Saturday, September 14


A little over a week ago I mentioned McDonalds' inevitable plunge into the financial toilet with a link to a daily-updated chart, knowing that the link would continue to make my point. Did it ever: Now McDonald's shares have hit a 7-Year low, and I think before the year's out they'll be slipping further. What can they do to reverse things in the long run? Start selling food that's good for people. And stop killing cows.


I don't wanna use a speciesist cliche here, but talk about bein' a PIG! Right after the huge pork bailout mentioned below, Pig Farmers are marching to Washington to demand that taxpayers buy even more to bail them out even further. Incredible. I mean, granted in the animal industry like all the other industries in this country the small-time hog operators are getting screwed by the better-connected big-time ones, but it's hard for me to generate too many tears over the sorry state of their chosen profession. What I'm more concerned about is where this pork they demand we buy will go. School lunches, right? You mean like the one where 73 schoolkids ate pork and got food poisoning on Thursday, sending most to the hospital? Oh, no, of course, that was halfway across the world. But a little closer to home, medical experts just warned against treating kids as dumping grounds for capitalisms' excesses. Yes, Doctors call for ban on junk-food ads for kids across the whole European Union. And "What's the junkiest food of all for kids?"


Thursday, September 12


Perhaps having been tipped off to pigs' upgraded intelligence (below), and fearing the prospect of tool-making hogs exactng their revenge on the American people, the USDA has quickly agreed to buy 50 million pounds of pork from pig-slaughterers, raising the total purchased this year to 66 million pounds, to be added to the 500 million pounds of taxpayer-bought pork the USDA has in storage. The latest purchase was made with $30 million of your money, once again to be foisted off on schoolchildren and Indians. All in order to keep hog producers from having to suffer the realities of the free market.

So that's why it's called "pork."


Here's some unwelcome news for those who like not thinking about what they're eating: Scientists now say ordinary pigs engage in social competitive behavior of a kind normally seen in primates. In other words, pigs' thinking is a lot closer to ours than we'd thought. The same goes for chickens, which went unreported in the above version of the story. But in terms of social intelligence, watch out for those sheep - yes, sheep, who can remember 10 human faces - and 50 sheep faces - for up to two years. How many sheep faces would you be able to remember for two days? As the Cambridge professor says, "We may have underestimated the importance and complexity of a sheep's social environment and their intelligence." Great, so when do we acknowledge that and stop slaughtering 'em? Oh, that's right, we haven't gotten that smart yet.

Tuesday, September 10


If you're a woman and you're worried that cancer cells aren't growing fast enough in your body, you need more IGF-I, a known cancer promoter. Fortunately you can get plenty just by drinking a tall glass of milk, according to a new study linking milk with cancer once again. "IGF-1 levels rose in tandem with women's intake of protein, especially from milk. There was no association between IGF-1 levels and vegetable protein intake."


A new study says flavinoids prominent in apples and onions and present in other fruits and veggies protect against heart disease, stroke, lung and prostate cancer and possibly diabetes. What, you're surprised?


At first glance, this [no link - password-protected, dontchaknow] news item looks even worse than it is, thanks to the inept syntax of meatingplacer Brigette Gaucher. It seems that residents of Iowa are now at risk for a somteimes fatal flu that passes from hogs to chickens to people because of factory farm practices. Gaucher's version of the story notes that "there are instances where the viruses trade genes as they are passed to hogs that people cannot fight off." Hogs that people cannot fight off? What, don't they have any 2-by-4s?
While investigating that question I happened across a more disturbing fact, namely that Salmonella is now spreading person to person. Well, at least salmonella's something you CAN fight off - by cooking it, right? Not so fast, buster: Even Cooked Sausages Can Harbor Salmonella, says this report. Is it just me, or is this kinda scary - an invisible, potentially fatal disease that can pass from person to person - and that you can't kill without extreme measures? That's worse that invincible hogs!

Monday, September 9


In another disturbing, um, coincidence, another hunter who was known to eat wild game has died of CJD - the human form, that is, of CWD - the deer form, that is, of BSE. It's looking more and more like one big unhappy TSE...