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.
Harvest Home Sanctuary has a great blog post up about Tracy, an ex-battery hen. It’s touching in the crying into your keyboard type way. But also inspirational and makes you want to get really upset about shit and change things. I dunno…read it. While you’re at it, Nicholas “is that a toupé?” Kristof has a great piece up in the New York Times about abolishing battery cages. The mainstream heat behind this is building; I hope the momentum keeps up. I want a rallying cry behind the abolition of battery cages that rivals, “DONNA! MARTIN! GRADUATES!” (Happy 90210 Day, btw!). Any ideas???
Thanks to our sponsors, two sad dogs and cake in a jar, it’s this week’s link-o-rama! »
A long-tailed macaque living in Bali adopted a lost kitten! He just found the kitten wandering around his home in Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Bali, and brought the kitten back to his troop (“a troop of macaques”), and now they are pals. Please excuse your Vegansaurus, whose eyes have begun leaking. [photo by Anne Young]
Events! Events events events!
We already told you about Dusker tonight at Hayes Valley Farm—really, why aren’t you there now, hippie? And tomorrow is Sábado Gigante!, a.k.a. the start of Oakland’s Eat Real Festival. Now here are even more ways to spend your time!
Vegans in the Washington, D.C. metro area should head out to the annual Columbia Heights Day, which happens tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Harriet Tubman Elementary Field at 11th and Kenyon Sts. NW. Why? Because at 3:30 there’s a Sticky Fingers cupcake-eating contest on the second stage!! Live out one of your Vegansaurus’ dreams! Or at least take a photo for us DEAR LORD.
VERY IMPORTANT: Dino Bike at the Hemlock on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 9 p.m. Pay $5 and see our Laura, Jonas and possibly Jordan—plus other guaranteed-cramazing humans—do things on stage that you could not possibly imagine. There will be vegan cupcakes for free and booze for sale and all the money raised goes to pay for sweet, sweet Hazel’s nauseatingly expensive surgery. BE THERE!
On Monday, Aug. 30, the Green Arcade bookstore in San Francisco will host a free discussion with Chris Palmer, author of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider’s Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom. It sounds like Chris Palmer does our favorite thing: “pulls back the curtain on the dark side of wildlife filmmaking, revealing an industry driven by money, sensationalism, extreme risk-taking, misrepresentation, staging, fabrication, and even abuse and harassment of animals,” actually naming names! Of course he also offers solutions and praises the people who are not total dicks (hint: Bear Grylls is not on the “good” list). The discussion begins at 7 p.m. at the Green Arcade, 1680 Market St. at Gough Street.
On Sunday, Aug. 29, LGBT Compassion will hold a peaceful demonstration against animal cruelty—specifically, the live-chicken vendor—from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market at U.N. Plaza. For further information, visit their website, and please RSVP if you plan to attend!
West Contra Costa Adult Education will offer a series on vegan cuisine this fall, beginning on Sept. 14 with “Italian style.” Each class meets once for four hours at the Richmond campus and costs $45. Enrollment is limited to 16 students, so you might think about registering sooner than later. Chef Panos Ly of Symphonie Vegan Restaurant in Point Richmond will lead the class.
News! Articles and essays and news!
A woman was caught attempting to smuggle a tiger cub from Thailand to Iran. The three-month-old cub had been drugged and stuffed in her suitcase—along with some stuffed toy tigers, for camouflage? He’s now recovering at a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok, and DNA testing should reveal more precisely where he came from. Residents of Taiji, a.k.a. “the place from The Cove where they murder all the dolphins,” are totally nonchalant about the documentary and its effects. “They’re not going to stop the hunts,” says a councilman, basically because it’s tradition and also dolphin is tasty. Neat! “You race camels, why not milk them?” Excellent question, Occident-man! And what was Orient-man’s response? He didn’t have one, so the western dudes went out and began camel-exploitation for themselves. Now they are milked in metal stalls by automated pumps, just like number-one most delicious American cows! It can’t come to the U.S. fast enough. What we won’t get, because the FDA are total Puritan prudes, are eating-cows fed with wine to make their flesh taste even better when we devour it. I mean, pigs get to drink beer, why can’t cows have some red wine with their all-natural COWFEED 3000?
What’s been going on with the Great Egg Recall of aught-10? This week we learned that the FDA rejected a vaccine for hens that British egg producers have been using for over a decade and that would have cost “less than a penny per a dozen eggs.” Ha ha whoops! Your Vegansaurus loves the cheap choices: “We have a problem with Salmonella infecting these eggs!” “How can we solve it?” “We could stop feeding chickens bone meal, maybe.” “But that’s like recycling! And it makes them grow SO FAST!” “What about making the cages we force the hens into a little larger, or not smashing so many of them into those tiny cages at once?” “And lose production space? No way!” “What about pasteurizing the fuck out of the poisonous death-eggs, then putting them in ice cream and mayonnaise?” “BRILLIANT! We won’t even have to disclose that on the food labels! The company is saved!” A deli meat company recalled nearly 400,000 pounds of its products due to contamination with Listeria, but that was really hard to pay attention to this week.
Hey L.A., have you been to Millions of Milkshakes: Our Brianna writes: “IT IS SO FUCKING YUMMY I WANTED TO CAMP OUT THERE. I went two times in the span of four days. Yeah, it’s really tacky, but I think it pretty adequately encompasses LA culture. I got a peanut butter-oreo shake the first time, and a peanut butter-banana shake the second time. Best milkshakes I’ve ever had.” Ooh, celebrity vegan shakes! Ooh again: a totally polite and helpful thread on Serious Eats about cooking for vegans and omnivores in the same kitchen—they even discuss sharing pans! How heartwarming. Hey Las Vegans (har har), your life just got better thanks to Steve Wynn, who’s expanded (read: brought into existance) the vegan dishes on all his hotels’ menus. Finally, an interview with Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach by (the infamous) Rhys Southan. Naturally your Vegansaurus recommends ignoring the comments, one of which implies that nectarines are certain squirrels’ only food source and that to eat said nectarines is tantamount to murdering said squirrels.
One of Scott “model-senator” Brown’s staffers found a cat on the street in Washington, D.C., and she has since been named Lucky and become the office kitty. Look, there are photos! This is arguably the most selfless act performed by any member of the Senate in several years, and Scott Brown didn’t actually rescue the cat himself. Even suffering the pressures of political life, Lucky is considerably better off than nearly half the pets in Coachella Valley: 44 percent of the 40,000 animals who have been left at shelters in Riverside County were euthanized this year, and Save-a-Pet of Desert Hot Springs, a no-kill shelter, has no room for animals. Thanks, Depression 2.0!
So which would you rather eat: Magical salmon genetically engineered by AquaBounty Corp. to grow twice as quickly as evolutionarily engineered salmon by natural selection; or willingly donated human meat? Whatever, our “agricultural empire” is DOOMED, DOOMED anyway, let’s just eat (easily veganized and very tasty) jar cake to keep the end-of-the-world panic attacks down for another day.