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03_28_05: "Mad Cowboy: The Documentary" has arrived!

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  • Mark Sutton
    Howdy! Welcome to the 46th Edition of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter! We are proud as peacocks be able announce that the long-awaited video Mad Cowboy: The
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 28, 2005
      Howdy! Welcome to the 46th Edition of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter!

      We are proud as peacocks be able announce that the long-awaited video "Mad
      Cowboy: The Documentary" is NOW available as an interactive DVD. You can
      order the DVD (volume discounts, too) via phone, snail mail, e-mail, credit
      card, and PayPal from the Mad Cowboy Website. A review of the DVD will be
      published by Robert Cohen (aka "The NotMilkMan") in his daily column
      tomorrow. You'll be able to read a copy of it when available at:

      In this edition of the Newsletter you'll find solid studies that indicate a
      plant-based diet not only reduces probability of different cancers and
      heart disease, but also that the TYPE of protein and carbohydrates you
      consume have a major impact on heart risks and obesity. You'll hear of
      World Water Day, how religious institutions are tacking environmental
      issues, and the impact of mercury pollution is having on our children.

      There's also a great article about how/why food produced by agribusiness
      appears to be less and less nutritious than organic, 10 reasons to eat
      organic, a unique study showing that organic food may be able to be proven
      healthier, and analysis/research by PCRM that "shatters the milk myth"
      regarding calcium. You'll also learn about the need for bees and their new
      predator, how fish are smarter than previously thought, a neat discourse
      about non-human farmers, and a court case regarding treatment of lab

      On a lighter note, don't miss the study showing new reasons why daily
      laughter is good for you and the "tiptoeing octopus!"

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

      Finally, don't miss our "Quick Bytes" section where you'll find links to
      such such articles and information as a new Protect the Seals Campaign, a
      McLibel settlement, new findings about carrots and mushrooms, the best and
      worst foods for health, intriguing stats related to the U.S., an online
      searchable organic product database, veg'n recipes, and the intelligence of
      farm animals.

      Best wishes to all for a refreshing Spring! Mark


      00: "Mad Cowboy: The Documentary" has arrived!!
      01: A Letter of Note TO Howard
      02: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      03: Mad Cow Info Round-up
      04: Plants & Cancer/Heart, Type of Carbos & Protein Matters
      05: World Water Day, Green Religion, Creation Care, Mercury/IQ
      06: Ha-Ha-Heart Healthy, Cow Tents, Octopus Tiptoes, Camel Milk
      07: Organic=Healthier, Inferior Food, Organic: 10 Whys, Milk Myth
      08: Bees in Trouble, Smart Fish, Non-Human Farmers, Monkey Labs
      09: Howard's Schedule
      10: Quick Bytes
      11: Closing Thought(s)

      *00: "Mad Cowboy: The Documentary" has arrived!!
      "I had no idea when we started the magnitude of what we were getting
      into... three years in the making, 150 hours of footage... countless
      interviews throughout the world with activists, scientists, victims,
      ranchers, farmers, doctors, and consumers... opinions on every side of the

      Some people believe the worst is over. Some believe the worst is yet to
      come. It's all crucial to planning a balance that has the potential to
      change the way that people think, and feel. It is without a doubt the most
      important thing I have been involved with in my entire life."

      -- Howard (in "Mad Cowboy: The Documentary")

      [More info about the Documentary DVD:

      [See 100's of digital pix shot by Howard and the Producer in Europe and the
      USA during filming:

      *01: A Letter of Note TO Howard
      [The following is an excerpt from a handwritten letter written recently to

      "... But the spectre of your story continued to haunt me. On some level I
      knew I would return to the shop and pick it up again. So I spent a week
      saying goodbye to some old friends --- Taco Bell, Wendy's, Burger King,
      etc. I got my last tastes and then, I returned and bought the book that
      changed my life.

      I devoured your book in one sitting, (the healthiest thing I had ever
      ingested to that point), and the next day I was a vegan --- and no turning
      back. That was in 1998. Today I am healthier, happier and more
      compassionate than I thought would be possible for me.

      Since then I've read many other books on the vegetarian lifestyle --- most
      notably John Robbins' books --- but it was your story, your courage, and
      your insights that set me on the road of discovery that has led me to my
      present state of improved physical, mental, and spiritual health. And for
      that I am sincerely grateful to you. So again I say thank you for lifting
      the veil from my eyes and allowing me to see clearly..."

      [You can read the full letter at:

      *02: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!

      "The total human population of the Earth in 2005 is projected to be what:
      (a) 800,000,000 (b) 6,400,000,000 (c) 64,000,000,000 (d) 80,000,000,000
      (e) 9,500,000,000?"

      Congratulations to Sara Beniamino, of Orlando, Florida, for correctly
      guessing (b) 6.4 billion and winning the luck of the draw from others who
      did as well.

      [You can find the stat and more at:

      "What country is the world's largest exporter of chickens, orange juice,
      sugar, and tobacco?"

      (a) United States (B) China (C) Brazil (D) Chile (E) Mexico

      Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@... with the word "contest"
      in your subject line by NLT April 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
      JAPAN CONFIRMS FIRST MAD COW CASE [human]: (02/04/05): "A Japanese man who
      died in December is believed to be the first person in Japan to die of the
      human variant of mad cow disease, Japanese Health Ministry officials said.
      The man, said to be in his 50s, is believed to have become infected with
      the disease during a month-long visit to Britain in 1989, the officials
      said. "(We base this on) the facts that most of the human BSE (bovine
      spongiform encephalopathy) cases were found among the people who stayed in
      Britain during 1980 through the 1990s and that he had no record of a blood
      transfusion," a Health Ministry official said."

      [Edited from:

      administration on Wednesday said it will withdraw a plan to allow imports
      of Canadian beef from older cattle starting on March 7, bowing to U.S.
      meatpackers' complaints. However, on that date the border will still
      reopen to live Canadian cattle under 30 months of age, which are viewed as
      unlikely to carry mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy
      (BSE). All Canadian cattle have been banned for import since May 2003,
      following the discovery of Canada's first domestic case of mad cow disease.
      USDA's reversal on imports of beef from older Canadian cattle came after a
      spirited lobbying campaign by American meatpackers. They complained the
      plan would have increased the flow of cheap Canadian beef at a time when
      U.S. plants were shutting down due to a shortage of live cattle.

      The cattle ban has been a hardship for U.S. meatpacking plants, which
      previously imported more than 1 million live Canadian cattle annually to
      keep plants operating efficiently. An activist U.S. cattle group, R-CALF
      USA, asked a federal judge in Montana to stop the movement of any Canadian
      cattle into the United States. Meanwhile, the American Meat Institute,
      representing meatpackers, has sued to remove all Canada trade barriers.

      [Very edited from:

      JAPAN CONFIRMS 15TH CASE OF MAD COW DISEASE: (02/28/05): "Japan has
      confirmed its 15th case of mad cow disease, domestic media said on
      Saturday. The infection was confirmed in the carcass of an eight-year-old
      Holstein dairy cow on the northern island of Hokkaido, Kyodo news agency
      said. The cow tested positive for the brain-wasting disease officially
      known as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), which was first discovered
      in Japan in 2001. The government subsequently introduced testing for all
      cows slaughtered for food."

      [Edited from:

      JAPAN URGES U.S. TO REFRAIN FROM SANCTIONS: (03/02/05): "Japan hopes the
      United States will not impose economic sanctions over Tokyo's 15-month ban
      on American beef and will continue negotiations, the government's top
      spokesman said Wednesday. Some members of the U.S. Congress have warned of
      possible sanctions if Japan does not lift the ban soon. The delay prompted
      20 U.S. senators representing farm states to send a letter last week to
      Japan's ambassador in the United States threatening retaliatory action.
      Before the ban, Japan was the most lucrative overseas market for U.S. beef
      producers, buying $1.7 billion worth of beef in 2003. Japan tentatively
      agreed in October to resume imports of beef products from young cows
      considered less at risk for the disease, but discussions stalled over how
      to authenticate the age of cattle."

      [Very edited from:

      Senate voted on Thursday to overturn a Bush administration plan to allow
      imports of Canadian cattle, the second defeat in two days for
      administration efforts to normalize world beef trade roiled by mad cow
      disease. Senators passed a so-called resolution of disagreement, the first
      step under a 1996 law to void a U.S. Agriculture Department regulation. The
      White House said the president will veto the resolution if it also is
      passed by the House. On Wednesday, the USDA plan to reopen the border to
      Canadian cattle on March 7 was thrown into uncertainty when a federal judge
      in Montana issued a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt it.

      [Edited from:

      on Thursday it believes a man died of the human form of mad cow disease,
      suspected to be the first case of its kind in the North African country.
      The 61-year-old was a regular visitor to Europe, the health ministry said
      in a statement, without saying which country. He died on Wednesday in a
      Casablanca hospital. "We are not 100 percent sure as we are still carrying
      out checks through samples, but it's highly possible he died of
      Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)," a senior ministry official told Reuters.

      [Edited from:

      "Anyone who visited Britain or France for a day or more between 1980 and
      1996 will be banned from donating blood in Japan, an official said today.
      The move comes amid Japanese government attempts to tighten restrictions on
      blood supplies because of worries over the human form of mad cow disease.
      The rule would bar hundreds of thousands of people from donating blood and
      may severely diminish blood supplies, media reports warned. The decision
      was made after a Japanese man who died in December was confirmed to be the
      country's first person to be infected with the brain-wasting illness.
      There is no blood test to screen for the disease, nor is there a known cure
      or immunisation. The illness has an incubation period of 10 years or more.
      A positive diagnosis often does not occur until the patient dies and a
      post-mortem performed."

      [Edited from:

      MAD COW BILLS MOVING IN [STATE] LEGISLATURE: (03/10/05): "Bills moving in
      the Legislature [WA] would remove a tax break for beef processors and
      increase penalties for feeding cow parts to cows. A third measure
      encourages the federal government to delay the opening of the U.S. border
      to Canadian beef imports.

      The most significant broadened the state's quarantine authority, provided
      the beef processor tax break, banned the sale of downer cows and authorized
      rules to help implement country-of-origin labeling and animal
      identification systems. Senate Bill 5190, approved in the upper chamber
      48-0 this week, would increase existing penalties on people who knowingly
      include ruminant byproducts in feed fed to other ruminants, or cud-chewing
      animals. The practice is currently outlawed in the United States and is
      believed to be the primary means for transmitting mad cow disease. But
      under state law, a first-time violation is but a misdemeanor punishable by
      a fine up to $50. Fines for a second offense can total no more than $250."

      [Very edited from:

      effectiveness of the most important U.S. safeguard against mad cow disease
      was questioned on Monday when a government report accused the Food and Drug
      Administration of "overstating" feed mill compliance with a ban on cattle
      remains in animal feed. The Government Accountability Office report was
      released as many U.S. lawmakers seek to prevent Canadian cattle from
      entering the United States because of concerns that its neighbor was not
      effectively enforcing its own animal feed ban.

      The GAO said the FDA, which regulates livestock feed, cannot pinpoint how
      many plants comply with the 1997 feed ban. "We believe FDA is overstating
      industry's compliance with the animal feed ban and understating the
      potential risk of BSE for U.S. cattle in its reports to Congress and the
      American people," the GAO report said. The FDA has repeatedly claimed that
      the industry has a 99 percent compliance rate with the 1997 ban." About 19
      percent of feed companies have not been inspected in five years or more,
      and "several hundred are potentially high risk," the GAO said."

      [Very very edited from:

      (UK) FSA 'RIGHT' ABOUT BSE-RISK BEEF: (03/17/05): "BSE cases peaked in
      1992 and have fallen due to safety measures Food safety officials were
      right not to recall beef which may have been contaminated with mad cow
      disease, the government has said. Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael said
      the meat was considered to be at "very low risk" of carrying BSE. "BSE
      itself is in steep decline; GB cases actually peaked at over 36,000 in 1992
      and had fallen last year to 309," he told MPs in the House of Commons.

      An investigation by the Food Standards Agency found that a vet and the Meat
      Hygiene Service had failed to spot risk material on the 11 carcasses. The
      risk was very low - it was not certain that the thymus was still in the
      carcass and this would have been an under-30 month animal FSA. A carcass
      which might have been contaminated was bought by a butcher and sold on to
      the public."

      [Edited from:

      JAPAN REBUFFS RICE ON LIFTING BEEF BAN: (03/20/05): "Japan did not provide
      a timetable for reopening its market for American beef on Saturday as U.S.
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strongly pressed Foreign Minister
      Nobutaka Machimura for an early resumption of imports. Rice said Japan
      should at least accelerate the process for lifting the ban, noting that the
      dispute is starting to damage Japan-U.S. relations, according to a Japanese
      official who briefed the media. Japan started the ban in December 2003
      following the first case of mad cow disease in the U.S.

      Machimura, meanwhile, said political pressure on the government's food
      safety panel won't help bring about an early resumption of imports but may
      negatively affect U.S. beef consumption in Japan after the imports are
      resumed, the official said. "I urged the minister to put in place efforts
      to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, given that there is indeed
      a science-based standard that is global on this issue," Rice told reporters
      after the meeting with Machimura. "This has gone on for a very long time.""

      [Very edited from:

      Arabia imposed a temporary ban on Monday on imports of Canadian beef
      because of incidents of mad cow disease in Canada, the Saudi trade and
      industry ministry said. It said in a statement carried by the official
      Saudi Press Agency the decision was taken in light of reports from Canadian
      and international authorities "which indicated the presence of repeated
      cases of mad cow disease in Canada and the possibility of more cases being
      uncovered". A Canadian embassy spokesman said Canada's meat exports to
      Saudi Arabia last year -- mainly beef -- were worth around C$ 2.5 million.


      Department of Agriculture has redirected almost $2 million in funding to
      conduct research on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known
      as mad cow disease. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns made the
      announcement during keynote remarks at the National Restaurant
      Association's Food Safety Summit on Friday. In addition, said Johanns, $5
      million has been awarded to 17 colleges and universities to establish a
      Food Safety Research and Response Network. "In a rapidly changing world
      marketplace, science is the universal language that must guide our rules
      and policies, rather than subjectivity or politics," said Johanns.

      The BSE research funds, redirected by the USDA's Agricultural Research
      Service (ARS), will be used for new projects and facilities. The newly
      funded projects include an international collaboration with the Veterinary
      Laboratory Agency in Great Britain to study the biology of the BSE agent.
      Pathogens like E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobactor will be studied to
      determine where they are found in the environment, how they are sustained
      and how they infect herds."

      [Very edited from:

      "Despite the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad
      cow disease, in four older Canadian cattle, including one discovered in
      Washington state, there is no public health basis for preventing young
      Canadian animals from entering the United States, according to a new report
      from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The
      report ["Name That Cow"] says that since Canada has an effective mandatory
      cattle identification system, it would be much easier to track a Canadian
      cow from the slaughterhouse back to its farm of origin than it would be to
      track an American animal. That safeguard is essential, says CSPI, if public
      health authorities are to prevent cattle contaminated with BSE, E. Coli, or
      other hazards from entering the food or animal feed supply. CSPI's report
      comes two weeks after a federal judge issued a temporary order blocking the
      reopening of the border to Canadian cattle."

      [Read the full announcement and get an online copy of the report at:

      U.S., CANADA TACKLE MAD COW ISSUE: (03/24/05): "The United States and
      Canada are working out beef and cattle trade problems stemming from mad cow
      disease in both countries, U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday.
      "We had an issue with cows and that is getting resolved," Bush told
      reporters in Texas following meetings with Martin and Mexican President
      Vicente Fox. Bush gave no timetable for normalized beef trade between the
      United States and Canada."

      [Very edited from:

      NIH MAY DESTROY HUMAN BRAIN COLLECTION: (03/24/05): "The National
      Institutes of Health may discard part or all of a rare collection that
      includes hundreds of human brain samples from patients that suffered from a
      disorder similar to mad cow disease -- unless another researcher or
      institution takes them on, United Press International has learned. Several
      scientists said the collection, which is held by the NIH's National
      Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md. -- and
      includes brains and other tissue samples from people afflicted with the
      brain-wasting illness Creutzfeldt Jakob disease -- is irreplaceable and
      could even provide insight into treatments for the fatal disorder.
      Currently, there is no cure for CJD and patients typically die within a
      year after symptoms begin.

      "It's invaluable," said Dr. Paul Brown, former medical director of the
      NIH's Laboratory for Central Nervous System Studies, whose expertise is in
      CJD and mad cow disease (also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or
      BSE). The collection is badly in need of organization and no one is certain
      how many brains or other tissue samples it contains, said Brown, who worked
      with the collection since its inception in the 1960's until his retirement
      last year. There could be brains, blood, spinal fluid and various other
      tissues from 1,000 people or more, he said. Some of the specimens would be
      of scientific use today, he said.

      "This collection has the unique value of stretching back to the beginning
      of when these diseases were discovered," Brown told UPI, noting that the
      first samples were obtained in 1963. "It would be as though you had in your
      hands the possibility of finding out when AIDS started."

      [Very edited from from the very comprehensive and disturbing article at:

      *04: Plants & Cancer/Heart, Type of Carbos & Protein Matters
      "Three new studies published in the journal of the American Medical
      Association are proving the benefit of a plant-based diet in greatly
      reducing the risk of cancer. The studies show that high consumption of
      fruits and vegetables wards off a variety of cancers. (They also show that
      consuming red meat multiplies the risk of colon cancer.) Another study in
      the same issue shows that consuming olive oil reduces the risk of breast
      cancer. But here's what's fascinating about this study that you probably
      haven't heard in the mainstream press: it was conducted on regular,
      everyday people that are generally consuming unhealthy diets to begin with.
      [snip] And yet, we see that the small amount of fruits and vegetables these
      people consume actually protects them from the dangerous effects of those

      Now, if you were to repeat this study and look at the anti-cancer benefit
      in holistic nutritionists, or people who consume vegetarian organic diets,
      you would see a much stronger protective effect. The cancer rates in that
      group would plummet. All this leads us to a startling realization, which
      is that we now have a system of medicine based on a collection of clinical
      evidence that was derived from studying how unhealthy, chronically
      diseased, malfunctioning human bodies respond to certain chemicals. That's
      INDIVIDUALS [emphasis added].""

      [Heavily edited from the marvelous (must read) essay at:

      PROTEIN FROM RED MEAT, DAIRY TIED TO HEART RISKS: (02/09/05): "Older women
      who eat a relatively large amount of protein from red meat or dairy
      products may have an elevated risk of dying from heart disease, the results
      of a large study suggest. The findings, say researchers, call into
      question the long-term safety of high-protein diets -- at least the ones
      that don't distinguish the protein in steak and cream from that in tofu and
      nuts. The investigators found that among more than 29,000 postmenopausal
      women, those who reported the highest intake of protein from red meat and
      dairy products had a roughly 40 percent higher risk of dying from heart
      disease over the next 15 years compared with women with the lowest intake
      of these foods.

      SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, February 1, 2005.

      [Very edited from:

      DIET LOWERS CHOLESTEROL AS WELL AS DRUG: (02/07/05): "A diet rich in fiber
      and vegetables lowered cholesterol just as much as taking a statin drug,
      Canadian researchers reported on Monday. They said people who cannot
      tolerate the statin drugs because of side-effects can turn to the diet,
      which they said their volunteers could easily follow. David Jenkins of St.
      Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto and colleagues created
      what they called a diet "portfolio" high in soy protein, almonds, and
      cereal fiber as well as plant sterols -- tree-based compounds used in
      cholesterol-lowering margarines, salad dressing and other products. They
      tested their diet on 34 overweight men and women, comparing it with a
      low-fat diet and with a normal diet plus a generic statin drug, lovastatin.

      Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jenkins and
      colleagues said the low-fat diet lowered LDL -- the low-density lipoprotein
      or "bad" cholesterol -- by 8.5 percent after a month. Statins lowered LDL
      by 33 percent and the "portfolio" diet lowered LDL by nearly 30 percent.
      The volunteers all felt full on the, diets although the "portfolio" diet
      resulted in more bowel movements, the researchers said."

      [Edited from:

      comes to carbohydrates, it's not how much you eat, but which kind, that
      makes a difference to your bathroom scale, new research shows. People who
      are overweight do not appear to eat more carbohydrates overall than people
      who weigh less, the researchers report in the American Journal of
      Epidemiology. However, they found that overweight people tend to eat more
      refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, which cause a rapid
      spike in blood sugar. "Total amount of carbohydrate is not related to body
      weight," Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School
      in Worcester told Reuters Health. "It's the type of carbohydrate that's

      These findings suggest that low-carbohydrate diets, which recommend people
      cut back on all carbohydrates, are missing the mark, Ma added. Ma
      explained that refined carbohydrates are often found in processed foods
      that contain a lot of sugar. This type of carbohydrate has what's called a
      high glycemic index, meaning it causes a rapid increase in blood sugar. The
      body stores that sugar in muscle, but if it is not used, it becomes fat, he
      noted. In contrast, whole grains, fruits and vegetables have carbohydrates
      that don't have such high glycemic index, Ma said.

      SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, February 15; 2005

      [Edited from:

      *05: World Water Day, Green Religion, Creation Care, Mercury/IQ
      UN-backed International Decade for Water kicked off on Tuesday with
      addresses, media-friendly demonstrations and awards aimed at drawing
      attention to the plight of the world's most plentiful but most abused
      resource. Placed under the banner "Water for Life," the decade seeks to
      lobby support for the United Nations' Millennium Goals, which hope to halve
      the number of people without access to clean drinking water or sanitation
      by 2015. To meet the targets would mean providing sanitation for more than
      300,000 additional people every day and clean water for nearly 150,000 a
      day. But public aid for water projects declined from 2.7 billion dollars
      (two billion euros) in 1997 to only 1.4 billion dollars in 2002, according
      to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and
      has stagnated at that level ever since."

      Some 2.4 billion people have no toilets or sewers, and 1.1 billion do not
      even have drinkable water. Every day, an estimated 22,000 people, half of
      them children, die of diseases borne by polluted water, such as typhoid,
      cholera, malaria and diarrhoea."

      [Very edited from:

      (02/03/05): "The Church of England is embarking on a green revolution,
      rolling out an eco-friendly policy under which organic bread and wine will
      be served for Holy Communion, clergy will recycle waste products and fair
      trade products will be sold at fêtes. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of
      Canterbury, will set out his vision of a greener world at a meeting of the
      General Synod of the Church of England later this month that will challenge
      Britain to tackle global warming.

      In a discussion document being circulated among Synod members, the Church
      of England says that the world's climate is close to a "tipping point". The
      Church warns: "The sudden changes that would occur in weather systems, the
      fertility of the soil, the water and the world of living creatures if this
      tipping point were reached could be devastating." It points out that even
      if "ecological devastation" is not on the horizon "it has to be realised
      that growth without limit has to be curtailed". The report, entitled
      Sharing God's Planet, argues: "Furthermore, the injustices spawned by
      massive growth already exist. Two-thirds of the world does not have enough
      to eat while the other third is trying to lose weight." Dr. Williams ...
      recommends that Christians adopt "sustainable consumption", recognising
      their duty "to celebrate and care for every part of God's creation"."

      [Very edited from:

      "Frustration with the Bush administration's environmental polices is
      bubbling up from mainstream churches and synagogues, as reflected in a
      statement signed recently by more than 1,000 clergy and congregational
      leaders in about 35 states. Called "God's Mandate: Care for Creation," the
      statement says that "there was no mandate, no majority, or no 'values'
      message in this past election for the President or the Congress to rollback
      and oppose programs that care for God's creation."

      In a conference call last month, some Catholic, Protestant and Jewish
      leaders came up with the idea of a strong statement on the environment to
      warn the White House and Republicans in Congress that there are limits to
      the support they can expect from the religious community, according to Paul
      Gorman, executive director of the National Religious Partnership for the
      Environment, an alliance of Catholic, Protestant, evangelical and Jewish
      organizations. The statement objects to Bush's policies on global warming,
      toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants and lack of emphasis on
      conservation. The National Council of Churches is circulating the statement
      to 250,000 clergy and lay leaders across the country."

      [Edited from:

      (03/01/05): "Reductions in intelligence due to mercury pollution affect
      between 316,500 and 637,200 American children each year and will cost the
      United States an estimated $8.7 billion in lost earnings annually,
      according to a new study by scientists at the Mount Sinai Center for
      Children's Health and the Environment in New York, released Monday in
      "Environmental Health Perspectives" (www.ehponline.org), the peer-reviewed
      journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "Of
      this total, $1.3 billion each year is attributable to mercury emissions
      from American power plants.

      This significant toll threatens the economic health and security of the
      United States and should be considered in the debate on mercury pollution
      controls," the doctors said. The doctors said the Bush administration's
      "Clear Skies" legislation that would substitute a cap-and-trade system for
      the existing Clean Air Act to reduce mercury from U.S. power plants has the
      potential to damage American children. The Clean Air Act would reduce
      mercury more quickly than the Bush plan, many scientists and
      environmentalists have said."

      [Very edited from:

      [See also: "EPA Distored Mercury Analysis, GAO [& EPA Insperctor General]

      *06: Ha-Ha-Heart Healthy, Cow Tents, Octo Tiptoes, Camel Milk
      LAUGHTER IS HA-HA-HEART HEALTHY: (03/07/05): "A good belly laugh may have
      repercussions all the way up to the heart. For the first time, researchers
      have found that laughter causes the endothelium, the inner lining of blood
      vessels, to dilate. This increases blood flow which, of course, is good for
      overall cardiovascular health.

      "I think it would be reasonable for everybody to loosen up, and spend about
      15 to 20 minutes a day laughing," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Miller,
      director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical
      Center. Although this is the first study to show that laughter has such an
      effect, Miller had previously reported that people with heart disease
      generally responded to everyday life events with less humor than people who
      were healthy. And Harvard University researchers have reported that people
      with an optimistic outlook also have a reduced risk of heart disease.

      The magnitude of the changes was similar to the benefit that might be seen
      with aerobic activity, Miller said. That's not a reason to trade laughing
      for exercise, he added; the ideal would be to do both."

      [Edited from:

      COW TENTS: (03/2005): "These tents camouflaged by cows silkscreened on
      their sides have just won the Parisian "Scènes d'intérieur designer 2005"
      award for their designer, Hervé Matejewski.

      [See the Tents at:

      TWO-LIMBED TIPTOE AIDS OCTOPUS CAMOUFLAGE: (03/21/05): "Two tiny species
      of tropical octopus have demonstrated a remarkable disappearing trick. They
      adopt a two-armed 'walk' that frees up their remaining six limbs to
      camouflage them as they slink away from trouble. "When we noticed one was
      walking, I thought my gosh, this is amazing. It's the first underwater
      bipedal locomotion I know of," says Christine Huffard of the University of
      California, Berkeley, who captured the behaviour on video. Huffard's team
      filmed the apple-sized Octopus marginatus in the tropical waters of
      Indonesia. Instead of its usual sprawling crawl, O. marginatus fled from
      divers by striding on two arms, with the rest of its arms wrapped around
      its body, giving it the appearance of a walking coconut."

      [Edited from where you can also see the funny video at:

      CAMEL MILK CHOCOLATES: (03/16/05): "An Austrian chocolate maker has joined
      forces with an Arabic camel farm to create a new delicacy - camel milk
      chocolates. Company head Johann Georg Hochleitner said camel's milk was a
      good alternative to cow's milk because it was lower in fat and sweeter.
      "We have combined camel's milk from the farm in Al Ain with honey from
      Yemen and have developed a healthy and delicious new type of chocolate,"
      said Hochleitner."

      [Edited from:

      *07: Organic=Healthier, Inferior Food, Organic: 10 Whys, Milk Myth
      'HEALTHIER' ON ORGANIC DIET: (02/18/05): "A team of scientists found rats
      fed on organic food were slimmer, slept better and had stronger immune
      systems than others fed on conventionally-grown produce, it emerged today.
      The controversial findings are likely to re-start the debate over whether
      organic food is more beneficial for humans, or if as some have said, it is
      an expensive alternative which has no effect on health.

      A team from the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, aided by a
      Newcastle University scientist, experimented on 36 rats, feeding one group
      organic food, another conventionally grown food, with high levels of
      fertiliser and some pesticide, and a third group were minimally-fertilised
      food. All the rats were given potatoes, carrots, peas, green kale, apples
      and rapeseed oil and the level of nutrients was monitored to make sure they
      were the same for each group. They were also given the same vitamin
      supplements and all were reported to have thrived during the experiment.
      Pesticide residue was also measured and found to be below detection levels
      in all groups. Yet the scientists found that the rats fed
      organically-produced food were measurably healthier, in that they slept
      better, had stronger immune systems and were less obese."

      [Very edited from:

      evidence indicates that today's fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products
      have less vitamins and nutrients than in the past. American agribusiness
      is producing more food than ever before, but the evidence is building that
      the vitamins and minerals in that food are declining. [snip] We asked
      sustainable agriculture expert Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., if reliance on
      chemical fertilizers and emphasis on high yields might reduce the nutrients
      in fruits and vegetables. Benbrook has been studying the pros and cons of
      conventional and organic agriculture for more than 15 years. [snip] "High
      nitrogen levels make plants grow fast and bulk up with carbohydrates and
      water. While the fruits these plants produce may be big, they suffer in
      nutritional quality," Benbrook says, "whereas organic production systems
      (which use slow-release forms of nitrogen) produce foods that usually yield
      denser concentrations of nutrients and deliver consumers a better
      nutritional bargain per calorie consumed."

      "Organic farmers work to support the complex natural relationships between
      crop roots, soil microbes and minerals, but "scientists only understand a
      few of those relationships. Unless we understand much more fully what the
      critical balances are, it's very difficult to import them to the farm in a
      bag or a bottle." [really big snip] ... Benbrook says the public health
      implications are considerable: "When you think about the diseases and
      long-term health problems that are caused by poor nutrition - heart
      disease, diabetes, cancer - the value to society of producing more
      nutritious crops is enormous."

      [Very edited from the outstanding stat/idea-filled article (a must read,
      y'all) at:

      TEN REASONS TO EAT ORGANIC FOODS: (02/07/05): "The United Kingdom's Soil
      Association is the leading organic certifier for that region. They
      published a list of 10 reasons for eating organic - all of which I [Dr.
      Weil] agree with:

      (1) It's healthy. Organic food tends to contain higher levels of vitamin C,
      cancer-fighting antioxidants, and essential minerals such as calcium,
      magnesium, iron and chromium, (3) It avoids pesticides. More than 400
      chemical pesticides are routinely used in conventional farming and residues
      are often present in non-organic food, (6) There are no hidden costs. As
      taxpayers, we pay for chemicals to be removed from our drinking water -
      including the pesticide runoff from conventional farms, (8) Organic methods
      provide for animals. Animal welfare is taken very seriously under organic
      standards, (9) It's good for wildlife and the environment..... organic
      farming is better for wildlife, causes lower pollution from sprays,
      produces less carbon dioxide - the main global warming gas - and less
      dangerous wastes.

      [Very edited from the full list at:

      scientific review scheduled to appear in the March issue of the
      peer-reviewed journal, Pediatrics, Cornell-trained nutritionist Amy Joy
      Lanou, Ph.D., and co-authors show that dairy products do not promote bone
      health in children and young adults. Physical activity does have a positive
      impact on bone health, while evidence linking bone health with dairy
      product consumption is weak, at best. "Under scientific scrutiny, the
      support for the milk myth crumbles. This analysis of 58 published studies
      shows that the evidence on which U.S. dairy intake recommendations are
      based is scant," says Dr. Lanou, lead author of the study. "A clear
      majority of the studies we examined for this review found no relationship
      between dairy or dietary calcium intake and measures of bone health..... To
      build strong bones and healthy bodies, children need exercise, sunshine,
      and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that helps them maintain a healthy
      body weight."

      [Edited from:

      *08: Bee Trouble, Smart Fish, Non-Human Farmers, Monkey Labs
      TINY PEST DECIMATING HONEYBEE COLONIES: (02/01/05): "A tiny pest is
      decimating honeybee colonies across the country, worrying beekeepers and
      farmers who depend on the insects to pollinate their crops. Pollinating
      almond orchards is the immediate worry in California's agriculture
      industry, but the mites' devastation of the honeybee supply is causing
      concern across the country. Honeybees pollinate about one-third of the
      human diet and dozens of agricultural crops. California produces 80
      percent of the world's almond supply. A $1 billion-a-year crop, the nuts
      have become the state's top agricultural export, ahead of wine and cotton.
      Experts think the mites may have arrived in the mid-1980s from Asia, where
      they coexisted with local honeybees. In their years in North America, the
      eight-legged pests have devastated wild bee colonies and radically altered
      beekeeping. The pinhead-sized mite - the Varroa destructor - feeds on
      honeybees and their larvae. In some areas, they've destroyed as many as 60
      percent of the hives."

      [Very edited from:

      (03/10/04): "If you thought fish were cold, wet creatures who forget
      everything in three seconds flat, think again. Scientists have found they
      are fast learners, carry mental maps around in their heads - and can retain
      memories for months. Swimming gormlessly around in their bowls or tanks,
      fish have long been dismissed as dunces compared with "higher" animals such
      as rats, cats, dogs and primates. This view is now being challenged by
      findings that could re-ignite the debate over the cruelty of angling. Tests
      on fish in aquaria at Oxford University have shown that despite their tiny
      brains, they possess cognitive abilities outstripping those of some small
      mammals. Research suggests that fish can store memories for months [which
      is equivalent to decades for humans]."

      [Very edited from:

      NON-HUMAN FARMERS: (02/05/05): "Some damselfish farm algae on coral heads
      and nip the coral to create cuts that encourage the algae to grow.
      Apparently, they are known even to attack human beings that swim near their
      farms. Fortunately, they are very small fish with small teeth, so death by
      damselfish is unlikely! The damselfish inspired me to learn about other
      animals that farm their own food. It turns out that besides humans, four
      kinds of animal are known to farm fungi (fungiculture)-leaf cutter ants,
      termites, ambrosia beetles, and marsh snails.

      We humans capitalized on the invention of agriculture to place ourselves on
      the path to achieve a dominating position in our ecosystem. It is our
      gregarious nature, societal structure, communication skills, and a measure
      of engineering skills that were key. Let's examine how non-human farmers
      stack up in these areas....

      [Very edited from well-written and very long discourse at:

      LAB MONKEYS 'SCREAM WITH FEAR' IN TESTS: (02/08/05): "Secret documents
      describing how some monkeys can scream in misery, fear and anger during
      experiments were produced in the high court yesterday as evidence that the
      laws intended to protect laboratory animals are being flouted. Excerpts
      from Cambridge University internal papers - one of several sites where
      primate research is carried out - give laboratory technicians and
      scientists advice on how to deal with problems during and after
      experiments. Presented in court by the British Union for the Abolition of
      Vivisection (BUAV), they describe occasions when primates are "screaming,
      trying to get out of the box, defecating", and state: "This is an angry
      animal." Scientists and technicians are advised in the documents to
      "punish" the bad habits of the monkeys, stating that these bad habits
      include the normal self-grooming. The court challenge comes after the
      government's chief inspector of animals dismissed the findings of a
      10-month undercover investigation by BUAV into three research programmes at
      Cambridge in 1998. "

      [Very edited from:

      *09: Howard's Schedule
      April 9: Alexandria, VA > 4 pm to 7:30 pm, Community Praise Center Health
      Seminar, Ajlegalplan@...

      April 23: Salt Lake City, Utah > jasonh@...

      May 5: Seattle, Washington > Seattle Lake Union Park > 6:30 PM-11:30 PM >
      806 Terry Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98019 > jilabraham@...

      May 21: Dells, WI > National Nutritional Food Association > karib@...

      June 29-July 3: Johnstown, PA > NAVS (North American Vegetarian Society)
      July 7-11: Los Angeles, CA > AR2005

      (For more information and a tenative list of a major cross-country tour by
      Howard in the Fall:

      *10: Quick Bytes
      [People's Grocery: Creative Solutions To Food Needs:"

      ["'McLibel' Activists Win Legal Aid Case:"

      ["Rev. Al Sharpton Preaches Compassion for Chickens:"

      ["Biopharmed Rice: Help the USDA [comments solicited] Make A Sound Choice:"

      ["Mexico Approves Planting And Sale Of GM Crops:"

      ["Organic & Local Key to Food Sustainability:"

      ["HSUS Protect the Seals Campaign:"

      ["More Than Meats The Eye [intelligence of farm animals]:"

      ["PCRM Develops World's First Cruelty-free Insulin Assay:"

      ["Seven Best and Seven Worst Foods for Health and Longevity:"

      ["Mushrooms Offer Heart Health Fibres"

      ["Carrots Cut Your Cancer Risk:"

      ["Obesity Epidemic Threatens To Cut Life Expectancy:"

      ["Vegetarian Diet and Children's Age:"

      ["Salt Should Be Regulated Food Additive, Group Says & Sues Gov't:"

      ["China Raises Environmental Bar for Heavy Industry:"

      ["Diesel Emissions Claim 20,000 Lives A Year In US: Report:"

      ["New Proof That Man Has Caused Global Warming:"

      ["New Images - 2004 Global Surface Temperature Anomalities:"

      ["Statistics Tell the Story: America is Racing Toward the Bottom:"

      ["Need a Building? Just Add Water:"

      ["Search for Health Food Stores, Food Coops, Pet Supplies, and More:"

      [VegNews Monthly Newsletter:

      [FARMUSA's MeatOut Monday Newsletter:

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

      [Vegetarians In Paradise Newsletter:

      [International Vegetarian Union Newsletter:

      [Over 10,000 veg'n recipe links:

      ["Greek Veg'n Recipes:"

      [PCRM Recipe Archives:

      ["Flaxseeds: Info, Tips, Facts:"

      *11: Closing Thought(s)
      "...I really feel strongly that if were are going to deal with the problems
      that we have, whether they are health, environment, or the animal issues,
      we have to do it in this generation. I believe that we are up against the
      wall, and that means we can't take a pass, that we can't say it's up to
      somebody else, that somebody is in charge, that the government has somebody
      that is looking after the problem.

      My message to people is that it's up to you, right now, to get involved.
      And if you don't, there may not be a future for our children and
      grandchildren... that all of those animals that we are killing, those
      animals are killing us. This is about the absolute survival of the human
      species. That's my message, and I will spread it as long as I have breath
      in my body."

      -- Howard Lyman (in "Mad Cowboy: The Documentary")

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