Friday, May 9


Sorry, did I say "hate?" I meant "love." So please remember once again that the original "fast-food lawsuit" was a pointless, frivolous enterprise that would achieve nothing... except here, where I... well, told you so: "Fast food joints may soon get singled out by U.S. health czar Tommy Thompson if they don't shape up and stop feeding the country's obesity problem," sez Reuters.

UPDATE 5/12: It's not just Tommy Thompson, either: WHO Urges Food Companies to Help Improve Diet

Thursday, May 8


A former employee of an egg production facility claims she was unlawfully terminated for failing to take part in alleged illegal activities and is asking that a court award an unspecified amount in damages. According to the lawsuit, Goble alleges her "constructive discharge" was brought about after she refused to:
* tag products as "organic" when they were really "non-organic,"
* change tags on barns regarding the crating and labeling of caged birds as cage-free birds,
* "go along with" waste violations and the pollution of local rivers,
* engage in the unlawful disposal of dead birds

Well, I'm sure they're not having anyone else do any of that now. And of course it's a good thing this came to light, since it's surely the only place where this was or is going on...

Wednesday, May 7


So this dumbass gets drunk, comes home and kicks his dog. So what, right? Well, a couple interesting things. One, he kicks the dog to death, Two, he's blind, and Three, he actually gets jail time for the killing. But here's the real, er, kicker: The judge says "The thing that upsets me most is if you didn't want the [guide] dog, why not give it back? You not only took the dog, but you also took someone's sight." ...uh, yeah, that IS the most upsetting part of a guy kicking his own guide dog to death. And if the poor thing hadn't been a guide dog, would this loser be in jail? I wonder.


Family shocked by horse's slaying blares the headline, and well they might be. '"She was a gorgeous mare, jet black, with a beautiful mane and tail," Marcia Mickelson said as her husband and kids loaded two Hereford cattle into a trailer...'
No, the cattle weren't on their way to be slaughtered... yet, though of course they will be ultimately. It's a mystery to me how people can miss the 10,000-decibel irony in this story, even without dragging in the fact that the horse was bred as part of an institutionally corrupt industry or that Texas still routinely turns horses into meat. '"The hardest thing to think of is what trauma she went through, and she's my daughter's pet," Mickelson said, her voice tinged with sorrow and quiet anger.' That's all true, and tragic, but howcum a horse goes through trauma in being killed but not a cow? A horse goes through trauma being hunted down, but not a deer? What is the freakin' difference? Do grown adults honestly believe that an animal is soulless unless and until we bestow our love on it, and then its life magically acquires value, it becomes "real" like a velveteen rabbit? That seems to be the prevailing sentiment, and frankly, it boggles my mind.

UPDATE 5/8: $13,700 reward for tips on truck driver who mowed down mare. "We're going to go ahead and exhaust the fund" in hopes of catching the assailant, said the humane society director. Meanwhile, the line between acceptable and unacceptable animal abuse gets thinner and thinner as a farmer is found guilty of animal cruelty, neglect in deaths of cows ...but only because they starved to death.

Tuesday, May 6


It's another jab in the seemingly endless back-and-forth of fish do/don't/do/don't feel pain, as scientists now say fish exhibit behavior indicating pain when they're hurt. But critics will pull out the different structure of the piscine nervous system to say we can't tell whether it means the same to them as it would to us, and on and on. All of which simply obscures the basic issue of removing fish from their daily lives to hurt and/or kill them: Why does it need to be done at all? If your answer is "for food," you may be as surprised as I was that trout farmers are complaining that Allowing fish to suffocate is cruel. With fish, I guess, it's a verrrry slippery slope.

UPDATE 5/16: Heh. Slippery slope indeed: Now the same question is being asked, again by the fishermen themselves, about lobsters.

Monday, May 5


That massive listeria recall from late last summer lives on in a new "wrongful death" lawsuit filed by a widow whose husband ate Pilgrim's Pride deli meat and died with the same strain of listeria as that found in the "Wampler" plant. Here's hoping the negligence and apathy of the USDA, which played such a huge part in this story, is a casualty of the spotlight, bringing a semblance of a silver lining to this egregious tragedy.

Sunday, May 4


Some commentators are gleefully recounting the story of lettuce contaminated with Perchlorate (courtesy of Lockheed Martin) and possibly causing trouble for people who eat it. Oddly, there hasn't been so much talk about the 42 children at Laraway Elementary School in Joliet who were rushed to a hospital after eating chicken with 133 times the accepted level of ammonia because the schools weren't informed of the ammonia contamination. Either way, it's worth remarking here that any food can be contaminated by an external source. Animal foods, though, bring their own potentially-fatal-disease-causing bacteria right there in their own package.

UPDATE 5/6: More on the Perchlorate/Lockheed Martin issue - the Bush Administration imposes a gag order. "BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS IGNORING POSSIBILITY OF SERIOUS HEALTH EFFECTS," sez The San Jose Mercury News. So, refreshingly, it's not just dangerous meat companies these folks will step in to protect, it's also dangerous defense contractors.