Anti-GMO Group Throws Feces and Rotten Eggs At Plant-Breeding Conference

Imagine being so upset that a group of plant breeders and botanists are talking about agriculture that you storm in wearing a mask and throw urine, cow poop, and rotten eggs everywhere. Imagine being so influenced by the cult of fear at a harmless substance that you result to throwing a thuggish temper tantrum and smear sh*t all over the walls. You don’t have to imagine anymore because this is exactly what happened at Swiss university ETH Zurich (What is it with university students and acting violently towards people they disagree with?).

This childish act of terrorism was directed at the European Society for Plant Breeding Research, which was supported by many pro-GM (Genetic Modification) companies. As a result of the actions, the conference had to be postponed. 300 people were evacuated from the conference room as it had to be cleaned. The conference did continue as planned later on that day.

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This is not the first time that Anti-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) proponents acted violently because they have no evidence to back up their irrational claims. One pro-GMO group was bombed last year, just one instance of tons that are coming into the light. Anti-GMO people fervently believe that GMO’s are untested, harmful, dangerous, and hurts small farmers. None of these have any proof at all. They use pictures of vegetables with syringes in them, children and minorities with look sick and zombified, and they make up words like Frankenfood, and Killer Tomatoes. They do this because no sound scientific research agrees with their conclusion that GMO’s are harmful. When you can’t beat them with facts, scare them!

It’s like a vaccines and Autism debate. Non-existant. There is no evidence that genetic modification is harmful, and it is about time we accepted the science over the fear-mongering. And no, Monsanto STILL has not paid me.

ADDENDUM:

8/30/2016 Eucarpia themselves released a statement on the issue. “Shit on technology” was written on the walls, and the suspects were followed by members of the speech and were arrested. As far as I know no group has come forward to take credit for the crime.

Why Global Warming Is Still A Fact Despite Ice Cap Increases

A weird phenomina is happening in terms of climatology, in which the arctic ice caps are melting, and at an all-time low, but the ANarctic ice caps are growing. Why is this?

Well, we can be rest assured that a cooling effect is not happened over the whole of Antarctica, in fact, temperatures in that area are drastically warming as well. And to be honest, this warming is probably the main cause of the ice cap increase.

“What? How can Global Warming cause MORE ice!? What about Al Gore!?”

The warmer ocean temperatures are creating for precipitation at the south pole, and as a result, the falling precipitation just adds to the already present ice. Along with a wide multitude of other complex factors, for insteance, SkepticalScience says:

“Increasing southern sea ice is due to a combination of complex phenomena including cyclonic winds around Antarctica and changes in ocean circulation.”

Global warming

I get it though, Al Gore said that he predicted the ice caps to be gone by 2014… but Al Gore is not even a scientist, so any prediction that he made is unqualified. He has no degree in environmental science and could not make such a precise claim, especially back in 2006 when all this debate among laymen was just starting.

This is why we should all be skeptical of claims by people, instead of just what the science says. Even if Al Gore had a PhD in environmental science, it would not have changed the facts much. Just having a degree doesn’t mean you are correct.

But in terms of human-caused climate change, the peer-reviewed scientific research on the field, as well as almost all scientists who continuously publish research findings in the field, agree that it is a thing. Resorting to petty excuses by those who don’t understand the basics of the science, does not do anything but to persuade gullible people who are likely to believe anything so long as it can be made into a conspiracy.

Through the acceptance of global warming and other environmental issues, we have developed technology that is lighter, uses less energy, costs less to use, and damages our planet less. Or in the terms of a famous comic strip:

climate science

 

Frost Flowers, Snow Donuts, and Ice Tornadoes

Well, not exactly Ice Tornadoes, they are called Brinicles. All three of these weather phenomona have to do with ice in some way, shape, or form, so I thought it would be nifty for all of you who are interested in such things.

  1. Frost Flowers

frost-flowers

Frost Flowers are intricate patterns of ice that emerge (usually on the surface of water-ice but have been seen on land too) that form a kind of flower shape. This happens when moist air suddenly condenses into ice and clumps together, which is why Frost Flowers can usually be seen in patches. They can grow to be 3-4 inches in diameter.

“Under these extreme circumstances ice vaporises into the dry air and then refreezes in the form of a frost flower. The pair confirmed this by recreating such conditions in the laboratory. They grew frost flowers from fresh water at 0  °C by cooling the surrounding air to around -25  °C.”

They are wonderful-looking phenomena, but sadly only happens in the arctic. This is a phenomena very similar to Hair Ice.

2. Snow Donuts

snow_rollers_4

At first I thought they were fake, as they don’t look as if they could be formed without some kind of human touch. Like Crop Circles.

where do they come from? Well, know they are really brittle to the touch, and can crumble, so you can’t ride them around. Some can be icy enough to play with, however. They need extremely specific conditions to form, including sticky snow, high (but not too powerful) winds, the perfect temperatures, a downword slope, and the right amount of light.

The way it occurs is like rolling up an old carpet before tossing it out. A little bit of snow rips off due to the wind, the loose snow circles around and gets stuck on some sticky snow further down the hill. And then wind and gravity just pushes it down as it grabs more snow in the process. Not unlike those snowballs that roll downhill and get larger in cartoons or video games.

3. Brinicles (Ice Tornadoes)

Brinicles form when supercold Brine (a salt solution higher than 5%) becomes dense due to the temperature and composition and start to sink the the bottom of the seafloor. Because the supercold brine is colder than freezing point, the water around it freezes as it drops.

Once this pillar touches the ocean floor, it quickly coats the bottom of the seafloor to ice, killing everything in its path. It’s easier to see than explain:

You can also learn much more about this awesome but deadly ice formation on the excellent channel on YouTube: SciShow.

Are Primates Vegan?

I often hear this argument from my fellow vegans, often using it to prove that humans are herbivores (we are no such thing). But in order to answer this question, some terms need to be defined.

Which primates? For the purpose of this article, I am going to stick mainly to our closest living evolutionary ancestor: the Chimpanzee. While Gorillas and a few other species eat far more vegetables than anything else, Chimps do not. Chimpanzee’s are known to eat animal flesh, fish, insects, honey, and eggs. According to one estimate:

“some years, the 45 chimpanzees of the main study community at Gombe kill and consume more than 1500 pounds of prey animals of all species. This is far more than most previous estimates of the weight of live animals eaten by chimpanzees. A large proportion of this amount is eaten in the dry season months of August and September. In fact, during the peak dry season months, the estimated per capita meat intake is about 65 grams of meat per day for each adult chimpanzee. This approaches the meat intake by the members of some human foraging societies in the lean months of the year.”

Although meat alone is estimated to only account for 3% of the chimps total dietary intake. The biggest percentage of chimpanzee diet consists of fruit, seeds, leaves, etc. But Chimps are mainly considered frugavores due to their dietary staple of fruit, mainly figs. But about 8-10% of their diet at any given time may consist of meat, eggs, honey, fish, or insects.

So are Chimps vegan? Not even close. But are chimp diets healthier? Of course… kinda.

Chimpanzee’s eat a ton of fruit, but they also actively burn off those dense sugar calories throughout the day through hunting and foraging. So people like Freelee the Banana Girl, who vigorously bikes, or highly active Ben from NoMeatAthelete, would have no issue with a high fruit diet, because like Chmpanzee’s, they burn off the calories and excess sugar before it becomes stored as fat.

But what about humans? While it should be obvious to anyone that eating unlimited fruit everyday will result in weight gain, eating a diet up to 75% fruit has more than just a weight gain issue. As long as you stay within your BMR+Activity Level you’re not likely to gain much in weight, but a few other issues pop up:

Tooth Decay

Depending on the type of fruit you eat, and your dental hygene, high fruit diets can be linked to tooth decay. A study done in 2014 actually concluded with fruit smoothies causing significant erosion of tooth enamel. Does this mean not to eat fruit? Of course not! Certainly eat fruit! But for tooth health, it is probably better to reduce fruit intake and focus mainly on other vegetables.

Deficiency

A high fruit diet needs to be heavily supplemented or fortified in order to get the right amount of various vitamins and minerals, especially if the fruit diet is as high as 75% of the diet. Fruit is usually low in Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, protein, and fat, among others, which have to be made up through supplementation and high bean and legume intake. It’s hard enough to get adequate nutrition on a vegan diet simply by eating a ton of healthy vegetables, beans, and even fortified foods, it’s best not to put that health at risk for a fad diet with no backing.

But I do agree that eating more vegetables and fruit and less meat and processed foods would make for a much better diet. But we can agree with that WITHOUT stomping on zoology and lying about animal diets to do so.

Can Raccoons Give Humans Rabies? Is Rabies A Threat?

I have actually tried to research this for years since raccoons are known to be on the forefront of just about anything referring to rabies. Which, of course, it should be near the top, raccoons are definitely known to be a huge carrier of rabies, in fact, they are on the top of the list, according to a 2015 Rabies Surveillance Report.

But is rabies that much of a threat from raccoons? Well, not really. While Rabies is definitely a deadly viral infection to have, only 2 cases in the last 15 years of human-induced rabies have come from raccoons, the most common giver of rabies according to the CDC, are… Bats.

And you thought raccoon's were scary
And you thought raccoon’s were scary

Of the 34 cases of rabies occurring in humans that have occurred from 2003 to 2013, 22 of those arose from bites from bats, many from a particular bat, the Tadarida Brasiliensis. Of the rest, 9 more came from dogs, and one was unknown. So out of all the wild animals that humans get rabies from, you should be more afraid of bats, then you should be of raccoons, depending on species.

That is not to say that you should just run out and snuggle with a wild raccoon, hell no. Raccoons are known to be vicious after the onset of puberty, and can cause severe lacerations when provoked. Raccoons can also be a vector of a myriad of diseases, including Roundworm and Leptospirosis, which can be in their feces or even on their fur. But raccoons should not be a figurehead of fear due to their susceptibility to rabies, as most raccoons don’t have the disease.

Rabies, as well as being contagious rarely, can also cause an animal to lash out, resulting in a myriad of news articles about rabies infected animals attacking people. But despite what the news may have you believe, this also occures very rarely.

It would also behoove us to find more humane ways of detecting rabies in an animal, as the only known method to date is by shooting the animal dead, and then decapitating the dead body to test the brain tissue. This has been the bane of the few people who’s pets were suspected of having rabies.

My advice, would be not to unnecessarily fear wild animals for the more fact that they are wild animals, but at the same time, don’t be stupid. Petting a wild raccoon should obviously be a No-go, but raccoon kits can make decent domesticated pets before puberty, and you can watch them or even hand them food safely without fear of assault, and this is true for most small mammals.

Then again, I really enjoy wildlife, so maybe I am just biased on this issue.

Do Wild Animals Suffer From Nutrient Deficiencies? And Intuitive Eating

I have heard it said that humans are the only animals that worry about their nutrient intake, this is not true. While intuitive eating might be accurate for wild animals who grew up for tens of thousands of years to hundreds of thousands of years and have thus adapted their diets to the food that was available, such as Pandas eating almost exclusively Bamboo, but human’s are much more complex than that.

And so are animals.

Animals are often only used to intuitive eating if it is in the wild, but once an animal goes Urban, or are relocated, nutritional issues often soon result. Due to the high abundance of calorie laden foods and nutritionally defunct foods in urban environments. This can not only cause issues with vitamins and minerals, but can cause something even more severe: Obesity.

fatFree-Living baboons for instance, who are wild by live near civilization and have tons of food sources, were more likely to be less active, and have a body fat percentage 21% more than their forest dwelling counterparts. Also, in another study, captive Rhesus Monkeys and Macaques were found to be more prone to Obesity than their wild-dwelling counterparts. And if that is not enough, a single case study done on a pet Raccoon in 2008 showed it to have Type 2 Diabetes, which is caused by genetics and poor dietary choices.

Captivity and relocation may cause an animal severe harm through malnutrition as well, as mentioned by Tufts University:

Changes in diet through captivity or relocation may result in severe health problems. For example, some animals like the giraffe have a natural physiological requirement for browsing, while others require particular grasses. It has also been shown that dried hays and grasses commonly fed to our domestic livestock may not contain sufficient Vitamin E for some wild ungulates. Vitamin E related health problems will occur in these animals if supplementation or fresh grasses are not given.

Due to relocation of raccoons, for instance, up to 75% of raccoons die within the first year due to inability to find food, poor nutrition, stress, and many other factors.

So yes, animals that are born and raised in a single unchanging environment are able to focus on intuitive eating to get the proper nutrition, but animals in captivity, as puts, or situated around urban environments can’t focus that way. Probably due to “human” food tasting good overpowering the desire to seek out fresh fruits and veggies, and simply relying on scraps, which is also easier to do.

So no, humans are not the only animals who have to diet to get all of our nutritional needs.

The Decaffination Process Is Not Poison

First of all, let me dispel a myth right now, Decaf coffee has LESS caffeine, not NO caffeine. Decaffinated coffee, for instance, must have most caffeine removed, but it can still hold a lot of caffeine if you drink it in bulk.  So while drinking decaf tea or coffee might be a wonderful choice for someone suffering from Insomnia or Acid Reflux, it is not a cure-all or a wellness drink.

Many people have been worried that decaf products are bad for you, simply due to one of the methods in which caffeine is extracted from the beans. Of the four methods, using methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, carbon dioxide or water, the methylene chloride method has been mostly criticized because inhaling this chemical as a vapor has been known to cause cancer in rats if inhaled. However, drinking this chemical has yet to find a single harmful effect, and the amount of residue in the bean after the decaffeination process is so negligible that any fears are not rooted in reality.

Since we know that substance toxicity is cause by concentration, not mere exposure, it is important to point out that “exposure of children to methylene chloride in drinking water should not exceed 10 milligrams/liter (mg/L) for 1 day or 2 mg/L for 10 days” which is the same for decaf coffee, which must not exceed 10 Parts Per Million, or in other words 9.8 milligrams/liter. So unless you drink a more than a liter of decaf coffee a day (4 cups a day), you should be OK.

Coffee is known to have health benefits, and a lot of them are connected to the anti-oxidants found in coffee. While decaf coffee has less of these, it is still OK to drink. I will not say that decaf is a health drink, but like I said before, people suffering from insomnia or acid reflux would do well to steer clear from caffeine, and decaf is a way for them to enjoy the taste coffee or tea without having to worry about caffeine messing with them.

But in conclusion, no, the decaf process is not a poisonous process that causes cancer, like some health bloggers may suggest.