Tag Archives: go vegan

Are chickens smarter?

By Heather Moore

Are you concerned about animal welfare? Do you believe that “cage-free” eggs and “free-range” chicken are humane options? Then you’ll be interested in a recent Popular Science article revealing that up to 86 percent of hens on “free-range” egg farms incur broken breast bones – largely because “cage-free” birds are about as “free” as the inmates at the county jail.

It turns out that even so-called “cage-free” birds spend much of their time in crowded sheds with no access to the outdoors — they aren’t given the space they need to develop strong bones and muscles.

And farmers manipulate their food and the lighting in the warehouses to force their bodies to produce more eggs than they would naturally.

Eggshells require calcium, so the nutrient is leached from their bones, which become brittle as a result. Both of these factors lead to weak, fragile bones that break easily.

Scientists are looking for a solution to this problem, but I’ve already got one: Stop eating chicken eggs and flesh.

The market research firm Packaged Facts apparently agrees, saying that the food industry can’t ignore animal-welfare concerns and should invest in plant-based meats.

Memphis Meats comes to mind. The Bay Area startup recently unveiled the world’s first chicken strip that was grown in a laboratory. Laboratory-grown meat requires only 1 percent of the land and 4 percent of the water that conventional meat uses, and it produces up to 96 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions. Clean meat, as it’s sometimes called, is also expected to help stop the spread of bird flu and other animal-borne diseases, which flourish on filthy, crowded chicken and turkey farms.

This is promising news that will benefit us all — but especially the chickens who would otherwise be confined, killed and devoured.

Chickens aren’t even included in the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act, the only federal law that offers any sort of protection to farmed animals.

They’re often scalded and dismembered while they’re still conscious. And that goes for “cage-free” birds as well as those raised on conventional factory farms.

But many people are beginning to understand that chickens need space and have interests and feelings that must be protected. Hopefully soon, everyone will realize that there’s no good reason to eat them at all.

Chickens are self-aware and have complex social structures, empathy for one another and distinct personalities, just as humans do. Male chickens often strut around trying to impress females and show other males who’s boss.

Sound familiar?

Like us, chickens form strong family ties and mourn when they lose a loved one. When they’re not confined to filthy egg farms, hens will lovingly tend to their eggs and “talk” to their chicks, who chirp back, while they’re still in the shell.

A scientific review published earlier this year illustrates that chickens are a lot smarter than most people realize. They communicate constantly and have at least 24 distinct calls to convey information and warn one another of predators. Researchers have found that they can count, anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control. I can’t say that for some humans I know!

When undergraduates at the University of Adelaide were instructed to train chickens as a way to learn about psychology and cognition, one student commented, “Chickens are a lot smarter than I originally thought.”

So the next time someone calls you a “bird brain,” take it as a compliment. And when you’re grocery shopping, make the smart choice: Opt for healthy vegan foods. If you want something that “tastes like chicken,” try Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken strips or Gardein’s meat-free “chick’n.”

Because no one who believes that kindness is a virtue, as we all say we do, can argue that it’s acceptable to be cruel when we have the option to be kind.

Soul 🎼!

Show compassion for all Moms this Mother’s Day: Go veggie!

By Dr. Heather Rally, D.V.M.

What if your mother were artificially inseminated time and time again? What if you were taken from her shortly after birth? No nurturing, no love, no celebration. What if she cried out for you constantly but to no avail? You had already been slated to become someone’s dinner.

As a veterinarian who’s concerned about all animals, I hope you’ll keep cows in mind on Mother’s Day — and any other time you’re enjoying a meal with your family — and opt for dairy-free foods.

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Cool your jets this summer with vegan ice cream! Tastee! And it’s always for sale at Trader Joe’s, in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, right over the bridge!

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to feed their young. But on today’s dairy farms, they are kept almost constantly pregnant so that they’ll produce a steady supply of milk. Their calves are typically taken away from them when they’re only a few hours old.

Male calves are commonly raised for veal. They’re chained up in tiny crates and intentionally fed a formula that’s low in iron so that they’ll become anemic and their flesh will stay pale. They take their first weak, wobbly steps — to slaughter — when they’re between 3 and 18 weeks old.

Females are turned into virtual milk machines like their mothers. When their production wanes, they, too, end up at the slaughterhouse, bloodied, dangling by a hind leg with their throats cut.

Cows are like us in important and relevant ways: They’re made of flesh and blood.

They feel pain and love.

They form strong family ties and grieve when they’re separated from their loved ones.

In An Anthropologist on Mars, Dr. Oliver Sacks wrote of a trip that he and agriculture-industry advisor Dr. Temple Grandin took to a dairy farm — and of the bellowing that they heard:

“They must have separated the calves from the cows this morning,” Temple said, and, indeed, this was what had happened. We saw one cow outside the stockade, roaming, looking for her calf, and bellowing. “That’s not a happy cow,” Temple said. “That’s one sad, unhappy, upset cow. She wants her baby.”

As that mother cow demonstrated, all animals have thoughts, feelings and desires. Here’s an example of another basic need: Cows long to live in pastures. A study at the University of British Columbia recently found that cows want to get outdoors as much as they want food.

The researchers steadily increased the amount of force that it took for a cow to open a door leading to either food or pasture. Most of the cows studied pushed just as hard to get outside as they did to get to food.

The scientists speculate that this is because grass is softer than concrete, so outdoors, cows can move comfortably. Soft ground is better for their hoof health and reduces the likelihood of lameness. And they have a basic behavioral need to live in the grasslands, which are, of course, their natural environment.

Yet fewer than 5 percent of cows in the U.S. are allowed to spend time in pasture, and “80 percent never see a blade of grass,” according to researcher Marina von Keyserlingk.

Change is needed, and gradually it is happening. Surveys suggest that half of Americans now consume dairy-free milk. To those of you who still drink cow’s milk, please consider going vegan for Mother’s Day — and beyond.

If you have children, you’ll surely understand how traumatic it would be to lose a baby. And as we all have mothers, we should be outraged that any mother, human or not, would be subjected to a life of torment, as are cows in the dairy industry.

By choosing tasty vegan foods this Mother’s Day and all year round, you’ll be showing compassion for all mothers!

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Remember …

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How I Saved Money by Going Vegan

From PETA.ORG:

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By Shekalia

Back in the day, I wasn’t necessarily swimming in cash. I was a student, so you can imagine how empty my pockets were. When I found out that animals suffer miserably on cramped factory farms for our food, I was determined not to let my financial situation deter me from going vegan. But I was surprised to learn how affordable vegan foods are and that I could actually save money by ditching animal-derived foods and planning my meals.

I created a budget and became a money-saving ninja. And now I’m here to pass on what I’ve learned. Here’s how I saved money by going vegan:

Brainstorm Meal Ideas Before Making Your Grocery List

Some folks make the mistake of creating a shopping list without actually thinking about what they’re going to cook. Don’t do that. Instead, sit down and think, “What dishes do I want to make?” By doing this key first step, you’ll avoid overspending at the store and start saving money.

Here are some ideas for meals that are cheap and easy to make:

Stir-fry: This can be made up of anything, and it only takes one pot. Just chop up your fave veggies, heat up some oil, and start frying. Add some cooked noodles and tofu.
Pasta: You can buy pasta for as little as $1—and pasta sauce is just as cheap. Add veggies like onions and mushrooms for texture.

Chili: All this dish requires is beans, veggies, and spices, and voilà—you’re done! You can’t beat this simple go-to meal, plus chili can be used in a variety of ways: Put it on fries, on Fritos, on nachos—the list goes on. If cooking isn’t your thing, most grocery stores carry “vegetarian” chili that’s actually vegan. Just check the label to make sure that it doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients.

Don’t Forget the Staples — and Buy in Bulk

Food is usually cheaper when you buy it in large quantities — and if your kitchen is always stocked, you won’t be tempted to order expensive takeout when cravings hit. Stock up on staples like beans, grains, nuts, and frozen fruits and veggies. (I like to buy quinoa in bulk because it can be more expensive in smaller amounts.) Sometimes, I prepare a large portion of beans and rice to eat with other dishes that I cook during the week. This saves me time and brain power, as I don’t have to come up with a meal from scratch.

Shop Sales

We all love a good deal. Plan your grocery shopping around when stores and markets have sales. And don’t skip the dollar store — most stores carry staples like beans, rice, pasta, and frozen produce as well as other vegan options. Go to your local dollar store and browse the aisles — you never know what you may find.

Cook!

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I started cooking when I was 6 and was quite the little chef — although it involved mostly meat-based dishes. When I went vegan, I realized that preparing meat-free meals is far simpler. Cooking your own meals saves you money, too, while sparing your body the negatives effects of eating unhealthy takeout.

While cooking at home will save you money, there’ll be moments when you need to grab a bite to eat on the go. Taco Bell, Subway, and other vegan-friendly fast-food places have meals that’ll fill you up for just a few bucks!

Try Mock Meats and Tofu

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Mock meats like those made by Gardein and Tofurky are great sometimes. Don’t focus on replacing meat with mock meat, though. Instead, concentrate on eating more whole foods — and don’t forget about our friend tofu. One block can cost as little as 99 cents, it’s extremely versatile, and it’s also a better, cheaper substitute for meat that can be found at pretty much any grocery store.

By going vegan, you’ll be able to eat well for cheap and you won’t contribute to animals’ suffering. Knowing that piglets’ tails are cut off without painkillers, male chicks are ground up alive, and cows are separated from their calves inspired me to change my lifestyle — and as a result, I was able to cut my spending in half. I no longer buy meat, dairy foods, or eggs, which accounted for most of my budget in the past. I now buy and prepare affordable, nutritious plant-based foods. What could be better than saving money and being kind to animals and my body?

Your health and animal rights – always in fashion!

But first …

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Rise in colorectal cancer in young people should be a wake-up call

By Heather Moore

The new American Cancer Society report showing that there’s been a sharp increase in colorectal cancer in people in their 20s and 30s might just be the kick in the pants that young people need to eat more vegan foods and less red and processed meats, which are linked to colon and rectal cancers.

According to the report, which compared different generations at similar ages, people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer of those born in 1950 when they were the same age. Experts aren’t sure why the rates have been rising, but they are confident that people can reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by eating lots of fiber-filled fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

In October 2015, the World Health Organization announced that bacon and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, is probably also carcinogenic.

Soon afterward, scientists from Oxford University reported that eating one steak a week increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer by more than two-fifths and that people who eat meat twice a week have an 18 percent higher risk than do vegetarians.

This wasn’t exactly new news — a number of previous studies had shown that eating meat could raise one’s risk of colorectal cancer — but it caused an uproar anyway. Some people defiantly insisted that they weren’t going to change their unhealthy eating habits no matter what — a peculiar reaction considering that colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms.

Changing your diet can be daunting — I know. But in the end, it comes down to this: Would you rather undergo surgery, chemotherapy and other costly medical treatments or eat tasty vegan foods? Many physicians believe that colorectal cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if you follow healthy living recommendations. According to Kim Robien, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at George Washington University, “It is absolutely recommended to decrease — if not completely eliminate — processed meat intake to prevent cancer.”

Study after study has shown that ditching meat is an effective way to ward off colorectal cancer. A 2015 Loma Linda University study involving more than 77,000 men and women, for example, suggests that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by at least 22 percent.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine asked 20 African-Americans in Pittsburgh and 20 rural South Africans to “switch diets” for two weeks. At the end of the swap, they performed colonoscopies on all of the study participants. Those who had eaten the traditional African-style diet, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables, beans and cornmeal — and very little meat — had less inflammation in the colon and more of a particular fatty acid that may protect against colon cancer, while those who had eaten the typical American diet, high in meat and cheese, showed changes in gut bacteria that are consistent with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Just this month, a study in the journal Cancer Science revealed that Japanese men who eat lots of meat in general, and specifically red meat, are 36 percent and 44 percent more likely, respectively, to develop colorectal cancer than those who don’t eat much — or any — meat.

No matter what your age, race or nationality, you can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer—not to mention heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems—by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones.

And since March is National Colorectal Cancer Month, it’s the perfect time to ditch unhealthy animal-based foods and start eating delicious vegan meals instead.

Joey parked in Rose’s space … Waiting on a piece from Chef Joey. For now, Bolognese Sauce🍅!

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Chef Joey makes primo Italian sauces! Go, Chef Joey, go!!!      pic: R.T.

Text, recipe and photos by Chef Joey

Here is a quick dinner recipe sure to please anyone in your family! I chose the vegetarian, gluten-free version, which is also vegan. However, with a switch from lentils to hamburger, it can be the traditional Bolognese pasta sauce you all know and love.

Here is how fast and easy it is!

Ingredients:

1 box pasta (penne works great)

1 small can tomato paste

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 cup red wine

olive oil

salt & pepper

3 large carrots peeled and rough-chopped

1 ½ cups cooked lentils or ½ pound lean ground beef

fresh basil

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Take 3 good sized carrots, chop …

… and add 1 cup of water to a food processor

… and 4 whole cloves of garlic.

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Garlic – use 4 WHOLE CLOVES for this recipe!

Pulse until you have a thick puree.

Add some olive oil to a thick seep pan and sauté on a medium fire until the water starts to evaporate and the carrots become soft.

In the meantime, take a large onion and chop it fine and add to the carrot mixture.

Stir constantly and add 1 cup of water.

As the water reduces – keep an eye on it – add 3 tablespoons of sugar to caramelize the carrots and onions.

As the onions get soft, add 1 cup of red wine (anything works) slowly and stir.

As the sauce starts to smell delicious, add 1 can of tomato paste …

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… and another cup of water and stir.

Let this cook for about 20 minutes and add a few basil leaves for flavor.

In the meantime cook your pasta …
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This is where you go vegan or carnivore. For meat lovers, add ½ pound of LEAN ground beef; for vegans, add 1 ½ cups cooked lentils.

When the meat/lentils are warm (5-10 mins), pour the sauce over the pasta. Stir and serve.

Srinkle with cheese, garnish + add a parsley or basil leaf = ENJOY!💝

Very cool!

From THEGUARDIAN.COM:

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Wildlife underpasses not only reduce the number of animals being hit by cars but also preserve movement and gene flow for the animals on both sides of the road.

The movement of genes occurs when an animal born on one side crosses the road and breeds on the other.

The three young cougars being led through this culvert by their mother will be accustomed to using it and are likely to look for mates on either side.

Photograph: Tony Clevinger/Johns Hopkins University Press

Want more great national and international pics, news and feature stories? Go to our big yellow finger on this website AND CLICK ON THE GUARDIAN LINK! You will get this – CLICK HERE!

Enjoy great stories, photos, videos from a terrific news media organization – theguardian.com !  – R.T.

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Cool vegan cook book you can give Mum this Mother’s Day! Zero animals killed/tortured!

BETTY GOES VEGAN – R.T.