Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

Wow! We have a big cheer to vegan ultramarathoner, Scott Jurek, who set a record for completing the full Appalachian Trail after summiting Mount Katahdin in Maine on Sunday. The journey took 46 days, eight hours and eight minutes – besting the previous record by more than three hours. 

Jurek averaged around 50 miles a day with varying degrees of elevation to set the record across the historic trail, which crosses 14 states, and winds through Vermont's Green Mountains, New Hampshire's inclement Mt. Washington and Tennessee's Clingmans Dome… the highest peak in the Smoky Mountains.

Thousands of people had been drawn to Jurek's journey, following him on Instagram, and traveling hundreds of miles to cheer for him beside the trail, bringing him vegan treats. According to an article on Men’s Health website, former record holders and fellow ultrarunners David Horton, Andrew Thompson and Karl Meltzer, also joined Jurek’s wife, Jenny, as crew members during his record-breaking journey. 

“There’s no trophy at the end,” previous record holder, Davis, told Newswire last week. “It is an amateur pursuit based on the honor system, and that makes it pure and unique in our culture.”

A vegan chef when he’s not conquering major marathon titles, Jurek wrote about his relationship with food as an endurance athlete in the book Eat and Run and his website also explains his transition to a plant-based diet:

“While completing his masters degree in physical therapy from the College of St. Scholastica, Jurek continued running and soon began competing worldwide. His growing conviction that processed, low-quality food was keeping his physical therapy clients sick led him to adopt a vegetarian diet in 1997, and a purely plant-based one by 1999. From 1999 to 2005, he notched his unsurpassed string of Western States 100 victories, all on plant-based fuel.” 

We’re hoping to feature Jurek in our upcoming Fall edition of Action Line magazine where we are profiling several inspiring vegan athletes. Check out the video from Runner's World right here which shows Jurek in his final steps to the finish line.

 

 

 

We have a big jeer to Fendi’s fur freak, Karl Lagerfeld, who’s set to unveil his show at Paris Fashion Week consisting entirely of pieces made of fur. The “Haute fourrure” or couture fur show, as it’s ridiculously being called, is supposed to be the way Lagerfeld is celebrating his 50 years with Fendi. Lagerfeld obviously still hasn’t received the message that fur is a thing of the past and we find his blatant, yet poor, attempts to celebrate a cruel, abusive and prehistoric industry to be completely repulsive.  

Lagerfeld has had a long obsession with fur, which has greatly benefited Fendi financially. Most recently, for example, a limited-edition keychain/charm, made of expensive mink and fox fur, was created as an homage to Lagerfeld and is being snatched up for almost $2,000.  

Despite the fact that high quality, fur alternatives are readily available, fur is rearing its ugly head in the fashion industry once again with more than 60 per cent of shows featured fur on British catwalks last year and at New York fashion week the figure topped 70 per cent. While “luxury” labels such as Fendi have a long history of featuring real fur in their shows, fur is increasingly being used by newer brands as well. 

FoA’s recent anti-fur campaign, #FlipOffFur, slams the relevance of fur in today’s fashion, since in 2015, there’s no way to justify slaughtering more than 50 million animals raised on fur farms around the world who are killed for their pelts annually in addition to the approximately 10 million animals trapped in the wild. (This number does not include rabbits.)

The other designers who presented fur in their collections this week should be ashamed of themselves and designers like Lagerfeld, who are planning fur fashion shows for next year, should be equally ashamed. It’s time to “flip them off” and let them and consumers know the key trend in modern fashion is compassion, not fur.

 

Friends of Animals didn’t think there could possibly be anything worse than the U.S. Bureau of Land Management when it comes to the treatment of wild horses, but we have a jeer today for the barbaric people of the Spanish village of Sabucedo who participated in a disgusting event called “Rapa das Bestas” (Cropping of the Beasts), where locals herd wild horses from the mountains, and wrestle them to the ground to cut their manes while tourists look on. 

The event dates back centuries and happens every year from Saturday to Monday in the first week of July in the Galician village in northwestern Spain. Locals claim they need to cut the wild horses’ manes because they are overgrown and they need to mark the wild horses to count their population. However Rapa das Bestas is also done to pay homage to St. Laurence, whose intercession saved the town from a plague. According to the legend, two sisters fervently prayed to him to save the townspeople, and when he did, the sisters offered two fine mares to the saint in gratitude. 

Well it is obvious something got lost in the translation of that legend. While the tradition may be seen by locals as a test of strength and will, FoA sees it for what it really is, animal abuse punishable by a prison sentence. Just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it right. In the year 2015, there is absolutely no reason that these wild horses should suffer this trauma because due to tradition. 

Until officials put an end to this animal abuse, this event and Spain should be boycotted. Send a message to José Manuel Soria López , Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism and tell him you won’t travel to Spain until Rapa das Bestas is banned. Contact him by clicking this link.

(Photo via Reuters) 

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