Archive: September 2009

VeganMoFo Tailgate Post: Vegan Bloggers Take Over the Internets

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

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Vegan Food Mashup - 05 - Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

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Update, 9/30/09: And the VeganMoFo madness multiplies! Check out Vegan MoFo Headquarters International (The Blog!) and follow VeganMoFo carnival queen Kittee on Twitter (@VeganMoFo) for details as they unfold. Also, all participating bloggers should shoot her an email with the following: email addy, URL and location, even if you’re already on the “official” blogroll.

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The third annual VeganMoFo is almost upon us! For the entire month of October, vegan bloggers (315 and counting!) will storm the internets with all manner of yummy, cruelty-free foodie goodness.

If you haven’t yet signed up to participate, fear not! The deadline for “registration” is October 2; hit up Cake Maker to the Stars, who is hosting the event, for details. (Scare quotes because, theoretically, you can jump in at any time. Nor should the spirit of VeganMoFo be limited to October; VeganMoFo lives in our hearts, yo!)

You can find a master list of participating blogs here, with public feed info here.

This year’s VeganMoFo is shaping up to be the grandest one yet. On Monday, Kittee Cake Maker and Carnival Queen promised that

There are big plans in the works at Vegan MoFo Headquarters International, where you’ll be able to check in everyday to read a daily MoFo Roundup, see a map of MoFoers form around the globe (sorta like Hands Across the Vegan Blogo-Galaxy), see if there are any mini Mofo events taking place, and other fancy stuff like that.

Additionally, ameyfm @ the PPK put together a nifty press release; participating MoFoers and MoFo groupies can customize the doc and send it off to their local media outlets in order to score some media coverage for the month’s events (as well as their own humble blogs and/or favorite local vegan bloggers).

But wait – there’s more! Fellow Flickerites can share their gratuitous vegan food pics in the VeganMoFo Flickr group, and should you tweet your VeganMoFo-ing, join the VeganMoFo twibe and use the hashtage #veganmofo or #vmofo. Total tubal domination is be ours!

If you’re in need of some inspiration, the PPK’s VeganMoFo forum is a great place to start. Since I know I’ll be short on time clear through October, I’ve already mapped out some of the month’s posts. Mondays will feature a vegan food p0rn mashup – read: a mosaic of vegan photos on Flickr – which should provide a nice respite from the otherwise frenetic blogging on what’s usually one of my most busiest weekdays. Or so I thought: I started playing around with the mosaic maker widget tool thingie this morning, and was sucked in for hours. Photo mashups aren’t much of a shortcut when you’ve shades of ocd and hungry eyes, I tell you what.

Anyhow, I created the above mashup in honor of VeganMoFo founder and Vegan Goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz. All sixteen of the vegan yumyums pictured were born in her 2006 masterpiece, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. So magnum is this opus that there’s even an entire Flickr group dedicated to its offspring (which numbered 5,312 at last count). Vegan Cupcakes: they rule, you drool.

On that note, see y’all on October 1st!

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Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 9: Rape is Torment (& also, The Death of Cake)

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

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Robert Melia & Heather Lewis:
accused child (read: cow/calf and human/girl) rapists.

I, Bonobo: There’s plenty more where this came from

veganprimate points to the case of Robert Melia – a former police officer who, along with his girlfriend, was arrested for sexually assaulting three girls – as a demonstration of the link between the exploitation of women and that of nonhuman animals. Melia’s misogyny only came to light because Melia was under investigation for engaging in “oral sex” (read: rape) with calves. Though the animal cruelty charges were dismissed by a judge – according to whom, a grand jury had no way of knowing whether the animals were “tormented” by the assault – police found

videos on his computer of a girl being “subjected to sexual activity” in addition to taped encounters between Melia and the calves.

While I’m glad the assistant prosecutor seems to be taking animal abuse seriously, the cynic in me can’t help but think he’s simply latching onto this “lesser” offense for leverage. Either way, it’s doubtful that Melia and girlfriend Heather Lewis will serve much time, as rape is too often minimized and excused in our kyriarchal society.

On that note, methinks New Jersey Judge James J. Morley needs to be schooled on animal abuse, interpersonal violence and intersectionality.

Judge James J. Morley
Burlington County Cts. Facility
49 Rancocas Road
Mt. Holly, New Jersey 08060
609-518-2965
Fax: 609-518-2551

Be firm but polite!

Lisa @ Sociological Images: A Summary Visual Of Women’s Objectification

In a could-be-vegan spin on the ever-popular women-as-meat meme, I bring you: women-as-cake! Sure, there’s a dudely version of the photo too, but as Lisa points out, it’s sans copy – and probably wasn’t plastered on the magazine’s cover, as were the woman’s sliced and dismembered buttocks.

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Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 8: White Blood, Wild Things & District 9

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Yikes! It’s been way too long since my last intersectionality link roundup and, as a result, I’ve managed to stockpile a ridiculous number of links – all without keeping current, naturally. Here’s the first batch; look for the second (or ninth, rather) installment later this week.

Making Hay: Animal Rights Is a Universal Issue

Farm Sanctuary’s Jasmin Singer recently traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, in order to attend the South African Law Review Consultation Workshop, organized by Animal Rights Africa (ARA) “for the purpose of initiating a transparent public process of South African animal protection legislation review.” Here, she shares her experiences and offers a little background on ARA.

You can find out more about Animal Rights Africa’s work – and what you can do to help – on their website at http://www.animalrightsafrica.org.

VegNews: Backstage Pass: Erykah Badu

Via BlackVegan, a short-but-sweet interview with vegan singer/songwriter Erykah Badu, my favorite exchange of which is this:

VN: Is vegan food the new soul food?

EB: Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And, to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure.

Racialicious: An Interview with Bryant Terry on Race, Class, Food, and Culture – Part 1

Speaking of soul food, Racialicious recently featured a lengthy interview with Bryant Terry, author of Vegan Soul Kitchen.

A snippet:

One of the biggest things I uncovered in my work, especially working with young people in New York City through the organization I founded called B-healthy, is that a lot of people living in low income areas and urban areas are living in what are known as food deserts. They have very little access to fresh food – healthy, local, sustainable, all that – and have an overabundance of the worst foods, the fried things, the packaged fast food that has a negative impact on their overall health. Lack of access to healthy food is a huge issue, and it’s only one indicator of material deprivation these people are living with. In these neighborhoods, I visited, it wasn’t as if they just lacked access to healthy food and everything else was great. Usually it would be failing infrastructure, dilapidated schools, high levels of illiteracy, low income. So I think it is one issue that has to be addressed of many among these people living in these historically excluded communities are dealing with.

“Part 1″ seems to imply that there’s a “Part 2″ in the works – indeed, the interview ends with a promise of more to come – but a Google search has yet to reveal a follow-up.

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Kinship Circle: Cobb County (Marietta, Georgia) Dogs Need Rescue

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Below you will find the second of two action alerts from Kinship Circle, detailing disaster relief needs in the Southeastern U.S., which is currently drying out from recent flooding (and preparing for another bout of heavy rains, to boot). This particular alert focuses on Cobb County Animal Control in Marietta, Georgia, which is inundated with animals. Even if you cannot foster or adopt a dog – or make a monetary donation to help with rescue expenses – please spread the word.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 1:16 PM
Subject: Soaked SE – Cobb County Dogs Need Rescue

KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/

9/25/09: Soaked Southeast – Cobb County Dogs Need Rescue
Below is more information regarding COBB COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL in flood-hit Marietta, Georgia. Did you get yesterday’s (9/24/09) overview of animal needs in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi?

ASK FOR 9/24/09 FLOOD ALERT: info [at] kinshipcircle.org
9/24/09: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

[Kelly’s note: The alert is also available on easyVegan.info, here.]

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

GEORGIA: Cobb County Animal Control
1060 Al Bishop Drive / Marietta, Georgia 30008
ph: 770-499-4136; fax: 770-590-5620
Cpt. Jeff Patellis, Dept of Public Safety: 770-590-5602

http://animalcontrol.cobbcountyga.gov/

SUMMARY 9/24/09: From Janice Riccio, Quietzsch [at] aol.com –
Due to the massive flooding in the Atlanta area, and specifically Cobb County, many people displaced by floodwaters left their pets with Cobb County Animal Control. The shelter was slammed before the floods, so they had no room to house newcomers. They were desperate to find rescue for dogs already housed there or face euthanasia…

I’ve taken in 9 dogs and have no place to house them, other then boarding at two vet offices. This is very temporary, and although the vets have generously boarded the dogs at a discount, this will add up quickly — not to mention the other costs for rabies vaccines, altering, etc.

SEND MONETARY DONATIONS TO:
Call vet offices directly to make donations for flood-affected dogs (shown below).
* Averill Animal Hospital / 415 Villa Rica Way / Marietta, GA 30064 / 770-422-2402
* Etowah Veterinary Hospital / 4953 Canton Road / Marietta, GA 30066 / 770-926-8888

IF YOU CAN FOSTER – ADOPT – RESCUE, CONTACT:
Janice Riccio, Quietzsch [at] aol.com

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Kinship Circle: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

This is the first of two Kinship Circle alerts outlining animal-related rescue needs in the recently-flooded Southeastern U.S. In addition to the organizations listed below, CNN has a list of resources on its Impact Your World page; naturally, all of these focus on human needs, and many are religious in nature. If you’d like to suggest any animal rescue and/or secular groups, please do so in the comments!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM
Subject: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/

9/24/09: Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast

1. TENNESSEE: East Ridge Animal Services – DOGS NEED HELP NOW
2. GEORGIA: Georgia SPCA, GEMA, Barrow, Cobb County AC
3. ALABAMA: Various shelters in affected areas
4. MISSISSIPPI: Various shelters in affected areas

As of Monday, 9/21/09, Kinship Circle has monitored floods across the Southeast U.S., in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi. Our small volunteer staff has contacted various agencies on the ground to offer support from our network of independently trained responders. There has been no direct call (as of 9/24/09) for out-of-state volunteers, but rescuers are needed to pull from flood-overcrowded shelters.

Rivers crested above flood levels in stricken areas, but most waters are receding. Below is a brief report. We’ll update you if circumstances change.

Kinship Circle - 2009-09-24 - Animal Flood Recovery In Soaked Southeast 01

Fran Alexay of West Creek Stables in Austell moves a Welsh Pony to a trailer. She helped move 15 horses to Conyers Horse Park. Photo: John Spink.

http://projects.ajc.com.coxnewsweb.com/gallery/view/metro/ajc-photo-stories092209/

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The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 22

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Animal Rights @ Change .org: A Chance to Help Midwestern Waterfowl

ASPCA: USA: Help Make Pet Care More Affordable–Support the HAPPY Act! [H.R. 3501—Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act]

Audubon: Defend the Clean Air Act

Center for Biological Diversity: Save the Clean Air Act, Curb Global Warming

Center for Biological Diversity: Leopold’s Legacy Threatened by Off-road Vehicles

Center for Biological Diversity: Support a New National Monument in California

CREDO Action: Tell the Senate: Hands off the EPA

DawnWatch: Rescue Ink tonight on the National Geographic Channel! 9/25/09

DawnWatch: Undercover farm investigation and dogfighting both on NPR 9/22- 9/24/09

DawnWatch: Animal Friendly bills supported by LA Times and San Diego Union Tribune — week ending 9/19/09

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A tale of Karma.

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Last November, the kind folks at Gentle Barn animal sanctuary rescued a group of cows – along with many “Thanksgiving” turkeys – from abusive living conditions on a “local ranch” (one of those small family farms of lore, perhaps?). Unbeknown to Gentle Barn, one of their newest bovine residents had recently given birth to a calf – a baby – who was not ferried to safety with his mother.

Though the “rancher” neglected to inform Gentle Barn of the situation, the estranged mother did not:

While we were rescuing Thanksgiving turkeys from a local ranch in 2008, we couldn’t help but notice the horrific conditions in which the other animals were living. Unable to stomach what we were witnessing, we came home with two of the ten cows who were in the worst shape and were pregnant.

When they got home to The Gentle Barn, one of the cows seemed inconsolably distraught. She was trying to get out of the pen, pacing, sweating, and mooing as though screaming for someone. Throughout the first night, she kept crying out, barely pausing to take a breath.

At first, we thought her stress was from missing all of the animals she had left behind, or from feeling unsure of her new surroundings. But by morning, when her cries had not stopped, we realized something more serious was going on. We also noticed that her utter was full now and she was expressing milk. When we called back to the place we rescued her from, our fears were confirmed. She had been separated from her calf, and we were informed that her baby was being sold that day to someone else for slaughter. We demanded that they release the baby to us, knowing that this cow would die of heartbreak otherwise, and they agreed, especially because their truck had broken down and they couldn’t deliver the calf to the other people and we had a trailer…small miracles!

When we arrived at The Gentle Barn with the calf, his mom heard his voice, she jumped up and practically broke through the pasture fencing to get to her calf. When we lead her tiny baby to reunite with her, the calf collapsed on the ground in front of her. As she licked him and nuzzled him with the gentlest touch, he got up. As the baby nursed, for the first time in twelve hours, the mom let out a long moo, like the biggest sigh of relief. Now that her baby is with her, she has not made a single sound. She is happy and at peace, and the two will never be separated again.

Once they were reunited, we went back and rescued the rest of the cows. So now, all ten cows are safe and sound at The Gentle Barn.

The reunion of mother Karma and baby Mr. Rojas is documented in Karma’s Reunion. Embedding is disabled, so please head on over to YouTube and watch the video. It clocks in at just under five minutes, and is a real tear-jerker. While the images are moving enough on their own, Gentle Barn further emphasizes the themes of nonhuman intelligence, family and love through the addition of captions.

Karma’s story is beautiful and moving – but it doesn’t end with the birth of Mr. Rojas. In a recent newsletter, Gentle Barn updates us on “Karma’s Surprise”:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: The Gentle Barn – info [at] gentlebarn.org
Date: Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 1:57 PM
Subject: Karma and Her Big Surprise!

Karma’s Surprise

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As you might remember, we rescued a cow named Karma last year. The man we rescued her from did not let us know she had a baby, until she cried for 12 hours straight. We then realized that the only thing that could cause her so much distress is being separated from a baby. So, we went back to the cruelty site we rescued her from and sure enough there was her baby about to be sent to slaughter. We rescued her tiny baby boy and brought him home to the safety of The Gentle Barn. Karma and her son, Mr. Rojas, have been together ever since.

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On peace (/of mind)

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Now I can look at you in peace.
I don’t eat you any more.
- Franz Kafka, to a fish


 
Tomorrow marks the 28th annual International Day of Peace. The UN describes the holiday as

an annual observance of global non-violence and ceasefire. Every year, people in all parts of the world honour peace in various ways on 21 September.

Naturally – given that the observance was established by an anthropocentric organization – nonhuman animals are almost always excluded from celebrants’ circles of compassion. For example, the day’s “ceasefire” most certainly does not include the millions of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, horses, dogs, rats, seals, foxes and other domestic and wild-living nonhuman animals who will be slaughtered for food, clothing, vivisection, entertainment and the like. Quite the contrary: humans’ exploitation of nonhumans will continue, unabated, throughout the day and across the globe.

Even so, that shouldn’t discourage animal advocates from observing the day with an emphasis on our nonhuman brothers and sisters. Indeed, it’s all the more reason to stress a truly inclusive and nonviolent day of peace. If not us, who?

When I think of “peace,” the first thought to come to mind is the above quote from Franz Kafka, a Jewish writer and vegetarian whose three younger sisters (and only surviving siblings) all perished in the Holocaust. Now I can look at you in peace. I don’t eat you any more. So simple, so beautiful, so true.

Peace in actions brings peace of mind. And what more fundamental actions do humans engage in than eating, feasting, consuming? Peace begins (but does not end!) on your plate.

Through its Roots & Shoots program, the Jane Goodall Institute has been celebrating its own Day of Peace since 2004. The idea began when the UN appointed Jane Goodall a Messenger of Peace in 2002:

Another action of the U.N. was to designate Messengers of Peace. People who are selected as Messengers of Peace are widely recognized for their achievements in music, literature, sports and the arts. Dr. Jane was appointed a Messenger of Peace on April 16, 2002 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. To commemorate Dr. Jane’s appointment, Roots & Shoots members at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point first conceived of and created the Giant Peace Dove puppets through Puppet Farm Arts. Since then, Roots & Shoots members and friends have flown doves in more than 40 countries around the world.

Dr. Jane created Roots & Shoots Day of Peace in 2004 in honor of U.N. International Day of Peace; each year, Roots & Shoots Day of Peace is observed in late September. Roots & Shoots groups around the world fly Giant Peace Dove Puppets to celebrate Roots & Shoots Day of Peace for its symbolic meaning. They also plan and implement peace project initiatives to help make the world a better place for animals, the environment and the human community.

This year, the Roots & Shoots Day of Peace falls on September 20th; next year, it will be celebrated on September 18th. Though it’s too late to plan or attend an event, you can see what others are doing on the campaign’s events page. 2007′s activities are captured in a colorful ebook, available for download here. (‘twould be awesome if the JGI encouraged more specific and practical anti-speciesist actions, such as a vegan or even vegetarian diet, but I suppose merely mentioning nonhuman animal in the day’s festivities is a good start. Certainly, it’s a step beyond what the UN has done for our nonhuman kin.)

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"One man’s trash is another man’s delicacy,"

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

joked CNN HLN correspondent Jennifer Westhoven, while discussing Chinese/American “trade wars” on yesterday’s edition of Morning Express with Robin Meade.*

The so-called “trash”? Chicken feet:

China is threatening to cut off imports of American chicken, but poultry experts have at least one reason to suspect it may be an empty threat: Many Chinese consumers would miss the scrumptious chicken feet they get from this country.

“We have these jumbo, juicy paws the Chinese really love,” said Paul W. Aho, a poultry economist and consultant, “so I don’t think they are going to cut us off.”

Chicken exports were thrust to the forefront of American-Chinese trade tensions on Sunday when China took steps to retaliate for President Obama’s decision to levy tariffs on Chinese tires. The Chinese announced that they were considering import taxes on automotive products and chicken meat, a development that some trade experts feared could escalate.

I’m pretty sure the ten billion chickens slaughtered annually view their feet as anything but “trash.”

Wordplay FAIL.

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The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 21

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Audubon: Protect Polar Bears and Other Marine Wildlife – Oppose Dangerous Offshore Oil and Gas Development in Alaska

Born Free USA: Tell Max Mara to Go Fur Free

Center for Biological Diversity: Help Protect Polar Bears From Oil Drilling

Compassion Over Killing (COK): Dunkin’ Donuts’ Egg Supplier Exposed!

DawnWatch: Terrific Washington Post column on antibiotic use in factory farming 9/16/09

Defenders of Wildlife: Help Save America’s Endangered Jaguars

Defenders of Wildlife: Tell Your Representative to Watch Out for Wildlife

Earth Day Network: A Billion Acts of Green™ [Please make yours an animal-friendly initiative!]

Earthjustice: Keep it Clean! Help Protect Our Waters from Pollution

Environmental Defense Fund: Support New Pollution Standards for Autos

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Tahini Tofu Salad (for dogs & their people)

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Another dog food recipe, again suitable both for dog-kids and their human parents. My husband loves this dish (even with the watered-down tahini dressing) – and I love how the dishwasher smells when filled with tahini-soaked dishes. Win!

Tahini Tofu Salad (for dogs & their people)

2009-09-11 - Tahini Tofu Salad - 0007

Ingredients

For the salad:

1 16 ounce bag of dried navy beans OR 6 cups cooked navy beans OR 3 pounds cooked navy beans OR 4 16 ounce cans of navy beans
4 bricks of tofu
2 cups mixed vegetables (I used frozen carrots, corn, green beans and peas)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups unsalted peanuts
1 cup raw sunflower seeds

For the tahini dressing:

1 cup tahini
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups water

(Adapted from Tahini “Goddess” Dressing at About.com.)

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Green Porno 3.0: Compassion is sexy!

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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Back in June, I raved about Green Porno, a subversive (and delightfully cheesy!) documentary series starring Isabella Rossellini (whom I’ve had a massive girl-crush on ever since her turn as Katya Derevko in Alias). Green Porno examines the sex lives of nonhuman animals – which, oftentimes, are far from “conventional.” To this end, the show has great potential to change how humans view “others”: women, homosexuals, transgendered persons, gender nonconformists – and even nonhuman animals.

To this, I’d like to add that, in addition to their anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic, anti-anti-sex thrust (pun most definitely intended), these shows are anti-speciesist as well.

While [the] disavowal of animal homosexuality and sexual variety serves to justify and reinforce “isms” directed at humans (homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, etc.), it at also functions at another level. In denying non-human animals the full range of their behavioral, emotional and sexual expression, we rob them of their complexity, their personality – for lack of a better term, their humanity.

Like us, non-human animals can be complicated creatures, driven by a range of goals and desires. Animals, humans included, aren’t just about reproduction; our sole purpose in life isn’t simply to spread our DNA and produce as much offspring as possible. Sometimes we have sex, mate and form bonds because it’s fulfilling in other ways. Nor do we only nurture and protect our own genetic material: sometimes we act with altruism and compassion rather than selfishness and narcissism.

By insisting that animals only copulate in order to introduce sperm to egg, we simplify trillions of sentient beings, taking from them characteristics which make them seem that much more human.

Ironically, in so doing, we also reduce the human species to a caricature, a boring, two-dimensional model which scarcely resembles h. spaiens, in all its diverse, eccentric, animalistic magnificence.

Watching animal sex play out amidst kindergarten construction paper cutouts and human-sized bodysuits, the viewer (hopefully) comes to see nonhumans as the unique individuals they really are. When one ceases to regard a group of beings as a single, undifferentiated mass of “stuff,” othering them – based on species, sex, sexuality, race, breed or whatnot – becomes a difficult, twisted task indeed.

Season 1 focused on bugs (spiders, flies, earthworms), Season 2 on ocean dwellers (barnacles, whales, starfish). Both Wiki and I had thought Season 3 would shift focus to farmed animals such as pigs and cows, but it looks Season 3 will continue to examine marine animals. In a subtle shift from Season 2, however, Rossellini’s attention turns to ocean dwellers whom we commonly kill and eat (and oftentimes “farm” as well).

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On Vegan Marshmallows: Sweet & Sara v. Dandies

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A while back, I purchased a few boxes/bags each of the Sweet & Sara and Dandies vegan marshmallows, with plans to pit them against one another in a vegan marshmallow cage match. True to form, though, I’ve proven agave nectar-slow to testing them under similar circumstances. Since I’ve already shared my marshmallow-laden Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl recipe, though, I think the time has come (and nearly gone), preparedness be damned.

2009-05-24 - Sweet & Sara Order - 0005

v.

2009-06-03 - Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe Order - 0020

Aesthetics

Whereas the pillowy shape of Dandies resembles that of traditional, gelatin-based marshmallows, Sweet & Saras are square, squat and dense.

Winner: Dandies are cuter, but I’m loathe to endorse lookism. Tie.

Flavors

Sweet & Saras come in three flavors: vanilla, vanilla coated in toasted coconut flakes, and strawberry. In addition to marshmallows, the company also sells S’Mores (both “plain” and peanut butter flavored) and Rocky Road bark. I can vouch for the yumminess of all, save for the strawberry marshmallows, which were not available when I placed an order.

Dandies are, as of this writing, only available in one flavor: vanilla. Give ‘em time, though, they’re still noobs.

Winner: The point goes to Sweet & Sara for creativity.

2009-05-25 - Rocky Road Bark - 0010

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DIY Vegan Ice Cream: Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

2009-05-24 - Sweet & Sara Order - 0007

At summer’s start, I picked up a copy of Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop to go with the shiny new ice cream maker my mother had gifted me for FSMas. Though it’s been nearly four months, I’ve only tried a handful of recipes. Blame a freezer full of the store-bought stuff, along with plenty of free, searchable recipes from A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise! Probably I won’t get around to reviewing the book until next year, but unless every recipe I have yet to try turns out to be dreadful (an unlikely possibility), I foresee a five-star review and enthusiastic (read: borderline orgasmic) recommendation. Seriously, if you have an ice cream machine, you need this book.

Since acquiring an ice cream machine and discovering Sweet & Sara and Dandies vegan marshmallows, I’ve been itching to try a homemade version of Tofutti’s Coffee Marshmallow Swirl. As long as I’ve been eating vegan ice cream – and, given that I have a lifelong milk allergy, my love affair with vegan ice cream stretches back to the early ’80s – Tofutti Coffee Marshmallow Swirl has been my absolute fave. Unfortunately, with the advent of all these newfangled gourmet vegan gourmet brands, Tofutti has all but disappeared from the shelves. Bye, bye Coffee Marshmallow and Chocolate Almond (but hello, Blueberry Cheesecake and Cookie Dough!).

So I was a wee bit disappointed to discover that The Vegan Scoop does not include a Coffee Marshmallow recipe. It does, however, have a recipe for Coffee ice cream (page 58). Using this recipe as a starting point, I created my own special blend, Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl. Unlike the inspiration Tofutti flavor, my creation includes chocolate; what can I say, I just couldn’t resist! The coffee and chocolate compete with one another a bit, so I added a little extra coffee to balance out the chocolate; as a result, the flavor is very intense and rich. If you’d like something more subtle – or closer to Tofutti’s Coffee Marshmallow Swirl – I’ve included a few variations below.

Most, if not all, of the ice cream recipes in The Vegan Scoop use a 1 part-to-2 parts combination of soy milk and soy creamer (though del Torro encourages readers to experiment with different non-dairy milks and creamers, such as almond and coconut), along with arrowroot as a thickening agent. This is similar to the base found in many of the recipes at A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise. Once you’ve got a nicely working base recipe down, it’s easier to experiment with flavors and such. Use the basics below to develop your own unique vegan ice cream blend!

Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Swirl

2009-08-30 - DIY Chocolate Coffee Marshmallow Ice Cream - 0005

Ingredients

1 cup chocolate chips
10 Sweet & Sara’s marshmallows (or 13 Dandies)
1 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla), divided (see below)
2 cups soy creamer (plain or vanilla)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
3/4 cup fresh, strong coffee (instant is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 20

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

FYI: the polls are open on Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere Survey!

Over the years, Technorati has been tracking the State of the Blogosphere. Our annual study investigates how blogging is growing and changing, as well as its impacts on current events and the bottom lines of businesses and bloggers. Please share your perspective by participating in our survey.

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Please take a minute – okay, ten or fifteen – to complete the survey. Vegan bloggers represent!

Also, Molly of It’s A Vegan Dog’s Life has launched a sister blog, It’s A Vegan Dog’s World, in order to

show others that it’s possible for dogs to live happy, healthy vegan lives while giving your dog a chance to be in the spotlight.

If you know a vegan dog, share your friend’s story here.

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

Campaign for America’s Wilderness: Ask Sec. Vilsack to Uphold Roadless Rule

Center for Biological Diversity: Tell the Bureau of Land Management: No More Coal

DawnWatch: “Killing Wolves for Fun” — fun NY Times columns 9/9/09

DawnWatch: Wolves, elephants and glorious dolphin news 9/4/09

Defenders of Wildlife: Help Save Sea Otters and Other Wildlife from Dirty Drilling

Dogs Deserve Better (DDB): Finally! A Chained Dog Abuse Case in Pennsylvania Goes as it Should when Dogs Deserve Better and Pennsylvania SPCA Team Up to Save Four Neglected Chained and Penned Dogs near Tyrone, PA

Dogs Deserve Better (DDB): Billboard Campaign

Earthjustice: No Drilling in America’s Arctic!

Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal: Questioning World Bank Palm Oil Funding and Forest Carbon Finance in Indonesia

Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal: Join Borneo’s Penan Indigenous Peoples in Standing up to Malaysian Rainforest Destruction

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Rice & Beans with Cheezy Sauce (for dogs & their people)

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I’ve been too busy to so much as think about blogging lately, but I have been cooking up a storm. Here’s a dish I made for the dogs a few weeks back: rice, beans and veggies with a cheezy sauce, adapted from a recipe at the PPK. Yummy for dogs and their peoples! (The Mr. was seriously jealous, I tell you what.)

I’m trying to get more creative with the recipes I make for the dog-kids. It’s fun, low stress, and I know they’ll love whatever I come up with. Fussy, they’re not. Appreciative, you betcha. Anyhow, look for more “dog food” recipes in the future.

FYI: I tend to make the dogs’ dishes with a lot of extra gravy/sauce/dressing/whathaveyou. I mix their homemade food with kibble about 50/50, and a near-soup like consistency in the homemade food helps to counterbalance the dry store-bought stuff, resulting in five very happy dogs. Adjust the sauce serving size accordingly!

Rice & Beans with Cheezy Sauce (for dogs & their people)

2009-08-25 - Cheezy Rice, Beans & Veggies - 0004

Ingredients

2 16 ounce bags of dried beans OR 12 cups cooked beans OR 6 pounds cooked beans OR 8 16 ounce cans of beans (I used dried red beans)
1 cups uncooked brown rice
4 cups vegetables (I used broccoli); optional

For the cheezy sauce:

6 cups water
2 cups nutritional yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cumin

(Adapted from Vegan Cheese Sauce at the PPK.)

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The Onion asks, "Should Animals Be Doing More For The Animal Rights Movement?"

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Much like The Colbert Report, I’m beginning to suspect that there’s an animal sympathizer working for The Onion. (See, for example, Exhibits A, B and C.)

In this piece of bizarre hilarity, the talking heads at The Onion explore whether nonhuman animals are doing enough in the fight for animal rights:
 



 
While most of this is an over-the-top caricature of the misconceptions people have about the animal rights movement, I think The Onion is spot-on when they suggest that we should drop certain “problem animals” if we’re to ever secure rights for nonhuman animals. Might I suggest the entire corporate cadre of PETA in place of the noble water buffalo? I doubt that the latter would ever be so insensitive as to don a white hood and parade around the streets of NYC or mock women for their eating disorders. Just a thought.

By the way, I apologize if this video is old hat; I stumbled upon it while clicking through to “Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids” from “Next Tarantino Movie An Homage To Beloved Tarantino Movies Of Director’s Youth.” Next up: “Ex-Pedophile Shares Tips On How To Make Your Kids Less Attractive.” Labor Day: not so laborious.

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IDA: Dennis Zeglin Shoots and Kills "Pet" Parrot; Calls Needed!

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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I haven’t been able to find this alert on IDA’s website in order to link to it, and seeing as the deadline for taking action is this Wednesday, September 9, I’ve copied it below in its entirety.

For more on the case, search for “Dennis Zeglin” on Google news or at http://www.pet-abuse.com.

In particular, I find this snippet from the Bleacher Report extremely disturbing:

Mikey the parrot was instead autopsied by a local veterinarian. His owner was then charged with several counts of animal cruelty.

Since the filing of the charges, Zeglin has gone into counseling for his drinking problem. His attorney has also applied for Morris County’s Pre-Trial Intervention Program, which offers probation for first time offenders.

Zeglin is due back in court on Sept. 9.

Until that time, the local police have advised him that the next time another family pet, like his Labrador Retriever, or a family member bothers him during a NASCAR race, he should call animal control or the police instead of reaching again for his BB gun.

After brutally slaughtering the family’s “pet” bird, the local authorities left another “pet,” a dog, in Zeglin’s care, with advice to “call animal control” the next time he’s drinking, angry, and in possession of firearms. Jeez, officers, you’re beginning to make me feel as though you don’t take animal abuse seriously. I mean, WTF!?

While it’s great that Zeglin has sought counseling for alcoholism, animal abuse should preclude him from “owning” nonhuman animals, at least in the near future. Should Zeglin relapse, who will bear the brunt of his rage the next time around?

Zeglin, by the by, is from Morris County, New Jersey; methinks the local police need to be schooled about animal abuse as well.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals – idainfo [at] idausa.org
Date: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 1:16 PM
Subject: Man Shoots and Kills Companion Parrot – Your Calls Needed!

YOUR CALLS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED or Mikey’s cruel killer may get away with murder!

While Watching TV, New Jersey Man Shoots and Kills Companion Parrot.

Terrified Mikey who was isolated in a cage and had no way to escape, was Zeglin’s innocent target.

On June 7th 2009, 67 year old Dennis Zeglin brutally shot and killed his family’s African Grey parrot with a Daisy Powerline Model 93 C02-powered BB gun. His wife called police and animal control officers were summoned to investigate.

Dennis Zeglin admitted to animal control officers that he shot Mikey in his cage because the bird “irritated” him while he was watching the NASCAR races on TV. According to reports, Zeglin had been drinking and was intoxicated when he fired the three shots that killed Mikey. Since the animal cruelty charges were filed, Zeglin has been undergoing counseling for his alcoholism according to Zeglin’s Defense Attorney, Stephen Fletcher. Fletcher also claims that Zeglin is a first time offender and has applied for an Intervention Probationary Program. This may suggest that Mikey’s cruel assailant may get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for brutally murdering an innocent, and highly intelligent creature.

Undisputed, scientifically proven evidence supports the link between violence to humans and violence to animals and we believe that Zeglin’s violent act could have easily been directed toward a human family member or their family dog.

Every year millions of captive birds suffer from abuse and neglect like Mikey. It is estimated that the majority of captive birds suffer and die prematurely, secretly and silently behind closed doors, from horrendous abuse, malnutrition, and starvation, and live in deplorable conditions, with no hope for rescue. It is also estimated that the majority of captive birds who do survive, suffer an entire lifetime of agony and loneliness.

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Kinship Circle: Louisiana Vet Marcy Miranov "Kills Without Cause"

Monday, September 7th, 2009

I’m a little late in forwarding this alert from Kinship Circle, and in the interim, there’s been a development in the case. Not surprisingly, it hasn’t resulted in justice for the animals killed by veterinarian Marcy Miranov (and Dr. John Edwards, as well).

Reports The Times-Picayune:

Raw emotions and poor record-keeping triggered whirling accusations of animal cruelty at Jefferson Parish’s animal shelters, according to the results of an independent study released today.

But no laws were broken when 51 cats and dogs were euthanized on Aug. 13 at the parish’s Elmwood facility, the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals discovered. [...]

“Our report is not a glowing report about what’s going on in interoperation,” said Ana Zorrilla, chief executive officer of the state SPCA. “We certainly hope that it’s well received and we certainly hope that the public reads parts and pieces of it, that it’s really seen as an opportunity to improve those operations, not just as criticism or critique of what’s been going on there.”

The SPCA’s representatives worked in an atmosphere already emotionally charged by the abrupt resignation of the shelters’ director, Lee Ann Matherne. She quit the day before the animals were put down.

The most glaring problem appeared to be shoddy record-keeping and lackluster policy management, Zorrilla said. The shelters have four different written policies governing euthanasia. Each one says a different set of people need to approve each procedure.

As far as the SPCA could tell, none of them were being followed. But since none were being implemented, no policies were broken, Zorrilla said.

The SPCA report, however, dispelled several rumors that arose from that incident. Dr. Marci Miranov, the parish’s senior veterinarian in Marrero, had clearance to work at the Elmwood shelter, Zorrilla said. Her colleague, Dr. John Edwards, did not stop her from euthanizing the animals on Aug. 13, as some animal activists suspected. Rather, he assisted her in her work.

The cats put down that day had been sedated, Zorrilla said, contrary to reports that Miranov was lethally injecting the animals without killing the pain first.

The report also found the number of animals put down that day were average. Euthanasia sessions don’t occur daily, which accounts for larger numbers when one is conducted, officials said.

Zorrilla did say that the SPCA found that some of the animals killed that day were adoptable.

“Some were sick, some were feral, but some were strictly space conditions,” she said.

Parish President Aaron Broussard said he would be asking the Parish Council to enact several ordinances Wednesday that would go a long way to cleaning up the poor conditions at the shelters. Broussard has asked that the parish hire the American SPCA to take over the shelters for 90 days, that his administration begin searching for an outside group that could permanently run the facilities and that he enter negotiations to transfer the Marrero shelter to a new site – a former West Jefferson Medical Center clinic near the Oakwood Mall.

(Background here.)

If you choose to act on this alert, please take the SPCA’s findings and recommendations into account. In addition to turning control of the parish shelters over to an outside organization, please urge Jefferson Parish to work in concert with local animal rescue organizations in order to make NOLA a no-kill city. By “no-kill,” I mean truly no-kill – this goes for “feral” and “less adoptable” cats and dogs, too. While shelters may not have the time or resources to rehab animals with medical or behavioral problems, some rescue groups do; some even specialize in these cases.

Whether any human law was violated or not, this slaughter needn’t have happened. Judging from ARNO’s comments, little-to-no effort was made to place these animals in rescue groups prior to killing them – and this is simply unacceptable.

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SHARK: Please Contact Cheyenne Mayor About Criminal Investigation

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Here’s the latest on SHARK’s ongoing campaign against Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. You can find out more on the group’s website (a search for “Cheyenne Frontier Days” turns up 190 results, so grab a cup of tea and some cruelty-free patries before digging in) and view SHARK’s investigative footage on its YouTube channel.

The Chief is Leaving, But Let’s Keep Investigation Going

As you will recall, earlier this month, I contacted Cheyenne Police Chief Robert Fecht and requested an investigation of Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo for criminal neglect. SHARK’s documentation shows dozens of animals injured, while CFD claims only seven received care. See the first two of four videos showing many of the animal injuries.

2009 Cheyenne Animal Injuries, Part 1:
 


 
2009 Cheyenne Animal Injuries, Part 2:
 

 
This is in stark contrast to what is stated on CFD’s website about their care for the animals in the rodeo:

We recognize that animals, as well as humans, may be injured in these events. Any injured animal is accorded immediate veterinary medical attention, and is isolated from further harm. Every attempt is made to make injured animals comfortable, and offer them opportunity to recover. Injured animals are not used again.

Read the entire “Animal Care” statement here.

While Chief Fecht has been investigating the matter, he is retiring and his last day is today. It is now up to the Mayor of Cheyenne, Mayor Rick Kaysen and the acting Chief of Police Jeff Schulz to continue this investigation.

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