Top 10 links of the week: a hoverboard adventure through veganism! »
Guess what! Ecorazzi tells us that fewer dogs and cats are being euthanized in the United States! Holler! Go spay and neuter programs, get your progress on!
The Humane Society is having an event in D.C. next weekend! You should go!
Remember that awful pig farm video? It got Safeway and some others to stop buying pigs from that supplier! One down, a zillion to go.
On July 28, Animal Planet is going to show a Gulf Oil Spill special! Let’s watch it and get depressed. Stone cold bummer.
“Grizzly Bear In Yellowstone National Park Was Just Protecting Cubs, Say Park Rangers.” Yay park rangers! Huffpo has the story.
Fish are totally eating a shit-ton of plastic. What can we do? What do you do to reduce your plastic usage? I need help.
Over at Grist, read about “The Most Important Fish in the Sea” and how Virginia is a jerk.
Chick-Fil-A says it’s cow appreciation day? And that means we should eat chicken? Hardy har har!
The Telegraph has some super-funny animal pictures by photographer Joanne Williams! See monkey below.
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!).
Fish are math geniuses! Basically! »
New research shows that fish can discriminate between different numbers of objects! I didn’t read the study because Save by the Bell is on but I totally read the abstract! And I read this great summary article from One Kind. The fish involved were mosquitofish—they eat mosquito larvae, god bless them. They are super social and if they find themselves alone, they try to find their friends, asap. So the scientists put their pals behind one door with a certain number of shapes on it and then they had another door with nothing behind it that had a different number of shapes on it. Of course at first, the fish were guessing, but soon they were picking the door with their friends on the other side!
The conclusion from the abstract:
Fish are able to use pure numerical information when discriminating between quantities larger than four units. As observed in human and non-human primates, the numerical system of fish appears to have virtually no upper limit while the numerical ratio has a clear effect on performance. These similarities further reinforce the view of a common origin of non-verbal numerical systems in all vertebrates.
When they say they observed similarities between fish and humans when it comes to these numbers, they don’t mean real humans, they mean college students. They gave them a test similar to the one they gave the fish and while they performed better across the board, they were more accurate when the ratio between numbers was larger—same with the fish. And fish could distinguish between numbers in the hundreds! Go fish!
Let’s turn this into an opinion piece, OK? Like, what are your opinions. Because, see, I’m torn; I love learning about animals but I don’t like when they are in experiments. This kind of experiment is a far cry from a Draize test (just wiki, don’t be scared), or even poisoning fish with bee venom (self-reference! not scary!) to prove they feel pain. But we know, regardless of the experiment, the life of a lab animal is abysmal (scary video but educational). So I guess it doesn’t matter what we learn or how noninvasive an experiment is, we should leave the animals alone. People just can’t be trusted to take care of animals when taking care of animals is not their primary goal! I.e., if it’s in the name of science, we can’t depend on people to look out for the animals. But I love learning about animals!
Wait, I know what to do: OBSERVATIONAL research! Where they just check out the wild animals and try to stay out of their way. Yeah?
New bill seeks to ban fish factory farms in U.S. oceans! »
Eat Drink Better brings us word on a new bill to ban fish factory farms in U.S. oceans! Let’s support the crap out of this mother!
The main text reads:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the Secretary of the Interior nor the Secretary of Commerce may issue any permit or in any other way authorize any person to conduct commercial finfish aquaculture operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States (as established by Proclamation Numbered 5030, dated March 10, 1983), except in accordance with a law authorizing such action that is enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Of course, the rep. who proposed this is, Don Young, is from Alaska, who definitely has a vested interest in keeping competition out of the market. It’s not like it’s someone who gives a real shit about fish or our ocean’s waters.
You can read the complete thing here [.pdf].
Of course, the best thing you can do for fish and ocean health is to simply not eat fish. DERG. However, if you want to help slightly minimize the damage to both (and you do!), Eat Drink Better has the politicians to holler at about it.
Top 10 links of the week! A breezy ride through veganism! »
[Your cute animal video of the week, stolen from Pawesome. Look how quiet yet excited that dog is!]
Remember hearing like all wild fish are totally going to be gone soon? Well, some scientists disagree. Some agree. I hate fishing regardless. Sounds like a party!
Good news in San Francisco: Activists end live bird sale at SF’s Farmers’ Market!
Big surprise: Tilapia farming is totally effed!
Fish oil may not prevent depression; probably kills fish.
Apparently a dog helped take out bin Laden and this is my discussion topic of the week. Did you see Sarah’s post about parachuting dogs? I just think it’s crazy! I know they form bonds with their trainers or whatever but jumping out of planes? Seems effed! Some actually get PTSD! What do you think? Is what they do so important that it’s worth the risk? I don’t know, they can’t give consent. Seems effed.
Your weekly WTF from Defenders of Wildlife: “The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the first in a series of three bills that mandates the acceleration of the offshore drilling permitting process and opens up new areas to oil and gas drilling.”
This is kind of funny! From This Dish is Veg: Seven ridiculous restaurant logos that feature happy animals selling meat. [Ed.: for many more of these, check out Suicide Food!]
Redefining vegetarianism: Oh NO he didn’t! »
Chef Yotam Ottolenghi, who I’ve never heard of, is redefining vegetarianism. BECAUSE HE CAN. JUST KIDDING who the fuck is he? I know you’re on TV, Mr. Ottolenghi, but your name isn’t Webster, bitch, you’re not the damn dictionary. Get it straight: you can always make up NEW words but not just anyone can redefine old words. Like if I want to make up the word “sandwish” (1. the sandwich you wish you had; 2. fictitious sandwich you dream of), that’s cool (actually, that’s awesome and you’re welcome), but you can’t run around saying a slice of pizza can now be called a sandwich! THAT’S CRAZY TALK and NARCISSISM.
Here he goes, “‘You can be vegetarian and eat fish,’ he says. ‘It’s your choice, just say: “I am what I am.” There are no hard core divisions any more.’” As a Popeye fan, I’m all for I am what I am, but if you eat fish, what you am ain’t a vegetarian. What you are is someone who doesn’t eat any meat besides fish. How hard is that to say? It’s no more difficult than saying “I’m vegetarian but I eat fish” and it has the bonus of not being TOTAL BULLSHIT.
(via Vegetarian Star!)
This video is about the plight of the bluefin tuna. It’s not terribly exciting but it’s simple and very informative. I give it a thumb up! I definitely like how they included info about the hook-line thing that also hooks endangered sea turtles and dolphins and all that. That’s your “wild-caught” fish. Yeah, it’s way better than a fish-farm. NOT.
(I’m bringing back NOT.)
[Video from howtosavethebluefin.com]
Last week, Mercy for Animals released this video documenting the horrible cruelty at a catfish slaughterhouse in Mesquite, Texas. This video is not for kids—brace yourself. I watched it once and that’s all I can handle. Mostly, they are skinning the catfish alive while they are still flopping around and gasping for air. It’s highly disturbing. Over and over, I just kept thinking, “why can’t they just kill them first?” They specifically tell the undercover worker to “clean them” while the fish are still alive. Why?
If you don’t already know: yes, fish can feel pain. Fish are also a lot smarter than people assume. Isn’t that always the way? Go to Mercy for Animal’s website to see how you can take action and/or donate to the cause.
Did you know January is a total DEATH MONTH? For real, we’re all GOING TO DIE! »
Or at least we will if we live in Arkansas or Florida, or Kentucky or Louisiana or Maryland or Texas, or Australia or Brazil or England or New Zealand—it’s flooding poisonous snakes and crocodiles in Australia, and everywhere else animals are falling from the sky or washing ashore dead as doornails. There’s a “hilarious” Taiwanese animation about it, but by “hilarious” I mean “kind of horrifying,” so please click the above link to watch it, should you feel any desire to. I don’t!
I’m not saying it’s “end times”—Vegansaurus is saving that joke for 2012, obviously. It may however be a DEATH MONTH, in which loads of air and sea creatures die and other animals attempt to kill us people, for reasons we can’t fathom, because we are not smart enough. Also we’re too scared, which is on the other hand totally easy to understand, as this is terrifying! Maybe it’s nature’s judgment for our having been awful monsters for so long, although that doesn’t explain why a bunch of innocent animals have to die for us to learn not to be such jerks.
Probably all these horrors are directly related to our ruining our environment. You know, I bet it’s plastics’ fault. We need to reduce our plastics consumption, you guys! Hey, maybe start by attending that Etsy event at Craft Bar tonight! Since plastic is utterly unavoidable, though, let’s try investing in bioplastic! The planet is obviously trying to expunge us, for crimes against existence; let’s try to do a little to mitigate our horrible selfishness, before the 100 tons of dead fish washing ashore become 100 tons of LIVING fish washing ashore, ones that have mutated into flesh-eating, air-breathing monsters who use their fins to fly out of the waves to kill us all in as painful a manner as possible.
Fish and birds are kinda scary, right? But better the air and the water full of scary potential people-destroyers than totally empty except for our own toxic waste. HA HA we’re all going to die!
Is that the pungent odor of bitter disgust mixed with maniacal enthusiasm? Why yes, it’s this week’s link-o-rama! »
What ho, young Philip! When Your Vegansaurus leads with a bunny photo, it means there’s an adoption event this weekend, and this one is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at George in Berkeley! Harvest Home Sanctuary and House Rabbit Society buns will be waiting for you in the Fourth Street Shopping Center at 1824 Fourth St.—big buns and little buns, baby buns and grown-up buns, ready for you to meet and befriend and take home to love forever and ever. Wee Philip here, along with his mum and littermates were dumped outside a pet store. Wouldn’t you love to end his nightmare by taking him and a sibling home? Look at his little paws, they are chocolate-dipped!
And what else is happening this weekend, Vegansaurus?
How about dinner and a movie tonight? As in, Friday, Sept. 17! OK it’s not original, but the details are: attend a screening of Bicycle Bride by local filmmaker Hassan Zee at Maharani Restaurant, and eat your heart’s (NOT stomach’s; heart’s. stomach lies; heart encourages) content at a massive vegan buffet! Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the film screens at 7:15. Tickets cost $25, which is a good deal for ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAN FOOD, plus a movie! Maharani is at 1122 Post St., between Van Ness and Polk Streets.
Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday are action days for anti-circus leafleting in Stockton! This is organized by Humanity Through Education, who direct you here for details. Leafleting and protesting will take place at the Stockton Arena, at 248 Fremont St., at 5:30 this evening, 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, and 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. Contact Pat Cuviello with questions and/or to RSVP.
If you missed the previous two discussions about “Preparing Yourself and Your Animal Companion for a Disaster,” the SFPL will present one more on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Glen Park Branch, at 2825 Diamond St. The discussion will be held by a panel of experts from the SF Disaster Preparedness Coalition for Animals. Your Vegansaurus is fine with your blasé attitude toward earthquake preparedness, but if you have companion animals, you owe it to them to be ready.
Also on Weds., Sept. 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Excelsior branch, check out the documentary Dark Water Rising: Survival Stories of Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescues. The Excelsior Branch is located at 2200 Mission St. at Cotter Street.
Vegansaurus, I need something to read!
Peter Singer reminds pescatarians of the massive cost of catching their dinners, in particular that “is no humane slaughter requirement for wild fish caught and killed at sea.” Of course Rick Moonen, who prides himself in serving “sustainable” fish at his restaurant in Las Vegas, is staunchly against the GMO salmon. On this single, solitary, lone point, Your Vegansaurus and Rick Moonen find agreement—this shit is fucked up. Now stop acting like serving fish is at all sustainable in any environment, Moonen, and work on developing gourment mock-fish. Then you’ll be a real ocean warrior. Oh, and do tell us how you stand on tuna?
People are so good at killing animals these days! Last week, caretakers in Kyoto, Japan, somehow caused the death of Xin Xin the panda during an attempt to collect his sperm, which they were going to use to artificially inseminate his partner Tan Tan. Chinese panda experts are investigating. Poor Xin Xin was on loan (like a vase!) from China, and per the agreement, Japan apparently owes $500,000 for his death. Goodnight, sweet prince; may heaven be a nonstop party. In Honker Bay, Calif., a contractor working for Chevron drained a 700-acre “duck pond,” and whoops, the 1,500 fish living there had no water and DIED. Sorry, fish! Chevron totally had all the right permits and everything! Well, Professional Lab and Research Services, Inc., of North Carolina won’t be torturing or murdering any animals for the foreseeable future, thanks to…Peta. Sometimes old uncle Peta stops embarrassing us and does something awesome, like shut down a horrible, abusive lab that was testing ANIMAL CARE PRODUCTS.
Adorable-drawing break! Check out Tiny Pets, the sweetest little Tumblr you ever saw! The concept is super-simple: the artist draws a little portrait of your pet! This one of Josie is noteworthy first because of her little rescued-on date—everyone loves a rescue cat!—and second because it’s reminiscent of a classic “mom” tattoo. Buy a pet portrait from Tiny Pets, whose own cat came from BARC in Brooklyn! Or at least check out the archives to see every singular pet portrait, they really are wonderful.
Now, back to the unhappiness: LGBT Compassion reports that they have identified the factory farms that supply the birds being sold at Heart of the City Farmers Market, one of which is Gemperle Farms, which used to supply Trader Joe’s with eggs until they were exposed as extreme hen torturers. For more information on this breaking news, please contact LGBT Compassion. For more information on why Colonel Sanders should be as big an icon as George Washington or Jesus or something, please read Josh Ozersky’s ridiculous column. Or not, as it may induce violent rage and you don’t want to hit the first innocent person you see. Read this nice story about poor chickens who were being “hoarded”—like pillows or toenail clippings, but actual LIVING CREATURES—but have since been rescued and now live at our beloved Animal Place.
Hey guys, don’t worry about the egg recall, or any food recalls, really: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the worst citizens of our beloved country, isn’t! He’s going to stop the food-safety bill from passing, all by his lonesome, for no specific reason! Our theory: he hates you! He wants people to die from food-borne illnesses! Then there will be fewer people to vote against him in his next election! Unfortunately for Evil Tom Coburn, the longer the horrorshow of “meat production” remains a media talking point, the less meat people actually eat. So unless nightmarish conditions on factory farms allow E. coli or Salmonella to infiltrate our precious fruits and vegetables again, his plan to kill people through food defeats itself! Very slowly! Evil Tom Coburn: secretly loves irony. What we need to do is get in on this science-magic from China that grows vegetables without sunlight or soil—that will save us from runoff and soil erosion and pesticides and Evil Tom Coburn’s plan to force us to eat animal poop. Help us, China! Help us all afford produce untainted by bacteria and devils!
Happy stories time? How about a video of a three-month-old orphaned otter learning to swim in a bathtub? Right? Little Garaint is being rehabbed at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Highbridge, Somerset; part of that involves socialization, and instead of meeting lots of people (bad!), Garaint is making friends with Mollie the Labrador retriever puppy, and another baby otter called Snuffles. SNUFFLES THE BABY OTTER. OK, now laugh and cry with this slideshow from Pup My Ride, a program by Best Friends Animal Society that takes dogs from shelters and puppy mills to “local rescue partners with highly successful adoption programs.” More weeping, you say? How about the story of The Old Lady Pigeons’ Retirement Home, which should be adapted into a mystery-solving series ASAPly. It is the sweetest story that may also cause you to cry, because life is so hard and ugly and lovely.