vegansaurus!

04/04/2014

THIS PIGLET IS TOO CUTE! You can skip to :30, that’s the best part. It’s so adorable. 

I can’t wait until I get a piglet! I’m going to love her or him sooooo much. But until we all get our own piglets, we can support the lil’ guys at Animal Place!

03/14/2014

Piglet near death finds sanctuary and happiness!   »

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

From Free From Harm:

On February 20, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania got a call about a piglet in need of a home. A week earlier, a humane police officer had responded to a citizen complaint about a situation of extreme animal neglect: two emaciated piglets who were being raised for “backyard meat” had been languishing for months in an uninsulated, outdoor pen during one of the harshest winters in decades. Night after night for weeks on end the two piglet brothers huddled together through sub-zero temperatures, whipping winds, and blistering blizzards. With no straw or bedding in their exposed pen, they were forced to lie in ice and freezing mud. 

Sadly, one of the piglets died before help came to rescue them. One piglet though, now called Jeremiah, was saved. You can see the story of his recovery above. It’s all similar pictures for the first few minutes but at 3:50 there’s adorbs footage of happy Jeremiah! 

Thinking of this young pig in the freezing cold breaks my heart. But to see him now! Incredible! And I’ve said it before but this makes me say it again: animals’ capacity to trust and forgive is amazing. 

Read the rest of the story at Free From Harm and donate to the Idraloka sanctuary to help animals like Jeremiah!

02/20/2014

Breaking: Humane Society finds cannibalism, cruelty, and disease at Kentucky pig factory  »

HSUS released a new undercover video today from the Iron Maiden pig factory in Kentucky. Besides awful gestation crates, they discovered that the factory takes piglets who die from “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus” and feed them to mother pigs. It’s done in an effort to immunize the pigs. Freaking disgusting. Vegansaurus friend Paul Shapiro said of the factory, “The entire atmosphere at this facility is awful for animals, many of whom are perpetually immobilized and suffering from body sores, diarrhea attacks and prolapsed uteruses.” And it’s all for bacon? Our society is unbelievable. 

I’m wondering, am I the only one who immediately feels claustrophobic when I see the pigs in the gestation crates? NYT article describes gestation crates pretty chillingly:

They live out their adult lives without exercise or meaningful social interaction; it’s like a life sentence of solitary confinement in a coffin, punctuated by artificial insemination and birth.

Awful. As the article title asks, “Is That Sausage Worth This?” 

You can read more about the exposé on the Humane Society’s site, including a description of the video if you don’t want to watch. They also have a link to a petition but other than that, I’m not sure what we can do besides raise awareness and be vegan. If anyone knows about other ways to help, please share in the comments.

02/10/2014

Exclusive Interview: Meet the Dads of Esther the Wonder Pig!  »

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Thanks to her dads Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter, tens of thousands of fans (us included!) get to peek into the surprising and always adorable daily doings of Esther The Wonder Pig, the clever, undeniably photogenic 400-pound pig! It’s truly a delight each day to browse Steve and Derek’s witty status updates and glamorous pics of Esther living her genius, safe, and cozy life in Toronto with her loving dads and dog siblings!

Vegansaurus’ Sarah E. Brown interviewed Esther’s loving dads about life with Esther, how she came into their lives, and their future plans to continue spreading awareness about pigs as pets, not food.

Vegansaurus: What surprised you most about adopting Esther when she was a “mini-pig”?

Steve & Derek: How much attention she needed. It was like having a child running around the house. We couldn’t let her out of our sight or she would get into everything!

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V: How did you two meet? How long have you been together? How long into your relationship did Esther come into the picture?

S&D: We’ve been together for over 13 years now. Steve is a realtor, Derek is a professional magician. We met as teenagers working at a restaurant. Esther didn’t come along until about 12 years in.

V: On social media, we all get to see the amazing images of Esther in her full glory—we also get to see her sassy personality. How did you decide to start documenting her presence in your life through social media and your website? And who posts most of the updates?

S&D: We really only wanted somewhere to share her with family and friends. We had no idea she would become so popular, so quickly. This has been a really unexpected and sometimes overwhelming experience. We had no idea she would touch so many people in such a deep and profound way. It’s amazing. Steve mostly does the updates, but Derek adds in his fair share of input.

V: How did you decide to name her Esther?

S&D: We just wanted a fun and “comfortable” name. For whatever reason, Esther seemed like a very traditional, human name and it just clicked. There wasn’t really any sort if inspiration in particular, it just worked.

V: You’ve recently gotten a lot of press, and over 76,000 followers on Facebook (congrats!). In your recent Mercy For Animals (MFA) interview, you talked about how people have reached out to you. What’s the coolest connection you’ve made so far since adopting Esther and telling your story?

S&D: That’s really hard to answer. We’ve heard from some incredible people. Some that still make our heads spin to be honest. We got to do an interview with Sam Simon, and we’ve been on Ellen’s good news blog. Friends at Mercy for animals and PETA have shared about us. There have been some amazing people that run blogs of their own, and have become good friends already. We even have some celebrity followers on Twitter. It’s really crazy.

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V: Besides apples, what are Esther’s favorite foods?

S&D: She loves pretty much any fruit or candy. They’re just like humans so if it’s a treat for us, it’s a treat to her.

V: Do you recommend adopting a pig? What is your advice to someone thinking of adopting a pig in an urban setting?

S&D: Be super careful. They are a ton of work and will require some major life adjustments. We had to pig proof our house, learn how to manage and train her and it’s way different than a dog. Pigs are so smart! Esther can open doors, cupboards, and even our fridge. We had to re-evaluate where we keep everything! It was a huge learning curve. We wouldn’t really advise it only because if the work it took. She’s awesome now but caused many a soul searching conversations. It was tough. We wouldn’t trade her for the world but it definitely wasn’t easy. Our advice is do plenty of research and make sure you’re up for the challenge. If you do decide you’re up for it, know it is the most incredible and rewarding experience of our lives. She really opened our eyes and as far as we’re concerned, made us better people. We love her like you wouldn’t believe.

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V: Are there any resources that helped you when you first went vegan or first adopted Esther (i.e. pig care tips, etc.) that you’d like to share?

S&D: We found it really hard to get information and hope to change that. We learned on our own as we went along, taking the odd note from websites or our vet. That was the hardest part: How the hell do you teach a pig?

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V: Do you have any future plans you’d like to share with our readers?

S&D: We do want to start a sanctuary and will start fundraising very soon. We’ll be opening the Esther store on our website

Thanks so much, Esther’s Dads, Derek and Steve! And thanks to Esther for being so, well, wonderful!

All images included with permission by and courtesy of Derek and Steve and Esther the Wonder Pig.

01/08/2014

According to Mercy for Animals, this video was created by 13-year-old Kyle Kelleher. It’s pretty amazing. I suggest making a shortened version though. But jeez! How long did this take to make?! What were YOU doing when you were 13? NOTHING GOOD I BET.

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!

10/02/2013

Piglet Yoda falls off truck, gets a chance at life!  »

imageHere is your sweet story for the day! This little piglet, named Yoda by the sanctuary that adopted him, was in a truck on his way to the slaughter house when he managed to escape. Police found him and now he’s a proud resident of the Wishing Well Sanctuary in Canada!

"He just loves to crawl into people’s laps and be held. He’s a little angel," says Bronfman [Wishing Well Sanctuary founder].

Bronfman says Yoda has a few bumps and scrapes, but the vet gave him a clean bill of health last night.

She says Yoda is doing everything a little pig should be doing, and she’s even bought him a little sweater to keep him warm.

The Wishing Well Sanctuary permanently adopts animals, meaning that Yoda never has to leave the farm.

"He’s just going to live the rest of his, god willing, long life. And will be happy with the other pigs and all the attention. There is always somebody on the farm, and he will just be loved for the rest of his natural life," says Bronfman.

Omg I can’t wait until I get my own piglet! I think I will name him Spaz. Wouldn’t that be cute? “Hey, Spaz! Come get your brekkie!”*

*I was just told Spaz is a derogatory term. I had no idea! I’m very sorry to have offended people. If you read the Wikipedia entry, I think you’ll see the origin of my confusion.** Instead, I will name my piglet “Knowledge.” Knowledge Rascal.

**also interesting (to me at least) about what wiki says is that I did learn the term from the The Elastik Band’s song. Thanks for nothing, bros!

08/03/2013

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!

Ever wonder what the US pork industry’s response to the EU’s farm animal welfare progress is? Check out my new piece about one industry leader’s recent bizarre, xenophobic rant.

Speaking of the US meat industry’s failures, in all 11 states it introduced ag-gag legislation in 2013, we killed their efforts, meaning that zero states this year passed an ag-gag bill!

We know that pigs suffer similarly to how dogs suffer. Would knowing that they’re as smart as (or smarter than) dogs change the way we think about—and treat—them? That’s what our friends at Farm Sanctuary are asking in a new campaign covered by the Associated Press this week.

If you agree with them that farm animals have interests that matter, you’re likely to also agree with NY Times columnist Nick Kristof’s potent column this week, in which he asks, “will our descendants be mystified by how good and decent people in the early 21st century — that’s us — could have been so oblivious to the unethical treatment of animals?”

Speaking of the future, do you think cultured meat will be a part of it? See the Telegraph’s story on the promise this holds.

Finally, Bill Clinton gave a fascinating interview to AARP this week about his near-vegan diet, noting,"I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."

Video of the week: Wild crow allows human to remove porcupine quills from him. Amazing!

07/01/2013

Animal Place turns 24! Let’s party!  »

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To celebrate its 24th year of hard work as an animal rescue group and beautiful sanctuary, our beloved Animal Place is having a party, and we’re all invited!

Lucy cordially invites you to our 24th birthday party—our Pig-Out BBQ Birthday Bash. While you may celebrate all the animals, Lucy wants to celebrate food with you the most. Bring a watermelon or cantaloupe: At 2 p.m., we’ll let you give them to the big pigs! Be welcomed with some bluegrass music by local band the Fruit Jar Pickers, and enjoy vegan hot dogs from Field Roast and burgers from Amy’s kitchen. Cupcakes will be available as well—because what’s a birthday party without cake!

When: Saturday, July 6
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (food served 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Barns are open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets are $15 per person, and include a vegan hot dog or burger!

You can arrive any time, but if you want to hear a birthday speech from Executive Director Kim Sturla and enjoy feeding the pigs some watermelons and cantaloupes, then be sure to stop by the pig barn at 2!

Pre-registration is required. Open to all ages—a great event for the family!  

For more information, visit Animal Place on Facebook, or just click through to register. Pig out with the pigs and celebrate 24 years of amazing work and happy animals.

[Photo of Lucy by Marji Beach]

06/21/2013

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

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

It was a roller coaster of a week, with the biggest news being that the House farm bill—which contained no animal welfare improvements but did contain Iowa Rep. Steve King’s anti-animal provision—was killed yesterday!

(Regrettably, the meat industry lobby prevented a House vote on federal legislation to help egg-laying hens. The fight continues.)

In related news, want to read a great Mother Jones story? The title says it all: “You Won’t Believe What Pork Producers Do to Pregnant Pigs.”

The New York Times editorial board this week slammed the animal ag sector, calling it an “industry that thrives on ignorance.”

And finally, check out this article: “Study suggests chickens are smarter than toddlers.”

P.S. Video of the week: Stephen Colbert’s take last night on the farm bill dispute between Rep. Steve King and HSUS. It’s truly amazing.

P.P.S. 140 years ago this week, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting. Oh, how societal norms change …

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