vegansaurus!

03/28/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Ag-Gag, Meatless Mondays, and a Puppy in a Hoodie!  »

Wondering how the meat industry responded to last month’s HSUS whistleblowing exposé of a Kentucky pig factory that was locking pigs in gestation crates and feeding what NPR called “piglet smoothies” back to their mothers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, rather than fixing the problems, its response was to introduce an ag-gag bill in Kentucky to criminalize taking photos of factory farms. Our action alert calling for a defeat of that bill is here.

Inspired by the progress against gestation crates in Canada? Learn more about it in our latest Huffington Post piece.

Wondering whether students are liking Meatless Mondays in their cafeterias? Check out this great news segment from one school in Long Island.

Care about saving wildlife from extinction? NPR reports on a new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity suggesting we eat less meat.

No more questions—have a great weekend!

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: I used to do this when I was a kid, too.

P.P.S. Photo of the week: Josh Balk and I taking out an Ultimate Fighter champion…

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]

01/12/2011

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, the sky is falling! The world is ending! We have like two minutes before the sun falls into the Earth and incinerates us! And I had more WTF links this week than I have ever had before. I didn’t even have to go scrounging through the dark alleys of the internet to find something to be angry about, because you brought it right to me! Actually, that may be more of a sign that the apocalypse isn’t happening. Let’s just withhold judgment for now!

First up, dead birds have been falling out of the sky all over the country. There are several explanations for the birds’ deaths. For example, on the science side of things we learn that the birds may have been confused by fireworks (although many are skeptical), hit by lightning, or suffered some other kind of trauma. In fact, mass die-offs (have you ever heard a term more romantic? Thanks, Rachel!) apparently happen fairly regularly and are generally considered to be a fact of life. So what’s different this time? Why are we getting all freaked out? Technology! Before, people knew about the deaths, people sometimes cared, and I imagine that it was probably reported on the local news or whatnot. Now: THE INTERNET! Yes, friends, the www is awesome for getting your porn fix and reading the latest about crazy people, but it is also good for FREAKING YOU THE FUCK OUT! Honestly, with one click you can find something to horrify you on the internet, and with the speed that information is being transmitted and then rewritten by each individual site, it is no wonder that these bird deaths have become a harbinger of doom as opposed to a really sad occurrence. Of course, if this doesn’t work for you, there is another explanation: GOD!

In this video, Cindy Jacobs of Generals Ministries reveals that the massive die-offs are a direct result of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. She even has reasons why the birds fell in Arkansas—Clinton!—and suggests that even worse things will happen if this great nation allows homosexuals to marry. I actually didn’t know that God held such stock in American politics, nor that he wasn’t above randomly killing some birds and some fish to get his point across. Also: I know that this has already been said like 5 million times, but why is this woman dressed like Eddie Izzard? What is going on here?

In other news, Americans are still shooting at anything they find strange. Tim sent me an amazing story about how people deal with things they do not know about over in Kentucky. To summarize: Man sees something moving in a field; man does not know what this moving thing is; man shoots the thing; and people speculate on the strange thing’s identity. I cannot honestly do this article justice (congratulations, Tim!) because the farmer interviewed has produced one of the most frightening quotes I have ever read.

"I just happened to walk out on the porch and saw something moving in the field and it just looked unusual…. Well, it’s something strange, so I got my rifle to shoot it, get a closer look. And I’m glad I did, ‘cause I don’t know what it is."

This is just the American Way, right? Shoot first and ask questions later. The most interesting part of this article is that the “Chupacabra-like” animal wasn’t even doing anything—the guy had to look through binoculars to see it and then he just decided to shoot it to get a closer look. I wonder how these people feel now that they know that the strange evil being was actually just a bald raccoon. Regardless, I doubt that they’re going to feel much remorse, as scientists agree that the “thing” was “hideous.” Way to go, human race!

That’s all for this week! Next week, we get angry about horse abuse, zebra shootings, and anything else that you guys send my way. Please email me links for next week and have an awesome Wednesday—just don’t look too strange!

[photos, from top: bird by foxes and bears; Eddie Izzard by Profound Whatever; furious raccoon by alvario tapia hidalgo; Ivy the chupacabra by juco]

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