If you happen to be in or around Philadelphia, be aware that the fourth annual Blessing of the Animals from Public Eye Philly will be held this Saturday, September 27th, at the Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Drive. Please note that "The blessing is not affiliated with any religion or religious practices" and that "Friendly animal companions must be on leashes or in carriers."
Thursday, September 25
Tuesday, September 23
OBLIGATORY TIE-IN TO ECONOMIC NEWS
A new study - research funded by a veggie-oriented company - has found that vegetarianism is a good way to save both money and the earth: "VEGETARIANS save 20 per cent at the checkout and have sixfold lower greenhouse gas emissions than carnivores, a new study shows. Research comparing diets heavy, light and free of meat has found that vegetarianism is cheaper, healthier and easier on the environment. The findings show it costs $508 a week to feed four adults on a traditional meat diet. A reduced meat diet costs $418 a week, while a vegetarian diet costs $394."
In the classic journamalism style, this is "balanced" by a cautionary note that "dieticians" say vegetarianism isn't necessarily better. This is sourced, further down to one guy, the creator of the diet plan that did the most poorly in the study, pointing out that doughnuts can be vegetarian, and they're not good for you, ergo, that somehow supposedly outweighs the statistical data presented above. Great work there, Tamara!
Posted by soyjoy at 2:55 PM
Wednesday, September 17
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?
That may be overstating it, but that's exactly what this headline says: "Study Finds Fountain Of Youth, Vegan Diet And Exercise." The study, in the journal Lancet Oncology, is summarized this: "The fountain of youth apparently lies in following a lifestyle that includes exercise and a vegan diet." All righty then.
Posted by soyjoy at 1:49 PM
Friday, September 12
After the largest producer of Kosher meat in America was charged with more than 9000 child labor violations - including having children under 16 handling dangerous circular saws and meat grinders - Rabbi Menachem Genack of the Orthodox Union said that his organization may strip Agriprocessors of its kosher certification.
This would be a huge blow, but then again, all the company has to do, apparently, is install a new CEO to "give people a new sense of confidence" in the firm's compliance with the law. Wait, is this the Orthodox Union or the USDA?
The takeaway is twofold: Even food that is supposed to be handled according to the strictest, most exacting standards for specific consumers who buy it on that basis can come from abysmal, fundamentally immoral conditions, and those consumers have no knowledge of it, no way of finding out, other than undercover video. And secondly, this bears repeating: Anyone who says animal activists care more about animals than humans should take a good hard look at the slaughter industry and what it's doing to its human employees. That's not to mention, of course, the health effects and global warming effects on humans that are directly correlated with meat consumtion. Clearly, it's meat-eaters who don't care about either animals or people.
Posted by soyjoy at 8:25 AM
Monday, September 8
ONE MORE TIME...
It's a well-worn refrain to those of us who have been listening, but the point is that a lot of people still remain deaf to the facts:
"People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming, says the UN's top climate scientist. 'I want to highlight the fact that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider.'"
Posted by soyjoy at 5:17 PM
Friday, September 5
ABOUT THAT SARAH PALIN THING
I was going to post about the new (emphasis on the word "new") VP candidate's penchant for hunting, but I found this post by Ryan at VegBlog that just about covers everything I was gonna say, so... why do the heavy lifting? Go read his post.
Posted by soyjoy at 1:29 PM
Wednesday, September 3
Hey, I don't care which day we pick, but it might help to coordinate these pitches. Or better yet, people should be encoraged to follow their Meatless Mondays with Tofurky Tuesdays, Wheat-Based Wednesdays, etc. etc.
Posted by soyjoy at 3:01 PM
Monday, September 1
WHY THEY HATE US
Been a while since I've kvetched about fellow animal activists, so this is overdue. Another brilliant mink release, this time in Utah, of about 600 mink from a mink farm. Shockingly, "most of the mink were recovered, but several died after being hit by cars or from stress after they were returned to the farm."
Let's be clear: There's a quantum difference between a captive-animal rescue and a captive-animal release. While both make a political statement and get publicity, one of them shows compassion for the animals involved and the other just uses them as means to an end, not much differently from how they're being used by the institutional exploiters.
Posted by soyjoy at 5:06 PM
Saturday, August 30
STILL MORE VEGAN HEALTH BENEFITS
Vegan Diet Reduces Risk of Arthritis, Heart Attack and Stroke is the headline for this report on a small study that found that "eating a vegan, gluten-free diet may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in rheumatoid arthritis patients, as well as reducing the severity of the disease." So the headline may be a tiny bit overblown, as the gluten factor wasn't controlled for separately. But on the other side, I find it interesting that those on the non-vegan diet were eating the same carb-fat-protein ratio. That should knock the whole "it's the fat" excuse down a bit.
Posted by soyjoy at 11:04 AM
Thursday, August 28
Hey, remember the largest meat recall in US History? The one caused by a couple of rogue slaughterhouse employees who were skirting the rules?
The main guy says he'd been abusing downer cows "had been going on for 23 years and "nobody ever complained or disciplined him for the manner in which he did it."
Many additional interesting details in the story. Give it a read.
Posted by soyjoy at 12:13 PM
Wednesday, August 27
SPELLING IT OUT: MEAT = CLIMATE DESTRUCTION
It's no revelation, but this new study puts its data points in good, media-friendly sound-bite form:
"Giving up meat could drastically reduce your carbon footprint, with meat-eaters' diets responsible for almost twice the emissions of those of vegetarians, a German study said on Tuesday. A diet with meat is responsible for producing in a year the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving a mid-sized car 4,758 kilometres (2,956 miles), the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOeW) said. [PDF of study]
"But the food a vegetarian consumes in 12 months is responsible for generating the same emissions as driving 2,427 kilometres. Going vegan -- giving up meat and dairy products -- would cut the emissions released in making what you eat more than seven-fold, to the equivalent of driving 629 kilometres."
Some great international headlines:
Too bad that as of this writing the story has apparently not seen the light of day in any US media outlet. Shocking, huh?
RELATED: Just prior to this study, E Magazine came out with a cover story on the topic: The Meat of the Matter:
Our Livestock Industry Creates More Greenhouse Gas than Transportation Does
Posted by soyjoy at 4:14 PM
Tuesday, August 26
As usual, I find this animal-behavior study a little suspect, in that behavior that could be instinctual for evolutionary reasons (keeping the entire clan alive rather than just yourself would increase chances for population expansion) is considered only as an analog of a human mental process. BUT: That said, this is still cool:
"Monkeys can experience the joy of giving in much the same way as humans do, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. Tests in capuchin monkeys showed the animals consistently chose to share food with another monkey if given the option, suggesting they are capable of empathy, the team at the Yerkes Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta found."
"They seem to care for the welfare of those they know," Frans de Waal, director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes, said in a statement.
Posted by soyjoy at 4:03 PM
BREAKING: FRUIT & VEGETABLES GOOD FOR YOU
Yet another for the pile of studies showing health benefits:
"Antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables such as oranges, carrots and broccoli can reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer of the larynx, oesophagus, cervix and lungs... The study by Edith Cowan University nutritionists found that people who ate two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables a day could cut their risk of developing a range of cancers, heart and blood vessel disease, metabolic syndrome, and bone disease.
The researchers said while some of the protection against common diseases came from the weight loss associated with diets high in fruit and vegetables, there was now good evidence that phytochemicals and vitamins such as A, C and E in fresh produce had their own powerful antioxidant effects."
I thought there was already "good evidence," but I guess now the evidence is even better.
Posted by soyjoy at 3:10 PM
I'LL JUST SWITCH TO BS
"A University of Guelph study published Thursday said 25 percent of fish sold in Toronto and New York are mislabeled. The university study isn't based on fish tales, but DNA analysis. According to the samples analyzed by the university, tuna was actually tilapia, halibut was hake, and red snapper was sold as lavender jobfish, Labrador redfish, perch or cod."
Gosh, I wonder why they don't have this problem with plums, lettuce or bananas?
Posted by soyjoy at 2:06 PM
Monday, August 25
I'm not going to try to catch up on every recall from the past month, but a couple notable ones...
First, this recall was still going on through mid- to late August, with even Whole Foods getting dinged for handling the potentially E.coli-tainted meat.
Then just after I left Canada there was this huge Maple Leaf recall of 220 deli-meat products, which has resulted in sicknesses and deaths and, of course, a class-action lawsuit. Gee, it would be a shame for that meat producer to go the way of Topps, wouldn't it?
Posted by soyjoy at 1:59 PM
BACK FROM VACATION
I was on vacation for a couple weeks there, but took a longer vacation from blogging, what with preparing for the big 50th Vegcast (more on this later). Anyway, I'll try to catch up on the most important developments over the past month or so, but feel free to write in with any I've missed.
Posted by soyjoy at 11:04 AM
Thursday, July 3
WATERMELON = VIAGRA!
The concept that meat-eating interferes with sex drive has been well documented and promoted to the max - but what about the flip side? Well, yes, as it turns out, at least in the case of watermelon, you can actually increase your sex drive by eating plant foods. Texas A&M researchers found that "watermelon causes the same type of effect as Viagra and other drugs used for erectile dysfunction."
Posted by soyjoy at 5:20 PM
Monday, June 30
BIG HUGE KROGER RECALL
Once again it's impossible to estimate how big this recall is, but in a virtual Friday (Thursday night) recall that I just found out about (and you?), Kroger has reacted to a wave of E.Coli cases by pulling back "all varieties, weights and sizes of ground beef bought in Kroger stores between 21st May and 8th June in Michigan and in central and northern Ohio (Columbus and Toledo). Neither FSIS nor Kroger have said how big the total amount of beef affected is." Gee, I... wonder why.
UPDATE 7/3: After the traditional announce-and-expand strategy, and now that everyone's on the road to their July 4th cookouts, the powers that be have finally pinned a number on the amount (and the supplier: Nebraska Beef) 5.3 million pounds of tainted meat. Here's a choice quote: "The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement Thursday that it has determined these products may have been produced 'under insanitary conditions.'" Insanitary - that's when your conditions are so unsanitary, it's INSAYYYYYNE!
Posted by soyjoy at 6:45 PM
Saturday, June 28
POST-SUMMERFEST: 'MYTH' CONCEPTION
I'm back from Summerfest, and one of the most interesting developments was this site: HumaneMyth.org, developed by James LaVeck and Jenny Stein, of The Witness and Peaceable Kingdom fame. Last year you may recall they were bitching about the animal industry's seemingly successful bid to split the animal movement along welfarist/abolitionist lines, and this year they've moved forward and done something about it. The site has a good overview of the fallacy of "humane" anything involving animal imprisonment, as well as some compelling teaching tools, like this anti-dairy slide show.
Posted by soyjoy at 12:13 PM
Wednesday, June 18
I'll be in Johnstown through the weekend (where I'll be performing the song mentioned below), so blogging will pick back up sometime next week.
Posted by soyjoy at 5:48 PM