11_22_06: Mad Cowboy Trailer, Locavores, & Animals Win
- Welcome to the 55th issue of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter. We're proud
as peacocks to announce that "Mad Cowboy: The Documentary" won an
Artivist Award earlier this month in Hollywood, and you can watch the
first trailer of the movie here:
Also, the Mad Cowboy extends a hearty handshake to Senator-elect John
Testor, from Montanna. The Senator is an organic farmer (remember,
Howard ran for the House years ago and almost won). Here's some info
about Mr. Testor's background:
In this Thanksgiving issue of the newsletter you'll find a bunch of
links for holiday recipes collected below. And, don't miss the link
(in Mad Cow Info Round-Up) to the Canadian TV show "Regenesis," kind
of a "X-files" on biotechnology issues (with an interactive online
game). There's also a tally of how Animal Issues faired in this
recent election, an essay about "Humane Eating," an interview with
Eric Schlosser and links to the "Fast Food Nation"
trailers/behind-the-scenes. Then there's the "Backwards Hamburger"
and Meatrix 2.5 videos, the new studies about red meat and cancer -
good fat and heart disease, the 1st study to connect soil mineral
depletion to cancer-causing chemicals in food, and the "eating local
challenge" posted by "Locavores."
You'll also find out that scientists now realize that birds are
brainy, manatees are smarter than they originally thought, elephants
can recognize themselves in mirrors, and no one knows how that dog
figured out how to take the bus periodically into town.
... and, as always, a tip of the hat to our new subscribers. Y'all
can read past issues of the newsletter at:
Here's wishing everyone a blessed, happy, and veg'n Thanksgiving!
Keep warm... Mark
[personal vegan blog: http://www.soulveggie.com]
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
00: Quote(s) from Howard
01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
02: Recipe from "No More Bull!"
03: Veg'n Thanksgiving Links
04: Mad Cow Info Round-up
05: Animals Win, "Humane" Eating, Fast Food Nation, NY Foie Gras?
06: Red Meat/Cancer, Healthy Fats, Food Depletion, Locavores
07: Adopt-A-Microbe, Backwards Burger, Meatrix2.5, Rabbit or Tiger?
08: Brainy Birds/Manatees, Elephant's "I am", Vortex Menace
09: Upcoming Events of Note
10: Howard's Schedule
11: Quick Bytes
12: Closing Thoughts
*00: Quote(s) from Howard
"When I decided to become a vegetarian, I lost over 100 pounds, my
blood pressure came down, my cholesterol came down, I knew I had the
answer to my health problems. I could hardly wait to share that with
my friends and family. I was even considering sharing it with my
I invited her for Thanksgiving dinner. I said to her that turkey
would be available for her. My mother-in-law came into the house,
went to the oven and to the refrigerator: no turkey. She felt I had
let her down. I took her to the back yard where I had a live turkey.
I told her that if she wanted turkey for dinner she would have to
kill it herself.
That turkey survived."
--- Howard Lyman (from the interview posted at:
SPECIAL FLASHBACK -- Howards Meet:
*01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
LAST WEEK'S MAD COWBOY VEGAN MIND-BENDER:
"Of the 37 or so ingredients in a Chicken McNugget, roughly how many,
directly or indirectly, come from corn? (a) 37 (b) 30 (c) 23
In a recent article, Michael Pollen said "30," then in the book (as
pointed out on a website) he implied "13," then some intrepid MC
Newsletter subscribers found references online to "14 to 16"
ingredients. As such, those who answered (b) and (d) were considered
Congratulations to Shanti Portia of Daylesford, Australia for winning
the luck of the draw!
[Michael Pollen online essay:
[Subscriber supplied reference:
THIS WEEK'S VEGAN MIND-BENDER:
"Around 300 million turkeys are killed each year. Approx. what
percentage of that number are slaughtered just for Thanksgiving
(a) 75% (b) 50% (c) 25% (d) 15%
Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@... with the word
"contest" in your subject line by NLT December 15, 2006.
[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]
*02: Recipe from "No More Bull!"
NUTTY DATE COOKIES
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
"These cookies are a delicious and nutritious treat --- they are
moist and chewy.
2 cups dates, packed
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup high oleic sunflower oil*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 grated apple
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut halves
*High oleic sunflower oil is 80% monoumsaturated fat. This is
preferable to regular sunflower oil which is mainly omega-6 fatty
acids. You may substitute organic canola oil or other vegetable oil
of your choice.
"In a small sauce pan, cook dates and water until dates are soft.
Remove from heat and mash (a potato masher works well). In a large
bowl, combine oil, vanilla, soy milk, lemon juice, ground flax,
apples and mashed dates.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix all remaining dry ingredients except
nuts. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine
(do not overstir). Fold in walnuts. Drop by heaping teaspoon onto
an oiled cookie sheet. Bak at 325 degrees F for about 20 minutes or
until nicely browned.
Variations: Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and use pecan halves
instead of walnut halves. Replace grated apples with 1/2 cup of
--- Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, "No More Bull!" (by Howard
Lyman), pg. 128-129 (originally published in "The New Becoming
Vegetarian," by Melina and Davis)
*03: Veg'n Thanksgiving Links
["Bryanna Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes:"
["Holiday Tricks to Fill the Vegan Void:"
[Posted by FARM (http://www.farmusa.org):
"Thanks to Boston Vegetarian Society for compiling this list!"
["Thanksgiving recipes from the Post Punk Kitchen:"
["Celebrate a Vegetarian Thanksgiving:"
["VegWeb's Thanksgiving Recipes:"
["Thanksgiving Favorites They'll Really Give Thanks For:"
["Compassionate Thanksgiving Recipes:"
["International Vegetarian Union's Holiday Recipes:"
["What to Serve When Veg'ns Visit at the Holidays:"
["In a Vegetarian Kitchen's Thanksgiving Recipes:"
["Vegetarians in Paradise (scroll down to Thanksgiving):"
["Essenes Thanksgiving Menu:"
[Graphic descriptions: the modern turkey:
["Making a Turkey" from Farm Sanctuary (graphic):"
*04: Mad Cow Info Round-up
CANADIAN TV NEWS REPORTS, LINKING CJD & TO FOOD-SUPPLIES TRIGGER:
(10/2006): "Safe To Eat? She thought her son died of a random
illness, one with no known cause, no cure. Now some scientists are
questioning whether there's a new link to mad cow disease. Kelly
Crowe reports. -For years, scientists have known that B.S.E. causes
variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. What some people call the human
form of Mad Cow Disease. But another form of C.J.D., Sporadic C.J.D.,
has always confounded them. The most common theory has been that the
deadly illness occurs spontaneously with no known cause. Now some of
the world's leading scientists in the field are having another look
at sporadic C.J.D. and the possibility that it too is linked to mad
[Full transcript of broadcast at:
MS DIAGNOSIS RATE SOARING FOR CANADIAN WOMEN: (10/30/06): "A new
study has pinpointed an alarming trend that suggests women with
multiple sclerosis now outnumber men in Canada by a ratio of more
than three to one. The researchers, led by Dr. George Ebers of
Oxford University, examined Canadian data on multiple sclerosis
sufferers. They also found that this gender ratio has been rising for
at least 50 years. More than 1,000 new cases of the disease will be
diagnosed this year in Canada, and an estimated 55,000 to 75,000
people are currently living with the disease.
The team that conducted the research into the Canadian multiple
sclerosis data is speculating that an unknown contributing factor has
emerged in the last half century to make MS a female-dominated
disease. The findings will appear in the November edition of the
Lancet's neurology journal. there is growing acceptance of the
theory that a vitamin D deficiency due to low sun exposure may be a
contributing factor in the development of the often-disabling
disease. Other possible factors that could be contributing to the
trend include the changing role of women in the work force, dietary
habits, increase in smoking among women, use of oral contraceptives,
and changes in the timing of childbearing years."
SLOVENIA REPORTS NEW CASE OF MAD COW DISEASE: (11/05/06):
"Slovenia's Veterinary Administration said on Sunday a new case of
mad cow disease was reported in a 6-year-old cow from Slovenia which
was slaughtered in Austria earlier this week. This is Slovenia's
seventh case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in animals,
with the last being diagnosed in an ox in August 2005. First
detected in Britain in 1986, BSE caused millions of animals to be
slaughtered in Britain in the 1980s and early 1990s. Nearly all
European Union countries subsequently reported BSE cases and Sweden
saw its first case earlier this year. But the overall incidence of
BSE in the EU is falling."
PLAN TO CREATE HUMAN-COW EMBRYOS: (11/06/06): "UK scientists have
applied for permission to create embryos by fusing human DNA with cow
eggs. Researchers from Newcastle University and Kings College,
London, have asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
for a three-year licence. The hybrid human-bovine embryos would be
used for stem cell research and would not be allowed to develop for
more than a few days. [Stem cells] are the body's master cells and
five-day-old embryos are packed with them - each with the potential
to turn into any tissue in the body. It is this ability which
scientists want to harness to treat diseases such as Parkinson's
Disease, strokes and Alzheimer's Disease. The problem is that human
eggs for research are in short supply and to obtain them women have
to undergo surgery. That is why scientists want to use cows' eggs as
a substitute. The resulting embryo would be 99.9% human, the only
bovine element would be DNA outside the nucleus of the cell. It
would though, technically be a chimera, part-human, part-animal. The
aim would be to extract stem cells from the embryo when it is six
days old, before destroying it.
Calum MacKellar, from the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, said
the research undermines the distinction between animals and humans
and breaches human rights. He said: "In the history of humankind
animals and human species have been separated. "In this kind of
procedure you are mixing at a very intimate level animal eggs and
human chromosomes, and you may begin to undermine the whole
distinction between humans animals and humans."
[Very edited from:
CREEKSTONE ANSWERS USDA IN COURT OVER MAD COW TESTING: (11/07/06):
"Creekstone Farms Premium Beef has answered the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's court documents opposing the company's motion for
summary judgment in its lawsuit against [the] USDA. Creekstone sued
the USDA in March for refusing to allow the Arkansas City beef
processor to voluntarily test all the cattle it slaughters for BSE,
commonly called mad cow disease.
USDA officials have told the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia that Creekstone's case is now largely moot because Japan and
Korea have re-opened their borders to U.S. imports. Several countries
had banned imports of U.S. beef because of concerns over mad cow. The
USDA maintains that it has the right to regulate private testing for
BSE on the basis of a 100-year-old law intended to stop the sale of
bogus hog cholera serums to Midwest farmers. In its filing,
Creekstone maintains that the USDA is using the law in a way it was
never intended, not to protect ranchers from suppliers of bogus
serums but to regulate competition among beef processors.
Creekstone's filing also maintains that the company is seeking to
test 100 percent of its beef for BSE to enhance its brand reputation
and to make it possible to sell beef for higher prices in both
domestic and foreign markets.
The filing supports Creekstone's claim of serious economic harm both
in the main document and in several friend of the court briefs filed
in support of Creekstone's case. Testing all the cattle processed at
the Arkansas City plant would cost Creekstone about $6 million
annually, but officials have contended that regaining lost markets
would more than pay for the additional cost."
JAPAN HALTS SWIFT SHIPMENTS: (11/09/06): "When it comes to
international beef trade, there's just no room for error anymore.
Greeley-based Swift & Co. is learning that tedious lesson after the
Japanese government on Wednesday temporarily halted beef shipments
from the Greeley beef plant for what amounts to a clerical error.
Japanese officials found one box containing thymus glands in a
shipment of 760 boxes of chilled beef and beef tongue in its Osaka
port. The thymus gland product is not a designated risk material, and
it is eligible for import to Japan. The internal organ, commonly
called the "sweetbread" and considered a delicacy in fine dining
circles overseas, was not on Swift's official list of products to
send to Japan. Swift typically ships the product domestically but has
in the past shipped it to South America, Mexico and Europe.
"I don't understand how their procedures can miss this," said Steve
Kay, publisher of Cattle Buyer's Weekly, which follows the
beefpacking industry. "Somehow, there wasn't a system inside the
Greeley plant to check the shipment that was put together, and
second, the boxes weren't checked against their export certificate.
"It raises pretty serious questions about Swift's ability to comply
with the absolute minutiae of the protocols." After receiving a
report from the USDA, the Japanese will send a delegation to the
Greeley plant to review whether it is following rules for export to
Japan before allowing trade to resume. "We are very concerned about
what appears to be a simple error because it comes so soon after
Japan lifted its import ban," said Yasushi Yamaguchi, an Agriculture
Ministry official in Tokyo."
[Very edited from:
MAD COW PANIC HITS 2000 SHOPS: (11/11/06): "The Co-op were last
night facing a nationwide scare over their beef because a single cow
at risk of BSE was allowed into the food chain by mistake. A wide
range of beef products from Co-op branches all over the UK were
recalled or taken off shelves. Customers who had already bought
affected meat were warned not to eat it. Ox liver sold at ASDA was
also recalled. In all, more than 2000 shops all over the country were
hit. Store bosses and health experts said there was virtually no
chance of anyone falling ill after eating the beef. But the panic is
still set to cost the industry millions of pounds. A Co-op
spokeswoman said the company could not tell exactly where the
offending cow's meat had ended up. She added: "It could be any of
our UK stores, so we have to recall the product as a precaution.
The crisis was sparked after a cow was sold to the supermarkets
despite being too old to meet safety standards. Rules brought in to
prevent mad cow disease say all animals older than 30 months should
be screened for BSE. But the offending cow wasn't checked, despite
being well above the age limit. Sources say a government official
simply failed to spot the animal's date of birth."
JAPAN'S FARM MINISTRY CONFIRMS COUNTRY'S 30TH CASE OF MAD COW
DISEASE: (11/13/06): Japan's Agriculture Ministry said Monday it
confirmed that a cow from northern Japan had the country's 30th case
of mad cow disease. Tests on the 5 year-old dairy cow performed at
the National Institute of Animal Health confirmed that the cow, which
died at a ranch on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, was
infected with the fatal illness. The animal will be destroyed and
incinerated so its parts will not be circulated for consumption or
used as feed, the ministry said. Japan has now confirmed 30 animals
infected with the fatal illness - known formally as bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, or BSE - since the first case in Japan was defected
NEW ZEALAND SEEKS FACTS FROM BRITAIN ON UNUSUAL SHEEP BRAIN DISEASE:
(11/15/06): "Authorities sought details from British scientists
Wednesday following reports that a new form of an unusual brain
disease was discovered in a New Zealand sheep in the U.K., a senior
official said. The Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Britain - New
Zealand's most important lamb export market - said the atypical form
of the disease scrapie had been detected in a six-year-old cheviot
ewe on a U.K. research farm. The ewe's scrapie-free, New
Zealand-raised parents had been kept in strict quarantine since they
were sent to Britain in 1998 and 2001 for research purposes.
"They (British scientists) have no idea how this animal got atypical
scrapie," said Biosecurity New Zealand assistant director-general
Barry O'Neill. Today in Asia - Pacific Blair calls for a new focus on
Afghanistan Competition between China and India goes beyond borders
Bush meets with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia The
number of ways it could have been infected would be checked by the
U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, or DEFRA, he
said. The sheep was born in the United Kingdom in 2000 and while it
was understood it had originated from New Zealand genetic material it
had lived in the United Kingdom for all its life, he said. O'Neill
said that New Zealand was free of the classical form of scrapie, and
that officials there had found no evidence of atypical scrapie.
Neither animal brain disease is considered a risk to humans. New
Zealand farms about 40 million sheep, and exports large quantities of
lamb and mutton each year.
They are part of a family of diseases known as transmissible
spongiform encephalopathies, which also include mad cow disease, as
well chronic wasting disease in deer. Mad cow disease, formally
called bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, is regarded as
dangerous to humans."
'MAD COW' KILLS SECOND DUTCH VICTIM: (11/16/06): "A second Dutch
person has died from the human variant of mad cow disease following
the death of a woman last year, health authorities said on Thursday.
The Dutch Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) give no details
about the victim, but Dutch television stations said he was a
16-year-old boy. A spokeswoman for the RIVM said the victim died
from the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) N the human
form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) N about two weeks ago.
She did not explain why the RIVM had waited two weeks to confirm the
death, which was reported in Dutch media on Thursday. The RIVM
diagnosed the person with the human variant of mad cow in June and
said at the time that the patient had most probably become infected
by eating contaminated meat products. It was the second Dutch death
from the human variant of mad cow disease after a 26-year-old woman
died in May 2005."
THE WORLD MEAT MARKET WILL KEEP RISING IN 2007: (11/17/06): "The
world meat market will keep rising in 2007. This is the indication of
the USDA in its biannual report to the world market. Sanitary crises
involving the three segments seem not to have affected the
projections on world meat consumption and trade next year. Not even
bird flu seems to have raised fear about the levels of production or
consumption, which reveals a situation imposed by the excellent level
of world economic growth still forecast to 2007.
The sanitary crises registered in the last few months and in the last
three years, at least, seem to have only benefited a temporary
replacement of some meat segments for others. The crisis of BSE or
mad cow in the United States did not affect its domestic consumption,
but affected the volume of exports, which helped other beef exporters
and other meat alternatives. Foot-and-mouth disease in Brazil ended
up affecting the flow of pork to some destinations such as Russia,
for example, which made way to local production and/or convergency of
demand to other meat products. Bird flu affected directly the
consumption of broiler meat n Europe, mainly, also with some
flotation of demand to alternative meat, but the effects of the
disease were softened by the strict control of the virus-dissipating
factors in the region in the short run.
At first, 2007 shows a decrease of such risky sanitary factors,
mainly involving foot-and-mouth disease and mad cow. Of course, the
risk of the outbreak of new cases persists, but a stricter control of
the risk factors of such diseases seem to suggest more discreet
effects to the world meat trade. Bird flu seems to be the most severe
world sanitary still present and still without chances of elimination
of risks in the short run, or at least for 2007. In other words, the
still aggressive presence of the virus in Asia maintains the world
market still under alert about the outbreak of new cases and their
U.S. BEEF RETURNS TO RUSSIA: (11/20/06): "The U.S. and Russia's
official signing of a bilateral trade agreement yesterday effectively
ends a Russian ban on U.S. beef. After U.S. officials discovered
bovine spongiform encephalopathy, often called 'mad cow disease,' in
December 2003, Russia banned the import of U.S. beef. "Before
December 2003, Russia was a huge export market for U.S. cattle
producers," says South Dakota cattleman Ed Blair, chair of the beef
industry's Joint International Markets Committee. "Cattle producers
are relieved Russia has finally acknowledged established
international trade standards regarding BSE."
After a Russian audit team visits plants in the U.S., the Russian
market will open for U.S. boneless beef, bone-in beef and beef
variety meats from cattle under 30 months with an export certificate.
"Previously, Russia was the largest export market for U.S. beef
livers, and we look forward to rebuilding this market once again,"
says Blair. "In 2003, Russia was the fifth largest export market for
U.S. beef in terms of quantity, importing over 140 million pounds of
U.S. beef and beef variety meats valued at over $53 million."
FRAUD EXPOSES BRITISH TO MAD COW DISEASE: (11/20/06):
"Inspectors in Britain believe widespread fraud at slaughterhouses
may be exposing the public to meat contaminated with mad cow disease.
The inspectors accuse slaughterhouses of swapping samples from
carcasses to stop them from failing tests to detect bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease, The Independent
reports. The practice of swapping was revealed by employees at two
British slaughterhouses and a third case is under investigation in
Northern Ireland but inspectors believe it is more widespread.
Earlier this month, beef was removed from supermarket shelves across
Britain because of the failure to test just one cow's brain for BSE.
People who eat products infected with BSE can develop the incurable
degenerative neurological disorder known as Creutzfeldt-Jacob
SALMONELLA OUTBREAK TRACED TO TOMATOES IN RESTAURANTS: (11/03/06):
"U.S. health officials said Friday they have traced the source of the
recent salmonella outbreak to tomatoes served in restaurants. "We've
done standard interviews with people who've become ill with this
organism and with well people in the same communities, and we've
identified tomatoes eaten in restaurants as the cause of this
outbreak," Dr. Christopher Braden, chief of outbreak response and
surveillance in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
Foodborne Branch, said during a teleconference. The outbreak has
sickened 183 people in 21 states in the United States, as well as two
people in Canada. Twenty-two people have been hospitalized. Most of
the cases have been east of the Mississippi River, with the exception
of Washington state. CDC officials said they first noticed a
salmonella problem two weeks ago, via a national computer lab system
that looks for patterns and matches in reports of food-borne illness.
Salmonella is a germ that causes a bacterial disease called
salmonellosis. The typical symptoms included diarrhea, fever and
stomach pain, which can start up to three days after people become
infected. The symptoms usually go away after one week. But some
victims do see a doctor or end up in a hospital, because the diarrhea
is severe or the infection has affected other organs, according to
the CDC. There are about 2,500 types of salmonella. The type in the
new outbreak -- salmonella typhimurium -- is one of the most common,
Braden said. According to the CDC, people can get salmonellosis by
eating contaminated food, such as chicken, eggs or produce. Animals
can carry salmonella and pass it in their feces. Therefore, people
can also get salmonellosis if they don't wash their hands after
touching the feces of animals. Reptiles (such as lizards, snakes and
turtles), baby chicks, and ducklings are especially likely to pass
salmonellosis to people. Dogs, cats, birds (including pet birds),
horses and farm animals can also pass salmonella in their feces."
[Very edited from:
"Health officials estimate that more than 1.4 million cases of
salmonellosis occur in the U.S. each year, about 1.3 million from
FASCINATING CANADIAN TV SERIES "REGENSIS:" "The future is here.
Bioterrorism. Designer babies. Frankenfoods. Suddenly Humanity
possesses the ability to play God. But is it progress or madness?
Will cutting-edge science be our salvation? Or our demise? Leading
the charge is the recently set up NorBAC Lab - a joint effort between
Canada, the US and Mexico to investigate questionable advances in
biotechnology. The Pandora's box of biotech is wide open. It's a
modern gold rush, where billions will be made and geo-power will be
staked. And everyone's involved: governments, multinational drug
companies, rogue states, and terrorists. But ideas can't be put back
in - once they're out, they're out."
[There's an interactive game, episode descriptions (some about
"prions"), at this extremely popular Canadian website:
[More program listings:
*05: Animals Win, "Humane" Eating, Fast Food Nation, NY Foie Gras?
VOTERS IN ARIZONA AND MICHIGAN SIDE WITH HUMANE SOCIETY ON STATEWIDE
BALLOT MEASURES: (11/07/06): "As voters across the country
participated in historic mid-term elections, citizens in Arizona and
Michigan also chose animal welfare policies by landslide votes in
state ballot measure contests - continuing a remarkable two-decade
track record of success on animal issues. The Humane Society of the
United States, which led efforts to combat abusive factory farming
practices in Arizona and to keep mourning doves protected from target
shooting in Michigan, praised the overwhelming votes as an
unmistakable signal that Americans want public policies that provide
for the humane treatment of animals. "Kindness to animals is a value
shared by Americans of all political stripes, and the landslide votes
tonight prove that rule once again," said Wayne Pacelle, president
and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Animals need
protection from cruelty and abuse, and these ballot measures provide
critical protections for millions of animals."
Since 1990 voters have enacted more than two dozen animal protection
reforms through ballot initiatives, including: * Banning cockfighting
in Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma * Outlawing the slaughter of horses
and the sale of horse meat in California * Restricting cruel and
inhumane traps and poisons in Arizona, California, Colorado,
Massachusetts and Washington * Prohibiting inhumane bear hunting
practices in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington * Banning
the use of gestation crates for breeding pigs in Florida * Providing
specialty spay/neuter license plates in Georgia * Banning canned
hunts and prohibiting future game farms in Montana * Outlawing aerial
wolf killing in Alaska
"Voters have consistently chosen to protect animals when given the
opportunity to cast their ballots in favor of humane treatment," said
Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The Humane Society of
the United States."
[Very edited from:
Animals Win Big at Ballot Box
ADVOCATES SEEK FOIE GRAS BAN IN NEW YORK: (11/15/06): "Animal rights
activists hoping to end foie gras production in New York filed a
lawsuit against the state Wednesday claiming the controversial
delicacy should be banned because it comes from "diseased and
severely ill" birds. The Humane Society of the United States in
state court in Albany sued agricultural officials, arguing that foie
gras is an "adulterated food product" that should not be produced or
sold in New York. The society's argument is based on the way foie
gras - French for "fat liver" - is produced. Farms like Hudson Valley
Foie Gras in Sullivan County force-feed ducks to fatten their livers
well beyond normal sizes. The advocates claim the process destroys
the birds' livers, causes blood toxicity, nerve damage and other
conditions that make the resulting foie gras an adulterated food
"Animals should not be kept sick and dying to appease the palates of
a few gourmands," said Carter Dillard, an attorney with the society.
"These animals are diseased and dying. State law prohibits turning
such animals into food." As anti-foie gras forces have scored
victories from California to Chicago recently, the Humane Society has
focused attention on New York, home to the No. 1 producer, Hudson
Valley Foie Gras, and La Belle Farm a few miles away. California is
banning force-fed foie gras starting in 2012 and Chicago in August
banned foie gras sales. Similar bans have been proposed in other
states and cities."
FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE: THE FACTS BEHIND "HUMANE" EATING: (10/31/06):
"I have yet to meet a non-vegetarian who didn't care about the
treatment of animals raised and killed for human consumption. Even
people who eat meat, aware on some level that the experience is
unpleasant for the animals, will tell you they object to unnecessary
abuse and cruelty. They declare that they buy only "humane" meat,
"free-range" eggs and "organic" milk, perceiving themselves as
ethical consumers and these products as the final frontier in the
fight against animal cruelty. Though we kill over 10 billion land
animals every year to please our palates, we never question the
absurdity of this sacred societal ritual. Instead, we absolve
ourselves by making what we think are guilt-free choices, failing to
recognize the paradox of "humane slaughter" and never really knowing
what the whole experience is for an animal from cradle
(domestication) to grave (our bodies).
When we tell ourselves we're eating meat from "humanely raised
animals," we're leaving out a huge part of the equation. The
slaughtering of an animal is a bloody and violent act, and death does
not come easy for those who want to live. As much as we don't want
to believe we are the cause of someone else's suffering, our
consumption of meat, dairy, eggs and other animal products
perpetuates the pointless violence and unnecessary cruelty that is
inherent in the deliberate breeding and killing of animals for human
consumption. If we didn't have a problem with it, we wouldn't have to
make up so many excuses and justifications. We dance around the
truth, label our choices "humane," and try to find some kind of
compromise so we can have our meat and eat it, too.
The movement toward "humanely raised food animals" simply assuages
our guilt more than it actually reduces animal suffering. If we truly
want our actions to reflect the compassion for animals we say we
have, then the answer is very simple. We can stop eating them. In
short, there is nothing humane about eating meat."
[Very very edited from the excellent essay at:
[The Compassionate Cooks website/blog:
FAST FOOD NATION: ERIC SCHLOSSER ON OBESITY, KIDS, AND FAST FOOD:
(11/17/06): "When PR Watch most recently caught a cell phone signal
from Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation" and the new "Chew
on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food,"
Schlosser was rushing from car to car in New York City, after London,
which was just after Berkeley, where he was giving students a preview
of the Indie film version of "Fast Food Nation." We didn't have the
chance to ask him when he had time to eat. But we did use the time to
speak with him about fast food, the U.S. childhood obesity epidemic,
and the public relations industry's techniques in attacking his work.
Schlosser has been likened to a latter day Upton Sinclair-exposing
the abattoirs and abuses in the meatpacking and calorie-packing
processed food industry. If you haven't read his books, you should,
and here are a few reasons why you can't just see the movie.
PR Watch: Your new book [with Charles Wilson], "Chew on This," reads
like a spin control manual on fast food. It could be for kids or a
number of audiences.... . Did you intend to, and how does one, debunk
spin for younger audiences?
Eric Schlosser: The chapter on marketing especially is an attempt to
provide some kind of media literacy for kids and to help them be
aware they're being targeted. I didn't see it in the context so much
of the PR industry. It was that kids are bombarded every day,
everywhere we go, by marketing. I wanted just to make them aware of
that fact, and to help make them aware of some of the tactics being
[Very edited from the interesting and well-done interview at:
["Fast Food Nation" trailer:
["Behind the Scenes" Part 1 of 6:
*06: Red Meat/Cancer, Healthy Fats, Food Depletion, Locavores
RED MEAT MAY BE LINKED TO BREAST CANCER AT EARLY AGE: (11/20/06):
"Women who eat lots of red meat may be at greater risk of getting a
certain type of breast cancer at a young age, a new analysis by
Harvard researchers suggests. Breast cancer is the most common
cancer among women in the US, and finding ways to prevent it is a
high priority. If the connection seen in this study holds true in
further research, cutting back on red meat may prove to be a
relatively simple way for women to lower their risk of some types of
Harvard Medical School researchers wanted to tease out the possible
relationship between red meat and breast cancer in younger women. To
do so, they looked at the records of 91,000 women between the ages of
26 and 46 who were taking part in a large lifestyle study of women
called the Nurses' Health Study II. During the course of the study,
these women -- none of whom had reached menopause -- periodically
answered questions about their diet, including how much red and
processed meat (including beef, lamb, pork, hamburger, bacon, hot
dogs, etc.) they ate and how often they ate it. The findings appear
in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
What was found: Over the course of 12 years, 1,021 of the women in
that group went on to develop invasive breast cancer. Women who ate
lots of red meat -- more than 1.5 servings per day -- had nearly
double the risk of developing breast cancer as did those who ate 3
servings a week or less. The study did not examine how red meat
might raise breast cancer risk. Citation: "Red Meat Intake and Risk
of Breast Cancer Among Premenopausal Women." Published in the Nov.
13, 2006 Archives of Internal Medicine (Vol. 166. No. 20: 2253-2259).
First author: Eunyoung Cho, ScD, Brigham and Women's Hospital and
Harvard Medical School."
[Very edited from:
STUDY SAYS HEALTHY FATS CUT WOMEN'S HEART RISKS: (11/09/06): "Women
who eat a diet moderately low in carbohydrates, but rich in vegetable
fat and vegetable protein, can cut their risk of heart disease by as
much as 30 percent compared to just following a low-fat approach,
according to a new Harvard study. The findings, drawn from a study
of more than 80,000 nurses, reinforce a growing shift in nutritional
advice toward moderate amounts of healthy fat found in such foods as
nuts, avocados, liquid vegetable oils and seafood along with
less-processed carbohydrates, including whole-grain bread and cereal,
fruit and vegetables. The new findings, published in today's issue
of the New England Journal of Medicine, underscore that eating few
processed carbohydrates, such as bagels, white bread, cookies, candy
and cake, and replacing animal fat with a moderate amount of healthy
vegetable oils "can help reduce the risk of heart disease," said
Alice Lichtenstein, professor at Tufts University Friedman School of
Nutrition Science and Policy.
... experts agree on several guidelines for controlling weight and
risk of heart disease: -- Avoid saturated and trans fats; use healthy
vegetable oils such as canola and olive. -- Get as much protein and
fat as you can from vegetable sources, rather than animals, and stick
to lean meats and fish. -- Avoid baked goods, white bread and highly
processed foods heavy on sugar, corn syrup and sodium. -- Eat more
high-quality carbohydrates such as whole-grain breads and rice,
oatmeal, fresh fruit and vegetables. -- Limit sugary beverages.
MINERAL DEPLETION OF SOILS RESULTS IN HIGHER ACRYLAMIDE CONTENT OF
FOODS: (11/13/06): "A team from Reading University and Rothamsted
Research in the U.K. has discovered that wheat grown from
sulfur-deprived soils creates flour with high acrylamide production
levels. Acrylamides are found in foods such as potato chips, cookies
and crusty bread, and is created when specific amino acids -- such as
asparagines -- and sugars reach high temperatures while being cooked
-- a process known as the Maillard reaction. The carcinogen first
began to gain notoriety in 2002 when Swedish Food Administration
scientists reported unexpectedly high levels of it in foods with high
levels of carbohydrates. This latest research, published in the
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, is part of a food
industry initiative to reduce acrylamides in foods by analyzing the
Experts say the soil mineral content problem has stemmed from the
decreased use of sulphate-enriched fertilizers and increase in crop
yields. According to the U.K.'s Home Grown Cereals Authority, sulfur
about 23 percent of the land used for cereal crops. The Reading and
Rothamsted researchers discovered the soil mineral/acrylamide link
when they grew three varieties of winter wheat and found that
sulfur-deprived grain had up to 30 times more amino acids. When flour
made from that wheat was heated to 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 20
minutes, the acrylamide content reached a level between 2,600g to
5,200g per kg compared to normal levels of 600g to 900g (on a parts
per billion scale).
"This is the first research we've seen that shows how mineral
depletion of our soils causes increased toxicity in our foods," said
Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and author of the Honest Food
Guide. "Mineral depletion not only reduces the nutritional content of
the foods we eat, it actually alters the chemical reactions of foods
during processing, resulting in the runaway creation of toxic
chemicals that promote cancer. "This research provides yet another
strong reason for buying organic," he added."
[Very edited from:
'LOCAVORES' DINE ON REGIONAL CHOW: (11/21/06): "Hundreds of
"locavores" scattered around the country are celebrating Thanksgiving
this year with their own 100-mile meals. Local, sustainable eating
is a noble cause. As advocates like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan
have labored to make clear, it's good for both eater and eaten, not
to mention the economy and the planet. The 100-mile diet is perhaps
the quickest and cleverest way to build awareness of food miles, and
the pleasures and challenges of local "foodsheds." In just one
traditional Thanksgiving dessert, easily assembled at any
supermarket, pecans from Georgia fill a pie shell made with Oregon
wheat and Wisconsin butter, with corn syrup from Iowa, sugar from
Florida, bourbon from Kentucky. If you're eating it in New York, that
adds up to some 6,000 miles for one pie -- 14,000 if you splash in
some Madagascar vanilla.
...here are some starting points for those who want to go local.
First, find your 100-mile radius at http://100milediet.org/map/ --
it'll give you a sense of what's included and what isn't. (The
mapping feature only works in the United States and Canada.)"
[Very edited from the article with many embedded and sidebar links at:
["The Eat Local Challenge:"
["Local Food for National Security and Public Health:"
*07: Adopt-A-Microbe, Backwards Burger, Meatrix2.5, Rabbit or Tiger?
[Video: "The Backwards Hamburger:"
[Video: "The Meatrix 2.5:"
DOG HOPS ON BUS TO GO TO PUB: (11/08/06): "A dog owner is having to
chain up his pet to stop him hopping on to the bus and going to the
pub. Gary Kay's terrier Ratty regularly got on the bus on his own to
go to the Black Bull pub, in Hull Road, York. Ratty made the trip to
the pub, where he was fed sausages by a barmaid, twice a week,
reports the York Post. His outings came to an end when the pub went
upmarket and banned animals from the premises. But now Gary, from
Dunnington, York, says Ratty has found a new local - the Rose And
Crown Pub, in Lawrence Street. He believes Ratty has been getting
off the bus at the Black Bull on his own, crossing the road and
turning up at the Rose and Crown. "I've had to start chaining him up
because, although he can get to the pub on his own he can't get
home," said Gary. "I've no idea how he is doing any of this or how
he crosses the road. This dog just has a mind of his own."
ALF TARGETS TIGER, TAKES RABBIT: (10/23/06): "Animal rights
activists who broke into a circus to liberate a rare white tiger
changed their minds after seeing it - and took a bunny rabbit
instead. Campaigners from the Swiss faction of the Animal Liberation
Front had earlier told Circus Royal director Oliver Skreinig they
planned to steal the Siberian tiger and hand him to a zoo. But when
they broke into the circus enclosure and saw the animal they changed
their minds - and stole a rabbit instead. The liberationists then
posted pictures of themselves online wearing black army uniforms and
balaclavas and holding the rabbit. Skreinig said: "The pet rabbit
was not even in the show, it belonged to our clown's six-year-old
*08: Brainy Birds/Manatees, Elephant's "I am", Vortex Menace
ELEPHANTS RECOGNIZE SELVES IN MIRROR, STUDY: (10/30/06): "Elephants
can recognize themselves in mirrors, according to a new study.
Humans, great apes, and dolphins are the only other animals known to
possess this form of self-awareness. All of these animals also lead
socially complex lives and display empathy-concern and understanding
of another's feelings-researchers report. "There seems to be some
correlation between an ability to recognize oneself in a mirror and
higher forms of social complexity," said Joshua Plotnik, a graduate
student in psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
To assess elephants' self-awareness, Plotnik and his colleagues
tested three adult female Asian elephants in front of a mirror. All
three pachyderms sized up their mirror images by inspecting behind
the mirror, rubbing their trunks the length of the mirror, or probing
their mouths with their trunks to see if their reflections did the
same. One elephant named Happy also passed the so-called mark test,
repeatedly touching her trunk to a white X painted on her forehead
that was only visible in the mirror. The researchers say this is
firm evidence of mirror self-recognition. Plotnik and colleagues add
that documentation of mirror self-recognition in elephants suggests
that self-awareness has evolved independently in elephants, dolphins,
humans, and great apes, which include orangutans, gorillas, and
[Very edited from:
BIRDS HAVE BRILLIANT BRAINS, SAY EXPERTS: (11/06/06): "Scientists
have discovered that the common pigeon actually has an astonishingly
good long-term memory. In tests they found a single bird can
memorise 1,200 pictures. The team said that, despite clear physical
differences between birds and other animals, there are important
similarities in the way their memories work. They therefore
concluded that the processes that drive the way we store and retrieve
memories appear to be largely the same throughout the animal world.
Anyone who has seen squirrels dig up nuts will know they have some
But to date no-one has actually challenged different species to see
just how much they can learn. The new study, published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), set out to do
just this with two species - pigeons and baboons. Each species was
given tests in which they were shown a picture and then given a
choice of two possible responses. For example if shown a picture of
a lamp they might then get shown a red and green key - one of which
has been randomly selected by a computer as the 'correct' label for
the image. To train them, the birds were given a food reward if they
correctly pecked the key that matched the image. Baboons were given
a similar test but had to push a button instead. Both species were
tested over the course of several years to see just how much they
To the amazement of the scientists from the Mediterranean Institute
of Cognitive Neurosciences in Marseille, France, the pigeons were
able to memorise up to 1,200 pictures and the correct responses.
Baboons performed much better with some managing to remember 5,000
successfully. Despite the difference in the capacity of their
memories, the researchers noted some key similarities in their
reaction times and rate of forgetfulness."
[Very edited from:
MANATEES MAY BE SMARTER THAN WE THINK: (11/11/06): "Back in 1902, a
scientist examining the smooth, grapefruit-size brain of a manatee
remarked that the organ's unwrinkled surface resembled that of the
brain of an idiot. Ever since then, manatees have generally been
considered incapable of doing anything more complicated than chewing
sea grass. But Hugh, a manatee in a tank at a Florida marine
laboratory, doesn't seem like a dimwit. When a buzzer sounds, the
speed bump-shaped mammal slowly flips his 1,300 pounds and aims a
whiskered snout toward one of eight loudspeakers lowered into the
water. Nosing the correct speaker earns him treats.
Hugh is no manatee prodigy. Such sensory experiments, along with
other recent studies, are revealing that sea cows aren't so stupid
after all. "They're not under any selection pressure to evolve the
rapid-type behavior we've associated with hawks, a predator, or
antelopes, a prey. They look like very contented animals that don't
have very much to do all day," said Roger Reep, a neuroscientist at
the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. The
experiments under way at the independent Mote Marine Laboratory,
could help scientists protect Florida's manatees, an endangered
species, from propellers and other dangers.
Scientists have long assumed brains with many folds - such as those
belonging to dolphins and humans - are a sign of intelligence. But
Reep argues the cause behind those brain folds is unknown, and
smooth-brained manatees don't seem to be missing anything important.
"The brain looks just as complex internally as any other mammalian
brain," said Reep, co-author with Bob Bonde, a Florida biologist with
the U.S. Geological Survey, of a book on manatee physiology."
SWIRLING PLASTIC VORTEX MENACES SEA LIFE: (11/06/06): "Old
toothbrushes, beach toys and used condoms are part of a vast vortex
of plastic trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, threatening sea
creatures that get tangled in it, eat it or ride on it, a new report
says. Because plastic doesn't break down the way organic material
does, ocean currents and tides have carried it thousands of miles to
an area between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast, according to the
study by the international environmental group Greenpeace. This
swirling vortex, which can grow to be about the size of Texas, is not
far from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, designated as a protected
U.S. national monument in June by President George W. Bush.
The Greenpeace report, "Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans" said at
least 267 species -- including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions,
whales and fish -- are known to have suffered from entanglement or
ingestion of marine debris. Some 80 percent of this debris comes
from land and 20 percent from the oceans, the report said, with four
main sources: tourism, sewage, fishing and waste from ships and
boats. The new report comes days after the journal Science projected
that Earth's stocks of fish and seafood would collapse by 2048 if
trends in overfishing and pollution continue.
By hitching rides on plastic debris, invasive species can be carried
thousands of miles to interact with native creatures, Smith said.
Plastic also poses a hazard to animals that mistake it for prey and
eat it, he said. "Plastics in the oceans act as a toxic sponge,
soaking up a lot of the persistent pollutants out here," Smith [of
Greenpeace] said. "We've seen photos of albatrosses who eat this
plastic ... Even though their stomachs are filled, they end up
starving because there's no nutrients in there." Discarded or lost
fishing nets and traps can continue to catch fish when they are no
longer in use, the report said. Greenpeace called for a global
network of marine reserves, covering 40 percent of the world's
oceans, and responsibility by coastal countries to cut down on
"excessive consumption" and boost recycling."
[Download the GreenPeace report at:
*09: Upcoming Events of Note
Gentle Thanksgiving 2006: "Gentle Thanksgiving is an effort to
encourage friends, family and neighbors to adopt compassionate
alternatives to unnecessarily cruel turkey dinners. We accomplish
this by demonstrating the great taste and superior nutrition of
gourmet vegetarian recipes and a variety of festive plant-based
[More details at:
*10: Howard's Schedule
DEC 02: Seattle, WA > Premiere of the film "Pigs Peace Sanctuary" -
7pm, Historic University Center, 5510 University Way NE -
APRIL 2007: (last three weeks): some openings on the East Coast -
[More information/embedded links at:
*11: Quick Bytes
["Fast Food Folly:" (review of "Fast Food Nation")
["Native Vegetables Could Help Solve Africa's Food Crisis:"
[SUPERB CSA (community supported agriculture) interactive resource:"
["Journey of a New Vegan:"
["Organic Consumers: Read, Blog & Meet-up!:"
[The Mad Cowboy Newsletter Editor's Vegan Blog:
["The FatFreeVegan Blog:"
["The Vegan Lunch Box Blog (PETA & Bloggy Award-winning:"
[Bryanna Clark Grogan's Blog:
["Raw Vegan Blog and Podcasts:"
["Recommended Blogs & Websites for Food & Farming Information:"
["Bellying Up Organic:"
["Clogged Arteries Showing Up in Kids:"
["Elevated blood sugar kills 3 million people world wide each year:"
["Only 50 years Left for Sea Fish:"
[Farmed Animal Net:
[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:
["In a Vegetarian Kitchen: (Nava Atlas):"
["International Organization for Animal Protection:"
[Over 10,000 veg'n recipe links:
["Over 1,000 International (regional) Vegetarian Recipes:"
[PCRM Recipe Archives:
[Almost 2,000 searchable fat-free veg'n recipes:
[Awardwinning searchable veg'n recipe database:
[Constantly wonderful site of vegan recipes:
["Green for Go if You're Vegan:
["A Foodie on the Loose at the Vegan Holiday Festival:"
*12: Closing Thoughts
"Therefore, if we want to change the world, we must do it with the
full cooperation of others, that is with a smile on our faces. We
need to sow the seed by becoming ambassadors of information. Remember
that each and everyone of us operates in a pool of people who may not
even listen or talk to you. But if you get a new blouse or a car,
they'll know about it because they are watching.
One solution to the problem could be to get a thick book on
vegetarianism, take it to work with you, leave it on the desk - you
don't even have to read it. Sooner or later some of those people
will come along, they'll flick through that book and they'll ask you
what it's about. You might answer that by reading it, it's possible
to learn how to remove 91% of potential carcinogens and toxins from
your diet and also how to live 15 years longer. They will look at you
and ask, "Are you one of those V people?" At this point, you can talk
to them about the reasons for your vegetarian choice - but until they
ask you the question, it means they're not ready.
Never forget that the most potent statement in the world that you can
make every day is what you put on your fork."
--- Howard Lyman (from the interview posted at:
Mark Sutton, Webmaster@... http://www.madcowboy.com
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