Archive: August 2009

Kinship Circle Update: Standby Volunteers For Animal Acres Now

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Update, 9/2/09: Please see the newest update here.

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This is an update to yesterday’s alert.

For minute-by-minute CA animal rescue news, follow these accounts on Twitter: SPCALA, SPCALAPresident, VeganAvenger, and VeganInLA – and check out the hasgtags #station, #LA and #DART.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 8:17 PM
Subject: UPDATE – Standby Volunteers For Animal Acres Now

KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK
8/31/09: UPDATE – Standby Volunteers Needed Now
Animal Acres Preps For 2nd Evacuation As Fire Nears

Kinship Circle - 2009-08-31 - Standby Volunteers Needed Now 01

Sanctuary critters at Animal Acres: http://www.animalacres.org/gallery.html

TO BE AN ANIMALS ACRES STANDBY VOLUNTEER:

KINSHIP CIRCLE is recruiting/managing standby volunteers for Animal Acres
SEND INFO BELOW TO: info [at] kinshipcircle.org

- FIRST & LAST NAME:
- PHONE NUMBERS:
- EMAIL ADDRESS:
- FULL ADDRESS:
SUBJECT LINE: Animal Acres Volunteer

50/50 CHANCE ANIMAL ACRES NEEDS TO RE-EVACUATE ANIMALS

8/31/09 — AUTHORIZED BY FRANK ALLEN, ANIMAL ACRES
Susie V Kaufman, Animal Acres Evacuation Coordinator, susie [at] jarrettlennon.com

Evacuation Site #2 is now potentially in the path of the Station Fire, which is heading due north towards Palmdale (where all the animals, except sheep and goats, are). The sheep and goats are still at Animal Acres.

As of 2:07PM, Monday, 31 August 2009, Frank Allen has asked everyone to be on alert for a second evacuation. He has also asked that NO ONE CALL HIM. Instead, he wants everyone to be on strong standby, and await a phone call and/or email to deploy.

ADDRESS FOR EVACUATION SITE #2 IS:
10955 Hillview Lane
Littlerock, California 93543

DIRECTIONS TO EVACUATION SITE #2 FROM LOS ANGELES AREA:
- 5 or 405 or 210 to…
- Highway 14 toward Palmdale
- Exit 30 (Pearblossom Hwy) – 0.7 miles
- Merge onto Sierra Hwy – 0.8 miles
- Continue on Pearblossom Hwy – 4.5 miles
- Slight right at 138/Pearblossom Hwy – 5.8 miles
- Turn right at 106th St E – 2.1 miles
- Turn left at Butterfield Stage Rd – 0.2 miles
- Slight left at Hillview Lane – 0.2 miles
- Turn left – evacuation site on right – 213 feet

All exits on the 14 have been closed since yesterday. HOWEVER, Animal Acres evacuation helpers now have official permission to cross the blockade. When you reach the exit, approach one of the CHP blockade officers, identify yourself, and explain that you’re there to help with the re-evacuation.

TO BE AN ANIMALS ACRES STANDBY VOLUNTEER:
Email info [at] kinshipcircle.org
- FIRST & LAST NAME:
- PHONE NUMBERS:
- EMAIL ADDRESS:
- FULL ADDRESS:
SUBJECT LINE: Animal Acres Volunteer

(More below the fold…)

Monday Miscellany

Monday, August 31st, 2009

2009-08-13 - Kaylee - 0002

She may look sweet and innocent here, but as I type this, Kaylee is dancing around my feet, woofing up a storm, for no discernible reason other than that she’s a pushy old broad. Did I mention that it’s getting late and my head hurts?

It’s been crazy ’round these parts the past few weeks, and as light as posting has been, my blogging will probably wane even more with the high summer temps. Shane and I have a number of outdoor projects we’d like to finish before winter (winter, ack! no want!), and even though we’ve finally admitted defeat and called in the pros to knock out some tasks,

2009-08-27 - Tree Removal - 0001

I so hate that I paid someone to cut down trees. Hey, don’t look at me like that. It was euthanasia, not biocide.

there’s still plenty to do.

2009-08-30 - Yard, Rock Wall & Paths - 0010

I wonder what the previous homeowners would say if they knew we removed 50% of the landscaping they constructed?

If I never have to build a rock wall again, I’ll die a happy vegan.

(More below the fold…)

Animal Evacuation Volunteers Needed in California

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Update, 9/2/09: Please see the newest update here.

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Update, 8/31/09: Please see Kinship Circle’s most recent update here.

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I know it’s late, so I’ll make this quick: several animal rescue organizations, specifically Animal Acres (as described below by Kinship Circle) and possibly Gentle Barn (below KC’s alert) and others, need help evacuating from the California wildfires. If you’re in or near the area and able to help, keep reading. Otherwise, please spread the word to those who can provide assistance. Please and thank you.

Also, you can keep up to date on what’s happening on Twitter; try the hashtags #fire, #wildfires, #la, #evacuation and the like. At the time of this writing, none are trending topics, though hopefully that will change as people start to mobilize.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 6:35 PM
Subject: Animal Acres Evacuates In Path Of Calif. Fires

KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

8/30/09: Animal Acres Evacuates In The Path Of Calif. Fires

1. California Wildfires Move NW, Toward Animal Acres
2. Be On Emergency Standby With Animal Acres
3. Supplies/Equipment/Volunteers Needed For Animal Acres

Kinship Circle - 2009-08-30 - Animal Acres Evacuates in Path of CA Wildfires 01

Pets get help as flames approach: Rose Mary Berman of Palos Verdes Estates feeds a carrot to Norman one of 15 horses evacuated to Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates. Donna Littlejohn/Daily Breeze,

http://www.dailybreeze.com/latestnews/ci_13226056

============================

1. California Wildfires Move NW, Toward Animal Acres

8/29/09 – 8/30/09, PRESENT SITUATION / NOTES:

Fire moves toward Acton as officials hope for lower temperatures:

The strongest part of the Station fire burning in Angeles National Forest and La Canada Flintridge area is moving northwest of the park toward Acton, California, said Jennifer Sanchez of the U.S. Forest Service. [ANIMAL ACRES IS LOCATED IN ACTON]. Evacuations for some Acton residents are in place…

Since it began 8/26/09, the Station fire has burned 35,200 acres and prompted mandatory evacuations of 10,000 homes, according to Forest Service.

Kinship Circle - 2009-08-30 - Animal Acres Evacuates in Path of CA Wildfires 02

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2009-08/48663340.jpg

AUTHORIZED BY FRANK ALLEN, ANIMAL ACRES
Susie V Kaufman, Animal Acres Evacuation Coordinator
susie [at] jarrettlennon.com

8/30/09 — There is a mandatory evacuation in order on the northeast side of Acton. Animal Acres has begun the evacuation process. Currently, horses and donkeys are in the initial process of being moved from Animal Acres to Evacuation Site #2. The following is still only POSSIBLE: The next to be moved will be cows, followed by sheep, goats, and pigs, then birds. They will be moved to Evacuation Site #1. I know nothing about the emus.

(More below the fold…)

The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 18

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

1Sky: Tell the President: Lead Congress to Pass a Strong Clean Energy Bill

AAVS: Stand Up For Great Apes

Animal Person: On the Land Grant University Meat Problem

Animal Person: On Food for the Soul

Animal Rights @ Change .org: Shot for a Tulip? Say NO to Cayuga Heights NY’s deer-killing plan

Animal Rights @ Change .org: Stop Killing In Our Cemetery

Animal Rights @ Change .org: Send a clear message to your elected officials banning horse-drawn carriages!

Center for Biological Diversity: The Most Important Bill of Our Time

Center for Biological Diversity: Bats Need Urgent Help, Contact Fish and Wildlife

DawnWatch: Time Magazine cover story on cheap meat 8/31/09

(More below the fold…)

Hello, Vaute Coat. (Goodbye, XL Blue!*)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

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Vaute Couture

Perhaps you’ve heard of them? They’re a vegan fashion house based in Chicago? Supportive of emerging artists, eco-friendly and cruelty-free? Founder Leanne Mai-ly Hilgar was recently named one of the “20 Under 30″ by VegNews magazine? (You remember! – the list that made the rest of us vegans feel like sorry slackers?)

- anyhow, in 2008, Vaute Couture announced that they wanted to design and launch a special new winter coat, the sale of which would benefit Farm Sanctuary. VC left the specifics of the planned peacoat up to a popular vote, which closed last October. The result? A seriously cute pea/dress coat, dubbed the Vaute Coat (and also known, quite appropriately, as the “Farm Sanctuary benefit coat”). Naturally, it’s 100% vegan and way too expensive for my pocketbook. But if you *heart* fashion and Farm Sanctuary – or *heart* someone who does (a blogger, by any chance? maybe she has a potty mouth and wears a size medium?) – the Vaute Coat would make a sweet x-mas gift, just not to die for.

Here are the details, via Farm Sanctuary:

Introducing Fall/Winter’s Must-Have Item: The First High Style + Function Coat with a Conscience

– Sales of Vaute Couture’s 100% Vegan, Ethically Produced Coat to Benefit Farm Sanctuary’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Work for Abused Farm Animals –

– Activist Fashion House on Forefront of Vegan Fashion Trend –

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Chicago, IL – July 14, 2009 – When Michael Jackson sang about turning up the collar on his favorite winter coat in “Man in the Mirror,” his anthem to discovering your ethical core, he very well could have been singing about Vaute Couture’s mission to change the world one fabulously chic, vegan, eco-conscious coat at a time. This fall/winter, the Chicago-based activist fashion house is “gonna make a change” for farm animals with the launch of their limited run “Vaute” coat. Already on the wish list of conscientious fashion forward women around the world and guaranteed to become your favorite winter coat, all profits from the sale of this runway-worthy coat are being donated to Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, to support their vital mission to end cruelty to animals and promote compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy.

(More below the fold…)

And what if I love dogs, yoga and yogurt?

Monday, August 24th, 2009

The recent spate of probiotic/fiber-filled yogurt commercials is starting to make me loathe yogurt – even the vegan kind. And I freaking adore cherry and lemon Whole Soy!

These dairy-based offenses have become so frequent that even Sarah Haskins – who has poked fun at yogurt ads not once, but twice – cannot keep up with all the stupid.

First, we have this uber-obnoxious ad from Fiber One:

In case you can’t view the video, here’s the gist: A thin, blonde, WASP-y looking woman – who, incidentally, appears to have stepped straight out of the ’80s – runs into a friend at a Fiber One sample station, located outside the supermarket’s exit. Our fair WASP is dressed head-to-toe in oversized accessories: softball-sized “pearl” earrings and necklace; a bracelet that might have been fashioned out of a mug from Central Perk; huge, Pee Wee Herman sunglasses; a purse the size of a backpack; a heart-shaped pendant nearly as big as her head. And…a large dog. A Great Dane, perhaps?

The large accessories are supposed to make her body look smaller and thinner when viewed next to their comical monstrosity. Why resort to such crazy antics, the commercial suggests, when you can just go on a semi-liquid Fiber One yogurt diet and slurp your way to an eating disorder?

Aside from the emphasis on thinness (incidentally, neither of the two women are what you’d call “fat,” yet the need for dieting is not questioned, but reinforced), there’s some pretty casual and nefarious speciesism at play here. The dog is likened to an object, a fashion accessory, a tool of sorts; something to be disposed of when no longer needed. He’s not treated as someone, but something. Earrings, necklace, bracelet, sunglasses, purse, pendant, dog: one of these things is not like the other.

The disposal of “pets,” by the by, is a pretty serious problem. Perhaps this commercial might seem like a harmless joke – but try explaining the punch line to the three to four millions cats and dogs killed in U.S. shelters each year.

Thankfully, the next offender isn’t speciesist, rather, it’s just plain stupid.

(More below the fold…)

The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 17

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Save the Whales, Boycott PETA (175x750)

Here’s your weekend link roundup, folks. I still intend to weigh in on a few of PETA’s recent campaigns, including the whole “Save the Whales” clusterfuck. In the meantime, I’ve probably written a week’s worth of material on other people’s blogs; see, for example, my comments on change.org, as well as on the Animals Rights Facebook wall. I hope to coalesce these into one monster blog piece sometime next week. Until then, feel free to jump into the fray, futility be damned. (Honestly – what’s with the idol worship? Since when did critical thinking, self-reflection and debate become impediments? Blind hero worship, no want!)

Also, I spent Friday afternoon remixing PETA’s billboard to better reflect my feelings, namely, “Save the ‘Whales’: Boycott PETA” (by “whales” I mean the actual whales PETA is insulting with this speciesist ad, as well as the so-called “whales” who are the most obvious target of PETA’s hate). You can download a large copy of the “Boycott PETA” billboard image here. The version included at the top of this post is a little different; I reworked the dimensions to 750×175 so that I could add it to the series of rotating banners on the website. It doesn’t really fit with the “V for Vegan” theme, but I think it looks awesome up there anyway. If you feel as I do, and like the anti-PETA banner, please download, display and share it.

And yes, I recognize the irony in decorating this post with a “Boycott PETA” banner while still linking to a number of PETA action alerts and contests. As much as I abhor how PETA spreads its message, the group still does some good work, such as with its undercover investigations and targeted email campaigns. I’ll continue to link to alerts with which I agree – and share contests as long as the giveaways are not offensive – because the animals should not suffer for PETA’s sizeism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, speciesism, etc., etc., etc. The Illinois deer about to be maimed and murdered by crossbows, for example, have nothing to do with PETA’s hateful rhetoric; they still need us to speak for them. We can and should lend our voices to them, while also speaking out against PETA’s “isms.”

The most effective way to do this, is to boycott the group with our pocketbooks. If you have time or money to donate, please give to a more deserving – and ethically consistent – organization, such as Peaceful Prairie, Eastern Shore, Igualdad Animal, LGBT Compassion, or PCRM.

Finally, the Humane Society of Missouri is holding its speciesist polo/BBQ fundraiser as I write. If you haven’t yet, please read Stephanie’s piece, “Fundraising for Animals by Endangering and Killing Animals,” and take action. Obviously, it’s too late to stop this year’s event, but if we keep the pressure on, hopefully we can convince them to rethink organizing similar events in the future. Since Stephanie launched the campaign, Animal Place and United Poultry Concerns have both added their voices.

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Alaska Wilderness League: President Obama: America’s Arctic Deserves Protection

Animal Rights @ Change .org: Take Action! Save the Deer of Cayuga Heights

Animals Australia: Help End the Dolphin Slaughter!

Born Free USA: 100 Americans Can Stop the “Pet” Primate Trade

Born Free USA: Stop the Trade in Bear Parts

Center for Biological Diversity: Tell Tennessee to Give Wild Turtles a Break

DawnWatch: Vick on 60 Minutes this Sunday, 8/16/09

Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal: Action Alert: Liberia’s Plans to Resume Industrial Primary Rainforest Logging Already Plagued by Corruption as Samling Poised to Pounce

Forest Ethics: Time is running out for caribou; Protect caribou habitat from Sears clear-cuts

Greenpeace: Make the Switch to Safer Technologies [H.R. 2868 & H.R. 3258, the chemical security bill]

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 7: Meat, Love & Objectification

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Update, 9/2/09: Carol Adams is soliciting videos for the upcoming 20th anniversary of The Sexual Politics of Meat; check out her Twitter account for more info and examples.

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A1 Steak Sauce - Prestige

The Discerning Brute: EAT LIKE A MAN.

The Discerning Brute weighs in on the conflation of “meat” consumption with masculinity:

How do rabbits eat? They carefully chew Vegetation. Strangely, no man scoffs at being compared to a rabbit when it comes to sex. “Doing it like rabbits” flatters a man’s virility, yet eating a diet that supports that same rabbit’s virility is lampooned. Instead, we consume entire animals with superstitious hopes of appropriating their strengths. The cover of September 2009’s Esquire Magazine proclaims “Eat Like A Man” and leads to a sixteen-page cover-story entitled “How Men Eat”. It is a total meat-fest. A cheesy, eggy, frat party wrapped in bacon and bathed in blood.

The offending article doesn’t seem to be available on Esquire’s website, though you can read about famous chefs’ favorite fast food joints, with much love for In & Out Burger. Gag.

Er, on second thought, no gag; that’s probably the womanly reaction the meat-eating manly men at Esquire are hoping for.

Carol J. Adams: The Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show

Carol Adams has revamped her website since last I visited. The new setup includes a blog, interviews and – best of all – a Sexual Politics of Meat slideshow.

Apparently a 20th anniversary edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat is due out this fall; since I have the 1999 edition, I’m contemplating whether I should upgrade. It’s been awhile since I’ve read them, but I preferred The Pornography of Meat, Adams’s follow-up to The Sexual Politics of Meat – it’s more visual, less theoretical/academic. Then again, I read each in my college/vegetarian days, so wtf did I know? Perhaps an ’09 edition, with some new material, will provide an excuse to revisit Sexual Politics in my adulthood.

(More below the fold…)

#oink, #oink

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Photo via Farm Sanctuary

In Friday’s weekend activist link roundup, I included a piece by Tracy @ Digging Through the Dirt, Use Twitter to Advocate on Behalf of Pigs. Tracy put out a call to animal advocates to tweet in support of the pigs on Sunday the 16th, for example, by including links to undercover investigations of factory farm operations, talking about the swine flu, encouraging people to go vegan for the animals, etc., etc., etc.. In order to piggyback (pun intended) on the anticipated success of the animal ag. propagandists, all tweets needed to include the hashtag #oink.

I’ll let Tracy explain:

Animal exploiters on Twitter hope history repeats itself Sunday.

On Aug. 2 a group of dairy farmers worked to make “#moo” a trending topic on the social-networking site. They want to do the same for “#oink” on Sunday.

With “#oink” a trending topic, those in animal agribusiness want to convince people to call swine flu “H1N1.”

If the “farmers” succeed, animal advocates can use this opportunity to raise awareness of the suffering pigs endure in agribusiness.

If enough people use a word, phrase or hashtag, said word, phrase or hashtag will appear in all Twitter users’ right-hand sidebars, under the headline “Trending Topics.” These are fluid and change on a constant basis; while some topics, such as “American Idol” or “Les Paul” are rather intuitive, others – like #moo and #oink – are less so. Whether they’re familiar with the topics or not, many Twitter users look to the Trending Topics as a guide or sort of news ticker, clicking through to weigh in on a topic, or to see what all the fuss is about.

Animal exploiters (along with other spammers), then, hijack the Trending Topics tool in order to disseminate their industry propaganda. Whereas animal exploiters hoped to “educate” Twitter users about the safety of “pork,” extol the virtues of “happy meat,” and frame the debate about swine flu/H1N1, the goal of animal advocates was to counter their message with a healthy dose of reality.

(For more on Twitter, trending topics, etc. check out this Twitter FAQ.)

I’m not a big Twitter user – the 140 character limit is enough to make me pull my hair out – but I was vaguely aware of the #moo movement. So with the advance notice about Sunday’s planned #oink takeover, I pledged to participate this time around. To make things even easier, I developed a list of Tweets and links the day beforehand, since I knew I’d be in and out of the house on Sunday. (It’s a good thing, too, since my Internet connection was spotty throughout the day on Sunday.) I added to the list, which I stored in a Word doc, throughout the day on Sunday, mostly by copying and pasting RT’s – re-tweets, that is, tweets from other animal advocates on Twitter, which I “crossposted” on my own account. I also kept an eye on the Trending Topics and adapted my hashtags as necessary. (For example, #fact became a Trending Topic later in the day, so I added it to #oink where appropriate.) Every two, ten, twenty or 120 minutes, I’d post a tweet or two, then go back to whatever it was I was doing.

Other animal advocates were even more engaged, for example, responding to followers who wanted to know what all the #oink-ing was all about, arguing directly with animal exploiters, and providing further information to those interested in a vegan diet. Stephanie at Change.org falls into the first category, and has an excellent write-up of her online animal activism over the weekend” “Vick, Dogs, Dairy, Cows, Pigs, Twitter, and the Rape Rack,” Parts One and Two. Tracy also summarizes her experience here.

In a related note, Happy Herbivore is using Twitter hashtags in a different way. In a new section of the website called Weekly Eats, HH will feature recipes submitted by Twitter users, with a different theme for each day: “meatless Mondays, tofu Tuesdays, raw Wednesdays, tempeh Thursdays, fat-free (or gluten-free, if you prefer) Fridays, seasonal Saturdays and seiten Sundays!” To participate, you can either tweet about your recipe or meal idea, or email your submissions to HH directly. Try to use the hashtags #vegan and #meatlessmonday (or wev) – ‘twould be awesome to see #vegan elevated to a Trending Topic! Or keep an eye on existing Trending Topics, and tweet about your animal advocacy using existing popular hashtags where appropriate.

After the jump are my tweets for Sunday. Because I’ve more or less abandoned my other blog, I set up my delicious and Twitter accounts to post digests of each day’s activities to Smite Me!. So that’s how I came up with a nice lil’ roundup of Sunday’s #oink tweets, just in case y’all are wondering.

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Hyperactive Dogs (Read: Puppies) Ruin (Court) Adoption

Monday, August 17th, 2009

My sister sent me this video with the following note:

This cracks me up. I want the dog on the left….:-)

Adorable, them both. I’d joke about wanting to adopt the pair, but next thing you know, I’m waking up to seven dogs in my bed, instead of the customary four or five (Jayne sleeps under the bed during rainstorms). Dangerous road, my friends.

FYI, you can learn more about the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – and adopt one of their many available animals – here.

(More below the fold…)

The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 16

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Animal Welfare Institute (AWI): Please Contact Your Legislators This Month to Enlist Their Support

Center for Biological Diversity: Act Now to Save Desert Tortoises

DawnWatch: NY Times and CNN have animal friendly blogs — 8/10/09

DawnWatch: In Vitro Meat on CNN 8/9/09

Digging Through the Dirt: Use Twitter to Advocate on Behalf of Pigs (August 16)

Dogs Deserve Better (DDB): PA Anti-Tethering Website Introduced

East Bay Animal Advocates, Inc: The Cheesecake Factory Farm

Ecological Internet: Tell Greenpeace: Toilet Paper Consumption from Canada’s Ancient Boreal Forests Must End

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Save Cloud And His Herd From Capture

National Wildlife Federation (NWF): Help Wildlife Make the Cut

(More below the fold…)

Women deserve better (and so do the animals).

Friday, August 14th, 2009


While I have a few misgivings about this latest Onion spoof – which takes PETA to task for its misogyny – overall, I think it’s spot on.

First the cons. The Onion definitely loses points for suggesting that PETA promotes veganism, when its campaigns usually just toe the vegetarian line. There’s a world of difference; the former implies that PETA is an animal rights organization, rather than the welfare group it really is. PETA being the “mouthpiece” of the animal rights movement is an all too common misconception, and it’s disappointing to see The Onion perpetuating it.

Also, while I think The Onion nails it re: PETA’s forthcoming campaign – “I’d Rather Be Raped By An Animal Than Wear Its Fur” – “It”? For serious? I don’t think I’ve ever seen PETA use the speciesist pronoun “it” in their ad materials. Nor is “it” a very AR thing to say. I live to be corrected, though.

Most importantly, I’m uncomfortable with how The Onion so smugly dismisses PETA’s nude models and protesters – women, them all – as pathetically “clueless” vis-à-vis their exploitation. Just because a woman disagrees with me re: the ethics and efficacy of nude activism, doesn’t make her a stupid waif, at once deserving of scorn and in need of rescue. That’s, um, sexist.

On the other hand, many of PETA’s supporters are frustratingly myopic and dense. Take, for example, the response to PETA’s recent “Save the Whales” campaign, in which the “whales” are actually – wait for it – fat omnivores. The concept involves a hefty dose (pun most certainly not intended) of fat-shaming and sizeism, with little regard for how this might hurt marginalized humans – vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. (Note to PETA: animal advocates come in all shapes and sizes. Just saying.)

PETA’s / PETA supporters’ defenses of nude campaigns usually – but not always – involve a similar lack of awareness: of feminist theory, of intersectionality, of the interrelatedness of dominance and oppression, and of the value of human diversity and dignity. For a cogent example of this, one need look no further than PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, who claimed that she could not possibly be sexist because she’s a woman (!). Said with a straight face, while waving her feminist card in the air, natch. (Perhaps The Onion isn’t that far off, after all.)

The Onion’s faux feminist is right when she says that women deserve better. So, too, do nonhuman animals. From all corners.

(More below the fold…)

In celebration of my "special" fireflies.

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

2006-12-03 - XMasPics-K-n-J-0026

Kaylee & Jayne, x-mas 2006

So. When last we talked of my furkids, I told you how my husband and I came to adopt Ralphie, Peedee and O-Ren – none of whom were considered “less adoptable,” or at least not at the time of their adoption. In fact, I doubt that each dog’s respective rescue group would have had much trouble placing them, had Shane and I not come along. We both recognized this, and felt rather guilty about it. So when we decided to adopt dog number four (and possibly five!), we resolved to find a “special” dog – a senior, someone with medical or behavioral issues, maybe even a bonded pair of dogs.

Our first choice was a pair of teeny lil’ rat terrier sisters, Bella and…I forget the other dog’s name. They were older adults with behavior issues, namely, anxious temperaments and a fear of men. They also needed to be adopted together – strike three. Ultimately, the adoption didn’t pan out; we were never able to meet the girls, in fact, because their fear of men was so great that their foster mom had more or less decided to adopt them herself. When we inquired about them, they’d already spent a few years in their foster home and were still fearful in the foster dad’s presence. I can see why mom gave up any hope of rehoming them, dog bless her heart.

So we hit Petfinder again, specifically in search of a pair of dog-friends who had to be adopted together. Unfortunately, Petfinder’s search parameters don’t easily allow for such a search (or even easy browsing), so when looking for a pair, you really just have to hope that they share a single listing. (Or else be prepared to pour over every single profile!) There really weren’t many bonded pairs of dogs listed at the time; besides Bella and her sister, Kaylee and Jayne were the only smallish dog-friends up for adoption. So, three years ago this September, we went out to Lexington, MO – about an hour’s drive from where we lived – to visit them.

2006-09-01 - GracieOnPetfinder-0003

From Kaylee’s Petfinder listing

Kaylee and Jayne originally came to Friends of the Friendless with a third dog, Paige, roughly six months before we met them. The three had been abandoned in a home when the tenants moved out; the landlord found them, several weeks later, starving and in rough shape. Jayne had heartworm, while Kaylee suffered from some serious dental problems, the result of both bad genes and a lifetime’s worth of neglect.

Curiously, Jayne had already been spayed by her previous owners, while Kaylee had not. From the looks of her sagging belly and, shall we say “well used” nipples, Kaylee had obviously birthed a few litters during her eight years. Jayne, in contrast, doesn’t appear to have ever had pups – odd because Jayne is a classically handsome terrier, while Kaylee is…not. (I joke that she’s so ugly, she’s back to being cute, much like a rhinoceros or ground mole. I totally mean that in a nice way, though.)

2006-09-01 - PenelopeOnPetfinder-0001

From Jayne’s Petfinder listing

Paige had since been adopted, while Kaylee and Jayne languished in the shelter/rescue. Supposedly, an older women had committed to adopting them, but died while on a cruise she’d already booked and had to take before she could bring them home. (Shane is convinced that this is the most elaborate cop-out, ever.) So I can only imagine what their foster mom, Gina, thought when we committed to adopting them, but said we’d be unable to bring them home until after we got back from an already-scheduled trip to New York! Unlike their would-be fairy dogmother, Shane and I kept our word; we welcomed Kaylee and Jayne into our home several weeks later, on September 30, 2006.

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Be a Fairy Dog-Mother: Adopt a "less adoptable" animal companion!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, today is the first (?) annual Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day! Petfinder created the holiday in order to raise awareness about animals who have an extra difficult time finding their forever homes, for a whole host of reasons.

Among cats and dogs, animals who face added obstacles to being rehomed include:

- Seniors and adults;
- Animals with medical issues, including disability and disease;
- Animals with emotional or behavioral issues, such as shyness or a nervous temperament;
- Animals who must be the only nonhuman in the home;
- Bonded animals who must be adopted as a pair – or, worse still, a trio, quartet, etc.;
- Cats with feline leukemia (a transmissible disease);
- Black dogs (for additional information, please see my post at Change.org on Black Dog Syndrome); and
- Dogs who belong to a so-called “dangerous” breed (pit bulls being the “dangerous” breed de jour).

If you plan on adopting an animal companion (or have adopted in the past), congratulations! With this one simple act, you become a hero to two animals – the one you rescued from a pound, shelter, rescue group or sanctuary, and also to the animal for whom you’re freed up a space in said pound, shelter, rescue group or sanctuary. According to the HSUS, between 3 and 4 million cats and dogs are killed (note: not “euthanized”) in U.S. shelters every year. While adopting one or two or even ten animals might seem a drop in the bucket, it makes a world of difference to the animals whose lives you’ve saved by adopting instead on buying.

But, as always, there’s more you can do! In regards to animal adoption, go out of your way to choose a cat or dog who meets the above criteria. Naturally, you may not be able to deal with all of these issues; for example, if you already live with one healthy cat, a FIV+ feline is out of the question. Instead of focusing on what you cannot do, however, concentrate on how you can help animals in need. For example, adopting a black dog doesn’t take any more effort than adopting a multi-colored one.

If your home is already filled to capacity, you can urge friends and family members to adopt – and to consider adopting a “less adoptable” animal, to boot. Or make a donation to any one of the hundreds+ animal rescue organizations across the country (and the globe) – many of which specifically focus on a population of “less adoptable” animals, be they companion, farmed, or “exotic”/wild animals.

Of course, you can also help by spreading the word. Make this Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day a success by linking to Petfinder on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc., and by telling the world about your “special” kids!

Speaking of which, part two of my family’s own story is coming up next!

[Pictured above is a very young me, circa 1997 - note the leather purse, ugh! on each count - with two of my family's own "less adoptable" girls:

Shannon the black mutt, one half of a 6-year-old pair of sisters we adopted from the local humane society (her sister, Shana, had already passed when this photo was taken); and

Shadow the pit bull mix, who had been hit by a car and had a crushed leg when we found her.

As with all our kids, they were both pure awesomeness, and I miss them more than words can say.]

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Stephen Colbert weighs in on Shark Week.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Okay, that’s it. I’m now convinced that there’s a vegan, vegetarian or animal advocate of some stripe on The Colbert Report payroll. This segment is just too spot on to have been written by an unrepentant speciesist.
 

 
In just three minutes, Colbert touches upon several important points:

1 – Sensationalist predator programming like “Shark Week” perpetuates the myth that many wild-living animals, including sharks, are dangerous creatures who are out to get us. They are to be feared – and also dominated, conquered and killed. It’s “us or them,” right?

2 – The Discovery Channel is doubly irresponsible in its demonization of species which are largely endangered.

3 – Promoting shark “conservation” during Shark Week commercial breaks? Batshit insanity! (Can I say that? Is “batshit insane” a speciesist phrase? Any vegan linguists in the house?)

4 – Humans pose a much greater threat to other humans than do sharks. In fact, humans pose the greatest threat to all life. We’re the ultimate monsters, yo.

5 – Mainstream media: FAIL.

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Like livestock, but fuckable.

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Update, 9/1/09: Guest posting at Sociological Images, Anglofille offers an excellent discussion of George Sodoni’s misogyny – and of the media’s negligence in its coverage of the crime, which more often than not includes a hefty dose of victim-blaming.

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Freschello (Cow)

I had planned on including this in my next intersectionality link roundup, but I’d rather this post be timely than in context. Besides, if you need additional context – here ya go.

New York Post: Full Text of “Gym Killer’s” Blog

Yes, I actually suffered through this misogynist’s entire blog. Blame CNN; one of their journalists piqued my curiosity by quoting from the following excerpt:

Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below. I kept a running log that includes my thoughts and actions, after I saw this project was going to drag on.

December 22, 2008:

Time is moving along. Planned to have this done already. I will just keep a running log here as time passes. Many of the young girls here look so beautiful as to not be human, very edible.

George Sodini, consumer of women.* Note how the women go from being not human (read: nonhuman animal) to not alive (read: “meat” -> or an non-sentient object). He reads much like any “good” fast food commercial!

Elsewhere – in the context of an extremely racist rant, which begins with him postponing his “project” in order to “see the election outcome” – Sodini says, and I’m paraphrasing, that every “brother” ought to “get” his own “white hoe” as a sort of “reverse indentured servitude thing”: “Long ago, many a older white male landowner had a young Negro wench girl for his desires. Bout’ time tables are turned on that shit.”

Actually, a truly “reverse indentured servitude thing” – the very term “indentured servant” is misleading when it’s clear that what he’s really referring to is slavery – would see white men relegated to property status, and distributed among women of color (and, more generally, men of color and all women).

As a commenter at the Reclusive Leftist notes,

The murderer suggested offering black men white women as sex slaves as a way of compensating for the fact that white men used to rape black women slaves.

Who was wronged by white men raping black women slaves? The black women slaves? No! Black men of course!

Who should be compensated today for black women slaves having been abused in the past? Black women? No! Black men of course!

To Sodoni, women were nothing but objects to be consumed – or bought, sold, traded or borrowed, for example, to repay a “debt” incurred by one’s past “wrongdoings.” We are but chattel, livestock, property – servants and slaves. Our violation does not harm us – for how can an object experience suffering? – but rather, our owners: men.

Replace “women” with “animals,” and you’ve summarized the popular view re: nonhuman animals. Hopefully, you’re just as appalled.

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The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 15

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Animal Rights @ Change .org: Will Dunkin’ Donuts Go Egg- and Dairy-Free?

Animals Australia: Save Queensland’s Kangaroos!

Center for Biological Diversity: Put the Heat on the Senate for a Strong Climate Bill

Compassion Over Killing (COK): Help End Animal Cruelty: Urge Dunkin’ Donuts to Stop Using Eggs & Dairy!

CREDO Action: Tell Attorney General Holder: Investigate and Prosecute Dirty Coal’s Fraudulent Tactics

Dogs Deserve Better (DDB): Saint Bernards Suffering, Matted, in Johnstown, PA [With updates and opportunities for action.]

Ecological Internet / Climate Ark: Madang, Papua New Guinea’s Mighty Ramu River Rainforests, Carbon and Peoples Threatened by Timber Mafia & Government Corruption

Farm Sanctuary: Michigan: Hurry – Help Keep the Fox Out of the Henhouse

Greenpeace: Thank Kimberly-Clark for protecting ancient forests

Humane Society International (HSI): Tell WAZA: Don’t ignore drive fishery cruelty

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This is the money you could be saving by eating a vegan diet.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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So probably you’ve heard about former U.S. Representative William Jefferson (D-LA), who was recently convicted on corruption charges, including bribery and money laundering?

Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was convicted Wednesday on 11 of the 16 corruption charges against him in a case that included the discovery of $90,000 in his freezer.

A federal court jury convicted Jefferson on four bribery counts, three counts of money laundering, three counts of wire fraud and one count of racketeering. He was acquitted on five other counts including wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Jefferson, a 62-year-old Democrat, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 4, 2007, about two years after federal agents said they found the cash in his freezer. Authorities said the cash was part of a payment in marked bills from an FBI informant in a transaction captured on video.

Last night, the husband mentioned that Jefferson hid some of that 90k in empty veggie burger boxes. This naturally led me to wonder whether Jefferson just so happened to have empty veggie burger boxes laying around, i.e., because he enjoys veggie burgers – or if he intentionally stashed the money there, thinking that disguising bribe money as veggie burgers was a safe bet, that is, no one would bother to look inside the boxes, because ick, veggie burgers!

But he also hid the money in empty pie boxes, and everyone loves pie; ergo, Jefferson (or someone in his family; an emo granddaughter, perhaps?) must eat veggie burgers.

Either way, I’m always tickled green when vegetarian/vegan products pop up in pop culture.

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You’ve been Post’D!

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Question: What happens when the spirit of viral video meets journalism?

Answer: Trenchant hilariousness.

First, Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post give it a try:
 


 
Next up, two unnamed everydudes:
 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have a beer with the everydudes. I’m not usually a fan of the bathrobed-at-2 PM look (and I write this from the comfort of my couch, in last night’s jammies, at 11 AM), but it sure beats smoking jackets and pipes.

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In which Ben Mayo Boddie busts Hardee’s creamy sweet balls.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Via Kelsey Wallace at Bitch blogs (whose title works just as well as my own, to wit, Hardee’s: No One Wants You to Dip Your Balls in It) comes news of Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.’s latest ad campaign, Hardee’s Biscuit Holes, which the company describes thusly:

Man-on-the-street survey asks for new names for Hardee’s Biscuit Holes. Wait until you see what they come up with! Got a better name? Tell us at www.NameOurHoles.com and star in your own commercial.

To the extent that it focuses on male anatomy, this commercial is a welcome relief from the company’s traditional, misogynist fare:
 


 
Naturally, there’s a bit of a conflict here: are the biscuit holes to be taken literally or figuratively? As in, are they holes (read: assholes; cue: fears of anal and/or “gay” sex) or balls (bis-ticles, hehehe)? The former is potentially homophobic and thus not-so-funny, while the latter is, well, long overdue. Hardee’s has been exploiting the bodies of women to sell cruelty-laden products for going on a decade or more, and it’s about time the dudes got their due. (In a fun and lighthearted way, I mean; I’d rather no animal bodies be shamed, objectified, or exploited in any manner, thankyouverymuch.)

But that’s not to suggest that the Biscuit Holes campaign evens the scoreboard. As I told my husband, the “misandry” will only begin to rival the misogyny* once Hardee’s starts lacing its commercials with gratuitous close-ups of bouncing, disembodied balls being dunked into coffee mugs or casting hairy-chested, mankini-wearing men in its softcore necrophilic fetish ads – for the sex, not the funny. So far, Hardee’s is all talk, no (live) action.

Given Hardee’s long (long!) history of exploiting women to hawk their wares, Ben Mayo Boddie’s objection to the Biscuit Holes campaign – and, as best I can tell, only to the Biscuit Holes campaign – is all kinds of offensive:

The Rocky Mount, N.C., franchisee of Hardee’s restaurants, the company’s largest franchisee, is blasting the burger chain’s newest advertising campaign and says it will not place the spots in any of the markets in which it operates eateries.

In a letter responding to complaints from the Parents Television Council, Ben Mayo Boddie, chairman of franchisee Boddie-Noell Enterprises, states: “Thank you for your recent letter complaining about the biscuit hole advertising. I agree with you 100 percent. Why in heavens name does Hardee’s Food Systems and Mendelsohn Zien Advertising want to put Hardee’s in a category that diminishes not only the product but the brand itself?”

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