Say goodbye to the polar bear »
Too bad, polar bears, but a bunch of us humans don’t want to stop selling your pelts on the open market, so you can expect to be hunted to extinction.
This issue is tied up with politics surrounding Canada’s First Nations, specifically the Inuit:
There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Canada is the only country that permits the export of polar bear parts.
Each year around 600 polar bears are killed there, mainly by native hunters. According to Inuit representatives, the pelts from around 300 bears are sold for rugs. Other parts including fangs and paws are also exported.
The Inuit say they get an average of $4,850 per pelt. They argue that this is a critical economic resource for a people that do not have much else.
The trouble with that argument is that in conjunction with global warming destroying their ecosystem, the bears won’t be around to hunt much longer. Say goodbye to polar bears, everyone; the next generations won’t even know what they are.
The 100 most endangered species, in pictures »
The Guardian, a top newspaper for people with brains, has a gallery of the 100 most endangered species, as listed by the IUCN and Zoological Society of London. It’s depressing! Even more depressing, it’s part of a series called The Sixth Extinction: How humans are driving animals and plants to extinction, which includes articles on how endangered wildlife is being (illegally) traded on the internet, and on Ecuador’s Yasuni Park, “the most biodiverse region on Earth,” where people want to drill for oil because what else do you do with all that wildlife?
I had this conversation the other day about how, as a disgruntled, in-it-for-the-ethics vegan, it’s hard not to wonder if the world would be better off if whatever apocalyptic event happens and wipes out humanity; you know, end humanity, end humanity’s nonstop abuse of animals (among a million other things). Counterpoint: Hoping for the apocalypse is just another way of expressing depression; it’s our responsibility to not be jerks—not contributing to the exploitation of people/animals/the environment, being kind to other people, living well and appreciating how good we have it, and trying to help everyone have it better. Read all the books about the post-societal gangs of rapist cannibal murderers, while striving for utopia.
These 100 species are considered the most endangered not only because there are so terribly few of them left, but because “they have no obvious benefits for humans.” So cool! What do we even do about this? What does it matter if we cause the death of the greater bamboo lemur, or the Amsterdam albatross? They’re not curing our cancer or assembling our shoes or inventing personal electronic devices; fuck ‘em. We won the evolutionary race, we get to decide who lives and dies from now on. Right?
[photos, from top: ZSL/IUCN; Baz Scampion/ZSL/IUCN; ZSL/IUCN all via the Guardian]
[link via The Editors’ Desk]
This video documents the transportation of super-duper-endangered black rhinoceroses from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to a location 1,500 miles away in Limpopo province. Yes, it looks pretty scary, but it is supposedly the all-around best way to transport big animals like rhinos, and the 19 of them that were moved, via the World Wildlife Federation's Black Rhino Expansion Project, all made it safely.
Reading the details of this project on the Vimeo page is highly recommended! It was quite complicated, involving four organizations and many, many individuals, all to protect the seventh black rhino population established by WWF.
The overall populations of white and black rhinos are finally increasing, but this week the western black rhino was declared extinct, and the northern white rhino “on the brink of extinction.” It seems like these kinds of actions, which seem scary and extreme, are necessary to preserve the rhinoceroses in the wild.
Top 10 links of the week: a festive boat ride through the sea of veganism! »
[This poor turtle got his leg burned and it had to be amputated. Poor guy! I’m glad they gave him a wheel but am I the only one who thinks this wheel is kind of difficult to maneuver? He’s using it kind of like a stub, it looks like.]
Brooklyn Bliss is doing a giveaway for a four-piece Paul Labrecque curly hair care kit valued at $92! They tell me the brand is vegan. Go enter or whatever, you curly-headed bastards.
The NYT has the story on what happens when you get rid of top predators. It’s bad. Didn’t we talk about this last week? I could look but I am tired and it’s hot.
Here’s a dumb article about locavorism vs. not eating meat. What if you eat neither meat NOR dairy?
Apparently they have less cattle in America so beef costs are going up. I’m sure they can just get more from the Amazon! Slash and burn, baby!
Here are some stories from people who had terrible health issues that went vegan and got healthy!
In South Dakota, 1,500 cows died from heat exhaustion. Poor ranchers, am I right? Guys, they will lose money!
The ocean is totally screwed »
If you haven’t been paying attention, listen up: the ocean is effed. The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) brought together a team of scientists from different disciplines to discuss the “multiple stresses” affecting marine life. Normally, scientists only look at the problems in their field of expertise; when examining all the problems facing the ocean in conjunction, the findings are “shocking.” The conclusion: we are way worse off than we thought. We are having all the problems we knew about—habitat loss, overfishing, climate change, acidification—but the rate of destruction is hella more accelerated than previously projected. A mass marine extinction is a real possibility.
Here’s an overview from one of the science bros:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Shit is scary! But, hey guys, don’t go hide under your bed just yet! There are ways to help! From CNN: “Dan Laffoley, senior advisor on Marine Science and Conservation for IUCN, and co-author of the report, said: ‘The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen. The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent.’” That’s a rally call if I ever heard one!
As the video says, one of the main issues is overfishing. From IPSO: “Scientists at the IPSO meeting agreed that overfishing is exerting an intolerable pressure on ecosystems already under attack by the effects of acidification and warming, and other largely man-made ocean problems. A recent study showed that 63% of the assessed fish stocks worldwide are exploited or depleted and over half of them require further reduction of fishing, in order to recover.” Luckily, overfishing is one problem we can directly help alleviate—stop eating fish! It’s pretty simple: When trying to preserve a species, one thing you can do is not kill them. Science!
For more actions you can take, HuffPo put together a nice list of 10 things you can do to help the ocean (number two? Eat less fish. Check!).
Endangered, Will Robinson! »
Today is Endangered Species Day!
Endangered Species Day happens annually, and is dedicated to acknowledging the planet’s many endangered species and recognizing the amazing efforts being made globally to save them from extinction. How awesome is that?!
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services even created this super-nifty search engine that allows you to find endangered animals by state, country, and species. For example, there are 18 species in New York state that are either endangered or threatened, including the humpback whale, the Canada Lynx, and FIVE types of sea turtles. Damn, yo!
Here are a few ways to spread the word:
- Send an E-Card!
- Change your Facebook/Twitter/eHarmony profile picture to rep your favorite endangered animal!
- Find an event near you!
- Make a list, and check it twice!
- Plan an event or meetup in your area!
I don’t know if “celebrate” is the most appropriate term, but it’s definitely a good idea to raise awareness on behalf of our non-human friends. Let’s do this!
[Canadian Lynx image via digitalART2 via flickr]
From the place past depressed we believe is called “giving up,” it’s your weekend events, and some links that aren’t too upsetting! »
[Adélie penguins at Half Moon Bay, Antarctica, via Google Street View]
Events and activities for you
Obviously you’ll be at VegFest XI sometime this weekend, but we’ve got a separate preview for that. Have you read it? Go read it.
Meanwhile on Saturday, MickaCoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue will hold a Feather Their Nests! fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m., which includes a silent auction, vegan snacks, and wine! Suggested donation is $20; see the invitation for location, directions, and details.
LGBT Compassion will protest the sale of live chickens and eggs at Heart of the City Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. The group will meet, as always, near the poultry vendor (who has a big trailer covered with blue tarps) in the northeast corner of the market, near the water fountains. More information available online.
A new SwapSF returns on Saturday, Oct. 16, which seems like forever away, but considering how popular and fun this event is, you should consider buying a $6 ticket now. What is SwapSF? What are you, new?
You might also want to register now for one of Animal Place’s chicken care classes. The next one will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Sacramento SPCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will cost $10 per person, which includes lunch.
A little light reading
How about some recipes! This one, for pickled green tomatoes, is already vegan. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the spicy pickled crunch has a singular appeal. This is an easily veganizable recipe for panade from Tartine Bread, a book which I would most definitely like to own, oh yes. And these recipes from Project Just Desserts guest chef Janet Hudson for pumpkin moonshine and pumpkin moonshine cupcakes, are out of control. If the heat hasn’t put our hopes of pumpkins off until November, we are buying one this weekend and making our own bathtub pumpkgin (y/n?).
A pair of Australian scientists postulate that, based on historical record, up to one third of mammals considered extinct may still be living, and if we look hard enough, we’ll find them again. You guys I am holding out SO HARD for the ridiculous, peaceful flightless birds (despite their not being mammals, whatever) of New Zealand, you have no idea how sweet and innocent they were. Speaking of animal-crazy people, four of good ol’ Butterstick’s biggest fans recently spent a week volunteering at his new home at the Conservation Center in Sichuan Province. These ladies went to China exclusively to clean panda cages and feed pandas, which allowed them to touch ol’ Butterstick for the first time. It’s nuts, but it’s an adorable nuts, right?
Today in self-promotion, our raw food reporter Sarah E. Brown writes about spiritually motivated vegans; VegNews discusses vegan zines, like our pals Soyfucker and Susie Cagle, and naturally our own Laura and Jonas; and Laura tells the story of Dino Bike in The Bold Italic. And if you have the Cute Overload 2010 calendar, you may note that the photo for today, Friday Oct. 1, is of this dog with whom Meave presently lives. She calls him Bosie (as in Lord Alfred Douglas) and finds him incorrigible.
Dick Van Dyke loves tigers! I love Dick Van Dyke! Mostly because he knows Mary Tyler Moore and she’s the most awesome ever (did you check out Broadway Barks?!).
The Dickster is now a tiger ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund. Dude, did you know there are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild? That’s like the size of a lame liberal arts college! That’s pathetic. 3,200. Holy cannoli. As you can see in the video above, Dick is promoting WWF’s text fundraiser:
By texting TIGERS to 20222, your $10 donation will help WWF save the tiger in its vast range – from India to China, to the Russian Far East. WWF will focus on anti-poaching efforts in critical tiger sites, building political will in tiger range countries, protecting and connecting tiger habitats on a massive scale, and clamping down on tiger trade.
I really love the this text-donation trend. It’s so easy! Which is perfect because I’m so lazy! And how super is that video? I love how the little boy starts going through puberty towards the end. Poor kid! It’s all downhill from here, buddy!
To refresh your memory, here’s the first episode of the Dike Van Dyke show:
This adorable, ridiculously tiny gecko is one of a newly discovered species found in Ecuador. Of course, like so many animals in the region, they’re threatened with extinction by deforestation and evil men in top hats twiddling their mustaches (Have I made that joke before?).