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! »
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.
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]
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.