Top 10 links of the week! An edifying ramble through veganism! »
Per usual, I slipped up last week, so this spans a couple weeks. Leave me alone, I have a real job!
National Geographic has a nice infograph about the LEGAL wildlife trade in Asia. It’s ill. I would have posted it but it’s too big to post the whole thing so go check it out.
From One Green Planet, vegan wine pairings! I love my wine and you know this.
Grist wonders, is Idaho a safe haven for CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operation)? Damn, Idaho, that’s whack.
Wildlife officials in upstate New York “are squealing over ‘captive hunts’ upstate that have flooded three counties with out-of-control feral hogs.” Squealing.
This is kind of a big deal but I don’t have time to write a good post on it so maybe it can be our discussion topic: A new economics study confirms Namibian seal-watching is worth 300 percent more than seal hunting. I’ve heard of things like this before, where like safari-type tourist things could be worth more than elephant ivory and whale-watching could bring in more cash money than whale-killing. Have you guys? Seems pretty awesome. There should be an organization that JUST focuses on this. Money makes the world go round!
Our favorite guilt-ridden omni, Sami Grover from Treehugger, says all the meat eaters should eat less meat! It’s totes true.
Vegan Mainstream says our Laura is a vegan mover and shaker! That Laura, she’s so lovable. And foul-mouthed.
Gothamist taste-tested the Dun-Well faux-gras donut and the foie gras donut, and the dudes who made the actual dead-goose-liver pastry were all, The fake one is good, but we won’t be making a vegan version ourselves because vegans have “a FUBU mentality when it comes to vegan delights.” Which, buddy, do you know how much more business you would get if you offered novelty fancy vegan food? So much.
Refinery29, of which my favorite ex-boyfriend is a founding member, has a nice vegan shoe list: 12 Vegan Shoes That Aren’t Fugly. Some of the usual suspects, but several I hadn’t seen! And YOU KNOW I seen a lot of shoes. I like those first loafers, buy them for me.
Top 10 links of the week: a joyful skip through veganism! »
[Downer that the whale is in captivity but we can still appreciate its beauty. PS: Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Sorry dudes, I haven’t done links in a few weeks, so this list spans the last month or so. Were you guys sad without links? Which kinds of links do you like the best? I want to know so I can do the best possible job!
“Here’s the big secret that no one wants to talk about: We’re not very good at keeping what’s inside a cow’s intestines out of the meat.” Ew. From Huffpo, “Doctors Take Aim at Antibiotic Resistance from Factory Farming.”
Apparently in Ukraine, restaurants keep bears and make them drink vodka. Well, not any more! Really though, wtf.
From Grist: “Is your Cheese Killing the Planet?” The article says, “bottom line: the vegans are right,” but I think their real message is one we’ve heard many a time: “bottom line: CHEESE IS YUM YUM! WEEEEEE!” Maybe we can add some comments.
Good piece from NYT: “Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs.” Word.
Should we be surprised at cruelty in industrial farming? Em, no. An opinion piece from the Guardian.
Some AR peeps burnt down a building in Germany that was set to be a factory farm. Discussion topic of the week: What do you think about property destruction as a form of protest in the animal rights movement? Or any movement, I guess.
From Treehugger, study reveals mammal populations are down. Fucking A, you thought you just had to worry about the fish!
Bonus link: If I don’t say this every week, I mean this every week: don’t forget to read our Laura’s Week in Vegan over at SFWeekly every Friday! And leave comments to make her feel nice. Laura deserves to feel nice. We all do! Except some people.
The meat industry is plain fucking evil »
Our boyfriend Philapotamus is over at Grist talking about how the meat industry turned abuse into a business model. It’s a pretty solid piece and a quick read so why don’t you go over there and tell him what a good job he did and also, remind him to buy almond milk on his way home and oh yeah, to give up being a hypocrite and STOP EATING DEAD ANIMALS. And then apologize for our outburst thusly:
“We kid, honey, you’re doing a great job, we love how vocal you are against big meat ag almost as much as we love your jaunty cap. But we think that deep down you know that the fastest way to stop abusing animals is to stop eating them.”
J/K that’ll never happen, but we know some people are gonna eat meat and so there has to be better ways to get them the dead animal flesh they need so badly and we support any opponent of the factory farm system and please forgive a lady for whining, but ugh VEGANISM IS DELICIOUS and FUN and WE’RE ALL SEXY AND NAKED OVER HERE. Just stop eating meat! Just stop! It’s not that hard! And it feels awesome to know you’re not giving those assholes a red cent! And you’re not taking a life just for your own momentary pleasure! I mean, it’s perverse! KNOCK IT OFF!
Sorry, I’m all jet-lagged and have no patience for people who eat dead animals right now. I just don’t. I used to love meat more than I loved having the use of my legs and I stopped. Seriously, I stole a chicken leg from a dog’s mouth once and I ate that thing. I was five but does that excuse the fact that I ATE A CHICKEN LEG THAT HAD BEEN IN A DOG’S MOUTH and then I used the cartilage as chewing gum. I’m just trying to make you understand the level of devotion I had to meat times in meat town. I was the mayor and president! Point is: If I can do it, so can you! Seriously, no matter how much you think you love meat and can’t live without it, you can. And it feels awesome, I promise. Well, I can’t promise, you might just be a straight sociopath. If that’s the case, email me because I need some favors.
NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED, LESS WHINY PROGRAMMING AND I NEED TO TAKE SOME THERAFLU AND GO BACK TO BED I LOVE YOU ALL USA USA USA!
The Humane Society of the United States: animal welfare group, or TERRORISTS? »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
Major lolz but also: Major WTF OMG!
The best part is that this ridiculous video was made by some group called Missouri Farmers Care, which looks suspiciously like A FRONT for big meat and dairy and the industries that support them, like corn and soy. Prime example: they’re funded by one Mr. Dale Ludwig,* the executive director/CEO of the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. Hmm, I wonder who has money to lose if animal agriculture slows down in Missouri? Could it be the asshole who is providing all the GMO soy feed?? And get this, “Before coming to the soybean office, Mr. Ludwig worked in the agribusiness marketing and communications industry with Monsanto and Cargill.” Man, this guy is THE WORST. I LOVE that Missouri Farmers Care is ostensibly about protecting and nurturing farmers when this fucker could give two shits about them. He worked for Monsanto! You know, those seed patenting psychos who go after the small-scale, indie farmer on the regular. Oh, and I like how the Twitter feed for Missouri Farmers Care is just a mouthpiece for big beef and dairy. Way to represent the real farmers, you d-bags.
In conclusion, if you want to support the Humane Society of the United States because they’re rad and you’re not a psycho, you can buy The Bond, the brand-new book by HSUS President Wayne Pacelle. It’s all about the human-animal bond and all that magical shit. You’ll love it.
*This link wasn’t working on Firefox earlier (Firefox, you’re killing me, bro) so here’s a cached version.
Much additional reporting and many foul words added by Laura!
Organic milk isn’t organic, Vick is a hero and cats wear sweaters, all in this week’s link-o-rama! »
It’s 108 cats in sweaters! And one in a poncho. Let the cat-abuse comments commence!
Over at Pinnacle, read about a study that shows fur is NOT green! Hey Cananda, ADOY!
Michael Vick is getting a “Community Inspiration Award” from some organization in Virginia. I don’t want to talk about it.
Make sure you check out Victoria Moran’s Huffington Post piece about vegan fashion and how far it’s come. She mentions Pinnacle, Vaute Couture and OlsenHaus! Vegan fashion in full effect!
Head over to Grist to read just how organic Horizon milk isn’t. You can’t green-wash the devil!
On Meet The Shannons, you will find this super cool recipe for vegan fried pickles, a necessary part of your vegan Fat Tuesday celebration! What? You weren’t planning a vegan Fat Tuesday celebration?! DO YOU HATE JESUS?! AND BOOZE?! Get to planning!
Here’s a Q & A with Manifest Vegan from Vegan Consultant! I like the way she says this: “I see veganism as not just a diet, but a rejection to any non-human animal use.” Phrased like that, we don’t have to hear any BS challenges about women’s breast milk!
CNN writes all about a screening of Forks Over Knives in Atlanta. It’s a pretty boring read. Why can’t everyone be as funny and entertaining as I am?! But guess what! Dr. Esselstyn was there! I’m so jealous! He did a Q&A after the film and spoke a little about the intentional absence of the v-word. If you recall, Chow Down avoided it, too. Hey! We’re here! We’re vegan! Get used to it!
Have you been keeping up to date on the dead bottlenose dolphins washing ashore in the Gulf of Mexico? It’s up to 80 now, half of them newborns or stillbirths. WTF! Is it connected to the BP oil spill? It’s difficult to say. In my opinion, the answer is very simple: IT’S ALL BP’S FAULT AND THEY CAN GO DIE!
Let’s end on a high note! The Humane Society is having a “Dogs of Valor” competition! Go read some super awesome stories of dogs rescuing people and vote for your favorite! Honestly, I can’t decide. And I feel this will be the most important decision I make all day. Le sigh.
It’s Friday afternoon, which means time for this week’s link-o-rama! »
Welcome to the very first Link-o-Rama of 2011! To celebrate, here’s a photo of our Megan Rascal’s perfect little princess Mitsy, featured last week on fuckyeahfelines, for obvious reasons.
And now, on to business! Let’s start with adorable animal stories to warm your heart on this chilly January day. Here is a very sweet video/memorial to recently deceased Taj, the elephant artist. Everything about it is beautiful, and here is a tissue, crybaby. This memorial to Paul the “psychic” octopus is a six-foot-high plastic statue and frankly, a mite garish, but “public demand from around the world” was so great, his aquarium had to do something, right? Totally.
Mind the whiplash as we move onto animal abuse! Out in Rancho Cordova (it’s like Sacramento), Calif., 50 bunnies were rescued from an illegal breeding operation run from “a recently condemned home,” which, sweet lord, those poor little rabbits. Our pals at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary is now working to get them all adopted, which you can do through the Sacramento SPCA. Conveniently, Harvest Home is holding a Sanctuary Rabbit Spa Day tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. Go meet some buns, see how great they are, and help out a really good organization. Next let’s go to China and shut down this “farm” for swallows to make the nests that are eaten in bird’s nest soup; it looks like the missing link between an extra-horrendous Soviet-era apartment building and actual prison, and it is full of nesting birds. What happens to the “swiftlets,” a.k.a. the wee swallows for which the nests are ostensible homes? Mystery! Just like what happens inside those creepy cement walls. We know that Sweden is all about hunting wolves again this year—last year the government OKed the murder of 27, this year it’s 20. Wolves “are kept out” of the northern part of the country to prevent them eating up all the reindeer—whatever “ke[eping] out” entails—but this has led to pack isolation and inbreeding, the solution to which is clearly, obviously shooting some of them dead. Of course! Everyone is so smart.
Do they eat the wolves? We know love people love eating animals! Too bad a major report from the British government this week basically said, Meat production is totally unsustainable. Lions specifically got lucky this week, as another “let’s eat lion!” dude from Arizona (seriously what is it with that state?) bowed to public pressure and took the lion meat tacos off his menu. Now what will bored omnivores eat for thrills? GOD you’re a bunch of assholes. You’re also being completely fooled by food companies, whose claims of “health” and “structure/fuction” are poorly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, because why wouldn’t they say anything to get you to buy their products? McDonald’s shows off its “all-natural ingredients” in its gross-ass “food” with realistic images of everything except the dead animals, which are presented as figurines. Maybe because no one who wants to eat chicken also wants to see what a dead fucking chicken looks like! On the positive side, Sodexo has chosen to participate in Meatless Mondays! Sodexo is a massive “food services provider,” this is kind of a huge and wonderful deal.
Now it’s been scientifically proven that eating more produce makes you objectively better-looking (Vegansaurus is staffed by very attractive geniuses, exclusively), maybe you non-vegans want to involve yourselves with us hot vegetable-eating bitches. If so, Laura wrote you a way better date-a-vegan guide than this nonsense from Grist, but we all know Laura is the cleverest, as evidenced by this week’s Three Vegan Dishes Worth (Temporarily) Ditching Meat and Dairy For, and The Week in Vegan. Like I said, very attractive geniuses.
Don’t forget to protest the dog show this weekend! Afterward—as in, beginning Monday and throughout the month of February—the SF SPCA is offering residents free spay/neutering services! Yeah, FREE. So you with the “intact” dog, do the world a favor and fix him/her, lest you burden the world with even more puppies it doesn’t need. WE HAVE ENOUGH PUPPIES.
[Thanks to reader Rosie for the story about bird’s nest farms! We love tips!]
Farmers markets, consumer warnings and political scandal in your egg-recall update! »
The Humane Society wants us to know that eggs from the farmers market can come from hens treated just as terribly as hens that supply eggs for supermarkets. Many of you are probably like, “duh,” but before I became vegan, I was unaware of this sort of thing. I even assumed “organic” automatically meant humane! But it’s just not so. Side note: that was actually why I initially became vegan, because if you don’t go directly to the farm, you just don’t know how the animals are treated. But I can’t be running around on farms everyday just so I can eat omelets! I’ve got work to do and dance moves to perfect!
Last week, the Humane Society sent letters to California’s farmers markets asking them to forbid the sale of eggs from caged hens: “To increase food safety, improve animal welfare, and to meet the expectations of their consumers, we hope California’s farmers markets will stop allowing their well-earned ‘halo effect’ to extend to companies and products that don’t deserve it.” LGBT Compassion regularly protests the live-chicken vendors at Heart of the City Farmers Market—did you know that these hens aren’t protected by California’s poultry slaughter laws?
Of course cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean the hen can go outside or anything silly like that, but they generally* do have enough room to spread their wings and actually move in general. And as the Humane Society points out, “cage-free” also means safer, according to the last 10 studies on the subject.
In other egg-recall news, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says consumer notification systems in food-recalls are plain janky. She says it’s imperative for their health that people get up-to-date information and they should be notified within 24 hours of any recall. I’m going to have to cosign this movement as I was talking to friends just last weekend who had heard jackshit about the egg recall. Dang it! I love most of my friends! I don’t want them to die from Salmonella!
Does anyone else remember the E. coli outbreak in spinach in 2006? When I went to Whole Foods around then, every single bag of spinach had an E. coli warning—have they done that with the eggs? I don’t know, I don’t buy eggs, but I doubt it. And you know why? Politics!
That’s right, in the world of food safety, corruption abounds. A survey released yesterday by the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that almost half of the scientists and inspectors at the federal agencies in charge of food safety say big business and congress has interfered in their work. This was a problem under the Bush administration and apparently there’s been little improvement under Obama. From the LA Times:
“What we found is that action is needed to curtail interference in science, both political and that driven by the private sector,” said Francesca Grifo, director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We have two very different agencies giving very identical responses, and this suggests the need for broad reform.”
Inspectors responding to the survey reported pressure from their own agencies to make problems disappear and to help offending companies remain open even when there are clear violations. So basically, we’re screwed! Business over safety, that’s the American way.
Speaking of business and corruption, Grist had a good piece yesterday about the crazy egg empire of Jack DeCoster. DeCoster owns Wright County Egg, one of the egg factories subject to the recall, and according to Grist writer Tom Philpott, he’s “one of the most reviled figures in industrial agriculture.” DeCoster views violating food safety laws as no big deal, and paying fines as another part of doing business. OMG this guy rules! Wright County Egg is only the ninth-largest egg producer in the U.S. BUT! DeCoster may very well be numero uno of the egg market! BUT! It’s very confusing! Philpott tries to get to the bottom of it:
[There are] four large egg producers—DeCoster Family Farms (Wright County Egg), Hillandale Farms, Ohio Fresh Eggs, and Quality Eggs of Maine—which [are] controlled by or have extremely intimate links with Jack DeCoster. The Cal-Maine list of the largest U.S. egg producers puts the hen flocks of DeCoster Family Farms, Hillandale, and Ohio Fresh at 9 million, 14 million, and 7.6 million, respectively. It doesn’t list Quality Egg of Maine, but the Boston Globe says it keeps 5 million hens…. [T]hat amounts 35.6 million hens under management by companies owned by or tightly linked with DeCoster—more than 10 percent of the nation’s total flock (340 million).
Philpott is not done yet but I’ll keep you updated. God bless his tireless soul!
I know our vegan readers don’t buy eggs, but many of our friends and loved ones do. One thing we can do is get them hip to the farmers market jive and tell them to always ask egg vendors if the hens are cage-free, and to ask farmers market organizers if they allow eggs from caged hens. I find that even when omnivores don’t care how animals are treated, many of them are über-scared of food-borne illnesses so the increased danger caused by small cages is a good thing to make them aware of. Everybody now: BABY STEPS!
*This is an update. Cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean they can spread their wings or anything superfluous like that. FYI.
Well I say! It’s time for the adorability and tragedy of this week’s link-o-rama! »
BUNNIES BUNNIES BUNNIES! Adopt yourself a bunny from the East Bay SPCA—4651 Gleason Dr. in Dublin—at tomorrow’s Adopt-a-Rabbit Day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Five different rescue groups will have rabbits there for you to fall in love with, because rabbits are like cats for a dog-person: they’re super-cute and loving, but also neat and tidy, and they like to have time for themselves, and when they tire of your adoration they will just hop away, but their displays of affection are ridiculously exuberant. You guys if I don’t get to adopt a rabbit soon I WILL EXPLODE WITH YEARNING. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Back to the matter at hand: please contact Anne with questions.
Did you know that Mission Mission features adoptable animals of the SF SPCA every Friday? This week’s future-best-pals are Shortstop and Sassy!
Super-duper vegan-friendly events!
Tomorrow’s Beehive Market is having a free ice cream social, featuring Scream Sorbet and Rocket Ship Vegan Ice Cream! Get over there sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because missing free ice cream would be SO STUPID, goodness.
OK, it’d be cool to miss it if you were attending Animal Place’s Barn Warming, instead! It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at AP’s new facility (600 acres!) in Grass Valley; you can meet the animals, shop at the Compassionate Marketplace, turn your children—should you have any—loose in the Kids’ Corner, and buy a vegan lunch for $5. You cannot bring your own food or animals, however. Details and driving directions here.
Hello, Bijou the bunny! What’s that? You’re available for adoption at tomorrow’s Adopt-a-Bunny event at the East Bay SPCA? My word!
Vegan-pertinent articles for perusal
The FDA released a set of guidelines on the use of antibiotics in eatin’ animals this week; unfortunately (and as usual), they’re late to the party, fucking weak, and only offering them for “comment,” anyway, because the FDA is ineffectual. KQED addressed the subject on Forum as well, though the conversation mostly gave me the angries. Do you think, with only four companies controlling THE ENTIRE MEAT MARKET—and becoming bigger conglomerates daily—that they are going to change any of their business practices without being forced?
Well at least the state of Ohio isn’t totally rotten: the Humane Society made a deal with Governor Ted Strickland to implement a number of the demands that were moving toward becoming a ballot measure (like our Prop. 2 in 2008) in November, which HSUS will put on hold while the state phases out veal crates and gestation crates, and bans things like strangling farm animals and transporting downer cows for slaughter. More details here.
What’s new in the ocean (besides the great big fucking oil spill, coverage of which by The Rachel Maddow Show has been quite good, incidentally)? They’ve got magic-science salmon soooo close to FDA approval. These fish have been genetically engineered to “grow to market size in 16 to 18 months” instead of the usual three years! HOORAY! Other magic-science water-breathers include Paul the octopus, who lives in Oberhausen, Germany; described by Der Spiegel as “cuddly,” Paul is nationally adored for his “ability” to “predict” Germany’s World Cup wins. Nothing in that sentence was a lie. Now, would you like to cement your hatred of SeaWorld, and keeping orcas in captivity? Read this article about Tilikum in Outside magazine; it’s unbelievably heartbreaking (also, enraging).
Clementine, you darling! Are you looking to get adopted as well? Any time between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., at 4651 Gleason Dr. in Dublin? You got it!
It’s summer, and that means composting! Seattle now requires all takeout containers and cutlery to be compostable, and Serious Eats has an at-home composting guide. Seems simple enough, really. Plus it’s good to try to reduce your garbage, considering our obscene carbon footprint.
It’s summer, and that means eating (kidding, every season means eating, duh)! Jeremy Fox will include charcuterie—with an ear- and skin-focus!—with his “plant-based” cuisine at Plum when it opens in September. GROSS and BOO. Spice Kit opened in the FiDi and looks to have decent veg options; Mission Chinese Food is open and is offering (apparently) four vegan options, plus THEY DELIVER, OH MAN; the Village Voice even did a little roundup of delicious NYC-area veg dishes.
Miss Tisha! Is it true that people can bring their rabbits for introductions to potential new best friends at Adopt-a-Bunny day as well? And the East Bay SPCA is offering free bunny nail trims, too? How wonderful! [all photos courtesy East Bay SPCA]
Hey the Richmond, would you like your own farmer’s market? Richmond District Greens is working hard to set that up—help your neighbors and everyone wins! Fun fact: part of the Richmond used to be known as Beer Town, and it was quite wicked.