Friday, July 6


If only I'd thought ahead and bought the obvious domain name, I'd be a rich man today.

Thursday, July 5


By which I mean I hope this will get the press to stop treating this issue as an open question: "Is organic food really better for you?" Yes, it really is, as has already been proven in multiple studies. But now here's yet another: "Organic food really is better for you than conventionally grown crops, according to new research." Yes - according to new research - but also according to old research, which it would've been nice if the author had mentioned.

Tuesday, July 3


Gas From Farm's Manure Pit Kills Five runs the headline on this sad story including the deaths of two children. If I were as venal, cynical and frankly idiotic as Nina Planck I would claim that this single incident is an indictment of the entire practice of meat-eating. As it stands, of course, this is just one out of many ways animal agriculture causes the deaths of children and adult humans in addition to its billions of animal victims. Note that what happened here was an outgrowth of the intrinsic components of animal agriculture - it wasn't some outside force or extraordinary occurrence. The tragic, disgusting details reinforce how "full of it" the industry is, by its very nature:

    Authorities say the accident began after Scott tried to transfer manure from one small pit to a larger one, measuring 20 by 20 feet and 8 feet deep. The pipe that was transferring the manure became clogged and Scott climbed in the pit to fix the blockage and immediately succumbed to the gas.

    Emergency workers believe Stoltzfus climbed in to the pit to rescue Scott and after hearing all the commotion Phyillis and her two daughters all went it to the pit and succumbed to the deadly methane gas.

    Methane gas is odorless and a colorless byproduct of liquefied manure. The Showalters milked 103 cows on their farm west of Harrisonburg. Farley says the Showalter farm was a modern dairy operation.

Monday, July 2


"Romney's treatment of family dog on 1983 vacation becomes issue," blares the Boston Globe, which first publishd the anecdote that is now becoming surgically attached to the Mitt Romney persona: How he put his dog in a carrier with a homemade windshied, strapped it to the roof of his car and set off on a 12-hour trip with one unscheduled stop when the dog's diarrhea ran down the back of the car.

Although PETA is doing its damnedest to blunt the effect by making this into yet another PETA story, the dog issue does seem to be gaining some traction, largely because it plays into discomforts that many already have with the Romney persona. One liberal blogger calls it "classic Romney: It solves a problem efficiently, in a business-like manner, and with no regard whatsoever for the suffering that the solution may cause." Heh. Meanwhile, over on the right side we get: "In Romney’s defense, however, I’d note that the incident took place over twenty-five years ago. Goodness knows, his views on dog travel have certainly changed half a dozen times in the interim." Yowch. Could be some "ruff" riding ahead for Mitt.


Louisiana manages to win the dubious honor of
last state in America to ban cockfighting. I guess it's better than still being the only state not to.


In February I mentioned the disparity between the hysterical amount of ink plant-food recalls were getting vs. the standard complete silence afforded meat recalls.

Well, turns out I was right, as now detailed in a marketing article about how to play the recall game. "[C]onsumer awareness levels of various recalls, and impacts on brands, vary significantly, according to results of a Harris Interactive survey of 2,563 adults focusing on six recent product recalls," the article says at the outset, and moving to specifics, adds:Unfortunately, the article essentially offers warmed-over platitudes rather than drawing out why one recall "succeeds" in generating awareness and another "fails" to do so. Among the helpful tips, "put your press release out on a Friday" and "run a company that shares past and future staff with the agency that's regulating you" - arguably the two most effective strategies for minimizing "damage" from a recall - are conspicuously absent.