News of Note

Environmental footprint of vegan and vegetarian diets 30% lower than non-vegetarian diets, say researchers: ‘We have to drastically cut consumption of meat and dairy’
If the evidence that plant-based diets are better for human health is compelling, the evidence that they are better for the planet is indisputable, delegates at the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition were told.

 

Rise of Factory Farm ‘Gag Laws’ Show Why Food Safety Cuts Are Troubling
As a result of reports like the one from the Humane Society, ag-gag bills have been introduced in at least five states this year. The Indiana Senate this week debated a proposal to criminalize taking photos or videos inside an agricultural or industrial operation without permission, according to local media reports. Similar measures are currently up for consideration in New Hampshire, Nebraska, Wyoming and Arkansas.  Because trespassing is already illegal, opponents of the legislation charge it can only have one motive – to punish whistleblowers, investigative reporters and food safety advocates who attempt to speak out about the appalling conditions in which a majority of American meat is produced.

 

Going Vegan: Betty Crocker gets a plant-based makeover
On their Meet The Shannons blog they began sharing recipes for vegan creations inspired by the Betty Crocker style of cooking. Before too long, thanks to a short online mention by The New York Times, thousands of people were taking notice. That led to a cookbook deal and the recent release of “Betty Goes Vegan,” a massive collection of 500 recipes, many inspired by actual Betty Crocker dishes. It all came together in less than two years, the blink of an eye in the cookbook world.

 

Finding ‘meatless’ meat for a world of cities
Today, though, there’s a new rationale — keyed to the world’s future — for finding substitutes for meat.  Fact No. 1: The immense demand on resources to deliver a single quarter-pound hamburger — 6.7 pounds of grain, 600 gallons of water, 75 square feet of land, 1,036 BTUs of energy.
Modest enough? Not when you note the average American consumes 224 pounds of meat a year — 1,000 times the single hamburger.
Fact No. 2: Globally, meat for today’s 7 billion people requires 60 billion land animals, all grazing, drinking water and expelling wastes. “Cattle Nation” would be the world’s third-largest greenhouse-gas emitter, trailing only China and the United States. By 2050, with 9 billion people on Earth, it will take at least 100 billion land animals to feed us all.

 

African lions – the killer kings in mortal danger from man and sham medicine
The king of the beasts is on his deathbed. The great cats are vanishing across Africa. In fact, a study last year in Biodiversity Conservation estimated that lion populations have fallen by 68% in just 50 years: from 100,000 in 1960 to 35,000 today. Another report by the NGO LionAid, however, estimated even fewer: 15,000.  The story of the lion’s decline is similar to that of many big predators. Ever-expanding human populations have gobbled up lion habitat for agriculture, livestock, and cities, while numbers lion prey – from antelope to zebra – have fallen dramatically. And like many top predators, lions face an unceasing conflict with humans: they are killed as pests, for trophies, and even for sham medicine.

 

Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Diet’ Helps Tia Mowry Go Vegan
Actress Tia Mowry is embracing the vegan lifestyle, and sends many thanks to vegan pro Alicia Silverstone for helping her create delicious recipes.  Mowry and her hubby, actor Cory Hardrict, just switched to plant-based diets at the beginning of the New Year. The actress also recently started blogging on Silverstone’s The Kind Life blog, where she is sharing tips about her vegan journey and some yummy recipes.