Tag Archives | Vegetarianism

Tick Bites Turning Meat Eaters Into Vegetarians

Have animals finally found a way to stop us eating them? Katie Moisse reports for ABC News:
There's a new weapon in the war on meat: a tiny tick, whose bite might be spreading meat allergies up the East Coast. A bite from the lone star tick, so-called for the white spot on its back, looks innocent enough. But University of Virginia researchers say saliva that sneaks into the tiny wound may trigger an allergic reaction to meat -- agonizing enough to convert lifelong carnivores into wary vegetarians. "People will eat beef and then anywhere from three to six hours later start having a reaction; anything from hives to full-blown anaphylactic shock," said Dr. Scott Commins, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. "And most people want to avoid having the reaction, so they try to stay away from the food that triggers it."...
Continue Reading

Shark Becomes Vegetarian (And Eats Lettuce Now) After A Near-Death Experience

LettuceNote to self, a near “death-by-fisherman” experience makes you hate meat. Stephen Messenger writes on TreeHugger:

Sharks have garnered a well-deserved reputation as the ocean’s most ferocious killers, capable of sniffing out a single drop of blood in the water from miles away — but for one nurse shark at an aquatic center in the UK, the taste of meat seems to have lost its luster.

Three years ago, a six-foot-long shark named Florence grabbed headlines by becoming the first of her kind to undergo a groundbreaking ‘out of water’ surgery to remove a rusty fish hook lodged in her gut. Although she made a remarkable recovery and was later put on exhibit at the Birmingham National Sea Life Center in England, Florence would eventually prove that being a good patient wasn’t her only distinction.

As it turns out, the Florence’s close brush with death-by-fisherman seems to have left a lasting impression on her — namely, that meaty treats mean trouble.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Eating Less Meat Is World’s Best Chance For Timely Climate Change

Santa GertrudisAccording to some “experts,” as reported by Michelle Maisto in Forbes:

Shifting the world’s reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is important, certainly. But the world’s best chance for achieving timely, disaster-averting climate change may actually be a vegetarian diet eating less meat, according to a recent report in World Watch Magazine. (While I’d happily nudge the world toward a vegetarian diet, the report authors are more measured and simply suggest diets containing less meat.)

“The entire goal of today’s international climate objectives can be achieved by replacing just one-fourth of today’s least eco-friendly food products with better alternatives,” co-author Robert Goodland, a former World Bank Group environmental advisor wrote in an April 18 blog post on the report.

A widely cited 2006 report estimated that 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions were attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry. However, analysis performed by Goodland, with co-writer Jeff Anhang, an environmental specialist at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, found that figure to now more accurately be 51%.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Is It Unethical To Kill Plants?

February 6, 2010 - JulieOur green, leafy friends lack faces and voices, but below the surface, they possess a surprising sensitivity and a desperate will to remain alive and unharmed. The New York Times questions the ethics of vegetarianism:

Surely, I’d thought, science can defend the obvious, that slaughterhouse carnage is wrong in a way that harvesting a field of lettuces or, say, mowing the lawn is not. But instead, it began to seem that formulating a truly rational rationale for not eating animals, at least while consuming all sorts of other organisms, was difficult, maybe even impossible.

The differences that do seem to matter are things like the fact that plants don’t have nerves or brains. They cannot, we therefore conclude, feel pain. In other words, the differences that matter are those that prove that plants do not suffer as we do. Here the lack of a face on plants becomes important, too, faces being requisite to humans as proof not only that one is dealing with an actual individual being, but that it is an individual capable of suffering.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

PETA’s Banned Thanksgiving Day Commercial

[disinfo ed.'s note - Diggin' in the crates, this story is a couple of years old, but it's evergreen on Thanksgiving Day!]
PETA purchased ad spot airtime on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, however the network rejected PETA's ad because the "commercial does not meet NBC Universal standards." I guess they found PETA's take on Thanksgiving a little disturbing.
Continue Reading

Which Veggie Burgers Were Made With a Neurotoxin?

This story has raised a lot of controversy last week on the internets … here’s a post on it from Kiera Butler in Mother Jones:
Veggie Burger

UPDATE: Veggie burger rumors are flying! Some readers and other news organizations have alleged that the study I wrote about was funded by the pro-meat, anti-soy group the Weston A. Price Foundation.

But this morning, I spoke with Cornucopia Institute director Mark Kastel, who said that the Weston A. Price Foundation did not contribute any funding to the “Behind the Bean” (pdf) study. More here.

_____________________________

[Last] Monday, I wrote about a recent study by the Cornucopia Institute that found that many popular veggie burgers are made with hexane, an EPA-registered air pollutant and a neurotoxin. Commenters had lots of interesting discussions and good questions, many of which require far more knowledge of the subject than I have to answer. So I called up Charlotte Vallaeys, the lead researcher on the Cornucopia Institute’s soy study “Behind the Bean” (pdf) to talk about some of the issues readers have raised.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Could McDonald’s Replace Beef Burgers With Seitan? Would Anyone Notice?

Big MacNick Aster writes on triplepundit:

I sometimes like to write harebrained posts postulating some kind of zany idea. So here’s today’s:

I ate at an airport McDonald’s the other day for the first time in ages. It was at once delicious and disturbing. I looked at the beef. Was it really beef? I mean, seriously, it was definitely some kind of beef-flavored-matter, and the advertisement did say 100% beef. But as I walked off with that greasy post-McDonald’s flavor (that lasts for hours) in the mouth, I got to thinking: that patty was almost no different than the wheat or soy-based stuff used to make vegan food (seitan and so on).

I walked away 100% convinced that McDonald’s could replace all its beef with beef-flavored seitan and NO ONE would notice the difference. McDonald’s would save a fortune, health would be improved, and the carbon and resource footprint of McDonald’s would be massively slashed.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Plants Are Actively Intelligent: What Does This Mean for Vegetarians?

VeggiesEthan A. Huff writes in Natural News:

Most vegetarians believe that by not eating animals, they are preserving life. Everyone knows that plants are alive but they are not viewed with the same level of intelligence as animals are. As science continues to uncover the complex nature of plants, it is becoming more apparent that plants are actively intelligent life that pursue their continued existence in similar ways as do animals.

Research on the subject naturally flies in the face of strict vegetarianism which often insists that eating animals is murder but eating plants is just fine. Yet the facts illustrate that the characteristics of animals used to argue that eating them is murder also apply to plants. In other words, in order for strict vegetarians to be consistent in their beliefs, they would also have to stop eating fruits and vegetables.

Plants are very sensitive to environmental changes and they have many built-in mechanisms to ward off attackers.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Would You Eat Soggy Pork To Save the Planet?

PigsMarshall Chase writes on GreenBiz.com:

The world faces some interesting choices in the next few years. As illustrated by the ongoing Copenhagen negotiations, we have to decide whether and how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a wide range of sectors, from energy generation to transportation and beyond.

The livestock industry faces particular uncertainty in this environment. According to various studies, livestock accounts for somewhere between 18 percent and 51 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity — primarily from cows burping methane. Meat production is expected to double by 2050, at the same time that the world attempts to drastically reduce overall GHG emissions. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress recently prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating livestock GHG emissions.

Despite the Congressional ban (only a short-term measure in a country where livestock accounts for less than 5 percent of national GHG emissions), it is clear that any successful, long-term global solution to climate change will have to include livestock.

Read the rest
Continue Reading