Harvard University, for declaring a campus-wide ban on battery-cage eggs in dining halls. A petition from a student vegetarian club, which collected more than 1,000 student signatures, prompted the action. "I hope students on other campuses who are concerned about the treatment of animals will see from this that they can have an effect if they make their voices heard," says Christine M. Korsgaard, a Harvard philosophy professor who urged the university to make the switch. Cage-free eggs are now coming from an organic farm in Monroe, N.H., and will cost an additional $20,000 per year.
The San Francisco Giants and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E), for being the first to introduce solar energy to a Major League Baseball park. Nearly 600 solar panels produce enough energy to operate the new scoreboard at San Francisco's AT&T Park. The new energy system, provided by PG&E, was installed just in time for last July's All-Star Game. "We are thrilled to partner with PG&E to bring green power to San Francisco," says Larry Baer, Giants executive vice president and COO. "Through this partnership, we hope to raise awareness about the need to develop and utilize renewable energy sources."
MidAmerican Energy, for bringing wind power to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. "In addition to showcasing the state's leadership in renewable energy, MidAmerican Energy's Iowa State Fair wind turbine will give fairgoers an opportunity to learn more about wind energy while generating the equivalent of one-quarter the electricity needed by the Iowa State Fair," says Gary Slater, Iowa State Fair manager and CEO. Iowa ranks third in the U.S. for wind-energy generation, and MidAmerican Energy owns more wind-energy facilities than any other utility company in the nation.
The Texas state legislature, for passing a bill last April that allows legally blind hunters, when accompanied by sighted licensed hunters over age 13, to use laser-sight devices when searching for prey. Prior to the bill's passing, using any type of light when hunting was illegal (light was considered an unfair advantage over the animals). "I can't understand how anyone's need to kill would be so great that it would necessitate such a law," says Zibby Wilder, a spokeswoman for the Animal Protection Institute. There are some 30 to 40 groups of legally blind hunters in the Austin area alone.
Sony, for using a partially decapitated goat to promote its "God of War II" video game. Photos taken at a launch party in Athens, Greece (and published in the June issue of Britain's Official PlayStation Magazine), showed a man dressed as a caveman standing over the slaughtered goat. "[Sony's] disgraceful intent all along was to use the shock appeal of a dead goat to draw attention to their product," says Dale Bartlett, deputy manager of Animal Cruelty Issues at the Humane Society. Sony agreed to pull all issues of the offending magazine.
The USDA, for regularly skipping required inspections of meat-processing plants over the course of 30 years. During a March hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture, the USDA admitted that inspectors visited 250 meat-processing plants as infrequently as once every two weeks, rather than the required daily inspections. According to USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond, the skipped plants were located long distances from the inspectors' bases. In the hearing, Raymond said steps would be taken to resume daily inspections. Subcommittee chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said it was "very improbable" that no one in the USDA had been told of the skipped checks in the past three decades.
—Brandy Colbert and Jacqueline R. Smith