Over 1,000 new species discovered in New Guinea; all threatened by deforestation »
The World Wildlife Fund has released a new study and holy cannoli!: “Final Frontier: Newly Discovered species of New Guinea (1998-2008) [pdf] shows that 218 new kinds of plants, 43 reptiles and 12 mammals, including a unique snub-fin dolphin, 580 invertebrates, 134 amphibians, 2 birds and 71 fish, among them an extremely rare 2.5m long river shark, have been found on the tropical island over a 10-year period.” I believe the word you are looking for is DANG.
First of all, a river shark? I didn’t know that was a thing! I wish I still didn’t! Man, I’m never going in a river again. I already have alligator nightmares. Now this. And don’t get me started on Hippos. I said don’t get me started! Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a river. I’ve done lakes but the rivers where I come from are more like science experiments from a Simpsons Halloween episode than somewhere you would swim.
The species I’m really excited about are these new dolphins! They’re totes pink! Well, pale pink. Well, look for yourself:
Look at that smile! That’s a “snub nose” he’s sporting. So adorbs.
But guys, you can’t just go finding a zillion new species every day; New Guinea is pretty special. Scientists found new species at two a week during those 10 years, and apparently that is out of control unheard of and prob not something that will ever happen again. And check this out: “The island covers less than 0.5 percent of the Earth’s landmass but shelters 6 to 8 percent of the world’s species.” I believe that is also DANG-worthy.
It’s not all fun and finding new species up in New Guinea, though: their environment is in major danger. Thus far, New Guinea’s forests have been pretty lucky—don’t get me wrong, they’ve been significantly effed, just not as much as the rest of the world. It’s like only one-quarter of their forests are destroyed, versus one half. But deforestation is picking up as people clear the rainforest to make more palm oil—I told you that shiz was the devil! Logging is also to blame for a lot of the clearing. But they got other problems too; oddly enough, climate change is causing trouble! That wacky climate change, seems like it’s everywhere. And it’s not just the forests that are threatened, freshwater and marine life are getting screwed from the aforementioned issues as well as mining, which has dumped a lot of pollution into the water. Nature can’t catch a break.
There are reasons to be hopeful, however. Many companies are trying to get certified as Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). So let’s keep an eye out for that! I’ll look into it more. Additionally, they have cool “schemes” (they keep saying schemes, that sounds malicious to me!) like this: “Opportunities exist through schemes that offer payment for environmental services. The crucial role of natural forests in the carbon cycle and the world’s climate is generally recognised, and planning is well advanced for schemes such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, which pays developing countries for the carbon they store in their natural forests.” That’s pretty cool, because I don’t think it’s that fair to just be like, “we already destroyed the rest of the world’s environment, so now you can’t destroy yours!” The entire world benefits from a group of people not using their natural resources; maybe the entire world should kick in a little change.
Think of it like this: What if New Guinea had a crazy machine that makes carbon dioxide disappear and what if we could collect all the carbon dioxide we produce and ship it over there to be disposed of for a fee? We would pay them for this service, would we not? We totally would. But since this process happens naturally, New Guinea gets no credit. Let’s pretend the rainforest is a crazy machine! Let’s pay them to keep it running! Sounds good? Sounds good. Pink dolphins for everyone!
[Varanus macraei photo by Lutz Olbegonner; Orcaella heinsohni by Guido J. Parra via WWF]
Top 10 Links of the Week!: A gay pride march through veganism! »
[This is ridic. BTs rule. Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
The Fourth of July is upon us! Paw Nation has 10 Tips to Prevent Pet Firework Fears. BTW: This episode of Top 10 Links of the Week is brought to you by the number 10! And the letter AWESOME.
WTF. Teenage male dolphins totally beat up porpoises! For fun! Or because of sexual frustration, says one scientist. I know I should have more jokes about this but Grist pretty much hit them all. Hilarisad.
On the ad beat again! Fearless Revolution, blog of ad darling Alex Bogusky, is backing Meatless Monday! Now if only I could get my agency to do it. Or at least just my table! I brought them vegan donuts this past Monday and everything, what more do they want?!
Top 10 Things you Need to Know About the Farm Bill. Food subsidies are bullshit!
Check out Laura’s Week in Vegan! Leave her a comment! She loves attention!
Aspen goes Meatless! For Mondays, at least. Everything I know about Aspen comes from Aspen Extreme.
My discussion topic of the week!: This Dish is Veg has the story on a proposed Dutch ban on killing unstunned animals. Jewish and Muslim communities are saying this violates their religious freedoms. What do you think about navigating these religious waters when it comes to animals rights? I feel like it’s one of the hardest issues because it’s not like, oh, meat is yummy, it’s like a cultural sensitivity thing. Nobody wants to be ethnocentric but, at the same time, fuck you guys for hurting animals! Also, does stunned mean electrocuted? Because that sounds painful too.
Top 10 Smartest Animals! Number eight? Pigeons! My beloved!
Top Five Animals Going Extinct Because Some Guy Can’t Get it Up. Hilarious downer from Grist! But Grist, today’s episode was brought to you by the number 10, not five. Get it right next time.
Unhealthy Vegans have the story on LA Vegan Beerfest! Lots ‘o pictures! Including this super awesome one:
What do you think? Best vegan tattoo you’ve seen? Seen better?
Top 10 links of the week: an extravagant dance through veganism! »
[Hilarious picture my grandpa sent me, from his friend: “People living in Colorado Springs wondered why their rainwater barrel was almost empty every day. They set up a couple of cameras and look what they caught on film”]
I meant to post this a while ago: an interview with the lovely Leanne from Vaute Couture!
FitSugar has a list of five books to help you go vegan. Did your favorite make the list?
I stumbled upon this site, Keep it Wild, that has a great article about what to do instead of going to the zoo. Let’s go do this stuff!
Time's take on this bullshit about banning undercover filming at factory farms.
Did you “like” my Megans United to Save Megan the Lab Chimp page yet? You don’t have to be a Megan. Let’s start a revolution!
Did you see this shit about arsenic in chicken? What. The fuck.
My discussion topic of the week: Did you see this piece in HuffPo about why veganism makes non-vegans so angry? Why do you think they get so angry? I think they are bitter because we are morally superior! In my humble opinion.
This Dish is Veg responded to the HuffPo piece by defending the omnis. What do you think?
WTF. This resort in Singapore captured a bunch of dolphins to entertain guests. It’s super sad. Two have already died. Sign this petition! Because that’s bullshit.
Care2 has an article on butterfly first aid! Did you ever imagine such a thing?!
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!
How smart are animals? Find out tonight on PBS! »
The Nova airing tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 9 (8 p.m. on KQED, or check your local listings!) is all about animal intelligence. Think they’ll address the fact that most apes can probably correctly spell “intelligence” in fewer tries than I just did? WELL WE’LL HAVE TO WATCH AND FIND OUT! I mean, we already know how fucking brilliant and amazing animals are but it’ll probably be pretty interesting and you can watch it with meat mouths and afterwards, when they’re all, “WOW ANIMALS BE SMART DER DEE DER?!,” show them the new Mercy for Animals factory farming video. BAM! Done and done!
You guys. IT IS A BABY DOLPHIN MEETING A PENGUIN. Do you even understand this photo?? My brain can’t…it’s too much. I was planning on administering street justice via random public beatdowns and committing mail fraud until I saw this bullshit. This ridiculously adorable bullshit. Thanks to the multi-talented and extremely prolific Stephen Fry for RUINING MY DAY WITH CUTENESS. Of course, he shares equal blame with Livia because she sent it my way. Bitches.
Humans: selfish, murderous, totally gross »
Hearst Castle (one of the most beautiful places in California!) has zebras on its grounds. They’re descendants of the original zebras that comprised part of ol’ William Randolph’s enormous private zoo during his castle-dwelling years, and they’ve been there for over 80 years.
Occasionally the zebras wander off the 128-acre property, which two did last Wednesday, Jan. 5. Usually, according to current ranch owner Stephen Hearst, when someone finds a zebra somewhere it doesn’t belong, the finder calls him up to fetch them home. These particular zebras must have been of the carnivorous variety, however, because a cattle rancher called David Fiscalini shot both of them about as soon as he noticed them on his land. The zebras “spooked his horses,” you see, which gave him “the right” to just kill them. Even better, after murdering the lost zebras, he took their bodies to a taxidermist and had them skinned and tanned. The taxidermist, naturally, obliged, and now David Fiscalini has himself a lovely zebra-skin rug. Charming!
Humans are seriously the best sentient beings to ever have a thought. In Las Vegas, tiger-collectors Siegfried and Roy have a Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in which visitors can gawk at “white lions, white tigers, panthers, leopards, and [Siegfried and Roy’s] family of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins.” What are all these animals doing in the city of neon lights? Living it up in “serenity,” duh. Dolphins love “extreme temperature changes, from extreme cold (snow flurries) to extreme arid, dry conditions and pollution from a nearby highway.” The constant sound means they’re never bored! And only, what, 13 have died so far, that’s like a baker’s dozen, barely even counts. Especially when you can pay $4,000 plus $125 to throw a party “with” the dolphins and tigers! That’s eminently reasonable, certainly no reason to sign change.org’s petition to get rid of this “exotic, enchanting and wondrous world.” It just sounds so great!
If we’re not doing things, let’s not stop shooting at super-endangered whooping cranes. They might spook the horses! Or look remarkably like chupacabras from far away! Whatever seems best in the moment, you with the gun; you’re the king of the world.
Gossip Girl, dolphin-style: it’s all about who you know! »
After a 20-year study, University of New South Wales biologists conclude that who your mother hangs out with is as important as who your mother is—at least in bottlenose dolphin communities. Who doesn’t love a good nature versus nurture study?! A: FASCISTS!
You can read the full text of the study online but I’m really into the Wired synopsis linked at the top because LESS READING. But yeah, this is all totally new data. These researchers studied 52 female bottlenose dolphins in the eastern gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia. It looks like they chose these dolphins for their nature/nurture study because dolphins have a lot of things in common with us, such as, “Slow life histories characterized by late sexual maturity, long interbirth intervals, and extensive maternal care.” They say dolphins have those things in common with great apes, but that totally includes us and does that not sound familiar? Can’t you imagine those dolphins like totally screening their calls for mom? OMG cut the cord, Flipper!
The conclusion they reach is that “Female calving success depends on both genetic inheritance and social bonds. Moreover, we demonstrate that interactions between social and genetic factors also influence female fitness.” So essentially, DNA does matter but if you got them bad genes, your mom can offset that by hanging with the right crowd. Moreover, dolphins rule and I love them!
Free the Hisaronu dolphins! »
Born Free is currently working to free two dolphins, Tom and Misha, from a tiny pool in Hisaronu, Turkey. They are at some bullshit “park” that is not yet open, as it doesn’t have the proper papers. This picture is Tom being examined by vets; Misha couldn’t be examined at that time but she is favoring one side and they think she has balance problems. Born Free wants them released for rehab immediately. The pool is small and totally polluted—so polluted that the people who entered to catch Tom are now on preventative antibiotics. GROSS!
I HATE WHEN THEY MESS WITH DOLPHINS! I know, I always say this about every animal, but dolphins just seem so sentient, like they’d feel the torture very deeply. Misha and Tom were both taken from the wild in 2006 and arrived in Hisaronu this past June, reportedly in the back of a fruit and vegetable van. Fucking awesome. Way to go guys.
If you’d like to help, sign Born Free’s petition to free Misha and Tom. You can also join their Facebook group which has info on how to help, emails to write, and how to donate. FYI, on the Facebook page, they are calling them the Oludeniz dolphins. Oludeniz and Hisaronu are apparently two resort towns next to each other. I’m like a geographer over here.
[Photo from Born Free website]
Loads of food, loads of swears, vegetarian kids, meat-obsessed men, literal and figurative pigs AND MORE in today’s link-o-rama! »
Volunteers from Harvest Sacramento picked over 1,300 pounds of citrus fruits from trees in Midtown Sacramento last weekend; it all went to the city Food Bank. This included fruit from trees in private homes whose owners weren’t able or willing to pick it themselves. Our state capital is now surely scurvy-free and we couldn’t be prouder. [image via Sacramento Press]
Fun-times vegan-style events!
Super-important news, don’t forget: the very second East Bay Vegan Bakesale happens tomorrow, Saturday Mar. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of Issues (20 Glen Ave. at Piedmont Avenue) in Oakland. Even the SF Bay Guardian is (moderately) excited about it!
Tomorrow is also the fourth annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon, at Fort Mason!
Celebrate the Great American Meat-Out with the San Francisco Vegetarian Society on Sunday, Mar. 21! For a $5 donation you will get hors d’oeuvres, lunch, and attendance at talks by Bob Linden and Dr. Will Tuttle. The event runs from 12:15 to 3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Center, at 1187 Franklin Street at Geary.
It’s Vegan Week at Supperclub SF! This is especially useful if you are into “participating in” your “dining experience,” rather than “ordering and eating it while conversing pleasantly with your companions” and/or are a hippie gourmand(e). We hear the food is quite good, regardless, so now is probably the time to make reservations for Sunday, Mar. 21, or Tuesday through Thursday, Mar. 23-25.
Next Friday, Mar. 26 Lorna Sass, author of Short-Cut Vegan and Cooking Under Pressure, will give pressure-cooker demonstrations: one at the Ferry Market Plaza at 11 a.m., and one at Omnivore Books—3885 Cesar Chavez St. at 26th Street—at 3 p.m.
Items of social and political import!
Animal-abusers often become people-abusers, so state laws regarding convicted animal-abusers are growing stricter and more prevalent. This is progress, yes? At least authorities are learning to remove animals from abusive situations.
You know what kids love? Animals! You know what kids hate? Hurting animals! You know what conclusions that leads kids to (of their own accord!)? Not eating meat! Yes I know, this is probably another non-trend piece, but at least it is a positive trend piece, rather than some douchey 30-year-old who wears exclusively leather accessories and insists that raw meat is the diet of the future.
Vegetarian kids who buy school lunches may get a break soon: Washington (D.C., duh!) gossip has it that our D.Kuch may have traded his “yes” vote on the healthcare reform bill for E.Kuch’s inclusion—meaning, veg options!—in Michelle Obama’s new campaign for healthy childhood eating habits. Believe it? I don’t know. But I do know that we love the Kuciniches and are super-happy to have Elizabeth’s support for this program.
You could learn to make tasty vegan food to serve the Kuciniches—or your family, whomever—at the Secrets of Vegan Baking site, which has instructional videos by Christine Dickson.
Yes I know, Starbucks is terrible and disappointing. But: VEGAN FRAPPUCCINOS, come on! Now we can drink gigantor coffee milkshakes just like everybody else. America, fuck yeah!
Or if maybe you are doing a “make fast food items at home” thing, as that shit is tasty but also totally vile and full of animal parts, try this recipe for a vegan Shamrock Shake. There’s spirulina in it!
The SFBG praises Urban Tavern’s German vegetable stew. They don’t say whether you can get the enormous pretzel without the “beer sausage,” but I sincerely hope so. I lived in Germany for a year, a freshly baked enormous pretzel is fucking delicious, let me tell you.
FYI, corn is fucking food and fuel prices all up, again. In case there was any question of corn being the most insidious sister.
Executives at giant food corporations continue to be stupid assholes! Who’s surprised?
Erykah Badu continues to be a crazy-awesome human! Who’s surprised?
Dan Barber discusses organic farming in an intelligent, coherent manner—until he gets to the “MY veal and foie gras are totally awesome” bit.
Hello St. Andrew Beach Mouse, from Panama City, Florida! It took a lot of patience and skill for photographer Joel Sartore to capture this image, as well as pictures of six other endangered animals. [image via PDN Photo of the Day]
I love My Life Is So Awkward! This week Caroline reported on a cat who had been called for jury duty, and whose human companion, in response, “chose ‘Does Not Speak English’ as the BEST reason why her cat could not serve on a jury.” Better: “The disqualification was denied and now she is hoping it is cleared up before the summons date so she will not have to bring her cat to court. ” DYING.
Don’t worry, you fucking savages, the Muslin Kenyan President isn’t going to take away your “right” to cold murder fish straight out of our national waters. He may ban “puppies, sunshine, and MOST DISTURBINGLY the leopard-print Snuggie,” who even knows anymore.
It looks like dolphins actually sort of hate it when people swim “with” them, and “dolphin tourism” totally freaks them out and makes it impossible for them to live happy porpoisey lives. Best idea: leaving dolphins the fuck alone!
The USDA’s Economic Research Service presents 100 years of American diet trends, including a ton of graphs. Gross-out data include: in 2008, the average American ate 31.4 pounds of cheese. JESUS CHRIST YOU FUCKERS THAT IS SO MUCH CHEESE. That is, like, a three-year-old child of cheese. So, so disgusting.
For fuck’s sake: PETA and
a meat company called “Bullwhip” (which is Google-immune—seriously, you try searching “Bullwhip meat california -peta” and see what happens) are is play-fighting over Sex.com. Really, PETA? Fucking really? Just shoot me in the face, already. [Ed: turns out the “Bullwhip” part is fake! That’d explain why it’s un-Googleable]
There is a World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, and in this year of the Tiger it has officially asked its members to stop prescribing “tiger products,” presumably because tigers are endangered, and consuming their skins and/or bones is totally useless.
Ha ha, remember how the United Nations was considering a proposal banning the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the U.S. supported it? Yesterday the U.N. basically said Fuck Off, fishes, we want our sashimi, rejecting the proposal, which “puts the fate of Atlantic bluefin tuna back in the hands of…the very body that drove the species to the disastrous state it is now in.” Fucking AWESOME, U.N.
Grub Street San Francisco launches its version of its parent blog’s column, the San Francisco Diet, with inaugural diarist Michael Bauer. You guys, Laura would be the perfect contributor! Let Grub Street know: our girl must be featured.
Vegansaurus predictions FOR THE DECADE AND BEYOND. »
Well, not really and beyond but you know, we talk big. And we back that talk up with fists so don’t even play. Now that that’s out of the way.
We’ve compiled a list of things we think will most likely happen in the ten-teens (um, what are these years called exactly? besides depression 2.0?) and now we will share them with you because we’re all generous and good looking and stuff. TA-DA!
WILL MOST LIKELY HAPPEN
King Oprah brings a lot more veggie guests/products/etc. onto her show. He is a benevolent god. We also expect to see many more celebrities “come out” as vegan, as well as lots more veg news from Ellen and Martha. Ladies, we loves you.
Fast food restaurants and national chains are required to offer vegan options on their menu. Let’s say all pizza places are required to have Daiya on hand. A GIRL CAN DREAM I MEAN THIS IS MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN. Actually, we do think it’s likely that the majority of pizza places will be carrying vegan cheese by 2020.
Lab-grown meat replaces all (or most) ground beef and filler meat sold in the USA. (Please see: Chicken McNuggets, hambugers, etc). This will probably happen when it becomes cheaper because all these fuckers care about is money DON’T MATTER THOUGH BECAUSE IT’S A WIN FOR THE ANIMALS!
A standard “vegan” mark appears on food labels, as ubiquitous as the kosher parve mark. We’re already seeing this at Trader Joe’s; luckily it’s turning up on their most delicious products, like Candy Cane Joe Joe’s! Thank you, god!
A public advertising campaign against vegans and vegetarians, like “Got Milk?” but on the “fuck communist grass-grazers” side. It’s OK; this just means we’re really pissing them off. Good.
Cheese Whiz becomes vegan. Not sure if this is a win? Whatevs, we’ll take it!
MIGHT COULD HAPPEN
Oprah comes out as vegetarian! We immediately start going down on her. Actually, the latter is a MOST LIKELY WILL HAPPEN if the former occurs.
We’d love to see KFC go out of business. With it’s focus on fried foods and MSG, this is a serious possibility. We’d love to see colonel effigies burning in the streets across the United States. Or is that too creepy? Whatever.
Factory farms going out of business! Seriously, there is some MAJOR backlash starting and this shit is just gonna keep moving forward. Laws are being passed and people are noticing. This cannot stand. Hasta la pasta, assholes.
Michael Pollan resolves the omnivore’s dilemma by going vegan. This would really help him seem less crazy.
A Rosetta Stone of different animal languages is developed, allowing us to have conversations with dolphins and other species using a special device. OH MAN SO FUCKING AWESOME.
SUPER UNLIKELY BUT IT’S FUN TO DREAM
Oprah comes out as vegan and turns her show into Vegan Oprah and everyone follows suit because we are all sheep for the big O. That is why I am currently wearing jeans that Michael Jordan’s wife made and reading Angela’s Ashes. WHATEVER YOU SAY OH MIGHTY ONE.
Cats and dogs granted status as legal dependents and covered under health insurance. Cat ladies the world over weep, push for legal marriage.
Dr. Dean Ornish is named Surgeon General by President Al Franken in 2017 (or whatever veggie/vegan health person we’re liking this month). Of course, the Kuch has a place in the cabinet; he paved the way after all.
What are your predictions? What did we miss? Are we dead on? Or way crazy? Don’t answer that last one.