Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Between having to finish my last-ever (and incidentally most comprehensive) presentation for school and cracking a filling because I was chewing gum too hard, I have been barely able to stand. Then as soon as I was a little bit less overwhelmed, I started running a fever. Isn’t that just the worst? I mean I appreciate that my body is a complex and sophisticated system that recognizes when it is safer for me to turn the stress I have been feeling into an amazing bout with the flu/cold/plague, but it doesn’t really do anything to make me feel better. As soon as I’m done getting gray hair from every single project I have to do and think that I can settle in for some serious knitting/a Golden Girls marathon, my body turns against me and makes it so that I am either too hot or too cold or that my muscles get so sore that I can’t sit in one place for a long period of time. This is war! Fortunately for my body, the only way I know how to go to war on it is by consuming large amounts of Parma, which I put on everything (to Allen's extreme chagrin, because he is delusional and does not enjoy it!), and swigging bottle after bottle of ginger ale. “Man,” you must be thinking, “Mark is pretty sick so he is probably not going to take us on a tour of horrors that he has found on the internet.” WRONG! I am miserable, so you will be miserable. Buckle in and let’s see what horrible things are happening this week.

Modern science has discovered that animals, specifically chickens, can feel pain. I did not realize that this needed scientific testing, but I suppose not everyone is as trusting as I am. Not only can chickens feel pain, but they can show empathy for the pain of other chickens. NO DOY, but good for you, science. Because I am trusting, I am going to imagine that these experiments were mostly harmless and that the chickens have now been found wonderful sanctuary homes. What I am less than pleased with is that since this news has come out, people have been showing how awesome it is to write cruel things on the internet.

What is it with people? I mean, as soon as you write anything about animals feeling pain they come out to talk about how delicious the animals are or leave comments like “I am going to have a chicken bacon sandwich later today. UMAD?” Just google anything about “chickens feeling pain” and you will find that the comments run from the classic “Humans are meant to eat meat!” to the perplexing “If I can’t have meat, what am I going to eat?” to the sensitive “Chickens feeling pain just makes them more delicious.” I don’t get it. It’s not like the news of the study says “DO NOT EAT CHICKEN!” but many people seem to immediately see anything that describes of evidence of animals feeling pain to a direct attack on their precious need to murder and swallow animals that are not human/adorable. Why? If you’re going to get that angry about an article like this, then perhaps you should check out your own food and guilt issues. In addition, I would suggest you not fuck with chickens because they are related to the T. Rex, and the T. Rex used to fuck some shit up, OK?

The next two stories come to us from Tim, who sends me links all the time, and who I presume is incredibly handsome and intelligent. In fact, he’s even got Allen jealous. Allen never sends me links. Anyway, the theme here is: PEOPLE SUCK. A LOT. Consider this: Dozens of sick and dead animals were found in the condemned home of an elderly disabled woman living in Long Island. There’s no mention of how authorities found out about what was going on (I imagine the condemned part had a lot to do with it), but the house was filthy, malodorous, and stuffed with suffering animals. Here’s my question, though: This woman is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned house. Why was no one checking on her? I get that what she did was horrible, but people don’t hoard animals for fun, it is a psychological illness. I am outraged at the fact that there are dead and suffering animals, of course, but why are the authorities choosing to charge (and possibly jail) this woman as well as make her pay for the clean-up. If she is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned home, I highly doubt that she is going to be able to come up with the cash. What are we going to do then? Force her to take a job or pay it off in jail? I just wish that we would look at this on a larger level and start thinking about prevention as opposed to punishment. What kind of group could be formed to assist people in such situations? Perhaps an animal rights organization could start a project that included home visits? I’m the first person to want repercussions, but this woman isn’t Michael Vick, and she certainly isn’t Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Brian Schweitzer, you may be thinking, who is he? Well wonder, no more. This charmer wants to go against the Endangered Species Act and shoot whole packs of wolves in order to help citizens, “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.” I apologize for being dense, but aren’t wolves wildlife? How would shooting the wildlife help Montana’s citizens enjoy the wildlife? It seems really counter-intuitive to me. You can’t really enjoy wildlife if the wildlife is actually just the corpses of said wildlife. I dislike Brian Schweitzer for many reasons, and one of them is definitely the fact that I have just used the word wildlife about a million times. Another is that he wants to kill the wolves that eat elk because they are taking the elk (which they are eating for SURVIVAL REASONS) from the hunters who would otherwise be shooting them. How does this even make sense? How is this person in any position of power? Can anyone answer these questions?

That’s it for me. I’m going back to bed and see if I can sleep this cold/flu/plague off. Send me links for next week and have a happy Wednesday!

Chicken picture from Animal Place (adopt one! or take a chicken care class, too!)


Bowdoin College bros throw tantrum over Meatless Monday  »

Some students at Bowdoin College in Maine were so offended that their school cafeteria decided to participate in Meatless Monday, they threw an impromptu barbecue. Thrilling! My first thought is: This school is in Maine; who cares what they do? My second thought is: The privileged, self-entitled yuppies of tomorrow are so predictable! According to the article, the students are likening Meatless Monday to an attack on their civil liberties. Stop the press! You mean young privileged America is short-sighted and self-absorbed? Shocking! Wait until Europe gets a hold of this!

My favorite part of the article is that while the students are complaining they are being denied access to meat, they all manage to scrounge some up for their barbecue. Clearly, these rich douchebags have never been denied anything in their life. Meatless Monday is a threat to their rights? In a country full of racism, sexism, and xenophobia, it’s insulting that these kids think Meatless Monday is something to be offended about. Open your eyes: meat is destroying the planet!

You know what I’m going to be mad about? Recycling! I can’t believe my government, in the supposed land of the free, is imposing recycling on me! Will the injustice never cease?!


Celebrate the everyday with Meat Week, the festival for people with too much time on their hands  »

Want to hear something that’s just so cool? There’s a group dedicated to creating a “Meat Week” in cities throughout the country! How clever is that?! OMG such a great idea. Wait, can we also have a White History Month and a Straight Pride Parade?! Bros, reality check: American culture has beat you to Meat Week! But we just call it, “this week,” or occasionally, “next week” and sometimes, “last week.” Get it? Every week is Meat Week here in the U.S. of A.

I read their website so you don’t have to—and oh my god do you owe me. Suffering through their writing was like having someone vomit stupidity directly into my brain. For real, don’t read it; it will make you dumber. I will break it down for you instead: Meat Week was started by a Floridian fanboy and -girl who took time off from whatever role-playing game I’ve never heard of to eat BBQ for a week. Somehow I doubt this is really anything new; I’m sure they ate plenty of BBQ before this, they just wanted to add a “festivus” element to make their redundant evening plans a little more exciting. Mission accomplished, pals!

This is like those people who were protesting smoke-free bars. In my youth, I enjoyed an indoor cigarette here and there but to actually spend your energy protesting that? With all the problems and injustice in the world, that is the what really gets you off the couch? For shame, people. Seriously, that’s pathetic. It’s as pathetic as using your resources, energy and skills to organize a “Meat Week” when everyone and his mom is already eating more meat than the world can sustain. Americans eat about twice the global average of meat a day while the meat industry continues to destroy the planet. This is an example of the “FUCK YOU WORLD” attitude that makes everyone hate the United States. For real, everyone thinks Americans are gluttonous, mindless, smug douchebags and things like a Meat Week are exactly why.

I’ve got a great idea: let’s have an Fossil-Fuel Week! We could do it right after Bike-to-Work Week. All we have to do is get millions of people to drive their cars everywhere all the time, spend a ton on industrialized heating and cooling systems, personally use as much electricity and power as possible and let’s cover the country in factory farms. OMG WAIT HOLD THE PHONE! OK, OK, well how about a petroleum slip-n-slide?! Oh, right.


Fifty horses going to slaughter if they can’t be rehomed!?  »

Brock at SFist alerts us to this SUPER DUPER sad Craigslist ad from the Free section (don’t put animals in the free section, assholes!) (oh, wait, it’s been flagged, that’s probably why!). Anyway, here’s what the ad looked like:
I’ve put a call into the number listed (440/ 463-4288) and uh, let’s see what we can do. This is ridiculous and so freaking sad. UGH. If you can think of any way to help, please do!!

UPDATE: The person’s voicemail is full and they’re not picking up but I also heard from a reliable source that all the horses were successfully re-homed?? I’ll post if I learn more and please let us know if you hear anything!



We are getting some bad press these day. First it’s “bacon turns vegetarians into uncontrollable meat-eating machines!” and now it’s "literally fucking produce." Will no one think of the children? Or the people with self-respect?

There is NOTHING RIGHT with Peta’s “2011 Super Bowl ad,” which is described as “outtakes from last year’s ad’s casting video.” Every goddamn thing about it is offensive, from the disembodied male voice directing the ladies in bikinis to the roughly 1 billion “this looks like a penis!” jokes to the one shirtless dude who has clearly not spent his entire adult-bodied life working out like a fucking fiend acting all hapless, like we needed the extra pandering.

What a joke. What a disgrace. Peta, WHAT THE FUCK. This does not make anyone want to “go veg,” it makes them either want to puke, masturbate, or masturbate and then puke from the shame of having gotten off to some softcore porn masquerading as an anti-animal-cruelty video. Your “skins” campaigns, full of photos of naked attention-hungry omnivores who show up everywhere else in leather and silk? Whatever the hell the women in lettuce bikinis are supposed to represent? The Worst. Why are you such hypocrites? As Deceiver puts it, “How is exhorting young women to get it on with gourds in any way ethical treatment? Are pretty young things not animals as well? Or are there exceptions in the vegan manifesto about how living creatures aren’t to be exploited for our entertainment?”

Honestly! Your non-sexually explicit arms do good work (well, mostly), Peta, but you’re always going to be “those nuts who throw paint on people and take a lot of naked-chick photos” if you don’t cut this out. We vegans and animal-rights activists are SO TIRED of our association with you, it’s SO EMBARRASSING—worse than a dozen birther relatives addicted to Facebook, because at least you can hide those people and deny their “add relative” requests; we can’t hide from your well earned, terrible reputation.

Again, what are “hott chix in bikinis literally fellating zucchini” doing for the animal-rights movement? “I love vegetables so much I actually fuck them” is not the same as “I abstain from all animal products”—why do bunny-eating omnivores understand that better than you, ostensibly strict vegans?

Fire your public relations team. Fire everyone involved in any of your clothes-free ad campaigns. Hire some people with talent* and the good sense not to do anything like this ever again, who won’t make you look like such gross hypocrites. Unless you really all are gross, Dov Charney/Terry Richardson-style exploitative creeps, in which case, just shut the fuck up and leave the talking to the rest of us adults.

*Hints: our Megan Rascal is an advertising genius! (And I am editorially talented and very strict!)

[link to video at HuffPo via Deceiver, which is sometimes super-irksome about veganism but does make an excellent “stop being hypocritical” point. Photo by Yum! via Fruit Porn]


The meat industry is terrifying, and it knows it!  »

According to Gene Baur’s blog,* some of the most-read articles of 2010 on are the following:

"Bomb found in employee locker at Hormel plant"
"Man dies after fall at Cargill beef plant"
"Worker killed at Wis. beef plant"
"Worker loses legs in meat grinder accident"

The violence, you guys, the violence! Obviously the meat industry is violence, but the workers are subjected to horrific conditions and are any of them even unionized? Not from what I can tell. Obviously we’re socialist lunatics over here and believe very strongly in the power of unions and The Worker, but for real, if you want safer meat, omnivores, you want the people in charge of the animals you’re eating—as in, from kill to cuts—to be physically able to follow Food Safety and Inspection Services guidelines. But of course, unionized workers have to be paid a decent wage and provided with safe working conditions, both of which items cost money, and how are you gonna get your $5 Meat Lover’s pizza if the people working the sausage grinders aren’t at risk of losing their limbs?

The most infuriating part is that the white-collar workers in the meat industry knows this; they write about these issues themselves and apparently read all about it—but they refuse to do anything about it. Lobbyists fight against safety regulations, corporations refuse to spend any money to care for their workers beyond the bare minimum; we’ve read our generation’s The Jungle and ignored its warnings. Everyone has. And now look what we’ve got: the industry knows it’s corrupt and disgusting, and it apparently doesn’t care.

*We’d link to them, but there’s a ridiculously involved registration process to access hardly anything on Meating Place, and your Vegansaurus neither wanted to invent an elaborate false identity, nor share so many personal details with “an online meat industry site,” so we’re trusting our hero Gene Baur on this.

[photo by Lachlan Hardy]


Last week, Mercy for Animals released this video documenting the horrible cruelty at a catfish slaughterhouse in Mesquite, Texas. This video is not for kids—brace yourself. I watched it once and that’s all I can handle. Mostly, they are skinning the catfish alive while they are still flopping around and gasping for air. It’s highly disturbing. Over and over, I just kept thinking, “why can’t they just kill them first?” They specifically tell the undercover worker to “clean them” while the fish are still alive. Why?

If you don’t already know: yes, fish can feel pain. Fish are also a lot smarter than people assume. Isn’t that always the way? Go to Mercy for Animal’s website to see how you can take action and/or donate to the cause.


They’re burying live pigs in South Korea  »

Seriously: 1.4 MILLION of them
. Because everyone wants their cheap meat more than they want to pay for the vaccinations to keep the animals alive long enough to slaughter and eat them. I don’t really want to write much more on this because pretty soon it’ll be impossible for me to see the computer screen through my tears but I think everyone should know. I hope everyone who order their $5 Meat Lover’s pizza tonight knows that they are responsible for this.

I don’t really pray or believe in god or anything like that but I think tonight I’ll observe a moment of silence for these pigs. Afterwards, I’ll take some time to think about how I can be a better activist for all animals. Maybe everyone can do the same and we can come up with some really excellent ways to help animals? I can’t think of anything else to do. Oh wait, Marji let’s us know we can contact the South Korean Minister of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the South Korea’s American Embassy so please do that, too.

I’m sorry, pigs.

[pigs in Bodhgaya, India by mikeemesser]


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