Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!
What a week!
First, the dangerous and notorious King amendment in the farm bill was, well, let’s just say humanely euthanized.
Third, California’s landmark law banning the sale and production of foie gras was upheld as constitutional.
Fourth, the New Jersey legislature is again working to ban gestation crates, and our bill to do just that unanimously passed out of committee yesterday.
Fifth, Kathy Freston’s petition asking McDonald’s to add a veggie burger is making headlines, including in the Wall Street Journal.
Finally, Fox News did a great story on the future of animal product alternatives. In fact, meat reduction efforts in Sweden are so effective that desperate meat industry reps have taken to passing out free burgers to kids outside of schools!
P.S. Video of the week: This gorilla would totally own any mosh pit.
Remember Koko? Of course you do! But when’s the last time you thought about her? Well there was that video where she meets Mr. Rogers and freaking cradles him like a baby. Like a baby. But besides that, it’s been a while.
After years off the radar, NBC Bay Area got to go hang out with Koko. So jeals. It’s great but oh my god, who is tearing up? She just wants her own baby! I’m glad she has a gorilla friend there though. But it would be way more awesome if she could go to Hawaii and have a real gorilla family. OMG so sad, I really hope she gets a baby. And they say she could care for orphaned gorilla babies if the sanctuary becomes a reality. I bet she would be such a great adoptive mom! Right?
If you want to help Koko and the Gorilla Foundation, visit their site. You can donate! And then Koko can get her family! OMG.
Mountain gorillas are the freaking best and we love them always and forever »
We love gorillas so much and we are not pleased to hear about them being killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and we are not pleased to hear that the awesome rangers who protect them are also being killed. Fucking civil unrest, this shit is so unjust to everyone EVERYONE. G-d humans! It’s a complicated story, and a sad one, but there is hope! And the hope rests solely on the fact that tourists are willing to pay them hundreds of dollars to trek into the mountains and follow gorillas.
And they are. I did it in Uganda in 2003 and it was the most fucking exciting thing that’s ever happened to a person. I know I’ve written about it before because it was the DOPEST of DOPE experiences but really, you guys, I SAW A BABY GORILLA BEAT ON HIS CHEST AND GO, “ooooohh oohhhweee ohhhh.” It happened, people! We weren’t allowed to get too close to the gorillas, rightfully so, and they were obviously very familiar with our ranger, who yelled out to them in gorilla speak. It was so fucking amazing, we are the same, us and them. Well, they are better because they are peaceful, brilliant, natural vegans. We must leave them the fuck alone and let them be in the world and be awesome! But as long as our dollars are keeping them alive, we must continue to support the system that allows that.
Well, definitely listen to this NPR story on it and then book your trip? Or tell your rich relatives to book a trip? Scrooge McDuck could save some gorillas, you feel me?! Or, if you can’t go, just fucking learn everything you can and spread the words, it’s for the gorillas, who are the greatest!!!
Gorilla youngsters foil trap, are awesome »
This, my friends, is amazing. According to reports, some juvenile gorillas on a reserve in Rwanda went around dismantling traps set by hunters:
On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said.
Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap.
As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.
The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well.
How awesome is that? Hint: SO AWESOME. People have seen adult gorillas do this before but this is the first time they’ve seen juveniles do it. Unfortunately, this comes after a trap killed a young gorilla recently. So sad. The traps are set for other animals they say and people don’t even want the gorillas; if they get caught, they are left to die. So effed. I thought “bush meat” was popular though and one of the reasons mountain gorillas are so endangered? I don’t know, it’s so sad. But let’s not be too sad, let’s be happy that gorillas have once again shown how cool and smart they are! Go go, gorillas!
You can check out the reserve and donate to the fund. And apparently, if you become a member or something, you get a gorilla ringtone! I don’t know what that entails but I’m so down.
OMG amazing. This video seems a little boring if you aren’t a gorilla nerd but then the greatest thing happens at :38. Then it gets sad toward the end. This is footage of a group of Cross River Gorillas, a very rare and threatened gorilla community. Only 250 of them? Depressing. Especially when they are physical comedy geniuses like that silverback! I hear they also do prop comedy, which I find totally underutilized outside of the animal kingdom.
Top 10 links of the week!: A mad dash with the track team of veganism! »
Another video sent in by my grandpa! He always finds me the best stuff. I want to meet lil’ gorillas! PS: Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
A Grist writer attacks soy and is super annoying! Like we always say, soy is destroying the rainforest because of THE BEEF INDUSTRY! She even says that—listen to this action: “Many vegetarians turn to soy as a meat substitute, but the soy industry is inextricably linked to meat. Some 80 percent of the conventional soybeans grown in this country end up on factory farms as livestock feed.” Um … makes what sense this does? As my new favorite person J. Kenji López-Alt responds: “Because the rest of the soy is used to feed cows, the soy that I eat is somehow tainted? I mean, water is essential for the manufacture of weapons. Am I being complicit in their construction if I don’t stop drinking it?” Love that guy.
Chelsea C. alerted me to this story a while ago, what do you think? This artist makes fur stuff out of of roadkill. Chelsea thinks it’s grody to the max but I don’t know if it bothers me. What’s your take? Discussion topic of the week!
If you want to read something nauseating, than this HuffPo post is for you!: Do Not Compare my Dogs to Pigs. Ever. It’s really just bizarre. She doesn’t say what exactly bothers her about pigs. She does say stuff like this: “If you have the audacity to compare my working dogs to my edible livestock, I have already stopped listening to you.” Edible livestock? What constitutes edible? Are people edible too? Can I just put edible in front of whatever I want? I also like how she has to add that her dogs are “working dogs,” because unemployed dogs are the worst.
Reader Alexis M. sent this link in and had the following comment:
"As a student with a degree in biology from an Ivy League university’s school of agriculture and hands-on experience with dogs and farm animals alike, I am particularly ashamed and upset to see such biologically incorrect statements being perpetuated on the Huffington Post. Culturally it is true that Western values make us see dogs and farm animals as different groups to which we attribute arbitrarily different anthropomorphic characteristics, but such views are solely those perpetuated by the human psyche and not the true biological nature of the beasts at hand. As someone with college training in evolutionary biology and comparative anatomy in particular, such statements that dogs are "better" or more emotionally proficient than pigs reeks of human hubris and an inability to remove oneself from societal influences to see unbiased scientific data. In continuing to perpetuate Western hegemonic values of "speciesm" you further reinforce the fact that we as a society can designate subgroups such as "farm animal" from which to remove rights, emotions, and intelligence, and thus remove the need to provide such subgroups with compassion or justice. I am ashamed that such unabashed cultural biases towards accepting violence and lack of scientific rigor are being displayed on public venue to influence others, but such is the nature of our society, unfortunately."
Dang! Well said, Alexis!
Over at Crazy Sexy Life, Shell Feijo tells of her experiences with weight and veganism. I can’t believe what some woman said to her! People are whacked.
Hey, you! Don’t forget to read Laura’s Week in Vegan! And leave her comments so she knows you care!
The Veg Speed Dating blog has an interesting post about masculinity and veganism—does being a veggie male hurt your chances of landing a lady? Tell me!
This Dish is Veg has four reasons why networks should add veg cooking shows! Are there more?
How cool would you be if you could help care for animals in times of disaster? Hint: SO COOL! Guess what, S.F. peeps! You can take Disaster Animal Response Team training!
Lastly, hey guys! If you have any links you think I should share (don’t be bashful with your own stuff!), email me! Otherwise I have to do all the work myself! Bleh.
HE’S TOO CUTE! I want one! Look at those eyes.
This is a photo by David Yarrow of one of the 13 baby gorillas born in 2011 as part of a breeding program in Central Africa’s Virunga Volcano Region. Good work, gorillas! Get your freak on!
I love gorillas! And gorillas always make me wonder how people can think you can’t be strong on a plant-based diet. Look at mountain gorillas! They eat a bunch of plants and they are hella strong! Yes, these giants are pretty much herbivores. They eat leaves, shoots, flowers, bark, roots and fruit. They also eat some bugs, it’s about 0.1 percent of their diet—so not a significant amount by any means. All that muscle feeds on plants!
[The Sun link was the only one I could find about the 2011 census so if anyone has a better source, let me know.]
Baby gorilla rescued from poachers! Also: OMG BABY GORILLA. So cute. So eerily human with her expressive face. I love you baby gorilla! Her rescuers named her Ihirwe, which means Luck in the Rwandan language Kinyarwanda. I will call her Lil’ Lucky from now on. Oh boy, that could be her DJ name! DJ Lil’ Lucky on the ones and twos! Though DJ Baby Gorilla is good too. Wow, that’s really good actually. One of you has my permission to take DJ Baby Gorilla as your DJ name. First come, first serve.
It’s likely she was taken from the Bukima area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) park. This little girl was rescued by Rwandan police after poachers stole her, presumably for the international pet trade. Nobody knows if her family was killed when the poachers kidnapped her or any of the circumstances surrounding how they got her. But she’s eight months old, adorbs and safe. I’m not sure what her future holds but for now she is in the care of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project.
Mountain gorillas are critically endangered and according to a census by the International Gorilla Conservation Program, there are only 786 remaining in the mountains of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. That’s like a medium-sized high-school. Fucking A. However, if you remember as I’ve written before, this is a dramatic increase from previous years. Let’s hope that continues. Also, screw whoever buys kidnapped baby gorillas from poachers! Who does that? Somebody is just like, “yeah, I totes need a gorilla” and calls their friendly neighborhood poacher? WTF.
That mama gorilla is all, “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH” and that baby gorilla is all, “GOD MOM THERE ARE PEOPLE AROUND!”
Ugh, they are so the best. This picture is by Andy Rouse, a photographer who trekked with gorillas in the wild. Buy this book of awesome gorilla pictures and 25 percent of the profits are donated directly to Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. Also, if you ever want to trek with gorillas, I highly recommend it, as it’s the most amazing best, and a way to help keep gorillas around for generations to come. When I did it (JEALOUS?), I saw a baby gorilla bang on his chest a la King Kong! It was the most amazing shit that’s ever happened to me, ever. Including in my dreams. And I had a dream once where I was married to a unicorn who was also Gael García Bernal and we lived in a rainbow made of candy, OKAY?
I officially proclaim this cake a celebratory symbol of the mountain gorilla population explosion in eastern Africa!
Also: their website design rules. Take a peek.