News of Note

Lab-Grown Human Cells Could Replace Animals For Cosmetics Testing
Good news for animal rights activists: Lab-grown human cells can be used to test for allergic reactions to cosmetics, possibly negating the practice of animal testing for certain compounds.  In the US, animals are still regularly used as test subjects in studies of the toxicity and allergy sensitivity of cosmetics, detergents and oils. But animal testing for cosmetics was banned in the European Union in 2009. Cosmetics manufacturers thus have no way to test their products for allergy sensitivity. (Animals are still used in a wide range of other tests, however.)

Peacock escapes from Central Park Zoo
A peacock has flown the coop, stealthily escaping from its home at the Central Park Zoo.  The male peacock “wandered” away from the Manhattan Zoo on Tuesday, said Wildlife Conservation Society spokeswoman Mary Dixon in a statement.

Salmon Days free-speech rules prompt lawsuit against city
The iconic Salmon Days Festival is at the center of a free-speech lawsuit after police threatened to arrest a man for distributing religious leaflets at the festival.  Snoqualmie resident Paul Ascherl sued the city in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Aug. 5 to challenge a municipal ordinance created to limit leafleting and other activities to designated “expression areas” at the fall festival.

Meatless Monday: A Toast To Vegan Wine
Though you think wine equals grapes equals vegan, it may not be so. Winemakers often use isinglass (refined sturgeon bladder) to filter out grape seeds and skins. Dee-lish? Not so much. And not vegan, either. Gelatin (pig or sometimes cow hoof), casein (milk protein), egg whites and other animalesque bits are likewise used in traditional wine filtration.

CDC: 1 death, 76 illnesses linked to ground turkey
Federal officials say one person has died from salmonella poisoning that appears to be linked to eating ground turkey, but the government so far has declined to say who produced the meat or initiate a recall.  Seventy-six people in 26 states have been made sick from the same strain of the disease, which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics.

Severe drought forces Texas, Oklahoma ranchers to sell cattle, putting future of herds at risk
The drought that has baked pastures and dried ponds has ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma — the nation’s top two beef producers — culling their herds. Some have sold off all their cattle, Most cows sold are being sent to slaughter. When the drought ends, demand for animals to rebuild herds is likely to peak just as the nation’s cattle population is at its lowest since 1958.

Canines trained to help people with diabetes
Chloe was so rambunctious, her owner didn’t want her anymore.  Now the chocolate Labradoodle not only has a home, she also has a job, all thanks to Mark Hackathorn and Scott Smith, who turn homeless and surrendered dogs into service dogs.

The Human-Canine Bond: Can Play Cure PTSD in Dogs?
In her recent blog post, “Why Dogs Heal PTSD,” Tracy Stecker beautifully describes how the canine-human bond can help war veterans overcome PTSD and start getting back to normal.  We usually think of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a condition primarily afflicting such veterans. But battered children and spouses can also exhibit symptoms. Victims of automobile accidents, natural disasters, and violent crimes can too. So can abused dogs.

NY sets misdemeanor for attending animal fights
The possible penalty for attending animal fights in New York is going up.  A new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo raises the infraction from a violation to a misdemeanor with penalties up to three months in jail and $500 fines.

Ask a Vegan: How Do You Get Protein and Calcium?
When I first stopped drinking milk, I paid close attention to my calcium intake. Within weeks, I realized I was getting plenty, if not too much.  As for protein, as an avid runner, I was really concerned. I was halfway through training for a half-marathon when I went vegetarian, and waited until after the race to go completely meatless.  Looking back, I laugh at my concerns. A balanced vegan diet provides more than enough protein.

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