September 2011
World Vegetarian Day October 1
In this edition...

  Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Becoming heart-attack proof
  Doctors join fight against livestock antibiotics
  Research links hot dogs to 'shockingly high' risk of diabetes
  When it comes to medical tests, one word can save your life: No!
  High-fiber diet might lower risk for colon polyps

Environment and World Hunger
  Is it time we all gave up meat?
  Frances Moore Lappé: The food movement: Its power and possibilities
  Bottom trawling cuts wide swath of destruction
  Al Gore: Eat less meat to fight warming

Lifestyles and Trends
  A vegetarian's guide to talking to carnivores
  Victory for the vegetables: Accomplished chefs around the world are serving exciting meat-free menus
  Texas university cafeteria goes vegan
  Shmeat: It's what's for dinner
  'Flexitarians' driving global move away from meat consumption: Study

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Update: Runaway cow gains freedom to roam
  Animal rights group PETA to launch controversial porn site
  Eating our cousins: Jane Goodall and the bushmeat crisis
  Meat industry 'concerned' about Meatless Monday growth
  Bad news for red meat is bad news for chickens
  The 'certified humane' label

Books and Perspectives
  Yes, you can 'Eat Vegan on $4 a Day' - book's author expounds

Of Note - Recipes, Blogs, 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.)

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Becoming heart-attack proof
Full story: CNN

Virtually eliminating heart disease - it can be done, and truth is, we have known for a very long time how to do it. People have said to me as I was preparing this documentary [The Last Heart Attack] - "Sanjay, you are advocating a radical change to the way we eat." Perhaps, but if you really think about it, the way we eat now is in fact more radical. And when we look back on this time, a couple of hundred years from now, I guarantee you that our diet of today will be considered one of the most radical in history. If we collectively ever want to get to the point where we have "The Last Heart Attack," a good start would be to stop ignoring what we already know to be true.   Read more...

CNN - August 25

Doctors join fight against livestock antibiotics
Full story: Triple Pundit

A number of doctors are beginning to express concerns about the growing incidence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria in humans. Much of this proliferation is believed to be the result of the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock as a preventative measure in response to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding. The resulting antibiotic-resistant strains have become highly problematic. In fact, one group of pathogens known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is now responsible for more deaths each year than AIDS. The part of the antibiotic resistance story that is associated with food production "is largely hidden for docs," said cardiologist Jeff Ritterman, one of many doctors who have begun to get involved in this issue. Ritterman claims he was shocked when he first heard that 80 per cent of the nation's antibiotics are given to livestock.   Read more...

Triple Pundit - August 19

Research links hot dogs to 'shockingly high' risk of diabetes
Full story: The Independent, UK

It may come as no surprise that hot dogs and cold cuts aren't exactly health foods, but new research reveals just how bad processed meats really may be. A new study from Harvard School of Public Health reports that processed meats have a "shockingly high" association with type 2 diabetes. A daily serving of 50 grams of processed meat, about the same as two slices of cold cuts or one hot dog, can increase your risk of the disease by 50 per cent, according to the researchers. And that applies to anyone, fat or slim, warned head researcher An Pan, a Harvard research fellow, in a statement. The research, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is based on data from three major U.S. studies involving more than 200,000 adults, some of whom have been followed for nearly 30 years.   Read more...

The Independent, UK - August 20

When it comes to medical tests, one word can save your life: No!
Full story: Newsweek

New research shows how some common tests and procedures aren't just expensive, but can do more harm than good. Dr. Stephen Smith, Professor emeritus of family medicine at Brown University School of Medicine, tells his physician not to order a PSA blood test for prostate cancer or an annual electrocardiogram to screen for heart irregularities, since neither test has been shown to save lives. Rather, both tests frequently find innocuous quirks that can lead to a dangerous odyssey of tests and procedures. Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has no intention of having a screening mammogram even though her 50th birthday has come and gone. They detect too many false positives and tumors that might regress on their own, and there is little if any evidence that they save lives. These physicians are not anti-medicine. They are applying to their personal lives a message they have become increasingly vocal about in their roles as biomedical researchers and doctors: more health care often means worse health. [See also Dr. McDougall's article on the subject of annual examinations.   Read more...

Newsweek - August 14

High-fiber diet might lower risk for colon polyps
Full story: August 9

People who regularly eat legumes, brown rice, cooked green vegetables and dried fruit have a reduced risk of colon polyps, a precursor to colon cancer. That's the finding of California researchers who analyzed data from 2,818 people who were followed for 26 years. During that time, 441 cases of rectal/colon polyps were detected among the participants. The risk of polyps was 40 per cent lower among those who ate brown rice at least once a week and 33 per cent lower among those who eat legumes (a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils) at least three times a week, the Loma Linda University team found.   Read more...

August 9 - U.S. News

More Health News:
Study: Eating chocolate is good for the heart
ENN (August 30)
Food sources of PCB toxins - highest: fish oil, fish, eggs
Dr. Greger's Nutrition Facts (September 16)
Vegetable protein linked to lower body weight - regardless of calories, fat, carbohydrates (August 22 - scroll down to August 22 entry)
Special vegan diet lowers cholesterol significantly, study finds
Helping you care (August 24)

  Environment and World Hunger    

Is it time we all gave up meat?
Full story: Guardian, UK

The UN predicts that the number of farm animals will double by 2050. Except, of course, it can't. The livestock of Europe already require an area of vegetation seven times the size of Europe to keep them in feed. If people in emerging economies start eating as much meat as we do, there simply won't be enough planet. Intensive meat production is a very inefficient way of feeding the world. Farm a decent acre with cattle and you can produce about 20lbs of beef protein. Give the same acre over to wheat and you can produce 138lbs of protein for human consumption. If the grain that is currently used to feed animals were fed instead directly to people, there may be just enough food to go round when population peaks.   Read more...

Guardian, UK - September 10

Frances Moore Lappé: The food movement: Its power and possibilities
Full story: Common Dreams

For years I've been asked, "Since you wrote Diet for a Small Planet in 1971, have things gotten better or worse?" Hoping I don't sound glib, my response is always the same: "Both." As food growers, sellers and eaters, we're moving in two directions at once.   Read more...

Common Dreams - September 16

Bottom trawling cuts wide swath of destruction
Full story: IPS

Bottom trawling, a method of deep-sea fishing, is threatening the existence of ecosystems in the deep oceans, wreaking nearly irrevocable havoc on thousands of species and the very habitat in which they live. Even so, recent international efforts to limit the damage have been relatively ineffective, experts said [recently] at the United Nations. Deep-sea bottom trawling is viewed as the most serious threat to fragile deep-sea ecosystems, which, once damaged, can take decades if not centuries to recover.   Read more...

IPS - September 16

Al Gore: Eat less meat to fight warming
Full story: Politico

Al Gore wants society to ditch meat-heavy diets and go organic to combat global warming. "Industrial agriculture is a part of the problem," Gore said during an interview with FearLess Revolution founder Alex Bogusky. "The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet," the clearing of forest areas in many parts of the world in order to raise more cattle and the reliance on synthetic nitrogen for fertilizer are also problems, he added.   Read more...

Politico - August 26

More Environmental News:
Environmental impacts of cultured meat production
"Despite high uncertainty, the researchers say that it is concluded that the overall environmental impacts of cultured meat production are substantially lower than those of conventionally produced meat." - The PigSite (August)
The big green buyout
Countless green brands have been snapped up by big corporations. Can they still be trusted? - E Magazine (July 1)
Warming seas could smother marine life
More than half of a group of fish crucial for the marine food web might die if, as predicted, global warming reduces the amount of oxygen dissolved in some critical areas of the ocean – including some of our richest fisheries. The prediction is based on a unique set of records that goes back to 1951. - New Scientist (September 8)

  Lifestyles and Trends    

A vegetarian's guide to talking to carnivores
Full story:

Having been a vegetarian for more than a decade now, and having been raised in a family of proud meat eaters, I'm going to use this space to publish a brief primer for both vegetarians and those who are considering vegetarianism - a primer on what kind of blowback you should expect to face when you are forced to publicly explain your personal dietary decision, and what succinct, fact-based responses are most appropriate when confronting the tired clichés that will be thrown at you from enraged carnivores.   Read more... - August 24

Victory for the vegetables: Accomplished chefs around the world are serving exciting meat-free menus
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald

Indeed, the vegetable has risen across the globe from a beige member of the chorus line to the ranks of a full-fledged restaurant star. The American celebrity chef, Mario Batali, introduced Meatless Mondays across his restaurant empire and has hired a ''vegetable butcher''; there's a growing band of English pubs ditching a trade in sausages and mash to go fully vegetarian; and many of our top chefs now serve ''veg deg,'' vegetable degustation menus. The Sydney chef, Justin North, was one of the first to jump on the veg deg trend and serves about four of the meals a day at his Becasse restaurant, which relocated to Westfield Sydney earlier this year. ''It isn't only vegetarians who order it,'' North says. ''A lot of women have it at lunch if they want something lighter. Or someone who mightn't eat something like fish might go for it because it's easier.'' ... ''Vegetarianism is not a fad - more and more people are choosing to live that way and it's important the food community can support that.''   Read more...

Sydney Morning Herald - August 16

Texas university cafeteria goes vegan
Full story: NBC

The University of North Texas now offers the nation's first vegan cafeteria. The Mean Greens Dining Hall offers only vegan options, which means absolutely no animal products. "I think this is going to start a trend that you will see all across the United States, eventually," said Ken Botts, UNT special dining services manager. Students will still find their favorite treats, such as pizza and ice cream, but with a healthy spin. Botts said the school transformed the dining hall following students' requests.   Read more...

NBC - August 22

Shmeat: It's what's for dinner
Full story: Mother Jones

Would you eat a hamburger that was grown in a test tube? How about a chicken nugget from a petri dish? Sometimes called "shmeat" (as in, a sheet of lab-grown meat), in vitro meat might someday be an option for people with carnivorous inclinations who aren't wild about the idea of killing and eating real animals. Although scientists have been kicking around the idea of synthetic meat for about a decade, they haven't yet been able to bring it to market, much less mass-produce it. But they're getting closer: [recently], Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the European Science Foundation held a workshop to discuss the future of test-tube meat and to develop an "action plan" to get fake meat to market. The conference brought together tissue engineers, as well as environmental scientists, ethicists, social scientists, and economists.   Read more...

Mother Jones - September 7

'Flexitarians' driving global move away from meat consumption: Study
Full story: Independent, UK

Sales of meat have slowed to a crawl around the world, thanks in part to the growing number of 'flexitarians' - that murkily-defined group of part-time vegetarians - and public health warnings outlining the perils of red meat consumption. According to an August report from Euromonitor International, meat was one of the worst performers over the 2005 to 2010 period, with sales growing less than 14 per cent over the six-year period [Editor's note - that is still disappointingly high]. Only vegetables fared slightly worse, with a growth rate of 11 percent. Meanwhile, though consumers put meat on the backburner, pulses like lentils and chickpeas gained in popularity, as did nuts and fruits which experienced a volume growth of 19 and 18 per cent respectively. The global trend is a reflection of the growing movement away from meat consumption, the report pointed out.   Read more...

Independent, UK - August 31

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
The vegetarian lesson: Is vegetarianism political?
Chronicle of Higher Education (August 20)
Celebrity vegans and vegetarians
Global animal (August 26)
Survey: Why people go vegan or vegetarian
KVAL TV, U.S. (August 25)
Learn to harness your inner vegan
National Post/Edmonton Journal, Canada (August 31)
Ethics of creating meat in a laboratory
Telegraph, UK (September 1) comments on UK Veg Society's statement re in-vitro meat
It’s sad that so many vegans are completely out of touch regarding what it takes to get entrenched omnivores to make kinder food choices. - (September 1)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Update: Runaway cow gains freedom to roam
Full story: UPI

Yvonne, the runaway German cow who fled her farm and narrowly escaped slaughter, has gained her freedom to run wild, officials say. The district authority of Muhldorf am Inn in Upper Bavaria says it has revoked a permit to shoot Yvonne, who eluded pursuers for three months, gaining international fame. The authority had temporarily suspended a permit to shoot Yvonne so wildlife activists could try to find her, tranquilize her and take her to an animal sanctuary. Yvonne barreled through an electric fence of a farm in Aschau and is now believed to be in the Bavarian forest. "Yvonne has truly fought for her freedom," [a charity that tried to capture her] said. "She has shown the world that her urge to be free is strong - even for a cow."   Read more...

UPI - August 29

Animal rights group PETA to launch controversial porn site
Full story: New Zealand Herald

Animal rights campaigners PETA will go wild later this year - with a pornography website. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has long deployed nearly-nude street activists to promote its campaign against the wearing of leather, fur, or make-up tested on animals. But a sex site called, due to be launched sometime between November and December [with support from celebrities like Pamela Anderson], will finally show campaigners in their entire natural glory, says associate director of campaigns Lindsay Rajit. However, viewers will also be confronted by the naked truth of cruelty to animals, Rajit added. She dismissed criticism that PETA exploits women while trying to save animals.   Read more...

New Zealand Herald - September 20

Eating our cousins: Jane Goodall and the bushmeat crisis
Full story: Care2

These days, Dr. Jane Goodall spends less time in the field [studying chimpanzees] and more time educating people around the world about the multitude of human and environmental threats that face the world's most unique and endangered species. In Africa, all wildlife species are used for meat including elephant, gorilla, chimpanzee and other primates, forest antelope, crocodile, porcupine, bush pig [and many more] Hunters refer to the African forest as "the bush," therefore wildlife and the meat derived from it is referred to as "bushmeat." The commercial bushmeat trade has already resulted in widespread local extinctions in Asia and West Africa. "Raising awareness is a powerful means of creating change," writes Jane Goodall on her Foundation's website. "If you educate yourself about the bushmeat problem and help spread the word, then you will be making a meaningful contribution to the fight to save chimpanzees and other endangered species."   Read more...

Care2 - September 8

Meat industry 'concerned' about Meatless Monday growth
Full story: Drovers Cattle Network

"The campaign has been around for a number of years but in the last year and half has picked up more steam because marketers have been promoting it more and bringing in new and different arguments to support their case," Animal Agriculture Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith said. "However, there is a lot of misinformation being provided to the public because the organization behind the campaign is animal-rights oriented and would like to see meatless meals seven days a week, not just Mondays... We need farmers and ranchers to celebrate that animal protein is an important part of diet and provide information to their local schools and universities about the need for protein in the diet and making informed choices, not just buying into it because it sounds good or popular and trendy," Johnson suggested.   Read more...

Drovers Cattle Network - September 9

Bad news for red meat is bad news for chickens
Full story: The Vegan rd

Red meat has a bad PR problem. Two recent meta-analyses - one published in 2009 and one in 2011 - linked red meat consumption to increased colon cancer risk. And it's not just cancer; a [recent] study found that adults who consume 4 ounces of red meat per day have a 20 per cent increased risk for developing diabetes. The evidence strongly suggests that it's a good idea for everyone to reduce their intake of red and processed meats. But from the animals' perspective, this is not necessarily great news. People are likely to react to news about the dangers of red and processed meats by replacing these foods with other meats - from fish and chickens - and in the process cause suffering to many, many more animals.   Read more...

The Vegan rd - August 16

The 'certified humane' label
Full story: CBS News

We all know to take "humane" labels with a grain of salt - but there may be merit in the "certified humane" label, a non-profit project launced by a grandmother who wanted to improve the lives of farm animals. [Video takes a minute to load.]   Read more...

CBS News - May 6

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:

Ten animal heroes
Care2 (August 27)
U.S. broiler production to drop remainder of 2011
"Broiler meat stocks are up due to lower demand. Cold storage estimates have been revised upward for the remainder of 2011." But billions are still slaughtered. - Watt AgNet (August 23)

  Books and Perspectives    

Yes, you can 'Eat Vegan on $4 a Day' - book's author expounds
Full story: Eat Drink Better

The question or reaction most people have to the title of my book is, "how is that possible?" Not only is it possible, but plant-based doctors like John McDougall have been saying for years that you can eat a healthful vegan diet on $3 a day. It was one of his newsletters in 2008 that gave me the idea to write the book. McDougall said, "The cost of animal-food centered meals cooked at home for one person could easily be $10 a day or more." I found this to be totally true. I tracked non-vegan staples like meat and dairy too.   Read more...

Eat Drink Better - September 2

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  Of Note - Recipes, Blogs, Events, More    

Recipes - Lasagna, Ratatouille, Holiday Fare

This delicious low fat veggie lasagna with white bean 'cheeze' is just one of the new recipes on our VegE-News recipe pages. There's also fava bean stew with black olives, potato artichoke ragout from Provence, Bangladesh raw lentil and ginger salad - and many more. Also featured this month: Mark Bittman cooks up a simple, flavorful ratatouille. Plus last year's New York Times array of Thanksgiving/Holiday recipes definitely bears repeating - some of our faves: roasted vegetable galette with olives, winter squash, onion and pine nut pizza, black kale and black olive salad, harvest-stuffed Portobello mushrooms, maple roasted Brussels sprouts with toasted hazelnuts.
VegE-News recipes and tips
NYT Video: The Minimalist - Mark Bittman cooks ratatouille
NYT holiday recipes

Great news - On August 22 Dr. Michael Greger launched, a comprehensive website where you can get the latest in nutrition and health research. Dr. Michael Greger is a physician, author, and internationally recognized - and entertaining - speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He scours the world of nutrition-related research, as published in scientific journals, and brings that information to you in short, easy to understand video segments. He is uploading a new video every day, seven days a week, for at least the first 365 days! Dr. Greger also writes daily blogs to put the videos in context, cover newly published papers, and address breaking news. Dr. Greger is looking for volunteers to help with the logistics of the site so that he can focus on the science. You can email to the address below if you're interested in helping out.
A few recent posts:
Video: Chicken consumption and the feminization of male genitalia
Blog: Eating chicken may lead to a smaller penis

Carpe Vegan lists its 100+ most influential and essential vegans and veganish for building the culture up and out, determined by reader votes.
CarpeVegan's 2011 Vegan 100


Why everyone should embrace Meatless Monday summed up neatly in less than a minute and a half.

Also this month:
A touching video of a tortoise giving a hand to a fellow traveler along the path. One does question the videographer as to how the need arose, but the lesson in the universality of compassion is a compelling one.
Tortoise helps friend who's flipped over

Just fun: Baby moose encounter a back-yard sprinkler (must be in Canada!).
Moose and sprinkler

Calls to action
Katya, a Russian bear who performed to adoring crowds at the 1980 Moscow Olympics retired in 2009 and is currently living in horrific conditions in a rusty cage. There is a petition about Katya, but her terrible fate has led many to feel that an immediate response to help her is called for. Video and ways to help at the link.
Katya the bear needs help

Humane Society International is asking for help to end the Toro de le Vega fiesta in the Castilla y León region of Spain, where bulls are pursued, taunted and tormented by spear-wielding men and then stabbed to death in an annual spectacle every September. Watch a video and sign the petition at the link below.
End fiesta cruelty against bulls

Farm Sanctuary is asking for help to build a new small animal hospital at their California facility. Watch the video about the campaign below.
Farm Sanctuary

International Fund for Animal Welfare has been able to send much needed food supplies to help feed the more than 1,000 zoo animals still struggling to survive in the Tripoli zoo as a result of the fighting in Libya. Medication was urgently needed. Most animal medications are not available in Libya at the moment, and blackouts disabled the refrigerators in the scorching heat, which destroyed the stocks the zoo had. As the video below shows, they have also recently been able to get some medications to the animals. As always, we are grateful such organizations exist to respond to emergencies.
IFAW in Libya

The Humane Society of the United States, along with other conservation and animal protection organizations, filed a legal petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking the agency to list all chimpanzees as "endangered," which would help protect captive chimpanzees in the U.S. The agency is soliciting public comment on this issue. More info at the link below. Plus watch the endearing video of formerly captive chimpanzees seeing sunlight for the first time.
Protect chimpanzees
Video: Released chimpanzees see sunlight for the first time

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Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals, continuing to 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

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

World Farm Animals Day, October 2
Join FARM for World Farm Animals Day to show the public how 65 billion animals annually are commodified, brutalized, and slaughtered to become dinner. On (or around) October 2nd compassionate people across the world will hold events to expose, mourn, and memorialize these feeling, sentient beings. You can join in by bringing the Pay Per View program to your college campus. This highly effective program has brought people to tears and is reducing animal consumption with every event. Find out more at the link.
World Farm Animals Day

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

National Conference to end factory farming, October 27-29, Washington, D.C.
The agriculture industry's operating principle is "more, at any cost" with inevitable consequences for our planet and our health, not to mention the mind-numbing cruelty involved. Farm Sanctuary's first ever and only conference of its size to focus exclusively on factory farming, this event promises to equip attendees for advocacy and explore opportunities for collaboration between movements and organizations. One collaborative project already realized is the new mircrosite Plate to Planet.
Plate to Planet

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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