Filed Under: Uncategorized

A Potpourri Of Food Activist News

On Obesity, Peter Jennings Is Wrong
Former naval surgeon general Dr. Harold M. Koenig writes: “Kids are too fat today because they no longer get enough exercise.” Koenig offers a stinging critique of “How to get fat without really trying,” a recent ABC News Primetime broadcast: “Peter Jennings said on his ABC Special Report on Obesity that it is our agricultural policies and the food industry that is making our kids fat. Peter Jennings is wrong.”

Elected Official Goes On Illegal Farm Raid
They do things differently down under. A Green Party member of the Australian Parliament joined an activist group called “Animal Liberation” (a group that seems established enough to have a “chief executive”) as it broke into a pork farm. Government officials had inspected the farm in question only two months earlier and had found no violations of the law.

Animal Rights Hero Or Liar?
Animal rights activists are crowing over Virgil Butler, who was laid off from his job at a chicken processing plant and is now chronicling his “experiences.” A story on Butler, originally published in the Los Angeles Times and subsequently picked up by several other major papers, notes that “veterans of the animal-rights movement say Butler has done more for their cause than celebrity endorsements from actress Pamela Anderson and former Beatle Paul McCartney.” Only one problem: Butler appears to be an accomplished liar. The Los Angeles Times story reports that an assembly line brought a chicken to Butler every two seconds, and that he killed 80,000 birds a shift. If those numbers were accurate, Butler would have been scheduled to work super-human shifts of more than 44 hours. Moreover, Fox News reports:

The Times notes Butler is a recovering drug addict some of whose claims against Tyson could not be substantiated by police and government investigations. What The Times does not report is that police records show no manslaughter conviction and a military-records search shows no Virgil E. Butler ever served in the military, let alone in face-to-face combat in Panama. Indeed, Butler seems to have been working as a bricklayer’s assistant at the time.

Terrorizing An Animal Control Official
The head of Los Angeles’ animal control facilities “has seen his home vandalized, his face plastered on wanted posters and the word ‘murderer’ spray-painted in red on his car,” writes the Associated Press. Why? He’s dared to cross swords with a particularly vicious group of animal rights activists in Los Angeles. The ringleader of this intimidating crew is Jerry Vlasak, a violence-supporting spokesman for PETA’s medical front group, and the new treasurer of the high-seas-pirate Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

In-Flight Veganism
Speaking of PETA’s medical front group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine … The group released a study on vegan offerings in airports (disguised as a “healthy options” survey) last week. But as the Dallas Morning News reports, passengers weren’t impressed. “They should leave our airport food alone,” declared one. “Liz Parias of Las Colinas, who travels about once a month, said food isn’t her biggest concern when flying. ‘When you’re hungry, you’re hungry,’ she said. ‘You’re not going to please everyone.'” The vice president for concessions at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport noted: “The only complaint I’ve gotten about our restaurants here in eight years was that a man couldn’t find a place for ice cream one day.”

Milk Is Milk
Activist groups like the Center for Food Safety and the Consumers Union are carping about milk from cows treated with “recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone.” TIME writes that the FDA has already determined that, well, milk is milk — there’s no difference between milk from rBGH-treated cows and those raised in the 19th-century “natural” way. Could it be that the activists are more interested in crippling a big corporation than in protecting anyone’s health?

Anti-Meat Deception
The activist-driven “Meatless Monday” campaign has a new partner: the makers of vegetarian Gardenburger products. Shocker. Meatless Monday is a radical vegetarian program that owes its supposed respectability to public support from Johns Hopkins University (even though most of its funding comes from one New York activist socialite). Gardenburger, Johns Hopkins, and the Meatless Monday people continue to claim that “28 schools of public health” also support the idea of regimented weekly vegetarianism. But when we called Johns Hopkins, they refused to identify a single one of those university “supporters.”

PETA’s Notion Of Kindness
A glowing profile of PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in the Times of London suggests that “she has an almost childlike notion of kindness.” More likely — the journalist has a childlike notion of reporting. A cursory web search would have turned up any number of nasty quotes from Ms. Newkirk, including this one: “I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match.” Or perhaps this one: “Our nonviolent tactics are not as effective. We ask nicely for years and get nothing. Someone makes a threat, and it works.”

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