UN Court calls bullshit on Japan’s whaling program! »
Image from Greenpeace.
Yay! The International Court of Justice has ordered a temporary halt on Japan’s annual whale slaughter! The UN Court does not think the program is truly in the name of science (screw science anyway, save all the whales!). And according to BBC, Japan said it will honor the ruling.
Reading a summary of the judgment, presiding Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia said that the present “research program,” dating to 2005, has involved the killing of 3,600 minke whales and a number of fin whales, but that its “scientific output to date appears limited.” The ruling suggested instead that Japan’s whaling hunt served political and economic reasons.
Lawyers attending the proceedings said there was a gasp in the audience when Judge Tomka ordered Japan to immediately “revoke all whaling permits” and not issue any new ones under the existing program.
AWESOME! Let’s hope it sticks!!!
A final note from Captain Alex Cornelissen of the deservedly proud Sea Shepherd Global:
Though Japan’s unrelenting harpoons have continued to drive many species of whales toward extinction, Sea Shepherd is hopeful that in the wake of the ICJ’s ruling, it is whaling that will be driven into the pages of the history books.
Meat, eggs, and dairy could be as harmful to your health as smoking, new study suggests »
"People need to switch to a diet where only around nine or ten percent of their calories come from protein, and the ideal sources are plant-based."
-Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California. (via the Guardian)
A study published in Cell Metabolism (my new favorite scholarly journal) is making waves today!* After studying 6,000+ people, their data suggests that (at least for people under 65), a diet high in animal-derived protein can be as harmful as smoking, in terms of mortality. I’m sure you can see why that statement would make waves! People do not like when you speak ill of their precious meat and dairy. And we could say comparing it to smoking is a ploy for attention. But, we could alternatively say that the comparison makes the data easily digestible for people (ew, pun!). Plus, it totally deserves attention, so ploy away!
Check out these two “highlights” from the study abstract:
- High protein intake is linked to increased cancer, diabetes, and overall mortality
- Plant-derived proteins are associated with lower mortality than animal-derived proteins
Some critics are saying it’s harmful to compare smoking to dairy and meat because it will make smoking seem less detrimental than it is. I say those people are completely unclear on just how detrimental meat and dairy are.
My favorite thing about this study coming out is that hopefully it’ll shake up the blind faith in protein. I mean, we already knew meat and dairy are bad for you (“we” as in us vegans), there are plenty of studies that have suggested that long ago. But this is a hard attack on the ever-venerated animal protein! The next time you see an omni, you should totally be like: "Where do YOU get your protein?" Booyah!
*Warning! Besides the data they have from studying people, they use data from studies done on mice as well. We don’t have to condone it to learn from it though.
Breaking: Humane Society finds cannibalism, cruelty, and disease at Kentucky pig factory »
HSUS released a new undercover video today from the Iron Maiden pig factory in Kentucky. Besides awful gestation crates, they discovered that the factory takes piglets who die from “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus” and feed them to mother pigs. It’s done in an effort to immunize the pigs. Freaking disgusting. Vegansaurus friend Paul Shapiro said of the factory, “The entire atmosphere at this facility is awful for animals, many of whom are perpetually immobilized and suffering from body sores, diarrhea attacks and prolapsed uteruses.” And it’s all for bacon? Our society is unbelievable.
I’m wondering, am I the only one who immediately feels claustrophobic when I see the pigs in the gestation crates? A NYT article describes gestation crates pretty chillingly:
They live out their adult lives without exercise or meaningful social interaction; it’s like a life sentence of solitary confinement in a coffin, punctuated by artificial insemination and birth.
Awful. As the article title asks, “Is That Sausage Worth This?”
You can read more about the exposé on the Humane Society’s site, including a description of the video if you don’t want to watch. They also have a link to a petition but other than that, I’m not sure what we can do besides raise awareness and be vegan. If anyone knows about other ways to help, please share in the comments.
Al Gore has gone vegan?! »
The Washington Post is reporting that Al Gore is vegan! We’re guessing Gore has adopted a “vegan diet” rather than lifestyle but hey, you never know. And you have to start somewhere! Plus I think food might be the biggest hurdle for most people when they think about becoming vegan (maybe because they don’t realize about the other stuff?).
From the Washington Post:
An individual familiar with Gore’s decision, who asked not to be identified because it involved a personal matter, confirmed that Gore opted a couple of months ago to become vegan. Gore’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is unclear why Gore, one of the nation’s most visible climate activists, has given up dairy, poultry and meat products.
That last sentence cracked me up at first because it’s like, “It’s unclear why Mr. Save-the-Environment is taking the biggest personal measure you can take to save the environment,” but then they go on to make the case that it probably is for environmental reasons.
In conclusion, you go Gore! Keep it up! Let’s take over! Rah rah rah!
Forbes names vegan food a top food trend of 2013! »
Go Forbes! Now I know we will get some people like, “trend? TREND?” but we consistently have been seeing veganism as a “trend” in the last half a dozen years AND if we’ve learned anything from beets, many things that start as trends, become menu staples. So! Here is what Forbes has to say!:
"The new wave of veganism is more about health than animal welfare," says Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland. "For better or worse, this is why it will have more staying power." Witness the rise of such eating plans ("diets" seems too limiting) as Vegan Before 6 and the China Study. Chef Tal Ronnen opened L.A.’s vegan restaurant Crossroads after catering vegan for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Now he creates artichoke "oysters" (pictured) with artichoke puree, crispy oyster mushroom and kelp caviar and "crab cakes” composed of hearts of palm, apples, and beets, with nuts refined into non-dairy cheeses. Matthew Kenney of M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica does similarly photogenic dishes and has a cooking school to back it up. It’s not just a west coast thing: Chef Jose Huber of the Amway Hotel Collection in Grand Rapids, Mich. goes vegan for a month each year to taste test recipes such as a cauliflower steak.
Fine, a lot of people follow vegan “meal plans” for health but that’s better than nothing and I have seen many people start out for health and eventually get to the animal rights reasons. Because a lot of people aren’t even aware of what happens to animals used for food but once you start reading about reasons to be vegan, that stuff is going to come up!
I really couldn’t be happier that Forbes is down with veganism. Now the riches will be all up on it and make us even more yummy restaurants!
Food for Lover’s Vegan Queso is going gluten-free!
According to a press release, the company is switching from using wheat flour to oat flour in their entire line because it just actually tastes better. That’s a refreshing development.
Expect it in stores, with a new label, in November or so. Imma stock up on some corn chips and salsa and pig out, you’re invited.
Did you know: PCRM has a vegan-food-only office! »
PCRM! Sometimes amazing, sometimes embarrassing, but always working toward a vegan world, which we can certainly appreciate. And in service of that goal, the organization has a vegan-food-only office policy, which the Washington Post reported on this week for … reasons.
PCRM has also piloted vegan eating programs at other workplaces in the Washington area. In one instance, they worked with a group of employees at Geico’s Chevy Chase headquarters. The nonprofit asked the insurance group to adopt a vegan diet and offered them weekly instruction on how to make healthy, tasty and cost-effective vegan choices. After 22 weeks, they compared employees in that group to Geico employees who hadn’t received the training. The vegan group lost more weight, reported improved physical health and said they saw a decrease in food costs.
Of course people are always yapping about how veganism will MAKE YOU THIN at which point YOU WILL WIN LIFE, which is a dumb lie. But are we going to criticize a cruelty-free office kitchen? Of course not. Health vegans, we love you too. Everyone’s welcome on team vegan.
[Photo by Justina Davies via Flickr]
(Source: Washington Post)
Dog Pulls A Lassie, Saves Homeless Man »
What is it, Mole, you adorable German Shepard mix? There’s a homeless man trapped under those rocks here on Mt. Rubidoux, near Riverside, CA? He’s totally dehydrated and has been there for a week or more? You need me to come help him and call rescuers? Is that why you’re pulling on my pant leg? It better be, because this is getting annoying. Good thing I brought you hiking with me, Mole! Dogs are the best!
Cosmetic animal testing banned in the European Union! »
That’s right! As of March 11, “the marketing, import, and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients will no longer be legal in the EU.” Congratulations to PCRM, who did a lot of work lobbying for the ban, and here’s to passing a similar ban in the U.S. Cosmetics don’t need to be tested on animals any longer. Science has moved beyond it; here’s hoping we can move society beyond it, too.
[Photo by Ahmad Hashim via Flickr]
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Animal News You Can Use from Paul Shapiro! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!
The latest beef in the battle between the pork industry’s leadership and HSUS is a newly filed lawsuit. HSUS charges that the National Pork Board struck an unlawful “ham scam” backroom deal with the National Pork Producers Council to purchase the “Pork: The Other White Meat” slogan. The purchase is bankrolling a third of the NPPC’s annual budget, which includes waging anti-animal lobbying efforts.
Both ConAgra and Dunkin Donuts announced in the past week that they’re eliminating gestation crates from their supply chains. Despite ConAgra being based in Nebraska, true to form, the head of the Nebraska Farm Bureau derided the company’s move and assured the public that “The use of gestation crates is really a better way to care for hogs.” The dude may as well be defending the NFL replacement refs…
In non-NFL news, my esteemed coworker at HSUS, Dr. Michael Greger, has a piece that was on the CNN home page about the public health dangers of factory farming.
Finally, the New York Times had a good feature last week on how mainstream vegan eating is in Southern California. Check it out!
Video of the week: Dog meets trampoline: