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12_16_02: A Holiday Message from The Mad Cowboy and More

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  • Mark Sutton
    Howdy! Welcome to the 14th Issue of the Mad Cowboy Newletter. In this issue, a special message from Howard, info about Dr. Campbell and his connection to
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 16, 2002
      Howdy! Welcome to the 14th Issue of the Mad Cowboy Newletter.

      In this issue, a special message from Howard, info about Dr. Campbell and
      his connection to dioxin & Howard, a excerpt of a brand-new transcript of
      Howard speaking about dioxin, and how the outgoing governor of Michigan
      wants to allow increased dioxin levels. Dioxins are considered by many to
      be the most poisonous substances known.

      You'll also find articles about the first tally of "Global Wilderness," how
      scientists have been possibly mistaken about how plants would react to
      global warming, a comprehensive report about food-borne diseases in
      chickens from Consumer Reports, some statistical websites of note, and some
      of the stupid things vegetarians hear altogether too often.

      Finally, if you're so inclined, PLEASE send your comments via e-mail or fax
      asap to the USDA about allowing the use of irradiated meat in School
      Lunches across the nation. The deadline is 12/20, and there isn't much
      time left. Last year, during a similiar "public comment period," over a
      hundred thousand and some people contacted the USDA concerning organic
      standards. It got the USDA's attention.

      Now, here's another opportunity to tell them your opinion. The contact
      info is below in Section 08.

      Happy Holidaze to all!

      Best for the New Year, Mark Editor, Mad Cowboy Newsletter


      00: A Holiday Message from the Mad Cowboy
      01: Howard at Cornell University
      02: New Howard Transcript Excerpt - "Dioxin"
      03: Who is Dr. T. Colin Campbell?
      04: Info: Dioxin
      05: Articles: Dioxin in the News
      06: Article: Global Wilderness Totaled
      07: Humor: Mad Cows Cartoon
      08: Activism: Public Comment - Irradiated School Lunches
      09: Article: Plants & Global Warming Surprise
      10: Article: Consumer Reports: "Of Birds & Bacteria"
      11: Quote (Howard again!)
      12: Statistics: U.S. Organic Acreage
      13: Statistics: Deaths in the U.S. 1999
      14: Humor: Stupid Things Vegetarians Hear
      15: Humanity's Consumption Exceeds Earth's Capacity
      16: Howard's Schedule
      17: Donating to Making the Documentary
      18: Answers to Last Week's Questions
      19: Next Year!
      20: Closing Thought(s)

      *00: A Holiday Message from The Mad Cowboy

      "This time of the year we tend to talk about peace and good will to all.
      Are we walking our talk? I try every day to do better than I did
      yesterday. I'm not always successful, but I keep trying. My path has been
      as rocky as anyone could imagine. Today I'm blessed with a great partner,
      fantastic friends, and many loving animal companions.

      When I started this journey in 1979 I thought our main concern was chemical
      contamination of our environment. The more I learned from my study the
      more I focused on my health. Today I'm pleased to know that no animal must
      die for me to live.

      2002 as a year was filled with opportunities to educate those who need to
      know. I spent twenty days on the road with a film crew recording over one
      hundred hours of film on the state of our addiction to animal products.
      This film is for a feature length documentary on my life, to be released
      in 2003. I was also afforded the chance to record twenty-four television
      programs on the environment. These segments will be shown next year on
      satellite in areas where one sixth of the world's population resides.
      Rounding out my schedule were dozens of lectures to thousands of folks.

      All of my years in the activist movement have been made better by the folks
      I have worked with. I could write a book about the shoulders I have had
      the opportunity to stand on and from those who supported our efforts. At
      this time of the year I want to stop and say thanks to all my friends.
      Every victory we have had came from a team effort. You are my heros, each
      and everyone of you.

      There is no doubt in my mind we are changing human perception on our diet,
      environment, and the way we treat animals. My concern is can we do it
      before it's to late for our children and grandchildren. My commitment
      remains unshaken, I will do all I can, as long as I have the ability, to
      change the future for the better.

      Please join me in saving the future, ONE BITE AT A TIME."

      - Howard, 12/13/02

      *01: Howard at Cornell University
      Pix of Howard speaking at Cornell University, with the Campbell Family, and
      at the "Web of Life":

      Information about "The Web of Life Natural Foods Market":

      *02: New Howard Transcript Excerpt - "Dioxin"
      (The following is a transcript excerpted from one of the 24 fifteen minute
      video segments Howard taped at 3ABN studios back in late September, and
      mentioned in the above "Holiday Message." They will start being broadcast
      after post-production in January 2003, one a week. This is from "Dioxin")


      "...I will never forget a man by the name of Dr. T. Colin Campbell was
      sitting in my office in Washington DC, and he was holding his cheek when he
      was talking to me. Well, I asked him, I said, "Dr. Campbell, why do you
      hold your cheek?"

      And he said, "well, I was the individual who did some of the first work on
      dioxin before we even knew it was there." He said, "it ended up killing
      the muscles in my face. It's easier for me to talk if I hold my cheek.

      And then he asked me the question. He said: "Did you use chemicals on
      your farm?"

      And I said, "Well, of course! 2-4-d, 2-4-5-t, ah, endrun, allrun, you name
      it, we used it."

      And he said, "Well Agent Orange was... 2-4-5-t."

      I said, "We used thousands of gallons."

      And he said, "was there anybody in your family that died of cancer?"

      And I said "Yes... I had a brother, 32 years old, that died of Hodgkin's

      Dr. Campbell, one of the most preeminent researchers on alive on the planet
      today, was the first person that told me that, Agent Orange, 2-4-5-t, would
      actually cause cancer in humans.

      And so for me, it became a very personal thing. I started looking into it.
      And I started asking myself the question, "should we not, should we not
      spend some time and take a look at what we're doing to get rid of our
      waste? How many of us think that just because we are burning our waste in
      municipal dumps.... do we ever stop and think that dioxin is coming from
      burning those organochlorines that it attaches to the dust and travels
      thousands of miles, that it comes down on the food that we are eating.
      Then the animals that we are eating, the food that they are eating, they
      are taking this dioxin in, storing it their fat, and when we eat it, we end
      up taking it and storing it in our fat.

      ....according to Dr. Barry Commoner: "dioxin and dioxin-like substances
      represent the most perilous chemical threat to the life, health, and
      biological integrity of human beings in the environment." (end excerpt)

      (For more information on the broadcasts, see:

      (See: MC Newsletter #5 for topics, MC N #6 for sample teleprompter notes:

      *03: Who is Dr. T. Colin Campbell?



      "Cornell/China study shows animal products aren't needed to improve growth
      - China's growth and health are improving on plant-based diet; more
      animal-based foods are leading to more chronic diseases, study finds"




      ARTICLE: "Genetic Seeds of Disease: How to Beat the Odds"

      *04: Info: Dioxin
      dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans. These chemicals have
      never been intentionally produced on an industrial scale, but are generated
      as wastes and byproducts from combustion sources and certain chemical and
      industrial processes. Dioxins became widespread in the environment
      following World War II as a consequence of rising production and use of
      large quantities of chlorine-containing chemicals, which are associated
      with dioxin generation. Dioxins are the most highly poisonous synthetic
      substances known. Dioxins are widespread in human milk and can cross the
      placenta; they are linked to cancer, endometriosis and other diseases; and
      they can disrupt immune systems, reproductive systems and diminish
      intellectual capacity."

      (Excerpted from:

      (Check out the FactSheet "Dioxin: From Cradle to Grave":

      (Dioxin Homepage with links and a chart detailing where most people
      (non-vegetarians) get their dioxin:

      (UN Environmental Program on "Persistant Organic Pollutants":

      *05: Articles: Dioxin in the News

      Engler's Critics Accuse Him of Giving Dow Chemical 'Sweetheart Deal'

      By Eric Pianin. Wash. Post, Pg. A02 (excerpted)

      "In one of his final acts as Michigan governor, John Engler (R) is trying
      to ease state standards for toxic dioxin pollution, a move that could
      relieve Dow Chemical Co. of substantial liability for future cleanup
      operations at the company's headquarters and along a large watershed
      leading into Lake Huron. Granholm, the outgoing state attorney general,
      said during a campaign stop in a contaminated area downstream from the Dow
      facility: "There is a definite lack of governmental accountability here."

      "Dioxin... is a byproduct from the manufacture of Agent Orange, mustard
      gas, chlorinated pesticides and chlorophenol at Dow headquarters over the
      past half-century. Experts say the elevated levels of dioxin found in
      Midland soil likely came from the burning of chlorinated compounds, while
      the dioxin in the Tittabawassee flood plain likely came from waste ponds at
      the Dow complex that overflowed in a 1986 flood. The proposed rule change
      would increase by more than ninefold the amount of dioxin allowed in
      Midland's soil -- from the current 90 parts per trillion to 831 parts per


      A SUPERB COLLECTION of legal & government documents, notes, background
      information on Dow, Dioxin, and that Dow's global headqtrs. is in Midland,

      $1.2 MILLION GIFT FROM DOW to establish public health professorship at the
      University of Michigan focusing on health effects, risks, and benefits of
      chemicals in the environment (one of many amazing donations and facts about
      Dow from:


      DOW's WEBSITE:
      "Living. Improved daily."

      "At Dow, protecting people and the environment is part of everything we do
      and every decision we make."

      "Building Trust Through Sustainable Development"

      *06: Article: Global Wilderness Totaled

      "Many Areas, Including North America's Deserts, Under Severe Threat

      Washington, DC - According to the most comprehensive global analysis ever
      conducted, wilderness areas still cover close to half the Earth's land, but
      contain only a tiny percentage of the world's population. More than 200
      international scientists contributed to the analysis, which will be
      published in the book, Wilderness: Earth's Last Wild Places, (University of
      Chicago Press, 2003).

      The 37 wilderness areas identified in the book represent 46 percent of the
      Earth's land surface, but are occupied by just 2.4 percent of the world's
      population, excluding urban centers. Nine of the wilderness areas fall, at
      least in part, within the United States. Although the wilderness areas are
      still largely intact, they are increasingly threatened by population
      growth, encroaching agriculture and resource extraction activities. Barely
      7 percent of the areas currently enjoy some form of protection."

      (from - and note the PDFs available:

      *07: Article: Plants & Global Warming Surprise

      "The prevailing view among scientists is that global climate change may
      prove beneficial to many farmers and foresters - at least in the short
      term. The logic is straightforward: Plants need atmospheric carbon dioxide
      to produce food, and by emitting more CO2 into the air, our cars and
      factories create new sources of plant nutrition that will cause some crops
      and trees to grow bigger and faster.

      But an unprecedented three-year experiment conducted at Stanford University
      is raising questions about that long-held assumption. Writing in the
      journal Science, researchers concluded that elevated atmospheric CO2
      actually reduces plant growth when combined with other likely consequences
      of climate change - namely, higher temperatures, increased precipitation or
      increased nitrogen deposits in the soil.

      The results of the study may prompt researchers and policymakers to
      re-think one of the standard arguments against taking action to prevent
      global warming: that natural ecosystems will minimize the problem of fossil
      fuel emissions by transferring large amounts of carbon in the atmosphere to
      plants and soils."

      (Full press release at:

      *08: Humor: Mad Cows Cartoon

      *09: Activism: Public Comment - Irradiated School Lunches
      "THE USDA COMMENT PERIOD ON IRRADIATED FOOD in the National School Lunch
      Program is almost over! We need to drastically increase the number of
      comments to the USDA by December 20 to effectively prevent irradiated food
      from being fed to our children."

      How you can comment:

      ** Fax the USDA for free from our website:

      ** Write, or e-mail the USDA with your comments (often personal
      comments have more impact)

      E-mail: foodsafetytechnology@...

      ** Please help us solicit comments by forwarding this alert!

      (Note: there links and info about irradiating food in MC Newsletter #11:

      *10: Article: Consumer Reports: "Of Birds & Bacteria"
      (This is a superb study with a comprehensive summary of what they did,
      background information & definitions on the problems, and more.)

      (Excerpts from:


      "In the fall of 1997, almost three-fourths of the broilers that Consumer
      Reports bought in stores nationwide harbored salmonella or
      campylobacter--the bacteria most likely to give Americans food poisoning.
      Our new tests revealed contamination in about half of the chickens we
      analyzed, but there's a dark cloud within that silver lining. Many of the
      contaminated chickens harbored strains of salmonella and campylobacter that
      are resistant to antibiotics commonly used against those bugs, which can
      cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

      As a result, the estimated 1.1 million or more Americans sickened each year
      by undercooked, tainted chicken, or by food that raw chicken juices have
      touched, may stay sick longer, possibly with more serious illnesses.
      Doctors may have to prescribe several antibiotics before finding one that
      works. And patients may have to pay more to be treated.

      "Campylobacter was present in 42 percent of the chickens, salmonella in 12
      percent. Five percent of all chickens had both campylobacter and
      salmonella; 51 percent had neither. Ninety percent of the campylobacter
      bacteria tested from our chicken and 34 percent of the salmonella showed
      resistance to one or more antibiotics."

      "Contamination. You need swallow just 15 to 20 salmonella bacteria, or
      about 500 campylobacter, to become ill. Both bugs can cause intestinal
      distress. Campylobacter can also cause serious complications, including
      meningitis, arthritis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a severe neurological

      *11: Quote (Howard again!)
      HOWARD: "Another issue I went to work on was the National Organic
      Production Act of 1990. the purpose of this piece of legislation was to
      create a uniform, enforceable system of standards by which food could be
      labeled "organic," so that when a consumer saw that label he or she could
      know what it meant and trust that it was representing itself honestly. The
      multimational Con Agra wanted to label beef "organic" if the entity that
      owned factory-raised cattle for only, say, the last six weeks of its life,
      didn't further adulterate it with hormones and other cmical products. That
      wasn't my idea of organic and I don't think it was the consumer's idea.
      Organic foods were then and remain now the fastest-growing segment of the
      food market, and the bill was designed to regulate this exploding industry
      and prevent unjustifiable claims from undermining it." (Mad Cowboy, p. 77)

      "We caught our opponents asleep at the switch, and the result was the
      passage of the Organic Production Act of 1990. The White House, which had
      opposed the measure, went nuts with frustration, since the bill was tied to
      an appropriations bill that President Bush [Senior] wanted and needed to
      sign. And so he reluctantly signed the Organic Production Act into law on
      November 28, 1990." (Mad Cowboy, p. 79)

      *12: Statistics: U.S. Organic Acreage
      "Overall, certified organic cropland and pasture accounted for about 0.3
      percent of U.S. total farmland in 2001. Only a small percentage of the top
      U.S. field crops-corn (0.1 percent), soybeans (0.2 percent), and wheat (0.3
      percent)-were grown under certified organic farming systems. On the other
      hand, organic apples (3 percent of U.S. apple acreage), organic lettuce (5
      percent) and other fruit and vegetable crops were more commonly organic
      grown in 2001. Markets for organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs have been
      developing for decades in the United States, and fresh produce is still the
      top-selling organic category in retail sales."

      (From: US Dept. of Agriculture's Economic Research Service

      (At the above address you can get some really neat statistics on amount,
      acreage, location, and so on, of organic foods being produced in the United
      States. The ERS has many other useful statistics on food (like, which area
      of the country consumes the most of various foods, and other information on
      diet, consumption, projections for the food supply).

      A Report on "U.S. Eating Habits: Health and Consequences":
      (at: http://www.ERS.USDA.gov/publications/aib750/

      "This article looks at consumption patterns for six types of potato
      products and several demographic groups. Food intake surveys indicate that
      African Americans eat more potato chips and french fries per capita than
      other Americans. Seniors favor fresh and canned potatoes, while teenagers
      eat more chips and french fries than other age groups. "

      (From: http://www.ERS.USDA.gov/Briefing/)

      *13: Statistics: Deaths in the U.S. 1999
      "Welcome to the National Center for Health Statistics' Web site, a rich
      source of information about America's health. As the Nation's principal
      health statistics agency, we compile statistical information to guide
      actions and policies to improve the health of our people. We are a unique
      public resource for health information--a critical element of public health
      and health policy.

      (above excerpted from:


      Male (351,617 = 29.9%) Female (373,575 = 30.7%)


      Male (285,832 = 24.3%) Female (264,006 = 21.7%)

      National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 49, No. 11, October 12, 2001:

      *14: Humor: Stupid Things Vegetarians Hear
      * I could never be vegetarian. I'd get sick of eating pasta all the time!
      * I could never be vegetarian. I'd get sick of eating salad all the time!
      * Aren't you worried that you don't get enough protein?
      * Aren't you worried that you don't get enough iron?
      * Well, here, all vegetarians eat chicken and fish, too.


      *15: Humanity's Consumption Exceeds Earth's Capacity
      Consumption Exceeds the Earth's Biological Capacity by 20 Percent"

      From Redefining Progress, Monday, November 25, 2002

      OAKLAND, CALIF. - Redefining Progress' Sustainability Program today
      released its latest Ecological Footprint of Nations report that outlines
      the ecological impact of 146 of the world's nations. The issue brief shows
      to what extent a nation can support its resource consumption with its
      available ecological capacity. It also illustrates the degree to which a
      nation could reproduce its consumption at a global level. The issue brief
      also outlines the significant improvements and refinements made to the
      Ecological Footprint accounts since last year's report.

      The report is available for download in pdf format at:

      *16: Howard's Schedule

      *17: Donating to Making the Documentary
      *Both Mooshoes and VeganCats will donate 5% of sales accessed through the
      MadCowboy Home Page to the filming of the Mad Cowboy Feature Documentary.
      Check 'em out! Mooshoes sells much more than shoes, and VeganCats sells
      cruelty-free products for cats AND dogs!

      *18: Answers to Last Week's Questions
      1) Which kills more women in the United States: heart disease or breast

      (See "Statistics: U.S. Morbidity" above)

      2) How are Howard, the National Organic Production Act of 1990, ConAgra,
      and George W. Bush connected?

      (see "Quote" above!)

      3) How much certified organic acreage in the United States is dedicated to
      growing lettuce, carrots, millet, and flaxseed?

      In 2001 (acres):

      Lettuce: 16,073
      Carrots: 4,757
      Millet: 23,366
      Flaxseed: 25,076 (18,000+ in North Dakota!)

      (Data from:

      *19: Next Year
      Tons of more photographs from the filming of the Mad Cowboy Feature
      Documentary, more transcript excerpts from the 3ABN broadcasts, more
      factoids, more news, and a New Year.

      *20: Closing Thought(s)

      "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities
      of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction." --
      Rachel Carson, 1954

      "Please join me in saving the future, ONE BITE AT A TIME." -- Howard, 12/13/02

      Mark Sutton, Webmaster@... http://www.madcowboy.com
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