DBTV Interview: Jeff Corwin

I recently interviewed Jeff Corwin, wildlife conservationist and television host/producer, about some environmental issues. We discussed everything from palm oil plantations to endangered species, extinction, and his breathtaking documentary: 100 Heartbeats for MSNBC. (Special thanks to Joelle Katcher, for shooting the interview!)

While I respect the amazing work he does educating people about wildlife conservation, I do wish Corwin had stuck to his vegetarianism due to meat production’s connection to deforestation, global warming, air and water pollution and worse. When asked about his stance on being veg at a talk documented on Youtube, he avoided any of the facts, and fell into personal defensiveness, evoking the cliche rationalization,  “if lions can do it so can we…and I am hungry“.  C’mon, Jeff! You don’t see lions making gazelle factory farms. They kill for survival. We torture for the taste. You are smart enough to see the difference. At least acknowledge that meat production is a huge environmental disaster and one of the most powerful things we can easily give up to help the environment.

Regardless, Jeff is pretty awesome, and his mission to educate people about endangered species and the current extinction event we are causing is so critical to the future of the planet and our survival as a species. So watch the trailer for 100 Heartbeats:

Fresh Friday Finds

1. John Patrick Organic Spring 2009

John Patrick has done it again! As one of my favorite designers, his dreamy, bucolic, utopian vision came to life at the Desmond Tutu center in Chelsea last month. This American Gothic reminds us that our land-base in primary, and taking care of it (like using organic cotton, fair-labor, sustainable practices – developing sustainable cottage industries, and growing your own organic cotton in the jungles of Peru) is crucial. Click here to view the complete collection for men and women.

2. Vegetable-Based Leather is my bag, baby!
Vegetable-based ‘leather‘  made by Amazonian natives from sustainable plant matter, and recycled canvas from cargo trucks. Need I say more? The bags and accessories from Paz Apparel are hot, and I love this oversized “Uptown Handbag“. Thanks to reader, Ari for the tip-off!

$125, Paz Apparel

Also from Paz:

3. sea shepherd flag

One of DB’s favorite organizations, Sea Shepherd, will be featured in Animal Planet’s 7-episode special series “Whale Wars”. On Friday, November 7th Animal Planet will premiere Whale Wars at 9 PM ET/PT in the US, and internationally in early 2009. For additional information, photos and a sneak peak at the series go to:
http://animal.discovery.com/tv/whale-wars/

4. Peter Singer is the Godfather…

Joshua & Peter Singer at Karen Dawn's event

I got the honor of meeting Peter Singer, father of the modern animal rights movement and author of “Animal Liberation” at a party for Karen Dawn’s (Dawnwatch) birthday and book reading. It’s not often you get to meet the person who set the new course for your life. I recommend reading both books!

When Purchasing Books, I also strongly recommend supporting local independent bookstores. Use Indiebound.org as opposed to the not-at-all-ethically-fabulous Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Do it!!!

Buy Thanking the Monkey now from Amazon

5. Autumn is in the Air

And so are these seasonal smells from DB friend, A Scent of Scandal! Check out: OLD SCHOOL  – granny smith, ROUGH PATCH – pumpkin, & TURNING TRICKS – candy corn.

6. Do Rabbits Scream?

Find out more about Armani on peta.org.

The answer is yes, and this new undercover video of rabbit fur farms in France and China is enough to make anyone give fur the cold shoulder. PETAs Armani campaign is in full swing. Get involved!

7. Shoes that will make you swoon
A little bird told me that Elizabeth Olsen (Olsen Haus), whose vegan shoe line is blowing up and selling out all over the place right now, will be making vegan shoes for men that are as equally badass as her womens’ shoes. And to get a taste of how she rolls, take a look at these:

(All I can say is that I am looking forward to dancing in some blue suede-like mens’ shoes.) More to come, stay tuned.

8. Home

In Defense of Animals is taking on Zappos‘ hairy sales, exposing outdated primate nicotine experiments,planning for Fur Free Friday, and standing up to Puppy Mills. Check out their campaigns and get involved!

thimble, a monkey orphaned by Spindel's experiments

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9. Pick an Apple!

Get out of town before the season is over. If you haven’t been to the Hudson Valley in New York State for an autumn adventure, you don’t know what you’re missing! Click Here! or Here!

10. Party for the Pigs

Support Farm Sanctuary’s Party for the Pigs:
A benefit for the survivors of the Midwest flood disaster

In June of this year, Farm Sanctuary mobilized in Iowa to take part in one of the most ambitious farm animal rescues ever undertaken, after thousands of pigs were left to die in the Midwest flood disaster. During both land and water rescue operations, 69 pigs were rescued, including many pregnant sows who were once confined to gestation crates on factory farms. Now, these pigs, many of whom are still suffering from serious health problems, are at Farm Sanctuary receiving urgent care and undergoing rehabilitation.

On October 18, Farm Sanctuary will honor these survivors of the Midwest floods and raise critically needed funds for their care.

Please, help the pigs by attending the event or making a donation today!

PARTY FOR THE PIGS

Saturday, October 18, 6-9 p.m.
Equality Center
1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

FEATURING

Hosts
Persia White and Nellie McKay

A special performance by
Singer/songwriter and Broadway actress Nellie McKay

And…
Vegan hors d’oeuvres, a wine and beer bar, and a silent auction

Cocktail attire requested

RSVP now or call 607-583-2225 ext 221 to reserve your space.
General admission tickets cost $50.

Fresh Friday Finds

//asapblogs.typepad.com/news/images/2007/07/10/mccain.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.1. John McCain is insane! See MoveOn’s “10 Things to Know About John McCain“. Spread the hate, people – he certainly is. McCain opposes a woman’s right to choose. The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gay rights. Blach!

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2. Kitchen Hell! (Yes, Gordon planned to eat the lamb depicted – but was beat to the chase last summer by a predator that found the lamb on the sexy Beckhams’ estate.) After his cheesy Paris “Kitchen Nightmare” episode, Gordon Ramsey’s chef skills have proven to fail miserably when it comes to veg food. Girlie Girl: Chloe Jo and I wrote him letters, challenging him to prepare a vegan meal in NYC among fine veg dining establishments like Candle 79, Blossom, Counter, and Pure. We suggest you do the same. See our letters HERE.

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3. Scandal! Thanks to Ari at Scent of Scandal, (home of soy candles like “Double D” that smells like Melons) we find that Al Gore recently gave a speech on TED.com which is kind of like a brief addendum to An Inconvenient Truth. It’s about 30 minutes long and is quite inspiring. He’s extremely passionate and moving.

4. Oceans in Danger! Speaking of Al Gore, I had the opportunity to meetalgore and get photographed with him last night at Current TV’s advertising event. I’ve produced videos for Current in the past, and plan to do more in the future. I was shocked, however, to find beef & shrimp – two of the most notoriously ecologically destructive foods for global warming and oceans being served AT AL GORE’S EVENT. All I would eat were damned vegetable kabobs and liquor. In Peggy Bundy’s voice, “AaaaL!”

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5. Free Trade? Assasinations! The Columbia/US trade deal that Nancy Pelosi and Teamsters General Prez Jim Hoffa (official Obama supporter) are pissed-off about has to do with the fact that more than 2,500 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia, and very little has been done to bring their murderers to justice. Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/teamsters_logo.gif

“All of these trade deals are hurting American workers, but this one is especially bad because of Colombia’s horrible human rights record,” Hoffa said. “No agreement with Colombia should be considered until the government prosecutes the killers of trade unionists and until the union killings stop. Already this year, 11 trade unionists have been killed. It will take years to address the decades of violence and impunity that has taken place.”

For more info: http://www.teamster.org/

6. Guns Germs and More Germs! Speaking of Current TV, I grabbed this news story off of their homepage:

“Amazonian tribes have called for film and television crews to be banned from their territories after a British production company was accused of starting a flu epidemic that killed four members of a remote Indian people.

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As if we hadn’t already done enough to completely fuck over all indigenous peoples, we are systematically destroying all hope for human survival after civilization. These are the only people who know how to survive succesfully (look at their track record!) outside of our civilization – when they go away, so does their intimate knowledge of the earth – knowledge we are less and less likely to recover as every single day goes by. Shame!

7. Animal Planet Goes Ape-Shit! Animal Planet’s new series RAW NATURE,//216.122.128.205/images/uploads/ANIMAL-PLANET.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. gives viewers:

“… an unprecedented and immersive look at the intersection between human nature and animal instinct. The fearless filmmakers of RAW NATURE strike out across the globe to give first-hand accounts of dedicated wildlife professionals working to help animals survive human encroachment. Among other stories, the series showcases a man who’s dedicated his life to rescuing poached sloth bears forced to entertain and dance on the streets of Agra, India, and a biologist in Sumatra who’s doing everything she can to help save the orangutan population from total extinction.”

Only time will tell if this is a legit show trying to help animals – or just another “extreme” nature show exploiting and stereotyping nature. RAW NATURE premieres Tuesday, April 29, at 9 PM (ET/PT) and airs for five consecutive weeks.

8. Organic Hemp, Greek Boating Cap. This hat is quite handsome. 100% Organic Hemp, from Ecolution.

Ecolution Organic Hemp Greek Boating Hat

9. Spring Mariners. These ‘vegetan’ slip-ons from Vegetarian Shoes UK are perfect for summer. Made in Portugal, %100 vegan.

10. Pest Pardon. Humans aren’t the only pests that thrive in spring and summer. Don’t you hate the term ‘Pest’ anyway? If you get a rodent that you didn’t invite or rescue from a lab – use the Humane No-Kill Trap. Please? It’s only $12 and you can use it over and over.

Humane No-Kill Mousetrap