1) First, in the LA Times, a vegan activist details the varied flavors of abuse she got after creating a petition asking In-N-Out Burger to add a veggie burger to its menu:
…dozens of vile Facebook screeds calling me: un-American, a fascist, a moron, delusional, an imbecile, fanatical, disgusting, disgraceful, a control freak sociopath, and the worst part of the human race….It turns out veggie burgers persecute religious groups (“You’re attacking a CHRISTIAN BUSINESS and it is WRONG”), seek to destroy American values, and are hell-bent on ruining everyone’s good time.
We have learned that this single menu addition could lead to In-N-Out, and quite possibly the whole country, becoming “a gender-free, multicultural safespace to cuddle in” that’s populated by “the worst types of humans.”
Eternal vigilance and all that… Still! That’s a heckuva fuss to make over a veggie burger. (The petition has 36,000+ signatures right now, btw. Please sign it!)
2) Relatedly, and music to my ears: Reuters reports that a group of forty large investors representing more than $1.25 trillion in assets is urging the top global food companies to shift to plant-based proteins:
“Investors want to know if major food companies have a strategy to avoid this protein bubble and to profit from a plant-based protein market set to grow by 8.4 percent annually over the next five years,” Coller said. The campaign follows an Oxford University study which said $1.5 trillion in healthcare and climate change-related costs could be saved by 2050 if people reduced their reliance on meat in their diet. The study also pointed to growing political pressure on companies to change, citing a consultation in Denmark on the introduction of a red meat tax and a Chinese government plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50 percent, FAIRR said.
Among the companies being addressed: Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Unilever, Tesco and Walmart.
3) If you’ve ever had gall bladder problems then you might have some inkling of the agony bile farm bears endure their entire lives—trapped in tiny cages, and with their gall bladders constantly “milked” for bile for use in Asian folk remedies. Happily Laos has just announced that, in compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) treaty, it will close all its bile farms—and all its tiger farms for good measure. (Tigers are also used for folk remedies, as well as the pet and trophy trade.) The tigers and bears will be sent to sanctuaries. (No word on the lions, tho…)
5) Personally, I can’t wait for dairy to die:
Some of the nation’s largest dairy producers will pay $52 million to settle an antitrust class action with consumers in 15 states and the District of Columbia….The dairy producers were accused of conspiring to prematurely slaughter more than 500,000 cows between 2003 and 2010 to limit the production of raw milk and drive up prices for yogurt, sour cream and other dairy products.
Fortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll have to wait long. (See, also, this article on how dairy farmers are converting their land into almond groves. Wheee! And because I know someone’s gonna bring it up: here’s a piece on water use in almond farms versus dairy.)
Looking forward to your thoughts and fauna-related news (and nondairy milk preferences) in the comments.