Corporate ownership of vegetarian companies

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Somehow, this bothersome piece of news slipped under my radar: ConAgra acquires vegeterian foods maker Lightlife Foods.

Lightlife is the makers of veggie favorites Gimmie Lean and Smart Dogs. ConAgra, on the other hand, is the company that recalled 19 million pounds of ground beef after several weeks and almost all of the infected meat had been consumed.

While a few may see this as a giant beef processors “seeing the light,” I see it as a frightening sell out by a company who has provided a quality line of meat substitutes. I can only hope that other small manufacturers of vegetarian products don’t follow Lightlife’s lead.

Oh well… just another company for me to avoid supporting.

(thanks to Nava Atlas for passing this news along…)

The Monkey Militia

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Man shoots monkey that was nursing its baby.

Monkey dies, man’s arrested, but the baby won’t let go of the mother.

Police take dead monkey and baby to the police station.

Thirty monkeys swarm the station. A couple of them sneak in and take the baby. Wow.

(via Vegan Porn)

Vegan cyclist, 70, rides 100 miles a day

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Jason R., a Vegan.com reader, passed along a great story from my former neck-of-the-woods: En route to healthy living aboard his trusty bicycle.

70-year-old Bill Cotton is an avid bicyclist that recently rode 340 miles in 40 hours, all in one trip. Cotton coverted to an almost entirely vegan diet about four years ago and rides about 100 miles a week. “My barbecue ribs are the best in the world, but I don’t cook them anymore” … “Instead, he satisfies his palate with cheesecake and bread pudding made from tofu.”

Surely, an inspiring story of someone who eats well and takes care of himself, even in old age.

Organic news/CSAs

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Rebecca Blood, a prominent blogger and author/editor of several recent books about blogs, frequently covers vegetarian/environmental issues on her site. One story from the last few days is especially worth passing on:

The not-so-sweet success of organic farming takes a look at some issues that make organic much less sustainable than the idealism behind it. What I got from this article: 1.) Organic farming on a global scale is something that needs some examination. Enacting such programs often makes heavy use of nonrenewable resources, which goes against the ideal of organic farming and sustainable agriculture. 2.) Organic may be good, but locally grown organic is best. Community Supported Agrictulture programs are looking better and better to me. 3.) When the federal government gets too involved with anything, the original ideals and motivations often get lost in the shuffle of beaurocracy.

I took a little time to check out more about CSA and I really like the idea. My college friend Pat paricipates in a program like this further south in Virginia and he’s spoken well of it. But I didn’t think such programs existed near where I live. Surely I would have heard about them, right?

Wrong. With a quick search online, I found a number of different programs nearby that even include an option to have the food delivered to your hometown for a small fee. The price for membership isn’t too extravagent, either, with around $300 getting you basic membership for a season. Read more about the CSA Movement and think about how a program like this could work into your life.