July 2011
In this edition...

  The best health care plan? Stay healthy!
  Is drug resistance in humans coming from chickens?
  Beans could turn your health around
  Is your meat habit giving you diabetes?

Environment and World Hunger
  'Shocking' state of seas threatens mass extinction, say marine experts
  Forests are more important in regulating global climate than previously thought
  Vietnam era weapon being used to clear the Amazon for ranchers
  Five little-known vegetables that could help end hunger

Lifestyles and Trends
  From pro athletes to CEOs, the rise of the vegan diet
  In search of vegan wine
  Chef Tal Ronnen says make it vegan but make it delicious
  Veggie experiences: Veganism - doing the right thing
  India: Punjab schools to ban leather shoes

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Peter Singer: Moral progress and animal welfare
  Australian farmers claim ban on live animal exports would force a cattle cull
  You're confined. You're in pain. You're scared. Where are you?
  Kayli the cow escapes slaughter and finds sanctuary
  Could a barbaric pig-handling video hurt pork sales? One can only hope.
  How 'conscientious carnivores' ignore meat's true origins

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

The best health care plan? Stay healthy!
Full story: Other Words

This is my [health care] plan: Stay healthy. That's it. The whole plan. You're probably skeptical. I don't blame you. I was too, until I read a book called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell II. Our air, water and food supplies are being corrupted with cancer-causing materials every day. Yet the study indicates that unless you combine those materials with protein from meat and dairy products, you probably won't get cancer [and you'll prevent or cure] diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases like MS and rheumatoid arthritis.   Read more...

Other Words - June 13

Is drug resistance in humans coming from chickens?
Full story: Wired

There's a new paper out in the CDC's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that makes a provocative claim: There is enough similarity between drug-resistance genes in E. coli carried by chickens and E. coli infecting humans that the chickens may be the source of it. These findings won't come as a surprise to anyone who accepts - as most good science and a number of public health authorities do - that antibiotic overuse in large-scale farming creates drug-resistant organisms that affect human health. The question, for those who don't accept such a link, is: How much evidence is enough?   Read more...

Wired - June 28

Beans could turn your health around
Full story: Toronto Star

If there were three simple things that you could do every day that would virtually turn your health around, would you do them? What if all three were easy to do, did not take any time and cost you exactly nothing? Any one of these habits will help you live healthier and longer and take years off the appearance of aging skin. Together they are the secret to transforming your inner universe. Are you ready? Life Altering Tip #1: Add half a cup of beans to your diet each day...   Read more...

Toronto Star - June 23

Is your meat habit giving you diabetes?
Full story: Mother Jones

A new study published in the journal Diabetes Care found a strong link between diabetes onset and blood levels of a group of harsh industrial chemicals charmingly known as "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs). The researchers identified a group of 725 diabetes-free elderly Swedes and tracked them for five years, studying the level of POPs in their blood. Thirty-six of them ended up contracting Type 2 diabetes - and the ones who did had significantly higher POP levels than the ones who didn't. How are these awful chemicals still causing trouble decades after being banned? POPs accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals - and transfer to the animals that eat them, including humans who eat meat and fish.   Read more...

Mother Jones - July 4

More Health News:
Why do Americans die younger than Britons, Canadians and Australians?
BBC, UK (July 10)
Mediterraneans abandon their famously healthy diet
Result of the increase in 'the industrial global diet': Illness, obesity increases. - NPR (July 18)
Study: Healthy lifestyle can counter dementia

Study of over 7000 Canadian revealed that injuries and ill health earlier in life elevate risk while a healthy lifestyle can counter effects - WebMD (July 13)
Foods that help with stress and anxiety
Crazy Sexy Life blog (June 27)
Breathing in misty, mushed-up pig brains is bad for health
Mother Jones (June 27)
Five ways to afford whole foods on a budget
Seattle pi (June 13)

  Environment and World Hunger    

'Shocking' state of seas threatens mass extinction, say marine experts
Full story: Guardian, UK

Fish, sharks, whales and other marine species are in imminent danger of an "unprecedented" and catastrophic extinction event at the hands of humankind, and are disappearing at a far faster rate than anyone had predicted, a study of the world's oceans has found. Overfishing, pollution, run-off of fertilisers from farming and the acidification of the seas caused by increasing carbon dioxide emissions are combining to put marine creatures in extreme danger, according to the report... "The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent".   Read more...

Guardian, UK - June 20

Forests are more important in regulating global climate than previously thought
Full story: Chronicle, Australia

Forests play a larger role in the Earth's climate system than previously suspected for both the risks from deforestation and the potential gains from regrowth, a benchmark study has shown. "If you were to stop deforestation tomorrow, the world's established and regrowing forests would remove half of fossil fuel emissions," said co-author Josep Canadell, a scientist at CSIRO, Australia's national climate research centre. Wooded areas across the planet soak up fully a third of the fossil fuels released into the atmosphere each year. At the same time, the ongoing and barely constrained destruction of forests - mainly in the tropics - for food, fuel and development was shown to emit more than a quarter of all emissions stemming from human activity.   Read more...

Chronicle, Australia - July 15

Vietnam era weapon being used to clear the Amazon for ranchers
Full story: Treehugger

Agent Orange is one of the most devastating weapons of modern warfare, a chemical which killed or injured an estimated 400,000 people during the Vietnam War - and now it's being used against the Amazon rainforest. According to officials, ranchers in Brazil have begun spraying the highly toxic herbicide over patches of forest as a covert method to illegally clear foliage [for pasture], more difficult to detect than chainsaws and tractors. In recent weeks, an aerial survey detected some 440 acres of rainforest that had been sprayed with the compound - poisoning thousands of trees and an untold number of animals, potentially for generations.   Read more...

Treehugger - July 5

Five little-known vegetables that could help end hunger
Full story: Christian Science Monitor

No single food can put an end to hunger. But worldwide there are many different fruits and vegetables that are helping to improve nutrition and diets, while increasing incomes and improving livelihoods. Here are the four vegetables - and one fruit that acts like a vegetable - that you have likely never heard of that are helping to alleviate hunger and poverty...   Read more...

Christian Science Monitor - July 11

More Environmental News:
Unsustainable seafood
Those who care seriously about helping the world’s oceans recover from overfishing should do more than consider where seafood comes from, or how it was harvested. Consider eating seafood only rarely, or not at all. - Care2 (July 15)
David Suzuki: State of the ocean report a wake-up call for the world
The report exemplifies the old adage about death by a thousand cuts. There is no single place to concentrate blame except in the mirror. - Straight.com, Vancouver, Canada (June 28)
One more year for the Bluefin tuna
One of the few groups that is doing a bit more than just speaking out is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. - The Scavenger, Australia (June 11)
GM fish study raises red flags
Care2 (July 16)

  Lifestyles and Trends    

From pro athletes to CEOs, the rise of the vegan diet
Full story: CBC News, Canada

It used to be that vegetarian and vegan diets were looked down upon as almost sect-like fads. But that no longer holds true. "They're gaining in popularity. It's not a trendy, hippie way of eating anymore," says Dayna McIntyre, president of the Vegans and Vegetarians of Alberta Association. Now, "you see a range of age groups all moving towards a vegan diet." According to Businessweek, a growing number of high-powered CEOs and movers and shakers are going vegetarian, including former president Bill Clinton. Athlete vegans include former NHL [National Hockey League] enforcer Georges Laraque. "It's interesting if you look at vegan athletes, body builders and even a lot of endurance athletes who are becoming vegans just to give themselves an edge," says says dietician and author Brenda Davis.   Read more...

CBC News, Canada - June 4

In search of vegan wine
Full story: E Magazine blog

I recently learned that the wine industry uses isinglass (which is derived from fish bladders), gelatin (which is boiled animal skin, tendons and ligaments) and egg whites in its "fining" process. The fining process removes the cloudiness and skin and seed particles of a young wine, giving us the clear, more appealing version we typically see bottled. This made me wonder: if I buy wines from vineyards that use animal-derived substances to fine their grapes, am I in turn supporting the polluting factory farms and environmentally negligent overfishing practices I am so very much against? Luckily, a small amount of internet sleuthing led me to vineyards that choose not to use animal-based fining methods, and though very few wines advertise themselves as vegan or vegetarian-friendly, they do exist.   Read more...

E Magazine blog - June 28

Chef Tal Ronnen says make it vegan but make it delicious
Full story: Los Angeles Times

"So many people tell me, 'I could be a vegan if it weren't for bacon,' and I tell them, 'Be a "vegan" who eats bacon,'" says Tal Ronnen [author of bestselling cookbook The Conscious Cook]. Wha? Isn't that sacrilegious? Ronnen sighs. "Real militant vegans hate when I say that. But if you are cutting back on the amount of meat that you eat, you're still doing something great for your health, for the planet and for the animal... If I could get one point across, it would be this: Being a vegan is not about depriving yourself." Ronnen is leading the way in transforming vegan fare into haute cuisine. "We're just beginning to see what is possible with vegan food, and Tal is at the forefront of that movement," says Bon Appétit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton. "Tal is an artist. He is just beginning to open a window onto the possibilities of what vegan food can look like."   Read more...

Los Angeles Times - June 23

Veggie experiences: Veganism - doing the right thing
Full story: Jerusalem Post

For a carnivorous family like ours, where the favorite get-together of children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces is a barbecue in the back garden with mountains of chicken skewers, hot dogs and hamburgers, the announcement that one of our number was becoming a vegan was a shock from which we still haven't quite recovered. For my son, eating vegan is doing the right thing."People repress their knowledge of what really goes into producing meat to eat," he says. "Deep down they know it is a product of cruelty, but they don't think about it." He also feels that things like free-range eggs, while not as bad as the other kind, are still inhumane. Many of us would regard switching to a vegan diet as a huge step and not an easy one. But the more one reads, the more one has to acknowledge that it is the right thing to do - if only one had the courage.   Read more...

Jerusalem Post - July 7

India: Punjab schools to ban leather shoes
Full story: Yahoo! News India

The Punjab government in India has urged government schools to ban the wearing of leather shoes. Punjab's Director of Public Instruction-Schools, issued the directive after the state government received an appeal in this regard from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). According to government officials, this step has been taken with a view to stop atrocities against animals and to save the environment. 'Turning the skins of cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats into leather requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals. People working in these units are also suffering from various nervous disorders, skin problems, respiratory infections and cancer,' Himani Shetty, PETA India's spokesperson, said. [It is hoped more states will follow Punjab's example.]   Read more...

Yahoo! News India - July 1

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
The importance of being vegan
Becoming vegan is simply recognizing and admitting who we really are – it is the opportunity to become who we would be if no one had ever taught us that it’s okay to turn our backs on the needs and rights of our fellow animals, that it’s okay to ignore their pain if it leads to our pleasure. - Care2 (July 7)
Ten ways to get kids to eat their veggies
CNN (June 2)
In it for the long run: Interview with vegan ultramarathoner Scott Jurek
Huffington Post (June 17)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Peter Singer: Moral progress and animal welfare
Full story: Salem News

Mahatma Gandhi acutely observed that "the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." To seek to reduce the suffering of those who are completely under one's domination, and unable to fight back, is truly a mark of a civilized society. Charting the progress of animal-welfare legislation around the world is therefore an indication of moral progress more generally. Last month, parallel developments on opposite sides of the world gave us grounds for thinking that the world may, slowly and haltingly, be becoming a little more civilized... The best hope for further progress, it seems, lies in animal welfare becoming, like human rights, an international issue that affects countries' reputations.   Read more...

Salem News - July 19

Australian farmers claim ban on live animal exports would force a cattle cull
Full story: The Telegraph, Australia

Farmers [in Australia] say they will start shooting cattle [July 6] so their animals do not starve as the ban on live animal exports to Indonesia [suspended in response to footage showing animal cruelty in some of the country's abattoirs]. drags on. With the federal government standing firm on its pledge to ban exports until all parts of the supply chain to Indonesia have adequate animal welfare standards in place, West Australian cattle station owner Nico Botha said he had no choice but to cull cattle worth many thousands of dollars. "Rather than let them starve to death over two or three months, I'm going to shoot them quickly," Mr Botha said. RSPCA spokeswoman Lisa Chalk said there was no reason Mr Botha should shoot his animals [and] hinted he was pulling a media stunt. [Editor's note: The ban has now been lifted so the stressful shipments will resume - it was a no-win situation for the animals. Meanwhile, farmers are threatening to sue for losses. There are some interesting comments on Care2 regarding this issue.]   Read more...

The Telegraph, Australia - July 6

You're confined. You're in pain. You're scared. Where are you?
Full story: Huffington Post

Where are you? You're confined. Fear fills you. You're beyond frustrated - you're on the verge of madness. You can see and sense and hear tens of thousands of others just like you. Some are dying; others are deformed. Look down at your body. You see two dime-sized bruises on your right side, and blood streaks on your legs. Your eyes burn from ammonia. Despite all of this, the potential for joy still lives in you, and maybe in some small way, you sense that. You've been said to be sensitive and social and remarkably intelligent. You're an instinctual problem solver, too, except this problem - at least for you - is absolutely unsolvable. You're an egg-laying hen, and now the story ends in soups, pet food, or similar low-grade products in which your body will be shredded to hide your bruises from... us. And for every egg we buy, a hen is forced to endure these exact conditions. This is the kind of place that produces 99 per cent of all animals eaten or used to produce milk or eggs.   Read more...

Huffington Post - June 22

Kayli the cow escapes slaughter and finds sanctuary
Full story: Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Kayli returned to the slaughterhouse before being rescued - enough to break your heart
But, there was a happy ending for Kayli - one lucky cow among the billions of animals who yearn for freedom.   Read more...

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary - June 18

Could a barbaric pig-handling video hurt pork sales? One can only hope.
Full story: Time Magazine

Earlier this year, the National [U.S.] Pork Board introduced its new slogan: "Be inspired." But if consumers are inspired to do anything at all, it would be to stop eating pork entirely [after] the release of a horrific undercover video shot by Mercy for Animals (MFA) at an Iowa factory farm. Piglets that are considered sickly or nonviable are slammed head-first on the floor. Animals are castrated and their tails are cut off with no anesthetic. Nearly all of the practices shown in the video actually qualify as "standard practice" in the pork industry. While slamming sickly piglets against the ground is not company policy, [a spokesperson] says it is "an approved method of euthanasia" in the industry. [Meanwhile,] the Iowa state legislature has a bill on the table that would outlaw the production, possession and distribution of videos, pictures, and other "recordings" of farms taken without the owner's consent. Of course, the ultimate power to change all of this comes not from industry, legislators or activist groups, but consumers themselves.   Read more...

Time Magazine - June 29

How 'conscientious carnivores' ignore meat's true origins
Full story: The Atlantic

If there's one phrase I'd like to put to pasture it's the increasingly popular designation of "conscientious carnivore." As with so many other expressions in the food movement's growing lexicon of culinary virtue, this one euphemistically masks a harsh reality with a soothing, but ultimately damaging, rationalization. The rationalization is that because factory farming is so horrifically brutal to animals, the conscientious carnivore can vote with his or her fork by purchasing meat from farmers who raise their animals in a more "humane" manner - free-range pork, grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs, and all that. The reality, however, is that the so-called conscientious consumers who support these alternative systems are doing very little to challenge the essence of factory farming. In fact, they may be strengthening its very foundation. Logically speaking, it makes no sense. [By James McWilliams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly.]   Read more...

The Atlantic - July 12

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:

Australian senate inquiry's early submissions strongly favour end to live exports
ABC Rural, Australia (July 18)
Commercial shark fishing banned in the Bahamas
Bahamas Tribune (July 6)
Chile bans shark finning
Discovery News (July 7) Note: Taiwan has just done the same!
A legal assault on animal whistle blowers?
Time Magazine (June 14)
Historic chicken welfare legislation in the works in th U.S.
Although it will be long in coming into full effect, Bruce Friedrich, Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at the animal rights group Farm Sanctuary, said "It will provide a significantly better life for hundreds of millions of animals." - Huffington Post (July 7)
China's pork stockpile boggles the mind
New York Times (July 16)

  Of Note - Recipes, Blogs, Videos, Events    

Recipes - '15-minute gourmet'

With a fridge bursting with market-fresh vegetables and very little time to cook, yours truly whipped up these two simple yet delectable dishes for our evening meal. First I tossed baby arugula (roquette), sweet blueberries and tart apples in a salad topped with a maple syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice dressing. Then I sauteed leeks, zucchini (courgette) and peppers for a few minutes. I sprinkled on some cashews and voila - a gourmet (not to mention nutrient-rich) supper in under 15 minutes! You'll find the recipes on our VegE-News green gourmet pages. Add a little bread, a little wine, what could be better?

Lani Muelrath, the Plant-Strong Fitness Expert, and my favorite go-to person for all things fitness related, is also a fan of make it fast, easy, healthy - and scrumptious. Check out her blog for the recipe for veggies La Spinosa created on her recent trip to Italy.

Lani's veggies La Spinosa

VegE-News recipes and tips
Veggies La Spinosa from Lani Muelrath, the Plant-Strong Fitness Expert

Dr. John McDougall's Health and Medical Center website and newsletters give practical, no-nonsense advice that you can trust for healthy living and preventing disease. His plant-based wellness retreats are lifelines for people suffering from all types of illness, with participants experiencing amazing results in weight loss and newfound health. If you or a loved one need help, check it out...
Dr. John McDougall's Health and Medical Center

Lani Muelrath is the fitness expert for Dr. John McDougall’s programs, but that's just part of her busy schedule. On Lani's Better Bodies for Busy Women website and blog, Lani specializes in helping people who struggle with weight and energy transform their bodies - without hunger or exercising like a maniac. Personally, I think her 7-second belly exercise is nothing short of a miracle and her 15-minute burst training means I can always find time to fit in a little fast - effective - exercise. Both are part of her "Fitness Breakthrough Kit" - download it for free at the link below. Lani has a very special event on August 10 - a Teleclass/Webcast with plant-based dietitian Julieanna Hever who will give a sneak peek inside her fabulous new book The Complete Idiot's Guide To Plant-based Nutrition. Find out more and register to be part of this special event at the link below.
Lani Muelrath's Better Bodies for Busy Women
Teleclass event: The Complete Idiot's Guide To Plant-based Nutrition
Book: The Complete Idiot's Guide To Plant-based Nutrition

Did you check out Dominique Dupuis' blog and her new cookbook yet? Cooking with Dom, available in both English and français, is bursting with beautiful images and recipes.
L'Armoire du Haut website and blog
Cooking with Dom, the book
Dans L'Armoire du Haut, le livre


This short film illustrates the power of words to radically change your message and your effect upon the world - it's often not just what you're saying but how you say it. An important message to remember when communicating about vegetarianism/veganism. Worth repeating: last month's Vegan Outreach blog on the subject - Messaging for maximum change.

Also this month:
Be ready to be amazed and inspired as the Meals For Health participants related how they benefited wildly by adopting Dr. McDougall's starch-based vegan diet at the Sacramento Food Bank. A must-see for anyone suffering from high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Meals for Health participants tell their stories

Watch John Robbins compelling talk about the Meals for Health project.
John Robbins talks about Meals for Health

If you love potatoes, like I do, you'll enjoy watching Dr. McDougall comment on this versatile tuber.
Dr. McDougall on potatoes

Michael Fishbach, co-founder of the Great Whale Conservancy, was photographing whales in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez when he and his crew came upon a young humpback drifting in the water. The amazing rescue of this whale entangled in a fishing net was caught on tape.
Saving Valentina

Dr. T. Colin Campbell appears on Bill Moher's comedy show to talk about the movie Forks over Knives, which features his groundbreaking book, The China Study.
Dr. Campbell on Bill Moher's show

Finally, here is an excellent video from Evolve in the UK to show to a loved one worried that you are getting enough nutrients when you switch to a vegan lifestyle.
Plant-based vs animal-based food nutrients


Second annual global Animal Freedom Day July 23-24
Eighteen year old Canadian film-maker Nadia Masoudi is the creator of the online Animal Freedom Day - a resounding success last year and back for 2 days in 2011. It's 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 (coming summer 2011).
Animal Freedom Day
Don't Eat Me

Vegetarian Cookery School and Yoga Retreat at Casa della Pace, Italy, August 20 - September 3 (join in for 3 days or more)
Santi Borgni, a vegetarian for over 30 years, is the chef and owner of this idyllic retreat nestled in the hills of Northern Umbria. The food served is always vegetarian, introducing the non-veggie guests to a new approach to taste and relationship with food. Casa della Pace will host a cooking seminar based on the exclusive use of plant foods at the end of August, with the assistance of a nutritionist giving personal advice and diet guidelines. You can join in for 3 days or more at a very affordable cost. But, of course, you can renew your body and spirit at this divine vegetarian retreat any time of the year.
Vegan cookery school and yoga retreat at Casa della Pace, Italy

Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals, September 10 - November 6
Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals is a series of annual fundraising and outreach events that take place in cities across the United States and Canada, plus anyone can participate virtually. The walks raise vital funds for Farm Sanctuary's life-saving rescue, education and advocacy work and create awareness about the plight of farm animals.
Farm Sanctuary's Walk for Farm Animals

27th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival, September 9-11, Toronto, Canada
Billed as the largest event of its kind in North America, the Toronto Vegetarian Association's Annual Vegetarian Food Festival is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a diverse cross-section of vegetarian cuisine and discover new products and ideas from more than 100 exhibitors. Plus entertainment, cooking demos, and more at a great location on Toronto's waterfront.
Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival

World Veg Festival, October 1 and 2, San Francisco
Are you going to San Francisco? This not-to-miss festival presented by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society will feature outstanding speakers all weekend long, international vegan cuisine, food demos, live entertainment, organic athlete, vendors, non-profit organizations, children's corner, and more. An organic vegan dinner will be served on Saturday night. At the Golden Gate Park Fair Building, between 9th Avenue & Lincoln, from 10 am to 6 pm. For further information visit the website or call (415) 273 5481.
San Francisco Vegetarian Society

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

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