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04_06_10: Whales Win 2X, American Vegan Kitchen, Bad Labels

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  • soulveggie
    Howdy! Welcome to the 69th issue of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter. In this edition of the Newsletter we re pleased to provide two great recipes from the new
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2010
      Howdy! Welcome to the 69th issue of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter.

      In this edition of the Newsletter we're pleased to provide two great recipes from the new cookbook by Tamasin Noye, "American Vegan Kitchen." It's a real winner. Reading down farther you'll note that Mad Cow Disease has "returned" to Canada, issues with hormones in pigs, and information about the various food recalls that keep showing up. There's also some articles on how reducing salt can drastically reduce health expenditures and save lives, current stats on obesity (hint: we're not winning), how the FDA came down on several "natural food" producing companies, and detailed reasons for no GM food and why you should have a vegetable garden.

      Moving on, among other articles, there's encouragment in noting that "The Cove" won an Academy award, and it's makers were instrumental in shutting down a restaurant in Santa Monica serving whale sushi. Momentum is growing to give Dolphin's "non-person" legal rights, and outside of our Vegan Media Theater (with many offerings this issue, including a funny SNL parody and a conversation between Bill Moyers and Jane Goodall), you can see the First Lady's Garden as it is now in Spring via video.

      Finally, on a sad note, we end with some closing thoughts from Howard Zinn, who died recently. He was an inspiration to many, and will be missed.

      ... as always, a tip of the hat to our new subscribers: y'all can browse past issues at the Mad Cowboy Newsletter Archives (and see the "Quick Bytes" section, omitted from this edition of the Newsletter) at:

      Best wishes to everyone for a Great Spring and hopes that your own garden's grow well and plentiful this season!

      Mark, MC editor/webmaster

      [personal vegan blog:


      00: Quote(s) of Note
      01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      02: Recipes from "American Vegan Kitchen" by Tamasin Noye
      03: Mad Cow Info Round-Up
      04: Less Salt-Save Lives, Fat Plateau? Mktg. to Kids, Bad Labels
      05: Whales Win 2X, Dolphin Legal Rights, Dirty Shrimp Secrets
      06: Vegan Digital Media Theater
      07: Reasons for no GM food, World Water, Michelle's Garden & Yours
      08: Howard's Schedule
      09: Closing Thoughts

      *00: Quote(s) of note
      "...we could ask ourselves: Have we done all that we could for the generations to come? Are there more trees now than there were when we were born? Is the air fresher? Is the water cleaner? Is there more good, rich farmland? Are there more birds in the sky, more fish in the sea? Are there more animals in the wild? Are people leading longer, healthier lives? Is there less hunger? Is there less disease and suffering? Is the world a more peaceful place?

      When you can't take it with you, all that really matters is what you leave behind."

      --- Howard Lyman (p. 189, "The Mad Cowboy")

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

      "Approximately, for every dosage of antibiotics given to a ill person in the U.S., how many are given to so-called "healthy" factory-farmed animals?"

      (a) 4 (b) 8 (c) 10 (d) 12 (e) waaay too much!

      Congratulations to E. McCarthy of Bridgeport, CT, for correctly guessing "(e)" and winning the luck of the draw and a year's subscription to "VegNews." Congratulations, also, to John Tammaro of Naples, FL, for correctly guessing "(b)" and winning the organic cotton shopping bag from Ethical Planet.

      ["In other words, for every dose of antibiotics taken by a sick human, eight doses are given to a "healthy" animal." From:

      "If 500,000 Americans turned off the faucet when brushing their teeth, how many gallons water would be saved per day?"

      (a) 1 million (b) 2 million (c) 3 million (d) 4 million

      Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@... with the word "contest" in your subject line by NLT May. 15th, 2010. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS (U.S. domestic only). It will not be sold nor given out to anyone but VegNews and Ethical Planet for the freebies only.

      [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]

      [Many thanks, also, to Fran Horvath, of Ethical Planet for offering a FREE organic cotton shopping bag to the 2nd place winner. You can learn more about her online (and offline) stores at:


      *02: Recipes from "American Vegan Kitchen" by Tamasin Noye
      "Tamasin Noye's cook book, "American Vegan Kitchen," is the ideal parachute from the Standard American Diet to a healthy vegan way of eating.  Tanasin has written the perfect approach to feeding you family and friends delicious comfort food that will receive rave reviews.  American Vegan Kitchen is a must for all conscientious cooks."

      Howard F. Lyman LL.D., "The Mad Cowboy"


      "These onion rings may not have the deep-fried decadence of the Beer-Battered Onion Rings, but they're lower in calories and have a cispy outer coating and fantastic flavor."

      2 cups soy milk
      2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
      1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      1 cup dried bread crumbs
      1 cup panko crumbs
      1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      Pinch black pepper
      Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray

      1. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. IN a shallow bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Separate the onion slices into rings and add them to the soy milk mixture, stirring to coat.

      2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. In a second shallow bowl, combine the read crumbs, panko, parsley, garlivc powder, salt, and pepper.

      3. Remove the onion rings from the milk mixture and dip them in the flour mixture. Place the coated onion rings on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all the onion rings are dipped, working batches.

      4. Spray the onion rings with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes, then turn and spray them again with oil. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Serve hot."

      Serves 4.


      "Seitan is also known as "wheat-meat," and it is especially good in this savory loaf. Serve with cooked greens and the Mashed Potatoes with Homestyle Gravy for a nostalgic Blue Plate Special. Leftovers make great sandwiches, too."

      3/4 cup texturized vegetable protein granules
      3/4 cup hot water
      3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
      1/4 cup soy milk
      8 ounces Savory Seitan, cut into large chunks
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1 cup minced onion
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      3/4 cup minced green or red bell pepper
      2 teaspoons onion powder
      1 teaspoon garlic powder
      1 teaspoon smoked paprika
      1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
      1/2 teaspoon dried sage
      1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
      2 teaspoons soy sauce
      1 teaspoon vegan Worchestershire sauce
      3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
      1/3 cup ketchup
      2 tablespoons minced parsley
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon black pepper

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Combine the hot water with the texturized vegetable protein. Set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs and soy milk.

      2. Finely mince the seitan in a food processor, then transfer to the bowl continaing the bread crumb mixture.

      3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Transfer to the bowl containing the seitan. Add the remaining ingredients, and the reserved re-hydrated texturized vegetable protein. Knead the ingredients together well, squeezing and kneading, for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

      4. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a 4x8-inch oval loaf. Bake for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, check to see if it is browning too much. If so, cover with foil for the remaining time. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

      Serves 4.

      [Note: both recipes © 2010, by Tamasin Noye.

      [Tamasin's blog:

      *03: Mad Cow Info Round-Up
      "CALIFORNIA FIRM RECALLS BEEF PRODUCTS DUE TO POSSIBLE E. COLI O157:H7 CONTAMINATION:" 01/18/10: "Huntington Meat Packing Inc., a Montebello, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 864,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The problem was discovered during a Food Safety Assessment (FSA) by FSIS personnel. The FSA led to the determination that a further investigation of establishment records was warranted. The investigation is ongoing... During a subsequent review of the establishment's records, FSIS also determined additional products produced and shipped in 2008 to be adulterated because they may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7..."

      [Edited from:

      "FSIS SHOULD REQUIRE LABELING FOR TENDERIZED STEAKS:" 01/29/10: "On Christmas Eve 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that National Steak and Poultry was recalling 248,000 pounds of mechanically tenderized beef products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Within days of the recall announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that 21 people from 16 states had become infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 after eating the mechanically tenderized steaks.... Generally, it has been believed that steaks are not considered a high-risk source of E. coli O157: H7. However, when steaks are mechanically tenderized (also, blade-or needle-tenderized), that process introduces the possibility that bacteria from the surface of the meat can be transferred to the inside of the product... Last June, food safety advocates from the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, the Center for Science and the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, and Food & Water Watch, all key members of the Make Our Food Safe Coalition, sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, outlining the specific risks presented by "non-intact" or mechanically tenderized steaks..." 

      [Edited from:

      "PEPPER TESTS POSITIVE, FSIS NAMES RETAILERS:" 01/28/10: "The black pepper used to coat the salami products on the 1.24 million pound recall list put out by Rhode Island's Daniele Inc. have now tested positive for Salmonella, the company says. The specialty meat company declines to say whom in the wide, wide world of spice supplies its pepper. The recalled meat is associated with an outbreak involving at least 189 victims of multiple strains of Salmonella in 40 states..."

      [Very edited from:

      [See also: "CDC Says Two Strains Possible In Outbreak:"

      "WHY HAS THE FDA ALLOWED A DRUG MARKED 'NOT SAFE FOR USE IN HUMANS' TO BE FED TO LIVESTOCK RIGHT BEFORE SLAUGHTER?:" 02/02/10: "While researchers and scientists investigate the cause of our diabetes, obesity, asthma and ADHD epidemics, they should ask why the FDA approved a livestock drug banned in 160 nations and responsible for hyperactivity, muscle breakdown and 10 percent mortality in pigs, according to angry farmers who phoned the manufacturer... Though banned in Europe, Taiwan and China--more than 1,700 people were "poisoned" from eating Paylean-fed pigs since 1998 says the Sichuan Pork Trade Chamber of Commerce... How does a drug marked, "Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask" become "safe" in human food? With no washout period? The same way Elanco's other two blockbusters, Stilbosol (diethylstilbestrol or DES), now withdrawn, and Posilac or bovine growth hormone (rBST), bought from Monsanto in 2008, became part of the nation's food supply: shameless corporate lobbying. A third of meetings on the Food Safety and Inspection Service's public calendar in January 2009 were with Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly--or about ractopamine...

      ...Nor can we overlook the effects of "adding these drugs to waterways or well water supplies--via contaminated animal feed and manure runoff-- when this class of drugs is so important in treating children with asthma," says David Wallinga, MD of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy...."

      [Very edited from:

      [See also the petition: "A Ban On Hormonal Meat Is 30 Years Overdue:"

      "STUDY OFFERS EVIDENCE THAT SPONGIFORM BRAIN DISEASES ARE CAUSED BY ABERRANT PROTEIN:" 01/28/10: "Scientists have determined how a normal protein can be converted into a prion, an infectious agent that causes fatal brain diseases in humans and mammals. The finding,.. is expected to advance the understanding of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs, a family of neurodegenerative diseases that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, kuru and fatal familial insomnia in humans, scrapie in sheep, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, also known as "mad cow disease." "This study provides the strongest evidence yet to prove the prion hypothesis," said Jiyan Ma, associate professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry at Ohio State University and senior author of the study. "It also offers important insights into the molecular mechanism and potential therapeutic targets for these diseases..."

      [Edited from:

      [Original study: "Study Offers Evidence That Spongiform Brain Diseases Are Caused By Aberrant Protein." January 28th, 2010.

      "FOOD POISONING COSTS U.S. $152 BILLION A YEAR:" 03/03/10: "Food poisoning costs the U.S. $152 billion, kills 5,000 people, and sends 325,000 to the hospital each year, new calculations suggest. The figures come from a new study by former FDA economist Robert L. Scharff, PhD, JD, now an assistant professor at Ohio State University. "This study illustrates how serious food-borne illness is as a problem for our society," Scharff said at a news teleconference announcing the findings. The study, underwritten by the Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University and Pew Charitable Trusts, considers the direct health care costs of food-borne illnesses as well as the costs of years of life lost.

      The $152 billion price tag likely is an underestimate, Scharff says. Of the total cost, $39 billion a year is the result of contaminated produce alone... On average, food poisoning costs every American $505 a year..."

      [Edited from:

      "RECALL OF THE FLAVOR-ENHANCING ADDITIVE HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN IN HUNDREDS OF PRODUCTS:" 03/13/10: "Posted By Marion Nestle... I wasn't planning to make a big deal of the recall of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) - and the more than 100 products containing this flavor ingredient in the United States and in Canada – because the FDA seems on the job and nobody is getting sick (as far as we know). But this one now looks like another food safety scandal. To begin with, HVP is one of those fifth flavor, umami substances. As the FDA explains, "HVP is a flavor enhancer used in a wide variety of processed food products, such as soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravies, seasoned snack foods, dips, and dressings. It is often blended with other spices to make seasonings that are used in or on foods."

      Translation: it is indeed in everything. This scandal begins with a whistle-blowing customer of Basic Food Flavors, the manufacturer of HVP. The customer's company apparently tests its purchased ingredients for pathogens (what a concept!). It found Salmonella in the HVP. Sometime early in February, it notified the FDA. The FDA inspected the Basic Food Flavors plant on February 12 and found Salmonella. It also found records indicating that HVP tested positive for Salmonella on January 21. What did the company do about the test? Not a thing. It continued to ship out products.... the FDA announced the recall on March 4. This means that from January 21 until at least February 20, the company continued to ship HVP potentially contaminated with Salmonella...

      Addendum: The fallout from the recall is just beginning. Windsor Farms of Lampasas, Texas and Oakland, Mississippi is recalling 1.7 million pounds of ready-to-eat beef taquito and chicken quesadilla products+ containing HVP. Procter & Gamble is recalling Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger potato crisps and Family Faves Taco Night potato crisps.

      [Edited from:

      "MAD COW DISEASE CASE HIDDEN FOR WEEKS BY CANADIAN AND U.S. AGENCIES:" 02/25/10: "On February 25, 2010, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed a recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad Cow Disease, in a 72 month-old cow. This case was detected through the national BSE surveillance program and was not made public on the CFIA website until March 10 -- hours after a press release was distributed by the advocacy group, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (RCALF USA). "The CFIA said the BSE-positive case was confirmed Feb. 25, 2010, which means the CFIA and all other governments who knew about this latest BSE case kept it a secret from the public for almost two weeks," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. "If we had not discovered this information, the public may never have known..." Recent USDA regulations permit live Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999, to be imported into the United States without mandatory BSE testing. This means that the infected cow would have been eligible for import into the U.S. cattle market had it been alive."

      [Edited from:

      "NEW BSE CASE CONFIRMED:" 03/13/10; "Canada confirmed its 17th case of mad cow disease since 2003, in a six-year-old beef cow in Alberta. Meat from the animal did not enter the human or livestock food chain, the government's Food Inspection Agency says in an e-mailed statement. Countries including Japan and South Korea have restricted imports of Canadian beef since cases of the brain-wasting illness, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, were discovered in North American herds in 2003..."

      [Edited from:

      *04: Less Salt-Save Lives, Fat Plateau? Mktg. to Kids, Bad Labels
      "ARE WE AS FAT AS WE CAN GET?:" 01/13/10: "U.S. obesity rates are leveling off for most kids and adults, new CDC figures suggest. It does not mean we are getting thinner, although it may mean we're nearly as fat as we can get. The sad numbers, according to CDC researchers Katherine M. Flegal, PhD, Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, and colleagues:

      - 12.6% of teens ages 12-19 are obese by adult standards.
      - 17% of school-age kids are obese by child standards.
      - 34% of adults -- 32% of women and 35.5% of men -- are obese.
      - 68% of adults -- two-thirds of us -- are overweight or obese.

      The good news is that the rise in obesity seems to be leveling off for children and for women. The same thing seems to be happening in men, although the leveling off has been too recent for the CDC to call it a plateau. Bucking the trend are the very heaviest 6- to 19-year-old boys, who are getting even heavier.

      ...The findings appear in two papers in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In an editorial accompanying the papers, J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH, a contributing editor of the journal, says we've entered a new and ominous age of public health. Gaziano says there have been four previous eras:

      - The age of pestilence and famine dominated most of human history.
      - The age of receding pandemics happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
      - The age of degenerative and man-made diseases emerged in the mid-20th century.
      - The age of delayed degenerative diseases began in the 1960s as people began to quit smoking and as technological advances delayed heart deaths.

      Now, he says, we're in the age of obesity and physical inactivity..."

      [Edited from:

      [See also: "Obese 3-year-olds Show Early Warning Signs for Possible Future Heart Disease:"

      "BEHIND THE SHADY WORLD OF MARKETING JUNK FOOD TO CHILDREN:" 03/23/10: "...In 2006, food companies spent $1.6 billion marketing products -- mostly soda, fast food and cereal -- to kids. That same year, fast food restaurants sold more than 1.2 billion kids' meals with toys. Marketers use sophisticated child psychology to help children leverage "pester power," effectively nagging their parents to buy them the desired item (and often playing on parents' guilt for not having enough time to spend with their children). According to the Center for a New American Dream, brand loyalty can be established as early as age 2 -- loyalty that lasts a lifetime. A study of Americans' perception of the U.S. food system commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation found that Americans create an emotional link to food companies as nurturers early in their lives, and thus thinking critically about problems with food companies "can violate people's deep desire to be secure." Food marketers know this well, understanding the amount of money at stake not only from parents' purchases influenced by children or purchases by children themselves, but also brand loyalty throughout each child's entire life.

      ...To see how well self-regulation was working, the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity examined children's breakfast cereals, as the majority of major cereal companies are part of the self-regulation initiative. They found that breakfast cereals marketed to children are, on average, the least healthy cereals available. Specifically, they contain 85 percent more sugar, 65 percent less fiber and 60 percent more sodium than adult cereals. The cereals marketed to children are so unhealthy, in fact, that the United Kingdom would not allow any of them to advertise to children on television. (The United Kingdom prohibits using traditional media to market food high in fat, salt or sugar to children.)... Even if a food is truly healthy, Michele Simon, author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, says, "If a child [under age 8] cannot comprehend the ad's persuasive intent, it is immoral to advertise anything to that child." Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, adds that children should not learn to choose foods based on clever ads or packaging featuring their favorite cartoon characters. Instead, they should learn to select food that is tasty or healthy. Thus, even a box of fruit sold with a popular cartoon character on its packaging sends the wrong message.

      [Very very edited from the comprehensive article at:

      "FDA: LABELS MISLEADING ON MAJOR FOOD BRANDS:" 03/03/10: "The FDA today warned 17 food makers -- including POM and Nestle -- that their "misleading" product labels violate federal law. The warning letters say the firms face having their products pulled from grocery shelves if they don't make changes within 15 days.... The FDA says the 17 cited firms committed different kinds of violations:

      * Claims that the food products treat or mitigate disease. Such claims mean the food is actually an unapproved new drug, the FDA says.
      * Misleading labels on blended juice products that make them appear to be made entirely from a single juice.
      * "Healthy" claims that do not meet established standards for use of the term.
      * Claims that a product is free of trans fats on products high in unhealthy saturated fats.
      * Nutrient claims on foods for children under age 2 that are approved only for use on foods for adults.

      ..."POM Wonderful: POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx products (promoted for conditions that cause the products to be drugs)"... "...The consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which has lobbied the FDA to toughen food-label standards, hailed the FDA action in a news conference. "This is a once-in-a-generation event," said Bruce Silverglade, CSPI legal affairs director. "Not since the early 1990s have we seen FDA actions of this magnitude..."

      [Edited from:

      "A PINCH LESS SALT COULD SAVE LIVES, MONEY:" 01/21/10: "Cutting daily salt intake by three grams [just over a half teaspoon] -- could prevent 32,000 strokes and 54,000 heart attacks a year. So say researchers at the University of California, San Francisco who developed a novel computer program to predict the clinical impact of salt reduction. Using the computer model to simulate the impact of heart disease in U.S. adults age 35 to 84, the researchers found that even reducing salt intake by a mere one gram per day over the next decade would be a more cost-effective strategy for treating hypertension than use of even the cheapest antihypertensive drug, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo and colleagues wrote in a paper published online today by the New England Journal of Medicine....

      This is not the first time a call for salt reduction has been issued; as recently as last November, a review of past research published in the British Medical Journal suggested that if everyone cut their salt intake in half all told, a reduction of about 5 grams a day -- they would lower the stroke rate by 23 percent and reduce overall cardiovascular disease by as much as 17 percent... Bibbins-Domingo and colleagues reported that a three-gram-per-day reduction [a little over 1/2 teaspoon] in dietary salt would "save 194,000 to 392,000 quality-adjusted life-years and $10 billion to $24 billion in health care costs annually," while more modest one-gram reduction over the next decade would "be more cost effective than using medications to lower blood pressure in all persons with hypertension..."

      [Very edited from:

      [The following site has useful advice and resources on reducing salt intake:

      *05: Whales Win 2X, Dolphin Legal Rights, Dirty Shrimp Secrets
      "THE COVE" WINS AN ACADEMY AWARD:" 03/07/10: "Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action..."

      [Trailer, Information, Campaign:


      "OSCAR WINNERS TRY TO KEEP WHALE OFF SUSHI PLATES:" 03/08/10: "It is sport among black belt sushi eaters here to see just how daring one's palate can be. But even among the squid-chomping, roe-eating and uni-nibbling fans, whale is almost unheard of on the plate. It also happens to be illegal. Yet with video cameras and tiny microphones, the team behind Sunday's Oscar-winning documentary film "The Cove" orchestrated a Hollywood-meets-Greenpeace-style covert operation to ferret out what the authorities say is illegal whale meat at one of this town's most highly regarded sushi destinations. Their work, undertaken in large part here last week as the filmmakers gathered for the Academy Awards ceremony, was coordinated with law enforcement officials, who said Monday that they were likely to bring charges against the restaurant, the Hump, for violating federal laws against selling marine mammals... Video of their meal shows the two activists, both vegan, being served what the waitress can be heard calling "whale" - thick pink slices - that they take squeamish bites of before tossing into a Ziploc bag in a purse. The samples were sent to Scott Baker, associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University. Professor Baker said DNA testing there revealed that the samples sent to him were from a Sei whale, which are found worldwide and are endangered but are sometimes hunted in the North Pacific under a controversial Japanese scientific program. "I've been doing this for years," Professor Baker said. "I was pretty shocked..."

      [Very edited from:

      "SCIENTISTS SAY DOLPHINS SHOULD BE TREATED AS 'NON-HUMAN PERSONS:" 01/03/10: ""Dolphins have been declared the world's second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as "non-human persons""tudies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence. The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.

      ...Dolphins have long been recognised as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps, which some studies have found can reach the intelligence levels of three-year-old children. Recently, however, a series of behavioural studies has suggested that dolphins, especially species such as the bottlenose, could be the brighter of the two. The studies show how dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future..."
      Thomas White, professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, who has written a series of academic studies suggesting dolphins should have rights, will speak at the same conference.

      [Very edited from the fascinating article at:

      "SHRIMP'S DIRTY SECRETS: WHY AMERICA'S FAVORITE SEAFOOD IS A HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL NIGHTMARE:" 01/25/10: "In his book, Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood, Taras Grescoe paints a repulsive picture of how shrimp are farmed in one region of India. The shrimp pond preparation begins with urea, superphosphate, and diesel, then progresses to the use of piscicides (fish-killing chemicals like chlorine and rotenone), pesticides and antibiotics (including some that are banned in the U.S.), and ends by treating the shrimp with sodium tripolyphosphate (a suspected neurotoxicant), Borax, and occasionally caustic soda. Upon arrival in the U.S., few if any, are inspected by the FDA, and when researchers have examined imported ready-to-eat shrimp, they found 162 separate species of bacteria with resistance to 10 different antibiotics. And yet, as of 2008, Americans are eating 4.1 pounds of shrimp apiece each year -- significantly more than the 2.8 pounds per year we each ate of the second most popular seafood, canned tuna. But what are we actually eating without knowing it? And is it worth the price -- both to our health and the environment?..." ...some shrimp are wild-caught, and while they aren't raised in a chemical cocktail, the vast majority is caught using trawling, a highly destructive fishing method. Football field-sized nets are dragged along the ocean floor, scooping up and killing several pounds of marine life for every pound of shrimp they catch and demolishing the ocean floor ecosystem as they go..."

      [Very edited from the detailed article at:

      *06: Vegan Digital Media Theater
      VIDEO/AUDIO: "Morality and 'Eating Animals" - "On Point" Interview with Jonathon Safran Foer, author, "Eating Animals:"

      VIDEO/AUDIO/TRANSCRIPT: "A Conversation with Jane Goodall," 03/19/10, Bill Moyers' Journal:

      VIDEO/RESOURCES: "The Edible City," "Hidden between buildings and across networks of backyards, germinating in classrooms and sprouting up in city centers, a grassroots movement is thriving in the Bay Area. Edible City, the forthcoming documentary from East Bay Pictures, follows the stories of folks who are digging their hands into the dirt, fighting for sustainability and social justice by doing something truly revolutionary: growing a local food system."

      VIDEO CLIP: "Oprah and Alicia Silverstone talk about Vegan Poop:"

      [See also:

      MOVIE TRAILER: "Forks Over Knives:" "The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn."

      VIDEO; COMMERCIAL PARODY? "Mostly Garbage Dog Food:"

      VIDEO: Vegan Firefighter/Author Rip Esselstyn on Oz:

      VIDEO: Jeff Novick on "Olive Oil --- It's Not Good for Your Heart:"

      VIDEO/DVD/BOOK: "The Story of Stuff:" "Leonard examines the real costs of extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal, and she isolates the moment in history where she says the trend of consumption mania began. The Story of Stuff examines how economic policies of the post-World War II era ushered in notions of "planned obsolescence" and "perceived obsolescence" —and how these notions are still driving much of the U.S. and global economies today. Leonard's inspiration for the film began as a personal musing over the question, "Where does all the stuff we buy come from, and where does it go when we throw it out?" "

      *07: Reasons for no GM food, World Water, Michelle's Garden & Yours
      "CONSERVATION COUNTS ON WORLD WATER DAY AND EVERY DAY:" 04/05/10: "...The United States uses a mind-boggling nearly 350 billion gallons of fresh water every single day, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey, the government organization that tracks these numbers (http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1344/). It takes water to produce our energy, grow our food, manufacture our goods, mine our resources, and even to produce the water we drink. The largest use of water -- nearly half the total daily withdrawal -- is energy production. Individually, Americans consume huge amounts of water daily, too -- an average of about 80 to 100 gallons per person, per day for personal, in-home use, according to the USGS (http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/qahome.html). That's about than 36,000 gallons per person per year. Multiply that by the more than 300 million population of the United States, and the numbers are in the trillions of gallons of water consumed every year just in the U.S.!

      Of course, water usage numbers vary depending on who is counting, how they do it, and geographic location. For example, water consumption is greater in arid or dry climates as opposed to cooler ones. But no matter how the numbers are determined, individually Americans use a lot of water... In the Netherlands, for example, the per capita daily water consumption is only 27 gallons, while people in Gambia in Africa use just 1.17 gallons of water per person per day, according to numbers from the California-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security (http://www.pacinst.org). The water crisis around the globe and in the United States, goes beyond quantity issues, however. Even if rivers flow full and lakes lap at their high-water marks (unfortunately, fewer and fewer do, thanks to overuse, drought, and climate change), the quality of the water often is questionable. Toxins -- especially man-made ones like pesticides, chemicals, drugs, and plenty more -- turn up in water supplies in cities, towns, and rural areas across the country. Even water processed by municipal treatment facilities isn't always free of many of these and other manmade 21st century pollutants..."

      [Edited from the post with useful tips at:


      1. GM foods won't solve the food crisis
      2. GM crops do not increase yield potential
      3. GM crops increase pesticide use
      4. There are better ways to feed the world
      5. Other farm technologies are more successful
      6. GM foods have not been shown to be safe to eat
      7. Stealth GMOs in animal feed — without consumers' consent
      9. GM and non-GM cannot co-exist
      10. We can't trust GM companies..."

      [Each reason is explained, and referenced in detail as to sources of information, here:"

      "7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GROW YOUR OWN FOOD:" 02/26/10: "... according to the 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report conducted by the Garden Writer's Association (GWA) Foundation, over 41 million U.S. households, or 38 percent planted a vegetable garden in 2009. And, more than 19.5 million households (18 percent) grew an herb garden and 16.5 million households (15 percent) grew fruits during the same period. The study found that there was a growth in edible gardening from both experienced gardeners and from an influx of new gardeners: 92 percent of respondents had previous experience and 7 percent (7.7 million households) were new edible gardeners. And one-third of the experienced gardeners grew more edibles in 2009 than in the previous year. The GWA indicates that given the strong response for plans to grow more edibles into 2010, the vegetable gardening trend will continue and there will likely be a new high level of edible gardening activity this year... So, aside from its popularity, do you need some other reasons to grown your own food?...

      [Edited from from the post with the 7 reasons here:

      "MICHELLE OBAMA'S GARDEN IS GROWING:" 03/31/10: "First Lady Michelle Obama wants to garden, and nothing can stop her, not even a couple feet of snow. The White House chefs just got done with their spring harvest. Over the winter, the White House's garden grew close to 50 lbs of its own turnips, spinach, lettuce, arugula, and carrots by using small, temporary "hoop houses," which acted like greenhouses by trapping sunlight and protecting the plants from the elements. Remember snowmageddon? But that's not all. Michelle plans to expand the garden to plant even more for the summer season. Can't wait to see what they can grow by fall! Check out the new White House video featuring the garden:


      And if you want to get an organic garden going in your own yard, check out our gardening section.

      *08: Howard's Schedule

      May 20th > Berkley, CA, Debate at the David Brower Center hosted by Earth Island and Veg News, Topic: "Can you be a good environmentalist and still eat meat?"

      June 25th > Minneapolis, MN, Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, 1:00 PM, Minneapolis Convention Center. Topic: "Saving Ourselves May Save the World."

      October 2nd > Albany, NY

      *09: Closing Thoughts
      "If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, it energizes us to act, and raises at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

      --- Howard Zinn (1922 - 2010) From: http://www.alternet.org/story/145499/

      [More About/By Mr. Zinn:
      "A Memory of Howard:" 01/28/10:

      "Remembering Howard Zinn:" 01/28/10:

      VIDEO/AUDIO/TRANSCRIPT: "Remembering Howard Zinn:"

      VIDEO (from 2008): "Howard Zinn on Three Holy Wars:"
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