May 2011

In this edition...

Health and Environment
  Geography, income now less a predictor of disease prevalence
  UN urges action on 'slow-motion catastrophe' of 'lifestyle' diseases
  Want to grow old wrinkle free? A vegan diet is healthy inside - and out!
  How a salad can ruin your diet
  Diet for a low-carbon planet

Lifestyles and Trends
  Snack, click, fight world hunger
  Spiritual people moving toward veganism?
  Five myths about vegans
  Vegan, 108 years old and going strong

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  A call to progressives: Embrace a wider ethic that includes animals
  Mark Bittman: Who protects the animals?
  What's wrong with dairy? Mothers and babies
  Simple diet changes reduce cruelty to chickens

Books, Films and Perspectives
  Book exposing dairy myths clinches move to veganism
  Simple ways to spread compassion in your everyday life
  Roger Ebert reviews 'Forks Over Knives'
  Plus: Watch a terrific video clip about the movie from the Dr. Oz show
  'What to Eat' examines why what we eat matters to the environment

Of Note - Videos, Events, More
Don't forget to visit:
(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
  Health and Environment    

Geography, income now less a predictor of disease prevalence
Full story: IPS

The world is experiencing a change in the geographic distribution of diseases. Traditionally, infectious diseases, which claim the lives of so many children, affected poor countries, and noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, cardiac ailments and cancer plagued rich countries. But the latest statistics released by the World Health Organisation May13 show that the income level of nations is no longer so important, and that all countries now face the burden of both kinds of diseases. Up to now, noncommunicable diseases tended to be identified as the ills of opulence, limited to high-income countries, WHO director of Health Statistics and Informatics Ties Boerma said. However, due to changes caused by the ageing of the population, improvements brought about by the global effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals, changes in birth rates and other factors [like increasing consumption of animal products], developing countries are now also fighting non-infectious diseases, he said.   Read more...

IPS - May 13

UN urges action on 'slow-motion catastrophe' of 'lifestyle' diseases
Full story: Modern Ghana

The head of the United Nations World Health Organization warned April 30 that the "slow-motion catastrophe" of non-communicable diseases could overwhelm even the wealthiest nations if the root causes of the epidemic, mostly lifestyle decisions, are not addressed. Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, told delegates at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Disease Control in Moscow that the fact the many of the chronic non-communicable illnesses in the developed world are treatable might lead people to overlook the real causes. She noted that in large parts of the developing world, those diseases are detected late, when patients need extensive and expensive hospital care for severe complications.   Read more...

Modern Ghana - April 30

Want to grow old wrinkle free? A vegan diet is healthy inside - and out!
Full story: Pursue a healthy you blog

Wrinkles... the one thing that nobody wants more of especially in our modern day culture. But is there anything we can do about it? ... By reducing our lifetime exposure to UV light, avoiding smoking, and eating a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet we arm our skin with the best defenses available to prevent those pesky, little lines from forming in the first place.   Read more...

Pursue a healthy you blog - April 13

How a salad can ruin your diet
Full story: Care2

Just because a menu item is called a salad doesn't mean it's healthy. According to University of South Carolina researchers, dieters are more likely to be misled by healthy food labels than those who aren't worrying about their nutrition and health. That is, if you're dieting, just focusing on food names can work to your disadvantage.   Read more...

Care2 - May1

Diet for a low-carbon planet
Full story: World Bank blogs

Most of the proposed solutions to climate change such as substitution of fossil fuels require large investments, policies that are politically contentious or difficult to enforce, and years to fully implement. However, some of the most effective and lowest cost opportunities for greenhouse gas reductions are lifestyle choices that can be made today, that cost little, and that are actually good for us. Chief among them is the decision to adopt a healthier, less meat intensive diet... [It requires] no major change in technology or capital investment and would immediately contribute to public health and lower medical costs. Relative to almost any other means of addressing climate change, making modest changes in diet is a clear winner that merits much attention and support.   Read more...

World Bank blogs - May 3

More Health and Environment News:
Best milk choices? Glamour magazine gets it wrong
Virginia Messina, RD: "Glamour Magazine" may help you pull together a great summer wardrobe, but when it comes to nutrition advice, readers should look elsewhere. - (May 12)
Seven dangerous food additives to avoid
Care2 (April 16)
Take the quiz on mercury
You may be surprised - Repower America
The ecological consequences of meat consumption
Excellent summary from the Vegetarian Association of Switzerland

  Lifestyles and Trends    

Snack, click, fight world hunger
Full story: Reuters AlertNet

A new social networking website created by the World Food Programme to encourage the fight against world hunger has raised enough money in only a few weeks to feed more than 100,000 children, the United Nations agency said on April 19. The online fundraising initiative set up to support school meal programmes allows potential contributors to find out how many children can be fed for the price of their favourite food. "WeFeedback allows people to share food and activate their social networks, transforming something as simple as a cup of coffee or a sandwich into funds that can change the lives of hungry children forever," Nancy Roman, a WFP communications director said.   Read more...

Reuters AlertNet - April 19

Spiritual people moving toward veganism?
Full story: VegSource blogs

Overall, I've seen a gradually increasing tempo of change among "spiritual people" about our routine mistreatment of animals in the three decades I've been a vegan and activist, and I'd say that while the percentages are still small, they are making an increasing impact on the consciousness and behavior of our culture... So from the perspectives of health, environment, and compassion for animals, as well as spirituality, I see people awakening very quickly, especially in the last five years, and it's happening much more quickly than the mainstream media is letting on, from my perspective. At its core, veganism is a spiritual movement, based on the ancient wisdom teaching of the interconnectedness of all life, and founded on the compassionate yearning within all of us to bless our world and to celebrate our lives creatively and joyfully on this magnificent Earth. [By Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet.]   Read more...

VegSource blogs - April 2

Five myths about vegans
Full story: Washington Post

Though former president Bill Clinton isn't technically a vegan, his embrace last year of a "plant-based" diet with "no meat" and "no dairy" - and his accompanying 24-pound weight loss - made headlines for a small but growing movement. But is veganism healthy? Emasculating? Difficult? Let's get the skinny on this unusual lifestyle.   Read more...

Washington Post - April 18

Vegan, 108 years old and going strong
Full story: Seventh Day Adventist Gleaner

On Feb. 4, Loreen Dinwiddie celebrated her 108th birthday. When asked how one might live to 108 and keep close to God, Dinwiddie replied, "Read the Bible... it's all in there. People say to me, 'you don't have any aches or pains and you're feeling great at 108, what do you do?' Well, do what God tells you to do. It is all in the Bible." She continued, "Second is a vegan diet. When my husband and I got married in 1922, we took some classes at the camp grounds and they taught us to eat two meals a day and walk fifteen minutes every two hours. We liked it so well we decided to be vegan vegetarians."   Read more...

Seventh Day Adventist Gleaner - April

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Beware the vegan police (April 29)
Audio interview: Why people should be vegetarians
Rae Sikora interviews Richard Schwartz

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

A call to progressives: Embrace a wider ethic that includes animals
Full story: Care2

I've worked for more than 25 years to end the oppression of people and animals and to protect the environment upon which all life depends. For me, these are inextricably connected concerns... It's my fervent hope that all progressives concerned with human rights and environmental preservation will embrace a more expansive ethic that includes other species, and that we'll come to acknowledge that treating everyone with respect and care - humans, nonhumans, and the environment - is part and parcel of creating a just and healthy world. [By Zoe Weil, author and president of the Institute for Humane Education, which offers the only M.Ed. and M.A. programs in comprehensive Humane Education, linking human rights, environmental preservation and animal protection.]   Read more...

Care2 - May 2

Mark Bittman: Who protects the animals?
Full story: New York Times

Getting caught is a drag. Just ask Kirt Espenson, whose employees at E6 Cattle Company in western Texas were videotaped bashing cows' heads in with pickaxes and hammers and performing other acts of unspeakably sickening cruelty. Yet if some state legislators have their way, horrific but valuable videos like that one will never be made... The root problem is not Espenson or his company. The problem is the system that enables cruelty and a lack not just of law enforcement but actual laws. The biggest problem of all is that we've created a system in which standard factory-farming practices are inhumane, and the kinds of abuses documented at E6 are really just reminders of that. If you're raising and killing 10 billion animals every year, some abuse is pretty much guaranteed.   Read more...

New York Times - April 26

What's wrong with dairy? Mothers and babies
Full story: Care2

Humans are far from the only animals to experience the deep connection between mother and child. Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary has a description of the experience of mothering as it happens for millions of [milk] cows every year. Here is an excerpt: Some try to fight off the attackers, some try to shield their babies with their own bodies, some chase frantically after the transport, some cry pitifully, some withdraw in silent despair. They all beg for their babies in language that requires no translation: They bellow, they cry, they moan... [And the babies:] At four months old, the "veal" calves are corralled into trucks and hauled to slaughter. As they are dragged onto the killing floor, they are still looking for their mothers, still desperately needing her nurturing presence, especially at that dark time when they are frightened in the midst of the terrible sights, and sounds, and scents of death all around them, and, in their despair, in their want for a shred of consolation and protection, most try to suckle the fingers of their killers.   Read more...

Care2 - May 9

Simple diet changes reduce cruelty to chickens
Full story:

According to one slaughterhouse worker, chickens are so terrified that they try to hide their head under the wings of the birds next to them as they hang from shackles on the slaughter line. USDA statistics reveal that as many as 1 million chickens per year may still be alive and conscious when they are dropped into the scalding tanks at the slaughterhouse. Cutting chickens and eggs from your diet is a powerful - and easy - way to reduce cruelty to animals. Take a stand against cruelty to chickens with simple diet changes...   Read more... - May 4

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
Top Chef Canada's horse meat episode sparks outrage
Care2 (May 16)
Toronto restaurateurs defend controversial dish
Toronto Observer (May 11)
Big Meat vs. Michael Pollan
Since its launch in March 2009, the beef industry's Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) has trained nearly 3,000 students and farmers to spread the "positive beef message." - Mother Jones (November/December)
Exposed: Tooth breaking and boar bashing in Canada (April 23)
Big-egg hen-cam and the future of caged hens (May 12)

  Books, Films and Perspectives    

Book exposing dairy myths clinches move to veganism
Full story: Opinions of a Wolf blog

I've been a vegetarian for five years. I've honestly stayed away from books on veganism, because I could not see myself ever giving up cheese. With my recent increased interest in my health, though, I had already decided to cut back on my cheese consumption, so I figured why not give a book on dairy a go. [In Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow's Milk and Your Health author Joseph Keon explains] exactly what about cheese makes it so addicting when we know it's bad for us. "Research has shown detectable amounts of compounds identical to the narcotic opiate morphine in cow's milk..." Whoa. So cheese, basically, is morphine. The chemical that is healthy for a calf to ingest as it causes her to return to the mother for food, comfort, and safety, when consumed by people causes us to return repeatedly in an addictive manner to a substance that is really, almost pure fat. WOW. You know those life-changing moments? I had one right there... Dig for the truth. Read this book.   Read more...

Opinions of a Wolf blog - March 31

Simple ways to spread compassion in your everyday life
Full story: Amazon

Rae Sikora and Jim (JC) Corcoran, co-founders of VegFund, Plant Peace Daily and The Institute for Humane Education have written a simple guide for vegans wanting to make a difference. The simple activities in their new book Plant Peace Daily: Everyday Outreach for People Who Care don't take specialized skills or vast amounts of money, but will translate into huge returns. Dozens of ideas and how to implement them for the best effect. Anyone can go out into their community and co-create a healthy, compassionate and sustainable world.   Read more...

Amazon - May

Roger Ebert reviews 'Forks Over Knives'
Full story: Chicago Sun-Times

Here is a film that could save your life. So you'd better stop reading now, because you don't want to go to the trouble... Forks Over Knives is not subtle. It plays as if it had been made for doctors to see in medical school. Few doctors seem prepared to suggest proper nutrition as an alternative to pills, stents and bypasses. The bottom line: I am convinced this message is true. A plant-based whole foods diet is healthy. Animal protein is not necessary, or should be used sparingly as Asians did, as a flavoring and not a main course. This adds the advantage of allowing us to avoid the chemicals and carcinogens pumped into livestock and poultry. Fast food is lethal. Parents who feed it to their children are helping them get hooked on fat, salt and sugar addiction. The facts are in. Didn't I warn you to stop reading? [See also the review in Huffington Post, including video trailer.]   Read more...

Chicago Sun-Times - May 11

Plus: Watch a terrific video clip about the movie from the Dr. Oz show

'What to Eat' examines why what we eat matters to the environment
Full story: Shoot Online

"What to eat?" It is the question on everyone's minds at least three times a day - more depending on your appetite - and now a new short film, What to Eat, narrated by Jason Schwartzman and supported by top environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, Worldwatch Institute, Food and Water Watch, Brighter Green, and Farm Sanctuary, aims to show how eating less meat can help lessen the environmental impact of factory farming. By showing how our food choices have a more serious impact on our environment than the cars we drive, the light bulbs we use or the ways we recycle, the film makes the point that we can all take small steps for positive change. [Film video promo at the link. Also visit the excellent related website Plate to Planet.]   Read more...

Shoot Online - May 5

More Books and Films:

New releases:
Meat is murder? More like suicide, argues 'Planeat' film
Guardian, UK (May 16)
Call to Compassion: Religious Perspectives on Animal Advocacy
Finally, a book that connects animal advocacy with the profound spiritual resources of world faiths - Read more from Lantern Books.
Le cri de la carrotte
Review "en français" - Montreal Vegetarian Association

And a few worth repeating...
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
By Melanie Joy - Check out the VegSource book review here - plus be sure to watch the compelling video included with the review. You can also watch an interview with Melanie (with French subtitles).
How to Eat Like a Vegetarian, Even If You Never Want to Be One
By Carol J. Adams and Patti Breitman. Check out the OpEd News review here.

Please visit our VegE-Store for books and more
Thanks for your support!

  Of Note - Videos, Events, More    

From the 'a picture is worth a thousand words' department

Looking through my files, I came across one of my favorite pictures of all time. A golden retriever named Chino and a fish named Falstaff were snapped in 2001 by Bob Pennell. At that time they had been meeting every day for three years. The photo speaks volumes about inter-species communication. Click on it to read more from the Oregon Mail Tribune about this unlikely pair.

Interview request for people with vegan pets
A vegan freelance writer who is writing the quarterly newsletter for a vegan pet food company would like to interview people with vegan pets who have had positive experiences. Contact Terri at the email link below.
Email Terri

What the heck to give dad for Father's Day?
Surprise him by sponsoring one of the rescued animals at Farm Sanctuary in his name. Farm Sanctuary also has an impressive line-up of dad-friendly merchandise perfect for gifts, including a limited edition watch.
Adopt a farm animal
Farm Sanctuary gift ideas

Catherine Mullins, a young animal activist, artist, and newly vegan has recently started a clothing line called "Rare Tee" featuring illustrations of endangered species. Her goal is to educate the public on endangered and threatened animals, their importance on this earth, and how we can help them. One dollar of every item purchased is donated to wildlife conservation (you choose the organization!). Congratulations to Catherine on this ambitious undertaking! Check out the fun styles below...
Rare Tee Clothing

Plant Peace Daily's blog brings "thoughts about Peace....from the personal to the global.... and Peace that extends beyond just humans to include all beings" - always inspirational - and we like the sweet photos too.
Plant Peace Daily

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary has touching and thought-provoking entries - such as their "Letter from a vegan world."
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary Letter

The vegan poet, Butterflies Katz, says veganism is the next evolutionary step - she will challenge and inspire you on her Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come blog.
Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come

Dominique Dupuis is passionate about nutrition, people, and travel. She has traveled the world to discover new tastes and ways to eat whole food. On her L'Armoire du Haut (the top shelf) website, she has an entertaining blog (en Franšais), details about her cooking classes (in English and Franšais) at her école culinaire santé in Montreal, and info on her new cookbook, availalbe in both English and Franšais versions, full of beautiful images and recipes.
L'Armoire du Haut
Cooking with Dom, the book
Dans L'Armoire du Haut, le livre

Video shorts (and longs)

Mother Jones illustrator Zina Saunders has created an ironic look at the sordid meat production industry where agribusiness has been pushing laws in a number of U.S. states that would criminalize shooting or displaying undercover videos that show animal abuse on farms.

Need to relax after that? Watch this video of swimming with sharks in Palau. The accompanying Care2 article explains why it makes dollars and sense not to let sharks' fins end up as soup.

Also this month:
Watch the compelling testimony Dr. McDougall and Dr. Forrester before the California legislature in support of a ground-breaking bill to mandate nutrition training for doctors.
Dr. McDougall testifies

Bill McKibbon of gives a powerful, inspiring speech at Power Shift 2011.
Bill McKibbon at Power Shift 2011

A heartwarming story of bears released from decades of torture.
Bears find love after torture

World Week for the Abolition of Meat, May 21-28
The aim of WWAM is to promote again and again the idea that the production and consumption of animal flesh must be abolished. Find out more at the link below.

Farm Sanctuary 25th Anniversary Gala, September 24, Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, CA
The year 2011 marks a quarter century of Farm Sanctuary's progress for farm animals. You are invited to the Farm Sanctuary Gala - an inspiring evening is planned with a three-course gourmet vegan dinner and a decadent dessert reception, an auction with beautiful farm animal art, and an awards ceremony with celebrity presenters.
Farm Sanctuary Gala

13th International Vegan Festival, June 4 - 12, Spain
The Festival motto is 'A Whole World to Share' and the program will address all matters relating to vegan nutrition, its benefits and positive social and environmental impact, including the ethical, ecological, educational and scientific aspects of veganism, in stark contrast to the cruel, unsustainable model of animal food production and the health and environmental problems of the consumption and exploitation of animals. All that and Spain too!
International Vegan Festival

Taking Action for Animals Conference, July 15-18, Washington, DC
The TAFA conference is for veterans and newcomers alike who want to explore opportunities for making a difference for animals.
TAFA conference

VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo, October 14-16, California
The 10th annual Healthy Lifestyle Expo promises it will help you change your life! You can hear and meet in person some of the most renowned and influential figures in the plant-strong movement. There are general admission tickets available as well as reserved seats, for those who want to sit near the front.
Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2011

Vegan Retreat at Sthitaprajna, India, Dec 2011, Jan 2012 & Aug 2012
The Indian Vegan Society says that at Sthitaprajna one learns to live life in a state of constant happiness with good health and in harmony with nature using minimum resources. Sounds good!
Vegan retreat in India

Classified - Apartment for rent Montreal, Canada
Large one-bedroom apartment in perfect central location available for 21 months from October 1. High ceilings, tastefully furnished with antiques, vegan kitchen. Contact email below for pictures, more info.
Apartment info

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