Friday, January 5


Holy crap, that's a lot of listeria recalls! No, wait, what I meant is, I found it mildly noteworthy that the first two official meat recalls of the year are for listeria. What's not at all noteworthy is that you haven't heard word one about these, nor about any recalls in 2006 other than those associated with fresh produce.

Also not noteworthy (but I just noticed it): That the USDA would issue a recall the day after Thanksgiving (hmmmmm, what day of the week might that be?) for more than 23 tons of turkey and ham products that were potentially contaminated with, you guessed it, listeria. Bet that recall helped alert a lot of people in time!

Thursday, January 4


Hey, ever-so-clever Chicago restaurants - be sure to keep on 'not selling' foie gras! Even though the law would seem to be able to distinguish pretty easily between "free" and "free with the purchase of," the legal outcome isn't so important as is your success in getting news outlets like this to once again plaster disgusting photos, video and facts about foie gras production on their sites for everyone to see.

Wednesday, January 3


I know, I know, the trope of "this time they'll have to open their eyes!" is as old as animal activism, but I have to wonder: Now that the reality of global warming is accepted by all but the most fantastically delusional members of society, and now that the phenomenon's connection to animal agriculture has been so thoroughly documented, will Joe and Jane Average finally start to connect the dots? "Hmmmm... this burger... end of a habitable planet... gotta decide..."?

Here's just one bellwether, the science blog of the Houston Chronicle, wherein the meat-eating author resolves (yeah, yeah, New Year's and all) to eat less meat after reading the UN report, asking the musical question, Would you stop eating meat to save the planet? It's amusing how many uninformed knee-jerk condemnations flow in to the comments, including the completely straight-faced usage of "Animals were put on Earth for us to eat, and I'm happy to oblige." I realize there will always be that fingers-in-ears element, but I'm wondering if the humming will have to get louder and louder now that the facts (and of course, these facts comprise just one of many sound logical reasons for veganism) are becoming ever more in-your-face?


Here in our predominantly Judeo-Christian culture, we have to worry about idiotic kids getting hurt by emulating Jackass. Good to remember that there are other cultures with institutions just as idiotically dangerous.

Tuesday, January 2


"Across southeastern Colorado, ranchers, neighbors, the Colorado National Guard and others worked furiously Tuesday to feed" cattle trapped without food by the blizzards out there. "The Colorado National Guard used seven helicopters to drop hay bales to stranded animals Tuesday; 140 Guard members remain activated to help out with storm recovery."

Now, I'm all for feeding starving animals. But I'm curious - who paid for those seven helicopters to feed these animals? Did it all come out of ranchers' pockets? Or is this part of the "storm recovery" for which we all pay the National Guard? It was my understanding that the National Guard was a taxpayer-funded force to protect people - I never heard that they were also in the business of protecting animals.

Oh, sorry, this is a "humanitarian" mission, we can't allow these poor animals to starve to death? Uh-huh. If the Guard is so worried about the animals' welfare, will they be storming the slaughterhouse when these animals are being skinned alive? Just wondering.

Monday, January 1


Hey, here's some cheery news that I just found out about, appropriately, on New Year's Day: The inestimable, the indefatiguable Gary Francione now has a blog! It's called "Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach."

At first I was totally ecstatic at seeing this development, as Francione limits himself to a paragraph or two per entry on the front page, and I assumed he had boiled his writing style down to that length. Then I saw the "Read More"s. Yikes!

Still, for those who may balk at cracking one of Francione's dense but essential tomes on Animal Rights and Animal Law, the blog is a great opportunity to get relatively quick, terse capsules of his thinking on veganism and its associated strategies.