Animal News You Can Use: Progress for pigs and quacktastic news for ducks! »
Yesterday, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban pig gestation crates, sending it to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. Moments afterward, Danny “Don’t Veto” DeVito issued a letter to the governor, telling him that signing the bill is a sure way to get him into the pearly gates.
This week also marked a major advance in the fight for farm animals. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed California’s landmark law banning the sale of foie gras to stand, setting a further precedent that states can block the sale of products based solely on animal cruelty concerns, even if those foods were produced in other states.
While New Jersey and California may be moving in the right direction, some pork producers still defend locking pigs in tiny cages. My rebuttal to one of them is published in the MinnPost this week.
And the fact that some pork producers are still defending the indefensible left my coworker Josh Balk asking in a new opinion piece, is bacon the new veal?
P.S. Video of the week: Pit bull meets baby chicks.
P.P.S. Are you on Twitter? Did you know that for free you can “donate” your account to help occasionally get the word out about important farm animal protection efforts? I’d be grateful if you would—here’s the link!
Veal calves: horrifically abused by-product of the milk industry »
Mercy for Animals has released another undercover video, this time from a veal facility in Canada. These little babies are not just confined, they are sick and injured, and get no medical attention. Why would they? They are just “food,” right? And then on top of that, the workers in the factory pretty much torture them. I couldn’t watch the whole video, it’s too sad, but the parts I watched are disturbing.
I hear plenty of meat eaters proudly declare they don’t eat veal. Most people know it’s often a cruel industry. But do people know that veal is a by-product of dairy production? It’s very simple: Cows need to have babies in order to produce milk. Many of the babies born are male. These male calves are useless to the dairy industry. So they are shipped to veal farms.
Even “humane” dairy farms do this. That’s what I always tell people when they say such and such dairy farm is so nice to the cows: ask where the boy calves are. I dare you.
When I was a vegetarian, I had no idea that the cheese I consumed drove the veal industry. When I found out though, that’s when I became vegan. Of course I learned all the other reasons to be vegan eventually, but the link between dairy and veal is what made me vegan pretty much over night. I just thought to myself, if veal is a by-product of the dairy industry, dairy isn’t very vegetarian at all! Basically, being vegetarian isn’t very vegetarian.
You can learn more about this investigation and send an email from the Mercy For Animals page.
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: calves, Gore, crabs and more! »
Want to end your week with some good news? We banned veal crates in Kentucky!
More good news? Major supermarket chain Supervalu announced another step toward eliminating gestation crates from its pork supply chain this week. Could the writing on the wall for this archaic practice be clearer?
Concerned about the California drought? James McWilliams has some advice in The NY Times: try eating less meat. And Mother Jones magazine created this infographic showing how much water it takes to create different types of dairy (and dairy alternative) products. Here’s a teaser: 9 gallons for a glass of soy milk and 90 gallons for one Greek yogurt.
If you’re concerned about the drought, you might also be concerned about climate change. On that topic, in a new interview, former vice president Al Gore commented, “Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet….In a visceral way, I felt better, so I’ve continued with it and I’m likely to continue it for the rest of my life.”
Perhaps that’ll inspire others to think about their diets as well, which could be good news for crabs and lobsters. The Washington Post reports this week on research indicating that these animals, who we routinely boil alive, do in fact feel pain.
Speaking of causing animals pain, The NY Times editorial board came out in favor of California’s egg laying hen welfare law, which is under assault from numerous states suing to invalidate it. The paper unequivocally asserts that “the court should dismiss the case.”
Lastly, I was honored to be a guest on Our Hen House this week, a fun podcast worth checking out.
Have a great weekend!
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro
P.S. Video of the week: I have a feeling this isn’t going to work out so well for the squirrel…
Vegan wining, spiritual dining, the names of milk, the miracle of elephants and MORE in today’s link-o-rama! »
Sweet Avenue presents: Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson cupcakes? Marilyn Manson I can live without, but I will take all the Gaga ones RIGHT NOW, PLEASE.
Have you entered our contest yet? You could WIN A SHIRT! Come on, son!
Vegan-style events for you!
Remember, the Women Entrepreneurs Showcase happens on Sunday in Berkeley, with a vegan catered lunch for only $4! Be at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.—lunch begins at noon.
The Recess Ends DVD release party is set for next Friday, May 7 at Medicine Agency, 1262 Mason St. at Jackson Street in San Francisco. The Recess Ends is a documentary about national unemployment—it sounds interesting, definitely worth a look. The screening starts at 8 p.m.
Miscellaneous items of varying importance!
Pajamactivism for the day: oppose the oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (via Defenders of Wildlife); ask Ahold to boycott Canadian seafood (via HSUS);’ Californians, contact members of the state Senate Appropriations Committee to express your opposition to SB 1345, which would legalize the importation and sale of kangaroo meat (via BAARN). “Pajamactivism”—y/n?
Aw you guys! CNN has the sweetest article about last weekend’s Worldwide Vegan Bakesale, with lots of photos of food you want to eat and people—and animals—you want to hug. San Francisco’s will happen next weekend, because of schedules, and whatever, you’ll get your desserts.
Baby activists: you could get scholarships for your awesome veg lifestyle! The Wall Street Journal finds it all a little silly—these children and their microloans, haven’t they money of their own?—but we say, go for it!
We’ve got all kinds of non-dairy milks made of all kinds of items, but we don’t have chickpea milk—yet. Israel does, though, and yes please we would like to try it.
The dairy industry, torturers of cows for profit (and fun?), would like the entire world to stop calling all non-animal milk “milk” and start calling it “imitation milk,” toute de suite. According to the National Milk Producers Federation, “soy milk” is a “bastardization of dairy terms.” Alternatively: "soy jism." Yes, someone outside of a creepy Western romance novel full of rape and cattle-roping still uses that word.
Attention pescatarians: you may now ease your consciences by purchasing your fish at Target and Wal-Mart, two of the top five purveyors of sustainable seafood as rated by Greenpeace. We are thrilled for you.
An Antioch, Calif. animal shelter killed two pit bulls this week, in apparent violation of the Hayden Act and despite the hard work of animal advocates. Life is so awesome, you guys.
"Foodies" are vegans, by which I mean, "white, affluent cultural snobs" and “elitists” who “romanticize poverty” and are basically terrible jerks who love eating. Get it?
On that note: need vegan wine recommendations? The Chronicle has an article about making and pairing wine in a “meat two ways!” world.
Let’s celebrate May Day with veal for a nickel! This doesn’t make me want to punch anyone in the stomach AT ALL. I’m also not at all irritated by the “Chicken wars” title of Michael Bauer’s little blog about all the delicious fried chicken choices in Southeast Kansas. “Chicken wars—whose tortured, murdered chicken has been prepared most tastily?” Man, fuck you guys.
OK, deep, cleansing breath: perhaps a visit to one of our fine city’s many cult-ish religion-run veg restaurants would help. Jackson West seemed to have a lovely time at all of them (I have been craving Golden Era for weeks, incidentally).
You can’t get Pizza Hut on military bases anymore, but you can get it in some prisons. Thanks, Aramark!
The down in your lovely soft comforter was most likely plucked from a living goose, which “constitutes torture.” Because you can only pluck a dead goose once, but you can pluck a living goose up to four times before you have to kill it! HA HA HA.
Letterman and his audience may find the idea of chicken activism high-larious, but after Ira Glass visited a rescued chicken farm, he went vegetarian. Fuck yeah Karen Davis!
The internet’s been all up in a bunch about discovering that chimpanzees grasp the concepts of “dying” and “death,” but I feel like Jane Goodall sort of already knew this 40 years ago? Regardless: if this leads to NEVER EXPERIMENTING ON THEM AGAIN, I’ll be happy; otherwise, science can shut the fuck up with its amazing animal discoveries and no heart.
You know what other animals are amazing? Elephants, duh! This week, an elephant in the Houston zoo made friends with a pit bull, which is apparently the only way a pit bull can be adopted in Houston, Texas. An elephant and dog in Tennessee are best friends, too, though that’s on an elephant sanctuary rather than a gross-out zoo. We also learned this week that elephants have a specific word meaning “let’s get out of here, there are bees around,” leading me to believe elephant language is rather like German.
Animals in space, bunches of books, 1 million events, ovine poetry, the Panda Channel, AND MORE in this weekend’s link-o-rama! »
If you missed Mine when it played earlier this year, you can catch it tonight, Saturday Feb. at 7 at Hollywoof, with your dog(s)! What? OK, it’s this crazy fundraiser by Dogopolis, and actually there will be a double-feature with Sniff. If your dog is unhappy all cooped up because of the bad weather, this is how to make it up to him/her. It’s at Dogpile Dogs, 1338 Illinois St., and the doors open at 4:30 p.m.
The BAARN Activist Showcase is tonight, at the SF SPCA (243 Alabama St.) from 6 to 9. Admission is free; there will be snacks. Don’t show up too drunk after the GDR happy hour, OK? That is seriously unprofessional.
Hey South-Central Bay! The super-cool kids of the San Lorenzo Valley High School Animal Right Club are having a bakesale for Haiti on Thursday, Feb. 11 at noon on the Senior Lawn! I am being 0 percent sarcastic when I say super-cool kids, I wish we’d had an Animal Rights Club at my high schools. Good luck, SLVARC, you guys are The Best!
Everyone’s favorite CELEBRITY VEGAN CHEF Tal Ronnen will teach a course on plant-based cooking at the California Culinary Academy on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. You can attend! RSVP by Monday (Feb. 8) to Kristin Treat. If you can’t make it, he’ll be at the Whole Foods (ugh) at 1765 California St. on Thursday, Feb. 11 from noon to 2 p.m., giving a demonstration featuring Gardein.
Vegansaurus’ beloved Rocket Dog Rescue is holding a fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Elixir (3200 16th St. at Guerrero Street) from 9 p.m. to last call to benefit a puppy with Parvo and a puppy with a cleft palate. Per usual, there will be a raffle with terrific prizes, plus vegan cupcakes, and local cewebrity bartenders! Be there or be a big selfish jerk!!!
Check out Soul Food For Thought/The Real Roots of Liberation on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Herbst Theater (401 Van Ness Ave. at McAllister Street). It’s sponsored by the SF Vegetarian Society, In Defense of Animals, and Go Vegan Radio, and is a celebration of Black History Month and a benefit for the International Fund for Africa. Get your tickets now; get more information from Bob Linden of Go Vegan Radio.
And now, your weekend reading
The 2010 Big Eat SF by 7x7 magazines names eight items that are verifiably vegan, in a list of 100. I believe this is better than last year’s list, even though at least two of these items are cocktails.
The President wants to decrease farm subsidies! And increase funding to school lunch programs, using the money the government wouldn’t be subsidizing devil-companies like Monsanto and DuPont! I am dreaming, aren’t I?
The greatest nation in the history of nations, Iran, put a bunch of live animals in a rocket and shot it into space on Wednesday, because Scientific Progress. The animals include one rat, two turtles, and an undisclosed number of worms. There is no word on what will happen to the animals, but Iran is totally talking to GOD, so that’s all right.
The Manolo tells Kanye and his incoherent “defense” of wearing fur to shut it.
Boldtype makes a (non-comprehensive) list of fictional works with animal points of view.
One of Vegansaurus’ founding editors returned to her hippie college for hippies this week! We’re so proud of her! We also hope she gets lots of use out of PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook, which apparently makes copious use of the microwave. One of my worst cooking-related college memories involves tacos and a grease fire; one of my best involves a vegan pineapple upside-down cake. Tell us your college cooking stories, please! If you are not yet in college, Vegansaurus does not advocate your reading so many swears. KIDDING! Swears are the best.
This is not news but we never mentioned it so: Thailand has a Panda Channel, and you can watch it online on Lin Ping’s homepage. You’ll probably need a fix since China repossessed Butterstick on Thursday.
Blue whales have changed their songs. Apparently they’re singing lower, which makes the reporter anthropomorphize them into Barry White-style manly men who are more potent and way more into boning than they used to be. Nice one, LA Times.
Valerie Laws is a poet who has spray-painted the words of a sheep-related poem onto the backs of actual sheep. Then the sheep wander around and inadvertently create new poems. Because sheep don’t have to put up with enough stupid shit from humans.
SFGate launched a Bay Area food carts feature this week, using Google Maps and Twitter. Social media! Obnoxious nouns! Honestly though this seems fairly useful, at least for those of you who don’t already know how to track your favorite food carts online. FYI: we love Bike Basket Pies and Banh Mai.
The Humane Society is currently taking entries for its annual Spay Day contest. Enter your pet and get everyone you’ve ever connected with to vote for it. Each vote costs $1 and all proceeds go to charities chosen by the human companions of the pets you vote for.
Jonathan Kauffman of SFoodie says that unpaid food writers can be excellent critics, too, as long as they hold themselves to the same ethical standards as big-time food writers. Thanks, JKauff; we do try over here.
The European Union is looking to list bluefin tuna on the endangered species Appendix 1, which includes “pandas and some whales;” this would “effectively ban international trade in the fish,” because there are so few of them. Nice job, sushi-lovers. Though should we say, nice job fish-eaters the world over: there is no such thing as sustainable fish at all! Yeah, a total lie.
Aw, has anyone seen Orion Levine’s missing ant, Ant?
Paul Shapiro of HSUS appeared on CNN discussing the atrocities taking place at a Maine veal plant. Love to see this kind of stuff in the mainstream media!