News of Note

i Jan 24th by

Animal-rights groups fault Washington egg producers’ practices
Two national animal-welfare groups have selected Washington as their next target for changes in farm-industry practices.  The groups — The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary — filed initiative language on Tuesday that would require state egg producers to give their hens enough room to turn around and extend their wings, and that all eggs sold here come from farms that meet those standards, as well.

Animal rights groups ‘outraged’ at bill
Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy organization, is taking action against a Top of Utah legislator and his proposed bill regarding feral cats.  Based in Bethesda, Md., Alley Cats Allies, which claims to be dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, is just one of the animal-rights organizations that are opposed to Utah House Bill 210. The organization has started an action center against the proposed bill by Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, which would change the state’s animal cruelty law to allow the killing of feral animals, pests and rodents.

Sluggish? Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low
Those are also symptoms of a deficiency of B12, a key nutrient needed to make red blood cells and DNA and keep the nervous system working right.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is officially considered rare, affecting about 1 in 1,000 Americans, according to a 2005 study. But the incidence rises with age, to about 15% of elderly people. The rate is also much higher among people who don’t eat meat or dairy products, people with absorption problems, people taking acid-blocking medications and those with Type 2 diabetes who take the drug Metformin.

Study: Can a Veggie-Rich Diet Make You More Beautiful?
There are so many healthy reasons to eat vegetables that it feels redundant to keep enumerating them. But if a stronger immune system, cancer-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber aren’t reason enough for some, perhaps we can appeal to their vanity: a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour found that eating foods high in carotenoids — a nutrient found in some fruits, leafy greens and root vegetables — gave them a healthy glow that rivaled a sun tan and made them more attractive in tests.

Why I Stopped Being Vegan and Started Using Butter
I consider myself a staunch and, at times, an overzealous local food advocate. I grew up in an area with farms. I’ve worked on an organic farm. I write about food. I regularly attend farmers’ markets. I support organic and local whenever possible. I wrote my thesis on local food. I think I own almost every book and cookbook on local food. It’s an obsession. But it wasn’t until my life as a vegan and locavore came to a crossroads that I began to think about butter: Is it possible to really support my local economy, maintain my commitment to the environment and be vegan?

Proposition B Up For Debate in Jefferson City
A new law to curtail problem dog breeders could get repealed before it even goes into effect. Missouri voters approved Proposition B last November. It goes into effect in November of 2011. The initiative petition created tough new rules for dog breeders keeping ten or more breeding females. Supporters say it will make major improvements in living conditions for the dogs and result in healthier pets sold to consumers.

Pet bunnies in peril as Year of the Rabbit nears
With just days to go before the Year of the Rabbit dawns, animal-welfare groups in Asia are warning of an inevitable outcome: abandoned and neglected bunnies.  Pet retailers across the region are seeing brisk demand for the furry, fast-breeding creatures ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 3 in the Chinese almanac.

Pet Legislation Passes
The New York City Council approved two bills Tuesday aimed at protecting animals, winning praise from some animal advocates.  The council voted 47-1 to prohibit tethering an animal for more than three consecutive hours in any continuous 12-hour period.  The council voted 41-7 to increase the annual fee for licensing dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered to $34 from $11.50.

Wal-Mart Shifts Strategy to Promote Healthy Foods
Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, will announce a five-year plan on Thursday to make thousands of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.

New Language Discovered: Prairiedogese
Professor Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University has spent the past 30 years studying a foreign tongue. But there are no instructional podcasts or evening classes to help him: Slobodchikoff is trying to learn prairie dog.