Proxyholders of the US Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN) representing nearly $65 million in AUM have sent shareholder proposals to the Board of Directors at Centene (CNC), Elevance Health (ELV), HCA Healthcare (HCA), Molina Healthcare (MOH), and United Health Group (UNH), calling on these companies to require their hospitals to provide plant-based food options to patients at every meal, within vending machines and in the cafeterias used by outpatients, staff and visitors. Beyond Investing LLC, advisor to the US Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN), is hoping these proposals will be included in the proxy statements that these companies will circulate to shareholders in anticipation of their 2023 annual meetings.
Claire Smith, CEO of Beyond Investing, commented, “We launched VEGN to be a force for good and a means for investors to use their capital to effect positive change. We call on other shareholders in these companies to support our proposed resolutions and bring about better health outcomes for patients and improve these companies’ bottom lines.” Optimal hospital care includes serving plant-based foods to assist patients on their road to recovery while in the hospital and informing patients of the benefits of a plant-based diet beyond their hospital stay. In a hospital, the food provided to patients is a key part of their treatment. Providing meals that are plant-based and which meet the individuals’ nutritional needs is essential to the patient’s recovery and improvement of their overall long-term health.
According to The American College of Cardiology, hospitalization can be a “teachable moment.” “By adopting plant-based options and eliminating cancer-causing food products, hospitals not only provide a vital service to patients, staff, and visitors. They also serve a key educational function, modeling healthful habits.”1
Healthful diets may also play a role in the economics of medical care, particularly for heart patients. Acute heart failure is the most common cause of readmission to a hospital within 30 days of discharge.2 Under the Affordable Care Act, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program reduces payments to hospitals for readmissions within 30 days of discharge from the prior hospital stay.3 Individual hospital 30-day readmission rates are also compared to national averages, increasing pressure on both physicians and hospital administrators to improve outcomes. To the extent that hospitals help patients adopt healthful habits, their health benefits may be accompanied by financial benefits.
The World Health Organization has determined that processed meat is a major contributor to colorectal cancer, classifying it as a “carcinogenic to humans.” Processed meat is also linked to death from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Plant-based diets help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many cancers.”4 Given the impact of nutrition on a patient’s recovery process and overall health, the proponents of these resolutions believe the board of directors and management teams of these companies have a responsibility to their investors and stakeholders to require their hospitals to provide plant-based food options to hospital patients, staff and visitors.
DECEMBER1 To mark CAT LOVERS MONTH, ask customers how they say “I love you” to their kitties. According to Jackson Galaxy, many felines get the message when delivered by a slow blink, but we think they’d also feel the love with a new catnip toy or a visit from their favorite sitter. Offer a special on such products and services to those who answer your question on social media, with a prize for the cutest photo or video.
9 Feel like you’ve misplaced your love for the holiday season? On OFFICIAL LOST AND FOUND DAY, start the morning with a random act of kindness. “The results, and the smiles, will amaze you,” says sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer, explaining that buoyed by the good vibes, you’re bound to focus on why things can happen, not why they may not. And all that newfound positivity will likely rub off on your harried staff as well.
11 FOURTEEN DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. Time to up the sales promotions. Just for Paws in St. Charles, IL, holds a “Stocking Stuffer Extravaganza” each year, a day on which each customer gets a free stocking and 25% off anything they can squeeze into it. This also helps to clear out stock before year-end inventory.
19 On GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER DAY, give your sales associates an allowance to take customers out for premium coffees. Their goal should be to become a little better acquainted with them, learn about their relationship with their pets, what new services they may be looking for, what things they prefer to order online (and how you might compete with that convenience) — but not to sell them anything in the moment.
22 On KEEP PETS SAFE IN WINTER DAY, create graphics with cold-weather tips for your social media, email marketing and website. Pair with winter gear, paw balms and ice melt. Follow the lead of Rebecca Martino of Stately Pet Supply in Clarks Summit, PA, who orders ice melt through a local landscaping company to get the best possible wholesale price.
31 Farewell 2022. NEW YEAR’S EVE means resolutions and Scottish traditions. So while you’re singing Auld Lang Syne and waiting for a dark-haired stranger to arrive with a lump of coal for the fireplace, whiskey for additional warmth or other signs of good fortune, think of the new behaviors to put into place in 2023: No more holding onto slow-moving merchandise, buying without the support of data, or skipping the PETS+ Brain Squad surveys.
JANUARY1 “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. After all we’ve been through the last three years, make this a great day and 2023 a great year.
14 On DRESS UP YOUR PET DAY, invite customers to try on the newest pet fashions and walk a runway in your store. A simple runner rug will do, and be sure to take plenty of pics for social media. For those with multiple pets, you could even create “Who Wore It Best?” posts! Not feeling quite that ambitious? Or have a service-based business? Ask customers to share photos of their dressed-up pets on your accounts.
19 It’s NATIONAL POPCORN DAY. Pick up a countertop popcorn machine so you can treat people and pets alike. Serve up freshly popped, buttery goodness to your human customers, and have on hand the Himalayan-style “popcorn” for the pups.
24 NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY — Shouldn’t this be every day? Alex Ferguson, the gruff former coach of probably the world’s most famous soccer club, Manchester United, said that all his players wanted to hear were two words, “Well done.” We’d add that if you want to see the behavior repeated, it helps to specify exactly what it was about your employee’s action that prompted your praise.
Snoop Dogg, entertainment icon and entrepreneur, takes his iconic name to the next level with a new brand venture – introducing Snoop Doggie Doggs, a new pet accessory line. Created in partnership with SMAC Entertainment and Little Earth Productions, Inc., a leading manufacturer of licensed fashion accessories and apparel, Snoop Doggie Doggs pulls inspiration from Snoop’s lifestyle and encourages pet owners everywhere to spoil their dogs (and cats alike) to live like royalty in their everyday lives.
“If my dogs ain’t fresh I ain’t fresh. These dogs and their apparel are a reflection of Tha Dogg himself, so they gotta look the role of a Top Dog, ya dig?!?!” said Snoop Dogg.
The extensive lineup of dog apparel, plush toys, bowls, leashes, and more – which is also available to our feline friends – is not only reminiscent of Snoop’s most iconic looks, but will also have your pet strutting their stuff during their daily walks. The new Snoop Doggie Doggs brand is now shoppable exclusively at SnoopDoggieDoggs.com and Amazon’s store. With a variety of collections, including “Off The Chain,” “Boss Lady,” and “Throw a Dogg a Bone,” Snoop Doggie Doggs caters to every pet personality with elevated and unique pieces that are designed to stand out among the rest.
“Snoop Dogg was, without a question, the most fitting and amazing partner we could think of in the dog and pet space,” said Rob Brandegee, co-founder of Little Earth Productions, Inc. “Snoop’s personality and authenticity are undeniably evident in our creative pet product offerings, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share the new Snoop Doggie Doggs brand with you ahead of the holidays – it’s the perfect holiday gift for pet owners this season. Talk about a holiday treat.”
Launching to the US ahead of peak holiday shopping season, Snoop Doggie Doggs apparel products will range in size XS – XL, as well as the ‘big dog’ size, with the entire lineup retailing from $14.99 to $99.99. “Having worked with Snoop for the better part of two decades, it’s always been about expanding his brand while remaining authentic to his consumers and fans,” said Constance Schwartz-Morini, CEO of SMAC Entertainment. “The launch of Snoop Doggie Doggs is the perfect addition to the Broadus empire.”
As the holiday season quickly approaches, Amazon was the perfect retailer to collaborate with on the launch of Snoop Doggie Doggs. The well-known and well-loved store will provide consumers across the US the ability to shop the entire Snoop Doggie Doggs collection just in time for the holidays, with fast, free Prime delivery.
“We are excited to share that Snoop Doggie Doggs is now available in Amazon’s store,” said Wendy Franks, director of Amazon Pets. “Pet lovers will enjoy shopping this playful collection ahead of the holidays.” For more information on Snoop Doggie Doggs and to shop the new collection while supplies last, please visit SnoopDoggieDoggs.com and Amazon’s store, and follow the brand on social media @snoopdoggiedoggs on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.
ESPN and the American Kennel Club (AKC), the governing body of dog sports, have entered into a new, expanded five-year agreement, renewing ESPN’s media rights for televising of AKC-recognized dog sports events.
The agreement, which continues a relationship that began in 2019, maintains ESPN as the AKC’s exclusive dog sports media partner in the United States. AKC events will be distributed across ESPN’s television and digital platforms.
ESPN will distribute a minimum of nine AKC events per year under the renewal, beginning with the AKC Agility National Championship in February of 2023.
Among other AKC events that will be distributed on ESPN platforms under the renewed agreement:
- AKC National Championship (conformation)
- AKC Agility Premier Cup
- AKC Diving Dogs Premier Cup
- AKC Flyball Dog Challenge
- AKC Fastest Dogs USA
ESPN and the AKC first collaborated on “ESPN Dog Day” in August of 2019, a live event held on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Ct., and televised on ESPN.
Before the start of the renewed agreement, AKC programming will have a strong presence on ESPN platforms in December and January, highlighted by the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, the largest dog show in North America.
Highlights of the show, held Dec. 17-18 in Orlando, Fla., will air in a three-hour special on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. ET on ABC. The event features more than 5,000 of the world’s top canine competitors from across the country and around the globe as they vie for Best in Show honors and the title of America’s National Champion.
Upcoming 2022 AKC programming on ESPN platforms (all times Eastern):
AKC Disc Dog Challenge
AKC Heroes – 2022 Awards for Canine Excellence
AKC Agility Dogs Invitational
AKC Disc Dog Challenge
Jan. 1, 2023
AKC National Championship
A nightmare situation was discovered at Margaret Allanson’s property in Grundy County, Tennessee. The authorities found over 250 dogs and puppies on the property, in addition to hundreds of deceased dogs.
This isn’t a first for Allanson – back in 2012, the local authorities were called to her property and found over 100 dogs and puppies, but she wasn’t prosecuted, and the initial situation has morphed into a huge, cruel, nightmare.
Margaret Allanson is charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty – please sign the petition at animalvictory.org to ensure that this woman does NOT receive a plea deal. She must receive the maximum sentence AND be prohibited from ever owning an animal again.
This wasn’t just a case of hoarding – Margaret Allanson was making money by selling puppies. Cynthia Turner, a volunteer for Dogs on Borrowed Time, told News Channel 9, “We did look at her LSN (Local Sales Network) account, and there were three Blue Healer puppies that she had listed for $300 each.”
A rescuer created a social media post about the horrific discovery at Allanson’s property – it reads in part:
“This is what nightmares are made of people. In 2012 another group came in and took over 100 dogs off property and then later another rescue and yet here we are again. Hopefully, the legal system works and the owner will not be allowed to own another dog.”
Margaret Allanson’s property was deplorable. The dogs found there were living in filthy, inhumane conditions, and hundreds suffered and died. This woman must be brought to justice!
A dog who was inside the house where four University of Idaho students were brutally stabbed was spared by the killer. On Monday, the Moscow Police Department revealed the presence of the dog inside the house where Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed on November 13.
The authorities said:
“On the night of the incident, officers located a dog at the residence. The dog was unharmed and turned over to Animal Services.”
The dog has since been turned over to a “responsible party.” The dog is believed to be Murphy, who belonged to Kaylee Goncalves, one of the murdered students. Her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Jack DuCoeur, is said to have taken custody of the dog following the vicious attack.
Friends, family, and the local community have been frustrated by the lack of information about the brutal murders. To date, there are no suspects, no murder weapon, and no known motive. The authorities were quick to state that it was a “targeted” attack, but they have since admitted that there is reason for area residents to remain vigilant, given the brutality of the murders. The authorities believe the students were sleeping when someone came into the home and killed them. There were other people in the home at the time who were unharmed; they have said that they did not hear anything.
The AKC National Championship will air as a three-hour special on the ABC television network on Sunday, January 1, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET. The show features thousands of dogs from around the country and the world competing for the coveted title of America’s National Champion.
Hosting the broadcast are AKC Executive Secretary and spokesperson Gina DiNardo and noted sportscaster Carolyn Manno. This year’s AKC National Championship is the largest dog show in the Americas, with 5,376 dogs entered in Conformation from 50 states and Washington, DC, and 22 countries. That, combined with competitions in Agility, Obedience, the National Owner-Handled Series Finals, junior competitions, AKC Fast CAT, and a special attraction of Diving Dogs, brings the total entries to 9,395. Dogs will compete for multiple titles across various events and more than $150,000 in prize money, the largest in the world of dog shows.
“We are honored to continue hosting top canine competitors from around the world as we uphold the tradition of this prestigious show,” said Dennis Sprung, Show Chairman and President and CEO of the AKC. “The thousands of dogs descending on Orlando to compete in multiple sports are the best of the best and display responsible breeding and true athleticism. We’re thrilled to return to ABC on New Year’s Day to televise the crowning of America’s champion for dog enthusiasts everywhere.”
Award-winning company B Live Productions will once again produce the TV broadcast and the Livestream.
For more information, please visit www.akc.org/nationalchampionship.
New York Mayor Eric Adams is looking to pay someone with "a virulent vehemence for vermin" as much as $170,000 a year to fill the role of the Big Apple's new rat czar.
"There's NOTHING I hate more than rats," Adams said in posting on social media on Thursday. "If you have the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight New York City's relentless rat population — then your dream job awaits."
A background in urban planning, project management or government work would also help seal the deal, with the newly created job paying $120,000 to $170,000 a year, according to the listing posted by the mayor's office.
Formally known as the director of rodent mitigation, the high-visibility leadership role requires "stamina and stagecraft," according to the job description. "The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty," it added.
Further qualifications for the task include being a city resident within 90 days of being appointed, having a bachelor's degree and related experience, as well as a "swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor and general aura of badassery."
Adams has long vocalized his distress at residing among so many rodents, and recently announced a plan to take on the rat population by adjusting the hours in which people could leave trash out on the curb.
"Fighting crime, fighting inequality, fighting rats is something that we are focused on as we continue to make this city a livable city," Adams said at an October press conference.
According to a city councilmember, the city has seen a 71% increase in rat sightings since 2020.
While a video several years ago of a rat dragging an entire slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York subway station created an online sensation, city officials said they smell a rat in such social media ploys.
"Despite their successful public engagement strategy and cheeky social media presence, rats are not our friends," the city declared in its job listing. "Rodents spread disease, damage homes and wiring and even attempt to control the movements of kitchen staffers in an effort to take over human jobs."
Here is the true story of Cocaine Bear – AKA Pablo EskoBear – that is to be turned into a movie, with Elizabeth Banks set to direct. Frankly, unless Paddington 3 sees Paddington's marmalade addiction take a dark turn, it's going to take a hell of a lot to beat as the strangest bear movie next year. On September 11, 1985, an old man in Kentucky woke up and went outside, where he found the corpse of a man in his driveway – which would have been an unusual start to a Wednesday even if the corpse wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest and strapped to a parachute, which he was.
This was just a small part of his ensemble, which included night vision goggles, several handguns, and around $14 million worth of cocaine. The man was identified as one Andrew C. Thornton II, a former paratrooper, narcotics officer, and lawyer who combined these unique skillsets when he became a parachuting drug smuggler for a ring known as "The Company".
Thornton – who had received a Purple Heart after being injured while deployed to the Dominican Republic during a revolution – had set his plane on autopilot before jumping from it, and was to hand on the cocaine once landing safely in Kentucky. While the plane crashed (60 miles) away, he fell to the ground. It's not known whether his parachute failed to deploy, or he had merely left it too late.
Some three months later in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia – near where the plane was found – a (175-pound) black bear was discovered, surrounded by 40 opened plastic packages that contained traces of cocaine. Despite the hefty weight of the bear, it was no match for around (70 pounds) of cocaine that the packages used to house, and it had died of the overdose. "Its stomach was literally packed to the brim with cocaine," the medical examiner who looked inside the animal's stomach told Kentucky For Kentucky. "There isn't a mammal on the planet that could survive that. Cerebral hemorrhaging, respiratory failure, hyperthermia, renal failure, heart failure, stroke. You name it, that bear had it."
Despite the state of the bear's insides, the outside looked pretty great. This is where Pablo EskoBear's tale took a weird epilogue. The examiner sent the body to be stuffed. After this, it went to live in the visitor center at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Following a fire, the bear was moved to Dalton, where soon afterwards it went missing. By the time other artifacts that were stolen were found in a pawn shop, the bear had already been sold to country music legend Waylon Jennings, who didn't know the backstory.
From here, the bear made its way to Vegas, where it lived in the mansion of Ron Thompson – a man who would organize fun for millionaires while they were in the city – where it remained for years. It then headed to Reno having been bought by Zhu T’ang, an owner of a traditional Chinese medicine shop, after Thompson died and his possessions were auctioned off. It remained in the shop for many years, scaring the hell out of T'ang's wife. The bear was finally tracked down by Kentucky for Kentucky who explained its backstory, after which it was happily returned to Kentucky in 2016, where tourists can see it in the Kentucky Fun Mall in north Lexington. A fitting resting place for a poor bear that was curious about a bag of cocaine, ate it, then devoured 39 further bags of cocaine.
The all-new season debuting on Jan. 1 on National Geographic gives viewers an all-access pass to explore the magic of nature within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT and Tri-Circle-D Ranch, which hold more than 300 species and 5,000-plus animals. All episodes will be released on Disney+ on Jan. 4. The debut is part of Disney 100 Years of Wonder, which kicks off on New Year’s Eve and celebrates the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.
Want to see a hippopotamus on Christmas? Ahead of the season premiere, watch the extended first look on National Geographic on Dec. 24 at 10:30/9:30c and Nat Geo WILD on Dec. 25 at 10/9c and Dec. 31 at 10:30/9:30c! In this half-hour sneak peek, viewers get a glimpse of what’s to come, including a hippo’s dental procedure, a gassy gorilla’s hyperbaric chamber experience and a good-natured giraffe’s foot treatment.
The 10-episode series from National Geographic showcases not only the vast array of animals but also the dedicated animal experts who encompass Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team, which manages the around-the-clock needs of the park, ranging anywhere from pulling a big tooth from Lil Joe, the manatee; throwing a birthday party for Galápagos tortoises; releasing sea turtles back into the wild after rehabilitation; hatching baby flamingos and more! From special enrichment programs and nutrition to encouraging animals to participate in their own medical care, the team has established strong relationships with the animals to maintain their health and well-being. Disney is a recognized leader in animal care and conservation for its work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) on the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program.
The exploratory docu-series is also a tribute to Disney’s dedication to conservation and the environment as it highlights the teams’ commitment to reducing their environmental footprint, caring for wildlife and their habitats, and creating experiences that inspire action. These collective efforts are known as Disney Planet Possible. Throughout each episode, viewers will be able to learn more through pop-up facts detailing some of the tangible actions Disney has taken to support a world in balance and a healthier home for people and wildlife. That includes highlights from organizations supported by the Disney Conservation Fund and the work of Disney Conservation Team Wildlife, which works hand-in-hand with the animal care teams to deliver best-in-class scientific programs to conserve wildlife in Disney’s backyard and beyond.
Filmed across five months, the series incorporates cutting-edge technology, including custom-built GoPro enclosures, 18-foot cranes and underwater camera systems, to highlight the magic found in every crevice of the kingdom. MAGIC OF DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM dives into the details of each park, unveiling the multifaceted aspects of animal care, operations, Imagineering and Disney’s conservation efforts. Viewers get up close to veterinarians working in one of the world’s most advanced animal health facilities as they solve a menagerie of medical mysteries and revolutionize the care they give to their animals.
Scranton, PA – A cat who was picked up as a stray, and taken to St. Cats and Dogs of Nay Aug Zoo to be neutered, will soon be reunited with his family. The handsome tuxedo cat, Bob, vanished seven years ago when his family was making a cross-country trek in their RV. Thanks to his implanted microchip, the veterinary team who was going to neuter him as part of a local TNR program (Trap/Neuter/Release) discovered that he was not an ownerless stray and the microchip information enabled his family to be located.
According to the animal welfare agency, Bob’s owners said that they were moving from Oregon to Massachusetts when they stopped for maintenance on their RV. A worker left a door open and Bob escaped. They put up fliers in the area, hoping that he had been found, but their efforts were fruitless.
Today, Bob’s family lives in Arkansas, and they are “super excited” to bring their long-lost cat home. The organization said:
Who knows where Bob was or what he was doing all this time but we can tell you one thing he is the sweetest guy.
On Thursday, the agency alerted Facebook followers that Bob found a ride to his family:
Bob has become somewhat of a celebrity! He is a very chill guy and was a little shy with all the attention today. He will be leaving for his journey home in two weeks with Twilight Furry Friends Transport! His owners will be sharing his reunion!❤️??