Plant-based meat alternatives have seen booming interest from consumers, prompting a growing number of companies to enter the space in hopes of carving out a spot for their products in the competitive supermarket aisle. Consumers increasingly want to reduce their meat consumption amid growing concerns over health risks, animal welfare and environmental hazards.
Spurred by the success of California-based Beyond Meat <BYND.DE>, veteran meat companies have also entered the market. Shoppers at U.S. grocery stores have many plant-based options, with several companies planning to roll out meat alternatives by the end of this year.
Beyond Meat: burgers, sausages, ground meat and crumbles made of protein from peas, brown rice, sunflower seeds and mung beans are available at more than 53,000 retailers and restaurants worldwide. Impossible Foods: a "bleeding" burger made from soy protein, the patty was originally sold only to fast-food chains, including at Burger King, which begins selling the "Impossible Whopper" nationwide this month. The company on July 31 received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell its burger in grocery stores. Impossible said it plans to sell in select supermarkets in September, but declined to provide details on its retail launch.
Nestle SA <NESN.S>: The world's largest packaged food group seeks to sell a pea-based veggie patty called Awesome Burger under its U.S. plant-based Sweet Earth brand in supermarkets and restaurants in September or October. The company is already selling the Awesome Burger at McDonald's <MCD.N> restaurants in Germany.
Tyson Foods Inc <TSN.N>: The U.S. meat producer in June launched its first vegetarian and mixed protein line, including vegetarian nuggets, blended protein burgers made from beef and pea protein, and sausages and meatballs that combine chicken with plants. The nuggets entered U.S. grocery stores in the summer, with burgers expected in the fall.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc <MFI.TO>: The Canadian packaged meat producer's subsidiary Greenleaf Foods produces plant-based burgers and ground meat under its Lightlife brand. It also owns the Field Roast brand that makes plant-based sausages, burgers, deli slices, meat loafs and roasts..
Perdue Foods: The chicken producer, part of family-owned Perdue Farms, has launched frozen chicken nuggets mixed with cauliflower, chickpeas and other plant protein, with more blended and potentially fully plant-based products in the pipeline. Perdue's plant-blended line will be available at retailers by September.
Smithfield Foods Inc: The meat-processing company owned by China's WH Group Ltd <0288.HK> has launched a line of plant-based burgers, meat balls, sausages and ground meat made of soy. The products will be available at Kroger Co, Sprouts Farmers Market Inc <SFM.O> and Target Corp <TGT.N> starting in mid-September.
The Meatless Farm Co: The Britain-based meat alternatives company has launched its sausages, burgers and ground meat made of pea, rice and soy protein in an exclusive deal with Whole Foods in the United States. Meatless Farm's chief executive, Robert Woodall, told Reuters the company looks to manufacture in the United States and plans to launch at other retailers next year.
Direct observations from a NASA space telescope have for the first time revealed the atmospheric void of a rocky, Earth-sized world beyond our own solar system orbiting the most common type of star in the galaxy, according to a study released on Monday.
The research, published in the scientific journal Nature, also shows the distant planet's surface is likely to resemble the barren exterior of the Earth's moon or Mercury, possibly covered in dark volcanic rock.
The planet lies about 48.6 light years from Earth and is one of more than 4,000 so-called exoplanets identified over the past two decades circling distant stars in our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
Known to astronomers as LHS 3844b, this exoplanet about 1.3 times the size of Earth is locked in a tight orbit - one revolution every 11 hours - around a small, relatively cool star called a red dwarf, the most prevalent and long-lived type of star in the galaxy. The planet's lack of atmosphere is probably due to intense radiation from its parent red dwarf, which, though dim by stellar standards, also emits high levels of ultraviolet light, the study says.
The study will likely add to a debate among astronomers about whether the search for life-sustaining conditions beyond our solar system should focus on exoplanets around red dwarfs - accounting for 75% of all stars in the Milky Way - or less common, larger, hotter stars more like our own sun.
The principal finding is that it probably possesses little if any atmosphere - a conclusion reached by measuring the temperature difference between the side of the planet perpetually facing its star, and the cooler, dark side facing away from it.
A negligible amount of heat carried between the two sides indicates a lack of winds that would otherwise be present to transfer warmth around the planet.
"The temperature contrast on this planet is about as big as it can possibly be," said researcher Laura Kreidberg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is lead author of the study.
Similar analysis previously was used to determine that another exoplanet, 55 Cancri e, about twice as big as Earth and believed to be half-covered in molten lava, likely possesses an atmosphere thicker than Earth's. This exoplanet, unlike LHS 3844b, orbits a sun-like star.
The planet in the latest study was detected last year by NASA's newly launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, an orbiting telescope that pinpoints distant worlds by spotting periodic, dips in the light observed from their parent stars when an object passes in front of them.
But it was follow-up observations from another orbiting instrument, the Spitzer Space Telescope, which can detect infrared light directly from an exoplanet, that provided new insights about its features.
The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest dog registry, leading industry authority and advocate for dogs, is proud to announce the launch of the AKC PupPals Program.
The AKC PupPals Program provides dog owners a unique opportunity to uplift a child who is seeking the comfort only a dog can provide.
A parent/legal guardian may request an AKC PupPal for a child that may suffering from an illness, the illness or death of a loved one (human or pet), the deployment of a parent, or otherwise going through a difficult time. In order to serve this need, AKC Public Education is seeking help from dog owners. Owners may utilize an online form to submit a photo of and information about their dog.
AKC Public Education will utilize this information to create and send a card to the child. The card will include facts about the breed, an owner provided photo, fun information about the dog, and a personalized letter to the child. All dogs are welcome to participate.
“AKC Public Education is always seeking ways to highlight the importance of the human-canine bond and bring communities together. The AKC PupPals Program is another way to accomplish that and we look forward to providing children with the comfort of a canine friend,” says Meredith Saraceno, Public Education Manager.
Firefighters rescued 78 animals from a fire at Pet Paradise, a pet resort in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday.
Dogs and cats were taken to local veterinary clinics in the area to be treated for smoke inhalation, CBS 19 News reported.
The Daily Progress reported that about 10 animals were in critical condition. Some animals were being taken to the Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, and some were going to shelters and foster homes.
In a message on its website Monday morning, Pet Paradise Charlottesville stated:
Our management team continues to be focused on ensuring the safety of all the pets at Pet Paradise Charlottesville after this emergency. As of this morning, we have contacted all the owners and notified them of their pets locations. The pets previously reported in critical condition are now in stable condition and being cared for by local veterinary hospitals. We currently have 2 cats and 1 dog that escaped during the emergency last night. Our team members spent the night searching for these pets and our number one priority is locating them and safely returning them to our owners. Our efforts today will be focused on locating these pets.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at about 6:25 p.m. and had extinguished it by 8 p.m. One firefighter was taken to the hospital after suffering heat-related injuries, according to CBS 19.
Ahead of Whale Shark Day on August 30, tour providers of the Mexican Caribbean have welcomed new government-mandated regulations to protect the largest fish in the world. Introduced by Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), the innovative new policies aim to safeguard these famous endangered creatures while preserving the magical appeal that attracts an increasing number of visitors to swim with the whale sharks each season from May to September.
"As scores of animal lovers discover this unique experience each year, the rising popularity of swimming with whale sharks effects a rising need to protect this special species," said Dario Flota Ocampo, director of Quintana Roo Tourism Board. "These new restrictions showcase our efforts to promote sustainable tourism practices to conserve the species for future generations."
Whale sharks are observed throughout the northern Quintana Roo coast in Holbox, Cancun and Isla Mujeres, where the gentle giants – which can reach up to 40 feet and weigh as much as 15 tons – migrate to feed on plankton and small fish each year. The Mexican Caribbean has the largest gathering of whale sharks in the world. Visitors can sustainably see the sharks on tours managed by trained experts including Eco Colors, which led area ecotourism with its first whale shark swims nearly 20 years ago and has partnered with leading organizations including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy. Eco Colors tours are led by marine biologists or naturalists, so swimmers receive expert guidance on their tour. In Isla Mujeres, which boasts the densest concentration of whale sharks, Ceviche Tours averages five to 50 whale sharks on each excursion. Ceviche Tours guides photograph the whale sharks to contribute to worldwide sighting, tracking and photo identification efforts. Of course, the company also serves guests a fresh lunch of its namesake dish at the end of each tour.
Strict safety and sustainability guidelines include buddy-system swimming (maximum two people in the water at one time), no touching of whale sharks, a minimum six-feet distance policy, and no flash photography. No more than 10 people are allowed per boat.
Homelessness is a huge problem for animals all over the world. Even if it’s nearly impossible to count how many stray dogs there are, the World Health Organization estimates that about 200 million around the planet do not have a home. Sadly, it doesn’t seem the problem will be soon fixed. Therefore, a major part of those pups won’t have a home and a family.
“This problem has escalated to the point where it would take decades of a concentrated spay-neuter program in a city like Houston to begin to reduce the numbers,” said Peter Zheutlin, a rescue dog advocate in US. “The shelters are not often high priorities for governments either when they’ve got competing demands from the school department, the police department, the fire department, parks, sanitation. Who speaks for the dogs?”
However, surprisingly one country has beaten all the odds, becoming the first nation without homeless dogs. Over the last few years, Holland has been working hard to fix their stray dog problem and it finally paid off! And now the Netherlands has officially become the first country without stray dogs.
Let’s hope that other countries will follow their example. And here’s how they managed to deal with it.
Their first step was to implement a country-wide sterilization program. Every dog that was brought in for sterilization was also given a medical exam and brought up-to-date on any vaccinations needed. This, too, was instrumental in cutting back on the spread of diseases like rabies.
Then, the authorities passed a new set of laws in order to improve the animals rights and to protect their health. The Dutch government also raised taxes on store dogs to encourage people to rescue dogs from shelter.
“Animals — and our entire society — need the animal police,” said Marianne Thieme, leader of the Party for the Animals. “There is a direct link between violence against animals and violence against humans.”
Veterinarians may soon have access to an antibody effective in the treatment of canine parvovirus (CPV).
KindredBio has released positive results from a pilot efficacy study of KIND-030, a chimeric, high-affinity monoclonal antibody targeting the virus.
The study looked at 12 dogs, of which four were treated prophylactically and two were treated after establishment of the infection. Treated dogs in both settings survived, compared to none in the applicable placebo group.
“We are excited to announce our parvovirus antibody program, which targets a significant unmet medical need that results in very high mortality,” says KindredBio CEO Richard Chin. “We are pleased with the positive study results and are targeting approval of this product candidate by late 2020 or early 2021.”
CPV is the most significant contagious viral cause of enteritis in dogs, especially puppies, reporting mortality rates as high as 91 percent, KindredBio says.
Animal care professionals may want to reconsider the way they handle their feline patients.
This is according to Tufts University’s latest “Ask the Expert” column, in which veterinary behaviorist Stephanie Borns-Weil and emergency/critical care veterinary technician Michelle Damon challenge the practice of “scruffing”—or grabbing a cat by the loose skin at the back of its neck in a clinical setting.
The technique, which is believed by many to be an effective way of restraining and relaxing feline patients by mimicking how a mother cat transports her kittens, generally causes fear and stress in adult cats rather than calm.
“Mother cats only carry kittens by the scruff for the first few weeks of life,” the experts write. “They can do that because kittens have a reflex in which their bodies go totally limp when picked up by the scruff—a reflex that is lost by adolescence.”
As adults, the only times a cat is held by the scruff is while mating or when under attack by a predator. Clinically, what is often perceived as “relaxation” in a scruffed cat is actually behavioral shutdown in response to a very high level of fear and stress, Borns-Weil and Damon say.
On Aug. 15, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said six states have confirmed cases of VS: Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.
Since its previous Situation Report on Aug. 10, no new states have been confirmed positive for VS (Vesicular Stomatitis Virus). However, counties within previously affected states have been confirmed newly positive:
- Colorado: Arapahoe, Gunnison, and Mineral counties
- Nebraska: Scottsbluff County
- Texas: Bosque and Dallas counties
- Wyoming: Albany and Sweetwater counties
For a full listing of affected states and counties with corresponding numbers of affected (confirmed and suspect) and quarantined premises, see the APHIS-published PDF. Link available at talkinpets.com within this story.
Vesicular stomatitis virus can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals. Lesions usually heal in two or three weeks.
Because of the virus’ contagious nature and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover with supportive care by a veterinarian.
“Vesicular stomatitis has been conﬁrmed only in the Western Hemisphere,” APHIS said on its website. “It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America, and outbreaks of the disease in other temperate geographic parts of the hemisphere occur sporadically. The Southwestern and Western United States have experienced a number of vesicular stomatitis outbreaks, (and) the most recent and largest VS outbreak occurred in 2015. Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.”
A crowd of about a dozen showed little reaction when a performance of “Billy Elliot: The Musical” finished up as part of Ontario’s Stratford Festival.
That’s not because they didn’t like the show. It was, rather, because they were a group of good boys and girls, CNN reports.
The future service dogs saw the production as part of their training. A photo of them looking adorable in the theater as they watched attentively has recently gone viral.
They’re enrolled in a two-year training program provided by K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs. As part of the training, they go to crowded places to get used to “the unfamiliar lights and sounds, rapid movements and bustling crowds they might encounter with their handler,” according to CNN.
Another class of dogs will attend the same theater in October.
The world's largest rainforest, the Amazon spans eight countries and covers 40% of South America -- an area that is nearly the size of two-thirds of the US, according to the World Wildlife Fund. More than 30 million people live in the Amazon, which is also home to large numbers of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, most of them unique to the region. A new plant or animal species is discovered there every two days.
The Amazon forest, which produces about 20% of earth's oxygen, is often referred to as "the planet's lungs."
An inferno in the Amazon, two-thirds of which is in Brazil, threatens the rainforest ecosystem and also affects the entire globe.
Since the beginning of 2019, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (known as "INPE") has reported 72,843 fires in the country, with more than half of these being seen in the Amazon region. This means more than one-and-a-half soccer fields of Amazon rainforest are being destroyed every minute of every day, INPE has stated.
An 80% increase in deforestation has occurred so far this year compared to last year, according to the institute.
Evidence of the fires also comes by way of a map created by the European Union's satellite program, Copernicus, that shows smoke from the fires spreading all along Brazil to the east Atlantic coast. Smoke has covered nearly half of the country and has begun to spill into neighboring Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Even Sao Paulo, more than 1,700 miles away, has inhaled some of the burning forest's smoke. Images from the city show the sky pitch-black in the middle of the afternoon, the sun partially obscured by ash and dark.