vegansaurus!

04/15/2014

Help Asbury Park, New Jersey get its very own all-vegan chocolate shop!  »

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Cinnamon Chocolate Covered Toasted Macadamia Nut Truffles! Yum!

Kristina Swenson learned to make chocolate as a child in Hawaii, now she wants to bring her skills to New Jersey! A natural progression. But Kristina needs your help to get her chocolate shop, The Chocolate Rabbit, started. 

I haven’t tried these chocolates but they sure look nice! And I am excited to have an all-vegan chocolate shop to force my family to stop at when we drive the NYC-Philly route. 

I know, another day, another vegan kickstarter, but I happen to love that our community can come together to fund the vegan endeavors of our brethren. We are mighty! Plus you KNOW I love kickstarter perks. Imma get some chocolate!

You can learn more and donate here. Good luck, Kristina!

11/25/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

After a massive on-the-ground campaign throughout New Jersey to override Governor Christie’s veto of our gestation crate bill, animal advocates flooded the statehouse this past Monday in anticipation of the state senate’s vote. While Monday was disappointingly not the pigs’ day, the vote will come up again next month, so stay tuned!

We did win an important vote this week on gestation crates, with shareholders of Cracker Barrel overwhelmingly voting to support the company moving away from using gestation crate-derived pork.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the executive director of the prestigious Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production said this week that “They finally got the attention of the industry because everywhere they went up against the industry, the Humane Society won.”

HSUS this week joined with environmental and community groups in announcing plans to sue a breeding pig factory over manure spills in Iowa. And speaking of gestation crates, check out NBC’s national coverage of Mercy For Animals’ new undercover investigation at a Tyson Foods-contracted gestation crate facility.

Finally, worried about how to feed a growing human population? Try eating less meat, says Fox News this week. And the Norwegians seem to be getting the message. The Norwegian army takes on a battle against climate change by implementing Meatless Monday. A military spokesperson states that “It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.”

Video of the week: This might be one of the most unlikely friendships I’ve ever seen. Remarkable!

10/11/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

After working with HSUS, the Buffalo, New York public school district is the latest to announce that it’s now going entirely meat-free on Mondays! Buffalo joins Los Angeles, Detroit, and several other major school districts in serving its students more plant-based foods. In that vein, Fox News—yes, Fox News—ran a story yesterday entitled, “5 Reasons to Try a Vegetarian Diet.”

The Asbury Park Press became the seventh New Jersey newspaper to editorialize in favor of overriding the veto of our gestation crate ban bill.

Finally, promising news from down under: major Australian grocer Woolworths is ending all sales of eggs from caged hens.

Video of the week: Not a cute animal video this time, but an amazing 1935 Popeye original about preventing cruelty to animals, with an ending that’s a must-see!

Photo of the week: Found these two federally furloughed starving NASA engineers. Gave them food in exchange for coming to New Jersey to help ban gestation crates!

07/01/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

Vegetarian eating is on the rise in China, with their vegetarian population now larger than that in the U.S. And on this side of the world, in the U.S., “meat” may be becoming a four-letter word, so much that Taco Bell is now just referring to it as “protein.” The article about it notes that part of the reasoning is based on the fact that “43 percent of conversations about ‘meat’ over the last six months were negative and often included such words as ‘bad,’ ‘concerns,’ and ‘problem.’”

A big ag trade publication commenting on our campaign this week notes, “The movement against gestation stalls is international, widespread and making major gains.”

Indeed, major gains are being made, and in one state, we’re going to have to fight very hard to ensure that those gains continue. Despite nearly unanimous votes in both chambers of the state legislature and enjoying overwhelming voter support across the political spectrum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation yesterday that would have banned gestation crates. The next chapter of the fight will soon unfold.

P.S. Video of the Week: Cat or dog?

03/15/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s weekly Animal News You Can Use!  »

Want to read a great AP story about the proponents of anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bills getting part of their bodies (I’ll let you be the judge) handed to them at a legislative hearing in Nebraska yesterday? Also, the ag-friendly Bakersfield Californian editorial board slammed the supporters of a similar California bill this week, saying how they’re “amazed by the audacity of the cattle industry.”

Good week in statehouses for farm animals, with a New Jersey ag committee passing a bill to ban gestation crates and a Colorado committee doing the same on a bill to ban dairy cow tail-docking. We’ll continue working hard to further advance these bills.

There’s a fascinating story out today about a meat industry front man who admits he created a fake Facebook profile posing as an animal activist in order to criticize HSUS and encourage other animal activists to do the same.

After extensive dialogue with HSUS, Bob Evans is the latest food giant to announce it wants to phase out gestation crates. And the National Pork Board did a survey with promising results about the changing attitudes of pork producers to the gestation crate issue.

Think you’re the only one who finds promise in plant-based products? These billionaires are with you.

Finally, students! If you want “Skinny Bitch” Rory Freedman, VegNews editorial director Elizabeth Castoria, and HSUS’s Kristie Middleton to read your essay, enter HSUS’s Meatless Monday essay contest now!

Video of the week: Justin Timberlake on SNL singing about vegan eating. Words can’t describe how great it is.

Photo of the week: My cats enjoying their catio!

10/31/2012

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Reminder: Cory Booker is a hero and a national treasure. Impertinently, he is also very handsome.

Stay safe, East Coast Vegansaurs.

04/16/2012

Escaped cow gets sanctuary!  »


Aww, his poor ears! Effed. 

This is Mike Jr. He escaped from a slaughterhouse in New Jersey on April 10. Eventually, he found his way to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary! Here’s the story:

[Mike Jr.] eluded capture for hours and even waded into the Passaic River (yuck!). Police used vehicles to ram into the calf in an effort to bring him under control until a tranquilizer gun could be obtained. The story was picked up by local news and in the piece the slaughterhouse owner said he would release the calf to an unspecified farm.

Suspicious of the kind of farm that he might end up at, uber-volunteer Mike Stura, who lives not too far away, called us early the next morning. We agreed we could help and Mike dropped everything to go get the calf. He has a truck and a recently-acquired trailer for just this purpose. It turns out the calf had already been transported to another slaughterhouse (not the “farm” as promised on the news), but Mike pursued it and was able to convince the owner to release him. We named him “Mike Jr.” after his rescuer. We arranged for human Mike to take bovine Mike to a local vet to clear him to cross state lines and treat the wounds and abrasions. After some blood work, vaccinations, and cleaning the wounds, the Mikes were given the “go” to head upstate to WFAS.

Mike Jr. is enjoying his first days of freedom and roaming the pasture with other rescued cows and steer. Rest assured he will never end up at the end of a fork!

We’ve all heard stories about animals that escape from the clutches of the meat industry and find a home at one sanctuary or another. Does anyone else find this phenomenon as odd as I do? Specifically, the part about how the slaughterhouse owner decides the animal deserves freedom because it somehow escaped.

I’m always glad to see an animal get to sanctuary, but it’s so funny that when people see a runaway animal, they react like, “What will and determination! S/he deserves to be free!” I’m just like, “you know that this cow is just like all the other ones that are about to be slaughtered?” Right? I feel like it’s a weird American Spirit thing. Or that this cow has proved itself smarter or more sentient than the others, so it deserves freedom.

What do you think it is? Any ideas? It’s fascinating!
Mike Jr. and his new BFF Kayli! For more pictures of Mike Jr., check out the WFAS page.

02/15/2012

Good news: the diving horse show is NOT returning!  »

Huzzah! The people have spoken! Atlantic City will not be bringing the diving horse show this summer! Happy day! Sometimes things do work out.

Steel Pier owner Tony Catanoso had this to say: “We just felt that since Atlantic City is moving forward, we should move forward with it…. We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones.”

Yay! What should the new attraction be instead? I’m thinking giant ball pit! Like GIANT. Like Olympic-size swimming pool. OR, the world’s biggest moon bounce! That you can go on even if you are a grown-up! I love moon bounces, but they never let me in them any more. Sad face. 

02/13/2012

Diving horse show returning to Atlantic City? No mother-loving way.  »

Are you kidding me? The Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey wants to bring back the diving horse show this summer—as in the “show” where a horse dives into a pool from 40 feet in the air. What the actual fuck, AC? Come on. There is nothing right about this. It’s depraved and shameful. This is the kind of news that makes me want to take a two hour shower to try to wash off the contemptibility of humanity. 

But don’t worry guys, the Steel Pier has done their research:

In the course of making the decision to include the diving horse, Steel Pier Associates conducted significant research into past practices, including speaking with people who were directly involved in the act that occurred in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Through this research, we determined there was no animal cruelty or abuse that occurred in the past.

So their method of research was to ask the very people that condoned the diving horse show in the past if they condone the diving horse show? Wow, make way for science! Obviously they definitely shouldn’t consult the Humane Society, who is strongly opposed to the show.

People, we can’t let this happen. Let’s call these mofos! The press release says “for more information contact Sharon Franz, Sales and Marketing Director for Steel Pier at 609-345-4893” so let’s call her! And one of the Steel Pier owners, Tony Catanoso, has been super outspoken about how great this will be. Let’s call Tony Catanoso! I found this on the Facebook group opposed to the diving horse show:

Anthony Catanoso
Atlantic Amusements Pier
705 Route 9 
Erma , NJ 08204 
Pier (609) 345-4893 
Phone: (609) 898-7640 
Fax: (609) 898-7646 
ATCatanoso@hotmail.com

Write him! Call him! Tell him this is not OK!

You can also sign the petition here. According to Ecorazzi, lots of celebrities are coming out against this ridiculous idea. The more the mother-loving merrier. 

01/25/2012

Guest post: Black bears need your help in Connecticut!   »

Black bears are in trouble in Connecticut! I know what you’re thinking: “There are bears in Connecticut? I thought Connecticut was just full of old rich people sitting around counting their money.” And you’d be RIGHT; that part totally sucks. But we have bears, too! They are awesome! And right now the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has asked the governor to allow permits to some idiots to go out and shoot black bears dead because apparently we have too many now, even though we have had approximately NONE for the past 150 years since they went extinct in the state around 1850. EXTINCT, guys.

The government is basing this assumption on complete hearsay, rather than any actual scientific evidence of the number of bears that currently exist in the state. I think we have too many old rich people in the state and maybe they should provide permits for broke folks like me to—I digress.

Over the past couple decades the black bear population has totally rebounded, because bears are hardcore like that, and now people are all upset: They’re seeing bears more often, and occasionally one gets in someone’s backyard and rummages through their smelly garbage. Look, if you don’t want to see animals in your backyard, don’t have a motherfucking backyard; animals lived there before you and probably don’t give a shit whether you think you own the grass or not. And also, maybe don’t have such smelly garbage, NASTY.

Meat consumption is responsible for more human deaths per year (45,000 on average) than black bears (1 on average), so if you’re really that scared of shit and A=B and A+B=C then maybe stop chowing down on the steaks instead of shooting beautiful harmless bears that are just moseying around. Black bears are like the most docile of all the bears!

They’ve already approved this malarkey in New Jersey, without any scientific evidence of increased bear sightings there. Significant errors were found in the tally of reports, and hunters went all murder-happy and started killing mother bears and cubs and see what happens when you give morons permission to shoot stuff?

This is my drawn-out way of asking you guys to join me in telling the governor to NOT allow black bear hunting in Connecticut. Kids, the bears need our help, and every signature counts, so do me the biggest favor ever and sign my petition. I will love you forever and also I promise I won’t come after you when they issue the rich people hunting permits. Unless you own a pink KitchenAid standing mixer, ‘cause goddamn I really want one. The end. Sign the petition.

Rachel Gary is from Connecticut, where she spends most of her time hiking, reading, tricking her family into eating delicious vegan baked goods, and avoiding doing laundry. As her responsible adult alter ego, she is an editor for an environmental and engineering firm.

[image, “Cub’s first look at the world,” courtesy the North American Bear Center]

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