Friday, August 1


Two scientists who were studying the feasibility of humans living peaceably among grizzly bears got a rude and violent surprise after conjecturing that grizzlies weren't necessarily a threat to humans: "The dozens of massive Siberian grizzly bears whose lives were catalogued for the groundbreaking eight-year study have been slaughtered in their nature sanctuary as a message to the Canadian researchers. The people who killed the bears nailed the gall bladder of a baby grizzly to the research station's kitchen wall as a gruesome taunt." Now the study, obviously, is over. A fascinating and heartbreaking story that illustrates exactly who are the world's most dangerous animals and why.

Thursday, July 31


This one's priceless. Our nation's top agency guaranteeing the safety of our food was closed for multiple violations of the D.C. Health Code - including "'water leaking excessively' in the ceiling, employees not wearing hair restraints, and inadequate cleaning of the inside of ice machines, cabinets, surfaces and equipment. The biggest problem, however, seemed to be mouse droppings found everywhere ..." There's that old bugaboo - animal feces - that the USDA can't seem to get away from. According to the Government Accountability Project, "an industry-friendly USDA protected a Colorado beef processor and failed to intervene when contaminated meat was discovered at the plant two years before a massive meat recall." But at least that time it wasn't mouse feces, right?

Wednesday, July 30


Those troublemakers at UPI are now reporting that there may be more mad cows involved in the recent Canadian case: Experts "cannot eliminate the possibility at least one other infected animal has resided within North America, its identity or fate unknown." The original mad cow, they say, "most likely had contracted the deadly disease from eating feed contaminated by the tissue from another cow carrying the illness." Contaminated feed, huh? But that would only be a problem if... say... Feed maker owns up to mad cow violation, FDA says. Uh oh. "But the prohibited feed posed a 'very, very small risk,' she says, because there have been no cases of mad cow disease in U.S. cattle." Round and round the logic goes.


In another reminder of the stupidity of bringing large unpredictable animals into town for entertainment purposes, two animals ran wild after escaping from a rodeo and a horse show. The rodeo bull was recaptured, but the horse was killed after it ran onto the highway and was hit by two cars, injuring one of the drivers. All in good fun, I guess.

Tuesday, July 29


The question's not that simple: Turns out even taking into account the differences between the two species, much of our mouse-based research may be wildly skewed due to the fact that the mice being studied are out of their freakin' minds from their hellish captivity. (via Vegan Porn) "Much of the research that relies on animals could be using brain-damaged subjects," says Discover Magazine, "jeopardizing the validity of the data it produces. This could mean that disease modeling, pharmaceutical research, and tests of chemical toxicity are tainted." It would also explain major errors like saccharin, thalidomide and the hundreds of chemicals whose effect on humans is out of sync with animal tests. Good thing India's premier drug research institute now says it can reduce animal testing by 80 percent through use of new computer programs. 80 percent, man. If they can, why not us?

Monday, July 28


What's the world coming to? "Hogs found wallowing in waste" yells the headline. Yeah, so what else is new? OK, I kid - the hogs were "in a putrid mix of urine, feces, and the decaying carcasses of about a dozen other hogs," but still - is our notion of animal cruelty changing? Perhaps so, since that's what the farmers involved have been charged with. On another animal farm, "filthy dogs, dying calves, starving pigs and sickly goats" have led to a similar charge. If this is the new world order, well, I'm all for it.