Yo, vegetarians! New footage from yet another idyllic egg factory!  »

From Paul Shapiro:

I’m about to conduct a press conference in Washington, D.C., to release shocking new footage of HSUS’s latest undercover investigation at a battery cage egg factory.

The New York Times covers our investigation today in a powerful column by Nicholas Kristof, “Is an Egg for Breakfast Worth This?” [Ed.: Kristof, have all our babies.]

This investigation of course underscores the need to pass HR 3798, federal legislation that would reduce the suffering of hundreds of millions of animals in the egg industry.


[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus! And then make all your egg-eating friends enjoy it, too!]


Guest Post: Your tax money pays for capturing wild horses! That sucks!  »

It’s tax season! Hooray! Unless you owe the government money, in which case, boo!

In honor of this wonderful/horrendous season, I’ll be taking an occasional look at some of the excellent and also awful programs your tax money supports. Doesn’t that sound fantastic/terrible?

Have you heard of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)? It is a section of the Department of the Interior that manages 245 million acres of public land across the country. On about 26 million of these acres live wild horses, which the BLM occasionally rounds up, imprisons, and sells off to private buyers in an effort to “maintain the integrity of the land” on which the horses live, graze, and mate. Those that are not sold are kept in holding pens for the rest of their lives, often separated from their herd and forced to live in captivity. What’s up with that? According to this story on, the BLM claims that there are an “excessive” number of wild horses, and these gathers are necessary to the health of the land for other uses, like recreation, cattle and sheep grazing, and mining and energy companies seeking grazing, water, and mineral rights on the land the horses and burros have roamed for hundreds of years. However, photos from a 2011 gather show cattle ranchers moving in their cows to graze on the very same land from which wild horses were removed only a day earlier.

How exactly is grazing cattle helping to maintain the health of the land, you ask? Shocker of the century: many of the decisions made by the BLM are recommended by an advisory board “largely composed of livestock permittees.” Oh, and there’s also that tiny business of installing a $3 billion dollar, 675-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from Wyoming to Oregon across the herd’s habitat. Wouldn’t want horses getting in the way of THAT.

Worst of all, these gathers are traumatic and dangerous to the horses. Low-flying helicopters frighten the horses into running into traps. Horses have died as a result of the gathers, despite the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which stipulates that “it is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

An average of 10,600 animals are removed from the land each year at a cost of between $70 and $90 million. Million, people! That’s a pretty good chunk o’ tax money, much of which is delegated for helicopter operators, private land owners and horse sterilization. And according to the BLM’s own estimates, there will be at least twice as many wild horses (57,000) living in holding pens this year than roaming free.

Want to tell the government where they can shove your tax money that you oppose your tax money being used for the capture of wild horses? Visit the Cloud Foundation to find out great ways to take action! And while you’re there, check out these photos of Cloud, the wild horse who inspired this organization! So majestic and awesome!

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.


I spy with my little eye: PIG BLOOD DRAINING INTO A RIVER!  »

Do you know what this is? It’s PIG BLOOD in the Trinity River in Dallas, Texas. Pig blood from a slaughterhouse/meatpacking plant that is draining INTO the RIVER! Do your eyes and heart feel assaulted? I know mine do!

According to Consumerist, “an amateur drone pilot in Texas was flying a simple rig with a point and shoot camera attached for fun” when he noticed something amiss in a creek. FUN OVER. He notified the county, and a Department of Human Services investigation concluded that the discoloration WAS RAW PIG BLOOD! From an illegally placed pipe leading into the RIVER! Oh humanity, you get me every time! The government will not comment on what kind of legal action is in store for the perpetrator.

Actually my faith in humanity was somewhat restored after I read the comments from this article. Usually when it comes to these kinds of stories, the comments section makes me want to throw myself out a window.

[Picture via Consumerist. I definitely did not photoshop it, as I have no idea how to do that!]


Fox fur and feathers are the new vajazzling! Quick, to the waxer!  »

Some winter-appropriate underwear. Such a bargain!

Hey “ladies”! Cancel your body-modification plans; we know exactly what you should be doing with your physical self. Get this: What you 100 percent want to do with your body is remove its hair, exposing your genitals to the winter cold, and partially re-cover your nudity with either neon-dyed fox fur or feathers. Enticing, right?

Yes! It is what you want to do! Cindy Barshop, the lady who claims to have invented vajazzling, says so, and she is the world’s foremost expert on sexual decoration.”All the colored furs are in now,” Barshop tells Fashionista, “and Carnivale’s coming with the feathers” so obviously you need to put these items on your naked skin that would otherwise be covered with underpants. Peta, in a moment of sanity, is quoted as calling the furkin (tm Maureen O’Connor) “outright sleazy, and it’s downright cruel to kill an animal to decorate your privates.”

It’s nice when vegans of all stripes can agree on such a nasty little pimple of an issue. You are the worst, Cindy Barshop. Please knock it off.

[image by genibee via Flickr]


Where did your holiday dead turkey come from? Mercy for Animals knows! Tastes so good with extra side of abuse! Yum, yum. Oh, and if your turkey wasn’t Butterball, just know that this abuse happens anywhere animals are treated like a commodity. I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, just like pretty much everything I say does. Now, I’m gonna go eat a veggie dog and cry in a corner. Now, I’m gonna go eat a veggie dog and cry in a corner.


Your government hates you: meat recalls forever  »

What is going on with meat inspection? In the past month, there’ve been seven recalls due to listeria contamination, three because of E. coli, and three for salmonella, nearly 36,723,700 pounds of food, almost of it meat. The number’s sort of enormous thanks to Cargill’s recall of 36 million pounds of “ground turkey products” on Aug. 3 because of salmonella contamination. Disgusting.

How does this contamination even happen? The Centers for Disease Control have a section on food-borne illnesses that’s pretty helpful, though their explanation for how foods become contaminated isn’t super-illuminating:

Many foodborne microbes are present in healthy animals (usually in their intestines) raised for food. Meat and poultry carcasses can become contaminated during slaughter by contact with small amounts of intestinal contents. Similarly, fresh fruits and vegetables can be contaminated if they are washed or irrigated with water that is contaminated with animal manure or human sewage.

Right, we know that, CDC. It’d be nice to know how the shit-water gets to the produce, or how the carcasses come into “contact with small amounts” of unexpressed poop. Over a century since The Jungle exposed the horrible conditions of the meatpacking industry and people are still getting shit teeming with bacteria in our food. You think after another 100 years the agriculture industry will stop making us sick?


Your government hates you: the feds spent taxpayer money to buy surplus dead chickens!  »

So, you know that OUR GOVERNMENT with OUR MONEY bought $40 MILLION worth of chicken that nobody wanted? Because the chicken industry is killing more birds than ever, even though demand for dead birds is slightly waning. UGH YOU CANNOT WIN AGAINST PURE EVIL AND STUPIDITY.

Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States (we love him!) wrote up a piece about this over at VegNews. He writes:

As demand for chicken meat remains far below the number of birds who are actually being raised and killed, rather than allowing the market to adjust to basic supply and demand principles, the federal government Monday announced it will buy $40 million of unwanted chicken products that will be dumped on our nation’s school kids and others in federal food programs.

In short, chicken-meat companies have continued increasing the number of birds they raise for food while demand has remained flat. Normally, in a free market, an industry that produces beyond what consumers want will contract. But not the poultry industry. It instead relies on regular government support in times like these—and by that I mean nearly all the time.

Read the rest here! And then GET PISSED! By being vegan, I like to think that I’m affecting the market because my money isn’t going toward these fucks, and because the industry doesn’t slow down to keep pace with the declining demand, the government just buys the surplus. It makes me SO MAD. I’ll never stop being vegan, and I’ll never stop rejecting that disgusting industry, but this really makes me want to live off the grid and not pay a single fucking cent in taxes and become an anarchist and just cook out of my trashcan and live in a hobbit hut and call it a day. I don’t know what good that’d do anyone but the point is IT MAKES ME CRAZY.


Industrial farming is killing the oceans  »

Remember how the ocean’s fucked? It’s still fucked, especially in France, where the beaches are unfit for human presence because of “Up-stream releases of manure from intensive farming that overload the near-shore waters with nitrates.” It causes growth of a seaweed that releases a toxic gas!

Farm effluent is so amazing. It creates dead zones in places like the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay, which now covers 83 miles of that body of water. Back in December of 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan “to dramatically reduce the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that states can allow in the bay from municipalities and farms,” but guess whose opposition is blocking the EPA from implementing it: the American Farm Bureau Federation’s! Of course! Because dead zones are caused by runoff from those giant places food comes from, farms and feedlots.

In Brittany, 31 wild boars were found dead last week; the animals “‘were not [otherwise] sick and they did not drown.’” People can’t visit the beaches there because they could release pockets of the toxic gas the algae produces and die. How would this happen? By, you know, slipping and falling in the algae, or running, or walking. Not that anyone wants to play on a beach covered in horrible slime.

Industrial farming! It feeds most of the world while it kills the oceans! The best part of history is always when you realize no one’s planned more than like 10 minutes into the future.


No duh, Salon: government subsidies make good food expensive and horrible food cheap  »

Guess who just figured out that food subsidies are all fucked up? Good job, Salon, you’re just behind the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (remember Megan Rascal’s compare-n-contrast graphics? Kick-ass), and King Corn, and Fast Food Nation, and (our best frenemy) Michael Pollan. Only, what, a decade behind the rest of us? Not too bad!

This quote is good, though:

Indeed, this is a problem not of individual proclivities or of agricultural biology that supposedly makes nutrition naturally unaffordable — it is a problem of rigged economics and corrupt policymaking.

Because you have to reframe the argument. Vegans will never, ever win the elitism fight (until the day we’ve all turned into disabled queer people of color through the power of white-cis-guilt/will), but we can point out that the relatively higher price of eating vegetables is a national problem with deep, ugly roots that’s bad for everybody except big agriculture executives. Who are mostly grody white dudes who don’t give a fuck about your need for more than corn-syrup-covered Potato Buds.

Fuck the man. Eat a vegetable and yell at your representatives and tell corporate agriculture to fuck right off. Food stamps at farmers’ markets forever. Food accessibility is a vegan issue.


Poor kitty, awful people  »

This is poor Tinkerbell who was set on fire and severely burned. The Houston Herald has the full story. They think some jerky kids probably did it but no one will come forward so the shelter caring for Tinkerbell is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whatever terrible person did this. WTF is wrong with people? Why would you do that? I hope they get them. Whatever horrible person did this, they need some serious help. People make me so angry sometimes!

You can donate to the shelter here. Beyond that, raise your kids right, so they don’t do stuff like this.

[photo by The Animal Shelter of Texas County via the Houston Herald]

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