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Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  May 13, 2001


You eat us. You wear us. You sneak into the fields and tip us over.
Of course we're mad!

Jerry Seinfeld on Mad Cow


There is an addendum to this issue of Vegan Spam!


  • Weekly News
    • Good News for Ducks
    • Humor
    • Milk and Crohn’s: Again?
    • B12 Supplements
    • Mad Cow and Activists


Weekly News

Compiled by Jack Norris


Good News for Ducks

The best news of the week is that the USA chapter of Viva! has succeeded in convincing Trader Joe’s to drop duck meat. Viva!USA has been informing grocery stores and their customers about the factory farming of ducks in an effort to persuade them to stop eating or selling duck meat. Trader Joe’s was one of the stores Viva! targeted. They found out this week that Trader Joe’s has decided not to sell any more duck meat.



Awhile back, The Onion poked a bit of fun at animal activists. We thought it was worth sharing.

Animal-Rights Activists Release 71,000 Cows Into Wild


Milk and Crohn’s: Again?

In the April 15 issue of Spam, we linked to a PDF of Paratuberculosis and Crohn's Disease: Got Milk? by Michael Greger, MD. We now have the article in html and a few comments about it here.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation of the intestines which can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malabsorption of nutrients, and fistulas (holes in the intestines). It can occur in isolated parts of the intestines or it can be throughout the intestines.

People with Crohn’s suffer a wide range of intensity, and the symptoms tend to come and go. For some people, it can be life-threatening. People with Crohn’s are typically treated with steroids to decrease the inflammation. The steroids can have many unpleasant side effects. In short, it is not a disease anyone would want.

There has been much debate about the cause(s) of Crohn’s disease; it is generally considered to be unknown by most of the medical community. Michael Greger, MD has done a great deal of research on Crohn’s revealing that many, if not most, cases may be caused by a bacteria that is both hard to detect and hard to kill with typical antibiotic therapy. This bacteria resides in some cows and is likely transferred to humans through both milk and meat.

Unfortunately, some vegans have developed Crohn’s disease, which could lead someone to prematurely dismiss Dr. Greger’s research. However, there could be at least 4 explanations for a vegan getting Crohn’s:

  1. The bacteria may have a very long incubation period and these vegans were infected before becoming vegan.
  2. These vegans inadvertently ate some animal products.
  3. The bacteria may have routes other than animal products through which to infect humans.
  4. Crohn’s disease may have more than one cause.

Dr. Greger’s article is quite interesting and, once again, damning towards the animal agriculture industry which just can’t seem to live up to its responsibility of providing uncontaminated food. We encourage people to take a look at it.


B12 Supplements

Some people have been asking about what type of B12 supplements vegans should take [link to my article : )]. If you have not been regularly eating B12 fortified foods or taking a B12 supplement, we recommend starting off with sublingual B12. Using sublingual will ensure a rapid replenishment of your B12 stores. Here are two sources:

Both of these can be found at many health food stores as well as ordered on the Internet.

I would recommend allowing 1000 mcg per day to dissolve under your tongue until the bottle runs out.

After that, sublingual B12 would not be necessary and you can go back to eating fortified foods, a multivitamin containing B12, or normal (i.e., non-sublingual) B12 supplements. A vegan multivitamin can be purchased from Pangea.


Mad Cow and Activists

Recently, someone asked:

What is your opinion of PETA openly hoping for mad cow to come to the US. Help me out here. Doesn't it seem weird that PETA would be committed to welfarist reforms – a la McCruely, for example – while hoping that cows got horribly sick before being slaughtered?

One member replied:

I think Mad Cow in the U.S. is almost certain to increase people's consumption of chicken, hence vastly increasing the number of animals killed. It amazes me that so few activists seem to think about the chickens. I think many vegans are just so angry that they embrace anything that gives them the opportunity to say "I told you so!" to meat eaters (ignoring that one of the first three people to die of CJD in England was an ethical vegetarian.)

As beef and pork consumption have gone down because of health concerns, chicken consumption has steadily increased, and chicken has much less meat per animal. Personally, I wish people who make a gradual transition to veg would first give up chicken and pork, then beef, then fish, then shellfish.

I wrote to Professor Peter Singer about this some time back and he wrote: "I think it is dangerous to tie our arguments to something like BSE, because it implies that if this problem can be licked, then it is OK to eat beef. But what one can say, is that BSE made millions realize how ruthlessly profit-oriented the meat industry is, and how unnatural a diet they will feed to animals if it makes them money. Most people thought cows were vegetarians, and were startled to realize that they were getting fed slaughterhouse by-products."

So there is some way to use Mad Cow as a segue to discuss factory farming as a whole. But if it's just used to discuss the dangers of beef, I think it's counterproductive.


Every Donation Prevents Suffering

Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.

All donations are tax-deductible.

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