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12_19_04: "Spirit of Hope" by Howard, Nobel Warning, & Cicada Legacy

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  • Mark Sutton
    Howdy! Welcome to the 44th Edition of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter! In this issue we ve an exclusive Holiday Message from Howard, and are announcing that you can
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 19, 2004
      Howdy! Welcome to the 44th Edition of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter!

      In this issue we've an exclusive Holiday Message from Howard, and are
      announcing that you can now buy Howard's Book and DVDs online (using a
      credit card or a PayPal account).

      There's also information about why eating more barley, leafy greens, and
      cruciferous vegetables is a good idea, while eating more red meat isn't.
      You'll find text about a unique "vegan mentoring" program, well-known vegan
      author Erik Marcus's powerful new book "Meat Market: Animals, Ethics and
      Money," how the Vietnamese are compensating for past dioxin (Agent Orange)
      abuse via organic farming, and a parting holiday gift from the former head
      of the EPA in the way of more pesticides for all.

      Further down you can read about the trans-siberian kitty cat, the truth (!)
      about scientists hating white mice, and a video game enabling "mad cow
      revenge." Moving along, there's a serious warning from the
      environmentalist who won this year's Nobel Peace Price, information about
      "what is xeriscaping?", that bird populations are severely threatened, and
      the green legacy of the cicadas.

      Finally, McDonald's is getting sued again for vegetarian "abuse," near half
      of our citizens are on pharmaceuticals, and Europe is promoting veggies to
      children through puppets, a cdrom, and free fruit.

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

      And don't miss information about the VegNews Fellowship position, a 277
      vegan recipe database for the iPod (only $5), a ton of holiday recipes,
      networking links, a phone that biodegrades into a sunflower, and more neat
      stuff in this edition's "Quick Bytes" section.

      Special best wishes to everyone for a Happy Holidaze and a Great Vegan New

      Stay warm and keep moving forward.... Mark


      00: "The Spirit of Hope" - A Holiday Message from Howard
      01: Mad Cowboy Book & DVDs Now Available Online
      02: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      03: Mad Cow Info Round-up
      04: Eat Barley, Leafy Greens, Cruciferous Veggies & Less Red Meat
      05: Vegan Mentors, Marcus New Book, Dioxin>Organic, More Pesticides
      06: Cross-Country Cat, Mad Cow Revenge, Scientists Hate Mice
      07: Nobel Prize Warning, Xeriscapes, Bird Problems, Cicada Legacy
      08: Drugged U.S., McDonald's Sued/Threatened, Healthy Puppets
      09: Quick Bytes
      10: Closing Thought(s)

      *00: "The Spirit of Hope" - A Holiday Message from Howard
      "At this time of the year we need to reflect and see whether or not it was
      a good year: 2004 was definitely a good year. I'm sure many folks will
      wonder what new drug I'm on to make that statement. I believe the only
      thing that changes human behavior is crisis, and boy, do we have a crisis.

      In fact, we have so many crises, it is had to tell which one is the one
      that will bring down this house of cards. I must admit I was shocked by
      the outcome of the recent election, not that the President was re-elected,
      but with all of the issues that concerned me, that most were not even
      debated during the so-called debates. The environment, the falling dollar,
      global warming, and the federal deficit --- just to mention a few, were
      treated as if they weren't important by both major candidates.

      When I look into the eyes of a child, I feel a responsibility for them to
      have an opportunity for a fruitful future. The direction we are headed
      today will strap them with burdens almost impossible to bear and much fewer
      natural resources to work with. On one hand, I'm despondent, and on the
      other hand, I know it must get darker before the coming of the dawn. I
      just hope the darkness is not the start of an ice age.

      My hope is in the quality of the folks I work with every day. They have
      their shoulder to the wheel without asking what is in it for them. They
      are the angels on earth. I'm committing myself to another year of hope
      and love, and I want all of you to know I'm trying to live up to the
      standard you are setting. Please continue to lead and I will try to keep

      Your friend, Howard" (12/10/04)

      *01: Mad Cowboy Book & DVDs Now Available Online
      [We're pleased to announce that you can now buy Howard's Book and
      Interactive DVDs online, using your credit card or a PayPal account. Check
      it all out at:


      *02: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      "A yearly study just releases, ranks the 50 States of the U.S. in terms of
      health. Order the following States from the "healthiest" to the "least
      healthy:" Pennsylvannia, Washington, Louisiana, Minnesota."

      Congratulations to Sheila Austin Livingston & Haven, of Charlotte, NC, for
      correctly guessing (in order): Minnesota, Washington, Pennsylvania, and

      [America's State Health Rankings 2004 (snuck into last issue's QuickBytes

      "Approximately how many animals (not including fish) are slaughtered each
      year in the United States for food: (a) 1,000,000 (b) 10,000,000 (c)
      100,000,000 (d) 1,000,000,000 (e) 10,000,000,000 (f) 100,000,000,000?"

      Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@... with the word "contest"
      in your subject line by NLT January 10th, 2005.

      [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: Mad Cow Info Round-up
      "Cattle futures prices soared on Tuesday on market talk that a final U.S.
      Agriculture Department test would clear an animal suspected of mad cow
      disease, but the USDA said that test results were not yet complete. The
      $32 billion American cattle industry has been on alert for the past five
      days over a possible second U.S. case of the brain-wasting disease. A
      suspect animal produced two "inconclusive" results in screening tests for
      mad cow disease last Thursday, and the department is conducting
      confirmatory tests. The delay in the government's confirmatory test results
      ran counter to industry expectations of an announcement by now.

      The USDA scheduled a private briefing for industry groups on Monday night
      about the results of the final, sophisticated test but abruptly canceled it
      without explanation, according to a source who spoke on condition of

      [Very edited from:

      USMEF [U.S. Meat Export Federation] President & CEO Philip Seng immediately
      issued the following statement: "The USDA announcement today that the
      animal producing an 'inconclusive' preliminary test for BSE on November 18
      was not infected with the disease is a clear indication the firewalls put
      in place to ensure the safest beef supply possible are working. The
      production of the safest beef in the world and the prevention of BSE in the
      U.S. beef herd continue to be our top priorities and safeguarding public
      health is our No. 1 concern."

      The U.S. Meat Export Federation is the trade association responsible for
      developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is
      funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, corn, sorghum and
      soybean checkoff programs."

      [Excerpted and edited from:

      U.S. said a government lab found no evidence of mad cow disease in a tissue
      sample that last week had indicated a possible case of the brain-wasting
      ailment during preliminary screenings. Experts at the National Veterinary
      Sciences Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, tested the brain sample twice using a
      more reliable method than the initial screening, the U.S. Department of
      Agriculture said today in a statement. Both tests were negative for the
      disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

      The USDA's statement was released via e-mail after the close of trading in

      [Very edited from:

      "From John Stauber, OCA [Organic Consumers Alliance] Policy Board Member
      and Author of the Book, "Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?"

      "The USDA's testing of this suspect mad cow has been inadequate and the
      conclusion that it is not positive for mad cow disease is premature and
      flunks the smell test. Scientists say the odds of this cow not having mad
      cow disease, after testing positive on two quick tests, are greater than
      one in 240,000. I suspect that this cow is positive, but USDA's inadequate
      testing has failed to confirm it. The onus must be on USDA to come clean
      and make public all the information it has on this animal and the
      scientific details and records of exactly what testing was done beyond the
      preliminary tests which indicate positive for mad cow."

      The USDA has been engaged in deceptive PR and lip service; even the
      inadequate reforms that Secretary Veneman proposed earlier this year have
      been shelved for now. Discovering a second US mad cow before the election
      could have been disastrous for the Bush administration, and conveniently
      this suspect case was not announced until after November 2nd. Bottom line:
      this USDA conclusion is premature at best and flunks the smell test. We
      have a mad cow emergency in this country but rather than do the right thing
      by following the lead of the EU and Japan, we're still feeding billions of
      pounds of rendered byproduct and not testing adequately."

      [Excerpted and edited from:

      "JAPAN SAYS MAD COW TEST RESULTS DUE THIS WEEK:" (12/01/04): "Japan is
      examining a possible new case of mad cow disease that may delay an agreed
      resumption of some U.S. beef imports to Japan. Test results are due by
      week's end. Local government officials are conducting follow-up tests on
      the 20-month-old steer from the northern island Hokkaido after an initial
      test on Nov. 29 detected the disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy,
      local dairy official Osamu Terada said today. If confirmed, it would be
      the youngest mad cow in Japan and threaten an October accord resuming U.S.
      beef imports of cattle 20 months of age or younger. Another case of mad cow
      disease would be Japan's 15th.

      The U.S. is the world's largest beef producer. Its meatpackers slaughtered
      35.5 million cattle last year, producing 26.3 billion pounds of beef, U.S.
      government figures show. Before the ban, Japan was the biggest overseas
      buyer of U.S. beef, importing $1.7 billion of the meat in 2003, according
      to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

      [Very edited from:

      (12/08/04): "The Agriculture Department late Tuesday received a second
      "inconclusive" preliminary test indicating a carcass showing indications of
      mad cow disease, but officials cautioned the test is so sensitive it does
      not mean another case has been found. It's the second such discovery in
      five days as part of the government's rapid screening program. The only
      confirmed mad cow case in this country was discovered in Washington state
      last December, prompting more sophisticated screening programs.

      The USDA surveillance is "systematically flawed" and a potential new case
      "is only the tip of the iceberg," said Tom Devine, legal director of the
      Government Accountability Project, a private watchdog group. He maintains
      the system is "designed to miss many of the mad cow suspects."

      [Edited from:

      "ITALY DETECTS LATEST CASE OF MAD COW:" (12/06/04): "A cow in southern
      Italy has tested positive for mad cow disease, raising to 124 the number of
      cases detected in the country since testing began in 2001, the Health
      Ministry said Monday. The ministry said analysis confirmed a positive
      result in an 8-year-old cow from a breeding farm in the countryside of
      Avellino. The European Union requires tests on cattle older than 30 months
      destined for slaughter."

      [Edited from:

      "MAD COW BILL HITS $5B:" (12/09/04): "Canadian cattle producers have lost
      about $5 billion since the discovery of one animal with mad-cow disease in
      the spring of 2003, according to a report from BMO's economics department.
      The U.S. border has been shut to live Canadian cattle since May 2003, when
      a single cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy was discovered in
      Alberta. In economic terms, the closing of the border has been devastating
      to Canadian ranchers and their families, said Rick Egelton, deputy chief
      economist at BMO Financial Group. Canada is trying to end the 18-month ban
      on U.S. imports of Canadian beef. It had been estimated that ban alone
      amounted to more than $2 billion in lost exports."

      [Edited from:

      "DUTCH CURB BLOOD DONATION DUE TO MAD COW:" (12/13/04): "The Netherlands
      announced strict new curbs on blood donation on Thursday over concerns
      about the potential transmission of the human version of mad cow disease
      through blood transfusion. Donors who received a blood transfusion since
      1980 will be banned from giving blood as a "precautionary measure"
      following two suspected British cases of the transmission of variant
      Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) through transfusion. Britain announced
      what was thought to be the world's first case of transmission of variant
      vCJD via transfusion last December after a patient died several years after
      receiving blood from a donor later found to have had the illness. Britain's
      second suspected case was reported in July, raising concern among Dutch
      health authorities."

      [Edited from:

      "A year after the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was reported, Sen.
      Maria Cantwell says the Food and Drug Administration still has not
      fulfilled its promise to tighten animal feed rules to help prevent future
      cases. "The beef industry and other federal agencies have worked overtime
      to restore confidence in the world's safest beef supply, but the FDA has
      failed to act on its promise to close loopholes in the mad cow feed ban,"
      Cantwell, D-Wash., said in a news release Tuesday.

      Last January, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson
      announced new FDA proposals to close loopholes that allow cattle to be fed
      such things as cow blood, restaurant scraps and chicken litter. The rules,
      which have not been finalized or implemented, would also ban feed
      production facilities from using the same equipment to process feed for
      ruminants like cattle and for other animals. That practice can lead to
      cross-contamination of feed, Cantwell said. Cantwell wants the FDA to
      implement the new rules because she believes they would help reduce the
      risk of exposing cattle to the proteins that cause mad cow, also known as
      bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

      In a letter to Thompson dated Tuesday, Cantwell encouraged the FDA to "move
      beyond your 'tentative' conclusions and implement a comprehensive animal
      feed ban in weeks rather than years." In addition to urging the FDA to
      enact the new rules, Cantwell last February introduced a bill that would
      ban "specified risk materials," including bovine spinal and brain tissue,
      from all animal feed, including pet food."

      [Very edited from:

      "HOW VCJD PROTEINS REACH THE BLOOD:" (12/15/04): "Scientists say they
      have discovered how the proteins that cause vCJD are able to side-step the
      body's defences and enter the bloodstream. They found the rogue prions are
      able to cross the intestinal barrier which blocks the path of potential
      toxins, by hitching a ride on another protein. It is hoped the finding
      could lead to new ways to block the disease. The research, by Case Western
      Reserve University, is published in the Journal of Neuroscience."

      [Very edited from:

      *04: Eat Barley, Leafy Greens, Cruciferous Veggies & Less Red Meat
      "BARLEY MAY LOWER CHOLESTEROL:" (11/29/04): "Consumption of barley may
      significantly reduce lipids in men and women diagnosed with mildly high
      cholesterol levels, according to a study published in The American Journal
      of Clinical Nutrition (80, 5:1185-1193, 2004) (http://www.ajcn.org). In a
      controlled design, nine pre-menopausal women, nine post-menopausal women
      and seven men with mildly elevated cholesterol levels consumed menus based
      on the American Heart Association Step 1 diet (a high carbohydrate,
      fat-restricted plan designed to reduce elevated serum cholesterol levels)
      for 17 weeks. After a two-week adaptation period, subjects consumed Step 1
      menus incorporating whole-grain foods containing 0, 3 or 6 g barley-derived
      beta-glucan/d for an additional five weeks. Fasting blood samples were
      collected twice weekly. The researchers concluded consumption of barley as
      part of a healthy diet may be effective in lowering total and LDL
      cholesterol in both men and women."

      [Edited from:

      [Detailed info about barley:

      study from Ohio State University provides the first laboratory evidence
      that certain antioxidants found in dark leafy green vegetables can indeed
      help prevent cataracts. Vitamin manufacturers often add the antioxidants
      lutein and zeaxanthin to their products, but until now there has been no
      biochemical evidence to support the claim that these substances help
      protect the eyes, said Joshua Bomser, a study co-author and an assistant
      professor of nutrition at Ohio State University.

      Results from laboratory experiments on human lens cells showed that lutein
      and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in plants such as kale, spinach and
      collard greens, helped to protect the cells from exposure to ultraviolet
      light - a leading cause of cataract formation. Lutein and zeaxanthin were
      nearly 10 times more powerful than vitamin E in protecting the cells from
      UV-induced damage."

      The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition."

      [Very edited from:

      "RED MEAT, ARTHRITIS LINK:" (12/03/04): "People who eat lots of red meat
      may be raising their risk of rheumatoid arthritis, an incurable and
      crippling disease, British researchers reported today. A study of 25,000
      people living in Europe shows that those who ate the most red meat had
      double the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, compared to those who ate the
      least amount. And people who ate more protein overall, including other
      forms of meat and plant protein, also had a higher risk of the disease
      while eating fat did not seem to raise the risk, the researchers found.
      Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease in which the body's immune
      cells mistakenly attack healthy joints. Maybe eating meat somehow sets the
      body up to attack similar components, the researchers wrote in the latest
      issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism."

      [Edited from:

      "There are many differences between Japanese and American diets that may
      explain why cancer incidence in Japan is far lower than in the United
      States. But one difference may be overlooked: The Japanese consume about
      five times the amount of cruciferous vegetables as Americans do. The most
      common cruciferous vegetables are those from the cabbage family: cabbage,
      broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale and
      watercress. However, even some root veggies, like radishes, parsnips,
      turnips, rutabaga and kohlrabi, fall in this category. Cruciferous
      vegetables make a unique contribution to good health. They contain natural
      substances called glucosinolates that break down in the body to form
      indoles and other compounds that fight cancer development in several
      different ways.

      Despite the abundance of positive news about the healthfulness of
      cruciferous vegetables, if memories of over-cooked, slightly bitter side
      dishes keep you from eating these plant foods regularly, it's time to learn
      new preparation methods. Cook these vegetables only until tender because
      overcooking produces bitterness. Avoid boiling them in lots of water
      because this method leaches vitamins. Briefly steaming or stir-frying these
      vegetables produces much better flavor and texture. Some, like parsnips and
      Brussels sprouts, are excellent when roasted in the oven. In the winter
      months when traditional salad greens become more expensive and less fresh,
      try switching to salads based on raw broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. By
      countering the assertive taste of these vegetables with equally assertive
      flavorings, like a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, you can smooth out
      their flavor even more."

      [Very edited from the fascinating article at:

      *05: Vegan Mentors, Marcus New Book, Dioxin>Organic, More Pesticides
      "VEGAN MENTORING PROGRAM:" (12/04): "VEGAN is now offering a mentoring
      program for new vegans and those interested in learning more about
      veganism. Those desiring a mentor will be put in touch with someone who is
      geographically close, if possible, in order that they can recommend
      supermarkets, restaurants, groups and events that are vegan-friendly. Just
      contact Dr. Weseloh and you will be put in touch with someone as soon as
      possible. We are currently seeking people who wish to serve as mentors.
      They need not be experts on veganism; just people who are caring, helpful,
      and willing to offer encouragement and support to those new to veganism.
      Mentors must understand that they may be put in touch with people who are
      not ready to become vegan, but are merely curious about the lifestyle."

      [Edited from:

      "DISMANTLING ANIMAL AGRICULTURE:" (12/04): "Book Review by Mark Hawthorne:
      In the 1990s, frustrated by the lack of literature in the vegan movement,
      animal advocate and former technical writer Erik Marcus turned his
      communications skills to creating books and other materials that vegans and
      non-vegans alike would find accessible and informative. His first book, the
      groundbreaking Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating (1997), introduced many
      readers to a new kind of activist writing: prose that makes its case
      without overt emotional appeals-the facts eloquently speak for themselves.
      Vegan showed that Marcus didn't mind challenging some of the movement's
      cherished tenets. The book was well received, regarded by many critics as
      on par with the work of John Robbins, and has become an indispensable guide
      to vegan living.

      Among the few critical remarks reviewers offered of Vegan was that Marcus
      could have gone into greater depth on how meat production strains the
      environment and natural resources. Rather than simply an oversight, perhaps
      that was in keeping with the author's broader philosophy, which becomes
      clear in his latest book, "Meat Market: Animals, Ethics and Money." This
      powerful indictment of factory farming examines the abuses perpetrated by
      corporate agriculture, and also offers an assessment of how the animal
      protection movement can claim victory-and the good news is, his proposal
      makes sense. Meticulously researched and devoid of lectures, Meat Market:
      Animals, Ethics and Money is an invaluable addition to vegan literature.

      NOTE: Marcus is offering Meat Market in a limited advanced printing at a
      discount - $12.95 paperback and $16.95 hardcover (he will sign all
      hardcovers)-on his website, Vegan.com, and at speaking engagements through
      January, when the book will be available nationwide."

      [Very edited from the interesting and comprehensive review at:

      "DIOXIN FALLOUT LEADS TO ORGANIC FARM:" (11/17/04): "Although American
      John Berlow knows he cannot undo the damage caused to the Vietnamese people
      by Agent Orange in the past, he believes he can at least reduce the amount
      of chemicals the victims are exposed to today. Since July this year,
      Berlow, 55, has been visiting Van Canh commune in Ha Tay province to grow
      organic vegetables in an attempt to improve the health of Agent Orange
      victims at the Friendship Village and increase awareness of organic
      agriculture more widely. The village, set up in 1998 by George Mizo, an
      American war veteran, and the Central Committee of the Veterans Association
      of Vietnam, provides free health care and education for about 120 children
      and 30 war veterans who are victims of Agent Orange.

      "Organic farming helps reduce the amount of pollution in the environment,"
      Berlow said. "It's safe for farmers, safe for consumers, safe for other
      species. In a sense, it is the opposite of Agent Orange. I hope to help
      raise awareness about Agent Orange by placing an organic garden right in
      the middle of a centre which cares for victims of Agent Orange."
      Chemically treated foods have caused poisoning cases in Vietnam, which
      worried village cooks such as Nguyen Thi Nam. "We used to buy the best
      vegetables in the village for our meals, but we could still not be sure
      they were safe because they were not organic," said Nam. "Now we do not

      [Berlow] also supports the on-going lawsuit against the U.S. chemical firms
      by Vietnamese Agent Orange victims. "The U.S. hasn't had the decency to
      de-contaminate the land or compensate the victims, who are still suffering
      the effects of the war," Berlow said. He hopes in some small way, his
      garden will help.

      [Very edited from:

      TRANSFER TO HHS:" (12/16/04): "Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency
      Administrator Michael Leavitt will release regulations today allowing a 2
      million pound increase in 2005 in the use of methyl bromide, an
      ozone-depleting and cancer-causing farm chemical, in violation of both an
      international treaty and the Clean Air Act. This new action follows several
      other decisions by the Bush administration to allow more use of the
      pesticide. "Catering to a handful of big chemical and agribusiness
      interests, the Bush administration is actually expanding the use of this
      dangerous, ozone-destroying chemical," said David Doniger, policy director
      of the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) Climate Center. "More
      methyl bromide means more ozone depletion and higher risks of skin cancer,
      cataracts, and immune diseases for millions of Americans.""

      "The EPA exemptions will allow agribusiness interests to use 19.7 million
      pounds of methyl bromide next year... More than three-quarters of the
      chemical will be used by two crops -- Florida tomatoes and California
      strawberries. The rules violate conditions that countries use up the
      available stockpile of methyl bromide before authorizing new production --
      conditions the Bush administration agreed to in Montreal Protocol talks
      with 180 countries just last March. The Bush administration's move
      contrasts sharply with action this week by the European Union, which is
      dramatically cutting methyl bromide use across the continent, including the
      tomato- and strawberry-growing regions of Italy, Spain, and other southern
      European countries."

      [Very edited from:

      *06: Cross-Country Cat, Mad Cow Revenge, Scientists Hate Mice
      "CAT CROSSES SIBERIA TO GET HOME:" (12/08/04): "A Russian family has been
      reunited with their pet cat after it made a 1,300 mile trek across Siberia
      to get home. The two-year-old male cat called Kuzya ran away from the
      Efremov family when they took him with them from Olenyok to Yakutsk in
      eastern Russia for the summer. After weeks of searching they finally
      decided the cat was dead and set off back to Olenyok at the end of the
      summer. But the Regnum news agency reported that three months later the cat
      turned up on the doorstep, tired and thin but otherwise healthy. One of
      the Efremov family said: "There were bite marks on the cat's tail and his
      claws had been worn away to nothing. He is also nervous now about going
      outside - and always seems to be looking for a safe hiding place.

      "It's unbelievable that he made it across Siberian woods and hills and
      crossed rivers and lakes to get home."


      "MAD COW" STRIKES BACK IN VIDEO GAME:" (12/15/04): "Veggie Games Inc.
      announced today the release of the first ever activism based animal-rights
      themed video game, "Steer Madness". Featuring a cow who's got more than a
      few things to be mad about, players of the game find themselves breaking
      into cosmetics labs to rescue rabbits, hijacking chicken transport trucks
      to save chickens from slaughter, and overall converting an entire city to
      vegetarian at a rate that even the Meat Marketing Board can't keep up with.
      ... Veggie Games Inc. is an independent video game developer based in
      Vancouver, BC, Canada."

      [Edited from:

      [Game trailer:

      [Company's website:


      700 scientists representing 27 countries convened at the University of
      Zurich Monday to formally announce that their experimentation on mice has
      been motivated not by a desire to advance human knowledge, but out of sheer
      distaste for the furry little rodents. White examines detested specimens in
      his Oxford lab.

      "As a man of science, I deal with facts, and the fact is that mice are
      gross," said Dr. Douglas White, chair of the Oxford biogenetics department
      and lifelong mouse-hater. "They're squirmy, scurrying little vermin, and
      they make my skin crawl. I speak for all of my assembled colleagues when I
      say that the horrible little things deserve the worst we can dish out."
      According to a 500-word statement, scientists hate mice for "their beady
      little eyes," "their repulsive tails," and "the annoying little squeaking
      sounds they make."

      At the press conference, several scientists detailed their involvement in
      the centuries-long ruse of "conducting experiments" and "curing diseases."
      The truth is, mice are particularly ill-suited for our tissue study,"
      Gresham [Harvard Institute for Advanced Studies],added. "We could construct
      a computer model that would yield more accurate results, but we don't
      care." According to Gresham scientists have enjoyed dissolving mice in
      acid, spinning them in centrifuges, blowing them up in vacuum chambers, and
      forcing them to navigate exit-free mazes for years-all the while towering
      above them, laughing."

      [Very edited from the funny and sometimes graphic satire at:

      *07: Nobel Prize Warning, Xeriscapes, Bird Problems, Cicada Legacy
      humanity a threat to the planet, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai
      urged democratic reform and an end to corporate greed after becoming the
      first African woman to collect the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. She said
      sweeping changes were needed to restore a "world of beauty and wonder" by
      overcoming challenges ranging from AIDS to climate instability. Maathai
      founded a campaign that has planted 30 million trees across Africa in a bid
      to slow deforestation.

      "Activities that devastate the environment and societies continue
      unabated," Maathai, Kenya's deputy environment minister, said in a Nobel
      acceptance speech at a glittering ceremony in Oslo City Hall. "Today we
      are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that
      humanity stops threatening its life-support system," Maathai, 64, told an
      audience of about 1,000 people including Norway's King Harald and Queen
      Sonja. "Further, industry and global institutions must appreciate that
      ensuring economic justice, equity and ecological integrity are of greater
      value than profits at any cost," she said. She said grassroots citizens'
      movements should be encouraged.id.

      Maathai dismissed critics who say environmentalism has too little to do
      with peace to warrant the Nobel accolade. "The state of any country's
      environment is a reflection of the kind of governance in place, and without
      good governance there can be no peace," she said."

      [Very edited from:

      [See also "Nobel Winner Urges Tree Plantings; Peace Row Brews" at:

      water conservation becomes increasingly important, gardeners are looking
      for waterthrifty plants for their landscapes. The concept of xeriscaping,
      which originated in the dry states of the Western U.S., is now becoming
      more popular throughout the country. The term "xersicape" is derived from
      the Greek word xeros, which means dry. The goal of xeriscaping is to create
      a visually attractive landscape that uses plants selected for their water
      efficiency. Properly maintained, a xeriscape can easily use less than
      one-half the water of a traditional, bluegrass lawn-dominated landscape.

      David Salman-chief horticulturist for Santa Fe Greenhouses and its
      mailorder catalog division, High Country Gardens-says the question he is
      asked most frequently at his horticultural speaking engagements is, "What
      are the best plants for a xeriscape?" In response to popular demand, Salman
      has compiled the following list of his favorite easy-to-grow xeric plants.
      These plants made the Top 10 list because of their beauty, hardiness,
      adaptability to different gardening conditions, and their ability to thrive
      with little or no supplemental water.

      To receive a free catalog, call High Country Gardens at 1-800-925-9387, or
      order a catalog and/or view the entire catalog online at

      [Edited from:

      "DEAD CICADAS HELP THE SOIL, STUDY REVEALS:" (11/26/04): "Even in death,
      the 17-year cicadas made their mark. Their decaying carcasses gave a
      super-size boost in nutrients to forest soil and stimulated seed and
      nitrogen production in a plant important to the forest ecosystem,
      researchers reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science. The
      findings might explain why tree growth increases for several years after a
      major cicada emergence, experts said. Bard College professor Felicia
      Keesing likened it to someone pouring a pound of fertilizer per square yard
      over the forest floor. She co-authored an article accompanying the research
      paper on the impact of cicada carcasses on soil and plants.

      Last summer's infestation was the largest, with 17-year cicadas known as
      Brood X inundating the mid-Atlantic region and filling forests from Georgia
      north to Pennsylvania and west through the Ohio River Valley to the

      [Edited from:

      of all bird species are likely to disappear by the year 2100, and another
      15 percent could be on the brink of extinction, according to a new study by
      Stanford University biologists. This dramatic loss is expected to have a
      negative impact on forest ecosystems and agriculture worldwide and may even
      encourage the spread of human diseases, according to the study published in
      the Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of
      Sciences (PNAS) in December.

      "Our projections indicate that, by 2100, up to 14 percent of all bird
      species may be extinct and that as many as one out of four may be
      functionally extinct-that is, critically endangered or extinct in the
      wild," said researcher Cagan H. Sekercioglu of the Stanford Center for
      Conservation Biology (CCB) and lead author of the PNAS study. "Important
      ecosystem processes, particularly decomposition, pollination and seed
      dispersal, will likely decline as a result." Sercioglu and CCB co-authors
      Gretchen C. Daily and Paul R. Ehrlich.:"Given the momentum of climate
      change, widespread habitat loss and increasing numbers of invasive species,
      avian declines and extinctions are predicted to continue unabated in the
      near future."

      The study cited several reasons for the expected decline in bird
      populations, including habitat loss, disease, climate change, competition
      from introduced species and exploitation for food or the pet trade."

      [Very very edited from:

      [The study:

      *08: Drugged U.S., McDonald's Sued/Threatened, Healthy Puppets
      "DRUGGING BY PHARMACEUTICALS SOARS:" (12/03/04): "While spending for
      drugs has gone 9% in the time period discussed mortality rates for the big
      diseases has declined only 1-3%. Even if all that decline is due to drugs -
      which of course it isn't - it would appear that Americans would have to
      spend about a $1.5 trillion dollars a year just to reduce mortality from
      cancer and heart disease by ten percent. And now the really dirty secret
      nobody talks about: while 84% of Americans over 65 are on highly expensive
      drugs the life expectancy of such people has increased only 3.6 years for
      men and 4.4 years for women since 1950.

      The annual report on Americans' health found that just over 44 percent of
      all Americans take at least one prescription drug, and 16.5 percent take at
      least three. Those rates were up from 39 percent and 12 percent between
      1988 and 1994, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
      The report, "Health, United States 2004," presents the latest data
      collected by CBC, the National Center for Health Statistics and dozens of
      other Federal health agencies, academic and professional health
      associations, and international health organizations."

      [Very edited from:

      [Press release, excerpts, and final report PDFs:

      "MCDONALD'S DIGS IN TO HOLD SPOT AT CLINIC:" (11/22/04): "Cleveland
      Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove wants to rid the nation's premier heart
      hospital of its McDonald's franchise - purveyor of artery clogging burgers
      and fries. But McDonald's, which contends it now offers lots of healthy
      choices and will work with the Clinic to tweak its menu, isn't "lovin' it."
      McDonald's corporate veep Marty Ranft defended the franchise, and vowed in
      a letter to Cosgrove that "McDonald's has no intention of terminating" the
      remaining 10 years on its lease.

      Ranft enclosed a letter to him from the Clinic franchisee, Turan Strange,
      who pleaded for corporate help, noting Pizza Hut already was shown the
      door. "Cleveland Clinic security guards escorted Pizza Hut's managers and
      workers out of the Clinic. I cannot afford to wait until my employees have
      been locked out of my restaurant to resolve this issue with the Clinic."
      The Clinic still insists McDonald's must go.

      [Edited from:

      "McDonald's may face a class-action lawsuit for allegedly frying corn
      nuggets in the same oil used to fry chicken. In a lawsuit filed in the
      Haifa District Court yesterday, Na'ama Dotan sued McDonald's for NIS 5,000
      on behalf of her 14-year-old vegetarian daughter. However, she also asked
      the court to recognize the suit as a class action on behalf of all
      vegetarians who have eaten McDonald's corn nuggets since the product was
      introduced four years ago. If the court accepts this request, the suit
      could be worth millions of shekels.

      McDonald's, she charged, received a vegetarian product and changed its
      nature without disclosing this to its vegetarian customers. Moreover,
      Dotan argued, McDonald's thereby infringed on her daughter's autonomy, and
      that of other vegetarians, by belittling their choice of a vegetarian
      lifestyle. McDonald's has yet to respond to the allegations. The Israeli
      chain opened in October 1993, and today has some 80 restaurants around the
      country. According to the suit, McDonald's sold three million orders of
      corn nuggets in the product's first year alone."

      [Edited from:

      "PUPPETS AND CD AID HEALTHY DIET LESSONS:" (12/10/04): "The fruit and
      vegetable scheme is part of the drive to cut child obesity Finger puppets,
      story books and a "fruit and veg CD" are being sent to schools to help
      educate children about the importance of healthy eating. Announcing the
      initiative, the government said two million children in England now receive
      a free piece of fruit or veg at school every day. The scheme is the
      biggest programme to boost child nutrition since the free school milk
      scheme introduced in 1946.

      Leaflets educating parents about healthy diets have also been produced. The
      hope is that the message will spread from school to home Melanie Johnson,
      Health Minister Teachers are being encouraged to try and integrate healthy
      eating messages throughout the school day. The pack which is being sent
      out to schools also gives them advice on how to set up fruit tuck shops,
      cooking clubs and health focus weeks at school. A spokeswoman for the
      British Nutrition Foundation said: "We would definitely support this
      scheme. "It's very important that the fruit and vegetable scheme in
      schools in presented in a fun and interesting way."

      [Edited from:

      *09: Quick Bytes
      ["Supreme Court Hears Cattlemen's Claims:"

      ["Agroecology Versus the Corporate Greenwash Version of "Ecoagriculture":

      ["Learn about the truth behind free-range turkey farming:"

      ["Mercy for Animals:"

      ["Bird flu most likely to become human flu pandemic, WHO expert says:"

      [Six-part Interview with Robert Cohen (The NotMilkMan):

      ["Stress Speeds Up Aging, Researchers Confirm:"

      ["Thanksgiving's Hidden Costs:" (some great general stats):

      [Rocket Fuel Ingredient in Milk and Lettuce:

      [FARMUSA's MeatOut Monday Newsletter:

      [PCRM Membership News and Info:
      Send e-mail to: membership@...

      [Vegetarians In Paradise Newsletter:

      [International Vegetarian Union Newsletter:

      ["Seeds of Deception" GM-related Newsletter:

      [Spanish Animal Issues Newsletter:

      [Over 10,000 veg'n recipe links:

      [Humonguous Veg-Recipes Yahoo Group:

      [Fat-free Meat-Analogues Recipes:

      [Vegan Holiday Recipes:

      [More Vegan Holiday Recipes:

      [Over 200 Vegan Recipes:

      ["Recipes for a Peaceful Planet for Sharing:"

      [Fat-free Vegan Holiday Recipes:

      [Vegan Holiday Cookie Recipes:

      [Vegan Xmas Recipes:

      ["Organic Scratchers Made From Kilned, Locally Harvested Trees:"

      ["Bipartisan Commission Issues Strategy to Address Long-Term U.S. Energy

      ["Scientists Make Phone That Turns Into a Sunflower:"

      [VegNews Magazine announces its 2005 Managing Editor Fellowship:

      [Pix, Recipes, Presentations from the World Veg. Congress 2004:

      [Recipes, info re: Factory Farming to 'Fridge:

      ["Even if You Like Meat" New Booklet! Vegan Outreach:"

      [277 vegan recipes for your Apple iPod!!

      *10: Closing Thought(s)
      "I hope that every consumer out there today understands the magnitude of
      the problem that we have. I hope you understand the point that the fork is
      the most dangerous weapon in the arsenal of the Homo sapiens. We're
      digging more graves with our fork than any other tool. Go back to the
      bible and it tells us that we have dominion over the animals. But dominion
      over the animals does not mean that we should eat them. It means that we
      have stewardship, that we should be taking care of 'em. So, I say to you,
      is stewardship, is taking care of the animals slaughtering them and eating
      them? Or is it providing for their well being? The Lord brought those
      animals here for our benefit. I believe the benefit is companionship, not
      food. I will say to you today that no animal has to die for us to live. "

      --- Howard Lyman (in "Spongiform" from the "Earth Talk 2003 DVD"

      "My mother had one of the biggest hearts that I've ever known. My mother
      taught me the biodiversity of love for all living things."

      --- Howard Lyman (in "Biodiversity" from the "Earth Talk 2003 DVD"

      [The "Earth Talk 2003 DVD" is available online at:

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