VEGETARIAN ACTION NEWSLETTER #28, May 11, 2016.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
(#4 Feb. 12, 2014; #5 March 12, 2014; #6 April 9, 2014; #7 May 14, 2014; #8, June 11, 2014; #9 July 9, 2014; #10, August 11, 2014; #11 September 10, 2014; #12 October 8, 2014; #13, November 12, 2014; #14, December 10, 2014; #15, January 14, 2015; #16, Feb. 11, 2015; #17, March 11, 2015; #18, April 8, 2015; #19, June 10, 2015; #20, August 12, 2015; #21, September 9, 2015; #22, Oct. 14, 2015; #23, Nov. ; # 24, Dec. 9, 2015; #25, Jan. 13, 2016; #26, Feb. 10, 2016; #27, April 13, 2016). 1576 OMNI Newsletter posts as of Apr 12, 2016. Thank you Marc.
If you need to be removed from this list or want it to go to another address, just reply to this email and I'll get you fixed up.
Veggie and Vegan Potluck
Wed, May 11, 6:00 pm @ OMNI
A food-friendly event with delicious dishes every second Wednesday. . If you wish, provide your recipe, or at least its name and main ingredients. Make a special sign or announcement if your dish is vegan or gluten free.
We want to meet you, at a place and time where we can talk with others not only about recipes, nutrition, and health, but about care for other species, for the environment, and the climate. Hope to see you!
As always, folks who don't identify as vegetarians are welcome at our potlucks.
Car directions to OMNI: Take College to Harold St (at Flying Burrito), turn east (right if you're heading north). Go one block to Lee and turn left. Go one block to Bertha and we’re the gray brick on the corner, 2nd house south of Liquor World.
OMNI CLIMATE CHANGE LOBBY meets at 7pm also at OMNI. This group is pushing hard for the “fee-dividend” solution to fossil fuels emissions.
VEGETARIAN ACTION NEWSLETTER
What’s at stake: “What began as a desire to improve my health opened the door to realize the tremendous positive impact that veganism has on the environment and animal lives. There’s no single life choice that creates such massive benefits for human health, environmental sustainability, and relieves the suffering of animals.” Jason Wrobel, author of Eaternity: More Than 150 Deliciously Easy Vegan Recipes for a Long, Healthy, Satisfied, Joyful Life, in VEGNEWS (April 2016).
This newsletter especially focuses on the significant connections of vegetarianism/veganism to education, industrial meat production, nutrition, health, animal rights, overpopulation, wars, the 6th extinction, and most of all, to which all other factors either contribute or resist, the catastrophe of climate change. As in all of OMNI’s activities, we seek a culture of peace, justice, and ecology, to make the changes necessary to end wars and slow warming.
MAY IS: International Respect for Chickens Month
VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST 2016
University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, PA, July 6-10.
NAVS North American Vegetarian Society
I. NUTRITION, HEALTH
Free Arkansas Food & Farm, Food Issue 2016, picked up at Harp’s, contains 19 pages of attractively illustrated veg recipes (except for one with some bacon which can be omitted). www.Arkansasfoodandfarm.com The magazine is “brought to you by Arkansas Times and Arkansas Grown” in “partnership with the Arkansas Agriculture Department.”
Wiebe believes the use of glyphosate on wheat may be connected to the rise in celiac disease. “We’ve seen an explosion of gluten intolerance,” he said. “What’s really going on?”
Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., who published the paper on the mounting use of glyphosate, says the practice of spraying glyphosate on wheat prior to harvest, known as desiccating, began in Scotland in the 1980s.
“Farmers there often had trouble getting wheat and barley to dry evenly so they can start harvesting. So they came up with the idea to kill the crop (with glyphosate) one to two weeks before harvest to accelerate the drying down of the grain,” he said
- See more at:http://healthimpactnews.com/2016/almost-all-american-grains-are-contaminated-with-glyphosate-herbicide/#sthash.L4sIHwza.dpuf
True? Or scaring us?
EAT MEAT SAYETH THE RULERS
7:47 AM (8 hours ago)
This is why you crave beef: Inside secrets of Big Meat's billion-dollar ad and lobbying campaigns
http://www.salon.com/2016/04/03/this_is_why_you_crave_beef_inside_secrets_of_big_meats_billion_dollar_ad_and_lobbying_campaigns/ via @Salon
[I haven’t tried to verify all these claims. Comment?]
10 Reasons Eating Sprouts Should Be a Part of Your Daily Diet
Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2 | April 6, 2016
Don’t miss out. Stay Informed. Get EcoWatch’s Top News of the Day.
Sprouts truly are the best locally-grown food, yet not enough people eat or grow them. Considering their many health and environmental benefits, it’s time to consider adding sprouts to your diet.
Sprouts truly are the best locally-grown food, yet not enough people eat or grow them.
Here are 10 reasons to eat more sprouts:
1. Experts estimate that there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables. Enzymes are special types of proteins that act as catalysts for all your body’s functions. Extracting more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids from the foods you eat ensures that your body has the nutritional building blocks of life to ensure every process works more effectively.
2. The quality of the protein in the beans, nuts, seeds or grains improves when it is sprouted. Proteins change during the soaking and sprouting process, improving its nutritional value. The amino acid lysine, for example, which is needed to prevent cold sores and to maintain a healthy immune system increases significantly during the sprouting process.
3. The fiber content of the beans, nuts, seeds or grains increases substantially. Fiber is critical to weight loss. It not only binds to fats and toxins in our body to escort them out, it ensures that any fat our body breaks down is moved quickly out of the body before it can resorb through the walls of the intestines (which is the main place for nutrient absorption into the blood).
4. Vitamin content increases dramatically. This is especially true of vitamins A, B-complex, C and E. The vitamin content of some seeds, grains, beans or nuts increases by up to 20 times the original value within only a few days of sprouting. Research shows that during the sprouting process mung beansprouts (or just beansprouts, as they are often called) increase in vitamin B1 by up to 285 percent, vitamin B2 by up to 515 percent and niacin by up to 256 percent.
5. Essential fatty acid content increases during the sprouting process. Most of us are deficient in these fat-burning essential fats because they are not common in our diet. Eating more sprouts is an excellent way to get more of these important nutrients.
6. During sprouting, minerals bind to protein in the seed, grain, nut or bean, making them more useable in the body. This is true of alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium and others that help us to balance our body chemistry for weight loss and better health.
7. Sprouts are the ultimate locally-grown food. When you grow them yourself you are helping the environment and ensuring that you are not getting unwanted pesticides, food additives and other harmful fat-bolstering chemicals that thwart your weight loss efforts.
8. The energy contained in the seed, grain, nut or legume is ignited through soaking and sprouting.
9. Sprouts are alkalizing to your body. Many illnesses including cancer have been linked to excess acidity in the body.
10. Sprouts are inexpensive. People frequently use the cost of healthy foods as an excuse for not eating healthy. But, with sprouts being so cheap, there really is no excuse for not eating healthier.
NEW MAGAZINE: NOURISH
Nourishing News - Real farming, the Amazon, essential fats and eating less meat
1:50 PM (1 hour ago)
What's up Real farming and true food culture is what’s up, in the first issue o
April 14th, 2016
[Click here to read the updated carrageenan report]
Toxic, Carcinogenic, Degraded Carrageenan:
Widespread Contamination Present in the Common Food-Grade Ingredient
Widespread Contamination Present in the Common Food-Grade Ingredient
A just-issued report by The Cornucopia Institute summarizes research on the common food additive carrageenan, exposing the industry’s hidden data demonstrating that all food-grade carrageenan contains a carcinogenic contaminant—low molecular weight poligeenan.
Carrageenan, harvested from specific species of red seaweed, is a highly effective thickener/stabilizer found in processed foods including infant formula, plant-based beverages, deli meats, and some dairy products, including cream. The controversy over carrageenan has existed between food industry representatives and public health researchers for years, but it is now flaring up again over its use in organic food.
Cornucopia’s report, Carrageenan: New Studies Reinforce Link to Inflammation, Cancer, and Diabetes, will be formally released in Washington, on April 25, at the upcoming meeting of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board. The board will be debating whether to remove carrageenan from its list of approved materials for use in organic food. MORE
Forwarded by David D
II. ANIMAL SENTIENCE, COMPASSION, ANIMAL PROTECTION AND RIGHTS
Consequences of Consciousness: Sy Montgomery on Human Treatment of Other Animals. Tuesday, 19 April 201 By Leslie Thatcher, Truthout | Interview. Montgomery is author of The Soul of an Octopus and The Good Good Pig.
"The 2012 Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness said all mammals and birds and octopuses specifically have the neural substrates necessary to generate consciousness -- ultimately, the world is far more alive, intelligent, thinking and feeling than we have wanted to admit for a long time."
Consideration of other creatures' agency becomes ever more urgent as we learn more about cognition across species. Now that we absolutely know that lobsters can feel themselves being cooked to death, it seems self-evident to me that we should never put a lobster in a pot of boiling water, but many other people still feel their own pleasure in eating the lobster is more important than the lobster's suffering -- a view grounded in the long history of denial of other animals' sentience. In other instances, what we do with what we know about animal consciousness seems more complex. The forms our own empathy should take can be deeply at odds with current cultural norms.
Claire Williams. “6 Bids on Ballot for Shareholders at Tyson Foods: Transparency among issues; Execs Urge ‘No’ Across Board.” AD-G (Feb. 1, 2016). For example, Green Century Funds that advocates for environmental policies asked Tyson “to disclose the risks of using gestation crates.” The Tyson board of directors urged shareholders to vote against the proposal, citing its “Office of Animal Well-Being and Farm-Check program.” Also, the word “cruelty” never occurred in Ms. Williams’ report.
Stephen Brown. “Arkansas Should Do Better by Animals, Decrease Cruelty.” AD-G (LTE, March 17, 2016). Denounces the unregulated, uninspected, often cruel “puppy mills.” Ethical sensitivity toward domesticated animals may influence attitudes toward farm and particularly toward industrial “farming” leading to mass torture and killing.
Henry S. Salt is probably not well-known today but he wrote nearly 40 books most of which cogently argued and urged for some much needed humane reforms ...
Henry Stephens Salt was a prolific English writer, biographer, and literary critic, the author of nearly 40 books. He was also an avid campaigner for social reform.
The Silence without Animals
CURSE OF THE CARNIVORES
By Gerry Sloan (April 2016)
As the summer waned, a bullfrog
harrumphed each night on the rim
of the pond, a vaguely reassuring
sound. Then, foolishly, I took a gig
and flashlight down to dispatch him,
undressed for his dance in the pan.
We dined frugally on the fried legs,
just one for each of us, then sat
in the gathering darkness
listening only to the crickets.
III. CLIMATE CHANGE
HOME > PROGRAMS > POPULATION AND SUSTAINABILITY > CLIMATE > HUMAN POPULATION GROWTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE
“HUMAN POPULATION GROWTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE”
The largest single threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the planet in the decades to come will be global climate disruption due to the buildup of human-generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. People around the world are beginning to address the problem by reducing their carbon footprint through less consumption and better technology. But unsustainable human population growth can overwhelm those efforts, leading us to conclude that we not only need smaller footprints, but fewer feet.
Portland, Oregon, for example, decreased its combined per-capita residential energy and car driving carbon footprint by 5 percent between 2000 and 2005. During this same period, however, its population grew by 8 percent.
A 2009 study of the relationship between population growth and global warming determined that the “carbon legacy” of just one child can produce 20 times more greenhouse gas than a person will save by driving a high-mileage car, recycling, using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, etc. Each child born in the United States will add about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent. The study concludes, “Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle.”
One of the study’s authors, Paul Murtaugh, warned that: “In discussions about climate change, we tend to focus on the carbon emissions of an individual over his or her lifetime. Those are important issues and it's essential that they should be considered. But an added challenge facing us is continuing population growth and increasing global consumption of resources. . . . Future growth amplifies the consequences of people's reproductive choices today, the same way that compound interest amplifies a bank balance."
The size of the carbon legacy is closely tied to consumption patterns. Under current conditions, a child born in the United States will be responsible for almost seven times the carbon emissions of a child born in China and 168 times the impact of a child born in Bangladesh.
The globalization of the world economy, moreover, can mask the true carbon footprint of individual nations. China, for example, recently surpassed the United States to become the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter. But a large portion of those gases is emitted in the production of consumer goods for the United States and Europe. Thus a large share of “China’s” greenhouse gas footprint is actually the displaced footprint of high-consumption western nations.
The United States has the largest population in the developed world, and is the only developed nation experiencing significant population growth: Its population may double before the end of the century. Its 300 million inhabitants produce greenhouse gases at a per-capita rate that is more than double that of Europe, five times the global average, and more than 10 times the average of developing nations. The U.S. greenhouse gas contribution is driven by a disastrous combination of high population, significant growth, and massive (and rising) consumption levels, and thus far, lack of political will to end our fossil-fuel addiction.
More than half of the U.S. population now lives in car-dependent suburbs. Cumulatively, we drive 3 trillion miles each year. The average miles traveled per capita is increasing rapidly, and the transportation sector now accounts for one-third of all U.S. carbon emissions.
Another one-fifth of U.S. carbon emissions comes from the residential sector. Average home sizes have increased dramatically in recent decades, as has the accompanying footprint of each home. Suburban sprawl contributes significantly to deforestation, reducing the capacity of the planet to absorb the increased CO2 we emit. Due to a dramatic decrease in household size, from 3.1 persons per home in 1970 to 2.6 in 2000, homebuilding is outpacing the population growth that is driving it. More Americans are driving farther to reach bigger homes with higher heating and cooling demands and fewer people per household than ever before. All of these trends exacerbate the carbon footprint inherent in the basic energy needs of a burgeoning U.S. population.
Globally, recent research indicates that assumptions regarding declining fertility rates used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to develop future emissions scenarios may be overly optimistic. While fertility rates have generally declined over the past few decades, progress has slowed in recent years, especially in developing nations, largely due to cutbacks in family planning assistance and political interference from the United States. And even if fertility rates are reduced to below replacement levels, population levels will continue to climb steeply for some time as people live longer and billions of young people mature and proceed through their reproductive years. Per-capita greenhouse gas emissions may drop, but the population bulge will continue to contribute to a dangerous increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Time is short, but it not too late to stop runaway global warming. Economy-wide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to a level that brings atmospheric CO2 back from 386 parts per million to 350 or less, scaling back first-world consumption patterns, and long-term population reduction to ecologically sustainable levels will solve the global warming crisis and move us to toward a healthier, more stable, post-fossil fuel, post-growth addicted society. [I could not find the date of this article. –Dick]
Methane Emissions Are Spiking, But It Might Be More Cow Than Car
Since 2006, atmospheric levels of methane — a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period — have . For years, scientists weren’t sure what was behind the rising levels of methane, but they had a few ideas: namely an increase in fossil fuel-related emissions.
Now, a new study is pointing to a different culprit: agriculture-related methane emissions, especially from livestock and rice production.
Published last week in the journal , researchers from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) found that the majority of methane released into the atmosphere since 2006 was produced by bacteria, pointing to sources like agriculture — rather than sources like fossil fuel production or the burning of organic material — as the culprit behind the increase in methane levels.
A unique signature for methane
The researchers were able to discern agricultural methane from other sources of methane by looking at the gas’ isotopic signatures — or the ratio of various carbon isotopes — using data from atmospheric monitoring stations around the world. By looking at the distinct isotopic signatures, the researchers could differentiate between methane produced from fracking, for instance, and methane produced from agriculture, because they each have different signatures.
The data also suggested that the increase in methane came from regions including India, China and Southeast Asia, suggesting that the rise was due to agriculture, not the growth of fracking in North America.
“That was a real surprise, because [around 2006] the U.S. started fracking and we also know that the economy in Asia picked up again, and coal mining increased,” NIWA atmospheric scientist Hinrich Schaefer . “However, that is not reflected in the atmosphere.”
Livestock production in Asia has since the middle of the 20th century, and is expected only to increase as economies in the region become more developed.
Livestock production accounts for about 35 percent of total anthropogenic methane emissions
Around the world, livestock production has been increasingly under scrutiny in recent years, as animal agriculture’s carbon footprint has grown clearer. Ruminants, like cows, produce methane as they digest their food, through a process known as enteric fermentation. But livestock manure also produces methane as it decomposes in closed-air containers known as lagoons, which factory farming operations often use to store the massive amounts of manure produced by their farms. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that livestock production accounts for some 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases annually, or about of total anthropogenic methane emissions.
But it’s not just livestock production that researchers say is behind the rise in methane. Rice production is also a methane-intensive activity, because root systems in rice plants secrete carbohydrates during photosynthesis. When rice paddies are flooded, the oxygen-devoid environment creates the perfect place for bacteria to feed off of those carbohydrates, creating methane as a byproduct. That’s a problem, because rice is one of the most important staple crops on Earth — more than 3.5 billion people depend on rice for at least 20 percent of their daily caloric intake. In an effort to curb rice’s methane production, scientists have actually been working to create a lower-methane strain of rice (and ).
But what about fossil fuels?
Still, not everyone is convinced by NIWA’s analysis. Speaking with , Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor who studies methane emissions, said that the isotopic ratios in methane are too broad to confidently attribute to a single source.
“When you have eight or nine or 10 different sources of methane, each with a range of ratios, there is no way to calculate where it is coming from,” he said. “If you had a little bit of melting of permafrost and a big increase in natural gas production, you could get a pattern that these people are interpreting as cows in India.”
Many point to an increase in fossil fuel production, especially oil and gas production in the United States, as another key factor behind the recent increase in methane production. A recent study conducted by climate scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) found that as much as 40 percent of the recent increase in methane could be due to fossil fuel production.
In a press release, the KIT scientists said that their findings were actually congruent with the NIWA study, “increasing emissions from the oil and natural gas sector, combined with emissions from wetlands and maybe animal husbandry increasingly appear to have caused the renewed increase in methane concentration in the last decade.”
An unregulated industry
The Obama administration has taken some in the recent months to regulate methane from oil and gas production. Most recently, the that it would begin regulating methane from existing oil and gas facilities, with the ultimate goal of cutting methane from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025.
But methane from the agricultural sector is still largely unregulated, despite the fact that greenhouse gas-related emissions from livestock manure management systems between 1990 and 2013.
Quite the opposite of imposing regulations on livestock producers in the United States, Congress has actually explicitly forbidden the EPA from collecting greenhouse gas emission data from livestock producers, making it the only major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States that .
“The EPA’s methane strategy is completely ignoring agriculture,” Tarah Heinzen, an attorney with Food & Water Watch, told ThinkProgress. “We’re not dealing with it as a regulatory issue as we are with other sources of methane.”
Decarbonizing what we eat is just as important as decarbonizing what we drive or what we use to heat our homes
California, which is one of the most livestock-heavy states in the country, has made moves to begin regulating short-lived climate pollutants, like methane. According to Brent Newell, legal director for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, methane from livestock accounts for about 5 percent of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in 2006, mandates that the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent — and yet agriculture is the only sector not subject to regulation.
In 2014, the California Senate mandated that the state’s Air Resources Board (ARB) come up with a plan to regulate methane from livestock operations. But thus far, the ARB has decided to achieve reductions only through voluntary measures, which Newell argues allows the livestock industry to effectively continue with a business-as-usual approach to methane production.
“It’s acting like it’s doing something, it’s pretending like it’s doing something, but voluntary controls for a massive greenhouse gas emitter is a crazy regulatory response and it exemplifies the political power that the dairy industry has over the Air Resources Board,” Newell said.
The plan is expected to be finalized later this month, when it will be seen whether environmental groups’ calls for mandatory regulations for the California livestock industry have been heard by the ARB, or whether such calls have fallen on deaf ears.
“It is really shameful that this industry continues to enjoy an exemption, while others are forced to comply,” Newell said. “Decarbonizing what we eat is just as important as decarbonizing what we drive or what we use to heat our homes.”
REDUCING WASTE AND CONSUMPTION
Jaime Adame. “Food Talk Focuses on Cutting Waste: Fayetteville Campus Hosts Conference. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (April 17, 2016). “’…in the U.S., nearly a third of all the food that’s produced is wasted.’”
The US School of Law has established a Food Recovery Project.
Vegetarian Action Newsletter #27, April 13, 2016
Local Restaurant News
Junk Food and Calories
ANIMAL PROTECTION, COMPASSION, RIGHTS, LIBERATION
A Trend Away from Cruelty? SeaWorld Changes
An Undercover Investigator of a Factory “Farm”
Several Advertisements of Cruelty-free Products
Why One Cook Changed to Vegan
New book by David Pellow, Total Liberation: Oppression, Animal Liberation, and the Radical Earth
Cowspiracy Against Eating Meat Endorsed by Unitarian Universalist Association
Human-driven factors forcing regional and global environmental change:
Negative Population Growth/NPG
CONNECTING THE DOTS, THE COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH
Dick, Vegetarianism/Veganism, Perceiving Patterns and Systems for the Earth’s Habitability
Nourish, a Comprehensive Perspective
END VEGETARIAN ACTION NEWSLETTER #28, MAY 11, 2016