May/June 2016
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Life is better when you are happy, but life is best when other people are happy because of you.

In this edition...

Top Stories
  Are vegans right?
  Ft. McMurray's animals and the evolution of human empathy

Health
  Video: Slowing your heart rate - beans vs. exercise
  The human cost for the workers involved in factory farming
  Largest U.S. health care organization wants plant-based diets to be the new normal
  Not eating meat makes you live longer, research says
  Gluten-free diets could be harmful for those who don't need them, expert warns

Environment
  Eating eight ounces of steak equivalent to driving 29 miles
  Antibiotics make cows release more methane

Lifestyles and Trends
  New Zealand chefs show off their versatility in annual Vegetarian Dish Contest
  The six most important tech trends
  A quarter of Brtions will be vegetarian within 25 years, research claims
  Top 7 gourmet vegetarian meals across the globe

Signs of the Times
  Baileys is going vegan
  Latest veggie burger to sell in fresh meat section of Whole Foods

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Video: Mama goose finds police to free gosling tangled in string
  Over 100,000 Chinese citizens rally to protest the dog meat trade
  Zoos and circuses: The wrong kind of education about animals
  Dogs rescued from illegal dog meat trade arrive in Canada
  More undercover footage shows chickens tortured to death
  Slowly, progress is being made on animal rights
  Fish have feelings, too
 

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(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
  Top Stories    


Are vegans right?
Full story: UC Observer

Vegans are generally of the view that the more of them there are in the world, the better off the world will be. And this is something about vegans that takes a little getting used to: they're right... "Because we all liked cheeseburgers so much" is going to sound pretty stupid when humankind is hauled into the principal's office and asked to explain how the planet got destroyed... You can be over there with the interesting looking young people who are enjoying a dinner of lentils, avocado and roasted yams. Or you can be with the multi-billion-dollar industry that pretty consistently put its own interests ahead of health, the environment, social and economic justice - and way, way ahead of the interests of animals.

[Editor's note: This thoughtful, compelling article by a writer "discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels" is highly recommended reading. It is gentler than the quote above makes it sounds and very suitable for sharing with non-vegans. As the editor said of the piece "I defy even the staunchest carnivore to read it and not feel a little drawn to the conclusion that our appetites often get in the way of our ethics." ]   Read more...

UC Observer - May

Ft. McMurray's animals and the evolution of human empathy
Full story: Globe and Mail

It is a rare moment when we get to appreciate that we are living in what is, sometimes, a kinder, better world. When fire devastated Fort McMurray [Alberta, Canada], one human reaction stood out as something new and unexpected: the remarkable outpouring of emotion and concern for abandoned household animals threatened by the flames. Only a few decades ago, the strength of this compassion would undoubtedly have been subjected to mockery about misplaced priorities.

It's no coincidence that the animal-rights movement that has campaigned for better conditions in factory farms, slaughterhouses, zoos and marine parks has made breakthroughs at the same time the attachment to household animals has strengthened. We abhor the confinement of elephants, or the casual cruelties of a mismanaged abattoir, because we have figured out, unlike most of our distant ancestors, that these creatures are indeed suffering, that their suffering is real, and that we have the responsibility to stop it. This makes sense: All inhumanity begins with a devaluing of others - different by religion, colour, tribe or simply species - as less than human.   Read more...

Globe and Mail - May 13
 
  Health    

Video: Slowing your heart rate - beans vs. exercise
Watch video: NutritionFacts.org

A cup a day of beans, chickpeas, or lentils for three months may slow one's resting heart rate as much as 250 hours on a treadmill.   Read more...

NutritionFacts.org - May 25

The human cost for the workers involved in factory farming
Full story: Care2

There has been a lot of awareness spread about the cruel conditions animals face in factory farms, but less attention has been paid to the human cost in meat production. Now, however, a new report by Oxfam America reveals a shocking level of dehumanization factory workers face in the poultry industry: some poultry workers are being denied the simple opportunity to take bathroom breaks when they need to. Hopefully this latest report will raise even more awareness about the inherently cruel nature of animal agriculture and get more people to question if eating chicken, or any other meat, is worth the price being paid by both animals and humans who are being treated like commodities and machines.   Read more...

Care2 - May 13

Largest U.S. health care organization wants plant-based diets to be the new normal
Full story: The Food Revolution

A Nutritional Update for Physicians was published in the official journal of Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States. It told physicians that healthy eating may best be achieved with a plant-based diet, defined as a regimen that "encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy and eggs as well as all refined and processed junk."   Read more...

The Food Revolution - May 24

Not eating meat makes you live longer, research says
Full story: News.com, Australia

If you fancy living longer, it's time to put the hamburger down, a new study has revealed. Experts have suggested that going vegetarian could add nearly four years to your life. The study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association showed that ditching meat for at least 17 years extended a person's life expectancy by 3.6 years. [And there's lots more research...]   Read more...

News.com, Australia - May 10

Gluten-free diets could be harmful for those who don't need them, expert warns
Full story: Independent, UK

A leading expert has warned there is no evidence gluten-free diets benefit 'healthy' non-coeliac people and they may actively cause more harm than good due to high sugar and fat contents.   Read more...

Independent, UK - May 13
 
  Environment    

Eating eight ounces of steak equivalent to driving 29 miles
Full story: VegNews

A new study conducted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology revealed that eating an eight-ounce steak has an equivalent environmental impact as driving a car for 29 miles [47 km]. Researchers also found that consuming the same amount of plant-based protein was equivalent to driving a car for only three miles [five km].   Read more...

VegNews - May 11

Antibiotics make cows release more methane
Full story: Care2

Massive amounts of antibiotics given to cattle increases dangerous antibiotic resistance, and now a new study finds that antibiotics may also increase the amount of methane cows produce - and that's bad news for our environment.   Read more...

Care2 - May 27

More Environment News:
Video: Environmental effects of human carnivory
Dr. William Ripple at McDougall 2016 Advanced Study Weekend

 
  Lifestyles and Trends    

New Zealand chefs show off their versatility in annual Vegetarian Dish Contest
Full story: Scoop, NZ

Beetroot and Brussel sprouts no longer sit in the wings but instead take centre stage at this year's New Zealand Vegetarian Dish Challenge. This year's competition has been taken to a whole new level with the inclusion of tofu, falafel and vegetarian bean sausages in the ingredients list.   Read more...

Scoop, NZ - June 2

The six most important tech trends
Full story: Fortune

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google's parent, Alphabet, has spent his entire career predicting how technology can change the world. Schmidt [recently] laid out six game changing technologies, or moonshots, as he called them, that he says will improve important parts of society... 1: Nerds over cattle: Schmidt sees a revolution coming in using plants to replace meat. Replacing livestock with growing and harvesting plants could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, he argued. Schmidt said the world is now ready to better produce synthetic food from plants with the help of computers and data crunching. [He put this #1 on a list that included 3D printing for buildings and self-driving cars!]   Read more...

Fortune - May 2

A quarter of Brtions will be vegetarian within 25 years, research claims
Full story: Mirror, UK

A quarter of the nation will be vegetarian within the next 25 years, research claims. That doubles the proportion of people across the country who are already shunning meat. Currently 12 per cent of Britons are meat-free - rising to 20 per cent in the 18 to 30 age group. And 59 per cent plan to cut their meat consumption - mainly for health reasons but also over animal welfare concerns and to save cash.   Read more...

Mirror, UK - May 15

Top 7 gourmet vegetarian meals across the globe
Full story: India Today

From sublime to the simply divine, vegetarian food is going both healthy and haute. Here's our list of the top 7 gourmet vegetarian meals that you must try out...   Read more...

India Today - May 29

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Germany backs proposal for legal definition of vegetarian and vegan food
FoodNavigator (June 1)
20 best vegetarian recipes - rich mushroom ragout and more
Guardian, UK (May 25)
Missing meringue - surprise! Chick peas to the rescue
New York Times (May 11)

 
  Signs of the Times    

Baileys is going vegan
Full story: Newsweek

Vegan drinkers will be pleased to discover that Baileys has launched its first dairy-free alternative to the much-loved coffee-flavoured liqueur.   Read more...

Newsweek - May 23

Latest veggie burger to sell in fresh meat section of Whole Foods
Full story: New York Times

Beyond Meat will begin selling its new Beyond Burger alongside the case where beef, poultry, lamb and pork are sold. Companies making plant-based alternatives to a variety of animal proteins are popping up everywhere. Sales of products incorporating plant proteins grew 8.7 per cent in the U.S. from 2014 to 2015, while overall sales of food products grew 3.7 per cent, according to Spins, which collects data on retail sales for the natural and specialty products industries.   Read more...

New York Times -

More Signs of the Times:
I tried the Bill Gates-backed vegetarian burger that 'bleeds' and sizzles like beef
Business Insider Australia (May 27)
Meat substitutes show potential for expansion in China
Food & Beverage News, India (June 2)
Portugal's parliament to debate vegetarian options in public canteens
Portugal News (May 25)

 
  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Video: Mama goose finds police to free gosling tangled in string
Video source: NBC News

Mother goose provides another example of animal sentience in this heartwarming video.   Watch video...

NBC News - May 19

Over 100,000 Chinese citizens rally to protest the dog meat trade
Full story: One Green Planet

This June, China will hold its annual Yulin Meat Festival, a tradition in which participants eat dog meat and lychees to mark the summer solstice. As such, in an act of courage and compassion, Chinese citizens and activists have come together to protest this cruel festival and the dog meat industry that supports it... at a government-organized event, which was attended by more than 100,000 people.   Read more...

One Green Planet - May 18

Zoos and circuses: The wrong kind of education about animals
Full story: Globe and Mail, Canada

Growing public unease has prompted the multibillion-dollar zoo industry to rebrand zoos as institutions of "education" rather than "entertainment," in the hope that this will make captivity seem more acceptable... On the contrary, a growing field of research has documented the "hidden curriculum" of the captive animal industry, showing that its real educative function is to inculcate children away from interspecies empathy and into an ideology of species superiority and entitlement.   Read more...

Globe and Mail, Canada - May 6

Dogs rescued from illegal dog meat trade arrive in Canada
Full story: CBC

Thailand's Soi Dog Foundation and Metro Vancouver-based LEASH partnered to find homes for dogs rescued from the illegal meat trade in Asia.   Read more...

CBC - April 25

More undercover footage shows chickens tortured to death
Full story: Care2

[World's largest chicken producer] Tyson Foods is making headlines again following the release of more undercover footage exposing cruelty to chickens at one of its farms. The latest investigation was conducted by Mercy for Animals (MFA) at a Tyson contract farm in Lewisburg, Tennessee and is the fourth investigation exposing problems at Tyson facilities across the country in less than a year. [Editor's note: When will everyone realize this is standard practice, not exceptional?]   Read more...

Care2 - May 26

Slowly, progress is being made on animal rights
Full story: The National, UAE

At a time when newspapers are filled with tragic tales from around the world, there is, occasionally, some good news. After spending their entire lives in cruel conditions, 33 lions arrived in South Africa after being rescued from South American circuses, in what is being hailed as "the largest airlift of lions" in history... The debate about dietary choices and lifestyle is a continuous one and people from different sides have a hard time agreeing. All views should be respected. We still have a long way to go in terms of managing animal rights, be it exotic or domestic, and thankfully, there are some milestones being reached. If everyone did their bit, there will be more progress, less abuse and hopefully less senseless waste.   Read more...

The National, UAE - May 4

Fish have feelings, too
Full story: New York Times

As a biologist who specializes in animal behavior and emotions, I've spent the past four years exploring the science on the inner lives of fishes. What I've uncovered indicates that we grossly underestimate these fabulously diverse marine vertebrates. The accumulating evidence leads to an inescapable conclusion: Fishes think and feel.   Read more...

New York Times - May 15

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
What NOT to do when you see an injured animal in the wild
Care2 (May 25)
Dear vegetarians, thank you for your efforts to protect animals but you could do much better
Independent, UK (May 17)
Animal advocates protest kangaroo cull
Canberra Times, Australia (May 13)


Also of interest:

Books
HSUS president and author Wayne Pacelle interviewed about 'The Humane Economy' - NPR (April 28)
Author Frans de Waal interviewed about 'Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?' - NPR (May 10)

Helping in Ecuador after the earthquake
Vegan Meal Distribution - By Food for Life Global
World Animal Protection - Rescuing animals

Events
Animal Rights National Conference - July 7 - 10, Los Angeles, CA
4th Intl Satvik Vegan Festival - August 13 - 16, Sthitaprajna, Byndoor, India
World Day for Farmed Animals - October 2
Complete list of global VegFests - thanks to Meatout Mondays for this!

Sites:
Let's go vegan-ish - Facebook
RescueDiaries on YouTube - new!
Petition to stop animal research in Canada

Plus:
VegE-News Archives

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