Saturday, February 15


Deaths from food poisoning caused by Salmonella and its feces-in-meat-based brethren kill more people than previously thought, say Danish scientists - possibly twice as many people.

Friday, February 14


Of all the desperate displays of mister-macho insecurity in our rich, rich culture, rodeos have got to be the most pathetic. "Look at me... I can beat up a defenseless calf!" So it's not surprising that according to Orange County Weekly, they routinely, illegally use cattle prods to shock (and infuriate) horses, and then lie about it. Ho ho, I have a joy buzzer and the animal doesn't. Rodeo clowns is right.

And in what may seem an unrelated story, "well-known names in San Diego medicine" say UC San Diego's killing of healthy dogs in physiology and pharmacology courses doesn't teach students anything new, and is a "waste of money" at $576 a each dog.

Whatever. The fact is, schools are eliminating lab dog courses, and the more of 'em do it, the more of 'em realize it's just plain damn unethical and stop. "If the great majority of schools can teach these subjects without killing dogs, it cannot be necessary for UCSD to treat dogs this way. Once necessity is removed from a necessary evil, all that remains is the evil. We should dispense with that."



Thursday, February 13


Could the complacent media that have for so long rubber-stamped the outlandish claims of the meat and dairy industries finally be rousing themselves from their stupor and looking at these commercial campaigns for what they are? Two of the latest initiatives are getting a less than ringing endorsement. The cattlemen's "Cool 2 Be Real" site, an attempt to stem the tide of vegetarianism among young girls, has been met with snickers and even outright guffaws - for example, this pithy Salon description: "This is an I-got-a-cow-to-sell-ya sales job that insults the intelligence of the average 12-year-old." And the Dairy Council's 3-A-Day program mentioned earlier is being fought hardest not by PETA and PCRM but by the National Cancer Institute, along with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, with even the New York Times asking in its headline, "For Your Health or Their Business?" Well, duh. Kind of a rhetorical question - but at least they're asking.


Remember that War on E.Coli? Still not won, I guess. Turns out that 60 percent of the largest U.S. meat plants fail to meet federal food safety regulations. And the USDA can't seem to make them clean up their act. Wonder why?

Wednesday, February 12


A handy rationalization meat-eaters fall back on is that farm animals are raised for food, so we shouldn't worry about the ethics of killing & eating them. These two stories show that same ridiculous logic in non-eating industries: Greyhound racing, in which slow dogs are killed by hanging to teach 'em a lesson ("Greyhounds are for racing. What else are you going to do with one?") and cockfighting, which is such a venerable tradition that it's become part of nature itself ("Game cocks are a very unique breed. Over thousands of years, they have been bred to fight. It's their nature.") What's that saying... Nitwits Think Alike?


Australia is leading the charge to include regular vegetarian options in mess hall meals - but I know what you'll say when you look at this: What the hell do you expect of a military branch where the sailors wear silly-lookin' shorts? Really, now.