News of Note

i Sep 5th by


World may be forced to go vegetarian by 2050, scientists say
By the year 2050, you may be forced to become a vegetarian. That is, if Sweden’s water scientists are to be believed.  According to the Stockholm International Water Institute, “There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations.”


Severe Diet Doesn’t Prolong Life, at Least in Monkeys
For 25 years, the rhesus monkeys were kept semi-starved, lean and hungry. The males’ weights were so low they were the equivalent of a 6-foot-tall man who tipped the scales at just 120 to 133 pounds. The hope was that if the monkeys lived longer, healthier lives by eating a lot less, then maybe people, their evolutionary cousins, would, too. Some scientists, anticipating such benefits, began severely restricting their own diets. A 23-year study comparing calorie restricted rhesus monkeys, left, to normally-fed monkeys, has shown that calorie restriction may not increase one’s lifespan. The results of this major, long-awaited study, which began in 1987, are finally in. But it did not bring the vindication calorie restriction enthusiasts had anticipated. It turns out the skinny monkeys did not live any longer than those kept at more normal weights.


Do Vegetarians And Vegans Think They Are Better Than Everyone Else?
Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than the rest of us? Judging from personal experience, a good number of people who aren’t vegetarian or vegan would offer a resounding “Yes” to this question.  Those individuals who publicly tout eating no meat, especially when their stated reason has to do with caring about animals, are thought to be telegraphing a message of superiority: My dietary choices make me a better person than you.


US seeks to block challenge by animal rights group
The federal government asked a judge Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of animal rights activists who say a rarely used 2006 law has a chilling effect on lawful protest activities. Five activists represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights sued the U.S. government last year, asking that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act be struck down as unconstitutional.


PETA Loses Kansas State Fair Lawsuit, Must Shield Visitors From Animal Slaughter Video
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Kansas State Fair can require an animal-rights group to shield people walking by its booth from easily seeing images depicting animal slaughter.  PETA plans to show a 13-minute video, “Glass Walls,” which depicts animals being slaughtered and instances of abuse at factory farms. It filed a lawsuit last week asking the court to immediately block the fair’s requirements that it shield people from the video.


Animal rights group pushes for an end to pig slaughterhouses
There was no escaping the pungent odour around the Stanley Park area in downtown Toronto.  That unbearable smell of death, emanating from the Quality Meat Packers pig slaughterhouse on Wellington Street, spread through the air like a virus…A lot of people don’t even know that the slaughterhouse is even there because its surrounded by a gigantic cement wall,” said animal rights activist Kate Steen. “But you can smell it and on quiet days you can actually hear the pigs screaming.”


Ohio bill aims to stem abuse of animals and people
People who commit domestic violence often have a history of animal abuse or will eventually abuse animals, according to Kenneth Shapiro, executive director of the Animals and Society Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich. In Ohio, animal control officers are required to report child abuse, which they may discover while investigating animal abuse, and they urge other professionals to report evidence of animal abuse. An Ohio House bill calls for psychological evaluation of anyone under 18 who abuses animals and allows for pet protection in domestic violence situations.


Intriguing Habitats, and Careful Discussions of Climate Change
With many zoos and aquariums now working with conservation organizations and financed by individuals who feel strongly about threatened habitats and species, managers have been wrestling with how aggressive to be in educating visitors on the perils of climate change.  Surveys show that American zoos and aquariums enjoy a high level of public trust and are ideally positioned to teach.  Yet many managers are fearful of alienating visitors — and denting ticket sales — with tours or wall labels that dwell bleakly on damaged coral reefs, melting ice caps or dying trees.


Diet can play a role in gastrointestinal cancers, RDs say
Diet can play a role in gastrointestinal cancers, such as those in the esophagus and colon, and reducing red and processed meats, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising may help, say registered dietitians at Salem Health in Oregon. RD Jessica Short says to start by purchasing fewer meat items each week or go meatless one day per week.