Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals
Another big week: Ellen DeGeneres had Wayne Pacelle on her show to talk about the ag-gag fight, while we waged a full court press urging Tennessee’s governor to veto the ag-gag bill now on his desk that would essentially ban whistleblowing exposés of animal cruelty. You can see the new TV ad HSUS is running, along with significant other efforts we’re putting into the state, leading to coverage noting that “never has Gov. Bill Haslam received so much communication on a single issue.”
Nearly every major newspaper in Tennessee is urging Gov. Haslam to veto the bill. The Tennessean decried it as “despicable and unconstitutional.” The Daily News Journal called the bill “ridiculous, immature and idiotic.” The News-Sentinel also put it bluntly, ridiculing the legislation as a “mendacious and despicable measure.”
The ACLU is now getting more involved in the ag-gag battle, including in Tennessee. Meanwhile, in Indiana, the state’s ag-gag bill advanced further in the legislative process, leading the Indianapolis Star to editorialize against the bill, calling it “extremely misguided.”
Here’s a new interview of mine on the ag-gag issue and other farm animal protection topics.
Finally, legislation to ban barren battery cages for laying hens and require battery cage egg cartons to be labeled as “eggs from caged hens” wasre-introduced in the Congress this week, enjoying support from a wide array of animal protection groups and the egg industry’s trade association, though still opposed by nearly every national meat and dairy trade group.
P.S. Video of the week: And the lion shall lay down with the lamb …
Padma Lakshmi made vegan lentil salad with Ellen! It’s nothing fancy, but it’s nice to see someone who is famous for eating all kinds of dead animals get so excited by cruelty-free food. Ellen, however controversial, continues to be charming. Also Padma is ridiculously beautiful, though I suspect those weirdly pleated pants are made of leather.
OMG: Ellen Degeneres Admits She’s An Egg Eater »
As I wrote on my personal blog today five minutes after I found out, Ellen Degeneres casually revealed during a recent segment on The Ellen Show that she’s no longer vegan. In an interview with Grey’s Anatomy actress-come-backyard chicken wrangler Ellen Pompeo, Ellen Degeneres said:
We have neighbors who have chickens, and we get our eggs from those chickens because they’re happy.
Eating eggs from chickens that are “happy” is common among the elite Eco-conscious set in Hollywood and beyond. The belief goes a little something like this: Happy chickens = happy eggs = we can all eat eggs and no longer be vegan but still be ethical eaters, because, hey, the chickens are happy, right?!
Because many of us vegans follow “all the news that’s fit to print” and therefore know that all the eggs are shit to eat, we can all now recall a recent New York Times article that showed backyard chicken farming is downright dangerous for humans, especially in certain cities. You can also read our Vegansaurus post about the study showing eating backyard eggs is like swallowing little lead-filled bombs.
I’m admittedly hella disappointed my queer vegan mentor has gone eggy, but Ellen’s admission could be a great springboard for the vegan movement to have a real debate about this weird backyard egg fad. As a vegan movement, we need to address this issue. I suggest doing tons of studies and throwing mad science at the debate by exposing more of the health and environmental dangers of eating backyard eggs, not to mention the big potential for mistreatment of chickens when they stop producing eggs. While I commend actresses and performers for wishing to care for chickens and treat them humanely, I wonder what will happen to these chickens when they stop laying eggs, or if they find lead in the eggs? I have a hard time thinking that every Hollywood eco-conscious person will suddenly want pet chickens once they stop producing; Will they then justify turning them into “happy” humane chicken meat? It’s a slippery slope.
What are your thoughts?
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
What? Oh, I didn’t see you through this haze of prescription painkillers and tertiary muscle relaxants. That’s right, today’s WTF Wednesday is brought to you by the letters V, I, C, O, D, I, and N! That means that this post will be both mercifully short and also make no sense whatsoever. Just imagine we are all at an awesome party, sitting on beanbag chairs under a blacklight. That is how I feel right now, and so should you. Except I hope you can move your back, because I can’t move mine. Or walk straight. Enough of my whining, this is a party!
First off, here are some bears doing yoga. It actually looks more like Tai chi to me, but what do I know? The last time i did any kind of exercise was a jacked-up sun salutation on a Wii balance board (why does that fucking thing groan every time you step onto it? Does it know that it is lowering my self-esteem each time I want to play Rhythm Parade?). I always feature bad things happening to bears, so I thought I would post something awesome. Just forget that the bears are in a zoo, because zoos are horrible. Just focus on the amazing stretches they can do. Who even knew Bears stretched? And who knew that they could be even more adorable? I certainly didn’t.
And while we’re on the subject of bears, here is what happens when a stupid Toronto weatherman tries to throw pumpkins at polar bears. I mentioned last week that I do not believe that all animals love pumpkins. Example, this otter, whose look clearly states, “You want to be next, stupid? Why would you think I’d want a pumpkin? Did you get me a fucking Kindle or what?” I bet that otter wasn’t going to be reading the new Jodi Picoult, either. Anyway, here’s today’s lesson: Don’t throw shit at animals from high places. It is traumatizing and not at all pleasant, and you deserved to lose your microphone and also be ridiculed by the internet. Allen watched that video like five times last night. He was dying. I mean literally choking for breath. He was laughing that hard. Between that and this video of an Ellen writer going through a haunted house (“you are so rude!!!!!”), he was really on fire.
Fine, it wouldn’t be WTF Wednesday without some sad news: a porn star strangled a dog. Say it with me: WHAT THE FUCK. Why would you do that, porn star Jason Creed, a.k.a. Shane Michael Thompson? Why would you just take your three-legged puppy and beat it, strangle it to death, and then try to pass it off as a seizure? Here is some news: Seizures and BEING BEATEN AND STRANGLED TO DEATH present quite differently. I don’t even watch House and I know that. And why the fuck would you adopt a three-legged dog, who was obviously already coping with large difficulties in life, and then abuse it? What is wrong with you? Did you not realize that there is a special room in a special circle of hell that is devoted to people who are deliberately cruel to animals? Maybe you were drunk or high, which makes it even worse. Not even Vicodin can take the harsh edge off the idea of a poor unsuspecting dog being attacked by a third-tier gay porn actor. Thank god his friends and roommates turned him in, although what disturbs me EVEN FURTHER is that they also stated that they had known about the abuse. Why didn’t you speak up before the dog was murdered? At least this guy is in jail. I could make all sorts of jokes about that, but I won’t; partly because this story is too sad and partly because I have standards.
That is it for this week. As always, please send me links for next week or leave them in the comments. Have an awesome week!
[photo by South Beds News Agency via the Telegraph]
Feral cat controversy, jerks in Missouri, junk in your wine, and MORE in today’s link-o-rama! »
[image from Lucia Oberste of Zoomie’s Pet Care]
Fun-times vegan-style events!
OK there’s only one this week, and it’s not even 100 percent vegan, but one is better than zero, right? Right! So: Tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 3 from 5 to 11 p.m. in the Laskie Street parking lot (off Mission Street, between 8th and 9th Streets) in San Francisco you can attend the first Underground Street Food event! The website is a garish nightmare and requires you to subscribe to a mailing list for details, but it might be worth checking out.
Items of social and political import!
It seems like supperclubs in New York are having as much fun and success as they are in San Francisco. Although we are sure none holds a candle to our beloved friends at Brassica.
Ellen, the Humane Society, Halo products and PetFinder.com are sponsoring Stamps to the Rescue campaign, selling first-class stamps with images of adopted shelter animals, and donating 1 million meals to animal shelters.
Salon has a neat little slideshow of five of the “least green” “green foods” campaigns, including those from Sara Lee, Fiji water, McDonald’s, Monsanto, and Syngenta.
So what’s the deal with zoophilia? Is it a legitimate sexual orientation? Can it ever be acceptable behavior?
NATO has decided that hey, we are not as tragically underfunded and pathetic as U.S. public schools, we do not need Pizza Huts, Burger Kings, or Dairy Queens on our bases in Afghanistan any more; our canteens serve the same food, anyway.
Remember the horror that was the Paula Deen dinner party? James Brady Ryan of Pop Torture took it a step further and served only Sandra Lee “semi-homemade” dishes. Yes, it actually does end in vomiting.
Actually homemade: Vegetarian Times has four vegan cheese recipes! I’m making the goat cheese as soon as I get my hands on some cashews—review to come.
Apparently fresh produce carts are not as popular in New York City as the mayor had hoped, or at least not in the areas he would like them to be set up.
Geraldine Baum would like you to know that she buys and wears fur because she’s cold, and because her Russian grandmother said it was a very important status symbol, SO THERE.
There’s a feral cat colony in Daly City that needs feeding a few times a week—please contact Nadine May for more information.
Even more awesome: Brenda Shoss of Kinship Circle organized an email petition of Missouri state legislators, asking them to vote against opening a horse slaughterhouse—currently illegal in the U.S.—and in return many representatives harrassed her.
It’s hard out there for an omni-locavore; “there are a lot of people out there who raise great animals for us to use, and they don’t have the opportunity to get them to us because the slaughterhouses are going away.”
Even Josh Ozersky, the coolest eating-est dude who ever ate a cool thing, advocates giving up bluefin tuna, lest the species be eaten to extinction.
Watch out for 2008 pinot noirs from the Anderson Valley; winemakers have been using isinglass, “milk byproducts,” and egg whites to alter the extra-smoky flavors left by the wildfires during that year’s grape-growing season.
Should mainstream food writers “disclose” their food preferences, specifically their vegetarianism? The Accidental Hedonist says no.
Pescetarians can ease their consciences with a new U.S.-based “Which Fish to Eat?” guide from GOOD. Hooray.
And eaters of pigs can feel better knowing their pork suppers won’t be made from pigs who cannot walk or stand on their own anymore, or at least not in California.
Daz and Chip, two best-friend otters who lived in Nelson, New Zealand, died within an hour of each other this week.
Late addition video to cheer you up! Clever bunny Pallina makes the bed and opens a jar! (link from Cute Overload)
Awesome art, crazy-ass email, superlative videos, puppy birthday AND MORE in this week’s link-o-rama! »
Hey, let’s wish happy birthday to my parents’ dog, Oliver, who turns three big years old today! Oliver (at left, shown here with his older brother, Beauregard) works as a therapy dog, has a charmingly insouciant underbite, and wants to be your bestest friend. Happy birthday, little fellow!
Fun times vegan-style events!
The Out of Place art show at SPACE Gallery (1141 Polk St. at Hemlock Street) tonight, Friday Mar. 12, features your Vegansaur Jonas! It costs $3 and runs from 8 to midnight, and will be catered by Black Orchid Bakery. Is there enough culture in your life? Probably not, you philistine, so get over there and appreciate some damn art.
On Saturday, Mar. 13, you can attend “The Nutrition Prescription” lecture by Donald Forrester, M.D., presented by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society, at the Institute of Aging at 3600 Geary Blvd. (between Arguello Boulevard and Palm Avenue). The lecture begins at 8 p.m. and costs $10, or participate in the veg potluck at 6:30 p.m. and pay just $2. Contact the SFVS for further information.
Late update: The LGBT Army of Compassion will hold a demonstration against animal cruelty on Sunday, Mar. 14 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market (UN Plaza) in San Francisco. Brochures (such as this pdf) and signs will be provided. For further information, contact the LGBT AC.
Items of social and political import!
Phil Bronstein isn’t sure about the ethics of an animal abuse registry when animal abuse is condoned every day in our kitchens and laboratories.
The ethics of zoos come again under scrutiny as the three polar bears who live in San Francisco get older and become more difficult and expensive to “keep.”
Switzerland denies animals dedicated legal counsel. Apparently Swiss animal protection laws are ” among the strictest rules anywhere,” but proponents don’t think they’re enforced enough to matter. Keep trying, Switzerland.
Stop, video time! It’s JSF on Ellen’s Thursday, Mar. 11 show! [note: if you can’t see the video, please visit the link-o-rama at Vegansaurus.com!]
OK Canada, for most of the items on this list of “10 foods of the future,” you’re cool again. Or at least acceptable (we don’t go in for that “non-traditional fish” or “new fabricated cuts of meat” nonsense).
Probably better that you eat Canadian meat, anyway (if you’re going to eat DEATH and all) as the U.S. is one of the top-five” least safe food producers in the world, along with China, Turkey, Iran, and Spain. I am SO PROUD.
OK, Bob Barker has always been a total sleazy lecher, but his love for animals is pure and true: he just gave $2.5 million to renovate a building on Sunset Boulevard in L.A. for PETA—it’ll be called the Bob Barker Building, natch.
Beloved blog Sociological Images present maps that illustrate where animals for food and crops for food are grown in the U.S. Fruits, nuts and vegetables and chickens come from California!
That milk that makes you roll your eyes every time you open the fridge because ew is from California, too, right? Maybe not! Make your friends and relations find out where their dairy products originate at where is my milk from (also useful for soy milks).
Read the first article from The Awl’s vegetarian columnist, Jaime Green! It’s about visiting a Manhattan farmers market in the winter.
If little Oliver weren’t too stubborn/dumb(?) to play any version of “fetch” (because “fetch” does NOT mean “I throw the ball and you chase after it and hide it”), I would have definitely gotten him this for his birthday. [link and photo from Pawesome!]
Did you know that East Asian people eat CATS and DOGS? How SAVAGE!! The Chinese government is at present “considering legislation” to ban eating these particular animals, which is probably good considering how awful their living conditions are prior to slaughter. It of course does NOTHING for the rest of the animals raised for consumption in China, but as long as our precious puppies and kitties are protected, we can all sleep at night, right?
Holy Mary in a handbag, have you read this insanator email from an anti-The Cove wacko to Rich FourFour? It is the craziest best: “The humans being protecting wolfs(the whales / dolphins)is the devil! Devil! Devil! Devil! Destroy the devil for protect the human fish! The shark is a friend of the fish. The shark eats only the fish that dead / was damaged.”
Despite the horrors of whaling, Slate, however, wants you to know just what dead whale meat tastes like—and did you know that “many schools of Buddhism favor eating whales”? SEE, IT’S OK BECAUSE THOSE HIPPIE WEIRDOS SAY SO.
How about another photo? Party penguin has stripped off his dress whites and is ready to get down! [Photo via Andrew Evans of National Geographic]
Delightful Ruben Studdard went vegetarian 18 months ago, switched to a vegan diet six months ago, and lost 100 pounds! Man, when I went vegan for keeps I lost like zero pounds, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, AMERICA, WHY DO I STILL HAVE FLESH ON MY VEGAN BONES?? Seriously, we’re super-happy for you, Ruben, keep living your wonderful, cruelty-free life.
Our favorite Olympian, horrendous dinner parties, vegan Peep(er)s, Gordon Ramsay’s blood, dogs dogs dogs and MORE in this week’s link-o-rama! »
Aww, Hipster Puppies: “bernie moved to san francisco because it was more ‘laid back’ and ‘anti-consumerist’ than new york, but still manages to drink two cups of starbucks a day.”
First: Fun-times events!
The Bay Area Vegetarians are having their monthly Vegan Food Party on Sunday, Feb. 28 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Sharp Park Library in Pacifica! Click here for details and to RSVP.
Further adventures with BAVeg: The monthly Vegan Dinner, this time on Thursday, Mar. 4 at 7 p.m. at Loving Hut in Palo Alto! Details here.
Hey North Bay, Shollenberger Park needs your help! It is apparently one of North America’s premier bird sanctuaries, and threatened by the possible installation of an asphalt plant on its borders. Yes, an asphalt plant, which, gross. Help the birds, already!
We haven’t checked out Chronicle restaurant reviews in a while. Michael Bauer went to Gather, where chef Sean Baker, formerly of Millennium, cooks terrifying vegetarian and vegan food and reassuringly meat-tastic dishes like soups of goat and duck. Thank god, we can all get along! Even if “the staff can be a little strident,” those fucking hippies.
The Healthy Food Financing Initiative has $400 million for grocery stores to open in “food deserts,” i.e., areas where you can only buy food at convenience stores. Hopefully this won’t all go to Wal-Mart. But, yay groceries! Everyone needs groceries, duh.
Hey so sea lions have returned to Pier 39 after a months-long absence. No, we don’t know where they were, why they left, or whether these sea lions are even the same ones who used to chill there. It’s all very mysterious. If only someone could speak sea-roar.
Koalas are catching a species-specific disease called koala retrovirus, which acts upon their systems like AIDS does on humans—i.e., it makes them more susceptible to other illnesses that then become lethal. Because what we need are fewer koalas.
The often useless California legislature is debating the creation of an online animal abusers registry, which would apparently function similarly to the sex offenders and arsonists registries. It’s sponsored in part by the Animal Legal Defense Fund; read more details here. (link via SuperVegan!)
The new nightmare dinner party: a butter-n-cheesestravaganza of Paula Deen recipes. Questions: would it all still taste like shit if you veganized it? Probably.
Foreign Policy magazine has a photo essay about life as a dog in China. There aren’t any explicitly gory or violent images, but some are disturbing.
So that’s vile: Jeremy Fox’s "other interests" now include an appearance at Cochon 555, an event in which five (5) chefs and five (5) winemakers prepare a dish from five (5) dead pigs. GET IT? We know he’s made it quite clear he was never a veg chef, and his exact role in this bloodbath is unknown, BUT STILL.
Are you nauseated yet? How does this collection of canned animal products make you feel?
In generally freaky food-related news, robots—partial and full-bodied—that cook! Well, sort of. Some of them ingest beer, and another “recount[s] awful jokes and chuckl[es] to herself.” I don’t know. At least robots don’t eat meat, right? Eh?
Brown Ramsay (duh!) makes a delicious vegetable-and-fingernail stir-fry with Ellen! This video is only a teeny bit gross.