November Notes on Health & Humanity

While I’m happy to share these stories with you this morning, I write on them with a bit of sadness and frustration, because my normal outlet for “shares,” Google Reader, has been overhauled by Google. The company removed the following, sharing, and commenting functions from the RSS program, meaning many of us Reader loyalists are no longer able to wake up and engage with our closest friends about what we each believe to be the relevant articles of the day. Rather than be swayed over to Google+, which was [I believe] their intent, I thought I’d migrate my “shares” here for the time being. Let’s hope Hivemined lives up to the hype.

  • Next week, the United States Supreme Court will hear an animal cruelty case that pits a California law requiring the humane euthanizing of “nonambulatory pigs” (pigs that arrive at a slaughterhouse unable to walk) against the National Meat Association, which will argue that the law results in a significant monetary loss to the meat industry. The National Meat Association is requesting the Court strike down the law on preemption grounds. California, President Obama [who issued an order on this in 2009 with respect to cow slaughter] and the Humane Society, among other individuals and organizations, believe the law reduces the number of sick animals that end up in grocery stores and increases slaughterhouse humanity by painlessly ending the lives of hurt animals. The National Meat Association disagrees. The parties will come before the nine justices on November 9th.
  • Yesterday, president Obama’s medical records were released.  Not only is he nicotine-free, he also has envious cholesterol levels, which he achieved without the aid of cholesterol medication. What is more, Obama’s cholesterol is down from previous years. An impressive feat for someone who has more than his own life on his mind at all times, no?
  • This actually occurred on 10/31; however, it’s so bizarre that it’s worth a mention. We’ve all shared the gym with gymgoers who insist on grunting, ripping their shirts off, slamming their weights to the ground after each set, and pounding their water like they’re shotgunning a beer. It’s never fun. I find it hard to believe that person is having too much fun, either. A man at a Gold’s Gym in upstate New York took his grunting and slamming to whole new heights, leading to tons of tasers and his death. Crazy.
  • We’ve been told to watch the sulfates and silicones in our shampoos and soaps, but the chemicals dioxane and quaternium-15 in Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo give the double-s threat a run for its money. Dioxane and quaternium-15 release formaldehyde, which many of us may remember from our sixth-grade science classes because it’s that preservative that made the entire room smell awful when you were dissecting your frog. The chemicals are of questionable safety and potentially carcinogenic, and groups are now urging consumers to boycott the company until they remove the chemicals from their U.S. products, an initiative the company allegedly began two years ago.
Also, yesterday [11/1] was World Vegan Day. Did anyone celebrate?

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Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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