McQueen, A Bag, & The Humane Myth

Alexander McQueen’s nineteenth-century aristocracy inspired Fall 09 collection is handsome, no doubt. Even the models’ makeup made them appear to be walking out of old, sepia photographs. While the garments were technically gorgeous -slender suits, jackets and coats with utilitarian embellishments, and just enough decoration – the sheer amount of fur, leather, and wool used to make them puts Alex’s lack of accountability and textile resourcefulness in the same century he is trying to depict. Can you image how amazing this collection would be if it were made from organics, recycled fabrics, and animal-free materials, but looked the same? It would be visionary. Sadly, we are almost a decade into the 21st century and we still have designers like McQueen who can’t seem to combine their amazing talent with any vision for a sustainable civilization or future where we don’t enslave and torture animals for textiles. Can someone get this man an eco-fabrics directory?

“Humane” meat and dairyHumaneMyth.org aims to take on the greenwashing behind many of the producers who want you to think they are killing with kindness.

http://tommcmahon.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/cowknife.jpg

Humane myth. An idea being propagated by the animal-using industry and some animal protection organizations that it is possible to use and kill animals in a manner that can be fairly described as respectful or compassionate or humane.”


Bourgeois Boheme’s Callum bag is the perfect courier. Faux leather, canvass, and handsome striped lining!

BoBo Callum - Black

Horror Chick Flicks & Supreme Scramble

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1. The BEST tofu-scramble I have ever had is at Bliss, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall organic, vegetarian brunch and dinner joint, in a prime location on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. The music is innocently and charmingly terrible, the staff is adorable and sweet, and the homemade cashew cookies and chocolate cupcakes are addictive. The winner, though, is the amazing, savory, soy scramble that keeps me coming back at least once a week.

718-599-2547
**Cash Only**
191 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Cross Street: Btwn N 6th & N 7th Sts
Public Transit: L @ Bedford Ave

2. Trader Joe’s has finally abandoned Gemperle Enterprises Eggs after friends of DB, Mercy For Animals, exposed undercover investigative footage of the gross neglect and cruel treatment of hens at Gemperle Enterprises’ factory egg farm in California. Like the Westland Meat/ Hallmark Beef recall, this has generated a flurry of media attention across the nation, including stories on CNN.com and by the LA Times, and the Associated Press. Not surprisingly, when people really see what’s happening on factory farms, it’s almost impossible not to withdraw financial sponsorship of behavior that is so contradictory to our own conscience.

The decision came on the heels of MFA’s news conference in Los Angeles, which revealed the grocery chain’s business relationship with Gemperle Enterprises, where employees were caught on hidden camera kicking, throwing, and stomping on live birds.

Although this announcement is a good first step, Trader Joe’s must do more. Please write to the CEO of Trader Joe’s and urge him to take further action to prevent cruelty to animals by adopting a strict policy against the sale of battery-cage eggs.

Egg Laying chickens are probably the most abused animals, and unfortunately, these behaviors are considered normal on typical egg farms. Egg alternatives, click here:

Vegenaise

Advice on substituting eggs from Post Punk Kitchen.

DB Etiquette Recommendation: The best way to avoid supporting activities with no regard for the suffering of living, feeling animals is to stop eating eggs and adopt a healthy, plant-based diet.

Total Recall

Beef?

An historical event has transpired – for the first time ever, undercover footage recorded by a Humane Society investigator has grabbed headlines nationwide. This has resulted in the largest recall of beef in US history – 143 million pounds, and has exposed horrible cruelties that, while commonplace, were shocking and new to anyone who has never seen the underbelly of factory farming. Trying to make sense of them is another story.The coverage that this undercover video-clip received nationwide, and the beef recall itself, were both watersheds. If you haven’t seen the clip, please watch below:

For more of the footage click HERE

Meat-eating has always been associated with manliness in our culture. Traditionally, the pHunterredatory nature of hunting required physical strength, stamina, tool-making, and often hours to days of tracking herds. Then there was the kill; the bloody and exhausting act of taking down large animals, cutting them up and bringing them home. Many anthropologists and primatologists argue that meat was a pivotal way to exert social control in the form of currency due to its desirability. While women may have collected most gatherer-hunter protein sources, we should not ignore the fact that men were able to use meat for their own selfish and manipulative political ends. It’s no surprise then, that thousands of years later, most men still identify with this nearly-universal symbol of masculine social and political power, though they rarely grasp why. What does this beef recall and the surrounding events say about us if real men eat meat?You Like Meat

Vegetarianism is often portrayed as weak, emasculating, and undesirable, although more and more men are realizing that a vegetable-based diet is healthier and better for the earth, and that the reality of their bond with meat is now relatively invalid. While meat is rarely necessary for survival in modern times, most advertising geared toward mainstream men still appeals to his hunter roots – to his very primal, instinctual brain. If the disconnect here is not apparent with the merciless cruelty shown in the video above, it might bring clarity to know that this is by no means an isolated incident. This is something that is commonplace from chicken farms to circuses to laboratories. These sweeping abuses of animals showcases a crippling and epidemic -sized inability to empathize, and a desire to play out those primal tendencies to control something so politically defining and powerful.

On farms worldwide, untold cruelties are trespassed. The video shows Hallmark Meat Packing Co. workers administering repeated electricDowned Cow shocks to downed cows — animals that are too sick, weak or otherwise unable to stand on their own. Workers are seen kicking cows, jabbing them near their eyes, ramming them with a forklift and shooting high-intensity water up their noses in an effort to force them to their feet for slaughter.Typically, the media shies away from showing footage of animal cruelty, despite the frequency of incidents like these in many industries, because it is believed that viewers will change the channel. However, if you tuned into your local news almost anywhere in the country in the last few days, it was impossible to miss it as news stations everywhere spent several minutes on this headlining story, shocking viewers – and raising many questions. The president of HMP published this statement on the meat company’s website.

“…Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007. We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training... ” – Steve Mendell, President Westland Meat Co. Hallmark Meat Packing

Go VegThis statement is an expected cliché and completely fails to elucidate the incident. In an industry where living, feeling, animals are reduced to mere economic units, it is no surprise that profit-seeking businesses end up treating animals in this way. The huge demand for meat results in an immense pressure to raise, exploit, and kill animals in such massive quantities that no dream of the resources required to produce “humane meat” could ever exist to satisfy the grotesque amount of meat consumption that occurs in the US. In addition, this immense demand requires assembly line killing, and any extra care taken or ‘downer’ incidentals means profit-loss. It’s an out-and-out contradiction to claim that any meat-production facility could sustain ‘humane’ policies. Less torturous, maybe, but never humane.

I am an AnimalExpect to see many, many more videos like this reaching the mainstream media, now that the barrier has been broken. Organizations like HSUS, PETA, and Farm Sanctuary continually send undercover investigators to work at these facilities and expose horrible cruelties. Now it seems many more investigations, like the Butterball Turkey Investigation showcased in the HBO documentary “I Am An Animal” will reach more viewers.

The Humane Society says the video was shot last year by an undercover investigator . Investigators like these, who wear a hidden camera under their clothes and work at the facilities, risk their safety and deserve our praise.

If you want to get involved, but need some motivation, visit GoVeg.com, and watch ‘Earthlings’ starring the Discerning Brute, Joaquin Phoenix:

Don't Buy A Dog

Enzoenzito

Meet Enzo. He is my new 3-year-old child. The people that originally ‘owned’ him neglected, abused, and abandoned him, but he is doing really well after only a couple of months with me. I rescued him through www.sugarmuttsrescue.org. Enzo is one good reason NOT to buy a dog from a pet store or breeder. Every time we purchase a pet, be it fish, fowl, feline or French Bulldog, wonderful creatures like Enzo sit in a shelter, waiting to be put-down – or possibly worse yet, rot in a no-kill shelter for their whole lives without a family or proper care.

The demand for pure-bred designer puppies is so powerful that breeders and puppy-mills that force dogs to spend their entire lives in cages constantly breeding have become a serious problem. They continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who fall for cute puppies in pet store windows and on fancy websites. How can we ethically purchase a dog when so many need to be rescued? Did you know that there are almost 4 million dogs and cats put to sleep each year due to pet overpopulation?

“Life is particularly bad for “breeding stock,” dogs who live their entire lives in cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. These dogs receive little or no veterinary care and never see a bed, a treat or a toy. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems. ”

Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:
6-8 million (HSUS estimate)
Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:
Between 600,000 and 750,000 — 30% of dogs and 2-5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)
Number of animal shelters in the United States:
Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)
Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred:
25% (HSUS estimate)
Average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year: 3Average number of kittens in a feline litter: 4-6Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6-10

Updated Oct. 12, 2006

- The Humane Society of the United States

These gorgeous gals in my lap were rescued by my friends Chloé Jo and Jeremy. As you can see, these pitbull mixes are totally vicious! Contrary to popular opinion, pitbulls and pitbull mixes can make amazing companions.

Pits

Avoid the temptation to “rescue” a puppy mill or pet-store puppy by buying him. Even though your intentions may be good, don’t buy a puppy with the idea that you are “rescuing” him or her. Your “rescue” opens up space for another poor puppy mill puppy and puts money into the pockets of the puppy mill. Pet stores won’t leave their cages empty and websites won’t leave their pages blank. The money you spend on your puppy goes right back to the puppy mill operator and ensures they can continue breeding and treating dogs inhumanely. If you see someone keeping puppies in poor conditions, alert your local animal control authorities instead of buying.

HSUS has a great resource on adoption.

Adopt a New York City animal in need today from NYCACC, BARC , Sugar Mutts Rescue and ASPCA