Millennium sous chef Jason Dunbar’s memorial fund »
Millennium sous chef Jason Dunbar died unexpectedly while hiking in Yosemite on Friday, May 13. He was only 34 years old, and by all accounts (and there are lots of them), an extremely kind, funny, and awesomely wonderful stand-up dude. I have several friends who are former co-workers of his and all of them speak with such love, it’s awe-inspiring. If I leave behind a 1/20th of that amount of goodwill and affection, I’d be
This news really is the pits, and it’s impossible to say anything remotely not awful about the whole terrible situation, so I’ll just say that if you’ve ever enjoyed a meal at Millennium,* there’s a good chance it was thanks to Jason’s culinary genius, as he and Eric Tucker have been creating the menu together for the past five years. So why not donate in his name to the Access Fund, an organization dedicated to protecting the environment at America’s rock climbing sites. We’re lucky to be able to start our Mondays off right by supporting an extremely worthy cause, in the name of an extremely worthy human being.
Eagle accidentally saves poodle’s life! »
You guys, this is NUTS!
An eagle was flying over that country up there* and was all, “Man, I’m STARVING!” and down below he saw this scraggly, neglected little toy poodle and so the eagle was all, “Imma get me a snack!” and snatches up the dog. So, they’re all flying along (the eagle to a suitable luncheon spot, the poodle to her death) and the eagle was all, “Man, you’re hella heavy! Forget this!” and drops the poor poodle! An aside: As the poodle was falling from the sky, I imagine the eagle screamed after her, “Lose some weight and then we’ll talk, heifer!” Bitch.
Luckily, the poodle landed in front of a nursing home** and they immediately rushed her to the SPCA, where she went into emergency surgery and her life was saved! Hooray! Now, she’s healing and needs an awesome home AND donations to help pay for some dental surgery for her fucked teeth. To be fair, the teeth weren’t the eagle’s fault. Or maybe the eagle was all, “DAYAM YOUR TEETH ARE FUCKED, GIRL! I can’t be seen with this!” and then dropped the dog? Who knows, I am no eagle whisperer.
*Extent of my geographical knowledge. What? I’m a product of the American school system! You’re lucky I know up from down!
**Man, what an awesome nursing home! I bet there aren’t any cases of elder abuse at that place! Since I’m probably not gonna have kids to depend on/forsake me, I want you to dump me in their yard when I can no longer care for myself.*** They’ll know what to do.
***10 years, tops.
Bear Awareness Week: Tell Stephen Colbert to leave bears alone! »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Bears rule! As
self-appointed official senior bear correspondent, it’s my duty to let y’all know about Bear Awareness Week (different from Bear Week). We kick off the week with the ColBEAR Campaign, aimed at stopping Stephen Colbert’s war on bears. Dude’s obsession with bears is all too evident on ThreatDown. He must be trying to keep the fact that he was raised by bears on the DL. Haters gonna hate, but jeez, Stephen, bears face poaching and loss of habitat. If that were happening to me, I’d be a godless killing machine, too. OH WAIT, I ALREADY AM.
Because bears are far more rad than scary, crotchety garden gnome/board of Defenders of Wildlife member Ed Asner (of the Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Cloris Leachman (also of Mary and then of Dancing with the Stars, and I’m sorry I knew that without looking it up) are the faces of this campaign:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Go sign the petition asking Mr. Colbert to designate May 19 as “Better Know a Bear Day” to make up for his hilarious transgressions. Then donate $30 to send Stephen a plush teddy bear, ideally culminating in thousands of them landing on his doorstep at the same time. That won’t be creepy at all.
Vegans on Kickstarter, kick-starting some kick-ass projectss! »
Who wants a new vegan-friendly, employee-owned, veggie restaurant in Grand Rapids, Mich.? How about L.A.’s first vegan dessert truck? Or a vegan food truck in Rhode Island? Duh, you do. Why do bloggers even ask dumb rhetorical questions?
The power is in your hands, grasshopper.
On Kickstarter, people with creative ideas can get other people with dollars to help make the creative ideas happen. The cool thing about it is that the people with dollars don’t have to have very many dollars to help out. Like, one is probably enough.
Here’s how it works: The creative person sets a funding goal and then they have up to 90 days to convince as many (suckers) heroes as possible to donate. It’s like a zillion NPR fund drives are going on simultaneously up in that joint, with thank-you gifts for different contributor levels. Though usually on Kickstarter the thank-you gifts are more relevant to the project at hand than a tote-bag is to public radio. (Am I supposed to use the bag to carry my radio around so that I never miss a second of NPR? Is that what you’re trying to tell me, Terry Gross?)
And the best part is, here are VEGAN projects on Kickstarter. Right this second! Waiting for your vegan dollars and wanting to give you vegan tote-bag-equivalents and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with making something cool happen (and also with lying in a roomful of kittens). (Wait, can someone do a Kickstarter project to start a business that lets you lie in a roomful of kittens? Because I’d totally fund that.)
Here are a few of the projects currently looking for funding:
[Can’t see the videos? Watch them on Vegansaurus.com]
Keep shoes for Japan! »
I got this in an email from Keep today. Pretty cool! “A portion from every sale of our Japanese Thatch collection will be donated to Japanese Disaster Relief efforts.” There’s no more info on their site about it, at least none I can find, so I don’t know the percentage they’re donating or anything but every little bit helps! Plus VEGAN SNEAKERS HOLLER AT ME.
Now if only they had some kind of Haitian thatch shoe! Of course you don’t need to buy vegan shoes to donate money to Haiti, or Japan for that matter, but it would definitely be a bonus! Vegan shoes make everything better. It’s nature’s way!
Save the wolves! Keep them protected! »
This whole budget business is messy as my room. All these goddamn riders! One such rider is the de-listing of wolves as an endangered species in Idaho and Montana. This is utter bullshit and really sad. From Earthjustice via the LA Times: “For the first time in history, Congress is removing a species…from the Endangered Species Act based on political, rather than biological, judgments.” Like I explained last week, wolves are being attacked for eating livestock and competing for “game” with hunters.
I don’t really sympathize with livestock farmers but that’s a better reason than that of the hunters; at least it’s like about their livelihood (as animal abusers). It’s like I’m sorry the wolves are making it more difficult for you guys to hunt but isn’t that part of the point? If you want easy, go to the damn grocery store. De-listing an endangered species so you have an easier time hunting is just depraved thinking and sneaking it into the budget agreement is so slimy.
From Friends of Animals, here’s how you can help:
Listed below are the phone numbers and contact info for the Senate. Please call not only your own senators, but every Senate Democrat as many times as you can. Please also pass this information along to other animal advocates. Wolves need every voice possible.
Capital Switchboard Numbers: give the name of the senator and you will be transferred to their office. You will then either speak to a staff member, or to voice mail on the weekend.
When possible ask to speak to each senator’s environmental aide. This will give you a better chance to get your message across because you will be talking to someone who is familiar with the issue.
The delisting language must be stripped out of the final bill:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224.3542
Toll-free for Nevadans: (866) 736.7343
INDIVIDUAL LIST OF SENATORS:
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.)
Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.)
Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Comments: (202) 456.1111
Switchboard: (202) 456.1414
Another important thing to note is that this isn’t just about wolves: “as [Josh Mogerman, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.] said the rider could mean threats to additional species in the future. ‘There’s a process in place for dealing with these issues in the courts. But by Congress acting, it’s just a completely different animal,’ he said. ‘You look down the [Endangered Species Act], you see critter after critter and plant after plant that are probably inconvenient to special interests all over the country. And what [they] have done is opened the door to removing plants and animals from the ESA by whim, rather than science.’”
[Cartoon by me, photo from Living With Wolves]
Canadian seal slaughter continues to blow »
It’s that time of year again, unfortunately: the Canadian seal hunt will soon be upon us. Hundreds of thousands of seals will be bludgeoned to death. It fucking sucks. From the Humane Society:
The Canadian government will allow the slaughter of 468,200 of harp, grey and hooded seals this year, an increase of 80,000 from 2010.
“The Harper government has declared war on Canada’s seals,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “Stephen Harper is playing regional politics in the lead-up to a federal election at the expense of hundreds of thousands of defenseless baby seals. Harp seals are ice-dependent animals and they are facing the devastating loss of their ice habitat because of climate change. A responsible government would take immediate action to protect this population rather than recklessly encouraging a commercial slaughter.”
The 2011 harp seal quota is the highest set since the Canadian government introduced quota management in 1971. Today’s kill levels meet and exceed those of the 1950s and 1960s, when overhunting reduced the harp seal population by as much as two-thirds.
There’s been some good developments in the boycott: “Twelve of America’s favorite celebrity chefs have joined the Protect Seals boycott of Canadian seafood. Richard Blais, Jennifer Carroll, Carla Hall, Mike Isabella, Jamie Lauren, Antonia Lofaso, Dale Levitski, Angelo Sosa, Dale Talde, Casey Thompson, Fabio Viviani, and Tre Wilcox, all participants on Bravo’s Top Chef All Stars, are teaming up with the HSUS in an effort to end Canada’s commercial seal slaughter.” (thanks for the tip, Anne H!) So that’s good! It’s nice to know that not everybody sucks. I still can’t believe people eat seal. That’s so gross! That’s like eating bunnies! Oh, wait.
Also, China is taking real steps to ban the trade of seal products in the country. What’s up with China lately? I know there was the terrible live animals in key-chains thing but for somewhere with previously almost zero animal protection laws, they’ve really been making some strides for animal rights! They banned animal circuses, which many supposedly animal-friendly countries haven’t done. And now this stuff with the seal trade. Kudos, China! Or however you say kudos in Mandarin.
Here, you can also check out this Humane Society search engine for restaurants that participate in the seal boycott. Find a place to go and tell them you are there because you support their decision to take a stand against this SUPER GROSS industry!!!
I WANT THOSE CARAMELIZED ONION TARTS! Like, I need them. To survive. Check here for news and updates on the Queensland flood disaster and it looks like you can make international donations to the Queensland government here.
Help animals in Japan! »
In these end-of-days times, it’s easy to feel like everything is spinning out of control and we’re all screwed and fuck it, I give up. Well, don’t give up! Give money! I know, we’re always asking for something around here—validation, praise, cash. Well, this time it’s for a good case: The animals in Japan who were affected by the recent earthquakes and tsunami and their devastating effects. VegNews has a terrific post about how to help out and what you can do. So, in addition to all the other monies you’re giving, maybe you can look out for our animal friends, too? And then we can all hold each other as the entire Earth falls into the ocean/simultaneously bursts into flames.
On a more personal note (what’s new ME ME ME ME ME), my very first dogs growing up were Japanese! My parents rescued them while living outside of Tokyo, and brought them home! Then they had me and my siblings and BAM! Culture clash! They didn’t know how to use forks! We didn’t know how to use chopsticks! It was mayhem. Anyway, they were the greatest, and so I must assume that is the case with all Japanese animals.
[Buzzfeed via SF Gate, which also has a story about how to help animals in Japan!]
Pigeon emergency in the Bay Area! »
Mickacoo, which is already filled to the brim with foster pigeons, is looking to re-home 100 pigeons that were abandoned by the owner of Lucky Dog Pet Shop in Berkeley. ON TOP OF THAT they are trying to help the survivors of more than 60 king pigeons that were “released” at a Milpitas business for good luck. King pigeons are domestic and can’t survive in the wild! Good going, jerks!
[Picture of some of the birds surrendered by Lucky Dog Pet Shop. See more here]