Save Bear Cubs by Ending the Spring Bear Hunt in Alberta
by: Care2 Team
target: Alberta Fish and Wildlife
64,640 SUPPORTERS – 65,000 GOAL
A black bear cub in Alberta, Canada has no idea just how lucky he is to be alive.
Earlier this week, a 14-year-old boy was out with a family friend hunting for bears. They were perched high above the forest floor in lookouts that were attached to trees. In a video that has now gone viral, a bear cub that was accompanying his mother decided to take a closer look at the strange contraption that was hanging high above its head. The bear climbed to the height of the lookout, gave the young boy a few sniffs, then lost interest and headed on its way.
Millions of people saw the video and many commented as to how cute they thought the interaction was. But in reality, there is nothing cute about what the hunters were doing.
Hunting bears is cruel in and of itself, but Spring bear season is even worse. During the season, female bears have cubs. If a hunter shoots one of these bear mothers, the cubs would have almost zero chance of survival. They would most likely die of starvation.
While it is illegal to kill a female with cubs, there is no guarantee a hunter will abide by the law, or recognize a mother bear before they’ve pulled the trigger.
Alberta should recognize that the spring bear hunt is cruel and end it right away.
Please sign the petition and ask Alberta Fish and Wildlife to end the Spring bear hunt.
Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on September 26, 2013.
You know the statistics that eating red meat will take years off your life, and you’ve probably heard of pink slime. If, for some reason, you’re still hesitating, here are seven reasons why you might want to think twice before eating your next steak.
Thinking about turkey burgers for dinner tonight? You may want to think again.
A report from the Food and Drug Administration found that, of all the raw ground turkey tested, 81 percent was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But ground turkey wasn’t the only problem. These bacteria were found in some 69 percent of pork chops, 55 percent of ground beef and 39 percent of chicken.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are known as superbugs. The use of antibiotics on factory farms, in order to bring animals to slaughter faster or to make up for crowded conditions on feed lots, is one of the reasons why antibiotic resistance is on the rise.
Government data has revealed that one antibiotic-resistant strain of a germ called Enterococcus faecalis, normally found in human and animal intestines, was prevalent in a wide variety of meats. This means that the meat likely came into contact with fecal matter — and that there’s a high likelihood that other antibiotic-resistant bacteria is present too.
How’s that burger looking now?
Antibiotics are used in livestock to make animals grow faster and to prevent disease. Some 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics were sold in 2011 for meat and poultry production — compared with the 7.7 million sold for human use, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. And that number has been on the rise.
Dr. Gail Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, believes the use of antibiotics in animals is out of hand:
We feed antibiotics to sick animals, which is completely appropriate, but we also put antibiotics in their feed and in their water to help them grow faster and to compensate for unhygienic conditions. If you have to keep the animals healthy with drugs, I would argue you need to re-examine the system. You don’t take antibiotics preventively when you go out into the world.
3. Cleaning products
School districts and parents had not been aware that some 7 million pounds of meat served up in school cafeterias was coming from scraps swept up from the floor. These meat parts were then sent through a series of machines, which grind them into a paste, separatesout the fat and lace the substance with ammonia to kill bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli.
The end product, known as pink slime, looked disgusting. And the puffs of ammonia used to kill the bacterium E. coli really grossed everyone out.
It turns out there’s also another cleaning product used in meat production. According to the website MeatPoultry.com, “99 percent of American poultry processors” cool their “birds by immersion in chlorinated water-chiller baths.”
4. Meat glue
What you think is a slab of meat, perhaps a filet mignon, often turns out to be comprised of meat scraps held together with something commonly referred to as “meat glue.” Officially known as “transglutaminase,” the product has its origins in the farming industry, when the natural enzyme was harvested from animal blood. Nowadays, it is produced through the fermentation of bacteria.
The FDA has ruled that meat glue is “generally recognized as safe,” and it is required to be listed as one of the ingredients. However, it’s unlikely that any restaurant or banquet hall would list the ingredients of its meat on the menu.
Ever thought of going vegetarian?
5. Chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals
In 2010 the Department of Agriculture’s inspector general condemned the U.S. for allowing meat containing pesticides, heavy metals, veterinary drugs and other chemicals to reach supermarket shelves. That’s because the country’s standards for testing meat for pesticides and chemicals were so lax that, in 2008, Mexico turned back a shipment of American beef because it didn’t meet its standards for copper traces.
How about a veggie burger instead?
American beef is so heavy in hormones that the European Union has said it doesn’t want the product. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures claims that hormone-heavy beef production poses “increased risks of breast cancer and prostate cancer,” citing cancer rates in countries that do and don’t eat U.S. beef. Perhaps you didn’t know that the synthetic hormones zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate are a routine part of the recipe for production of U.S. beef.
7. Carbon monoxide
Have you ever wondered why those steaks on the supermarket shelf are so red? That’s because as much as 70 percent of meat packages in stores are treated with carbon monoxide to keep the meat’s red color — oxymyoglobin — from turning brown or gray — metmyoglobin — through exposure to oxygen.
According to Ann Boeckman, a lawyer with a firm representing major meat companies, consumers do not need to worry about being deceived. “When a product reaches the point of spoilage, there will be other signs that will be evidenced—for example odor, slime formation and a bulging package—so the product will not smell or look right.”
Good to know.
Photo Credit: USDA/Flickr
A building El Niño in 2018 signals more extreme weather for 2019
By Eric Holthaus on May 22, 201811:39 am
In case you couldn’t get enough extreme weather, the next 12 months or so could bring even more scorching temps, punishing droughts, and unstoppable wildfires.
It’s still early, but odds are quickly rising that another El Niño — the periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean — could be forming. The latest official outlook from NOAA and Columbia University gives better-than-even odds of El Niño materializing by the end of this year, which could lead to a cascade of dangerous weather around the globe in 2019.
That’s a troubling development, especially when people worldwide are still suffering from the last El Niño, which ended two years ago.
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These early warnings come with a caveat: Predictions of El Niño at this time of year are notoriously fickle. If one comes, it’s impossible to know how strong it would be.
When it’s active, El Niño is often a catch-all that’s blamed for all sorts of wild weather, so it’s worth a quick science-based refresher of what we’re talking about here:
El Niño has amazingly far-reaching effects, spurring droughts in Africa and typhoons swirling toward China and Japan. It’s a normal, natural ocean phenomenon, but there’s emerging evidence that climate change is spurring more extreme El Niño-related events.
On average though, El Niño boosts global temperatures and redistributes weather patterns worldwide in a pretty predictable way. In fact, the Red Cross is starting to use its predictability to prevent humanitarian weather catastrophes before they happen.
All told, the the U.N. estimates the 2016 El Niño directly affected nearly 100 million people worldwide, not to mention causing permanent damage to the world’s coral reefs, a surge in carbon dioxide emissions from a global outbreak of forest fires, and the warmest year in recorded history.
In Ethiopia, it spawned one of the worst droughts in decades. More than 8.5 million Ethiopians continue to rely on emergency assistance, according to the UN. That includes some 1.3 million people — a majority of whom are children — who have been forced to migrate from their homes.
Initial estimates show that, if the building El Niño actually arrives, 2019 would stand a good chance at knocking off 2016 as the warmest year on record. With a strong El Niño, next year might even tiptoe across the 1.5 degree-Celsius mark — the first major milestone that locks in at least some of global warming’s worst impacts.
Recently, the United Kingdom’s Met Office — the U.K’s version of the National Weather Service — placed a 10-percent chance of the world passing the 1.5 degree Celsius target before 2022. That target was a key goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement because a sharp upward spike in temperature that severe, if sustained, would be potentially catastrophic — causing, among other impacts, “fundamental changes in ocean chemistry” that could linger for millennia, according to a draft UN report due out later this year.
Another El Niño is bad news, but it has been inevitable that another one will happen eventually. Knowing exactly when the next one is coming will give those in harm’s way more time to prepare.
Confusing New GMO Labels Help Big Ag, Not Consumers – Chemical Free Life
Published by Chemical-Free-Life.org
If there was ever a way to assist Big Ag in selling GMO food products, this is it…
USDA Unveils Prototypes For GMO Food Labels, And They’re … Confusing
Foods that contains genetically modified ingredients will soon have a special label.
We recently got the first glimpse of what that label might look like, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its proposed guidelines.
This is the product of a decades-long fight between anti-GMO campaigners and Big Agriculture companies, which left neither side completely satisfied…
After Congress passed a bill in 2016 requiring labels on foods containing GMO ingredients, the USDA launched a long process to figure out the specifics.
Confusion for Consumers
“…they look like a little smiley face. They’re very pro-biotech, cartoonishly so, and to that extent are, you know, not just imparting information but instead are essentially propaganda for the industry.”
-George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety
The letters B-E stand for bioengineered — a term critics say is unfamiliar to the U.S. consumer, compared to more commonly used phrases like genetically engineered or GMO.
“It’s misleading and confusing to consumers to now switch that up and use a totally different term, bioengineered, that has not been the standard commonplace nomenclature for all of this time.”
-George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety
Big Ag Loves the New Labels
…industry representatives such as Nathan Fields, the director of biotechnology and crop inputs at the National Corn Growers Association, say the new “Bioengineered” term provides a clean slate.
The National Corn Growers Association was supportive when Congress passed the mandatory disclosure standards, in part because states such as Vermont were creating their own rules about labeling genetically engineered foods…
More than 90 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. Soy, like corn, is also more than 90 percent genetically engineered. That means that the majority of processed foods containing ingredients such as soy, canola oil or corn starch, also contain modified genetic material.
More Obstacles for Consumers to Know What is In Their Food
Polls show that a majority of Americans want to know whether their food is genetically engineered.
…but it is not certain that the USDA will require the label to actually say “bioengineered”…companies could simply use a QR code, a kind of barcode that a phone can scan, to disclose info about the product. Industry professionals say they are clear and easy to use.
But critics say scanning a code would be one more obstacle for people who want to know how their food is made.
“People who aren’t in a place where there’s good wi-fi won’t know if it’s a GMO, and people who don’t use smartphones won’t know if it’s a GMO and also people who are in a hurry won’t know if it’s a GMO.”
-Dr. Glenn Stone, a Washington University in St. Louis anthropology professor who focuses on genetically modified crops