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In this edition...
Health and Environment
Definitive European study links red meat to cancer
Full story: The Guardian (UK)
International scientists [have] delivered a long-awaited verdict on red meat, concluding in a definitive study of the eating habits of half a million people that beef, lamb, pork, veal and their processed varieties such as ham and bacon, increase the risk of bowel cancer. Those who eat two portions a day - equivalent to a bacon sandwich and a fillet steak - increase their risk of bowel cancer by 35% over those who eat just one portion a week, the study found.
The Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and IARC funded the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (Epic) study, which monitored the diets of men and women in 10 countries for five years. It found that eating fibre, in the form of vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals, [and fish] lessened the risk of meat eating.
The Guardian (UK) - June 15, 2005
Food Navigator.com (June 15, 2005)
The skinny on milk and weight gain
Full story: Washington Post
Children who drink more than three servings of milk each day are prone to becoming overweight, according to a large new study that undermines a heavily advertised dairy industry claim that milk helps people lose weight.
The study of more than 12,000 children nationwide [Editor's note: that's compared to the study of eleven adults on which the dairy campaign is based] found that the more milk they drank, the more weight they gained. Those consuming more than three servings each day were about 35 percent more likely to become overweight than those who drank one or two. The association held, even though most of the children were drinking low-fat milk.
Washington Post - June 7, 2005
Dietician advises not to worry: Just eat a mostly plant-based diet for health
Full story: Kansas City Infozine
Sometimes they worry about the vitamin, fiber, phytochemical, or sugar content of [carbs]. More often people seem to think about the glycemic index, although they are confused about it. Carbohydrates that are broken down quickly in the body, rapidly raising blood sugar levels...are said to have a high glycemic index (GI). Foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed more slowly. They should satisfy hunger and maintain energy levels for longer periods of time. Whole-grain breads, pasta, beans, and most fruits and vegetables all have a low GI.
Keep in mind that it is best to see your diet as a whole package, rather than individual pieces. You shouldn't choose foods just because they have a low GI, because you may deprive yourself of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and overload your body with fat and protein. A mostly plant-based diet, which is associated with a lower risk for cancer and heart disease, tends to contain a lot of low GI foods and other beneficial characteristics like fiber. That's why it's the best choice for good health.
Kansas City Infozine - June 13, 2005
Fishing nets are killing nearly 1,000 marine mammals every day
Full story: National Geographic
Fishing nets intended for other marine species are killing at-risk species of dolphins and porpoises around the world, according to a report commissioned by the nonprofit World Wildlife Fund-U.S. Ten species are included in a list of populations conservationists say require urgent action to prevent further deaths.
Baragona, of the WWF-U.S., says accidental dolphin and porpoise deaths can be significantly reduced, often with simple, low-cost solutions. "Slight modifications in fishing gear can mean the difference between life and death for dolphins." It's the fate of dolphins and porpoises in the developing world that most concerns conservationists, especially because these waters support the greatest number of cetacean species and the most at-risk populations.
National Geographic - June 10, 2005
More marine news:
News-Medical.Net (June 5, 2005)
ENN (June 2, 2005)
Environmental impact of cattle grazing altered in government analysis
Full story: The Los Angeles Times
The Bush administration altered critical portions of a scientific analysis of the environmental impact of cattle grazing on public lands before announcing that it would relax regulations limiting grazing on those lands, according to scientists involved in the study. A government biologist and a hydrologist, who both retired this year from the Bureau of Land Management, said their conclusions that the proposed new rules might adversely affect water quality and wildlife, including endangered species, were excised and replaced with language justifying less stringent regulations favored by cattle ranchers.
The new rules mark a departure from grazing regulations adopted in 1995 under President Clinton. Those regulations reflected the view of range scientists that a legacy of overgrazing in the West had degraded scarce water resources, damaged native plant communities and imperiled wildlife.
The Los Angeles Times - June 18, 2005
Shark fin lands Hong Kong's Disneyland in environmental soup
Full story: Yahoo! News
Disney has found itself in hot water over plans to serve shark's fin soup at its new Hong Kong theme park, with conservationists accusing the company of failing in its corporate responsibilities. Consumption of shark's fin, usually in a soup, has been blamed for falling shark numbers and environmentalists have called on the U.S. giant to set an example and pull it from their menus when Disneyland opens in September [or face a global boycott].
Environmentalist Brian Darvell says millions of sharks are being slaughtered each month. "It is among the most over-exploited species on earth." The fins are usually hacked off while the fish is still alive and the rest of it is tossed back into the sea to die. Clarus Chu of the Worldwide Fund urged Disney to take shark's fin off its menu and use alternatives such as vegetable spaghetti, a type of squash that has been used by some restaurants as a shark's fin substitute.
Yahoo! News - May 24, 2005
Yahoo! News (June 9, 2005)
Lifestyles and Trends
Vegetarian diet fuels 94-year-old marathoner
Full story: Senior Journal
Fauja Singh, a 94-year-young grandfather of 13, led a marathon relay team [June 12] in the Edinburgh Marathon in Scotland, which was billed as the "oldest ever marathon relay team." The five-man team named itself "Sikhs in the City" and had a combined age of 397 years.
Singh, the world's oldest marathoner, drew most of the attention in the field of more than 11,000 runners and was the official starter. There were 5,000 runners in the relay event. The Sikhs finished 730th of the 912 teams. They completed the course in 4hr 16min 24sec. A vegetarian, Singh, joined forces in 2004 with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to caution Asians and others about the perils they face if they "clog their arteries with meat."
Senior Journal - June 13, 2005
Unexpected lifestyle choice: Animal welfare has a surprising advocate
Full story: wbur.org (Boston)
Matthew Scully doesn't fit the profile of someone who advocates for animal welfare. Until this past summer he was a senior speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Before that he was an editor of the conservative magazine, National Review. But Scully takes the cause of animal protection seriously - so much so that he has made it his mission to convince fellow Republicans that the money-saving efficiencies of factory farming pose serious moral issues that his party needs to face.
Republicans generally ridicule the cause of animal protection - claiming it belongs to those far on the Left. But Scully argues that conservatives, with all their talk of compassion and values are a natural ally for the cows, chickens, and pigs caged in ungodly conditions. [Radio interview]
wbur.org (Boston) - June 7, 2005
Vegging out is catching on in Poland
Full story: Polski Radio
The 1st Vegetarian Week has been launched in Poland by animal rights campaigners and vegetarian organizations. The bill of fare includes cooking shows, concerts and happenings in more than 80 cities. Although just 1% of Poles identify themselves as vegitarian, a growing number are turning to this lifestyle for reasons of health and animal welfare.
More and more young people are switching to vegetarianism in Poland and more and more vegetarian restaurants are opened, promoting a new lifestyle, which benefits both people and animals.
Polski Radio - May 25, 2005
WebIndia123.com (May 31, 2005)
Vegetarian experiences: Personal reasons for going meat-free
Full story: Rocky Mount Telegram
When Jacobby Jones went to the Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan concert in Zebulon recently, the concession stands weren't selling anything that he was interested in. The 32-year-old forklift operator for Hospira in Rocky Mount has been a vegetarian for two years. For him, it's a lifestyle choice that means more than just steering clear of meat. "If you're going out and eating junk, you're not really a vegetarian," he said. Jones said he chose to become a vegetarian strictly for health reasons. Since the change, he said he's had more energy.
For the past two years, Andrew Nelms, 18, based his decision mostly on moral reasons, but he also has trouble digesting some meats. "Vegetarians aren't as weird as people think they are," he said. "It's not just a bunch of hippies doing it, because I'm the exact opposite of a hippy." Since the switch, he says he's felt better. "I'm not as tired all the time, and...I feel lighter and more active." Dilip Barman, president of the Chapel Hill-based Triangle Vegetarian Society says not eating meat is easy, "It's the best thing you can do for the environment," he said. "It's the best thing you can do for you."
Rocky Mount Telegram - June 21, 2005
China taking steps to clarify labelling on "vegetarian" products
Full story: AP-foodtechnology.com
A Vegetarian Food Industry Association will be set up in China this year to combat the use of animal material in vegetarian products. [Its] primary mission will be to push for compilation of standards to regulate the production of vegetarian food in what is seen in Asia as a small but growing industry. At the moment vegetarian food distributed in China is deemed as substandard in countries and regions that have strict standards on vegetarian product.
According to Huang Ying, of the vegetarian food cultural commission, there are presently no state or industry standards designed to regulate production of vegetarian food or its ingredients in China. "The lack of standards means that many manufacturers of vegetarian food use animal material, such as eggs and meat, in their products," said Huang.
AP-foodtechnology.com - June 3, 2005
Need for better labelling elsewhere too:
icWales.com (June 14, 2005)
Bexley & Eltham Express (May 25, 2005)
It's raw, but it's hot
Full story: The San Diego Union-Tribune
Interest in eating food in its pure form, uncooked and unprocessed, is growing. Celebrities swear by the raw diet and local stores scramble to keep raw products in stock. And at the uncooked heart of it all, are San Diego natives David Wolfe and Thor Bazler, the founders of Nature's First Law. "It's no longer some niche, weird thing that some kind of crazy hippie is doing out in the desert somewhere," Wolfe said.
The raw-diet theory is that cooking robs food of some of its life force and that processing can add harmful ingredients. Devoid of some natural elements, like water and certain enzymes, cooked or processed food can't provide its full nutritional potential. Some scientists and dieticians dispute the purported merits of raw diets. "Every single medical journal says eat more fruits and vegetables," Bazler said. Wolfe added, "You never hear eat more cheesecake."
The San Diego Union-Tribune - June 14, 2005
Animal Issues and Advocacy
Heartwarming flight to freedom of Emily the Cow remembered
Full story: The Boston Globe
A statue of Emily the Cow, who became a national sensation after her escape from a slaughterhouse 10 years ago, [was dedicated June 19] at the place she once found sanctuary. "Emily is part of a much larger message," said Dot Walsh, program coordinator at the Peace Abbey. "If we need to save the earth, we need to pay attention to the vegetarian lifestyle, because grazing cattle destroy the earth." [Emily is] a symbol of nonviolence and vegetarianism.
Emily died on March 30, 2004. [Her] saga began Nov. 14, 1995. The 1,500-pound cow was lined up, waiting her turn to be chopped into steak. But Emily had a different idea. The two-year-old Holstein leaped over a five-foot-high gate and ran into the woods while workers were on a lunch break. Her escape - and her 40-day run for freedom - caught the attention of the world's news media. The Randas [Peace Abbey founders] captured the cow, and a jittery and skinny Emily ended up at the abbey that Christmas Eve after the Randas paid the slaughterhouse $1 for her.
[Editor's note: This is my favorite story this month. I vividly remember when Emily escaped. And I can never think of her without a sense that the world is spinning a little slower for a moment, and a feeling of profound sadness and reverence for all the Emilys, standing in line awaiting slaughter, who would escape too, if only they could.]
The Boston Globe - June 16, 2005
Need to ponder the relationship between animals and us
Full story: New Scientist
Science has provided us with compelling evidence that animals are more like humans than we previously thought - at the very least, they are sentient...Why all the fuss? What's wrong with the way we interact with animals at the moment? Nothing, if you don't accept that animals have their own feelings and emotions, or accept it but still don't care. But if you do care, then you will realise that the moral relationship we have with animals is deeply troubled. It becomes impossible to maintain moral blindness to the way we treat them.
We treat our pets like members of the family while hardly sparing a thought for the billions of animals slaughtered globally for meat, science and cosmetics. Perhaps we have no choice but to go forward and find some new settlement that works better for both them and us. To stand a chance of thinking this one through - and it does affect every one of us - we need to ponder awhile. [This is from the introduction to a thought-provoking series of articles in New Scientist examining the relationship of humans and animals.]
New Scientist - June 4, 2005
An interview with Jane Goodall - New Scientist (June 4, 2005)
Time to crack down on chicken abuse
Full story: Christian Science Monitor
Chickens are the most numerous birds on the face of the planet. And they're undoubtedly the most abused. A New York Times article paraphrased avian expert Chris Evans's assessment of chickens' faculties: "Chickens exist in stable social groups. They can recognize each other by their facial features. They have 24 distinct cries that communicate a wealth of information to one other, including separate alarm calls depending on whether a predator is traveling by land or sea. They are good at solving problems."
While it's now becoming the norm within the scientific realm to recognize these animals' cognitive abilities and their behavioral needs, the birds are still treated as if they were inanimate objects. Unfortunately, the industry also operates virtually free of any legal animal welfare regulations. If the poultry industry will not voluntarily begin acting to improve animal welfare, the government must take action to prohibit the worst practices, as Europe is beginning to do already.
Christian Science Monitor - June 6, 2005
Related stories & info:
Food Production Daily (June 6, 2005)
The Cleburne News (June 3, 2005)
Macon Telegraph (June 8, 2005)
Animal Sentience (May 19, 2005)
Japan scientific whaling a sham says WWF
Full story: CNN International
Japan should stop harpooning whales for scientific research, the World Wildlife Fund environmental group said in a report denouncing the slaughter as a cover-up for commercial sales of the mammals' meat. Japan should instead collect whale skin samples for genetic analysis using non-lethal darts, the WWF said in a 44-page report about Japan's whaling programs.
Whaling nations - mainly Japan, Norway and Iceland - are allowed to kill whales for scientific purposes under rules of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) even though the IWC imposed a moratorium on all commercial hunts in 1986. Yet meat from whales caught for research often ends up in restaurants or shops after the scientists have done their work, leading many opponents to see the catches as a sham to circumvent the IWC moratorium.
CNN International - June 12, 2005
Argues whales more valuable alive - The Japan Times (June 21, 2005)
"Why must our desire to eat whale be blocked?" asks a Japanese official - iol (South Africa - June 13, 2005)
Yahoo! Finance (June 15, 2005)
An idea whose time has come? Call to DNA test animal attackers
Full story: The New Zealand Herald
The Sensible Sentencing Trust plans to petition the Government for a law change so people convicted of violence against animals can be forced to give DNA samples. This follows a case in which two [New Zealand] teenagers set cats on fire and killed them. Overseas studies have shown a high correlation between cruelty to animals by youth and later offending against humans.
Sensible Sentencing spokesman Garth McVicar said that when offenders were caught for serious crimes against humans, if you looked back through the history of many of them you would find offences against animals. The SPCA supports Sensible Sentencing's move and together they have commissioned a study on the country's worst violent offenders, researching if they have early history of cruelty to animals.
The New Zealand Herald - June 21, 2005
New standards could help lessen suffering for animals in transit
Full story: Scottish Food and Drink
New standards to help safeguard the welfare of animals transported by road and sea have been agreed at a major conference in Paris. The new guidelines also give increased welfare protection to animals prior to slaughter for human consumption as well as those killed to control the spread of disease.
The conference was organised by the World Organisation for Animal Health. The agreement will help set best practice standards of animal welfare across the organisation's 167 member countries. [Although the guidelines do not have legal status,] the agreement is a major step forward as it provides a basis for the development of new or improved animal welfare laws in many countries.
Scottish Food and Drink - May 27, 2005
Veggies on a Roll - New Services
New veggie auction site
Vegetarianwomen.com has launched Vegbay.com, a free online auction for the vegetarian and eco-conscious communities. Individuals and businesses pay no registration or listing fees to buy or sell vegan, vegetarian, organic, hemp, fair trade, yoga, meditation, New Age, spiritual, health & beauty, and miscellaneous items and services.
New veggie internet TV station
Award winning Essex TV presenter Karin Ridgers has launched Veggie Vision, a new veggie internet TV station. Driven by a passion to promote non-meat and non-dairy eating in a positive way, Karin's venture will have a combination of celebrities, information, cookery and real peoples stories - all with a positive attitude.
Animal rights credit card
Now paying with a credit card can help animals at the same time. Every time a cardholder makes a purchase using the new PETA credit card (issued by InfiCorp Holdings, Inc), a portion of that sale goes to fund PETA educational programs designed
to teach children and adults to respect and show compassion for all living beings.
Whenever possible, stories are linked to the original source. Some sites may require registration, and/or not archive the stories. All links were active at the time of publication.
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