Search This Blog

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time to talk turkey

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and many people are ordering their birds. Whether your bird is "real" or "fake" here are some good ideas on how to get the best bird possible:

If you are a vegetarian
I have tried several different kinds of "furkey", and the best one in my opinion is a Quorn Turk'y Roast. Quorn is a type of protein -- in this case, mycoprotein -- that is used in products to simulate a me
at substance. Mycoprotein, unlike soy-based proteins, is a fungus that is grown in vats of glucose syrup. It may sound less than desirable, but once you bake your Turk'y roast, you will understand why it is one of leading substitute meats out there.
If you are an omnivore
Don't be fooled by the same marketing ploys that bring you "happy cows from California" or "free-range chickens." Instead, check out these sites that actually certify farming practices as humane.

According to Humane Farm Animal Care,
"...only a few producers raise turkeys this way -- Ayrshire Farm in Virginia and Footsteps Farm in Connecticut.” Consumers can order directly from Ayrshire Farm at: and Footsteps Farm"

And Animal Welfare Approved offers many options. Visit their search site to search for a humane turkey in your area here.

This year, I am thankful for many things... But mostly for organizations like Humane Farm Animal Care and Animal Welfare Approved that speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Animal welfare on the ballot this year

Now that the dust has settled after the 2010 midterm elections, we are beginning to see what we lost... and what we won.

It is not easy to see our victories, but these two are as clear as Sarah Palin's accent.

In Missouri, Prop B -- which will stop puppy mill abuses -- passed with flying colors. Puppy mills look, smell and sound exactly what they sound like: crowded, unhealthy, packed factories that pump out our best friends. Breeding dogs are kept inside cages and often never get to feel real ground. The puppies are ripped from their mothers and shipped off to pet stores in abhorrent conditions.

While their future owners will love them and no doubt treat them like a member of their own family, their brutal beginnings -- and mothers and siblings they left behind -- can never be erased or their treatment justified.

The Puppy Mill Creulty Prevention Act was a win among many losses.

And in Arizona, voters roundly rejected Proposition 109, a initiative that would have politicized wildlife management and taken control out of voters' hands. Not only would it make hunting and fishing the preferred method of managing wildlife, but it could have -- if not defeated -- also rolled-back important wildlife protection measures, like prohibiting steel traps.

Note: I typically support taking support out of voters' hands when it comes to important issues (ie: reproductive rights, civil rights, etc...). But when it comes to fuzzy animal issues, voters overwhelmingly vote for the animal... any animal that we use for meat is of course exempt from this.

So when we are down and out, and looking back at election day, we can always remember these rays of light piercing the darkness.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My answer to Lady Gaga's meat dress

On September 12th, Lady Gaga made headlines wearing a meat dress to the MTV's Video Music Awards. While it was only one of her many outfits of the evening (I mean, even though we are in a recession, VMAs will always be VMAs), the meat dress was certainly the one that got the most attention.

In response to the meat dress -- and how it might offend vegetarians, vegans, poor and hungry people -- Gaga said:
"Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian... If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat."
Huh? Well, we can't spend too much time dissecting celebrities thoughts and reasons for doing all the crap they do... What we can do, is answer it with something that does make sense.

So, for Halloween this year -- despite the fact that it was rated as one of the WORST Halloween costumes for 2010 -- I dressed up as Lady Gaga in her meat dress. It was Alex's idea, actually. I was trying to decide what to be for Halloween, and Alex (brilliant as always) suggested I dress up in fake meat. The thought of pinning Boca burgers, facon and soysauge to me was just a little less disgusting that what Lady Gaga actually did, so I pinned the boxes to a dress.

The costume was awesome. Lady Gaga's bow-wig and 80's glasses complimented the dress and vegan boots fantastically, but getting the boxes was perhaps the best part.

I wandered around my office, asking my colleagues if they had any fake meat boxes. Of course, many of them did (as we work at a conservation organization) and the next day I had enough meat boxes to cover my 5'2" body.

Ellen could not have said it better on her show when she suggested that next time Gaga wear a veggie bikini.