On Cruelty to Peacocks and Other Animals...

A recent local news item that caught our attention was about a peacock in Makaha that was bashed with a baseball bat and left to die a painful death.

According to the report, a condo resident was kept awake at night by crowing peacocks in the condomium complexes grounds, she said the incessant noise drove her "cuckoo". Not being able to take it anymore she grabbed a peackok by the tail and "whacked him in the head" and then threw it away in the bushes. The peacock took an hour to die, all the while crying in pain. The police were called and the woman was charged for animal cruelty, and has made appearances in court.

More about brutal peacock bashing – “is it ok to kill innocent animals in any circumstance?”

Another letter to the editor about the vicious peacock bashing attributes the outcry to the “barbaric behavior” and the “viciousness” of the attack, but then paradoxically says it is ok to “go hunting legitimately with the right gun”. In other words it is ok to kill innocent animals so long as it is done quickly with the minimum amount of pain to the animal. And of course, we agree, if you are going to kill an innocent animal please do it as quickly and painlessly as possible, as causing the poor creature unnecessary pain and suffering is abominable and the result of hard heartedness.

Obesity may be linked to obese people not feeling full

An interesting article was published yesterday (June 10, 2009) in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/health/10eating.html?_r=1&hpw. The article discusses a study conducted by Dale S. Bond, assistant professor of research at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. Key findings were as follows:

FDA gains power to regulate Big Tobacco

In front page news today is a story about a landmark victory over the tobacco industry. The article “Senate grants FDA power to regulate Big Tobacco”, published by the Honolulu Advertiser, tells of how the federal government will likely soon have the power to regulate the manufacturing and marketing of cigarettes, and will gain the power to stop the addition of things like “cherry” flavoring to cigarettes, and the use of marketing targeted towards young people, such as the infamous Joe Camel. Quoting from the article:

Why is it a bad thing to eat marlin but a good thing to eat cows?

Another interesting story today is that Wegmans (a major east coast grocery chain) is urging supermarkets and restaurants to stop selling marlin as part of the "Take Marlin Off The Menu" campaign, organized by conservation groups. The grocer stopped selling marlin in September.

My question is, what about the cows? Why is it a bad thing to eat marlin but a good thing to eat cows?

Meat: a functional health food?

The Times of India published an article yesterday (June 14, 2009) promoting meat as a functional food with many health benefits and talks about how the health benefits of meat can be enhanced by better processing, i.e. by adding ingredients. Some points from the article: "Adding probiotics to fermented meat products (i.e. sausage) may lead to health benefits, although this application is still marginal.

Senate committee considers soda tax to combat obesity

Another interesting article today is that a Senate committee considers soda tax to combat obesity. The Senate Finance Committee is looking to add a tax to all sugar-filled drinks and alcohol. Opponents of this tax say sugary sodas and juices are not the main culprits in America's obesity battle, and supporters believe that the taxes could reduce consumption while offsetting some health care costs.

The original predatory lender?

There was a great comic in the Honolulu Advertiser today, June 16, 2009, with the caption "The original predatory lender" with a picture of the earth with a big sign on it saying "Fine Print: failure to curb emissions in time may result in draconian climatological adjustments", and an inhabitant of the earth looking at the sign in puzzlement thinking "what the?".

Down to Earth's Earth News

Check out our latest e-newletter that has several great stories and news about upcoming events. Visit www.downtoearth.org to read it.

The e-newsletter tells of our July 2nd "30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale – Love Life, Save Money", with 30% off on more than 100 items that you can use for your Independence Day celebration. The e-newsletter also includes the following great quote:

"We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner?'"
K.D. Lang
(Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter)

The real cause of climate change

In the news today is an article about the Obama administration issuing warnings on climate change in what was called the "grimmest, most urgent language on climate change ever to come out of any White House." The scientists softened the message by saying "it's not too late to prevent some of the worst consequences by acting aggressively to reduce emissions of heat trapping gases, principally carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels."

The China Study - eat a plant based diet to avoid and reverse disease

There is a startling new book called “The China Study” written by Dr. Colin Campbell that contains the answers to the nation’s health care crisis. And what is that answer? It is not compulsory health care, it is not the spending of billions of dollars on hospitals.

Slain monk seals remembered

In the Honolulu Advertiser today (June 19, 2009) there is an article about a ceremony held yesterday in Kauai to remember two slain monk seals who were recently killed (murdered) over the past two months. Jeff Walters of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said "We're here to show respect for the seals that were lost, and for all seals and all wildlife." Approx. 100 people attended the ceremony. The two monk seals, members of an endangered and protected species, had been shot.

Peacock bashing will go to jury trial

According to the Honolulu Advertiser today (June 20, 2009) the woman accused of killing a "squawking peacock" plead not guilty to the charge of second-degree misdemeanor cruelty to animals and demanded a jury trial. The woman admitted that she killed the peacock in remarks to a TV crew and to police.

Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, who, according to news reports is considering making a run for mayor, stated "Clearly, taking a baseball bat to a peacock is not something that is tolerated by the law."

Another incidence of E coli 0157 contamination

In the news is another outbreak of E coli 0157:H7 that has resulted in the recall of Nestle’s refrigerated cookie dough.

E coli 157 lives in the intestines of cattle. It is often found that the cause of E coli contamination in vegetables, as in the case of the spinach contamination of a few years ago, is due to contamination from cattle feces. E coli does not occur naturally in vegetables, it only gets on them due to contamination either in the fields, in processing, or distribution.

New documentary - Food Inc.

The following is an edited version of a National Public Radio show of June 12, 2009 about Food Inc., a new movie. The new documentary Food Inc. takes aim at corporate giants behind the U.S. food supply. Director Robert Kenner and food advocate and author Michael Pollan made the film to raise Americans' awareness about where their food really comes from. Pollan says he wanted to address "the pastoral illusion we're spinning in the way we market food... You would think it comes from farms and that ranchers with big hats are producing the meat."

Swine flu linked to modern factory farming of pigs

According to a May 8, 2009 article published on Natural Foods Merchandiser's website (Natural Foods Merchandiser is the leading natural products industry publication) there is a link between the modern factory farming methods for pigs and the Swine Flu outbreak. The story states: "Mounting evidence suggests that the recent outbreak of swine flu, or the H1N1 virus, may have begun as a result of massive-scale farming practices.

Sugar beets likely to be the next untested and unregulated GMO crop

GMO sugar beets are likely to be the next untested and unregulated GMO crop. Unless stopped by a pending federal lawsuit. Farmers are planning to plant the Monsanto GMO sugar beets in Boulder Colorado (Boulder is home to many of the nation's organic and natural foods companies). The following is from a Natural Foods Merchandiser June 10, 2009 article:

Electric cars, are they the best way to reduce greenhouse gases?

Front page news today in the Honolulu Advertiser is that "a private company that state officials hope will put Hawaii on the road to the widespread use of electric vehicles expects to begin installing infrastructure here in about six months."

The company plans to install "between 20,000 - 30,000 recharging stations that can be used by electric vehicles in homes, office buildings, parking lots and public and private facilities."

"We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner?'"

Another article in the Honolulu Advertiser today is called "Pets are people too, according to poll." The article presents the results of a telephone poll and reports that 50% of those polled consider their pet as much a part of the family as anyone else in the household, with another 36% saying they are part of the family but not a full member.

The Non-GMO Project

Starting this fall, a “Non-GMO Project Verified” logo will begin appearing on products in stores, for the first time giving shoppers an informed choice about whether or not to consume GMOs. The logo is backed by North America’s first consensus-based Standard for GMO avoidance, as well as its only independent, 3rd party Product Verification Program. All of this is the result of years of work by dedicated retailers, producers, farmers, and other stakeholders, collaborating through the Non-GMO Project.

DTE Nutrition Class a big success!

Last Saturday's nutrition class held at out King Street store was a huge success with 30 customers signing up in advance and attending the program. Attendees learned:

The physical, ethical and envioronmental reasons to go Veggie
How to easily balance meals to ensure proper nutrition
Why getting enough protein without eating meat is simple
The real truth behind behind common nutrition myths and misconceptions
How to prepare a delicious vegetarian meal

USDA accepting comments on GE crop regulations

In the waning months of the Bush Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a proposal to completely overhaul its regulation of genetically engineered crops, significantly weakening its oversight. The proposed rules would virtually ensure that contamination of organic and conventional crops will become even more frequent, and even excuses the Agency from taking any action to remedy such contamination.

Wienermobile on the roll

Okay, today I have to comment on the “Wienermobile on the roll” story in the Hawaii section of the Honolulu Advertiser, a “feel good” story about a Wienermobile, a car with a bun and hot dog built over it that gives kids and adults some “fun”. What can be wrong with that? Some amusement for the keiki and for their parents in these tough economic times is a good thing right? The Wienermobile arrived in Honolulu yesterday. The following is from the story:

Do you truly want to be a wiener?

Well, the wiener story has generated some interest, with eight (8) comments so far and counting! Yeah, sausages are disgusting, yet that truth is well hidden, and clever marketing like the Wienermobile keeps it that way. The Honolulu Advertiser and other media are continuing to promote the Wienermobile, they must not have read my blog post yet!

JBS Swift Beef Co. expands recall

In the news today is a story about a beef recall, with 380,000 pounds of possibly E coli contaminated beef being recalled. E coli contamination occurs in the slaughterhouse when meat (i.e. animal flesh) gets contaminated by animal feces.

Grain based cattle diets promote the growth of E. coli. Cattle that eat a normal diet of grass or hay do not have the pathogenic strains of E coli like 0157:H7 that is responsible for more than 20,000 infections and 200 deaths each year in the United States.

July 2nd 30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale

The following is our press release about Thursday's 30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale - hope to see you there: Down to Earth July 2nd 30% Off Guiltless Grilling Sale Love Life! Save Money! Honolulu (June 29, 2009) – Down to Earth will hold a “Guiltless Grilling Sale” this Thursday July 2nd in which customers will get at least 30% off of more than 100 items for a vegetarian picnic. The sale has been timed to make it easier for vegetarians, friends of vegetarians, and those interested in a vegetarian lifestyle to be able to celebrate Independence Day with a vegetarian cookout.

Oh yeah, our July 2nd (this Thursday) 30% off Guiltless Grilling Sale will be great!

HappyinHawaii and Veghead are excited about our July 2 (i.e. this Thursday) 30% off Guiltless Grilling Sale! And they should be, we have 30% off all the products you need for your 4th of July grill, and not only that, as with everything at Down to Earth, these products are all vegetarian, so no need to worry about eating any nasty slaughtered animal products while you have a great grill to celebrate the 4th of July!