vegansaurus!

03/09/2011

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Between having to finish my last-ever (and incidentally most comprehensive) presentation for school and cracking a filling because I was chewing gum too hard, I have been barely able to stand. Then as soon as I was a little bit less overwhelmed, I started running a fever. Isn’t that just the worst? I mean I appreciate that my body is a complex and sophisticated system that recognizes when it is safer for me to turn the stress I have been feeling into an amazing bout with the flu/cold/plague, but it doesn’t really do anything to make me feel better. As soon as I’m done getting gray hair from every single project I have to do and think that I can settle in for some serious knitting/a Golden Girls marathon, my body turns against me and makes it so that I am either too hot or too cold or that my muscles get so sore that I can’t sit in one place for a long period of time. This is war! Fortunately for my body, the only way I know how to go to war on it is by consuming large amounts of Parma, which I put on everything (to Allen's extreme chagrin, because he is delusional and does not enjoy it!), and swigging bottle after bottle of ginger ale. “Man,” you must be thinking, “Mark is pretty sick so he is probably not going to take us on a tour of horrors that he has found on the internet.” WRONG! I am miserable, so you will be miserable. Buckle in and let’s see what horrible things are happening this week.

Modern science has discovered that animals, specifically chickens, can feel pain. I did not realize that this needed scientific testing, but I suppose not everyone is as trusting as I am. Not only can chickens feel pain, but they can show empathy for the pain of other chickens. NO DOY, but good for you, science. Because I am trusting, I am going to imagine that these experiments were mostly harmless and that the chickens have now been found wonderful sanctuary homes. What I am less than pleased with is that since this news has come out, people have been showing how awesome it is to write cruel things on the internet.

What is it with people? I mean, as soon as you write anything about animals feeling pain they come out to talk about how delicious the animals are or leave comments like “I am going to have a chicken bacon sandwich later today. UMAD?” Just google anything about “chickens feeling pain” and you will find that the comments run from the classic “Humans are meant to eat meat!” to the perplexing “If I can’t have meat, what am I going to eat?” to the sensitive “Chickens feeling pain just makes them more delicious.” I don’t get it. It’s not like the news of the study says “DO NOT EAT CHICKEN!” but many people seem to immediately see anything that describes of evidence of animals feeling pain to a direct attack on their precious need to murder and swallow animals that are not human/adorable. Why? If you’re going to get that angry about an article like this, then perhaps you should check out your own food and guilt issues. In addition, I would suggest you not fuck with chickens because they are related to the T. Rex, and the T. Rex used to fuck some shit up, OK?

The next two stories come to us from Tim, who sends me links all the time, and who I presume is incredibly handsome and intelligent. In fact, he’s even got Allen jealous. Allen never sends me links. Anyway, the theme here is: PEOPLE SUCK. A LOT. Consider this: Dozens of sick and dead animals were found in the condemned home of an elderly disabled woman living in Long Island. There’s no mention of how authorities found out about what was going on (I imagine the condemned part had a lot to do with it), but the house was filthy, malodorous, and stuffed with suffering animals. Here’s my question, though: This woman is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned house. Why was no one checking on her? I get that what she did was horrible, but people don’t hoard animals for fun, it is a psychological illness. I am outraged at the fact that there are dead and suffering animals, of course, but why are the authorities choosing to charge (and possibly jail) this woman as well as make her pay for the clean-up. If she is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned home, I highly doubt that she is going to be able to come up with the cash. What are we going to do then? Force her to take a job or pay it off in jail? I just wish that we would look at this on a larger level and start thinking about prevention as opposed to punishment. What kind of group could be formed to assist people in such situations? Perhaps an animal rights organization could start a project that included home visits? I’m the first person to want repercussions, but this woman isn’t Michael Vick, and she certainly isn’t Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Brian Schweitzer, you may be thinking, who is he? Well wonder, no more. This charmer wants to go against the Endangered Species Act and shoot whole packs of wolves in order to help citizens, “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.” I apologize for being dense, but aren’t wolves wildlife? How would shooting the wildlife help Montana’s citizens enjoy the wildlife? It seems really counter-intuitive to me. You can’t really enjoy wildlife if the wildlife is actually just the corpses of said wildlife. I dislike Brian Schweitzer for many reasons, and one of them is definitely the fact that I have just used the word wildlife about a million times. Another is that he wants to kill the wolves that eat elk because they are taking the elk (which they are eating for SURVIVAL REASONS) from the hunters who would otherwise be shooting them. How does this even make sense? How is this person in any position of power? Can anyone answer these questions?

That’s it for me. I’m going back to bed and see if I can sleep this cold/flu/plague off. Send me links for next week and have a happy Wednesday!

Chicken picture from Animal Place (adopt one! or take a chicken care class, too!)

01/26/2011

Hello, Friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, today is the first day of my last semester of grad school [Ed.: Congrats, Mark!]. I’ve been so nervous about finishing my master’s paper before May, I probably gave myself another ulcer during winter break (which is no break at all because internships do not take a month off! How happy I was as an undergrad!). This is not to say I worked on the paper at all, I just worried about it. Because that’s what I do. I worry. And I don’t just worry about my paper. I worry about everything. Like what if there’s a giant earthquake while I’m sleeping and I have to jump out a window (I don’t know why I’d have to jump out a window, I just would)? Or what if I accidentally (or not accidentally, people are assholes) get run over by a car when I’m crossing the street? And then I worry about the bad shit that happens to animals, because a lot of bad shit happens to animals.
Sometimes, though, animals get the upper hand. For instance, in Belarus, known for its delicious potato recipes (potato pancakes, even better without eggs), as well as its plentitude of beautiful outdoor places to kill animals, a fox shot a hunter. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), the fox did not kill the hunter (because animals are hella cool like that), and so now he can spend the rest of his life talking about how awesome foxes are. Or, uh, apologizing for trying to beat this particular fox to death with the butt of his weapon after the fox didn’t die from the bullets the hunter shot at him/her. Th glorious and very smart fox escaped and is hopefully doing well, although I’m worried that the bullet wounds may prove fatal (as bullet wounds so often are). Let’s hope the hunter holds up his half of the bargain I just created for him. If he doesn’t take being shot by his prey as a wake-up call that he’s doing some heinous shit, perhaps it’s better if he exits the gene pool as quickly and gracefully as possible.

Tim (who is quickly becoming my favorite reader ever because A. he’s sent me two links already and B. my affection is won easily) sent me this delightful story about the U.S. Government poisoning birds. You would think the US government would have better things to do (LGBT rights, women’s rights, prison reform, make sure we’re all now owned by China tomorrow) but NO, they’re far too busy to deal with any major issues because they’re creating poison bait to murder birds who poop too much and too indiscriminately. 200 Starlings are dead as a result of the USDA’s decision that killing these birds would be the best way to stop them from defecating in a feedlot. Fortunately, the USDA also released a statement proclaiming that the now dead birds do not pose a threat to humans or animals. Because they can no longer expel excrement. This is a real thing. Also: I don’t know where you guys come from, but I come from Moldova*, and in Moldova when a bird pooped on you, we called it a present and took it as a good omen. To my knowledge, we did not poison the bird. Moldova was, at one time, named the world’s unhappiest country. If the world’s unhappiest country can welcome bird poop, we should at least be able to tolerate it without resorting to murder in America. Meave wrote more on this issue and I implore you to read it immediately and then get really, really pissed and hope all the birds go Hitchcock** on our asses. And I’m not talking about his signature lighting techniques!

I wonder what the USDA thinks about people eating fungus-encrusted silk worms in order to get their groove back? This delicious/disGARsting treat is referred to as “The Himalayan Viagra” and while it does not have an immediate effect (to which I say, what’s the point?),  if you put it on your waffles or grate it into your bottle of Parma (OMG PARMA! I ATE A WHOLE BOTTLE OF IT IN ONE SITTING LAST WEEK!) and eat it for a couple of days, it is going to (allegedly) make you hornier than an, I don’t know, Horny Goat Weed (warning: vegan??). Allegedly, this is a trend in New York and people are paying hundreds of dollars for an ounce of these worms. The worms have also caused controversy because it’s not possible to tell if they work (duh) and because the people who collect them have been bludgeoning each other to death over control of the worms. This is not only disgusting and sad, but probably incredibly unsanitary. These are dead worms covered in fungus. Also: we have Viagra now and I hear it’s cheaper. Even if you don’t have insurance. Why not try some of that? No shame! Or, some shame, but it’s cool.

Please send me, your friend Mark, links for next week and have a safe and happy Wednesday. If you’re starting school today, I wish you godspeed and good luck!

*Moldova is basically like Kazakhstan but less charming. Laura wrote that.
**Or perhaps, Birdemic!

[Fox image from Sodahead; Parma from Eat in the Raw]

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