Thursday, March 20


It's not just the poor, overworked USDA that works in collusion with the animal-exploiting industries its supposed to be regulating. The Bush administration's EPA is now under fire from mainstream green groups for letting large-scale livestock farms pump as much feces into our environment as they wish. Does this sound familiar?- "allowing farms to develop the comprehensive nutrient management plans under the permit is like 'asking high school kids to write their own tests.'" The groups specifically say that "the EPA wrongly gave CAFOs [aka Big Meat] too much power in writing manure management plans, failed to make large meatpackers share responsibility for manure disposal when they subcontract with a farmer to raise livestock and did not limit the practice of spreading liquid manure on fields." Spreading liquid manure - that's one thing the Bush administration is good at.


Sure, in a slaughterhouse the animals are there to die, but a zoo is supposedly different. Not when you've got the USDA in charge of those animals' welfare. The ongoing scandal at the National Zoo, where an unknown number of animals have been killed by incompetence, has brought to light the fact that the USDA never did any surprise inspections of the place because - get this - they "had not known that the zoo was subject to surprise checks." Well, that makes sense - they were once again confusing it with a slaughterhouse, where you don't want to upset the producers by finding anything wrong with their product or process. Now the agency has gotten so embarrassed they're actually asking for the power to punish and shut down plants that repeatedly violate standards of public health. Yeah, right - I'll hold my breath till that happens. If they did that, there wouldn't be a meat producer left operating in the country.


Doctors recommend vegetarianism for Calcium intake: "The Calcium taken in through vegetarian diet is alkaline and is retained in the body for a much longer period." OK, it's in India. I'm just sayin, is all.

In related news, the Miami Herald reports that Millions learn to cope with agonies from [cow's] milk, but meanwhile, soy milk, sez the Washington Post, is "Spilling Into The Mainstream." This could get messy.


A Harvard study has confirmed that excess protein is bad for your kidneys, and will in fact torpedo kidneys that are already at less than, say, 90%. Note that "On further analysis, the risk was only significant for animal proteins." Huh. What're the odds? If you're sure you've got perfect kidneys, they say, go ahead and try Atkins for a while, but, adds a BBC source, "there are a number of kidney diseases which do not produce symptoms until much later on in the illness" - and advises a test that will catch, um, 90% of the problems.

Wednesday, March 19


See this one? "A genetic change that is life-threatening in humans actually appears to improve health in mice, revealing flaws in the standard research approach of studying diseases in mice to shed light on the same diseases in humans." That - and hundreds of other examples - is why I don't post items here that rely on animal studies to tell us what's good for humans.

Tuesday, March 18


One crucial difference between meat and, say, fruits and vegetables, is that meat is easier to adulterate. Case in point: Hindus and Jews in England who were eating what they thought was just chicken found out to their dismay that it had been spiked with beef and pork proteins. Now there's plenty of outrage over this, but seemingly more over the discovery that some of the "chicken" was mostly added water. It's not as though the UK is the only place adulterated meat slips by: It turns out the USDA "jeopardized the safety of the U.S. food supply by letting in 823,632 pounds of meat from foreign plants that might not have been approved, department auditors say." What's in that meat? Illegal steroids? Mad Cow? Who knows? It's not like you can just look at it, like produce, and get an idea. Plus, this agency has a track record of missing the boat on tainted meat. But the punchline is that now the USDA is making a big show of clamping down on security in order to - yes! - safeguard the nation's food supply! Note this sentence: "After Sept. 11, the agency hired 20 more inspectors to check imported meat for contamination." Great! So what were these bozos doing all day as the 823,632 pounds slipped by?

UPDATE 3/19: ...and if you can't get behind the Hindus and the Jews and all their bizarre prohibitons on different animals, would you care if there was HUMAN FLESH mixed into it? Mmmmmm... soylent.