Friday, December 22, 2006

A couple of interesting articles

I came across two articles this week that raised some interesting vegetarian-related issues:

*According to a large British study, children with higher IQs are more likely to become vegetarians. The study found that "for every 15-point increase in childhood IQ score at age 10, kids were 38% more likely to be vegetarians at age 30." Interestingly, this did not hold true for vegans, although the sample was so small for that group that it could be a statistical quirk; the study found that vegans' average childhood IQ score was about 10 points lower than other vegetarians. There was no difference between strict vegetarians and "vegetarians" who sometimes ate chicken or fish.

Vegetarians also tended to come from and stay in a higher social class, and were more likely to be female.

*In the Dec. 14 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (with Snoop Dogg in a Santa hat on the cover), there's a long article called "Boss Hog" about Smithfield Foods and how the "sea of waste" from pork producers is so devastating to the environment.

Did you know that there are more pigs than people in North Carolina? I was aware of the environmental effect in the eastern part of the state when Hurricane Floyd came through in 1999 and washed 120 million gallons of hog waste into the rivers, but I wasn't quite aware of the everyday effects -- such as volatile gases and oxygen-choking bacteria that are expelled into the air, to kill fish in rivers and cause health problems for people who live nearby.

You can read the article here. A word of caution: The article contains graphic photographs and language. It may make you furious. It should.

The article would totally stop me from eating pork if I hadn't already done so.


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