You Call Yourself Vegan – But You Are Not.

Cattle on the alp
Cattle on the alp (Photo credit: Darkroom Daze)
English: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s signature.
English: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s signature. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Real knowledge is to know
the extent of one’s ignorance.”
– Confucius

You Call Yourself Vegan

But you are not.

You eat an occasional slice of pizza
because it is delicious, and nobody can
see you. Occasionally, you lecture others
on animal abuse for doing the same.

You buy chocolate chip cookies while being
aware that milk is used to make those
chocolate bits, but cheating does not
count in the privacy of one’s home after
midnight when watching Saturday Night Live.

You pour whole milk into your coffee, because
2 percent just does not make it, and black
coffee is a joyless drink

You call yourself vegan because it feels good
to pretend that you are, but the animals
continue to suffer due to your lack of commitment.

The human population of the planet earth is greater
than 7.117 billion individuals. If sometime during
the course of this day, each person was to drink
just 1/4 cup of milk blended into the day’s coffee
consumed, that would add up to 445 million quarts.

The average American cow produces 24 quarts of
milk per day. It would require 18.5 million cows
to produce the milk for today’s coffee for the
creamer in every person’s coffee. One third of
the cows in an average milking herd end up
in slaughterhouses each and every year. Six
million cows would die to supply the milk for
all the coffees in the world in 2013.

Vegans who add milk to their coffee with
feigned ignorance and innocence, should accept
partial responsibility for the 16,400 cows who
met death yesterday, and will met her today, and
tomorrow in order for them to drink their lattes.

There are alternatives.

During the two minutes that it took you to read
thus far, twenty-two cows have died fear-filled
painful and tortured deaths in which the contents
of their arteries were sprayed onto bloody
slaughterhouse floors. They all die to dilute
7.117 billion human grande caffe lattes with
milk originally designed for their own children.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Robert Cohen

What You Need to Know About the Terrifying Monsanto Protection Act – Truthdig

What You Need to Know About the Terrifying Monsanto Protection Act – Truthdig.


What You Need to Know About the Terrifying Monsanto Protection Act

Posted on Mar 28, 2013

Emily Wilson: A Farmer’s Life, in Focus and on Film – Interview – Truthdig

Alexis Charles Henry de Tocqueville
Alexis Charles Henry de Tocqueville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emily Wilson: A Farmer’s Life, in Focus and on Film – Interview – Truthdig.


A Farmer’s Life, in Focus and on Film

Posted on Apr 29, 2013

A Win for the Bees?

300px-Bee_Collecting_pollenthe-earth-is-not-dying Published on Monday, April 29, 2013 by Common Dreams A Win for the Bees: EU Votes to Ban Bee-Harming Pesticides Victory for bees, but more must be done to ensure safety of bee population, global food – Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer In a historic vote on Monday the European Union banned the use of bee-harming pesticides across the continent for a minimum of two years, garnering praise from environmental groups who have said that the population of the vital pollinators, along with the global food supply are in grave danger, due to the widespread use of the chemicals. The vote is the first of its kind and suspends three of the world’s most widely-used pesticides—known as neonicotinoids. However, critics have said the two year suspension is not enough, meaning bees are not safe until the chemicals are banned permanently. Though the vote did not reach the required majority under EU voting rules, the hung vote moves to the European commission (EC) who will implement the ban. “It’s done,” an EC source told the Guardian. The Pesticide Action Network reports: Despite pesticide industry influence, a majority of countries voted to place a two year restriction on three neonicotinoid products linked to a wide-range of harms to honey bees: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The EU vote comes after significant findings by the European Food Safety Agency that these pesticides pose an unacceptable risk to bees and their use should be restricted. Along with habitat loss and pathogens, a growing body of science points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key factor in drastically declining bee populations. The Guardian Reports: The landmark suspension is a victory for millions of environment campaigners concerned about dramatic declines in bees who were backed by experts at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). But it is a serious defeat for the chemical companies who make billions a year from the products and also UK ministers – who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban will harm food production. Paul Towers, a spokesperson for PAN North America today urged the U.S. to follow suit and listen to growing scientific evidence, rather than voices from the pesticide industry: European leaders followed the weight of the scientific evidence and moved swiftly to protect bees from the harms of neonicotinoid pesticides. U.S. officials, especially the Environmental Protection Agency, should be emboldened by European action rather than yielding to pressure from pesticide corporations. Unless U.S. officials act soon, bee populations may not recover, threatening the livelihood of beekeepers and the agricultural economies that rely on pollination and honey production. However, the vote is only a temporary ban on the use of the pesticides, which, according to critics, does not go far enough to protect the survival of bees. As Keith Tyrell, executive director of PAN-UK, stated: Whilst we welcome the EU vote as a significant step forward, we are dismayed that it is only a temporary half measure which goes nowhere near far enough in protecting our bees and other vital pollinators from the harm of neonicotinoid pesticides. Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton said: This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations. “Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators. “But pesticides are just one of the threats bees face – if David Cameron is genuinely concerned about declining bee numbers he must urgently introduce a Bee Action Plan. The countries that voted against the ban were: the UK, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Austria and Portugal. Ireland, Lithuania, Finland and Greece abstained. Those in favor: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, France, Cyprus, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden. from http://www.CommonDreams.

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Drei umstrittene Pestizide im Kampf gegen das Bienensterben in der EU vor einem Teilverbot

Im Kampf gegen das Bienensterben stehen drei umstrittene Pestizide in der Europäischen Union vor einem Teilverbot. In der entscheidenden Sitzung in Brüssel stimmten 15 EU-Länder dafür, den Einsatz der Mittel einzuschränken. Das Foto zeigt Imker, die in Brüssel für den Schutz der Bienen demonstrieren

AFP – Im Kampf gegen das Bienensterben stehen drei umstrittene Pestizide in der Europäischen Union vor einem Teilverbot. In der entscheidenden Sitzung in Brüssel stimmten 15 EU-Länder dafür, den Einsatz der …Mehr Mittel einzuschränken. Das Foto zeigt Imker, die in Brüssel für den Schutz der Bienen demonstrieren  Weniger

  • Für einen besseren Schutz von Bienen haben sich die EU-Mitgliedstaaten mehrheitlich für ein Teilverbot von drei umstrittenen Pestiziden ausgesprochen

Im Kampf gegen das Bienensterben stehen drei umstrittene Pestizide in der Europäischen Union vor einem Teilverbot. In der entscheidenden Sitzung in Brüssel stimmten 15 EU-Länder dafür, den Einsatz der Mittel einzuschränken, wie EU-Gesundheitskommissar Tonio Borg mitteilte. Während Umweltschützer das Abstimmungsergebnis begrüßten, kritisierte die Agrarindustrie die Entscheidung.Die drei Pestizide, zu deren Herstellern auch das deutsche Unternehmen Bayer gehört, stehen im Verdacht, Bienensterben zu verursachen. Borg hatte vorgeschlagen, die drei Pestizide aus der Gruppe der sogenannten Neonikotinoide für den Anbau von Mais, Sonnenblumen, Raps sowie Baumwolle für vorerst zwei Jahre zu verbieten. Erlaubt bleiben soll der Gebrauch der Chemikalien für Wintergetreide und Pflanzen, die keine Bienen anlocken. Die Neuregelung soll zum 1. Dezember in Kraft treten und nach zwei Jahren überprüft werden.

Zwar kam trotz des Votums der 15 EU-Staaten keine qualifizierte Mehrheit und somit keine direkte Entscheidung für ein Verbot zustande. Die Abstimmung ist aber dennoch eine gute Nachricht für die Pestizid-Gegner: Da sich bei vier Enthaltungen auch keine ausreichende Mehrheit gegen das Teilverbot fand, liegt die endgültige Entscheidung bei der EU-Kommission. “Ich verspreche, alles zum Schutz unserer Bienen zu tun, die so wichtig sind für unser Ökosystem und jährlich mehr als 22 Milliarden Euro zur europäischen Landwirtschaft beitragen”, stellte Borg klar.

Kritiker warnen, dass Neonikotinoide neben tödlichen Vergiftungen auch dazu führen, dass Bienen ihren Orientierungssinn verlieren und nicht mehr in die Bienenstöcke zurückfinden. Zudem würden auch andere Insekten geschädigt, was zum Hungertod von Vögeln führe. Umweltschützer warnen zudem, dass sich die Chemikalien in Böden und Grundwasser ablagerten. “Das heutige Votum zeigt glasklar, dass es eine überwältigende wissenschaftliche, politische und öffentliche Unterstützung für das Verbot gibt”, begrüßte Greenpeace-Landwirtschaftsexperte Marco Contiero das Abstimmungsergebnis.

Bayer kritisierte das bevorstehende Verbot hingegen als “Rückschlag für Technologie, Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit” und befürchtet, “dass die Aussetzung von Neonikotinoiden für die europäische Landwirtschaft zu mehr Pflanzenschäden, höheren Ernteausfällen, einer verminderten Lebensmittelqualität und einem Verlust an Wettbewerbsfähigkeit führt”. Bei richtiger Anwendung seien Neonikotinoide für Bienen keine Gefahr. Deren Gesundheit werde bedroht durch Milben und Viren, nicht jedoch durch die Pestizide.

Auslöser für Borgs Forderung nach einem Verbot war eine Bewertung der Europäischen Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA), die zu Jahresbeginn vor “etlichen Risiken für Bienen” durch die drei Pestizide warnte. Eine erste Abstimmung der EU-Länder im März ergab jedoch keine klaren Mehrheiten. Während Deutschland sich bei dem ersten Votum enthielt, sprach sich die Bundesregierung jetzt für ein Verbot aus.

Grund für den Sinneswandel war “die Klarstellung der EU-Kommission, dass Deutschland auch künftig an seinen strengen Regeln festhalten kann und den Schutz der Bienen nicht aufweichen muss”, erklärte Bundeslandwirtschaftsministerin Ilse Aigner (CSU). Deutschland hatte bereits 2009 in strenge nationale Bestimmungen zum Neonikotinoid-Einsatz eingeführt. Nun wurde noch einmal betont, dass diese durch die EU-Regelung nicht unterlaufen werden.üssel-photo-172438827.html

Latin America Threatened with Cancer Epidemic

Latin America threatened with cancer epidemic by Staff Writers Sao Paulo (AFP) April 25, 2013

Latin America faces a cancer epidemic, scientists warned Friday as they pressed for urgent action to reduce tobacco use and obesity and allocate more resources to control the disease.

The researchers spoke at the Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group (LACOG) 2013 conference at which they unveiled a groundbreaking study on soaring cancer cases in the region.

The study, published in the British journal The Lancet Oncology, points to around 13 deaths for every 22 cancer cases in the region, compared to around 13 deaths for every 37 cases in the United States and around 13 deaths for every 30 cases in Europe.

It estimated that by 2030, 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than one million deaths from cancer predicted to occur…

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EU set to ban Pesticides blamed for Decline of Bees! WE NEED YOU, BEES!

Desert with PhaceliaEU set to ban pesticides blamed for decline of bees: source by Staff Writers Brussels (AFP) April 25, 2013

The EU appears set to impose a two-year ban on the use of insecticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations, an EU source said Thursday.

A committee of experts is due to vote Monday on the ban in an effort to protect bees and other insects which play an indispensible role in food production through plant pollination.

A vote earlier this year failed to produce a large enough qualified majority in favour, forcing the European Commission to try a second time.

Under EU procedure, if Monday’s vote is the same, the Commission has the authority to proceed on its own with the ban.

“The most likely outcome will be the same as last time … and in that case, the Commission will decide to put the ban into operation,” the source said.

The Commission wants the insecticides banned for use on four major crops — maize (corn), rape seed, sunflowers and cotton — in a bid to protect the bee population.

“The nightmare scenario that there would be a qualified majority against the ban is virtually impossible,” the source added.

Experts have isolated three compounds causing concern — clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, known as neonicotinoids — which are present in insecticides produced by pharmaceutical giants Bayer of Germany and Switzerland’s Syngenta.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said earlier this year that the insecticides posed “disturbing” risks to bees and other pollinating insects vital for human food production.

Swiss-based agrichemical giant Syngenta has urged Brussels to withdraw the plan, saying the EFSA report was “fundamentally flawed.”

Ukraine marks Chernobyl disaster amid efforts


Ukraine marks Chernobyl disaster amid efforts to secure reactor by Staff Writers Kiev (AFP) April 26, 2013

Ukrainians on Friday lit candles and laid flowers to remember the victims of the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl 27 years ago, as engineers pressed on with efforts to permanently shield the stricken reactor.

On April 26, 1986, an explosion during testing sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

Dozens of people laid flowers and set lit candles in front of portraits at the monument to the Chernobyl victims in the small town of Slavutych, some 50 kilometres from the accident site, where many of the power station’s personnel used to live.

At the same time in the capital Kiev, officials and relatives of the victims also held a pre-dawn remembrance ceremony in front of a memorial.

“The memory of the…

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Microbes You Inhale on the New York City Subway

The microbes you inhale on the New York City subway by Staff Writers Washington DC (SPX) Apr 29, 2013

File image courtesy AFP.

The microbial population in the air of the New York City subway system is nearly identical to that of ambient air on the city streets. This research, published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, establishes an important baseline, should it become necessary to monitor the subway’s air for dispersal of potentially dangerous microbes.

Also, the combination of new methodologies in the study, including fast collection of aerosols and rapid sequencing technology, provide an efficient means for monitoring which was not previously available.

The results “are strong testimony for the efficiency of the train pumping system for ventilation,” says principal investigator Norman R. Pace of the University of Colorado, Boulder. The wind one feels while walking across a subway grate as the subway clatters beneath also demonstrates just how effective that system is, he says.

The only obvious differences in the subway’s microbial population are the somewhat higher proportion of skin microbiota, and the doubled density of the fungal population, which Pace suggests may be due to rotting wood. “I was impressed by the similarity of [subway] and outdoor air,” he says.

The researchers used a high tech mechanism to collect air at around 300 liters per minute (L/min), a big jump on the previous state of the art, which swallowed 12 L/min. That enabled collecting sufficient volume of air-a couple of cubic meters-to take the bacterial census within 20 minutes, instead of after “hours,” says Pace. And analysis by sequencing is far faster and more thorough then using culture.

Pace notes that until now, the microbial content of subway air was unknown, and that the microbiology of indoor air is an emerging field of scientific inquiry. His research was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, through its Microbiology of the Built Environment program, which has made 64 grants totaling $28 million to date.

“While it is difficult to predict what will be discovered on the frontier of scientific inquiry, the opportunity exists to better understand these complex microbial ecosystems and how they affect health and the environment. We expect that someday this knowledge will influence design and construction practices and other industrial processes,” says Paula Olsiewski, program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

A copy of the manuscript can be found online here. Formal publication is scheduled for the July 2013 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. (C.E. Robertson, L.K. Baumgartner, J.K. Harris, K.L. Peterson, M.J. Stevens, D.N. Frank, and N.R. Pace, 2013. Culture-independent analysis of aerosol microbiology in a metropolitan subway system. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. Published ahead of print 29 March 2013 ,doi:10.1128/AEM.00331-13)

Earth`s Center= 1,000 Degrees hotter than previously thought

The Earth’s center is 1,000 degrees hotter than previously thought by Staff Writers Grenoble, France (SPX) Apr 29, 2013

This artist’s view depicts the different layers of the Earth and their representative temperatures: crust, upper and lower mantle (brown to red), liquid outer core (orange) and solid inner core (yellow). The pressure at the border between the liquid and the solid core (highlighted) is 3.3 million atmospheres, with a temperature now confirmed as 6000 degrees Celsius. Credit: ESRF.

Scientists have determined the temperature near the Earth’s centre to be 6000 degrees Celsius, 1000 degrees hotter than in a previous experiment run 20 years ago.

These measurements confirm geophysical models that the temperature difference between the solid core and the mantle above, must be at least 1500 degrees to explain why the Earth has a magnetic field. The scientists were even able to establish why the earlier experiment had produced a lower temperature figure. The results are published on 26 April 2013 in Science.

The research team was led by Agnes Dewaele from the French national technological research organization CEA, alongside members of the French National Center for Scientific Research CNRS and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF in Grenoble (France).

The Earth’s core consists mainly of a sphere of liquid iron at temperatures above 4000 degrees and pressures of more than 1.3 million atmospheres. Under these conditions, iron is as liquid as the water in the oceans. It is only at the very centre of the Earth, where pressure and temperature rise even higher, that the liquid iron solidifies.

Analysis of earthquake-triggered seismic waves passing through the Earth, tells us the thickness of the solid and liquid cores, and even how the pressure in the Earth increases with depth.

However these waves do not provide information on temperature, which has an important influence on the movement of material within the liquid core and the solid mantle above.

Indeed the temperature difference between the mantle and the core is the main driver of large-scale thermal movements, which together with the Earth’s rotation, act like a dynamo generating the Earth’s magnetic field. The temperature profile through the Earth’s interior also underpins geophysical models that explain the creation and intense activity of hot-spot volcanoes like the Hawaiian Islands or La Reunion.

To generate an accurate picture of the temperature profile within the Earth’s centre, scientists can look at the melting point of iron at different pressures in the laboratory, using a diamond anvil cell to compress speck-sized samples to pressures of several million atmospheres, and powerful laser beams to heat them to 4000 or even 5000 degrees Celsius.

“In practice, many experimental challenges have to be met”, explains Agnes Dewaele from CEA, “as the iron sample has to be insulated thermally and also must not be allowed to chemically react with its environment. Even if a sample reaches the extreme temperatures and pressures at the centre of the Earth, it will only do so for a matter of seconds. In this short timeframe it is extremely difficult to determine whether it has started to melt or is still solid”.

This is where X-rays come into play. “We have developed a new technique where an intense beam of X-rays from the synchrotron can probe a sample and deduce whether it is solid, liquid or partially molten within as little as a second, using a process known diffraction”, says Mohamed Mezouar from the ESRF, “and this is short enough to keep temperature and pressure constant, and at the same time avoid any chemical reactions”.

The scientists determined experimentally the melting point of iron up to 4800 degrees Celsius and 2.2 million atmospheres pressure, and then used an extrapolation method to determine that at 3.3 million atmospheres, the pressure at the border between liquid and solid core, the temperature would be 6000 +/- 500 degrees. This extrapolated value could slightly change if iron undergoes an unknown phase transition between the measured and the extrapolated values.

When the scientists scanned across the area of pressures and temperatures, they observed why Reinhard Boehler, then at the MPI for Chemistry in Mainz (Germany), had in 1993 published values about 1000 degrees lower.

Starting at 2400 degrees, recrystallization effects appear on the surface of the iron samples, leading to dynamic changes of the solid iron’s crystalline structure.

The experiment twenty years ago used an optical technique to determine whether the samples were solid or molten, and it is highly probable that the observation of recrystallization at the surface was interpreted as melting.

“We are of course very satisfied that our experiment validated today’s best theories on heat transfer from the Earth’s core and the generation of the Earth’s magnetic field. I am hopeful that in the not-so-distant future, we can reproduce in our laboratories, and investigate with synchrotron X-rays, every state of matter inside the Earth,” concludes Agnes Dewaele.

S. Anzellini et al.: Melting of Iron at earth’s Inner Core Boundary based on Fast X-ray Diffraction, Science 26 April 2013; R. Boehler, Temperatures in the Earth’s core from melting-point measurements of iron at high static pressures, Nature 363, 534 – 536 (10 June 1993); doi:10.1038/363534a0