News for September 8, 2011

News Today includes stories about Vegan Milk Revolution Contest, Pregnant vegans, Temple Grandin, Orphaned Elephants, American Meat, Foie Gras Ban, Pet Oxygen Masks, CSA, Vegan Truck, tomatoes, Salmonella, FDA, Listeria, Shmeat, A Fall from Freedom, sharks, cattle, Farms, Chrissie Hynde, Monkey Abuse, Cameron Crowe, dolphin, Circus Cruelty, THE BELIEVERS, Doctors, Weight-Loss Program, Med Schools, Vegetable-Rich Diet, Kombucha, Fur, food photos, preserving herbs, Healthier living, Confronting Disappointment, Holiday Weekend Horror Story, Geka’s Soul Vegetarian Restaurant, upton’s naturals, and Backyard Hens.

Vegan Milk Revolution Contest!

Tell your story of why you switched from dairy to vegan products and you could win prizes! Send your youtube video to [email protected] See www.VeganMilkRevolution.com for Contest Rules & Regulations

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Pregnant vegans at risk for iodine deficiency

Disinfectants used to sanitize cow udder may provide a source of iodine for dairy consumers but can also increase the concentration of pus in milk from cows with staph infection mastitis.

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Exclusive interview with Temple Grandin

Increasingly, small pork processors are adopting a simple – and affordable – dual electrical stunning method that may be the most humane than ever before and is being promoted by some of the most well-known animal welfare experts, including Temple Grandin.

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Orphaned Elephants Inspire Compassion for Dwindling Population

These are sad and perilous days for the world’s largest land animal. Once elephants roamed the Earth like waterless whales, plying ancient migratory routes ingrained in their prodigious memories. Now they’ve been backed into increasingly fragmented territories. When not being killed for their tusks or for bush meat, they are struggling against loss of habitat due to human population pressures and drought. A 1979 survey of African elephants estimated a population of about 1.3 million. About 500,000 remain. In Asia an estimated 40,000 are left in the wild. And yet even as the elephant population dwindles, the number of human-elephant conflicts rises. In Africa, reports of elephants and villagers coming into conflict with each other appear almost daily.

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‘American Meat’ Tries To Argue For Sustainability Without Polemics

American Meat is by no means the first movie to make a case for sustainable husbandry. 2006’s fictional adaptation of Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and 2009’s documentary Food Inc, to name two, covered that same ground to wide acclaim. But some have accused those two movies of being so strident that they end up preaching only to the converted. American Meat, on the other hand, is trying to make its argument for better treatment of animals without resorting to polemics.

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Foie Gras Ban: California Chefs Speak Out

Foie gras lovers had better order up now, because come July 2012, the dish will be illegal in California.

The legislation was signed into effect by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004, but included a July 2012 deadline to give producers time to come up with more sustainable methods. But with no alternatives in sight, July 2012 is a date fast approaching for local chefs who serve the popular delicacy.

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Pet Oxygen Masks Donated To Fire Stations

Pets are no strangers to the woes of Mother Nature. The Texas wildfires sweeping across the state this week are no exception.

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Should You Join a CSA?

One of the best ways to enjoy the bounty of the growing season is through community-supported agriculture shares (CSAs). Members of the program get a share of each week’s harvest, meaning that their pantries are always chock-full of farm-fresh veggies. But with so many share options, it can be tough to determine the best system for you and your family to participate in. This simple guide will ease your CSA share confusion for seasons to come.

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Vegan Truck Goes Full-Service

Food truck GMonkey Mobile is finalizing details for its new sit-down restaurant space in Branford, Conn. The eatery, which will be called G-Zen, will feature similar sustainable, veg, and raw cuisine to its traveling counterpart. Creole cornmeal tempeh with caramelized onions, portobello tofu Napoleon, and vegan tabletop s’mores are just a few of the dishes that are expected on the menu, says Co-owner Ami Beach Shadle. Popular items from the truck, such as the tempeh Reuben sandwich and raw veggie lasagna, will also be offered, as well as alcoholic beverages like organic, biodynamic wines and raw sake blended with fresh juices. Shadle tells the Hartford Courant, “We’re taking health drinks and making them into cocktails,” she said. “You’re not going to feel hung over in the morning.” The restaurant is currently scheduled to open in mid-October.

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How the modern day tomato came to be

In the sultry summer heat, there are few flavors more welcome than that of a burstingly fresh, sloppy, sweet, tangy, locally grown tomato. In the winter, though, their grocery store equivalent is barely recognizable as the same fruit. They’re hard, uniformly round and almost inevitably taste-free.

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Why tomatoes grow in Florida

Author Barry Estabrook’s book ‘Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit’ addresses some concerns over the conditions in which modern day tomatoes are harvested, and takes direct aim at the quality of the Florida-produced product.

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Ingredients Like Pepper (Finally) Get Special Attention

Of all the meat and poultry products, pork barbecue with vinegar and pepper-based sauce was found responsible for 23 percent of all Salmonella-positives during the five year period from 2005 to 2010.

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Senate Advances $50 Million Increase for FDA

In a tough budgetary climate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received essentially the only increase in an agriculture appropriations bill that advanced in the Senate this week, just as the agency works to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act.

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Two Deaths in Colorado Listeria Outbreak

The Colorado Listeria outbreak has produced one confirmed case every 24 hours for the 10 days through the Labor Day weekend, bringing the total to 13, including two deaths, since Aug. 1.

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Shmeat: It’s What’s for Dinner

Would you eat a hamburger that was grown in a test tube? How about a chicken nugget from a petri dish? Sometimes called “shmeat” (as in, a sheet of lab-grown meat), in vitro meat might someday be an option for people with carnivorous inclinations who aren’t wild about the idea of killing and eating real animals.

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A Fall from Freedom

It seems like every week there is another important film to talk about. It’s so exciting to see animals’ stories being told in ways that truly have the power to reach people and potentially make change.

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For sharks, a race to the fin-ish line?

Cheers rang out across the Twitterverse on Tuesday when the California Senate passed legislation banning the possession, sale, or trade of shark fins, and sent the measure upstream for Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. If signed into law, California would join Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, where similar bans have already been enacted.

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Frankly, cattle are awesome

I’ve written about cattle – living and fossil – at least a few times on Tet Zoo (see links below). What a fascinating and awesome assemblage of mammalian herbivores. There are the bison and the members of the domestic cattle lineage, the African buffalo Syncerus caffer and its fossil, long-horned relatives, the Asian water buffalo Bubalus and their dwarf relatives the anoa, those charismatic, sometimes gigantic Asian species like the Gaur Bos gaurus, Banteng B. javanicus, Yak B. grunniens and Kouprey B. sauveli, and the antelope-faced, long-horned fossil form Pelorovis. As usual, there are a great many fascinating fossil kinds, virtually none of which have ever been discussed outside of the technical literature. They include the Javanese Epileptobos, Afro-Asian Hemibos, European Parabos and Yakopsis, African Brabovus and all those obscure Asian taxa, like Adjiderebos, Platybos, Bucapra, Probison, Protobison and Ioribos.

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Can Shrinking Cities Regrow as Farms?

While much of the rest of the world undergoes an incredible surge in urbanization, certain cities in the U.S. continue to shrink in population, and thus geography. The leader of that pack, as it were, is Detroit.

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Happy 60th, Chrissie Hynde!

PETA wishes a very happy 60th birthday to rock legend Chrissie Hynde, who, when she isn’t using her beautiful voice to sing platinum hits, uses it to stop cruelty to animals. From opening her vegan restaurant, VegiTerranean, to having her hit song “I’ll Stand by You” featured in a heartbreaking public service announcement, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has spent decades advocating for animals. Chrissie’s actions for animals are too numerous to list, but here are our six favorites:

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Monkey Abuse Hits Home at Chief’s House

As the U.S. Army is poised to begin poisoning African vervet monkeys at Maryland’s Aberdeen Proving Ground, PETA’s “monkeys” descended on Secretary of the Army John McHugh’s home to demand that he stop the cruelty.

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Cameron Crowe: Quit the Monkey Business

Director Cameron Crowe is getting an earful from world-famous primatologist Dr. Iqbal Malik, who sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to the director of the upcoming film We Bought a Zoo, asking him to stop using animals in films.

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Despite Death, the Show Continues

Despite the death of a dolphin named Nea at the Brookfield Zoo on Monday, it was business as usual when shows resumed the next day. Nea suffered a fractured skull after apparently colliding with another dolphin. Staff were alerted to the collision after hearing a “loud pop.”

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Billboard Blitz Highlights Circus Cruelty

Thanks to the generosity of fantastic PETA supporter and activist, Anna Ware, PETA has been able to put billboards up across Augusta, Georgia—ahead of the arrival of the notoriously cruel Cole Bros. Circus to that city—making sure that residents know that elephants used in circuses endure a lifetime of abuse and neglect and that “Elephants Never Forget.”

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The Believers Smash Future Fashion in NYC

It’s fashion week in New York City – and this Friday, Sept 9th 2011, La Fortuna Studio introduces THE BELIEVERS in New York City with an exclusive screening première night of their new fashion film hosted by Eventi Hotel at the cinema screen of the Big Screen Plaza in Chelsea. RSVP to [email protected]

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Pay For U.S. Doctors Is Tops

The analysis from researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health looked at why the U.S. spends so much more on physician care than Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K. do. And the differences are eye-popping.

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Weight-Loss Program Beats Doctor’s Advice To Shed Pounds

Doctors are supposed to help overweight patients lose weight, since those extra pounds boost the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses. But those patients might be better off going to Weight Watchers, according to new research. And, a second study finds, paying for weight-loss programs now may reduce health care costs over the long haul.

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Med Schools Fall Short On LGBT Education

How well are medical schools preparing the next generation of doctors to care for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients? Not too well, it seems.

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Vegetable-Rich Diet Linked WIth Lower Risk Of Breast Cancer

Yet another study has been released suggesting that vegetable-rich eating is linked with better health — this time, showing that women whose diets include lots of veggies are less likely to develop breast cancer than women who eat more red meat, salt and processed carbohydrates.

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Can Kombucha Help Your Skin?

Kombucha itself is a type of yeast, although it is most commonly used — and ingested — in fermented tea form. The trend has spurred DIY-fermentation classes in Brooklyn, paparazzi photographs of celebrities such as Mary-Kate Olsen and Orlando Bloom indulging in the beverage, and kombucha drinks marketed by major tea companies such as Tazo, Honest Tea and Celestial Seasonings. Kombucha enthusiasts have long touted the supposed health benefits of the tea, using it to address an array of conditions, from PMS, immune system issues and slow metabolisms to joint pain, fatigue and hair loss.

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Fur Is Toxic-Green!

The most probable source of the pollution plaguing southwestern Nova Scotia’s Carleton River watershed is the mink farm industry, a 2011 government report suggests. According to Canada’s Chronicle Herald last week, a Nova Scotia mink farm has been charged and fined for polluting a nearby waterway.

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You can take food photos like the pros

In keeping with the food-porn frenzy that goes along with restaurant reality shows, celebrity chefs and a navel-gazing obsession with farm-to-table cuisine, taking pictures of dinner is de rigueur, whether it’s a chili dog or a prime rib of beef stretched across the plate. Seems like everybody’s a food paparazzo these days. It’s enough to make a vodka sauce blush.

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Flavor fall and winter by preserving herbs

Fresh herbs are at their most abundant and affordable during these waning days of summer. So, yes, use them with abandon. Chop and sprinkle on grilled fish, mince and rub on lamb, tuck whole sprigs in glasses of iced tea and lemonade.

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Global health experts: Healthier living could cut millions of cancer cases

Healthier lifestyles and better diets could prevent up to 2.8 million cases of cancer each year, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said on Wednesday, calling on governments to “avoid a public health disaster.”

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Holiday Weekend Horror Story

Last Monday, August 29, CHNW (my wife) and I were thrust from our motorcycle by the front bumper of a careless driver. (Read that story here) We were then treated to an unscheduled visit to the emergency room of the Brooklyn Hospital and released a few hours later. On Friday of the same week, the beginning of Labor Day weekend here in the U.S., CHNW developed a complication with one of her injuries and we had to return that evening for more of the unique brand of amusement that a city hospital has to offer. The following is an account of that visit.

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Confronting Disappointment

On Friday afternoon, as brave and committed activists continued their non-violent civil disobedience outside the White House in protest of the tar sands pipeline that would lead to a massive increase in global warming pollution, President Obama ordered the EPA to abandon its pursuit of new curbs on emissions that worsens disease-causing smog in US cities. Earlier this year, the EPA’s administrator, Lisa Jackson, wrote that the levels of pollution now permitted — put in place by the Bush-Cheney administration– are “not legally defensible.” Those very same rules have now been embraced by the Obama White House.

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Geka’s Soul Vegetarian Restaurant

On our way to Watkins Glen, Dennis and I stopped at Geka’s Soul Vegetarian Restaurant in Elmira, NY. Elmira isn’t the most scenic of towns in the Finger Lakes area, but it’s become a stop for vegans on their way to Farm Sanctuary because of Geka’s. The restaurant is owned by Pam St. Louis, who is also the head chef. Pam cooks everything from scratch – there are no canned or frozen foods here!

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upton’s naturals, now that’s how you do it

Move over, Abe Froman, there’s a new sausage king of Chicago. A vegan one at that!

Nothing makes me happier than finding out the people behind a product I like are just as great as what they make. If I know my money is supporting amazing people with like values, I’m far more apt to purchase their products. Upton’s Naturals is one of those special companies run by amazing people. They’re honest, kind, and hard-working. And fun.

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The Paradox of Backyard Hens

I live in Austin, where people keep a lot of chickens. Nobody’s knows exactly how many Austinites currently keep backyard chickens. We do know, however, that this movement is more than a passing fad. Asked about the upsurge in local demand for chicks, the manager of Callahan’s General Store responded, “It’s phenomenal.” Phenomenal it might be. But a critical assessment of this wildly popular trend is sorely lacking.

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About James Lucas


James has been a graphic designer for over 18 years and owns Wave Hound Surf Shop. James started Doylestown Movie Fans, who meet once a month to see movies at the County Theater in Doylestown, PA. He and his wife Chris started Bucks County Vegan Supper Club in 2009, whose members meet once a month to have a vegan potluck dinner. They are currently working through the Veganomicon cookbook, which inspires experienced and recent vegans to try new recipes. James is proud to support Farm Sanctuary and The Surfrider Foundation.

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