Advancement in diabetes prevention leads Grist writer to conclude vegans are jerks   »


"Adults age 40 and over with diagnosed diabetes who reported receiving four recommended services for diabetes in the calendar year (2+ hemoglobin A1c tests, foot exam, dilated eye exam, and flu shot), by race/ethnicity, 2008-2009" -Agency for Health Research and Qaulity

A European study found that high levels of a certain renal acid can greatly increase risk of type 2 diabetes. The study found that while meat raises the level of this acid, fruits and vegetables lower it. 

I just read a post on Grist about it entitled, "Meat-based diets linked with type 2 diabetes; vegans everywhere get smug." I know, it’s baiting, but I would have read it anyway for the former part of the title (though I clicked only to find a study I read about in July). But let me tell you, I haven’t read something so aggressively, preemptively defensive in quite a while. I don’t care if she calls me smug, I’ll be that, but what is really shocking to me is that a study comes out that could help prevent a growing epidemic and this writer’s first response is to feel personally threatened by the boon it may give to the vegan cause.

At no point does the post address the fact that type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects people of color, who are also some of the same populations negatively affected by disparities in health care. Given those factors, preventative medicine would be REALLY helpful in this particular scenario. Of course, there’s the issue of food deserts that complicates the matter. But forget that discussion, let’s dismiss the significance of this information and attack vegans. That seems in line with Grist’s values

Basically, Richmond does not care about nor see the importance of this new data beyond the question, “how will this affect my witty conversations?” Because I’m sure she has a great bit about vegans and heaven forbid actual data steal her thunder. But hey, Richmond! Do not fret! There has always been a ton of support points for veganism, and you’ve still managed to remain unscathed, living to image search “bacon” another day. So you’ll be OK—just cross your fingers about that pesky diabetes! Goodness knows there’s nothing else to be done about it. 


Adopting A Cat Could Save Your Life!!!  »

Meet Pudding! Pudding is an international hero! Pudding is a cat if you couldn’t tell!

Pudding had a big week last week! One day, he’s stuck in an animal shelter in Wisconsin, and then a lady named Amy and her son Ethan come and take him home. All’s going well, Pudding’s settling in, sniffing the corners, rubbing stuff, pigging out on cat food, meowing (presumably). Then the humans go to bed, and Amy starts having a diabetic seizure in her sleep! That very night! ACK! MEOW!

Pudding, being a secret super-hero, jumps on Amy and nudges at her face long enough to wake her up a little. Then she yells for Ethan, who is, ALAS, sound asleep. Not to fear good citizens, Pudding’s on the case! He leaps off the bed, maybe doing that cute skidding thing cats do on hardwood floors, runs to Ethan’s room, and bugs him until he awakens and uses his thumbs and English skills to call for professional medical assistance! 

Lassie shoulda been a cat.

Also: Insurance companies should cover pet adoption.

Also: What’s the best thing your cat’s ever done? 


PCRM tells Paula Deen to go vegan  »

This woman looks scary! Take the knife away! And this is from her Food Network bio page!

Laura makes a great point that PCRM is being pea-brained with their new ads. On the other hand, they did something pretty cool this week too. Let’s catch up, shall we?

"Southern" food guru Paula Deen (who is responsible for Cheesy Ham and Banana Casserole, among her many other atrocities) announced this week she has diabetes. NO SURPRISE THERE! She’s had the disease since 2008, but now she’s got a nice drug sponsorship, so she’s going public.

In response, PCRM’s head nutritionist sent an open letter to Deen encouraging her to try a vegan diet. I know that that’s not the answer to everyone’s diabetes, but for someone like Deen—I bet it would be like turning her inside out.

Of course it’s not going to happen, but WHAT IF IT DID? It’d be like the Joker joining Batman’s team, or Tim Tebow doing ads for Planned Parenthood, or Newt Gingrich going on food stamps! Is repentance and change that deep ever possible, or would it just seem like a cynical power play? You decide.

I thought it was a good tactic. So thanks, PCRM, for doing something non-insulting, which doesn’t excuse you from dealing with your terrible ads.


Happy Thanksgiving from reader Kristen, who writes that “because I’m a type 1 (juvenile) diabetic, I made a low-carb version of  my usual vegan Thanksgiving. What’s pictured is Brussels sprouts, some  homemade Tofurky, peanut butter kale, almond butter vinaigrette green  beans, and almond meal drop biscuits.” Sounds tasty!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Kristen, who writes that “because I’m a type 1 (juvenile) diabetic, I made a low-carb version of my usual vegan Thanksgiving. What’s pictured is Brussels sprouts, some homemade Tofurky, peanut butter kale, almond butter vinaigrette green beans, and almond meal drop biscuits.” Sounds tasty!


Steve-O as vegan activist: Exhibit A  »

A loud and proud vegan since 2009, Jackass star Steve-O stormed out of a Celebrity Go Kart Tournament benefiting the American Diabetes Association last weekend after discovering the meat-laden catering menu. Steve-O was lined up to compete before he learned about the impending lunch, but left angrily before the race could even begin, asking some of the children in attendance if they wanted to take his driver’s seat for the competition.

In true Steve-O form, not pulling any punches, he voiced his outrage with a woman from the Children’s Hospital on his exit: “I came here because I thought this was about promoting a plant-based diet as diabetes prevention, and they’re serving meat here—so I’m outta here. It’s like serving alcohol at an AA meeting,” said Steve-O, who has publicly battled substance abuse issues in the past, “It’s kind of an outrage to me…it’s stupid.” Not surprisingly, the ADA has shrewdly responded with ‘claims’ and ‘opinions’ suspiciously void of fact: “There’s no rule that you can’t eat meat if you have diabetes—every person is different, and should be on a meal plan that works best for them. Eating animal flesh isn’t necessarily bad for diabetics.” How delightfully unspecific and uneducated of them.

Suffice to say, Steve-O is presumably too busy leading an active, healthy lifestyle to bother with any response. For the record, we are LOVING us some Steve-O as an educated, unlikely, and surprisingly AWESOME spokesperson for veganism.

[source: TMZ. Steve-O photo courtesy MrsJohnnyKnoxville on Flickr]


Barnard to Bloomberg: step up your health game!  »

New York City Mayor Bloomberg made a bold statement last week with a proposal to ban the city’s food stamp recipients—all 1.7 million of them—from using food stamps to purchase sugary drinks and soda. Responding in an op-ed, Dr. Neal Barnard took Bloomberg to task by urging him to “include the foods that are really driving the obesity epidemic”—namely, meat and dairy.
Dr. Barnard underlined some alarming statistics from sources like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, irrefutably linking an animal-based diet to horrific health issues. Omnivores, for example, were found to be more than two times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than vegans—scary!

Dr. Barnard emphasized that a person could use their money to buy anything they desire, regardless of nutritional value or potential harm. But the less money the government hands out for Cheetos, bacon, and Hawaiian Punch, the bigger the incentive will be for supermarkets city-wide to stock their shelves with kale, brown rice, and almond milk. The proposed measure would also include a nutrition education campaign detailing the reasons behind the change. This, in turn, could revolutionize the health of New York City and provide a healthful model for the entire nation and beyond. Predictably, the soda companies have already raised a stink about their “bottom line.”

But the real bottom line is far bleaker: Eating crap—especially meat, dairy, and sugar—increases risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. And eventually, it kills. What you put into your body matters, a lot, and we need to make healthy food more accessible for ALL. Sounds to me like this is just the kind of healthful initiative we need.

[photo by andrefaria on Flickr]


Fish oil sucks, makes your burps smell gross  »

Hey guys, turns out those fish oil capsules everyone and their damn brother have been taking aren’t so beneficial after all.

In a new study by the American Journal of Epidemiology involving 3,461 male participants, results showed that men with the most DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil) in their bloodstreams were two-and-a-half-times more likely to have a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer.  Similar studies in Europe discovered the very same results. In case that doesn’t scare your cojones back up into your body, further studies from bigwigs like Harvard and the American Medical Association reveal that fish oil is linked to type-2 diabetes and may actually increase risk of cardiac arrhythmias in some patients.

I’m sure the capsule-fanatics are thinking to themselves, “But what about my heart and brain function? Surely all those marketing claims about reducing the risk of heart failure and aiding Alzheimer’s patients must be true?!”

Sorry, y’all, researchers have found that elderly adults showed absolutely NO benefit at all in tests for reaction time, spatial memory, and processing speed measurements.  Reports showed that the supplements did not slow mental decline in these patients, and nor did they benefit babies’ cognitive development in vitro when taken by pregnant mothers. What’s more, the British Medical Journal reported way back in 2006 (and again in 2009) that omega-3 fatty acids have ZERO heart-health benefit. The New England Journal of Medicine had the same results in 2010.

Looks like we have even more reasons to leave our fine-finned friends at home in the water.


O, link-o-rama! O, link-o-rama! Animaux, activités, de Friday jusqu’à Monday, il y a tout ce que vous voulez dans le link-o-rama!  »

We’re all ’60s-crazy over here, maybe you can tell? Mad Men is nigh (!!!) and we’ve got the silliest songs stuck in our heads, and here comes this amazing Airstream camper for your little dog to perfect our little fantasies. [Straight Line Designs via Pawesome]

Que faites-vous ce weekend?
Tonight is Vegan Happy Hour and potluck, hosted by Mr. Vegansaur Jordan at the Hemlock Tavern from 6 to 9. Be there, or have less fun in your life.

On Sunday afternoon, take a tour of the trees in and around Dolores Park with Chris of Mr. Prune Tree Care. The tour will be in English and Spanish, and run about two hours. Meet at the J stop at Church and 18th Streets at 11 a.m. [thanks for the tip, Mission Mission!]

Hands-On Gourmet is hosting an All-American BBQ workshop on Monday, July 12 to teach you how to make the best animal-free, gluten-free barbecue meal ever. Dishes will include burger buns, patties, potato salad, strawberry shortcake, and ice cream! Gluten-free beer will be available for tasting—attendees must be 12 or older. The workshop runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the H.O.G. Kitchen at 2325 3rd St., No. 330; tickets cost $75. Please contact Joshua with any questions.

Wholesome Bakery, in conjunction with Ritual Coffee, will lead cookie and cupcake workshops at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (701 Mission St. at 3rd Street) as part of this summer’s Taste! program. There’s a coffee workshop (duh), too, and an art project called The Ministry of Approximate Travel by local artist Jenny Odell. Every Thursday in July in the Grand Lobby from 6 to 8 p.m. I’d say visit the YBCA’s website for more information, but as of today they actually have no information about it, so.

Voudriez-vous quelque chose à lire?

Anti-bullfighting activists protest in San Fermín, Spain. If you read Spanish, this article might prove interesting. [photo via AnimaNaturalis]

People treat animals really poorly, did you know? In Dublin (Calif., not Ireland), some assholes stole a penguin from the zoo, then abandoned her on a fucking sidewalk. HILARIOUS PRANK, guys! Ooh, the new gourmet food is lionfish, because it’s a super-destructive invasive species, wreaking havoc all over the Gulf of Mexico, into the Caribbean, and moving down into South American waters, and “humans are the only predator that can wipe it out.” But how did the lionfish, a native of the western Pacific Ocean, get to the other side of the world? Oh, well, see, people in South Florida who kept them in fishtanks in the ’80s started dumping the fish in the ocean! The wrong ocean! Whoops! And the lionfish figured out how to thrive, and now it’s fucking shit up for coral reefs all over the place. SO LET’S EAT THEM UP TO RECTIFY OUR MISTAKES. Humanity at its best.

Or no, humanity is at its best when it keeps monkeys for research, and the monkeys, because they’re miserable in captivity and hate being experimented on, figure out a genius method of escape, but don’t want to leave all their monkey pals behind, so are “lured back into captivity by scientists armed with peanuts.” I am so proud to be a human right now! BACK BEHIND THE ELECTRIC FENCE, WE MUST CONDUCT MORE TERRIFYING EXPERIMENTS ON YOU, PRIMATE.

People are also totally nasty. KFC makes its buckets from trees in North Carolina’s Green Swamp, which for some reason (money) isn’t protected land, but should be, except (money) KFC is clear-cutting it for fucking buckets. Thanks, government! And thanks, Western “junk food”—you know, your franchises of animal-products-in-everything, plus corn syrup—for giving 15 percent of men and 16 percent of women in Southeast Asia type 2 diabetes! Capitalism, you guys, it’s the best. Free market forever. In San Francisco you won’t be able to buy full-sugar sodas or waters in vending machines on city property anymore, but milk—both dairy and non-dairy!!—will be available. Calories are not all the same, you know—better to get some from protein and fat in soy milk than all from HFCS in a soda, yes? YES.

Deep Roots Animal Sanctuary needs your help to build a coop for their chicken, Mabel, and the chickens they hope to rescue in the future! The coop will be environmentally friendly, Mabel will have friends, and Deep Roots can save more birds. Birds are amazing, did you know? Robins can actually see magnetic fields, which helps them orient themselves. [link via The Telling Compulsion].

Kevin the kestrel is an amazing patient of St. Tiggywinkles [sic] wildlife hospital in Buckinghamshire, England! Someone found him on the ground with a broken leg, and the St. Tiggywinkles staff set it with “a hypodermic needle as a pin, some thin pieces of wire and dental cement.” We wish you a quick and happy recovery, Kevin!

So the president is all, Hey you congressjerks should pass the Food Safety and Modernization Act, it is Srs Bsns. And farmers are getting up on the Facebooks and Twitters, all, We’re safe and good and not harmful of the cows etc., don’t listen to Mercy for Animals, those guys are mean and biased. And I say, I am mean and biased, NO SYMPATHY.

Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! This week, Michael Bauer takes in the “modern neighborhood feel” of Encuentro, and what do you know, his take is very similar to our own Brianna’s! To wit: pretty all right, but could use some improvements. Lucky Oakland with its new restaurants. Lucky SFO, next, getting fancy-pants food from Napa Farms Market in Terminal 2 when it opens in March 2011.

Have you read about the Marines who rescued kittens in Afghanistan? I suppose it means people aren’t 100 percent terrible 100 percent of the time, and it’s nice to see some small acts of kindness in a world of enormous cruelty. Right? Sure.

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