Nature is goddamn amazing. AMAZING. Check out this video that Sophia Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith took while canoeing the river Shannon in Ireland. It is a murmuration of starlings and it is one of the most awesome things I have ever seen.

Also totally terrifying, SO MANY BIRDS, but mostly breathtaking.

[video by Sophia Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith, via the wonderful National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Promise blog]


Just when I decide that humans are the worst and there is no reason to go on anymore (I take public transit on the daily, yo) I stumble across this video* and subsequent article. John Byrne, a homeless man in Ireland, dived into the river Liffey to save his pet rabbit, Barney! Barney ended up in the river, as some grotesque teenage passerby threw him off a bridge. Byrne said he would do it all over again—he explains that both Barney and his pet dog, Lilly, are his babies.

Now Barney is alive and safe, and Byrne will be presented with an award from the Animal Rights Action Network AND has had a full time job offered to him from the owner of animal farm in Tipperary! As for the 18-year-old who flung Barney into the river—he will appear in court on July 21 to face a charge of cruelty to animals.

*This video might be a little cheesy, but I totally cried my eyes out watching it. I liked it better than all the vids of people watching Byrne cling to the side of the bridge with Barney, waiting for the emergency rescue crew.


St. Paddy’s Day is lame. Drink up!   »

This is all I’m posting about St. Patrick’s Day because I think it’s a lame holiday. This stems from my hatred for drunk college kids in themed outfits. But I do love beer so let’s look at some vegan beers. Yee-freaking-ha!

I’ve consulted vegan booze expert Barnivore and found some solid choices for your drunken pleasure. Turns out SF’s own Speakeasy Ales and Lagers is vegan-friendly.* My favorite as of late, Allagash, is listed as vegan-friendly too! I always get the Allagash white because it comes with a lemon or orange slice and I love a good lemon or orange slice. Another beer I like, Ommegang, is vegan-friendly also. I don’t actually like this beer that much but IT SAYS MY NAME IN IT! So I often order it.

If you want to get fancy, Chimay is vegan! I like to bring Chimay as a housewarming present for beer-enthusiasts, but why not treat yourself! It is a holiday after all. On the other side of the fence, you kids will be glad to hear that Pabst is listed as vegan-friendly too. You kids with your Pabst!

Turns out Japanese favorite Sapporo is vegan. My personal favorite Japanese beer, Asaji, is vegan-friendly as well. If you want to stay stateside, Sixpoint, which I like very much, is apparently from Brooklyn and is listed as vegan-friendly. Everyone and their mom will be glad to hear Yuengling is vegan-friendly. I thought only Philadelphians liked Yuengling but all kinds of people order it at my local bar in Brooklyn. I’m like, “you know Yuengling isn’t that great, right?” And they’re like, “But it’s so cheap!” Sorry friends, $4 is not cheap. Back in MY day, you could get a Yuengling for $2.50! Goddamn booze inflation.

Now maybe you’re like, um, where are the Irish beers? Well, that is an issue. I guess there are some Irish beers that are vegan-friendly, like Bulmers' (only the pear cider) and Carlow Brewery, but many Irish and British beers aren’t vegan because they are filtered with isinglass, old-school style. I just steer clear of any British or Irish beers that are called “ales” and any brands that spell old as “olde.” But that’s my own personal system, I don’t know how accurate it is. But whatever, screw British and Irish beers! If you go foreign, go German—that’s what I always say! (applies to beer and lovers!**) By law, German beers are vegan. They regulate those mofos.

If you really want to go Irish, stick to whisky. A lot of them seem to be vegan. Plus, then you’ll be more hardcore! A real St. Paddy’s Day tough guy! Alright, that’s all the advice I’ve got for you today. Now go out there and make me proud!

Update!: I guess it’s St. Paddy’s day not St. Patty’s. Guess who doesn’t care?

*Barnivore uses the term “vegan-friendly” instead of just vegan. Because it’s user submission-based, they rely upon users for the information and they don’t go checking each beer themselves. As they say, “we publish as much information as we can about each company, and if we get a reply that’s clearly not good enough, we’ll follow up ourselves before we add it, but the reality is that keeping up with user submissions can seriously cut into our drinking time.”

**Just kidding! Germans are a cold, cold people.

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