MONEY Food & Drink

Vegan Meatballs on IKEA Menus Soon

Meatball dish of a Ikea food store inside their furniture store.
Maxim Shipenkov—EPA

The vegan twist on the Swedish meatball will be sold in IKEA stores starting in April. It'll join new vegan and vegetarian options from Chipotle and White Castle, among others.

Behold the power of the veggie and animal lover lobby! The movement can claim two big victories this week. First, a planned GoDaddy Super Bowl ad was pulled after the “humorous” commercial—about a puppy that’s lost, then sold online—was widely criticized for being offensive.

“As someone who feels incredibly strong about animal rights, I am extremely offended by this commercial,” reads a Change.org petition that pleaded with GoDaddy to drop the commercial and attracted 40,000 online signatures in one day. “Go Daddy is encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes or worse—to be euthanized. They are also encouraging purchasing an animal online; the animal could be sold to someone who runs a fighting ring, someone who abuses animals, or to someone who cannot adequately care for the animal.”

Then, on Wednesday, PETA (hat tip: Grubstreet) patted itself on the back for what was apparently the successful pressuring of IKEA into adding vegan meatballs to the menu. Last spring, it was reported that IKEA was developing vegetarian meatballs, but now it looks like the meatballs will be fully vegan—using no animal products whatsoever. They’re expected to be available at IKEA stores this April.

Meanwhile, large quick-serve restaurant chains have also been expanding vegetarian and vegan options. White Castle rolled out veggie sliders a few weeks ago, while Chipotle pumped up sales of its new sofritas vegan burrito with a special giveaway promotion on Monday. The deal, which promised a free burrito in the future with the purchase of a sofritas burrito on Monday, sold out in some Chipotle locations.

TIME Advertising

Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad About a Lost Puppy Is An Emotional Roller Coaster

Animal friendship at its finest

Budweiser has done it again.

Despite false rumors that the beer company was nixing its signature Clydesdales for the big game ad, Budweiser has continued its very successful strategy of highlighting the power of animal friendship. In a sequel to its 2014 ad “Puppy Love,” “Lost Dog” tells the story of an 11-week-old golden Lab who gets separated from his best friend — a Clydesdale horse.

What comes next is a minute-long emotional roller coaster that will make you feel like you’re watching Homeward Bound for the very first time.

Budweiser

Eight puppies between 11 and 12.5 weeks old were used in the filming of this ad, directed by RSA’s Jake Scott. The poignant soundtrack is by Sleeping At Last, who offer up an acoustic version of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” originally by the Proclaimers.

We won’t spoil the saga — warning: there are wolves!! — but you might want to sit down.

Read next: A Look at Budweiser’s Successful Clydesdale Campaign

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME animals

Here’s a Porcupine Predicting the Winner of the Super Bowl

Will this be Teddy Bear's fourth correct prediction?

Got some money riding on the 2015 Super Bowl? In need of a “sure thing?”

Thank goodness Teddy Bear the porcupine is here to predict whether the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks will win the big game. Spoiler: The psychic predator picked the Seattle Seahawks.

Will Teddy Bear get it right like he has in Super Bowl 46, 47, and 48 (no big deal, he’s just really good at this), or will he let us down? Because, well, he’s a porcupine.

Only time will tell.

See Next: 8 Animals Who Predicted the 2014 Super Bowl Winner

TIME animals

‘Dead’ Cat Found Alive 5 Days After Being Buried

Bart the cat had been hit by a car

Bart the cat found out the hard way that there can be a little bit of lag time between your nine lives.

Several days ago, the black and white feline was hit by a car and pronounced dead shortly after. But he didn’t stay deceased for long, reports Fox13. Five days after burying Bart, the cat’s owner found him pawing around a neighbor’s yard.

The kitty was reunited with his family looking a little worse for wear, but very much alive, a discovery that Bart’s friends are still trying to understand.

“This doesn’t happen. Cats don’t come back to life, not five days after they’ve been put in the ground,” said Dusty Albritton, the neighbor who found Bart post-resurrection.

Doctors are baffled by the cat’s reappearance as well. Their best guess is that Bart was unconscious after being hit by the car, not dead, and miraculously dug his way out of the ground after being buried.

Bart is now at the vet receiving treatment for head trauma, a broken jaw and vision loss. While he has some serious injuries, doctors expect the kitty to make a full recovery.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME animals

Watching This Very Large Puppy Learn About Ice Makes Winter Almost Worth It

Ice can be so confusing!

Meet Quinn, a five-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog who’s experiencing her first New England winter. A big part of the season, obviously, is ice. And, if you’re a dog, learning how it works and how to deal with it and how to successfully play on it.

Here is Quinn getting herself acquainted with a slippery frozen surface in pretty much the cutest way possible:

@QuinnTheBerner learning all about ice

A video posted by TJ Parker (@tjparker) on

And now here’s that again, but soundtracked with some music for dramatic effect:

See? Without hellish winter weather, cute things like this would not be possible.

TIME animals

Americans Could Spend $703 Million on Their Pets This Valentine’s Day

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Getty Images Dog wearing tiara

Nothing says "I love you" like a diamond collar

The candy and flowers industrial complex that is Valentine’s Day had gone to the dogs. Literally.

One in five Americans will take their pets into consideration on Feb. 14, according to a new study by the National Retail Federation, a trade association. Out of a total of $18.9 billion spent on the holiday, consumers will drop $703 million on their furrier companions, the group forecasts.

While the figure at first appears staggering, the retail group points out that consumers will just spend $5.28 on their pets on average.

But even though opting for heart-shaped Milkbones suffices, nothing says I love you like splurging for that diamond dog color Fluffy’s been eyeing.

TIME animals

Smartest Man Ever Teaches Pet Rabbit to Bring Him a Beer

Wallace the rabbit has his very own custom beverage cart

Man’s new best friend may be a rabbit.

In this video, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based rabbit named Wallace—”Wallace the Mad King” on YouTube—delivers a beer to his owner’s boyfriend by pushing a cardboard “beer cart” containing a bottle of beer toward the man. As the user writes in the YouTube description, “I have been collaborating for the past year with my girlfriend’s pet rabbit to create performance art and ‘happenings’ that capture this rabbit’s capabilities and worldly passions.”

 

TIME animals

Honor the True Spirit of Valentine’s Day by Adopting a Cockroach in Your Ex’s Name

Revenge special

Feeling particularly spiteful as Valentine’s Day approaches? The San Francisco Zoo’s new fundraising campaign offers an opportunity to adopt a hairy scorpion or hissing cockroach in honor of your ex.

As the zoo describes the promotion:

Much like your low-life ex, they are usually found in and around low-elevation valleys where they dig elaborate burrows or “caves.” Also just like you-know-who, when a suitable victim wanders by, the scorpion grabs the doomed creature with its pinchers and stings the prey. After the prey is immobilized, the scorpion tears the carcass apart with its pinchers and begins feeding. Charming.

Donations support the San Francisco Zoological Society.

TIME animals

This Man Turned His Home Into a Purr-fect Playground for Cats

He calls it the House of Nekko, meaning cat in Japanese

A builder from Goleta, Calif., has spent the past two decades converting his house into a kitty playground.

Peter Cohen spent tens of thousands of dollars building an elaborate home filled with colorful catwalks, hideouts, ramps and tunnels for his 15 rescue cats, the Huffington Post reports.

“I never intended to have so many,” he told the website Catster in an interview last year. “It is way too expensive and a tad too much work.”

Despite the expense, Cohen and his roommate are happy that they’ve built a safe and fun, and also very bright, feline haven.

“They give us unconditional love, and building the catwalks is one way of expressing my gratitude for that,” he said.

[Huffington Post]

TIME animals

Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Could Be Released in Florida

Jason Garcia
Wilfredo Lee—AP Jason Garcia, a field inspector with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, tests a sprayer that could be used in the future to spray pesticides to control mosquitos in Key West, Fla., on Oct. 4, 2012

"This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease"

Scientists could release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys in an attempt to kill off insects that spread the diseases dengue and chikungunya — if their proposal wins regulatory approval.

The male mosquitoes, created by British biotech firm Oxitec, are engineered to keep their partners from producing offspring when they mate in the wild, the Sun Sentinel reports. The number of mosquitoes capable of spreading the diseases would be reduced if enough wild mosquitoes mate with the genetically modified population.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, told the Sun Sentinel.

Despite the benefits of reducing incidences of dengue and chikungunya, two viral diseases that cause a number of uncomfortable conditions, many are wary about releasing genetically modified organisms into the wild. More than 130,000 people have signed a Change.org petition opposing the release of the mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

[Sun Sentinel]

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