News of Note

i May 21st by

We Could Be Heroes
I could go on and on about the dangers of producing and consuming too much meat:  heavy reliance  on fossil fuels and phosphorous (both in short supply); consumption of staggering amounts of antibiotics, a threat to public health; and the link (though not as strong as sugar’s) to many of the lifestyle diseases that are wreaking havoc on our health.
Here’s the thing: It’s seldom that such enormous problems have such simple solutions, but this is one that does. We can tackle climate change without inventing new cars or spending billions on mass transit or trillions on new forms of energy, though all of that is not only desirable but essential.
In the meantime, we can begin eating less meat tomorrow. That’s something any of us can do, with no technological advances.


Investing in Animals: Illegal Trade Takes Off
Killing animals for profit. It smacks of a National Geographic documentary from the 1970s. Elephants gunned down by poachers in a sad story of exploitation. But in 2012, it’s still happening.


Going vegan, family style: New vegan fare makes an animal-free diet tastier than ever
Before the television appearances and the best-selling cookbook, Roberto Martin was a typical “Top Chef” kind of guy: meat, meat and more meat.  But then Ellen DeGeneres and her partner, Portia de Rossi, both vegans, hired him to be their personal chef. Now, he rarely puts anything in his body that comes from animals.  For Martin, ethics and health concerns spurred the switch. But it probably wouldn’t have happened, he said, if the food tasted like dreck.


Who’s Pulling the Strings of the Vegan Propaganda Machine?
To the meat industry, all the bad news is just “vegan propaganda” driven by “fringe” animal advocacy groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). It’s a lazy defense — just blame it all on the animal “extremists” that are supposedly armed with large donations, and are on a mission to destroy animal agriculture by spreading lies and misinformation about all animal products and the industries behind them.


Animal Rights Protesters Arrested at Emory
Two animal rights protesters were arrested Monday afternoon at Emory after they blocked the entrance to the university with a banner and chained themselves to it. The protesters were calling for researchers to free Wenka, a chimpanzee that has been used in studies at the Yerkes Research Center.


Video Reveals Torture of Horses Trained to Win Championships
Large numbers of the famed Tennessee Walking Horses have been tortured and beaten in order to make them produce the high-stepping gait that wins championships, an ABC News investigation has found.


‘Enviropigs’ deserve a reprieve, animal rights group says
North America’s largest farm animal protection group is pleading with the University of Guelph to spare the lives of 16 “enviropigs” slated for euthanization after a company to raise the animals commercially could not be found.  Farm Sanctuary says it has already found several “loving homes” for the animals in Canada and the U.S. despite the university’s insistence that the pigs be put down.


Eyeless Shrimp and Clawless Crabs
More than two years after the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig killed 11 workers and spilled more than 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, signs of the spill’s devastating impact continue to emerge.  Scientists in Minnesota have traced oily residues and chemicals found in pelicans’ eggs in the state back to the Gulf of Mexico, concluding that the substances were petroleum compounds and chemicals like dispersants that were used to clear the spill from the surface.


In City Where Dogs Outnumber Children, Finding a Way for Coyotes to Coexist
The emergence in recent years of coyotes in the city’s parks, and sometimes in its expensive backyards and picturesque streets, has raised doubts about whether that founding legacy can survive. Will the two animal worlds — the domesticated and the wild — be able to coexist? Might they even, as many in this liberal city hope, ultimately complement each other?


Meat and Masculinity: Why American Men are Wrong
A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research has found why men don’t find a plant-based diet as manly. They found that “to the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, all-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American food” directly linked to masculinity. Eating meat alternatives and vegetables, on the other hand, was considered giving up “food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.”


Vets Without Borders provides animal care to improve human welfare
Two Vancouver Island women were among a team of Veterinarians Without Borders volunteers in Guatemala this spring providing medical care, vaccinations and spaying and neutering for street dogs in the impoverished community of Todos Santos with the aim of also improving the lives of their owners in the process.

The Hearts and Minds of Animals: A Discussion with Dr. Marc Bekoff
Marc Bekoff is a former professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s won various research awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and has published numerous books and essays, including The Ten Trusts with Jane Goodall and The Emotional Lives of Animals. Two new works of Dr. Bekoff will appear in 2013, Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation and Rewilding our hearts.


Elephant Underpass Reuniting Kenya Herds
The first of its kind for elephants, the underpass will ideally provide a safe corridor for the large mammals to move throughout the Mount Kenya region (map), where highways, fences, and farmlands have split elephant populations, according to Geoffrey Chege, chief conservation officer of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a Kenya-based nonprofit.