Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

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Less beef, more beans. Experts say world needs a new diet

Plant-based diet has enough flexibility to accommodate food cultures around the world, report’s authors say

The diet encourages cooking with ingredients such as whole grains and beans. (Matthew Mead/Associated Press)

A hamburger a week, but no more — that’s about as much red meat people should eat to do what’s best for their health and the planet, according to a report seeking to overhaul the world’s diet.

Eggs should be limited to fewer than about four a week, the report says. Dairy foods should be about a serving a day, or less.

The report from a panel of nutrition, agriculture and environmental experts recommends a plant-based diet, based on previously published studies that have linked red meat to increased risk of health problems. It also comes amid recent studies of how eating habits affect the environment. Producing red meat takes up land and feed to raise cattle, which also emit the greenhouse gas methane.

John Ioannidis, chair of disease prevention at Stanford University, said he welcomed the growing attention to how diets affect the environment, but that the report’s recommendations do not reflect the level of scientific uncertainties around nutrition and health.

“The evidence is not as strong as it seems to be,” Ioannidis said.

The report was organized by EAT, a Stockholm-based non-profit seeking to improve the food system, and published Wednesday by the medical journal Lancet. The panel of experts who wrote it says a “Great Food Transformation” is urgently needed by 2050, and that the optimal diet they outline is flexible enough to accommodate food cultures around the world.

Overall, the diet encourages whole grains, beans, fruits and most vegetables, and says to limit added sugars, refined grains such as white rice and starches like potatoes and cassava. It says red meat consumption on average needs to be slashed by half globally, though the necessary changes vary by region and reductions would need to be more dramatic in richer countries like the United States.

Convincing people to limit meat, cheese and eggs won’t be easy, however, particularly in places where those foods are a notable part of culture.

Think of it [meat] like lobster — something that I really like, but have a few times a year.– Walter Willett

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, systems analyst Cleberson Bernardes said as he was leaving a barbecue restaurant that letting himself eat just one serving of red meat a week would be “ridiculous.”

In Berlin, Germany, craftsman Erik Langguth said there are better ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and dismissed the suggestion that the world needs to cut back on meat.

“If it hasn’t got meat, it’s not a proper meal,” said Langguth, who is from a region known for its bratwurst sausages.

Before even factoring in the environmental implications, the report sought to sketch out what the healthiest diet for people would look like, said Walter Willett, one of its authors and a nutrition researcher at Harvard University. While eggs are no longer thought to increase risk of heart disease, Willett said the report recommends limiting them because studies indicate a breakfast of whole grains, nuts and fruit would be healthier.

He said everybody doesn’t need to become a vegan, and that many are already limiting how much meat they eat.

“Think of it like lobster — something that I really like, but have a few times a year,” Willett said.

Advice to limit red meat is not new, and is tied to its saturated fat content, which is also found in cheese, milk, nuts and packaged foods with coconut and palm kernel oils. The report notes most evidence on diet and health is from Europe and the United States. In Asian countries, a large analysis found eating poultry and red meat (mostly pork) was associated with improved lifespans. That might be in part because people might eat smaller amounts of meat in those
countries, the report says.

Reduce red meat for optimal health

Ioannidis of Stanford noted nutrition research is often based on observational links between diet and health, and that some past associations have not been validated. Dietary cholesterol, for example, is no longer believed to be strongly linked to blood cholesterol.

Under the new recommendations, consumption of fruits and vegetables would need to more than double compared with current diets. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

The meat and dairy industries also dispute the report’s recommendations, saying their products deliver important nutrients and can be part of healthy diets.

Andrew Mente, a nutrition epidemiology researcher at McMaster University, urged caution before making widespread dietary recommendations, which he said could have unintended consequences.

Still, the EAT-Lancet report’s authors say the overall body of evidence strongly supports reducing red meat for optimal health and shifting toward plant-based diets. They note the recommendations are compatible with the U.S. dietary guidelines, which say to limit saturated fat to 10 per cent of calories.

While people in some poorer counties may benefit from getting more of the nutrients in meat and dairy products, the report says they shouldn’t follow the path of richer countries in how much of those foods they eat in coming years.

Environmental benefits

Though estimates vary, a report by the United Nations said livestock is responsible for about 15 per cent of the world’s gas emissions that warm the climate.

Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway, said farming practices that make animals grow faster and bigger may help limit emissions.

But he said cows and other ruminant animals nevertheless produce a lot of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

“It’s very difficult to get down these natural emissions that are part of their biology,” Andrew said.

The environmental benefits of giving up red meat depend on what people eat in its place. Chicken and pork produce far fewer emissions than beef, Andrew said, adding that plants in general have among the smallest carbon footprints.

Brent Loken, an author of the EAT-Lancet report, said the report lays out the parameters of an optimal diet, but acknowledged the challenge in figuring out how to work with policy makers, food companies and others in tailoring and implementing it in different regions.


The Extinction Chronicles

Like so many Southeastern US states, North and South Carolina are already feeling the effects of the climate crisis. And also like in so many of these places, these effects will only become more pronounced unless we act boldly to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

“[I]n the coming decades, the region’s changing climate is likely to reduce crop yields, harm livestock, increase the number of unpleasantly hot days, and increase the risk of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses,” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Read on to learn more about how North Carolina and South Carolina could be affected by this ongoing crisis.


The beaches and barrier islands along the Carolina coastline…

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Ending the ivory trade is key to securing a future for the world’s elephants, more than 20,000 of which are killed by poachers each year for their tusks. The international community is finally waking up to this theat. The USA and China have already introduced near-total bans. France has tightened up its legislation. Taiwan and Hong Kong have committed to act. In the UK, the Ivory Bill is currently working its way through Parliament.

These measures are encouraging, and while much remains to be done, they bring hope that one day the slaughter may end.

But it’s not just elephants that are threatened by people’s desire for ivory. The teeth from several other species, including hippos, walruses and narwhals, are also on the traders’ and traffickers’ wish lists.

Common hippos are much less common than elephants – as few as 115,000 remain across their rapidly reducing range in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet more than 38,000 individual teeth, 26 tonnes of teeth by weight, 6,550 hippo tusks, almost 6,500 ‘carvings’, and various other hippo products were legally traded between countries in the 10 years to 2016 – many destined for EU Member States.

Walruses are also in demand for their ivory. Between 2007 and 2016, more than 150,000 carvings, 12,500 items of ‘jewellery’, and various other walrus items including teeth and tusks were declared to have been traded internationally.

The distinctive long helical ‘tusk’ of the male narwhal, which is actually an elongated canine tooth, is also coveted. More than 2,500 tusks, 2,100 carvings and various other products from these toothed whales were traded commercially between countries in the decade to 2016.

Other species such as warthogs are also targeted for their teeth, although because they are not currently classified as threatened, data on international trade is lacking.

While the international community is rightly focused on protecting elephants, we must not forget that the trade in ivory for trinkets and carvings also threatens several other species. Some UK traders have already flagged increasing interest in hippo ivory as a replacement for elephant ivory to maintain the value of some objects from which the ivory has been lost or broken, or as a means of getting around a future ban on elephant ivory.

The UK’s Ivory Bill is very welcome, but it currently only covers elephant ivory. Thanks to Born Free’s efforts, the Government has committed to consulting on extending the ban to other ivory-bearing species once the Bill becomes law. For the sake of hippos, walruses, narwhals and others, we must hold them to this commitment, so the UK can act as an example to the rest of the world.

These precious and diminishing wild animals will only be safe once we end the demand for, and trade in, all ivory products for good.

American hunter pays $100,000 to kill rare Himalayan ‘screw-horned’ goat, Pakistan’s national animal

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Officials say money from hunting licences goes to support local communities, but an animal rights group calls it a ‘complete shame’

Markhor watching terrain lying on the rocks
Markhor watching terrain lying on the rocks ( Getty Images/iStockphoto )

An American trophy hunter has paid $100,000 (£78,000) to kill a rare markhor or “screw horn” goat, the national animal of Pakistan.

Fewer than 6,000 markhors exist in the wild, most living among the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the animal features on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Nonetheless, local officials in Gilgit-Baltistan have issued permits for hunters to kill four Astore markhors – a subspecies with trademark flared horns – during the current season.

The American hunter was named in Pakistani media as John Amistoso, and local newspapers ran photographs of Mr Amistoso posing with a dead markhor.

The hunt…

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The Extinction Chronicles

Here at Climate Reality, we sometimes need to take a step back.

You know how your good friend Dave can rattle off pre-season stats with the precision of a brain surgeon, always seems to win your fantasy football league, and can’t begin to understand why you’re still rooting for [insert “Your Team” here]? Well, we’re kind of the Dave of climate action.

We’re so in the thick of climate everything that we can forget the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report isn’t exactly flying off the shelves, so to speak, like Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming.

But every so often, a headline will pop up that brings us right back down to the very Earth we’re working so hard to…

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Provincial patrols lead to night hunting charges

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Provincial patrols lead to night hunting charges

Some hunters are facing charges after provincial patrols say they spotted night hunting activity.

A pair of recent incidents have led to charges for a few hunters.

Manitoba Sustainable Development reports that recent night patrols, including aerial surveillance, have resulted in several night hunting related charges.

Officers patrolling near Ashern on Dec. 10, 2018, say they witnessed a vehicle driving down a municipal road, using a spotlight to light up areas just off the road. Officers watched as the occupants used the spotlight for more than a mile, before they stopped the vehicle. Two men from Lake Manitoba First Nation face a number of charges including hunting at night with lights, hunting on private land without permission and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle. A 2017 Ford F-150 pickup truck, loaded rifle and spotlight…

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Croatian bishop accidentally shoots hunter


Published: January 15, 2019


According to local media, the bishop has a reputation as an avid hunter. PHOTO: REUTERS

According to local media, the bishop has a reputation as an avid hunter. PHOTO: REUTERS

ZAGREB: A Croatian bishop accidentally shot and badly wounded a man while hunting wild boar, reports and officials said today, igniting criticism on social media in the mainly Catholic country.

Bishop Vjekoslav Huzjak was on an organised hunting trip in eastern Croatia on Friday when he misfired his rifle and struck another hunter in the thigh, the Vecernji List daily paper said.

The bishop’s Bjelovar-Krizevci diocese said in a statement that “he voices his deep sorrow for what has happened and wishes a quick recovery to the wounded hunter”.

Police, without identifying the bishop, said they “completed a probe of a 58-year-old man” who “shot at a wild boar but missed and the bullet hit a 64-year-old man”.

He was hospitalised in Zagreb with serious injuries but his life was not in danger, police said, adding that they would file a criminal complaint against the shooter.

‘Hunter becomes the hunted’: Lions eat poachers on South Africa reserve

“This is something unusual and such a thing has never happened in the recent history of our Church,” the Vecernji List paper quoted an anonymous church source as saying.

According to local media, the bishop has a reputation as an avid hunter.

The accident sparked many, mostly negative, comments on social media in Croatia, where nearly 90 per cent of the 4.2 million population are Roman Catholics.

“This is what happens when priests instead of sticking to altar get hold of a rifle … Amen!” one woman commented on Facebook.

“What is a bishop doing hunting? Killing creatures of God?” another man wrote. “Isn’t that against his service and faith he preaches?”

3 men cited for deer hunting violations in St. Martin Parish

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Three Louisiana men have been cited for alleged deer hunting violations in St. Martin Parish.

20-year-old Fabian Cavalier Jr., and 20-year-old  both of Pierre Part, were cited Monday for hunting deer during illegal hours, taking illegal deer during an open season, hunting deer from a boat, intentional concealment of illegal wildlife, hunting without basic and big game hunting licenses, and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Authorities say 19-year-old Hunter Gros of Morgan City was cited for allowing another person to use his hunting license. Cavalier Jr. was additionally cited for using another person’s hunting license.

LDWF agents received a tip that two people were hunting deer at night off the Belle River, a press release states.

The agents were able to make contact with Cavalier Jr. and Blanchard on the morning of Jan. 11 at a residence where they found…

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Coyote found trapped in popular recreation area near St. George sparks concern

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

A coyote lies captured in a trap on public state land just south of St. George, Washington County, Utah, Jan. 14, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A coyote caught in a trap near a road south of St. George and Washington City on public land frequented by outdoor enthusiasts has ignited concerns about wildlife welfare and the safety of pets and children.

Jill Chatelain’s day started as a routine Monday morning when she joined her friend for a walk with their three dogs along a dirt road just south of the Little Valley area, but the day soon made an upsetting turn.

About 2 miles into their walk through rocky, red-dirt terrain in the hills just west of St. George Regional Airport, the pair’s dogs began barking incessantly near a patch of bushes in a dry…

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