Tell the FDA to properly regulate GMO salmon before they make wild salmon extinct ! »
Our pal Katie Cantrell of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition wants to make us aware of two things regarding farmed GM salmon: One, that the FDA is thisclose to approving AquaAdvantage’s genetically modified salmon; two, that the FDA plans to regulate this new salmon as “an ‘animal drug’ rather than a new food product, drastically limiting the safety tests it must undergo.”
Equally disturbing, the FDA report does not assess how the salmon would affect the environment in which it is raised, because the actual farming will take place in Canada and Panama (5). The GE salmon grow twice as fast as wild salmon, and eat five times as much food (6). If the GE salmon were to escape, they would lead to the complete extinction of wild salmon within 40 fish generations. AquaAdvantage has sterilized the fish to try to prevent this, but 5-10 percent of sterilized fish are still fertile (7).
And farmed salmon do escape! FFAC invites you to participate in the FDA’s public comment period, which is open through Feb. 25. There’s a petition here asking the FDA to slow down on its approval of this salmon. Anyone concerned with the future of wild fish should read about AquaAdvantage’s product and consider signing the petition. If they are going to force this new fish on us, they should at least study it in depth so they can regulate it properly.
[Photo by Clive Moss via Flickr]
The Turlock Hens still need over 6,000 signatures to reach the 10,000 signature goal for the petition to prosecute Andy Keung Cheung for leaving them to starve. This is ridiculous! We got to get these signatures! Make sure you sign of course but try to get everybody to sign. A measly 10,000 signatures should have been passed months ago. Rally!
Sign the petition, volunteer, adopt, and donate to help the 50,000 chickens left to starve! »
The fight to save the rescued hens from Stanislaus County continues. This is the largest ever farmed animal rescue in the United Sates. Conditions were terrible but people were able to help some of the birds!:
“When we arrived on the scene outside the abandoned egg farm, I was horrified at the suffering of the chickens happening in front of me, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the cruelty,” said Anne Martin, Harvest Home board member. “By the next morning, we had partnered with sanctuaries, volunteers from across Northern California, and thousands of supporters following the rescue of these chickens. Together, we were able to save 4,460 hens who will never again suffer the severe confinement of an egg farm, and from this time forward, will know only human kindness.”
The picture at the top is by Marji from Animal Place. This hen has never seen grass or felt the sun, she is about to take her first step outside! Marji says they are still in need of donations but also, they are in desperate need of volunteers. So if you are able, go volunteer with the rescue chickens!
If you want to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 530-798-5114. To donate, click here!
The hens will be up for adoption within the next two weeks. If you want to adopt one, fill out the application at www.animalplace.org.
Finally—and I know you can all do this!—sign the petition started by Harvest Home, ”calling on the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute A&L Poultry’s Andy Keung Cheung for willfully starving 50,000 chickens.” Do it!
Update on the 50,000 chickens left to starve in California »
The news site wouldn’t let me embed their video…come join us in the 21st century, KTVU! This is a still though—they can’t stop my screengrabbing! Can’t stop won’t stop.
Here’s an update on the 50,000 chickens that were left for dead in Stanislaus County. Apparently, while most of the 50,000 chickens were euthanized because of their poor condition or they were already dead when rescuers got there, 500 chickens have been rescued. Still, 2000 chickens have to stay over night without food again. I’m not sure if that means they are being rescued tomorrow or just that they definitely aren’t being rescued tonight.
A petition has been started on Care2 to let the shelters rescue the surviving chickens. It takes a minute to sign and certainly can’t hurt the situation! Happy petitioning.
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]
Top 10 links of the week: a joyful skip through veganism! »
[Downer that the whale is in captivity but we can still appreciate its beauty. PS: Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Sorry dudes, I haven’t done links in a few weeks, so this list spans the last month or so. Were you guys sad without links? Which kinds of links do you like the best? I want to know so I can do the best possible job!
“Here’s the big secret that no one wants to talk about: We’re not very good at keeping what’s inside a cow’s intestines out of the meat.” Ew. From Huffpo, “Doctors Take Aim at Antibiotic Resistance from Factory Farming.”
Apparently in Ukraine, restaurants keep bears and make them drink vodka. Well, not any more! Really though, wtf.
From Grist: “Is your Cheese Killing the Planet?” The article says, “bottom line: the vegans are right,” but I think their real message is one we’ve heard many a time: “bottom line: CHEESE IS YUM YUM! WEEEEEE!” Maybe we can add some comments.
Good piece from NYT: “Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs.” Word.
Should we be surprised at cruelty in industrial farming? Em, no. An opinion piece from the Guardian.
Some AR peeps burnt down a building in Germany that was set to be a factory farm. Discussion topic of the week: What do you think about property destruction as a form of protest in the animal rights movement? Or any movement, I guess.
From Treehugger, study reveals mammal populations are down. Fucking A, you thought you just had to worry about the fish!
Bonus link: If I don’t say this every week, I mean this every week: don’t forget to read our Laura’s Week in Vegan over at SFWeekly every Friday! And leave comments to make her feel nice. Laura deserves to feel nice. We all do! Except some people.
Dear will.i.am: supporting animal abuse is tacky »
It has recently come to my attention that in Elle magazine you call women who have condoms at their house “tacky.” As a woman, I am horrifically offended. Perhaps you did not realize that we are living in a time in which STDs run rampant? Perhaps you did not realize that pregnancy comes from unprotected sex? I have to take care of myself, and yes, that means I have condoms in my drawer. While it is always a little awkward when someone you are newly seeing pulls one out (Why do they have those? Who were they sleeping with before? How recent? Is there someone else?), let’s not kid ourselves that a Walgreens is always open or a feasible distance away. I need to look out for myself. But according to you, I am tacky? Turns out I’m also STD-free, which I think is decidedly un-tacky.
I’d now like to point out an incident involving you and your band (The Black Eyed Peas) that I find, for lack of a better word, tacky.
To wit: Performing a concert in Spain that “is a major sponsor” of the TV show Involución, which directly supports the abuse and exploitation of chimpanzees. Involución, translated as “devolution,” is a competition-based reality show in which a chimpanzee called Darwin (real name Noah) competes alongside humans in very humiliating and unfavorable tasks (mostly for the voluntary human participants). Animals don’t belong in the entertainment industry; they’re often abused to make them perform. Noah is no exception, as he belongs to animal trainer Steve Martin, who has already been cited numerous times by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. I understand your band has supported PETA in the past, by urging KFC to treat the chickens they cook more humanely. So what about other animals, specifically Noah?
Please, will.i.am, take a stand against unprotected sex, and animal abuse and exploitation.
SECOND BONUS LETTER!
Dear Everyone Else Ever,
Please sign the petition telling the Black Eyed Peas to stop supporting chimpanzee abuse!
Stop eBay from selling live animals »
According to Change.org, while eBay does not allow animals to be auctioned, they do allow animal sales in their classified section. I took a look and as you can see by the above screen-grab, it looks like puppy mill central. They also have adoptable animals, but the majority seem to be puppies like the ones above. Hey everybody! Three to four million cats and dogs are euthanized by shelters each year! ADOPT already!!! Good grief.
I know what you’re thinking: “Megan Rascal, what can I do?” Well, dear friends, sign this petition, for one!
Humans: selfish, murderous, totally gross »
Hearst Castle (one of the most beautiful places in California!) has zebras on its grounds. They’re descendants of the original zebras that comprised part of ol’ William Randolph’s enormous private zoo during his castle-dwelling years, and they’ve been there for over 80 years.
Occasionally the zebras wander off the 128-acre property, which two did last Wednesday, Jan. 5. Usually, according to current ranch owner Stephen Hearst, when someone finds a zebra somewhere it doesn’t belong, the finder calls him up to fetch them home. These particular zebras must have been of the carnivorous variety, however, because a cattle rancher called David Fiscalini shot both of them about as soon as he noticed them on his land. The zebras “spooked his horses,” you see, which gave him “the right” to just kill them. Even better, after murdering the lost zebras, he took their bodies to a taxidermist and had them skinned and tanned. The taxidermist, naturally, obliged, and now David Fiscalini has himself a lovely zebra-skin rug. Charming!
Humans are seriously the best sentient beings to ever have a thought. In Las Vegas, tiger-collectors Siegfried and Roy have a Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in which visitors can gawk at “white lions, white tigers, panthers, leopards, and [Siegfried and Roy’s] family of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins.” What are all these animals doing in the city of neon lights? Living it up in “serenity,” duh. Dolphins love “extreme temperature changes, from extreme cold (snow flurries) to extreme arid, dry conditions and pollution from a nearby highway.” The constant sound means they’re never bored! And only, what, 13 have died so far, that’s like a baker’s dozen, barely even counts. Especially when you can pay $4,000 plus $125 to throw a party “with” the dolphins and tigers! That’s eminently reasonable, certainly no reason to sign change.org’s petition to get rid of this “exotic, enchanting and wondrous world.” It just sounds so great!
If we’re not doing things, let’s not stop shooting at super-endangered whooping cranes. They might spook the horses! Or look remarkably like chupacabras from far away! Whatever seems best in the moment, you with the gun; you’re the king of the world.
The wolf slaughter and how you can help! »
When I wrote about the situation of wolves in the Rockies yesterday, commenter Vi Z. asked, “Is any organization stepping forward to counteract this? Can we do anything?” Being such a pro journalist, I probably should have included this information in the initial post, but! I didn’t. So I’ve looked up a few now and I’d like to share them with you.
Defenders of Wildlife is a pretty dope-seeming organization that I hadn’t heard of because I’m so busy watching NCIS that these things fall through the cracks. They are working crazy-hard to help the wolves! They have a number of petitions you can sign:
- Ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to help the wolves in Yellowstone and the Rockies.
- Urge Cabela’s and Sportman’s Warehouse to withdraw their support for wolf-killing derbies. (I don’t want to know what the hell wolf-killing derbies are)
- Help End Aerial Wolf Killing: Urge your representative and senators to co-sponsor the PAW Act.
You can donate to Defenders of Wildlife’s wolf efforts here and you can also adopt a wolf if you like—I’m always encouraging the adoption route if you know any kiddies you can get involved. They also have these “wolf-saving gifts” you can donate that include various ways to protect “livestock” from the wolves like radios and other devices that deter them (but don’t blow their heads off).
Another organization helping to protect wolves is Earthjustice. Earthjustice appears to be a bunch of super-hero lawyers! You can contribute to them and aid in the legal fight for wolves’ lives. Save Biogems, part of the Natural Resources Defense Council, is collecting donations as well. As always, you can also check out the Humane Society’s efforts and donate to them.
Finally, you can contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and tell them to step up their mother-clucking game when it comes to our wolves.
In my search for wolf-support organizations, I came across this awesome video by youtube user PhotoAnimationGuy. A rapping pug gives Sarah Palin what-for over her support for aerial wolf-hunting in Alaska. It’s my new jam!
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com]