Saturday, November 29, 2008

Whole Mind Education

Animal Feelings: Learning Not to Care and Not to Know
By William Crain

At a recent New Jersey public hearing, the topic was a proposed bear hunt. A small boy walked up to the microphone, said his name was Bobby, and told the officials that shooting bears was horrible. "How would you like it if someone shot at you? You wouldn't like it, would you?" Then Bobby threw up his arms and said, "But you won't care what I say because I'm only seven years old," and walked back to his seat in a dejected manner.

Many parents and teachers have observed that young children are fascinated by animals and care deeply about them. Recent research has revealed that animals are so important to young children that they routinely dream about them. In fact, 3- to 5-year-olds dream more frequently about animals than about people or any other topic, and animal dreams continue to be prominent at least until the age of 7 years.

But as children grow up in the Western world they, like Bobby, find that their deep feelings for animals aren't shared by the dominant culture.

The rudest awakening occurs when children discover the source of the meat they eat. In a preliminary study of urban, middle class children, one of my undergraduate students, Alina Pavlakos, found that most 5-year-olds didn't know where meat comes from. They knew they ate meat, but when asked, "Do you eat animals?," most said, "Nooo!,"-as if the idea were outrageous.

Pavlakos found that children soon learn otherwise, most by the age of 6 or so. She and others also have informally observed that many children become distraught when they learn the facts. As Jane Goodall points out, some children want to become vegetarians at this point, but their parents rarely permit it.

In the years that follow, our culture seems to work in many ways to dampen children's sensitivity to animals-especially farm animals. Sometimes our language hides the identity of animals as food. We eat pork, not pigs; veal, not calves; meat, not flesh. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out that the English language more subtly distances us from animals by referring to them with the impersonal pronoun "it," as if they were mere objects. If a young person becomes interested in the science of animal behavior, she will learn to avoid the attribution of any human emotions, such as pain or happiness, to animals. The scientific custom is to view animals impersonally.

In a tour de force, our society has managed to keep the public largely in the dark with respect to factory farms, which produce nearly all the meant Americans consume. Factory farms subject animals to incredible suffering, but most adults know little about it. This, at least, is what another undergraduate student, Srushti Vanjari, and I have found. From December, 2005, to the present, we have distributed questionnaires to undergraduates at different colleges and to adults in hotel lobbies and a senior citizen center in the New York metropolitan area. In these samples, 73 to 90% of the adults rated their knowledge of factory farms as either slight or nonexistent (with a large majority of these respondents rating their knowledge as nonexistent).

Admittedly, our surveys are informal, and some of my friends question the results. They believe that the past decade has witnessed a dramatic rise in vegetarianism as people have become aware of the mistreatment of animals. But the most recent Harris poll, conducted in 2006, found that only 2.3% of American adults chose a vegetarian diet-a figure that is actually down from 2.8% in 2003.

At a time when there is so much emphasis on improving education, the widespread adult ignorance with respect to animal suffering is stunning. I hope educators will rise to the task of eliminating this ignorance. I hope, for example, that educators will introduce secondary school and college students to writers such as John Robbins, Peter Singer, and Jane Goodall, and will encourage discussions on animal emotion and treatment. Perhaps the day will come when the adults in our society, with their blinders removed, will share young children's fascination and empathy with animals.

Article by William Crain, Professor of Psychology
William Crain is professor of psychology at The City College of New York. He is the author of Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society and the editor of the journal, Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice. Dr. Crain advocates for the child's right to play and for the protection of nature and animals, and is co-founder of the Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Beekman, NY, where children and adults visit animals rescued from inhumane conditions.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Or How Sarah Palin Created a Whole New Generation of Vegetarians

Pay No Attention to That Turkey Being Slaughtered

Posing for photographers with her felled caribou, her child inches from its bleeding mouth, Sarah Life-Is-Precious Palin is not confused about where meat comes from.

So the turkey being slaughtered in full view of the camera as she conducted an interview at Triple D Farms in Wasilla this week probably doesn't phase her.

But most Americans don't want to see the transformations their turkey went through to get to their Thanksgiving dinner table.

How it lived, how it was shipped, who hung the struggling bird upside down on the conveyer to transport it to the awaiting blade, et cetera--are not thoughts that improve the taste of the cranberry sauce.

Nor will the economy get so bad people will have to take jobs as "live hangers" like Sam, not his real name, last year.

"Today I saw about 50 dead turkeys on the trucks, and about 80 live birds fell onto the floor," he writes in a diary he kept while working at House of Raeford Farms in Raeford, NC, the seventh largest turkey producer in the US.

"A worker tried to throw a turkey up to the double-sided dock from its rail side. The bird was about to hit the rail when another worker kneed the bird and then kicked it, knocking it back down to the floor. The worker threw the turkey a second time, but it hit the underside of the dock and dropped straight down to the cement floor for its third time that day. The bird lay in watery feces for about two hours before being picked up and hung on the line - the turkey could keep its head up and blink; it was otherwise motionless."

Mom or Grandma may put hours of care into roasting, basting, stuffing and perfecting their butter brown bird.

But care is not the operant word at the slaughter house as workers throw, swing and "box" at the birds as they unload trucks in video Sam shot.

One worker holds a turkey to be crushed under a truck's moving tires just for the heck of it; others pull heads and legs off turkeys for fun.

Workers insert their fingers into birds' cloacae (vaginal cavities), remove eggs and throw them at each other in a depraved game.
Because turkeys are drugged and bred to grow so quickly, their legs can't support their own weight and many arrive with broken and dislocated limbs says Sam. When you try to remove them from their crates, their legs twist completely around, offering no resistance--useless and limp.

The turkeys must be in a lot of pain but they don't cry out, observes Sam. In fact the only sound you hear as you hang them, he says, is the "trucks being washed out to go back and get a new load."

Most people admit they don’t want to watch laws or 40 pound Thanksgiving turkey carcasses made.

Nor do they want to watch a helpless turkey unceremoniously fed into a wood chipper behind Sarah Palin's head as KTUU TV broadcast.

But will they eat the same bird when it is passed to them on a plate next to mashed potatoes on Thursday? You betcha.

Martha Rosenberg is staff cartoonist on the Evanston Roundtable. She can be reached at

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sarah Palin's Turkey Pardoning Fiasco

Sarah Palin pardons a turkey in Wasilla, Alaska and things don't go so well in her interview after the pardoning.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Change Can Happen

Change Can Happen
Nov. 2008
By Ingrid E. Newkirk

When President-elect Barack Obama was born, numerous states would have prohibited his black Kenyan father from marrying his white Kansan mother. The Voting Rights Act was still a few years away, and the Supreme Court's order to desegregate schools was being fought tooth and nail. Look at how far we have come. Who alive then would have believed that just a few short decades later, Americans would elect their first black president?

We have broken through a significant barrier, but we cannot stop there. We must now break down the barrier that prevents us from caring about all the "others" who are "not like us," regardless of race, regardless of gender _ and regardless of species.

Prejudice and oppression come about because of a belief that "we" are important and that "they" are not.

In the days of slavery, for example, not so long ago, some people honestly believed that African men did not feel pain as white men do, that African women did not experience maternal love as white women do. And so it was quite acceptable to brand men's faces with a hot iron and to auction off slaves' children and send them vast distances away from their mothers. All evidence was to the contrary, yet highly educated people defied their own eyes and ears and common sense by denying the facts before them. Society accepted this horrible exploitation, and then, as now, it takes courage to break away from the norm, even when the norm is ugly and wrong.

Today, we have abolished human slavery, at least in theory. But we continue to enslave all the others who happen not to be exactly like us but who, if we are honest with ourselves, show us that they experience maternal love as we do, that if you burn them, they feel the same pain as we do, that they desire freedom from shackles as we do.

In their natural homes, elephants live in complex multigenerational social groups, mourn their dead and remember friends and relatives from years past. Yet we tear them away from their families, confine them with chains to stinking, squalid boxcars and beat them into performing ridiculous tricks for our amusement.

Rats are detested, yet even these tiny animals, mammals like us, have been found to giggle (in frequencies that can't be heard by the human ear) when they are tickled and will risk their own lives to save other rats, especially when the rats in peril are babies. Although no mouse or rat bankrupted our economy, invaded Iraq or set poison out for us, we dismiss their feelings as inconsequential and somehow beneath our consideration.

Mother pigs sing to their young while nursing, and newborn piglets run joyfully toward their mothers' voices. On factory farms, a sow spends her entire life surrounded by the cold metal bars of a space so small that she can never turn around or take even two steps. Chickens raised for the table fare even worse and have their beaks seared off with a hot blade. They will never enjoy the warmth of a nest or the affectionate nuzzle of a mate.

The time has come to stop thinking of animal rights as distracting or less deserving of our energy than other struggles for social justice. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." All oppression, prejudice, violence and cruelty are wrong and must be rejected no matter how novel the idea or how inconvenient the task.

And for those who think that we will never be able to achieve the dream of liberation from oppression, not just for human beings but for all beings, regardless of race or gender or species, I have just three words for you: Yes. We. Can.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boycott meat and dairy in the school lunch

School Lunches Should Provide Nourishment, not Disease
by Heather Moore

Time for schools to start teaching kids the importance of a healthy, low-fat diet. They can do this best, not in the classroom, but in the cafeteria. Health teachers' efforts to encourage children to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains will have little impact if the lunch ladies continue serving kids cheese pizza, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, chocolate milk and other high-calorie, cholesterol-laden foods that fatten our kids and send them on their way to an early grave.

According to the American Obesity Association, approximately 30 percent of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight and 15 percent are obese. Rates of obesity-related diseases-such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and hypertension-are rapidly rising in young people.

Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that children as young as two be screened for high cholesterol, and that kids as young as eight could start taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Schools can help remedy this problem by serving vegetarian meals. Unlike meat, eggs and dairy products, plant-based foods contain no cholesterol and have even been shown to reverse heart disease. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote, "Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer."

Fortunately, many progressive schools are making it easier for students to choose healthy cholesterol-free fare. Pinellas County Schools in Florida received the highest grade on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's (PCRM) 2007 school lunch report card. North Carolina's Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, and the San Diego Unified School District also scored high marks for enticing kids to eat healthier.

The Bloomfield Central School District in upstate New York provides locally grown vegetables and fruits, whole grain and bean salads, and vegan soups. Schools in Collier County, Fla., offer soy products and fresh fruits and vegetables. Grady High School in Atlanta has an all-vegetarian lunch line, and all 110 Gwinnett County Public Schools-

also in Atlanta-offer tofu-based corn dogs, veggie burgers, faux chicken sandwiches, soy milk and other vegetarian options.

A student-run Smart Cart at James Logan High School in Union City, Calif., was so successful that the school incorporated vegan foods into the regular lunch menu. Wayland Public Schools in Framingham, Mass. serve hummus, salad, and other vegetarian options, and students at schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District-the second-largest school district in the nation-have access to various vegan foods.

Kids at Rockland Country Day School in N.Y. are served only vegetarian meals, as are the preschoolers at BellaVita School in Longmont, Colo. The tots even help grow fruits and vegetables in a community garden.

It's time for all schools in the nation-private and public-to provide vegetarian meals to help our kids slim down and grow up healthy. After all, the school lunch line should be a source of nourishment, not disease. If your child's school serves vegetarian meals on a regular basis, please let me know about it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler


Gary Kazanjian for The New York Times
HERE’S THE BEEF This feed lot in in California can accommodate up to 100,000 head of cattle.

A SEA change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store — something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.

Gary Kazanjian for The New York Times Beef cattle raised for the Harris Ranch Beef Company, Coalinga, Calif. It’s meat.

The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally — like oil — meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible.

Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.

Just this week, the president of Brazil announced emergency measures to halt the burning and cutting of the country’s rain forests for crop and grazing land. In the last five months alone, the government says, 1,250 square miles were lost.

The world’s total meat supply was 71 million tons in 1961. In 2007, it was estimated to be 284 million tons. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over that period. (In the developing world, it rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years.) World meat consumption is expected to double again by 2050, which one expert, Henning Steinfeld of the United Nations, says is resulting in a “relentless growth in livestock production.”

Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about eight ounces a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total.

Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, calculated that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius. Similarly, a study last year by the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimated that 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

Grain, meat and even energy are roped together in a way that could have dire results. More meat means a corresponding increase in demand for feed, especially corn and soy, which some experts say will contribute to higher prices.

This will be inconvenient for citizens of wealthier nations, but it could have tragic consequences for those of poorer ones, especially if higher prices for feed divert production away from food crops. The demand for ethanol is already pushing up prices, and explains, in part, the 40 percent rise last year in the food price index calculated by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.

Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens. This despite the inherent inefficiencies: about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, an associate professor of economics at Stanford University. It is as much as 10 times more in the case of grain-fed beef in the United States.

The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States — much of which now serves the demand for meat — contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Because the stomachs of cattle are meant to digest grass, not grain, cattle raised industrially thrive only in the sense that they gain weight quickly. This diet made it possible to remove cattle from their natural environment and encourage the efficiency of mass confinement and slaughter. But it causes enough health problems that administration of antibiotics is routine, so much so that it can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the usefulness of medicines that treat people.

Those grain-fed animals, in turn, are contributing to health problems among the world’s wealthier citizens — heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes. The argument that meat provides useful protein makes sense, if the quantities are small. But the “you gotta eat meat” claim collapses at American levels. Even if the amount of meat we eat weren’t harmful, it’s way more than enough.

Americans are downing close to 200 pounds of meat, poultry and fish per capita per year (dairy and eggs are separate, and hardly insignificant), an increase of 50 pounds per person from 50 years ago. We each consume something like 110 grams of protein a day, about twice the federal government’s recommended allowance; of that, about 75 grams come from animal protein. (The recommended level is itself considered by many dietary experts to be higher than it needs to be.) It’s likely that most of us would do just fine on around 30 grams of protein a day, virtually all of it from plant sources.

What can be done? There’s no simple answer. Better waste management, for one. Eliminating subsidies would also help; the United Nations estimates that they account for 31 percent of global farm income. Improved farming practices would help, too. Mark W. Rosegrant, director of environment and production technology at the nonprofit International Food Policy Research Institute, says, “There should be investment in livestock breeding and management, to reduce the footprint needed to produce any given level of meat.”

Then there’s technology. Israel and Korea are among the countries experimenting with using animal waste to generate electricity. Some of the biggest hog operations in the United States are working, with some success, to turn manure into fuel.

Longer term, it no longer seems lunacy to believe in the possibility of “meat without feet” — meat produced in vitro, by growing animal cells in a super-rich nutrient environment before being further manipulated into burgers and steaks.

Another suggestion is a return to grazing beef, a very real alternative as long as you accept the psychologically difficult and politically unpopular notion of eating less of it. That’s because grazing could never produce as many cattle as feedlots do. Still, said Michael Pollan, author of the recent book “In Defense of Food,” “In places where you can’t grow grain, fattening cows on grass is always going to make more sense.”

But pigs and chickens, which convert grain to meat far more efficiently than beef, are increasingly the meats of choice for producers, accounting for 70 percent of total meat production, with industrialized systems producing half that pork and three-quarters of the chicken.

Once, these animals were raised locally (even many New Yorkers remember the pigs of Secaucus), reducing transportation costs and allowing their manure to be spread on nearby fields. Now hog production facilities that resemble prisons more than farms are hundreds of miles from major population centers, and their manure “lagoons” pollute streams and groundwater. (In Iowa alone, hog factories and farms produce more than 50 million tons of excrement annually.)

These problems originated here, but are no longer limited to the United States. While the domestic demand for meat has leveled off, the industrial production of livestock is growing more than twice as fast as land-based methods, according to the United Nations.

Perhaps the best hope for change lies in consumers’ becoming aware of the true costs of industrial meat production. “When you look at environmental problems in the U.S.,” says Professor Eshel, “nearly all of them have their source in food production and in particular meat production. And factory farming is ‘optimal’ only as long as degrading waterways is free. If dumping this stuff becomes costly — even if it simply carries a non-zero price tag — the entire structure of food production will change dramatically.”

Animal welfare may not yet be a major concern, but as the horrors of raising meat in confinement become known, more animal lovers may start to react. And would the world not be a better place were some of the grain we use to grow meat directed instead to feed our fellow human beings?

Real prices of beef, pork and poultry have held steady, perhaps even decreased, for 40 years or more (in part because of grain subsidies), though we’re beginning to see them increase now. But many experts, including Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University, say they don’t believe meat prices will rise high enough to affect demand in the United States.

“I just don’t think we can count on market prices to reduce our meat consumption,” he said. “There may be a temporary spike in food prices, but it will almost certainly be reversed and then some. But if all the burden is put on eaters, that’s not a tragic state of affairs.”

If price spikes don’t change eating habits, perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals.

Mr. Rosegrant of the food policy research institute says he foresees “a stronger public relations campaign in the reduction of meat consumption — one like that around cigarettes — emphasizing personal health, compassion for animals, and doing good for the poor and the planet.”

It wouldn’t surprise Professor Eshel if all of this had a real impact. “The good of people’s bodies and the good of the planet are more or less perfectly aligned,” he said.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, in its detailed 2006 study of the impact of meat consumption on the planet, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” made a similar point: “There are reasons for optimism that the conflicting demands for animal products and environmental services can be reconciled. Both demands are exerted by the same group of people ... the relatively affluent, middle- to high-income class, which is no longer confined to industrialized countries. ... This group of consumers is probably ready to use its growing voice to exert pressure for change and may be willing to absorb the inevitable price increases.”

In fact, Americans are already buying more environmentally friendly products, choosing more sustainably produced meat, eggs and dairy. The number of farmers’ markets has more than doubled in the last 10 years or so, and it has escaped no one’s notice that the organic food market is growing fast. These all represent products that are more expensive but of higher quality.

If those trends continue, meat may become a treat rather than a routine. It won’t be uncommon, but just as surely as the S.U.V. will yield to the hybrid, the half-pound-a-day meat era will end.

Maybe that’s not such a big deal. “Who said people had to eat meat three times a day?” asked Mr. Pollan.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Killer Milk

Killer Milk
Mass Media Control

The Milk pushers are a powerful group, they bribed the Nixon administration for favors. Milk was wrongly placed in the food pyramid. Milk is pushed on children through the school lunch programs. Milk has impressively branded itself as the ultimate health food and most Americans would not even question milk as a health food.

But should we? Absolutely! Why? Because it is our duty.

The problem got very serious when the milk industry and chemical behemoth Monsanto got together. Farmers were tricked into giving cows drugs that increased milk production by huge amounts---increased profits $$$----sound familiar and guess what the FDA told us it was safe. Other countries and experts say NO!

Here are some links

---Like all public elementary, middle and high schools, Fox River Grove only eligible for National School Lunch Program reimbursements if it promotes consumption of dairy products, including by putting up life-sized celebrity milk endorsement posters. These posters are sent unsolicited to schools by the National Dairy Council.

During Warwak's hearing, former Cornell University professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell testified that schools are harming their students by pushing dairy. source

National School Lunch Program means the program under which general cash-for-food assistance and special cash assistance are made available to schools. This part announces the policies and prescribes the general regulations with respect to the Special Milk Program for Children (the government subsidizes the Milk industry).

---Years later, as a high school freshman, I worked as an aide to the teacher who administered the free lunch program, helping her with the paperwork. She often noted that the school did nothing to verify eligibility; the only deterrents to massive fraud were honesty and shame. more here

---The government supports the NSLP through purchases of commodity food items, which schools depend upon heavily, typically comprising 20 percent of the foods they serve. And many of these foods are the unhealthy meats and cheeses gained from the USDA's industry bailout system. source


It is clear from these documents that the so-called calcium summit is, in reality, a carefully planned media blitz, planned and run by the largest public relations firm in the world, BSMG Worldwide. I've previously written about BSMG:

The most troubling part of the dairy industry marketing team, is that it includes police, media, USDA, public buildings, public money, and government subsidies. read this

Mass Media Control

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama A Vegan Socialist?

Obama A Vegan Socialist?
The Nutty Conspiracy

Kerry Trueman

Will Barack Obama use socialist tactics to spread the vegan agenda? Red meat-lovin' red-staters will really be seeing red after watching this clip from Talking Points Memo, which caught Obama on Wednesday confessing to a crowd at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina that, as a kindergartner, "I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

Oh, sure, it sounds innocent enough. That's because you haven't heard about a shadowy group of subversive sandwich shillers called The PB & J Campaign. No, they're not a bunch of bread boosters, or a front for the peanut lobby, or the jelly industry. The PB & J Campaign is a nutty group of "private citizens concerned about the environment" on a feel-gooey mission to convince Americans to "fight global warming by having a PB&J for lunch."

The PB & J Campaign's website is full of pro-plant propaganda illustrating just how much kinder to the environment a plant-based diet is than the resource-hogging, planet-polluting, livestock-based diet that most Americans eat. Their diagrams make the case for shortening our food chain, i.e. eliminating the middleman--or, rather, cow, pig, or chicken--and consuming plant foods directly.

In any pyramid, taking out a level lets you shrink the base. So, when you cut the livestock step out and eat plants directly, it takes a lot less of the plants to support you.

The nut-lovers at The PB & J Campaign have crunched the numbers:

...the water it takes to produce the beef on one burger could produce peanuts for about 17 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the land that it takes to produce that beef could produce peanuts for 19 PB&Js.

We've already had one pro-peanut president, and you know how that turned out. Jimmy Carter had that crazy fixation with energy independence, slapping solar panels on the White House roof and flaunting his woolly cardigan agenda.

In fact, the peanut has long been the preferred legume of liberals, going back to the mid-19th century when African American scientist George Washington Carver made it the foundation of his sustainable agriculture agenda for the South. Carver, a brilliant botanist, came up with something like a hundred different products made from peanuts, "including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin."

Another one of Carver's goals, according to Wikipedia, was to undermine "through the fame of his achievements and many talents, the widespread stereotype of the time that the black race was intellectually inferior to the white race."

So now, once again, a smart, ambitious black man is promoting peanuts. Is Obama part of a plant-based plot to conserve land and water and feed people more efficiently instead of pigging out on animal products at the expense of the entire universe? Has he secretly taken the PB & J pledge? When he talks about uniting red states and blue, is it some kind of coded reference to grape-jelly purple?

Look for the folks at Fox to get to the bottom of this--they may not know about eating low on the food chain, but they do know how to go low.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Salim Stoudamire Quote on USAToday

"The consumption of dairy, especially at the younger ages, is a problem"


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Monday, November 3, 2008

Melting Pot in Hell


Orthodox Jews and Latinos are clashing in Postville, IA. Somalis and Latinos are clashing in Shelbyville TN. Somalis, Latinos and Sudanese are clashing in Grand Island, NE. And you'd think it has nothing to do with slaughterhouses.

It's about prayer breaks during Ramadan, paid holidays, cultural clashes and "assimilation into the American melting pot," say news reports. Not the $8 an hour knocker, sticker, bleeder, tail ripper, flanker, gutter, sawer, and plate boner slaughterhouse jobs that even Americans prisoners on work release won't do.

Since US immigration officials began plucking 2,000 illegal Latino workers from meat packing plants in late 2006, hundreds of Somalis have taken up the cudgel, pun intended.

Unfortunately, it has led to new problems.

When Tyson Foods made Eid al-Fitr instead of Labor Day a paid holiday for Somali workers at its Shelbyville, TN plant in August there was such a backlash from other workers, they had to reverse the decision.

When JBS Swift's Grand Island, NE plant gave striking Somali workers the concession of an earlier dinner break so they could pray at sunset, it sparked a counter demonstration of whites, Hispanics and Sudanese workers charging favoritism.

Prayer rights have conflagrated at the JBS Swift plant in Greeley, CO and Gold'n Plump poultry processor plants in Cold Spring and Arcadia, WI.

And the death of a slaughterhouse worker from TB at a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse in 2007--the employee was reported as "injured while helping prepare an animal for slaughter"--brought tempers to a froth in Emporia, KN.

"Was Tyson attempting to deceive the public as to the reason or cause for this employee's death?" asked a commentator on the Emporia Gazette's web site.

"When the Gazette ran a story that Tyson's was testing employees and none of them had TB…who was lying to us, the Gazette or Tyson's?" posted another.

Entries raising questions about the safety of workers and food products at the plant followed.

The plant has since closed.

Of course the Poster company for immigration abuse is Postville, IA-based Agriprocessors, the nation's biggest kosher slaughterhouse, which lost half of its work force to an immigration raid in May.

Agriprocessors has been charged with illegally using child labor, physical and sexual abuse of workers, acts of inhumane slaughter, unsafe working conditions, requiring 11-17 hour shifts with no overtime pay, paying wages below minimum wage and shorting pay checks.

Even Barack Obama commented on the Agriprocessors ethical black hole on a campaign stop in Davenport, IA, remarking, "They have kids in there wielding buzz saws and cleavers. It's ridiculous."

But read about Postville since the raid and you'd think you were reading a Steinbeck novel.

You'd think the robed Somalis and Hasidic Jews, "beetle nut spitting" Palauans and Guatemalans in post-arrest ankle bracelets as the Des Moines Register describes them were gathered for an international film festival instead of to disembowel animals for $6 an hour.

You'd think the Somalis and Palauans were in Iowa for the crisp fall air instead of as the result of a concerted campaign by Big Meat to hire two cheap labors pools allowed to work legally in the US due to special arrangements with the government.

The story is not about the niceties of religious observance, cultural assimilation and the wonders of the melting pot in small towns in America that happen to have slaughterhouses.

It's about jobs that can only be filled with children, people with TB, African refugees and Pacific islanders used to earning $2.50 an hour.

It's about the fact that America cannot afford its cheap meat habit without imported labor.

It's about what's for dinner.

Martha Rosenberg is staff cartoonist on the Evanston Roundtable. She can be reached at

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The Dairy Industry Endorses Statutory Rape!


It's a crime committed when an adult has sexual intercourse with a minor. Who is a minor? Anyone under the age of 18. What can happen if an adult has sex with a minor? If reported, that person may be arrested, tried in a court of law, and sent to jail. What happens if the sex is consensual? Even if they both agree to have sex, it's still statutory rape and it's against the law.


"Pacey Witter" is the 16-year-old high school sophomore hunk on "Dawson's Creek," a favorite television show for pre-teens, teens, and my three daughters. Last year, Joshua Jackson's character was seduced by his high school English teacher, Miss Jacobs.

Television handled the controversy appropriately, and Miss Jacobs was severely disciplined and ultimately had to resign. Does television mimic real life?


This year the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board approached Joshua Jackson. After all, if drugs can be used to sell milk (Mark McGwire) and cartoon characters used to sell milk to children (Rugrats, Kermit, Garfield), why not use forbidden sex to make milk attractive to teenagers?


Sexy and virile-looking Joshua Jackson sits in a rowboat, holding a glass·of milk. The white creamy milkstache is applied to his upper lip. His comment:

"I can't help it. Women of all ages look up to me. Why? I'm 1.88m (6 foot 2). Thanks in part to milk. The calcium helps bones grow strong. Considering 15% of your adult height is added when you're a teenager, that's good to know. Especially if you want to impress, let's say, an older woman.


Statutory rape is a felony crime. Teachers who rape their students should be subject to the severest of penalties. There should be no mercy for predatory adults, whether male or female, who engage in sexual activity with their students.


Jackson's character had sex with an "older woman," his English teacher. She was lucky, even by television's standards, not to go to jail. In real life, teachers receive prison sentences.


The thought of having sex with a minor might excite certain adults and provide sexual fantasies to naïve and inexperienced teens and pre-teens. However, responsible adults seek to protect children from predatory acts of sexually deviant criminals.


A teacher, who I will identify simply as Mary, developed more than just a bond with one of her students at Shorewood Elementary School in Seattle. She had an affair with the young man and became mother to his child. She now resides in a federal prison. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Mary said:

"There was a respect, an insight, a spirit, an understanding between us that grew over time." By the time the boy was 13, teacher and student were having sex. In May, just before the boy's 14th birthday, Mary gave birth to his child. Her life in ruins, his life forever affected, society learns no lesson from this real-life case and the dairy industry uses it as an opportunity to sell milk.


Children in high school are aware of sex. By age 14, hormones are surging and young girls have developed into women. Generations of young men have lusted after young girls since the beginning of time. Are third graders ready for such an assault?


The dairy industry has no conscience. Neither does Bozell International, the advertising agency hired to create milkstache ads. Last week, as the school term wound down and children looked forward to their summer vacations, a nation-wide GOT MILK campaign delivered their message to school age children.

My nine-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, brought home a colorful shiny three-foot by two-foot poster/book cover appealing to children of all ages. Garfield the cat was on that ad and so were the Back Street Boys, Tyra Banks, Mark McGwire, and Joshua Jackson, the boy who wants to "impress older women."

Fold the book cover at the spine, and the dairy industry Internet site appears ( A bright red invitation is made to "Enter the thirst for knowledge contest and win $2,500."


Like Eve offering the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge to Adam, the dairy industry's thirst for knowledge has become an enticement for children of all ages to have sex with their teachers. Wear a milk mustache like the star of "Dawson's Creek." Have sex with an older teacher like the star of Dawson's Creek."

Morality be damned! Proudly wear that milk mustache. Especially if you want to "impress, let's say, an older woman."


We saw your milk ad in TIME,
Dairy folks have committed a crime,
We wrote letters to editors,
About sexual predators
How they abuse kids in their prime.

As for your indiscretion,
Calcium builds no erection,
And you've helped spread a message that's criminal.
Propaganda's your lesson,
On account of your profession-
Spreading milk brainwashing, so subliminal.


Read the Archbishop of New York's response to my concerns. (click title for 80kb graphic of letter).

Robert Cohen author of: MILK - The Deadly Poison
Executive Director
Dairy Education Board

Dear Meat-eating Parents

Dear Fox River Grove Parents

Fox River Grove parents, your school system is actively keeping gravely serious information from you and your children. People deserve all the information so they can choose wisely about things such as living an extra 10 to 12 years or never having to worry about many cancers, heart attacks or strokes.

I am simply offering information and have not forced food or beliefs down people's throats. Imagine if just saying or writing something could force people to change.

It is not a "personal choice" when you are eating my friends and you are ruining my world. My tax money subsidizes your "personal choice". When you made your "personal choice", did you ask the animal if you could confine, torture, and murder him or her? When you made your "personal choice", did you ask me if I mind all your pollution and devastation? Just because we personally make selfish choices does not make them "personal choices".

Humane education reinforced with a vegan school lunch will end school shootings and create a generation that cares. When children see that adults care enough to change, they will care in turn. This is too serious of an issue to leave alone just because some wish to eat unimpeded.

NW Herald

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Perils of meat

After trying to teach the evils of meat to our children, there was a 143 million-pound recall that was too late for our children in the school system. Turns out, 384 pounds of the recalled meat from Westland was made into taco meat and fed to our children at Fox River Grove Middle School in April and the months after of 2007.

You can confirm this with Jim Copp, Principal Consultant Division of Nutrition Programs and Support Services Illinois State Board of Education. USDA announced the recall for fears of mad cow disease. I was fired for trying to warn the kids and if just one of them gets Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which is the human form of mad cow disease, who are we to blame?

How sad it would be if one Fox River Grove child, just one child gets a brain-wasting disease through our fault. It is called spongiform encephalitis for a good reason. The brain turns into a sponge. I know what you are thinking. It cannot happen here. Meat and dairy have no place in the school lunch program. Animals were never food. We were raised wrong. We are teaching wrong.

Hey Mr President

New York Times
The Food Issue
Farmer in Chief

Dear Mr. President-Elect,
It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.

In the end, shifting the American diet from a foundation of imported fossil fuel to local sunshine will require changes in our daily lives, which by now are deeply implicated in the economy and culture of fast, cheap and easy food. Making available more healthful and more sustainable food does not guarantee it will be eaten, much less appreciated or enjoyed. We need to use all the tools at our disposal — not just federal policy and public education but the president’s bully pulpit and the example of the first family’s own dinner table — to promote a new culture of food that can undergird your sun-food agenda.

Changing the food culture must begin with our children, and it must begin in the schools. Nearly a half-century ago, President Kennedy announced a national initiative to improve the physical fitness of American children. He did it by elevating the importance of physical education, pressing states to make it a requirement in public schools. We need to bring the same commitment to “edible education” — in Alice Waters’s phrase — by making lunch, in all its dimensions, a mandatory part of the curriculum. On the premise that eating well is a critically important life skill, we need to teach all primary-school students the basics of growing and cooking food and then enjoying it at shared meals.

To change our children’s food culture, we’ll need to plant gardens in every primary school, build fully equipped kitchens, train a new generation of lunchroom ladies (and gentlemen) who can once again cook and teach cooking to children. We should introduce a School Lunch Corps program that forgives federal student loans to culinary-school graduates in exchange for two years of service in the public-school lunch program. And we should immediately increase school-lunch spending per pupil by $1 a day — the minimum amount food-service experts believe it will take to underwrite a shift from fast food in the cafeteria to real food freshly prepared.

But it is not only our children who stand to benefit from public education about food. Today most federal messages about food, from nutrition labeling to the food pyramid, are negotiated with the food industry. The surgeon general should take over from the Department of Agriculture the job of communicating with Americans about their diet. That way we might begin to construct a less equivocal and more effective public-health message about nutrition. Indeed, there is no reason that public-health campaigns about the dangers of obesity and Type 2 diabetes shouldn’t be as tough and as effective as public-health campaigns about the dangers of smoking. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in three American children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes. The public needs to know and see precisely what that sentence means: blindness; amputation; early death. All of which can be avoided by a change in diet and lifestyle. A public-health crisis of this magnitude calls for a blunt public-health message, even at the expense of offending the food industry. Judging by the success of recent antismoking campaigns, the savings to the health care system could be substantial.

There are other kinds of information about food that the government can supply or demand. In general we should push for as much transparency in the food system as possible — the other sense in which “sunlight” should be the watchword of our agenda. The F.D.A. should require that every packaged-food product include a second calorie count, indicating how many calories of fossil fuel went into its production. Oil is one of the most important ingredients in our food, and people ought to know just how much of it they’re eating. The government should also throw its support behind putting a second bar code on all food products that, when scanned either in the store or at home (or with a cellphone), brings up on a screen the whole story and pictures of how that product was produced: in the case of crops, images of the farm and lists of agrochemicals used in its production; in the case of meat and dairy, descriptions of the animals’ diet and drug regimen, as well as live video feeds of the CAFO where they live and, yes, the slaughterhouse where they die. The very length and complexity of the modern food chain breeds a culture of ignorance and indifference among eaters. Shortening the food chain is one way to create more conscious consumers, but deploying technology to pierce the veil is another.

Finally, there is the power of the example you set in the White House. If what’s needed is a change of culture in America’s thinking about food, then how America’s first household organizes its eating will set the national tone, focusing the light of public attention on the issue and communicating a simple set of values that can guide Americans toward sun-based foods and away from eating oil.

The choice of White House chef is always closely watched, and you would be wise to appoint a figure who is identified with the food movement and committed to cooking simply from fresh local ingredients. Besides feeding you and your family exceptionally well, such a chef would demonstrate how it is possible even in Washington to eat locally for much of the year, and that good food needn’t be fussy or complicated but does depend on good farming. You should make a point of the fact that every night you’re in town, you join your family for dinner in the Executive Residence — at a table. (Surely you remember the Reagans’ TV trays.) And you should also let it be known that the White House observes one meatless day a week — a step that, if all Americans followed suit, would be the equivalent, in carbon saved, of taking 20 million midsize sedans off the road for a year. Let the White House chef post daily menus on the Web, listing the farmers who supplied the food, as well as recipes.

Since enhancing the prestige of farming as an occupation is critical to developing the sun-based regional agriculture we need, the White House should appoint, in addition to a White House chef, a White House farmer. This new post would be charged with implementing what could turn out to be your most symbolically resonant step in building a new American food culture. And that is this: tear out five prime south-facing acres of the White House lawn and plant in their place an organic fruit and vegetable garden.

When Eleanor Roosevelt did something similar in 1943, she helped start a Victory Garden movement that ended up making a substantial contribution to feeding the nation in wartime. (Less well known is the fact that Roosevelt planted this garden over the objections of the U.S.D.A., which feared home gardening would hurt the American food industry.) By the end of the war, more than 20 million home gardens were supplying 40 percent of the produce consumed in America. The president should throw his support behind a new Victory Garden movement, this one seeking “victory” over three critical challenges we face today: high food prices, poor diets and a sedentary population. Eating from this, the shortest food chain of all, offers anyone with a patch of land a way to reduce their fossil-fuel consumption and help fight climate change. (We should offer grants to cities to build allotment gardens for people without access to land.) Just as important, Victory Gardens offer a way to enlist Americans, in body as well as mind, in the work of feeding themselves and changing the food system — something more ennobling, surely, than merely asking them to shop a little differently.

Michael Pollan, a contributing writer for the magazine, is the Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author, most recently, of “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.”

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

No charge in vegan handouts


FOX RIVER GROVE – A former District 3 art teacher and outspoken vegan embittered over his dismissal has been distributing a 700-plus page book that chronicles his firing.

David Warwak, 45, allegedly posted a request via the Internet for his former students to meet him at a Fox River Grove McDonald's after school May 23. He gave numerous copies of the book, "Peep Show for Children Only," to middle school children, Fox River Grove Police Chief Ron Lukasik said. Lukasik said police became aware of the book after a mother complained May 27. The mother said her daughter, along with several other students, was pictured in it. The police since have recovered six copies of the book that were given to District 3 students.

Police and McHenry County prosecutors reviewed the book and determined that although Warwak did not have permission to include the photos, he would not be charged with any crime. Civil charges could be possible, Lukasik and First Assistant State's Attorney Tom Carroll said. "While we certainly do not condone what he did – we don't think it was appropriate – ... we are unable to charge Mr. Warwak with violation of any criminal statute," Carroll said.

Warwak said there was nothing inappropriate about distributing information on veganism, the practice of not eating any animal products. "With all the school shootings that happened and the climate of schools today, something has to change, so I offer solutions in the book," Warwak said. "Humane education is what's needed. ... That's what's missing in school."

The soft-cover, self-published book – a large, rambling text – is mostly transcripts from various proceedings regarding Warwak's dismissal last year sprinkled with rants about society's obsession with eating meat and animal products, such as milk. It also contains correspondences with students. The school board said in terminating him last fall that Warwak ceased teaching art and turned his classroom into an indoctrination zone, telling students to keep his teachings secret. At least two versions of Warwak's book exist. Warwak said the one that his students received was a draft. Another is available online for $29.95. The online version is 487 pages long.

Warwak, who lives in Williams Bay, Wis., said he distributed the drafts to 15 to 20 students. Students, he said, are more receptive to his message. "Kids see it because they're still in touch with their heart, and adults don't see it," Warwak said. "Adults, they flip out, and they don't want kids to even check it out." Warwak said he was not surprised that police looked into the books, but no parents had called. "I know that the school was upset, and I know that police were going to kids' houses," Warwak said. "Anyone can contact me at any time. I'm not hiding from anyone."

Warwak described himself on the back cover of the book as a social critic, humanitarian and philosopher who "just as Scopes changed the landscape of education with his 'Monkey Trials' some 80 years ago, Warwak has come forward in present day with striking revelations about our current failing educational system and offers clear no-nonsense solutions that chill one to the bone. This book is for all ages and for all time."

An excerpt from "Peep Show for Children Only": "The beef industry knows all about me. They documented my initial emergence on the scene. Funny how they monitor such things. ... Too bad these losers can't control the internet. People are finding out. The gig is up! The internet shall set us free!"

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Face the truth

Face the truth

I find it very disturbing that schools hide veganism from children and promote false dairy industry advertisements. School administrators have proven they do not care to change – even when children’s lives are at stake.

What can be more important than children’s lives?

Schools should be delivering truth; instead, money-hungry administrators promote evil lies and sell out the children we entrusted them to care for.

Children want all the information and appreciate having choices – especially when their own health and well-being are in danger. The philosophy learned in classrooms today becomes the philosophy of society tomorrow.

Schools avoid humane education and teach students to be ignorant and apathetic.

Not knowing and not caring are different things. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is nothing to sweep under the rug. I wonder how people will feel in 10 to 15 years when the children of today are the “dropping-like-flies” adults of tomorrow. It breaks my heart, but at least I know I did everything possible to let people know.

Moreover, because the people in charge wish to oppress the trusting children, I vow to continue informing generations to come.

Fox River Grove, welcome to the new world of beef recalls, truth, and responsible vegan teachers.

Dave Warwak
Williams Bay, Wis.

Original Text at NW Herald

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Can In-Class Huckstering Make Milk Cool to Teenagers?

By Martha Rosenberg

(Best Syndication News)
During the Keating Five real estate boom, they used to ask what is the difference between an Arizona real estate agent--male or female--and a 65 Mustang? Not everyone's had a 65 Mustang was the answer.

Today, they might ask what is the difference between a 65 Mustang and posing for a Got Milk ad.

Is there anyone who hasn't posed with a milk mustache except O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector? And they may be looking at the paperwork now.

Like Wendy's Where's the Beef ads in the 80's, people love Got Milk ads because they're zany, don't take themselves too seriously and are infinitely repeated.

But like Wendy's ads, they also don't sell product.

In fact, since 1983 when the National Dairy Board (NDB) and National Fluid Milk Board (FMB) began advertising milk, consumption has gone down every year and is at its lowest point ever.

Lower than 1983 even if the population hadn't grown by one person.

Worse the National Dairy Board (NDB) and National Fluid Milk Board (FMB) spent a $1 billion on milk advertising to get it that way.

Over the years, NDB and FMB have tried to portray milk as 1) good for your bones 2) good for PMS 3) good for sports' performance and 4) good for weight loss--with varying degrees of failure and calls for correction from the medical community.

But it has been NDB and FMB's desire to make milk "cool" that drives most milk advertising--and the placement of posters with musicians and sports heroes on the walls of 60,000 elementary schools and 45,000 public middle and high schools across the nation.

And now NDB and FMB have another toehold in the schools.

Students at three California high schools, Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, the Center for Advanced Research and Technology near Fresno and Orange High School in Orange in California, will get a chance to create their very own Got Milk campaigns aimed at their peers in seven week advertising and marketing classes to be taught this fall.

Lucky winners will get an all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco to present their ideas to the milk board and its ad agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, $2000 and a chance to have their campaign used in future milk marketing.

Of course cynics might say, $2000 is a pretty cheap price to intensively sell your product inside the classroom for seven weeks--and even get teenagers to sell it for you. Bet milk sales aren't tanking at those schools.

But ad execs says the use of citizen admen-- inviting consumers to create ads for other consumers in a "two-way conversation"--is the way of the future.

And NDB and FMB have other cool initiatives.

Like White Gold and the Calcium Twins, a Spinal Tap-like musical group that rocks out about milk's benefits to hair, teeth, nails and biceps on MySpace, YouTube and television--NDB and FMB's milk advertising 2.0.

And Gotmilk's new "extreme" web site which shows an animated "happy" farm with cows, chickens, ducks, pigs and a horse working out on a treadmill while milk cartons move by on a conveyor belt and a helium balloon that says Tell Your Friends keeps appearing.

"Do you think drinking calcium fortified beverages like soy drinks and orange juice will meet your bones' requirements," asks the new site, selling against healthful beverages instead of the soft drinks NDB and FMB say they are against. "Not really, says research that concluded 75% of calcium added to popular beverages gets left at the bottom of the carton."

Then there's the disclaimer popup which confesses that milk's actual benefits for "bones, PMS, sleep, teeth, hair, muscles, nails" have been "purposefully exaggerated so as not to bore you"--a condescending and cutesy non sequitur that amounts to a breach of truthfulness and contempt toward the very demographic it seeks.

Of course by now most people know milk is not a health elixir but a suspension of fat, calories and cholesterol that contributes to obesity, diabetes, allergies and several cancers.

Nor is it humane as the nation eyes California's bellwether Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, which is expected to pass.

Dairy cows' "exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup," writes Ryan Huling, college campaign coordinator for in Ohio University's The Post in October, "after several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally."

On animal cruelty the NDB and FMB also show derision and contempt, stating with an apparent giggle, "No animals were harmed in the making of this site. In fact the animals aren't even real. If you think we could get a real pig to wear curlers you're bonkers."

Got insensitivity?