News of Note

Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons: Africa Elephant Hunt Video ‘Nothing to Be Ashamed Of’
Backlash against his recent video could damage his company’s place as the number-one Internet domain name company.  This week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it will close its account with Go Daddy and is encouraging other account holders to do the same.

The Morality of Mealtime
Myers took aim at chef-authors like Anthony Bourdain, who celebrates an unabashedly hedonistic approach to eating, and Gabrielle Hamilton, the author of the appropriately titled memoir Blood, Bones and Butter. To Myers, what’s missing in the new foodie literature — and in the growing pop-cultural obsession with food, seen in the success of reality shows like Top Chef — is any sense of morality.

Rescue efforts in Japan highlight link between human, animal welfare
More than two weeks after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, a loose network of pet groups is working to provide many of the services for stranded and stressed animals that emergency services have been providing for people, including food, medicine and shelter.  Some question why scarce resources should be devoted to saving animals when gas shortages are endemic and human beings have so many needs. Their response: The welfare of animals and people are often integrally linked.

Iowa Senate panel OKs ban on undercover farm videos
The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill Wednesday aimed at preventing animal rights activists from getting hired on farms to secretly record what they believe is the mistreatment of livestock.  The bill would make it illegal to secretly record and distribute videos and punish those who take jobs on farms only to gain access to record animals’ treatment.

Horse processing in Neb. takes a step closer
Nebraska has moved a step closer to implementing its own meat inspection program. LB 305, introduced by Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, advanced out of the first round of floor debate Wednesday by a vote of 35 to one.  An amendment to the bill was also approved that affects the costs involved with creating a meat inspection agency and eliminates the time limit to establish one.

Very questionable food: on eating animals
Not eating meat has been called a form of activism – a passive one, but boycotts are sometimes effective ways of changing bad practices and policies. We learn increasingly that meat production is a major source of pollution and greenhouse gases, a huge consumer of water and other resources, even an indirect factor in human starvation due to use of so much grain to produce meat. Foregoing meat may seem like a drop in the ocean of suffering, yet how many of our other “right actions” seem similarly limited in scale and impact? Every person who stops eating meat lessens the demand.

Vegetarians may be at lower diabetes, heart risk
A new study finds that a meat-free diet seems to lower a person’s likelihood of having certain risk factors for diabetes or heart disease — and therefore may lower the risk of one day developing those illnesses.

Seeing vegan: New study correlates meat eating with cataract risk
A new study in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds “a strong relation” between diet and incidence of cataracts, with “high meat eaters” at the greatest risk for the disease, while vegans are at the least risk.  After adjusting for several non-dietary factors such as age, smoking, ethnicity, and blood pressure, the results indicated a direct correlation between animal products in the diet and cataract risk.

Chinese Ducks Felled by New Virus
The discovery of what the scientists have dubbed the BYD virus raises some critical concerns. In addition to potentially devastating Chinese duck farming and the economy that depends on it, the flavivirus could put humans at risk. “Most flaviviruses are zoonotic,” meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people, Gao says, “so infection of human beings cannot be ruled out.”..Because of the pervasiveness of duck farming in China, Gao and colleagues stress that the disease should be closely monitored, in part because it could spread to people.

Martha Stewart’s Vegan Show
Following Oprah’s lead, Martha Stewart had an hour-long all-vegan show this week.  Farm Sanctuary is an amazing organization that I would give a ton of props to. And, news to me, the organization apparently convinced Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to go vegan.

Masters of Disguise Among Meatless Burgers
They were the four syllables that had the power to make both carnivores and vegetarians cringe: veggie burger.  For meat-lovers, the veggie burger was long seen as a sad stand-in that tried to copy the contours and textures of a classic beef patty while falling pathetically short of the pleasure. And for meat-refusers, the veggie burger served as a kind of penitential wafer: You ate this bland, freeze-dried nutrient disc because you had to eat it (your duty as someone who had forsaken the flesh) and because at many a restaurant or backyard barbecue, it was the only option available.

New movie worries Inland rabbit rescuers
The thought of Easter time, and the impulsive purchases of baby bunnies that often accompanies it, makes rabbit rescuers cringe.  This year could be even worse, they fear, with today’s release of “Hop,” a movie featuring “E.B.” the computer-animated bunny.  After the “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” movies came out, animal shelters found themselves with a glut of unwanted Chihuahuas. Now rabbit rescuers are picturing children crazy about “Hop” wanting their very own fluffy little E.B

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