vegansaurus!

01/14/2010

Hey drug company assholes, stop killing sharks, OK?  »

What the hell. The pharmaceutical industry is so fucked up in so many ways. It’s bad enough they’re using factory-farmed chicken eggs to grow flu vaccines, now they had to go and make it extra fucked up by killing nearly endangered sharks.

Yes, you read that right, drug companies are buying squalene, an oil extracted from the livers of sharks, for use in flu vaccines. And the more threatened the shark species, the better. Deepwater sharks are the best squalene producers, but they also have the lowest reproductive rates. To catch them, deep-sea fishers use bottom trawling, a horribly destructive method that’s like running a bulldozer along the ocean floor, destroying everything in its path.

The purpose of squalene is to extend vaccine supplies. Squalene can be made into what’s called an adjuvant, which boosts the body’s immune system response. This allows vaccines to do their job more effectively, which means you can use less of the vaccine and stretch the supply you have.

The “good” news is that squalene has not been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S., but it’s currently on the market in Canada and Europe. However, our Department of Health and Human Services reserves the right to start using it in case of an emergency flu epidemic, like if H1N1 were to suddenly get all crazy-go-nuts. So it’s like a cloud with a silver lining, except the silver lining is made of dead shark livers instead of attractive, shiny silver.

Sharks can be real dicks, but they don’t deserve this. Especially when there are other ways to get squalene, like from high-quality plant oils. Some drug companies, to their credit, are working on replacements, but without strong legal protections for sea life, there’s not much incentive for them to try very hard as long as it’s profitable. But if killing sharks magically became illegal tomorrow, I’d bet my liver they’d have a replacement by the end of the week.

12/28/2009

Grading the government, loving lemons, saving deer, giving presents to pigs and more in a special holiday link-o-rama!  »

The Humane Society gives the Obama Administration a B- for animal protection, based on the Change Agenda for Animals the HSUS set at the beginning of 2009. The full report is in this pdf.

Every country is crazy and racist in its own way: in Japan, you can buy a box of tissues shaped like a bucket of KFC “chicken” with Obama styled as Col. Sanders and emblazoned with the English word CHANGE. I don’t know.

Next Saturday, Jan. 9 at Mix (4086 18th St. at Castro Street) from 3 to 7 p.m., Rocket Dog Rescue and Muttville Senior Dog Rescue are cohosting Iris’ Memorial Fundraiser! There’ll be music, art, a raffle, snacks, and drink specials, with all proceeds to benefit Rocket Dog and Muttville.

Our friends at VegNews point us to the super-disturbing news that a “medium-sized” dog eats about 360 pounds of meat per year, which “combined with the land required to generate its food” means that a medium-sized dog has twice the carbon footprint of an SUV driving 6,200 miles per year, “including the energy to build the car.” In short: VEGAN DOGS 4 LYFE. The authors are also heartless advocates of keeping rabbits for company and supper, which obviously we do not support, but COME ON, vegans, are you really feeding your companion animals other animals?

Update: Just like Michael “shut up” Pollan’s “a Hummer-driving vegan has a lighter carbon footprint than a Prius-driving omnivore” (or whatever) comment, the above “facts” regarding the environmental impact of your meat-eating pets have been proven false by actual science. Vegansaurus maintains that giving your companion animals food like V-Dog instead of vile shit even offal connoisseurs wouldn’t touch is better for everyone.

Gracias Madre finally opened and we have a first report. (Should you go? YES you should. duh.)

Arizmendi Bakery, creators of amazing mint-chocolate-chip cookies the size of your face, among other phenomenal vegan baked goods about which Megan Allison has been known to wax rhapsodic, is expanding to the Mission! We are quite pleased.

Oh hey, the recipients of the Ed Block Courage Award were announced just last week Tuesday—NFL players are nominated by and voted on by their teammates—and guess who won for the Philadelphia Eagles? YES! Everyone’s favorite dog-abusing sociopath, Michael Vick! The Ed Block Foundation “celebrate[s] players in the NFL” while “improving the lives of neglected children and ending the cycle of abuse.” I can’t imagine what kind of courage it took to STOP TORTURING AND MURDERING DOGS and START PLAYING FOOTBALL AGAIN, Michael VIck; apparently, enough to reward you for it. A-plus, then. I guess neglected, abused kids have a lot to learn from such an upstanding citizen. Have fun at dinner.

The deer at Valley Forge got a “holiday reprieve,” as the National Park’s plan to have “sharpshooters” kill 1,500 deer over four winters (a November-to-March period), beginning with 500 in 2009, was indefinitely postponed by two lawsuits. The slaughter of these 1,500 deer would destroy 85 percent of the herd presently living in Valley Forge National Park.

LA Weekly says, Meyer lemons and red cabbage are where it’s at. I say, have you ever had German braised red cabbage, all sweet and sour and delicious? It tastes like staying warm on a snowy night, highly recommended.

There’s a new chef at Weird Fish who is reportedly changing the brunch menu and eliminating lunch altogether. Um. Do we have reason to worry, here? The brunch at Weird Fish is great, we fucking love Weird Fish, please do not mess around with our vegan brunch PLEASE PLEASE.

The Guardian has food writers name the most important (for varying reasons) food books of the decade. Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma get mentions, how broad-minded. Or, you know, shut up, England.

And speaking of publications that irritate me right out of my holiday booze-haze, Bon Appetit lists “the 10 best dishes under $10.” Repping for San Francisco—and the meatless—Harvey Slocombe’s tin roof sundae. Shut up, Bon Appetit.

Northern California Dungeness crab fishing: the season is short, the majority of the dead crabs are canned and shipped out of state, and it has nothing to do with honoring the values of Slow Food goddamn Nation. Color me shocked.

But HEY! here is a video of some pigs getting presents! Aren’t they adorable?

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