In this edition...
| ||Chicken safety alert|
| ||Eating tofu can slash ovarian cancer risk|
| ||Lose the milk to keep tea's valuable antioxidant effects|
| ||"Wacky weather" is no joke - it's deadly global heating|
| ||Vegetarian is the new cool eco-solution|
| ||Exposé: Boss hog|
| ||Mediterranean countries agree to protect dwindling fish stocks|
Lifestyles and Trends
| ||Uncruel beauty.|
| ||Let's turn the tables: Why do you eat meat?|
| ||Toronto Vegetarian Association issues global "Veggie Challenge"|
| ||Raw food rocks!|
| ||Artificial meat: Preferable to the cruelty and environmental impact of factory farms?|
Animal Issues and Advocacy
| ||Reckless cloning|
| ||Campaign against 'Kentucky Fried Cruelty' continues|
| ||Beware misleading egg labels|
| ||Kosher fare with side of fairness|
| ||EU tightens animal transport rule|
Books and Perspectives
| ||Little hope for the ugly fish|
| ||The Henry Ford of vegetarian cooking!|
| ||Speaking out for the voiceless|
Chicken safety alert
Full story: KIRO-TV, WA, US
Consumer Reports has run extensive tests for bacteria and found 83 percent of the chicken tested harbored the kinds of bacteria that are the leading causes of food poisoning. Leighton Kunkle has nerve damage in his hands and feet from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a side effect of food poisoning caused by the bacteria campylobacter. He believes he got sick from eating undercooked chicken in a restaurant. "I spend the next few months in the hospital, in ICU, sitting there paralyzed from the neck down - had to learn how to walk again, eat again, talk again," Kunkle said.
Consumer Reports tested chicken purchased nationwide to see if it contained the bacteria campylobacter or salmonella - the two leading bacterial causes of food poisoning. According to government figures, they sicken close to 3.5 million Americans a year and kill more than 700. Testing was done on 525 fresh whole broilers from the top-selling brands, as well as 22 premium brands labeled "USDA organic" or "raised without antibiotics." Geoff Martin oversaw the testing. "We found that only 17 percent of the chicken we tested was free of both salmonella and campylobacter. And overall premium brands were a little more likely to carry salmonella," Martin said. The tests revealed an even bigger worry. Often the bacteria were resistant to one or more antibiotics.
KIRO-TV, WA, US - January 2, 2007
Consumer Reports (January, 2007)
Eating tofu can slash ovarian cancer risk
Full story: Daily Mail, UK
Eating tofu regularly can almost halve a woman's chances of developing ovarian cancer, according to researchers. A study found that a daily portion of 10gm of the food cut the risk by 44 per cent. This level of consumption releases around 3mg or more of isoflavones, the plant hormones in soya believed to protect against some forms of cancer and heart disease. The benefit also came from other products from the soya plant, including soya fortified milk and dairy products. Scientists from the Northern California Cancer Centre carried out the research involving 100,000 active and retired teachers. Claire Williamson, of the British Nutrition Foundation, said a small tofu-based meal or a drink of soya milk would provide 3mg of isoflavones.
Daily Mail, UK - January 12, 2007
Food Navigator, (December 6, 2006)
Lose the milk to keep tea's valuable antioxidant effects
Full story: CBC News, Canada
Plenty of studies have suggested that tea is a boon for cardiovascular health, but new research has found that adding milk to your favorite brew negates those benefits. The culprits in milk is a group of proteins called caseins that interact with tea, decreasing the concentration of catechin - the flavonoids in tea that are responsible for its protective effects against heart disease, according to the study authors. "There are a lot of studies that show that tea is protective against cardiac diseases," said lead researcher Dr. Verena Stangl, professor of cardiology at the Charite Hospital, Universitatsmedizin-Berlin, in Germany.
"If you look at the studies, you see that in Asia there are less cardiac diseases, but in England that's not the case. So the question is, is the addition of milk a reason for this difference between Asia and England, where tea is often taken with milk?" she said. Stangl's team found that black tea significantly improved the ability of the arteries to relax and expand. "But when we added milk, we found the biological effect of tea was completely abolished," she said. Stangl noted that not only does milk block tea's benefits for blood vessels, it also destroys the antioxidant effects of tea and perhaps its cancer-protective effects as well.
CBC News, Canada - January 8, 2007
"Wacky weather" is no joke - it's deadly global heating
Full story: Truthout
The ability of individuals, communities and nations to deny the obvious is amazing. People do not like hearing that their consumptive, wasteful lifestyle is destroying God's creation. For most, our addiction to lethargic comfort is so great, our ignorance of ecology and our total dependence upon a healthy biosphere so complete - and our psychological inability to grasp that humanity has overrun the biosphere, becoming the dominant force in nature so absolute - that we do nothing, as the greatest avertable disaster to ever face civilizations looms, increasingly recognized but not nearly sufficiently addressed.
As the ecologically ignorant chortle, pleased to be outside in winter in short sleeves, perhaps they should consider how global heating will impact their water, food and shelter requirements for life - to say nothing of the economy and their prospects for employment. How deeply and sadly we are in denial regarding the consequences of the abrupt climate changes we are witnessing. The life-giving biosphere is in tatters and near collapse because of you and me and everyone. I exhort all who read this to break the denial that the current "wacky weather" is natural; it is more, much more; the start of a systematic collapse of being as we know it. And I ask that you help other non-ecologically attuned people grasp what their way of life is doing to creation - risking ridicule as an acolyte of ecological truth.
Truthout - January 11, 2007
Vegetarian is the new cool eco-solution
Full story: Huffington Post,
President Herbert Hoover promised "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." With warnings about global warming reaching feverish levels, many are having second thoughts about all those cars. It seems they should instead be worrying about the chickens. Last month, the United Nations published a report on livestock and the environment with a stunning conclusion: "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." It turns out that raising animals for food is a primary cause of land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and not least of all, global warming.
It's a little hard to take in when thinking of a small chick hatching from her fragile egg. How can an animal, so seemingly insignificant against the vastness of the earth, give off so much greenhouse gas as to change the global climate? The answer is in their sheer numbers. The United States alone slaughters more than 10 billion land animals every year, all to sustain a meat-ravenous culture that can barely conceive of a time not long ago when "a chicken in every pot" was considered a luxury. It sounds like a lot of bad news, but in fact it's quite the opposite. It means we have a powerful new weapon to use in addressing the most serious environmental crisis ever to face humanity. Who would have thought: what's good for our health is also good for the health of the planet! Ever-rising temperatures, melting ice caps, spreading tropical diseases, stronger hurricanes ... So, what are you do doing for dinner tonight?
Huffington Post, - January 18, 2007
Common Ground (January, 2007)
Quote: "I have long been baffled by the fact that environmentalists have routinely disregarded dietary issues ... Is it because a truth that calls for a change in our daily eating habits hit too close to home?"
United Nations (December, 2006)
Exposé: Boss hog
Full story: Rolling Stone
Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world ... produces 6 billion pounds of packaged pork each year. The only way to do it is to raise pigs in astonishing, unprecedented concentrations. Smithfield's pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens. Taken together, the immobility, poisonous air and terror of confinement badly damage the pigs' immune systems. Accordingly, factory pigs are infused with a huge range of antibiotics and vaccines, and are doused with insecticides. Thus factory-farm pigs remain in a state of dying until they're slaughtered. When a pig grows ill, workers sometimes shoot it up with as many drugs as necessary to get it to the slaughterhouse under its own power. As long as the pig remains ambulatory, it can be legally killed and sold as meat.
So prodigious is its fecal waste, that if the company treated its effluvia as big-city governments do - even if it came marginally close to that standard - it would lose money. So many of its contractors allow great volumes of waste to sit blithely in the open, untreated, where the elements break it down and gravity pulls it into groundwater and river systems ... The lagoons themselves are so viscous and venomous that if someone falls in it is foolish to try to save him ... The smell at its core has a frightening, uniquely enriched putridity ... the memory of it makes you gag. [Smithfield is now exporting its disregard for immense animal suffering and the planet, announcing] that all of Eastern Europe - "particularly Romania" - should become the "Iowa of Europe." Seventy-five percent of Romania's hogs currently come from household farms. Over the next five years, Smithfield plans to spend $800 million in Romania to change that. [The full exposé is well worth reading.]
Rolling Stone - December 14, 2006
Mediterranean countries agree to protect dwindling fish stocks
Full story: Environmental News Network
Twenty-four nations whose fishing fleets ply the Mediterranean have pledged to help dwindling stocks with measures including nets that allow young fish to escape, a U.N. food agency said Tuesday. Countries participating in a meeting of a fisheries commission at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's Rome headquarters also agreed to share information about their fishing fleets, allowing experts to monitor the industry's impact, the agency said.
"This is a milestone. We will now have a tool for getting a complete picture of what kind of fishing is going on in the entire area," said Alain Bonzon, secretary of the agency's General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. The commission also signed off on a recovery plan for the threatened bluefin tuna, first approved last year by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas to protect a prized species that environmentalists say is being dangerously overhunted. The commission includes nations that are in the Mediterranean or fish in it, including Japan. About 90 percent of bluefin farmed in the Mediterranean is destined for the Japanese market.
Environmental News Network - January 17, 2007
Lifestyles and Trends
Full story: AZCentral, AZ, US/New York Times
[V]egan chic, once an oxymoron, is a glossy new marketing handle. Clothes and accessories once shunned for their aura of hair-shirt deprivation have acquired a hint of luxury. "People are more conscious today of what they're wearing, why they're wearing it and how it affects the environment," said Robert Burke, a fashion retail consultant in New York. To ignore such issues "is not sexy today," he said. [Vegan] merchants are beneficiaries of a spike in the vegetarian population. As of last year, there were an estimated 4.8 million vegetarians in the United States, one-third to one-half of them vegan, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group. That number has nearly doubled since 1997.
But today retailers and designers are aiming at potential customers identified in a survey last year by Mintel International, a consumer research company, as "occasional vegetarians." They shop vegan selectively, but their "purchasing power is paramount." This health- and eco-conscious population has contributed most visibly to the growth of a $1.2 billion market for vegetarian goods (primarily dairy, egg, cheese, meat and poultry substitutes and tofu), according to Mintel, one that jumped 63.5 percent between 2000 and 2005. Such items have particular appeal to fashion indies, whose numbers proliferate on college campuses, where vegan dining rooms are no longer uncommon. "College students ... have grown up on the three R's: reduce, recycle, reuse," [a Mintel researcher] said. "They are more likely to adopt vegan fashion, because unlike the baby boomers, to them it isn't weird.'"
AZCentral, AZ, US/New York Times - January 10, 2007
Let's turn the tables: Why do you eat meat?
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
The question of why I am a vegetarian turns me into a bore, makes me earnest and dull. Let's turn the tables. I'm going to ask you why you eat meat. "Because everyone else does." Spoken like a true sheep ... "But domesticated animals are bred for food." If we bred dogs for food, would that be OK? Why eat pigs then? Once upon a time, when white men owned slaves, anyone who said it was wrong would be mocked. Laughed out of the pub. "Everyone knows slavery is natural, it's the way things are," they'd shout at him.
"Look, I'm a carnivore," you're protesting, "I don't have a choice." You do. You can eat a wide range of foods. "Maybe, but eating meat is natural, isn't it? It's as old as cavemen." Do you live in a cave? Then why eat like a caveman? Anyway, cavemen didn't have a lot of choice. We have supermarkets, heaps of fresh stuff and sauces and spices. "Why does it matter if something feels pain? Don't carrots feel pain?" Well no, carrots don't, and yes, feeling pain does matter ... It's good to make a difference, however small, in a world where we feel so powerless.
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - January 10, 2007
Common Dreams (December 14, 2006)
Quote: "If we have to disguise, rationalize, romanticize, and ritualize eating animals to such a degree that we're no longer living in truth or reality, then perhaps we're not comfortable with it at all."
The Huffington Post, US (December 18, 2006)
There is an interesting series of comments in response to this article.
Kansas City Pitch, US (December 21, 2006)
Toronto Vegetarian Association issues global "Veggie Challenge"
Full story: TVA
"The weight is just dropping off me this week." "Seeing and hearing the suffering pigs, sensitive and intelligent animals jammed into an overheated truck, about to be shredded by the remorseless killing machine, had a profound effect on me." "The Veggie Challenge has done more good for me, ethically, spiritually and healthwise than anything else that I can remember." Those are just a few of the comments pouring into the Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA) as people from around the world respond to their new year-round web-based Veggie Challenge and agree to give up meat for a week - or go vegan if they are already vegetarian - for the good of their health, animals and the planet.
When people sign up for the Challenge on the TVA Veggie Challenge website
, they receive daily supportive e-mails for one week. Each informative message includes meal suggestions, recipe links, nutrition information, facts about the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, and other tips. Participants are encouraged to share their experience at the end of the week, and North American entrants are eligible to win some great prizes. TVA welcomes organizations or individuals to help spread the word and include a link to the Veggie Challenge (details are on the website).
TVA - January, 2007
Toronto Vegetarian Association
Support for a vegan lifestyle
More resources - Baxter Bulletin, AR, US (December 13, 2006)
Raw food rocks!
Full story: Roanoke Times, VA, US
A raw food diet is no longer an underground trend. Devotees say it offers unparalleled health benefits. A few years ago, the Atkins diet, with its heavy emphasis on protein from meat and fish, grabbed the public's attention. Now, a raw food vegetarian diet seems to be moving into the culinary spotlight. "Raw" restaurants have sprouted throughout the country. Celebrity adherents such as actor Woody Harrelson and designer Donna Karan herald the raw food lifestyle. And Whole Foods, the trend-setting organic supermarket chain, has begun devoting shelf space to raw foods.
"Just a few years ago, raw was an underground movement, virtually unknown to most people," said Joshua Rosenthal, founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. But "interest in raw foods has increased significantly over the past five years." Fans of the diet say it offers unparalleled health benefits, provides a high level of energy and can even correct a variety of medical maladies. After all, they argue, only humans and domesticated animals experience debilitating illnesses.
Roanoke Times, VA, US - January 17, 2007
Times-Leader, PA, US (January 17, 2007)
Artificial meat: Preferable to the cruelty and environmental impact of factory farms?
Full story: NewsTarget.com
Technology is rapidly emerging that will allow scientists to grow artificial meat for human consumption. I think it's highly unethical to treat animals as life-support systems for meat, which is really the way most people look at a cow - it's just there to support the growth of the meat. There's no consideration whatsoever for the experience of the cow which is, of course, a living, breathing being with a consciousness. Cows have memory, emotions and even their own family members. I don't think it is appropriate in any advanced civilization to be raising and slaughtering animals to consume their meat. It's a rather barbaric practice. That's one reason why I support the artificial meat idea.
The decision to eat meat is not a solely personal decision. It doesn't just affect you. It actually affects the planet. Global climate change is one side effects of massive meat consumption. If we were to switch over to a system of generating artificial meat, then the climate effect of this meat production would be drastically reduced. Undoubtedly [the impact] would be far less harmful to the planet than the clear-cutting of rain forest, injecting cows with hormones and antibiotics and raising crops with pesticides so that cows can be fed in a very inefficient food production system. Now what would be best for the planet - and actually best for the health of individuals, families and entire nations - would be of course to move away from a meat-centered diet. Even though the long-term solution is to move to a plant-based diet, as a civilization, a short-term solution could include artificial meat.
NewsTarget.com - January 18, 2007
Times, UK (January 13, 2007)
Animal Issues and Advocacy
Full story: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA, US
As discomforting as most Americans find the idea, the Food and Drug Administration's tentative approval for allowing the sale of cloned meat and milk makes a certain kind of sense. The plan is a logical extension of an industrialized food system that treats plants, animals and nature with an often-reckless disregard. For animals, it's a system of routine cruelties: docking pigs' tails, clipping chickens' beaks and taking cattle off grazing land to live their lives standing in manure in so-called confined animal feeding operations [CAFOs]. We'd like to think Americans will reject having their country become the first to allow cloned products. But we already put up with so much that is deeply unnatural in our food system that the Bush administration's bet on shoving cloned foods on the public may be well calculated.
In "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Michael Pollan traced the industrialization of the food system. [Example:] Pigs' tails must be docked (with pliers, no anesthetic) because the intelligent animals, prematurely weaned at 10 days rather than the normal 13 weeks to be placed in confinement, try to exercise their instincts by sucking and chewing on one another's tails. "A normal pig would fight off his molester, but a demoralized pig has stopped caring," Pollan writes. "'Learned helplessness' is the psychological term and it's not uncommon in the CAFOs, where tens of thousands of hogs spend their entire lives ignorant of earth or straw or sunshine, crowded together beneath a metal roof standing on metal slats suspended over a septic tank." After docking, the remaining stub is so hypersensitive even the most depressed pig will fight back, preventing infection from chewing. That avoids the cost of treatment and the alternative: "underperforming production units are typically clubbed to death on the spot."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA, US - December 31, 2006
U.S.: Cloned animals safe to eat
Toronto Star/New York Times (December 29, 2006)
Quote: "In Canada, an interim policy issued in September 2003 forbidding the sale of cloned animal products for human consumption is still in effect."
Campaign against 'Kentucky Fried Cruelty' continues
Full story: Portfolio Weekly, VA, US
It's no shocker that animals have to die for the sake of big, juicy fast food sandwiches. But what if the chickens that made up that patty were scalded alive in boiling water or had their throats slit while still conscious. Still hungry? This month marks the fourth anniversary People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' campaign against fast-food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken. The animal rights group continues to spread public awareness of inhumane factory farm practices while putting pressure on the corporation to amend its regulation standards. According to PETA's Factory Farming Campaign manager, Matt Prescott, virtually all fast food corporations buy their chickens from large producers who keep the animals under terrible conditions.
PETA has targeted KFC in particular for what it sees as the restaurant's blatant disregard of recommendations to improve the situation, its denial of wrongdoing and its lying and manipulating to and of the public. PETA would like to see the slaughtering of birds changed. The current system allows for too much error. (A factory farm worker told Prescott that workers expect, on average, for 40 birds to be inadvertently boiled alive on any given day). PETA recommends a process of controlled-atmosphere killing, where chicken enter a chamber that gradually replaces oxygen with gasses. KFC executives have admitted that PETA's recommended changes would only cost the company $.02 per meal. [To help,] simply kiss the Colonel goodbye until he cleans up his act in the coops.
Portfolio Weekly, VA, US - January 9, 2007
Beware misleading egg labels
Full story: Hamilton Spectator
Modern labelling is more about marketing and branding than telling consumers what they want or need to know. Too many choices and ambiguous labelling often cause consumers to make purchases based on perception or price rather than reality. One of the best examples is eggs. Words like "farm-fresh", "vegetarian feed", "omega-3" and caricatures of hens pecking the ground on packaging lead consumers to think that inside is a healthy product from birds who have the opportunity to behave naturally. But nothing could be further from the truth.
About 98 per cent of eggs produced in Canada are from hens kept in crowded, filthy cages, so small they cannot even stretch one wing. They never see the light of day until they are taken for slaughter. They never feel the sun on their backs or peck in the earth. Every natural behaviour hard-wired into their very beings is denied. Their lives, in short, are hell. But the eggs they produce, day after day, week after miserable week, are scrubbed, packaged and sold with absolutely no indication of the suffering the birds have endured. The European Union (EU) and various other countries have already implemented stricter labelling restrictions with, or without, corporate support. These changes were a result of consumer pressure and clear scientific evidence of the animals' suffering. Why is Canada dragging its feet? However, there is a glimmer of hope. In December, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency outlined the national "Canada Organic" label which includes clear production standards and tighter regulations.
Hamilton Spectator - January 12, 2007
MediaPost (January 16, 2007)
Quote: "The federal government wants to mandate a message: 'Contains milk, eggs and fish.'"
Kosher fare with side of fairness
Full story: Chicago Jewish Community Online, IL, US
The Jewish community's increased concern for social justice may soon be translated to the food Conservative Jews put on their tables. A joint commission of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly is working to create a tzedek hechsher, a certification for food produced in a socially just way, particularly with regard to safe, fair working conditions. The label would be used in addition to traditional kosher certification.
If the label is approved at the Rabbinical Assembly's April convention in Cambridge, Mass., it would represent the first such national attempt by any Jewish stream. The commission's initial reports have been unanimously approved by the assembly's executive committee and United Synagogue's national board. "As Jews, we need to understand our responsibility to the people who produce the food we eat," said commission head Rabbi Morris Allen. Allen said that includes paying attention not only to what kinds of food are consumed and how the food is prepared - including minimizing the pain caused to an animal during slaughtering - but also how those who produce the food are treated.
Chicago Jewish Community Online, IL, US - December 20, 2006
EU tightens animal transport rule
Full story: BBC News
The stress suffered by animals as they are transported across Europe will be lessened as new laws come into force. Lorries used to carry cattle for eight hours or more must be licensed to ensure they are equipped with drinking systems and temperature monitors. New lorries must also have satellite navigation, to make it easier to check compliance with travel and rest times. The rules comes into force days after another EU law banned veal crates, in which calves have no room to turn. Animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) said the new regulations on animal transport were an improvement, but regretted that nothing had been done to restrict the length of journeys.
The new regulation also bans the transport of female animals less than one week after they have given birth, and new-born animals. Live transports of calves from the UK to Europe resumed in May last year. Between May and October, 44,000 animals had been transported to continental Europe, according to CIWF. Some are taken on journeys lasting up to 60 hours. "We are delighted that veal crates have been banned, but it doesn't mean things are perfect for calves - far from it," [a CIWF spokesman] said. He added that CIWF would continue to campaign for a ban on live transports lasting more than eight hours, and for a complete ban on live transports from the UK.
BBC News - January 5, 2007
Jerusalem Post (January 8, 2007)
Guardian Unlimited, UK (January 10, 2007)
Books and Perspectives
Little hope for the ugly fish
Full story: The Tyee, BC, Canada
Heard Island is a lost scrap of rock in the Southern Ocean, not that far from Antarctica. The chief value of this Australian possession is in the waters around it: a large, ugly creature, the Patagonian toothfish. Demand for the toothfish has almost emptied the seas of it, even though it didn't arrive on the market until the 1970s. Chilean fishers spurned it as tasteless. But American marketers turned it into a popular replacement for cod and other fished-out species. Rebranded as "Chilean sea bass," it sells for up to $20 a pound, and it's in great demand in good restaurants around the world.
In Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish
, G. Bruce Knecht tells the story of our collapsing fisheries in a single dramatic incident about the toothfish. Knecht weaves this narrative into a larger account of the world's fishing industry and the mostly futile efforts of governments to discourage the plundering of one species after another. The conclusion is frustrating: The pirates are free to plunder the ocean again, and it becomes easy to believe that the world's fisheries really will be gone by 2048
. As Knecht's book demonstrates, we are indeed hooked - by our infinite hunger for a clearly finite resource.
The Tyee, BC, Canada - December 27, 2006
The Henry Ford of vegetarian cooking!
Full story: East Anglian Daily Times, UK
You don't need more than a shelf of Rose Elliot books to chart the rise in popularity of cook-it-yourself vegetarian food. When she published her first recipes in 1967, vegetarians were viewed as slightly odd. Forty years and nearly 60 books down the line, there are millions of folk who know that meat-free fare can be imaginative as well as nutritious and ethical. Her latest publication, Veggie Chic, shows just how much progress has been made in four decades. Plain omelettes are consigned to history: we're now talking taste-tinglers such as brie and cranberry soufflés, aubergine steaks with mint glaze, and chocolate gelato with citrus drizzle. Rose's mission was to combine simplicity and stunningness, while steering clear of appearing intimidating or complicated.
East Anglian Daily Times, UK - January 11, 2007
Speaking out for the voiceless
Full story: The Hindu, India
Like humans, animals too enjoy good food, feel pain and express emotions. To drive home the point that animals have the basic right to life and freedom from cruelty at the hands of humans in abattoirs and laboratories, Jonathan Balcombe, an American animal behaviour research scientist, is delivering lectures at various medical colleges and universities across the country. Dr. Balcombe, who works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in Washington D.C., wants to create awareness about atrocities committed on animals. India with its large population and widespread tradition of vegetarianism can be a "key player" in transforming humans and improving their relationship with animals, he feels.
Dr. Balcombe said: "Until recently scientific dogma rejected animal consciousness and emotions but now we know better. Recent studies have shown that mice empathise with familiar mice who are suffering, pigeons navigate on roads constructed by humans and rats accustomed to being tickled will come running for more, adds the scientist, who has penned a ground-breaking book titled Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good. "Animals' pain is akin to yours and mine and their will to live is just as strong as ours. As such, animal experiments, their meat production and harming them for entertainment are blatantly unethical. Therefore, I recommend a vegetarian diet, particularly a vegan one," he adds. Stating that animals deceive, tease, pretend and celebrate, Dr. Balcombe said they also exhibit a broad range of emotions like grief, gratitude, jealously, joy and embarrassment. Despite all this, 56 billion land animals are slaughtered by humans annually.
The Hindu, India - January 19, 2007
A review of "The Bloodless Revolution" by Tristram Stuart - San Francisco Chronicle (January 7, 2007)
Another review of "The Bloodless Revolution" - Boston Globe (January 14, 2007)
Presented by Animal's Voice
By Dr. Michael Greger - you can read the book online
By Syd Baumel, Eatkind
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