Friday, September 17


"A British study shows that diets high in meat, sulphur-rich foods, and alcohol are associated with an increased relapse risk for ulcerative colitis," reports WebMD. "The type of meat was important. The people who ate the most red and processed meats were more than five times as likely to relapse as those who ate the least."

Thursday, September 16


"Clouds of orange smoke hung over Parliament Square on Wednesday as smoke bombs and fireworks disrupted what had been a peaceful protest by huntspeople from across England and Wales." And of these once-peaceful protesters, "five got into the Commons chamber, disrupting MPs as they debated a Bill to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales." Not big news or anything, just a reminder that it's not only those on the pro-animal side that embarrass their cause with boorish, violent tactics. The difference, perhaps, is that one side is fighting for the right to inflict violence. Here's the best tear-jerking quote from that perspecitive: "Once they ban blood sports, I won't have anything else to do."

Wednesday, September 15


"Federal regulators have accused University of California, San Francisco researchers of mistreating animals used in experiments over a three-year period. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued 60 allegations of animal care regulations in a complaint dated Aug. 31 that was made public by an animal rights group Tuesday." This wouldn't be a big deal if the USDA didn't demonstrate its shameful willingness to "compromise" over black-and-white regulations in other areas.


I haven't read it yet, but this Boston Herald story makes "Vegetarian America" sound like an interesting and illuminating history. Some of the tidbits: "[D]id you know that among the earliest colonists to settle this area were a number of vegetarians? It seems hard to imagine that in an unforgiving climate, and with foodstuffs of all sorts scarce, that these first non-native New Englanders would have rejected a meal of any variety. But even at the very first Thanksgiving, there might have been diners who passed up the turkey for the pumpkin." (Well, yeah, assuming there was turkey, which is far from certain.) And this: "Boston Common was the site of what was likely the country's very first natural-food store, run by the American Physiological Society. This 1830s version of Whole Foods provided local residents with grains, corn, beans, tapioca and dyspepsia bread, as well as produce grown without manure or fertilizer" - what the - !! Veganic gardening in 1830!? Am I the only one who didn't know about this?

Tuesday, September 14


That's the bottom-line advice given by nutrition experts, even when you analyze foods according to the Atkins-hyped glycemic index: "a healthy diet includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and nuts, and relatively few sugary foods and drinks and refined starches." In other words, you don't need to be paying attention to the faddish restrictions of low-carb and other plans - "Just eat abundant quantities of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, and reduce your consumption of white bread, prepared breakfast cereals, white rice and potato products," said Dr. David S. Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children's Hospital.

Monday, September 13


The Washington Post reports on an intereswting development: The growing realization that Welfare Ranching, the money-losing system where public lands are abused in order to prop up the beef industry and maintain its cultural primacy, just isn't worth all the trouble. "Bob Miller and about a dozen other ranchers in Cascade-Siskiyou own federal grazing permits, lifetime permits that allow them to graze cattle for less than $1.50 a month apiece on the public land. But with concern intensifying about what grazing is doing to the land and the rare species that depend on it, he and others are making common cause with environmentalists who want to end the practice." There's a lot of hand-wringing about how to finance a buyout program (instead of the more common-sense "get your cattle off of public land now" program) - but there in the same article: "Last year the Bureau of Land Management took in nearly $12 million in grazing receipts, officials said, but it spent $50 million administering the program. Critics say the true cost is at least twice as high, noting that the figures do not include expenses such as range development and predator control." OK, so right now $38 million dollars a year is just going straight down the toilet. If we stopped throwing that away, it'd certainly go a long way toward helping to phase out Welfare Ranching.