News of Note

Supreme Court animal cruelty ruling: All sides find positives
Free speech advocates praised Tuesday’s US Supreme Court decision striking down a federal law banning depictions of animal cruelty.  At the same time, animal rights groups are calling on Congress to enact a new, more targeted law, to prevent trafficking in photos and videos depicting acts of severe animal cruelty, including so-called “crush” videos.

Officials seek cause of Snohomish dairy-manure spill
Regulators are still trying to figure out what caused a dairy-farm lagoon to fail earlier this week, spilling millions of gallons of manure that wound up in the Snohomish River.  A breach sometime Sunday or early Monday at Bartelheimer Brothers’ waste lagoon near Snohomish is the worst such incident in regulators’ memories. As much as 15 million gallons of manure, water and other organic matter may have flowed into a slough that drains to the river.

Kinder, gentler chickens to be bred to rule future free-range roosts
As those bans go into effect and more birds move to open pens, a solution may lie in the work of an influential Purdue University scientist whose breeding method produces more congenial, peaceful chickens by focusing on the birds best suited for life in groups. The white leghorns bred by William Muir stand sedately wing to wing, staring back timidly from their cages at a Purdue research farm in northern Indiana.

KFC’s Double Down, Their Latest Double Cross
One minute they are teaming up with the money whores at Susan G. Komen to help cure breast cancer by donating money from pink buckets of chicken (what a joke), and the next, they are introducing a sandwich so unhealthy that it could worsen heart disease and obesity statistics all on its own!

World Bank chief urges action to save wild tigers
World Bank President Robert Zoellick called on Wednesday for joint action among countries and organizations to save the dwindling numbers of wild tigers from extinction.  There are barely 3,500 tigers left in the wild. Their declining numbers are blamed largely on poaching and the slow destruction of their natural habitat by deforestation.

Watahala Farms: Last commercial dairy standing in Alleghany County
Troubles have pecked away at Bennett and his neighbors over the years. About 30 dairies in the county closed in the last 60 years, indicative of struggles in the industry.   Older farmers had no kin to carry on their businesses, or milk prices plummeted and costs grew too much.   Still, nearby Rockingham and Franklin counties are the two top-producing areas for dairy in Virginia, according to the Department of Agriculture’s 2007 census.

Eating Vegan: The Elusive Vitamin B12
A long-standing myth about veganism is that animal products are the only dietary sources of vitamin B12. Here’s a little information about this critical vitamin as well as some easy ways to work it into your diet.