Saturday, November 8


A federal judge has canceled seven grazing permits on taxpayers' land in Arizona and New Mexico, effectively removing about 1,425 cows from the properties, after it emerged that the Forest Service had failed to do its job of examining the livestock's impact on endangered species. Many U.S. citizens remain unaware that over 300 million acres of the land their taxes pay to protect is leased at substantially reduced rates to livestock producers for grazing. Nor are most aware of the extent of devestation this can and does wreak on ecosystems throughout the Western U.S. Most BLM and Forest Service land is grazed, so this week's ruling may set an interesting precedent.

Friday, November 7


The senate passed a ban on using downed cattle in food. This is a good step forward, if only because it will make the beef industry get a little more serious about preventing animals from becoming "downers." The USDA says 130,000 downed animals are slaughtered every year. Previously, farmers have sold their sick and injured animals "to meat renderers who grind them up into pet food and animal feed." And also, some of them - like that famous cow in Canada - wind up in people feed. "Beef producers have expressed concerns that prohibiting the sale of downed animals will result in their having to find other ways to dispose of sick livestock." Cry me a lagoon, pal.

Thursday, November 6


International silver screen legend Halle Berry explains, "I'm on these protein drinks and the methane gas is shooting out of my butt." So now you know.
UPDATE 11/12: Catherine Zeta-Jones saw that blurb and took immediate action, loudly and publicly denying reports that she's been on the Atkins diet, since she doesn't want to be "made to look as if she is more concerned about her outward appearance than she is with serious health concerns."

Wednesday, November 5


"Just days after the Food and Drug Administration announced preliminary findings that meat and milk from cloned animals were safe to consume, a scientific review panel for the agency said on Tuesday that there was not enough data to support that conclusion and asked for more studies," sez the New York Times. Note, though, that the FDA didn't even say cloned meat and milk were "safe," it said they were "as safe as regular" meat and milk. Which, frankly, isn't a huge vote of confidence to start with.

Tuesday, November 4


According to, Stacee Yersin sued her vet for "the negligent death of my cat and the resultant emotional distress to myself," according to court documents. The court ruled in her favor. The change in wording increases the level of care and responsibility that people must show toward their animals, animal rights attorney Christine Garcia said. OK, but then again, talk is cheap - we'll see how this shakes out down the road.

Monday, November 3


"Dog tracks are a horse-and-buggy bet in gambling's space age. And they're hurting. Everywhere," says the Miami Herald. Yep. They sure are hurting. Hurting dogs left and right. In "a last-gasp effort to resuscitate their expiring industry, the owners of certain South Florida dog tracks want a transfusion. So they're asking for slot machines at the tracks. Um, I'm sure someone else must've said this somewhere, but... if it's slots, rather than dogs, that lure people to the tracks, why not get rid of the dogs?
UPDATE 11/5: "The Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track is being investigated by state officials after an animal-rights group claimed two dogs were severely injured last weekend and that a veterinarian was not at the track when the incidents occurred." Note the only issue here is that there was no vet - because dogs being severly injured in the normal course of an afternoon's entertainment barely warrants any notice at all.