The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
- Alvin Toffler
In this edition...
| Antibiotic resistance is spreading to wildlife, endangering humans
| New strain of bird flu jumps to humans
| More skinny on the issue of nuts from Chef AJ...
| Video: Mercury vs. omega-3s for brain development
| Food animal production hurts public health, environment, analysis says
| World headed for a high-speed carbon crash
| Ultraviolet nets significantly reduce sea turtle bycatch
| Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions
| South scores 11th-hour win on climate loss and damage
Lifestyles and Trends
| Environmentalist Al Gore goes vegan, with little fanfare
| 10 amazing plant-powered athletes
| How to become a vegan: 12 tips from the experts
| USDA report: Americans drinking less milk
| Wine pairings for a vegan meal
Animal Issues and Advocacy
| Video: Soccer-playing turkeys
| Singer Morrissey attacks Barack Obama over 'Thankskilling' turkey slaughter
| The true cost of Walmart's cheap meat exposed
| Joan Jett's animal advocacy gets her kicked off parade float
| Milk of human kindness denied to dairy cows
| How to stay kind when standing up for animals
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(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
|Antibiotic resistance is spreading to wildlife, endangering humans
Full story: Care2
Scientists have been sounding the alarm about growing antibiotic resistance resulting from overuse of the drugs in healthcare settings and, even more, among commercial livestock. They've now made an even more alarming finding: antibiotic resistance is spreading to wildlife. The presence of antibiotic-resistant genes in wildlife could lead to even greater resistance to the drugs as "superbugs" - bacteria resistant to antibiotics - evolve. Antibiotic resistance means that diseases, including tuberculosis, that have been curable may cease to be. The discovery of antibiotic resistance in wildlife makes it all the more pressing to call for the drugs to only be used for medical treatment in humans and in animals.
|New strain of bird flu jumps to humans
Full story: Care2
Bird flu or avian influenza is caused by viruses that occur among wild aquatic birds and can be transmitted to domestic animals. It's rare for humans to catch these viruses but - as we've learned from the H5N1 strain that has taken the lives of some 600 people since it broke out in China in 1996 - not impossible. So learning that a 20-year-old Taiwanese woman has been infected with the new strain of bird flu, H6N1, has left scientists concerned that a new pandemic could occur. H6N1 has been circulating widely among chickens in Taiwan. Previously, scientists had not thought humans could contract this virus. But the throat swabs of a young Taiwanese woman who was hospitalized in May with a lung infection have proved otherwise.
|More skinny on the issue of nuts from Chef AJ...
Full story: Vegsource
Nuts are in the news again - a new study commissioned and paid for by the nut industry says eating nuts regularly "may help you live longer." Is it true? Read an update from Chef AJ who has lost 40 pounds since giving up nuts - and the editorial comments by Jeff Nelson that follow...
|Video: Mercury vs. omega-3s for brain development
Video source: NutritionFacts.org
Risk/benefit analysis of 33 fish species contrasts the brain boosting effects of DHA with the brain damaging effects of mercury to determine the net effect on intelligence.
|NutritionFacts.org - August 7
|Food animal production hurts public health, environment, analysis says
Full story: Weather.com
Conventionally produced meat damages our health and environment because of farming missteps, public health researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Pew Charitable Trusts say in a new analysis. This is not the first time the independent Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP) has sounded the alarm.
|World headed for a high-speed carbon crash
Full story: IPS
If global carbon emissions continue to rise at their current rate, humanity will eventually be left with no other option than a costly, world war-like mobilisation, scientists warned this week. "It's blindingly obvious that our economic system is failing us," said economist Tim Jackson, a professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey in the UK. Climate change, pollution, damaged ecosystems, record species extinctions, and unsustainable resource use are all clear symptoms of a dysfunctional economic system, Jackson, author of the report and book Prosperity Without Growth, says. "Prosperity isn't just about having more stuff. Prosperity is the art of living well on a finite planet."
|Ultraviolet nets significantly reduce sea turtle bycatch
Full story: Mongabay
Bycatch, a side-effect of commercial fishing in which non-target species are accidentally caught, is linked to severe population declines in several species. Sea turtles are particularly impacted by small-scale coastal gillnetting practices, in which large nets are deployed and indiscriminately snag anything of a certain size that attempts to swim through them. However, that may soon change. A new study announces the development of new technology that reduces bycatch rates by utilizing ultraviolet light.
|Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions
Full story: Guardian, UK
The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests. The companies range from investor-owned firms - household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP - to state-owned and government-run firms. Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years - well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change.
|Guardian, UK - November 20
|South scores 11th-hour win on climate loss and damage
Full story: IPS
The UN climate talks in Warsaw ended in dramatic fashion Saturday [November 23] evening in what looked like a schoolyard fight with a mob of dark-suited supporters packed around the weary combatants, Todd Stern of the United States and Sai Navoti of Fiji representing G77 nations. It took two weeks and 36 straight hours of negotiations to get to this point. At issue in this classic North versus South battle was the creation of a third pillar of a new climate treaty to be finalised in 2015. Countries of the South, with 80 per cent of the world's people, finally won, creating a loss and damage pillar to go with the mitigation (emissions reduction) and adaptation pillars. "We need those promises to add up to enough real action to keep us below the internationally agreed two-degree temperature rise," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
| Lifestyles and Trends
|Environmentalist Al Gore goes vegan, with little fanfare
Full story: Washington Post
Maybe it was something about what they served in the White House mess in the 1990s. Or perhaps it's what happens to baby boomer Democrats more than a decade after leaving office. For whatever the reason former vice president Al Gore has gone vegan, just like the president with whom he once served. It is unclear why Gore, one of the nation's most visible climate activists, has given up dairy, poultry and meat products. People usually become vegan for environmental, health or ethical reasons, or a combination of these three factors.
|Washington Post - November 25
|10 amazing plant-powered athletes
Full story: One Green Planet
There are certain questions everyone who eats a plant-based diet hears all the time; where our protein comes from, our energy, how do we get enough iron. Those who eat veggie know that it's really no secret, and that cutting out animal products is, in fact, extremely healthy. Some even use a vegan diet to fuel their amazing sports performance - from ultrarunners to bodybuilders, read on to discover the amazing athletic careers of ten superstar vegans...
|One Green Planet - November 15
|How to become a vegan: 12 tips from the experts
Full story: Reader's Digest
Vegan's not just a buzzword: According to a 2012 survey, seven per cent of Americans polled consider themselves vegan, more than those who count themselves as vegetarian [and the number is growing around the world, including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China...] Thinking of joining them? Here's what the experts told us... [See also 10 simple tips for the new vegan from Care2.]
|Reader's Digest - November
|USDA report: Americans drinking less milk
Full story: MFA
Great news for cows: A new report released by the USDA finds that milk consumption has fallen a whopping 40 per cent since 1970. According to the report, "Between the 1977-78 and 2007-08 surveys, children's consumption of fluid milk declined from an average of 1.7 cups to 1.2 cups per day, and milk consumption by teenagers and adults fell from 0.8 cups to 0.6 cups per day."
|Wine pairings for a vegan meal
Full story: New York Times
The best wines for these vegan lunch and dinner dishes come from the Mediterranean-style repertory: dry rosés, crisp whites, earthy reds.
|New York Times - September 18
| Animal Issues and Advocacy
|Video: Soccer-playing turkeys
Video source: YouTube
It's hard to imagine eating these fun-loving souls.
|Singer Morrissey attacks Barack Obama over 'Thankskilling' turkey slaughter
Full story: Pitchfork
Morrissey has once again written a letter regarding animal rights, this time targeting President Barack Obama and the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon. He accuses Obama of supporting torture "as 45 million birds are horrifically abused."
|The true cost of Walmart's cheap meat exposed
Full story: Hollywood Reporter
James Cromwell is speaking out against Walmart on what he calls "cruelty" to pigs at one of its suppliers. In a video, the Emmy-winning actor appears on camera and discusses a hidden-camera investigation at a pork supplier in Minnesota that he says is used by Walmart. "Walmart likes to tout its low prices, but when it comes to the pork sold in its stores, animals are left to pay the highest price of all - a life filled with misery and deprivation," he says. [See also The true price of a pork chop from Spiegel International.]
|Hollywood Reporter - November 5
|Joan Jett's animal advocacy gets her kicked off parade float
Full story: Care2
South Dakota [U.S.] cattlemen want nothing to do with rocker Joan Jett. She's a vegetarian, she's an animal activist and she's a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Now, because of all that, she's been banished from South Dakota's float in the upcoming Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yes, really. Apparently, had she appeared, the world risked a devastating rip in the space-time continuum. Relax, South Dakota cattlemen. You got Joan Jett off your float and you must be relieved. Thanks for raising a ruckus. All this excitement gave animal lovers a great opportunity to once again shine a light on the cattle industry's fear that public knowledge of its practices will spur change.
|Milk of human kindness denied to dairy cows
Full story: Forbes
Recent reports of mothers purchasing tainted breast milk online has sparked a discussion not only about regulating the underground trade in breast milk, but the legitimacy of human "milk sharing" in the first place. Interestingly, few consumers who are offended by the traffic in human breast milk have a problem with drinking milk from cows. "Many of us assume that milk is as innocuous a product as an apple," writes Sherry Colb, Professor of Law. "We have absorbed this message repeatedly from a very early age." And as Gary Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers, has famously said, "There is probably more suffering in a glass of milk than a pound of steak."
|How to stay kind when standing up for animals
Full story: Care2
Opening people's hearts and minds to new ideas is never easy, especially when those ideas shake the very foundations that their current belief system is built upon. This is the challenge though that anyone who is fighting to make the world a better place has to face. Here are some of my favorite tips for positive outreach..
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