• Jake Shields recently won Peta2’s most veg friendly athlete of the year! I interviewed Jake way-back-when, and it’s awesome to see his career is becoming so successful – and that someone who demands so much from his body does it without meat. When he fights GSP in April, he will become the highest profile vegetarian athlete in the world. Go Jake! For a glimpse into the life of Mr. Shields, watch the trailer for an upcoming documentary about him here:

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• LA Weekly is reporting on a new BBC show that will premiere in the US on January 18th on Current TV, called Kill It Cook It Eat It. This show is certain to get a large viewership – but I wonder just how honest a depiction of the slaughter really is, and whether the viewers get to visit large factory farms and USDA slaughterhouses (where 99% of meat comes from) or just the small, killing-with-kindness farms that maintain the bucolic myth of where our food comes from. In addition, pay careful attention to the “It” in the title. It’s not “Kill Them Cook Them Eat Them”  – or “him” or “her” for that matter. They are careful to refer to animals as objects as opposed to individuals.  Current TV’s description is as follows:

” …a diverse group of participants is challenged to procure their main course the old-fashioned way: by hunting and killing their chosen prey, butchering it in the slaughterhouse, helping to prepare it in the kitchen, and ultimately sampling it at the dinner table. Some may enjoy the process while others recoil, but for each diner it’s an intense journey that just may change their perspectives — and appetites — forever.”

•Writer Jim Edwards, from CBS’s BNET website, is calling for Harper’s Bazaar to be sued over it’s fashion spreads – which could open a legal floodgate to help animals on fur farms. Long-gone are the days when fashion editorials were created for the sake of fashion-as-art. A list that was accidentally left in a hotel lobby revealed (what most fashion industry insiders already know) that paid-advertisers are given priority when it comes to shooting fashion “editorials”, which “…appears to be a blatant violation of the FTC’s new guidelines for advertisers.” Edwards c0ntinues, “If the FTC sued Harper’s Bazaar magazine for not disclosing that its advertisers influence its editorial features it would do readers of women’s magazines — and the fashion business in general — a huge favor…the legal framework exists to make it a possibility, and the FTC has shown interest in bashing the fashion biz before. Animal rights attorneys, pay attention!

“A fashion editorial is clearly an endorsement, but does Harper’s disclose the “material connections” between its fashion shoots and the advertisers who buy ads and provide the garments? Not online. In Harper’s December shoot with Iman, the items are identified by designer and price but it doesn’t say whether the Michael Kors fur scarf in shot 1 was selected because Kors is No. 2 on Harper’s list of advertisers.”

A large portion of the demand for fur originates from paid-advertisers, which explains why so much fur is in every fashion mag. Fur marketing organizations that represent independent farms have millions of dollars to play with, considering the exorbitant mark-up of fur garments. There’s a lot of legal jargon in the full article that I’ll leave to you lawyers, but when it comes to heavily-funded designers that use fur, their days gracing so many pages of editorials could be numbered. This also gives stylists something to celebrate, since their craft was hi-jacked in the early nineties.

“Of course, readers of women’s magazines know that most of the editorial is either made up or bought-and-paid for by advertisers, so it’s tough to argue that consumers are “damaged” by them. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if one area of the fashion world wasn’t complete fiction?”