Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
Yesterday I was informed that I have high blood pressure. The doctor was so concerned about my blood pressure, in fact, that she would not let me leave her office without signing up for tests, agreeing to check my pressure daily for a week, and swallowing some kind of medicine. I was not pleased yesterday and I am not pleased today. The doctor’s advice was to work less and enjoy life more. My thought about that: yes, but who is going to show up for work for me? And who will do all of my paperwork?
I do not think it is a coincidence that this happened the week after Allen and I welcome my former friend and roommate Ms. Cleo into our home. You see, Ms. Cleo (who is a giant black female rabbit) and I do not like each other very much. We spent two years together, and while we were fairly happy—I would supply her with food and toys, she would supply me with bites and scratches—we parted ways after I moved in with Allen. This happened for two reasons: first, I am never at home. At the time of the move I was shoulder-deep in grad school and was out of the house so much that I was not able to give Ms. Cleo the proper attention she deserved. Second, Allen was scared of her. I asked him to hold her once when we first started dating and I was attractively cleaning her cage before we went to dinner. She scratched Allen so hard that he dropped her (on the bed. She was on his lap. It was like less than an inch). The she turned and stared at him until he got up and walked out of the room. Then she peed all over my comforter to teach me a lesson. Allen was not happy about staying over that night.
Anyway, I moved and Ms. Cleo moved in with the roommate I was leaving, with the understanding that I would invite her back if circumstances deemed it necessary. And I hoped circumstances never would. Then my roommate had to move, and now we are living with Ms. Cleo indefinitely. I am probably allergic to her. Allen, on the other hand, could not be happier.
That’s right; Allen is in love with his former enemy. I know this because he gives her his organic vegetables every day (and knows which ones she likes), because he texts to remind me to play with her, because he willingly took me to a pet store and made me buy the most expensive stuff and because he talks to her. In Spanish. Regularly.
"Allen," I said to him when I first walked in on him calling her Bonita and saying that she was très bien, “I do not think she understands that. She comes from an English-speaking household.”
“She gets it,” he said. “She speaks Spanish fluently.”
“How do you know?” I asked, wondering if Allen was some kind of modern-day Dr. Doolittle.
“Because I gave her a banana and said ‘eat the banana’ in Spanish.”
“And she ate it!”
“Maybe she just likes bananas,” I said.
“Maybe you should go see your doctor for an attitude adjustment,” Allen said, and went back to forcing pieces of bok choy through the bars of Ms. Cleo’s cage.
Perhaps I do. I do a lot of doom and gloom here on WTF Wednesday because doom and gloom brings me a lot of joy, but Allen has inspired me to do a “what’s good” week. Thank god the internet is happy to oblige.
First, there’s a dog who pisses while doing a motherfucking handstand. What is that? How awesome is it? Do you have any words, because I sure don’t. This dog just gets up on his front legs and says, “Watch this. This entire world is mine!” I think he is actually hitting a big area. I wish I could do this, but I can barely use the bathroom and can certainly not perform a handstand. Maybe I will have one of my yoga friends teach me. Then I can blame it on the rabbit and Allen will love her less and me more!
Here’s another thing that I like but I’m wondering if it is OK to. It’s a pack of puppies cuddling a kitten. Well, they are basically attacking the kitten, and then cuddling her. And she’s more like a full-grown cat. But they’re wagging their tails! And the cat ends up OK! And it is just so goddamn cute! Look at their little tails wag. What do you guys think? Is it all right for me to find this adorable? If it’s not, please take a look at this cat, who is more fashionable than either you or me.
Ok, fine, here is something unobjectionable: hedgehogs bathing! They are swimming! This is almost as cute as when I would bathe my guinea pig. She didn’t love it at first, but then she would get in the warm water and chill and squeak, just like these hedgehogs. I wish I could play this on loop. I wish I could give these hedgehogs a hug. I wish Allen loved me more than the rabbit. Wait…
That’s it for this week. Please send me links for next week and have an adorable Wednesday!
Bunny lost his whole family, can you help? »
Hey guys, this is a super sad story! There’s this lovely bunny, Lucky, who very much needs a good home, and maybe that’s you? Or someone you know? He was part of a nice family in Santa Cruz until they all perished (mom, dad, and two young sons) in a tragic plane crash this July. At this moment Lucky is staying with another family in Santa Cruz that is busy with their own life, work, children, etc., and they can’t give him the care and love he deserves. Another reason for the name Lucky—apparently he had 12 brothers and sisters and they all died. Whoa. Anyway, Lucky is a sweet boy who needs a forever or foster home, and maybe you’re that person, or know someone who is?
He was cared for in his previous home and doesn’t bite when held or touched. He currently lived outdoors in a pretty pathetic cage without much bedding. He’s fed, but that’s about it. I’ve attached pictures and some more info below.
Holding: he’s friendly when held gently and the current owners have always held him with a long-sleeve shirt on. Sounds like he’s definitely not gonna go ballistic and bite anyone (his previous owners were little kids as well if that helps).
Friendly with other pets: He’s the only living survivor of his entire litter and was raised with a bunch of other rabbits prior to the deceased family’s adoption, so he’s definitely cool with other rabbit to some degree but I don’t know about dogs/cats.
Rescues aren’t in a position to help (overwhelmed!) and they don’t want to take him to a shelter (duh), but his current situation is not ideal. Obviously Lucky’s had a bum run, and if anybunny needed some love, it’s him. Well, and also all the other homeless bunnies, but you know. If you’re interested in Lucky or know of some way to help, please contact Max.
Here’s Lucky at his new home, see how cute he is!
On Saturday, Nov. 5, Doc’s Clock is hosting a Happy Hour for Hoppy Endings for SaveABunny! Go have some drinks between 4 and 8 p.m., listen to music, and bid on items in a silent auction, all to benefit the buns!
Doc’s Clock is located at 2575 Mission St., between 21st and 22nd Streets, and if you like booze and bunnies—and WHO DOESN’T—you’ll be there, drinking for the rabbits.
[photo of Chi-Ana and babies via SaveABunny]
Remember this video? The RSPCA (hi, England!) made it for their Rabbit Awareness Week this year from clips submitted by rabbit-lovers like you. It is SO CUTE. Is there anything cuter than a happy bunny? NO. Duh.
To that end, the RSPCA is making another compilation video of happy buns, and this one is a Christmas Special, which maybe means bunnies in the snow? RSPCA Online Community Manager Violet emailed us to request your adorable, romping rabbit videos, with the following guidelines:
This time we’d like to see video clips of happy bunnies playing and interacting with toys, their rabbit companions or with people.
- Take some video of your rabbit(s) playing and having fun. We’re looking for rabbits playing naturally in their usual environment. Please ensure your rabbit(s) is enjoying the experience and do not make him/her perform for the video.
- Please keep your clip to no longer than 1 minute long. We are unable to use clips that are too dark or shaky, so be aware of this when taking your video—particularly of rabbits indoors.
- Upload your clip by Friday, Nov. 18.
Note: we won’t use clips of rabbits that are dressed up in any way—no santa hats please!
You’ve got just over two weeks to submit your video and make your bunnies famous advocates for species welfare. So get on it!
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
Last week was tough for me, you guys. Not only did I work 13-hour days and torment Allen more than usual (“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WON’T TAKE ME OUT TO DINNER???”), but I also stepped into a discarded fish and a puddle of vomit on the same day, one just minutes after the other. I was upset, as you are when you are walking down the street on your way to purchase a delicious lunch at 10 a.m. and step into the lifeless body of a fish that has been discarded in a torn-apart pink shopping bag. Man, was I upset you guys; upset not only because someone had fucked a fish over in this way but also because much of my job consists of taking to people in small, enclosed spaces with locked doors. A job which I would now have to do smelling of dead fish. Then there was my guilt about being mad at the fish on the ground, like it had swum its way out of the ocean and decided to die on a residential street in a quiet neighborhood. Highly irrational, I know, but I doubt any of us would be able to think straight during an incident like this.
I walked back to work feeling really sad about both the fish and my foot, but was only greeted by more unpleasantness. As I wandered down the hallway, I put my other foot (the one not covered in fish) straight into someone’s vomited-up breakfast. Then I had to go I to a small room and sit there on my own for several hours, debating whether it was worse to smell like fish or like vomit, and castigating myself for not looking where I was going.
In a way, I feel very much like the gentleman who robbed a convenience store while a police officer stood right behind him and snickered. He was not looking where he was going, not following the contextual cues. People were openly laughing at him as he attempted to rob the store, and he probably thought he pulled it off, all “Man, I am going to buy so many apple products with this money!” Then the police officer caught him and the only thing he got was the notoriety of being an idiot criminal with an ammmaaaaaaaazing mugshot.
I don’t know how I never posted about this cat before, but you need to know about him, because he takes the bus, which is awesome enough because “let me through! I am on important business!” but he also knows where to get off (fish shop, natch!) and got the awesome nickname Macavity! How awesome would it be if someone actually turned the song from Cats on whenever Macavity got on the bus? How long do you think the other passengers on the bus could stand it before going totally insane? Side note: I used to work at a video store that closed only this weekend (R.I.P. Film Yard) and I would play Cats all the time, to see what other people’s reactions would be. Lots of people would hum along, but one guy rolled in one night, heard the unmistakable melody of “Jellicle Cats,” said “Oh fuck! Oh no!” really loudly, and dashed from the store. I am pretty sure that he had just remembered something completely unrelated, but I like the idea of such a violent reaction to a musical about suicidal cats holding a pageant in a junkyard.
Finally, we have the touching story of Arizona cops shutting down traffic in order to shoo a bunny off the road. You don’t really hear about that a lot. I am really impressed that the officers actively did something to prevent the rabbit’s demise. That makes me feel a little better about life.
That’s all for this week! Send me links for next week and have a vomit-free Wednesday. Or try to.
Baby and big white bunnies need homes! Adopt a white rabbit—this weekend! »
Vegansaurus pal Emily has tiny baby foster bunnies that, as of Friday, will be old enough for you to adopt! They are classic white rabbits of the Alice in Wonderland variety and so cute I can’t even handle it. My long, rabbit-less years are a trial unto me, you guys. Someday I will adopt a rabbit and we will be best friends and finally my life will be complete.
What’s up with these bunnies? Emily says that they’re an accidental litter from one of the meat-rabbits living on ONLY RICE in Oakland. After these 22 rabbits were rescued by Oakland Animal Services at the end of June, a few of them were found to be pregnant. Emily is fostering the remaining four kits; they were originally a litter of nine, who Emily fed by syring when they weren’t eating on their own, but still only four made it. If you want to adopt one of these little precious perfect angels, Emily’s working with SaveABunny, though as of publishing time they’re not on the site.
White, red-eyed rabbits—like black cats, tan chihuahuas, and pit bulls of all colors—are known for being hard to get adopted. And there’s no good reason! White bunnies are often passed by by adopters looking at cute, tiny, fluffy, or lop-eared bunnies bred for looks.
Rabbits bred for looks (like dwarves or lionheads) have varying temperaments and are prone to health problems, but big white buns are generally hearty (rabbits can live 10 to 15 years) and are almost always amazingly sweet. They make good rabbits for households with children, because they are less likely to be afraid of grabbing little hands than little bunnies are.
To that end, Oakland Animal Services is having a white rabbit adoptathon this weekend! On Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at OAS HQ (1101 29th Ave., between E. 12th and E. 10 sts. in Oakland), all white rabbits are adoptable for just a $10 fee. That is so little money for a bunny! Check out their bunnies online and see how many are white! Quite a few! You can also bring in your bunnies for a free nail-trimming, and maybe to meet their future best rabbit pal. Contact OAS for further information on this weekend’s adoption event. Contact Emily directly to learn more about adopting the baby buns.
Just when I decide that humans are the worst and there is no reason to go on anymore (I take public transit on the daily, yo) I stumble across this video* and subsequent article. John Byrne, a homeless man in Ireland, dived into the river Liffey to save his pet rabbit, Barney! Barney ended up in the river, as some grotesque teenage passerby threw him off a bridge. Byrne said he would do it all over again—he explains that both Barney and his pet dog, Lilly, are his babies.
Now Barney is alive and safe, and Byrne will be presented with an award from the Animal Rights Action Network AND has had a full time job offered to him from the owner of animal farm in Tipperary! As for the 18-year-old who flung Barney into the river—he will appear in court on July 21 to face a charge of cruelty to animals.
*This video might be a little cheesy, but I totally cried my eyes out watching it. I liked it better than all the vids of people watching Byrne cling to the side of the bridge with Barney, waiting for the emergency rescue crew.
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
Are you watching as much reality T.V. as I am? I’m watching more trashy television than I ever have. Before you get worried, it is important to realize that I am categorically NOT watching anything that involves the Kardashians. That is strictly Allen territory. Allen and Ernie territory, actually. For anyone not familiar (which would be everyone), Ernie is what my father likes to call himself. He would also like you to call him that. At my last birthday party one of my friends mistakenly referred to him as Mr. Shrayber and my dad looked at her like she was crazy before loudly exclaiming “Who the hell is Mr.Shrayber, man? My name is Ernie!” in his thick Russian accent. My dad is hardcore. And he loves the Kardashians. And talking about the Kardashians with Allen. Which is good, because I was always worried that my father and my boyfriend would have nothing to talk about before Kim Kardashian’s sex tape came along.
Speaking of reality T.V., who else is enjoying the hours of cringe-worthy entertainment of Platinum Hit and The Glee Project? Honestly, I don’t even know how this Glee monstrosity is a thing; it should be a crime to put teenage drama club members on television. There is just so much crying and overacting and “feeling vulnerable” that I don’t know how the camera people are not constantly dropping their equipment to throw up. That’s got to be a liability lawsuit right there, and the worst part is that it would probably just give these teenspians (I just made that up! It is a combination of “teen” and “thespian”! Now I am going to write a book, just like Teresa Guidice!) more fodder. One insufferable young monster named Lindsey (aren’t they always?) would be all, “When Rodney dropped his camera and upchucked into the bushes, I knew that I was doing something right. He was obviously touched by my heart-wrenching and vulnerable performance of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” She is probably going to win.
There is a better class of reality shows out there, but you’re not going to find them on television. For instance, I am certain that not even Logo (which runs basically anything, if you’ve seen The A-List or Setup Squad) would air this delightful tutorial on how to give an opossum a pedicure, even though it is probably one of the most entertaining things you will ever see. The video features jokes (“I said hoary!”), admonitions to never put false fingernails on an opossum, and best of all, five minutes with Pearl, the creator of the video, whose backstory claims that she was raised by squirrels. After watching this entire thing, I am not sure it isn’t true. I am also not entirely sure that this isn’t just Mary Steenburgen playing an elaborate prank on all of us (favorite actress ever) but who cares? The "Opossum Pedicure Song" makes life worth living!
On a side note, I have no idea how this woman makes it so that the opossum lets her paint its nails. I used to have to give my rabbit a pedicure and let me tell you, that was an ordeal. I would have to first trick Ms. Cleo onto a towel or blanket, and then swaddle her in it as quickly as possible in order to disarm her and make sure she did not take huge chunks out of me with her claws and teeth—once she scratched the inside of my arm and it totally looked like I had tried to slit my wrists; I had a lot of explaining to do when Allen got home—before pulling out a paw to check for overgrown nails. And even then there was like a 75 percent chance I’d get scratched in the face. I was barely able to cut her nails, let alone file and paint them. How does she do it?
In case you don’t believe that animals can be incredibly evil, I introduce you to Animals Being Dicks, a compendium of .gifs that exhibit our furred and feathered friends at their very crankiest and most evil. I particularly like the video of the dog projectile-defecating on the woman who has just lifted his tail. Yes, very disgusting, and it teaches us an important lesson: one should not go around inspecting the private areas of another loving being without due cause. This I learned in preschool as I ran screaming from my friend Luyba as she lifted up her shirt to show me what she had under there while we were behind her house. I ran all the way home and told my mother, who forbade me from ever playing with Luyba again. Which was good, because besides wanting to show me things I had no interest in seeing, she was also incredibly mean, always finding ways to get me in trouble. Moral of story: private parts are private. That’s all for this week. Please send me links for next week and have a non-volatile Wednesday!
Op-Ed: Legal backyard slaughter in Oakland? Screw that! »
This backyard livestock slaughter thing in Oakland is serious. There are actually folks advocating that Oaklanders must be allowed to raise and kill animals to eat because—well—they don’t even know.
One such advocate group is the Oakland Food Policy Council. In its recent “Statement on Urban Agriculture" the OFPC indicates strong support for "the integration of animals into urban food production systems because they provide products that can improve the diets of Oakland’s residents (e.g. fresh milk, honey, eggs, and meat)." "Integration of animals into urban food production systems"? Can I get a translator please?
"Integration" means we allow animals to be crammed into backyards throughout Oakland. Some of these animals will be named, stroked, and cuddled before they are killed, while others will suffer a more factory-farm-style life of abuse and neglect—just in a different zip code and (hopefully) without thousands of their cousins alongside them. They all meet the same fate, though, because these Oakland animals have now become part of the "urban food production system".
"So what’s wrong with that?" they say. "I’m hungry and I need to eat meat." Well, a few things are wrong with that, particularly in a dense urban environment like Oakland:
- People don’t need to eat meat, certainly not people living in the Bay Area. Eating animals here is a choice.
- My grandparents had a farm. It was roughly 250 acres. They had cows, sheep, and chickens. Each animal group had its own section, the cows with the most room to roam about. Which brings up one of the big problems with urban livestock: Is there a 250-acre backyard in Oakland? If your Oakland backyard is like mine, there is room for a couple of tomato plants and a crappy commuter bike. Where do we fit the chickens, sheep, goats, cows, rabbits, ducks, geese, quail, etc.? It is cruel to force animals into small cages for their entire existence—we don’t allow people to treat dogs or cats this way.
- There are undoubtedly many farmers who legitimately care about their animals. But having seen some of the heinous things people do to the animals we call pets in Oakland, I cannot fathom the level of abuse against so-called livestock animals in Oakland by the folks who really don’t care. Even if the livestock animals are not abused in the same way as the pets (seems unlikely but let’s assume it’s true), the simple designation “livestock” results in a whole new category of violent and disturbing treatment. For example, why is it OK to breed chickens and goats in your backyard and throw away the male offspring, when the same practice applied to dogs and cats would be considered outrageous? And even if there were tight restrictions, who would be there to enforce them? Animal control is already overburdened with the existing cases of abuse, neglect, and abandonment of pets. How could they possibly have time to peek into every backyard to make sure the chickens can still walk or the goats have enough room to turn around?
- It’s not just about you when you live in an urban environment; our neighbors have needs as well. One of those needs is to be free from disease and pandemic. Animals packed into backyards will attract other unwanted animals, like rats, that can quickly infest an entire neighborhood. Another urban neighbor’s desire is to live in an environment without offensive odors or sounds. I don’t mind the sound and smell of a pig, goat, or chicken, but some people do, and I have to imagine pretty much everyone would have a big problem with the terrified screams or squawks of a animal being killed next door. Forget about escaped or abandoned animals cruising Telegraph Ave.—what about feral chicken colonies?
- f you really want to “improve the diets of Oakland’s residents” encourage a plant-based diet. There is ample and compelling evidence that meat isn’t good for you. No need to rehash it here; watch the movie Forks Over Knives, you’ll get the point.
So yeah, I have a problem with the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals as backyard livestock, the possibility of disease and nuisances like feral chicken colonies, the awful cries of an animal in fear of its life reverberating through my neighborhood, and the inability of any authority to stop it. I’ll have to act in opposition to the “integration of animals into urban food production systems” in Oakland. Please join me in signing and sharing the petition to "Prevent the Proliferation of Backyard Livestock and Animal Slaughter in Oakland." We need to let the good people who run Oakland know that we’re all for a sustainable and healthy food system here, but the extreme suffering and killing of animals cannot possibly be sustainable or healthy.
Tim Anderson is a proud citizen of Oakland where he lives with his partner, their three dogs, tomato plants, and an herb garden. He is a regular volunteer photographer with Oakland Animal Services. If you want to get involved with all this nonsense, you can email him!
Happy Easter from Vegansaurus and the teeny tiny Washington pygmy rabbit! These little guys were totally almost extinct when conservation groups and the Oregon Zoo took in the remaining buns and started a breeding program. Normally I hate zoos but if they save bunnies, I like that. Now they are going to start reintroducing them into the wild! Go little buns! Get your freak on!
I like these bunnies because they are totally punk rock. Just kidding; their ears are colored to tell them apart. Yeah, don’t try to get to know them or anything! Those damn impersonal scientists and their proclivity for hair [Ed.: HARE] dye.