News of Note

Animal rights group seeks a ‘basic level of decency’
Animal rights advocates are strengthening their call to end animal abuse across the state, urging legislators to pass legislation in 2010 that would crack down on animal fights, puppy mills and the intense confinement of farm animals.

Blue Monkey Building
Why would these businesses locate here? I suspect the reason has to do with the purpose of the blue building next door – it’s a UW primate research laboratory, home to the Washington National Primate Research Center. Only once have I heard a monkey type noise from there; it was probably being transported from a truck into the facility.

Animal-Rights Advocates Bare Teeth in a Novel Way
Animal-rights groups are aggressively stepping up legal tactics in an approach that is picking up steam nationally.  The latest such instance was heard in a Wisconsin court on Thursday involving sheep that died of decompression sickness.  In Madison, prosecutors declined to pursue University of Wisconsin officials and researchers whose test subjects, three sheep, inadvertently died of an illness that befalls deep-sea divers, decompression sickness or the bends, during U.S. Navy-financed experiments aimed at helping submariners.  But two animal-rights groups, Alliance for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, seized on a little-invoked state law to aid their case.

Tiger Abuse in China Sparks Calls for Animal Rights
It is an irony not lost on the Chinese public that the Year of the Tiger has not been good for the big cats… The Chinese government has come under increasing pressure from owners of tiger farms to relax the ban on trading tiger parts. So far the government has resisted those efforts, a move that seems to be in keeping with shifting public sentiment. The back-to-back tiger tragedies have been followed closely in China, spurring calls for greater legal protections for animals.


An experiment with vegan living leads to new way of eating

On Feb. 1, I flipped a culinary switch and became a vegan overnight. For a month, I planned to shop, cook and eat without any animal products. No meat, eggs or dairy, period.  The intent was mostly earnest. Portland has a large and quickly growing vegan community. And after seeing documentaries like “Food, Inc.” and reading works by Michael Pollan, I’d become increasingly convinced that eating less meat — perhaps even eliminating it altogether — was the greenest, most-humane thing I could do.

Study: Bacon, cheese, fatty foods are physically addictive, like cocaine
Scientists have finally confirmed what the rest of us have suspected for years: Bacon, cheesecake, and other delicious yet fattening foods may be addictive.  A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin.