Exclusive Awesome Photos: Penguins And Seals In Antarctica! »
My aunt and uncle, who wish to remain anonymous, recently took an incredible trip to Antarctica and snagged some insanely cool pictures of Antartic animals! Enjoy, and let’s all be grateful for amazing aunts and uncles!
I have no words for the glory that is these images. Who wants go to Antarctica together while it’s still frozen?!
Madrid knows how to treat its gay penguin couple, Inca and Rayas: Give them an egg to raise! ABC News has the story about the two Gentoo penguins, who for six years have been “like the best of friends, living cooperatively because they’re in the same enclosure” at the Faunia Park. And finally, they’re getting their own adopted baby to raise.
Spain’s doing better than you, Canada. Of course I hate zoos, but as long as they’re around, the animals within them had better be treated with dignity and respect. Equal rights for same-sex couples!
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
You guys, I am getting old. I went to the doctor yesterday and he told me that my body is no longer able to process wheat in a way that will not give me the worst cramps in the history of cramps. (Can dudes take Midol for cramps? Please advise.) So today, instead of eating a delicious seitan sandwich, I am chugging potato-leek soup out of a carton and crying into my grapes (of which I have two varieties. I find that the added salt really gives them a kick!) while the people I often have lunch with look at me pityingly. Perhaps one day I will learn to enjoy a gluten-free low-sodium diet, but until then I am going to milk it for all it’s worth. Especially with Allen, who might buy me video games to cheer me up. (Note to Allen: Buy me video games!!)
Maybe not eating wheat will make me more pleasant to be around (according to my brother, King of Celiac Information), but I doubt it. I don’t even know how I will process that kind of change as being grumpy is part of my overall gestalt and is what makes me incredibly charming and fun to be around. However, there are cracks in my foundation already, as I found this video of penguins rolling around in first class adorable, as opposed to unsanitary or annoying to passengers who have popped a benzo before takeoff. Also, I didn’t even wonder whether penguins bite or scratch (side note: Allen and I were trying to clean Ms. Cleo’s cage this weekend and I was holding her so that we could chill. She was OK until she suddenly went into attack-rabbit mode and scratched my arms up in a way that looked like I had been cutting myself. I’ve had to wear long sleeves all week.)
Oh, here’s something adorable and more my speed: wild swine terrorizing plants and people. Watch out, upstate New York! I think this is partly delightful. I know that people’s crops are getting ruined and such (which sucks, especially now that I am only eating vegetables covered in my tears), but it seems a fair turnabout considering how many people eat pigs. Pigs are taking it back! (Wasn’t there a show about evil gangster street pigs in Saturday mornings in the ’90s? I really enjoyed that!)
Finally, I bring you the latest in a long string of reasons to hate the entire Trump family. If it’s not them being mean to Joan Rivers, it’s them hunting and then posing in front of their kill with douchey smiles. Awesome! Why doesn’t everyone travel to a foreign country to kill giant animals? Also, why is the defense of “the animal wasn’t even endangered” ever accepted by anyone? The Trumps aren’t endangered animals, but no one is shooting them! Also also: why does the young Trump on TV use so much product in his hair? Isn’t there a shortage of that?
That’s it for this week. Send me links for next time, and have a douchebag-free Wednesday!
Book review: The Tourist Trail, by John Yunker »
You guys, I honestly don’t like being super-negative, especially about things that mean well, like fiction written by and about animal activists. Laura likes to sell my positive reviews as big deals because I “hate everything,” but I don’t, I swear. I just have high standards! For everything! Including myself, which translates to “trying to be better than a big jerk about things that don’t meet my expectations.” Besides, that’s what Goodreads is for.
Ashland Creek Press sent me a copy of John Yunker’s The Tourist Trail, and honestly, I didn’t much care for it. The premise is interesting enough: a lonely scientist studying penguins in South America meets-cute with an eco-terrorist captain of a Sea Shepherd-style anti-whaling vessel. Meanwhile, an FBI agent—with a past!—and his partner hunt the eco-terrorist, and a programmer follows his vegan activist crush onto a Sea Shepherd-style anti-whaling vessel. Connections!
The vegan twist is that there are vegans and they are heroic, and The Man is the enemy. Also, animals are awesome and humans shouldn’t be such dicks about using up all the earth’s resources, lest we unintentionally murder all the animals we aren’t intentionally murdering. Like I said, an interesting premise with a decent twist.
My main problem with The Tourist Trail is the actual writing. It’s clunky, and stilted, and the plot machinations are so painfully obvious—the plot twists send up flares and wave flags from miles away. It’s disappointing, I think, to read a novel that’s excellent thematically but really poorly executed.
You know what, though? It’s very Dan Brown. It’s Dan Brown writes a pro-vegan eco-thriller. If that sounds good to you, then read The Tourist Trail. If not, there are plenty more books in the world out there. Like The Murder of the Century, that was pretty great.
Same-sex penguin pair are targeted by heteronormative zoo »
The Toronto Zoo is planning to separate same-sex penguin couple Pedro and Buddy in order to pair them with females for breeding. Needless to say, some people are not happy about this. As tipster Sarah L. said, “as if it doesn’t suck enough already to be imprisoned in a zoo.” Now they are forcing loving couples to separate. Eff that noise! Keep them together!
I had read previously that it’s not uncommon for male penguins to pair off. Animal Planet even states that “the Central Park zoo has turned out to be the Castro of the penguin world,” but I’m not sure if it’s just a zoo thing. According to Wikipedia, there was a similar situation in Germany where they separated three male-on-male penguin couples to try to get them to breed with females, and it just didn’t work.
Sarah has actually taken measures to stop the forced separation and says we can help too:
African penguins are endangered because of commercial fisheries, oil spills, and humans eating their eggs, not because Pedro and Buddy are two males in love. I called the Toronto Zoo this morning at (416) 392.5929. The customer service rep didn’t seem to know anything about it, so I suspect no one else had called—but she seemed sympathetic, and I think if enough people call maybe they will keep Pedro and Buddy together rather than risk a PR scandal.
Let’s call today! Let love rule!
Penguins in sweaters! »
Sad news: There’s been an oil spill on New Zealands coast, pouring 350 tons of oil into the ocean. WTF! This is crazy! There’s more oil in the ocean than salt right about now. And it’s taking its effect on the environment and animals in said environment. And now? The penguins need sweaters, so they don’t preen their feathers and ingest the oil. Sheesh. That’s sad. But look at that penguin! So cute!
That’s the sad news, here’s the bad news: While they no longer need any more sweaters, in the instructions for making them, they said the sweaters could only be made of wool* for some reason? I guess we could have used reclaimed wool? I don’t know. Maybe we should start our own cotton sweater drive? I’m a great driver!
I’m just reading though that this is not the first penguin sweater craze—makes sense, as it’s not the first oil spill. Penguin sweaters over the years:
South Africa, 2000. He’s all, “you guys look like CLOWNS.”
It’s sad circumstances and it’s horrible that animals suffer so much because of our greed and neglect—but damn it, those penguins do look sharp in sweaters!
*A bit about wool and cruelty. It does appear mulesing is being phased out in New Zealand, so that’s good. But while mulesing is the cruelest practice in wool production, I don’t think things are that sunny for the sheep at non-mulesing wool operations. There’s still being castrated without meds, packed into a warehouse, violently shaved in a speedy fashion (time is money), and all that other good stuff. So don’t wear wool, even if you’re a cute penguin. OMG are you thinking what I’m thinking? Say it with me: PENGUIN WETSUITS! THEY EXIST:
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
You guys, I was really lonely last weekend. Allen was out of town so I had no one to torment, my parents were out of town so I has no one to fight with, and I was too tired to do anything but sit around at home with the lights on and wait vigilantly for the ghosts to show up and eat me. I am happy to report that none did, although, honestly, I could have used the excitement. On Friday night I tried to latch-hook the Super Mario rug I was making, but threw it across the rom in a fit of pique when the yarn unraveled for the fifteenth hundred time.
You can see how lonely I was. So I decided to adopt a hamster. Look how smart they are. So smart they have to wear glasses. That’s the animal for me!
The first thing I did was text Allen to let him know that I was going to track down a hamster and name hear Jeanine (because that is a name I have always liked). Ten minutes later he texted back in his usual unsupportive style, advising me not to make any rash decisions because he was going to be home in two days. “Also,” Allen wrote, “everything will smell like hamster pee.” He was right. I have had many hamsters before and while I loved them all very much and cleaned their cages like it was my job I could not shake the feeling that I always smelled like a hamster cage full of urine. My brother and I got into a fight about it once, actually, when he was giving me a ride to work. “Bitch,” he said, “you smell like you’ve been fucking a hamster farm. Get a boyfriend.” We did not speak for a month after that and I had to take the bus everywhere. Recalling these fond memories made me realize that perhaps I was not ready to invite a hamster into my home just yet and would have to think long and hard before I went out and made such a commitment. Allen, probably sensing my despair, sent me another text message. “I have an idea,” he wrote, “why not just look at hamster videos on YouTube?” Allen can be so callous sometimes (this is a sign of psychopathy, by the way. I have been reading The Psychopath Test and am pretty sure Allen’s responses indicate that he is a psychopath fairly clearly), but I decided to look at animal videos anyway. Except I was doing it for a different reason. I wanted to convince myself that I could live without a companion animal at this point in my life. The first video I looked at completely convinced me. Or at least it convinced me that I do not want to mess with turtles. especially because, as a male, I am possessed of a pair of testicles, which apparently turtles have been known to bite the shit straight off. Can you even comprehend the pain of this poor dog? He just nudged a turtle away from him for whatever reason, and that evil monster decides to go straight for the nuts. I immediately felt a pit in my stomach, even though I generally wear clothes and have never had the desire or opportunity to let a turtle crawl around me while naked (I am about to fifteen comments extolling the joys of having a turtle crawl around one’s naked body, aren’t I?) I could not help but feel a certain kinship with the dog in this video and have decided that turtles are not for me. At least penguins are nice, right?
WRONG! Penguins will fuck your shit up! You think a penguin won’t come at you, bro? No, a penguin will bring it the fuck on. And he will bring it so hard that you will try to run backwards and fall and the penguin will waddle towards you as you are laying on your back, frozen in fear and covered in snow. That penguin will come right up to you and kick you straight in the crotch while maintaining unblinking eye contact. And then he will call his friend the ice turtle (may not be a real creature) and they will take turns kicking you in the crotch and biting your withered and frozen genitalia. Penguins, much like Honey Badgers, don’t give a shit. And they give even less of a shit when it’s some Russian douche trying to come at them. Why is it always the Russians, by the way? As a Russian I am concerned that whenever I see a video of an animal being all “Come at me, bro” the person coming at it is some Russian teenager/twenty-something. Get jobs, you guys! You’re making us look bad on the internet!
Dogs get in on the act, too. No longer content to just chill out, sleep and take walks, they’re demanding to be dressed up in eighties fashions and jump rope to set a world record. Sure, you could blame the lady who is having them jump around and dress up like they’re Tiffany on a coke bender, but i like to imagine her as a poor helpless person ganged up on by dogs who just want to have fun (like a young Helen hunt!); dogs that just live to jump rope to the pulsating beats and alluring vocals of Yaz and Men Without Hats. Dogs that can’t be stopped. Dogs that are “teen wolves” and “teen witches” who go to “private school” and are “pretty smart.” and one of them is in a gang called “Foxes” and “she’s out of control.” Top that!
That’s all for me this week. Send me links for next week and for god’s sakes if your name is Carol Ann, stay away from lights this Wednesday!
Top 10 links of the week: a shuffle board game through veganism! »
First of all, SO FLATTERED: We’re on Carpe Vegan’s neat Vegan 100 list: vote us to the top! Also, the San Francisco Bay Guardian totally gave us a Best of the Bay 2011 award for “Best Righteous Vegan Sass” (WHAT?) and we’re extremely pleased and honored and in very fine company so WOO AWARD WINNERS WHAT?
Apparently in Bosnia, they make bulls fight each other and they used to beat them up first to get them angry. They aren’t going to do that anymore—the beating part at least. A win? Why do people like these crazy events?
Yo! The U.S. (where I keep all my stuff) may impose sanctions on Iceland for whaling! I HOPE THOSE ICELANDIC FUCKERS GET WHAT THEY DESERVE.
Good has a vegan guide to getting it on. Like, sex.
Downer about dead baby dolphins over at HuffPo.
Birds massage each other! Birds are so smart! And kinky!
The emperor penguin Happy Feet (gag on the name, but whatevs) is recovering well, and here’s a video of him passing his penguin physical.
Whaling is a slowly dying form of murder, so we’re happy to see that Japan is hopping on the bandwagon. The country’s Fisheries Agency has released a report with its first-ever mention of discontinuing research whaling as a viable option.
The lovely Sarah M. Smart heavily contributed to these links! Thanks, Sarah!
This is too cute. It’ll make you giggle. A great chaser after yesterday’s scary pig factory video! Which I’m sorry about but we’ve got to know what reality is! But in other realities: penguins are adorbs! But why do they keep pushing each other off? It seems kind of on purpose and if it is, that’s kind of dick.
That’s a SHOE on a PENGUIN. If it’s one things we humans love, it’s clothes on other animals. It’s so wacky! Teva, makers of (FILL IN THE ADJECTIVE BECAUSE I CANNOT WITHOUT BEING A LIAR OR VERY OFFENSIVE) shoes, made footwear to help save a penguin named Lucky!*
Finally, Tevas are good for something other than making people look ridiculous! What? Did you have to kick yourself out of a hippie’s rope maze?** Oh no, those are just Tevas!
Ugh sorry, I thought I could get through this piece without making fun of Tevas but it turns out I cannot.
*Who lives in a zoo! Sounds lucky to me! NOT! Also, it’s so weird how humans will spend all this money, time, and effort (the shoe went through like six iterations) to help make one bird’s life more comfortable but eat literally hundreds of thousands of birds every night. Everything is just so weird.
**I don’t know.