First get mad. Then get even
After Body Project participants realize how much they have been buying into the idea of equating being skinny with being successful, they are encouraged to fight the status quo by doing such things as slipping notes saying "Love your body the way it is" into diet books at stores like Borders.
AUTHOR: Sanjay Gupta, Shahreen Abedin
TITLE: Taking On the Thin Ideal
SOURCE: Time 171 no23 50 Je 9 2008
-Hard to not understand the pressure young ladies face.
What do Food Labels Really Mean?
What Does American Humane Certified™ Mean?
Is Your Food ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED?
The Big Business of Dairy Farming: Big Trouble for Cows
Birds are raised without cages. What this doesn't explain is if the birds were raised outdoors on pasture, if they had access to outside, or if they were raised indoors in overcrowded conditions. If you are looking to buy eggs, poultry or meat that was raised outdoors, look for a label that says "Pastured" or "Pasture-raised."
"Free Range" or "Free Roaming" means that the animal had some access to the outdoors each day. However, this doesn't guarantee that the animal actually spent any time outside. As long as a door to the outdoors is left open for some period of time, the animal can be considered Free Range. Although the USDA has defined this term for chicken raised for consumption, no standards have been set for egg-laying chickens or for other animals. If you are looking to buy eggs, poultry or meat that was raised outdoors, look for a label that says "Pastured" or "Pastureraised."
Animals eat grasses from start to finish. They should not be supplemented with grain, animal byproducts, synthetic hormones, or be given antibiotics to promote growth or prevent disease (though they might be given antibiotics to treat disease). Note that 'grass-fed' does not guarantee that the animal was pastured or pasture-raised. While most grass-fed animals are pasture-raised, some may still be confined and fed a steady diet of grasses.
Grass-fed, Grain supplemented
Animals are raised on pasture and eat grasses. At a certain point, grains are slowly introduced into the diet in a controlled amount, along with the grasses. By controlling the amount of grain, the animals do not become sick and do not develop digestion problems that solely grain-fed cattle can encounter. They are also not forced to eat the grain.
Heritage foods are derived from rare and endangered breeds of livestock and crops. Animals are purebreds, a specific breed of animal that is near extinction. Production standards are not required by law, but true heritage farmers use sustainable production methods. This method of production saves animals from extinction and preserves genetic diversity.
According to the USDA, the "natural" label can be placed on a product "containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product). The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as - no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.)" This label in no way refers to the way an animal was raised, and indeed, animals raised in industrial barns can carry the label "natural." The natural label also does not mean that an animal was raised without hormones or antibiotics.
No Added Hormones
Animals were raised without added growth hormones. By law, hogs and poultry cannot be given any hormones - so the use of the label on these meats is misleading! To ensure that other meats were raised without added hormones, ask your farmer or butcher.
No Antibiotic Use
No antibiotics were administered to the animal during its lifetime. If an animal becomes sick, it will be taken out of the herd and treated but it will not be sold with this label.
No Routine Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics were not given to the animal to promote growth or to prevent disease, but may have been administered if the animal became ill.
Animals not confined in a feedlot, and have continuous access to the outside throughout their lifecycle.
In order to be labeled "organic," a product, its producer, and the farmer must meet the USDA's organic standards and must be certified by a USDA-approved food-certifying agency. Organic foods cannot be grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, or sewage sludge, cannot be genetically modified, and cannot be irradiated. Organic meat and poultry must be fed only organically-grown feed (without any animal byproducts) and cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics. Furthermore, the animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants must have access to pasture (which doesn't mean they actually have to go outdoors and graze on pasture to be considered organic).
In general, pasturing is a traditional farming technique where animals are raised outdoors in a humane, ecologically sustainable manner and eat foods that nature intended them to eat. Animals are raised on pasture rather than being fattened on a feedlot or in a confined facility.
Courtesy Eat Well Guide. Eat Well Guide
"We are born to learn, but somewhere along the way many of us pick up the idea that we must be taught in order to learn. We think that if someone doesn't stand up in front of us and talk to us with either a chalkboard or PowerPoint slides, we cannot learn. We must regain our sense of wonder and our desire to learn." --R.Tennant, "Strategies for Keeping Current," Library Journal, 9/15/2003, p.28.
Tuna is a popular food. More than one million tons of tuna are consumed annually in the United States and Japan, the world's two largest tuna markets. Tuna is the most popular fish in the American diet and is second only to shrimp as the most popular seafood. The average American eats more than three pounds of tuna every year.
If you are a fish eater, there are good reasons to eat tuna. It is very healthy, with lots of protein and very little fat compared to other meats, and it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. (Vegeterian sources include some seed oils, purslane, algae, and nut oils.)
There are also good reasons not to eat tuna. Like many other ocean fish, it contains mercury, which is toxic to humans. For this reason the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting the amount you eat, especially if you are a pregnant woman.
Fish eaters and vegetarians alike also recognize that decades of overfishing of tuna throughout the world has caused some tuna populations to collapse and has pushed others to the brink of collapse. Eating a threatened or endangered species of tuna only serves to hasten the day when it becomes extinct.
Finally, the methods used by large commercial fishing vessels to remove tuna from the oceans in species-threatening numbers also result in the killing of countless numbers of other kinds of marine animals—such as dolphins and birds—as bycatch.
The best way to help ensure the recovery of tuna populations and to minimize the harm to other marine life caused by commercial tuna fishing is to avoid eating tuna altogether and to encourage others to do the same. Short of that, educating yourself about the choices you make at supermarkets and seafood restaurants can help to give tuna a fighting chance at a future. Truly conscientious tuna consumers will know what kind of tuna they eat, where it has been, and how it was caught.
Know your tuna
Bluefin. The bluefin is the largest tuna, growing to a length and weight of about 14 feet (4.3 m) and 1,800 pounds (800 kg). It is also the most expensive, owing to its popularity as a sushi delicacy; in Japan, a single fish can fetch more than $60,000. The two main species of bluefin, the Southern and the Northern, are both severely overfished and exploited in all areas, especially the Atlantic. They are listed as critically endangered.
Albacore. Another large species, Albacore is a favorite source of canned tuna. Often marketed as white tuna, it has been called the "chicken of the sea" for the quality of its meat. Its popularity has led to a state of overfishing worldwide that is threatening populations in the Atlantic Ocean.
Skipjack. The relatively small skipjack, which grows to about 3 feet (90 cm) and 50 pounds (23 kg), is the most commonly consumed species of tuna. Although a few populations are stable, it is considered fully-fished to overfished in most areas.
Yellowfin. The second most commonly fished tuna, the yellowfin is a large, fast-swimming fish. The species is considered overfished worldwide. Because of the steadily decreasing size of the fishes being caught, there are fears that not enough yellowfin are reaching reproductive age, which could lead to the collapse of their populations.
Bigeye. Similar in size and appearance to the yellowfin, the bigeye is a popular source of sushi and sashimi. This species is considered to be fully exploited or overfished in every ocean of the world.
Know where your tuna has been
Tuna are found in all of the world's oceans, but their status in different oceans can vary widely. Most tuna species are in the poorest shape in the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea. Years of overfishing for American and European markets have led to severe reductions in the populations of bluefin, albacore, and yellowfin tuna. Although the Atlantic fishery is highly regulated, illegal fishing off coastal waters continues, especially near Africa, where developing countries cannot afford the patrols necessary to enforce the law.
Most tuna populations in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean are in slightly better shape, especially in the case of albacore. But even in the world's largest oceans, tuna populations are in decline, and some are in danger of collapsing under the continued weight of large-scale commercial fishing.
Tuna consumers should avoid eating fish that were caught in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean.
Know how your tuna was caught
The vast majority of fished tuna is caught by large commercial fishing vessels using one of two methods: long-line fishing and purse seining. Both methods produce bycatch in large numbers. Other methods have significantly smaller environmental impact but are responsible for only a tiny fraction of the fish available to consumers in the United States and Europe.
Long-line fishing. This method involves releasing extremely long fishing lines—some of them extending for miles—with shorter lines and thousands of baited hooks attached. Although the method is very effective at catching tuna, it's also effective at catching many other species, among them seabirds that go after the bait in shallow waters. The birds, snared by the hooks, usually drown.
Another problem with long-line fishing is the lines themselves. Made of non-biodegradable monofilaments, the lines are often lost and can drift at sea indefinitely, snagging, entangling, and killing marine life years after they were last touched by human hands.
Purse seining. This method is particularly effective at catching yellowfin tuna. It involves laying out a very large net in a wide circle, which is then drawn inward, capturing the marine life inside. It also produces a significant bycatch—most notably dolphins, since they feed on the same fish as the tuna. Indeed, one reprehensible method, known as "dolphin fishing," actually targets dolphins themselves, since yellowfin tuna are almost always found in deeper waters beneath them. Although regulations are in place to prevent the deaths of dolphins in purse seines, thousands are killed annually in this practice.
Pole catching. Pole and line fishing, or bait-boat fishing, is the oldest fishing method. Used by local fishermen and sport fishers, it causes far less harm to the environment than commercial methods do. Fish caught in this way, however, are very likely to be sold in local markets and not processed and shipped worldwide.
Ironically, in many areas, ruthlessly efficient commercial fishing has drastically depleted fish populations, forcing local fishermen to abandon sustainable, environmentally-friendly methods that had been used to support families and communities for generations.
Fish farming. Tuna are not naturally suited to being raised in fish farms. As large, predatory open-water fish, they require lots of room and even more food to grow large enough for market. Because this practice is still developing, the majority of farmed tuna are actually caught in the wild to begin captive fish stocks. It remains to be seen whether or not fish farming will have any positive effect on world tuna populations.
Images: Worker in Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan (© Peter Gordon/Shutterstock.com); bluefin tuna in waters near Japan (Sue Flood/Nature Picture Library).
To Learn More
- Joint Federal Advisory for Mercury in Fish from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Information on tuna-dolphin interaction from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Information on commercial fishing gear and methods from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
- Atuna, an industry-sponsored site but still a good source of information on species characteristics, illegal fishing, international regulations, and human-health issues
How Can I Help?
Brian Dennis, a Marine fighter pilot stationed in Anbar province in Iraq, took immediately to the 60-pound German shepherd– border collie mix he found one day while on patrol. The dog had been stabbed with a screwdriver or an awl and had had his ears cut off, the latter apparently in the belief that doing so would make Nubs, as Dennis dubbed him, more alert. Dennis had Nubs treated for his injuries and then had to leave him behind when he was reassigned to a base 70 miles away. Nubs set off after Dennis and somehow found him. His tour of duty in Iraq over, Dennis spent $3,500 to send Nubs to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in California, where the two are now living.
Special Forces Sgt. Maj. William Gillette happened upon three men beating a German shepherd at a checkpoint on the border of Iraq and Jordan. Brandishing his rifle, he rescued the dog, whom he named Yo-ge. At a cost of thousands of dollars, he took Yo-ge home with him to Clarksville, Tenn.
Staff Sgt. Jason Cowart found an emaciated puppy under a garbage container at his command post and nursed the dog, whom he called Ratchet, back to health. Ratchet sat beside him as he patrolled the streets in a Humvee. When it came time for Cowart to return to Fort Hood, Texas, he wrote to the World Society for the Protection of Animals to ask for help. The Massachusetts-based organization connected him with a Samaritan who paid the costs of shipping Ratchet halfway across the world.
Dogs and soldiers have always forged strong bonds, and the war in Iraq has afforded many opportunities for them to do so. The present conflict, though, has seen unusual efforts on the part of soldiers and civilians to take those dogs back to the States—efforts that sometimes come up against military regulations. One is the standard rule that military equipment, Ratchet's ride notwithstanding, may not be used to transport nonmilitary animals. Pets are eligible for transportation, but only when a soldier is being permanently assigned to a new post; posts in Iraq and Afghanistan are considered temporary tours of duty, so pets acquired there are ineligible.
Furthermore, it is against regulations for individual soldiers to keep "mascots," as they are called. Many commanders overlook that point, reasoning that the boost in morale is reason enough to do so. Others do not, though, and put official obstacles in the way of soldiers determined to take their friends home despite the red tape and high costs. To get around the injunction against mascots, Sgt. Peter Neesley built a doghouse just outside his base in Baghdad to house a stray Labrador mix and her pup, whom he named Mama and Boris. Neesley died, and his family worked with a Utah-based animal rescue group to transport the dogs to their home in Michigan. An executive at a private airline volunteered to ship them home, and local government officials helped maneuver Mama and Boris through the military and civilian bureaucracies.
Bonds form officially too. The U.S. Army, for instance, had 578 dog teams in the field in July 2007 when 20-year-old Corp. Kory D. Wiens was killed by an explosive device along with his dog, Cooper, who had been trained to sniff out weapons caches. The two were buried together in Wiens's Oregon hometown. The military also maintains "official" dogs whose task it is to simply keep soldiers company as a means of reducing combat-related stress. Said one soldier, Sgt. Brenda Rich, of a dog assigned to her unit, "I felt more relaxed after being able spend some time with her. For a few minutes it was just me and the dog, and nothing in this environment seemed to matter."
In previous wars, military dogs were usually killed at the end of their working lives. Today, however, many of them return home and are adopted by former handlers, police departments, and, as in a few well-publicized cases, the families of handlers killed in action. Such was the case with Lex, a German shepherd whose trainer, 20-year-old Marine Corp. Dustin Lee, died in a mortar attack in Falluja in 2007. Lex, who had played with and slept alongside Corp. Lee throughout their service, was also injured in the attack; the dog at first refused to leave his side and had to be pulled away. Lee's family lobbied extensively for the Marines to retire Lex before the customary age of 10, and Lex is now living with the Lees at their home in rural Mississippi.
An Iraq-based blogger working in the reconstruction program observes that it often seems that dogs adopt soldiers, not the other way around. "Maybe the dogs just like to be around people. Maybe it is a mutual protection racket. … We are conditioned to support and reward the dogs, just as the dogs are conditioned to guard us. It is primeval. Something in our Pleistocene genes compels the partnership."
And so it is that the bonds of friendship in war extend across species lines. Yet, even after having successfully skirted the regulations that forbid that friendship, many soldiers simply cannot afford the cost—typically $3,000 to $3,500 per dog—of bringing their partners home. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International reports that at any given time there are a dozen or so dogs awaiting rescue from Iraq and Afghanistan, their passage hindered only by lack of funds. Another organization, Vet Dogs, an offshoot of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., is active in training service dogs to work with injured veterans; it too is in constant need of funds to support its efforts.
Since it seems that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on and on, those bonds will continue. And so too will the need for public support for the dogs and soldiers caught up in it.
Images: Marine Maj. Brian Dennis and his adopted dog, Nubs, near the Iraq-Jordan border, February 2008—courtesy Maj. Brian Dennis/AP; Jerome Lee, kneeling, father of slain soldier Marine Corp. Dustin Lee, officially receiving Lex in adoption ceremony, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga., as Dustin Lee's wife, Rachel, looks on.—Walter Petruska/AP.
How Can I Help?
- Support Baghdad Pups, a program of SPCA International
- Support Vet Dogs, a project of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.
From Baghdad, with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava
Jay Kopelman and Melinda Roth (2006)
Marine Lieut. Col. Jay Kopelman (now retired from the service), a Pennsylvania native, was serving in Fallujah in November 2004 when, among the ruins of the city, he found a terrified, abandoned puppy hiding in a drainpipe. Kopelman and his fellow soldiers, who had named their group "the Lava Dogs," called the puppy Lava and adopted him, against military orders. They fed him and cared for him, but they worried when he became too big to be hidden from the authorities. Kopelman, whose tour of duty was soon to end, promised his comrades that, once Stateside, he would find a way to adopt the stray and bring him home to live with him.
From Baghdad with Love is Kopelman's first-person story of his time in Iraq with Lava and with his struggle to work with and around regulations in order to get Lava home to safety. He was able to do so with the help of military officials and civilians, including that of a journalist who publicized the heartwarming story.