June 2008

In this edition...

Top Stories
  Finger lickin' tofu: KFC Canada goes vegan
  Hunted, rammed, poisoned, whales may die from heartbreak too
  Paul McCartney: Eat less meat, save the planet
  Ex-surgeon espouses a non-invasive cure for heart disease: A veggie diet

  Flavonoids linked to lung cancer protection amongst smokers
  Plant-based diet alters genes in prostate cancer patients
  Exercise and a veggie diet build energy, relieve asthma for student

Environment/World Hunger
  The new vegetarianism: Meat is more murderous than ever
  Test-tube meat confronts agricultural pollution
  Vegan farming takes organic to next level
  More than 80 per cent of world's fisheries in danger from overfishing

Lifestyles and Trends
  Ultimate fighting champion is also a hardcore vegan
  Veggie experiences: Teenager says vegetarianism isn't 'just a phase'
  Vegging on the high seas

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Australia: Animal rescuers act in support of imprisoned Austrian activists
  Canada: Horse killing is 'shockingly inhumane'
   I love Moo: Tales from a New York animal sanctuary
  Report: Factory farming is 'the worst way of farming'

Books and Perspectives
  Youth no obstacle for vegan-baker and cookbook author Hannah Kaminsky
  'End of Food' - It's the system, stupid

Of Note

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

Finger lickin' tofu: KFC Canada goes vegan
Full story: Globe and Mail, Canada

Call it an end to Kentucky Fried Cruelty. After five years of protests, KFC Canada and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] have cut a deal that will see the Canadian [fast food chicken] chain improve its chicken slaughter conditions and introduce vegan menu options. Yes, vegan chicken at KFC. "It means more choice for people who are vegetarian and more options for people thinking about it," said David Alexander, director of operations for the Toronto Vegetarian Association. KFC Canada pledged to buy from suppliers who gas their chickens, what PETA calls "the least cruel form of poultry slaughter ever developed." PETA will continue to press KFC in the United States and elsewhere to change its slaughter practices - and sell unchicken, as 461 KFC Canadian chain stores have agreed to do.

Globe and Mail, Canada - June 4, 2008
PETA coaxes KFC to kill chickens more gently
Ottawa Citizen, Canada (June 4, 2008)
Video: Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver suffocates male chicks on TV
You Tube

Hunted, rammed, poisoned, whales may die from heartbreak too
Full story: AFP

More than two decades after the start of a leaky moratorium on whale hunting, the most majestic of sea mammals have made little headway in recovering their once robust populations, say experts. Just how much progress will be sharply debated [the week of June 23] when pro-whaling and pro-conservation countries square off in Santiago, Chile at the annual meet of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)... For Yves Paccalet, a French naturalist and philosopher who helped push through the 1986 moratorium, the intelligent and highly-social creatures may be so exhausted from their centuries-long combat with humankind that they simply have given up the fight. "The psychological consequences of our aggression have compromised their will to live," said Paccalet, who worked extensively with French marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. "The balance remains very fragile: if we leave whales alone, it is not impossible that they will prosper. If we don't, the decline could be rapid," he said.

AFP - June 22, 2008
International Whaling Commission kicks off in Chile (video available)
CCTV, China (June 24, 2008)
Japan warns citizens against mentioning whaling
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (June 19, 2008)
Harpooned: Greenpeace exposes scandal at heart of whaling
Greenpeace (May 15, 2008)

HSUS: Tell Norway to remove the red stain on its 'green' image
HSUS: Tell the Caribbean to watch whales, don't hunt them
IFAW: Support ocean sanctuaries for whales

Paul McCartney: Eat less meat, save the planet
Full story: The Telegraph, India

Paul McCartney has called on Britons to adopt one day a week when they forego eating meat in an effort to reduce carbon emission caused by intensive cattle rearing. The former Beatle, who was converted to vegetarianism by his late first wife, Linda, suggests "meat-free Mondays." Cutting out meat one day a week is popular in Australia, where shoppers had become conscious of the environmental impact of cattle rearing and meat production, he emphasised. He added he was encouraged by the lead set by the UN on the issue. "One of the most significant conclusions of the recent report on climate change was that we should eat less meat," he pointed out. "This is not the Vegetarian Society that said that. It's the UN."
[You can sign up for a free weekly "Meatout Mondays" newsletter with great recipes and info here and click the tab at the top of this newsletter for tasty vegan recipes any day!]

The Telegraph, India - June 23, 2008

Ex-surgeon espouses a non-invasive cure for heart disease: A veggie diet
Full story: Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, U.S.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. has no qualms about stepping inside the [U.S.'s} No. 1 heart hospital and dishing on angioplasty. Invasive treatment is a mainstay of cardiac care, and it pays the bills. It's also what's wrong with medicine, says the retired Cleveland Clinic surgeon who has been affiliated with the hospital for 40 years. Esselstyn has turned his life's work to demonstrating that heart disease doesn't need to exist in the first place. And if it does, it can be reversed. The remedy is a plant-based diet, he says. Learn to live with no meat, no fish, no dairy or oils of any kind, and make yourself "heart-attack proof." One recent morning, Esselstyn slipped on a white lab coat and told a group assembled in a Clinic classroom that treating heart disease with stents and statins is not the answer. He implored them to accept that the body, given the right fuel, can restore coronary arteries damaged by the fatty Western diet.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, U.S. - June 9, 2008

Flavonoids linked to lung cancer protection amongst smokers
Full story: NutraIngredients.com

The risk of lung cancer amongst smokers may be decreased by as much as 50 per cent by an increased intake of certain antioxidant flavonoids, according to a new study from UCLA. Increasing intakes of epicatechin, catechins, and quercetin, found in tea and vegetables were associated with significant risk reductions, according to a study involving 558 patients with lung cancer and 837 healthy people for comparison published in Cancer. Flavonoids, a class of antioxidants found in tea, red wine, soybeans, fruit and vegetables, are the focus of increasing study since oxidative stress has been linked to an increased risk of various diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular disease. Catechin is found in strawberries and green and black teas, kaempferol is found in Brussels sprouts and apples, and quercetin is found in beans, onions and apples.

NutraIngredients.com - May 30, 2008
Flavonols may slash colorectal cancer risk: study
Quote: An increased intake of antioxidant flavonols from tea, onions, beans, and apples may slash the risk of colorectal cancer by a whopping 76 per cent, suggests a new US study. - Food Navigator, Europe (June 17, 2008)
Study links folate with healthier sperm
NutraIngredients Europe (March 20, 2008)

Plant-based diet alters genes in prostate cancer patients
Full story: CTV, Canada

Prostate cancer patients who followed an extremely low fat diet and an exercise and stress management regimen turned on cancer preventing genes and turned off genes linked to triggering the disease. A new study from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., found that men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had refused conventional treatment altered more than 500 genes when following a strict diet and exercise plan. Lead study author Dr. Dean Ornish said the study offers hope to people who fear they won't be able to escape their genetic predisposition to illness. The regimen entailed four components: A very low-fat, meat-free diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, soy products and whole grains, with fish oil [vegan alternative could be used], selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E supplements; a moderate exercise program; stress management techniques; a weekly one-hour support group.

CTV, Canada - June 22, 2008

Exercise and a veggie diet build energy, relieve asthma for student
Full story: Las Angeles Times, U.S.

Bonnie Sheriff, 26, left Kansas for California to attend Caltech in 2003. In the process, she chucked her typical Midwestern meat-and-potatoes diet and decided to slim down, going from about 180 pounds in high school to 127 now. The doctoral candidate, who lives in Pasadena, exercises about three to four times a week and sticks to a diet heavy on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Once an asthma sufferer, she says she now has "virtually no symptoms" and has increased energy and stamina.

Las Angeles Times, U.S. - June 9, 2008
  Environment/World Hunger    

The new vegetarianism: Meat is more murderous than ever
Full story: Guardian, UK

Back in April, under the auspices of a campaign titled No Meat No Heat, around a million people in Taiwan - including the speaker of parliament, the environment minister, and the mayors of Taipei and Kaohsiung - vowed to never again touch flesh nor fish. The organisers of the mass pledge cited the often overlooked contribution of livestock farming to greenhouse gas emissions, and presented it as an environmental move par excellence... Down the years, I've regularly confronted the assumption that refusing meat and fish somehow puts you in tight alliance with the people who seem to think that medical vivisection is a bigger problem than, say, human hunger. Now, thankfully, there comes this new vegetarian(ish) agenda, and the chance to make the case against meat-eating on more level-headed grounds: that even if meat will remain part of most people's diet, they are going to have to eat less of it; and that right now, this is actually more about human lives than those of animals.

Guardian, UK - June 19, 2008
One million vow to reduce carbon by being vegetarian
Radio Taiwan (June 4, 2008)
Bill Berry: It's the meat-eating, stupid
Quote: "(It) was the year I decided to find out why people were hungry in the world. The experts were telling us that the population problem was the cause of scarcity. The truth was, we were feeding a third of the world's grain to livestock, and with little return." That was Frances Moore Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet." The year was 1968. - Capital Times, WI, U.S. (May 27, 2008)
Peter Singer: Food crisis solution - go vegan
Audio and text available - Marketplace (June 17, 2008)
Bruce Friedrich: Taking the food crisis personally
Quote: If we take global warming and global poverty seriously, isn't adopting a vegetarian diet the least that each of us can do? - Huffington Post (June 20, 2008)

Test-tube meat confronts agricultural pollution
Full story: E/The Environmental Magazine

The question of buying meat becomes more complicated with each trip to the supermarket. With test tube meat a looming possibility, even vegetarians may want to reconsider their options. As it stands now, shoppers practically need a tutorial on the meat industry to distinguish between free-range, organic, cloned and other varieties. But scientists are looking to add a more controversial product to the mix, by developing meat which would take animals out of the pasture and into the laboratory. Shelves stocked with in vitro meat are still years away, but the debate is already raging about how mass-produced in vitro meat could affect the environment. The topic first gained widespread attention when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced its contest granting $1 million to the first developer of test-tube grown meat.

E/The Environmental Magazine - June, 2008

Vegan farming takes organic to next level
Full story: CNN

The tradition of farming the land in northern New Mexico's Espanola Valley had been passed down from Don Bustos' Spanish ancestors, who tilled the same soil centuries before. But when Bustos realized that the traditional farming techniques he was using could harm his children's health, he went organic 15 years ago. Now, Bustos said, he has found an even safer method: vegan organic farming, without any animal fertilizers or byproducts... Stephane Groleau, co-founder of the Veganic Agriculture Network based in Quebec, Canada, said he's aware of only a dozen veganic farms or gardeners in the U.S. He said the farming method is more popular in England and Europe because of lack of available land for raising livestock and concerns over livestock diseases transferring to humans. Veganic farmers in the U.S. are motivated by the need to protect the environment and human health, said [a vegan organic farmer.] Veganic growers say their methods reduce environmental impact by using less land, conserving water and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The practice, they say, is also cheaper than traditional farming and organic farming.

CNN - June 18, 2008
Veganic farmers work without animal fertilizers, byproducts
Las Cruces Sun-News, NM, U.S. (June 13, 2008)

More than 80 per cent of world's fisheries in danger from overfishing
Full story: ENN

A new report released by Oceana [May 26] concludes that more than 80 per cent of the world's fisheries cannot withstand increased fishing activity and only 17 per cent of the world's fisheries should be considered capable of any growth in catch at all. Too Few Fish: A Regional Assessment of the World's Fisheries shows there is very little room for further expansion of global fishing efforts. Oceana's report, based on data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, finds 58 per cent of the world's fish stocks are being fished at or beyond sustainable levels, 24 per cent of the stocks have an unknown status and only 17 per cent are considered underexploited or moderately exploited.

ENN - May 26, 2008
Environmental activists target supermarkets on seafood sustainability issue
CBC, Canada (June 17, 2008)
U.S. government issues shark finning ban
ENN (June 23, 2008)

  Lifestyles and Trends    

Ultimate fighting champion is also a hardcore vegan
Full story: Men's Fitness Magazine

[Mac Danzig, interviewed as one of the finalists in "Men's Fitness" magazines' "25 Fittest Guys in America" dispels the misconception that a vegan lifestyle puts you a disadvantage in sports.] Q: What made you decide to stop eating meat? A: When I was 16, I cut out beef and pork. I just got to the point where I wanted to minimize my intake of animal products. I knew about factory farming and the theories that meat wasn't safe, but I subscribed to the theory that if you were doing something athletic, you needed to have protein, so I kept eating chicken and fish. But then in 2004, I got to the point where I was sick of eating chicken. It started grossing me out for some reason. I was about a month out from a fight and I decided I was going to cut out all meat. I won that fight and went on a 12-fight winning streak. And [not eating meat] made it really easy to cut weight for that fight.

Men's Fitness Magazine - May, 2008
Who says you have to eat meat to be a successful athlete?
ESPN (June 17, 2008)
Where do you get your protein? Getting past the 'protein myth'
Quote: There it is again, I think, the meat industry's most potent weapon against vegetarianism - the protein myth. And it is just that - a myth. The way Americans obsess about protein, you'd think protein deficiency was the number one health problem in America. Of course it's not. - AlterNet/Huffington Post (May 31, 2008)
Vegetarianism IS for everyone! (pdf)
Excellent letter to the editor of Edmonton's "Vue Weekly" from David J. Parker, Vegetarians of Alberta Association
Potassium-rich fruits and veggies help preserve muscle mass
Greenrightnow/American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (June 24, 2008)
Plant foods for preserving muscle mass
USDA (May 23, 2008)
Video: Rap mogul Russell Simmons tells American Morning why he strictly avoids animal products
CNN (June 10, 2008)
Triathlete Ruth Heidrich on vegan athletes
(scroll to bottom of page for article)

Veggie experiences: Teenager says vegetarianism isn't 'just a phase'
Full story: Cleveland Daily Banner, OH, U.S.

A Decatur teenager has challenged culture, tradition and the typical American diet to do what he thinks is right. Jose Hernandez, 14, gave up eating meat four months ago and in those 16 weeks, he's educated himself about the issues surrounding vegetarianism to the point that he is a walking billboard for the movement... Living with four pet cats, Hernandez says he looks at his companion animals as just additional members of his family now that he's begun to think about the feelings and emotions of other creatures with whom he shares the planet. "No living soul wants to see its family taken away and see its family slaughtered before its eyes," he said.

Cleveland Daily Banner, OH, U.S. - June 9, 2008

Vegging on the high seas
Full story: Canoe.ca, Canada

The food is still the star of the show. But instead of feeling tired, lethargic and maybe even 10 pounds heavier, you leave this cruise feeling refreshed, energetic and maybe even 10 pounds lighter. Welcome to the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise, dedicated to your overall health and wellness. Created by natural foods expert Sandy Pukel, the cruise is a week-long holiday in a Caribbean paradise, which features dozens of experts in about 140 classes, lectures, workshops, fitness classes and cooking classes. "What do you have to lose but a few pounds, illness, aches and pains and the fear of the unknown? You have everything to gain. This week is about being able to change your life, about taking responsibility for your own life. You have the power to change yourself," [Pukel says].

Canoe.ca, Canada - May 27, 2008
  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Australia: Animal rescuers act in support of imprisoned Austrian activists
Full story: IndyMedia, UK

Animal Liberation Victoria's Openrescue team saved the lives of 13 battery hens from abysmal conditions inside an Australian egg laying factory (June 22). The rescue was in solidarity with the ten Austrian animal activists who have been imprisoned without reasonable cause since May 21. Some of the activists are on hunger strike, including Dr Martin Balluch who hasn't eaten for a month and is currently being forcefed inside the prison hospital. Six activists literally saved the lives of many hens as well as removing them from the putrid shed. Two hens were found near death caught trapped in the wire and baffle plate of their cages, and eight others were rescued from a manure pit filled with oozing excrement, dead bodies, dying hens, beetles, rats and feral cats. When Setha, who was on his first rescue, realised the hens were trapped in the manure pit he immediately jumped down to help them. One of the numerous hens he saved from a sure death of starvation and dehydration in the pit we named Martina in honor of Martin Balluch.

IndyMedia, UK - June 22, 2008
Human rights scandal in Austria
European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance (EVANA)
Website: Association Against Animal Factories (Verein Gegen Tierfabriken)
Information in English and German
Statement from Amnesty International
Martin Balluch writes from his cell

Send a message to the Austrian authorities to free the activist prisoners
Send a message to the Austrian prisoners
Sign the online petition

Canada: Horse killing is 'shockingly inhumane'
Full story: Toronto Sun, Canada

Images of a horse slaughter that surfaced publicly [on June 18] were so horrific some reporters couldn't bear to watch them. The hidden-camera footage of horses being slaughtered at Saskatchewan's Natural Valley Farms will now be used as a driver behind efforts to outlaw the practice in Canada. The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC), which released the footage, says the images provide clear evidence of neglect, abuse and suffering during the handling and the slaughter of the animals. The CHDC says the industry has existed in Canada for years but has escalated since the recent closure of all U.S. horse-slaughter plants. It says horse meat is shipped to Japan and parts of Europe, where it is popular among consumers. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, described the slaughtering process as "wicked and evil." "You can see the sheer terror and panic that the horses experience," Dodman said.

Toronto Sun, Canada - June 19, 2008
Video: "No Country for Horses"
CBC, Canada (June 10, 2008)
CBC probe raises questions about horse slaughtering
CBC, Canada (June 11, 2008)
Humane Society of the United States video and information

I love Moo: Tales from a New York animal sanctuary
Full story: Washington Post

Moo had a little crush on me, and I could all but return his affections. The brown-haired boy possessed saucer-size eyes, a sturdy build and a sweet disposition. But what really tugged at my heart was his story of survival. The super-friendly bull, who had trailed me through the pasture like a lovelorn teen, had been found tied to a car during his calfhood. He was saved by one animal shelter, then recently relocated to another, Farm Sanctuary near Watkins Glen, N.Y... "The biggest thing we want to impress upon people is that animals have their own lives and personalities," said Liz Pichaud, the spirited 23-year-old tour guide who led our six-person group around the property last month. "They are living as they were intended to live." Farm Sanctuary focuses mainly on barnyard animals, such as goats, pigs, cows, ducks and chickens. The refuge houses about 750 creatures, in addition to 30-odd cats that happened by and never left.

Washington Post - June 15, 2008
More good news:
For the love of goat
Endearing story of how a one-legged woman from Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is helping out a three-legged goat. - Daily Freeman, NY, U.S. (June 1, 2008)

Report: Factory farming is 'the worst way of farming'
Full story: New York Times

In the past month, two new reports have examined how farm animals are raised in [the United States]. The report funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts calls the prevailing system "industrial farm animal production." The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists prefers the term "confined animal feeding operations." No matter what you call it, it adds up to the same thing. Millions of animals are crowded together in inhumane conditions, causing significant environmental threats and unacceptable health risks for workers, their neighbors and all the rest of us. In short, animal husbandry has been turned into animal abuse.

New York Times - May 30, 2008
Highways to hell: The long-distance transport of farmed animals
Encyclopedia Britannica Advocacy for Animals (June 9, 2008)

  Books and Perspectives    

Youth no obstacle for vegan-baker and cookbook author Hannah Kaminsky
Full story: Hartford Advocate, CT, U.S.

You've got to be pretty strong-willed and committed to be a vegan. Seriously, is survival even possible without delectable animal products - scrambled eggs, chocolate milkshakes, hamburgers? Hannah Kaminsky, a 19-year-old resident of Fairfield, Conn. has been a vegan for the past five years and has recently published her very own dessert cookbook, My Sweet Vegan. She hasn't dropped dead from meat and dairy deprivation just yet, so it seems survival is more than possible. The 2007 publication features 77 recipes, including anything from Pumpkin Toffee Trifle to Golden Glazed donuts. [More vegan dessert books: "Lickin' the Beaters: Low Fat Vegan Desserts" by Siue Moffat and "Heath by Chocolate" by Victoria Laine.]

Hartford Advocate, CT, U.S. - June 17, 2008

'End of Food' - It's the system, stupid
Full story: San Francisco Chronicle

The real culprit [in the global food crisis]? The global food system itself: its inherent vulnerability, lack of democracy and increasingly concentrated power. Sure, droughts and biofuels have affected global supplies, but in Paul Roberts' new book, The End of Food, we hear the "It's the system, stupid" argument. Though its ink was drying before this current crisis hit CNN's news cycle, The End of Food helps us connect the dots. Roberts takes particular aim at factory-farmed meat, with its inherent squandering of abundance: Feedlot cattle, for example, require 20 pounds of grain to make a single pound of beef... Roberts is strongest when he discusses, at the book's end, what we can do. With the industrial food system responsible for as much as one-third of global greenhouse-gas emissions (and livestock production alone accounting for 18 per cent of emissions), now is not the time for half-measures... And he writes that "if we're to have any chance of meeting future food demand in a sustainable fashion, lowering our meat consumption will be absolutely essential."

San Francisco Chronicle - June 22, 2008

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  Of Note    

Farm Sanctuary emergency rescue fund for stranded farm animals
While in no way under valuing the human suffering and need when disaster strikes, it is important to remember the animals too. The recent flooding in the midwest United States has hit largely agricultural areas, leaving pigs, cattle and other animals stranded. Hundreds of factory farm pigs have been left trapped and drowning in crates, or freed only to be swept away by rapid currents - trying desperately to survive on area levees. Farm Sanctuary is asking for help to save them! Other organizations are also working to save animals in this and other disasters around the world.
Farm Sanctuary
Humane Society International
International Fund for Animal Welfare

Greenpeace's top three tips for green summer eating
Check out Greenpeace's tips for planet-healthy eating: Eat local, organic, and G-E free food; eat low on the food chain; and choose sustainable seafood (of course, NO seafood would be even better!) Then check out the vegan tips and recipes at our own VegE-News!
Greenpeace tips
VegE-News recipes

When it comes to BPA, we forgot about the tin cans
We have all heard about the dangers of BPA in plastic water bottles - but did you know it is also widely used in tin cans? As many of us buy canned beans, it's worth noting that Eden Organics is currently the only North American manufacturer not to use BPA as reported recently in an article in E/The Environmental Magazine.
Article: Uncanny Truths

Heads up to veggie org members
We are pleased to produce customized versions of VegE-News for the Australian Vegetarian Society, Vegetarians of Alberta, Toronto Vegetarian Organization, and Winnipeg Vegetarian Organization with local events listed. If you are a member of one of those organziations, but not receiving the customized version, just drop us an email if you would like us to switch you to the specific list. If you are a member of another organization and would like to discuss having your own customized version, let us know.
Email VegE-News

Vegan relationship survey
M. Butterflies Katz, who has published several articles on vegan subjects and co-author of "Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a new paradigm" is asking for participation in a survey as research for an article that will be published on-line and in magazines. You can answer anonymously if you choose.
Take the survey
M. Butterflies Katz website

Taking Action for Animals Conference - July 19-21
This conference will be held in Arlington, VA from July 19-21. Vegan Outreach Co-founder and President Jack Norris will be among those speaking.
Taking Action for Animals
Vegan Outreach

The 38th World Vegetarian Congress - July 27-August 2, 2008
This year's congress in Kulturpalast, Dresden, Germany will celebrate 100 years of the International Vegetarian Union. More info at the website below. (The 2010 congress will be in Jakarta, Indonesia.)
World Vegetarian Congress

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