tagged w/ Pigs
Los Angeles Times...
U.S. Supreme Court takes up treatment of pigs
The National Meat Assn. challenges a California law that says slaughterhouses must remove and 'humanely euthanize' animals unable to walk.
By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
October 29, 2011, 6:17 p.m.
Reporting from Washington—
The Supreme Court has decided plenty of cases concerning cruelty, inhumane treatment and executions, but until now, none was about pigs.
The case of the "nonambulatory pigs" involves a dispute between California and the pork industry over how to handle pigs unwilling or unable to walk when they arrive at a slaughterhouse.
The issue, which the justices will take up next week, has already gotten the Obama administration in trouble with the Humane Society of the United States, which faulted government lawyers for joining the case on the side of the pork producers.
Under a 3-year-old California law, a slaughterhouse operator must immediately remove a "nonambulatory animal" from a herd and "humanely euthanize" it.
Federal law says animals that are lying down must be removed and inspected, but most need not be kept from the slaughterhouse.
"Sometimes the pigs are stressed or fatigued from the trip, or they're just stubborn. Usually, they recover, and if they're fine, they go into the food supply," said Minneapolis lawyer Steven Wells, who represents the National Meat Assn.
"We're not concerned about a pig who is taking a nap," said California Deputy Atty. Gen. Susan K. Smith in Los Angeles. "Our definition of a nonambulatory pig is one who is unable to stand and walk without assistance." She said the state's law, which is on hold pending the legal challenge, would protect the human food supply and prevent animal cruelty.
The lawyers concede there is no happy end for the pigs regardless of which side prevails. The pigs are either euthanized separately or sent into a slaughterhouse.
Wells, of the meat association, said there would be a "severe financial impact" on the pork industry if a typical slaughterhouse were forced to cull 200 to 300 pigs a day because they were lying down.
He is urging the high court to strike down the California law on the grounds that it is preempted, or trumped, by the federal law.
Under California's approach, the sick pigs "will be euthanized, but it ends their suffering," Smith said.
Though the case before the court is all about pigs, it began with shocking scenes of weak and wobbly cows being prodded, dragged and bulldozed into a slaughterhouse in San Bernardino County. A secret surveillance video showing the abuse was released by the Humane Society in January 2008.
The revelations triggered the largest meat recall in American history. They also prompted President Obama to issue an order in 2009 that forbids "downer" cows from being sent to slaughter. Because mad cow disease can be transmitted to humans in rare instances, all sick cattle must be kept from slaughterhouses, federal officials said. However, no such ban was imposed for pigs and other farm animals.
That disparity set the stage for the legal dispute over California's broader ban on downer animals at slaughterhouses.
The National Meat Assn. sued on behalf of the pork producers and argued that California did not have the authority to impose its rules on slaughterhouses. Their lawyers insisted the federal regulation was better because it required inspections of sick animals rather than automatically killing them. These inspections of live pigs are crucial for detecting swine diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, that can devastate a herd, they said.
A federal judge in Fresno agreed with the industry and barred the state from enforcing its law, ruling California lawmakers had overstepped their bounds.
"Hogwash," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 3-0 decision siding with California. He said states have always had the authority to say that certain animals, such as horses, may not be slaughtered for food.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said the major pork producers "have a history of mistreating downer pigs, often while USDA inspectors are present." He cited reports of "conscious pigs being dragged from trailers" at a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles County.
PHOTO: California's deputy attorney general says the new law, which is on hold pending the legal challenge, would protect the human food supply and prevent animal cruelty. Above, pigs at an Oklahoma farm.
J. Pat Carter, Associated Press
.Los Angeles Times... U.S. Supreme Court takes up treatment of pigs The National... more
"Why Love One But Eat the Other?" Billboards Stir Controversy in Toronto Subway System
They are pretty careful about who gets to put ads up in the Toronto subway system, and animal rights activists usually don't make the cut. But through September and October, subway riders have come face to face with a powerful campaign to convince people that if they like cute kittens and puppies, then they shouldn't be eating chickens and pigs. Kimberly Caroll, an organizer of the campaign says:
Pigs, cows and chickens are remarkable beings," says campaign spokesperson Kimberly Carroll. "Cows will walk for miles to reunite with a calf after being sold at auction. Pigs have intelligence beyond that of a 3 year-old human. Chickens mourn the loss of their loved ones. We hope that in connecting with these animals and the grievous suffering that is behind every burger, omelette, and hot dog, people will be motivated to make more compassionate food choices.
I was surprised that the campaign got approved at all; Kimberly explained:
We ran a similar campaign back in 2009 on the TTC at about a quarter of the size of the current one. At that point the ad had to go through various levels of approval while we waited on pins and needles, but it was approved! This time around, it seems there were no concerns. We've been very impressed with the TTC for this. We believe this is the first animal rights campaign to run on the TTC.
While the puppy and pig comparison is probably not a stretch for most people, the kitten and chicken one is probably a bit more difficult. But they make a case that chickens are "inquisitive, affectionate and personable."
It is not a new message, that animals are animals and it is crazy to treat one kind so differently from another; the British Vegetarian Society did it decades ago. But it is new, seeing it in Toronto plastered all over the subway, where the TTC says it will be seen by 5.7 million people every week. Kimberly says that it is effective; she is getting "several emails, posts, and twitters a day from folks saying they're going veg after seeing the ads."
.treehugger... . "Why Love One But Eat the Other?" Billboards Stir... more
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, no stranger to attention-grabbing campaigns featuring nude women, plans to launch a pornography website in the name of animal rights.
The nonprofit organization, whose controversial campaigns draw criticism from women's rights groups, said it hopes to raise awareness of veganism through a mix of pornography and graphic footage of animal suffering.
"We're hoping to reach a whole new audience of people, some of whom will be shocked by graphic images that maybe they didn't anticipate seeing when they went to the PETA triple-X site," said Lindsay Rajt, PETA's associate director of campaigns.
PETA has been accused of campaigning for animal rights at the cost of exploiting women. A Facebook group, Real Women Against PETA, was launched after the organization paid for a billboard showing an obese woman with the message: "Save the Whales. Lose the Blubber. Go Vegetarian."
Another critical Facebook group is called, "Vegans (and Vegetarians) Against PETA."
"PETA is extremely disingenuous," said Jennifer Pozner, executive director of the New York-based advocacy group Women In Media & News. "They have consistently used active sexism as their marketing strategy to garner attention. Their use of sexism has gotten more extreme and more degrading.
"This may be in their minds the only thing left at their disposal to lower the bar," she said.
PETA has filed paperwork to launch its pornography site when the controversial new .xxx domain becomes active in early December. While many nonprofits and corporations are scrambling to protect their website names from being hijacked by a pornographer slapping on a .xxx domain, PETA is embracing the new domain as just another way to conduct business.
"We try to use every outlet that we can to speak up for animals," Rajt said. "We anticipated that this new triple-X domain name would be a hot topic and we immediately decided to use it and take advantage of it to try to promote the animal rights message."
Jill Dolan, director of the program in gender and sexuality studies at Princeton University, was critical of the PETA campaigns.
"Exploiting porn to get people's juices going seems lame; exploiting pornographic images only of women to make their point is retrograde and misogynist," Dolan said in an email. "Come on, PETA. Don't be Neanderthals."
Rajt denied that PETA has been insensitive to women.
"Our demonstrators, the models, all chose to participate in our campaigns... It's not a very feminist thing to do to turn to women and tell them whether or not they can use their voices, their bodies to express their voice."
Visitors to the X-rated site will initially be presented with pornographic content as well as images from PETA's salacious ads and campaigns, Rajt said. Those images will be followed by pictures and video shot undercover of the mistreatment of animals. The site will also include links to vegetarian and vegan -- using no animal products -- starter kits as well as recipes.
PETA's ad campaigns have featured adult film stars Sasha Grey, Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson. In 2008, the organization's YouTube account was temporarily shut down after showing racy videos of celebrities and others posing nude.
"When people first visit the site, it will be very enticing and once they go just a little bit deeper, that's when they'll be confronted with images that we hope will make them stop and think and get them talking and hopefully encourage them to make a lifestyle change to a plant-based diet," Rajt said.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/19/peta-to-launch-porn-site-in-name-of-animal-rights/People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, no stranger to attention-grabbing... more
It was around October 22nd that an Ontario hog farmer by the name of Wayne Bartels gained his fifteen minutes of fame the hard way. He was broke, as is true of many people with the recession. Bartels owed $11,000 in unpaid bills to Haldimand County Hydro. The company cut off the electricity to his farm. The 4,500 pigs on his farm faced unpleasant death from overheating once he ran out of fuel for the two diesel generators that powered the ventilation system essential to the animals’ survival.It was around October 22nd that an Ontario hog farmer by the name of Wayne Bartels... more
What is a Vegan?
Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.
People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products. That is, once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too old to be productive, they are often sold as meat; and since male calves do not produce milk, they usually are raised for veal or other products. Some people avoid these items because of conditions associated with their production.
Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. They know they are not perfect, but believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.What is a Vegan? Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition... more
Animal Aid (Great Britain)...
Revealed: cigarettes stubbed out on slaughter pigs' faces
Posted 28 July 2011
But Defra refuses to prosecute!
Cigarettes stubbed out on pigs’ faces; one animal punched in the head; another goaded in the face; regular blows and kicks; seriously injured pigs forced to drag themselves to slaughter… All these abuses in one UK slaughterhouse and Defra still won’t prosecute.
Today, Animal Aid has released footage shot secretly at Elmkirk Ltd (Cheale Meats), an Essex-based, family-run slaughterhouse that kills up to 6,000 pigs a week and whose website proclaims: ‘Be proud of higher welfare, buy British pork.’
The film – which was recorded on a number of secretly installed cameras over a period of four days – shows three different workers stubbing their cigarettes out on the faces of pigs, while one of the men landed a violent punch on the face of a pig who was walking by.
In addition, three seriously injured pigs were forced to crawl from the lairage, through the race and into the stun pen. Animal Aid’s cameras followed them as they were pushed, dragged by their ears and kicked along. Such treatment breaches the welfare laws multiple times.*
Animal Aid filmed many examples of incompetence. Pigs are stunned using electrified tongs, which should span their brains and render them immediately insensible. However, three of the four workers filmed stunning pigs showed a callous indifference to the suffering of the animals, many of whom were not stunned correctly. Some were subjected to painful electric shocks from the tongs, and fell to the ground screaming.
It is legal to use electric goads on the muscles of the hindquarters of pigs, but only for brief periods and only when there is space ahead of the animal in which to move. At Cheale Meats, the electric goad was used in the face of one pig and on the anus of another.
An additional worrying episode showed an apparently dead pig being dragged into the stun pen by a pole in her mouth. She was not stunned but she was shackled, hoisted and had her throat cut on the slaughter line. How this animal died, what she had been suffering from and where her meat ended up remain unknown.
Cheale Meats is the ninth UK slaughterhouse to be secretly filmed by Animal Aid in the past two-and-a-half years. The national campaign group has identified legal breaches in seven of the previous eight – some of them so serious that one slaughterhouse was forced to close down. Cases were built for the prosecution of nine men and four slaughterhouse operators before a change of government brought a change of heart, and all the cases were dropped. Defra, under the coalition government, said that, unlike its Labour predecessor, it could not proceed because the evidence was obtained without the permission of the slaughterhouses. Animal Aid believes that this is a politically motivated excuse and cites the recent Panorama programme, which secretly filmed care home workers without the permission of the owners, and whose film is being used to prosecute.
Animal Aid sent the Cheale Meats evidence to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). This is the body that supplies vets to slaughterhouses and investigates breaches of the welfare and hygiene law before passing the cases to Defra, which is the prosecuting body. The FSA replied on 14 June saying: ‘Defra is not prepared to commence prosecution proceedings where the initial allegation is based on CCTV footage gained without the consent of the relevant Food Business Operator.’
Kate Fowler, Head of Campaigns at Animal Aid says:
‘Since we first began investigating English slaughterhouses, we have been pressing everyone involved – regulators, industry bodies and the government – to act decisively to end the cruelty. At first, they appeared contrite and promised action but now their words ring hollow. If Defra won’t prosecute these flagrant breaches of the law; if the vets can’t or won’t act to stop the cruelties; and if the slaughterhouse owners look the other way, who is there to stop animals from being abused at the most vulnerable time of their lives? It seems that all involved are content to keep quiet and to allow these cruelties to continue. So much for the UK having the best welfare standards in the world!’
Animal Aid has secretly filmed inside eight other slaughterhouses from January 2009 until the present. Previous investigations can be seen here: http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/slaughter//2419//
While the government has so far failed to take action to curb the cruelties, the supermarkets have responded to Animal Aid’s campaign for CCTV to be installed in the slaughterhouses that supply them. Ten major supermarkets Morrisons, Waitrose, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Iceland, along with wholesalers Booker, have now agreed to make CCTV mandatory.
* The treatment of the injured pigs breaches the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations in a number of ways:
The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of animals shall ensure that pending the slaughter or killing of any sick or disabled animal in the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard, it is kept apart from any animal which is not sick or disabled. (Schedule 3, Part II 2 (e)) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/schedule/3/made
The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of any animal shall ensure that any animal which has experienced pain or suffering during transport or following its arrival at the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard is slaughtered or killed immediately. (Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 4 (a)) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/schedule/3/made
The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of any animal shall ensure that any animal which is unable to walk is not dragged to its place of slaughter or killing but is slaughtered or killed where it lies; or if it is possible and to do so would not cause any unnecessary pain or suffering, is transported on a trolley or movable platform to a place of emergency slaughter or killing where it is then immediately slaughtered or killed. (Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 5 (a,b)) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/schedule/3/made
The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement of any animals shall ensure that every animal is moved with care and, when necessary, that animals are led individually. (Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 9) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/schedule/3/made
No person shall inflict any blow or kick to any animal. (Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 12) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/schedule/3/made
No person shall lift or drag, or cause or permit to be lifted or dragged, any animal by the head, horns, ears, feet, tail, fleece or any other part of its body in such a way as to cause it unnecessary pain or suffering. (Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 7) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/schedule/3/madeAnimal Aid (Great Britain)... Revealed: cigarettes stubbed out on slaughter... more
Breaking undercover investigation - an inside look into the nation's fourth largest pig factory farm. Pork from these abused animals is being sold by grocery giants Kroger, Costco, Safeway, and Hy-Vee.via http://www.mercyforanimals.org/
A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation provides a shocking look into one of the nation's largest pork producers -- Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa. At this factory farm, mother sows and their piglets are forced to suffer brutal abuse and lives of unrelenting confinement and misery.
Between April and June of 2011, an MFA investigator documented:
- Mother sows confined to barren metal crates barely larger than their own bodies -- unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives
- Workers ripping out the testicles of conscious piglets without the use of painkillers
- Piglets suffering with herniated intestines, due to botched castration
- Conscious piglets having their tails painfully sliced into and yanked off with dull clippers
- Large, open, pus-filled wounds and pressure sores
- Sick and injured pigs left to languish and slowly die without proper veterinary care
- Mother pigs -- physically taxed from constant birthing -- suffering from distended, inflamed, bleeding, and usually fatal uterine prolapses
- Management training workers to throw piglets across the room -- comparing it to a "roller coaster ride"
Upon reviewing the undercover footage, world-renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Jonathan Balcombe denounced the facility, stating that "this video depicts scenes of unbearable suffering and inexcusable neglect. ... This farm should be closed down at once."
Veterinarian Dr. Armaiti May also condemned the operation, stating, "I was greatly disturbed and appalled to watch footage of such horrifying cruelty and neglect towards pigs." Dr. May further stated:
"I recommend group housing be instituted which allows enough space for pigs to turn around and extend their limbs without touching the sides of the enclosures or each other. All surgical procedures including castrations should be done only with the pigs anesthetized and using sterile technique."
Subjecting animals to a lifetime of confinement in crates so small they are virtually immobilized is perhaps the cruelest form of institutionalized animal abuse in existence. A growing number of animal welfare experts opposes the use of gestation crates, concluding what common sense should have told us all along: animals with legs should have room to move.
Dr. Temple Grandin, who is considered the world's leading expert on farmed-animal care and is an animal welfare advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the meat industry, asserts that "gestation crates for pigs are a real problem. ... Basically, you're asking a sow to live in an airline seat ... I think it's something that needs to be phased out."
Sadly, grocery giants Kroger, Costco, Safeway, and Hy-Vee condone confining animals in crates barely larger than their bodies by selling pork from producers who use gestation crates -- including Iowa Select Farms. These corporations have both the power and ethical responsibility to reject this abusive factory farming practice by immediately adopting policies that require suppliers to phase out their use of gestation crates.
Confining mother pigs in such crates is so patently cruel that the practice has been banned by the entire European Union, New Zealand, and the states of Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California, Maine and Michigan.
Yet, while other states make progress to prevent cruelty to farmed animals, legislators in Iowa -- the largest pork-producing state in the nation -- are actively working to conceal it. At the behest of factory farm interests, Iowa legislators are considering an "ag-gag" bill that seeks to silence and intimidate whistleblowers who document and expose animal abuse. As this new investigation graphically illustrates, with not a single federal law providing protection to animals on factory farms, and Iowa state anti-cruelty law largely exempting farmed animals, legislators should be working to enact laws protecting animals, not abusers.
As MFA works to expose and end the exploitation of animals at the hands of the meat, egg and dairy industries, consumers still hold the greatest power of all to prevent needless suffering of farmed animals by adopting a healthy and humane vegan diet.
To sign the petition to help end this cruelty, visit:
http://mercyforanimals.org/pigabuse/take-action.aspxvia http://www.mercyforanimals.org/ A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation... more
Europe's first vegan supermarket opens in Dortmund
Photo: Forget beer and bratwurst, Dortmund now houses Europe's only all-vegan supermarket. Offering chocolates, fake tuna and even dog food, the store is hoping to cash in on a small but rapidly growing market.
Renowned for its mining industry and blue-collar attitude, Dortmund is an unlikely choice for Europe's first vegan supermarket.
"If someone opens a supermarket that has no animal products in them, that seems crazy," said animal ethicist and store owner Ralf Kalkowski. "But people are celebrating."
Vegilicious, which opened on February 26, occupies over 100 square meters in the city-centre, technically making it the only vegan supermarket in Europe.
Using soy, spices, and oils to supplement traditional animal-based ingredients, the shelves are stacked with over 1500 products. Vegilicious offers chocolate bars, cereals, and even meat imitations, like fake chicken wings, which use cane sugar sticks to serve as 'bones.'
"People say they can't live without cheese, but we've got 30 different cheese alternatives," said Kalkowski, who co-owns Vegilicious with wife Kim. "You can have anything you think you might be missing, so there's no need to eat animal products anymore."
Starting with a café and online shop, the Kalkowski's and their 16 staff have so far maintained a customer flow of 120-150 people per day. They have even managed to attract non-human clients, selling vegan dog- and cat food.
"It's ridiculous if you rescue one animal, but feed them with another dead animal," he said.
Chickens are often artificially inseminated to produce large quantities of eggsWhat is veganism?
Vegans abstain from foods containing any animal products, including egg, honey and milk. This differs from vegetarians, who only renounce meat.
"Vegans believe animals should be left alone, it's not just about avoiding cruelty", said Amanda Baker, from the Vegan Society UK. "If animals are farmed, you have to take away their freedom."
Baker told Deutsche Welle that many male animals are killed at birth because they cannot reproduce, while females are exploited for artificial breeding, which dramatically decreases their life expectancy.
"For example, the dairy industry and the meat industry are the same industry. You can't separate one from the other," she said.
Aside from animal ethics, some turn to veganism to stem environmental problems. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, as well as being a major cause of deforestation and water pollution.
Veganism can also reap health benefits, as high meat consumption has been linked to cardio-vascular diseases, which are responsible for 49% of European deaths annually.
Kalkowski explained that many older customers have shopped at Vegilicious for health reasons as his products are cholesterol free.
Veganism has been stigmatized as expensive and excessive and vegans are often regarded as extremists for going beyond vegetarianism, according to Kalkowski, who laments the reactions of some meat-eaters to the opening of Vegilicious.
He said that when his supermarket was first mentioned in the press, the paper was forced to remove online comments inciting a pro-meat flash mob before his store.
He thinks these prejudices are based on myths, of which the biggest is the assumption that a meatless diet deprives the body of vital nutrients.
"You can get all necessary nutrients from a plant based diet, except for vitamin B12," Kalkowski explained, "and that's one thing we supplement with a product from the UK."
Importing products from the UK, US and even Australia is common, but a significant portion of vegan merchandise is produced locally, according to Germany's biggest Vegan Wholesaler, AVE.
AVE owner Tobias Graf believes veganism's popularity is expanding, not least because his business is booming.
"In the last few years a lot of new products were established, produced and discovered," he said. "We've personally grown year by year, 100% for the past three years."
It is not only vegans who are catching onto the craze, "No, I'm not vegan," one Vegilicious shopper explained. "I have never tried real vegan food. I think it's good so I can now try."
Ralf Kalkowski hopes his supermarket will entice more people to buy animal-free food, but the question remains - how do vegan products truly taste?
"It even tastes better," he said, "because you have a good conscience."
Author: Hannah Wandel
Editor: Nathan WitkopEurope's first vegan supermarket opens in Dortmund Photo: Forget beer and... more
Reporting from Washington— The Supreme Court gave police more leeway to break into homes or apartments in search of illegal drugs when they suspect the evidence otherwise might be destroyed.
Ruling in a Kentucky case Monday, the justices said that officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.
Residents who "attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame" when police burst in, said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. for an 8-1 majority.
In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she feared the ruling gave police an easy way to ignore 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. She said the amendment's "core requirement" is that officers have probable cause and a search warrant before they break into a house.
"How 'secure' do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and …forcibly enter?" Ginsburg asked.
An expert on criminal searches said the decision would encourage the police to undertake "knock and talk" raids.
"I'm surprised the Supreme Court would condone this, that if the police hear suspicious noises inside, they can break in. I'm even more surprised that nearly all of them went along," said John Wesley Hall, a criminal defense lawyer in Little Rock, Ark.
**** Side note ****
If this stands and one of these cowards tries that shit at my house, i'm going postal, commando and Doom on all of them!! Fuck it!!!
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-court-search-20110517,0,6746878.storyReporting from Washington— The Supreme Court gave police more leeway to break... more
From The Veganomaly...
5 Smart[ass] Answers to 5 Dumb[ass] Questions About Veganism
13 May 2011
This is the first installment of ’5 Smart[ass] Answers to 5 Dumb[ass] Questions About Veganism’, a Q&A written by me and my partner Joseph (vegan for 22 years!) in the hopes of offering some catharsis to vegans everywhere, as well as practical answers to those often loaded questions that can come out of nowhere and leave you unsure of what to say. And because the people asking them tend to either be genuinely curious or openly antagonistic, we’ve created separate responses for each. The ‘Smart’ answers are designed for the well-intentioned omnivore, while the ‘Smart-Ass‘ answers are reserved for the pseudo-curious interrogator who really only wants to get under your skin.
This will be a regular feature on my blog, and here’s the exciting part– YOU can send in any question/comment you want addressed. Got an uncle who likes hunting and insists on rubbing it in your face? How about a coworker who stares at your quinoa salad like you’re from a different planet? Or what about the 100′s of good-hearted people who seem to ask the same dumb-ass questions over and over again? Send them to us! We’ll do our best to craft a clever response and hopefully make you laugh while we’re at it! Just fill out the form at the bottom of this post, with the question or comment you want answered.
Question One: Where do you get your protein?
The Smart Answer: Lots of places! Whole grains, legumes, nuts, tofu, soy milk, hummus, falafels, veggie burgers, bean burritos, pad thai – just to name a few. It shouldn’t be that surprising to learn that plants offer up lots of protein; if they’re good enough for big, strong herbivores like gorillas, elephants and rhinos, why wouldn’t they be good enough for us?
The Smart-Ass Answer: Where do you get your nutritional propaganda? Kwashiorkor, also known as protein deficiency, is all but non-existent in the developed world; it’s unlikely you’ll ever meet anyone who has suffered from it, vegetarians and vegans included. The real issue at hand is where YOU get YOUR protein, as it’s most likely from the body of a sick, suffering animal raised for the sole purpose of selling cheap, unhealthy food.
Question Two: But I’ve been to family farms and seen animals that have a pretty good life. What’s wrong with that?
The Smart Answer: I don’t blame you for thinking that the farms you’ve seen are fair to the animals while reflecting an industry norm. After all, the animal foods industry spends tens of millions of dollars a year trying to convince you that modern animal farms are happy-go-lucky places where kind, old farmers attend to their animals’ every need. The sad reality is that 99% of the animals raised for food in this country are raised in factory farms, most confined their entire lives to tiny cages or stalls where the vast majority of their most basic needs (comfort, freedom of movement, foraging, socialization, access to fresh air and sunlight, and so on) are never met.
People want cheap animal products from healthy, happy animals, but few realize that the two are mutually exclusive. Over 10 billion animals are killed and eaten each year in North America; numbers like that simply cannot be sustained without treating animals like machines. That is why at the end of the day, it’s not really the meat or milk or eggs that need to be marketed, but the myth about how they were produced. This is why it is relatively common to be offered a free tour of a ‘friendly’ farm showcasing a handful of ‘happy’ animals, but completely impossible to get a tour of a factory farm. The industry doesn’t want you to know the truth, because the truth would bankrupt them.
The Smart-Ass Answer: People said the same thing about human slavery. That didn’t make it right, and the fact that some farmers are ‘nice’ enough to give their animals food and room to walk around doesn’t make their exploitation right, either. The bottom line is that in 99% of all cases, farmed animals are raised for the sole purpose of marketing their flesh, milk, eggs, skin or hair at a profit, and if anything gets in the way of that (vet bills, high quality food, spacious housing), it will always be the animals who suffer. That is why even on the most ‘humane’ farms, practices like castration, dehorning and tail-docking are performed without anaesthetic; unwanted baby males are discarded or butchered; unproductive (read: not productive enough) animals are sent to slaughter; and so on.
If it was really about the animals’ comfort and wellbeing, the animals we’ve selectively bred to maximize productivity (at the expense of their physical and emotional health) would cease to be bred (read: artificially inseminated), and those that remained would be allowed to live out the rest of their lives in peace at places like Farm Sanctuary. Anything less than this is exploitation and abuse in the name of profit, pure and simple.
CONTINUED...From The Veganomaly... 5 Smart[ass] Answers to 5 Dumb[ass] Questions About... more
Japan to launch massive search for quake bodies
By SHINO YUASA, AP
4 hours ago
TOKYO — Japan will send nearly 25,000 soldiers backed by boats and aircraft into its disaster zone Monday on an intensive land-and-sea mission to recover the bodies of those killed by last month's earthquake and tsunami, the military said.
Agriculture officials also plan to send a team of veterinarians into the evacuation zone around a stricken nuclear plant to check on hundreds of thousands of abandoned cows, pigs and chickens, many of which are believed to have died of starvation and neglect. The government is considering euthanizing some of the dying animals, officials said.
About 14,300 people have been confirmed dead so far in the catastrophic March 11 tsunami and earthquake. Another 12,000 remain missing and are presumed killed. Some of their bodies were likely swept out to sea, while others were buried under the mass of rubble.
Cleanup crews have discovered some remains as they gingerly removed rotting debris to clear the area for rebuilding.
But the two-day military search operation will be far more extensive, Defense Ministry spokesman Ippo Maeyama said Sunday.
"We will do our utmost to recover bodies for bereaved families," he said.
A total of 24,800 soldiers will scour the rubble, backed by 90 helicopters and planes, he said. Another 50 boats, along with 100 navy divers, will search the waters up to 20 kilometers off the coast, he said. Police, coast guard and U.S. troops will also take part.
"It's been very difficult and challenging to find bodies because the areas hit by tsunami are so widespread," he said. "Many bodies also have been swept away by the tsunami."
The operation will be the third intensive military search for bodies since the disaster last month. With the waters receding, Maeyama hopes the teams will have more success.
The search was complicated by the decomposition of some of the corpses, he said. Some had already turned into skeletons.
"You have to be very careful in touching the bodies because they quickly disintegrate. We cannot tell the bodies' gender anymore, let alone their age," he said.
The searches will continue, however, "as long as families want us to look for their loved ones," Maeyama said.
Meanwhile, the government in the Fukushima prefecture will send a team of six veterinarians into the 12-mile (20-kilometer) evacuation zone around the radiation-leaking Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to survey the livestock there.
Farmers in the area were estimated to have left 3,000 cows, 130,000 pigs and 680,000 chickens behind when they hurriedly fled the area last month when the nuclear crisis started.
With no time for burials, veterinarians who find dead livestock will spray lime over them to prevent them from spreading disease, agricultural officials said.
The government is also considering euthanizing dying animals, but only after getting permission from their owners, said Yutaka Kashimura, an agricultural official in Fukushima.
"Killing animals is the very last resort," he said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewriJapan to launch massive search for quake bodies By SHINO YUASA, AP 4 hours ago... more
NPR Morning Edition...
Livestock Farms Could Be Off Limits To Photos
Click on Link to Listen to the Story by Kathleen Masterson
April 13, 2011
Animal rights activists have secretly filmed the inner workings of livestock farms, which has led to some bad press for the industry. Bills introduced in Florida and Iowa would make photographing animal operations without the owner's permission a felony. Supporters say that would help prevent activists from fraudulently being hired. Opponents argue the bills would prevent current employees from reporting abuse.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
In Iowa and in Florida, big livestock operations are supporting bills that would forbid animal rights activists from going undercover to take photos and document conditions at big farms. Activists are asking what the industry has to hide. From Iowa Harvest Public Media's Kathleen Masterson reports.
KATHLEEN MASTERSON: If livestock industry groups get their way what happened at this farm would be considered a crime. Here in central Iowa amid an expanse of cornfields, Rose Acre Farms has six huge hen houses, each the length of a football field.
Last February, an undercover activist from the Human Society got a job here. He wanted to get inside and film the workings of the facility that houses about a million chickens. He stayed here only two weeks.
Then three months later, the Human Society held a news conference and splashed a video on the Web. It shows scenes filmed at Rose Acre Farms and another company's farm. The footage shows chickens living in cramped cages and some dead birds whose carcasses were left so long they'd been mummified.
Unidentified Woman: The crews just shoving them in the cages, sometimes they'll get their legs slammed in the door or their wings.
MASTERSON: The pending Iowa law would make filming this video without the owner's permission and the mere possession of it a criminal offense, punishable by up to five years in jail.
At Rose Acres, farm manager Andrew Kaldenberg says while the video did show some footage of their farm, the abuses didn't occur there. The media were invited out to their barn within hours of the video being released.
Mr. ANDREW KALDENBERG (Manager, Rose Acres): We welcome reporters, you know, what have we got to hide? If we're not treating our animals right, they ain't going to produce. They're not going to produce, we're out of business.
MASTERSON: So I asked him to show me around the hen houses.
Mr. KALDENBERG: In this house we are ten rows wide, five tier high. That means that we have five cages stacked on top of each other.
MASTERSON: Kaldenberg says the activists' motives are to promote an agenda which is vehemently against how the industry produces food, with thousands of birds living in row after row of small cages.
Rose Acre Farms and other large chicken, hog and cattle organizations say the pending Iowa legislation is being mischaracterized. They say it isn't about stopping whistleblowers from reporting abuse, but argue it's about keeping people who misrepresent their true purpose from getting hired.
Kevin Vinchattle is the executive director of the Iowa Egg Council.
Mr. KEVIN VINCHATTLE (Executive Director, Iowa Egg Council): People are trying to characterize the livestock folks as trying to hide things. We're not. We don't want any animal to be abused. And if it's truly a case where a person thinks that abuse is occurring, that needs to be reported immediately, not six weeks done the road or months later in a video released for PR efforts to raise money for an organization.
MASTERSON: But a whole section of the Iowa bill explicitly bans photography.
There's a similar bill under debate in Florida. Kansas and Montana already have laws that ban taking secret photos of an animal facility if the intent is to damage the owner. And other states across the country are also considering similar legislation.
Humane Society's Paul Shapiro says the bills are an attempt to shield America's food production system from public scrutiny. He says their exposes have been done legally and resulted in convictions for animal cruelty, as well as meat recalls over food safety problems. Without undercover videos, activists say their claims wouldn't be taken seriously.
In Iowa, State Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, said a bill like this would set a dangerous precedent. He argues the multibillion dollar livestock industry wants to operate with less oversight.
State Senator MATT MCCOY (Democrat, Iowa): They view animal welfare groups and individuals that take undercover video and release it to the public as a threat to their livelihood.
MASTERSON: Neither side in this fight appears willing to budge yet on a key sticking point, whether secretly photographing farm animals should be considering a criminal act.
For NPR News, I'm Kathleen Masterson in Ames, Iowa.
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Es importante que España no termine pidiendo rescate. El gobierno de Zapatero vendió con éxito la historia sobre su capacidad de navegar en el mar de la deuda mediante el rendimiento de sus bonos.Es importante que España no termine pidiendo rescate. El gobierno de Zapatero... more
Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) released the video of pigs being dumped into a hole alive, calling for an immediate halt to the live burial. CARE said, "animals do feel pain like humans and the Korean government should seek an alternative mean to solve the problem.
Since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in late 2010, over 16 million animals have been killed when this infectious disease spread throughout crowded factory farms in South Korea. Instead of vaccinating animals to stop the spread of disease, officials have been killing them by burying them alive in mass graves. Large trucks dump hundreds of pigs into large pits, and the animals are covered in soil. Many slowly suffocate, while others are trapped in air pockets that keep the suffering animals alive but unable to move, sometimes for days, until they eventually die from trauma, starvation, or dehydration. Using live burial as a disease control method contradicts both the domestic animal protection law and Korea's obligations under the World Organization for Animal Health's Guidelines on the Killing of Animals for Disease Control Purposes.
Animals raised for food suffer from similar cruelty around the world. In the United States, more than 16 billion animals are killed for food every year, and these animals are abused in ways that would warrant felony cruelty-to-animals charges if dogs or cats were the victims. Please consider compassionate plant-based options when choosing your next meal.
You can help animals in South Korea and at home! Please contact the South Korean embassy in the United States and ask it to pressure the South Korean government to promise that it will never bury animals alive again.
"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." ~William Ralph IngeCoexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) released the video of pigs being dumped... more
Please click on the above link, so you can see for yourselves their bullshit ratings charts for what they think of as animal welfare. These poor animals are still killed, and that makes this an issue for animal RIGHTS.
Don't buy into Whole Foods Market's approach. Killing is killing. Exaggeration is exaggeration. Selling is selling. Slaughterhouses are slaughterhouses.
WARNING! There are four graphic photos following WFM's grandiose 5+ steps.
From their website........
"The more you know about our meat, the better"
At Whole Foods Market, we're dedicated to helping you make informed choices about the food you eat. It's often easy to forget that the burger, steak or drumstick on your plate was once an animal. How was that animal raised? How was it treated? Where did it come from? What about added hormones and antibiotics? Was its growth artificially accelerated to get to market sooner and reduce feed cost? We are committed to answering these questions.
The 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating Standards
Global Animal Partnership
We've chosen to partner with Global Animal Partnership to certify our producers' animal welfare practices. We're rolling out their 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating Standards in every Whole Foods Market store in the United States.
Global Animal Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to continually improving the lives of farm animals. They have developed the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards that rate how pigs, chickens and cattle are raised for meat. Standards for other species (turkeys, lambs and others) are in development, so stay tuned and be sure to look for Global Animal Partnership 5-Step ratings the next time you stop by our meat department.
It's important to note that getting to Step 1 is a great accomplishment! Step 1 requires more from our farmers and ranchers than we have ever asked before. The Step ratings are assigned by independent third-party certifiers using auditors trained by Global Animal Partnership.
Look for this rating system when you choose our beef, pork or chicken. It's your way of knowing how the animals were raised for the meat you are buying.__________________________________________ Please click on the above link, so you... more
Catskill Animal Sanctuary Director and Huffington Post Blogger Kathy Stevens shares a few practical tips about veganism with Oprah viewers taking the vegan challenge.
Originally posted at: http://casanctuary.org/2011/02/6-things-oprah-viewers-should-know-about-veganism/
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m excited about the attention that Oprah’s Tuesday show is bringing to veganism, a lifestyle to which I’m passionately committed. And I’m equally excited to do my part to support anyone eager to consider making this life-affirming, health-affirming, planet-saving change! So here, in no particular order, are six things you need to know about veganism.
1. Help is everywhere you turn! There’s a whole web-based world eager to THANK YOU and to hold your hand on this exciting journey! If you’re inclined to begin at the beginning and learn what we’re doing to the animals, I heartily recommend these books: Eating Animals, Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy, and The Food Revolution. There are countless others. Do your own google search. Rather watch a film? Try: Death on a Factory Farm, Glass Walls, or Earthlings. Want to bypass the suffering and instead see cows, pigs, and chickens (and a host of other critters) for who they truly are? Check out my books: Where the Blind Horse Sings and the newly-released Animal Camp: Lessons in Love and Hope From Rescued Farm Animals. Don’t think it’s possible to love a pig? You’ve got some surprises coming!
2. You CAN treat your tastebuds! At least once a month for the last dozen years, my dad calls and asks, “Whatcha havin’ for dinner tonight? Sticks and leaves?” Folks: let’s dispel the myth that veggie cuisine is bland!! For general info and advice about nutrition, try the Vegetarian Resource Group, Savvy Vegetarian, VegSource, or The North American Vegetarian Society. To bypass the BS and get right down to cookin’, try these recipe databases: VegWeb, International Vegetarian Union, and VegFamily. Finally, check the Catskill Animal Sanctuary website, for regular updates from Chef Kevin Archer, director of Compassionate Cuisine. Far as we know, Catskill Animal Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in the world to offer a vegan cooking program. Join us, either onsite or via podcast, coming in February!
3. You can date without committing! Not sure you’re ready to strip the fridge bare? There’s nothing wrong with dating before you commit. Try choosing vegetarian restaurants to discover how varied and delicious veggie diets can be! Happy Cow is a database of vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly restaurants around the world. Just plug in your city or zip code and the distance radius you wish to search. If you’re a New Yorker, you’ll love SuperVegan’s “The Amazing Instant New York City Vegan Restaurant Finder“.
My advice? Choose the vegetarian and vegan restaurants rather those that have “vegan options.” You’ll find that restaurants truly committed to the lifestyle offer far more inventive, satisfying meals. Go ahead: tantalize your tastebuds!! Check out the menus from my favorite local restaurants: Garden Café in Woodstock, Luna 61 in Tivoli, and Karma Road in New Paltz.
4. A word of caution: Vegan does not equal healthy. There’s a lot of processed vegan CRAP out there filled with ingredients I can’t pronounce (and I ain’t stupid!). If you want to use this opportunity to take charge of your health, focus on simple, whole foods. Want some great advice? Grab a copy of my pal Kris Carr‘s just-released, New York Times-bestselling Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!
5. A new, better you awaits! I may not know you, but I know this about you: you’re a good person who values kindness, and who likely works hard to ensure that your actions embody this highly-cherished value. Just for a moment, let in the uncomfortable notion that every time you eat an animal, you’re subjecting an innocent sentient being–an animal who, when you get right down to it, is very much like us in ways that count–to a level of suffering you wouldn’t wish upon a child molester or rapist. Acknowledge your role in the suffering, and when you choose to go vegan, celebrate your choice to honor not only the animals, but also, and most importantly, yourself, for in embracing veganism, you’ll be aligning your lifestyle with the values you prize most deeply. And that feels good.
6. It’s okay to stumble. Let’s face it: change is challenging! Even vegan poster girl Alicia Silverstone has stumbled a few times – and that ‘s OK!! As someone who took several years to go vegan, I know what the resistance is about: habit, convenience, concern about family members’ reactions, lack of knowledge about what else to cook. If you decide to take the plunge, or even just to dip your toe in the water, be prepared to encounter resistance, even if it’s just from, well, your own noggin. Be kind to yourself in your heroic effort to be kind to all beings and to the fragile planet we inhabit..
The vegan train’s pullin’ out of the station people! Grab a seat for the ride of your life, and be sure to tell us about your journey.Catskill Animal Sanctuary Director and Huffington Post Blogger Kathy Stevens shares a... more