January 2012
Happy New Year
In this edition...

  Cheese and obesity
  Food lobby says dioxin limits will 'scare the crap out of people'
  15 superfoods for under $20
  Easy ways to veganize your meals

Environment and World Hunger
  Interview with Jonathan Safran Foer: Environmentalists who eat meat have a blind-spot
  Bumper 2011 grain harvest fails to rebuild global stocks
  Shark fin hunt empties West African seas

Lifestyles and Trends
  2011's top 10 vegan trends
  Sculptured by weights and a strict vegan diet
  Interview with Olympian, author, vegetarian Lauren Burns
  Animal studies cross campus to lecture hall
  Why is everyone going vegan?

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Martha Stewart speaks out about cruelty to farm animals
  Liberty, the last battery hen in Britain, is set free
  Animal sentience: Six species proving humans aren't the only intelligent ones
  The invisible and the innocent 10,153,000,000 victims of the food industry

Books and Perspectives
  Vegan cooking for the budget conscious

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

Cheese and obesity
Full story: PCRM - Dr. Barnard's Blog

The obesity epidemic is not caused by inactivity, bread, rice, gluttony, weak will, or a bad childhood. It is caused by a tsunami of unhealthful foods, and one of the worst, perhaps surprisingly, is cheese. Typical cheeses are about 70 per cent fat, and every last fat gram packs nine calories that no one needs. Most of that fat is saturated ("bad") fat - the kind that increases cholesterol levels and puts us at risk for diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and other diseases. A 2-ounce cheese serving also packs 350 milligrams of sodium and, ounce for ounce, as much cholesterol as a heart-stopping steak. In 1909, the average American consumed only 3.8 pounds of cheese in a year's time. Today, that number is pushing 34 pounds. [Click here to see PCRM's "Cheese Makes You Chubby" billboards.]   Read more...

PCRM - Dr. Barnard's Blog - January 24

Food lobby says dioxin limits will 'scare the crap out of people'
Full story: Appetite for Profit blog

It doesn't take much for the food industry to freak out over potential government action, but this latest corporate outcry is especially galling and self-serving. This month, after more than 20 years of "assessment," the [U.S.] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to finally release limits for safe exposure to dioxins, nasty industrial pollutants that cause cancer, among other health harms. You may have heard of dioxin as the military herbicide Agent Orange used in Vietnam, where it earned its distinction as "the most toxic compound synthesized by man." According to the Food and Drug Administration: Most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats [with] the highest levels in fish, followed by eggs, and then cheese, as Dr. Michael Greger explains in his Dioxins in the Food Supply video. [A meat and dairy industry group says] the media will have a field day with the EPA limits. "You will have a whole lot of folks running in circles saying there's nothing safe to eat, it will scare the crap out of people."   Read more...

Appetite for Profit blog - January 5

15 superfoods for under $20
Full story: Care2

You want to eat healthy but it costs too much. Fruits, vegetables, and whole foods in general are pricey and when you're trying to feed a family of four on the cheap, choosing nutrient dense eats without draining your wallet may seem like an impossible mission. But that's not really the case. In fact, some of the healthiest foods in the world are cheap. I mean really cheap. Don't believe me? From veggies to whole grains and everywhere in between, we've got the best and brightest in superfoods for the taking. And what's more, if food preparation is an issue, you'll find easy and delicious [mostly vegan] preparations as well.   Read more...

Care2 - January 14

Easy ways to veganize your meals
Full story: Shape Magazine Weight Loss Coach Blog

Vegan meals have been linked to a boost in calorie burning. Weight control aside, there's a lot of buzz about veganism these days, but even if you aren't interested in giving up meat, fish, and dairy completely, eating plant-based meals more often can definitely benefit your health and waistline. Trouble is a lot of people don't know where to start. Here are three simple tricks for transforming omnivore dishes into veggie delights - without using processed faux meats and cheeses...   Read more...

Shape Magazine Weight Loss Coach Blog - December 16

More Health News:
Do we have the power to heal ourselves?
Care2 (January 3)
Veganism saved my life
VegNews (January 25)
U.S.: FDA takes a baby step on factory farm antibiotics
At first glance, what I'm getting from these numbers is that the FDA has courageously restricted the use of a drug the industry barely uses and is already phasing out, and it is cravenly looking the other way as the industry increasingly leans on other antibiotics as a crutch to prop up a reckless production system. - Mother Jones (January 4)
The FDAs token gesture
To recap, the F.D.A. will partially ban a disappearing family of antibiotics that is relatively non-existent in animal agriculture and that the meat industry does not rely upon. Not exactly a bold move. Kind of like protecting less than 1 percent of the acreage in the rainforest or 1 percent of the fish in the sea while allowing producers to devastate the rest, and patting yourself on the back to boot. - Mark Bittman in NYT Blogs (January 6)
High levels of bacteria in retail meat products
NewsWise (January 20)
The amazing tumor-fighting walnut
Amazingly, at 18 weeks, the prostate tumors in mice were half the size in the walnut group than the other group. Overall, the rate of tumor growth was 28 percent less for the walnut group. - ENN (January 25)
What's really in your Mcnuggets
Wordpress (May 11, 2011)

  Environment and World Hunger    

Interview with Jonathan Safran Foer: Environmentalists who eat meat have a blind-spot
Full story: The Ecologist

Is it possible to be an environmentalist and a meat-eater? JSF: We know it is indisputably the number one cause of global warming. So what does it mean exactly to be an environmentalist on a daily basis if you are not thinking about the number one cause of global warming or one of the top two or three causes of all other environmental problems? Does it mean you are necessarily someone who doesn't care about the environment? Obviously not, but it might mean you have a blind spot for something big. I should add that Greenpeace doesn't serve meat at any of their functions anymore... People don't learn more about factory farming and want to eat more. It's an industry that literally depends on our ignorance and silence. [Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Eating Animals.]   Read more...

The Ecologist - January 24

Bumper 2011 grain harvest fails to rebuild global stocks
Full story: IPS

The world's farmers produced more grain in 2011 than ever before. Yet with global grain production actually falling short of consumption in seven of the past 12 years, stocks remain worryingly low, leaving the world vulnerable to food price shocks. The tight stocks and food price volatility are occurring against a backdrop of a shrinking area available to feed each person [half as much as in the early 1960s] and of slowing crop yield growth. With little arable land around the world left unfarmed and with ever more mouths to feed, farmers face an uphill climb in their efforts to feed the world's people. The animal protein and food-based biofuel production systems are two areas where fields could be re-appropriated to grow food directly for people instead of for livestock or cars.   Read more...

IPS - January 11

Shark fin hunt empties West African seas
Full story: Radio Netherlands

Retired fisherman Sada Fall is upbeat. His two sons are returning from sea with a boatload of "gold," as he calls shark fins, whose value has near-obliterated the ocean's top predator in these seas. Fall, 62, walks along the beach in this fishing village in the north of Senegal, his blue-grey boubou flapping in the dry, dusty wind, a bright red flowered umbrella shielding him from the scorching sun. "This is the great shark cemetery," he says waving his hand dramatically across the beach where dried hunks of shark meat are piled up, filling the air with a musty, acrid odour as suffocating as the heat. Saint Louis is one of the biggest shark landing sites in Senegal and one of scores along the west African coast where the predator is quickly disappearing.   Read more...

Radio Netherlands - January 10

More Environmental News:
Goodbye, fish: Rising CO2 direct threat to sea life
New research shows the disastrous consequences the world's rising carbon dioxide levels are having on ocean life. - Common Dreams (January 16)

  Lifestyles and Trends    

2011's top 10 vegan trends
Full story: VegNews

1. Chains Add Vegan Options - This year, mainstream restaurant chains across the country hopped on the vegan bandwagon, making it easier than ever to dine cruelty-free... 2. Celebrities Go Vegan - Whether moved by a compelling documentary or inspired by a groundbreaking book, it was a banner year for ditching meat and dairy among the famous and infamous... Read the full list of good news trends from VegNews editors...   Read more...

VegNews - January 2

Sculptured by weights and a strict vegan diet
Full story: New York Times

Jimi Sitko gets up at 4 most mornings, works out two to four hours a day and can bench-press nearly twice his weight. He has a shaved head and a brightly colored tattoo on his left arm, and he can easily be mistaken for a Marine separated from his platoon. His apartment is filled with medals and trophies from bodybuilding competitions, snapshots of his tanned, rippled physique in full flex. His uniform is an assortment of sweat pants and hoodies, which he occasionally lifts when his abs look particularly fierce. But most surprising is what is inside Sitko's stomach: tofu, fresh greens and plant-based protein powder. Sitko is among a niche community of vegan bodybuilders.   Read more...

New York Times - January 5

Interview with Olympian, author, vegetarian Lauren Burns
Full story: ABC, Australia

Spencer Adam's vegetarian challenge continues and [recently] he declared Olympian Lauren Burns one of his vegetarian gurus. Lauren rocketed to fame during the Sydney 2000 Olympics when she won the gold medal in taekwondo and most of us were surprised to find out that she did it on a meat-free diet. In this audio interview she shares some of her experiences - both Olympic and 'Vegie' - with Adam. Lauren has also released a cookbook called Food from a Loving Home.  Read more...

ABC, Australia - January 24

Animal studies cross campus to lecture hall
Full story: New York Times

Once, animals at the university were the province of science. Rats ran through mazes in the psychology lab, cows mooed in the veterinary barns, the monkeys of neuroscience chattered in their cages. And on the dissecting tables of undergraduates, preserved frogs kept a deathly silence. On the other side of campus, in the seminar rooms and lecture halls of the liberal arts and social sciences, where monkey chow is never served and all the mazes are made of words, the attention of scholars was firmly fixed on humans. No longer. The Animals and Society Institute, itself only six years old, lists more than 100 courses in American colleges and universities that fit under the broad banner of animal studies. Institutes, book series and conferences have proliferated. Formal academic programs have appeared. [See also this Care2 slideshow on 5 such courses.]   Read more...

New York Times - January 3

Why is everyone going vegan?
Full story: Glamour Magazine

Suddenly this strict type of vegetarianism is everywhere. It promises mega weight loss (20 pounds!) and health benefits. But is a plant-only diet right for you? Natalie Portman is a vegan. So are Ginnifer Goodwin, Lea Michele and Tobey Maguire. Ellen DeGeneres slimmed down after going vegan; Alicia Silverstone said that "magically, all this weight came off" when she switched; and Alanis Morissette said it helped her drop 20 pounds. Veganism is exploding: Restaurants and blogs abound, and more than half of the 1,527 chefs who took the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2011" survey cited vegan entrees as a top trend. But what does it mean to go vegan, anyway? Could it help your health and waistline? We got answers to the most pressing questions. [Editor's note: Some of the nutrition "advice" in this article is questionable.]   Read more...

Glamour Magazine - December

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Vegan chocolate sources to avoid child slavery
Food Empowerment Project - see video on the issue.
U.S. meat consumption to decline in 2012
That should come as no surprise to industry observers but the cumulative reductions of the past few years are rather shocking in historical context. The average American will consume 12.2% less meat and poultry in 2012 that they did in 2007. - Pork Network (December 20)
Were eating less meat. Why?
Mark Bittman's take on the decline - New York Times Blogs (January 10)
Top 5 celebrity vegetarians and tips to start following their diet
International Business Times, Australia (January 20)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Martha Stewart speaks out about cruelty to farm animals
Full story: Farm Sanctuary

Television host and lifestyle guru Martha Stewart denounces the cruelty inherent in factory farming.   Read more...

Farm Sanctuary - January 9

Liberty, the last battery hen in Britain, is set free
Full story: Metro, UK

From January 1 egg suppliers [were] required by EU law to provide environments with space for hens to spread their wings, perch and move around, as the old 'battery' style cages are finally banned. Animal welfare campaigners have fought for four decades to have the space-saving method of keeping chickens outlawed, with the final battery hen in Britain due to be released later today [December 29]. Jane Howarth of the British Hen Welfare Trust, said that 6000 chickens had been re-housed so far, adding of the final one, named Liberty, 'She will be sitting in her cage very unaware that we're going to arrive and bring her out,' she said. 'We are looking forward to getting her. She will be living with me.' There are concerns however over whether all EU countries will adhere to the ban. At the moment we're looking at a situation where there could be 80 million hens still in illegal cages in Europe.'   Read more...

Metro, UK - December 29

Animal sentience: Six species proving humans aren't the only intelligent ones
Full story: Treehugger

Animals, it has long been thought, have a degree of intelligence but certainly nothing that could compare to humanity's proclivity for innovation and emotional understanding. Recently, however, a series of observations have challenged this idea. Indeed, we humans are finally realizing that several animals - from our cousins the apes down to fish and even some - experience deep emotion, develop culture, and utilize tools for problem solving; all things that were once the cornerstones of the human intelligence pedestal.   Read more...

Treehugger - December 12

The invisible and the innocent 10,153,000,000 victims of the food industry
Full story: Care2

FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) has released its report on animals killed for food in the U.S. in 2010 based largely on the USDA's own data. Of all the findings, perhaps the most mind numbing statistic is this: Of the 10,153,000,000 land animals systematically killed across the country, 875,000,000 of these animals died lingering deaths from disease, injury, starvation, suffocation, maceration, or other atrocities of animal farming and transport. Assuming that all of these practices were perfectly legal, we have an industry that exploits and abuses animals with impunity and a flagrant disregard for their most basic needs as sentient beings.   Read more...

Care2 - January 7

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
Pigeons no bird brains when it comes to number sense
ENN (December 30)
Abuse at U.S. turkey farm - filmed by Mercy for Animals
Care2 (January 7)
Video games for pigs
Care2 (January 12)

  Books and Perspectives    

Vegan cooking for the budget conscious
Full story: Tampa Bay Times, FL, U.S.

Ellen Jaffe Jones was 28 when she realized she needed to make a dramatic change if she was going to escape her family legacy. "So many people in my family were sick with cancer and heart disease, we joked that we had family reunions in the hospital, and I thought, 'How do I avoid this?' "For Jones, now 58, the answer was an ultrahealthy lifestyle featuring a plant-based diet and plenty of exercise. Jones says going to a plant-based diet makes sense, particularly in this tough economy. She was watching the news one day when she saw a grocery shopper talking about how hard it is to buy healthy food on a budget. "I thought, 'That can't be,' " Jones said. She knew this from doing the family food shopping for years, but she set out to thoroughly document the prices and nutritional value of whole grains, nuts and vegetables, and compare them to those of animal-based foods. The result is her new book, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook.  Read more...

Tampa Bay Times, FL, U.S. - October 8

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  Of Note - Recipes, Blogs, Videos, More    

Healthy resolutions

January is a great time for healthy recipes: check our VegE-News recipe pages for this arugula, fennel and celery salad topped by a maple lime dressing. While you're there browse our vegan healthy eating tips.
VegE-News recipes and tips

Victory for animals in Europe
We don't usually report news not directly related to veg issues, but this is such a tremendous step forward for animals that we had to include it. Humane Society International has just announced that, after years of campaigning, it has just secured the biggest reduction in animal testing requirements in history! A change in European law on biocides, non-food pesticides will save tens of thousands of dogs, rabbits and rodents from painful and lethal chemical poisoning tests. The fight is moving to other countries including Canada, the United States. Read more.....
New European law saves animals

A Well-Fed World believes that mending our food system is a crucial part of solving the world's most destructive and persistent problems and their website is rich with information and resources to do just that. Fortunately, the foods that promote health and well-being are the same foods that conserve scarce resources to better feed the world, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment. A Well-Fed World is working to provide the means for change by empowering individuals, organizations and political decision-makers to embrace the joys and benefits of eating green to create a better world. Check out the site and the blog....
A Well-Fed World
In her blog We Animals Jo-Anne McArthur documents, through stunning photography, animals in the human environment and the abuses animals suffer at the hands of humans. She says the premise of the project is that humans are as much animal as the sentient beings we use for food, clothing, research, experimentation, work, entertainment, slavery and companionship. Her goal is to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as sentient beings.
We Animals
Planning a trip? Remember to check out Happy Cow for the latest info about where to find great vegan food and lots more....
Happy Cow


Delightful video when a boxer puppy meets a herd of curious cows. As the introduction on Care2 says: What gives me pause is not the natural and instant bond that forms between species, but the artificial line that we have drawn between them. Watch this magical exchange and decide for yourself if perhaps there is a lesson within.

Also this month:
Curious mountain gorillas give a human the once over...
Curious mountain gorillas
A succinct and witty overview of in vitro meat...
In vitro meat
A clever crow proves birds just want to have fun...
Snowboarding crow
An informative talk...
101 reasons to go vegan
Farm Sanctuary's 25th anniversary uplifting slideshow...
Farm Sanctuary

Calls to action
You can help to declare New Zealand's food and environment GE-Free by signing the petition at the link below.
Declare NZ GE-Free

The city of Berlin has a plan to shoot wild boars that have become wandering into the city from nearby woods - petition at the link below.
Tell Berlin to Scrap Boar Hunting Plan

To support the banning of horse slaughter for meat in the U.S. and Canada, click on the links below.
HSUS - anti-horse slaughter campaign
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

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