In their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear is a boy. - Australia philanthropist Philip Wollen
(Watch his powerful speech below.)
In this edition...
| Passion for our pets, compassion for all
| How our passion for meat lacks compassion for animals, humans and the planet
| What does it mean to be human? Don't ask
| With veganism on the rise, is meat cooked?
| Health, animal rights, environment: What's convincing people to go vegan?
| It's about people too: Immigrant farm workers endure inhumane conditions
| Processed meats associated with manic episodes
| Meat-heavy, low-carb diets can 'shorten lifespan': Study
| Are banned drugs in your meat?
Environment and World Hunger
| Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes
| The top five meat and dairy companies emit more carbon than the gasoline giants
| 'We will not serve or pay for meat:' WeWork takes the green workplace to a new level
Lifestyles and Trends
| 5 tips to help vegetarian or vegan travelers eat well, anywhere
| What is vegan cheese made from?
| Vegan food makers look to escape 'vegan' label
Signs of the Times
| Startup producing cell-grown meat raises significant new funding
| 100 per cent animal but not 'meat'?
| Why lab meat is the future
Animal Issues and Advocacy
| Are anti-meat subway ads effective? Yes
| Calving time: The milk of human unkindness?
| What's yoga without goats?
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(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
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|What does it mean to be human? Don't ask
Full story: New York Times
We humans are very self-focused. We tend to think that being human is somehow very special and important, so we ask about that, instead of asking what it means to be an elephant, or a pig, or a bird. This failure of curiosity is part of a large ethical problem. The question, "What is it to be human?" is not just narcissistic, it involves a culpable obtuseness. We share a planet with billions of other sentient beings, and they all have their own complex ways of being whatever they are. All of our fellow animal creatures, as Aristotle observed long ago, try to stay alive and reproduce more of their kind. All of them perceive. All of them desire.
The world needs an ethical revolution, a consciousness-raising movement of truly international proportions. But this revolution is impeded by the navel-gazing that is typically involved in asking, "What is it to be human?" So let's put aside the narcissism involved in asking only about ourselves. Let's strive for an era in which being human means being concerned with the other species that try to inhabit this world.
|New York Times - August 20
|With veganism on the rise, is meat cooked?
Full story: Globe and Mail, Canada
Vegans are suddenly everywhere. Restaurants that serve meals completely free of all animal products have opened all over [U.S. cities], and in Britain, the number of vegans more than tripled in the decade from 2006 to 2016. Canadian consumption of all meats has been falling since 2007. In 2015, Charles Krauthammer, the conservative Washington Post columnist who died earlier this year, asked what present practice, universally engaged in and accepted by people of great intelligence and moral sensitivity, will be seen by future generations as abominable, in the way that we now see slavery as abominable? Mr. Krauthammer's answer was: our treatment of animals. Perhaps it won't take three generations for people to see the industrial raising of animals as an abomination. That day may be closer than we think. [By Peter Singer.]
|Globe and Mail, Canada - August 27
|Health, animal rights, environment: What's convincing people to go vegan?
Full story: ABC, Australia
After years of being mocked as the diet of the 'weak, limp and weedy,' veganism has recently become the on-trend lifestyle choice. Thousands are going vegan. Why are old arguments suddenly convincing former omnivores? This is a question I asked myself a lot last month, after being challenged to avoid some of the foods I love most: meat, dairy and eggs. And so I went to PETA for some answers...
|ABC, Australia - August 1
|It's about people too: Immigrant farm workers endure inhumane conditions
Full story: Fortune
Whether legally sanctioned or not, inhumane labor practices are woven into the fabric of American agriculture, and represent a fundamental element of our mass-produced, cheap food system. Farm and slaughterhouse workers don't have adequate legal protections, and they also experience illegal abuses that the media is starting to address. Purchasing food from abusive businesses supports and enables them to continue with their despicable cruelties. [By Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary.]
Two amputations a week - the cost of working in a slaughterhouse
Guardian, UK (July 5)
|Processed meats associated with manic episodes
Full story: John Hopkins Medicine
An analysis of more than 1,000 people with and without psychiatric disorders has shown that nitrates - chemicals used to cure meats such as beef jerky, salami, hot dogs and other processed meat snacks - may contribute to mania, an abnormal mood state. Mania is characterized by hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia. The findings of the Johns Hopkins Medicine study, which was not designed to determine cause and effect, were published July 18 in Molecular Psychiatry. Specifically, it found that people hospitalized for an episode of mania had more than three times the odds of having ever eaten nitrate-cured meats than people without a history of a serious psychiatric disorder.
|John Hopkins Medicine - July 18
|Meat-heavy, low-carb diets can 'shorten lifespan': Study
Full story: CTV News
Middle-aged people who get roughly half their daily calories from carbohydrates live several years longer on average than those with meat-heavy low-carb diets, researchers reported [recently]. The findings, published in The Lancet, challenge a trend in Europe and North America toward so-called Paleo diets that shun carbohydrates in favour of animal protein and fat. Replacing meat with plant-based fats and proteins reduces the risk of mortality, the research found.
|Are banned drugs in your meat?
Full story: Consumer Reports
Consumer Report's analysis of data from the Food Safety and Inspection Service, a branch of the Department of Agriculture, suggests that banned or restricted drugs may appear in the U.S. meat supply more often than was previously known [likely the same for other countries]. Hundreds of samples of poultry, beef, and pork appeared to show residue of drugs that the government says should never be used in food animals. Other samples had evidence of drugs that must be out of an animal's system by the time it is slaughtered. The samples came from producers large and small, and included meat destined for supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and elsewhere. The drugs: Ketamine, a hallucinogenic party drug and experimental antidepressant. Phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory deemed too risky for human use. Chloramphenicol, a powerful antibiotic linked to potentially deadly anemia.
|Consumer Reports - August 29
| Environment and World Hunger
|Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes
Full story: Guardian, UK
Humanity is devouring our planet's resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year's worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days. As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day - which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate - has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded. To maintain our current appetite for resources, we would need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that makes an annual assessment of how far humankind is falling into ecological debt. "Our current economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet," Mathis Wackernagel, its chief executive said.
|The top five meat and dairy companies emit more carbon than the gasoline giants
Full story: New Food Economy
A [recent] study found that the world's top five meat and dairy producers combined - Brazil's JBS, New Zealand's Fonterra, Dairy Farmers of America, Tyson Foods, and Cargill - emit more greenhouse gases than Exxon-Mobil, Shell, or BP. Here's another way to look at it: If these meat and dairy companies continue to grow based on current projections, by 2050 they will be responsible for 81 per cent of global emissions targets. Greenpeace estimates that global per capita meat consumption has to fall to 16 kilograms [35 pounds] per person by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change.
|New Food Economy - July 18
|'We will not serve or pay for meat:' WeWork takes the green workplace to a new level
Full story: Washington Post
Some companies ask employees to reduce paper waste with less printing. Others have made their data centers run on renewable energy to help address climate change. Most offer recycling bins next to the copy machine. But WeWork is trying a new tactic in the push toward corporate sustainability by saying it was committed to being "a meat-free organization." In the letter to employees, the company's co-founder and chief culture officer Miguel McKelvey pointed to research showing that avoiding meat has an environmental impact that could outweigh the use of a hybrid car, suggesting WeWork could save an estimated 16.7 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 15 million animals by 2023 by eliminating meat at company events. [Bravo - but unfortunately it doesn't yet apply to fish.]
|Washington Post - July 16
| Lifestyles and Trends
|5 tips to help vegetarian or vegan travelers eat well, anywhere
Full story: New York Times
Traveling while vegetarian or vegan can be a challenge, but with a few tips and a little tech, you can roam freely, eat well and not have to worry about going hungry.
|New York Times - August 2
|What is vegan cheese made from?
Full story: ChooseVeg Blog
Over the past few years, the number of vegan products on store shelves has skyrocketed, including the number of delicious plant-based cheeses at major grocers. Vegan cheese comes in many varieties, like shreds, slices, and fancy rounds-and it is made from an assortment of plant-based ingredients. Here is a quick rundown of the most popular vegan cheese ingredients...
|Vegan food makers look to escape 'vegan' label
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald
It has become the health trend of 2018, with an array of athletes and celebrities ditching dairy and other animal products for a vegan lifestyle. But food producers want to replace the word "vegan" with "plant-based" after experts have said the moral finger-wagging associated with veganism is putting people off.
|Sydney Morning Herald - August 25
| Signs of the Times
|Startup producing cell-grown meat raises significant new funding
Full story: WSJ
German drugmaker Merck KGaA and a top European meat processor are backing a startup producing beef from cattle cells, ramping up a race to transform the global meat industry with cell-culture technology. The $8.8 million investment in Netherlands-based Mosa Meat by Merck's venture investing unit and Basel, Switzerland-based Bell Food Group fuels a continuing effort to fulfill growing global demand for meat via a process that developers say requires a fraction of the resources used in traditional livestock and poultry production.
|100 per cent animal but not 'meat'?
Full story: Los Angeles Times
It is understandable that conventional meat producers are worried about competition from burgers and chicken nuggets that aren't served with a side of guilt. (Not to mention fish sticks - there are cultured fish products in development too.) Studies have found that while many people are uncomfortable with the confinement and slaughter of animals for food, most of them still eat meat. The companies developing 'clean meat' are betting consumers will be glad to have a meaty option that doesn't involve the systematic killing of animals.
|Los Angeles Times - July 21
|Why lab meat is the future
Full story: Express, UK
When Winston Churchill was going through his wilderness years - the period between 1929 and 1939 when he was out of favour and out of power - he was asked to write an article about the world "Fifty Years Hence". The resulting piece did not disappoint in the boldness of its predictions. But one in particular stood out. "We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium," he wrote. Churchill was over-optimistic about the time-scale but he was spoton when it came to the concept. The first lab-grown meat product, a hamburger, was produced by University of Maastricht Professor Mark Post in 2013. And since then progress has been swift... Naturally, the pastoral farming lobby is observing all these developments with something approaching horror. If Churchill's prediction proves correct, however, all their manoeuvring may prove to be as futile as rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.
| Animal Issues and Advocacy
|Are anti-meat subway ads effective? Yes
Full story: Toronto Star
You've likely spent much of your lifetime being inundated with ads, particularly for food. The meat and restaurant industries have long been two of the biggest players in the ad game. They've never had a problem telling you what to eat. Yet when those who oppose the use of animals for food join in on the free-speech advertising fun, they are often met with criticism that typically sounds like this: "I think it's forcing other people's opinions on others." ... As we all learn more about the detrimental environmental effects of the meat, dairy and egg industries, along with the systematic animal cruelty inherent in factory farming, and the human health risks associated with consuming animal products, plant-based eating will only continue to grow in popularity. And ads like PeTA's will only continue to add to that growth. But animal rights ads and campaigns do not only exist to guide consumers to new ways of thinking, feeling and acting; ads also serve to showcase the sheer power and presence of the movement.
|Calving time: The milk of human unkindness?
Full story: PressReader, NZ
Dairy cows' calves are usually taken from their mothers the day they are born and housed in feeding pens. The animal advocacy organisation SAFE rejects animal welfare [as purported by the industry] as a reason to separate cows and calves. Head of campaigns Marianne Macdonald says the dairy industry is inherently cruel. About 30 per cent of the calves born this year will be raised as replacement dairy cattle and 30 per cent for beef. The remainder - all males - will be "bobby" calves, surplus to requirements, and destined for an early death. From four days old, bobbies are transported and slaughtered for meat (veal) and other animal products, including rennet for dairy products, skins for leather, and blood for pharmaceuticals or for use in laboratories... The dairy industry needs cows that have given birth to get back in-calf in time for the next calving season, or they will not continue to produce milk.
|PressReader, NZ - August 24
|What's yoga without goats?
It's a typical Sunday at Laughing Frog Yoga Studio in Santa Monica, California, and yoga enthusiasts are lined up, mats in hand, ready to go. But this particular class can't start until two of its most adorable participants show up: Floyd and Roscoe. "They're really funny creatures. They're affectionate, they're social, but the thing that is really neat about goats is that they seem to bring out the best in people," said Floyd and Roscoe's "mom," Michelle Tritten... "I was going through a divorce, got diagnosed with a disease. And so I would come home every day and spend time with the goats. And it's impossible to be sad and depressed when you have goats around you." There's no denying that more and more people are seeing goats less and less as just livestock.
Read more/Watch video...
More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
If someone asks what's wrong with eggs
PeTA investigation of large egg farm (September 3) - warning graphic images
Interview: Food writer becomes a butcher to better understand the value of meat
NPR (July 24)
The orca, her dead calf and us
New York Times (August 4)
Esther The Wonder Pig saving other animals with crowd-funded CT scanner
CBC (July 13)
Canadian egg farm decommissioned after disturbing video prompts investigation
CTV (July 12)
Also of interest:
Books and Films
The Last Pig - Beautifully documented journey of a former pig farmer turned veganic veggie farmer
The Minimalist Vegan: A Simple Manifesto On Why To Live With Less Stuff And More Compassion - By Michael & Masa Ofei
But I Could Never Go Vegan! - By Kristy Turner - Keepin' it kind
Comprehensive list of global VegFests
Straight Up Foods - some yummy recipes
Plant-based on a budget - meal plans for one, two, four
Dairy Detox - help to kick the cheese habit
Pledge to eat less meat - important and meaningful initiative from Avaaz - a place to sign even if you are already veg
Soi Dog - remarkable rescue organization, working to end the dog meat trade
RescueDiaries on YouTube
VegE-News Recipes and Tips
Explore Lana's tips for being vegan - tip of the month - Getting started in a more environmentally friendly, vegetarian way of eating can be as simple as just eating the same meal, but leaving out the meat and eating more of everything else. Chances are that will include more potatoes, rice, pasta, whole grain bread, fruits and vegetables. And chances are over the course of the day, you'll get all the nutrients you need.
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