Polluted English waterways are shrinking otters’ penis bones »
All the harmless-to-us chemicals we humans are flushing down our sinks and toilets have effects on the creatures living in our waterways. In England, otters, which made a valiant comeback after being nearly wiped out by chemical pollution, are now turning up with smaller penis bones, which scientists believe is linked to modern contaminants.
Dr Chadwick said: “With many of these contaminants, there can be all sorts of different sources… so it might be things like drugs that we’re taking and they flush through our sewerage systems and end up in the rivers.”
She added that dust from industrial production travelling into the atmosphere could also carry contaminants that end up in rivers as rainfall, even travelling long distances between countries.
Sorry, otters. All those lovely Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that help us thrive are slowly murdering you.
“People are very quick to say: otters are in our rivers. That must mean rivers are perfect, they’re so clean, everything’s fine again… but it’s not really that simple,” said [Countryfile director Anna ] Jones.
[Photo by Keven Law via Flickr]
Vegan MoFo: Marmite is England’s gift to the world »
For today’s Vegan MoFo entry, I want to tell you guys about Marmite, the jarred food of gods. It is like MSG, but good for you, all full of B vitamins and salty, umami punch. I adore it. Seeing photos of it makes me immediately hungry.
Two Decembers ago I made the Great Vegan Conspiracy’s tattie scones with Marmite, but I’m not sure I properly stressed just how crucial Marmite is to both that recipe and my entire life.
Add Marmite to your grains-cooking water for superior flavor and health. Put it on toast with vegan butter for a savory snack. Eat it off knifepoint directly from the jar for pure, unadulterated yeasty deliciousness. You can’t go wrong, unless you don’t like it, in which case, out of my kitchen.
Tiny dog saves his owner’s life, like a boss. »
I read this story this morning and ‘bout died. It’s so awesome! Over in the U.K., Toby and his 81-year-old owner Derek, pictured above, were on a walk in the woods when Derek slipped on some crazy bridge over a creek and fell into a bunch of mud. He managed to cling to the bridge railing but as he said, “you can’t hold your grip for long at my age.” Scary!
They were walking with his other dog Bruno who apparently just wandered off when Derek fell. It’s OK, Bruno! We all have different stress responses. But Toby knew his owner needed help and he sprang into action!:
He ran a quarter-of-a-mile past bushes and apartments to reach the security office which was manned. Toby barked anxiously and staff knew there was a problem and followed Toby back to the incident scene. The dog led the way and kept stopping for helpers to catch up.
Go Toby! What a hero! To reward him, Derek and his wife are going to take him on holiday (that means vacation in English). You deserve it, little guy. I wonder if Figaro would save me? He’s got a lot of anxiety and I feel like sometimes people with a lot of anxiety are great in emergency situations because, like, they’ve been preparing for it their whole lives while everyone else was busy being normal. Maybe it’s true for dogs as well! I’ll try to slip on a bridge and see.
Does anybody have a story like this about their dog (or other pet?) I’d love to hear it!
Tiny hedgehog escapes garden fire! The Telegraph reports:
A home owner in Piltdown, East Sussex, was clearing overgrown bushes in his garden and had piled the vegetation ready to start a bonfire. But when he went to light it, he heard little squeaks coming from the debris. He discovered four 10-day-old hedgehogs inside and called in animal rescuers.
All the tiny hedgies are safe and sound and so cute, jeepers creepers. Thank goodness they squeaked!
[photo by Ferrari Press Agency]
How do Spanish vegans celebrate Easter? With hot cross buns for semana santa, a.k.a. Holy Week! The crosses represent the crucifixion. Taste that delicious religious murder.
[photo by juanelos via Flickr]
Meet orphaned baby burrowing owls Linford and Christie, a.k.a. the only reason to look at the Daily Mail! These owlets are six weeks old and living with Jimmy, an employee of the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England. They need 24-hour care, which is provided by Jimmy and his dog, JT. Look at this!
Click through for more information and more adorable photos!
Remember this video? The RSPCA (hi, England!) made it for their Rabbit Awareness Week this year from clips submitted by rabbit-lovers like you. It is SO CUTE. Is there anything cuter than a happy bunny? NO. Duh.
To that end, the RSPCA is making another compilation video of happy buns, and this one is a Christmas Special, which maybe means bunnies in the snow? RSPCA Online Community Manager Violet emailed us to request your adorable, romping rabbit videos, with the following guidelines:
This time we’d like to see video clips of happy bunnies playing and interacting with toys, their rabbit companions or with people.
- Take some video of your rabbit(s) playing and having fun. We’re looking for rabbits playing naturally in their usual environment. Please ensure your rabbit(s) is enjoying the experience and do not make him/her perform for the video.
- Please keep your clip to no longer than 1 minute long. We are unable to use clips that are too dark or shaky, so be aware of this when taking your video—particularly of rabbits indoors.
- Upload your clip by Friday, Nov. 18.
Note: we won’t use clips of rabbits that are dressed up in any way—no santa hats please!
You’ve got just over two weeks to submit your video and make your bunnies famous advocates for species welfare. So get on it!
It’s not all bad: Otters return to English rivers! »
English river otters are back! The Guardian reports that the animals are now living in every county in the country, which is amazing, considering that they nearly went extinct in the 1970s.
The resurgence in England’s otter population is due to the otter-hunting ban of 1978, and the significantly improved health of English rivers. Wonderful, all around. Although let’s not forget that otters are also “wanton killer[s],” selfishly eating up all the fish that people would like to be catching themselves. The NERVE.
Asparagus: the new gateway drug »
Caterers in England have invented a dish called Colombian Asparagus. You snort it; the powder smells just like cooked asparagus, which makes sense because it’s made of cooked asparagus (plus some other secret magical stuff). It costs $2,240 an ounce (or £50 GB a gram[me]—that took some MATH, people). I want my money back if it doesn’t make my pee smell funny.
This new dish has some obvious problems, primarily that it’s stupid. Why would I want to snort my food? That’s not going to get me full at all.
British anti-drug advocates are freaking out about the “message” this stupid food-product for the wealthy sends. Lucy Dawe of Cannabis Skunk Sense (WTF’s up with that name? I’m not even touching that) tells the Daily Mail:
‘Personally, I think it’s very irresponsible. People might think it’s a huge joke but to me it’s a very dangerous precedent to set.
‘It’s extremely provocative, I can see no reason to turn this into something you can sniff—I’m sure there’s lots of other ways they could have turned it into something you can eat.*
‘It does risk bring more and more people into contact with drugs, a world where there’s nothing but misery waiting for them.’”
Um, seriously? I snorted Pixy Stix back when I was 12 and all I learned was that it hurts to get stuff up your nose; I never moved on to snorting actually intoxicating substances. Does this person think popping Advil is a gateway to ecstasy—same delivery method!
I think you should do what you want with your own money and asparagus. I guess that makes me an asparagus-libertarian. Asparatarian! This isn’t even the worst use of asparagus I’ve ever seen; that prize goes to the Asparagus Juice I tried in Taiwan back in 2006:
I recommend roasting your asparagus at about 450 F until the smoke alarm goes off/it’s tasty and crispy, then drizzling it with a little balsamic vinegar. That’s how it’s done in America, biatches.
*Like by just EATING it? It started as a food, lady.
Happy Thanksgiving from Jojo of vegan.in.brighton! She writes that this year she didn’t want to miss out on all the Thanksgiving fun, and she and her husband really threw themselves into the spirit of the holiday (i.e., gluttony).
“We made the Seitan en Croute from 500 Vegan Recipes, this is quickly becoming one of my favourite cookbooks as everything I’ve made from it keeps turning out perfectly! We also made roast potatoes, mashed maple sweet potatoes, roasted squash, sage & onion stuffing, carrots, corn, and the sage gravy from Vegan Comfort Food. We also had cranberry sauce, which I bought from a shop!
I still can’t get my head around the idea of pumpkin as a dessert so instead I made the Silken Chocolate Mousse Cake from My Sweet Vegan, I love this & am always looking for excuses to make it.”
As we understand it, Brighton is the San Francisco of England, so Jojo if you’d like to do a cultural/sister-city-type exchange some time, Vegansaurus is open to it. That is, after you’ve recovered from devouring that beautiful spread. Happy Thanksgiving!