Bird flu hits French foie gras industry at busiest time of year

Thousands of birds slaughtered and export ban extended as France is put on high alert following outbreak in south-west

French foie gras producers have been forced to slaughter thousands of birds being prepared for the lucrative Christmas market to prevent the spread of a virulent strain of bird flu.

The agriculture ministry raised the risk level of the virus spreading from moderate to high on Tuesday across the country, at a crucial time for the industry.

The increased alert came after an outbreak of a particularly severe form of bird flu, the H5N8 virus, was reported at a duck farm in the south-west of the country, prompting fears it could spread throughout the region.

This virus has never been detected in humans, unlike other strains, but millions of farm birds were slaughtered in Asia in 2014 before it arrived in Europe.

French officials and farmers insist the virus poses no danger to humans and the birds remain fit for consumption.

The latest outbreaks come as French foie gras producers approach the busiest time of year ; foie gras, made from the engorged livers of force-fed ducks and geese, is a traditional staple of le reveillon, the Christmas Eve meal, and accounts for about one-third of annual sales.

While considered a delicacy in France, the process of pumping grain directly into each birds stomach via a metal tube pushed down the throat, forcing the liver to bloat, is considered cruel by animal campaigners.

In 2015, an outbreak of bird flu that hit producers in the same region led to a drop of 25% in production and losses of an estimated 500m (422m) for the industry.

French producers had hoped to recover their bird-flu free status on 3 December, but the new outbreak means the country will not be cleared for at least 90 days. While most French-produced foie gras is consumed in France, the resurgence of the virus means it cannot be exported outside the European Union. In 2015 France exported almost 5,000 tonnes out of 19,200 tonnes produced to Japan.

Marie-Pierre P, from the foie gras producers group Cifog, warned prices could be 10% higher this Christmas.

The new, more aggressive H5N8 avian flu virus was first detected at the end of November in northern France. It is thought to have been spread from neighbouring European countries by wild ducks.

So far, about 7,000 contaminated ducks are reported to have been killed and another 4,500 have died suddenly from the virus in the Tarn. Thousands more have been killed or died in neighbouring areas and farms have been quarantined.

In January the French government announced 130m extra subsidies for foie gras producers.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

A nice bit of squirrel: should we chow down a diet of invasive species?

Last year, the Shambala festival made headlines by going meat-free. This year, it relaxed the rules for a feast of grey squirrel skewers and crayfish. Should the rest of us follow suit?

At Shambala festival, during the hottest bank holiday on record, peace and love is about to turn sour. I am standing next to author Louise Gray, who is here to talk about wild alternatives to mass-produced meat. The cricket brownies are baked; we have been skinning squirrels and marinating them in satay, then decided to unwind by checking out a punk-reggae band in a nearby tent. That is when the singer announces his feelings about her presence there. Last year this festival was 100% meat- and fish-free. Now theyre saying we should eat pests and squirrels, he spits. Its 2017. If youre still eating the dead bodies of animals, you need to check your fucking privilege. The crowd cheers. I am worried we are about to be ethically eaten alive.

In the wake of The Ethical Carnivore, her award-winning account of the year she spent eating roadkill and animals she had killed herself, and investigating abattoirs, Gray received death threats and abuse. Images spring to mind of balaclava-clad activists chucking red paint and righteous invective. If it comes down to it, I am not with you, I tell her, gallantly.

If
If we want to eat meat, the argument to get it from animals such as grey squirrels is persuasive. Photograph: Dan Farrell

The friction is hardly surprising. Shambala is a hippy sort of place, with as many recycling points as there are naked people painted blue, which is a lot. Ravers have to carry their own cups, and food stalls are entirely vegetarian. On the festivals Facebook page, protests over Grays talk quickly escalated into an argument about speciesism, human immigration and genocide. Onstage at the Garden o Feeden the festivals food and debate tent the edginess is palpable.

Lets hear her out and fight afterwards, the host pleads. In a craven attempt to fit in, I am wearing a full-length dress and Carmen Miranda fruit hat; Gray has nowhere to hide.

The debate around eating meat is hard to progress intellectually you either believe on some level that it is a natural part of the cycle of life, or an unnecessary moral wrong. Gray, the daughter of a farmer, is here to argue for an ecological, flexitarian position between the two.

Our current production model is energy-intensive, wasteful, cruel and unsustainable. We should be eating far less meat, and thinking more about it. Her book describes the year she spent eating only animals she had killed herself a common, if hypothetical, answer to the abstraction and scale of the mostly invisible meat industry. She cried after killing the first rabbit, and talks about her ambivalence at stalking and shooting a red stag. The responsibility of taking an animals life bears an emotional cost, she tells the crowd. Its pretty intense. It is also not something one can practically do in a city (unless you maybe fancy the urban equivalent of turducken, eating a fox that recently swallowed a pigeon, which last dined on KFC).

Yet there is a lesser explored alternative to factory meat, besides insects, roadkill or hunting your own: a diet of invasive species. I know whats coming: backstage I watched Gray skinning a bag of grey squirrels, carefully stripping pelts from flesh, cleaning out shot and slicing meat from bone. Several vegan chefs walked past, all of them fascinated, though one declared: Bit Hunger Games, innit? Or Winters Bone. Something with Jennifer Lawrence. Christ, I wish I hadnt seen that. She means the flayed legs of the skinned critter in front of her, rather than the film.

Out front, Grays cousin has been standing sidestage to provide security/hand out brownies. She presents us with a plate of grilled sticky squirrel skewers, which are passed around. I try one, then a few. Surprisingly, many others in the crowd do the same. The plates disappear. The flavour is potently gamey, not a bad accompaniment to the zesty lime and creamy satay. I have certainly eaten worse on a cheap pizza. The hair that sticks to my teeth is off-putting, though.

These squirrels are from Dumfries and Galloway, home to one of the few surviving red squirrel populations in the country, maintained by controlling greys. If we want to eat meat, the argument to get it from animals such as grey squirrels is persuasive. They are wild, organic and definitely free range. As with insects, the ick factor might just be something we have to get past.

This is the part of the message Crayfish Bob Ring has been trying to get out. A grizzled trapper of 15 years experience, I met him earlier at a picnic table outside the tent, smoking a roll-up pensively and squinting like Captain Quint. His passion is removing American crayfish from British waters and selling them at his restaurant pop-ups. The lobster-like signal crayfish were introduced in the 1970s to be a lucrative export to the Scandinavian market (which was soon dominated by cheaper imports of Chinese crayfish). The collapse of the scheme saw them escaping the fisheries, passing a deadly plague on to smaller, native white-clawed crayfish and destroying their numbers. The voracious predators eat fish and amphibian eggs, out-compete other species for habitat and burrow into river banks, causing their erosion and collapse. Crayfish Bob describes how they travel the country using the waterways, by hanging on to barges. I feel very conscious Im wearing a tutu.

Ive gone into this business with the objective of going bust due to lack of stock, he says vehemently. I would get so much satisfaction from getting rid of them. Neither Gray nor Crayfish Bob think eating grey squirrels or signal crayfish would make a dent in their numbers the species are here to stay, and their realistic concern is to level the ecological balance. The EU list 37 alien invasive species, including muntjack deer, Ruddy duck and Siberian chipmunk. Legally, the crayfish have to be controlled anyway, Ring reminds me, so are not being bred or killed primarily to be eaten. After he realised the scale of the problem, he founded the National Institute of Crayfish Trappers, and became Crayfish Bob, selling gumbos and crawfish boil. Ive had vegetarians come up to me and say: What you are doing challenges all the reasons I became vegetarian. They see it as a way they can eat some fish.

In
In a craven attempt to fit in, I am wearing a full-length dress and Carmen Miranda fruit hat; Gray has nowhere to hide. Photograph: Dan Farrell

Of course, vegetarians who feel killing animals for any reason is wrong wont be convinced. Back in the tent, Dr Amelia Roberts, a member of Animal Aid and an animal rights advocate, is pushing back on a number of Grays points. Like many, she believes the American grey has been scape-squirreled. She cites evidence that the decline of their red cousins is mostly due to loss of habitat, a problem caused by people. And the fact is all invasive species were brought here by humans, something the rhetoric of the argument tends to obscure. Nonetheless, she says she agrees with 90% of what Gray has been saying, which seems positive.

After a lot of whoops and applause, Gray is relieved the talk has gone down well, like the satay. I am surprised when she announces that the festival should be totally vegan next year Its the most inspiring thing they could do.

She is all for people eating better meat, speaking to livestock farmers and being more conscientious. But she wryly acknowledges the difficulty in being an ethical meat-eater, especially in a market-led society that makes it difficult. You cant poke around peoples houses when you go around for dinner, or ask them to pick the label out of the bin. It is probably easier to just be vegetarian.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

‘They are like animals’: French shoppers brawl over cut-price Nutella

Hefty discount on chocolate hazelnut spread causes chaos at supermarkets across country

‘They are like animals’: French shoppers brawl over cut-price Nutella

Hefty discount on chocolate hazelnut spread causes chaos at supermarkets across country

France has seen nothing like it: supermarket aisles of brawling customers throwing punches, pulling hair and shoving the elderly out of the way.

A decision by the Intermarch store chain to offer a hefty discount on jars of Nutella Frances favourite chocolate spread caused near riots in shops around the country.

Police were reportedly called as fights broke out among swarming customers grabbing 950g jars of Nutella reduced from 4.50 to 1.41, a 70% discount.

In one store, a member of staff was punched in the eye while trying to separate warring customers. In another, shoppers cleared shelves in 15 minutes.

They are like animals. One woman had her hair pulled. An elderly lady took a box on her head. Another had a bloody hand, one customer said.

Queues had formed outside many Intermarch supermarkets on Thursday, reminiscent of the first days of the sales, and customers were limited to three pots each.

In one Intermarch in the Moselle in eastern France, a member of staff reported: People were piling in, they knocked everything over and broke stuff. It was an orgy we were on the point of calling the police.

In another store, staff said they had sold in one go the number of Nutella jars normally sold in three months. They were fighting over it at the tills there was only Nutella, one told Le Progrs newspaper.

Until now, this type of hysterical behaviour has been viewed in France as a mostly American Black Friday phenomenon and evidence of the perils of rampant free-market consumerism.

Nutella was created by the Ferrero family in Italy in the 1940s. About 365m kg of the hazelnut chocolate spread are consumed around the world every year.

The company said it regretted the promotion and its consequences, blaming Intermarch for the chaos.

In a statement, the supermarket chain said it was surprised the offer had caused battle scenes in its stores and was sorry for the disagreeable events customers suffered.

Sophie Chevalier, a French anthropologist and specialist in customer behaviour, said the scenes were incredible.

These are unusual in France, except when theres a particularly exceptional sale, and more what we see in developing countries or where theres a regular shortage of essential products, Chevalier told Le Parisien.

Would there be the same reaction to jars of pickles? Certainly not. Its a question of the kind of product that explains this. Nutella is pure pleasure for children and to offer it at a bargain price obviously attracts lots of customers.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

A nice bit of squirrel: should we chow down a diet of invasive species?

Last year, the Shambala festival made headlines by going meat-free. This year, it relaxed the rules for a feast of grey squirrel skewers and crayfish. Should the rest of us follow suit?

At Shambala festival, during the hottest bank holiday on record, peace and love is about to turn sour. I am standing next to author Louise Gray, who is here to talk about wild alternatives to mass-produced meat. The cricket brownies are baked; we have been skinning squirrels and marinating them in satay, then decided to unwind by checking out a punk-reggae band in a nearby tent. That is when the singer announces his feelings about her presence there. Last year this festival was 100% meat- and fish-free. Now theyre saying we should eat pests and squirrels, he spits. Its 2017. If youre still eating the dead bodies of animals, you need to check your fucking privilege. The crowd cheers. I am worried we are about to be ethically eaten alive.

In the wake of The Ethical Carnivore, her award-winning account of the year she spent eating roadkill and animals she had killed herself, and investigating abattoirs, Gray received death threats and abuse. Images spring to mind of balaclava-clad activists chucking red paint and righteous invective. If it comes down to it, I am not with you, I tell her, gallantly.

If
If we want to eat meat, the argument to get it from animals such as grey squirrels is persuasive. Photograph: Dan Farrell

The friction is hardly surprising. Shambala is a hippy sort of place, with as many recycling points as there are naked people painted blue, which is a lot. Ravers have to carry their own cups, and food stalls are entirely vegetarian. On the festivals Facebook page, protests over Grays talk quickly escalated into an argument about speciesism, human immigration and genocide. Onstage at the Garden o Feeden the festivals food and debate tent the edginess is palpable.

Lets hear her out and fight afterwards, the host pleads. In a craven attempt to fit in, I am wearing a full-length dress and Carmen Miranda fruit hat; Gray has nowhere to hide.

The debate around eating meat is hard to progress intellectually you either believe on some level that it is a natural part of the cycle of life, or an unnecessary moral wrong. Gray, the daughter of a farmer, is here to argue for an ecological, flexitarian position between the two.

Our current production model is energy-intensive, wasteful, cruel and unsustainable. We should be eating far less meat, and thinking more about it. Her book describes the year she spent eating only animals she had killed herself a common, if hypothetical, answer to the abstraction and scale of the mostly invisible meat industry. She cried after killing the first rabbit, and talks about her ambivalence at stalking and shooting a red stag. The responsibility of taking an animals life bears an emotional cost, she tells the crowd. Its pretty intense. It is also not something one can practically do in a city (unless you maybe fancy the urban equivalent of turducken, eating a fox that recently swallowed a pigeon, which last dined on KFC).

Yet there is a lesser explored alternative to factory meat, besides insects, roadkill or hunting your own: a diet of invasive species. I know whats coming: backstage I watched Gray skinning a bag of grey squirrels, carefully stripping pelts from flesh, cleaning out shot and slicing meat from bone. Several vegan chefs walked past, all of them fascinated, though one declared: Bit Hunger Games, innit? Or Winters Bone. Something with Jennifer Lawrence. Christ, I wish I hadnt seen that. She means the flayed legs of the skinned critter in front of her, rather than the film.

Out front, Grays cousin has been standing sidestage to provide security/hand out brownies. She presents us with a plate of grilled sticky squirrel skewers, which are passed around. I try one, then a few. Surprisingly, many others in the crowd do the same. The plates disappear. The flavour is potently gamey, not a bad accompaniment to the zesty lime and creamy satay. I have certainly eaten worse on a cheap pizza. The hair that sticks to my teeth is off-putting, though.

These squirrels are from Dumfries and Galloway, home to one of the few surviving red squirrel populations in the country, maintained by controlling greys. If we want to eat meat, the argument to get it from animals such as grey squirrels is persuasive. They are wild, organic and definitely free range. As with insects, the ick factor might just be something we have to get past.

This is the part of the message Crayfish Bob Ring has been trying to get out. A grizzled trapper of 15 years experience, I met him earlier at a picnic table outside the tent, smoking a roll-up pensively and squinting like Captain Quint. His passion is removing American crayfish from British waters and selling them at his restaurant pop-ups. The lobster-like signal crayfish were introduced in the 1970s to be a lucrative export to the Scandinavian market (which was soon dominated by cheaper imports of Chinese crayfish). The collapse of the scheme saw them escaping the fisheries, passing a deadly plague on to smaller, native white-clawed crayfish and destroying their numbers. The voracious predators eat fish and amphibian eggs, out-compete other species for habitat and burrow into river banks, causing their erosion and collapse. Crayfish Bob describes how they travel the country using the waterways, by hanging on to barges. I feel very conscious Im wearing a tutu.

Ive gone into this business with the objective of going bust due to lack of stock, he says vehemently. I would get so much satisfaction from getting rid of them. Neither Gray nor Crayfish Bob think eating grey squirrels or signal crayfish would make a dent in their numbers the species are here to stay, and their realistic concern is to level the ecological balance. The EU list 37 alien invasive species, including muntjack deer, Ruddy duck and Siberian chipmunk. Legally, the crayfish have to be controlled anyway, Ring reminds me, so are not being bred or killed primarily to be eaten. After he realised the scale of the problem, he founded the National Institute of Crayfish Trappers, and became Crayfish Bob, selling gumbos and crawfish boil. Ive had vegetarians come up to me and say: What you are doing challenges all the reasons I became vegetarian. They see it as a way they can eat some fish.

In
In a craven attempt to fit in, I am wearing a full-length dress and Carmen Miranda fruit hat; Gray has nowhere to hide. Photograph: Dan Farrell

Of course, vegetarians who feel killing animals for any reason is wrong wont be convinced. Back in the tent, Dr Amelia Roberts, a member of Animal Aid and an animal rights advocate, is pushing back on a number of Grays points. Like many, she believes the American grey has been scape-squirreled. She cites evidence that the decline of their red cousins is mostly due to loss of habitat, a problem caused by people. And the fact is all invasive species were brought here by humans, something the rhetoric of the argument tends to obscure. Nonetheless, she says she agrees with 90% of what Gray has been saying, which seems positive.

After a lot of whoops and applause, Gray is relieved the talk has gone down well, like the satay. I am surprised when she announces that the festival should be totally vegan next year Its the most inspiring thing they could do.

She is all for people eating better meat, speaking to livestock farmers and being more conscientious. But she wryly acknowledges the difficulty in being an ethical meat-eater, especially in a market-led society that makes it difficult. You cant poke around peoples houses when you go around for dinner, or ask them to pick the label out of the bin. It is probably easier to just be vegetarian.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Offended by Koreans eating dog? I trust youve never had a bacon butty | Chas Newkey-Burden

Frightened animals being caged, killed and turned into food wed never dream of such evils in the western world, writes journalist and author Chas Newkey-Burden

Offended by Koreans eating dog? I trust youve never had a bacon butty

Frightened animals being caged, killed and turned into food wed never dream of such evils in the west would we?

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

‘They are like animals’: French shoppers brawl over cut-price Nutella

Hefty discount on chocolate hazelnut spread causes chaos at supermarkets across country

‘They are like animals’: French shoppers brawl over cut-price Nutella

Hefty discount on chocolate hazelnut spread causes chaos at supermarkets across country

France has seen nothing like it: supermarket aisles of brawling customers throwing punches, pulling hair and shoving the elderly out of the way.

A decision by the Intermarch store chain to offer a hefty discount on jars of Nutella Frances favourite chocolate spread caused near riots in shops around the country.

Police were reportedly called as fights broke out among swarming customers grabbing 950g jars of Nutella reduced from 4.50 to 1.41, a 70% discount.

In one store, a member of staff was punched in the eye while trying to separate warring customers. In another, shoppers cleared shelves in 15 minutes.

They are like animals. One woman had her hair pulled. An elderly lady took a box on her head. Another had a bloody hand, one customer said.

Queues had formed outside many Intermarch supermarkets on Thursday, reminiscent of the first days of the sales, and customers were limited to three pots each.

In one Intermarch in the Moselle in eastern France, a member of staff reported: People were piling in, they knocked everything over and broke stuff. It was an orgy we were on the point of calling the police.

In another store, staff said they had sold in one go the number of Nutella jars normally sold in three months. They were fighting over it at the tills there was only Nutella, one told Le Progrs newspaper.

Until now, this type of hysterical behaviour has been viewed in France as a mostly American Black Friday phenomenon and evidence of the perils of rampant free-market consumerism.

Nutella was created by the Ferrero family in Italy in the 1940s. About 365m kg of the hazelnut chocolate spread are consumed around the world every year.

The company said it regretted the promotion and its consequences, blaming Intermarch for the chaos.

In a statement, the supermarket chain said it was surprised the offer had caused battle scenes in its stores and was sorry for the disagreeable events customers suffered.

Sophie Chevalier, a French anthropologist and specialist in customer behaviour, said the scenes were incredible.

These are unusual in France, except when theres a particularly exceptional sale, and more what we see in developing countries or where theres a regular shortage of essential products, Chevalier told Le Parisien.

Would there be the same reaction to jars of pickles? Certainly not. Its a question of the kind of product that explains this. Nutella is pure pleasure for children and to offer it at a bargain price obviously attracts lots of customers.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

A nice bit of squirrel: should we chow down a diet of invasive species?

Last year, the Shambala festival made headlines by going meat-free. This year, it relaxed the rules for a feast of grey squirrel skewers and crayfish. Should the rest of us follow suit?

At Shambala festival, during the hottest bank holiday on record, peace and love is about to turn sour. I am standing next to author Louise Gray, who is here to talk about wild alternatives to mass-produced meat. The cricket brownies are baked; we have been skinning squirrels and marinating them in satay, then decided to unwind by checking out a punk-reggae band in a nearby tent. That is when the singer announces his feelings about her presence there. Last year this festival was 100% meat- and fish-free. Now theyre saying we should eat pests and squirrels, he spits. Its 2017. If youre still eating the dead bodies of animals, you need to check your fucking privilege. The crowd cheers. I am worried we are about to be ethically eaten alive.

In the wake of The Ethical Carnivore, her award-winning account of the year she spent eating roadkill and animals she had killed herself, and investigating abattoirs, Gray received death threats and abuse. Images spring to mind of balaclava-clad activists chucking red paint and righteous invective. If it comes down to it, I am not with you, I tell her, gallantly.

If
If we want to eat meat, the argument to get it from animals such as grey squirrels is persuasive. Photograph: Dan Farrell

The friction is hardly surprising. Shambala is a hippy sort of place, with as many recycling points as there are naked people painted blue, which is a lot. Ravers have to carry their own cups, and food stalls are entirely vegetarian. On the festivals Facebook page, protests over Grays talk quickly escalated into an argument about speciesism, human immigration and genocide. Onstage at the Garden o Feeden the festivals food and debate tent the edginess is palpable.

Lets hear her out and fight afterwards, the host pleads. In a craven attempt to fit in, I am wearing a full-length dress and Carmen Miranda fruit hat; Gray has nowhere to hide.

The debate around eating meat is hard to progress intellectually you either believe on some level that it is a natural part of the cycle of life, or an unnecessary moral wrong. Gray, the daughter of a farmer, is here to argue for an ecological, flexitarian position between the two.

Our current production model is energy-intensive, wasteful, cruel and unsustainable. We should be eating far less meat, and thinking more about it. Her book describes the year she spent eating only animals she had killed herself a common, if hypothetical, answer to the abstraction and scale of the mostly invisible meat industry. She cried after killing the first rabbit, and talks about her ambivalence at stalking and shooting a red stag. The responsibility of taking an animals life bears an emotional cost, she tells the crowd. Its pretty intense. It is also not something one can practically do in a city (unless you maybe fancy the urban equivalent of turducken, eating a fox that recently swallowed a pigeon, which last dined on KFC).

Yet there is a lesser explored alternative to factory meat, besides insects, roadkill or hunting your own: a diet of invasive species. I know whats coming: backstage I watched Gray skinning a bag of grey squirrels, carefully stripping pelts from flesh, cleaning out shot and slicing meat from bone. Several vegan chefs walked past, all of them fascinated, though one declared: Bit Hunger Games, innit? Or Winters Bone. Something with Jennifer Lawrence. Christ, I wish I hadnt seen that. She means the flayed legs of the skinned critter in front of her, rather than the film.

Out front, Grays cousin has been standing sidestage to provide security/hand out brownies. She presents us with a plate of grilled sticky squirrel skewers, which are passed around. I try one, then a few. Surprisingly, many others in the crowd do the same. The plates disappear. The flavour is potently gamey, not a bad accompaniment to the zesty lime and creamy satay. I have certainly eaten worse on a cheap pizza. The hair that sticks to my teeth is off-putting, though.

These squirrels are from Dumfries and Galloway, home to one of the few surviving red squirrel populations in the country, maintained by controlling greys. If we want to eat meat, the argument to get it from animals such as grey squirrels is persuasive. They are wild, organic and definitely free range. As with insects, the ick factor might just be something we have to get past.

This is the part of the message Crayfish Bob Ring has been trying to get out. A grizzled trapper of 15 years experience, I met him earlier at a picnic table outside the tent, smoking a roll-up pensively and squinting like Captain Quint. His passion is removing American crayfish from British waters and selling them at his restaurant pop-ups. The lobster-like signal crayfish were introduced in the 1970s to be a lucrative export to the Scandinavian market (which was soon dominated by cheaper imports of Chinese crayfish). The collapse of the scheme saw them escaping the fisheries, passing a deadly plague on to smaller, native white-clawed crayfish and destroying their numbers. The voracious predators eat fish and amphibian eggs, out-compete other species for habitat and burrow into river banks, causing their erosion and collapse. Crayfish Bob describes how they travel the country using the waterways, by hanging on to barges. I feel very conscious Im wearing a tutu.

Ive gone into this business with the objective of going bust due to lack of stock, he says vehemently. I would get so much satisfaction from getting rid of them. Neither Gray nor Crayfish Bob think eating grey squirrels or signal crayfish would make a dent in their numbers the species are here to stay, and their realistic concern is to level the ecological balance. The EU list 37 alien invasive species, including muntjack deer, Ruddy duck and Siberian chipmunk. Legally, the crayfish have to be controlled anyway, Ring reminds me, so are not being bred or killed primarily to be eaten. After he realised the scale of the problem, he founded the National Institute of Crayfish Trappers, and became Crayfish Bob, selling gumbos and crawfish boil. Ive had vegetarians come up to me and say: What you are doing challenges all the reasons I became vegetarian. They see it as a way they can eat some fish.

In
In a craven attempt to fit in, I am wearing a full-length dress and Carmen Miranda fruit hat; Gray has nowhere to hide. Photograph: Dan Farrell

Of course, vegetarians who feel killing animals for any reason is wrong wont be convinced. Back in the tent, Dr Amelia Roberts, a member of Animal Aid and an animal rights advocate, is pushing back on a number of Grays points. Like many, she believes the American grey has been scape-squirreled. She cites evidence that the decline of their red cousins is mostly due to loss of habitat, a problem caused by people. And the fact is all invasive species were brought here by humans, something the rhetoric of the argument tends to obscure. Nonetheless, she says she agrees with 90% of what Gray has been saying, which seems positive.

After a lot of whoops and applause, Gray is relieved the talk has gone down well, like the satay. I am surprised when she announces that the festival should be totally vegan next year Its the most inspiring thing they could do.

She is all for people eating better meat, speaking to livestock farmers and being more conscientious. But she wryly acknowledges the difficulty in being an ethical meat-eater, especially in a market-led society that makes it difficult. You cant poke around peoples houses when you go around for dinner, or ask them to pick the label out of the bin. It is probably easier to just be vegetarian.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Joey Chestnut eats 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win Nathan’s Famous title

Joey Jaws Chestnut regained his title, beating Matt The Megatoad Stonie at the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathans Famous in Coney Island

Joey Jaws Chestnut regained his title on Monday, beating Matt The Megatoad Stonie at the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathans Famous in Coney Island.

Chestnut, 32, downed 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes the most hot dogs and buns ever eaten at the competition polishing off 17 more dogs than Stonie. Chestnuts eight straight victories ended last year when he lost the championship title in an upset to Stonie. Both men are from San Jose, California.

In 2013, Chestnut set a world record by eating 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Contest officials said Chestnut set a new record last month when he ate 73-and-a-half hot dogs and buns during a qualifying event.

As he gripped the mustard-colored belt after his win Monday afternoon, Chestunt said Stonie had woke up the sleeping giant when he beat him out last year. Last year was rough, Chestnut told the crowd. This year was the best ever. Stonie said there were no excuses for his loss. He said Chestnut did an amazing job.

With thousands of people many wearing Nathans Famous hats watching the eaters on an elevated stage along the famed Coney Island boardwalk, the next closest competitor ate 41 hot dogs.

The mens contest came more than an hour after the women competed, with defending champion Miki Sudo capturing first place. The Las Vegas woman scarfed down 38-and-a-half hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to claim the championship title for the third straight year. Both she and Chestnut leave with $10,000 each.

The colorful holiday tradition draws its share of characters. Many in the crowd on Monday wore foam hats shaped like hot dogs. One man held a sign that read: Make America Eat Again, a play on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trumps campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jul/04/joey-chestnut-hot-dog-eating-nathans-famous-fourth-of-july