The Federal Crackdown on Animal Activists

Will Potter has a not-to-be-missed post on his Green is the New Red blog. He shows how the federal government is using the Animal Terrorist Enterprise Act to seek lengthy prison terms for nonviolent animal protection people. Then, for the sake of comparison, he shows how these punishments compare to sentences handed out for murder, hate crimes, manslaughter, and rape.

Just because you’d never break the law or damage property on behalf of animals doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Link.

California Excludes Agriculture from Climate Change Efforts

California has released a plan for reducing statewide carbon dioxide emissions. Only one problem: despite being America’s largest farm producer, agriculture is left entirely off the hook:

Of the 174 million metric tons of CO2 emissions reductions targeted in California’s legally binding “Scoping Plan,” not one ton is expected to come from agriculture.

Just another sign that agribusiness’ political pull is massive and unacceptable. (Via Starkman.) Link.

Cargill Says it has Found the Holy Grail of Vegan Cheese

Vegan news doesn’t get any huger than this. Cargill, a company hip-deep in factory farming, says its R&D team has made milk obsolete as a cheese ingredient. From its press release:

Cargill has launched a unique breakthrough innovation that enables the cost-effective production of a 100 percent non-dairy cheese analogue for pizza and other prepared food applications. Lygomme™ ACH Optimum functional system (patent pending) replicates the functionality of dairy protein and replaces it fully at an outstanding cost advantage [emphasis mine] for the manufacturer.

I suggest reading the above paragraph a few times until the full implications sink in. Assuming these claims hold true, here’s my analysis in five words: the dairy industry is fucked.

The big conglomerates behind factory farming have never had the slightest interest in abusing animals. The only reason farm animals are needed, especially where milk and eggs are concerned, is because food science hasn’t sufficiently advanced.

If Cargill delivers on creating a lower-cost milk-free method for creating top quality cheese, expect a giant chunk of the dairy industry to collapse literally overnight. (Thanks, Bea.) Link.

Flax Absorption Past Age 45

Jack Norris links to a new study indicating that people over 45 may not sufficiently absorb the omega 3s from ground flax. It may therefore be advantageous to keep your age under 45 at all times. Link.

Weekly Ad: the Long-Awaited Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook is Now Available

The Vegan Yum Yum cookbook is now shipping. The author is famous for her jaw-dropping food photography, so you know this book has massive street cred. Every recipe is accompanied by one of Lauren’s amazing photographs. This is sure to be one of the top selling vegan cookbooks this holiday season; if you want a new cookbook loaded with food photos guaranteed to blow away your omnivore friends, this is definitely the one to get.

University of Georgia Cafeteria Feeds Animal Products to Vegans

The University of Georgia’s dining hall has been serving up “vegan” food that contains animal products. I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but some of the dining service statements in this article come off as totally lame excuses. And then there’s this insanity, from the university’s food services dietician:

With the recession, a lot of vegan companies don’t [make vegan products] anymore…It’s not profitable.

Huh?!? The market for vegan foods has been growing by leaps and bounds for years now. For instance, look at the growth of companies like Veggie Grill and Daiya Foods.

Food products come and go, and it should be the dining hall’s job to stay on top of these changes. The university should have had a system in place by which, any time a food product changed, they’d check the new ingredients to verify its vegan status. What they allowed to happen was inexcusable. Link.

The Meat-Down-The-Pants Trick Fails Again

I’ve said it before, but meat shoplifters always seems to get extra style points.

The only thing better than cramming meat down your pants and trying to walk out of the supermarket is to have two other accomplices do it with you. It makes things a whole lot less obvious.

Yet, sadly, the trio was caught. The silver lining is that their photos are included with the article. Link.

Cats, Birds, and Predation

A solidly researched piece from the New York Times about what happens to bird populations when cats are allowed outdoors. Link.

New Technology Set to Increase Milk Glut

You would think a new technology that allows dairy producers to avoid breeding male calves would deliver great gains to the industry’s bottom line. Instead, it’s only going to add to the glut of cheap milk, putting new pressure on money-losing dairies. Link.