A Year in Review: 15 hot stories from the first half of 2010

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As 2010 comes to a close, those of us at This Dish Is Veg would be remiss not to look back on the year. A year that brought us increased readership, a new fabulous team of contributors and over 1500 articles covering news items ranging from the heartwarming to the heartbreaking.

To celebrate the turn of the year, we would like to offer you a peek at some of our favorite and/or most popular stories of the year. We will begin with articles from the first half of the year and will conclude tomorrow by showcasing stories from the second half of 2010.

Scientists say dolphins should have same status as humans Lori Marino, a senior lecturer in Emory University's Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program, has been using MRI scans to study the brains of dolphins. The scans revealed that dolphins are extremely intelligent and when compared to primate brains, dolphins were found to be more intelligent than chimpanzees. The revelation drew Marino to conclude that dolphins should have the same status as humans.

Kellie Pickler credits vegetarian diet for increased energy “About a year and a half ago, I cleaned up my diet, becoming a vegetarian and replacing the junk I was eating with whole foods, like raw veggies, nuts, and edamame,” Pickler says. “My energy shot way up! When I’m away from home, I stop by a grocery store to stock up on healthy snacks instead of hitting a drive-through.”

Audi 2010 green car Super Bowl commercial featuring the Green Police On Super Bowl Sunday, Audi presented a commercial featuring the Green Police who defend Mother Nature by busting those who use Styrofoam cups, incandescent light bulbs, and plastic bottles. The Green Police’s clever Public Service Announcements aimed to spread a positive messages about being Green all while showing off the Audi A3 TDI.

Vegetarian Hannah Teter earns silver medal in Olympic halfpipe competition Hannah Teter explained to Huffington Post that she became a vegetarian after viewing the film Earthlings. “I had no idea how intense and how horrible factory farms are. I have such a love for animals that I can't justify having their heads cut off for me." The snowboarding humanitarian has her own charity called Hannah's Gold.

American Idol runner up Adam Lambert thinks fur looks great During an interview with BLI in the Morning, American Idol runner up Adam Lambert was asked if he was opposed to fur. Lambert responded, “I know this is the most un-pc way to put it but I didn’t kill the thing so I don’t see why I can’t wear it." (We still occasionally get comments on this story.)

Birthday wishes to year old McDonald's Happy Meal with no decay Birthday celebrations for a McDonald's Happy Meal that was purchased by author Joann Bruso and left uncovered on a shelf in her office.  After one year, the meal displayed surprisingly little change. “I think ants, mice and flies are smarter than people, because they weren’t fooled," Bruso said. "They never touched the Happy Meal. Children shouldn’t either.”

Newfoundland seal hunt targets struggling harp seal pup population Twenty-three sealing vessels from Newfoundland and Labrador set out to locate the few remaining pockets of surviving harp seal pups amid what Environment Canada calls the worst ice conditions in 41 years.The disastrous ice conditions have been blamed for the death of thousands of harp seal pups this year but the Newfoundland harp seal hunt was still underway regardless of the struggles the animals have faced this season.

Hide the women, children and chickens as KFC announces the new Double Down sandwich Loosen your belts a notch or six for this “one-of-a-kind sandwich (that) features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce.” In fact according to KFC’s website “This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!”

Emotional video set to ‘Over The Rainbow’ examines damage from Gulf oil spill After returning from a trip to the Gulf Coast, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Executive Director David Yarnold drew inspiration for a new video from his 13 year old daughter, Nicole. While looking through pictures and videos from the trip with his wife, Yarnold’s daughter began playing the music from the hit show, Glee. Seeing the devastating images coupled with the melodic version of “Over the Rainbow” caused the executive director to choke up.

Arizona restaurant serves lion burgers to celebrate World Cup In an obvious display of sheer stupidity, a restaurant in Arizona added lion burgers to its menu as a tribute to the World Cup taking place in South Africa. The Il Vinaio restaurant in Mesa served the authentic lion burgers to patrons who wish to shell out $21 for the fare. "We thought that since the World Cup was in Africa ...that the lion burger might be interesting for some of our more adventurous customers," owner Cameron Selogie told Reuters.

‘Off The Bone’ lunch meat reminds us why we are vegan Some people say the Lord works in mysterious ways and back in May we were witness to a prime example of this theory in action. While watching The Weather Channel’s coverage of the Eastern United States heat-pocalypse, a strange horrible little commercial caught our attention. It featured a silly looking man making multiple appearances in a doorway looking for sustenance, in the form of John Morrell’s “Off the Bone” lunch meat. That’s right “Off the Bone.”

Travelers commercial shows wild animals getting along at the watering hole As part of the corporation’s “Take the scary out of life” campaign, Travelers Insurance released a heartwarming commercial featuring wild animals hanging out at watering hole, enjoying each other’s company. From meerkats riding on floating alligators to baboons performing for hyenas to lions mingling with zebras, viewers are witness to an incredible display of what-could-be if we weren’t worried about “potential dangers.”

Sea Shepherd and Humane Society win ‘Who’s Your Favorite’ nonprofit contest Sea Shepherd and Humane Society came out as the winners in eBay’s "Who’s Your Favorite?" non-profit contest—which asked visitors to vote for their favorite charity. With a total of 7,025 votes the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society received top honors and secured a grant for $15,000 that will be used toward the organization’s efforts to rescue wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Children’s book about the goodness of giving available for free download Awhile back, This Dish Is Veg editor Eric Fortney wrote his first children's book titled Donation Day With Eva Steeva— an inspiring tale about a young girl who learns the importance of giving. To help promote the book's message that "giving without the need for thanks is the best kind of giving" we uploaded a FREE e-book version of Donation Day With Eva Steeva.

PSAs featuring Shrek encourage kids to get outside and connect with nature To encourage children to get out and enjoy nature the USDA Forest Service and the Ad Council teamed up with DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. to launch a  series of PSAs featuring characters from the Shrek movies. One PSA featured a forest that was a bit creepy and a Shrek who couldn't stop himself from noshing on the children's discoveries.

Be sure to check out: A Year in Review: 15 popular stories from the second half of 2010

Daelyn Fortney | @daelyn | email
Daelyn is the co-founder and managing director of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to her work at TDIV, Daelyn homeschools her three daughters.

Photo credit: cc: http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet and photo credits on original article pages

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