Documentary – SEED: The Untold Story

Seed: The Untold Story is an absolutely fantastic documentary detailing the significant loss of biodiversity at the hands of human ‘progress’ and capitalistic greed, and the people who are trying to create ‘backups’ of natures bounty by the way of seed banks:

SYNOPSIS

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

SEED is Executive Produced by Academy Award Winning Actress Marisa Tomei, Marc Turtletaub (Little Miss Sunshine) and Phil Fairclough (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams).

“Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being.”

– Vandana Shiva

And here is the full documentary:

On a side note: as any vegan knows, you find animal products in all manner of unbelievable places. Well, now we know that animal DNA is used on GMO crops!!!

GMO-protestors

The new sobriety: why straight edge is back

i-D magazine has an article on the ‘return’ of straight-edge, and how a new generation of teens are discovering that non-conformity is self-empowerment:

In the early 1980s, those who identified as straight edge would draw a black “X” on the back of their hands, in the same way a club owner would mark the hands of concertgoers who were too young to drink, to signify their intentions. The “X” has since become a universal symbol for those in the community, and today many edgers will rep the “xxx,” or “xvx” for vegans, in their social media bios. Veganism and vegetarianism have been adopted by many who are straight edge as another way to live clean.

xvx-hands

And here is the seminal song from Minor Threat:

Obviously, you don’t have to be a fan of hardcore punk to be straight edge but who out there can’t identify with seeing drugs and alcohol tear down friends, family and society around you? You just need the desire to live clean and keep a clear mind. And no, this isn’t a religious sect or conservative Christian group trying to be cool with music.

Veganism/vegetarianism works well with the straight-edge mentality, and many people are proudly XVX, including outspoken vegan and animal-rights campaigner (not to mention talented musician) Moby! 

More Links:

Wikipedia

StraightEdge WorldWide

Podcast – Josh Harper Interview on the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) Campaign

Solecast 38 is an in-depth interview with former animal liberation prisoner Josh Harper. Josh is one of the SHAC7, and he went to prison for his work against Huntington Life Sciences. Huntington Life Sciences at the time was one of the biggest companies doing tests on animals and was targeted for their usage of “live vivisection.” The tactics employed by the SHAC campaign were wide ranging and effective; they went after every link in the supply chain to bring this company to the verge of bankruptcy. Josh is currently living in the Pacific North West and helps run The Talon Conspiracy which is an online archive animal rights publication from the recent past.

Topics Discussed:

  • Josh’s involvement in the Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty campaign & animal liberation struggles
  • Lessons from SHAC for current struggles against Trump & fascism
  • The conflict between mass movement building & effective interventions
  • The approach, philosophy and tactics emplyed in the SHAC campaign
  • Some thoughts on the political moment we are in
  • Comical anecdotes about the Talon Conspiracy & him briefly being a suspect for the 9-11 attacks
  • Thoughts on being a political prisoner and how important support is, inside and out

Here is a bonus video of one of Josh’s talks:

Further Reading:

Josh Harper discusses animal rights history, welfarism and “Star Wars”

 

The Rise of Vegetarianism and Veganism in China

Sixth Tone has an in-depth interview with Zhang Si, CEO and co-founder of Veg Planet, an online platform for China’s rising number of vegans and vegetarians, on the challenges she faces promoting vegetarianism, veganism and animal rights in her home country:

being-vegan-related-animal-welfare-z4

In early 2013, WeChat launched its public account feature, and I created an account called Veg Planet, hoping to inspire people to change their stereotyped impressions of vegans. I translated a lot of vegan-related English articles, recipes, and information about environmental impact and animal welfare. The platform equipped vegans who face resistance from their family or colleagues with this information, and also provided products to meet their needs.

The platform attracts more people to consider a vegetarian diet and then begin to enjoy it. At the very beginning, 80 percent of our followers were vegetarians, and now 30 percent of our 300,000 readers are nonvegetarians who are considering giving it a try.

Lots of respect and support going out to Zhang and her team for their hard work! You can feel the positive impact she’s having and I believe this is the start of some major social changes in China!

Berkeley Council Votes To Ban Fur Clothing Sales!

The city of Berkeley, California, has passed an ordinance that bans the local sale of fur apparel products:

Berkeley Coalition for Animals founding member Jay Quigley said in a statement, “The millions of poor foxes, rabbits, minks and other animals who are bred for their fur typically spend their entire lives in cages barely bigger than their bodies. Then they’re slaughtered by gassing, neck-breaking or electrocution.”

Quigley said, “This brutal industry is radically inconsistent with Berkeley’s values.”

Fantastic news and hopefully more cities will follow!

‘Fake’ fur being sold on British high street is actually from cats, rabbits, and raccoon dogs, investigation reveals

The Telegraph reports on some disturbing news that real fur is turning up in products marketed as fake fur!

Items bought from popular stores Missguided and House of Fraser, which were labelled as faux fur, were found to be real after tests by a fibres expert.

Sky News found that a pair of gloves bought from House of Fraser were found to have fur likely to be from a rabbit.

Missguided sold a pair of pink stiletto heels decorated with pom poms to shopper Donna Allison. After testing the pom poms were found to have been made with real fur, most likely to be from a cat.

This is far from the first time this has happened. Today reported in 2014 on a similar finding across American retailers!

Some of the nation’s biggest retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Belk, Jacadi and Gilt Groupe, advertise “faux fur.” But a Rossen Reports investigation found that some of the items they’re selling actually come from the fur of real animals, including rabbits, coyotes and raccoon dogs.

The Fur Free Alliance also produced a report on large retailers pulling the same bullshit in 2016!

Fur Free Alliance member The Humane Society of the United States asks the Federal Trade Commission to bring enforcement action under federal consumer protection laws against the 17 retailers for false advertising of fur garments. Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Kohl’s, Nordstrom are among those facing potential civil or criminal penalties.

So there you have it: unless you’re in the business of genetically testing the fake fur you want to buy, best stay away from it altogether. Keep in mind that, in Asia at least, its often cheaper to produce real fur than fake fur.

Also consider that most people won’t know you’re wearing fake fur and you’re basically promoting the fur industry everywhere you go!

The HSUS have a field guide to telling animal fur from fake fur, if you still insist upon it for some reason!