Published by Ashley Palmer.

The following article was written by Kristen Stine.

There’s a new kid on the social-networking block, created by tech guru Kevin Rose’s new venture, Milk. The new app goes by the animal-friendly name “Oink,” and its mission is to help people rate and rank all the products and places around them.

Oink is powered by the already familiar foursquare, which lets you check into your favorite art gallery or food establishment. But Oink asks you to tell people how great (or not) the things in those places are. As far as I can tell, this app was made for vegans.

Oh, you want proof? Well, when you show up at your favorite store, you can “love” its great line of vegan boots, or while walking by the movie theater, you can show your displeasure over the movie We Bought a Zoo. You can also give a mini-review detailing how animals are treated in movies, on TV, and in ads (and then post it to your Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare accounts). Then when people check in after you’ve left your review, they’ll see that the top-ranked item at each location is (obviously) vegan.

What’s the benefit to you (as if helping animals weren’t enough)? Since you get to add tags to all the items you rate (there are 538 vegan tags so far), you’ll have a handy reference of the best animal-friendly dishes, clothes, artists, and more—wherever your travels may take you! Even better, the more items you rank under one tag, the more “cred” your reviews carry. For example, if you’ve ranked 25 soy lattes, your review carries a lot more weight than someone who has had only one. You know what that means? You actually get some recognition for being a “level 10” vegan! And I’ve saved the best for last: You get to add photos to your ratings (complete with effects). Finally something to do with the 231 pictures of vegan delights in your photo stream!

So with Oink, we get a vegan database, respect for our knowledge of vegan fare, the chance to show off our food photography skills, and the opportunity to spread the word about helping animals? Oh, yeah, we are all over this one! Let’s get oinking, and see if we can get Kevin to consider a more animal-friendly moniker for his company. Rice Milk has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

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