What's better than a radio interview with acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer? A radio interview with Jonathan and ME! :) We were both recently guests on the program Uncovering the Real Costs of Factory Farming on Voice America'sSocial Myth Busting show. Yep, I certainly keep some good company! You can listen to our show here:
If you don't know who JSF is, he's the author of an amazing book, Eating Animals, which is a super eye-opening look at the way we eat. The book gained lots of attention worldwide because it could change your life, like it did for Natalie Portman! Want more proof? Check out how fans of our favourite vegan talkshow queen Ellen DeGeneres reacted after reading Jonathan's book:
I know you're just wishing that we'd put copies of Eating Animals under YOUR seat... Sorry! But we have done the next best thing. You can grab a copy of Eating Animals right now in the Unleashed shop or ... you can win a copy if you head over here to our big sister site Animals Australia and tell us what you'll do this year to help end factory farming.
Oh and you should tell me here too, so I can pass it on to my new BFF, JSF!
Ahem... Sorry. I got a bit caught up in the moment...
Rather than give you tips on the best chocolates to win your sweetheart over today, I thought I'd share a sweet story of love that I read a few years ago. I'll only ruin it if I try to put it in my own words, so here's the story, as told by Gary Kowalski in his book "The Souls of Animals":
Geese are famous for their fidelity to their partners. Once the initially shy female has warmed up to the romantic posturing of the gander and joined him in the "triumph-call," the two are wed for life.
One morning many years ago, a farmer living near Buenos Aires witnessed the heart-rending tenacity of this love when he went riding on horseback and noticed on the plain ahead of him two geese, a white male and a brown female, walking in the distance. Drawing closer, he observed that the female was plodding steadily southward. The male, greatly agitated, walked about forty or fifty yards ahead of her, periodically rising into the air with forlorn cries. After flying a short way the gander turned back to rejoin his mate in her weary march. This pattern was repeated again and again. The female had broken her wing and, unable to fly, had set forth afoot on her fall migration to the Magellanic Islands. Driven by his deepest instincts to fly south, the male nevertheless refused to abandon his partner, but remained loyal in her hour of need, plaintively begging her to spread her wings and join him in the long flight home. The pair was truly faithful "until death do us part."
And this is hardly the only remarkable story of Cupid working his magic amongst other animals...
Shakespeare wondered whether music is "the food of love". For gibbons it certainly is! Young male gibbons usually sing a solo early each morning. Young female gibbons don't sing at all, but instead are attracted by good singers. But it's once a pair of gibbons gets together that the real music begins. Once a female has picked a male, she will begin to sing with him. They will practice singing together every day, until they have created their own elaborate and unique duet. Their whole song can last up to a quarter of an hour, building towards a peak with the two of them whooping and calling as they swing through the branches, high up in one of their favourite trees.
Or what about cranes, who seem to dance not just to romance a mate, but for the sheer fun of it. And speaking of dancing, you've got to give these guys points for trying, even if they don't get the girl:
Happy Valentines Day! I hope you can share a little of the devotion of geese, the creativity of gibbons and the free-spirited joy of cranes with your loved one today ;)
Are you doing anything special this Valentine's Day?
Have you ever thought "If only world leaders cared more for animals!"? Imagine how things would change for the better if those in charge saw more than just a dollar sign hanging around animals' necks.
Well, some news from the weekend is a step in the right direction. In a recent interview, former US President, Bill Clinton said that he's 'experimenting' with being vegan in the hope it'll keep him in shape long enough to be around to see his grandkids come into the world:
I 'spose he didn't want to end up like this guy:
According to an Ecorazzi source close to Clinton "He knows quite a bit and likely has a lot to say about the benefits of a vegan diet. He has read The China Study, and he knows the issues. With time, I think it's likely he could become the most outspoken proponent of a complete vegan diet." I'll be keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that he sticks with it!
If you are anything like me, when a new book on veganism/vegetarianism/animal rights (in a nutshell) is released, I am super keen to check it out and the new book by frontman for the Cro-Mags, John Joseph was no exception…
When I first read the title Meat is for Pussies I really didn't know what to expect, but I can confidently say now that I am most impressed!
As claimed on the cover 'A how-to guide for dudes …' and well 'yes' it is aimed more towards you guys out there, but as a chick who has read it I can tell you that it works for both, I totally enjoyed reading it!
In the first few pages it is obvious that author John Joseph doesn't sugar coat his words, he speaks to the reader in a raw, matter-of-fact style that can not be mistaken. Coming from a rough and ready background of NYC, he draws on his own experiences to inform the reader that there is much to be gained by adopting a plant based diet and he quickly squashes any misconceptions that vegetarians and vegans are weedy or wimpy.
Meat is for Pussies outlines a number of 'truths' that have been well hidden from consumers in order to protect the industries that thrive and profit at the expense of millions of innocent, suffering animals each year.
So if you're like many Australian families, you may well have a copy of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (as my parents do). This 240 page book could have easily been summarised in one word – "meat" because that's pretty much the main ingredient in every meal.
But what you may not know is that CSIRO scientists (the good guys) discovered that high meat consumption is linked with bowel cancer and presented this to the CSIRO board (bad guys) in April 2006. Yet in October 2006 the CSIRO ran a second print of their bestselling book, despite the fact the book claimed "Studies have shown that fresh red meat (beef and lamb) is not a significant risk factor for colorectal cancer." LIES! So basically the book was reprinted and continues to be sold despite containing completely misleading information about the risks of cancer and meat. Not to mention the fact it promotes a diet that is extremely harmful to the environment!
Thankfully there is a good bloke out there by the name of Geoff Russell making sure that this blatant spread of misinformation does not go unheard, and he's written his own book: CSIRO Perfidy. Now I'll be honest, I didn't know the definition of 'perfidy' before I heard about this book, but when you read the definition, you'll see that there's no better word to describe the actions of the CSIRO.
Perfidy: –noun, 1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery: perfidy that goes unpunished.
So the good news is you can pick up a copy of CSIRO Perfidy from the Unleashed store. I recommend anyone whose parents have a copy of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet to buy a copy of this book for them, to give them the full story. As Professor Peter Singer (Philosopher, Author of Animal Liberation, Hero) said "Read this book: it may save your life. And if enough people read it, it just might save the planet.''
I don't know about you, but when I see the horrors that go on in profit-driven animal industries I feel like I cannot do enough to help stop it. So I'm always delighted when I come across some helpful tips on how to be a better advocate.
So imagine my excitement when I stumbled across his blog! And better yet found an entry entitled: 'Activism Guides for Everyone'. Here Mark suggests a dozen great books on advocacy for animals. And he even suggests who the guides would be best suited to (from newbie to seasoned activist).
Bottom line: We owe it to the animals to be the most effective advocates we can. And with titles available for individual activists, those working or volunteering for grassroots organizations and even kids, there seems to be an activism book for everyone. Whether it’s through reading one of these books, attending an animal rights conference, taking a public-speaking class or getting involved with a local group, please commit yourself to improving your activist skills and knowledge.
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.