Friday, December 24


Here's a cheery Christmas Eve story about a family having turkey for Christmas dinner, or more precisely... wait for it... that's right, having the turkeys as their guests for dinner.

I'll be away from computers for a week, back in early 2005. Have yourselves a merry little calendar-flip, and we'll catch up with all the goings-on then.

Thursday, December 23


Scientists in December's Applied and Environmental Microbiology say that if you live on or near a cattle farm, it's likely that the houseflies in your house are spreading E.Coli to you and yours. "One of the potential modes of dissemination of this pathogen in the environment is by insects that are associated with animal feces and manure, primarily houseflies," say the researchers. That's right, you don't have to be a cattle farmer, or eat meat, or even go to a petting zoo, but if you live near one of these farms, your very life could be threatened by their insistence on generating huge amounts of animal feces every day. Yeeee-haw!


I don't wish death on anybody. For one thing, it's not a very vegan attitude, and for another, it's not a pleasant thing to wish. But given the number of people being executed already in our death-crazy country, if Stuart Alexander had gotten off without a death sentence, it would have been a miscarriage of justice. Why? Because this is the most extreme cut-and-dried case imaginable: A merchant of death and proven thug, whose main product is already killing people left and right through its patent unhealthiness, lards on top of that fecal contamination to kill even more people, then when told to stop that, he kills those multiple people directly with his own hand, while captured on his own surveillance camera and attested to by another person he attempted to kill. If this dumbass were spared death penalty, it would show that we really have no sense whatsoever as to what justice is in this country. As it is, it's sometimes hard to tell, but that would've sealed the deal.

Wednesday, December 22


In the headline, they're actually called "supermeals." Whatever - it's all yet another way of telling people that certain foods have incredible disease-fighting and longevity-promoting powers. And once again, it's all plants - except fish, which is also the only food on the list that the experts say should not be eaten daily. Hmmmmm, wonder why that is?

Tuesday, December 21


It's funny, isn't it, how just before election day the news was that Japan was ready to lift their Mad-Cow-inspired ban on U.S. beef any day now, helping to create an impression that things were on the upswing and Bush's USDA team was doing a terrific, proactive job. But as of December... "No end is in sight to Japan's ban on imports of a U.S. beef, the head of a U.S. beef industry delegation said on Tuesday after a two-day visit to Japan aimed at speeding efforts to ease the ban." Huh. Boy, that's strange.

Maybe some of the Japanese negotiators got wind of the charges from federal meat inspectors that "U.S. meat plants are allowing brains and spinal cord from older cattle to enter the food supply, violating strict government regulations aimed at preventing the spread of mad cow disease." Note that this is similar to, but a whole separate problem from, the FDA refusing to keep rendered cow parts out of animal feed - which, no surprise, is also a problem (although more thoroughly documented) in Canada. No, this is the human food supply we're talking about, with BSE-high-risk material going directly into people's mouths. "We are seeing little to no change at these plants," said Stan Painter, the federal meat inspectors union's chairman.

Monday, December 20


A new study in December's American Journal of Epidemiology found that children who ate oranges and bananas or drank orange juice most days of the week before age 2 were significantly less likely than other children to be diagnosed with leukemia before age 14. As this article mentions, "Previous research has suggested that diet may influence the risk of certain cancers, including colorectal, prostate, lung and breast cancers." Add leukemia to the laundry list of reasons for a plant-based diet.


"A newly published University of Iowa study suggests that parents living on hog farms should protect their children from asthma by limiting exposure to dust from hog operations. James Merchant, dean of the U of I's College of Public Health, said the study published in the online Environmental Health Perspectives this week showed that children living on hog farms had a higher prevalence of asthma than did those living on farms with no hogs." Specifically, the study found indicators of asthma in 46 percent of those living on hog farms with more than 500 pigs, and even higher - 55.8 percent - for those on farms that added antibiotics to feed. This is compared to non-hog-farm asthma prevalence of 33.6 percent. "Many studies have shown rural children to have lower numbers of asthma cases than their city counterparts, Merchant said. This is a significant study showing the opposite to be true in the case of children living on hog farms, he added. The study controlled for other factors that might cause asthma."