Friday, February 18


Given how E.Coli works, this is not much of a bombshell, but its yet another confirmation of the folly of basing a diet on meat: A new study "builds on growing evidence that foods of animal origin, contaminated with Escherichia coli, can lead to urinary tract infections in women. The latest research from Penn [State] University in the US found that E.coli strains, isolated from patients with UTIs, were genetically related to E.coli strains from cows in the collection of strains at the Gastroenteric Disease Center." Even more ominously, "the researchers found that the E.coli causing the infections is resistant to antibiotics." Gee, wonder what could've cause that?


This will come as no surprise to anyone, except perhaps the fact that it wasn't announced on a Friday: "Lax oversight by the U.S. Agriculture Department and confused food safety inspectors were to blame for imports of 42,000 pounds of Canadian beef products in 2004 that violated a U.S. mad cow disease ban, federal investigators said Wednesday." Eh, but don't worry, that's only 21 tons of beef - how many BSE prions could possibly be hiding in there?

Thursday, February 17


From the BBC: "Thought might not be dependent on language, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A UK team has shown that patients who have lost the ability to understand grammar can still complete hard sums. This suggests mathematical reasoning can exist without language. The study undermines the assumption that language is the key quality that makes our thought processes more advanced than those of other animals." A little further down, the article spells out the point of this: "If Dr Varley is correct, it again raises the question of what makes humans different. According to many academics, people are much cleverer than other animals because language gives them a higher order of thought. But these findings suggest cleverness and language might not be as closely connected as once assumed." Guess we'll have to fall back on that "we're the only animal that eats meat when we don't need to" difference to prove our superiority. (via VEGAN PORN.)

Wednesday, February 16


Wow. The European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that David Morris and Helen Steel did not get a fair trial in the infamous 'McLibel' case from the mid-1990s and awarded the pair $45,000. Considering the 313 court days the trial took (not to mention Morris & Steel's work to defend themselves with help from volunteer lawyers) this is still a pittance, but it's a moral victory that brings more bad publicity to the bozos at McDonald's, which is always good.

Tuesday, February 15


"Chicken manure stench holds town hostage" blares the hed of this story, but that turns out to be a pretty apt way of putting it: Thanks to a chicken manure-processing plant across the border in Canada, people in Frenchville, Maine often must keep all windows and doors closed, and can't do anything outside. "It smells like acid or sulfur, and it's really strong. The last couple of weeks have been really bad," Frenchville Town Manager Philip Levesque said. "It's an international problem." Well, so are terrorists, but at least they don't smell as bad.

Monday, February 14


I think I missed Vegan of the Month for January. But here's February's, with a headline I like so much I swiped it for this entry. Sharif Harb launched The Vegan Baking Company in Knoxville, the first baker there to offer a vegan option, and predictably, it's taken off. Now anyone in Knoxville who has ethical or health concerns about animal products can have their cake and eat it too.