Written by PETA
As fingers are pointed over exactly who or what is responsible for the outbreak of a deadly new strain of E. coli in Germany, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce have taken most of the heat. But just like you can't squeeze blood from a turnip, you can't get E. coli from a cucumber—at least that's not where it originates.
The root of the problem isn't a root at all. E. coli bacteria live in the intestines and feces of animals, which is why most E. coli outbreaks are associated with meat. When plants do become contaminated, it is because they came into contact with infected meat (via a cutting board or countertop) or because infected animal waste was used to fertilize crops or leaked into waterways. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh.
The World Health Organization is suggesting that people keep raw meat away from other foods. But while the heads of farmers and lettuce continue to roll in Europe, perhaps researchers and government agencies should stop lobbing tomatoes at produce stands and pay a visit to the factory farms.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
If fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and dehydration aren’t your idea of ‘healthy,’ step away from the turkey burgers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service recalled nearly 55,000 pounds of Jennie-O All-Natural turkey burgers when the meat was found to be infected with salmonella hadar, which is resistant to antibiotics. So far, cases have been reported in 10 states, although the turkey was distributed nationwide.
Besides the fact that turkey flesh is devoid of fiber and is loaded with even more fat and cholesterol than many cuts of beef, the USDA reports that one out of eight turkeys is infected with salmonella. The cramped, filthy conditions on factory farms enable bacteria to spread like wildfire, and the antibiotics routinely given to birds to keep them alive long enough to be slaughtered contribute to the development of drug-resistant "superbugs."
The good news is that you can get the taste of turkey without the icky-ness by gobbling up Tofurky, Tofu Turkey, Native Food's Holiday Wellington, or Gardein's Veggie Turkey Breast.
Rock icon and animal defender Pink recently fired off a letter to President Obama asking him to find out why the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has closed three investigations into serious allegations of cruelty to animals by the Ringling Bros. circus without taking action. The investigations expired because of the statute of limitations—a delay caused by the USDA, the very department that was supposed to be investigating Ringling!
PETA is challenging the Office of General Counsel to reopen these investigations because the following animals suffered and died while in Ringling's "care":
Five years ago, while still serving as a senator, Barack Obama asked the USDA on PETA's behalf for an update on these pending cases and was assured that appropriate action was being pursued.
The lack of action in these investigations is particularly troubling since government officials have already been found to be in cahoots with Ringling.
We're also calling on the USDA to seize four elephant traveling with Ringling right now who are suffering from painful arthritis. Please don't wait to speak out for these animals—they need you now.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Michael Vick was released from prison early this morning after less than two years behind bars and is headed back to Hampton, Virginia, where he'll serve the final two months of his sentence under house arrest.
In January, after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Vick's dogfighting activities revealed that Vick had enjoyed placing family pets in the ring with the pit bulls he'd bred, raised, and trained to fight, PETA called on NFL Commissioner Goodell to require that Vick undergo a full psychological evaluation before any decisions were made about the future of his football career.
Until Michael Vick undergoes the rigorous psychiatric tests now available to determine his ability to experience remorse, there's no way to establish whether he will reoffend. Someone who trained dogs to torture and kill one another for sport, who drowned and hanged dogs who wouldn't fight, and who laughed while watching his own family dogs fight for their lives as they were maimed and finally killed does not deserve to be rewarded with a multimillion-dollar contract or be given the privilege to serve as a role model to millions of children. PETA will not take anything off the table when it comes to any team or league that may sign Michael Vick.
In the meantime, PETA has increased our efforts to get other athletes on board to speak out against dogfighting. Houston Rockets forward Ron Artest, mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz, and world welterweight champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley, who shot an anti-dogfighting ad for PETA this week, have all spoken out against this cruel and illegal blood sport.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winners of the vegan chocolate bars are Heather, Saucy, and Mary L. Congratulations!
Raise your hand if you're a junk-food junkie. Yeah, me too. Candy, chips, fried stuff—whatever your fix is, we're all in this together.
Luckily for those of us with a major sweet tooth, Go Max Go Foods has a brand-new line of chocolate bars that mimics some popular candies—but without all those unhealthy animal products, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils. But wait, it gets better: You could win a chance to taste-test them yourself!
How do you win? Leave us a comment about your favorite vegan junk food. Check out this list if you need help with ideas. Three winners will win a pack of all four candy bars from Go Max Go.
Written by Lianne Turner
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.