It’s fall! Let’s all dig into some delicious gourds!
Is there anything cuter than a massive feline getting down with a pumpkin? Doubt it.
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
You guys, by the time you read this I will have ruined Valentine’s day. Yes, you read that right, Allen will have suffered on that holy day of love just as much as he suffers living with me every other day of the year. And this time I didn’t even mean to make it horrible! Damn you cold and flu season!
Around Thursday of last week I started suffering from the plague. I don’t know if you guys have ever had plague but it is pretty bad. Pustules and vomit everywhere, sweat upon brows, demonic screaming. And worse than the symptoms is Allen’s reaction. Instead of putting on some crazy plague-doctor outfit and trying to heal me he makes me a glass of lemon juice and tells me to take some Theraflu and stop telling people that I am dying because I will be disappointed when I actually do die and no one believes it. I asked him once how I would know if about that if I were already dead, but he just shook his head and told me to be quiet because the commercial break was over and The Simpsons was on. Real nice, buddy.
Since I am home alone I thought I would cheer you up with some things that will make you go aw and vomit rainbows. Then we could be twins, except I’m not vomiting rainbows, I’m vomiting the Boca Burgers that I ate for breakfast. I was also going to spend this time teaching myself how to play “video games” on my Omnichord but Allen has informed me he does not like that song. Allen ruins everything!
Here’s a kid who doesn’t ruin anything. Sophia is just chilling at the zoo when she sparks a personal connection with a lion. This is one of those “I don’t know if it’s adorable” moments because she is at a zoo, but she also seems to be communicating with the lion on a deep level, understanding his frustration at being behind a glass wall for the amusement of humans. I was almost hoping that this would turn into one of those Harry Potter moments and Sophia would somehow allow the lion out using only her mind and magical powers. I wish I had magical powers. If I had magical powers I wouldn’t be sick and also bored.
Let’s drop Sophia for a second, because I want to whine. You know what the worst part of being sick is? It’s your belief that you’re just going to chill at home and have a good time, but then you’re miserable and bored and nothing good is on TV and you don’t want to do any of your hobbies and you’re all alone an afraid that people think you’re faking. Fuck the flu.
You can’t trust anyone these days, not even animals. I know this video is meant to be a joke, but I fully believe that out companion animals can drive people away. When I was first dating Allen he almost broke up with me because Ms. Cleo hated him. She would be all nice with me, and then when I handed her over to Allen, she would try to eat him (she is like half his size, she is such a big rabbit) and he would curse in Spanish and ask if we could go to a room that was less dangerous. Now that Ms. Cleo lives with us, she and Allen are more friendly toward each other, but I would not put it past her to barrel out of her cage at some point, murder him, forge an intricate suicide note, and hide the body. All because she wants attention, not because she likes me.
Finally, if you’ve always wanted a beautiful piece of taxidermy on your life but could not resolve your interests in animal heads and your cruelty-free tendencies, I give you crochetdermy by artist Shauna Richardson. So cool, right? No animals are harmed and the pieces are beautiful. I feel that it’s kind of like fake meat. We have fake venison and fake squid and fake beef, so what is the innate harm in a fake animal mounted on one’s wall? Perhaps it is even a good anti-hunting conversation piece!
That’s all for this week. Send me links for next week, and have a safe Wednesday out there!
Guest post: We can have tigers as pets? WTF, right? »
Rachel wrote about the tragedy in Ohio last week; I’m sure it didn’t escape your notice—the release of 56 wild animals kept as pets before their owner Terry Thompson committed suicide, and the subsequent death of 49 of them, got a lot of media coverage. That meant that many of my friends read about it, and pretty much universally asked “How the hell did he get those animals in the first place?”
Well, the short answer is that Thompson bought them, mostly, and he was not doing anything illegal when he did. Near the end of his term, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland issued an order that outlawed the ownership or sale of certain wild animals—but Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources never enforced the rule, and the order expired in April when it wasn’t extended by now-Governor John Kasich.
As it stands, in Ohio you can own animals like grizzly bears and lions, as long as you house them on your private property, and aren’t breeding, exhibiting, or selling them—even if you have an animal-cruelty conviction, as Thompson had. Further, you can have those animals living on your property and don’t have to let anyone know about it. And in some states, these animals are available for sale, which is how people like Thompson got them in the first place.
I posted on Pawesome a while ago about a petition to change laws about exotic-animal ownership in Indiana; this isn’t just a problem in one town or one state. It sounds crazy that in Ohio and other states you have to license your dog and can’t own a pit bull, but you can literally have a baboon or wolf in your backyard. But it’s true.
This is not a good situation for these animals. Born Free USA campaigns against keeping wild animals like the ones at the Ohio property in captivity. Taking care of an animal like a tiger is no small feat: Think of what your cat eats in a day and multiply that by about 100 times. They need a huge quantity of food, as well as specialized veterinary care. And when they don’t have the proper environment or enough space—which is hard to provide for a large animal when it’s living on private property—they suffer physically and mentally.
Keeping these animals as pets is just cruel. Many owners of these animals claim to love them, but as Susan Orlean said in the New Yorker, love isn’t defined by a desire to possess.
It’s dangerous for people, too, when wild animals are kept as pets. Dogs and cats have been domesticated for millennia; tigers and lions and wolves are all wild, unpredictable animals. We can’t know how they’ll react, or what will upset them, and we can’t blame them when that happens. That is how they are: They’re wild. Someone easily could have been killed by one of the animals let loose in Ohio this week, and it’s remarkable that nobody was.
Want to know what the laws are in your state? Check out this Wall Street Journal interactive infograph to find out if your state allows private ownership of large cats, wolves, bears, primates, or dangerous reptiles. If you’re not happy with the answer, write to your state and federal representatives to tell them why, and ask them to change things. A reminder of the toll of this week’s Ohio deaths—and that it could have been a hell of a lot worse—wouldn’t hurt; neither would pointing out that elections are coming up.
Regardless of the laws where you live, head to Change.org to sign the petition letting Gov. Kasich know that Ohio’s laws need to change, now, before something like this happens again.
Terri Coles lives in Toronto, Ont., where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues.
Wild Animals Dead in Ohio; Cute Dolphin Photos to Ease Trauma »
You’ve probably heard all about the super-sad situation in Ohio this week, but in case not, grab a pint of Coconut Bliss for consolation (but not a spoon, because you’ll just want to poke your eyes out with it):
The worst wildlife preserve owner ever killed himself after letting 56 of his dangerous exotic pets out to roam the wild. Freakin’ lions, tigers, and leopards were all scared and miserable in Zanesville, Ohio, as were the residents of said hamlet.
Sheriff’s deputies figured the only way to solve the problem was to shoot the animals. The death toll as of 9:30 Thursday morning, according to the Washington Post, “includ[es] 18 rare Bengal tigers, 16 lions, six black bears, two grizzlies, three mountain lions and a baboon. Only six animals were captured alive.”
ARHRHGHH! This guy should not have been allowed to keep those poor animals in cages, but he didn’t have to ensure their slaughter to save them from circuses or shitty zoos.
Our hero Rachel Maddow had Jack Hanna on her show last night to discuss the tragedy.
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
“The Humane Society on Wednesday urged Ohio to immediately issue emergency restrictions on the sale and possession of dangerous wild animals,” reports USA Today.
Now, are some pictures of a nice person helping to save an orphan dolphin that might ease the utter desolation you now feel:
Awww. So I guess that’s good, at least. Go see more dolphin pics on Buzzfeed if you need a bigger dose.
[Thanks to Kristina Bjoran for alerting me to both stories.]
Megan Rascal curates all the vegan news you need to know in this week’s link-o-rama! »
You may have heard that our dear Meave has gone to be a Republican in Georgia so in her absence, I’m taking over link-o-rama this week! Let’s turn this party inside out! Just kidding, it’ll probably be similar, just slightly more vapid, as me and Meave are similar, I’m just slightly more vapid. Let the games begin!
If you are wondering what the top picture is all about, it’s a new campaign from La Leche, a group dedicated to educating people on the benefits of breastfeeding (I’m a supporter). I thought I’d note that the fantastically popular and extra lame “Got Milk?” franchise made a deal with La Leche so they can use their stupid tag for good—you know, instead of its regular, milk-mongering evil. Hmm, this gives me ideas for, “the other white meat,” eh?
This week in beauty contests, Eater.com is doing a Hottest Chef in America competition and one handsome young vegan chef has made it to the final round! Portland’s Wes Hannah could very well be the next Hottest Chef in America! I don’t know about you but I would tap that seven ways from Sunday! Yes, friends, my vote is in: Hannah 2011!
In rescued-circus-animal news, remember those dear lions rescued from Bolivian circuses that Meave told you all about? Well, they touched down in Denver on Wednesday! Safe and sound! With Bob Barker on hand to yell, “Lion No. 1, come on down!” You know, “mimicking the way contestants were introduced on his game show The Price Is Right. Ever heard of it?
This Dish is Vegetarian has the lowdown on a crazy restaurant in Brooklyn where you can eat a steak and then buy a briefcase made out of the same cow? Is this what progress looks like?
The Verdant Life has an awesome looking recipe for broccoli vegan-cheezy pot pies (pictured above)—can I get a what-what?! That looks crazy good. I’m so ready for this. You could make that for your Great American Meatout party! And invite me!
Everyone’s favorite vegan, Sarah Kramer, has made some super-cute journals to sell with 100 percent of the proceeds going to help the sweet dog she is fostering. Get yours! And foster dogs!
In famous non-vegans, Mike Vick was going to be on Oprah and now he’s not? I kind of wanted to see that. Word is he canceled for “personal reasons.” Would that personal reason be cowardice? Probably not but zing!
Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is having a free bird care class in SF on Sunday! Go forth! Care for birds! Maybe they will finally teach us the secret of flight!
Over at SuperVegan.com you can read a review of the movie Chow Down that I’m actually going to see tomorrow night. Does it sound a bit boring? Maybe I’m just immediately bored when I hear about middle-aged males. The world kind of revolves around middle-aged males, that’s why the world is so boring. Mystery solved! But I’m excited anyway—there’s a panel! And panels are nothing if not nonstop excitement!
Lastly, I want you to read all about Pinnacle over at HuffPo! Very soon, I am going to write all about it so you might as well read up and get ready! OMG also! I was at Lula’s last night and guess who was there: Pinnacle founder Joshua Katcher! I said hi because I’m totally a confident and outgoing individual. He was super-handsome! And nice, which is less important but a definite plus.
It’s Friday afternoon, which means time for this week’s link-o-rama! »
Welcome to the very first Link-o-Rama of 2011! To celebrate, here’s a photo of our Megan Rascal’s perfect little princess Mitsy, featured last week on fuckyeahfelines, for obvious reasons.
And now, on to business! Let’s start with adorable animal stories to warm your heart on this chilly January day. Here is a very sweet video/memorial to recently deceased Taj, the elephant artist. Everything about it is beautiful, and here is a tissue, crybaby. This memorial to Paul the “psychic” octopus is a six-foot-high plastic statue and frankly, a mite garish, but “public demand from around the world” was so great, his aquarium had to do something, right? Totally.
Mind the whiplash as we move onto animal abuse! Out in Rancho Cordova (it’s like Sacramento), Calif., 50 bunnies were rescued from an illegal breeding operation run from “a recently condemned home,” which, sweet lord, those poor little rabbits. Our pals at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary is now working to get them all adopted, which you can do through the Sacramento SPCA. Conveniently, Harvest Home is holding a Sanctuary Rabbit Spa Day tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. Go meet some buns, see how great they are, and help out a really good organization. Next let’s go to China and shut down this “farm” for swallows to make the nests that are eaten in bird’s nest soup; it looks like the missing link between an extra-horrendous Soviet-era apartment building and actual prison, and it is full of nesting birds. What happens to the “swiftlets,” a.k.a. the wee swallows for which the nests are ostensible homes? Mystery! Just like what happens inside those creepy cement walls. We know that Sweden is all about hunting wolves again this year—last year the government OKed the murder of 27, this year it’s 20. Wolves “are kept out” of the northern part of the country to prevent them eating up all the reindeer—whatever “ke[eping] out” entails—but this has led to pack isolation and inbreeding, the solution to which is clearly, obviously shooting some of them dead. Of course! Everyone is so smart.
Do they eat the wolves? We know love people love eating animals! Too bad a major report from the British government this week basically said, Meat production is totally unsustainable. Lions specifically got lucky this week, as another “let’s eat lion!” dude from Arizona (seriously what is it with that state?) bowed to public pressure and took the lion meat tacos off his menu. Now what will bored omnivores eat for thrills? GOD you’re a bunch of assholes. You’re also being completely fooled by food companies, whose claims of “health” and “structure/fuction” are poorly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, because why wouldn’t they say anything to get you to buy their products? McDonald’s shows off its “all-natural ingredients” in its gross-ass “food” with realistic images of everything except the dead animals, which are presented as figurines. Maybe because no one who wants to eat chicken also wants to see what a dead fucking chicken looks like! On the positive side, Sodexo has chosen to participate in Meatless Mondays! Sodexo is a massive “food services provider,” this is kind of a huge and wonderful deal.
Now it’s been scientifically proven that eating more produce makes you objectively better-looking (Vegansaurus is staffed by very attractive geniuses, exclusively), maybe you non-vegans want to involve yourselves with us hot vegetable-eating bitches. If so, Laura wrote you a way better date-a-vegan guide than this nonsense from Grist, but we all know Laura is the cleverest, as evidenced by this week’s Three Vegan Dishes Worth (Temporarily) Ditching Meat and Dairy For, and The Week in Vegan. Like I said, very attractive geniuses.
Don’t forget to protest the dog show this weekend! Afterward—as in, beginning Monday and throughout the month of February—the SF SPCA is offering residents free spay/neutering services! Yeah, FREE. So you with the “intact” dog, do the world a favor and fix him/her, lest you burden the world with even more puppies it doesn’t need. WE HAVE ENOUGH PUPPIES.
[Thanks to reader Rosie for the story about bird’s nest farms! We love tips!]
Bolivia’s ban on circus animals leads to rescue and rehoming of 25 lions! »
In November of last year, Animals Lebanon rescued a chimpanzee from his life as a literal roadside attraction in Lebanon, and rehomed him at a sanctuary in Brazil. This month, Animal Defenders International celebrates a similar victory, as 24 former circus lions were rescued from Bolivia and rehomed at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in “the open plains of Colorado, just 30 miles northeast of Denver.” And soon, they’ll have a 25th rescued lions! Hooray!
These lions came from different circuses all over the country, and all their stories are so sad. One had been kept in the same metal box she was came in when she was purchased as a cub. One is completely freaked out by brooms and other cleaning implements, as though he had had experienced some cleaning-equipment-related trauma before. You don’t mean to imply that people might have beaten him with brooms, do you? YES, YES WE DO. Some of them have trouble eating, behaving as though they are “convinced that the food is going to be taken away again.”
Obviously, circus animal abuse is not endemic to Bolivia—in fact, since 2009 Bolivia is the first and only country in the world “to put in place a national ban on the use of any and all animals in circuses.” FIRST and ONLY. Don’t you love comparing other countries to the U.S. and seeing how terrible we make it for animals here?
ADI reports that all of the rescued lions are adapting relatively well to their great big new living areas. Congratulations to the efforts of everyone involved in Operation Lion Ark: this is beautiful, heartening news.
UPDATE: A couple of you noted that China passed a similar law, which Laura posted about last week! Bolivia remains the only country to have outright banned using animals—domestic and wild!—in circuses; China no longer allows animal-exclusive circuses, and its protections for performing animals look quite strong. U.S. circuses, however, remain the devil’s work.
Lion burgers, or Why I am never reading the news again »
You’ll have to forgive me if this post is a little rough around the edges; it’s really hard to type while you’re holding the pieces of your recently exploded head together. Anyway, the outrage this time is none other than lion burgers.
Some genius in Mesa, Ariz. (thanks again, Arizona!) got the bright and not-at-all crazy idea to serve up burgers made from locally raised, free-range LION at his Italian-ish looking restaurant, Il Vinaio as a kind of tribute to the World Cup happening right now in South Africa/whorish publicity stunt. Never mind that South African cuisine traditionally skews away from hamburgers, lion or not—to me, this reads like just another episode of “Adventurous Eating for Assholes.”
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised; this is the next logical step in the whole “meat is the new black” offal slide into culinary hipsterdom. As offal-eating websites and articles descend on the internet like a pack of intestine-filled locusts, culinary hipsters are apparently ever striving to find new and horrible ways to indulge their palates. It appears that lion burgers are the next step, and all I can really say is UGH.
What makes this perhaps even more sad and pathetic is that the restaurateur who’s so interested in pushing the envelope that he secures LION MEAT for his menu apparently can’t do better than a fucking burger. A BURGER. That’s right—the exact type of food that was INVENTED to disguise the taste of inferior meat is now being used as a showcase for the meat of an ENDANGERED FUCKING SPECIES? In what kind of fucked-up universe does that make sense? I guess it at least puts the lie to the old saw the whole-pig-and-offal set like to trot out, about how “limiting” it would be to cook without meat. Sorry guys, looks like the bar for culinary crutch just got set a couple notches higher.
[Thanks to Rosie for the heads-up & investigation!]