We have a huge jeer for the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for voting to take gray wolves off the endangered species list this week saying they have recovered in sufficiently healthy numbers and that they no longer faced the threat of extinction. No other species has been removed from the state’s endangered species list with a population of fewer than 100 individuals statewide or when they are still absent from a significant portion of their historic range.
“Ultimately, the Commission voted to side with political expediency over sound public and scientific process,” Oregon Wild Executive Director Sean Stevens said. “While this is certainly a blow for our tiny population of 81 gray wolves and for the legitimacy of wildlife management in Oregon, it is not the end of the struggle.
We couldn’t agree more. What’s even more alarming than the delisting itself is the commission has said that under a phase of the state’s wolf “mismanagement” plan that is likely to begin in January 2017, the state may sanction a limited wolf hunt in areas where they are deemed to be killing a large number of deer and elk.
Gray wolves, native to Oregon, were wiped out in the state by an eradication campaign in the early 20th century. They first returned in 2008.
In our fall issue of Action Line, our cover story was about vegan athletes—two ultra runners, a figure skater and rower to be exact. But today we have a cheer for an entire English soccer team who decided to go vegan—the Forest Green Rovers (FGR) Football Club. The team is the world’s first vegan football club and it gives a whole new meaning to the players’ nickname, “The Green Devils.”
The club first hit the headlines four years ago when it removed red meat from the menu, replacing the burgers and pies traditionally associated with the food sold on football terraces with locally-sourced, vegetarian food and fish, according to the club’s website. The club has now stopped the sale of fish and has replaced cow’s milk, ensuring FGR’s menu is now all-vegan.
“As a football club, we stopped serving meat to our players, fans and staff about four seasons ago. We’ve been on a mission since then to introduce our fans to this new world,’” said Forest Green Rovers Chairman Dale Vince, who is a vegan and took over the club in 2010. “When you drop the meat and two veg approach, a whole new world of food options opens up. The gap between vegetarian and vegan food is actually quite small; it’s a step rather than a leap to take.”
Supporters can enjoy the specially produced Q-Pie, created with ingredients supplied by club partners Quorn, while the menu also includes veggie burgers, Mexican fajitas, sweet potato burgers, pizza and lots more.
“The meat and dairy industry is responsible for more emissions than all the world’s planes, trains, cars and boats put together,” Dale said. “It involves incredible animal cruelty and staggering numbers: in Britain alone, more than 1 billion animals are eaten each year – 3 million per day – and that’s not even counting fish. Each of these animals lives a short and awful life, and each of them consumes more food than their bodies provide us with.
“Cows, for example, can take up to 10 times more high quality plant protein – grains and soya – than they produce—10 kg goes in, 1kg comes out—which is madness. And, of course, as the World Health Organization report recently makes plain, meat is bad for human health, being a major cause of cancer. Making these facts plain and demonstrating what a plant based diet looks, and tastes like, is an important part of our work.”
Even the beer and cider on sale at FGR on match days is completely vegan. The club’s all-vegan menu is the latest step in FGR’s attempts to lead the way as the world’s most sustainable football club. Kudos to some of their other eco-friendly initiatives:
FGR collects water from under the field to use for field irrigation. They are also looking at how to collect rainwater from the stadium roof and how to sink a borehole to collect local water. The field also utilizes organic lawn care.
FGR is working on an LED floodlight – but the technology is still too energy intensive. So it’s looking into options for low energy floodlights.
FGR uses sun power in the form of solar PV along the stadium roof, kicking out 45 kW capacity. The ground based solar system greets fans arriving at the ground. It’s highly visible and accessible in a way that roof mounted systems aren’t – its purpose is to be seen and to be a part of the environmental technology on display.
FGR uses and electric ‘mow-bot’ to mow the field. It uses GPS technology to automatically mow the pitch without the need for human intervention – saving up to 50 per cent of its groundsman’s working week – it even sends him a text if it runs into trouble.
Many times, pictures can be the difference between life and death for shelter animals. A good photo of a cat or dog in an animal shelter helps to greatly increase their chances of finding a forever home. This fact is something the non-profit group, Photographers for Animals, has based its entire organization on and we’re thrilled to check out its new ideas for winter campaigns.
In conjunction with Paws PR, a New York City-based marketing and strategy firm that primarily provides services to nonprofit animal protection organizations and the pet industry, Photographers for Animals launchedwww.PictureMeAtHome.org with a series of winter holiday campaigns. Photographers For Animals, Paws PRand The Jackson Galaxy Foundation are also joining forces to help speed things up in the animal shelter world.
We’re big fans of their campaigns like:
‘Photos with Santa Paws & Mrs. Claws’ where they suggest you “invite the community to have their pet’s and family’s photo taken with the big man himself. ‘Photos with Santa Paws & Mrs. Claws’ is also an excellent way to raise funds during the holidays — or you can encourage supporters to donate food for the animals in lieu of payment!”
“Twas the Night Before Christmas”: A holiday reading session where “readers of all ages are welcome, reading aloud can help children practice their reading skills and helps calm the animals, who are in unfamiliar surroundings.”
And the adorable “To Grandmother’s House We Go.” “The goal is to encourage grandma’s and grandpa’s everywhere to open their home to a new pooch or kitty during the holiday season. You can offer ‘Seniors for Seniors’ year round — and highlight seniors on Grandparent’s Day too!”
We’re happy to see these unique campaigns being organized to help increase pet adoptions in New York City and hope that these ideas inspire shelters around the nation. We also encourage you to check out the animals searching for homes at the NYC Animal Care & Control city shelter if you are looking to adopt a pet! Learn more about them here.
We’re also glad to see them spreading the love to older animals during National Senior Dog Month, since these pets are normally picked over in shelters in favor of younger puppies. Are you thinking about adopting a new pooch? Check out our article from our magazine Action Line about what to consider before bringing a new pet into your household.