Matthew Zampa

It Was a Record Year for Vegans. Why Are We Still Eating So Much Meat?

Americans will eat more meat in 2018 than any year on record. But even in the face of such a big meat problem, veganism is on the rise.

This much is spelled out by climate scientists, dietitians, and animal advocates across the globe. Eating more plants is part of the solution. Eating more meat, on the other hand, is not. Even the most modest plants like beans produce up to 46 times fewer greenhouses gases per gram of protein than beef. It’s easier to replace animal protein than ever, whether it’s with a can of beans from the back of both cupboard or brand new plant-based burger.

Almost anyone who wants to eat plant-based can eat plant-based—and making the switch now is way easier than waiting to see what the world will look like at peak meat.

Book Review: Persimmon Takes on the World by Christopher Locke

raccoon outside grass

Ready for a real adventure? Animal-cruelty fighting raccoon Persimmon takes us on a journey to end animal suffering in all its forms in Persimmon Takes on the World (Fathoming Press 2015). Christopher Locke tells this story with the nuance of the animal rights movement and a cast of compelling characters compared to the likes of the Hunger Games and Captain Underpants.

The Farm Bill Is a Big Win for Animals. Here’s Why.

sheep animal happy

When legislators introduced the 2018 Farm Bill to Congress in June, animal advocates had a lot to worry about. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was out to wreak havoc on interstate animal welfare laws.

But with the help of 119 Representatives, 32 Senators, and 166 state and local organizations, the King amendment will be shut out of the Farm Bill, yet again.

Animal advocates, time to celebrate. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill signals the resilience of animal protection laws on a national level, something advocates have not seen the likes of on a farm bill since 2002 when Congress reassured the enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

Book Review: Protest Kitchen by Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina

open rescue pig

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Do you have the tools you need to fight? Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet, and Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time (Conari Press 2018) by Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina connects vegans with broader resistance movements in a beautiful ode to the fight ahead. Plus, more than 50 great vegan recipes to get you there, one meal at a time.

Nearly Half of Poultry Slaughterhouses Fail USDA Salmonella Inspections

factory farm chicken

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Hundreds of USDA-inspected chicken and turkey slaughterhouses failed federal Salmonella performance standards, according to a new report. Of the 821 facilities inspected between October 2017 and October 2018, a total of 390 failed to meet these standards. In other words, almost half of poultry slaughterhouses failed the inspection.

Over the past year, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) claims to have modernized its approach to poultry slaughter inspection. But for food producers, modernization sound more like a welcome distraction. After 390 facilities tested positive for hazardous levels of Salmonella, the FSIS will do almost nothing to intervene on the slaughterhouse floor, aside from collecting more positive tests.

Federal food safety inspectors are waiving the white flag. According to the FSIS policy, if test results indicate a loss of quality control, the slaughterhouses themselves are responsible for fixing the problem. So, the same 390 slaughterhouses that just failed the FSIS’s Salmonella performance standards will now take independent action to investigate and correct the cause of a potential outbreak.

Call It Pig or Pork: People Still Want to Eat Bacon

pig farm animal

Tim Geers/Flickr

Faunalytics asked, and U.S. consumers answered. Research shows that even if you trade indirect terms for meat like beef and pork for more explicit ones—like cow and pig to more accurately describe the meat—it does not affect consumer behavior.

Meat companies use indirect terms like beef and pork to distance consumers from animals. Despite the high hopes of researchers at Faunalytics, Sentient Media, and vegans everywhere, referring to meat by its animal explicit name does not make people care about the animals they’re consuming more, at least, not yet.

Man’s Best Friend Not Safe Inside Carrefour Stores

dog stray cage

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Protests erupted in Brazil after a dog was killed inside a supermarket. The image of a stray dog side-by-side with the trail of blood left in the aisles of the Carrefour in Osasco, Brazil surfaced last week after a security guard savagely beat the animal to death. Both the dead dog and security guard have been removed from the premises, out of sight and out of mind like the rest of the animals suffering to stock Carrefour’s shelves.

One report claims the security guard killed the dog by trampling, grossly inaccurate by first glance at the photo evidence. It shows blood splatter four feet wide. Paw marks can be seen in large puddles of blood, marked with a Caution: Wet Floor sign, as if the dog walked backward, trying to face the attacker. Eyewitnesses claim security beat the dog with a stick after offering it cheese filled with rat poison. Local authorities opened an investigation into the cause of death on Monday.

There’s Meat on the Menu at the UN Climate Change Conference. That Should Scare You.

animal angry cow

Attendees have twice as many meat-based entrees as plant-based ones to choose from the menu at this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, according to a food court analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Eating less meat is the single best way to reduce your carbon footprint and slow down climate change. This fact was reported more than a month ago. Somehow, the organizers of a 30,000-person climate conference missed it.

The climate cost of COP24’s menu is wildly irresponsible. That might be the understatement of the year. Meat offered at the conference generates 4x the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than the plant-based offerings. Friendly reminder: The conference is not happening in a vacuum. Meat always produces four times the amount of greenhouse gas as the plant-based alternative.

Book Review: Nourishment by Fred Provenza

sheep animal nature

Get ready for a trip. In Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us About Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom (Chelsea Green 2018), Fred Provenza details the complicated relationship between humans and food with the kind of well-sourced, yet misguided science that restores the plant-based future to its rightful balance. The shortest line to draw between humankind and nature is what we eat, after all.

JUST Cell-Based Meat Is Ready for Limited Release. What’s Next?

chicken animal equality

This just in from the maker of egg-free JUST Eggs: animal-free chicken bites. Expect to see JUST chicken bites released with “limited availability” at select restaurants outside the U.S. later this year, Bloomberg reports.

For cell-based meat producers, the technology required to produce enough to bring their products to market has slowed growth. JUST’s chicken bites are no different. But the company wants to plant their flag in the global meat market—forecasted to produce 1.2 trillion pounds of meat by 2050—and they’re stopping at nothing to make this happen. JUST is committed to making meat from cells instead of live, confined animals.

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