Duck gets a new foot thanks to 3D printing!  »


As reported by everyone and their mom, Buttercup has a new foot! When lil’ Buttercup hatched, his foot was backwards. Feathered Angels took in Buttercup and decided to get him a new foot with help of 3D printers Nova Copy


Here’s Buttercup walking on his new foot for the first time!:

You go, boy!

Keep up-to-date on Buttercup’s story by following his FB page


It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

Paul Shapiro is back with all the animal news you need. Let’s go:

Ever wonder what the meat industry’s tired of? Well, Pork Magazine’s editor wrote this week, “I am getting tired of the constant barrage of announcements driven by the Humane Society of the United States against the U.S. pork sector, and I know you are too.”

One thing you may not be tired of is good news like this: industry publication Feedstuffs has a story this week about a formerly pro-gestation crate animal scientist who now concludes that a transition away from the crates will indeed work, and that producers seem to be getting dragged “kicking and screaming into another inevitable change.”

Other good news: HSUS is proud to be named this year as VegNews magazine’s “Nonprofit of the Year!”

A new undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals documented egregious cruelty at a large dairy producer.

Finally, an interesting story about how more and more black men are getting into veganism. One guy in particular is a pretty good example, I’d say!

Video of the week: Rescued ducks hit water for the first time! [Ed.: UGH THIS IS TOO AWESOME]


Hello, friends! It’s Mark’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, this has been an amazing whirlwind of a semester and I am so excited to be done with it and spend a few weeks just sitting at home, listening to audiobooks, and latch-hooking a rug in my muumuu. True story: My parents bought me one at Ross because I liked my mom’s so much when we were on vacation! I have really been enjoying audiobooks lately. I feel that listening to The Wind-up Bird Chronicles is the only way I am ever going to get through the entire thing. This is my current life goal.

Of course, none of this is to be! Soon I will be embarking on a Carnival Cruise Lines adventure with my entire family and returning to summer school, which is four hours per class! I remember how I thought being an adult would be super fun because I would get to do whatever the fuck I wanted and eat cinnamon toast crunch all day. Now, I don’t even get a summer vacation! Being old sucks!

What doesn’t suck is getting submissions from all of my friends (read: you). This week, I am especially grateful to  Kim who sent me a “WTF is this?” submission and saved me from doing hours of internet research! WTF are we WTF-ing about, you ask? Ducks! Ducks in frocks! Ducks in frocks strutting down a runway looking like Lady Gaga on a good mental health day! Kim doesn’t know how she feels about it, but I think we can both agree that the two ducks in pink dresses and hats are f-I-e-r-c-e! The ducks don’t look that upset, but I certainly can’t make any sense of it. What do you think?

What’s more WTF than ducks is Lazarus hamsters rising from the dead. Actually, I don’t know what’s more WTF: the hamster that dug its way out of a boxy grave, or the family he was living with not knowing that hamsters hibernate if they are too cold. That’s why you need to keep the heat up! They’re desert animals! Bunny used to hella like to chill on a heating pad. She used to like to poop on it, too, but I mostly remember the sitting. Get a book on hamsters, there are like five hundred.

That’s it for this week! We’ve been a little slow in true WTF-ness, so please pay it forward and send me links for next week. Paying it forward is probably a bad example, though. Hayley Joel Osment’s career died at the end of that movie!

Have a safe Wednesday!

[photo via Buzzfeed, photographer not cited]


My beloved Rachel Maddow ended her Wednesday night show with a Best New Thing in the World segment that was inarguably the best: Secret Service agents literally making way for ducklings! Are you dead? I am dead.


Harvest Home’s Farewell to Foie Gras Party in Oakland on Saturday!  »

Who wants to go to a vegan dessert party to celebrate the impending ban of foie gras production and sale in California? You do! Even better, the proceeds from the soiree will benefit the wonderful Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary. Delicious and delightful! The details are below, let’s all stuff our faces with magical vegan treats whilst saving animals. Today, the world is a slightly less shitty place, and isn’t that the point of it all? I think? Let’s all go!

Don’t miss this special holiday event! Enjoy seasonal vegan appetizers and desserts, including soy nog, specialty beer, and spiced apple cider. Plus, goodie bags LOADED with vegan treats from Obsessive Confection Disorder, NewTree Chocolates, Lulu’s Raw Chocolate Alchemy, Go Max Go Foods, Desiderio Chocolates, Let’s Do Organic Vegan Gummi Bears, 100% Pure Cosmetics, and more! [Ed.: THAT IS ONE HELL-OF A GOODIE BAG!]

View original photography of the sanctuary’s rescued ducks, vegetarian food drive benefitting the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin (individuals who donate to the vegetarian food drive will be entered into a raffle to win cool prizes), and a Toast to the End of Foie Gras Sale and Production in California!

Awesome! The party happens on Saturday, Dec, 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., at a private home in Oakland. The address will be provided to registered attendees prior to the event. A single ticket costs $15; a single ticket and a one-month  rescued duck sponsorship costs $30. Space is limited, so register online today!


Chicken screen tests by Aaron Rose! From Nowness

Californian chickens and a charismatic duck mug for the camera in director Aaron Rose's Warhol-inspired mock screen tests, set to Dean and Britta's cover of Bob Dylan's “I'll Keep It With Mine.” The vignettes were shot during a series of Levi’s-sponsored filmmaking workshops about sustainable lifestyle hosted at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles, culminating in the documentary Wild Goodness.

One of our dear readers, Michelle, sent this to me. She must have known I love Warhol! STOP STALKING ME, MICHELLE.

The chickens and duck are from a farm in San Pedro, Calif., where I’m sure they were safely returned, never to be eaten or abused. Because a project based on a sustainable lifestyle would know how silly it is to rely on chickens and eggs for food, right?


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]

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]

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!


Shocking tasers, shorted-out circuits, and food porn in today’s SHOCKING (themed) link-o-rama!  »

How about that: a goat in a blue suit! According to Vice, who did the photoshoot, it’s Look 25 from Dunhill’s spring/summer 2010 collection. I’m not sure about that, honestly—I think it just as easily could be Look 27. Thoughts?

By the way, this is Steve filling in for Meave this week, who blames her absence on a shorted out MacBook keyboard following a coffee spill disaster. But between you and me, I’m suspecting cilantro poisoning.

Upcoming vegan events!
Like vegan cupcakes? Feeling judgy? Then sign up to be a judge for the 2nd Annual Vegan Cupcake Bake-off on May 22nd in Oakland. This will probably be the biggest field trip ever, so get those permission slips sorted out in advance.

Here’s an epic battle of the century that you won’t want to miss, organized by VegNews and Earth Island Journal. Cattle rancher-turned-vegan Howard Lyman and Niman Ranch co-founder Nicolette Niman will debate why or why not meat is a sustainable and ethical product. Tickets are $10 and will sell out quickly.

Miscellaneous items of significant social importance!
The Taser company funded a “study” that involved anesthetizing sheep, putting them on a methamphetamine IV drip, and then shocking them with Tasers—in order to test “the effects of Tasers on meth-addled targets.” But don’t worry, it didn’t cause the sheep any immediate heart problems!

Kelly Osborne has discovered the super-grossnosity of the U.S. meat industry, and in response has resolved to eat only “organic” meat.

Speaking of grossnosity, McDonald’s really, really doesn’t want to buy even 5 percent of its eggs for its U.S. stores from cage-free sources.

Mumbai now has an all-organic farmers market, which sells produce, cotton candy (YES PLEASE), “paint, paper, furniture, and cosmetics,” and prepared food like vegan quiche. Because we didn’t need enough reasons to visit India.

SFoodie has created a map to our fine city’s many seasonal farmers markets, where you can probably buy some wild leeks, a.k.a. ramps, which are this year’s fancy decorative green that non-professionals apparently don’t know what to do with. Or something.

The best baguette in Paris can be bought in Montmartre for less than two euro. But if you want to live forever, you had better forswear bread—and 50 percent of your body’s desired caloric intake—for the rest of that forever-life. The near-anorexics will rule us all, if very weakly.

Our local paper of record likes us; they really like us. SFGate started up a new vegan and vegetarian lifestyle section. We’re looking forward to more local coverage of veg issues, but we’re a bit less excited about the witty and insightful comments that we’re bound to get from the white-flight crowd that hangs out over there. Flame suits, on.

The Kitchn is on a vegan kick this week, with 10 Vegan Lunch Ideas. But breakfast is the most important meal of the day (especially if you eat breakfast food for lunch and dinner), so why not click through to their 10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas while you’re at it?

Killer whales kill (duh), unless you’re a dog. Then they’re like, “hop on my back, little friend, and I will take you on a magical tour of my sea kingdom.” But dogs aren’t safe if sharks are around so don’t forget a pair of “I’m With Orca” board shorts for your dog on beach walks.

Oh great. Almost everyone knows about the trash island the size of Texas floating in the Pacific, but did you know there are four others just like it? Check out photos from the North Atlantic Gyre courtesy of The 5 Gyres Project. I really can’t wait for a future of marine life evolved to eat a diet entirely of plastic.

WildCare brings us 15 seconds of how-can-I-exist-in-a-world-with-orphaned-ducklings tears in video form. Spring time means heavy rains and orphaned ducks in storm drains, so go sponsor some baby ducks, or the videos will keep getting sadder and shorter. No pressure.

The Winter Olympics are over, but how about a video of two dogs who may just win the gold in luge in 2014. 

Humans are smarter and better than animals at everything, except for all the things they do exactly the same as us. Researchers in Portugal discovered that rats can understand complex game theory, and successfully cooperate with each other or manipulate other players in the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma game scenario.

Trace residue of hexane in soy burgers may have been the big health scare news story of the week, so of course this USDA report about veterinary drugs, pesticides, and heavy metals in the meat supply will get just as much attention, right? (Right guys? Guys? Anyone?)

Here’s some vegan chocolate food porn from chef and food stylist Claire Thomas, along with some bonus food erotica from The Physiology of Taste, written in 1825, describing how hot chocolate would have been prepared (with water, no milk) at Versaille. says that Michael Pollan is "dodging the discussion" with Jonathon Safran Foer over criticism in Eating Animals, but saying that “nobody is anti-meat enough for the animal-rights purists” reads more like fighting words than an outright dodge. Sounds to us like it’s time to settle this one in the Octagon.

And because cats are the best, we’ll leave you with a video news clip about the Agee Sanctuary near Sacramento, new home of feral cats recently rescued from a Chinatown housing project. Apparently they have their own Winston, not to be confused with fourfour’s Winston who just joined Twitter this week and has almost as many followers as us. It’s hard out there for a dino.


The International Bird Rescue Research Center wants to train YOU in oil spill response  »

Remember in 2007 when the Cosco Busan shipping barge spilled 53,500 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay, killing and maiming tens of thousands of birds, seals, and other wildlife in the process? That was so much fun. The worst part of it may have been all the volunteers who went down to beaches to help with bird rescue and clean up, but were turned away and told that their help wasn’t wanted at the beginning of the spill, when most of the damage happens. Truly fantastic. Well this is your chance to get trained up and ready to be part of the official response to the next oil spill (and there will be a next time, DEPRESSING but guaranteed) as part of a statewide effort to not suck next time this happens.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center is now accepting applications to join their Oil Spill Response Team. You must submit your application by Mar. 26, and the training orientation will take place on April 10 at their bird center in Fairfield.

I went out there after the Cosco Busan spill and managed to get in a brief training, which amounted to watching a video explaining all the ways exposure to oil can make you sick. And that’s really all they can do when volunteers try and get trained during a disaster instead of before. In the end, I was qualified to refill pans of water while more capable hands scrubbed very confused looking ducks with toothbrushes and dishwashing soap. This is going to be much more intensive, with field trips, three training sessions, and 160 volunteer hours before you can graduate. You will come out of it as a bird-rescuing GOD.

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