The Month in a Minute: January 2024

January's top stories about climate, animals and health.

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This month, a new government-backed ad campaign launched in the UK, aimed at getting Gen Z to eat more meat. Meanwhile, experts warn that this year global heating will pass 1.5 C and Brazilian officials pursue millions from JBS for illegal deforestation of the Amazon. Avian flu in the United States is on the rise again, threatening to spike the cost of eggs and chicken. The disease continues to spread to wildlife, including to elephant seals in Argentina.


A new study reveals 75 percent of the world’s industrial fishing vessels are hidden from public view.

Following a Department of Labor investigation, a California poultry processor has been slapped with millions in fines.

The Mexican Association of Bullfighting is targeting young people in order to build support for the centuries-old sport that has largely fallen out of public favor.

Here are more headlines that caught our attention this month:


Some Colorado ranchers are investing thousands in technology that would enable them to more easily shoot and kill wolves.

In 2023, Montana paid ranchers more than $200,000 in reimbursements for 145 animals killed by predators — wolves, bears and mountain lions.

Advocates warn that veterinary corporations may seek to subvert efforts to control antibiotic overuse on factory farms.

Agricultural workers bear the brunt as temperatures rise. An upcoming OSHA rule would require employers to prioritize the wellbeing of their workers during the hottest parts of the year.


A few countries have successful policies but well-intentioned rules in others appear to have inadvertently increased demand for shark meat.

Scientists are using AI to predict the stretches of Amazonian jungle most at risk of deforestation.

Shifting toward a sustainable food system would generate up to $10 trillion in benefits yearly, according to a new economic impact study.

Corporations like Tyson are claiming to be selling climate friendly products, but experts are skeptical.

New rules in the EU are cracking down on companies that mislead consumers with greenwashing claims and packaging.


Scientists call for an urgent intervention, as bearded pig populations are devastated by the deadly African swine fever on islands such as Borneo.

Researchers cataloged the genes of more than 300 million groups of marine bacteria, viruses and fungi in hopes that the database could lead to breakthroughs in medicine, energy and agriculture — including potential solutions for antibiotic resistance.

Scientists are making gene editing pigs with the intent of breeding swine resistant to the porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus.

A polar bear has been killed by bird flu as the highly contagious H5N1 virus spreads into the most remote parts of the planet.

Avian flu has been discovered in two different species of penguin in the Antarctic.

Scientists are turning to pigs to source livers for the thousands of patients awaiting an organ transplant.

Law & Justice

Duvan Perez, a 16-year-old child, was killed at a Mississippi poultry processing plant due to the plant’s safety violations.

Farmers in both France and Germany took to the streets this month, blocking traffic with tractors and dumping manure at the doors of government buildings. Their protests are in response to shifts in agricultural policy, such as cuts to farm subsidies.

Concerns swirl that proposed legislation in India — including a ban on slaughtering cows — could actually detract from animal welfare.

Big Pharma is facing a shortage of lab monkeys, thanks to a crackdown on smugglers illegally moving macaques across borders.

Meanwhile, a small Georgia town is taking a stand to stop the construction of a lab monkey breeding facility.

Proposed legislation could make it easier for ranchers to kill vultures to prevent them from preying on calves.

Future of Food

Over half of the population of Stockton, California, is diabetic or pre-diabetic. A prescribed meal kit program helps some residents manage the disease and may provide a model for other communities.

In cities like Tucson, Arizona, neighbors are planting trees to provide shade — and food.

People in the US are concerned about the cost of their groceries, now some are calling for aggressive new policies requiring that when the cost of production falls, so too should the price consumers see.

As part of a summit aimed at tackling food insecurity, the Biden Administration is partnering with Instacart.

Malnutrition is a problem for every country on the earth, according to a new report from the United Nations. 
Dunkin’ is facing a lawsuit. The plaintiffs — all of whom are lactose intolerant — argue that upcharges for non-dairy milk are exclusionary.

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