Nonprofit rescues Omega, the chain-smoking chimp and sends him to sanctuary! Yay!   »

So, you know how chimpanzees are stolen from their moms (who are often killed and used for bush meat) when they’re a couple months old and are cute and cuddly little playthings? Then some shortsighted person in not-Africa “raises” them until they’re about five or six years old, until they grow big and strong and start biting fingers off their human “parents” or trainers or patrons at restaurants in Lebanon where they are forced to dance for food? When that happens, they are often sent to labs, breeders, or roadside zoos in fucked up places. That’s the backstory on our pal Omega, the chain-smoking chimp in Lebanon. He had a fucked up childhood, dancing like a monkey (HE IS NOT A MONKEY) at some restaurant, and when he got too big, he was sold to a creepy piece of shit zoo in Lebanon where he LIVES IN A CAGE and HAS NO FRIENDS and CHAIN-SMOKES CIGARETTE BUTTS. Ah, humans! We are so rad! 

But here’s some good news! The nonprofit Animals Lebanon took on the task of getting Omega into a sanctuary. In fact, Animals Lebanon, re-homed all the animals in the shit-tastic zoo. Yay them! They found a home for Mr. Omega 10,000 miles away in Brazil, at the Curitiba Sanctuary, which looks like a huge step up for the big guy. You can read Animals Lebanon’s recounting of getting Omega to the sanctuary here (it’s a good read!).

But Animals Lebanon isn’t stopping there; they’re attempting to pass legislation that tightens regulations concerning animal welfare. LOVE these people! If you’re interested in helping them, they have a wish list of things they desperately need. I know, we’re screwed enough right here at home without having to worry about everyone else but hey, maybe you have a computer you could send their way? Or get your company to donate something they need? Seriously, we’re so lucky here, why not support these people who are at ground zero, trying to get chain-smoking chimps in wire cages sent to a place where they can climb on trees and clear their lungs for the first time in their lives?

[photo of Omega from Animals Lebanon]


Debating organics, praising McDonald’s (?!!??), drinking mezcal and MORE in today’s link-o-rama!  »

 This chinchilla is wearing a boy! This boy is wearing a chinchilla! Who’s the boss? With animals who have not been domesticated for very long, like chinchillas, you never can say. Just stay very still and marvel at how light they are compared to how dense they look. [photo credit: I have no idea, sorry. Let us know!]

Exciting vegan-style events!
Hey L.A.! This weekend Keep is having a sample sale, where you can save up to 60 percent on all kinds of super-hot sneakers. Be at the Keep offices at 418a Bamboo Lane today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday May 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for shoes shoes shoes.

Tomorrow, Saturday May 15, BAARN will participate in an international day of awareness for marine mammals in captivity, and protest in favor of the retirement of Lolita, the oldest orca in captivity (and also possibly the loneliest—her companion of 10 years basically committed suicide in 1980 and she’s been on her own since). There will be two events from noon to 2 p.m.: one at the entrance of Pier 39, near the Embarcadero and Stockton Street in San Francisco; and one at the Berkeley Marina, at the first parking lot on the left in the south sailing basin. BAARN asks that you email here for further information.

Next Thursday, May 20, Rocket Dog Rescue is having a fashion show fundraiser, with vegan snacks and drinks and clothes and all kinds of good times! Be at Mayes at 1233 Polk St. at Fern Street (hey Polk Gulch!) at 8 p.m.—RSVP here first and it’s $10, without an RSVP it’ll cost you $15. But who cares, the money goes to Rocket Dog! For more information about the designers and sponsors, visit the Avant-Gardist.

Items of varying degrees of interest!
So how did the foie gras protests at Thomas Keller’s restaurants go last weekend? According to Eater, “rowdy,” “timid,” and “calm,” depending on location. CNN seems to have just cottoned on to the notion that some people find foie gras reprehensible.

Edible Geography explores the community gardens of New York City, which have never been studied before? The maps and photos are great!

Lebanon made an obscene amount of hummus and falafel, beating Israel’s obscene record of hummus and falafel, and uncomfortably get all nationalistic for reasons we don’t understand. Still: hummus and falafel, yum yum yum.

The Chronicle's Cellarist blog thinks that mezcal will be the big new liquor. I say, YES PLEASE. I had the most amazing cocktail in Mexico City made with mezcal; it was smoky and a little fruity and a little sweet, wicked strong and so delicious, and I’ve never been able to find a recipe online that makes sense. And no, vegans, mezcal does not need to contain a drowned worm to be authentic.

Mark Bittman is agog because distance runner Scott Jurek somehow manages to eat “5,000 to 8,000 calories a day”—as a vegan! What what what?!??!! Isn’t vegan food all super-low-calorie and super-healthy? Doesn’t everyone eating a vegan diet lose 50 pounds, like, one week after starting it? Aren’t all vegans super-skinny, struggling to get enough calories as regular, non-athletes? HOW IS SCOTT JUREK MEDICALLY POSSIBLE?!??!!!

"Environmentalism must become an economic vision." "Theses on Sustainability" by Eric Zencey in Orion Magazine.

Meanwhile, the Independent tries to convince us that McDonald’s “has been a positive force for change.” Still “killing lots of mass-produced animals”? I’m not convinced. Get your blood pressure down with an interview with Grist's Tom Philpott on the role of class in “the food debate.”

An SPCA-run animal shelter in Ontario, Canada will euthanize over 350 of its animals due to an outbreak of an especially virulent case of ringworm that has spread to staff members.

Back in April, the National Research Council released a report stating that genetically modified crops weren’t all bad—mostly right now what’s bad is the way they’re being used, and monopolized, and how we the public have no trust in them. I will agree that I don’t trust them, and Monsanto is the devil, but that’s about it.

Sorry about being totally tardy to the party here, but a couple weeks ago there was an awesome fight in Foreign Policy that you guys will totally love. First, Robert Paarlberg gets all snotty about how “the organic movement” is a big waste of time, only for rich jerks, and if we really want to feed the world, we have to follow the rules of industrial agriculture. Second, Anna Lappé totally smacks him down with a perfect deconstruction of his silly arguments, explaining how truly organic farming could feed the whole world much more efficiently and sustainably. It’s so good.

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