vegansaurus!

10/23/2012

Green Mountain College to make oxen burgers out of campus animal pals  »

This is what happens when “working animals” retire: they get slaughtered. Lou and Bill have worked the fields of Green Mountain College’s “sustainable” farm for ten years. Now, at eleven, the college wants to get rid of Lou and Bill. Apparently, at Green Mountain College, that means slaughtering them and eating them in hamburger form. 

Needless to say, many are not happy. But, on the other hand, the college people in charge of this sort of thing make a good point: if these students opposed to killing Lou and Bill eat meat, then why the hell shouldn’t they eat these guys too? And once again, we are back to cognitive dissonance. This is well-worn territory when we discuss omnivore “animal lovers.” In fact, it’s threadbare. Therefore I’m not going to go into it but I will go into how much I resent the way “working animals” are disposed of. 

Look at this video:

That doesn’t look super fun. They’ve done this for ten years. And after they’ve served the school for a decade, the thanks they get is to be made into a month’s worth of artery-clogging lunch. It’s just like dairy cows and racehorses and all the “working animals,” they serve these people and make them money and then they are thrown out like trash. I’m sorry, I can’t even say “working animals” without quotation marks because the idea is so ridiculous. It implies they a. volunteered for this “job” and b. were fairly compensated. Sorry bros: “working animals” don’t have resumes and they don’t get 401Ks. They get worked to the brink of death and then slaughtered for hamburger meat. 

01/31/2011

Allyn Lee, author of A New Job for Pearl, sent me a copy of the book! You remember how great I said it was? It’s still great! And there are still 100 copies to sell before they can sponsor a rescue dog at the  National Disaster Search Dog Foundation!
Hang on, Meave, you may be saying, what is the author doing sending you a book for free, when giving copies away doesn’t get them any closer to their sponsorship goal? The answer is that the copy I got is actually a reprint by the ASPCA, independent of Ms. Lee and the kids’ fundraising! All sending it to me did was remind me that this is a great cause to which we all might want to contribute.
Your Vegansaurus: always ready with another charitable way for you to spend your disposable income!

Allyn Lee, author of A New Job for Pearl, sent me a copy of the book! You remember how great I said it was? It’s still great! And there are still 100 copies to sell before they can sponsor a rescue dog at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation!

Hang on, Meave, you may be saying, what is the author doing sending you a book for free, when giving copies away doesn’t get them any closer to their sponsorship goal? The answer is that the copy I got is actually a reprint by the ASPCA, independent of Ms. Lee and the kids’ fundraising! All sending it to me did was remind me that this is a great cause to which we all might want to contribute.

Your Vegansaurus: always ready with another charitable way for you to spend your disposable income!

01/07/2011

Book review: A New Job for Pearl!  »


You remember Pearl
, the ASPCA Dog of the Year 2010; Mike from Occupied Las Vegas told us about her, and her biography that was written by Allyn Lee and illustrated by the students of Connie Forslind’s 2010 second-grade class. Over the holiday, Mike sent me his copy of this book, A New Job for Pearl, to share with all of Vegansaurus!

It’s really simply put together; each page is a different picture drawn by a different kid, generally illustrating the few sentences on it, no fancy margin-work or fonts or anything—the focus is clearly the pictures. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any sample pages online, so I had to photograph a couple for you.

Someone studied the canine form before she drew her shelter dogs!


Pearl’s at work, and deliriously happy.

All the profits from its sale will go toward the $10,000 required to sponsor “the training of a search dog” at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF). Author Allyn Lee explains that “the standard SDF way involves the sponsor ‘adopting’ a paired handler-dog team. This way it is a sure thing, because the standards these dogs have to meet are remarkable, and SDF wants the sponsor to know that the team has been tested and will put the extensive (and expensive!) training to work.” It’s not guaranteed that the dog they sponsor will be a rescue dog like Pearl, and although SDF offered to direct A New Job for Pearl's money to pay for Pearl's continued training, Lee says she really wanted to help out a newer dog to the program. She says that “SDF will match us with a dog in Northern California so we can meet with the dog initially and continue to stay in contact over time…when we are ready to sponsor.”

What does “ready to sponsor” mean? It means, when they finally have the $10,000 to cover the cost of the program, which they’ll earn by selling all 1,000 copies of the first edition of A New Job for Pearl. It’s only $12.50 with shipping, and Lee says that they still have 120 books left unsold! You guys, they’re so close to their goal. This is where your Vegansaurus says, If you care about rescue dogs, or Search and Rescue dogs, you really should buy this book. Make everyone you know with kids buy this book too, to help enforce the idea that Rescued Dogs Are the Most Deserving Dogs. Aside from which, the illustrations are SO SWEET AND CUTE, and Pearl’s story is such a lovely, happy one. Buy the book! And know your money will go to helping another dog become a hero.

[Thanks to Mike for lending us his book and for being so vigilant on behalf of the dogs of Lied Animal Shelter!]

08/16/2010

Megan Rascal here, on the advertising beat again. I don’t know if you watch as much telly as I do (TV is my BFF), but a commercial circulating lately has caused some controversy. I know, big deal, but it’s the response to the controversy that is the real story. And by real story, I mean who cares but I’m going to write about it anyway.

A recent Chrysler commercial featured a monkey in an Evel Knievel costume, setting off an explosion of confetti. AS SOON AS I saw this commercial, I was like, “Oh great, a monkey “actor.”” Man, monkeys in clothes cause such internal conflict for me! I mean, holy crap, monkeys in clothes = the cuteness; but you KNOW it’s wrong wrong wrong. I end up feeling horrible for the monkey and feeling horrible because I think it’s cute. But when it comes down to it, abuse endured by “working” animals kind of trumps any and all giggles. Sorry, bros.

As you can imagine, PETA was not happy about this commercial either. WTF? CENSORSHIP IN ADVERTISING? This aggression will not stand! First they take your monkeys, next thing you know, they pull all the Marlboro ads from Nickelodeon. This is bullshit! (Don’t worry guys, I’m just kidding! As long as we can objectify women, I say let freedom ring.)

Eventually, after pressure from PETA, Chrysler removed the monkey from the commercial—by simply erasing it. The new ad features an “invisible monkey.” OMG those clever bastards. The Consumerist is calling this a “giant finger to PETA pantywringers.” As always, the Consumerist is basically a bunch of genius poets [Ed.: and their commenters!]; however, I would call this less of a finger to PETA and more of an interesting way of solving the problem. Sure, Chrysler comes off as a petulant teenager, but really they are a soldier in the fight against censorship! Talk hard, Chrysler! Fight for your right to party! They are going to keep their monkey even if you can’t see it! No but really, I think it’s kind of funny. They may not be apologetic about using a monkey to begin with but with the new edit, they send the message that monkeys don’t belong in commercials—whether they are happy about that message or not.

One thing I really enjoy about this whole situation is that the second version of the commercial is clearly the better of the two. Come on, a monkey in clothes? Cheap laughs 101. But an invisible monkey inspired by pertinacity? That’s comedy, folks! For real, when you take away tired gimmicks, creativity can flourish. Besides the disregard for animal welfare, the sad part of this story is that they didn’t rely on creativity in the first place.

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