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02_05_04: Mad Cow Round-up, Sugar Barons,

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  • Mark Sutton
    Howdy! Welcome to the 32nd Edition of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter! What with all that s been going on regarding the discovery of Mad Cow Disease in the United
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2004
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      Howdy! Welcome to the 32nd Edition of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter!

      What with all that's been going on regarding the discovery of Mad Cow
      Disease in the United States,
      this issue of the Newsletter is still a bit top heavy, but it's not nearly
      as big as the last one!

      Herein among many things, you'll find out that the U.S. "downer cow" wasn't
      a "downer," see speculations about BSE transmission through blood and milk,
      the findings of a recent Japanese delegation regarding the safety of
      Canadian and American beef, and a new report from an international
      delegation of experts suggesting that further cases of Mad Cow Disease in
      the United States are inevitable. There's also articles on "what you need
      to know about Avia Flu," how the Sugar Barons are attempting to thwart the
      World Health Organizations efforts to combat obesity, and another reason to
      eat more onions.

      Reading onward, don't miss the Parrot with the 950 word vocabulary, how
      falcons are helping the wine industry in California, adopting a Cyberpet,
      some new contests/results for young adults to encourage animal
      guardianship, answers to that pesky "Protein" myth, information about the
      world's largest and oldest annual grassroots diet education campaign, pix
      of Howard being interviewed, and some advice from the 94 yr. old vegan who
      coined the term "vegan."

      ...and as always, a special nod of the hat to our new subscribers. You can
      read past issues of the Newsletter at:


      Finally, our usual "Quick Bytes" resources/info section will return next
      issue, there's now links to over 10,000 veg'n recipes on the Mad Cowboy
      website, and if you check out the Home Page, you'll see pix of the "Mad
      Cowboy" exhibit:


      Stay warm and informed....... Best regards to all, Mark


      00: Quotes of Note
      01: Tokyo Broadcasting, Howard, and Caesar's Lunch
      02: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      03: New "Mad Cow in the USA" Articles Round-up
      04: Avian Flu Facts, Modern Plagues, Sugar Barons, Obesity Costs
      05: Fool Proof, Trashing the Sun, "Super Size Me!"
      06: Eat Onions, Protein?, Iron/Red Meat/Diabetes, A Veg Diet
      07: Verbose Parrot, Falcon Scarecrows, Adopt Cyberpets, Contests
      08: The 2004 National Meatout Campaign
      09: Howard's Schedule
      10: Donations to the Mad Cowboy Documentary
      11: Closing Thought(s)

      *00: Quotes of Note

      Lyman said that he had once been three hundred pounds, in very poor health,
      and that vegetarians live on average ten years longer than people on
      average American diets.

      Bridget Chufo, from the "Healthy Performance Weight Loss and Wellness
      Center" was also on, admitting that vegetarians live 9-10 years longer but
      saying that its because we have healthier life styles - we don't smoke, we
      don't drink. (This news would come as a surprise to the our local wine
      merchant who knows me and some vegan friends rather well.) She said that it
      was hard for children to get protein from a vegan diet - as if lack of
      protein, rather than heart disease, was a common problem in this country.

      Lyman replied, "You can feed kids and you can feed them healthy with foods
      that are out there, that are not full of saturated fat and cholesterol.
      And, you know, you can get all of the protein you need on the vegetable
      side of the diet. There is absolutely no reason to go out and eat meat and
      dairy products. That protein myth is an absolute red herring."

      Asked if he would raise a child vegan, Lyman said, "Absolutely. And I would
      talk to them so that they knew why they were eating it. You know, it's not
      only about living longer, it's about living healthier."

      Then, once again sharing his personal taste for meat and milk, O'Reilly
      said, "Yes, but it's also about quality of life. So if I was your kid, I'd
      run away from home. I would go over to Mrs. Chofu's house."

      To which Lyman, God bless him, smiled and shot back: "Well, If you were my
      kid, Bill, I'd let you run away."

      O'Reilly smiled and said, "Very good, Mr. Lyman." Then "You see, that vegan
      stuff makes your mind sharp."

      O'Reilly asked Lyman if he is an animal rights person, saying, "Now Mr.
      Lyman, you realize that the whole vegan/vegetarian movement is tied in with
      the animal rights movement, and that, you know, that alienates a lot of
      people. They say these are fanatics and they put the animals above humans
      and all that. Is that in your resume here? Are you an animal rights person?"

      Lyman said, "I came from a ranch where I had 7,000 head of cattle. And I
      will tell you today that knowing what I know today, the happiest thing I'm
      able to say is no animal has to die for me to live."

      [Howard on The O'Reilly Factor, February 2002, as quoted at:

      *01: Tokyo Broadcasting, Howard, and Caesar's Lunch
      [On December 19, 2003, Howard was interviewed by the Tokyo Broadcasting
      Systems regarding "Mad Cow" in the USA. Here are some pictures and a
      couple of digital videos of that event:

      [Don't miss Vegan Caesar: ruler of the Lyman household.]

      *02: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      "People in the UK eat some 200,000 tons of this product every year, via
      processed foods. What is it?"

      Congratulations to Erica Stillwell, of Ballwin, MO, who correctly answered
      "salt" and won the luck of the draw from those who guessed the same.

      "Salt: Experts recommend that daily intake be cut to five grams, but in the
      UK we eat 12 grams a day, despite salt's links with high blood pressure,
      asthma, stomach cancer and liver cirrhosis. Most of the 200,000 tons eaten
      annually is hidden in processed foods."

      "What is the single biggest source of refined sugar in the American Diet?"

      Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@... with the word "contest"
      in your subject line by NLT February 18th.

      [Many thanks to Joe Connelly, Editor, VegNews, who has offered a FREE
      one-year subscription to a winner chosen at random those submitting the
      correct answer to each MC Newsletter's Contest. Our thanks to Joe, and you
      can learn more about VegNews at:

      http://www.vegnews.com or e-mail: editor@... or call 1.415.665.6397]

      *03: New "Mad Cow in the USA" Articles Round-up
      THE MAD COWS COME HOME: (01/17/04): "The world's response to arrival of
      Mad Cow in the U.S. was basically a replay of what happened earlier to
      Canada when BSE was reported there in May. A total of 43 countries have now
      imposed bans on U.S. beef imports, including Japan which purchased $854
      million worth in 2002. Of the top four beef buyers (Japan, Mexico, South
      Korea and Canada account for 92% of U.S. exports) only Canada does not have
      a full ban (Canada will accept boneless beef from U.S. cattle under 30
      months year old). The final economic impact on the $40 billion U.S. beef
      industry won't be known for awhile. Wisconsin alone exported live animals
      and meat worth $194 million last year, much of it to Japan and South Korea.
      Meanwhile, those U.S. farmers who had already switched to low-input,
      organic, grass-fed systems reported unprecedented demand for their BSE-free
      meat. Similar booms in natural grass-fed beef prices are being reported in
      Brazil and Australia.

      The fact that Mad Cow found its way to the U.S. was almost an inevitable
      consequence of corporate globalization and industrial agribusiness."

      [Very very edited from the SUPERB summary of what happened, what's going
      on, and what should be done:

      Department of Agriculture has quietly [retroactively] declared an
      "extraordinary emergency" because of the discovery of a Holstein infected
      with mad cow disease in Washington state - a move that will give federal
      officials additional authority to quarantine herds and destroy cattle. The
      declaration was published Monday [01/06/04] in the Federal Register, a
      daily publication of all rules, regulations and notices issued by the
      federal government. Other than the Federal Register notice, the department
      made no public announcement an emergency had been declared.

      "It's not a big deal," Jim Rogers, a spokesman for the department, said
      Thursday. But others said it appeared the emergency declaration was handled
      quietly so as not to alarm the public or raise further concerns with the
      dozens of nations that have banned U.S. beef imports since the first-ever
      case of mad cow disease in the United States was confirmed two days before

      [Very edited from:

      [Actual "Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency:"

      "No Mad Cow Tests In Wash.: Federal agriculture officials did not test any
      commercial cattle for mad cow disease through the first seven months of
      2003 in Washington state -- where the first U.S. case of the disease was
      detected last month -- according to records obtained by United Press
      International. In addition, no mad cow tests were conducted during the
      two-year period at any of the six federally registered slaughterhouses in
      Washington state. The testing records, obtained by UPI under the Freedom of
      Information Act, which the USDA delayed releasing for six months, also show
      a number of other gaps in the agency's national surveillance strategy for
      mad cow disease....

      The records show after May and through July, however, no commercial cows in
      Washington state were tested. "It's right near Alberta ... and everybody
      knows a lot of cattle cross over the border from Canada into the United
      States," Nestor [Government Accountability Project] told UPI. Approximately
      1.7 million Canadian cattle entered the United States in 2002. The USDA
      withheld the results for the tests conducted in 2003 in the documents it
      provided to UPI, but it said all were negative for mad cow.

      [Very edited from the disturbing article at:

      HOW SAFE IS BEEF? U.S. KEPT IN DARK: (01/18/04): "Since the discovery of a
      mad-cow infected Holstein in Washington state, our public officials have
      been busy telling consumers that there is nothing to worry about. President
      Bush and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman even made a point of serving
      beef at their holiday tables. But given how little we know about the scope
      of the contamination and the nature of the disease, such gestures are
      little more than acts of faith, not demonstrations of safety. The evidence
      that could demonstrate the safety -- or absence thereof -- of U.S. beef is
      in large part not being revealed by U.S. officials, and in some cases isn't
      even being collected. For starters, the Department of Agriculture -- a
      conflicted agency charged with simultaneously promoting the consumption of,
      and protecting consumers from, U.S. beef -- has yet to give us a
      transparent definition of what "safe" means when it comes to transmission
      of this brain-wasting disease, also known as bovine spongiform
      encephalopathy (BSE), to humans.

      Does "safe" mean there's no risk of contracting the disease, or merely a
      relatively small risk? What information is being used to determine the
      difference? Answers to these questions would first require an estimate of
      the number of cattle infected. This is not a number the USDA has released.
      ..... consumers -- and researchers -- would benefit from better information
      about exactly how BSE is transmitted from cow to human.

      U.S. officials have consistently discounted and downplayed these indirect
      [non-beef consumption] avenues. In the Washington Post article on Dec. 23
      that first reported the U.S. BSE-infection, Veneman was quoted as saying
      that BSE is "not known to be transmitted" through the consumption of these
      non-beef products. The secretary's statement is extremely misleading and
      gives consumers the mistaken impression that there is no risk associated
      with eating these foods. BSE is neither known nor not known to be
      transmitted through non-beef products. The truth is we have no idea.

      Secretary Veneman and the beef industry have been quick to act on a handful
      of long-overdue, common-sense reforms. However, it's an outrage that
      there's no such urgency when it comes to collecting and releasing vital
      information that will allow the American public to make informed choices
      about the foods we eat. The American people deserve hard evidence and
      policy changes made in their best interests."

      [Very very edited from the excellent essay at:

      "Continued high consumer confidence in the USA can't cushion the economic
      blow caused by bans that more than 40 countries have imposed on U.S. beef.
      While exports make up just 10% of U.S. beef sales, that translates into
      well over $3.6 billion a year for the world's biggest beef producer.
      Already, beef prices have plummeted by 19% since last month.

      In a campaign to lift the bans, the U.S. government says it has taken
      adequate steps to ensure that the one mad cow case remains an isolated
      incident. However its arguments are undercut by its own history of banning
      other countries' beef at the first appearance of the disease, then
      retaining the bans even in the face of far tougher steps than the U.S. has
      taken so far. Japan's beef, for example, is still banned in spite of the
      world's most rigorous testing.

      Such actions open the U.S. to charges of hypocrisy and invite a similarly
      arbitrary response from trading partners now that the U.S. is suffering its
      own mad cow problem. Yet instead of embracing stringent standards adopted
      by other countries as a model for world trade, the U.S. is pushing its own
      looser standards as the basis for new global guidelines. "

      [Edited from:

      letter published in the British Medical Journal, a senior member of the
      UK's Medical Research Council calls for urgent action to prevent the spread
      of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) -- the human form of mad cow
      disease -- through blood transfusions. Last month, UK health secretary
      John Reid announced the first case of vCJD that is believed to have to have
      occurred through blood donation. In light of this event, Dr. Sheila M.
      Bird, a statistician with the MRC, emphasizes that "we now need to take
      steps" to spell out the rights and responsibilities of people who have
      received blood and blood products that were possibly contaminated with
      vCJD, as well as those of the rest of the population.

      In her letter, Dr. Bird outlines several steps that can be taken to prevent
      further human-to-human spread of vCJD.... Until more is known about
      bloodborne transmission, she concludes, "we must hope for the best and
      protect against the worst."

      [Edited from:

      [Their source: BMJ 2004;328:118-119 (17 January)

      MAD COW IN MILK?: "The one dairy cow infected with Mad Cow Disease from a
      Washington herd, whose milk was pooled with 3,000 others from that same
      herd, had the potential to infect every American thousands of times over.
      Her "pooled" milk was distributed on the West Coast. Her infected milk was
      made into cheese and butter and ice cream, and shipped from the West Coast
      to the East Coast, and to all points"

      [From the Robert Cohen essay building on the above BMJ Editorial:

      BEEF ENJOYMENT AD CAMPAIGN REACHES TARGET: (01/28/04): "A [$5.5 million]
      television and print enjoyment campaign, funded by the $1-per-head beef
      checkoff and designed to fuel consumer passion for beef, is reaching the
      target audience. According to recent research conducted by Hall and
      Partners of Chicago, 63 percent of consumers who saw the ads not only liked
      them, but were more likely to buy more and spend more on beef after seeing
      them... 72 percent consider beef the best protein when they have seen the
      ads versus 48 percent for those who have not seen them.

      "We've always known that consumers are passionate about beef," according to
      Jennifer Houston, chair of the beef industry's Joint Advertising Committee.
      "These ads have an emotional appeal that has resonated with people far more
      than we ever imagined." The attention-grabbing ads feature such headlines
      as "No one ever left a cookout wishing there'd been more macaroni salad,"
      featuring a beef kabob, as well as "Why aliens steal our cows," accompanied
      by a photograph of T-bone steaks. Both print and television ads will
      return in March and May, and the enjoyment campaign will reach 91 percent
      of adult consumers ages 25-54 a total of 11 times at less than a penny per
      exposure. Four enjoyment print ads will run in 18 consumer magazines,
      including Good Housekeeping, Southern Living, Car and Driver, Family Circle
      and Parents."

      [Very edited:

      THOUGHT : (01/18/04): "New research suggests that the human form of mad
      cow disease is a lot more complicated than originally thought, and,
      potentially, much scarier. Scientists have long agreed that eating cattle
      tissue infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy - mad cow disease -
      can cause the human form of the disease, known as variant Creutzfeld-Jacob
      disease. But recent animal tests indicate that eating infected beef may
      also cause another form of the disease, classical CJD, forcing scientists
      to re-examine assumptions about the nature of the deadly disease and
      raising fears that it may be more widespread than previously thought.

      The accepted wisdom has been that classical CJD has nothing to do with mad
      cows. It affects older people, those over 55, and generally occurs
      spontaneously at the rate of about one person per million per year. It has
      been confused with Alzheimer's disease and there is some concern that
      because of misdiagnosis, it may be more widespread than the confirmed
      numbers indicate. The question is, could an epidemic of classical CJD be
      lying dormant in the brains of people who have eaten infected cattle
      products - specifically products containing brain or spinal cord matter?"

      [Edited from:

      JAPAN: U.S., CANADA BEEF PRONE TO DISEASE : (01/19/04): "A Japanese team
      that returned Monday from a mission to investigate the United States' first
      confirmed case of mad cow disease warned that American and Canadian cows
      were still vulnerable to an outbreak of the illness. Japan, the world's
      largest customer for U.S. beef, banned imports from the United States last
      month after the mad cow case was discovered. Canadian beef was banned seven
      months earlier when a case of the illness was detected there.

      Both Washington and Ottawa are pressing Japan to drop the bans, arguing
      that their beef products are safe, but the findings of the 11-day Japanese
      mission to the United States and Canada advised caution. "It cannot be
      guaranteed that there will not be a recurrence of BSE in the United
      States,'' the five-member team said in its report.

      The report cited the close links between the two North American countries'
      beef industries. The United States imposed restrictions on Canadian cattle
      and beef after the case was discovered there in May. While acknowledging
      the safety measures implemented by the United States and Canada, the team
      concluded that the threat of further infections remained, Agriculture
      Ministry representative Shukichi Kugita said. "U.S. safety measures
      compared to those of Japan are inadequate,'' he said, citing the continued
      use of feed containing protein or bone meal.

      ``The threat of cross-contamination remains because such feed can
      inadvertently get mixed up on farms,'' Kugita said. "

      [Edited from:

      MAD COW ON PORTUGESE ISLANDS: (02/04/04): "Health authorities on
      Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores islands have confirmed a case of mad cow
      disease in the offspring of an animal imported from Germany. The Lusa news
      agency today reported the disease was discovered during a routine test of
      cattle last month on Sao Miguel, the largest and most populated island in
      the nine-island archipelago, and confirmed on Friday, local officials told
      the agency. The sick cow, a 12-year-old Holstein-Frisian, was immediately
      destroyed and all animals that came into contact with it would be
      slaughtered, officials added."


      COW'S 'DOWNER' STATUS COMES INTO QUESTION : (01/23/04): "In the days after
      the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that mad cow disease had been
      discovered in a Holstein in Washington, officials insisted that the cow was
      a "downer" -- unable to walk. The government's most significant
      subsequent step to prevent spread of the disease -- a Dec. 30 ban on
      processing "downer" cows for food -- stemmed from that finding.

      Now, three people have come forward to assert that the cow was not a
      downer. While their stories vary on what happened Dec. 9 at Vern's Moses
      Lake Meats, their accounts agree on a key point: The cow was able to walk
      on its own. The distinction on whether the cow could stand is
      significant. The department's search for mad cow disease has focussed on
      downed cattle or those with obvious signs of neurological damage. The
      suggestion that the diseased Washington Holstein had neither problem raises
      the possibility that detection of that cow's disease may have been a stroke
      of luck.

      [Very edited from the long and interesting article at:

      EXPERTS PREDICT MORE U.S. CASES OF MAD COW: (02/0/040): "More American
      cattle probably are infected with mad-cow disease, and the federal
      government needs to expand its testing program and tighten feed rules to
      prevent the infection from spreading, a panel of international experts said
      yesterday. It's unlikely the single Holstein discovered in Washington
      state is the only sick animal ever imported into the country from Canada,
      and possibly Europe, panel members said at a U.S. Department of Agriculture
      (USDA) meeting.

      Since none of the other animals was detected, their infected tissues were
      almost certainly processed into cattle feed years ago, spreading and
      amplifying the disease "so that cattle in the U.S.A. have also been
      indigenously infected," says a report presented to Agriculture Secretary
      Ann Veneman.

      Panel chairman Ulrich Kihm, former chief veterinary officer of Switzerland,
      estimated that one new U.S. mad-cow case a month might appear, based on the
      experience of other European countries. Though the rate of infection is
      low, the government should consider several steps, including a ban on the
      use in human and animal food of brains, spinal cords and other high-risk
      tissue from animals older than one year, Kihm said. The panel also
      recommended a ban on the use of all mammal and bird protein in cattle feed.

      Consumer advocates praised the report, which they said validated many of
      their criticisms of the U.S. mad-cow safety net. Industry reacted strongly
      against the report, and predicted the proposals, if adopted, would have
      substantial impacts on everyone involved in the beef business - from cattle
      growers earning less per animal to consumers paying more for less variety
      at the meat counter."

      [Very edited from - more recommendations and issues at:

      *04: Avian Flu Facts, Modern Plagues, Sugar Barons, Obesity Costs
      WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AVIAN FLU: (02/06/04): "The current avian flu
      outbreak in Asia is the fifth since 1997 to infect humans. This has raised
      a red flag for infectious disease experts, who fear the strain could mutate
      and spark a devastating flu pandemic -- a worldwide epidemic such as the
      so-called Spanish flu of 1918 that killed at least 40 million people. Here
      are some of the facts about avian flu and the risk that it poses to humans.

      What is killing the birds of Asia? Avian flu is caused by one branch of a
      family of microbes called Type A influenza virus. (A different branch
      typically causes flu in humans.) Until recently, scientists thought people
      couldn't be infected by avian flu viruses, but in 1997 bird-to-human
      transmission took place in Hong Kong, infecting a handful of people. When
      one chicken is infected, the virus can spread to an entire flock within
      hours -- and soon kill nearly all the birds.

      How do humans get avian flu? So far, all known cases of human infection can
      be traced directly back to contact with live chickens. Infected birds shed
      the virus in their feces; humans then breathe in the fecal dust. The virus
      is not passed on in the meat or eggs, so there is no danger from eating
      cooked chicken.

      How deadly is avian flu to humans? Very. In the 1997 outbreak, also caused
      by H5N1, 18 people were infected and six died -- a 33% fatality rate. By
      comparison, the SARS outbreak last year infected 8,098 and killed 774, a
      death rate of 9.6%."

      [Very edited from:

      A NEW BOOK CLAIMS HUMANS ARE CAUSING PLAGUES: (01/17/04): "A single case
      of Mad Cow disease on a dairy farm in the United States last month has sent
      shock waves through the nation's $175 billion beef industry. But as
      journalist and veterinarian Mark Jermone Walters claims in his book: "Six
      Modern Plagues: and How we Are Causing Them Mad Cow" is just part of a wave
      of new global infections. Walters says old diseases like malaria and
      tuberculosis, once thought to be controlled, are re-surging. Others like
      Mad Cow, Lyme disease, Salmonella, SARS, Hantavirus and HIV-AIDS the six
      epidemics discussed in his new book - are imposing new public health risks.

      "One of the points that I wanted to make in my book was to begin to get
      past the old human archetype of [that] 'we are in a war against Nature and
      if we don't watch out, Nature is going to victimize us,'" he added. "How
      often we hear about human beings being victimized by disease as if we had
      absolutely nothing to do with it. We have made changes to the environment,
      to the ecology, to the natural systems that support us, that has caused the
      emergence and spread of these new diseases."

      [Very edited from the intriguing and interesting interview/mind-set at:

      OBESITY FIGHT HITS TAXPAYERS: (01/22/04): "Obesity in the United States,
      which affects nearly one-third of adults -- costs $75 billion a year in
      medical expenses, half of it funded by taxpayers through Medicare and
      Medicaid, a new study says. "Obesity has become a crucial health problem
      for our nation, and these findings show that the medical costs alone
      reflect the significance of the challenge," said Health and Human Services
      Secretary Tommy Thompson. "We must take responsibility both as individuals
      and working together to reduce the health toll associated with obesity."
      Both Thompson and Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director, have declared obesity
      a major health concern.

      California spends the most on obesity overall -- $7.7 billion a year -- and
      through Medicare -- $1.7 billion. New York tops the list in obesity-related
      Medicaid expenses at $3.5 billion. Alaska and the District of Columbia
      spend the largest share of medical expenses on obesity -- 6.7 percent.
      Wyoming spends the least treating obesity each year, at $87 million.
      Arizona spends the smallest share of its health care dollars on obesity, at
      4 percent."

      [Very edited from:

      (01/15/04): "The Bush Administration made a secret effort ten days ago to
      head off an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce the
      worldwide incidence of obesity, diabetes, cancer and other chronic
      diseases. The effort came in the form of a letter from William R. Steiger,
      Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to WHO
      Director-General J.W. Lee. The letter recites arguments made often by the
      junk food industry, which in turn echo the efforts of the tobacco industry
      to deny a connection between smoking and ill health.

      "The Bush Administration is putting the interests of the junk food industry
      ahead of the health of people - including children - on a global scale,"
      said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, a nonprofit
      organization that works to reduce the incidence of marketing-related
      diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, alcoholism and diseases
      incurred through smoking. "If the Bush Administration is successful in
      halting the WHO initiative, in the long-term it could potentially cost
      millions of lives across the planet, in terms of needless deaths due to
      obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic
      diseases," Ruskin said.

      [Very edited from the Press Release (check out the selected bits from the
      letter & responses) at:

      [The letter sent to W.H.O. (1.7 MB PDF) is available at:

      US SUGAR BARONS 'BLOCK GLOBAL WAR ON OBESITY': (01/18/04): "Professor
      Kaare Norum, leader of the World Health Organisation's fight to prevent
      millions developing diet-related diseases, has sparked an international war
      of words with a highly critical letter to US Health Secretary Tommy
      Thompson. In it he tells of his grave concern over American opposition to
      the WHO's blueprint to combat obesity. He accuses the US of making the
      health of millions of young Americans 'a hostage to fortune' because it has
      failed to take action over the fat epidemic as a result of its business
      interests, particularly the sugar lobby.

      The President insists fighting fat is a matter for the individual, not the
      state. But today The Observer reveals how he and fellow senators have
      received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from 'Big Sugar'. One
      of his main fundraisers is sugar baron Jose 'Pepe' Fanjul, head of Florida
      Crystals, who has raised at least $100,000 for November's presidential
      re-election campaign. The Bush administration, which receives millions in
      funding from the sugar industry, argues there is little robust evidence to
      show that drinking sugary drinks or eating too much sugar is a direct cause
      of obesity. It particularly opposes a recommendation that just 10 per cent
      of people's energy intake should come from added sugar. The US has a 25 per
      cent guideline.

      Thompson's representative at Tuesday's meeting will be Bill Steiger, godson
      of George Bush Sr. He will argue there is no evidence that selling junk
      food to children increases overweight.".

      [Very edited from:

      *05: Fool Proof, Trashing the Sun, "Super Size Me!"

      NEW YORK DUMPING TRASH ON SUN: (09/17/04): "Again breaking new ground in
      the field of garbage disposal, the New York City Department of Sanitation
      (DSNY) is once more exporting its trash, this time into the heart of the
      sun. The first lift-off commenced yesterday at 2:00pm Eastern from
      LaGuardia Airport, and will make contact with our primary source of energy
      in three months. Two launches a day are expected in the first year, ramping
      up to three a day as operations become routine.

      However, the new disposal problem has it critics, who point out that trash
      off planet is still trash in the solar system. "Don't turn our yellow star
      brown!" chanted members of Save Our Sun (SOS) yesterday at the airport. The
      environmental group was founded when plans for the interstellar trash
      service were first announced. "We all need the sun," said Micah Goldstein,
      chairman of SOS. "Let's not pollute the sole source of energy we can't do

      The commissioner dismissed such comments as negative claptrap. "Once we
      fill up the sun, we'll convert it into a park or something," Doherty said.
      "DSNY has a great track record in that regard."

      [Edited and sanitized from:

      ACTUAL FILM REVIEW OF: "SUPER SIZE ME": (01/21/04): "Following in the
      footsteps of Michael Moore's work, "Super Size Me" is one of the new
      generation of documentaries in which the filmmaker becomes the subject. In
      this case, director Morgan Spurlock had the bright idea that he would eat
      three meals a day for 30 days at McDonald's and see what happens. The
      outcome is not a pretty picture, but thanks to Spurlock's oversized and
      buoyant personality and some pretty nifty filmmaking, the results are as
      entertaining as they are sobering.

      Spurlock starts out the picture of health, a strapping 6-foot-2 and 185
      pounds. Three doctors and a nutritionist, who reappear throughout, examine
      him and attest to his well-being. But within a few days, he's vomiting out
      of the window of his car. And it's downhill from there. Spurlock's body
      goes through a general deterioration that surprises even his doctors in its
      rapidity. (His girlfriend, a vegan chef, is beside herself.) Gaining weight
      is just the outward sign; his liver becomes toxic, his cholesterol
      skyrockets, his libido sags, he gets headaches, and he becomes depressed.

      In between the daily journal of his gorging, often with supersize portions
      of Big Macs, fries and soda, Spurlock interviews people on the street, the
      U.S. surgeon general and a lobbyist for the fast-food industry. Not
      surprisingly, reps from McDonald's do not return dozens of calls requesting
      an interview. One of the most distressing stops along the way is at a
      school in Illinois where kids are fed pizza, soda and sweets to their
      hearts content."

      [Edited from:

      [Supersizeme Movie Website:

      *06: Eat Onions, Protein?, Iron/Red Meat/Diabetes, A Veg Diet
      analysis of prostate cancer rates in different countries suggests that
      vegetables, including onions, can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
      Prostate cancer mortality rates in the US and Northern Europe are about
      five times more than they are in Hong Kong, Iran, Japan and Turkey.
      According to Dr Grant, animal products such as dairy and meat are the
      strongest risk factors for prostate cancer. And vegetables, especially
      onions, cereals and beans were risk reduction factors. The findings
      re-emphasise the importance of including plenty of fresh produce in your
      daily diet, and going easy on meat and dairy products."

      [Edited from:

      HOW MUCH PROTEIN IN YOUR DIET?: (12/03): "Widely divergent opinions on
      whether more protein or less is best, and on the merits of animal vs.
      vegetable sources, have been debated for more than 150 years. And for all
      that time solid scientific research has clearly supported the wisdom of a
      diet low in protein - favoring vegetable sources. So far, however, the
      scientific facts have fought a losing battle against popular opinion -
      which values high-protein diets based on animal foods."

      "As Russell Henry Chittenden explained 100 years ago, "Habit and sentiment
      play such a part in our lives that it is too much to expect any sudden
      change in custom. By a proper education commenced early in life it may,
      however, be possible to establish new standards, which in time may prevail
      and eventually lead to more enlightened methods of living..." The past
      century of declining health for people living in developed countries has
      proved Chittenden wrong - so far. However, with widespread communication
      via the Internet his predictions may soon become reality."

      [Very edited from the well-researched and documented article at:

      IRON FROM RED MEAT MAY RAISE DIABETES RISK: (01/20/04): "There may be
      another reason to be wary of eating too much red meat. High intake of iron
      from red meat may raise a person's risk of diabetes, new research suggests.
      Iron from other sources does not seem to have this effect, however. To
      investigate, Dr. Rui Jiang, from the Harvard School of Public Health in
      Boston, and colleagues assessed the link between iron intake and type 2
      diabetes in 38,394 men who participated in the Health Professionals'
      Follow-up Study. The subjects were free of diabetes, heart disease, and
      cancer when the study began in 1986. During the 12-year study period, 1168
      men developed type 2 diabetes, the researchers note in the American Journal
      of Clinical Nutrition. The risk of type 2 diabetes increased as heme-iron
      intake from red meat sources rose. Heme-iron is a type of iron found in red
      blood cells."

      [Edited from:

      [Original study: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2004:

      VEGETARIAN DIET: A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE: (01/16/04): "Are you considering
      a vegetarian diet but not sure where to begin? Adopting a plant-based diet
      may be as easy as making a few substitutions. Before you know it, tofu
      dogs, black bean burgers and sausage made from textured vegetable protein
      may replace old favorites such as hot dogs, hamburgers, roast beef and

      Some people choose a vegetarian diet for religious, ethical or
      environmental reasons. Others switch to a plant-based diet for health
      reasons. A vegetarian diet generally contains less total fat, saturated fat
      and cholesterol and includes more dietary fiber. And vegetarians have lower
      rates of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type
      2 diabetes.

      Adopting a healthy vegetarian diet isn't as simple as scraping meat off
      your plate and eating what's left. Find out what you need to know about a
      plant-based diet and how you can meet your daily nutritional needs."

      [Edited from nice summary of vegetarian diet issues/ideas/recommendations at:

      *07: Verbose Parrot, Falcon Scarecrows, Adopt Cyberpets, Contests
      PARROT'S ORATORY STUNS SCIENTISTS: (01/26/04): "The finding of a parrot
      with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought
      scientists up short. The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a
      vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

      He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas
      with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child
      would do. N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human
      language in the animal world. About 100 words are needed for half of all
      reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope with a
      wide range of material.

      He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is
      often inventive. One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another
      "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his
      owner, an artist based in New York. When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the
      renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi
      said: "Got a chimp?"

      [Very edited from the amazing article at:

      A BIRD OF PREY KEEPS VINEYARD SNACKERS AWAY: (10/29/03): "It's that time
      of year that winegrowers dread: As their grapes approach peak ripeness,
      birds show up in droves in their vineyards for a feast. Recently, some
      California vineyard managers have been trying a new method to keep hungry
      birds away -- the centuries-old hunting method of falconry. In wine regions
      from Napa Valley to the Central Coast, a cottage industry of falconers has
      arisen; many already use trained birds of prey to scare birds away from
      airports, military installations and other crops. In large vineyards, birds
      can cause crop losses of up to 10 percent, millions of dollars worth of
      grapes, said Ashby; for smaller vineyards, the percentage can be even

      "We like [falconry] because it's good for the environment, there's no noise
      pollution, no danger to personnel that you have with shotguns, and it is
      not nearly as expensive as netting," said Ashby. The objective is to scare
      off starlings and other birds, not to kill them, said Savory, owner of
      Avian Abatement Technology, based in Alturas, Calif. "The very presence of
      the falcon in the vineyard is often enough to run off thousands of birds."
      One falcon can cover about 500 acres, and Savory has about four falcons
      that he uses throughout the day.

      [Edited from:

      for Life, a Violence Prevention Program offered by In Defense of Animals,
      is honoring the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday by releasing a student
      art, film, and essay contest on the topic of violence prevention. Animal
      cruelty can range from neglect (failure to provide food, water, shelter or
      necessary medical care) to intentional abuse, torture or killing. Violent
      acts toward animals, when left unaddressed, have been linked to intensified
      violence and neglect and/or expansion to human victims.

      The 2004 contest highlights the importance of acting as guardians of
      animals by reporting abuse and practicing compassion and respect toward all
      living beings. Entrants will be asked to describe how animal cruelty is
      directly linked to other forms of violence. Student entries should also
      describe the role that guardians play in society and explain how to
      properly respond to violence toward animals. Winners will be announced on
      National Animal Guardians Day, April 14th."

      [Edited from the Press Release at:

      [Contest info:

      [See winning student-designed "graphics for guardianship" billboards at:

      ADOPT A CYBERPET: "There are a lot of important things to think about when
      deciding whether or not to get a pet. Will you be able to afford food and
      vet's bills? Do you have time to play with it? To help you think about
      these things, and of course for a bit of fun, adopt an RSPCA cyberpet.

      Build your new pet from scratch - choose its ears, eyes and colour and give
      it a name. Or if you would rather adopt an existing cyberpet, visit the
      RSPCA cyber-centre where pets go for rehoming. You can have up to three
      pets at a time. Once you get your cyberpet you need to play with it, feed
      it, get it vaccinated, groom it - everything you would need to do with a
      real pet. The more you care for it, the more chance you have of appearing
      in the cyberpet top 10. Neglect your cyberpet and the RSPCA could take it

      [Edited from:

      "On March 20--the first day of spring--thousands of caring people in all 50
      US states and a host of other countries will hold informative and
      educational Meatout events. Events will include colorful 'lifestivals,'
      street theater, lectures, public dinners, cooking demos, food samplings,
      leafleting, information tables called 'steakouts,' and a Congressional
      Reception in Washington, DC. The occasion is the 20th annual observance of
      the Great American Meatout, the world's largest and oldest annual
      grassroots diet education campaign. Every spring, thousands of Meatout
      supporters educate their communities and ask their friends, families, and
      neighbors to pledge to "kick the meat habit (at least for a day) and
      explore a wholesome, nonviolent diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole

      Is there a Meatout Event in your city?:

      Join thousands of caring people in all 50 states and around the world on
      (or around) March 20th by hosting a Meatout event in your area. Don't miss
      this once-a-year opportunity to promote a healthy, compassionate lifestyle
      to your neighbors and to save countless innocent animals. Participating is
      easy and events of all sizes are needed. Even one person can do it! We are
      here to help with guidance, posters, handouts and display materials.

      Please register your interest in Meatout today!"

      [Official Meatout website:

      *09: Howard's Schedule
      Feb 13: Sanibel Island, FL > 7 pm - Florida Gulf Coast University, The
      Sanibel-Captiva Vegetarian Society & FGCU's "Power of One" AR Group -
      Contact Joe Walsh

      Feb 15 - 21: CHIP Cruise

      Feb 23: Raleigh, NC > North Carolina State University - Time and place TBA
      - Contact Jared Milrad

      Feb 28: Lincoln Center, NYC > "World Premiere: Peaceable Kingdom" -
      Tribe of Heart

      Mar 11: Milwaukee WI > UW-Milwaukee 7 pm - Place TBA - Contact Danielle

      Mar 19: Los Angeles, CA > Peaceable Kingdom - Tribe of Heart

      Mar 28: San Francisco, CA > SF Vegetarian Society

      Mar 31: Normal, IL > "The Jungle, 100 Years Later: A Critical Conf. on the
      Meat Industry in America," Illinois State Univ., 7 pm, Bone Student Center
      (Old Main Room), Free and open to the public. Contact: John Wilson

      Apr 04: Chicago, Ilinois > Peaceable Kingndom -Tribe of Heart

      Apr 07 - 14: Maui, Hawaii

      Apr 17: Honolulu, Hawaii: Honolulu Vegetarian Society

      Apr 23: Ellensburg, WA > Washington State University

      BEYOND APR 2004 May 8: Chicago, IL > 6 pm (Conf. starts 930 am) -
      Philadelphia Ethical Society

      May 15 - 16: Santa Rosa, CA > McDougall Wellness Center

      June 26 - 27: Lodi, CA > (26th at 4 pm, 27th at 10:30 am) - "Health and
      Healing Crusade"

      Jul 8 - 11: WashDC (Viena, VA) > AR2004

      Sep 11, 12, 13: Kirtland, Ohio > Journey Expo '04

      [More details, contact links at:

      *10: Donations to the Mad Cowboy 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!

      *11: Closing Thought(s)
      A: Take the broad view of what veganism stands for - something beyond
      finding a new alternative to scrambled eggs on toast or a new recipe for
      Christmas cake. Realise that you're on to something really big, something
      that hadn't been tried until sixty years ago, and something which is
      meeting every reasonable criticism that anyone can level against it. And
      this doesn't involve weeks or months of studying diet charts or reading
      books by socalled experts - it means grasping a few simple facts and
      applying them.

      A: I hesitate to suggest anything to a movement which seems to be going
      well and spreading world wide. The edifice that survived all attacks before
      we started our work is now crumbling because of the inherent weakness of
      its own structure. We don't know the spiritual advancements that long-term
      veganism - over generations - would have for human life. It would be
      certainly a different civilisation, and the first one in the whole of our
      history that would truly deserve the title of being a civilisation.

      ---- 94 yr. old vegan, Donald Watson (who formed the word vegan from the
      begining and end of "vegetarian" and founded The Vegan Society in November

      [Full interview at:
      [Website for the Vegan Society:

      Mark Sutton, Webmaster@... http://www.madcowboy.com
      To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: Mad_Cowboy-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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