News of Note

i Jul 30th by


Retracting a Plug for Meatless Mondays
The message seemed innocuous enough, coming as it did from the federal agency tasked with promoting sustainable agriculture and dietary health: “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias,” read a United States Department of Agriculture interoffice newsletter published on its Web site this week, “is to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative.”


More on Milk
Although lactose intolerance and its generalized digestive tract problems are well documented, and milk allergies are thought to affect perhaps 1 percent of the American population, the links between milk (or dairy) and such a broad range of ailments has not been well studied, at least by the medical establishment.  The stories here expose problems both with agriculture and with medicine. Once American agriculture became fixated on producing the most crops possible, regardless of the cost to land, water, air, animals and people, one of the jobs of the Department of Agriculture became figuring out how to sell all that produce.  Thus selling and therefore consuming milk and other dairy — whether it’s good for you as an individual or not — became an all-American task.


In Praise of ‘Vegan Is Love’
It roused a request from someone who rarely if ever reads my column, “You should write about this woman and her book.”  At first I thought my wife was nuts, something that was clearly evident long before this suggestion. No one cares about this, really. This is why I had to add the definition of vegan to my lead. People can barely muster empathy for the starving, war-damaged or oppressed peoples of the world, much less chickens. And if there is one thing people usually agree on, it is that they love meat — cheap McDonald’s crap to big, fat, juicy, expensive carcasses….The public image of most vegans is that they’re militant, elitist and mostly angry, something you would be if you really cared about animals, because a preponderance of evidence shows that hardly anyone does. Most say they do, but they don’t — like people telling pollsters they go to church instead of strip clubs or read instead of watching The Bachelor. Maybe people dig their pet or some cute thing they see in a movie, but cows?


Judge criticizes treatment of L.A. Zoo elephants
While harshly critical of the conditions in which elephants are housed at the Los Angeles Zoo and sharply criticizing the animals’ caretakers, a judge on Tuesday nevertheless stopped short of shutting down the exhibit and found the treatment of the zoo’s three elephants does not rise to the level of abuse.  In a 56-page opinion that expounded on appropriate elephant foot care, a male elephant’s extended period of sexual arousal and how best to interpret the animals’ head-bobbing – as a sign of distress or happiness, Segal concluded the elephants’ existence is “empty, purposeless, boring and occasionally painful,” but not abusive in violation of state law.  “This case raises the question of whether the recreational or perhaps educational needs of one intelligent mammal species outweigh the physical and emotional, if not survival, needs of another,” the judge wrote. “Existing California law does not answer that question.”


Wolf Pups Add to Oregon Packs
Two of Oregon’s four known wolf packs, the Imnaha and the Wenaha pack, have each added four pups to the mix this year, bringing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife count to approximately 37 confirmed wolves in Oregon, according to Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands. “And there’s likely more,” he says.


New vegan Arian Foster looks in great shape
Texans running back Arian Foster addressed the subject of his becoming a vegan for the first time publicly Saturday morning — not quite a month after breaking the news via Twitter — but it wasn’t a subject he cared to expound upon.  “There’s nothing to talk about in the offseason — that’s why (his July 5 tweet) got so much attention,” Foster said after the Texans’ first training camp practice. “Nobody asked what I ate last year. … It’s just the flavor of the week. You’ll forget about it in a month.”  Besides, Foster added, “There are other vegans in the NFL.”


7 Reasons Why I Became a Vegan
I am a vegan. Cue the gasps, the incredulous questions of “Why?,” “Where do you get your protein?” and “I could never give up ice cream!” and the all-around pity that comes when I make this announcement.  At this point, I’m pretty used to it. Since becoming a vegan a year and a half ago, I have learned to adapt to people looking at me like I have two heads. Now I can come back at you and say, “Yes, I am a vegan and yes, you should be one too.”


‘War Room’ Directors Making Animal Rights Documentary
The subject of D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’ next project says that certain animals, including porpoises, elephants, whales and primates, deserve fundamental common law rights.  For their next project, renowned documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus – husband/wife directors of The War Room, the Oscar-nominated 1993 look at Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign — will spotlight a lawyer on a mission to gain legal personhood for nonhuman animals.


Animal Rights Advocates, Residents Square Off On Controlling Carson’s Coyote Proble
Carson’s coyote problem prompted a special meeting Wednesday to figure out what to do about the wild animals living in a marshy area set in the middle of the Carson Harbor Village Mobile Home Park, south of the 91 Freeway.