Thursday, October 6, 2016


VEGETARIAN ACTION NEWSLETTER #31, Sunday, October 9,  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; #28, May 11, 2016; #29 June 8, 2016; #30 Sept. 14, 2016).   1576 total 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 tell me.

The Potluck will be THIS SUNDAY 12 NOON Oct. 9 AT OMNI, followed by the Peace Pole Painting Party!   Come only for the potluck if you wish.  Donna is making a “BIG POT O SOUP and Cornbread.”   Emily is bringing a big salad!  Kelly's Mom is bringing cookies!    “If you wish to add something to the feast it will be relished by all!

Contents: OMNI Vegetarian Action Newsletter, Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Health, Nutrition
Recalling an older book:  Christopher Cook.  Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis

Animal Rights and Protection, Compassion for Sentient Creatures
The Dead Pit:  Animal Deaths by Research
Farm/Food Animal Intelligence
Jainism/Ahimsa and Animal Rights
8 Million Other Animals
Alabaster, World Day for Farm Animals

Climate Change and Industrial Agriculture
Google Search
Population, Climate Change, and Meat
Google Search

Chicken Industry Price Fixing

Health, Nutrition

Diet for a Dead Planet:  Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis
By Christopher D. Cook.  The New Press, 2006.
A timely indictment of industrial agriculture’s threat to the future of food, health, and the environment
“Stands in the classic American tradition of muckraking journalism. Cook offers an extensive and frightening catalog of the perils in our food supply.” —San Diego Union-Tribune
If we are what we eat, then, as Christopher D. Cook contends in this powerful look at the food industry, we are not in good shape. The facts speak for themselves: more than 75 million Americans suffered from food poisoning last year, and 5,000 of them died; 67 percent of American males are overweight, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States and supersizing is just the tip of the iceberg: the way we make and eat food today is putting our environment and the very future of food at risk.
Diet for a Dead Planet takes us beyond Fast Food Nation to show how our entire food system is in crisis. Corporate control of farms and supermarkets, unsustainable drives to increase agribusiness productivity and profits, misplaced subsidies for exports, and anemic regulation have all combined to produce a grim harvest. Food, our most basic necessity, has become a force behind a staggering array of social, economic, and environmental epidemics.
Yet there is another way. Cook argues cogently for a whole new way of looking at what we eat—one that places healthy, sustainably produced food at the top of the menu for change. In the words of Jim Hightower, “If you eat, read this important book!”
“A far-reaching takedown of the American food industry . . . further explores the stomach-churning realm described by Eric Schlosser.”
Mother Jones
“Provides the big picture, along with fascinating details, to motivate change before it’s too late.”
—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet
“A book that forces you to look at things that you took for granted. Like breakfast.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Animal Rights and Protection, Compassion for Sentient Creatures
Animal Deaths by Research
Farm/Food Animal Intelligence
Jainism and Animal Rights
8 Million Other Animals
Alabaster, World Day for Farm Animals

“The Dead Pit: The True, Shocking Story of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center.”
·         Download Episode
This week, we speak to New York Times reporter Michael Moss about the Dead Pit, a USDA livestock research facility in Nebraska that has caused the deaths of thousands of animals in the name of higher profits. Originally aired March 19-26, 2015. Available for rerun September 22-28, 2016.
Interview of Moss on KUAF, Sept. 24, 2016 (instant response and assistance from KUAF’s Zeke Martin, thank you. –Dick). 

(Stanley Coren.  The Intelligence of Dogs.)
Intelligence of Farm Animals, Google Search, 9-28-16
Jan 30, 2015 - These farm animals pass up our dogs and cats in their intellectual ... One example of their amazing intelligence is that sheep are capable of ...
Animal Equality
6 Surprising Facts About Farm AnimalsIntelligence. Thu, 08/10/2015 - 01:52. International. We all know how smart our pets at home are, whether your dog is ...
These tidbits about farm animal intelligence — goats that do math, cows with social skills and chickens that play tic-tac-toe — may surprise you. ... Pig intelligence: Some folks claim pigs are among the smartest of all farm animals. ... Smart horses: Horse lovers will tell you that ...
The Huffington Post
Jul 28, 2015 - When we think about our most intelligent friends in the animal kingdom, ... an undergraduate student in Australia, suggests these farm animals may be ... maze, suggesting intelligence levels can vary widely between animals.
People also ask
Are cattle smart?
Are cows as intelligent as dogs?
What is the smartest animal in the world?
Are horses more intelligent than dogs? › Earth Matters › Animals
Jul 15, 2016 - Pigs may be the smartest domestic animals in the world. The New ... As National Geographic reports, swarm intelligence works when no single creature sees "the big picture." Rather .... I feel so bad for all the farm animals. › ... › Factory Farming Index › Farming
Studies showing the intelligence of farm animals fuel new campaign of reform and awareness. Written by The Associated Press Aug 9, 2013. There's extensive ... › Farm Animal Intelligence
Aug 12, 2013 - Animal behaviorist, Dr. Bekoff explains why intelligence is not a measure of whether pigs ... Farm Sanctuary's Bruce Friedrich notes this as well.
This is going to be somewhat subjective, but I've done a massive amount of research in this (it's ..... Also, evaluating intelligence by evaluating animals at their
May 22, 2005 - If you could talk to the animals, would they have anything to say? New research suggests ... If farm animals are intelligent creatures, should we all be vegetarians? "We should eat less ... +A New Take on Human Intelligence.
May 20, 2012 - These animals aren't that clever enough to be scientist but they aren't that ... incredible kind of instinctive ability and intelligence beyond your imaginations. ... I've lived on a farm for many years of my life, and they're one of the ...
Searches related to intelligence of farm animals

JAIN Religion: Protection of Animals
 “To kill any living being amounts to killing one’s self.
Compassion to others is compassion to one’s own self.
Therefore one should avoid violence like poison and thorn.”
It’s no secret that Jain philosophy is big on ahimsa (non-injury), however does that hold true outside of their relationship with their fellow man?
According to the Jain world view, Jiva, or the eternal essence of a living thing, is everywhere. From single-cell microbes to blue whales, all forms of life are sacred and precious because every jiva has the potential for moksha (liberation). For this reason, most Jains are strict vegetarians and even the treatment of the plants they consume is important. One of the Gunavrats (subsidiary vows), which is part of the 12 vows lay Jains take, is called Bhoga-Upbhoga vrata which is a commitment to only use resources according to one’s needs. This sort of thinking flies in the face of world infected by unchecked consumerism and greed.
With ahimsa in mind, all forms of life are viewed as equals and Jains afford every creature and even plants the same rights of life and liberty most of us limit to humanity. In this way, Jains have a long tradition of maintaining animal shelters called panjrapoles in India. diverse range of species are taken in at these shelters. In most cases, the animals are sick or injured and therefore cannot care for themselves. These animals are cared for by the entire Jain community, including monastics and the laity. A veterinarian typically stops by once a week for check-ups. Once the animals regain their health, they are returned to their environment.
Because Jains do not believe in harming animals, their position on ahimsa presents a difficult challenge for these institutions. Many animals who visit the panjrapoles are terminally ill or injured. Jain philosophy on ahimsa forbids followers from any act of euthanasia, therefore animals are treated and cared for, but left to die naturally.
For some, this creates a tough position. Which is better, alleviating suffering with euthanasia, or avoiding all violence against the animal?
This is the current debate going on within the Jain community regarding these shelters and the greater principles of ahimsa. At what point does ahimsa go too far? If compassion for life is the most important aspect of one’s faith, is not the alleviation of suffering also part of the package?
The Jain tradition of care for those who cannot care for themselves is a noble one. Indeed, the practice of non-injury might be easy when applied to our fellow man, but it takes humility and courage to extend that notion to our non-human brethren.

We Are Not Alone: Listening to the 8.7 Million Other Animals Who
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout; Adapted: orangeacid, Reto Stöckli / NASA )
The real news is that we're up to our necks in a "deep field" of 8.7 million sentient life
forms right here on planet Earth. And we don't need an orbiting telescope to see:
Social spiders with personalities who sometimes selflessly share food with their
neighbors ... much to their own detriment.
Humpback whale vigilantes who go out of their way to stop orcas from attacking
other sea mammals ... despite the alluring presence of their own main food source
New Caledonian crows who make tools like finely feathered craftsmen and their
brilliant cousins in the Corvid class of birds who have greater neural density than
comparable mammals.
African elephants who shed tears, bury and mourn their dead and their Namibian
desert kin who pass down crucial knowledge of how to survive their harsh
Capuchin monkeys who reject "unequal pay" and chimpanzees who work together
to achieve a communal goal.
Pigs who can reason where food is by looking at its reflection in a mirror.
Baby chickens who acquire math skills and successfully play games based on
"object permanence" well before a proportionately-aged human baby.
There are even sharks who worry, goats who pleadingly stare at people and snakes who,
of course, deceptively act like "snakes in the grass."
That's right, folks. While the Search For Extraterrestrial Life (SETI) spent the last three
decades fruitlessly scanning the heavens in search of alien signals ... we've actually been
surrounded by a miraculous variety of intelligence on the only planet we know for a fact
sustains life.
It's not that space exploration isn't a good thing. Or that searching isn't fundamental to
being human. It might even be fundamental to being a primate. No, the problem is that
we've been living in self-imposed exile on a world made artificially barren by science's
three-centuries-long ban against anthropomorphism. Ironically, this ban has helped
validate the anthropocentric idea that humans are so unique that we are, in effect, an alien
intelligence stranded here on Earth.
Anthropocentrically Speaking
Merriam-Webster defines anthropomorphism as "an interpretation of what is not human
or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics." For scientists, it's long been a
"four-letter word," meaning bad science based on a faulty application of human
paradigms onto non-human subjects of research.
There are real scientific reasons to avoid unfounded inferences and personal biases
stemming from an uncritical anthropomorphism. And making humans the measure of all
things rarely, if ever, produces good results -- particularly for nonhumans. But this
methodological aversion to anthropomorphism meant science not only rejected the
implication that animals think, feel and suffer "like humans," but it also cut off inquiry into
whether or not animals think, feel and suffer at all.
The issue seems bigger than just the supposed scientific impossibility of measuring the
"inner life" of animals. Instead, it may be that acknowledging the existence of complex
animal intelligence undermines our unique place atop the natural order. A more "critical
anthropomorphism" that modulates human inference with testable data is producing
strong arguments for knowing animal consciousness, understanding their emotional lives
and for accepting the reality of animal suffering.
As comparative psychologist Jennifer Vonk told Discover magazine, "People want to be
special" and each time "a researcher finds that tool use or theory of mind or language-like
communication is not unique to humans, somebody comes up with new categories that
raise the bar."
It's a phenomenon leading primatologist Frans de Waal calls "anthropodenial." It's the
reflexive "rejection of humanlike traits in animals and of animal-like traits in humans" and it
still persists despite mounting evidence to the contrary. De Waal collected much of that
evidence himself during years studying primates like bonobos. They are 98 percent
genetically similar to humans, they exhibit many of the hallmarks of humanness and they
are famous for the ribald complexity of their culture.
And yes, it is a culture.
But many of de Waal's colleagues simply won't go there. Instead, they claim de Waal
erroneously anthropomorphizes our cousins. And they explain away a chimpanzee's
laughter as nothing more than "vocalized panting." Years of firsthand experience tickling
apes has convinced de Waal otherwise.
Frankly, for anyone who's seen the viral video of an orangutan laughing at a "missing ball"
magic trick, this stubbornness in the face of an observable truth is perplexing. It's
particularly odd given orangutans' amazing range of skills, including an ability to make
sounds that seem strikingly similar to those we make ourselves.
Yet, some remain unconvinced by Koko the gorilla's proficiency with sign language and
her unbridled love of kittens. Many initially criticized Jane Goodall for imputing
"individuality and emotion to nonhuman animals," in spite of the fact that chimps share an
amazing genetic similarity and a warlike disposition with humans. Even Charles Darwin
was ridiculed for claiming the lowly earthworm showed intelligence. Darwin pointed out
that humans are animals over a century ago, but today he'd still face the same
This outdated notion is based on a fundamental fallacy that assumes our unique form of
intelligence makes us this planet's only true beings. It's right there in the name we've
given ourselves and ourselves alone -- human beings.
Being Versus Doing
So, why don't we say "dolphin beings" or "raven beings" and "octopus beings"? Perhaps
because "being" implies consciousness. If animals are not conscious "beings," then they
are merely "doing" by mechanical instinct. But if animals are beings, that creates other
complications: As beings, they might have an existential right to "to be" beyond their
usefulness to us as a natural resource, a source of amusement or a subject of dissection.
We've conveniently squared that circle by believing only humans can truly make
conscious decisions. That's thanks in no small part to a 17th century philosopher named
Rene Descartes. He's often credited with building the foundation of the modern scientific
method. Even if you don't think you know Descartes ... you do. He famously said "I think,
therefore I am." He also claimed that animals don't think and therefore they really aren't.
How did he know it for certain? Because animals cannot talk, you silly goose.
In fact, Descartes refused to believe that even the smartest Myna bird could ever exhibit
anything close to the "real" intelligence of a human being. Sure, a Myna bird may be able
to make word-like sounds. But unlike even the "dumbest" human being, the brightest
Myna bird has no real grasp of the eternal concept that informs the word. Instead, the
Myna bird is just a soulless, instinct-driven automaton merely "parroting" something
uttered by a human. It's just a conditioned response to stimuli.
But imagine Descartes' surprise if he could've met Alex the Parrot, an amazing African
Grey who didn't seem to be parroting at all. Alex could add Arabic numerals, identify
shapes and colors and say "I love you" with the kind of heart-warming sincerity we all
crave. And, in an epic moment of self-consciousness, Alex even looked in the mirror and
asked, "What color am I?"
Science Is Anthropomorphing
Alex was obviously thinking. And he talked about what was on his mind. Therefore he was,
right? Not if you're an anachronistic anthropodenialist. Then you'd believe Alex was just
giving a conditioned response and that Dr. Irene Pepperberg made the cardinal error of
foolishly anthropomorphizing Alex's bird-brained behaviors.
But you'd also be increasingly behind the curve, because there is a new wave of scientists
at the leading edge of a polyphonic revolution that's finally listening to the life all around
us. So far, they've found:
Sperm whales who talk in regional dialects with distinct cultures and use specialized
sounds to delineate their own clans ... much like a human surname.
Black Sea bottlenose dolphins engaged in a "human-like conversation" recorded on
a specially calibrated microphone that captured their back and forth click-laden
Gorillas who "hum and sing" and Macaques who are learning to communicate with
computer touch screens.
Zebra finches who sing instructions to their young before they hatch like a nesting
hipster couple playing Bach to their gestating baby through a "babybump" sound
Highly social meerkats who recognize each other as individuals by their distinctive
calls that basically function like names.
Dogs that know when you really mean "That's a good boy!" versus when you're just
peddling the kind of half-hearted praise that comes after a hurried late night trip
around the block at the end of a long, long day.
At long last, science is finally proving something millions of humans who live with "pets"
have known for years -- that animals are "people," too.
A recent Fortune Magazine survey found that 76 percent of Americans viewed their dogs,
cats, parakeets, hamsters and other pets as "beloved members of the family." Just 19
percent of respondents said their pets were "well cared for, but still considered animals"
and less than 5 percent said "pets are work animals that have a specific job to do."
And a Gallup poll conducted in 2015 found that 32 percent of Americans "believe animals
should be given the same rights as people." That's up from 25 percent in 2008. Still, a
robust 62 percent say animals "deserve some protection but can still be used for the
benefit of humans." But only 3 percent believe they deserve no legal rights at all. The legal
revolution is moving slowly, but it is moving.
Four decades after Christopher Stone wrote his groundbreaking legal argument "Should
Trees Have Standing?" the push to expand rights has secured human protections for
orangutans in Argentina, classified dolphins as non-human persons in India,
acknowledged dogs and cats as non-human neighbors in a small Spanish town, won
personhood to an entire river in New Zealand and, most notably, the Nonhuman Rights
Project went into a New York courtroom and almost secured two chimpanzees the same
personhood rights enjoyed by corporations.
Yes, this is progress. Yes, the scale of nonhuman animal suffering (at the hands of
humans) is still beyond comprehension. Yes, people still buy and discard pets like so
much patio furniture while so many millions languish and die in pet shelters. And yes, the
progress feels too slow or, even worse, too late. But consider the fact that we are
overturning centuries of anthropodenialism.
This is a revolution in how we see animals.
More importantly, this is a much-needed evolution of the human condition. And it's not
just being driven by progressive scientists. It's also being driven by clickbait. Every day,
amazing animals fill our feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. And it's far
more than the millions of cat videos that may be the only thing actually holding the
interwebs together.
People eagerly share videos of humans and cows snuggling, crows seeking emergency
first aid and whales thanking humans for freeing them from callously abandoned fishing
nets. We've obsessively watched and re-watched that compelling conversation between
two chatty cats over 61 million times. And the laughing orangutan that anthropodenialists
would prefer to dismiss as "vocalized panting?" It was a big hit on dozens of mainstream
news sites and, as of today, it's heading toward 19 million views in just under a year. And
therein lies the rub.
The more we actively observe altruism and justice and pain and love and fear and play and
politics and romance and commitment all around us, the harder it is to maintain a
destructive distinction between us and them. And the more we click, the more clearly we
see the fundamental problems of the Anthropocene Era and its rising seas, poisoned
waters and mounting extinction.
The Other Final Frontier
Our growing recognition of the "inner life" of animals is a direct challenge to the idea that
they -- and the ecosystems they depend upon -- are merely a natural resource quite
literally at the disposal of human beings. Of course, if Descartes was right, then the
troubling aspects of suffering, habitat destruction and human-caused extinction are
completely absolved. It also means the problem of squandering or exhausting so-called
"resources" is solely a problem of human injustice to other humans.
But the animal-related cavalcade of consciousness we see every day -- like the viral video
of incredibly cute sea turtle babies scurrying to the sea -- forces us to consider the
possibility that sea turtles are not simply "resources" to be preserved so our grandkids
can have a sea turtle "experience" on some Costa Rican beach 20 years from now.
Instead we might accept that sea turtles shouldn't go extinct because sea turtles have an
inherent right to exist apart from whether or not future generations of human beings will
be able to "enjoy" the existence of sea turtles.
And if we finally start to listen to the other "twitter feed" here on Earth, we might actually
learn something about cohabitation from the amazing interspecies conversations
happening around us. Scientists are finding that various species learn to heed the calls,
track the cries and listen to the songs of the other species who share their habitat. They
actually learn from each other because they listen. They are not alone.
This is the final frontier we should all be exploring with ever greater urgency.
We'd better start soon because the messages filling our collective inbox tell us loudly and
clearly that we're all heading for a mass catastrophe. And migrating animals are telling us
with increasingly apparent non-verbal communication that we're warming the planet
faster than they can adapt to it and faster than our collective home can reasonably
And like the Zebra finches singing preparatory lessons about climate change to their still
incubating chicks, our cohabitants are telling us loudly and clearly that we're imperiling
the only truly habitable planet the universe has yet to offer to us. So, while SETI falsely
excites us with our own messages reverberating off our own satellites, we should be
paying ever closer attention to the good news that we are not alone after all ... at least, not

Nick Alabaster.  “Is There Life Before Death?”  Free Weekly (September 29, 2016).  Alabaster judges widespread cruelty in the animal industry from the perspective of World Day for Farmed Animals, October 2, Gandhi’s birthday.

Global Warming, US Deregulated Capitalism, Industrial Agriculture,
      Population, Consumption, Growth
Google Search, October 6, 2016
Center for Ecoliteracy
Feb 11, 2015 - Today it is becoming more and more evident that the major problems of our time — energy, the environment, climate change, food security, ... University
by BB Lin - ‎Cited by 32 - ‎Related articles
Mar 11, 2011 - Effects of industrial agriculture on climate change and the mitigation potential of small-scale agro-ecological farms. Brenda B. Lin1, M. Jahi ...
Union of Concerned Scientists
Industrial agriculture was sold to the public as a technological miracle that ... 2016; Soil Carbon Can't Fix Climate Change By Itself—But It Needs to Be Part of the ... Table
Industrial agriculture pollutes air, water and soil, reduces biodiversity and contributes to global climate change. Find the unsavory details. Public Health.
Nov 20, 2015 - Climate change and agrofuels. An International Farmers Alliance LinksClimate Change to Industrial Agriculture. Details: Published on Friday, ...
... agriculture is contributing to global warming and climate change. 1.
This article highlights only one aspect of the massive impact of climate change on agriculture illustrated in the slides below. Introduction. Industrial agriculture is ...

Deena Shanker (Bloomberg News), “Lawsuits Accuse Chicken Industry of Price Fixing.”  NADG (Oct. 2, 2016).

The following goes at end
Contents: OMNI Vegetarian Action Newsletter, September 14, 2016.
Vegetarian and Vegan Organizations
Health, Nutrition
Animal Rights and Protection, Compassion for Sentient Creatures
Global Warming, Industrial Agriculture, Population, Consumption, Growth


Looking Ahead to October 1, Vegetarian Day, October Vegetarian Month
      World Vegetarian Day - NAVS: North American Vegetarian Sociiety
Vegetarian Resource Group, Vegetarian Journal
Vegnews Magazine
Top Vegan Blogs

Health, Nutrition
3 Vegan Cookbooks
Mark Hawthorne’s Book vs. Industrial Food System
Oatman, Too Much Protein

Animal Rights and Protection, Compassion for Sentient Creatures
Dick: Truck Hauling Chickens Turns Over
Tyson Fires 10 Lowest Level Workers for Chicken Abuse
Green Party Has Animal Rights Committee
Two Books by Mark Hawthorne: A Vegan Ethic and Animal Suffering
Book from Humane Society
Center for Biological Diversity:  Meat Industry and USDA v. Wild Animals

Global Warming, Industrial Agriculture, Population, Consumption, Growth
Lolly Tindol and Jeanne Neath on Industrial Agriculture
Jeanne Neath on Small Scale Farming Cooling the Earth
Gary Gardner in There Is Still Time!
Scott McNall, Rapid Climate Change
Dauvergne, The Shadows of Consumption
Center for Biological Diversity: Wildlife, Population, Climate

OMNI Growth Newsletters #3 was published July 10, 2016.


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)