Help Florida figure out how to protect 61 endangered and threatened species »
Because lord knows Florida needs all the help it can get.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened up a forum that the agency hopes will create an open conservation with the public about how to protect 60 species of imperiled animals.
The FWC invites the general public to visit their site to review their new draft action plans and to comment on them.
"We hope the public and stakeholders will comment on the draft species action plans and share their ideas on common themes or actions among plans," said Claire Sunquist Blunden, the stakeholder coordination for imperiled species management planning for the FWC.
[Eastern Chipmunk photo by Vicki DeLoach via Flickr]
Twit Twoo… How many owls can you spot? A tiny owlet is almost invisible at first glance as it blends into the feathers of its mother. Even wildlife photographer Marina Scarr only realised she had taken pictures of two owls after she looked at the image on her camera while taking pictures in Desoto Park, Florida. Photograph: Marina Scarr/Caters News Agency
Taken from picture desk live: follow the best news pictures of the day from conflict-stricken regions to the lighter side of life chosen by the Guardian’s award-winning picture team
Amazing! I can’t even tell where that little owlet starts!
What happens to “retired” research chimps? »
NPR had a nice report on Friday about the lives of chimps after they have been “retired” from scientific study, specifically those at the National Institutes of Health. Yes, “retired” is a bullshit term and life for lab animals is horrific, but obfuscatory vocabulary shouldn’t detract from the actual greatness of taking chimpanzees out of those labs; we made their lives hell, but now we are taking them out of that hell.
NPR focuses on two facilities that take in research chimps, Save the Chimps in Florida, and Chimp Haven in Louisiana. Both sanctuaries tell science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce that they are willing and able to take in more of the NIH’s retired chimps (which number in the hundreds), but because “Congress put a [$30 million] cap on how much the agency can spend on chimp sanctuaries when it passed the CHIMP Act in 2000,” and the NIH has already spent almost $29 million so far. Save the Chimps and Chimp Haven are raising more money to meet demand, but for 100 recently retired chimps, the NIH instead chose to make them “ineligible for experiments,” and “moved [them] to a different lab that had space to house them” instead of sending them to sanctuaries.
The cost of keeping a chimp in a lab for a year, $15,000, is close to the annual cost of housing a chimp in a sanctuary. As Greenfieldboyce reports, the sanctuaries are working on raising $5 million right now to take on the retired chimps, as well as make room for chimps expected to be retired by the NIH soon. The story is an interesting read (and better listen), if you can get past the “retired” euphemism. Because come on, NIH, none of these chimpanzees ever applied for the “jobs” you gave them.
[Photo of Chimp Haven resident by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr]
It’s fall! Let’s all dig into some delicious gourds!
Is there anything cuter than a massive feline getting down with a pumpkin? Doubt it.
Paul Shapiro presents: Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!
First, some good news: A bill (H.R. 3798) was introduced in the Congress this week to ban barren battery cages for laying hens, ban starvation molting, require egg producers to label “eggs from caged hens” on their cartons, and more. You can see a joint statement from major animal protection organizations on why they support this bill, and a joint statement from nearly all of the agribusiness trade groups on why they oppose it. Who would you side with?
I was on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday talking about the above effort to help laying hens. Check it out.
Some bad news: The U.S. Supreme Court this week struck down portions of a law passed in California shortly after HSUS’s landmark Hallmark/Westland slaughter plant investigation (which led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history). While federal regulations still prohibit the slaughter of adult downer cattle for human consumption, the parts of California’s law prohibiting slaughtering other downer animals are no longer in effect.
Back to good news: Get a coffin, since Florida’s “ag-gag” legislation is now officially dead. However, Iowa is still debating its whistle-blower suppression bill, and similar bills are still pending in other states.
Time has a compelling online video about undercover investigations and these ag-gag bills that you won’t want to miss.
Video of the week: Ever try to teach a pig to sit? Here you go.
Interview with Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Institute! »
I went raw once, for five months! It was the absolute best I’ve felt in the four years I’ve been vegan. The energy! The new and exciting foods to try! Living in Chicago at the time, I was able to gorge on all sorts of delicious raw fare from Karyn’s Raw, Cousins IV and The Chicago Diner (do they still serve raw food, Chicagoans?). I used Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen and Matt Amsden’s The Rawvolution as my how-to guides at home. Life was good, though it’s much easier to be raw in the spring and summer in Chicago—you can assume what happened once winter started to set in.
Three years later, I’m living in beautiful San Francisco, and I still go off and on with this raw food thing. I JUST CAN’T STICK TO IT. I think every person’s body has individual needs and sensitivities, and for me personally, the raw food diet works best. I’m a huge advocate.
But this post isn’t about me (what?), it’s about the healing powers of being raw. Recently, Dr. Brian Clement spoke at San Francisco’s New Living Expo in a lecture titled “Raw Foods and Cancer.” Dr. Clement is the director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which uses raw vegan diets to help people recover from serious illnesses and heath challenges. Dr. Clement has been a vegan for 38 years, and a raw foodist for 36! Talk about motivation to get back on track and buy ingredients for a salad (and a slice of tiramisu from Cafe Gratitude)!
Dr. Clement was gracious enough to offer us at Vegansaurus some insight about raw foods, the Hippocrates institute and his favorite go-to raw recipe!
Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan? How long have you been a raw vegan? What inspired you to initially become a raw foodist?
Dr. Clement: I began as a vegetarian 41 years ago and a vegan 38 years ago. Thirty-six years ago I adopted a raw/living diet. Long before it was accepted to be obese, I was—carrying an extra 120 pounds and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. When taking the first step as a vegetarian, I saw exceptional improvements and organically, moved to a raw vegan diet that opened my eyes to the potential food has in prolonging life and warding off disease.
What exactly is the Hippocrates Institute? Does it serve as both a raw food retreat and cancer center? How long have you been there and what do you do?
Hippocrates Health Institute was the first and is the foremost natural health center globally. We pioneered the field of complimentary healthcare and opened our doors 55 years ago in Boston. We have attracted guests from all corners of the globe that attend the Lifechange program for one of two distinct reasons: first, to conquer the disease they are harboring (cancer, heart, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, HIV, autoimmune, etc.); second, as serious health-seekers who do not want to fall victim to such maladies. Everyone from Olympic athletes to stage-four cancer patients by the hundreds of thousands attended our program, for the first 30 years in Boston and over the last 25 here in West Palm Beach, Fla. My tenure began in the mid-’70s and I thank God every day for the passion-filled, fulfilling work I pursue.
How do you feel people can take control of their lives and their health by eating raw foods? In your opinion, what are the benefits? Why go raw?
Every creature on earth, except domestic and displaced animals, lives on a 100 percent raw food diet. Here at HHI, we have clinically proven for more than half a century that such raw vegan fare slows aging, prevents disease, and even helps to reverse it. The core science on why these raw green foods afford such attributes are the: HORMONES, OXYGEN, PHYTO-NUTRIENTS, AND ENZYMES that they contain. In addition, proper selection provides the highest source of complete protein, essential fatty acids, and ultimately the most nutrient-dense energy filled foods on earth.
What does a typical day of meals, snacks, and juices look like for you?
Although the diet end of the HHI program is tailored for personal needs, most maintenance cuisine would look a bit like this: Fresh raw vegetable and sprout juice that may include wheat grass in the morning, followed by sprouted cereal or fresh ripe organic fruit, etc. A mid-morning snack may be sprouted and dehydrated nuts and seeds or some type of sprouted cracker or raw bread. Lunch should begin with a hardy large green and sprout salad adorned with your favorite dressing (vegan thousand island, Italian, Mediterranean, etc.), a nut and seed or grain and bean burger or loaf followed by some raw dehydrated raw cookies or cake seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and the legal sweetener, Stevia. Mid-afternoon snacks may include seasoned sprouted seeds and or ripe organic fruit. Dinner should begin with a nice fresh raw vegetable and sprout juice, a delicious raw carrot soup, a moderately seasoned bean and green salad, and tiff and quinoa sprouted grain croquette. You can find a wide array of delicious choices in Dr. Anna Maria’s recipe book Healthful Cuisine.
How do you feel about a raw food diet of solid foods versus a juice “cleanse?” Are they necessary? What about an alkaline cleanse?
Proper juices made from nutrient-dense foods like sprouts and fresh green vegetables provide an extraordinary amount of nutrition. This does not preclude the need to eat solid raw food preparations. This body building cuisine will assure that the metabolism will maintain solid weight so that one via exercise can have a strong skeletal and muscular system.
Is it important or necessary to take supplements on a raw food diet? Is the food enough? If supplements are necessary, which ones?
After researching hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom have lived on healthy diets, we have found that our high-stress, unnatural and polluted lifestyles require us to embrace good whole-food supplements. Whole-food forms of algae, sea and fresh water, raw pollen’s living green powders, bacterial forms of B12 and in many cases, targeted whole food supplementation boost the immune system and are examples of what one may require after a good nutritional evaluation.
Any favorite recipes you’d like to share with the Vegansaurus readers?
Our busy lifestyles limit the time most of us spend preparing foods so quick-to-design are our favorites. Worldwide, you can walk into green markets and purchase an already washed variety of salad greens. Mixing them together with fresh herbs, healthy oils, and easy to purchase sprouts manifest a power salad in two minutes. Opening a package of arame seaweed and soaking it in fresh water for a short time and draining it affords an opportunity for you to cut scallions, chives, or sweet onions into the delicious vegetable so that you can crush garlic and place olive oil over this main course fare. This takes less than four minutes to achieve. Everyone’s favorite desserts can be easily manufactured with a dehydrator (does not cook, dries) a bowl of your favorite raw dough (as an example, sprouted oats placed through a good juicer with a blank affixed-run these sprouts through so that they homogenize into a dough). In the bowl, place your favorite seasonings and or sweet oils and form into cookies you can fill your dehydrator with these treats so that you will have fun, healthy foods for days or weeks to come.
Thanks, Dr. Clement! I wonder if they offer work study programs? I could use some time in Florida to go raw. Anyone want to sponsor me?
Perez Hilton speaks out against Factory Farming! He says, “Whether you are a meat-eater or VEGAN you can stand behind animals in the meat trade.” That’s cool, but just go vegan. Then we won’t have an issue like factory farms, where animals are tortured and sexually abused (humans are the worst).
Florida and Iowa are trying to make undercover investigations of factory farms ILLEGAL! To which Perez, a Florida native responds “A citizen’s right to document cruelty to animals—wherever it occurs—is crucial to helping local, state, and federal officials enforce anti-cruelty laws. What we need are more cameras on factory farms, not fewer.”
I love celebrities who stand up for animals. I love them even more when they are VEGAN. I’m a pop culture whore. I don’t want to discuss how upset I am about boycotting Water for Elephants. The book is incredible! Robert Pattinson is the vamp of my dreams! Don’t try to tell me he’s not a vampire in real life, the conversation won’t go very well.
Vegan baked goods taking over: Babycakes opens in Disney World! »
YOU GUYS! There is a Babycakes in Disney World! Can you imagine? Vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free baked goods at DISNEY WORLD? News like this is what keeps us going when the bestselling cookbooks are all about dismembering animals at home. Vegan diets are the future, and our first victory will be over baked goods.
OK mrs. philosophical, but how did Babycakes even get to Orlando? Well! Disney at large, in an effort to be healthier, ended their contracts with McDonald’s. Just dumped them! And then invited, “among many, many, many others” Babycakes to be part of a healthier Disney project. Erin McKenna, being a clever and enterprising lady, agreed, and two years later, we have Babycakes Disney World!
Remember when all the promotional Disney movie toys came in Happy Meals? I remember specifically really wanting a cheap plastic Ariel toy and getting a really terrible Prince Eric toy instead. He came in a boat that did not float, and his hands were molded all poorly so he didn’t really have defined fingers. Also his skin was gray. I really hated that thing. Those days are over now, right? Or will McDonald’s continue its reign of terror even after Disney has divested itself of all that evil?
Or maybe, be quiet and be happy now, Babycakes is in Disney World!!
[photo by Brianna]
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]
Vegan Pumpkin Smores Cheezcake from Darbster in West Palm Beach, Fla. Road trip RIGHT NOW, let’s go play in the lovely warm Atlantic Ocean with its knee-high waves, and then eat tempeh reubens and toasted marshmallowy pumpkin cheesecakes. Life is a continual struggling to create a meaning in the emptiness; we should take our pleasures where we find them.
[photo by Flickr user Jason Anfinsen]