MORE BAD NEWS FOR FACTORY FARMING
APRIL 30, 2008 10:20 PM



Prestigious Pew Commission Affirms California Ballot Initiative
The following is the text of an e-mail update from Paul Shapiro, director of the factory farming campaign at The Humane Society of the United States.

"The prestigious Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production just concluded its 2.5-year study of American animal agriculture with unanimous findings from its 15 members. The Commission was chaired by former Kansas governor John Carlin and included, among others, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, former Dean of the Univ. of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Michael Blackwell, and more.

The panel concluded that factory farms pose unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and animal welfare. It also issued a series of recommendations, including a phase-out of battery cages, gestation crates, veal crates, foie gras, and tail-docking of dairy cows, along with inclusion of poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The Commission even put out a press release in which it cites the pending California anti-cruelty ballot measure as one of "the types of modest animal welfare public policy improvements that the Commissioners recommend implementing."

The Washington Post published a great story on page A2 today entitled, "Report Targets Cost of Factory Farming." USA Today's story begins, "The way America produces meat, milk and eggs is unsustainable, creates significant risks to public health from antibiotic resistance and disease, damages the environment and unnecessarily harms animals, a report released Tuesday says." The Wall Street Journal's coverage focuses both on the problems caused by factory farming and the Commission's conclusion that the "agriculture industry is exerting 'significant influence' on academic research." And the Des Moines Register's article highlights the fact that the Commission is accusing "some livestock interests of trying to disrupt a wide-ranging study of the industry by threatening to yank financing for scientists and universities."

Both the Associated Press and Reuters have national stories on it, as well.

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RETURN OF THE WEBBER KETTLE
APRIL 26, 2008 12:19 PM


Spring Has Sprung! Fire Up the Grill!
Where, oh, where could these delicious whole foods have been grilled to such succulent perfection? On my patio, naturally, with the U.J. presiding over the first backyard barbecue of the spring. Kettle Kebabalooza.


VEGAN POTLUCK AT SHERMAN ST. CRC
APRIL 26, 2008 9:46 AM


Taking Veganism to Church
As a Mennonite youngster, I worked the church potluck circuit with reckless abandon--especially the dessert table. Back then, it would have been difficult to imagine a church potluck without animal products. But as the evidence mounts that industrial livestock production has serious repercussions for creation, more and more faith communities are taking notice of the moral and spiritual significance of eating. As a case in point, Splinters and I are members of a small group at Sherman Street CRC that recently put on a multi-cultural, intergenerational vegan potluck with over 40 parishioners and friends.

Enchiladas, Lasagna, and Dahl, Oh My!
I brought our favorite Seitan Enchiladas with Salsa Verde (from Ann Gentry's spectacular Real Food Daily Cookbook) along with a side of refried black beans.

Others prepared vegan lasagna, Indian dahl, African groundnut stew, fresh salads and fruits, and a variety of other amazing offerings. Suffice it to say that no one went away hungry, least of all those who spent any time near the sweet table, which boasted vegan coconutty cookies (from Wealthy Street Bakery), "cockeyed" chocolate cake with coconut frosting, chocolate banana cupcakes with peanut butter creme frosting (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World), and a transcendent ginger coconut macadamia carrot cake that obliterated my previous conception of the standard for vegan desserts.

Rediscovering the Intersection of Food and Faith
Though a lot of vegans have given up on seeing the church as a potential ally in the struggle for justice for all God's creatures, there is reason to be hopeful. As Christine Gutleben of the Humane Society of the United States points out in a recent editorial in the New York Times, the principles of compassion, mercy, and justice for animals are built into our faith traditions, just waiting for visionary people of faith to reawaken the church to their significance for our everyday lives. For more information on the resurgence of religious interest in these matters and links to resources that can help you communicate the message of compassion for animals in your own church community, check out the Animals and Religion initiative of the Humane Society of the United States.

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ETHIOPIAN FEAST!
APRIL 26, 2008 9:34 AM


Have Injera, Will Travel
Having friends who are culinary geniuses has its privileges. Several weeks ago, for instance, Uncle Juan and Aunt Curly stopped by to drop off the leftovers from a homemade Ethiopian feast that they had whipped up on a whim. We were more than happy to reprise the feast at our house!


BEHOLD! A VEGAN FETUS!
APRIL 21, 2008 10:59 PM


Compassionate Eating In Utero
Okay. So the "vegan fetus" headline is really just a red herring. The fetus in question is a vegan, in fact, but that's just a thinly-veiled excuse for Moles and me to share our joy with all our friends at extraVEGANza! These 3D and 4D ultrasound photos depict our baby boy to-be in a variety of poses, including the celebrated "fetal position."

Vegucator Jr. at 1 lb, 10.5 inches long

Fetal Fist in the Air! A Future Meanwhiler!

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