Earlier this month Team Vegan had an impressive showing in the Oxfam Trailwalker. Our team of four walked 100km in 22 hours and 26 minutes – coming in 64th out of 265 teams. This photo shows our boundless elation at having finished such a mighty walking challenge. Not only did we give vegans everywhere a good name, we raised $3,320 for Oxfam New Zealand. Go Team Vegan!
Fur is back in the news. The New York Times reports that ‘[f]or the first time in more than two decades, more designers are using fur than not.’ In New York alone, 2/3 of its fashion designers are using fur. The grisly facts of fur are well known and yet fur is staging a comeback. Why? In its report, the Times suggests that the increase in fur is due to an aggressive marketing campaign by fur producers:
Much like lobbying groups in Washington, various cooperatives representing breeders, farmers and auction houses around the world solicit designers to use their furs.
California State Senator Dean Florez has proposed creating an ‘abuser registry’ for serious crimes involving animal cruelty. If it becomes law, this bill would place animal abusers on par with sex offenders and require the publication of abusers’ names, photographs, addresses, and other information. A draft copy of the proposed bill can be found here.
The beauty of the outdoors does indeed bring much sustenance, but one cannot live on beauty – or bread – alone. In fact, one requires a balanced, calorie-rich diet if one hopes to venture out into the wilderness. For most people this presents its challenges, but I will argue that eating vegan in the outdoors is a cinch. As a case study, I will discuss my culinary selections from my recent 14-day, 200-kilometre circuit of Stewart Island. I had to carry all of the food and gear I would need for 14 days, and so space and weight were at a premium.
Discussions about the economy are primarily anthropocentric in that they focus on the number of jobs lost, the rise and fall of the stock market, falling real estate prices, and so on. I want to use this post to highlight how animals are suffering from ‘The Great Recession’.
One of the most troubling signs of this recession is the large, escalating number of abandoned pets. I’m not talking about just cats and dogs – I’m also talking about ferrets, iguanas, hamsters, turtles, horses, goats, pigs, etc. Pet shelters have reported a massive increase in the number of abandoned pets. Some pets are simply tied to the door of the shelter. Others are let loose in shelter cark parks, or even thrown in dumpsters.
If you travel in the American southwest, anywhere in American Indian country, you are sure to come across frybread. Frybread is the staple of certain Native American tribes’ diets. At the size of a dinner plate, frybread forms the base of a Navajo Taco. Or it forms a sort of pancake, topped with margarine and jam. For something as seemingly innocuous as a slice of bread, frybread is full of controversy.
Frybread originated about 150 years ago, during the forced relocation of American Indians from Arizona to New Mexico. The new land could not support the Natives’ traditional diet of vegetables and beans, and so, to prevent the Natives’ starvation, the US government provided Indian tribes with rations: white flour, processed sugar, and lard. Frybread was born of these ingredients and has had a place in Native culture ever since – one can even buy a ‘Frybread Power’ T-shirt here.