Monday, July 30


While American cities drag their heels and cling to the archaic "tradition" of animal exploitation as entertainment, performing elephants are disappearing from more enlightened metropolitan climes:

  • "Even though there are probably more circuses in Britain than ever before, only eight still tour with animals and Bobby Roberts' Circus is the only one left that has an elephant." Whether that elelphant, 'Anne,' gets "pensioned off" as she deserves or not, it's stunning - and encouraging - that a tradition-steeped country such as England has only one remaining circus elephant. And:

  • "The state government has banned domesticated elephants from India's largest city, saying that forcing the beasts to walk the city's chaotic, crowded and polluted streets was an act of cruelty." The ban was issued after a campaign charging that elephants "are not properly fed, and suffer skin and foot ailments from being forced to walk on scorching hot, potholed city roads for long hours. When not working, the elephants were chained to posts and unable to move with most living under busy overpasses." A rough life, sure, but at least they didn't have to listen to that annoying calliope music every day.

  • Sunday, July 29


    In a stunning development that no one could have predicted, "Stores nationwide are continuing to sell recalled canned chili, stew, hash and other foods potentially contaminated with poisonous bacteria even after repeated warnings the products could kill." You may recall that those warnings were "repeated" because of the structure of the recall - first announced on Thursday night with 720,000 pounds involved, then expanded over the weekend to a size so massive it apparently cannot be computed and reported. Truly, a "Friday" recall in spirit if not in letter.

    It's big, though: "The recall now covers two years’ production at the company’s Augusta, Ga., plant - a tally that spirals into the tens of millions of cans," the AP article notes, yet a huge portion of those dangerous cans are still being purchased and consumed because, oddly, consumers and retailers both seem to have missed the news. "The FDA alone has found them in roughly 250 of the more than 3,700 stores visited in nationwide checks, according to figures the agency provided to The Associated Press. In states like North Carolina, more than one in three stores checked by state officials in recent days were still offering recalled products for sale. Officials there pulled 5,500 cans and pledged to keep searching." And although "health experts consider botulism a severe health threat but worry that word of the recall has not reached all consumers or retailers, especially mom-and-pop operations. 'It has been a problem getting the message out. We’re having a problem reaching the smaller stores,' said Lynae Granzow, an epidemiologist with the Indiana Department of Health." Hey, let's check and see how many of those smaller stores are still selling tainted spinach and peanut butter!

    RELATED, SORT OF: July 25 - Custom Pack, Inc. of Nebraska recalls 5,920 pounds of ground beef and buffalo products for possible E. coli contamination.