the fact that this penguin is at a zoo cancel out any cuteness inherent to the act of a penguin freaking out by the affection they are receiving? On one hand, sure, penguins need love, but on the other, I see the tag on the penguin’s wing. Seriously? We couldn’t not tag and cage a penguin? Is it really necessary to do that for our amusement? Because here’s my issue: There is no reason for zoos other than to show us animals for amusement at the cost of the animals’ freedom. Therefore, is looking at these cute videos and hoping for more of them morally and/or ethically wrong? I honestly don’t have an answer for that and would love to gear your thoughts. NOW BACK TO THE OUTRAGE!
You know what I’m outraged about today? Butchering. It’s not enough that we have to deal with this whole “happy meat” and “humanely raised and butchered animals” myth (pro-tip: If an animal is butchered for food, it is not humane and they are not happy), but now there is this whole new “woe is me, the Bay Area only has one humane slaughterhouse left. Seriously? Animals are getting killed and your one concern is that we can’t “eat local”? You know what we can eat local? Fruits and vegetable and grains! We can make some delicious food out of that!
I guarantee that if you choose to click on the link and read the article, you will be sure that you are reading something from The Onion. What really does it for me is the fond memories that people have of slaughtering animals. You know what I have fond memories of? Going to Disneyland! Who in their right mind not only has fond memories of a hog-slaughter, but then decides to actually talk about it to the press? That is not even a thing! Just a quick reminder: Kissing your boyfriend on Space Mountain is a fond memory that you can tell your grandchildren about. Watching a hog defecate as its throat is slit, pumping geysers of blood into the air, should never be considered a fond memory.*
You know what, though? You don’t even need to have fond memories about butchering when you can take part at a Butcher Party. What continues to be wrong with people? Who decided that this was a good idea? The article mentions that one of the events featured a real gallows where dead animals hung by their necks and manipulated goat heads greeted the patrons! Delightful! Who needs a garden party or a barbecue when you can rent out a butcher to show you how to best desecrate a corpse! Way to go, humanity! Each week I think we can’t get any lower and each week you say “You know, Mark, there’s this thing on the internet…”
That’s it for this week! Send me links for next week and have a butcher-free Wednesday!
*Yes, this image is taken directly from Carrie.
Get ready to cry forever: graphic footage captured at E6 Cattle Co. in Texas »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
Welcome to the dairy industry. This video was filmed over two weeks in March by Mercy for Animals at E6 Cattle Co., a dairy cattle ranch that raises calves for dairy production. The end of the video says “Go vegetarian” but that’s not going to help a dairy calf much, will it?
From Dairyherd.com,* “‘The actions in this video do not reflect the practices of the thousands of hard-working dairy farm families across the U.S. who care for their animals every day,’ the [Dairy Management Inc.] statement said. ‘Dairy farmers and their employees take this responsibility very seriously. Texas’ dairy farmers, as well as dairy farmers across the country, are as outraged by this video as the public.’”
Because that’s where we get our milk from, thousands of good old-fashioned dairy farm families. NOT.
From KCBD-TV** in Lubbock, Texas, “The owner of E6 Cattle Company issued a statement saying, ‘I take full responsibility for what happened in the video. I am embarrassed and disappointed. The four men in the video have been fired. This is not what we do at the ranch and it will never happen again.’”
"Embarrassed and disappointed" are not really the first words that come to my mind; more like "horrified and disgusted." But this guy is disappointed. I’m sure before he fired the four men, he made them clap erasers in the back of the classroom.
What these four men did is appalling, but making them take the brunt of the blame irritates me. A company that is in charge of the life and death of living beings should be able to supervise and manage their own house. Know what I’m saying? But instead of cleaning up the industry, I’m thinking Texas might be the next state in line to ban undercover videos. It’s especially repulsive because this systemic abuse is revealed again and again, and it’s always blamed on rogue employees. Dude, you can’t put people in a factory farm or a slaughterhouse and not expect them to become a shell of a human being. Yes, I blame the workers who did this, but mainly I blame everyone who sits down to a tall cold glass of
misery-mucus milk every morning. It’s the human demand for the milk of another animal (gross!) that leads to this kind of behavior—every asshole with their bowl of morning cereal is directly responsible for the gross abuse you see in that video. It’d be less gross to milk your dog and just drink that shiz. 1) PUKE and 2) You know it’s true!
For a little chaser, so we all don’t go crazy and start chopping heads, let’s watch the story of Billy, a little calf who was rescued from a similar fate by a very caring average Joe:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
*My new favorite news authority
**My new second favorite news authority
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! (on Thursday!) »
I finished a complete draft of my thesis! I was up until midnight writing a conclusion and while I cannot say it is the best conclusion I have ever written, at least it didn’t end with “in conclusion,” so that’s something. I was celebrating all day today! Then I fell down a flight of stairs. I fall down flights of stairs fairly regularly, so I’ve learned to skid on my knees and protect my abdomen, but this time was just a bruise to my ego and slight ankle injury, as I missed a step on the narrow staircase at work and tumbled into the waiting room like some kind of medieval jester doing tricks for all assembled. In order to show everyone cackling that I was OK, I bravely picked myself up and limped over to my mailbox to see if I had any mail. Unfortunately, there was nothing in my mailbox so not only was I embarrassed about falling down a flight of stairs, then I was doubly humiliated when everyone realized that I had fallen down a flight of stairs while excitedly on my way to check my empty mailbox. High-fives all around.
So I’m elevating my ankle, being embarrassed and feeling particularly vulnerable, when Allen decides that he was so excited to have contributed last week that he is going to send me another link this week. I was talking to him and he said, “Oh, I saw another thing you might want to write about. I’ll send it to you.”
“Cool!” I said. “Maybe I’ll use it!”
"What do you mean, ‘maybe’?"
"Well I have a lot of things to write about. There are like a bunch of links I have to get through, but if yours is good, I’ll consider using it."
“You are desperate for links, Mark; you ask for them every week!”
"Listen, don’t give me your attitude. You got a taste of the big time and now you want to be featured every week? I made you a star! I can make you or break you!"
“Mark, I am a computer engineer. You do not have a job. I sent you links to be nice, but that’s okay, I don’t have to do that if you’re so selective.” And then Allen went to work and I fell back asleep until 11:30 a.m. When I woke up, I decided that he was right and I was going to use his link, which is about a girl with a jumping cow.
[can’t see the video? watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
What is wrong with you, European cow-riding girl? At first, I was going to think that this was a little bit cute, because when I imagine a girl riding a cow, I imagine a toddler not so much riding as much as hugging a cow; then I saw that this was a full-grown girl with a fucking crop forcing a cow to jump hurdles? I was hoping that the cow looked at least a little happy, but you know what? It doesn’t! Surprise! Cows don’t like to jump hurdles! Why do we go through this every month? Why do people see an animal and not think, “Man, that cow looks so happy just grazing there, perhaps I will leave it alone,” but instead decide that the best thing to do with that animal is to saddle it up and then beat it into jumping over shit? Is it something in the water? Am I just missing some insane “do weird shit to animals” gene? I mean I certainly used to try to dress my hamster up and put my bunny in a sweater, but I never tried to make them jump hurdles or walk a tightrope (although, let’s be honest here, if we could do it without any cruelty, a hamster in a cowboy outfit walking a tightrope would be fucking adorable).
So let’s do this girl one better: What’s worse than riding a cow, crop in hand? Perhaps it is torturing a squirrel in front of children (WARNING! The accompanying video is emotionally distressing):
[can’t see the video? watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
I don’t even know. Apparently the squirrel may have been rabid (the rabidness of the squirrel is pure speculation, as it doesn’t seem to be going at anyone and seems like a small, subdued blob), but that is not the question here. Here is the question I have: Why was a police officer called for a squirrel? Follow-up: Why did he taser/pepper-spray (it is not clear) the squirrel if it was far from the children? Was there a more humane way to treat the squirrel, even if it was rabid, instead of torturing it in front of children that were begging him, by name, to leave the animal alone? Answer: Probably yes! How do you sleep at night, Mesquite, Texas police office? And more importantly, have you been reprimanded? Let’s hope you were fired, actually. Any person who would willingly and calmly torture a baby animal is probably not someone we want patrolling the streets.
Two Ducks have decided to stage a sit-in protest at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in New Jersey. The official reason may be that the ducks were living in plants that have recently been landscaped, but I’d like the real reason to be ducks protesting the fact that their feathered friends are being eaten by the thousands right next door! That is some bad-ass duck business. In a stunning display of cognitive dissonance, the restaurant employees have been feeding and leaving water for the ducks while continuing to serve delicious dead chickens only several feet away. Delightful!
That’s it for this week. Send me links (and sympathy for my twisted ankle!) for next week and have a safe, non-falling-down-stairs rest of the week!
This is an adorable video of the Animal Place cows moving pastures. As Animal Place’s Marji Beach explains, “All we have to do is call, ‘Come on cows,’ and they come running. Cows were not made to sprint, so it’s endlessly entertaining to watch.” So cute!
I especially love the part at the end with older guy Howie who’s all, “I ain’t running for nobody! Shit!”
Top 10 links of the week! »
RIP Knut. Knut the polar bear died this week and it’s very sad. But don’t worry! He’s going to be stuffed and mounted! Vegetarian Star has the details.
New York is crazy for veggie burgers! The New York Times is totally in love with veggie burgers this week. I’m like, way to be late to the party! But welcome all the same.
Laura busts heads. If you didn’t read our Laura’s response to that lame Ecosalon piece, read Luara’s response to that lame Ecosalon piece.
Laura plays nice. AOL City’s Best interviewed our own Laura! She’s blowing up. I’m not the least bit jealous—her coattails suit me just fine! You go, girl.
Tsunami dolphin saved. There have been some bittersweet animals stories coming out of Japan, not the least of which is the rescue of a little baby dolphin in a rice field. There is a picture on the other end of this link, boy is there a picture.
Breast milk from cows. Um, in China, they are totally creating cows that produce human milk. I’m sure they are treating the cows really great too. People seem grossed out but how is it any grosser than drinking regular cow milk? I ask you. Both come out of cow nipples.
Saber-toothed vegetarian? Everyone is so excited about this new discovery: a saber-toothed vegetarian monster! (Monster is the scientific term).
More oil, more problems. Nightingale island, home to half the world’s population of northern rockhopper penguins, is covered in oil. People are working to save the cute, funny-haired penguins but there is a lack of supplies and help on the remote island. This is a bummer. I don’t think I’m getting a joke out of this.
Get ready for kitten season! Kitten season is just around the corner and Paw Nation has ten really great tips on caring for your new bundle of indifference.
New York City murders geese. New York is set to kill more Canada geese, see what you can do to help stop them!
Your government hates you: recalls and “hot” milk! »
Do NOT eat packaged leafy greens if you live, like, anywhere on the East Coast right now; some listeria got into Massachusetts’ State Garden’s manufacturing plant and wowza, there are so many brands that could sicken you, it’s scary!
More ground beef is out to get you, too: nearly 8,000 pounds of “Fully Cooked Black Angus Ground Beef Steak Patties” are also lousy with listeria; thanks, United Food Group, LLC (UFG) of Vernon, Calif.! Oh man, it gets better: These “patties” were produced on Oct. 11 last year, an inspection discovered they were all listeria-ful, and UFG shipped them anyway! Whoops!
Listeria is the choice for food-poisoning right now, it seems; almost 500 boxes of “Wheat Free, Gluten Free Mac and No Cheese” and “Wheat Free, Gluten Free French Bread Pizza” from Ian’s may be contaminated with the little buggers right now! When food safety standards are lax—and I mean, farm-to-shopping-cart safety standards—everyone suffers, even the Celiacs and the vegans.
The standards are super-lax, too: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so little power to regulate anything, the only reason every one of us eating food in the U.S. hasn’t been poisoned by it yet is absolute luck. Used-up dairy cows are sold to slaughter for human consumption without being subjected to the same tests your standard food-cows are, and these cows are full of antibiotics, like, illegally full of them, tee hee! The dairy industry, however, refuses to “allow” any further testing of any of the milk or milk products, and as the FDA is about as strong as A VERY WEAK THING, it can’t make the producers submit to these tests. HA HA HA your milk is full of substances that will kill you!
Of course the FDA gets to test your milk, and annually “only a small number of truckloads are found to be ‘hot milk,’ containing trace amounts of antibiotics.” Then that milk is “destroyed”—whatever “destroyed” means, it’s not like pouring it down the proverbial drain disappears the antibiotics from the world—and all the milk-drinkers can breathe easy. Except that the dairy farmers are actually injecting their cows with oodles of drugs the FDA doesn’t test for! Because the law doesn’t require it! Because dairy industry lobbyists use their massive amounts of cash to “convince” our elected officials to eat a cheese sandwich and keep mum!
But, you know, drink your milk or you won’t grow up big and strong/lose all the calcium in your skeleton/fade away from dairy product deprivation. You can just die of a minor infection because the bacteria were resistant to every antibiotic known to modern medicine, you’ll just do it super-full of cheese. Definitely a good trade-off. The vegans will just suffer the fever and chills of listeria poisoning, no big deal.