February 2017
Current Issue
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Wishing all a healthy and compassionate 2017

In this edition...

Video of the Month
  This chicken plays a mean piano

Top Stories
  The latest threat to NZ's economy? Vegetarian sausages
  Vegan food launches in Australia double in just two years
  Germany's environment ministry bans meat at official functions
  Meat substitutes are on the curriculum at California university

Health and Environment
  Meat consumption & the development of type 1 diabetes
  Less meat, less heat: The climate change diet that isn't a fad
  Is a vegetarian diet really more environmentally friendly than eating meat?
  9 things you can do about climate change

Lifestyles and Trends
  Why all Christians should go vegan
  The biggest challenges of being vegan - and how to handle them
  Being a vegetarian in China can be difficult

Signs of the Times
  First vegan cafeteria opens in Palestine
  Vegan cowboy boot boutique to open in Dallas, Texas
  Vegan cookbook wins Gourmand award

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  10 ways animals are smarter than you think
  Goal! Bees can learn ball skills from watching each other, study finds
  USDA sued after removal of animal welfare records

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

This chicken plays a mean piano
Video source: The Dodo

Adorable - chicken plays America the Beautiful.   Watch video...

The Dodo - February 6
More videos:
Rescued pig takes up painting
Cow claims dog's bed

  Top Stories    

The latest threat to NZ's economy? Vegetarian sausages
Full story: The Spinoff, NZ

Most of us have our own ways of trying to make the world a better place. Some of us volunteer for charity. Some work in jobs where we heal the sick or help the poor. And some of us try to suppress the popularity of ethical foods. Wait, what? The New Zealand Herald reports that [Member of Parliament] Winston Peters is up in arms about fake meat products, accusing them of 'ripping off' names traditionally associated with the real thing.   Read more...

The Spinoff, NZ - February 14

Vegan food launches in Australia double in just two years
Full story: Food Navigator Asia

Over recent years, the number of vegan food available in Australia has been soaring, to the point that last year witnessed a 92 per cent increase in new product launches compared to 2014 [according to market analyst Mintel.]   Read more...

Food Navigator Asia - February 1

Germany's environment ministry bans meat at official functions
Full story: The Telegraph

A row has broken out in Angela Merkel's government after the environment minister banned meat at official functions. Barbara Hendricks claims eating meat is damaging to the environment and has ordered only vegetarian food to be served. The ministry has a responsibility to combat the "negative effects of meat consumption" and must "set an example", [she] said.   Read more...

The Telegraph - February 21

Meat substitutes are on the curriculum at California university
Full story: San Francisco Chronicle

Most UC Berkeley [California] students will tell you that they're shooting for an A. But the 45 young men and women packing a Barrows Hall classroom this Monday were pursuing more ambitious goals: saving the world, and perhaps winning $5,000 in the process. The students are enrolled in a four-credit Challenge Lab at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, a practicum that pits teams against one another to develop the most innovative plant-based meat. A senior scientist with the Good Food Institute, gave the students a PowerPoint crash course on the reasons the world needs more meat substitutes.   Read more...

San Francisco Chronicle - January 25
  Health and Environment    

Meat consumption & the development of type 1 diabetes
Full story: NutritionFacts.org

Eating meat during breastfeeding is associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, a consequence perhaps of meat glycotoxins or paratuberculosis bacteria that may be passed though breast milk.   Read more...

NutritionFacts.org - February 10

Less meat, less heat: The climate change diet that isn't a fad
Full story: Vogue Australia

Cooling the globe and improving the health of the planet begins one meal at a time. Mark Pershin, founder of lessmeatlessheat.org, believes we can address climate change by reducing our consumption of meat and thus our carbon footprint. Pershin came up with the idea for the environmentally sustainable Climatarian diet while studying studying a Graduate Diploma of Environments at the University of Melbourne.   Read more...

Vogue Australia - January 22

Is a vegetarian diet really more environmentally friendly than eating meat?
Full story: The Conversation

Beef from Brazil, avocados from Mexico, lamb from New Zealand, wines from South Africa and green beans from Kenya - food shopping lists have a distinctly international flavour. And with many questioning the sustainability of importing so much food from so far away, we are beginning to ask if switching to a vegetarian diet to cut emissions caused by meat production is as sustainable as one might think.   Read more...

The Conversation - January 26

9 things you can do about climate change
Full story: Forbes

Here is a list of simple actions that work: 1. Become a vegetarian, or better yet a vegan. The share of greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture is usually pegged at 14.5 per cent to 18 per cent, but the Worldwatch Institute found lots of oversights in those calculations that, when properly counted, bring the ag contribution all the way up to 51 per cent. That, you'll notice, is more than half. Which means that after we clean up all the transportation, energy, industry and commerce in the world, we've done less than half the job. The other half is meat and dairy. Refuse to eat it. If this seems too challenging, consider giving it up one day a week. It will still be the most important action you can take.   Read more...

Forbes - January 23

More Health & Environmental News:
4 reasons seafood isn't as healthy as you think
MFA (February 9)
Video: Best foods to reduce stroke risk
NutritionFacts.org (January 23)
Eating shellfish dangerous due to climate change
Care2 (January 11)
Environmental impact of vegan leather vs. animal leather
EarthTalk (December 17)
Half of the world's primates face extinction - what can we do?
Care2 (January 22)

  Lifestyles and Trends    

Why all Christians should go vegan
Full story: Washington Post

The Bible is clear, and early Christians understood it: Animals are meant to be our companions, not our food.   Read more...

Washington Post - January 5

The biggest challenges of being vegan - and how to handle them
Full story: Stuff, NZ

When I was a vegan for a month, I knew it would be a struggle at times - but I got through it. While there were plenty of challenges along the way, there were also solutions. Here's what I faced, and how I overcame them. [Editor's note: Alas he went back to eating meat, but he has some practical advice and perhaps it will influence him in the future.]   Read more...

Stuff, NZ - February 16

Being a vegetarian in China can be difficult
Full story: ABC, Australia

Zhang Xiuyan has long grown used to the difficulties of being a vegetarian in China. Ms Zhang is among 50 million Chinese who are believed to be vegetarian, a bit a bit under 4 per cent of the massive 1.4 billion population. By comparison, around 11 per cent of Australians are vegetarian, while in India up to 40 per cent of the country goes meat-free.   Read more...

ABC, Australia - February 3

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Throw a veggie pattie on the barbie for Australia Day
The Conversation, Australia (January 25)
The east-west nutrition divide
Food Processing, Australia (February 21)
Got almond milk? Dairy protests milk labels on nondairy drinks
New York Times (February 21)
Vegan cosemetics
EarthTalk (January 22)

  Signs of the Times    

First vegan cafeteria opens in Palestine
Full story: VegNews

Palestine's first vegan eatery, Sudfeh, opened recently at the Al-Quds University in Adu Dis, Jerusalem. Sudfeh - which translates to "serendipity" - serves cruelty-free meals to students in an effort to promote animal-rights and veganism on campus.   Read more...

VegNews - February 24

Vegan cowboy boot boutique to open in Dallas, Texas
Full story: VegNews

The vegan showroom will sell custom-made cowboy boots, belts, jewelry, clothing, and home goods.   Read more...

VegNews - February 24

Vegan cookbook wins Gourmand award
Full story: VegNews

Australian vegan cookbook Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health by Sue Radd was named the national winner in the "Best Health & Nutrition Book" category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The competition draws entries from 60 nations every year, and the health category is the "most crowded" according to publishing company Signs Publishing book editor Nathan Brown. Last year, Han Kang's The Vegetarian - which explores themes about eating animals and culture in South Korea - won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize.   Read more...

VegNews - January 31

More Signs of the Times:
California schools cut meat, cheese from menus to fight global warming
Daily Caller (February 15)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

10 ways animals are smarter than you think
Full story: Boston Globe Magazine

Cats give us names, crows improvise tools, pigs pick up on mood... Discoveries about animal cognition are advancing rapidly. In just the last few years, researchers have unearthed mind-boggling abilities in creatures most of us don't consider even marginally brainy and are finding remarkably advanced abilities in species already known for their smarts. Here are 10 things we now know animals know...   Read more...

Boston Globe Magazine - January 25

Goal! Bees can learn ball skills from watching each other, study finds
Full story: Guardian, UK

Bumblebees can learn how to manoeuvre a ball just by watching others carry out the task, researchers have discovered in the latest study to shed light on the insects' surprising talents. While bees have already been shown to be able to learn how to pull on strings, push caps and even rotate a lever to access food, researchers say the new study shows that bees are better at problem solving than we thought. [Includes video.]   Read more...

Guardian, UK - February 23

USDA sued after removal of animal welfare records
Full story: VegNews

Harvard Animal Law & Policy Fellow Delcianna Winders, along with animal-rights organizations, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the removal of animal welfare records from their public website. The lawsuit alleges that the USDA violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which requires federal agencies to make all records released under FOIA electronically available to the public. All records relating to climate change, LGBTQ rights, and healthcare have also been removed from the White House website.   Read more...

VegNews - February 15

Related/More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
Why is Trump covering up animal cruelty cases?
By Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary - European Newsweek (February 11)
Compassion Over Killing video shows abuse inside lamb slaughterhouse
New York Times (February 2)
France passes law mandating cameras in every slaughterhouse
Care2 (January 17)
Victory! South Korea's most infamous dogmeat market closes
Care2 (December 14)
'A Dog's Purpose' outcry - what happened and who's to blame
Hollywood Reporter (January 23)
6 things Obama did to protect animals
I Nourish Gently (January 24)

Also of interest:

Ralph Naderís 'Animal Envy' sheds new light on the intelligence of the wild - EarthTalk
Find Animal Envy, A Fable on Amazon here

Complete list of global VegFests - thanks to Meatout Mondays for this!

Cruelty-Free Kitty - cruelty-free beauty product listings
Petition: Bring Kingston's Prison Farm animals home to Sanctuary, not to slaughter
Petition - against animal cruelty on CNN
Online vegan food drive
Petition to help end chicken suffering from World Animal Protection
RescueDiaries on YouTube

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