Thursday, July 26


To those of you not at Summerfest: Here I am at Summerfest.

To those of you at Summerfest: Here I am at Meat Facts.


I opened Internet Explorer to its default page on this computer (not mine), which is, and was immediately greeted with their front-page story, "Is it Cheaper to be a Vegetarian? Meat may be murder ... on your wallet." Fearing the worst, I read through that and a sidebar, "Is a vegetarian diet really healthier?" and I have to say, taking into account the idiom, i.e. mainstream, lowest-common-denominator journalism, this is a pretty fair account. One hint is that when you click through that opening question to the article, the headline on the page is "Go vegetarian to save money," with the subhead, "Staples such as rice, corn and beans can make trips to a grocery store less expensive. But the biggest savings may come in health-care costs years later." And while the piece on the "healthier?" question retains its question mark in the headline, the article is pretty unequivocal.

The second paragraph starts out, "Evidence has been building for two decades that people who eat a mostly vegetarian diet have the upper hand. But ..." ah, yes. The "but" - what is the writer going to counterpose against the supposed evidence? The sentence continues, "even scientific studies may not be enough to convince meat eaters to give up their lust for flesh in exchange for a longer, more disease-free life." Wow. So there really was nothing to contradict the truth - only a separate issue of whether meat-eaters will care about the truth.

And with phrases like "we’re not talking a few percentage point differences, but 25 percent to 35 percent less risk," this piece does get the clear benefits across, well, clearly. And sometimes startlingly: "[W]hile the dairy industry would have you believe that milk is the best source of calcium, research suggests otherwise. 'When we think calcium, we tend to think dairy,' Andrews says. 'But when you take a step back, the main source for all minerals-including calcium—is soil from the ground.' So plants such as bok choy, broccoli, collards, and kale are a good source of calcium. In fact, calcium from these plants is absorbed by the body twice as readily as calcium from cow’s milk." Wow. What's next, an in-depth report on Vegetarian Summerfest?

Tuesday, July 24


Although I am too weak-willed so far to go to the extremes of Caldwell Esselstyn's NO OIL plan, I do recognize its health potential. More to the point, I understnad that it's not synonymous with "veganism," a fact you'd think anyone writing yet another "I tried veganism" column would do enough research to nail down, but no:

    Animal products: Forget them. Nuts, avocados, oil: Taboo. I gasped, but what about olive oil? Forbidden. In other words, he was asking me to become a vegan.
In other words, your take on Esselstyn's eating plan - or on veganism - is about as valuable as your conception of "vegan" is accurate.

Monday, July 23


It's now much more than 350 tons of canned meat - it's so much they either aren't sure or aren't willing to say how huge a quantity - that's being recalled. The botulism recall was expanded on Saturday to include a much wider range of chili-type products produced at the same plant.

Speaking of Saturday recalls, it was only because I was looking for info on that one that I heard about this E.Coli recall on Saturday of 13 tons of ground beef. Hope everyone affected by this one was also checking that site, because otherwise they may be eating the E.Coli-smeared meat at this very moment.


Not enough room for this whole cartoon - you can click here or on the thumbnail to see it.

This is another "wha?" moment like the Jumble cartoon, especially considering one of the butts of jokes in this strip is a "vegan" who's consistently portrayed as knee-jerk, mindless, obsessive or hypocritical. More to the point, though, this one does succeed in making a point I've often put forward: The prime "educational" value of zoos is that it teaches kids that inflicting suffering and death on animals for our entertainment is normative.