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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-23 15:03
Glowing Fish & Bucketfuls of Spider Silk in Goat Milk, Frankenstein’s Cat by Emily Anthes Showcases Some of the Wonders of the Biotechnological World While also Raising Some Important Questions!
Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts - Emily Anthes




The penultimate installment in Project Frankenstein was a joy to read. It was relatively short and full of stuff that I find interesting. I am dividing this review into three parts:


1. Here is a Snippet from the book:



2. Then there were these Sciency Bits that I enjoyed ruminating upon:

Cloning other adult mammals reinforced the discovery that nuclear transfer can reset genes contained in specialized cells back to their embryonic state.

It meant that the genetic clock could supposedly be turned back if things didn’t go so well the first time!

It is my content that the northern grasslands would have remained viable…had the great herds of Pleistocene animals remained in place to maintain the landscape.

This occurred to me for the first time. Yes, the Ice Ages may have changed the landscape physically but it also caused the extinction of the grazers and caused changes in a roundabout way.

…(tuna) are warm-blooded, which makes them oddities in the fish world but keeps them toasty…

They are what?! Why are you doing this to me world? I was so happy, thinking all fish are cold-blooded but no! I hate nature!

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)

While The Sixth Extinction left me without hope, this book helped me see that we aren’t all bad eggs. Yes, humans have brought the onset of Anthropocene and change environment wherever they go…

We have harvested so many of these large deer, elk, and sheep over the centuries that many species have evolved smaller body and horn sizes. Similarly, fish have adapted to human harvesting by developing thinner bodies capable of sneaking out of nets.

Yet, organizations like ICCAT are keeping track of the number of bluefin tuna that are being pulled out of water annually. The Integrated Ocean Observing System is tagging elephant seals and other swimmers to gather information about the marine environment. Then there is Ocean Tracking Network that has been busy installing underwater listening stations that will pick up on tagged animals. The list of scientists and researchers trying to collect information goes on and on. There is even an attempt to engage the public and increase awareness via animal Facebook profiles. The point is, it took us decades if not more to wreck things. We will need some time to put them back together and it is a pity if nature doesn’t grant us that respite.


3. And a Franken-Bit that I shook an admonitory finger at:

The manufacturers of AquAdvantage salmon think that by producing only sterile female fish, they can keep them from reproducing or passing along their genes.



Even though the book raises pertinent questions about whether animals can incur psychological damage from being tagged, it doesn’t answer them. To be fair, most of us won’t be able to say no to a drug, if it would save a loved one, even if one or two clauses of animal rights weren’t observed!


Could you?




Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on October 23, 2017.

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review 2016-07-26 23:46
Did Santa's Reindeer Like Pulling that Sled ?
Santa's First Vegan Christmas - Robin Raven

Children will love this version of Christmas story. It tells a story bout a reindeer who didn't want to wear that uncomfortable harness. The deer explains to Santa about her fears and concerns. Santa listens, and the world changes focus. Spending their lives chained or strapped to a harness isn't the way animals were meant to live. Children understand this but are taught that it is the way things are. What if it wasn't how things went anymore ? What if we changed ?
This a lovely short story to read to your children, about giving and loving. It is not just for the Vegan family but for all who love animals and believe we can/should do better. Positive and educational. The illustrations are bright and full of emotion

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text 2014-11-01 02:30
Animal Law Update: Oregon Supreme Court Determines Animals Can Be Considered Crime Victims

We made some more strides forward in animal protection.


"The issue confronting the Oregon Supreme Court was limited to whether animals could be considered “victims” for the purposes of sentencing under the animal neglect statute. If so, then the counts against the defendant would not be able to be merged and he could be sentenced for 20 separate convictions."

Source: akcdoglovers.com/2014/09/17/animal-law-update-oregon-supreme-court-determines-animals-can-be-considered-crime-victims/?utm_source=AKCommunicates&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20140925&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRoluq3JZKXonjHpfsX56OklWaKzgokz
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review 2013-10-13 23:42
Eating Animals
Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer

I’m sitting here after finishing this book asking myself - how is it possible that only one short month ago I was regularly and obliviously munching away on fish and meat without the least idea of what goes into their production and delivery to my table?

The way this author approached the topic of eating animals really resonated with me.  It was personal, it was engaging, he conveyed the information and expressed his preferences without making me feel I had to follow suit. 

I love how he began and ended with stories of the cultural and familial importance of food and the stories we tell ourselves about the people who cook them.  As a mother, a large part of my time is spent thinking about food and how to get the best quality nutrients into my family.  Reading this made me reflect upon what kind of values and memories I am creating now as I prepare and serve food for my daughter. 

I am thankful I've already given up eating meat because otherwise I would not have been able to stomach reading the information contained within.  I don’t want to write about any of the horrible and common factory farming and slaughter practices so clearly laid out in this book.  If you are interested or willing to face the true cost of what you are putting into your body and that of your family then read this book. 

Can the choice to stop eating animals make a difference?  This is the question I have been asking myself which he addresses in the final chapter.  Well, at a minimum, my choice will not contribute to the torture and death of one more pig, cow, chicken, turkey or fish simply because my fleeting and fickle appetite demands it.  For now, while I grapple with these questions a while longer, it’s enough. 

Reviewed November 18, 2009

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review 2013-10-13 23:21
The Food Revolution - This Book Changed My Life
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World - John Robbins,Dean Ornish

Over twenty years ago I read Diet for a New America and after a short flirtation with vegetarianism; I somehow managed to forget most of what I absorbed.  Since having my own family, facing increasing, personal health issues and growing up a little, I have slowly been working up the courage to face the facts so clearly outlined in this book.


This is one of those books that you wish everyone would read.  If the information about diet and health, modern food production, the torture of animals in the name of appetite instead of necessity and the environmental destruction that is occurring as a result was more widely known, surely there would be a massive change in every North American’s lifestyle and health.  I am shocked at how effective the advertising campaigns of dairy and meat producers have been in brainwashing me into believing those foods were necessary for my health.  Apparently the overwhelming majority of world-wide research shows that a plant based diet greatly decreases the risk of acquiring heart disease and many types of cancer and in cultures where this type of diet is standard, incidence of these diseases are very low.  


Reading about the deplorable conditions of animals in huge, overcrowded, factory farms, the way they are transported to the slaughterhouse and what happens when they get there made me sick to my stomach.  Reading about how the tropical rainforests are being destroyed and thousands of plant and animal species lost forever in order for more cattle to graze so we can have hamburgers 5 cents cheaper is horrifying.  The amount of water needed to produce a pound of vegetables or grains is a fraction of what is needed to produce a pound of beef for our consumption. 


John Robbins goes on page after page backed up by worldwide research that we are doing enormous damage to our selves and the rest of the natural world by continuing unnecessarily to eat a diet rich in animal products.  The last part of the book focuses on genetically modified foods being designed with pesticides and herbicides built right in.  The potential for destruction is enormous and terrifying.  Many soybean, corn and canola crops currently planted in North America are of this Round-up Ready variety.  I will be reading every label that could potentially contain oil or ingredients made from these products with infinite care.  There is so much valuable and urgent information contained within this book.  If you are the least bit interested in your health or the health of our world and all of its inhabitants then I urge you to read this work. 


On the back of the book it says, “This book can save your life”.  Not only can it save your life, but if enough people opened their eyes to the truths contained within and acted on them, I believe it could also help save our world. 


Reviewed October 27, 2009


Note:  It's been four years since I read this book and as a result stopped eating and using animal products.  My life has expanded and been enriched in so many ways. 

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