Ivory poaching, elephant murder on the increase in Africa »
Vanity Fair has a great big article about the increase in illegal ivory trade in Africa. It’s horrible. You should read it; I’m not going to recap the whole thing here. You can have some low-lights* first, though.
Across Africa, “roughly 100 elephants are being killed each day.” Profits from ivory sales fund terrifying rebel groups, just like jewel- and ore-mining. The biggest markets for ivory right now is in East Asia, in particular China, and the Middle East. When smuggled ivory is seized, its DNA is sequenced so authorities can tell where its elephant came from. From this, we’ve learned that the ivory trade has increased everywhere in Africa that Chinese workers are.
The best paragraph:
Obviously, no ivory should be sold, legally or illegally. It has to be taken off the table completely. You can’t keep feeding the demand and providing incentives to poor Africans to continue killing their elephants. That—and educating the Chinese—is the only hope for the remaining ones in the wild. All of Africa needs to follow the lead of Kenya, which burned its ivory stock in 1989. As he ignited the 12 tons of tusks, thus depriving the government of millions of dollars of revenue, in a huge conflagration that remains the single most important event in the history of the battle for the elephants, then president Daniel arap Moi declared, “To stop the poacher, the trader must also be stopped, and to stop the trader, the final buyer must be convinced not to buy ivory. I appeal to people all over the world to stop buying ivory.”
Zimbabwe wants to feed prisoners elephant. People go on safari to shoot elephants. Most elephants, though, are killed because drought and poverty combined with the big ivory market have made killing them one of the only ways to earn money. Elephants are goddamn mystical, and murdering them is a terrible act of inhumanity. Read this entire article, cry your eyes out, be glad you’re not so poor that you resort to ruining the world to feed yourself. Jesus.
*Like highlights, but depressing.
[photo by brittanyhock via flickr]
Are “conscientious carnivores” only fooling themselves? »
Of course it’s better for animals to live in comfort on a nice farm instead of a hideous feedlot before they’re slaughtered for food. However, James McWilliams notes in the Atlantic, the outcome is still the same: the animals are killed, and people eat them. That’s the contradiction inherent in “conscientious carnvorism”—your conscientiousness is limited by the violence of your diet. McWilliams’ essay is interesting; he asserts that focus on "happy meat" “narrow[s] our moral vision,” which is the same point abolitionists make when arguing against so-called humane regulations to meat industry practices.
It’s a valid argument, too. What do you think? Are you pro- or anti-conscientious carnivorism? What do you think of the Humane Society’s and United Egg Producers’ proposed legislation that would improve conditions for layer hens? Would it be more profitable for us animal advocates to work toward a vegan world, or making small changes to a system to which we are morally opposed?
Of course it doesn’t matter what we do, we’re all going to die of murderous stealth E. coli and antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in five years, unless the Japanese people eating radioactive cow develop magical mutant powers and rescue us from the disastrous effects of global warming. The world is super fucking fucked.
Things that make you go WTF: monkeys chained to tightrope-walking goats »
Life lesson number one, my friends: if you ever find yourself chaining a monkey to a goat, you are doing something wrong.
Apparently this is a thing. I saw the above picture on that goats on stuff blog. Then I did a search and found all these other pictures of other goats on tightropes with monkeys on them. WTF?! The world is totally effed. I’m kind of over it. We should all just drink poison and have an end-of-the-world party. Just kidding! I hate group activities.
As far as I can tell from the various sites these pics are posted on, these are all from zoos in China. Jesus Christmas, China! Get your shit together! This isn’t cool. Have you all heard of this? Can I get a resounding WTF?
Monkey-dog rodeo: infuriating abomination of nature! Plus ridiculous costumes! »
I had a horrifying, violent nightmare about monkey abuse the other night, so it’s fitting that the dumbest idea ever should come across my radar: a monkey-dog rodeo out of Tupelo, Miss.
Rodeos are bad enough, but this is downright stupid. I mean, the ex-bullfighter who runs it goes by “Wild Thang,” so that should give you a clue. But really, Tim Lepard? Monkeys and dogs don’t go together. You strap white-throated Capuchin monkeys to dogs, call them the “Ghost Riders,” and make them herd a group of sheep onto a Dodge.* THIS IS NOT GRABBING LIFE BY THE HORNS.
*INTO A DODGE, PEOPLE. A DODGE.
Get ready to cry forever: graphic footage captured at E6 Cattle Co. in Texas »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
Welcome to the dairy industry. This video was filmed over two weeks in March by Mercy for Animals at E6 Cattle Co., a dairy cattle ranch that raises calves for dairy production. The end of the video says “Go vegetarian” but that’s not going to help a dairy calf much, will it?
From Dairyherd.com,* “‘The actions in this video do not reflect the practices of the thousands of hard-working dairy farm families across the U.S. who care for their animals every day,’ the [Dairy Management Inc.] statement said. ‘Dairy farmers and their employees take this responsibility very seriously. Texas’ dairy farmers, as well as dairy farmers across the country, are as outraged by this video as the public.’”
Because that’s where we get our milk from, thousands of good old-fashioned dairy farm families. NOT.
From KCBD-TV** in Lubbock, Texas, “The owner of E6 Cattle Company issued a statement saying, ‘I take full responsibility for what happened in the video. I am embarrassed and disappointed. The four men in the video have been fired. This is not what we do at the ranch and it will never happen again.’”
"Embarrassed and disappointed" are not really the first words that come to my mind; more like "horrified and disgusted." But this guy is disappointed. I’m sure before he fired the four men, he made them clap erasers in the back of the classroom.
What these four men did is appalling, but making them take the brunt of the blame irritates me. A company that is in charge of the life and death of living beings should be able to supervise and manage their own house. Know what I’m saying? But instead of cleaning up the industry, I’m thinking Texas might be the next state in line to ban undercover videos. It’s especially repulsive because this systemic abuse is revealed again and again, and it’s always blamed on rogue employees. Dude, you can’t put people in a factory farm or a slaughterhouse and not expect them to become a shell of a human being. Yes, I blame the workers who did this, but mainly I blame everyone who sits down to a tall cold glass of
misery-mucus milk every morning. It’s the human demand for the milk of another animal (gross!) that leads to this kind of behavior—every asshole with their bowl of morning cereal is directly responsible for the gross abuse you see in that video. It’d be less gross to milk your dog and just drink that shiz. 1) PUKE and 2) You know it’s true!
For a little chaser, so we all don’t go crazy and start chopping heads, let’s watch the story of Billy, a little calf who was rescued from a similar fate by a very caring average Joe:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
*My new favorite news authority
**My new second favorite news authority
One-fourth of meat is filled with multi-drug-resistant staph! »
Yum! When your friends and family chow down on that burger, they’re not just eating fat, cholesterol, and rotting flesh, they’re also consuming antibiotics the animals are shot up with to keep them alive. Tasty! There are a million five-year-olds ordering Chicken McNuggets as I type this, and they have no clue their meals are served with a side of C-cup boobs before they’re seven and an early menstrual cycle! And that’s just the boys! Ugh, the whole piece in Wired is super interesting and definitely something to pass on to the meat-eaters in your life.
I think the best/worst parts are (because everyone wants my opinion!):
“We know already that most food-borne illness occurs not because of undercooked food” in which pathogens survived, Price said. “It’s from mishandling in the kitchen and cross-contamination. I think there is a risk of these strains contaminating a local environment. We don’t know what that risk is, because it has never been evaluated—but anyone who dismisses that risk is doing so without any data.”
All those people you know who are like, “Fuck it! I cook the shit out of my meat and I’ll live forever!” Let them know it doesn’t matter.
Shelley Hearne, managing director of the Pew Health Group, told me: “The bottom line is, the more we use antibiotics in injudicious ways, the more we are compromising our ability to save human lives in the future.”
No fucking doy, but it’s nice to hear it from someone who doesn’t respond to information like this by saying, “No fucking doy.” You know? Sometimes science is our friend!
Agriculture subsidies are FUCKED »
Here’s some shit to get super-pissed about. Unfortunately it has to do with the government and so we can’t do jack shit because we have no real power. Yay 21st-century livin’! Who knew freedom cost so much?? Seriously, if you guys want to take to the streets over this, I’m with you. I’ve got a flak jacket and a breast pump (don’t ask, the answer is too sexy for you), there ain’t nothing I can’t do. Let’s unite! And rebel! For realz. But first, here’s why.
Did you know that 63 percent of agricultural subsidies go to meat and dairy? BULLSHIT! If news of even more bullshit, less than 1 percent of agricultural subsidies go to fruits and vegetables. Check out the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s new report on agriculture policies, and be shocked and depressed. AND READY FOR ACTION!
Seriously, if we don’t take to the streets of the capital to protest this, the least we can do is send that chart to everyone and their mother and your mother and like, Gawker, because everyone’s mother reads that. What is going on with our moms? Anyway, spread the word, because maybe if enough of us get really crazy about it, we might actually get some attention. We can’t let this shit slide! We’re so concerned about our children’s future that we’re singing songs about it (i.e., very concerned) but we’re not really doing shit! RISE UP! But first, I need a donut.
Part of the Problem
Dinner never looked so cute: The friend/food dichotomy »
It’s lambing season apparently and the Guardian has the story in pictures. “Up to 300 ewes are lambing at Barracks Farm in Fetcham, Surrey. The farm is owned by the Conisbee family who supply their own butchers shops in nearby Horsley. The business has been run by generations of the family for more than 250 years.” I wonder what they used before spray-paint? I guess it’s better than branding. But most stuff is, eh?
These cute lambs numbered for death got me thinking and I’ll tell you: I don’t get people. How do they eat stuff like lamb? Everyone knows lamb are adorable fuzzy childhood delights! There are lots of things in the non-vegan world that have names that distance them from what they actually are. Like shearling—how the fuck do you know what shearling is? I mean you know what it is eventually but it’s not the same as “the skin of sheep ripped off with the fur attached.” But then there’s other words like, “calfskin” and I’m like WTF, calf…skin. Like, cute fuzzy baby skin. So gross! Who is like, “Calfskin? OMG, need!”
There has to be some serious damage that results in this transition where something like a lamb is loved and adored as a child and then eaten as an adult. That’s, like, sick. How many children’s stories center around cute little animal protagonists? You teach children to be gentle and loving through stories about sweet bunnies who preach tolerance and then you feed them bunnies! Wouldn’t you be raising a bunch of confused sociopaths? But wait! Enter modern society, where violence is entertainment! It’s probably all a person can do to make sense of this friend/dinner dichotomy; it’s like victims of violence who perpetuate that violence to try and make sense of it or normalize it. Essentially: you’re all fucked.
You know that idiot, Iowa state Rep. Annette Sweeney? She’s trying to outlaw the filming of animal undercover investigations and it’s the wack attack. And, oh look, she’s the former executive director of the Iowa Angus Association. Quelle surprise! If I could throw up on one person today (and it’s looking like it might happen, too much party-hardy for Laura), it would be that woman.
The video above is pretty amazing. In it, she talks about how undercover animal investigations are staged, right before pulling apart a display from opposing activists. OH THE IRONY. Even trying to backtrack she sounds like the idiot she is.
Unfortunately, the bill passed the Republican-dominated Iowa House, but its passage remains uncertain in the state’s Democrat-controlled Senate. It could possibly be discussed in the Senate as early as today. If you’re in Iowa (or can pass this on to people who live in Iowa! Along with this message: GET OUT. I joke! Looks like a great place.), please contact your state senator, and let them know that you strongly oppose the passage of S.J. 727.
(Yet another) New drug-resistant E. coli! »
Well, it won’t affect us vegans just yet, but I’m sure it’ll make its way to us somehow. Thanks, meat mouths!
From the Wired article:
Chickens, chicken meat and humans in the Netherlands are carrying identical, highly drug-resistant E. coli—resistance that is apparently moving from poultry raised with antibiotics, to humans, via food.
I’d like to write more about how many levels of gross and fucked this whole thing is, but I’m finna board a plane to Austin! So instead, I leave you with: WE ARE FUCKED THE WORLD IS ON FIRE RUN FOR THE HILLS.