June 2012
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It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can. Sidney Smith

In this edition...

Featured video
  NZ teenager asks world leaders at Earth Summit: Are you here to save face - or us?

  For heart health, get calcium from vegan foods
  Australian study reassures doctors about vegetarian diets
  Big food, food systems, and global health
  Not only the cows are mad

Environment and World Hunger
  To fix the climate, take meat off the menu
  Global weight gain more damaging than rising numbers
  Where's the beef? Your hamburger in 2050
  Chefs' disregard for environment leaves a bad taste

Lifestyles and Trends
  5 tips for helping your family go vegan
  Bitter broccoli
  Veggie celebs: Michelle Pfeiffer loves her carbs
  To be a feminist is to be a vegan
  Vegan startup gets boost from Twitter co-founders

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Fighting for chickens - interview with Farm Sanctuary's Bruce Freidrich
  On a happier note: 140 rescued hens take first sweet steps of freedom
  Secret video leads to animal cruelty charges for livestock auction house
  Debate: Animals should be off the menu
  Large demonstration in Paris calls for the closure of slaughterhouses

Books and Perspectives
  The diet book to end all diet books

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(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
  Featured video    

NZ teenager asks world leaders at Earth Summit: Are you here to save face - or us?
Watch video: tcktcktck.org

On Wednesday June 20, 2012 17-year-old Brittany Trilford of Wellington, New Zealand addressed 130 heads of state at the opening plenary of the Rio+20 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is her speech. She ended by saying, "I am here to fight for my future. That is why I'm here. I would like to end by asking you to consider why you're here and what you can do. Are you here to save face? Or are you here to save us?" [4:55]   Watch video...

tcktcktck.org - June 20

For heart health, get calcium from vegan foods
Full story: Examiner

Getting calcium from pills could raise your risk of heart disease, according to new research from Germany. Higher calcium diets were generally protective against both fracture risk and heart disease, especially in women, but only when it came from foods. The difference may have something to do with the amount of calcium in the blood following supplement ingestion, but overall, a biological explanation for the findings is lacking. Getting calcium from foods is smart, especially when they are vegan foods. Leafy green vegetables like collards and kale provide calcium along with vitamins K and C - both needed for strong bones. Inadequate vitamin K intake has been linked to increased fracture risk in older people. Dairy foods are lacking in vitamins K and C and in the antioxidant compounds that are found in plant foods.   Read more...

Examiner - May 25

Australian study reassures doctors about vegetarian diets
Full story: Adelaide Now, Australia

Australian doctors are being assured their patients will benefit if they adopt a diet that's free of meat. An Australian-first scientific research review, published June 4 in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), has found vegetarians receive more health benefits than risks from their plant-based diet. The MJA supplement examined deficiencies traditionally thought to affect those who have adopted a vegetarian diet and found they are receiving adequate levels of protein, iron and zinc, and are less likely to suffer from heart disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.   Read more...

Adelaide Now, Australia - June 4

Big food, food systems, and global health
Full story: MSN, NZ

While a billion people around the world are going hungry, twice that number are overweight. Health researchers are now attributing some of the blame to major corporations in the foodstuffs sector. Writing in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal, they call for increased monitoring of the health risks posed by food and drinks produced by so-called "Big Food," as well as for greater awareness. "Food, unlike tobacco and drugs, is necessary to live and is central to health and disease. And yet the big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat," the researchers write. The PLoS editorial launching the series [7 articles over the next few weeks] says that increased consumption of factory-made "Big Food" products is contributing to obesity and diabetes. [See also LA Times article.]   Read more...

MSN, NZ - June 22

Not only the cows are mad
Full story: Other Words

The chilling news about the latest mad cow case was no surprise for me... U.S. cows, including dairy calves, are still taken from their mothers and fed the blood and fat of dead cattle. American cattle are still given feed containing cattle fat with traces of cattle protein. U.S. chickens are fed cattle products. Then their "poultry litter," which contains their feces and spilled feed, is fed back to cattle. Docile, eating whatever they are fed, trusting the rancher all the way to the slaughterhouse. Does that describe just the cows, or does it sum us up too?   Read more...

Other Words - June 4

More Health News:
Obesity epidemic: Behind super-sized sodas, a deeper danger
If we really want to narrow our waistbands, we have to narrow the income gaps that divide us - Other words (June 4)
Genetic engineers blast GM crops
Care 2 (June 20)
Audio: Assessing consumer concerns about the meat industry
An interview with Tom Philpott, food and ag blogger for "Mother Jones." Read about the interview's issues and highlights here. - NPR's Fresh Air (June 7)
Video on the lighter side (sort of): Stephen Colbert on bug food coloring, hot-dog-stuffed pizza and drugged poultry
As always, there's a lot of truth in jest - Colbert Report, Comedy Central (April 17)
Video: Does animal testing slow down medical progress?
TruthJuice Bristol and Bristol Animal Rights Collective

  Environment and World Hunger    

To fix the climate, take meat off the menu
Full story: Washington Post

[By Frances Kissling and Peter Singer.] What's on the menu [at Rio+20]? Specifically, will this large gathering on climate change be serving meat - whose production and consumption are major contributors to climate change? We tried to find out... The best thing the conference could do for the climate is to remove meat from the menu - and to make a big deal about it. Everyone at that meeting should know that meat is a major contributor to climate change. It is also one problem that can be solved more quickly than others. Cutting out meat would do more to help combat climate change than any other action we could feasibly take in the next 20 years... Global climate leaders will have a lot of pressing challenges on the table at the Rio+20 conference. It's time to take the meat off their plates.   Read more...

Washington Post - June 15

Global weight gain more damaging than rising numbers
Full story: BBC/LSHTM

People's weight - not just population size - should be taken into account when planning how to deal with increasing pressure on the planet's dwindling resources, say researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. "If every country in the world had the same level of fatness that we see in the USA, in weight terms that would be like an extra billion people of world average body mass," one of the authors of the paper explained. The research team hopes its work will prompt new thinking about how the world weighs up issues of consumption, weight and population growth. "We often point the finger at poor women in Africa having too many babies," says Prof Roberts. "But we've also got to think of this fatness thing; it's part of the same issue of exceeding our planetary limits."   Read more...

BBC/LSHTM - June 20

Where's the beef? Your hamburger in 2050
Watch video: New America Foundation

A lively discussion with Gabor Forgacs, George H. Vineyard Professor of Biological Physics, University of Missouri and Co-founder of Modern Meadow, Inc., Graham Meriwether, Cinematographer and Producer of American Meat and Director of Leave It Better and Dawn Moncrief, Founder and Executive Director of A Well-Fed World. Moderated by Will Saletan of Slate [46:00].   Watch video...

New America Foundation - April 16

[This is one of several excellent panel discussions recorded at the recent Future Tense event: Feeding the World While the Earth Cooks in Washington, DC., with its aim to find out how everyone — growers, technologists, governments, business leaders, and carbon-conscious consumers — will be part of the solution. Watch them all at the link.]

Chefs' disregard for environment leaves a bad taste
Full story: Grist

Thanks, Thomas Keller. Now we know where you stand. When you came out publicly in The New York Times as a chef who does not feel any obligation to the environment, we heard you. "With the relatively small number of people I feed, is it really my responsibility to worry about carbon footprint?" you asked. You think it's not your place "to provide a livelihood for farmers near [your] restaurants, to preserve traditional culinary arts or to stop the spread of global warming." Yep, you're just here to "create great, brilliant food." And you know what? That might make sense - if we lived in the 19th century... But you should know just how irresponsible this statement is. Not just irresponsible - destructive.   Read more...

Grist - May 18

More Environmental News:
Eat less meat and save the planet?
Audio download - ABC Australia (June 13)
Rio+20 closing statement: Opportunity lost
WWF Director General - ENN (June 22)
Climate change to worsen hunger
USA Today (June 20)

  Lifestyles and Trends    

5 tips for helping your family go vegan
Full story: MindBodyGreen

I know what you're thinking: "I'm fine going vegan/vegetarian but my family will never get on board with the weird tofu thing." Whether you're cooking for two or cooking for 12, getting other people in your household to embrace vegan eating can feel daunting. The kids are picky, your guy is a meat-and-potatoes man and you're stuck in the middle. But hold on. It's not impossible. Here are some pointers...   Read more...

MindBodyGreen - April 18

Bitter broccoli
Full story: Other Words

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about my attempt to become a vegan [see VegE-News May archives]. It's not an easy life, I said. It seemed like a fairly non-controversial thing to say, although I was sure that meat-eaters would respond with scorn and vitriol. As it turned out, I was wrong. Everybody responded with scorn and vitriol - meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and organic farmers... I found the experience dispiriting. There were nearly 300 comments posted in response to the column. As far as I could tell, not one betrayed so much as a hint of a sense of humor. Well, if that's what it takes to be a vegan or a vegetarian, count me out. Life without funny is too great a price to pay for good health... As for me, I'm going back to writing about something non-controversial, like politics.   Read more...

Other Words - June 4

Veggie celebs: Michelle Pfeiffer loves her carbs
Full story: CNN

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer talks to CNN's Sanjay Gupta about how the vegan diet has changed her life. She was recently inspired by Bill Clinton to go vegan because she was surprised to have high cholesterol despite her "healthy" diet. She said she loves the diet because she loves carbs.   Read more...

CNN - June 4

To be a feminist is to be a vegan
Full story: Care2

"After repeated cycles of forced impregnations, painful births, relentless milkings, and crushing bereavements, their spirit gives, their bodies wither, their milk dries up. At the age when, in nature, a female cow would barely enter adulthood, the life of a dairy cow is over. When her milk 'production' declines, she and her other 'spent' herd mates are trucked off to slaughter. Some are pregnant. All are still lactating. As they are shoved towards death, they drip milk onto the killing floor... All dairy operations, including Organic, exist solely by doing to millions of defenseless females the worst thing anyone can do to a mother. Dairy consumers support this practice with their purchases." - leaflet by Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. When visiting the non-vegan home of a self-proclaimed feminist, she offered me cow's milk with my tea. That's when I made the profound connection that it's impossible to truly be a feminist while consuming dairy (or any animal products), as the entire animal industry is built on the exploitation of the female reproductive system. This must be recognized as a feminist issue because it is analogous to the feminist movement's struggle for women to have control of their own bodies.   Read more...

Care2 - May 29

Vegan startup gets boost from Twitter co-founders
Full story: Huffington Post

A new vegan start-up has some unlikely backers in two Twitter co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone. The company, Beyond Meat, aims to supply the meat-eschewing public with vegan products that have the taste and feel of real meat. Stone, who's been a vegan for about 10 years, explained, "These guys are coming at the meat analogue industry not as a novelty kind of thing or hippy dippy. They were coming at it from this big science, super practical, scalable angle." The first product out of Beyond Meat's camp is Veggie Chicken Strips, which New York Times writer Mark Bittman [gave his stamp of approval to in March - see the VegE-News archives]. The Veggie Chicken Strips have already proved wildly popular, so much in fact that one San Francisco Whole Foods reportedly went through its entire inventory in just two days.   Read more...

Huffington Post - June 14

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Beyond Meat 'chicken' flies off the shelves
ABC News (June 14)
Commentary from the meat industry: Make mine (fake) meat
If I were running a meatpacking company or a poultry manufacturing firm, I’d be looking to add an analog brand line to my company’s portfolio. Veggie alternatives is one culinary trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. And to be sure, those Twitter guys know a thing or two about trends. - Cattle Network (June 20)
One McBurger with lies, please
Fast-food firm's own video reveals why items on the menu never look like what you are served - Daily Mail, UK (June 20)
India: The new food bridge
Mock meats, initially thought needless in a country with myriad vegetarian options, are beginning to make headway. - LiveMint, India (June 15)
Vegan boxer wins welterweight title
Many athletes have drawn inspiration from the most powerful animals — bulls, stallions, and elephants — all of whom eat entirely vegan diets. For elite athletes, an animal-based diet is similar to smoking, constricting blood flow and reducing endurance. - Dr. Barnard's Blog, PCRM (June 11)
Men find vegetables unmanly
Guess they don't know about the athletes above. - Mother Jones (May 16)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Fighting for chickens - interview with Farm Sanctuary's Bruce Freidrich
Watch video: CNN

Billions of chickens are kept in tiny cramped cages without enough room to even spread their wings. Now there is a new bill in [the U.S.] Congress, which aims to double the amount of space for hens in factory farms. This comes on the heels of several victories in the fight against gestation crates for pigs. These actions have many people hoping that the Factory Farming Industry is starting to realize that people will stand up and fight against animals being treated cruelly. Jane Velez-Mitchell sat down with Farm Sanctuary's Bruce Freidrich to talk about the impact this bill could have. [3:36]   Watch video...

CNN - June 11

On a happier note: 140 rescued hens take first sweet steps of freedom
Watch video: Care2

Recently, the Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals Rescue Crew organized and rescued 140 battery-caged hens who were destined for slaughter. The hens had spent more than a year crammed into battery cages - these are barren wire cages so small the birds can't even spread their wings. The hens were given a second chance at life and are now able to stretch their wings and legs, have dustbaths, preen and feel the sun on their backs and the grass beneath their feet. [You can see less happy videos of the cruelty at Canadian egg-laying facilities and learn what you can do to help here.]   Watch video...

Care2 - May 27

Secret video leads to animal cruelty charges for livestock auction house
Full story: Brandon Sun, Canada

Prosecutors have filed animal cruelty charges against the owner and seven employees at a Southern California livestock auction house after undercover video shot by an animal rights group showed workers kicking, hitting and tossing the animals as they were readied for sale. The grainy video, obtained [May 29] by The Associated Press and shot by the Los Angeles-based group Mercy for Animals, shows workers at Ontario Livestock Sales in Ontario, California, kicking and stomping on pigs to get them to move through a narrow chute, hitting emus with a baton and slinging baby goats by the neck and hind legs. In one shot, two workers drag a sick sheep that can't walk by its ears and heave it into the back of a van. [Editor's note - this is not an isolated case. It is inherent in the process of getting live animals to your plate. The owner of the facility defended the practices. saying, "How are you going to pick them up? They don't have a leash."]   Read more...

Brandon Sun, Canada - May 30

Debate: Animals should be off the menu
Watch video: Wheeler Centre, Australia

Intelligence Squared's 2012 series of debates kicks off with a look at the ethics of eating meat. Speakers for the proposition include Peter Singer. If you don't have time to watch the full debate, this article covers the debate and audience reaction. A significant number of audience members were evidently swayed by the speakers - in both directions - but the pro side won. [1:51:58]   Watch video...

Wheeler Centre, Australia - April 9

Large demonstration in Paris calls for the closure of slaughterhouses
Watch video: Free From Harm

On Saturday, June 2nd organizers from multiple animal organizations staged a large scale demonstration at the symbolic location of the old slaughterhouses of Vaugirard in Paris, where Georges Franju partly shot the movie Animal's blood in 1949: "The first time I went there, I came back home, cried for two days, hid away all the knives, I just wanted to die," said Franju, recounting his first experience witnessing institutionalized slaughter. [The demonstration organizers said]: Most people, like Georges Franju, are shocked by the slaughter of animals where we witness firsthand the suffering, the distress, the hopelessness, and the terrible fright of sentient beings. We know that we would have the exact same feelings if we were in these circumstances. Slaughterhouses are a major moral question for our society and confront us with our contradictions and our cowardice.   Watch video...

Free From Harm - June 7

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:

Peter Dinklage, who has won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe, has been a vegetarian for almost 3 decades. He’s working to fight against the abuse of farm animals on factory farms by promoting Farm Sanctuary’s Walk For Farm Animals. [1:49] - Care2 (June 7)

Doing our best with the world as it is
The question is never, "Is this vegan / Am I vegan?" Rather, we ask, "Will this help reduce suffering as much as possible?" - Vegan Outreach (June 9)
Petition against farm animals as part of London Olympic opening ceremonies
Care2 (June 13)
Should communication between pea plants raise tough issues for vegetarians?
Say what, Michael Pollan? (May 1)
EU ministers give green light on EU animal welfare law
European Union (EU) ministers have authorised the European Commission to draft a comprehensive animal welfare law that could include mandatory meat labelling laws. - Global Meat News (June 21)
Eighteen EU member states ready for sow stall ban
The partial ban takes effect January 2013. - Global Meat News (June 21)
Sow stall ban costly, but necessary, says Australian industry
Global Meat News (April 17)

  Books and Perspectives    

The diet book to end all diet books
Watch video: MedPage Today

Now we have a new book by Dr. John McDougall and his spouse, Mary, with vast medical and public health implications. It is both a diet book and a cookbook ... Eat all you want; any time you want. Statements that sound too good to be true usually are ... too good to be true. But, The Starch Solution, richly referenced for science, but gracefully written for consumers, just might be both good and true. [4:22 - see also the recent article John McDougall a true believer in the Press Democrat that gives some background on Dr. McDougall's path from a massive stroke at 18 to a powerful voice for health through diet.]   Watch video...

MedPage Today - May 22

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More on books:

Video: Go vegan! Try southern fried chik'n
Carnivores won't miss the meat after trying these recipes from chef Roberto Martin's new cookbook "Vegan Cooking for Carnivores" - Today Show (May 3)

Eating plant-based vegan diet prompts new cookbook with unusual fare
A new cookbook, "350 Best Vegan Recipes," written by culinary consultant Deb Roussou of California, provides a wide range of meal ideas, a primer on the vegan lifestyle and tips on stocking the pantry. - Canada.com (May 30)

Also of interest:
Taking Action for Animals conference, July 27-30 in Washington, DC
Vegan Festival in India, August 18-20
San Francisco Vegetarian Society's World Veg Festival, 10am-6pm, October 6-7 in the San Francisco Fair Building at Golden Gate Park. The event features outstanding speakers, international vegan cuisine, food demos, sample table, vegan organic dinners on Saturday and Sunday night, and more.

Winner of Toronto Vegetarian Association's Why I'm Veg contest
All the inspiring contest entries

NeverSeconds - a Scottish school girl has created a sensation with her daily rating of school lunches.
Green Vegans - advocating a New Human Ecology with 'Seven Results' - check out their planned delegation to the November International Whaling Commission.

Check out our recipes and tips too....
VegE-News recipes and tips

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