vegansaurus!

03/07/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

First, the good news: Mark your calendars, since yesterday is the first time ever that a nation in the Americas took action against gestation crates. Canada announced it’s moving to end gestation crate use. Pretty cool, eh?

Alas, some worse news: Idaho’s dairy industry succeeded in passing an ag-gag bill in its state that makes it a crime to take a video of farm animal abuse. Think they have something to hide?

Now, some wake-up call news: New research shows that eating a lot of meat and dairy can be as bad for your health as smoking.

And finally, some promising news: Forbes reports that “The Future of Meat Is Meatless, Just As Tasty, And About to Change the World.”

Here’s to that change!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: Things cats do that’d be creepy if you did them…

11/06/2012

Your Vegansaurus November 2012 ballot measure voting guide!  »


Have you voted yet? There aren’t a ton of animal- or food-related measures on the ballots this year; still, it is important to vote. It’s not always easy or clear, but we have to make an effort.

We used Ballotpedia to research the propositions, just like last time, but for further information you can check your local secretary of state’s site, or your preferred nonprofit political group’s voting guide (i.e., Vote411 from the League of Women Voters). Because this is Vegansaurus, we’re limiting our guide to animal-related issues.

Alabama: Amendment 1YES—maybe!
Why: We don’t understand the complexities of the Forever Wild Land Trust, but it seems good, and the World Wildlife Fund is for it. Alabamans who know more about the FWLT should opine.

Arizona: Prop. 120 - NO!
Why: Arizona appears to be full of jerks who think they can do whatever they want to anyone and anything within their borders, just because they’re Arizonans. This could undermine all kinds of federal protections on public lands, including those on wildlife. Shades of Prop. 109, eh guys? Quit being stupid jerks already.

California: Prop. 37 - YES—maybe!
Why: Honestly, there are good arguments for and against Prop. 37, but ultimately we are really uncomfortable voting in agreement with Monsanto, so, provisional yes.

Idaho: HJR 2 - NO!
Why: This amendment “forever preserve[s]” the right to “hunt, fish, and trap” in Idaho, which makes it immediately gross to us, but it would also make it more difficult both to protect the populations of the animals being hunted, fished, and trapped, and to conserve other wildlife.

Kentucky: House Bill 1 - NO!
Why: Again, guys, “mandat[ing] that hunting and fishing should never be outlawed in the state without the vote of the people” isn’t going to make there be more animals to hunt and fish.

Maine: Question 3 - YES!
Why: It appears to make it easier to buy land for protection and preservation by the state? Save the land and its wildlife!

NebraskaAmendment 2 - NO!
Why: For the billionth time, amending a state constitution to protect your residents’ right to hunt forever and ever is ridiculous pandering to hunters. Also, “stat[ing] that public hunting, fishing, and harvesting of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife” rubs us the wrong way. You gonna take up hunting cats to reduce feral populations, too? Gross.

Mountain Lion Hunting Permit Measure - NO!
Why: It sets up a fee-based lottery for mountain lion hunting permits, without limiting the number of permits or specifying recipients of the money raised by the lottery tickets. Also, we hate hunting.

North Dakota: Measure 3 - NO!
Why: It “calls for a constitutional amendment that would block any law ‘which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices.’” In other words, it is a big Fuck You to any future farm animal protection legislation, through the state or federal government. This is because North Dakota is afraid of the Humane Society.

Measure 5 - YES!
Why: No, it doesn’t extend its protections far enough regarding the animals or the abuse, but it is far better than the law now. Plus it is supported by adorable North Dakotan animals, which is a weak reason, but still valid.

Oregon: Measure 81 - YES!
Why: If you’re going to allow fishing, better make it harder to overfish. Honestly, Oregon, are you looking to fish wild salmon to extinction?

Wyoming: Constitutional Amendment B - NO!
Why: This is the fourth HUNTING FOR ALL FOREVER ballot measure in this election (just like 2010!), which we find pretty gross. What are you hunters so afraid of, that you think you have to amend your state constitution to protect your right to kill (mostly) wild animals? This type of legislation is a slap in the face of every citizen without equal rights. How dare you put the rights of animal-killers ahead of any other human being? You’re all fucking jerks.

Good luck, compatriots! Please, get out there and vote!

[Photo by Jocelyn Augustino for Obama for America via Flickr]

04/05/2012

Hunters gleefully torture wolves since Idaho removed federal protection  »

This is Forest Service employee Josh Bransford happily posing with a wolf he trapped in Idaho. The wolf wasn’t just trapped; when some passing motorists saw the limping animal, they thought it’d be super fun to non-fatally shoot the trapped wolf a few times. Bransford posted some pics online and people were positively giddy. Awesome.

People make me so sick sometimes. This is exactly what people opposed to the de-listing were worried about. This isn’t just an animal who’s threatened by habitat loss or something, hunters and farmers hate wolves. They are in competition with them. It’s not like a few will be killed now, these dudes are out for blood. 

According to Environment News Service, people are calling for Bransford to be fired. Though you’re allowed to kill wolves now, there are actually rules about it:

Idaho state law makes it a crime for a person who “causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty.” The law also requires that “destruction of animals for population control,” the stated reason for wolf trapping, be carried out humanely.

Stopping to pose while an animal hobbles in pain is certainly not carrying out the murder humanely. Though I don’t know that Idaho actually cares about enforcing laws. They certainly don’t care about upholding promises. From Earth Island Journal:

Removal of Endangered Species Act protection for the wolf was based on the assurances of state game agencies that they would manage wolves to ensure survival of the species and approval of state wolf management plans by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Idaho has since abandoned the targets of its state plan and instead said it will seek to reduce the population from roughly 1,000 wolves to as low as 150 wolves. Since the delisting, 375 wolves have been reported killed in Idaho. Idaho’s wolf hunt remains open in portions of the state.

As you know, wolves were removed from the federal protection list last year in Idaho and Montana. Since then:

By late March some 117 Idaho wolves had been killed in traps and snares, and another 251 shot. Montana saw 166 killed, for a total of 534 wolves out of an estimated 1150 in the two states. Although Montana’s season ended in February, Idaho is not quite done. Both states have announced plans for increased hunting in the 2012-2013, and discussions are underway among hunting groups and state officials to allow private donations to establish wolf bounties.

Wolf bounties? They aren’t criminals—they’re animals just trying to live! This is so absurd. As you can see, it’s not like there a gagillion wolves walking around. This animal that was nearly wiped off the earth has rebounded to a little more than a thousand in those areas. How does an animal go from federal protection to being legally culled by half? There needs to be national intervention. States shouldn’t be able to just do whatever they want with regard to their environment and wildlife. This is bullshit. I’m angry!

02/23/2012

Wow, the world is a disturbing place. As the video says, there’s a new bill in Idaho that would allow all kinds of fun ways to kill wolves, including luring them with live bait… as in, tied up dogs. Just wow, Idaho. The bill also has some weird vengeance loophole for killing wolves that kill your cattle. If a wolf kills one of your sheep or whatever, you have a certain amount of time to hunt it down and kill it without needing to get a permit. Dude, there is no way anyone is going to reliably identify an individual wolf that killed their animals! That’s ridiculous. You do however have to get a permit to kill wolves that are “molesting” your cattle. This part is great:

"molesting" shall mean the actions of a wolf that are annoying, disturbing or persecuting, especially with hostile intent or injurious effect, or chasing, driving, flushing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, or stalking or lying in wait for, livestock or domestic animals.

So basically you can kill a wolf that has intent to kill? OK. And really, “molesting?” Nice word choice. Very loaded and villainous. 

You may be familiar with Idaho’s lust for wolf blood, as I’ve written about it many times. It’s only recently that wolves were delisted as an endangered species in Idaho. That’s what they get for narrowly evading extinction!

But seriously, can you imagine a dog tied up with a wolf charging it? And it can’t get away? WTF. Sick. 

Defenders of Wildlife is the best site I know of to see how you can help, so check that out.

PS: Please excuse the commercial at the beginning of the video. Couldn’t do anything about it.

01/03/2012

Wolves help trees rebound in Yellowstone, aren’t evil  »

From L.A. Times: “This photo published on the Wildlife News blog shows a U.S. Wildlife Services plane adorned with 58 paw-print decals, one for each wolf killed from the aircraft. (Wildlife News)”

As Idaho considers letting loose aerial sharp-shooters on its wolf population, Yellowstone see the benefits of protecting these animals. A study from Oregon State University says that with the return of wolves, the elk population has been reduced, allowing tree populations to recover. This isn’t just good for trees, it also provides homes for birds and food for beavers. 

What am I always telling you? You can’t just remove an apex predator and expect everything to be hunky dory! Meanwhile, all these hunters are super excited to kill wolves. Wolves have barely recovered from near extinction! It’s madness. 

While we think about how terrible people are, let’s watch my favorite wolf video ever: wolf pup learns to howl!


[Can’t see the video? Watch on Vegansaurus.com!]

I keep up-to-date with wolf news with the Defenders of Wildlife newsletter, I encourage you to do the same.

04/13/2011

Save the wolves! Keep them protected!  »


This whole budget business is messy as my room. All these goddamn riders! One such rider is the de-listing of wolves as an endangered species in Idaho and Montana. This is utter bullshit and really sad. From Earthjustice via the LA Times: “For the first time in history, Congress is removing a species…from the Endangered Species Act based on political, rather than biological, judgments.” Like I explained last week, wolves are being attacked for eating livestock and competing for “game” with hunters.

I don’t really sympathize with livestock farmers but that’s a better reason than that of the hunters; at least it’s like about their livelihood (as animal abusers). It’s like I’m sorry the wolves are making it more difficult for you guys to hunt but isn’t that part of the point? If you want easy, go to the damn grocery store. De-listing an endangered species so you have an easier time hunting is just depraved thinking and sneaking it into the budget agreement is so slimy.

From Friends of Animals, here’s how you can help:

Listed below are the phone numbers and contact info for the Senate. Please call not only your own senators, but every Senate Democrat as many times as you can. Please also pass this information along to other animal advocates. Wolves need every voice possible.

Capital Switchboard Numbers: give the name of the senator and you will be transferred to their office. You will then either speak to a staff member, or to voice mail on the weekend.

When possible ask to speak to each senator’s environmental aide. This will give you a better chance to get your message across because you will be talking to someone who is familiar with the issue.

CAPITAL SWITCHBOARD
(866) 220.0044
(877) 851.6437
(800) 833.6354

The delisting language must be stripped out of the final bill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224.3542
Toll-free for Nevadans: (866) 736.7343

INDIVIDUAL LIST OF SENATORS:
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
(202) 224.3553
CONTACT

Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.)
(202) 224.2441 
CONTACT

Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
(202) 224.3224
CONTACT

Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.)
(202) 224.4524
CONTACT

Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.)
(202) 224.5141
CONTACT

Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
(202) 224.4451
CONTACT

Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
(202) 224.6621
CONTACT

Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
(202) 224.3753
CONTACT

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
(202) 224.2921
CONTACT

President Obama
Comments: (202) 456.1111
Switchboard: (202) 456.1414
CONTACT

Another important thing to note is that this isn’t just about wolves: “as [Josh Mogerman, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.] said the rider could mean threats to additional species in the future. ‘There’s a process in place for dealing with these issues in the courts. But by Congress acting, it’s just a completely different animal,’ he said. ‘You look down the [Endangered Species Act], you see critter after critter and plant after plant that are probably inconvenient to special interests all over the  country. And what [they] have done is opened the door to removing plants and animals from the ESA by whim, rather than science.’”

To help monetarily, check out Living With Wolves, and SaveWolves.org (accepts Paypal! Paypal is my jam).


[Cartoon by me, photo from Living With Wolves]

04/08/2011

Idaho is a bunch of jerks, declares wolves disaster emergency  »


Goddamn Idaho! The Idaho House has passed a bill that would declare the wolf population—a population protected as a fucking endangered species—a disaster emergency. That is so wrong! “Disaster emergency” is usually reserved for things like floods and wildfires—not animals doing what animals do. People are mad because wolves are stealing livestock from farmers and killing animals that I guess hunters think they should be killing instead. That’s called being a wolf! Maybe part of raising sheep is that some get lost to wolves. Maybe part of hunting is that you are in competition with animals that actually have to hunt and kill for food and only take as much as they need. I guess Idaho can’t wrap its bloodthirsty mind around that.

A federal judge is actually deciding now if wolves should be removed from the endangered list but I guess the Idaho House doesn’t have to wait around for silly things like laws; they can just declare a disaster emergency. Bingo! Open season on an endangered species. Congratulations, Idaho, worse state of the month.

You can read more about wolves and how you can help at defenders.org.

04/23/2010

Killing whales, saving sharks, chickens chickens chickens and MORE in this week’s link-o-rama  »

Hello best friends! This deer comes to visit this cat every morning to cuddle and play! UGH interspecies love is the sweetest best. [Thanks to reader Dolly for the photo!]

Vegan-type events!
Don’t forget about the vegan bakesale for bone marrow tomorrow! It’s scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. in Dolores Park; go be a good person and buy something. You’ll be outdoors anyway, the weather’s fantastic.

Do you have cable? If so, you should watch the Humane Society’s Genesis Awards this weekend! They’ll air on Animal Planet twice: tomorrow, Saturday Apr. 24 at noon, and on Sunday Apr. 25 at 1 p.m. (PDT).

Harvest Home Sanctuary will host its very first Poultry Boot Camp to teach you all about “poultry health, nutrition, and rescue opportunities.” The event happens at the Sanctuary on Saturday, May 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. and costs $25, which includes materials, snacks, and a tour. RSVP by May 1.

Let’s freak out!!! Jeremy Fox is doing a week of vegetarian—and vegan-friendly—tasting menus at some nasty meat-tastic restaurant called Animal in Los Angeles next month, VEGANSAURUS ROAD TRIP!!! The dates are May 17 through 23, and it’ll cost $70 per person to eat, but holy mother how can it possibly not be worth it?

Miscellaneous items of varying importance!
Everyone’s going nuts for Social Kitchen and Brewery—Eater SF has a tour and a menu preview, and Beer & Nosh has an interview with Brewmaster Rich Higgins. As you know, the menu should be composed of 1/3 vegan and 1/3 vegetarian items, and our Sunset correspondent Megan Allison will be on the scene as frequently as possible with the report.

Don’t like beer? Drink some tequila! Now you can get super-fantastic, super-fancy, super-local tequila, WOO and another WOO because tequila on a gorgeous spring day in the Bay Area are two of my favorite things possibly ever. And no I am not going to flash you, jerk.

Instead let’s serve a delicious vegan supper, with these recipes from the Kitchn! I swear they are doing these articles just to get on our good side. Whatever their nefarious plan is, it’s working, because here is another link, hello.

Despite agreements with food banks and the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996, supermarkets still waste literal tons of perishable food.

Let’s go to the farmers market instead! Apparently there are super-awesome ones not only in our beloved San Francisco, but in Madison, Wisc.; Little Rock, Ark.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Des Moines, Iowa. Who knew—outside of the residents of those cities, obviously?

The always-genius Bay Area Bites presents a totally relevant, not-at-all obvious list of ways to “green” our kitchens.

The International Whaling Commission is all, Hey Japan, let’s not kill so many whales! And Japan is all, OK we’ll kill fewer whales but we’re not going to stop killing the endangered species, so fuck off!

Hawaii state Senator Clayton Hee, however, will not see this same bullshit happen with sharks: he is working to make possession of shark fins a misdemeanor in Hawaii.

Guys, guys, get this: the civet is a smallish mammal who lives in Indonesia, eats coffee berries, and poops out the beans that have been fermented through its digestive system and will make reportedly the tastiest—or at least, the priciest—coffee, like, ever. So instead of following civets around and picking up their droppings to find the beans, people are—you’ll never guess—catching them, caging them, and feeding them beans! God, isn’t capitalism the fucking best?

Homeless dogs in Moscow keep warm by sleeping on the subway, just like homeless people. Please pass the tissues, I am going to cry my damn eyes out. And no I don’t know why English Russia tagged this article as “Funny.” [photo from English Russia]

And while we’re sobbing, maybe it’s time to look at this World Press Photo 2010 Award-winning photo series by Tommaso Ausili called “The Slaughterhouse,” which for the sensitive among us (read: me) could be too much to actually really look at. But you are brave and bold, do please check them out.

Things that make dudes gay: soy; hormones in chicken. But what if you can buy KFC to find the cure for breast cancer! Even the Double fucking Down, you guys! Fifty entire cents from every pink bucket of “chicken” parts sold will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Oh no, but fried chicken and fish increases your cancer risk, just like eating meat from basically any mammal at all? Well, shit.

Hilariously, a beef-industry-funded survey “of American beef eaters” found that cattle ranchers and farmers have “the third greenest profession” in the U.S.! Of course they’re environmentalists—they commute to work on horses! Har har har.

Significantly less disgusting, and in fact quite wonderful: Healthy Happy Life’s slideshow of amazing vegan desserts in New York City.

The geniuses at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have decided that migratory pelicans are ruining everything—i.e., eating all the native and artificially stocked trout that people want to fish—and because the Feds won’t allow them to shoot the birds, they are going to release non-native badgers and skunks into the area to deal with the problem “naturally.” Not everyone agrees that it’s the pelicans causing the decline in the trout population, and letting non-native species out into the wild hasn’t always (ever?) gone well in the past, but fuck it, people want to fish for their motherfucking trout.

Whoops, pescatarians! Watch out for that ahi tuna from Hawaii, it’s full of salmonella! Better stick to a delicious lion and antelope burger from Sacramento. God knows what kind of “lion” it is or how the proprietors can say it’s from the U.S., but hey, this “article” is 50 percent cut-and-pasted quotes from Facebook, so who knows anything? And anyway exotic is the new cute-n-cuddly, right? 

Because we’re Vegansaurus, we’re obviously not down with congressional hopeful Sue “crazypants” Lowden’s idea to barter chickens for healthcare. If we weren’t capitalists—do note the subjunctive case there—we might be into the idea of trading vegetables, or vegan suppers, for something like ophthalmologic care (someone needs a new pair of glasses) (hint: me!) or a motherboard for a MacBook. Steve Jobs, the Apple cafeteria cannot serve all your gustatory needs, I know it. Regardless, we do like the disco remix of Crazypants Lowden’s proposal, mostly because of the happy (?) dancing chicken. [if you can’t see the video, click through to vegansaurus.com!]

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