Saturday, May 31


The scuzzbucket running the Buckeye Egg Farm is at it again: This time Anton Pohlmann, whose farming operation was kicked out of Germany for jaw-dropping public endangerment, and has already racked up a laundry list of extreme EPA violations in Ohio, has been cited by the FDA or ignoring livestock-feeding rules designed to protect consumers from drug-contaminated eggs and mad-cow disease." That's right - "Violations such as those cited by the FDA raise the risk of exposing egg consumers to antibiotics unfit for human consumption, developing medication-resistant strains of salmonella and spreading mad-freakin-cow disease"!! (freakin mine)

Gosh, what if you want to stay away from Buckeye Eggs for a while? "[T]here's no easy way for consumers to be certain they aren't buying Buckeye Egg Farm eggs because they're marketed under more than 100 brand names." Ah. And the moral is...? "It's just wrong for Buckeye (Egg) to put everyone in the United States at risk." Everyone who buys supermarket eggs, that is, but yeah, point well taken.

Friday, May 30


When they don't involve animal cruelty, religious food laws can come in handy: "following the fasting regimes laid down by the Greek Orthodox Church could reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease, claims a recent article in BMC Public Health." Wow. Check it out - the benefits of this "fast" really are pretty inarguable. Huh. So, what is this "Orthodox Christians" diet? Here it is - "the faithful are advised to avoid meat, eggs and dairy products," - wait, that sounds familiar - "and eating fish is not allowed on Wednesdays and Fridays." Ohhhhhh, that's right: That diet that produces lasting benefits to bodily health. IT'S CALLED VEGANISM.


Finally someone's publicly mocking the bogus notion that chicken is a health food. Trouble is, it's the beef industry, whose motivations may be a little suspect. Could this whole campaign possibly be related, as the chicken folks suggest, to the fact that America's per-person beef consumption has fallen 14 percent since 1985? Hmmmmmm. What are they really saying? "We're not telling [people] not to eat chicken, and we're not telling them to eat beef every day," said dietitian Mary Young of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. You're not? Then what's "For Dinner?"


The ritual killing of animals, so problematic when the religion is, say, Santeria, is becoming a political hot potato in Britain, as animal welfare campaigners push for an overhaul of rules on kosher and halal slaughter. Essentially, the religious arguments of both Jews and Muslims run thus: God told us we have to kill the animal this way, so even if it's excessively brutal and inhumane, that's just tough. Problem is, most people don't have any moral standing to object to this, funding as they do the wholesale slaughter of animals in conditions that are nearly always inhumane as well. This is obvious in commentaries such as this one on a man who was killing goats in his back yard - at first the editorial "we" were shocked at the cruelty, but then realizing their own complicity in cruel animal slaughter, decided he should instead be admired for providing his own food. Well, no. As with any religious or culturally-sanctioned animal slaughter, just because "we" are also guity doesn't mean "they" should get a free ride, it means "we" should stop doing what makes "us" guilty.

Thursday, May 29


Here's a meme that seems to be getting popular: Now that SARS and Mad Cow have both made headlines simultaneously throughout the Western world, some commentators are comparing these outbreaks to the catastrophic 1918 flu epidemic, which killed up to 50 million people, and saying that in that context, this ain't so bad.

Well, no, it ain't. But what's more noteworthy about all these things being compared is that they're horrific diseases visited upon human populations as a consequence of intensive animal agriculture. Of course Mad Cow is, and it's now become undeniable that SARS is, and most scientists now agree that the source of the unbelievably devastating 1918 flu pandemic was the American pork industry. Even ignoring for the moment all the ill health effects that personally arise with consuming each and every ounce of meat, isn't the cost to our populace a little high for such a pointless luxury item?

Wednesday, May 28


The Salt Lake Tribune connects the dots in yesterday's editorial: If the USDA has been so lax about stopping E.coli-smeared meat from getting to grocers' shelves, why should we trust their assurance that they've stopped Mad Cow? "Meat industry pressure to move product has put profits ahead of safety, silenced Congress and left U.S. Department of Agriculture with less power to enforce its rules than other regulators have over the safety of toys or cosmetics," the Trib notes. Meanwhile, New Scientist Magazine goes one step further: "BSE likely to be in US cattle herds" is the headline on a story not yet available online in which the magazine asserts that Mad Cow has probably already infected some U.S. cattle. There are many ways this might have happened - the most obvious being our NAFTA-decreed open trade borders - but two noteworthy sidebars (which may or may not be related) have to do with the blithe feeding of BSE-infected cows to other animals: CBC says that "Despite assurances that a cow infected with mad cow disease was never eaten by humans, officials said Wednesday it was likely fed to pigs and chickens - which in turn could have been on a dinner table." And to show how intertwined this "One Cow" is with American industry, a Nevada company, Carson's Pet Pantry, asked customers yesterday to return dog food that may contain beef from quarantined herds. Ah, the Circle of Life.


"We need to know what we are eating," yells the UK's Guardian newspaper in a hard-hitting editorial about injecting crap, including other meat, into meat. At least, it would be a hard-hitting editorial if it even raised the question "why do we not want to look at what we're eating, when it comes to meat?" As it is, the blinders stay on. Meanwhile, a group of students in Maryland are asking and answering the question by protesting a science course where they raise lambs, get to know them, and then kill them Seems after getting to know them, a bunch of the kids didn't want them dead. Go figure.