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29 August 2017

Upset Hindus seek resignation & apology of Kellogg’s CEO for feeding them beef

Upset Hindus are seeking resignation and apology of multinational food company Kellogg’s CEO John A. Bryant for non-disclosure of beef in some of its cereals and other products, and immediate recall of all such items from the market.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was shocking for Hindus to learn that some of the cereals, etc., they had been eating for years contained beef while there was no mention of beef under the ingredients mentioned on the boxes/packages.

Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, points out.

A response from Kellogg Consumer Affairs for an enquiry received on August 12 via email, however, admitted—Gelatin derived from beef is found in the following: All varieties of Kellogg's® Frosted Pop-Tarts®, All varieties of Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal, All varieties of Kellogg's® Rice Krispies Treats™ cereal. Some of our foods contain gelatin that is derived from either beef or pork; which include: All Kellogg's® fruit flavored snacks, All Kellogg's® Krave Treat Bars.

It was a very serious issue for the devotees and would severely hurt their feelings when they would come to know that they were unknowingly eating beef-laced popular cereals and other Kellogg’s products, Rajan Zed noted. Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal was reportedly introduced in 1969.

What happened to the “integrity” and “accountability” of Kellogg’s, which boasted these as the company’s “Values” on its website? Zed asked and added that it was hard to comprehend that why Kellogg’s did not mention beef clearly under the ingredients on the box/package when it was part of the product inside. Is this the way Kellogg’s wanted to advance its “Vision” to “enrich and delight the world”? Zed wondered.

Now was the time for Kellogg’s to demonstrate its “commitment to integrity and ethics” by admitting their error of not being transparent enough to mention in clear and simple terms what was inside the box/package so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices, Rajan Zed indicated.

Launched in 1906 and headquartered in Battle Creek (Michigan, USA), awards-winning Kellogg’s claims to be “world's leading cereal company” with over 1600 foods and sales of $13 billion in 2016. Founded by Will Keith Kellogg, Kellogg’s stated “Purpose” is: Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive. Kellogg India is based in Mumbai.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

28 August 2017

California Vegetarian Food Festival Returns to LA September 16-17, 2017

The 2nd Annual Event Includes Plant-Based Food and Products, Film Screening, Fitness, Meditation, Kids’ Activities, Live Music & Much More

WHAT: U.S. Veg Corp is bringing the California Vegetarian Food Festival back to Los Angeles to showcase the latest in cutting edge plant-based food and products. The 2-day festival will be a showcase of 100% vegan innovation and goods, with revolutionary plant-based food and products, fitness, meditation and kids’ activities, film screening, vegan beer and wine, live music, and much more. Food vendors will be offering free samples as well as meals for sale. This year, the charity partner is Best Friends Animal Society.

A screening of the film Walk with Me, a cinematic journey into the world of mindfulness and the Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Max Pugh and Marc J. Francis, will also take place during the festival at a separate ticketed event. Filmed over three years with unprecedented access, this visceral film is a close look at the global spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh and a meditation on a community who have given up all their possessions for a monastic life in rural France.
GA & VIP festival tickets are now available for purchase HERE. Kids 10 & under free.
Walk with Me screening tickets are available HERE.

WHO: Dotsie Bausch (Olympic silver medalist and vegan activist), Charles Horn (Emmy-nominated comedy writer and producer, Robot Chicken), Jeff Stanford (eco-resort owner), Julieanna Hever (Registered Dietician, host and columnist), Simone Reyes (known as the Gloria Steinem of the animal rights movement), Jane Velez Mitchell (journalist and New York Times best-selling author), Katie Clery (from World Animal News), and Judie Mancuso (president of Social Compassion in Legislation), Dominick Thompson (vegan community leader and entrepreneur), Sandra Sellani (plant-based chef and blogger), Kawani Brown (author and founder of the Healthy Babies and Kids Expo, Healthy Halloween Festival and Long Beach Vegan Festival), Jason Wyrick (executive chef and New York Times bestselling author), Jenne Claiborne (vegan blogger), Ayinde Howell (chef), Jacques Laventure (chef), Lisa Karlan (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Food for Life Instructor), Sid Garza-Hillman (podcaster, YouTuber and author), Sharon Nunez (co-founder and international director of Animal Equality), Dr. Justyna Sanders (renowned dietician), Lauren Foster Walls (health coach), Jill Nussinow (Registered Dietitian and author) and Sarah Gross & Nira Paliwoda (U.S. Veg Corp founders)

WHEN: Saturday, September 16 – Sunday, September 17, 2017
Festival Hours: 10am-5pm
Walk with Me Screening - Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 7-10pm

WHERE: Raleigh Studios
5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038

About U.S. Veg Corp
U.S. Veg Corp is an event production and marketing brand founded by Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda and focused on the growing vegetarian and green markets. Buoyed by its annual flagship events, the NYC, AZ, and now CA Vegetarian Food Festivals™, U.S. Veg Corp provides offline and online opportunities throughout the year to target a passionate audience interested in a vegetarian and eco-friendly lifestyle.

About Best Friends Animal Society

For over 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been running the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and building effective programs that reduce the number of animals entering shelters.

About Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by his friend Martin Luther King Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh is also a human rights activist and successful author. Today, he is avidly followed by world leaders in politics and business, particularly by CEOs in Silicon Valley, and by stars of stage and screen, including Oprah Winfrey who has twice invited him on her show.

28 July 2017

Scientists Rediscover Venezuelan Bird Not Seen in 60 Years

An international team of researchers has solved one of South America’s great bird mysteries. Working deep in the mountainous forests of western Venezuela, they have rediscovered the Táchira Antpitta, a plump brown bird species not seen since it was first recorded in the 1950s. been spotted since 1955-56, when ornithologists first recorded and described it. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the species as Critically Endangered, and many feared it was lost for good.

Last year, scientists of the Red Siskin Initiative (RSI) — a conservation partnership between the Smithsonian and several scientific organizations in Venezuela — organized a team to go in search of the antpitta. The team was led by Jhonathan Miranda of RSI and Provita, and included colleagues Alejandro Nagy, Peter Bichier of the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Miguel Lentino and Miguel Matta of the Colección Ornitólogica Phelps (COP). American Bird Conservancy (ABC) provided financial support through a William Belton Conservation Fund grant as part of its ongoing Search for Lost Birds.

The team set out in June 2016, knowing that several factors were likely to make the antpitta especially challenging to find, if in fact it still existed. The species inhabits dense undergrowth at altitudes of 5,000 to 7,000 feet in a rugged and hard-to-reach region of the Andes. Difficult to identify visually, the bird differs in coloration in subtle ways from related species.

Antpittas are also easier to hear than to see. But without sound recordings, nobody knew what to listen for.

The researchers had an advantage: They knew where to look. “We followed the route described in the earlier expedition’s field notebooks to locate the original site of the discovery,” Miranda said.

To reach the remote location, part of what is now El Tamá National Park, the team traveled by foot on steep and narrow Andean trails, with a mule train to carry their gear. From their campsite, the team hiked two hours in the dark to reach appropriate habitat at dawn, the best time to hear the birds sing.

The first day there, Miranda and Nagy detected the distinctive song of an antpitta they had not heard before. “We were thrilled to re-find the Táchira Antpitta during our first day in the field,” said Miranda, “and we think they persist in more places we have not yet searched.”

Over the next week, the team was able to confirm the mysterious song as that of the long-lost Táchira Antpitta, obtaining the first photographs and sound recordings ever made of the living bird.

“The rediscovery provides hope and inspiration that we still have a chance to conserve this species,” said Daniel Lebbin, ABC’s Vice President of International Programs. “We hope this rediscovery will lead to improved management of and attention for protected areas like El Tamá National Park.”

“El Tamá National Park is an important part of Venezuela’s natural heritage and recognized by the Alliance for Zero Extinction as a critical site to protect for the Táchira Antpitta and other biodiversity,” said Jon Paul Rodriguez of Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC, the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research), Provita, and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

“Jhonathan Miranda and his RSI colleagues have resolved one of South America’s great bird mysteries, and we hope their findings will contribute to a renewed effort to conserve this species,” said Lebbin.

In the coming months, the team plans to publish the full details of their findings in a scientific journal, including how the Táchira Antpitta’s voice and visual characteristics distinguish it from other similar species. Additional field work is necessary to learn more about this mysterious bird. Similar habitat can be found nearby in Colombia, and the species might also occur there. Better knowledge of the species’ vocalizations and the visual identification gathered in this study will help researchers determine the species' full range, ecology and habitat requirements, and how best to ensure its conservation.

“This species was originally described by William H. Phelps, Jr. of the COP and Alexander Wetmore, former Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,” said Michael Braun of the RSI and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “It is fitting that the Red Siskin Initiative, in which COP and the Smithsonian are key collaborators, has been instrumental in the rediscovery. We invite those interested in helping us learn more about this species to join us.”

The Venezuela search team owes its success to a number of individuals and institutions. Logistical support came from ABC, RSI, IVIC, COP, Provita, INPARQUES, Ascanio Birding Tours, the Smithsonian Institution, and the following individuals: Carolina Afan, Miguel Angel Arvelo, David Ascanio, Michael Braun, Felix Briceño, Brian Coyle, Dan Lebbin, Cipriano Ochoa, Tomás Odenall, Jorge Perez Eman, Jon Paul Rodriguez, Kathryn Rodriguez-Clark, and Bibiana Sucre.

(Photo: Táchira Antpitta by Jhonathan Miranda)

18 July 2017

New Book Engages Children Around Birds and Nature

Look, See the Bird! is a hand-drawn, beautifully illustrated children's book which seeks to not only promote curiosity in children about the natural world around them, but also to establish the universal quality of having a connection with nature and the importance of being good stewards of the earth and all its creatures.

The book follows children in a variety of locations as they learn learning about local birds and their habits. Beginning with Ruben and his sister Maria, who have decided to spend their day bird-watching in the coffee plants of their Nicaraguan farm, the story wings towards locations as far removed as Alabama and Ontario, lighting down briefly along the way as children the world over join with Ruben and Maria in spirit, looking for birds in their own backyards.

Each time, the question is asked by one child to another: "Look! See the bird?" And each time, the children are treated to the sight of a majestic bird native to their home. This unifying question joins the children on the page with the children holding the book, inviting them to look outside, and see what they can see!

Katie Fallon is a nature writer, educator, and wild bird rehabilitator. She is the author of Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird, which was a finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. She has taught writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, and is a founder of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.

Bill Wilson is the co-founder of Birds & Beans® Coffee and a consumer-marketing expert with over 30 years of domestic and international experience. Birds & Beans® Coffee is the only coffee brand in the US that solely roasts Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center 'Bird Friendly®' certified beans, 100% shade grown, organic and Fair-Trade certified coffee. The enterprise is a for profit conservation business aimed at helping stop songbird population drops. Birds & Beans conservation partners include the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy.

Leigh Anne Carter is a naturalist and freelance illustrator. After traveling to California to pursue an education for science illustration she moved back to her native city of Charlotte, North Carolina. She illustrated The Birds of Mecklenburg County and is involved in local conservation efforts and education.

17 July 2017

Roasted Vegetables with Pasta

Recipe by Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mama

  • 1 box of Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti
  • 1 c of yellow squash, diced into ½ inch pieces 
  • 1 c of zucchini squash, diced into ½ inch pieces 
  • 1 c of red onion, diced into ½ inch pieces 
  • 1 c of red bell pepper, deseeded, diced into ½ inch pieces 
  • 1 c of cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 t garlic salt OR salt and pepper as needed 
  • 1 T olive oil 
  • 1 c of fresh parsley 
  • lemon 
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Toss your veggies (excluding parsley) with olive oil and your choice of either garlic salt or salt/pepper. 
  • Put your veggies into an oven safe roasting pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. 
  • While your veggies are cooking, prepare your pasta per the directions on the box. 
  • When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. 
  • When veggies are cooked, toss with pasta. Top mixture with the juice from one lemon half. 
  • Top with parsley and serve!

16 July 2017

Experience the Historic Solar Eclipse in Wyoming

Individuals who want to witness the historic solar eclipse this summer in the world's most-scenic location are in luck. A new indoor camping site, Snow King Basecamp has opened up minutes away from the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming -- one of the best-viewing areas in the country. Campsites are available August 17-21 and are booking fast so travelers should book now at snowkingbasecamp.com or call 877-299-7506.

With this opportunity, eclipse-lovers get the best of both worlds: the ability to watch the solar eclipse in one of the most beautiful locations in North America and the experience of "roughing-it" (except visitors will be indoors at the base of Snow King mountain next to a five-star restaurant, one of Jackson Hole's best bars, wi-fi, power charging stations, indoor bathrooms, showers and 24-hour security).

The indoor camping area at Snow King is known as "The Basecamp" and is just steps from the Snow King chair lift, Alpine slide, Snow King Resort, and children's playground with a rock climbing wall. Each campsite allows up to four people.

Rob Jennings, the creator of the indoor camping site, said he came up with the idea when he realized the town of Jackson Hole was completely sold-out during the solar eclipse.

"Up until now, it's been impossible to find anywhere in Jackson Hole to stay for the historic solar eclipse," Jennings said. "Reservations for this event were made five years ago. I got tired of turning people down and telling them they were out-of-luck. I had a few conversations and I'm very pleased to offer this opportunity up to fellow eclipse-lovers."

The total solar eclipse happening on August 21 will be the first of it's kind in nearly 40 years according to NASA.gov. Total Solar Eclipses' are rare in and of themselves, but for the first time since 1979, the path of the moon's shadow will pass through the continental United States. Jackson Hole is one of the best places to view this phenomenon as it falls directly in the viewing path.

Eclipse viewers can attend other special events in the Snow King area sponsored by Wyoming Stargazing featuring retired NASA Astronaut Scott Altman, author and astrobiologist David Grinspoon, supernovae expert, Prof. Douglas Leonard and many great activities. Tickets for these events can be purchased here.

14 July 2017

Winners of 'Top 10 Vegan Sundaes in the U.S.A.' Announced

In time for National Ice Cream Day on July 16—and in the middle of National Ice Cream Month—PETA has announced the Top 10 Vegan Ice Cream Sundaes from eateries across the country. Scooping up the top spot is vegan gourmet eatery Sublime Restaurant & Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose soy ice cream sundae comes with two towering scoops of house-made vanilla ice cream; a generous pour of creamy-rich dark chocolate sauce; and sprinkled crushed, roasted nuts.

The 2017 list also includes cooling and delicious sundaes from Austin's Sweet Ritual; Crossroads and KindKreme in Los Angeles; Banán in Honolulu; Boston's Veggie Galaxy; Christopher's Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Virtuous Pie in Portland, Oregon; Denver's SNOWLAB; and The Cookie Counter in Seattle.

"From bringing back childhood memories with traditionally rich vanilla and chocolate flavors to adding creative twists like avocado and papaya, vegan ice cream sundaes offer something for everyone," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "All the cool-down concoctions on PETA's list prove that you can indulge your sweet tooth while also being sweet to mother cows."

Not only is vegan ice cream free of saturated animal fat and cholesterol, it's also kinder to mother cows on dairy farms, who are artificially impregnated and then separated from their newborn calves immediately after birth so that their milk can be consumed by humans instead.

Each eatery will receive a framed certificate. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way"—also offers tips on its website for finding delicious dairy-free ice cream at grocery stores across the country.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.

13 July 2017

Super Green Spaghetti

Recipe by begoodorganics

Ingredients for 4 people: 
  • 17oz Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti
  • 4 cups spinach (finely sliced & packed) 
  • 2 spring onions (finely sliced) 
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved) 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 
  • Green Tahini Sauce 
  • 1 cup fresh basil (packed) 
  • 1/4 cup tahini 
  • 1/4 cup cashews 
  • 1/2 cup water (I like to use the pasta cooking water) 
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 lemons) 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • freshly cracked black pepper (to taste) 
  • 1/4 cup brazil nut parmesan (to top) 
  • Cook pasta for 4 minutes, then drain and rinse briefly under cold water. Be sure to reserve 1/2 c cooking water - it'll make a huge difference to your sauce! 
  • While the pasta cooks, make up the brazil nut parmesan by blitzing all ingredients (see the full list here) in a blender until crumbly. 
  • Once your pasta is cooked, make the sauce by blending all sauce ingredients (including your reserved pasta cooking water) until smooth. 
  • Place the pasta back in the pan and turn the element onto a low heat. Add the sauce and spinach, cooking for just a minute or two until the spinach it very lightly wilted but still vibrant. 
  • Finally, mix through the tomatoes and spring onions and then remove from heat. By doing this, you maintain all the nutritional benefits of the raw veg while lightly heating them - yum! 
  • Plate up your pasta into bowls, adding 1 tbsp of parmesan to each plus cracked black pepper and extra sea salt to taste.