In 2010, carnivorous and plant-based lifestyles duked it out in the headlines

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You’d have to be living entirely off the grid -- or perhaps just underneath a hefty rock -- to lack a basic awareness of the most pervasive pop culture topics to hit the radar in the past year. Regardless of sexual persuasion, no one could resist the irresistible charms of Isaiah Mustafa’s Old Spice persona or Lady Gaga’s been-there-done-that Madonna-thieving videos and animal flesh-enhanced fashion sense. The fragile state of Mother Nature and her various ecosystems secured equally precious column inches, not only due to continually unfolding mysteries befalling honey bees and bats but -- not surprisingly -- also due to widespread environmental tragedies such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill and our noticeably hot-hot-hotter planet.

One particular issue that set almost every single mainstream news source abuzz was a wider acceptance of plant-based dining. You know you have a pop culture phenomenon on your hands when the highly regarded celebu-junk magazine Us Weekly claims that embracing a vegan lifestyle is the hottest trend to hit Hollywood since injectable botulinum toxin or -- conversely -- that a decidedly upper-crust resource like Bloomberg Businessweek details the ascent of high powered, meat-eschewing moguls. It’s probably safe to say that a trend of this nature reaches full-fledged hell-yeah status when celebrity chefs begin serving Meatless Monday entrees, former presidents give major props to the China Diet for their newly-achieved svelte status and perennial junk food palaces like 7-Eleven and Disney World begin to roll out animal-free edibles. Phew!

With all of the meat-free high fives going around, 2010 still commemorated an ever-pervasive national obsession with animal flesh, particularly of the pork belly kind. Remember hearing the story of the humble origins of bottled water and how naysayers claimed that no one in their right mind would ever pay for something that they could get – absolutely free! – from their own sink? Ha ha ha. The same can be said of the wildly thriving market for bacon-infused vodka/chocolate bars/toothpicks/coffee/lip balm and the like -- who could have guessed?

For those who have an infernal hunger for knowledge, particularly with regard to the perpetual struggle between carnivores and their happily veganized counterparts, the collection of meat and veg-based articles below (all published during 2010) should keep your juices flowing during many a lunchtime break.

GOOD REASONS TO GO (OR STAY) VEG:


Excessive meat-eating 'kills 45,000 each year'.

"It's Just An Animal"captures the ignorance and cruelty that feeds the multi-billion-dollar international trade in wildlife products.

Replace cattle? Edible insects produce smaller quantities of greenhouse gases.

Mad Cow Disease Can Go Airborne? Yes, but Don’t Panic.

Fake fur or no fake fur?

Unfortunately, there is a BIG black market for seriously endangered tigers in Asia.

Egg Industry employs conveyor belt of death for male chicks so that we can have fresh eggs.

New movie trailer for plant-based documentary 'Forks Over Knives'.

Lupin seeds used to create low-fat meat protein alternatives.

Your egg on drugs: 28.7M lbs of antibiotics given to livestock a year.

Today's turkeys are actually a breast-heavy Frankenbird that can't even reproduce naturally.

Dogs Aren't Dinner--and Pigs Shouldn't Be Either.

EU-wide survey shows while cloning/GM foods dismay other countries, livestock conditions cause the most worry in the UK.

Is wool a cruelty-free product?

VEGGIE RANDOMNESS:

Great source for veggie recipes.

Vegging out: Dedicated omnivore & Entertainment Editor reports on his week long vegetarian experiment

The Vegetable Butcher -- Food from the Edge.

Worldwide one of a kind, the Vegetable Orchestra performs on instruments made of fresh vegetables.

Three reports: eat more fruits and vegetables.

An anti-organic group has launched a weapon against the Dirty Dozen list.

VeloVeggies Pedals Fresh Produce to Twin Cities Doorsteps.

Eat Shoots and Leaves: A Case for Eating the Whole Vegetable.

Matchmaking for Vegetables—new website helps gardeners find partners to swap excess produce with!

Veggie Bot Turns Vegetables Into Toy Building Blocks
.

The Vegetarian Butcher Opens Palettes (and Minds) To a Meat Free Diet.

Urban Farming: plants fruits/veggies in unused parcels of land so that city dwellers in 'food desserts' can chow down!

Personal choppers: Meet the world’s first veggie butchers. They want to change the way people eat, one vegetable at a time.

Eating orange and green vegetables could lead to a longer life and less disease.

The movie Chow Down follows three individuals on their quest to eliminate ‘chronic’ diseases through a plant-based diet.

Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition.

More Meatless Meals May Avert Disaster, Says Nat'l Academy of Sciences.

10 Celebrity Vegetarians Who Might Surprise You.

Exploding Vegetables: a projectile is fired into different fruits/veggies, symbolizing our shift toward healthy food.

Enlist fruits and vegetables in cancer fight.

Vegetarians Are Hot, Like Bill Clinton.

A nice collection of unique, meatless holiday-inspired recipes courtesy of Cooking Light.

Vegetarian Taxidermy: When staghorn ferns are fastened to wooden wall plaques. (SERIOUSLY...this is legit!)

"Vegivore" is a term that connotes fervid vegetable love rather than ardent meat hate...


Meaty Mushroom Veggie Burger - The Least Terrible Veggie Burger Ever!

VEGAN ALL THE WAY, BAYBEEE:


Is It Cheaper to be Vegan, Vegetarian, or a Meat Eater?

Why Are Companies Still Adding Eggs to Veggie Burgers?

A message to all vegetarians and vegans out there -- cows are in an insane amount of products you might not realize!!

Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream.

Heather Mills vows to trump McDonald’s with vegan food.

From Skinny Bitch to Bill Clinton: The Rise of Veganism.

Dogs Aren't Dinner: The Flaws in an Argument for Veganism
.

Airport Security Is Not The Time To Recruit Vegans.

PETA Proposes Ads Urging Electric-Car Drivers To Go Vegan.

Cutting animal products out of your diet for 1 month will help you to lose weight/feel better, says Alicia Silverstone.

Bittman: “Embrace Your Inner Vegan.”

10 Great Vegan Foods from Amazon.com.

Vegan Doesn't Always Mean Healthy: 10 Worst Animal-Free Food Products.

Food Fight! Vegan Grocery (FFVG) -- a vegan grocery store -- recently launched a new website.

What kind of restaurant does a vegan ex-pro boxer like Mike Tyson open? Apparently a kosher one.

Lindsay Lohan's rehab stint potentially less costly if she takes the PETA-vegan plunge.

Sophia Bush inspired to try veganism after reading Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook.

Janet Jackson’s vegan diet.

Need anymore proof that going 'vegan' is mainstream? How about P. Diddy's 'vegan' announcement? (Which he then retracted...)

Even Alicia Silverstone Cheats On Her Vegan Diet When She Knocks Back A Few.

MEAT. IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER.

Top restaurants call for 'less and better' meat.

A new study found that men become less aggressive when their gaze locks on a piece of meat. No, really.

Red meat: Not so bad after all?

Vegans, hold on to your hats! Creepy meat collage by June Glasson.

Video: The Secret Life of Beef.

Debate on meat-eating does not cut the mustard. Unhelpful, polarized arguments are preventing any sort of sustainable transformation of the farming sector.

A new sustainable whole animal butcher shop called Lindy & Grundy is about to open in L.A.

Beef or Chicken? A Look at U.S. Meat Trends in the Last Century.

Why Free-Range Meat Isn't Much Better Than Factory-Farmed
.

Can you be green and eat meat?

Bizarre meat diagrams showing the different cuts you can get from various video game characters.

Find out if there is a factory farm near you, and learn about how it affects your community with this Factory Farm Map.

Jersey butchers warn against wearing a Lady Gaga meat dress for Halloween.

UK Declares Milk and Meat from Cloned Animals Safe.

Whaaaa? 5 Ways That Meat Can Save the Earth.

Red meat linked to esophageal, stomach cancer risks.

Pig farms contributing to antibiotic resistance.

Is Your Dinner Endangered? Scientists deploy genetic forensics to protect overhunted animals.

It's win-win-win: A new report finds that an organic dairy is better for 1) you, 2) the planet, 3) the cows.

6 Plant-Based Diet Tricks for Carnivores.

How Pig Parts Make the World Turn.

3 Lies Big Food Wants You to Believe and the Truth Behind Factory-Farmed Meat.

Taking the Mystery Out Of Our Mainstream Meat Supply
.

A New Way to Help Chickens Cross to Other Side
.

Industrial farming puts ecosystems at risk of collapse, warns Prince Charles.

Eating Skippy: Is kangaroo the kindest meat?

Why do people seek out lions, bears, and other exotic eatables? An enthusiast tells why, and how.

3 Lies Big Food Wants You to Believe and the Truth Behind Factory-'Farmed' Meat.

Adventurous chefs are introducing some unlikely fish in the name of 'sustainable seafood.' Will the public bite?

Meat industry unhappy over limiting the use of antibiotics.

Factory animal farms spew toxic chemical fumes, poisoning neighbors.

Is grass-fed beef better for the environment?

What Every Meat Eater Should Know About Humane Certifications

How Your Thanksgiving Turkey Gets Made: here's the short, hellish life-cycle of your industry-produced turkey.

Why It's Better if We Can't Afford Meat.

Dairy Cows Produce Fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Previously Reported.

Simon Fairlie: How Eating Meat Can Save the Planet.

New video website called “Cooking for Carnivores” enables viewers to learn how to prepare vegan meals geared toward meat eaters.

Suuuuurrrrrrrrre. Cloned animals offer no food safety risk, panel advises.

One of the world's largest meat companies aims to make renewable diesel fuel out of an abundant waste product: Animal fat.

The Not in My Cuppa campaign is aimed at educating British consumers about the pitfalls of factory farming.

That Free Thanksgiving Turkey Isn’t REALLY Free: The Consequences Of Consuming A Factory-Farmed Gobbler.

MEATLESS MONDAY-PALOOZA:

Why meat-free Mondays are good for you.

Meatless any day of the week.

New Leaf: Vegetables get their day in the sun
.

Student pushes campus toward meat-free Mondays.

Move Over Meatless Mondays...Fish Free Friday Is Giving You Some Competition.

Among the Food Trend Predictions for 2011? Meatless Mondays & Tofu Thursdays Going Strong.

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

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