No Bull

Mad Cows & Angry Bovines: Are
They Trying to Tell Us Something?

If August is the month for mad dogs, April may have opened the season for crazy cows. For well before the California Mad Cow cases, we’ve been reading reports about the oh-so-benign-looking bovines, to make anyone consider switching to Veganism, and stop blaming their farts for the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In the past six months of so, we’ve seen stories about how the Colorado Forest Service is contemplating exploding a remote cabin full of cow carcasses (don’t ask yet), how to survive an angry bovine attack, and how to harness their urine to power whole farms. If you think that doesn’t sound so bad, have you ever approached an angry cow to ask them to pee on demand? We didn’t think so.
It is, of course, a consequence of our increased dependence on bovines for food, that even city dwellers know now a lot about their quirk and surprisingly volatile personalities than a few years ago. Then, expressions such as Pink Slime and Meat Glue would most likely belong to the vocabulary used in kindergarten, not at school cafeterias, or uttered by hushed elected officials.
Few would be talking about ‘gang of cows’ then, or industrial-sized cow-washing facilities, and the thought of scientists studying cow pies to determine diet quality and pasture rotation, well, that would be considered typical nonsense of city folk. Yet, it’s all part of the reality of Continue reading

(Not) Nice to Meat You

Eating Animals May
Be Coming To a Boil

The short-comings of public campaigns about people’s bad health habits are well known. The best example, of course, are the billions of dollars spent trying to warn people about the devastation that cigarette smoking may cause.
The graphic depictions of terminal diseases caused by the nasty habit, tough rhetoric and even government-sponsored draconian laws restricting its practice, as it happened in New York, have all but failed to make a real dent in the profits of the tobacco industry, let alone the smokers’ pleasure.
At the end of the day, scary tactics notwithstanding, to quit smoking remains a deeply personal decision, akin of choosing a particular diet regime, or becoming a vegetarian.
Which brings us to the age-old discussion over whether we should or are we even supposed to have the flesh of dead animals as so central a staple of our food consumption.
Since last century, growing criticism of the meat industry has reached strident levels. Beyond the usual health-minded Continue reading

Beagle Voyage

Do We Still Need Animals
to Build a Better Aspirin?

Four lab workers were indicted on animal cruelty charges against beagles in North Carolina, last week, a decision considered groundbreaking because it’s still legal to test on dogs in the U.S.
About 70,000 canines are routinely experimented on by the U.S. cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries, the majority of which beagles, chosen for their size and docility.
At the same time, in the U.K., a government report said that animal testing increased three percent there in 2010, to a staggering 3.7 million experiments on animals.
We’re most definitely not going to describe exactly what these Continue reading

Rotten Eggs

Nature Is Not Allowed
Into Some Henhouses

So you’re trying to cut down on red meat and decided that eggs are a good source of protein to replace it. Not quite ready to become a vegan yet, you think eggs will do it for now, as long as they’re natural, cage free and organic, right?
Ah, nothing like the sunny view of happy chicken being called by their names, roaming free on verdant pastures. That is, until the day comes when their true calling is disclosed and they head straight to your breakfast plate.
Now there’s evidence that an even darker side to this picture can burst your bubble easier than you can crack an egg shell.
It turns out some chicken farms have been playing loose with the Continue reading