After that disturbing video Paul showed us yesterday of the shocking abuse pigs endure at Tyson Foods, I needed an animal pick-me-up. Where did I go? Why Pawesome, of course! And what did I find? A cat learning sign language!
My dog has made up his own sign for food where he sits, then lies down, then plays sleep, then jumps up and twirls, then does every other trick he knows until I give him a treat. Complicated sign, Figgy!
Also, where and when the hell was this video filmed and can I still buy that shirt?
Pawesome’s dollar for dollar campaign! Donate! »
The awesome website Pawesome, ye of the fantastic pet news and also cutest animal shirts ever, has a dollar for dollar campaign going on with Berkeley East Bay Humane. So, donate! And have your dollars matched! And save dogs and cats! And then eat some cake, you deserve it, you’re such a good person. Attractive, too. You’ve really got it all.
From Pawesome’s donation page:
When Pawesome was nominated for a Petties award, while we were stoked to be recognized for our pawesomeness, we were more excited about the prospect of donating our $1,000 prize to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. In May 2010 the organization suffered from a fire that gutted their facility and they’ve been struggling to raise funds to rebuild. While it’s a bummer we didn’t win a Petties, Pawesome has decided to give back to the Berkeley Humane Society anyway and we would love your help.
Pawesome will match your donation to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society, in a dollar for dollar campaign. We can give a maximum of $500, so with help from you guys, we can all chip in $1,000 to this wonderful organization.
To participate, simply select the Shelter Fire Relief Fund button on the BEBHS donation page, make your donation, and then forward your donation receipt to pawesomehelps [at] pawesome [dot] net.
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.
Top 10 links of the week! A breezy ride through veganism! »
[Your cute animal video of the week, stolen from Pawesome. Look how quiet yet excited that dog is!]
Remember hearing like all wild fish are totally going to be gone soon? Well, some scientists disagree. Some agree. I hate fishing regardless. Sounds like a party!
Good news in San Francisco: Activists end live bird sale at SF’s Farmers’ Market!
Big surprise: Tilapia farming is totally effed!
Fish oil may not prevent depression; probably kills fish.
Apparently a dog helped take out bin Laden and this is my discussion topic of the week. Did you see Sarah’s post about parachuting dogs? I just think it’s crazy! I know they form bonds with their trainers or whatever but jumping out of planes? Seems effed! Some actually get PTSD! What do you think? Is what they do so important that it’s worth the risk? I don’t know, they can’t give consent. Seems effed.
Your weekly WTF from Defenders of Wildlife: “The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the first in a series of three bills that mandates the acceleration of the offshore drilling permitting process and opens up new areas to oil and gas drilling.”
This is kind of funny! From This Dish is Veg: Seven ridiculous restaurant logos that feature happy animals selling meat. [Ed.: for many more of these, check out Suicide Food!]
Charlie Sheen gets a face tattoo made of REAL TIGER BLOOD?! »
What the fucking fuck! Now he’s crossed the line! Let’s get pissed about this because not only is he a creepy woman-beater, he’s also fucking with tigers. NOT COOL, Charlie Sheen. Not cool, AT ALL.
Pawesome has the scoop! Go read it and then let’s organize a protest of his face!
Happy Adopt-a-Guinea-Pig Month! Get a pal! »
I was on Pawesome and how surprised was I? It’s adopt a guinea pig month and I didn’t even know! The month is almost over but you still have some time to get in under the wire. Or, you know, adopt one in April. I’m sure the guinea pigs won’t mind and you can give them extra cuddles for missing their special month.
I have a special interest in guinea pigs because, while I don’t have any now, I had one when I was little. Poor Speedy, she never had the life she deserved and I will feel guilty forever! I was young and didn’t know much about guinea pigs. I had her all alone—guinea pigs are social animals!—in what I’ve now learned is the size of a gestation crate. They need friends! And room to play! If you are considering getting a guinea pig, here is a great guide for caring for these little guys. I found a great site all about how to make awesome cages for your pal and this super helpful video showing you how to make a cool cage in detail. I also found out guinea pigs can do tricks! OMJesus. The circle trick is my favorite I think.
Because I love you lazy fools, I looked up where you can adopt a guinea pig. Here’s a state-by-state rescue listing that might be helpful for finding a rescue in your area. Cavy Spirit has adoptables for the SF Bay Area. I’ve read that the SFSPCA doesn’t do small animal adoptions but that the ACC does. San Diego has a cute place, Wee Companions, that has guinea pigs and in San Jose, there’s North Star Rescue. For the New York area, there is the Have a Heart Guinea Pig Rescue and the North Jersey Guinea Pig and Hamster Rescue in New Jersey. These are both Petfinder sites and if you search, there are lots of other places to find guinea pigs on Petfinder (just enter your zip code; I set up the rest of the search for you, should work I hope. Otherwise, do it yourself!).
A lot of these organizations also need CASH MONEY so I was thinking for those of us who can’t adopt, we could donate some funds! You can check each site for their donation page. Oh and if you know of any other guinea pig adoption organizations, write them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!
Finally, here’s the famous pitbull Sharky giving his pig friend a bath!
[can’t see the video? Watch on Vegansaurus.com! Cute picture from WOAW-World Animal Welfare on flickr. Laura just taught me how to use creative commons so get ready for some flickr excitement in your future!]
Laura says: Laura has one and says it’s the softest best shirt on earth and she gets millions of compliments because it’s so cute and she’s very attractive and sexual in it.
From 6 to 8 pm. there’s a FREE pet fair with all sorts of awesome vendors and tons of vegan food and drinks! We’re talking vegan sandwiches from Ike’s Place, cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, and cookies made with Eat Pastry Cookie Dough! There will also be tons of beer, wine, a raffle with awesome prizes, great vendors (get your holiday gifts!), adoptable ADORABLE dogs, and MORE!
Then, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. there will be BINGO! Served up with vegan chili pie, cornbread, and the best fucking prizes ever, including a $100 gift certificate to Millennium, Southwest plane tickets, and a signed SF Giants cap from MVP Édgar Rentería. Seriously, you gotta be there so COME! Please!
Rocket Dog is so desperate for funds right now. We want to keep up our legacy of saving the dogs that nobody else can—your pit bulls, your tripods, your one-eyed chihuahuas! Play Bingo for those who cannot! I’m crazy! See you there! Etc.!
Vodka party at Gracias Madre with fat ducks and fashion kitties in this week’s link-o-rama! »
Ms. Unterman of the SF Examiner fell in love with Gracias Madre, and Jun Belen thought No Worries is doing a good job, so far. In the Sacramento Valley, a man shot a duck, and discovered she had eaten herself an extremely engorged liver—foie gras-style, in fact. Real live naturally occurring foie gras, in pintail ducks eating oodles of rice! Neat! Unfortunately it’s just not as delicious as “real” foie gras, so they’ll just have to keep gavaging those geese (until all of those selfish creeps die). Shucks.
Feeling blue? How about some vodka? Barnivore will help you choose the brand, and this magnificent guide will teach you how to drink it properly. Once it gets cold (ha ha global warming, it’ll never dip below 50, right?), let’s have vodka and spicy + salty hors d’œuvres parties. I am particularly looking forward to the part where you “[b]reathe out loudly through your mouth emitting an animal noise.” I mean. Perhaps someone could try this hummus recipe by Nick Kindelsperger of The Paupered Chef? He does make it sound amazing, and not too terribly difficult.
Peta strikes again! Ingrid Newkirk herself has offered to put $10,000 toward Lindsay Lohan’s rehab bill if LiLo will go vegan for the remainder of her rehab, and if she maintains her vegan diet for an entire year, Peta will give her another $10,000. Who feels good about donating to Peta? LiLo hasn’t taken Peta up on Ms. Newkirk’s offer yet, but YOU NEVER KNOW. But it’s not like Peta has any standards for their celebrity spokesmodels, so why not another wearer of fur and leather?
Best part of Friday: The Week in Vegan, by our Laura for SF Weekly!