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 →
Perhaps only on the Improbable Research blog you could find two reports that, despite being both about farm animals, couldn’t be more diametrically disparate. One, about cows and their tendency to emulate each other when eating or lying down. The other, about the brutal and disgusting idea that two farmers had to castrate some lambs with their own teeth.
In other farm news, also covered by the I.R. blog, it turns out that truffles, traditionally found with the help of hogs or dogs, can also be spotted by squirrels.
With the outrageously expensive prices they reach in markets around the world, it’s only natural that connaisseurs will search for ways of finding the buried specialty at the lowest possible cost. FLYING TRUFFLERS
What pigs, canines and squirrels have in common is, of course, a highly accurate sense of smell. Hogs have been used to find truffles since Continue reading →
It’s an unforgiving world out there. Especially if you’re a British cow. (No, not that one, you incorrigible anti-Anglophile.) But if you’re from Queens, things are looking up.
Last Friday, a brown cow was caught on tape fleeing a slaughterhouse in the New York borough, running at top speed on, you guessed it, Liberty Avenue. It all ended well, but for a moment, people feared for the worst.
That’s because of what happened in 2008, also in Queens, Continue reading →