April 2010
In this edition...

Earth Day: Focus on the Environment
  'Meatless Mondays' - It's a (no) meat-and-potatoes initiative for a greener planet
  John Robbins on eating for the environment
  Environmental and social impact of the 'livestock revolution'
  Recipe for rarity: Fish threatened by cookbooks
  Human health linked directly to forest health
  Souljourn for the mind, spirit and earth: 21 days for world hunger

Health
  If you eat chicken, likely you're poisoning yourself with arsenic
  Power Plate - a food pyramid alternative
  U.S. report: Contaminated meat on supermarket shelves

Lifestyles and Trends
  Vegan for a month
  A prisoner seeks vegan food: Why refusing is both illegal and foolish
  Men leave their own mark on veganism
  What not to eat: The 10 craziest food abominations of all time
  Vegan on a budget

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Animal sentience: Horses never forget human friends
  Do fish have feelings too? It's a slippery question for science
  Meat in short supply after belt-tightening

Books and Perspectives
  Dr. Jane Goodall: 'I'm not going to fight for animal rights'
  Animal behavior expert's new book explores the inner lives of animals
  Moby talks gristle

Of Note - Recipes, Videos, Events and More
 
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(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
  Earth Day: Focus on the Environment    

'Meatless Mondays' - It's a (no) meat-and-potatoes initiative for a greener planet
Full story: Toronto Star

Al Gore supports it. Paul McCartney's advocating for it. And this month, the Toronto Vegetarian Association is challenging carnivores to give up meat every Monday as part of its new campaign for the North American Meatless Monday movement. "We think it's a great way for us to reach out to people who might not be ready to consider going completely vegetarian but who are interested in healthy eating, or they're interested in reducing their environmental footprint," says David Alexander, executive director of the Toronto Vegetarian Association. This month, they launched www.meatlessmondays.ca and the Twitter account @meatlessTO to spread the word with vegetarian tips and recipes. It is joined by the new "Lundi sans Viande" movement in Quebec, launched by a collection of non-profit groups, including the Montreal Vegetarian Association. These various campaigns are aimed at a trend that's seeing more people reduce meat consumption.   Read more...

Toronto Star - March 23

John Robbins on eating for the environment
Full story: Good Times, CA, U.S.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990, bestselling author John Robbins made his rounds on the talk show circuit. Robbins made waves by urging Americans to change dietary direction in his 1987 book Diet For a New America, which remains a big seller today. He would go on to become one of the world's leading experts on the relationship between diet and the environment. But with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, he says there is one dire environmental problem that remains unaddressed: Eating meat. "We are going to have a lot of Earth Day celebrations, surely that was the case for the 20th anniversary," he says. "And at a lot of the celebrations, there will be meat served - and I find that hard to understand."   Read more...

Good Times, CA, U.S. - April 14

Environmental and social impact of the 'livestock revolution'
Full story: Science Daily

Global meat production has tripled in the past three decades and could double its present level by 2050, according to a new report on the livestock industry by an international team of scientists and policy experts. The impact of this "livestock revolution" is likely to have significant consequences for human health, the environment and the global economy, the authors conclude... Among the key findings in the report are: More than 1.7 billion animals are used in livestock production worldwide and occupy more than one-fourth of the Earth's land; Production of animal feed consumes about one-third of total arable land.   Read more...

Science Daily - March 17

Recipe for rarity: Fish threatened by cookbooks
Full story: New Scientist

Rare is not only beautiful but also tasty. A study of a century's worth of seafood recipes has revealed that big, predatory fish like salmon and tuna have grown in prestige, even as overfishing has caused their populations to plummet - sometimes to the point of endangerment.   Read more...

New Scientist - March 19

Human health linked directly to forest health
Full story: Science Centric

Environmental degradation is causing serious detrimental health impacts for humans, but protecting natural habitats can reverse this and supply positive health benefits, according to a new WWF report. Vital Sites: The Contribution of Protected Areas to Human Health notes that the World Health Organisation estimates between 23 and 25 per cent of the global disease burden could be avoided by improved management of environmental conditions. The report singles out deforestation [largely a result of meat consumption] for its key impacts on human health. Protecting natural landscapes can contribute positively to human health through protecting future medicinal resources, reducing the impacts of pollution, toxins and weather extremes and providing recreational places that support physical and mental well-being.   Read more...

Science Centric - March 22

Souljourn for the mind, spirit and earth: 21 days for world hunger
Full story: Conducive Chronicle

1.02 billion people in the world go hungry every day according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. That's 1,020,000,000 people. I was tempted to round down and write 1 billion people in the world go hungry every day. It dawned on me that I would be doing a monumental disservice to .02 billion people. That's 20,000,000 people. Children. Mothers. Fathers. 20,000,000. Today, March 20, 2010, I am launching my second Souljourn: 21 days for World Hunger. Today is also Meat Out Day, so it seems apropos at this time to begin this Souljourn... Since there is so much waste of the world's resources in producing meat as opposed to raising plant foods, there is an obvious correlation between feeding more people on a 'plant based diet' than on a 'meat based diet.' In honor of world hunger, I have decided that for the next 21 days I'm going to eat - to the best of my knowledge and ability - like those who are living with hunger. [All 21 entries are well-worth reading with research on the causes and solutions to the issue, plus recipes! - check out Day 13 on soy solutions to world hunger.]   Read more...

Conducive Chronicle - March 20

More Meatout Mondays and Environmental News:
San Francisco joins Meatless Monday bandwagon
Mother Nature Network (April 8)
Quebec joins Meatless Mondays
Montreal Gazette (March 21)
Meat Free Mondays at Tel Aviv University
Green Prophet (April 6)
Meatless Monday initiative has got me thinking
Waterloo Record, Canada (April 16)
Eating the Planet - Feeding the world without factory farming
Compassion in World Farming/Friends of the Earth report (2009)
Bluefin tuna, polar bear trade bans defeated at UN meeting
Toronto Star (March 18)

 
  Health    

If you eat chicken, likely you're poisoning yourself with arsenic
Full story: E-magazine

It was almost a decade ago when seven families in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, a town of only about 2,500 people, got together to discuss the high number of rare cancers diagnosed there in recent years. Many of the afflicted were children. Huge poultry factories hug the rural town, so residents began looking into the companies' decades-old practice of disposing of chicken waste or "litter" as fertilizer on fields beside homes and schools. The manure-fertilizer contains toxic metals from the growth-promoting feed additive "roxarsone," an arsenic-based drug fed to an estimated 70 per cent of U.S. broiler (meat) chickens, as well as turkeys and swine. The average U.S. consumer eats about 89 pounds of chicken a year (compared to 28 pounds per person in 1960). Despite calls to ban roxarsone, the meat industry is not eager to abandon a drug that increases profits by speeding animal growth. [The drug is banned in Europe but used in Canada and on the approved list for NZ.]   Read more...

E-magazine - March 16

Power Plate - a food pyramid alternative
Full story: UPI

A non-profit group of U.S. doctors recommends an alternative to what it says is the often confusing food pyramid - a Power Plate, a graphic that depicts a plate divided into four food groups: fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables. "People eat from plates, not pyramids," Susan Levin, nutrition education director at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a statement. "We need easy-to-use dietary guidance tools that teach people how to eat right to fight chronic diseases. Studies show people who eat mostly from the four Power Plate food groups have the lowest risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The Power Plate, unlike the food pyramid, has no confusing portion sizes and food hierarchies; it simply asks that people eat a variety of all four food groups each day," Levin said.   Read more...

UPI - March 5

U.S. report: Contaminated meat on supermarket shelves
Full story: ABC News, U.S.

It is a frightening picture: beef contaminated with toxic heavy metals, pesticides and antibiotics making its way into the nation's supermarkets. According to [a] new report, inspectors charged with checking cattle for disease and meat for contaminants were, "unable to determine if meat has unacceptable levels of... potentially hazardous substances [and do] not test for pesticides... determined to be of high risk." The report says the health danger to people who eat this beef is a "growing concern." [Video available at the full story link.]   Read more...

ABC News, U.S. - April 14

More Health News:
Why a big Mac costs less than a salad
New York Times (March 9)
It takes more than breakfast cereal to lower cholesterol
Baltimore Sun (April 5)
Confusing research findings a disservice to consumers
The unfortunate result of studies of this type is that they confuse people, perpetuating the idea that diseases like cancer are largely unpreventable and that their diets do not really matter. This turns people into helpless victims rather than empowering them to take control of their health. - VegSource blogs (April 11)
What's contributing to obesity?
Oils, meat, cheese, ice cream consumption has increased substantially in the last century. - PCRM (March 16)

 
  Lifestyles and Trends    

Vegan for a month
Full story: The Middlebury Campus, VT, U.S.

About a month ago, I decided to try out veganism. I've surprised myself. I've made some darn-good vegan desserts (coconut-lime cupcakes, anyone?) and gained considerable insights into both food and people. Going vegan cold-turkey (if you'll excuse the expression) teaches you a lot... Try it. You might surprise yourself. And even more importantly, you might learn something.   Read more...

The Middlebury Campus, VT, U.S. - April 7

A prisoner seeks vegan food: Why refusing is both illegal and foolish
Full story: Findlaw.com

In February 2007, Paul Cortez was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, Catherine Woods. From the beginning, Cortez has denied any involvement in his girlfriend's death, but the question of his guilt or innocence is not the subject of this column. Approximately two years ago, Cortez decided to become a vegan. The prison where Cortez resides, however, has refused to accommodate his diet and has instead offered him so-called "vegetarian" options (including fish as well as dairy and eggs, products of what are perhaps the cruelest practices in animal agriculture). This column is about the various ways in which the prison's refusal to provide vegan food to Cortez and other vegan prisoners represents an enormous legal and policy mistake.   Read more...

Findlaw.com - March 31

Men leave their own mark on veganism
Full story: Boston Globe

[Somerville police detective Joe McCain with a shaved head, snowy beard, and tattoos] is the new face of veganism: men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death. They are hegans. They are healthy. And they are here to stay. While no one was looking, guys were stepping up to the wheatgrass bar. Perhaps the ultimate hegan is Rip Esselstyn, a veteran firefighter and triathlete in Austin, Texas. He helped the men in his department lower their cholesterol in 28 days by shunning animal protein and then turned his efforts into the best-selling The Engine 2 Diet. "I like to say that real men eat plants," [he says].   Read more...

Boston Globe - March 24

What not to eat: The 10 craziest food abominations of all time
Full story: Ranker.com

WARNING: This list may make you fatter. Even just thinking about eating these items may be hazardous to your health. This list contains the worst recorded abominations in food that have been made (or forced upon the general public) in recent memory. Bon appétit!   Read more...

Ranker.com - April 7

Vegan on a budget
Full story: VegNews Magazine

Even before the most recent economic downturn, myths have existed that vegan diets are too expensive and time consuming to be accessible to mainstream America. It's true that health-food store prices certainly aren't affordable for everyone, and they often don't exist at all in small-town[s]. If you're struggling to support yourself financially, let alone nutritionally, never fear: From cutting coupons to crafting a discerning supermarket eye, these tips and tricks will keep you laughing all the way to the bank. [Want more money-saving tips? Check out VegNews Magazine's new blog, "Savvy Abby!]   Read more...

VegNews Magazine - April

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
India: Breaking bread with a group of vegans
Citizen Matters, Bangalore, India (April 9)
China: Restaurant owner is changing attitudes one meal at a time
"I am just trying to do something meaningful," said Li. "Once we save the planet, I can go back to the telecommunications industry. But we won't have any industry if there is no planet. The logic is very simple." - China Daily/VegSource (April 8)
Jakarta: A true haven for vegans
Jakarta Post (April 4)
Going vegan: A new column focuses on plant-based living
Columnist's experiment leads to new way of life - Oregon Live (April 13)

 
  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Animal sentience: Horses never forget human friends
Full story: DiscoveryNews

Human friends may come and go, but a horse could be one of your most loyal, long-term buddies if you treat it right, suggests a new study. Horses also understand words better than expected, according to the research, and possess "excellent memories," allowing horses to not only recall their human friends after periods of separation, but also to remember complex, problem-solving strategies for ten years or more. The bond with humans likely is an extension of horse behavior in the wild, since horses value their own horse relatives and friends, and are also open to new, non-threatening acquaintances.   Read more...

DiscoveryNews - March 17

Do fish have feelings too? It's a slippery question for science
Full story: Daily Mail, UK

To many, the notion that we should care about the suffering of fish seems absurd. For most, fish amount to little more than swimming protein, a healthy food to be plucked from rivers and seas. But, as a disturbing new book shows, scientists are now confident that fish, once symbolic of dumb, primitive stupidity, do not only feel pain, but have a complex emotional life, too. Indeed, as the book's author says, there is 'no logical reason why we should not extend to fish the same welfare considerations that we currently extend to birds and mammals.' Do Fish Feel Pain? was written not by a militant vegan, but by a dispassionate marine biologist - who eats fish.   Read more...

Daily Mail, UK - March 8

Meat in short supply after belt-tightening
Full story: Financial Times (free registration required)

Just as the world is regaining its appetite for meat, it is encountering fewer and scrawnier cattle and emptier pig pens. After many profitless years marked by disease, drought, high feed costs and then a worldwide recession, ranchers and farmers have thinned out herds and flocks. This will be the third straight year of lower global beef production... While the average American has been eating less beef, pork and chicken in recent years, the FAO projects global per-capita meat consumption will this year rebound back towards 2008 levels, boosted by growing demand from emerging markets.   Read more...

Financial Times (free registration required) - April 13

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
Video: Appalling cruelties at egg factories
HSUS (April 7) - You can also click to watch an extended version.
The White House egg roll v. gulag ag
Counter Punch (April 2)
Amazing rats
The Scientist.com (March 25)

 
  Books and Perspectives    

Dr. Jane Goodall: 'I'm not going to fight for animal rights'
Full story: The Ecologist

[Interview with Dr. Jane Goodall about her new book Hope for Animals and Their World.] I personally am never going to fight for rights per se. All this fighting for human rights and yet we abuse them everyday, all around the world. My approach is different. I'm fighting for human responsibility. I want people to understand that animals really do have personalities and feelings - so that they want to obey laws that protect them... There seems to be a disconnect between our so clever brain and the human heart, the seat of love and compassion, which should ground us to the planet we live on. It simply doesn't make sense that the most intellectually smart creature that has ever walked on planet Earth is destroying its only home, and destroying it so heedlessly.   Read more...

The Ecologist - April 12

Animal behavior expert's new book explores the inner lives of animals
Full story: PCRM

Do baboons have a keen sense of right and wrong? Do chickens find certain human faces attractive in the same way people do? Do cats and dogs get their feelings hurt? In his new book, Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, animal behavior expert Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., makes the case that animals, once viewed only as mindless automatons, actually have rich sensory experiences and emotional complexity. [Read an excerpt. Listen to an excellent radio interview with the author.]   Read more...

PCRM - April

Moby talks gristle
Full story: VegNews Magazine

Multiplatinum musician Moby is known around the world for his unique brand of urban dance music and his experimental, cinematic music videos. A longtime vegan and activist, his most recent project, co-editing an anthology about food politics, allowed him to combine his love of animals with his passion for writing. Gristle: Why You Should Think Twice About Meat, co-edited with animal activist Miyun Park, explores the consequences that eating meat and dairy products have on health, the environment, and the animals. Moby penned the book's introduction, and a diverse collection of public figures contributed short stories. [In this interview he talks] about writing, compassionate living, and factory farming.   Read more...

VegNews Magazine - April
 
  Of Note - Recipes, Videos, Events and More    


Recipes: Betty Crocker revisited - and more
Inspired, or more accurately uninspired, by the film Julie & Julia and its disturbing lobster killing scene, Dan & Annie Shannon are giving the concept a healthier twist. They promise to veganize every recipe in The Betty Crocker Cookbook and share their tips and secrets in their blog. Check it out below. As always, you can also check out the recipes on VegE-News' own Green Gourmet pages, along with tips for making the transition to a vegan diet - or staying on one. And a third of the way through 2010, Dr. McDougall's plan for making your diet healthier bears repeating.
The Betty Crocker Project
VegE-News recipes and tips
McDougall plan for healthy eating

Planning a vacation? Check out Balamku Inn on the Beach ecological resort in Mexico
Balamku is a private oasis of beach front tranquility on Costa Maya, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The beautiful, affordable cabanas offer comfort and luxury while respecting the environment. We're not just saying this because the creators of this amazing small hotel are dear friends of ours - Balamku was recently selected by National Geographic Traveller Magazine as one of their stay list hotels and nominated for Mexico & Central America's Leading Green Hotel Award 2010. The bountiful breakfast fare includes scrumptious vegan options!
Balamku Inn on the Beach

If you're in Nice, France....
Be sure to stop by Le Speakeasy vegan restaurant, 7 Rue Lamartine, for an amazing lunch at this cosy, eclectic spot. Say hello to Janne, its proprietor and chef who hails from California. and is firmly planting her vegan ideals in the heart of Nice's town center. Yours truly had the absolute best miso soup ever there! Each day there is a fresh and unique menu using mostly organic ingredients. Open for lunch 12-2:30 and Saturday evening except in winter. Closed Sundays. Bon appetit!
TripAdvisor: Le Speakeasy
Happy Cow

Interviewees needed: Have you lost weight by becoming veg?
Jacquie Lewis, president of SPEAK (Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom), is interviewing people who have lost weight by switching from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Interviews can be done either by email or phone. The article will be published in Good Karma magazine, SPEAK's quarterly publication that focuses on health, the environment, and spirituality. If you would like to be interviewed, contact Jacquie at the email below or through the SPEAK website.
Email Jacquie Lewis
Good Karma magazine
SPEAK website

Video shorts
This month: The story of bottled water; reading labels with Jeff Novick; The Pale Blue Dot, a compelling look at our place in the universe with Carl Sagan (thanks to VegSource for reminding us of this ever timely message first delivered in 1996); a PETA short with Strikeforce champion Jake Shields countering the myth that you can't be a vegan and be strong; how deadly horse round-ups are another sad consequence of our seemingly insatiable lust for meat;
The story of bottled water
Carl Sagan: The pale blue dot
Jake Shields on vegan strength
Deadly horse round-ups

A meaningful mother's day gift
The precious bond between a mother and her child is like no other, but all too often farm animals never get to experience it. This Motherís Day, honor the great love between moms and children of all species by sponsoring one of the rescued animals at Farm Sanctuary in your name or as a gift for a special mother in your life. Farm Sanctuary is also asking for support for two laws to help farm animals.
Adopt a farm animal
Support humane laws

Daily dose of Vegan Outreach
Vegan Outreach is one of our favorite "making a difference" in the world organizations. Check out their new blog.
Vegan Outreach blog

Your support will be appreciated
We sincerely appreciate donations of any amount to assist us with production and distribution expenses. If you would like to help, please click below. You can also help by sponsoring an issue and by making your book purchases through the Amazon link in our VegE-Store.
Support VegE-News
The VegE-Store

Animal Rights 2010 Conference, July 15-19, Washington, DC
Animal Rights 2010 is the animal rights movement's annual national conference. It is a forum for sharing knowledge, reporting on progress, discussing strategies and tactics, networking, and "recharging our batteries." All viewpoints that support the goal of animal liberation from all forms of human oppression are welcome (except for advocacy of injury).
Animal Rights 2010

Taking Action for Animals Conference, July 23-26, Washington, DC
The TAFA conference is for veterans and newcomers alike who want to explore opportunities for making a difference for animals.
TAFA conference

The 39th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 2010, Jakarta, 1-6 October, 2010 and Bali, 7-9 October, 2010
The Congress is a bi-annual program of the International Vegetarian Union. Theme: Save Our Life, Save Our Planet. If you've ever attended an international Vegetarian Congress, you know what an inspiring and recharging experience it is. More details and online registration at the website below.
World Vegetarian Congress 2010

Attention veggie organizations and members
If you are a vegetarian organization that would like your own customized version of VegE-News, let us know. We are pleased to produce customized versions of VegE-News for the Australian Vegetarian Society, the New Zealand Vegetarian Society, Vegetarians of Alberta, and the Toronto Vegetarian Association. Members receive the regular VegE-News PLUS listings of their local events. If you are a member of one of those organizations, but not receiving the customized version, just drop us an email and ask us to switch you to the specific list.
Email VegE-News


 
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