Meet the Arctic Ocean Alliance! It’s a group fronted by (mostly) famous people who want to save the Arctic Ocean, whatever that means. They aren’t super-specific, except to say that 1. The Arctic Ocean is a valuable and precious resource that humans are totally fucking up, particularly through 2. Overfishing. Well, what watery area of the world can’t you say that about?
They want you to sign a petition, which is fine, you know, sign away. I feel like not eating animals, including fish, and working to keep your demand for petrochemical products low would be equally effective, at least in the short term.
Obviously we care about not fucking up the entire goddamn planet, but just “sign this petition” isn’t the strongest message to send, you know? How about: “Stop whaling, put major regulations on fishing, leave the magical Arctic oil the hell alone. Also Russia stop drilling into Lake Vostok, that shit is worse than Deepwater Horizon.” Right?
Commercial fishing SUCKS. It is absolutely terrible. Vincent Peone of College Humor made this beautiful video—reminiscent of that Chipotle happy-times free-range pigs video, notes Fast Company—called “The Story of Sushi” to illustrate the nightmare behind those tidily cut and arranged pieces of dead fish. He created it at the behest of Bamboo, a sustainable sushi restaurant in Portland, Ore., so it ends on the same cheerful, “look at us kill stuff in a less abhorrent way” note that bothers me so much about that Chipotle ad. I know some of you loved it, but ugh, those “happy” pigs. At least this video doesn’t pretend like fish are at all pleased to be caught.
My issues aside, this is an important topic. Overfishing is ruining our oceans! So watch it, and maybe pass it on to your favorite sushi-eaters. Because you’ll feed more hummingbirds with sugar-water than saltwater, right?
Top 10 links of the week: a shuffle board game through veganism! »
First of all, SO FLATTERED: We’re on Carpe Vegan’s neat Vegan 100 list: vote us to the top! Also, the San Francisco Bay Guardian totally gave us a Best of the Bay 2011 award for “Best Righteous Vegan Sass” (WHAT?) and we’re extremely pleased and honored and in very fine company so WOO AWARD WINNERS WHAT?
Apparently in Bosnia, they make bulls fight each other and they used to beat them up first to get them angry. They aren’t going to do that anymore—the beating part at least. A win? Why do people like these crazy events?
Yo! The U.S. (where I keep all my stuff) may impose sanctions on Iceland for whaling! I HOPE THOSE ICELANDIC FUCKERS GET WHAT THEY DESERVE.
Good has a vegan guide to getting it on. Like, sex.
Downer about dead baby dolphins over at HuffPo.
Birds massage each other! Birds are so smart! And kinky!
The emperor penguin Happy Feet (gag on the name, but whatevs) is recovering well, and here’s a video of him passing his penguin physical.
Whaling is a slowly dying form of murder, so we’re happy to see that Japan is hopping on the bandwagon. The country’s Fisheries Agency has released a report with its first-ever mention of discontinuing research whaling as a viable option.
The lovely Sarah M. Smart heavily contributed to these links! Thanks, Sarah!
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!).
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]
Scandals, stupidity, and some really clever sheep in this week’s link-o-rama! »
Pilot whales in the Straits of Gibraltar! This was the only calf in the small pod, don’t you want to give it a hug? YES OF COURSE YOU CAN’T HUG A WHALE. But in my Lisa-Frank-colored childhood dreams, this whale and I would be pals and it would love hugs, so there. [picture by Rory Moore via the Telegraph]
Things for a vegan to do!
Tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 14, Harvest Home Sanctuary is having a work party! Go put together “Harvest Home Hay Boxes” and “Barndog Beds” from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., eat veggie dogs, and feel virtuous. Email to RSVP and get directions.
On Thursday, Aug. 19 the Asian Art Museum is celebrating the drunken dishes of Shanghai cuisine with chefs Nei Chia Ji and Martin Yan. They will be making vegetarian goose with been curd and rice wine; pickled cucumber in Huang Chiew wine; and some chicken thing no one cares about because duh. It’s the AAM’s bimonthly MATCHA event, so there’ll be a cash bar, music, and you can make your own art, too—but your Vegansaurus is mainly excited about the food, obviously. It costs $10 and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St. in San Francisco.
Things for a vegan to read!
Let’s look at horrible food news! Valley Meat Co. of Modesto, Calif. (our neighbor to the east!) recalled 1 million pounds of frozen ground beef this week! It had been produced in late 2009 and early 2010 and has already made seven people sick with E.coli poisoning! NPR did some math and figures about 2,300 cows/steers were killed to make 1 million pounds of ground beef—wonder where they all came from? We’ll probably never know! Still, according to a CDC report, 17 percent of “food-borne illness outbreaks reported to the government” are caused by dead birds in your kitchen, compared to the 16 percent caused by dead cow and 14 percent by “leafy vegetables.” Although of course leafy vegetables carry no deadly bacteria or viruses inside of themselves, unlike say chickens or cows. Your tiny baby children are sick because they’ve been eating salmonella-ful dry pet food! Maybe these statistics will decrease a bit, as Ohio farmers have agreed to give some of their food-animals (“livestock,” if you will) a little breathing room.
Ben and Jerry’s, so full of lies. You really can’t trust anyone who uses that font. Shockingly, their “all-natural” label includes ingredients like dextrose, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils, none of which are officially “natural.” The New York Times, another bastion of truth, notes a trend in farmers seeking organic certification, motivated primarily by the money. Motivated by being awesome, a former Mad Man is working to make Meatless Mondays a national habit. Even this crazy “barbecue whisperer” who calls himself Meathead Goldwyn has decided to eat vegetarian for a month, and Mario Batali plans to write a vegetarian cookbook, inspired by the “beautiful people!” [sic] of Italy. Maybe they’d enjoy this easy-peasy recipe for carrot bacon!
New Zealand really is as full of sheep as you’ve heard. Sheep, however, are much smarter than is generally assumed. It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that sheep living in Matamata, NZ, have moved into the Lord of the Rings hobbit homes set. [image by Tara Hunt, via Laughing Squid]
We’re eating very well in the Bay Area these days. There’s the fancy-pants, super-delicious tofu of Oakland’s Hodo Soy Beanery (take a tour!); the second Garden Fresh—vegan Chinese!—in Palo Alto got a good review in the Chronicle; and Sutton Cellars in San Francisco makes only vegan wines and vermouth that SFoodie really enjoyed.
The SF SPCA won its lawsuit to claim $500,000 for its hearing dog program, despite its sort of not having one—it’s all very strange, as SF Weekly explains. The Humane Society’s lawsuit against Olivera Egg Ranch, originally filed in 2008, will go ahead! Olivera Egg Ranch is a massive polluter (not to mention chicken-torturer on a grand scale) and was fined $143,057 in 2009 for “destroying evidence related to air pollution on its property.” On Thursday, defendants in the Bushway Packing trial entered not-guilty pleas to misdemeanor and felony counts of animal cruelty. Even Canada’s not perfect: No Country For Animals is a new documentary about the country’s “deplorable record on animal welfare,” and you can watch it online.
Despite its best intentions, the Times hosted a decent discussion of the ethics of catch-and-release fly-fishing, including a biologist who said, straight-up, that it’s shitty because fish feel pain. Some other biologist contradicted that “theory,” but Wikipedia contradicts him, and Vegansaurus says, just because you CAN do a thing doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it, cowboy. Discover magazine wonders how many orangutan there would be in the world if the Victorians hadn’t been so keen on shooting everything with a heartbeat. To wit: the Galapagos giant tortoises didn’t get a Latin name until 300 years after their “discovery” by Charles Darwin because they were so delicious and easy to kill. Hey Michigan! Your private stock of non-native, feral shootin’ hogs—upward of 5,000!—have broken free from your game ranches and are rampaging wild across the lands, eating fawns and carrying pseudorabies. Michiganders with hunting licenses are encouraged to shoot them. Way to go, guys!
Overfishing, under-(cover)inspecting, producing better produce plates, arguing about Alice Waters and MORE in today’s link-o-rama! »
Dolfapedia says, “They’re gonna make the dog ride the zip line because they need the coverage on Vegansaurus.” Doubt it! But if this happens someone better let us know so we can let you know and we can amass a zip line protest group ASAP. It’ll be the funnest protest ever (we will take over the zip line).
The LGBT Army of Compassion will hold a peaceful demonstration against animal cruelty on Sunday, Apr. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market at U.N. Plaza. Click here for further information.
Items of social and political import!
Kinship Circle has volunteers helping animal victims of the Chilean earthquake and could really use your donations.
Whoops, another environment overfished to the point of near-destruction! There’s a ban on fishing in the Sea of Galilee and no one can play “Jesus and Disciples” anymore.
Oceanic nightmares: photos from a Japanese whaling expedition. I am not going to look at them because I will cry, but have at them, you all with your stronger constitutions.
FDA inspections of food manufacturing plants are few, far-between, and essentially useless. Color me fucking shocked.
But big businesses are using their big dollars to fight for the closure of legal aid clinics, including that of the University of Maryland, which filed a lawsuit against Perdue in March, “the first effort in the state to hold a poultry company accountable for the environmental impact of its chicken suppliers.”
This year’s first “positive side effect of global warming” is the super-low price of California and Florida strawberries. Fresh strawberries are SO GOOD, you guys, and remember, buy local and organic whenever possible because berry pesticides are nasty.
Six of the “seven essentials” of Alice Waters’ kitchen are applicable to vegans AND omnivores—imagine! We are of course not counting the business about getting children to help you, which is silly if you do not already have children in the kitchen. But did you know that everyone hates Alice Waters forever? She is the devil in a blue organic cotton apron.
We have an appreciate/desire-to-punch-in-the-face relationship with Slow Food Nation—roasting a piglet for two days is saving the planet how?—but declaring 2010 the "Year of the Heirloom Apple" and providing consumers with a fancy informational booklet all about that fruit earns them a mark in the “appreciate” column.
Another study shows that unless you are participating in a lot of activities that make you more likely to get cancer, eating produce won’t make you less likely to get cancer. Kind of. It’s complicated, which probably means the science is real.
Europe is tired of cupcakes! Hi, All of Europe, you probably just haven’t enjoyed enough vegan cupcakes, because duh they are the best and everyone loves them forever. Who wants to move to a Nordic country, open a vegan bakery, and eventually find nice citizens to marry? Totally awesome social services for life, plus near gender/class equality! I speak two European languages and am NOT AT ALL JOKING about this.
More Social Kitchen news: They have a brewer’s permit, and have scheduled a “soft opening” for Tuesday, Apr. 20. Plus: the menu will be split into thirds for omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Party in the Sunset!
Jonathan Kauffman loooooooves Gracias Madre, he just loooooooves it. “Oh Gracias Madre, mi amor,” he says, “te amo, te amo mucho.” Or something like that anyway.
Ezra Klein is mad as heck, and he is most likely not going to eat it anymore! What “it” is this? The ubiquitous, irritating, boring-ass grilled vegetable plate that totally doesn’t count as a “vegetarian entree,” gosh darn it. And Julian Sanchez totally concurs.
Here is a serious reason not to smoke, like, ever, as in not even when you’re drinking or stressed or sad or hanging out with other smokers or watching a lot of Mad Men, really for real never: the filters are made with pig’s blood.
Someone on Chowhound needs advice on vegetarian wedding menus. Anyone around here have any experience?
Wired explores foods/food-like substances/food-creation methods that are “changing the way we eat,” including pseudo-meat and aerosol pancake batter.
The Kitchn gives us 10 ideas for vegan breakfast, none of which includes aerosol pancakes.
What does “biodynamic” mean in relation to growing wine grapes? How does it compare to organic growing conventions? If you ever wondered when reading a wine list, this article may answer some of your questions. Maybe.
Regardless, I would rather drink a million bottles of mediocre, confusing, goddess-blessed biodynamic wine than one meat-infused cocktail, because BARF to the MAX. Why, god, why.
Philly Represents, by Megan Rascal.
Taxing meat, hacking Ike’s, saving birds & bunnies, junk science and MORE in this week’s link-o-rama »
I missed you guys! So much, I made this big old link-o-rama just for you! That means extra swears, I know how much you love the dirty stuff.
LATE EDIT, UGH: In Defense of Animals and the SF Vegetarian Society are co-hosting a vegan halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 31! Check out A.Muse Gallery at 614 Alabama St. tomorrow from 7 to 11 p.m. for comestibles (Sugar Beat Sweets!), a silent auction, a raffle, a costume contest, and MORE! The entry fee is a sliding scale starting at $7, and all proceeds “go to the animals.” Not sure what that means, exactly, but if you are into costumes and vegans, this sounds like the place to be.
A dude who owns a fish restaurant was caught hell of illegally fishing, and SF Gate commenters are up in ARMS about it. The way they are all “PUT HIM IN THE STOCKS” [sic] and PROSECUTE TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW and shit, it’s as though the fish were their own mothers (they are their murdered dinners).
“Revival pork products”? FUCKING DISGUSTING.
Hey, selfish first-world lard-ass: Peter Singer is ready for you to grow a conscience, and if it means taxing the hell out of your meat—what with it being both a product and cause of death and destruction—then by golly you will pay $50 a pound for that “organic” “grass-fed” “sustainably grown” piece of a “happy cow.”
Here is an adorable list of San Francisco food firsts. Did you know they invented the martini here? Notably absent is the debut of Greens, the first fine-dining vegetarian restaurant in the U.S. Still, we also invented Chinese delivery! Such a city we have.
We just want to remind you about Daiya Cheddar Biscuits. We’ve made about 15 batches this week and they just keep getting better. So fast and easy and delicious, no reason not to! Make them with this vegan gravy recipe and get ready for worlds. to. collide.
Back to the terrible: An undercover investigation by the Humane Society resulted in the temporary shut-down of an especially fucked up slaughterhouse in Vermont. The best part is that the plant was for killing veal calves, who were horribly tortured before their painful deaths. AWESOME.
But what’s that you say, Ezra Klein, humane veal? No joke, you guys, especially you vegetarians: “If you consume dairy, you should eat veal.” Because otherwise what happens to the bouncing baby boy calves born of the must-give-birth-to-give-milk dairy cows? The onus is totally on YOU THE CONSUMER who already DOES NOT EAT VEAL, duh. The world is so fucking simple sometimes!! [thanks for the tip, Tessa!]
The International Bird Rescue Research Center needs your help! There’s been a big algal bloom in the Pacific off the Oregon and Washington coasts, and it’s covered thousands of seabirds with “an unusual sea slime.” The effect on the birds is similar to that of an oil spill—it’s really awful. What you can do is give the IBRRC your money, to fund its team and local rescue groups. Save the seabirds!
On Monday, Nov. 2 at noon, Go Vegan radio host Bob Linden and the San Francisco Green Party Animal Advocacy Working Group will lead a “peaceful protest” against KPFA for airing anti-veg propaganda, a.k.a. a bunch of dumb lies. The protest happens outside the KPFA studios at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley.
Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Except, hang on, what’s Michael Bauer written about this week? The SFUSD’s gross-ass lunches! The school offers both milk and chocolate milk, which is federally mandated despite having “high fructose corn syrup listed as the second ingredient and corn syrup as the third.” Dang you guys, that is nasty. Help fix things with the Healthy School Lunches program, OK? Because ALL KIDS deserve good, cruelty-free food, and improving our free, mandatory public education institutions benefits all of us. For real.
SaveABunny needs your help! The SF Animal Care and Control shelter is overflowing with rabbits who need foster (and forever!) homes. Please contact Marcy Schaaf at 415.388.2790 or via the SaveABunny website to volunteer. Buns are the sweetest, we swear. Can you deny?
Our BFFs at Sugar Beat Sweets will have fancy, original, super-duper t-shirts soon! Designed exclusively for them by Herbivore Clothing's Josh Hooten! We will take two in every color, please (dinosaurs are notoriously messy eaters).