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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

Humane Meat: Taste the Happy

July 7, 2014
by

OC: If you substituted human animals for non-human animals, would you still categorize it as humane? I didn’t think so. So why is it okay to exploit, traumatize, cause suffering and extreme pain for non-human animals? Watch below and determine just WHAT the definition of “humane” really entails, and remember that the only “humane” is veganism.

Source PETA



So, as you’ve probably figured out, there is no such thing as “humane meat.” On “humane,” “grass-fed,” and “organic” farms, animals are still subject to cruel industry standards: severe crowding, physical mutilation, and a terrifying death. The only “humane meat” is no meat at all. Try vegan!

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

On Speciesism and Token Gestures

July 4, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source My Face Is On Fire

The bottom line is that for any animal advocacy to bring about meaningful long-term change for the billions killed each and every year for human pleasure, it needs to address speciesism. Convincing someone to give up beef for climate change, fishes to save the oceans, or meat on one day a week for personal health? It merely persuades people to make token gestures for themselves — often just temporarily — rather than to initiate meaningful permanent change for other animals. People are left feeling better about choosing the other animal products they’ll invariably choose to replace the ones they may omit or use less often. They become convinced that those other options are better or more ethical choices. They’re left feeling good that they’ve done “enough” – and hey, if animal advocates are patting them on the back for it, then surely they’re doing enough, right?

Some animal advocates argue that “something is better than nothing”, assuming that getting non-vegans to shuffle animal products around is actually “something” in the first place. How is it “something” if instead of having a burger for lunch on Meatless Monday, someone instead has an omelet? How is it “something” if someone decides to stop consuming beef, but instead chooses to eat chickens or fishes? And why this false dichotomy, as if the only two options available in animal advocacy result in varying degrees of the continued deliberate exploitation of others? Is it not incredibly arrogant for us to think that although a message got through to us and we went vegan that the same could not possibly occur with others?

Those advocates insist that getting non-vegans to “lower” their animal consumption is some sort of “step in the right direction”, when the truth is that unless that direction is towards veganism, there are no actual “steps” being taken. When we try to persuade non-vegans to make small token gestures for themselves – for their health, their environment – rather than attempt to persuade them to make meaningful changes for the sake of those billions of others whose lives we steal each and every year, we are bargaining away the lives of innocents. Without addressing the underlying problem of speciesism and turning people’s focus to those others, we have no hope of seriously shifting the status quo.

Worse is that when animal advocates convey to the public that veganism is “too hard” and applaud token gestures, they actually leave the general public less willing to hear and weigh animal rights advocacy and an actual vegan message. After all, why would they listen when they’ve been told that they’ve already done enough? This is the horrible damage caused by groups like Vegan Outreach and all of the other large welfarist groups who pump their fists in the air over false victories. This is the horrible damage which we’re left to undo.

Read more…

Louisiana Man Freed After 17 Years of Wrongful Imprisonment

July 2, 2014
by
Photo: Nathan Brown (white shirt) with exoneree Michael Williams (black hat) and his legal team. - Innocence Project

Photo: Nathan Brown (white shirt) with exoneree Michael Williams (black hat) and his legal team. – Innocence Project

Source Innocent Project

Nathan Brown walked out of a Louisiana state prison a free man last week after a Jefferson Parish judge overturned his conviction for attempted rape and the District Attorney agreed that he was factually innocent. DNA testing of crime scene evidence proved that he is innocent and matched to an alternative suspect, a man who is currently serving a sentence for a felony in Mississippi and who, at the time, lived only a few blocks away from the crime scene.

In August 1997, a woman was attacked from behind in the courtyard of her apartment building. The perpetrator bit the victim’s neck, ripped off her dress and took her purse before she was able to fend him off, at which point he fled, leaving the complex on a bike. The victim told police, who had been summoned by neighbors that heard the victim’s screams, that she had been attacked by a black man who was wearing black shorts and no shirt.

Police knocked on Nate’s door just minutes after the crime. He was in his bedroom wearing pajamas, rocking his young daughter to sleep. The officers had him change into black shorts and remove his shirt and then conducted what is called a one-on-one “show-up,” a highly-suggestive identification procedure in which a single suspect is presented to the eyewitness at either the site of the arrest or near the site of the crime. The victim identified Nate as the man who attacked her.

Nate’s mother retained a private attorney to represent him who provided a less than effective defense and didn’t even meet with Nate until the day his trial was set to start. Despite having four alibi witnesses who placed him at home with his daughter when the crime was occurring, Nate was convicted based on the victim’s identification and sentenced to 25 years for the crime.

Nate, who has always maintained his innocence, contacted the Innocence Project, which, with the cooperation of the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s office, conducted DNA testing of the victim’s dress. Male DNA found in four different locations on the dress excluded Nate and matched to another man, currently in prison in Mississippi on a felony conviction but who lived just blocks away from the victim’s apartment complex at the time.

By the time of his exoneration last week, Nate had served nearly 17 years for a crime that he did not commit. Read more.

Read more…

Frogs and Turtles in Maryland Need Your Voice

June 30, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

BACKGROUND | SOURCE PETA

Each year, frogs and turtles are taken from their natural habitats and cruelly subjected to “Frog Jumping” and “Turtle Derby” games at Bel Air Independence Day. They are surrounded by screaming crowds, roughly handled, and relentlessly goaded into making their way across a dry, dusty slab of concrete. This chaotic ordeal would obviously be terrifying for both frogs and turtles, who view humans as predators, and it is potentially harmful. Frogs can have respiratory problems since they breathe through their skin and therefore must remain clean and moist—one local conservationist even stated that “a lot of frogs get injured in the jump.” And because of their slow metabolism, turtles can take weeks or even months to heal from injuries. Your voice is needed!

Please urge the Bel Air Independence Day Committee to cancel these cruel events permanently and replace them with activities that don’t involve live animals. And please forward this alert widely!

WHOM TO CONTACT

Individual:

Don Stewart, President and Chair
Bel Air Independence Day Committee
Info@BelAirLions.org

Michael Blum, Vice President and CEO
Bel Air Independence Day Committee
michaelblum@martinoblum.com

Block:
Info@BelAirLions.org ; michaelblum@martinoblum.com

Please email the following in a separate online contact, and only include Dear President Conway:

Althes Conway, President
Bel Air Kiwanis Club
To send an e-mail, please click here.

 

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear President and Chair Stewart and Vice President and CEO Blum:

Or

Dear President Conway:

Each year, frogs and turtles are taken from their natural habitats and cruelly subjected to “Frog Jumping” and “Turtle Derby” games at Bel Air Independence Day, and I respectfully request that these cruel games cease. Please allow me this opportunity to explain.

Frogs and turtles are surrounded by screaming crowds, roughly handled, and relentlessly goaded into making their way across a dry, dusty slab of concrete. This chaotic ordeal would obviously be terrifying for both frogs and turtles, who view humans as predators, and it is potentially harmful. Frogs can have respiratory problems since they breathe through their skin and therefore must remain clean and moist—one local conservationist even stated that “a lot of frogs get injured in the jump.”  And because of their slow metabolism, turtles can take weeks or even months to heal from injuries.

Please cancel these cruel events permanently and replace them with activities that don’t involve live animals.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this urgent appeal.

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

James Cameron-Backed School To Terminate Meat And Dairy

June 27, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons: vegan sandwich

Wikimedia Commons: vegan sandwich

Source NPR
By Eliza Barclay

As we’ve been reporting, the quest to get more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into public schools has once again gotten political.

But in spite of the new federal standards for school nutrition, “changing a school lunch cafeteria, especially those that participate in the National School Lunch Program, it is like turning around the Titanic,” says Susan Levin, director of nutrition for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Education.

However, if you happen to have performed in the movie Titanic, such as Suzy Amis Cameron did, and you happen to have founded a private school that you and your world-famous director husband support, as Amis Cameron also has, then maybe revamping a school cafeteria isn’t such a tall task. You might even be able to eliminate meat and dairy altogether, and create the first plant-based school in the U.S.

A lot of schools lately have been making incremental changes toward more plant-based options, says Levin. Take the Meatless Monday program, which is now in hundreds of K-12 public and private schools. One public school, P.S. 24, in Flushing, N.Y., even went completely vegetarian.

But Amis Cameron’s plan for MUSE School CA, the environmentally focused school in Calabasas, Calif., that she founded with her sister, Rebecca Amis, in 2006, is even more ambitious.

“We are gradually moving toward a plant-based menu because we do call ourselves an environmental school,” Amis Cameron tells The Salt. “Within the next year and a half, we will be plant-based.”

Private schools like MUSE School CA, of course, have a lot more flexibility when it comes to deciding what goes on, and what comes off, the menu.

Already, the school has a strong seed-to-table program that’s producing fresh fruits and vegetables grown by its 140 students. They’re guided by the school’s full-time, year-round gardener and educator, Paul Hudak.

He and students at the school’s two campuses in Malibu Canyon have built 28 raised beds to grow peppers, greens, tomatoes, herbs and other edibles, plus flowers. The older students will also be selling some of the food grown over the summer to local restaurants.

Hudak says now that the schools are growing produce year-round, they can supply up to 20 percent of the food consumed in the cafeterias, depending on the season. “Once we really get cranking, I think we’ll be up to 40 or 50 percent,” Hudak says.

The Origins Of MUSE School CA

Food played a role in sparking Amis Cameron’s motivation to start the school in the first place. She and her husband, James Cameron, one of the world’s most successful directors (yes, Avatar, the Terminator films and Titantic), have five children, including one from her previous marriage. The family splits its time between their home in Malibu, their ranch in Santa Barbara and their 3,500-acre farm in New Zealand.

As she phased out modeling and acting in the late ’90s, Amis Cameron focused on her children and their education. And as she did, she says, she became increasingly frustrated with the schools they were in: “They were really wanting to put our children in a box.”

Then, in 2005, Amis Cameron was driving her 4-year-old daughter home from school and heard her daughter describe a math lesson with candy.

“The school she was going to — that touted itself as an environmental school — was teaching my child to count with M&M’s,” Amis Cameron says. “And everything in my life came to a screeching halt.”

She and James started talking about the possibility of starting their own school for their children and other kids whose parents were looking for an alternative to the schools in Malibu.

“Jim was trying to decide between doing more deep-ocean exploration, or make a little film called Avatar,” says Amis Cameron. “He decided to make Avatar, and I decided to start MUSE. And off we went in our different ventures. Now, nine to 10 years later, it’s all coming full circle, dovetailing.”

While MUSE School CA has grown to 140 students — two are Camerons, and half receive financial aid — it’s still not an accredited school, though Amis Cameron says they’re working on that.

She and her sister, Rebecca, have tried to walk the sustainability talk on campus, using recycled materials to build the classrooms, installing solar “flowers” designed and donated by James to power the school with renewable energy, and by hiring a resident falconer whose hawks eat rodents and eliminate the need for pesticides.

The Camerons Go Vegan

Over time, the Camerons’ environmentalism — which features heavily in the ecological destruction narrative of Avatar — has become more and more centered around food.

The turn happened, Amis Cameron says, when the couple went vegan in 2012 after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. The film emphasizes the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and that initially compelled them to empty the cupboards and fridges of all dairy and meat products.

“But what has really been a major eye opener is the connection between food and the environment,” says Amis Cameron. “Now, we’re benefiting greatly from eating plant-based, as are our children, but the environmental piece has become really our sole focus.”

Specifically, Amis Cameron says, she’s appalled by all of the water and grain it takes to produce meat and dairy, and all of the greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution that production generates. And everything she’s learned lately about animal products and the environment has coalesced into a singular conviction: “You can’t really call yourself an environmentalist if you’re still consuming animals. You just can’t.”

While there is a consensus that the meat industry has taken a heavy toll on the environment, few people agree on what to do about it.

And many environmental scientists are not convinced the solution is for everyone to give up animal products — especially people in the developing world who haven’t had ready access to them.

One recent study we reported on argued that to prevent more greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector, we’ll get the biggest bang for the buck by helping producers become more efficient and keeping land from being converted for grazing. The researchers say that while consumers in rich countries could stand to eat less meat, it’s not realistic to expect us to give it up entirely.

“It’s not a matter of giving up meat. It’s a matter of shifting to other kinds that have less climate impacts,” one scientist told us. So, not as much beef and pork, and maybe more farmed fish and insects.

But Amis Cameron, like a lot of other activists we’ve interviewed, argues that avoiding animal products is still the most powerful decision a consumer can make — more significant than buying a hybrid car or LED light bulbs.

In addition to transforming MUSE School CA into a vegan school, Amis Cameron is writing books on the environmental impacts of meat production for different demographics — moms, teens, children and thought leaders, she says. The Camerons also regularly give speeches where they talk about their newfound veganism and why they’re primarily motivated by concern for the planet.

“Any extra bandwidth that we have is spent on that piece and … bringing that message out into the world,” she says. “We have an amazing platform.”

But even with all their influence, Amis Cameron admits that it hasn’t been easy to convince other parents at MUSE School CA that the chicken, turkey and cheese currently served at the school have to go.

“Food is a very sensitive subject for so many people,” she says. “People have their cultural reasons for eating meat, their traditional reasons, their likes and dislikes. But slowly we are offering educational programs through MUSE, for not only the children, mainly for the grownups, because the children, they live and breath [the environmental way] already.”

Is Vegan Healthy For Kids?

Levin of PCRM says that a vegan diet can be healthy for kids — even the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has ruled that kids can get everything they need from plants alone.

“Most people assume it’s so hard to make kids eat vegan — that it’s easier to give them the chicken nuggets and the milk, and the cheese,” says Levin. “But I don’t think anyone could defend that they would be less healthy by not consuming animal products.”

And while Levin sees MUSE School CA’s move toward a vegan menu as an anomaly, she says she applauds what Amis Cameron is doing.

“They might be in a privileged position to advocate for dietary choice, but it ultimately shows other people how effective it is,” says Levin.

And, Levin adds, many plant-based foods, like rice and beans, aren’t prohibitively expensive for schools. “It shouldn’t be an entitled program. You don’t have to be rich to be plant-based.”

The Camerons were the initial MUSE School CA donors, and continue to supply startup funds as the school has expanded from elementary to middle to a high school slated to open this fall. But Amis Cameron says the plan is for the school to become self-sustaining.

“We’ve capped what we give, and we decrease the amount every year,” she says. “But, gosh, it’s a great place to be a philanthropist.”

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Morrissey New Song ‘The Bullfighter Dies’

June 25, 2014
by

“The Bullfighter Dies” is one song from Morrissey’s upcoming album World Peace Is None Of Your Business. The album is due to hit stores on July 15. (Music Times)

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Kidnapped Ethiopian girl rescued by caring, protective lions

June 23, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source Grist
By

A 12-year-old girl kidnapped by a group of seven men in the Ethiopian city of Bita Genet was found several days after her abduction, safe under the watchful eyes of three lions. Not only were the lions guarding her, they allegedly chased off her captors.

The girl was reportedly abducted by the seven men with the idea that she would be forced into marrying one of the them. According to the United Nations, about 70 percent of the marriages taking place in Ethiopia are the result of similar kidnappings. And nearly 100 percent of those abduction-marriages are not thwarted by kindly wildlife.

While it is certainly within reason to consider this a miracle, a wildlife official did point out that the lions — who guarded the girl for about a half day — may have heard her crying and mistaken her for a cub. Interesting theory, but don’t lions know the difference between a Person and a Furry Thing that Looks Just Like Them? Although who wants to complain? It’s such a great story.

It’s so great, in fact, that Twitter is going nuts about it today even though this event took place and was reported on in 2005. Possibly because there’s been so much rape in the news lately, and it’s nice to hear a story with a happy ending. Or maybe we just like stories where animals behave in the noble, humane way we wish people would.

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

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