June 2010
In this edition...

Editor's Note
  What if you never felt the sun?

  Girls with a high meat diet have early puberty, increase risk of breast cancer, heart disease
  Body levels of toxic chemicals plummet after five-day vegetarian diet
  Enviropig™: A piggy you hope never to meet at market

  UN urges global move to vegan diet
  Flights, girls and cash buy Japan whaling votes
  Australia to take Japan to court over whaling
  Sea Shepherd activists free hundreds of threatened bluefin tuna off Libya

Lifestyles and Trends
  Tastes like chicken: The quest for fake meat
  The vegan challenge: Day 1
  'Vegan before 6' diet strategy gaining popularity
  Greening the backyard BBQ

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Ohio dairy farmworker charged with animal cruelty after advocacy group releases undercover video
  Animal rights and human wrongs
  New standards for animal slaughter take effect in New Zealand
  Canadian standards for farm-animal transport dangerously lax, report says

Books and Perspectives
  'The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook' by Neal Barnard, MD, and Robyn Webb
  The Biblical mandate to care for animals

Of Note - Recipes, Events, Calls to Action, More
Don't forget to visit:
(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
  Editor's Note    

What if you never felt the sun?
The sun beating down on a cloudless day. That's heaven! Recently, on just such a day, I was reading about the cruelty that the animals we eat endure. It was a long list and I was puzzling over how we can look the other way so easily. Perhaps the sheer length of the list is the problem - it's just too much to contemplate. So I had an idea to just pick one thought from the list at a time. For example, while lifting a piece of meat to your mouth, pause to ponder that the animal never once in its short life, even for a brief moment, felt the warmth of the sun.


Girls with a high meat diet have early puberty, increase risk of breast cancer, heart disease
Full story: Daily Mail, UK

A diet high in meat may put girls at higher risk of breast cancer and heart disease by bringing on early puberty, according to scientists. A [University of Brighton] study of 3,000 girls found that girls with higher intakes of meat and protein were more likely [49 vs 35 per cent] to have started their periods by the time they were 12 and a half. Girls who start puberty early are believed to be at higher risk of a number of diseases - including breast cancer, ovarian cancer and heart disease. The average age at which girls start puberty fell dramatically over the 20th century, perhaps reflecting easier access to meat.   Read more...

Daily Mail, UK - June 12

Body levels of toxic chemicals plummet after five-day vegetarian diet
Full story: Environmental Health News

People who adopted a vegetarian diet for just five days show reduced levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies. In particular, levels of hormone disrupting chemicals and antibiotics used in livestock were lower after the five-day vegetarian program. The pilot study suggests that people may be able to reduce their exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals through dietary choices, such as limiting consumption of animal products like meats and dairy, even on a very short time scale.   Read more...

Environmental Health News - May 11

Enviropig™: A piggy you hope never to meet at market
Full story: Common Ground

Fifteen years ago in a lab at the University of Guelph in Ontario - then home to some of Canada's most ardent supporters of the new science of genetic engineering - an idea was conceived. Five years later, "Wayne," a genetically modified (GM) pig was born. Now, the so-called "Enviropig™" could soon be approved for human consumption in Canada and possibly the U.S. as well.   Read more...

Common Ground - June
More Health News:
Eating nuts lowers "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides
WorldHealth.net (May 24)
Vegan calcium needs: Working through the myths
The Vegan Dietician (May 21)


UN urges global move to vegan diet
Full story: Guardian, UK

A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel [scarcity] and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report (pdf) said June 2. As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management. It says: "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."   Read more...

Guardian, UK - June 2

Flights, girls and cash buy Japan whaling votes
Full story: Times Online

[Times undercover] recordings of the meetings with pro-whaling officials around the world reveal the secrets of a Japanese vote-buying operation that Tokyo has always denied. It also raises serious questions about the credibility of the IWC [International Whaling Commission]. It comes as Japan is attempting to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling with a proposal to introduce fishing quotas at the IWC meeting in Agadir, Morocco, June 20 - 25. [They failed in their attempt but whales are still in danger - see updates below.] Japan, Norway and Iceland have killed 35,000 whales since the moratorium was introduced. In Japan's case, the killings have been justified as "scientific research" although whale meat is eaten in dishes such as sashimi.   Read more...

Times Online - June 13

Australia to take Japan to court over whaling
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald

Australia has launched unprecedented international legal action against Japan to halt its annual whale hunts in the Southern Ocean. Announcing the legal challenge May 28, Environment Minister Peter Garrett said Australia had exhausted all diplomatic avenues to stop Southern Ocean whaling, and had been left with no option but to take legal action in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.   Read more...

Sydney Morning Herald - May 29

Sea Shepherd activists free hundreds of threatened bluefin tuna off Libya
Full story: Guardian, UK

Green activists using helicopters, divers and rotten butter confronted Libyan and Italian fishermen June 17 to release hundreds of threatened bluefin tuna which they strongly suspect were illegally caught off the Libyan coast. In the first action of its kind in north African waters, the international crew of the California-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society released around 800 tuna from a cage being towed behind the Italian trawler Cesare Rustico. Stocks of bluefin tuna, one of the most valuable but endangered fish in the Mediterranean, have been decimated by ruthless overfishing in the last 20 years to the point where they are now unlikely to survive more than a few more years.   Read more...

Guardian, UK - June 18

More Environmental News:
Global whaling moratorium stands as IWC shelves compromise plan
A controversial plan that would have meant the end of a 24-year long moratorium on commercial whaling was today put on ice for a year by the International Whaling Commission at its annual meeting. - Environmental News Service (June 23)
Will whaling return?
E - The Environmental Magazine (June 23)
Whaling reduction talks fail: Whales in crisis
True/Slant (June 23)
Former whale hunters take up conservation ethos
3News, NZ (June 23)
Whales offset carbon emissions: Study
BBC (June 15)
Operation Blue Rage: Captain Paul Watson's account of bluefin tuna release
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (June 17)
Comments on the new UN report and more

  Lifestyles and Trends    

Tastes like chicken: The quest for fake meat
Full story: Time Magazine

The desire to eat meat has posed an ethical question ever since humans achieved reliable crop production: Do we really need to kill animals to live? Today, the hunger for meat is also contributing to the climate-change catastrophe. The gases from all those chickens and pigs and cows, and from the manure lagoons that big farms create, are playing a part in global warming. So the idea of fake meat has never been more alluring. What if you could cut into a juicy chicken breast that wasn't chicken at all but rather some indistinguishable imitation made harmlessly from plant life? This spring, scientists at the University of Missouri announced that after more than a decade of research, they had created the first soy product that not only can be flavored to taste like chicken but also breaks apart in your mouth the way chicken does: not too soft, not too hard, but with that ineffable chew of real flesh. When you pull apart the Missouri invention, it disjoins the way chicken does, with a few random strands of "meat" hanging loosely. (Watch TIME's video Turning Powder Into Poultry.)   Read more...

Time Magazine - June 14

The vegan challenge: Day 1
Full story: Conducive Chronicle

I'm going to be completely honest: This morning, I made a commitment to becoming vegan. Tonight, I had a polish sausage for dinner. Is there a more epic way to fail a diet on the first day? So maybe I didn't think this one through. This kind of transition is not going to be easy. I've never even dabbled in a vegetarian lifestyle, always saying that I love bacon too much, which is entirely true. And so diving head-first into a vegan diet without proper mental preparation or a well-stocked refrigerator was my first bad choice. But I've recommitted, and I'm going to stick with my vegan diet for two weeks. So, why am I doing this? Simply put, I want to know that I can, and I want to set an example for others, because right now, a vegan diet is a more environmentally responsible one... I'm determined to come out of this with the conclusion that consuming fewer animal products is easy if you're serious about it, but I may not. [Follow reporter Jessica Hullinger's progress at the "full-story" link - you'll find good information and links in ensuing posts. Vegan Outreach has an insightful blog about her quest and related reader comments.]   Read more...

Conducive Chronicle - June 15

'Vegan before 6' diet strategy gaining popularity
Full story: ABC News, San Francisco

There are no shortage of weight loss plans, but many people might consider a hard-core vegan diet, no meat or animal products, as too extreme a solution. That could be changing though, thanks in part to the dieting strategy of an influential food critic from the New York Times, Mark Bittman - now, perhaps better known as the 'Vegan Before 6.' "I don't' really proselytize, I just say here is what works for me, you need to think about this stuff," said Bittman [who improved his health significantly with the plan]. "I don't want to say 'Vegan Before 6' is a solution for everybody, but I think it's a model, for people to think about how can I change the proportions in my diet? Here is what this guy does - the 'Vegan Before 6' thing. What will it work for me?" said Bittman.   Read more...

ABC News, San Francisco - May 23

Greening the backyard BBQ
Full story: Toronto Sun

It's summertime and the grilling is easy. But before stocking up on steaks, burgers and other traditional carnivorous fare, consider trying meat-free alternatives. Exploring a vegetarian diet isn't just about making healthier lifestyle choices. A UN report released earlier this month called for a global shift toward a vegan diet, citing the disproportionate amount of resources required to produce meat. "Meat isn't the only thing that works on a barbecue, said vegetarian cuisine expert Jill Harris. "There are plenty of meatless meals that are just perfect for outdoor dining." Harris offers the following tips for adding vegetarian selections to your grill...   Read more...

Toronto Sun - June 23
More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Cooking for vegetarians at your dinner party
Get Party Ideas (June 17)
Eating unborn meats: The revolution in flesh cloning
I don't expect that the bioengineered cloned meat products will really come out by 2015 as predicted, but I do predict that if they are ever successful in making it more economically than raising live animals, it will be the start of a multibillion dollar a year market. - Discriminating Explorer (December 2009)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Ohio dairy farmworker charged with animal cruelty after advocacy group releases undercover video
Full story: Los Angeles Times

Following Illinois-based animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals' release of undercover video it says documents numerous instances of animal abuse at an Ohio dairy farm, a farm worker has been charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty. The video depicts a calf being thrown to the ground before a worker stomps on its head and adult cows being beaten with crowbars, poked sharply with pitchforks and punched in the udders, among other things. The farm's statements condemning animal cruelty rang hollow for at least one animal advocate, Farm Sanctuary co-founder and president Gene Baur, who [said] that the Conklin company "asserts that its farm operates according to high standards, but the video shows that they operate by a different set of standards than most Americans. The cruelty and violent behavior that is now common [our emphasis] on farms where animals are seen as commodities is outside the boundaries of acceptable conduct in our society."   Read more...

Los Angeles Times - May 27

Animal rights and human wrongs
Full story: Washington Post

[By Ramdas Lamb, ex Hindu monk in India, professor, University of Hawaii, world religions and contemporary American religion.] We live in a society where more and more of us attempt to consider the effects we have as individuals and as a society on other nations, on other people, on the environment, etc... I have countless friends and family members who are not vegetarian, and this does not prevent me from having deep respect for many of them. At the same time, I do feel a great sense of sadness for all the suffering that is caused by meat eaters' food choices. For all those people who consider themselves to be pro-peace or pro-life and who are bothered by all the violence in the world, I would only ask them to look at their dinner plate and reflect for a moment on how much hard work fighting injustice and violence will be offset by the torture, suffering, and rights abuses that occur simply so they can consume a piece of meat.   Read more...

Washington Post - June 17

New standards for animal slaughter take effect in New Zealand
Full story: Radio New Zealand

All animals commercially slaughtered [in New Zealand] will need to be stunned first under a new animal welfare code that took effect on May 28. It is the first time the industry has been made subject to official minimum standards. The code applies to everyone responsible for the commercial slaughter of animals, including primary processors, home-kill butchers and pet-food makers. Pre-slaughter stunning has been normal practice in New Zealand meat plants for many years, but there have been exceptions. One of those has been stock processed to comply with religious practices, in particular to meet Jewish kosher dietary requirements. But the chair of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, John Hellstrom, says there will be no exceptions from now on. Dr Hellstrom says the requirement for stunning will also be extended to the slaughter of crustaceans, such as by freezing, so the practice of dropping live crayfish in boiling water will no longer be permitted.   Read more...

Radio New Zealand - May 28

Canadian standards for farm-animal transport dangerously lax, report says
Full story: Globe and Mail, Canada

Poultry workers opened the doors of a chicken truck at a Toronto slaughterhouse in December, 2008, to find that nearly 1,500 birds had frozen to death in sub-zero temperatures during their final journey from the farm. At about the same time, 16 neglected horses - animals so emaciated they had not developed winter coats - were sent to a meat factory in Lacombe, Alta., in an unheated truck as the thermometer dipped to minus 12 C. Government inspectors who witnessed their arrival took note of the incident but let the transport company off with a simple warning. Those and other anecdotes are included in a report by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) that looks at the conditions in which animals intended for Canadian dinner plates are transported. Inspection records show animals arriving to slaughterhouses dead or diseased, with few repercussions for transporters.   Read more...

Globe and Mail, Canada - June 2
More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
The Mercy for Animals undercover video
“This is probably the most gratuitous, sustained, sadistic animal abuse I have ever seen. The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty, based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless.” Dr. Bernard Rollin, distinguished professor of animal science at Colorado State University - Mercy for Animals
Farm sanctuary working to save abused animals from Ohio dairy farm video
Farm Sanctuary blog (May 28)
May in animal news: Five questions with Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur
Los Angeles Times (June 1)
Compassion over Killing releases video of ducklings abused at local hatchery
ABC News, CA, U.S. (June 2)
Religion vs animal rights?
Stuff, NZ (June 10)
Jewish community upset as New Zealand outlaws kosher butchering
Dominion Post, New Zealand (June 9)
Do fish feel pain?
As fish are brought to the surface, sometimes the pressure is so great their stomach and intestines are pushed out of their mouth and anus. Frankly, that kind of suffering seems worse than just about any other in industrialized animal agriculture. If people eat fish and otherwise follow a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons, they might wish to consider the evidence. - The Jew & the Carrot (May 17)

  Books and Perspectives    

'The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook' by Neal Barnard, MD, and Robyn Webb
Full story: Blog Critics

What's the first thing you look for in a new cookbook? I go for the photos. Following the photos, I look at desserts. The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook offers neither a large selection of desserts nor photographs. The included photos, bound into the center of the book, offer a delectable tease of the goodies found within. While the dessert offerings are few, the authors make up for that with something even better - appetizers and snacks. Let's face it, the best meals are finger feasts - smorgasbords of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres that bring tears of joy when contemplated.   Read more...

Blog Critics - June 17

The Biblical mandate to care for animals
Full story: Huffington Post

[By Wayne Pacelle, HSUS.] Concern for animals is Biblical, Dr. Matthew Sleeth told me during a 30-minute interview I recently conducted by telephone. Christine Gutleben, director of Faith Outreach for the Humane Society of the United States, told me that I must talk to this brilliant and passionate Evangelical Christian, and I was absolutely energized by our discussion. A former physician, Dr. Sleeth left medicine behind to devote himself to healing others in a different way. Sleeth lives in Kentucky with his wife and two children but spends a considerable amount of time traveling to minister to tens of thousands of people about Christian principles and the importance of caring for animals and all of God's creation. On March 30 his latest book, The Gospel According to the Earth, [was] published, and it is certain to have an impact in drawing more people of faith to the cause of humane concern.   Read more...

Huffington Post - March 26
  Of Note - Recipes, Events, Calls to Action, More    

Recipes: Avocado pesto pasta, fruit ambrosia, vegan BBQ - and more
This month we found some great video recipe demonstrations: VegNews TV features vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli with her signature fresh, flavorful avocado pesto pasta. PCRM's Food for Life TV proves healthy food can be delicious with recipes for quinoa tacos and fresh fruit ambrosia by Katherine Lawrence, a Cancer Project Food for Life cooking class instructor, and a vegan BBQ-flavored sandwich with Jason Wyrick of Vegan Culinary Experience. We love Jason's delightful presentation style. Finally, be sure to check out VegE-News' recipe pages for lots more BBQ and picnic ideas along with our own tips for making the transition to a vegan diet - or staying on one.
Chef Chloe's Avocado Pesto Pasta
Quinoa Tacos
Vegan BBQ
VegE-News recipes and tips

Need help to 'serve up compassion' at an event?
If funding is holding you back from making a difference, VegFund can help you offer FREE vegan food at events in your region. VegFund's mission is to acquaint the general public with the joys of a plant based diet. They are even willing to PAY top-notch experienced vegan activists to sample out great vegan food and distribute educational literature with the VegFund “Ask-A-Vegan” Table initiative. Find out more at the link below and join VegFund in helping change the world.

Get Ready to Kickstart Your Health on Sept. 6
Based on research by Neal Barnard, M.D., one of America’s leading health advocates, the PCRM (Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine) 21-day vegan kickstart program is designed for anyone who wants to explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet. Even if you are already vegan, or don't want to go all the way, the program will give you tons of excellent nutrition info, recipes and more. So sign up - it's fun.
21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Video shorts
This month: Update on the firefighters who took the 28-day Engine 2 diet challenge on the Dr. Oz show (they're lighter, healthier, happier), Jeff Novick with some enlightening facts on oils (2 tablespoons of olive oil has 3 times the saturated fat of 4 oz of chicken), an entertaining talk by Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com on being a weekday vegetarian and the huge impact of eating less meat "If all of us ate half as much meat, it would be like half of us were vegetarians."
Dr. Oz firefighter update
Jeff Novick: Fats and oils
I'm a weekday vegetarian

"GO VEGAN with BOB LINDEN" billed as The Planet's First and Only Commercial Vegan Radio Show! You can listen to shows - and join Bob's vegan organic wine club. "Your Daily Dose of Vegan Outreach!" blog is always thoughtful and informative.
Bob Linden's Go Vegan Radio
Your Daily Dose of Vegan Outreach!

Calls to action
WSPA in a new campaign with Ricky Gervais says we have a chance to seize an historic moment and end the blood sport of bullfighting in one of Spain’s largest regions: Catalonia. After a huge anti-cruelty campaign by the Catalonian public, the regional parliament will vote this summer on whether to ban bullfighting for good. WSPA wants the MPs to know there are thousands of people all around the world who care which way they vote. You can sign the petition at the link below.
Stop Bullfighting Petition

Canada has its first Bill to ban horse slaughter but support is needed to get it passed. On June 16, a bill was tabled in the Canadian Parliament. Bill C-544, "An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption)" is a huge step forward in the movement to abolish a cruel, archaic and unnecessary industry (see covert investigation info and CBC doc at the links below). What can you do to ensure that this bill becomes law? If you're in Canada, ask your MP to support Bill C-544 when the Fall session resumes. More info on how to help at the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition link below.
To find your MP
"No Country for Horses" - CBC Documentary
Chambers of Carnage: Undercover horse slaughter investigation
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Big Mama, "Toronto's ugliest stray cat (and most deserving of love)" has found a home - thanks to Michelle Nadon and her team at Cause4Paws - C4P - Animal Rescue, North America's Animal Advocacy Network. Tireless in their efforts for animals, they send out a weekly e-mail with information about pets needing homes, animal cruelty calls to action and more. You can send a request to sign up for this valuable service at the link below. And be sure to read about Big Mama on Facebook.
Cause4Paws website
Big Mama finds a home

The Pew Environment Group's Oceans North Canada campaign is asking people to sign onto a letter opposing seismic testing plans in Nunavut's Lancaster Sound, which Natural Resources Canada hopes to begin this August. Inuit in communities near Lancaster Sound have said they are opposed to the seismic testing because it poses risks to marine wildlife such as bowhead whales, narwhal and other marine mammals. The seismic blasts can damage the hearing of marine mammals and disrupt their migration patterns.
Save wildlife in Lancaster Sound

World Wildlife Fund is asking people to help save Canada's Arctic from disaster by signing their petition to elected officials to halt offshore drilling in Canada's Arctic "until or unless we can safeguard our environment, our marine species, and our coastal communities."
WWF petition

Veggie organizations - would you like a customized version of VegE-News?
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, Vegans & 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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Support VegE-News
The VegE-Store

Don't miss the first online global Animal Freedom Day July 24
Eighteen year old Canadian film-maker Nadia Masoudi has organized the world's first online Animal Freedom Day - a global multi-venue music festival that will be streamed live from the Burlington Jazz'n Blues Festival and feature performances from legendary music icons. High-profile celebrities, environmentalists, politicians and major animal rights organizations will take part to free animals from abuse, torture and neglect. Animal Freedom Day was inspired by Nadia's documentary film Don't Eat Me. The event will bring an epic climatic moment to the film as the world unites for the animals.
Animal Freedom Day
Don't Eat Me

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. The list of speakers and workshops has just been announced - check the link.
TAFA conference

The 39th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 2010, Jakarta, October 1-6, 2010 and Bali, October 7-9, 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

VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo, October 15-17, 2010
Get ready to learn the latest health info. Get ready to reconnect with like-minded friends. Get ready to be re-energized by spending a dynamic weekend with the top health experts in the world. It will all be at this annual VegSource event in California.
VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2010

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