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12/11/2013

DiGiorno cheese comes from tortured cows  »

The latest investigation from Mercy for Animals exposes horrific cruelty at a major DiGiorno cheese supplier in Wisconsin. You can watch the video on SliceOfCruelty.com. I watched parts, it’s brutal. I’m not sure lately if I should post these videos on here or not. I want the truth about the horrific conditions in the meat, dairy and egg industries to get as much attention as possible, but then some people criticize me for posting that stuff. Because, truthfully, if you’re vegan, you don’t have to watch this stuff. BUT many of us know cheese eaters who should watch this, so I want to make sure all the vegans at least know about it. What do you think? Should I post these videos? Just share them on FB? Or do a post like this that just links to the vid?

I wish everyone who ate dairy were forced to watch this, Clockwork Orange style! Not really but kind of. But again, if you want to see or find the video to share, go to SliceOfCruelty.com. And if you want to sign the petition, go directly here.

11/26/2013

Compassion Over Killing exposes cruelty to turkeys at breeding facility  »

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com

Happy turkey day, am I right?! 

From Compassion Over Killing:

Undercover Video Reveals Cruel and Filthy Conditions Inside a Minnesota Turkey Breeding Factory Farm

Starbuck, MN — Compassion Over Killing (COK), a national animal protection organization is releasing an undercover video filmed inside Hargin, Inc., a turkey breeding factory farm in Starbuck, Minnesota where an estimated 25,000 female turkeys are locked inside filthy, overcrowded sheds.

These hens will spend their lives being artificially inseminated over and over again — a frightening and violent process — to continually lay eggs that will hatch young turkeys to be raised and slaughtered for food, including Thanksgiving dinners. Some of the eggs from this facility will be sold to Minnesota-based Willmar Poultry, the nation’s largest turkey hatchery previously exposed for inhumane treatment of newly-hatched birds.

As our video shows, hens routinely become entangled in the dilapidated and poorly-maintained mechanical nests used to collect eggs. In an effort to free themselves, these birds often endure severe, bloody injuries on their wings, feet, or necks — some will suffer so severely, they’re unable to survive.

There are no federal laws in the United States protecting turkeys (or other birds raised for food) from such cruelty, and as is standard in the industry, sick and injured birds are typically left to suffer without any veterinary care.

Turkeys are smart, social and inquisitive birds with unique personalities. They’re devoted mothers who, given the opportunity, are inseparable from their babies. At breeding factories like Hargin, however, these hens will never get a chance to even see their young.

“Consumers are increasingly discovering the sad reality that animal cruelty is standard practice in the meat industry,” said COK’s executive director Erica Meier. “That’s why this Thanksgiving, a growing number of Americans are choosing to celebrate with a vegetarian meal that everyone, including the turkeys, can be thankful for.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, turkey production is projected to drop 5 percentcompared to 2012 — and that would bring it to its lowest point in 10 years.

For more information, including investigative footage, visit: www.COK.net/hargin

03/15/2013

It’s a photo set of a capybara named CHEESECAKE who is fostering orphaned dachshund puppies. That is all. #HOLYCRAP #WTF

It’s a photo set of a capybara named CHEESECAKE who is fostering orphaned dachshund puppies. That is all. #HOLYCRAP #WTF

05/21/2012

This video of horse abuse for the sake of the Tennessee’s Walking Horse National Celebration earns the coveted Vegansaurus Graphic As Fuck warning. I guess it’s not that graphic in comparison to many videos we’ve seen. There’s no bloodshed, but the cruelty and disregard is just disturbing. And the horses just seem to be in so much pain and agony. 

I’ve never heard of this walking horse thing but damnit if it’s not the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. How do things like this develop? Widespread cruelty for the sake of something absolutely absurd. 

Ecorazzi reports that Pepsi has pulled ads from the show, most likely due to the undercover footage. I think another great idea would be to trample these men with a stampede of horses. But horses probably wouldn’t do that. Cruelty really takes a human touch, doesn’t it?

One thing you can do is send an email to your legislator, the Humane Society will help you do that.

02/16/2012

PETA’s “Boyfriend Went Vegan” ad makes me want to hurl!  »

Let’s play a game. It’s called, “What’s wrong with this PETA ad?” Except it isn’t fun and everyone goes home a loser, even though the list of its faults is practically endless.

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus!]

I live a life filled with questions, PETA. Your ad created several more. Here are some of them:

1. Who created this ad? If they knew anything about making ads, they would know that “BWVAKTBOOM” is not easy for the viewer to memorize over the course of your 30-second spot, and attaching “.com” to the end does not magically make it Google-able. Go back to ADV101.

2. Why does the woman in the ad have a neck brace? I mean, she looks sickly enough already. The whole commercial makes her look like a victim of domestic violence, and that does not seem to be the message PETA purports to spread.

3. Why is the woman in the ad NOT WEARING PANTS? I find this less “effective shock tactic” and more “what the fuck.” The message could have been conveyed with pants on. And this is coming from someone who supports fewer pants for all.

4. When will you give the vegans-are-sexy thing a rest? Everyone but EVERYONE is sick of it. There’s more to veganism than a smaller waist and increased boning. Going vegan certainly didn’t make my tits grow, know what I’m sayin’?

5. Why would anyone go vegan after watching this ad? “Why, I never knew I could HURT MY SIG-OTH like that! Brilliant! I’ll go vegan!” I know it’s SUPPOSED to be funny, but it’s just not.

6. If beating one’s poor partner’s orifices to shit is why someone goes vegan, what is going to make him or her STAY vegan?

7. Why is the girlfriend not also vegan?

So many questions. What questions do YOU have??

02/13/2012

Diving horse show returning to Atlantic City? No mother-loving way.  »

Are you kidding me? The Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey wants to bring back the diving horse show this summer—as in the “show” where a horse dives into a pool from 40 feet in the air. What the actual fuck, AC? Come on. There is nothing right about this. It’s depraved and shameful. This is the kind of news that makes me want to take a two hour shower to try to wash off the contemptibility of humanity. 

But don’t worry guys, the Steel Pier has done their research:

In the course of making the decision to include the diving horse, Steel Pier Associates conducted significant research into past practices, including speaking with people who were directly involved in the act that occurred in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Through this research, we determined there was no animal cruelty or abuse that occurred in the past.

So their method of research was to ask the very people that condoned the diving horse show in the past if they condone the diving horse show? Wow, make way for science! Obviously they definitely shouldn’t consult the Humane Society, who is strongly opposed to the show.

People, we can’t let this happen. Let’s call these mofos! The press release says “for more information contact Sharon Franz, Sales and Marketing Director for Steel Pier at 609-345-4893” so let’s call her! And one of the Steel Pier owners, Tony Catanoso, has been super outspoken about how great this will be. Let’s call Tony Catanoso! I found this on the Facebook group opposed to the diving horse show:

Anthony Catanoso
Atlantic Amusements Pier
705 Route 9 
Erma , NJ 08204 
Pier (609) 345-4893 
Phone: (609) 898-7640 
Fax: (609) 898-7646 
ATCatanoso@hotmail.com

Write him! Call him! Tell him this is not OK!

You can also sign the petition here. According to Ecorazzi, lots of celebrities are coming out against this ridiculous idea. The more the mother-loving merrier. 

01/20/2012

Foie gras is cruel, even if you think it tastes good.   »


Scary video, very well made. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, just check out the stats in the beginning. This is not a rare occurrence, this is where the majority of foie gras comes from in the U.S.

A reader alerted us to this post on Etsy gushing over foie gras and complaining about any measures to stop it. It’s just a sickening, confused bit of writing that attempts to justify and rationalize cruelty by identifying that there are other cruelties in the world. I know my response is long but there are so many terrible points to contend. Plus foie gras is just so disturbing, when people make light of it, we should give it the attention it deserves. Let’s jump in, shall we?

It may not be a taste for every palate, but I’m a staunch fan of this controversial delicacy, particularly when it arrives as a generously sliced, perfectly pan-seared portion, topped with nothing more than a dusting of fleur de sel. Needless to say, I’m more than a little flustered at California’s pending law forbidding the production and sale of foie gras, which takes effect this July.

She lands on the pro side of the foie gras controversy because it tastes good? Is that how we make decisions? Is that what we base our values on? I have to assume people just don’t realize how very vapid the “it tastes good” argument is. We’re talking about cruelty, morals, and values and they come back with their sensory response? It’s absurdly superficial and amoral.

The proponents of the law argue that foie gras needs to be banned because the “gavage,” or force-feeding of geese and ducks as a method of production, is “inhumane.” While I do not doubt the existence of farms that provide less than ideal conditions for their ducks and geese, I’m puzzled as to why this food item, with more than 45 centuries of history and tradition, is being singled out when other more “inhumane” food choices exist.

She’s acting like we’re discussing genocide or something. Singling out foie gras? It’s not the funny-looking kid that always gets picked on at recess, it’s an abhorrent practice that results in a ridiculously unnecessary food product.

Let’s consider the ubiquitous hamburger, that quarter-pound of ground beef made from factory-farmed cows. We are, by now, familiar with the contamination risks inherent in the production of factory-farmed meat. Yet there’s a conspicuous absence of voices to ban this product.

What does contamination risk have to do with inhumane practices? I know the inhumane conditions can lead to tainted meat, but I thought we were talking about actual suffering, not sanitation. Additionally, I’m here! Let’s ban it!

Considering its affordability (when compared with pasture-raised, grass-fed beef) and availability in grocery stores across the country, one would think that subjecting the American population to the constant threat of bacterial contamination is more inhumane than seeking to ban the production of a luxury food item like foie gras. And we haven’t even started to discuss the cramped living conditions of the poor cows destined to live in their own manure for the length of their sad, sorry lives.

Exposing people to bacteria is inhumane? Let’s get a definition: “Without compassion for misery or suffering; cruel.” Come on, get some perspective. But again, let’s not subsidize factory farms, I’m down with that! And how about we DON’T torture cows! It’s just such an odd viewpoint. She states how hamburgers come from disease and cruelty so the conclusion she draws is that we should continue to eat foie gras? I never get that rationale. She’s using shitty conditions for one kind of animal to justify continuing shitty treatment of another? Just because there’s a variety of bad stuff, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop doing something bad.

Don’t eat meat? Well then, let’s take a look at where our fish comes from. Half of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is farmed, and that practice (aquaculture) is growing quickly to keep up with demand, with attendant consequences on the ocean’s health. Aquaculture has been found to rapidly deplete populations of wild fish in order to produce a pound of tuna or salmon and pollute ocean waters with fish waste, which has long-term environmental consequences for the world we live in. And yet there isn’t a peep to be heard about banning farmed salmon or tuna — or banning the practice of aquaculture altogether.

DUDE. First of all, what are you talking about? There is many a peep about this. This cool site “google” can help you learn more about it. Also, ask us! But really, that statement “Don’t eat meat? What about fish” is so bizarre too me. If a fish isn’t meat, what the fuck is it? It’s not a vegetable. It’s made out of dead animal. It’s not meat?

While it’s certainly important to pay attention to the welfare of animals that we depend on for food, there’s also a point where we need to recognize that an animal’s physiology renders it capable of certain physical conditions that would appear “inhumane” to the human experience.

OH MY GOD WATCH THE VIDEOS! Denying it’s inhumane is just blatant denial of reality.

Let me qualify that the notion of force-feeding an animal for food doesn’t sit comfortably with my foodie conscience. However, I’m also aware that part of that discomfort is a result of anthropomorphizing animals reared for consumption. The European Union’s Scientific Committee report about the welfare of ducks and geese involved in foie gras production found a lack of conclusive evidence on the aversive nature of force-feeding and its injurious effects. Wild waterfowl have also been found to produce foie gras after a feeding spree before the winter months. In fact, Eduardo Sousa produces “natural foie gras using this method.

Is this article called “For the Love of Eduardo Sousa Foie Gras?” It’s not, is it. To be clear, I’ve heard of this dude and his story and I definitely prefer it to regular foie gras. Also to be clear, I still think it sucks anyway. Putting that aside, this post has nothing to do with this alternative foie gras. It’s about all foie gras, including the 99.99 percent of foie gras that Eduardo Sousa doesn’t produce.

Additionally, you guys read the study and tell me if you come to the same conclusion as she did. Here’s an excerpt from the study:

Birds, including ducks and geese, have a wide range of pain receptors and an elaborate pain recognition system. Most injuries caused by tissue damage during handling or tube insertion would result in pain. The oropharyngeal area is particularly sensitive and is physiologically adapted to perform a gag reflex in order to prevent fluids entering the trachea. Force feeding will have to overcome this reflex and hence the birds may initially find this distressing and injury may result. The beak of a duck is richly innervated and the insertion of a ring through the beak would cause pain during the operation and might cause neuroma formation, and hence prolonged pain, thereafter. Similarly, most injuries to the feet caused by inadequate flooring would be painful.

That doesn’t sound inconclusive. It actually sounds very painful. If you don’t feel like reading the whole study, just search for “pain” and tell me force-feeding doesn’t cause pain or injury. Back to the post:

What’s far more inhumane, in my view, is allowing easy access to food that’s produced and consumed in ways that have proven track records of destroying the environment and our health. Where are the bans on soda, high-fructose corn syrup, and factory-farmed animals? Why is it, despite everything we know today, that these food items still tend to be the cheapest, most affordable and accessible food items for those with limited budgets?

Whaaaat is she talking about? All kinds of people oppose soda, high-fructose corn syrup, and factory-farmed animals. And I thought we were talking about being inhumane to geese and now suddenly we’re talking about being inhumane to people again? And making shitty food affordable is a whole different kind of cruelty than shoving a metal pipe down an animal’s throat. Let’s be real.

The optimists out there may say that I’m over-reacting, and I certainly hope I am. Viewed from an alternate perspective, one could consider this ban as a significant step in the fight against Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The idealist in me hopes that this is the case, because when you start to discuss livestock production in “humane/inhumane” terms, no real progress can be made until you talk about the elephant in the room: factory-farmed meat. Banning an expensive specialty food item isn’t going to advance animal welfare, so long as the majority of the population continues to consume (whether by choice or necessity) products that are bad for their health and the environment.

Again, just because factory farming is awful, that in no way means we shouldn’t ban another cruel practice. And of course Vegansaurus readers know that we speak out against factory farming all the time, and we’re certainly not the only ones. So one more time with feeling: join us in reality! Foie gras is a cruel “delicacy” that needs to go.

11/02/2011

Dear TastyBite: WTF?!
These precooked sacks of Indian food are near and dear to my heart—I think they taste awesome, and they’re über-convenient. I even bring them backpacking, which is slightly absurd because they’re not dehydrated or lightweight or anything, just delicious.
All Tasty Bites are vegetarian. Not all of them are vegan. But generally, the company labels them accurately and I’ve rarely had a problem. BUT THIS IS ABSURD!!
Reader Julia in D.C. passed along the above incriminating photo of SERIOUSLY BAD EDITING, which is something I cannot abide. The Tofu Corn Masala package is labeled VEGAN but includes CREAM. 
FAIL!
Here’s what Julia says:

"I don’t know whether it was an honest mistake or if it’s just false advertising, but it’s unacceptable…. I wrote Tasty Bite a polite but firm letter asking them to change the packaging, but I thought it would also be good to warn other vegans about this issue."

To write your own polite-but-firm letter, use their customer feedback form. And beware!!

Dear TastyBite: WTF?!

These precooked sacks of Indian food are near and dear to my heart—I think they taste awesome, and they’re über-convenient. I even bring them backpacking, which is slightly absurd because they’re not dehydrated or lightweight or anything, just delicious.

All Tasty Bites are vegetarian. Not all of them are vegan. But generally, the company labels them accurately and I’ve rarely had a problem. BUT THIS IS ABSURD!!

Reader Julia in D.C. passed along the above incriminating photo of SERIOUSLY BAD EDITING, which is something I cannot abide. The Tofu Corn Masala package is labeled VEGAN but includes CREAM. 

FAIL!

Here’s what Julia says:

"I don’t know whether it was an honest mistake or if it’s just false advertising, but it’s unacceptable…. I wrote Tasty Bite a polite but firm letter asking them to change the packaging, but I thought it would also be good to warn other vegans about this issue."

To write your own polite-but-firm letter, use their customer feedback form. And beware!!

10/24/2011

Penguins in sweaters!  »


Sad news: There’s been an oil spill on New Zealands coastpouring 350 tons of oil into the ocean. WTF! This is crazy! There’s more oil in the ocean than salt right about now. And it’s taking its effect on the environment and animals in said environment. And now? The penguins need sweaters, so they don’t preen their feathers and ingest the oil. Sheesh. That’s sad. But look at that penguin! So cute!

That’s the sad news, here’s the bad news: While they no longer need any more sweaters, in the instructions for making them, they said the sweaters could only be made of wool* for some reason? I guess we could have used reclaimed wool? I don’t know. Maybe we should start our own cotton sweater drive? I’m a great driver!

I’m just reading though that this is not the first penguin sweater craze—makes sense, as it’s not the first oil spill. Penguin sweaters over the years:

Australia, 2005.


South Africa, 2000. He’s all, “you guys look like CLOWNS.”


Tasmania, 2000. 

It’s sad circumstances and it’s horrible that animals suffer so much because of our greed and neglect—but damn it, those penguins do look sharp in sweaters!

*A bit about wool and cruelty. It does appear mulesing is being phased out in New Zealand, so that’s good. But while mulesing is the cruelest practice in wool production, I don’t think things are that sunny for the sheep at non-mulesing wool operations. There’s still being castrated without meds, packed into a warehouse, violently shaved in a speedy fashion (time is money), and all that other good stuff. So don’t wear wool, even if you’re a cute penguin. OMG are you thinking what I’m thinking? Say it with me: PENGUIN WETSUITS! THEY EXIST:

08/25/2011

Police academy hangs dog from flagpole, Mexico gets PISSED  »

These pictures surfaced on Twitter last night along with a gagillion tweets with the hashtag #cachorroneza (Neza puppy) denouncing the abuse of the poor pup. Who would do that to a puppy? Mexico is pissed! The location of the flagpole has been identified as Colegio de la Agencia de Seguridad Estatal in the city of Neza, Mexico. What I can gather from google translate (my Spanish is rusty!), that’s a private* police academy.

Some news sources have covered the story but there’s been no explanation from the school about WTF happened. They are however now aware of the power of social media to get the word out! It’s a great tool for civil unrest, is it not?

As terrible as this action is, the reaction from the public makes me feel hopeful that there are good people in the world who don’t think you can just do whatever you want to an animal. Go Mexico! Go Twitter!

I hope you are safe now, cachorro Neza, but I worry you are not. I will wish for the best though! You deserve a nice family and a warm bed.

*Update: Readers have told me it’s public and run by the government. Awful!

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