Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: quit meat, save dough! »
Did you know that the last time meat prices were this high, Reagan was in office? That’s one reason I write in a New York Daily News op-ed that if you want to save money, giving farm animals a bit of a break will also give our wallets a break, too. Amusingly, the paper named the op-ed, “Quit Meat, Save Dough.”
Speaking of money, a major battery egg producer was fined $6.8 million this week after admitting to bribing USDA officials to approve potentially rotten eggs.
And egg-laying chickens are on the political map in Massachusetts, where we’re waging a major campaign to ban battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates. Here’s the latest coverage.
Want to learn more about these kinds of animal protection campaigns while networking with tons of other like-minded animal advocates and eating off-the-hook vegan food? Come to the Taking Action for Animals conference in DC June 27-30!!!
P.S. Video of the week: Just a cat playing with a pig. No big deal.
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: how many orthodox rabbis does it take…? »
How many orthodox rabbis does it take to expose how cruel kosher slaughter is? Just one, and he’s got a very compelling op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today.
And when it comes to non-kosher slaughter, if you think the USDA takes its slaughter oversight responsibilities seriously, Bruce Friedrich’s latest op-ed may clarify your thinking.
The meat industry doesn’t like all this attention on its abusive track record, so one of its groups that was formed to combat HSUS has now formed its own Super PAC…
Finally, you may have missed HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (the largest conference for animal sheltering professionals in the nation) this past week, but here’s some good coverage of the off-the-hook food served there.
P.S. Video of the week: I didn’t believe it when I heard about it, but this cat really plays Jenga.
P.P.S. Do you love Esther the Wonder Pig? Then come see the dudes who live with her give a speech at Taking Action for Animals in DC at the end of June… Register now!
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!
What a week!
First, the dangerous and notorious King amendment in the farm bill was, well, let’s just say humanely euthanized.
Third, California’s landmark law banning the sale and production of foie gras was upheld as constitutional.
Fourth, the New Jersey legislature is again working to ban gestation crates, and our bill to do just that unanimously passed out of committee yesterday.
Fifth, Kathy Freston’s petition asking McDonald’s to add a veggie burger is making headlines, including in the Wall Street Journal.
Finally, Fox News did a great story on the future of animal product alternatives. In fact, meat reduction efforts in Sweden are so effective that desperate meat industry reps have taken to passing out free burgers to kids outside of schools!
P.S. Video of the week: This gorilla would totally own any mosh pit.
Scientists finally get off their butts to study the effects of farm runoff on our goddamn water »
It’s not that they don’t care! It’s that the extreme weather has increased runoff to a degree so alarming that scientists thought, Gosh, maybe now is the time to see what the effects of like seven decades of industrial agriculture has had on our waterways. NPR has some pretty delightful (horrifying) quotes:
Agriculture is the nation’s leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"It’s been happening for years," says [Bob Broz, a water quality specialist with the University of Missouri Extension]. "The problem is now we seem to be seeing more of these more intense rainfalls. And that, in turn, creates a huge amount of nutrient loss."
"There’s the direct impact on the aquatic ecosystem," says [Bob Lerch, a USDA soil scientist]. "And then there’s the downstream impacts on say, drinking water, or a reservoir, or a recreational [body of water]."
Want to freak the fuck out about whether the next generation will even understand the concept of “tap water”? (Potable water from … the government? Available to all of us citizens for a nominal fee? Go on, old person, tell me another ridiculous story about life before you ruined the planet for us.) Read the article at The Salt blog.
[photo by Penn State News via Flickr]
Stop New York’s annual slaughter of geese! »
Gothamist rounds up the info on the Department of Agriculture’s annual New York City-area goose-murder, this year targeted at the geese living in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Is that actual irony? It’s certainly disgusting.
If you want to help stop the totally unnecessary murder of hundreds of geese, get more info from Goose Watch NYC, and sign the petition addressed to Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
[Photo by Peter Roan via Flickr]
Vegans rejoice! U.S. meat consumption has been falling since 2004! »
Per Parke Wilde at U.S. Food Policy blog, we as a country have been eating fewer cows, chicken, and pigs since peak meat-eating in 2004 (chicken-eating peaked in 2006). The vegans are winning! Sort of.
Beef consumption peaked in 2002 and has fallen about 12 percent since then. Pork consumption peaked in about 1999 and has fallen about 11 percent since then. And I had not realized that chicken consumption peaked in about 2006 and has fallen almost 5 percent since then.
Total combined consumption of beef, pork, and chicken peaked in about 2004 and has fallen more than 6 percent since then.
But, Wilde says, it’s probably as much (or more) to do with the recession and the cost of dead animals than it is people’s actual desire to stop eating them. Still, that’s something to be pleased about. If only it were 16 percent instead of 6.
[Photo by Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr]
Debating the scientific merits of a vegan diet with the Wall Street Journal »
When even Rupert Murdoch’s favorite news producer wants an excuse to be vegan, you know we’ve arrived. The Wall Street Journal invites two professors of nutritional science, the delightful T. Colin Campbell and Nancy Rodriguez, to argue for and against a vegan diet.
The dairy industry has long promoted the myth that milk and milk products promote increased bone health—but the opposite is true. The evidence is now abundantly convincing that higher consumption of dairy is associated with higher rates of bone fracture and osteoporosis.
It’s also worth noting that the government recommendations for certain population groups to increase their protein and iron consumption come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an agency long known to be subservient to the meat and dairy industries.
I’ve always been a welfare vegan, but it’s nice to have science on our side, for the humanists.
[photo by John Hritz via Flickr]
The Meatless Monday Unicorn is clearly nonplussed, as per usual. If you don’t know about the situation with the USDA and Meatless Monday, catch up.
As always, you can send the MMU directly to your omni pals via flickr.
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! WOOHOO!
Good news: A judge has rejected the foie gras industry’s attempt to put a hold on California’s new law banning the force-feeding of ducks (and selling products from force-fed ducks).
More good news: North America’s largest foodservice distributor, Sysco, is the latest food giant to come out against gestation crate confinement of pigs.
In response to the gestation crate debate, the National Pork Producers Council’s communications director was seriously quoted in the National Journal this week saying: “So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets…I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.” (No, this isn’t a quote from 30 years ago—it’s July 24, 2012. Seriously. Yes, I know.)
Amazingly, USDA put out a newsletter this week including a mention of the health and environmental benefits of Meatless Monday. This of course drew immediate outrage from the meat industry and its allies in Congress (Rep. Steve King from Iowa tweeted that it was “heresy”), prompting USDA to immediately remove the newsletter and announce that it wasn’t properly vetted. Lots of coverage on this, though the national AP story put it best when it aptly concluded, “The USDA often promotes the beef industry by encouraging Americans to eat meat.” (NPR and NY Times had good coverage, too.)
USDA retracts support of Meatless Mondays, is beef industry’s puppet »
Man, this is so gross. Even more proof that the governmental agencies put in place to protect us only care about appeasing the big money$$$.
From the USDA Twitter:
You can just imagine how that went down. Like, lower level people at the USDA were all, “sure, Meatless Monday, that’s cool, Americans should eat several fewer pounds of shit-laced meat a day!” and then the beef industry bigwigs saw it and freaked the fuck out because, “OMG AMERICANS EATING FEWER DEAD ANIMALS THAT’S UN-AMERICAN!! AND ALSO, HOW WILL WE GET RICHER AND MAKE EVERYONE ELSE SICK AND POOR???” and then they called the USDA bigwigs who—shocker!—are some of their bff’s/former employees and BAM, Meatless Monday retracted.
What. a. bunch. of. bullshit. LITERALLY.