Circuses suck even after the animals retire!  »

This is so sad: Katya, a 36-year-old bear who performed at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, is confined to a small, rusty cage on a nasty-ass bus parked on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia, along with dozens of other retired circus animals.

We won the Cold War, but this is straight-up cold. As your Senior Bear Correspondent, I am appalled by injustices to bears, who are one of nature’s finest, most powerful, and cutest-when-young creations. Since the Dow is crashing and the world is ending, the bear army is gonna rise up any day now, and THEN WON’T YOU BE SORRY.

[photo by Dmitry Lovetsky, AP]

(Source: The Huffington Post)


YO! Laura here! I’m travelling to Moscow, Athens, & Crete. Know of any veg eats???  »

Hello, friend! It’s Laura! I just wanted to give you all a heads-up that imma be out of the country for a couple weeks and the other Vegansaurs got your back and the site will be better than ever in my absence. I also thought maybe these fine (as in good looking) readers of ours might have some tips for me?

Have you been to Moscow, Athens (and day trip from Athens suggestions!), Santorini, Hydra, or Crete? And if so, what did you do/see/EAT (of particular interest)? Any travel tips or anything useful you wish you’d known before you went to those places. Let me tell you, getting that Russian visa was NO JOKE. I chronicled some of my issues here but HOO BOY—that Russian consulate is a TRIP! I can say this because I know some Russian people and we’re cool and also I’m totally racist, but GOD LOVE A RUSSIAN WOMAN. I dealt with at least three who looked exactly like Danny Devito, just with all different colors of dyed hair. You have not lived until you’ve been yelled at by a yellow-haired Danny Devito, a red-headed Danny Devito, and an orange-headed Danny Devito, all in the same day. ANYWAY, I’ve got my visa so I’m legit to enter the country (I PRAY) and now I need to know what to do! HELP! One lovely reader has already hooked me up with some info but I’m always looking for MORE!

And if you must know—the reason for the trip is some good friends are getting married in Crete and my shit hasn’t been anywhere in five years and you’re all driving me crazy and MOMS HAVE LIVES, TOO. We’re flying through Moscow because those were by far the cheapest tickets and who doesn’t want to see the Cosmonaut Museum? Plus, I plan to bring blue jeans and pens and be greeted like savior! I am a little worried about flying on Aeroflot since they don’t have the BEST history of not crashing in fiery flames but KNOCK ON WOOD.

From the many reviews for the airline I’ve read in attempt to make myself even more freaked out about flying them, I learned three things: 1. There might be chickens just wandering the aisles on my flight; 2. There will definitely be lots of cigarette-smoking on my flight (didn’t even know you could still do this!); 3. I will definitely be yelled at by a flight attendant at least once and maybe be made to sit in a seat that’s basically in the lavatory. Also, check out their uniforms! Hammer and sickle!

And with that, leave your tips below or please email me! Oh and I’ll try to tweet a bunch so you can follow me on twitter if you wanna get the 411 on who is pissing me off while on VACATION ALL I EVER WANTED: 2011.


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! On Friday! WTF FOR REALS!  »

You guys, I’m done with school! Like forever! My cap and gown have been rented (for an exorbitant amount), my graduation fees (HIGHWAY ROBBERY) have been paid, and my thesis has finally, after months of agony and edits, been signed off on. As much relief as I feel, I’m also feeling kind of lost! Allen says that I should take this time to reflect upon the last two years of my life and maybe journal about it. I’ve been taking his advice very seriously and have thus spent my time playing piano on the iPad (here is my technically and emotionally perfect rendition of Vivaldi’s Winter”) reading Strangers in Paradise, eating cake, and watching YouTube clips of Ukraine’s Got Talenthere is my favorite performance, a voluptuous woman doing some awesome belly dancing!

Allen doesn’t mind anything except the piano-playing (not to mention the fiddling I’ve been doing!), because it disrupts his quiet reading time in the evening. The other night he couldn’t take it anymore and quietly asked whether I was sure that the first movement of the “Moonlight Sonata” was supposed to last 25 minutes and suggested that perhaps I would be happier playing at Nordstrom, where he would happily drive me, instead of keeping my talent hidden under a bushel by playing just for him. He is so considerate! The best part about the iPad (besides “Puzzlequest” and “Sally’s Salon”) is that it is highly portable and ensures that I will be able to take my piano with me when we go on vacation next week! Who needs Cirque de Soleil when you’ve got a full orchestra whenever you want it? (Actually! Allen and I are going to Vegas, so if you have any suggestions on shows and things we should see/do, that would be awesome!)

Since this is a happy time for many of us (Who else is graduating? Let’s get crazy!), I thought that I would spend the space I have for WTF Wednesday to share some happy/incredibly weird things with you. Take cat hair jewelry, for instance:
No one’s getting hurt, people are ostensibly happy with it, and yet it is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. Now, I’m not hating, but I’m also hoping that this isn’t going to be a trend. I know that these are one-off works of art, but is it just me or does it look like these ladies (IS THAT LINDSAY LOHAN?) are wearing bejeweled anal beads* around their necks? That’s one way to make something not only stylish (-ish) but also functional. I am also worried that this might lead to other trends with people making jewelry out of dog and ferret hair and pretty soon you’re going to see embarrassed balding animals walking around because their human caretakers have decided they need more fur for their sweaters. I admit that when I first saw this I pictured myself wearing a beautiful and comfortable hamster-hair scarf, but after discussing it with Allen, he wisely pointed out that I would need at least 57 hamsters and would need to be constantly brushing them, leaving no time for anything else, including piano practice. Then Allen promptly went out and adopted me a hamster. JOKE! Allen says we can’t get a hamster until we come back from vacation, but the fact that he has agreed to me having one at all is amazing because Allen’s experiences with hamsters aren’t as tender and beautiful as my own.

You know what else Allen won’t let me have? A cat! I have been begging him to adopt one with me, but Allen is not a fan. He once actually explained why, but since his story was based mostly in Mexican folklore, I did not understand it. I only understand Russian folklore, which is why I have to step on someone’s foot after they step on mine for fear that we would become mortal enemies, and why I scream bloody murder when someone crosses over as I am laying down, as this means that I will not grow any taller, even though I’ve been 5’8” since I was 18 years old.

Speaking of Russia and cats, however, here is is a video of a cat who is having serious nicotine withdrawal. This kitten, whose name is Simone, apparently found a cigarette just lying around (also, this is how I started smoking. My dad just left cigarettes around so I’ve been puffing away since I was a toddler) and decided that she was going to smoke it (or chew it. Unclear!) and had a hard time letting her friends take it away from her, which just proves that interventions are hard for everyone. I once tried to hold an intervention for my guinea pig, Katherine, who had a problem with pumpkin seeds, and she shrieked at me and pooped all over my hands. I just let her have as many pumpkin seeds as she wanted from then on.

Speaking of interventions, there’s some good news for cats and some bad news for lonely Floridians this month. The senate has passed an anti-bestiality bill that was inspired by the death of a pregnant goat who was asphyxiated during rape, but took three years to pass. There’s been some controversy about this, mostly about the fact that humans are animals and the bill does not define the animals that are being protected as non-human animals, thereby prohibiting sex in the state of Florida altogether—but come on, I think we all get it. Just stop having sex with animals and everything will be fine. And while we’re at it, stop snorting bath salts.

That is not good for you! That’s all for this week. Send me links for two weeks from now (BECAUSE I AM GOING ON VACATION!) and have a safe and celebration-filled Wednesday!

*I can write about anal beads because I am an adult! lay off, mom!


Test-tube meat: Would YOU eat it?  »

Somehow, I just can’t see myself eating test-tube meat. I imagine it would come with the same horrific and potentially organ-altering issues as genetically modified corn and shiz, you know like growing eight uteri or something. BUT. I do think that cloning meat-tissue would take pressure off of industrialized meat production AND weird cloning experiments. Save our farm animals and just eat pseudo-meat? I’m wondering if it would be anywhere near the same as a Boca burger.

Eat, Drink…Better wrote about biologist Vladimir Mironov and his in-vitro meat research. This man with the name of a Russian astronaut claims we are already running out of agricultural space globally, and that contributes to that whole hunger thing. And PETA is a major investor. “PETA is apparently offering a one million dollar prize for anyone who can grow a commercially available synthetic meat for market by June 2012.” Whaaaaa?

I’m not so all-aboad-the-biotech-wagon as I am on the alternatives-to-animal-exploitation-mobile. But the fact that scientists are trying to develop a “product” that would eliminate all the crazy issues we face with big Ag: greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, factory farms/slaughterhouses, and fucked-up biodiversity—that doesn’t sound so horrible—as long as there are no rogue mutated species coming out of this mess. I’m not prepared to join the X-Men. [Ed.: however, some of us named Laura are! And she wants the ability to eat unlimited amounts of ice cream WITH NO HEADACHES and to fly and to be invisible and to have people-crushing fatness. Please note: she is working on the last one already, fuck science!]

Mironov claims this risk just isn’t there and that we, the consumer, will accept the test-tube meat. He says, “We are already mass consuming cultured products like yogurt, brewed beer, and distilled wine. Therefore, the prospect of consuming cultured meat is not a foreign concept.” The jury is still out over here, but it will be interesting to see big meat producers freak out—and probably try to lay claim to the profits.
Perhaps these two geniuses could help make some strides!

This guest post was brought to us by Jessi Stafford! Jessi is originally from St. Louis…ish. She’s now squandering her fortune while freelancing in Baton Rouge, L.A. A University of Missouri Journalism grad, Jessi uses her degree for cocktail-drinking. She loves hyperbole and whoring around thrift stores. This is Jessi’s second post for Vegansaurus. Thanks, Jessi!


Russian geniuses discover exciting new way to torture a donkey!  »

Holy crap. HOLY CRAP! On the advertising beat, a German Russian resort forced a donkey to go parasailing to promote the activity. I’m not fucking kidding. This is the sort of thing that makes me wish I was dead. He was in the air for half an hour, screaming, and then he crashed in the water and was dragged in the water for a while. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?! This is straight-up disturbing. Help me readers, help me understand!


American crazies, awesome people in other countries, vegan marshmallows, illegal meats, travels with produce, expensive shoes on sale and more in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

We didn’t have a link-o-rama for a couple of weeks, whoops. Good thing we saved up all those links, so you have tons of good reading for this weekend.

Let’s get some shoes! Vegan shoes, on sale through the end of the month. Ohhhh man, I wear a 7.5 U.S./37.5 EU if anyone wants to buy me a special present for being so great.

Can I kiss, like, everyone in Ghent? Last year, the city decided that Thursday would be Vegetarian Day, meaning city-run cafeterias &c. (they FEED THEIR CIVIC EMPLOYEES? WHAT?) and schools (ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS) would have to serve exclusively vegetarian food every Thursday. According to this week’s episode of the best radio show ever, Inside Europe, this is going really well. The kids love it, the citizens love it, and what the hell Ghent has 91 vegetarian restaurants?!! (note: download the podcast, skip to 49:20 to go directly to the pertinent story.)

Awesome Sharon of Veg Table is moving to Australia! Before she goes, she leaves us a final post on delicious local eating. Not included: her visit to Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles, which she wrote about just for us.

Speaking of linking to our own stuff, have you checked out the posts on John Mackey’s latest jerk-ass anti-fat-people bullshit, and on the travesty that is the new Weird Fish menu? The comments, they are many! We love it when you express your opinions, as long as you are civil/pertinent.

Super-smart Vegansaurus writer Steve contributed to the SF Appeal today, on the subject of non-meat-eaters keeping meat-eating cats. We are pretending not to be jealous that we didn’t ask him to write about this here first. Proud! We are proud, good job, Steve!

Vegetable tourism: in which British people travel the country in search of the birthplaces of famous varieties of produce. It’s quirky! Much like British people! But this seems more worthwhile (and tastier!) than, say, doing Jane Austen novel reenactments at Bath. That is like 10 lorries’ past “quirky” and well into “insanator” territory (READ OTHER BOOKS, GUYS).

Some grumplestiltskin at 7x7 magazine just can’t get over the fact that they don’t serve real actual from-an-animal cheese at Gracias Madre. Just, why call it “cheese” when it’s totally an amalgam of weird stuff, ugh.

Meat-smuggling: not just a single-entendre! Apparently some people do this because in Europe—mostly Italy—they do especially fascinating things with animal parts that are so much more interesting and authentic than the weird and fucked up things people do with animal parts here. GOD, you are SO GROSS, SHUT UP.

But gosh, maybe if the U.S. had laxer meat-import laws, people wouldn’t spend so much time murdering horses and selling their bodies for food. Right? Because meat-eating is like the hardestcore thrill-seeking, LIFE ON THE EDGE!! BEEF!

Oh, Michael Pollan. He doesn’t think it’s possible to make your own Twinkies! I can make you an organic, vegan Twinkie that tastes like French kisses from angels.

PCRM (employer of one of your Vegansaurus editors) made a list of the five best cookbooks of the decade, and guess what, they’re all VEGAN. The actual cookbooks I cannot endorse—one by certain pseudo-nutritionist insanators, another having been published roughly two seconds ago—but the point is that a vegan diet will save your life. Tell your everyone.

Michelle we love you: who wants to veganize the First Lady’s shortbread cookies? Come on, you want to.

Monsanto, the most evil of all agricultural corporations (that we know of), is facing an antitrust hearing from the Justice Department. Considering that “about 93 percent of soybean plantings last year” are connected to Monsanto, I’d say this is pertinent to us vegans. Although considering the DoJ is following up claims made by motherfucking DuPont, this may just end in (more of) our rage tears.

Someone is considering opening an exclusively vegan store in the Bay Area? WHAT YES PLEASE. Be nice and helpful and take this survey and let’s make this happen like yesterday.

Bitches hate Ingrid Newkirk: she is the Anti-Feminist Antichrist and PETA wages endless war on Sensible People’s Precious Sensibilities. Hey ladies!

Kelis “would demand [the chinchillas and minks whose pelts make up her luxurious coats] be put to death" if they weren’t already being raised on farms for the express purpose of being anally fucking electrocuted and made into those "luxurious" coats she loves so damn much. She also demands that the anti-fur brigade turn their attention other causes, like the poor people who pick vegetables, and sufferers of female genital mutilation. Because you know you can’t try to change more than one shitty situation at a time and VEGANS HATE HUMANS, I WOULD MURDER THE REINCARNATION OF EINSTEIN TO SAVE A RABID CAT, DID YOU KNOW?

Big ol’ vegan Erykah Badu released a bonus track from her (maybe) new album today, which is glorious.

Physically bigger vegan Georges Laraque (we’re everywhere!) is the best hockey player in the entire world ever, and raised a ton of money for Haiti recently. You guys I think we should start following the Canadiens.

Thanks, meat-eaters, for wrecking everything for the polar bears. Fucking THANKS A LOT.

Russia, on the cutting edge of being the total embodiment of a heartless fucking bastard, wants to get back on the cutting edge of space travel by sending a monkey to Mars. Don’t worry though, a robot will feed it! I wish this were from The Onion.

Here is an interview with the super-hardcore and super-amazing Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She tolerates no bullshit and makes delicious food, we adore her.

Some employees of HarperCanada, inspired by friend-of-Oprah Tal Ronnen, took a two-weeklong vegan challenge. Apparently in Toronto it is hard to find vegan bread? I don’t know. Regardless: nice effort!

Forbes isn’t exclusively the domain of classist, poors-hating white dudes you want to punch in the face! It’s also the home of a guy who, following Mark Bittman’s advice, eats mostly vegan. He calls the diet “[his] health care plan,” awesome! If only my vegan diet would scrape my teeth and cure my astigmatism, we’d be peas in a healthy fucking pod!

A significantly less offensive magazine: Potluck Mania!, by super-vegan/author Joanna Vaught, which absolutely deserves its exclamation point.

Vegansaurus favorite Sweet & Sara were featured on the Food Network’s Unwrapped series. Hooray!! Also, thanks, now I am dying for a peanut butter s’more. Relatedly, make your own (terrifying) vegan marshmallows!

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