Bison in Trouble:
A number of articles are making the rounds speculating that videos and reports of the mass exodus of animals from Yellowstone National Park coupled a with recent seismic activity may be sign that the giant Supervolcano that lies underneath the park is ready to blow. If this were to happen it would spell the end for millions and dumps choking ash across a large chunk of the US. But as I have learned, before you attempt to explain a strange phenomenon it is best to establish that the phenomenon exists in the first place. Sharron Hill of Doubtful News traces this story back to an article in the Epoch Times (a paper run Falun Gong adherents) in which the author cites two bloggers as sources. One bloggers was quoted, “Whether I believe this, or whether I don’t believe the story or not, I don’t know. I can tell you this story I saw this morning about the buffaloes running the street … whether or not it’s because of any activity in Yellowstone or not, I don’t know,…But I’ll tell you this, whatever the case may be, that their running away from Yellowstone is an alert of some sort.”
Except that the video cited shows bison running into the park rather than fleeing it. But even if reports of animals leaving Yellowstone are true they would not be unusual. In fact this is precisely the time of year when we should be seeing more such movement. As noted by chief of public affairs for Yellowstone, Al Nash, “We do have bison, elk and other animals that have moved outside the park recently, but they’re doing that because it’s the depth of winter, food is a little hard to find in places inside Yellowstone, and they tend to migrate at this time of the winter outside the park to lower elevations where they think there might be something to eat that’s easier to get at. When the snow melts off and things start to green up, those very same animals will walk right back into the park.”
But while this latest hubbub is nothing more than wild speculation, not all is well and good with the bison of Yellowstone. Reduced from a population of millions that spanned large portions of the country to a small fraction of that in scattered herds, the vast majority in commercial operations. Only a handful of wild herds still exist with Yellowstone’s being the largest. Over the years these last of the wild bison have been faced a politically motivated assault largely driven by cattle ranching interests with the scientifically tenuous excuse the risk of transmission of brucellosis to domestic cattle. Because of this the bison face being chased back into the park or being shot by hunters when they cross the imaginary boundaries of the park. Inside the park officials also trap the bison where they are then shipped off for slaughter as part of a population management plan. The current plan calls for the slaughter of 600 – 800 bison over the course of the winter.
But these actions have not been without opposition. Perhaps the most active organization on this issue is the Buffalo Field Campaign, who have waged battles in the courts and on the ground to protect the Yellowstone bison. To learn more about the BFC and what you may be able to do to help check out this interview on Animal Voices Radio and visit the BFC website for periodic updates and news.
Vegetarians Vs Meat Eaters:
Ginny Messina, aka The Vegan RD, has taken on the latest piece of research being passed by smug meat-eaters,
“Vegetarians Found to Have More Cancer, Allergies, and Mental Health Disorders.” That’s the alarming headline from a website called Science 2.0 (which also declares vegetarianism to be a “fad diet.”)
They are referring to new research in Austrian vegetarians published in the journal PLoS One. The study compared self-reported health among 1,320 subjects who were divided into groups according to the type of diet they consumed. Although the media jumped all over it, there has been plenty of more thoughtful discussion among nutrition experts about the shortcomings of this research…
Please read the full piece here.
More to Chew On:
I think it important for people to challenge themselves. So with that in mind I want to share a recent post from James McWilliams titled, “Veganism’s Shaky Pillars”.
Let me know what you think.