Gut-check: The real paleo diet was mostly plants »
Rob Dunn has a guest blog at Scientific American this week that neatly summarizes the problem with all those Paleo Diet enthusiasts: Our actual, paleolithic ancestors ate very similarly to today’s simians, which is to say, mostly plants.
He says that the diets of living primates “are composed of fruits, nuts, leaves, insects, and sometimes the odd snack of a bird or a lizard,” and that even notoriously bloodthirsty chimpanzees’ diets are maybe 3 percent meat, tops. You know, almost exactly what they ate before some of them took a turn toward humanity millennia ago. The money quote, though, is here:
IF we want to return to our ancestral diets, we might reasonably eat what our ancestors spent the most time eating during the largest periods of the evolution of our guts. If that is the case, we need to be eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables—especially fungus-covered tropical leaves.
All those skinny white guys with old-timey facial hair can run around taking home-butchery classes and eating all of the pig, or whatever, but they can’t pretend it’s more “natural” than eating a plant-based diet. It’s just more violent.
To increase your knowledge and feelings of veg-superiority, go read Rob Dunn’s entire blog post. It’s terrific!
[Photo of a Temminck’s Red Colobus (taken in Gambia! A free monkey!) by Steve Garvia via Flickr]
Owl monkey dads are the best! After tracking this owl monkey fam, a scientist documented that the monogamous owl monkey couple shares parenting duties—with the dad taking on most of the jobs other than nursing! The video says that monogamy is rare among primates. National Geographic says the scientist believes that “monogamy goes hand in hand with the upbringing.” If pops is going to be taking care of the babies, he can’t be busy stepping out with other owl monkeys!
Oh boy, yawning baby monkeys! I want one to carry in my purse! TOO BAD! Monkeys should not be pets! But they sure are RIDICULOUSLY cute.
Watch comedian and filmmaker Todd Bieber’s visit to a monkey orphanage in Costa Rica. Check out Nosara Wildlife Rescue’s site for more information.
It’s a cookbook! It’s a ‘zine! It’s both! It’s adorable! It helps monkeys! It can be yours for a mere $9 + $2 shipping!
Straight from Etsy:
Hungry Monkey Vegan Cookzine has dozens of delicious recipes written by animal rights activists, as well as famous vegan chefs and benefits rescued lab monkeys!
There are several raw, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipes as well! All proceeds go directly to benefit eight lucky monkeys who became “seized property” when an animal testing laboratory in New Jersey went bankrupt one year ago. One hundred percent of proceeds from this zine will fund a new outdoor shelter for these rescued monkeys to protect them from the harsh Oklahoma winter that is right around the corner. Beautifully illustrated by U.K. Illustrator Renato Stumpo with over 40 pages of awesomeness.
What a perfect holiday gift! Recipe I’m most intrigued by: Old Fashion Peanut Brittle Maple Bacon Cupcakes. W.T.F. O.M.G.
Top 10 links of the week: a hoverboard adventure through veganism! »
Guess what! Ecorazzi tells us that fewer dogs and cats are being euthanized in the United States! Holler! Go spay and neuter programs, get your progress on!
The Humane Society is having an event in D.C. next weekend! You should go!
Remember that awful pig farm video? It got Safeway and some others to stop buying pigs from that supplier! One down, a zillion to go.
On July 28, Animal Planet is going to show a Gulf Oil Spill special! Let’s watch it and get depressed. Stone cold bummer.
“Grizzly Bear In Yellowstone National Park Was Just Protecting Cubs, Say Park Rangers.” Yay park rangers! Huffpo has the story.
Fish are totally eating a shit-ton of plastic. What can we do? What do you do to reduce your plastic usage? I need help.
Over at Grist, read about “The Most Important Fish in the Sea” and how Virginia is a jerk.
Chick-Fil-A says it’s cow appreciation day? And that means we should eat chicken? Hardy har har!
The Telegraph has some super-funny animal pictures by photographer Joanne Williams! See monkey below.
Macaques abused in Indonesia: it blows! Sign a petition to stop it! »
Horrifying. This is a performing macaque on the streets of Indonesia. And check out this crazy photo gallery in the Denver Post. I saw that and I was like, HOLY. CRAP. Those pictures are frightening! I looked into it and it turns out that the Mirror also did an exposé on this phenomenon earlier this month. And then here’s a Boing Boing photo gallery from April. But the Denver Post one is the scariest! Not bloody or anything, just freaky. The doll heads. THE DOLL HEADS.
A group in Jakarta is working to end the torture of these monkeys. From Jarkarta Animal Aid Network:
Topeng Monyet, or dancing monkeys, is a particularly cruel practice where juvenile macaques are forced to perform (dance, ride bicycles, wear masks) in the crowded and busy streets of Jakarta. An illegal trade in wild macaques that are captured from the wild has built up around the phenomena known as Topeng Monyet.
JAAN provided the Mirror with photos and info in an effort to raise awareness about this awful practice. According to the various articles, endangered macaques are illegally taken from the forest as babies, sold on the streets of Indonesia, and tortured into performing for their whole lives. They are forced to walk upright, which they learn by being chained by the neck so that they have to stand. Fucked. Up.
There is a petition to stop this practice, which you can sign here. I’m not sure what else to do besides signing this petition but I believe international attention can make a difference! So let’s get people to sign this! You can also donate to JAAN here.
[Photo from the Mirror]
Ad agency is totally awesome, auto-corrects monkeys out of scripts! »
The agency has installed an auto-correct function on all office computers that detects whenever words like “monkey” or “ape” or “chimpanzee” are typed. This sentence then appears automatically: “…who was taken from his mother when only weeks old to act in front of the camera. During his training, the ape will be kicked, punched, and beaten to perform what you are just about to write. Don’t let it happen.” The note then links to NoMonkeyBusinessOn.tv.
I’m glad some agencies take animal “actors” more seriously than that Chrysler commercial with the invisible monkey “fix.” As the article points out, BBDO has used plenty of monkey “actors” in the past but so what, I used to eat bacon! We all did stuff in the past! It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.
Sorry for all the quotation marks but I just can’t actually call an animal an actor. The idea is just so ridiculous. Quotation marks are fun, anyway. I like to add extra when I’m emailing—just to keep everyone on their toes! You should try it! Just ask people how their “mom” is or how that “job” is going. People really like it!
Monkey-dog rodeo: infuriating abomination of nature! Plus ridiculous costumes! »
I had a horrifying, violent nightmare about monkey abuse the other night, so it’s fitting that the dumbest idea ever should come across my radar: a monkey-dog rodeo out of Tupelo, Miss.
Rodeos are bad enough, but this is downright stupid. I mean, the ex-bullfighter who runs it goes by “Wild Thang,” so that should give you a clue. But really, Tim Lepard? Monkeys and dogs don’t go together. You strap white-throated Capuchin monkeys to dogs, call them the “Ghost Riders,” and make them herd a group of sheep onto a Dodge.* THIS IS NOT GRABBING LIFE BY THE HORNS.
*INTO A DODGE, PEOPLE. A DODGE.
Bonobos tell their pals when they score good grub »
Bonobos are total foodies! Likes: kiwis. Dislikes: apples. Well, no, they don’t dislike apples, they just prefer kiwis. The coolest part is, from these preferences, scientists have found bonobos communicate about their food and totally understand each other. They have five different sounds regarding food. When they first find food, they make a grunt noise. Then they do higher-pitched, long barks and little peeps to tell their pals when they find kiwis, or lower-pitched peeps and yelps to signal when they find apples. From the BBC Earth News, “The primates made these calls in sequences which the researchers recorded and played back to others. Scientists observed that the successive foragers were then able to direct their search to specific locations after listening to the calls.” So cool! They also found that the bonobos were more committed to the food search if there were kiwis involved. That’s like me with Jewish boys.
I myself prefer apples but bonobos can do no wrong! They are so awesome, having sex all the time and whatnot. They are the flower-children of the monkey world. Hey guys, don’t hate the player! Etc.
Megan Rascal here, on the advertising beat again. I don’t know if you watch as much telly as I do (TV is my BFF), but a commercial circulating lately has caused some controversy. I know, big deal, but it’s the response to the controversy that is the real story. And by real story, I mean who cares but I’m going to write about it anyway.
A recent Chrysler commercial featured a monkey in an Evel Knievel costume, setting off an explosion of confetti. AS SOON AS I saw this commercial, I was like, “Oh great, a monkey “actor.”” Man, monkeys in clothes cause such internal conflict for me! I mean, holy crap, monkeys in clothes = the cuteness; but you KNOW it’s wrong wrong wrong. I end up feeling horrible for the monkey and feeling horrible because I think it’s cute. But when it comes down to it, abuse endured by “working” animals kind of trumps any and all giggles. Sorry, bros.
As you can imagine, PETA was not happy about this commercial either. WTF? CENSORSHIP IN ADVERTISING? This aggression will not stand! First they take your monkeys, next thing you know, they pull all the Marlboro ads from Nickelodeon. This is bullshit! (Don’t worry guys, I’m just kidding! As long as we can objectify women, I say let freedom ring.)
Eventually, after pressure from PETA, Chrysler removed the monkey from the commercial—by simply erasing it. The new ad features an “invisible monkey.” OMG those clever bastards. The Consumerist is calling this a “giant finger to PETA pantywringers.” As always, the Consumerist is basically a bunch of genius poets [Ed.: and their commenters!]; however, I would call this less of a finger to PETA and more of an interesting way of solving the problem. Sure, Chrysler comes off as a petulant teenager, but really they are a soldier in the fight against censorship! Talk hard, Chrysler! Fight for your right to party! They are going to keep their monkey even if you can’t see it! No but really, I think it’s kind of funny. They may not be apologetic about using a monkey to begin with but with the new edit, they send the message that monkeys don’t belong in commercials—whether they are happy about that message or not.
One thing I really enjoy about this whole situation is that the second version of the commercial is clearly the better of the two. Come on, a monkey in clothes? Cheap laughs 101. But an invisible monkey inspired by pertinacity? That’s comedy, folks! For real, when you take away tired gimmicks, creativity can flourish. Besides the disregard for animal welfare, the sad part of this story is that they didn’t rely on creativity in the first place.