Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo: Loud, Clueless & Proud

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Some of you may recall the animal rights bingo cards I made last year, namely: Defensive Omnivore Bingo II (inspired by Brian VanderVeen’s Defensive Omnivore Bingo, of course!), as well as the vegan-feminist Speciesist Feminist Bingo and Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo cards. (No? Well, here they are!) Around the same time, I started working on a card dealing with racism and classism in the animal advocacy movement: Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo. A year later, give or take, and I finally filled in the few remaining squares!

Unlike the other cards, I feel as though PWV Bingo requires more of an introduction – but every time I sit down and put fingers to keys, the words that appear on my computer screen seem trite, inadequate and lacking in eloquence. So rather than keep struggling along, instead I invite you to read this FAQ by Tim Wise, as well as “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack,” by Peggy McIntosh – the first few paragraphs of which I’ve excerpted below:

Through the work to bring materials from Women’s Studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are over-privileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to improve women’s status, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s. Denials which amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages which men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened or ended.

Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of white privilege which was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless backpack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.

For me, filling in the 24 squares of the PWV Bingo card was an exercise similar to that performed by McIntosh – that is, recognizing the many ways in which my racial and ethnic makeup help me navigate the world of veganism and animal advocacy, unhindered and unmolested. Whereas – as a woman lacking in gender privilege – I was able to complete the two feminist-themed cards with relative ease, it took me – as a vegan benefiting from race and class privilege – months to finish the PWV Bingo card. In short, it’s much easier for me to identify sexism, misogyny and anti-feminism, since I’m marginalized by them; harder still to identify racism and classism (particularly less overt examples of each), since I’ve been taught to take white privilege for granted – to see right through it, as though it doesn’t even exist. An eye-opening task, and one I highly recommend – no matter the privilege in question: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, gender identity, nationality, dis/ability…species, even. No, not even – especially.

Additionally, I should note that while I use the terms “racism” and “classism” in conjunction, this isn’t to suggest that they’re interchangeable. Related, yes – inasmuch as people of color are disproportionately represented among the poor and working-class, and a number of variables, structural and otherwise, work to perpetuate the status quo – but not the same. However, rather than make a card each for racism and classism, I decided to combine the two in one for simplicity’s sake. All forms of oppression are intertwined, and sometimes it can be next-to-impossible to separate all the tangled threads.

Also, I almost named this card “Cluelessly Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo” – since recognizing one’s privilege doesn’t automagically dispense with it – but decided against it, seeing as “Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo” is already quite the mouthful. I specifically chose not to call it “Racist Vegetarian Bingo,” as labeling one a “racist” tends to shut down civil, productive discourse in a way that “speciesist” (and even, to some extent, “sexist”) does not. Plus, racism isn’t an either/or proposition; as Wise explains, we’re all socialized and/or programmed to be racist – to think in terms of in group/out group membership – to some degree. The challenge, whether you choose to accept it, lies in using our oversized primate brains to overcome these outdated, retrogressive, lazy ways of thinking.

As with the previous cards, I’ve included a plain-text version of PWV Bingo after the jump. At the time of this writing, most of the squares contain links to refutations and debunkings; for those that don’t, I plan on either finding an appropriate response or writing my own in the (hopefully near) future – so check back often!*

In addition to the articles by Wise and McIntosh, I also highly recommend that you check out the resources linked to in the plain-text version of the card. Vegans of Color, The Vegan Ideal, The Food Empowerment Project, The Sistah Vegan Project, L.O.V.E. – all have been instrumental in challenging and shaping my views on race and class privilege (etc.), particularly in relation to the animal advocacy movement. Many of the squares were directly inspired by things read and seen on the pages of these blogs and websites.

Of course, PWV Bingo is equally applicable to vegans as well as vegetarians. Sad but true, people. Sad but true.

Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo

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If you fuckin’ with this bitch then you betta’ be paid.*

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Mars, Inc. wants you to know that a bitch is a bitch is a bitch – and, whether she be digging for gold or for bones, that bitch ain’t shit.

Mars Petfood Frolic - Pool

Mars Petfood Frolic - Hotel

Mars Petfood Frolic - Limo

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You know what?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

On Notice - ASPCA, PETA & HSUS

Fuck PETA, and fuck the ASPCA.

And yes, I’m a little late on this one, but that’s what happens when you step away from the internets for 20 minutes to shave and shower.

While we’re at it, let me apologize to y’all for ever – on any planet, in any and every universe galaxy* in the cosmos – defending PETA, even when the defense was just. Because this shit? Holy Christ. PETA’s jumped into the pornography business, full tit. (Full tilt, I mean. Wait, what did I say?)

Misogynists, speciesists, pimps and animal killers – who needs ’em?

* Updated 11/19/09: Yes, I’m a dolt.**

** Also: I left a comment on the aforementioned PETA blog post, politely chastising the author for failing to mention Pets Alive’s eagerness to take Oreo off the ASPCA’s hands. That was last night. Twelve hours later, and my comment has yet to be approved. I’m not holding my breath.

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

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

1997-07-xx - Kelly-Shannon-Shadow - 0001

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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Coming Soon: Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Animal Companion Day!

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

2006-09-30 - PM-Kaylee&JayneMake5-0299

I’m usually one to roll my eyes at pseudo-holidays – National Hot Dog Day, anyone?; and, hell, even some of the “real” holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving – but I’m pleasantly surprised to see that Petfinder has designated August 12 Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day:

To help senior, special-needs and other often-overlooked pets find homes, We’ve named August 12 Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable- Pet Day. Visit our special section to:

* Get widgets to help pets find homes
* Find out which pets have it hardest
* Read touching adoption stories
* Learn why “less adoptable” pets rule!

And help us spread the word: Some pets are “less adoptable,” but they’re just as lovable!

Which animals have it hardest, you wonder?

Big black dogs. FIV+ cats. Senior pets. Special-needs pets. To help these and other often-overlooked pets find homes, Petfinder has named August 12 “Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day.”

We asked our shelter and rescue group members: Which pets are the hardest to place?

Here’s what they said:

* 30% senior/older pets
* 15% pets with medical problems
* 13% victims of breed prejudice
* 10% shy pets
* 10% those who need to be the only pet

“Pit Bulls are the No. 1 dog put down in our local shelters. There are too many of them, and there is never enough time to get them all adopted.”

“There’s also a ‘big black cat syndrome’! Hard to believe, but many people are still biased against black cats, especially if they’re big.”

“Once a dog is past 1-2 years old, people flat-out expect it to be housetrained. They consider the dog too old to be trained if they’re not housetrained by 2.”

(Links mine.)

Speciesist language aside (HIM! People expect HIM to be housetrained!), I love the idea of promoting not just adoption, but the adoption of “special needs” animals, who usually fare worse in shelters and rescues alike. (Though, happily, some rescues do specialize in hard-to-place animals, while others provide them permanent sanctuary; Old Dog Haven is a personal favorite!)

My own family is a mix of “normal” and “special needs” animals.

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My thoughts on the climax of the Obama doggy drama:

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Threat Down - Barack Obama, Puppy Killer

That is all.

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BSL & the U.S. Military

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Via the latest issue of Dog’s Life e-newsletter, I found a link to this alarming story, by Steve Dale at www.goodnewsforpets.com: Dump the Dog is Military’s Message to Families with Targeted ‘Bad’ Breeds.

That’s right, folks: breed specific legislation, coming soon to military housing near you:

Lots of dog breeds will no longer be allowed on military housing property, according to new policy announced in a memo stamped January 5 from the United States Department of the Army. According to sources, the directive was approved by the Pentagon just prior to President George W. Bush leaving office.

The subject line of the memo reads: “Pet Policy for Privatized Housing Under the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative Privatization Program. Pit Bulls (American Staffordshire Bull Terriers and English Staffordshire Bull Terriers), Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows and wolf hybrids are now banned.” […]

According to the ruling, dogs of any type who currently live on base can be grandfathered in. However, Lynde points out that families are frequently being asked to re-locate. When they do, they can no longer bring their banned dogs with them. Similarly, new enlistees must leave their dogs at home if they’re indentified as a banned breed.

Then what happens to any banned dogs identified and then forcibly relinquished by transferring military? Lynde says, “No one seems to have that answer.”

With morale already low on military bases, according to Lynde, she believes the ruling has already begun to further impact morale. “What kind of family support is this? I tried to communicate with the Garrison Comander’s Office (at Fort Bragg), but I got nowhere,” she says.

Military families whose members include so-called “dangerous” dog breeds, such as pit bulls, rottweilers, doberman pinschers, chow chows and wolf hybrids (!?) – or any mutt whose lineage includes or even resembles these breeds – may, under the new housing policy, be forced to relinquish their canines. If they’re unable to find a trusted friend or family member to take the animals, presumably they’ll have no choice but to surrender their beloved dogs to animal shelters, where many will be killed for lack of homes.

Simply put, this is a travesty. We already demand far too much of our military members and their families – we send them overseas, to fight and die in capricious, pointless wars; we deny them proper physical and psychological care, both in the battlefield and here at home; we ignore the high rates of sexual assault perpetrated against women in the military; we actively discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons who want nothing more than to serve their country; we fail to provide care for the non-human members of military families when the caregivers are deployed or on active duty; and now, the U.S. government is attempting to eradicate a targeted segment of their non-human family members, based on nothing other than naked prejudice, stereotypes and hysteria. Shameful, just shameful.

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Veg*n Videos: Blinders, Pit Bull Hysteria & the Chicken Justice League

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

My tubes are clogged with veg*n videos, so rather than post each separately, behold this handy dandy video roundup!

Via Mary at Animal Person, Blinders: The Movie is now available online, in its entirety. I’m fairly certain it’s the full documentary, anyway; with a running time of 50 minutes, I haven’t yet had a chance to watch the whole film. Tonight, maybe, while the Mr. records his podcast.
 


 
Mary urges us to watch and circulate the video; please do!

Next up: those charlatans at the Humane Society of the United States. Even as they profit off the publicity that comes from their admirable dogfighting raids and rescues,
 


 
the HSUS actively campaigns to have these rescued dogs murdered. What a warped idea of “rescue,” eh?

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Ready, set, snip -n- tuck!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Update, 2/18/09: Want further convincing that the HSUS is undeserving of your financial assistance? Done and done.

For those too lazy to click through, the HSUS led a raid on a dogfighting outfit in North Carolina, “rescuing” 127 pit bulls, including 60 puppies. With the HSUS’s blessing, the Wilkes County court ordered all 127 “rescued” dogs destroyed – murdered. By the time the court order was obtained and carried out – several months after the initial raid and “rescue” – some of the dogs had given birth to more pup. These pups had never even been exposed to the fighting ring, and yet they, too, were deemed “dangerous” and slaughtered. As of this writing, 146 innocent lives have been taken.

With the HSUS’s blessing.

——————-

The deadline to enter the HSUS’s Spay Day 2009 contest is fast approaching – February 27th, to be exact. I finally got around to submitting photos of my furkids. Aside from my slow internet connection, it was fairly easy – you just have to create a profile, then you can submit a photo for each of your companions. There are a few cutesy questions for you to answer, but nothing lengthy. I was under the impression that they wanted a mini-essay, which is why I kept putting this off, but the longest field is a brief 200 characters long. True to form, I had trouble staying within the maximum.

As for prizes, a panel of celebrity judges will choose a Grand Prize Winner, 10 Finalists, and 25 Honorable Mentions; the Grand Prize winner gets a $1000 shopping spree to HUMANE Domain.

The HSUS also uses this contest as a fundraiser. In addition to the celebrity judging category, members can “vote” for one another’s photos by making a cash donation. The prizes in this “fundraiser” contest are way cooler (including a session with a professional “pet” photographer and a custom painting of your animal), BUT – if you’ve got money to spare, I highly encourage you to make a donation to a local or grassroots animal rescue/rights group instead. Trust me…most likely, they’ll make much more efficient use of the funds than the HSUS, which in the past has hoarded Katrina relief funds and offered a reward to help the FBI catch so-called eco-terrorists – among other offenses. Ahem.

Naturally, I’m totally using this as an excuse to whip out the furkid photos. Here are my entries – all six of ’em!

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Ralphie – dog

My person: Kelly, Plattsburg, MO, United States

Nickname: Ralphie Bear

Favorite thing to do: walking, hiking, digging, eating, sunning

Most endearing bad habit: bossily barking at me while I prepare his meal.

Ralphie loves to dig, so we’ll go out to a pasture behind our house, and I’ll let him dig for a few hours while I read, nap or just enjoy his company. He’s my silly little cuddle bear!

My Charity: Kansas Humane Society (Wichita, Kansas, United States)

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PETA, the KKK and the AKC

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Just for the record – and because it’s starting to feel like all-PETA, all the time around here, Dog help us all – this shit is so unbelievably uncool:

NEW YORK – “Is this really the KKK?” somebody asked the woman in the white robe and the pointy hat.

Crowds gawked at a table set up outside Madison Square Garden on Monday afternoon, where People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was protesting the start of the Westminster Kennel Club show. PETA contends that the American Kennel Club promotes pure-breeding of dogs that is harmful to their health.

“Welcome AKC Members,” read a banner hanging from the table — with AKC crossed out and KKK written above it. Two PETA protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members, while other volunteers handed out brochures that read: “The KKK and the AKC: BFF?” […]

Most passers-by seemed more puzzled than offended, though those who didn’t stop walked away thinking they really had seen the KKK. The most common reaction was to pull out a cell phone and start snapping photos.

I wasn’t going to mention this latest offense – I’m so, so sick of talking about PETA – but it landed on one of the larger feminist blogs today, so meh. Lest I be branded a shill for PETA (zomg, I defend them on occasion!), perhaps I’d better weigh in.

While I think the comparison that PETA’s making is a valid one – namely, that the AKC is akin to the KKK inasmuch as the two fetishize a “pure,” “master,” genetically superior strain of beings (be it “race” or “breed”), going to unconscionable lengths to achieve this racist/breedist dream – certainly they can do so without parading around NYC in sheets and hoods, no?

Not only is the Klan gear unnecessary for their analogy (the comparison works quite well without it, methinks), it’s also distracting from the message – the controversy lands on NBC, yes, but the discussion becomes more about PETA’s racism than the AKC’s destructive policies.

Most importantly, by donning a potent, contemporary symbol of racism, PETA (yet again) demonstrates their complete lack of sensitivity and concern for marginalized groups other than non-human animals. While I don’t expect them to join in marches for the Jena 6 or crusade for better public housing for the urban poor – after all, they are an animal rights group – I do expect them to refrain from engaging in other “isms,” including racism. Gleefully foisting such an infamous, lasting symbol of hatred upon the public, some of whom may be traumatized by the experience (because of both the collective, ancestral and individual, first-hand experience with this hatred) is inexcusable. It’s racist, plain and simple. And any attempts to justify this behavior with appeals to the “oppression Olympics” (e.g., “but animals have it worse!”) or by claiming that the ends somehow justify the means (“at least they got us talking about it”) are privileged at best.

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f—ing love her!

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Via ecorazzi, singer Neko Case of The New Pornographers has persuaded her record label to donate $5 to Best Friends Animal Society every time a blogger links to her new single, ‘People Got a Lotta Nerve.’ So link, people!

Of Best Friends, Neko says:

“Best Friends took the Michael Vick dogs,” Case points out. “That’s a big deal because a lot of supposed animal welfare organizations like PETA — who can blow me — said you should euthanize the dogs immediately. But it’s not the dogs’ fault that they were fighting dogs — they’ve been abused. Pit bulls are muscular and big, but they’re not man-eaters.”

By the by, of the 49 Vick pit bulls, only one was deemed too vicious to save and was killed. Subsequently, 25 were placed in foster homes and/or adopted, and 22 found permanent sanctuary at Best Friends. Those 47 lives might be a drop in the ocean to PETA, but their abuse makes them no less deserving of life than the “food” or “fur-bearing” animals PETA typically focuses on. More so than their “naked ads,” their stance on the Vick dogs, as well as their forays into animal rescue and “adoption,” has been and will likely remain an objection of epic proportions that I have with PETA.

PETA, I might add, is an animal welfare group – not an animal rights group. Yes, there’s a difference – and it’s a biggie.

(At the most fundamental level, they appear to support Peter Singer’s philosophy of utilitarianism, which is a form of “progressive animal welfarism” – not animal rights. See also: PETA’s support of breed-specific legislation; their continued insistence that killing the Vick dogs would have been the right thing to do; and their “humane” killing of shelter animals rather than spend the time, money and effort to rehome them.)

And can I just say that I also f—ing love Neko for correctly identifying PETA as a welfare group? f—ing love her, I do!

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Another twist in the Obama family doggy drama.

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Update, 1/22/09:

Now that this post is making the rounds (which is to say, a few bloggers have mentioned it – lolz on me!), I want to make the following clarifications:

1) As I said at Change.org, I don’t think Obama is a misogynist. In calling his “girly dog” remark sexist, I’m not grouping him with hardcore misogynists like Ann Coulter, Joe Francis, Rick Warren and the like. Rather, I think that Obama occasionally engages in the sort of casual, softcore sexism that’s all too common among men (and women!) who have been raised in a culture steeped in misogyny. An occasional slip is understandable and excusable – after all, we’re all socialized with certain prejudices, which we have to unlearn – but only if you’re willing to recognize, apologize and learn from it.

Here, Mrs. Obama offered her husband several opportunities to reconsider his comments – and he didn’t. To me, his failure to recognize how this gendered stereotype might offend his wife and daughters is worse than the comments themselves.

2) Upon re-reading the post, I see that I conflated “small dogs” with “girly dogs” – my bad! While I think there’s a strong correlation between a dog’s size and his/her perceived “girly”-ness, there are exceptions. The standard poodle, for example, is a larger breed, but might be considered “girly,” inasmuch as it’s “high maintenance” (i.e., is rather well groomed). “Girly doesn’t necessarily equal “small,” but the two are somewhat related.

Nor do I have a problem with Obama preferring a large dog; indeed, as some have pointed out, large dogs are overrepresented in shelters, at least in some areas of the country, and thus it might do more good for Obama to adopt a large breed. That’s fine by me – but he can do so without denigrating “girly” dogs (and, by extension, actual girls and women).

3) Enumerating the consequences of gender-based stereotypes and insults on human men and women is well beyond the scope of this blog.

However, if you:

a) Don’t understand why the term “girly” might be perceived as an insult, and a gender-based one at that;

b) Don’t see the links between misogyny and homophobia; and/or

c) Don’t recognize the practical, real-world effects of gender stereotypes and gendered slurs on men and women (and girls and boys), or understand how men and women (and girls and boys) receive different, gendered socialization, then

I highly recommend adding some feminist blogs to your reading list. For a primer, start with Finally, a feminism 101 blog. As far as non-AR feminist blogs go, I also like Shakespeare’s Sister and Feministe, both of which are relatively light on speciesism.

If you think I need to “lighten up” or “get over myself,” you really need to do some feminist homework!

4) Finally, I’d like to add that the term “girly dog” also invokes class and race stereotypes. When you think of the quintessential “girly dog” and her “owner,” probably you think of a small, white, yappy, puffy little dog with bows in her perfectly groomed hair. The dog – being a lap dog, as Obama also said – is most likely pictured lounging on the lap of an equally perfectly groomed woman, who is either prissy and “diva”-ish, like Paris Hilton (another blogger’s term and example), or older and regally respectable, like Ms. Walters. Either way, she’s white and upper-class. At least, that’s my take on the term.

—————–

Oy. After months of equivocating on the dog issue, the Obama family has announced that they’ve narrowed their choice down to two breeds: the Labradoodle and the Portuguese Water Dog. Unfortunately, as Adopt-a-Pet.com reports, while these are not the only two “hypoallergenic” breeds available, they are harder to find on animal adoption websites:

You recently signed Adopt-a-Pet.com’s petition on www.Presidential-Pooch-Pardon.com asking Barack Obama to adopt a shelter dog. He is interested in adopting, but has narrowed his search to uncommon breeds that are difficult to find in a shelter. Now, on the President-Elect’s website, there’s a section where people can vote for their favorite ideas, and the top vote-getting ideas will be directly seen by Obama. One of the animal shelter workers who posts pets for adoption on Adopt-a-Pet.com has posted an idea urging the president to consider finding a mixed breed dog with the right individual traits that meets his family’s needs.

You can make a huge difference by voting one more time here. If this is your first time on the site, you’ll be asked to create an account, which is super simple. After you create your account, click the link above again to locate the suggestion.

Thank you for being part of this non-partisan effort to promote homeless pet adoption please spread the word to your friends!

Indeed, a search of Petfinder for “Labradoodle” currently turns up zero results, while “Portuguese Water Dog” uncovers seven purebred dogs.

Additionally, in selecting a purebred dog, the Obamas are practically inviting greedy breeders to cash in on their (hopefully) compassionate choice by sexually exploiting and selling the “Obama dog.” (Doubly so if they adopt a breed that’s hard to find through adoption routes.) A mixed breed or mutt – particularly one of unknown heritage, which can’t easily be reproduced – would help minimize this risk.

Also on the Obama dog front, Adopt-a-Pet.com has some crazy cute graphics you can download, encouraging the Obamas to adopt a mutt.

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They’re available at muttslikeme.adoptapet.com, which is a riff on Obama’s observation that “A lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me.”

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The Perfect Cup of Tea

Monday, January 5th, 2009

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Mix 1/2 cup of Silk’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice soy milk with 1/2 cup water. Microwave until hot-hot-hot – about two and a half minutes – and then throw in one or two bags of your favorite tea. Let steep for five minutes, add a bit of sugar to taste, and enjoy!

I’m sipping on a cup now (Bigelow’s Earl Grey Green Tea; I prefer their Green Tea with Peach, but I’m plum out), trying my very bestest to find my calm zen place, after hearing rumors on the internets that Obama plans to both adopt and buy a dog, in an incredibly stupid attempt to play even the most trivial of issues* both ways. And no, the run-on sentences definitely aren’t originating from my zen place.

For what it’s worth, I’m so glad I voted my conscience this election cycle. Otherwise, I probably would have thrown my mug through the front window by now.

* Relatively speaking, and totally removed from the decision’s context and long-term consequences.

—————

Tagged:

LCA: Requiem For a Pit Bull

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Last Chance for Animals – campaigns [at] lcanimal.org
Date: Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 8:40 PM
Subject: Message from Chris DeRose – Requiem For a Pit Bull

Requiem for a Pit Bull

“Christina’s Court” will be airing a segment called, “Requiem for a Pit Bull,” that is inspiring and uplifting. The show’s Executive Producer, Peter Brennan, also was the Executive Producer of “A Current Affair” and “Hard Copy,” as well as the Creator of “A Current Affair.” Being the maverick he is, he allowed me to produce and report on dozens of hard core animal rights stories that no one else would touch with a ten foot pole. Peter alone has made strong animal issues in media a common household occurrence on many TV networks and cable stations. Now he has “Christina’s Court” and already he is taking no prisoners by having a show that sets a precedent in how animal cruelty should be dealt with. PLEASE watch the show below, it’s a half hour segment and worth every second of your time. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Chris DeRose
LCA President & Founder

Click here for “Requiem for a Pit Bull”

This case illustrated the divide between pit bull lovers and the people who fear them, right or wrong. The TV court show, “Christina’s Court,” has heard many cases where an ill-trained pit bull has caused injury and tragedy when let run loose. But in this case, the dog was a two-year-old hand raised well trained and much loved member of the family who played with other dogs and had never had a fight. Citing his fear of the dog, the neighbor went to his gun cabinet, took out a .22 caliber weapon and fired five bullets into the young dog. Apparently the reputation of his breed cost him his life.

Maybe there’s a lesson here about tolerance in general. The case is the “Christina’s Court” entry in the 2008 Daytime Emmy Awards. Feel free to forward the link to your friends and associates.

Last Chance for Animals | 8033 Sunset Blvd. #835 | Los Angeles | CA | 90046

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Kinship Circle: Lucy Is Gone – Speak Out In Her Name

Friday, December 21st, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 21, 2007 12:31 AM
Subject: Lucy Is Gone – Speak Out In Her Name

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

12/21/07: Lucy Is Gone – Speak Out In Her Name
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

Kinship Circle - 2007-12-21 - Lucy Is Gone 01

SOURCE OF INFORMATION:

Lucy was Killed Today… Please say a prayer light a candle for her…
http://www.freewebs.com/freelucy

W.A.R. (Win Animal Rights)
centcom [at] war-online.org, http://war-online.org

Sunnyvale, California Government Contacts
http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/

EMAIL kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net FOR WORD DOC OF A FORMATTED LETTER.
Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: EMERGENCY – STOP LUCY’S EXECUTION TONIGHT

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 19, 2007 7:42 PM
Subject: EMERGENCY – STOP LUCY’S EXECUTION TONIGHT

Kinship Circle - 2007-12-19 - STOP LUCY'S EXECUTION TONIGHT

IT IS NOT YET 7:00 PM IN CALIFORNIA…
CALL 619-525-4641 (California governor’s San Diego office)

POLITELY ask them to pardon Lucy, a one-time “offender” scheduled to be killed at 7:00pm tonight. Tell them “I love Lucy,” spare her life. Ask for compassion and clemency for this poor dog. [INFO ABOUT CASE BELOW]

ORIGINAL ALERT BELOW:

From: Centcom – centcom [at] war-online.org
Organization: Win Animal Rights
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007
Subject: [WAR] URGENT – EMERGENCY – HELP STOP LUCY’S EXECUTION TONIGHT

*****Cross Post Widely & Quickly*****

SAVE LUCY

We need a strong effort over the next few hours to save Lucy’s life. An underhanded City Attorney (see # 3 below for contact info) has issued the order for Lucy’s execution despite the fact the he knows that an effort is being made to reverse or appeal the decision. He has ordered the Shelter which houses Lucy to end her life. They do not want to see this happen, but will be legally compelled to comply by 7:00 pm west coast time tonight.

The mayor is sympathetic, but wont take a stand. The city council is split. The governor’s office doesnt want to get involved. The shelter is stuck in the middle. Please help them see the light.

ATTORNEYS ARE IN PROCESS OF FILING LEGAL PAPERWORK TO STOP THE EXECUTION.

Talking point for phone calls:

* The eyes of the world will be on Sunnyvale.
* To kill a dog that is not a danger to the community the week before Christmas is a public relations disaster.
* The City Attorney is using his power to subvert the legal system as he knows that attorneys are filing appeals
* The Governor absolutely has the power to stop the execution
* Over 11,000 petition signatures were gathered in just over 24 hours. People care about Lucy.
* Animal behaviorists and shelter staff say that Lucy is not in the least bit aggressive. She is not a danger.

Here are things you can do:

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: People Magazine on Dog Discrimination, against big black dogs 6/11/07 edition

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jun 5, 2007 1:19 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: People Magazine on Dog Discrimination, against big black dogs 6/11/07 edition

The current, June 11, edition of People Magazine, has a great story by Jill Smolowe headed, “Dog Discrimination?” and sub-headed, “When it comes to finding owners, big black pooches often face a tougher time than canines of other colors. Tamara Delany hopes to change that.” (Pg 93.)

It focuses on Delany’s attempts to find a home for a dog known in the rescue world as a BBD: a big black dog. We learn that such dogs have “two strikes,” being over 50lbs and black. An animal shelter worker quoted says, “The black dog is definitely more at risk of going to death row than a yellow or tan dog.”

We read:

“Delany, 43, has made it her mission to champion BBDs. A lifelong animal lover who at age 3 convinced her father to stop hunting, she first stumbled on the grim BBD phenomenon in 2003….”

She decided “These dogs need a Web site.'” It is http://www.blackpearldogs.com/

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: NY Times Magazine cover story on designer hybrids 2/4/07

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Such a sad story….

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Feb 4, 2007 6:15 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: NY Times Magazine cover story (corrected) on designer hybrids 2/4/07

The cover of the Sunday, February 4, New York Times Magazine has a photo of a puggle puppy and the caption, “Designer Dog Fights.”

The story inside, pg 42, is headed, “The Modern Kennel Conundrum” with sub-headed, “Is a hyperdesigned hybrid dog a better dog, an overpriced mutt of a dog, or no dog at all?” The article covers the burgeoning popularity of designer dogs, combinations of different breeds. It includes photos of a Labradoodle (Labrador + Poodle), a Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel + Poodle) a Boggle (Boston Terrier + Beagle) and a Peagle (Pekingese + Beagle).

The reporter, Jon Mooallem, spends time at Puppy Haven Kennel, where puggles are said to have originated, and which sounds like a puppy mill:

“The dim, 4,300-square-foot building housed about 400 dogs, most of them puppies, in 120 elevated cages. It is one of three whelping houses at the Puppy Haven Kennel, the 1,600-dog compound that Havens has built up over the last 30 years in the outlands north of Madison, Wis. Nearby, an affable elderly couple hosed feces from slats below the cages….

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: New York Magazine’s "Everything Guide to Getting a Dog" 1/15/06

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jan 9, 2007 4:21 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: New York Magazine’s “Everything Guide to Getting a Dog” 1/15/06

The January 15 edition of New York Magazine includes, “The Everything Guide to Getting a Dog.”

It has seven sections:

“1. The Pound or the Purebred?
Two paths to bringing home Fido.

2. What to Get, Pre-Puppy
From beef bones to hound health books.

3. The Cost of a Dog
Here, the range of prices for a canine companion, from the local shelter to the toniest puppy producer.

4. Ten City-Friendly Dogs
Here, ten dogs with the temperament to enjoy sidewalks, traffic, and the dog run.

5. A Year of Kibble-and-Playdates Calculus
Two ways to pamper your dog.

6. Ask an Expert: the Dog Trainer
On puppy mills, chew-a-holics, and why you should wait a month to name the new dog.

7. Getting Around
Navigating subways, trains, and taxis with pooch in tow.”

Though we wish the article was all about rescue, at least rescue is well represented. “The Pound or the Purebred” simply gives information as to where one might buy, and where one might rescue. But “The Cost of a Dog” section, by Rosecrans Baldwin, opens with these two rescue options:

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Newsweek covers Disney Doggie Disclaimers — August 14 edition

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Aug 9, 2006 1:56 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Newsweek covers Disney Doggie Disclaimers — August 14 edition

The August 14 edition of Newsweek covers the Disney decision to include warnings with its DVD distribution in an article in the “Periscope” section headed, “DVD’s: Doggie Disclaimers.” (Pg 10.)

It quotes a spokesman for a Siberian husky rescue group who says that after ‘Snow Dogs,’ “A lot of people got huskies without doing any research. A year later, they wound up with a dog they didn’t want.” And we read that there was “a reported 25 percent jump in dumped Dalmatians a year after 1996’s ‘101 Dalmatians.'”

We learn, “Last month Disney placed inserts in the DVDs of ‘Eight Below’ telling viewers to research before purchasing a husky. Those inside DVDs of ‘The Shaggy Dog,’ released last week, warn viewers that a bearded collie, the breed of the movie’s star, ‘is an active and intelligent dog, but not right for everyone.’ Similar inserts will be placed in the packaging of ‘Air Buddies,’ starring a family of golden retrievers, when it’s released on DVD in December.”

(More below the fold…)