Our beloved Elizabeth Kucinich wants you! to support Healthy School Lunches! »
The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act—gosh that sounds wholesome—otherwise known as H.R. 5504, has finally been placed on the House order of business. Unfortunately, the House is taking its “autumn recess” before voting on it, even though the previous legislation—a one-year extension of an even earlier bill—expires, oh, today. Good call, guys!
Elizabeth Kucinich is very concerned about how this will affect the public schoolchildren of the U.S. So is your Vegansaurus, actually. Our Laura worked extremely hard to help get language into this bill that would ensure veg options for public school kids, including non-dairy milk, and we really don’t want to lose that because of selfish politicians who require pork—literal or political!—to vote for any bill. Kids need healthy, tasty school lunches! And you know we aren’t concerned about CHILDHOOD OBESITY AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! so much as just getting the kiddies a good, vegetable-protein-based meal five days a week. You always pay taxes; why not let some of them ($8 per taxpayer over the 2011 to 2015 period) go toward something you believe in?
You can help out immediately by calling or emailing your congressional representative today to express your support of H.R. 5504. We need to tell them all to make this their top priority when they return from their “autumn recess,” a.k.a. “campaigning break.” If you hate kids, do it for Elizabeth. If you don’t care about people at all, do it for the animals that won’t have to be killed for the veggie kids’ meals. If that doesn’t move you, do it for your favorite pink dinosaur!
Monkeys on drugs!! FOR SCIENCE!!! »
Oh, motherfucker. You never know where a news story will lead you, right? Like how “The USDA is full of racists! Black people are taking over the country and ruining it for all the white people!” hideousness turned out to be “A USDA employee grew as a person before coming to work at the USDA! Andrew Breitbart is a disgusting racist and people are shockingly willing to listen to him!” Or the “evidence of widespread corruption” that shut down ACORN that were actually complete fabrications? Nasty stuff.
Here’s another one! But there isn’t any conveniently edited videotape, and the victims aren’t humans, so it probably won’t get much attention. It deserves outrage, though. See, the other day, some grumpy Republican senators released a report criticizing some of the projects that had received money through the stimulus program. Naturally, the writers of the report gave these projects extremely ridiculous titles, so as to stir up as much shallow controversy as possible. “Yoga and hot flashes!” Who needs to study the effects of yoga on reducing hot flashes in breast cancer survivors? That shit is INSANE! Replacing the windows in the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument? But it is closed and the U.S. Forest Service doesn’t plan on reopening it! And anyway, just the WINDOWS? Are you trying to give John McCain a rage-induced heart attack right now?
The most controversial, or at least the one that received the most frivolous name and onto which ol’ Nevadan crazypants Sharron Angle latched quite firmly, is “Monkeys Getting High For Science”—more specifically, a $71,623 grant to the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to “[help] protect very important research that will have significant impact on public health in regards to cocaine addiction and the issue of relapse.” On monkeys. And yes, that does sound fucking crazy. What are the scientists of WFUBMC talking about, and are they really experimenting with monkeys and cocaine? Is this even the most important part of the story?
Considering the rest of the story is like: “The report is very accusatory, doesn’t get its facts exactly right, and the senators probably could’ve better spent their time passing some motherfucking legislation, those lazy bastards,” yes, it is. A quick keyword Google found the official WFUBMC faculty pages for Michael A. Nader, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology, and Paul Czoty, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology, both of the WFU Translational Science Institute and Primate Center. These two gentlemen are particularly important because, listed under their names are their recent publications, the majority of which are credited to both of them, and which go as far back as April 2006. Of Nader’s 41 listed articles, 26, or 63 percent, are specifically on the effects of cocaine (or withholding cocaine from already addicted) monkeys; one is on the effects of MDMA on monkeys. Of Czoty’s 32 listed articles, 19, or 59 percent, are on the effects of cocaine (or withholding cocaine from already addicted) monkeys; he was a contributor to the study on MDMA and monkeys.
The spokesperson for WFUBMC told a half-truth, at least; the stimulus money didn’t create a new program to “get monkeys high for science.” It’s in its fifth year, at least—I couldn’t find anything earlier using the search feature. Animal experiments are fucking disgusting, but animal experiments using cocaine? Where did the cocaine come from? Does WFU have permission to grow coca and process it into cocaine? That is the only ethical option for obtaining the cocaine—you can’t imagine scientists buying it off the street, and if so, that would actually make them the most evil scientists performing research in the name of “helping people” since the atomic bomb was created. Because you know drugs have a really, really high human cost, and unless you can ethically source them—just like your food, and your clothes!—you should not consume them.
But: the monkeys. They make the monkeys “self-administer” the cocaine, which seems eminently more despicable than giving it to them like medication or food. Just, here you go, monkey, here’s some cocaine! Take it! There are several studies on the effects of “the reinforcing strength of cocaine”; one on “Vulnerability to cocaine abuse in socially housed female monkeys”; and this one is my favorite: “Impulsivity and vulnerability to cocaine self-administration in adult rhesus monkeys exposed to cocaine in utero.” They give cocaine to pregnant monkeys, then give cocaine to their babies once they’ve become adults! Just to, you know, see what happens. Because rhesus monkeys are EXACTLY LIKE HUMANS! All this work, creating generations of cocaine-addicted monkeys, will provide us with so much valuable information on—what? How to cure cocaine addiction in humans? Except that, again, monkey physiology is not human physiology; a rhesus monkey’s brain is not a human’s brain. How are these scientists so sure the horrific things they’re doing will have any positive effect on humanity at all? Further, what gives them the right to perform these obscene experiments on any nonhuman, non-consenting animal—it’s their humanity, right? Their implicit human superiority?
Agreeing with useless, time-wasting politicians is irritating, but they probably did us a favor calling attention to these gross experiments. Of course they did it all wrong, but they weren’t paying attention to the important parts: the parts where the government is helping to pay for Wake Forest University to continue to torture monkeys with drugs. Everything is terrible, hooray!
My kind of politics!: Dachshund U.N. »
It’s art! It’s adorable! It’s my dream come true! Aussie artist Bennett Miller created Dachshund U.N. for Melbourne’s 2010 Next Wave Festival. There’s some sort of symbolism in this performance piece but really, OMG dachshunds pretending to be the U.N.! Adorbs.
This is from the Next Wave site:
Dachshund U.N. is both a joyful and chaotic experiment, and a meditation on the utopian aspirations of the Commission on Human Rights, and our capacity as humans to imagine and achieve a universal system of justice. Audiences are invited to these exclusive live viewings of the operations of the Dachshund U.N., where 47 specially recruited dachshunds will engage in rigorous debate.
AWESOME. I don’t really get why they’re dachshunds. But I like it! For more pictures, check out this slideshow from Life. I also found this cute behind-the-scenes look into the project, OMG!:
[Found that top picture here.]
Wonkette, which I adore, wanted to let you all know that some crazies at a website called Rightly Concerned posted something really gross last week titled “Bible ignored, trainer dies" that says that if Sea World Orlando officials had been reading the Old Testament, they’d have known that disobedient animals "shall be stoned," just like naughty oxen, so get on that already and kill it, KILL IT NOW BEFORE IT KILLS AGAIN DEMON SPAWN OF THE SEA.
Obama’s State of the Union preview—for vegans! »
Tonight President Obama will address the nation with his first State of the Union address. There are two things I’m hoping to hear, and if he says them, vegans will have cause to celebrate.
The first thing: a renewed, post-Copenhagen commitment to fix global warming. This means Obama will need to urge the Senate to pass a clean energy bill. The Senate is now the world’s most dysfunctional legislative body, and lately it’s become a graveyard for good ideas, a modern day House of Lords, where ancient gray-haired idiots dither around as island nations drown, forests disappear, and more species go extinct. Seriously, the Senate sucks. (By which I mean, nice senators, yes you are all very important and wise, now pretty please pass a climate bill?) If they don’t pass a bill to reduce global warming pollution, then that gives other big polluters like China an excuse to do nothing. Obama needs to go there. It’s better for the economy, better for the planet, and better for the animals.
Now here’s the second thing: progressives have been furious over a proposed “spending freeze” that the White House leaked on Monday. It was a bad idea when John McCain proposed a freeze, so why is Obama all about it now?
Here’s a reason why this may actually be a good thing. First of all, it’s less of a freeze, and more like a slushy. Rather than taking a hatchet to the budget, Obama will propose increases in spending on areas that boost the economy, while proposing cuts to areas that waste money. The idea he’s pitching is to hold average spending steady starting in 2011 and call it a “freeze” to make your conservative uncle in Ohio swoon.
So why should we care? Because farm subsidies could end up on the chopping block, and that would be a very good thing. Less money to grow corn that no one needs, less money for slaughterhouses, less clearcutting, less money for megafarm corporations. We’ve already taken farm subsidies to task here in the hallowed halls of Vegansaurus, so if Obama cuts them in his future budgets, then I will kiss him on the mouth. It would be a significant victory for sanity in our food system.
We don’t know the details yet, obviously, which is why this is called a preview and not a psychic prediction. Disappointment is still very much on the menu because, it’s politics. And even if he goes there, lobbyists might still win anyway. So tune in and keep score at home, or find a SotU drinking game and pass out in the bathroom.
Cute Kucinich Alert! »
We already love Dennis Kucinich and he keeps getting more lovable. According to an interview he did (somehow - I don’t know how this shit works) with reddit, Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio, durr) would force the entire population of the US to eat vegan brownies if he were made supreme dictator for a day. Yes, this is the kind of terrible joylessness we’d all have to look forward to if a vegan were ever elected to the Oval Office.
Thanks to D-Kuch for once again being a level-headed, intelligent, thoughtful, and cute-as-hell advocate for veganism. With all the craziness PETA and other highly visible organizations throw around, I know I find it heartwarming to see someone making us vegans looks good. Check it out!
Californians: Call your senator TODAY and say NO to AB 979! It’s SUPER WHACK! »
Born Free has the details, but basically AB 979 has the potential to invalidate numerous city and county ordinances that protect consumers and wildlife by giving the state Fish and Game Commission total control over them. For example, AB 979 could repeal ordinances that ban the use of Conibear traps after dogs or cats were maimed or killed; limit the use of bows and arrows in developed areas; and restrict fishing in certain areas; and repeal local laws prohibiting the killing of songbirds. It’s a really bad idea SO CALL RIGHT NOW!
Don’t know who your senator is? It’s okay.
Marilu Henner, Michael Bauer, Dan Barber, AWESOMENESS, Millennium, Animal Place, Michael Vick, INSANITY, Recipes, Street Food AND MORE: Friday link-o-rama! »
Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Michael Bauer writes up Wexler’s, a fancypants barbecue place in the FiDi; was there anything pertinent to the cruelty-free set? “The kitchen doesn’t ignore vegetarians, either, offering a lunchtime smoked carrot plate with collards ($10) and a “farmer’s cookout” ($14) for dinner, with smoked eggplant chili, corn on the cob and Texas toast with smoked garlic butter.” WELL THEN.
You know that activism aphorism, “think globally, act locally”? Apparently this year it extra-applies to tomato production, and chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill is pretty pissed about it. His tips to home gardeners: Don’t fear science; grow more than one variety of tomato at a time; and eradicate your late-blight-afflicted tomatoes as soon as possible. Practice biodiversity, Victory Gardeners!
Millennium’s Heirloom Tomato Dinner may be the last time you taste those fruits of the vine this year, should Dan Barber’s predictions come true. Perhaps attending the feast on Aug. 26th between 5:30 and 9 p.m. for $60, with an extra $12 bloody mary flight, is the wise tomato-lover’s choice.
Are you aware of the excellent work The Marine Mammal Center does? That place is amazing. A friend of Vegansaurus is a longtime volunteer there, and it’s been in the national news recently, rescuing California sea lion pups—pups!—that have been washing ashore in “record numbers,” tiny and starved and very ill. If you love dolphins and otters and seals and all their brethren, this is the place you want to support.
On Saturday, Aug. 22nd, you can hit up the School Lunch Sound Off! Come by and bring all the students that you know! They can WIN AN IPOD just by being awesome and creative. Free snacks and drinks, activities and great speakers. OH AND MARILU HENNER. We’ll be there so you should too! After you hit up this event, head over TO (read below, just go with me):
The last two weekends of August the streets will run with food. First, on Saturday Aug. 22nd from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. is the first-ever San Francisco Street Food Festival! Admission is free, and there will be food and cocktails, with no item over $8, all on Folsom Street between 25th and 26th Streets. This is ridiculously close to Vegansaurus H.Q., so you better believe we will be there in our eatin’ dresses (and pants!), as the vendors list appears to have a decent number of veg dishes.
Second, Aug. 28 to 30 at Jack London Square in Oakland is the second annual Eat Real Festival. Admission is free, and they have all kinds of entertainment planned, as well as a full-on farmers’ market and a beer “shed.” The list of vendors looks pretty impressive, too. Don your finest eating-wear and join Vegansaurus—it is rare we miss an opportunity to eat on the cheap—though we will of course be missing the butchery contest on Saturday, Aug. 29, because, puke.
Oh yeah, Michael Vick is gonna be on 60 Minutes on Sunday. If you want watch him fake remorse, that’s the place to do it. Actually, instead of watching that, pick your dog up a Michael Vick Chew Toy and then please to look at all the adorable pit bulls up for adoption at PBRC. Even better, a photo of Hazel. <3 <3 <3
You know how you’re always saying that someday you want to live on a farm and have a million animal friends? Well, here’s your chance! Animal Place is hiring a rescue ranch manager who will live onsite with hundreds of awesome rescue animals. You can cuddle pigs and snuffle bunnies to your hearts content! You’ll also be responsible for scooping literal TONS of shit and have to live in BFE with little human companionship, but fuck people, we’re the worst; chickens rule, humans drool. I KNOW there is a Vegansaurus reader or two who are interested in this. If so, email Marji at Animal Place for more details!
And finally, Susan over at FatFree Vegan Kitchen has posted some bomb-looking recipe for oven-fried green tomatoes. I would like it noted that I only typed “oven-friend” twice before getting it right. Man, I love fried food.