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Health

THE WHEAT AND THE CHAFF: Will ‘Vegans’ take the Coronavirus vaccine?

CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN: The hunt for a coronavirus vaccine has been horrendous for some animals. As part of the drive to save human lives, thousands of cheeky monkeys, ferrets, cats, mice and hamsters have been deliberately infected and experimented on in labs. Pfizer and BioNTech, the big pharma companies behind the vaccine that caused excitement yesterday, have treated monkeys and mice with contempt. While their human researchers have been protected with elaborate PPE, the animals in their care have been trapped and deliberately infected. Some were injected with an inoculation first and some…

JUST LIKE US: ‘Gunda’, Joaquin Phoenix’s new ground-breaking animal rights documentary

JUDE DRY: Gunda is an experimental black-and-white film about the life of farm animals that took this year’s Berlin Film Festival by storm. “Gunda” is the latest in a trilogy of nature films from Russian documentary auteur Victor Kossakovsky, whose 2018 film “Aquarela” broke technological barriers to examine water in various shapes around the world. After viewing an early cut of “Gunda,” Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix was so moved by the film that he came on as an executive producer. Phoenix has a long history of advocating for animal rights and related issues (including in his 2020 Academy…

GREEN & LEAN: Beyond Meat announces new ‘better-for-you’ plant-based burgers

CHLOE SORVINO: As demand for plant-based products surge, Beyond Meat is making sure it keeps its health-conscious consumers coming back. The company today announced it will be releasing two new lean burger lines next year. Beyond’s latest iterations will now have about 3 grams of saturated fat in its leanest version (55% less than 80/20 beef) and 5 grams in the other (35% less). That’s thanks to new (and proprietary) processing that helps Beyond better distribute the fat it uses to bind its pea and brown rice protein together. “We're trying to deliver more juice and more of that savory,…

Bruce Friedrich: Will plant-based meat become the new fast food?

NEIL KING: McDonald’s introduction of the "McPlant" product line is further proof that meat alternatives are here to stay. But can they really replace meat in the long run? Bruce Friedrich is the founder and executive director of the Good Food Institute (GFI), an international non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., that strives for alternatives to conventional agriculture products. DW's environment podcast team "On the Green Fence" spoke with Bruce about the future of food as part of a series on meat consumption: DW: What, in your opinion, is wrong with eating meat? Industrial…

PICK YOUR POISON: Canada reports first case of rare H1N2 Swine Flu, as UK detects another bird flu outbreak

TOMMY BEER: Canada's first case of a rare swine flu variant, Influenza A (H1N2)v, has been detected in a patient from central Alberta, but health officials say it is an isolated case, that there is "no evidence at this time that the virus has spread further" and that it presents no increased risk to Albertans... At a press conference on Wednesday, Dr. Hinshaw said health officials had launched an investigation to determine the source of the virus... According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three main influenza A virus subtypes have been isolated in pigs in the United…

‘The conditions are catastrophic’: Inside Germany’s factory farms

DW: From cramming livestock together in crates to needlessly brutal methods of slaughter, the factory farming industry has repeatedly been accused of engaging in animal abuse for the sake of profit. Yet, it remains incredibly difficult for journalists to gain access to slaughterhouses and verify these claims. To get a clearer picture of what actually goes on inside factory farms, DW spoke with someone who knows the industry better than most — retired butcher and food inspector Franz Voll. Parts of this interview are included in DW's environment podcast On The Green Fence... He has written…

STUDY: Eating meat causes inflammation linked to higher risk of cardiovascular disease

ANGELA LAGUIPO: A new study by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that diets high in red and processed meat, sugary beverages, and refined grains promote inflammation in the body and increase the subsequent risk of heart disease and stroke... Studies have shown the link between inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, and stroke, among others... Diets that promote inflammation in the body may include foods high in red and processed meat, sugar, artificial trans-fat, and refined carbohydrates or grains...…

UN report says up to 850,000 animal viruses could be caught by humans, unless we protect nature

KATIE WOOLASTON: Human damage to biodiversity is leading us into a pandemic era. The virus that causes COVID-19, for example, is linked to similar viruses in bats, which may have been passed to humans via pangolins or another species. Environmental destruction such as land clearing, deforestation, climate change, intense agriculture and the wildlife trade is putting humans into closer contact with wildlife. Animals carry microbes that can be transferred to people during these encounters. A major report recently released says up to 850,000 undiscovered viruses which could be transferred to…

STUDY: Lockdown Turned New Plant-Based Meat Buyers Into Full-Blown Converts

T.L. STANLEY: If you’ve eaten a meatless burger or faux sausage patty for the first time during the global pandemic, you’re not alone. And chances are you’re not a one-and-done consumer in the fast-growing alternative protein category. According to a recent study, you may become a full-fledged convert to plant-based eating. Research from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the world’s largest food producers, found that 97% of people who tried their first fake meat products during the Covid-19 public health crisis intend to purchase them again... According to ADM’s data, new buyers are…

REPORT: Scientists propose tax on meat to help avert future pandemics

THIN LEI WIN: Policy makers should consider levying taxes on livestock production and meat consumption to reduce the risk of future deadly pandemics, international experts said on Thursday, as they published a study calling for better protection of nature. “Over-consumption of meat... (is) bad for our health. It’s unsustainable in terms of environmental impact. It’s also a driver of pandemic risk,” Peter Daszak, a zoologist who chaired the study, told journalists at its launch. Outbreaks of influenza viruses and new pandemic strains have emerged largely because of “incredibly dense…