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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)

Plant-based Diet 101

October 1, 2014
by

Source Sunshine and Slaughter
By Jean of all Trades

I just finished reading a book by Luke Jones. You might recognize that name: I featured Luke in my vegan profile segment recently. Luke runs the site Hero Health Room, a blog about plant-based living, sustainability, mindfulness, and exercise.

Plant-based Diet 101

Luke recently published a book called Plant-based Diet 101: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy, Sustainable Eating Habits. I just finished reading it, and I highly recommend it–especially if you’re new to (or considering) a plant-based diet or if you’re a vegan who isn’t eating as healthy as you think you should (after all, cola and cookies can be vegan, but they’re certainly not healthy).

The book is very digestible (pun intended) and covers health basics like what to eat, what to avoid, and whether supplements are necessary. Luke covers costs, health concerns, and even topics like how to eat in restaurants and deal with skeptical friends and family members.

Luke has a great, conversational writing style, which made reading the book feel like a trusted friend was helping me. It’s not preachy nor is it judgmental. Of course I’m a proponent of a plant-based lifestyle and I sometimes want to bash people over the head with my ideas. Luke doesn’t do that. It’s clear that he’s researched the topic well (and has loads of references and resources to support his findings), but he allows readers to make their own decisions. I like how Luke shares a plan for easing into a plant-based diet and sets readers up for success.

The main focus of the book is health and wellness but Luke also addresses the environmental and ethical angles of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. It’s an excellent primer.

You can download the book from Luke’s site. It’s only $5, making this the most affordable investment in your health that I can think of.

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

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5 Worst Excuses People Make for Still Eating Meat

September 29, 2014
by
Vegan burger and fries | Wikimedia Commons

Vegan burger and fries | Wikimedia Commons

Source One Green Planet
By ThomasSTL

If we look in the history books, it (may make) sense why humans needed to kill animals for food to survive. Without transportation methods and phone lines and the Internet, humans hunted and gathered, being limited in their food choices. However, the world has come a long way. Foods that are native to certain countries can be shipped around the globe. Humans have created simpler solutions to eating, and the question isn’t “how will I eat?” but “what will I eat?” Plus, if you think about it, humans really aren’t suited to eat meat. We lack those animalistic instincts to hunt and kill with our bare hands. As Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, said, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines.” There, see?  So stop making these 5 excuses!

1. Meat is too delicious to give up

Vegan-only restaurants have popped up and caught on fire, trending in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and other U.S. cities. Don’t think vegan food tastes good? Go take a took at some vegan menus and you’ll see mouth-watering creations that are fresh, healthy, delicious, and extremely satisfying. Come to Manhattan during lunchtime and ask that huge line of people snaking down the sidewalk why they’re willing to stand around for 20 minutes to get organic, vegan noms from the Cinnamon Snail food truck. Are they there because meat tastes too good? Quite the contrary. Try something new. The meal possibilities are endless with plant-based foods, and there are a lot more vegan chefs, recipes, cookbooks, and grocery items now than there were ten years ago.

2. I’m an athlete and need meat for strength

Of course athletes need strength, but who said meat is the only thing we can eat to bulk up? Clearly, the people who make this excuse have never heard of the great vegan athletes who push their body to the limit on plants. Scott Jurek is a fantastic ultramarathoner who is a proud vegetarian. The Washington Times named him one of the top runners of the decade. Ultrarunning Magazine named him Ultra-Runner of the Year — not once, but three times. As stated on his website, “In 2010, he set a new US all-surface record in the 24-Hour Run with 165.7 miles—6.5 marathons in one day—for which he was named USA Today’s Athlete of the Week.” The proof is in the peas; Jurek doesn’t need meat to set marathon records.

3. I would be unhealthy if I stopped eating meat

Yeah, if you decided to gorge on nothing but vegan cookies, chips, and processed foods, then sure, you’d be super unhealthy. Just remember our friend Jurek, who probably couldn’t run so fast and well if his vegan diet was unhealthy. The fact is that eating meat can put you at a higher risk for heart disease and high cholesterol levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, “a  National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk.” Switching out that steak for tofu is definitely healthy.

4. I’m too lazy to care why I shouldn’t eat it

Ignorance isn’t bliss when that ignorance affects the rest of the planet. There are some people who open a package of processed hot dogs and state that they simply don’t care what’s in it. These are the people who never look at ingredients labels and could care less about how their actions affect the rest of us. Despite all the evidence and truth about animal cruelty in the meat industry, they don’t want to learn why they should give it up. They live by the “ignorance is bliss” mentality. However,  living in the dark is dangerous in a modern society, so wake up and smell the cruelty and fat in that bacon.

5. I am an ethical meat eater

What’s with all this marketing jargon about free-range, cruelty-free, cage-free, grass-fed, and so on? How can any practice be cruelty-free when the end result is killing the animal for food?  Plus, those labels can be misleading and are tricks to make meat-eaters more at peace with the fact that they’re stuffing dead carcass in their face. A marketing label does not necessarily match up with the practices and actions of making that food. A chicken and egg packing plant that labels itself as “cage free” only means that the animals aren’t kept in cages. It does not ensure their welfare and it does not mean they’re clucking happily on lush, green farmland. Sorry to break it to you, but your meat probably did not come from a little old farmer with overalls and a tractor.

5 Worst Excuses People Make for Still Eating Meat | One Green Planet.

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

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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

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Eggs and dairy – telling the truth

September 26, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source There’s An Elephant in the Room Blog

I shall start by saying that I’ve been there, I’ve been deceived – I used to follow a vegetarian diet.

I chose my words there with care; vegetarianism is a diet and the significance of this will, I hope, become clear as you read on. Until I found out about veganism, I had a nagging but unexamined notion that my consumption of eggs and dairy had to be done in an ethical manner, so I always chose ‘organic’ and ‘free-range’.  Looking back, it will always mystify me why I was able to recognise the moral significance of my victims to the extent that I realised the need to try to reduce their suffering, but I was somehow incapable of doing the tiny amount of research that it eventually took in this age of Google to realise that:

  • contrary to what many believe, all ‘products’ derived from the bodies of sentient creatures result in unspeakable suffering and in their premature death;
  • all dairy and egg production takes place as a result of brutal manipulation of the reproductive processes of sentient creatures;
  • humans have no nutritional or other need to enslave other beings and consume their secretions;
  • labels such as ‘free-range’ and ‘organic’ are marketing ploys to dupe consumers into believing their choices are ethical when in fact from the perspective of the innocent victim, they are meaningless;
  • there is at least as much – if not more - suffering and death involved in the production of eggs and dairy as there is in the production of flesh ‘products';
  • it is an oxymoron to contend that humans may exploit other beings in a ‘humane’ manner.

The definition of vegetarianism promotes speciesism

The situation is not helped at all by the explanation of the word ‘vegetarian’ provided by the ‘Vegetarian Society‘.  This definition is unfortunately the standard which the majority of suppliers of ‘vegetarian’ food seem to follow. This is particularly true of supermarket chill or freezer cabinets where packaging will frequently announce that ‘free range’ eggs have been used, or ‘organic’ milk.

In essence, this use simply enforces and legitimises the speciesism that allows consumers to continue to perpetuate unspeakable suffering and misery upon chickens, other egg ‘providers’, cows and goats. It deliberately disregards the violence that is the backbone of any ‘industry’ that commodifies sentient beings as human resources. It is particularly upsetting that these products are being sold to many who try so hard to be ethical consumers and who carefully avoid consuming the flesh of others.

I have frequently seen the contention that vegetarianism ‘is a step on the way to becoming vegan’. That may be the case, provided that the person knows about, and is transitioning to veganism. The progression is, however, by no means automatic. It’s like saying that London is on the way to New York. It is if you know about New York and are heading there, otherwise London may seem like a fine place to stop – and many do just that. They stop at vegetarianism, never realising the truth.

What veganism is – a reminder

This is the point at which it must be stressed that another element to the confusion is the perception of veganism as a diet.  It is not a diet. At the risk of repeating myself, veganism is an ethical stance that rejects the use or consumption of all beings for food, clothing, entertainment, testing or any other purpose whatsoever. It is the most simple and easily understood ethic that it is possible to imagine. There are no complex rules or provisions to memorise. If a product or practice utilises or is derived from the body of another being, a vegan rejects consumption, use or participation. What vegans eat is a consequence of their ethical stance, not the main event.

Back to dairy and eggs

As a vegan advocate, I have deliberately chosen not to explore here the health and environmental implications of ending all nonhuman use. Why?  Because I promote veganism for my nonhuman friends and kin who need my voice, not for what we as humans can get out of our ceasing to exploit them. Nevertheless, the same cursory use of Google will reveal the horrific truth to any serious enquirer.

Please see below a compilation of links that most eloquently illustrate why dairy and egg use is so insidious. The suffering and anguish of these sweet and gentle mothers and their innocent babies is not ‘opinion’, it is a fact. To continue to use the results of the brutal manipulation of the reproductive processes of these helpless and vulnerable victims of human self indulgence is not a ‘choice’ because choices do not create victims.

What’s wrong with eggs?

‘A sentient being’s body and its secretions are not things for us to eat, any more than a human being’s body and its secretions are things for us to eat. Consuming eggs (even from rescued chickens), or giving them away to people who would otherwise buy eggs from battery caged hens, does not “reduce suffering”, it legitimizes suffering, it demands suffering, It perpetuates suffering by condoning the very practice of violence we are struggling to end.

The hen may not know that her suffering body, her unfreedom, her isolation, and every misery in her life is inflicted intentionally, systematically, and solely for the sensory gratification of humans, but you do.

She may not know that the fertilized egg that brought her into existence was the result of confinement and rape, or that hens like her are the product of mass infanticide, but you do. She may not know that the cost of killing male infants, “spent” breeding parents and “spent” hens is built into the price of eggs, but you do. She may not know that, if we became vegan, the horrors that she and her kind are forced to endure would end, but you do.

Act on that knowledge. Become vegan and educate others about the violence and injustice inherent in all non-vegan choices. Rescue (don’t buy) chickens and other animals, respect their lives, and please remember to always give the eggs back to the birds: They are, after all, the only rightful owners.’

~The Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

I have lost count of the number of posts that I have seen, seeking to justify the use of eggs in particular, where ‘backyard’ egg production is frequently promoted. The essential thing to stress is that all use of eggs, wherever they come from, perpetuates the false notion of eggs as human ‘food’, thus ensuring the continuation of the abhorrent practice that is all egg production, with the billions of completely unnecessary annual deaths that this entails.

 What’s wrong with dairy?

‘It is impossible to separate our use of animals as economic resources from our exploitation of their reproductive systems.  After all, there would be no animal industries (whether on a small or a large scale), without ongoing breeding and birthing. When domesticated animals become mothers, their children belong to someone else, and not only are they nearly always separated from their young shortly after birth, but they have no power whatsoever over the future their child will be forced to endure. Although this is true for all animals living under the oppressive regime of human control (from ‘layer’ hens to ‘pet’ dogs), nowhere is it more apparent or more brutal than with cows being used for dairy production.’ ~ Angel Flinn

Please become vegan and live true to the values that you already hold.

Your only regret will be that it took you so long.

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…

It’s Beyond Heartbreaking, but There’s no Mercy for Young Animals in the Meat, Dairy and Egg Industries

September 24, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons, Chick Sexing

Wikimedia Commons, Chick Sexing

Source One Green Planet
By

Humans love and cherish their babies, they spoil them, endure the pain and frustration that may come with potty-training, and do their best to ensure that no harm is ever done to their precious offspring. The same can be said for our non-human babies (i.e. companion animals) who we afford the same care and compassion we would human children. And really, who doesn’t love a baby, be it human or animal!

However, when it comes to the infants in the world of animal agriculture, there is no special care or attention afforded. In fact, the treatment of the babies in this world is quite the opposite of the way we treat our own babies. When you look at the amount of love and devotion given to companion animals, and human babies it seems pretty crazy to consider that we (as a society) have formed an entire industry around the practice of not only harming, but killing those who’ve barely had the chance to walk?

Perhaps when our own profits, and business interests are involved, we are able to look past the helplessness of a newborn, and determine that it should not be given the same respect and right to live that other living creatures are given. As an animal lover, it can be hard to consider the harm done to these poor baby animals, but perhaps only by looking at this issue head on can we hope to make a change.

An Unnatural Life Span

Almost every breed of animal used for food becomes a victim of industry practices at a shockingly young age. This infographic from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, shows the comparison between what can be considered a “natural” lifespan for many animals – like calves, turkeys, pigs, egg laying chickens and chickens used for meat – in contrast to the amount of time these animals are given under agricultural operations.

Sustainable Table and Animal Aid UK supply similar numbers. It cites that while a pig may live for six months within the meat industry, a chicken will live for only a fraction of that time – a few weeks – before being slaughtered. A “lucky” dairy cow may live up to four years, but over this time they are impregnated every year and have their calves taken away moments after birth. These animals have very little time to learn about the world in which we live, although what they do learn in that short time is not worth remembering.

While in general, the lives of farmed animals are spent all too quickly, two particular scenarios spring forward as the most merciless examples of the treatment infants experience in the agricultural industry…

Chick Culling

What goes into the making of an egg? You may have asked yourself about the lives of hens laying these eggs, but have you ever wondered where farms get a large supply of female chickens with such a slim supply of males? We can fool ourselves into thinking that maybe chickens just don’t breed males all that often, or perhaps male chicks go off and live their lives peacefully on some idyllic farmland. Yet nothing so fanciful coincides with the truth, which is that male chicks at only a few days old are “culled” or killed. Chicks are “sexed” by workers to sort out males from females, where the male half is sent to a painful and unfortunate end. The most common industry methods are carbon dioxide induced asphyxiation or maceration by high-speed grinding machines.

Sounds too cruel to be real, but sadly it is the truth. The killing of newly hatched male chicks is not just a factory farm reality, but a reality for all practices. Even backyard and small farm operations get their chicks from factory farm operationsthat sort out the males and sell only laying hens.

Veal Calves

The veal industry shares a strong connection to the dairy industry. Like in the case of male chicks in the egg-laying business, the male calves born into the dairy industry are considered a “waste” or useless byproduct of the industry into which they were born. The only way that dairy farmers can profit from male calves is to sell them for veal.

The earliest common slaughter age for veal calves stands around just a few days, while the absolute latest gives them approximately half a year to survive. During the short time they do live, calves are kept in veal crates, small enclosures that prevent the poor creature from moving at all. A common practice is to tether the neck of the calf to keep them from moving their heads. By keeping the calf immobile is considered a method to ensure the most tender meat possible.

Does Age Matter?

While the cruelty afforded to these young creatures is abhorrent, it begs the question: does it matter how early an animal dies for it to be considered an unnecessary and cruel act of slaughter or torture?

While some may cry out at the indignant nature of slaughtering infants and newborns, the fact remains: these animals will feel pain at any age, experience loss of life at any age, and be better suited for a life free of exploitation at any age. The idea of little baby cows and pigs being mercilessly beaten and thrown into piles of the deceased evokes a well of sympathy from those who cannot stand to see youth harmed, but it stands to reason that no less sympathy should be given to older animals.

Uncovering these facts is not done with the intention of valuing infant lives over all others, or to say that it is more of a tragedy when they are harmed. But rather, to make aware of the sort of conditions we would see if the animal agriculture industry were more open to sharing the details of the business. When we replace the cold barriers of the slaughterhouses and farms with glass walls and peer in, we happen to find that many victims of this practice will not live a year or more on this planet.

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

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Shut down fur farm

September 22, 2014
by



OC: This is just one example of a deplorable fur farm; regardless of meaningless “law” all are deplorable places of wretched pain and needless suffering for ALL animals. It goes without saying, therefore, that ALL should be banned and illegalized.

BACKGROUND

The Montreal SPCA, acting on a tip, began an investigation into a fur farm north of the city in May of 2014. What they found was appalling.

Veterinarians accompanied the Montreal SPCA to the location. Immediately, several foxes were humanely euthanized due to the extent of their suffering and inability to recover.

The press release issued Thursday by the Montreal SPCA noted injuries and health issues including:

  • Dehydration
  • Emaciation
  • Toe fractures
  • Tail injuries
  • Tooth fractures
  • Ear and eye infections
  • Internal bleeding, and
  • Neurological issues.

On August 4, the Montreal SPCA and Humane Society International/Canada accompanied the Ministry of FFP to the site and seized 16 arctic foxes, as the owner of the farm did not have the appropriate permits for this particular species.

Since then, Montreal SPCA and HSI/Canada officials have urged the Minister of FFP, Laurent Lessard, to work with them in removing the remaining animals and enforce existing laws. As of today, August 13, they have received no response.

This is an outrage.

WHOM TO CONTACT

Contact info for Minister Lessard:

ministre-mffp@mffp.gouv.qc.ca

Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
5700, 4e Avenue Ouest
Québec (Québec)  G1H 6R1

Find your MNA

SAMPLE LETTERS

English

Dear Minister Laurent Lessard,

I am writing to demand that you and the Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks (Ministère de la Forêts, Faune, et Parcs – MFFP) take immediate action to support the Montreal SPCA and prosecute the heinous crimes against animals taking place in Quebec. Only a total and complete disbanding of the “operation” will be acceptable.

Multiple inspections in recent weeks have revealed that the foxes are in critical condition and suffer from serious health problems including dehydration, emaciation, toe fractures, tail injuries, tooth fractures, ear and eye infections, internal bleeding and neurological issues. Further, the condition of these foxes has been steadily deteriorating. Wildlife experts, veterinarians, the Montreal SPCA and Humane Society International/Canada have stressed the necessity of applying provincial legislation applicable to foxes and other wildlife in captivity in order to immediately seize these animals, yet government authorities are refusing to take action.

Take the time to look at the photos and videos (http://furbearerdefenders.com/blog/graphic-content-animals-must-be-removed-from-quebec-fur-farm-today) of these animals and try to find a way to explain it away. Your role as the Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks includes enforcement of laws when necessary. There has never been a time that has required action more than this.

As a taxpayer and a voter, I expect to see immediate and public movement from yourself and your Ministry on this important matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this immediate appeal; I look forward to a positive resolution.

Signed,

En Francais

Cher Ministre Laurent Lessard,

Je vous transmet ce message pour vous demander, de concert avec votre Ministère, le MFFP, que vous prenez des mesures immédiates pour soutenir la SPCA de Montréal dans ce dossier. L’état des renards et des visons examinés par des professionnels médicaux est déplorable et je n’arrive pas à comprendre pourquoi votre ministère ne suit pas l’avis de la SPCA de Montréal ainsi que plusieurs experts sur la faune.

Prenez le temps de regarder les photos et les vidéos de ces animaux et essayer de trouver une façon d’expliquer comment cette situation lamentable peut être acceptable. Votre rôle en tant que Ministre des Forêts, Faune et Parcs inclut l’application de la loi si nécessaire. Il n’y a jamais eu un moment qui a nécessité une action plus que maintenant.

Comme contribuable, je m’attends à voir un mouvement publique immédiat de votre part ainsi que de votre ministère sur cette question.

http://furbearerdefenders.com/blog/graphic-content-animals-must-be-removed-from-quebec-fur-farm-today

Signed,

Please forward any correspondence received to info@furbearerdefenders.com

 

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



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…

Could Veganism End World Hunger?

September 19, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source Gentle World: for the Vegan in Everyone
By Michael Chatham

Whenever someone in the animal rights community suggests the concept of complete animal liberation, and therefore an end to the exploitation of animals, a common criticism and counter-argument to this goal is: “Humans can’t give up eating animals (or animal products), because then everyone would starve!” Not only is the idea of giving up their favorite edibles anxiety-inducing and even threatening to resolute omnivores, but it seems perfectly rational to them that, given the plight of humans around the globe who are suffering from poverty and hunger, removing animals from the world’s food supply would only exacerbate the situation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is actually the production of animal-based foods that is one of the leading causes of world hunger.

It is estimated that a staggering 925 million humans around the world are suffering from the effects of hunger (mostly in the poor and underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa), and out of that original number, 870 million are affected with malnutrition. Those original 925 million actually outnumber the combined populace living in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Think about that for a moment. That means that there are enough hungry people on this planet to fill up almost two entire continents. Furthermore, it must be made clear that this is not just benign hunger; the type felt by a person in the rich, developed world when they’ve missed their lunch break. Every year, starvation claims the lives of over 2.5 million children under the age of five.

However, it has been proven that there is enough food on earth to feed every last man, woman, and child. Yet, if this is the case, why do people around the world continue to starve? The answer to that question lies in large part with the production of animal-based foods, such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Even though there are enough plant-based foods grown to feed the entire human population, the majority of crops (including those grown in countries where people are starving) are fed to livestock for affluent nations, and since the amount of animal-based food produced by the farming industry is much less than the amount of plant food put into it, there is a “diminished return on the investment,” the food supply dwindles, and humans end up going hungry.

Imagine, if you would, all the food (mostly grains) that a cow would eat in the course of 18 to 24 months (which is the average age of most cows when they are slaughtered for their meat). Now imagine if you were somehow able the pile all of that food up in front of you. This massive mountain of food is what has sustained this cow for all of these months; giving him energy, allowing cells to regenerate, bones and muscles to grow, his heart to beat and his lungs to breathe. Now imagine that a slaughterhouse worker came and killed that cow, carving his body up into cuts of meat and placing these cuts of meat into a separate pile. Which of these two piles do you think would feed more people: the pile of meat that used to be his body, or the pile of food that went into creating and nourishing it? This is the stark equation that makes the animal farming industry so illogical and unsustainable.

In 2011, 883 million tons of corn, and 260 million tons of soybeans were grown globally. However, on average, 40-50% of that corn, and 80% of those soybeans are fed to farmed animals, rather than being eaten directly by humans. In 2013, scientists from the Institute on the Environment and the University of Minnesota published a study examining agricultural resources (including meat, dairy, and egg production) and the dilemma of world hunger. The scientists reached the conclusion that if all food crops were fed directly to humans instead of animals, around 70% more food would be added to the world’s supply, which would be enough to feed 4 billion additional people. That sudden surplus alone would be enough food to feed over half the humans on earth, let alone the 925 million who face hunger every day.

Cows (and the other animals we eat) are poor converters when it comes to turning food into energy and muscle, which is why it takes anywhere from 13 to-20 pounds of grain fed to a cow to produce just 1 pound of muscle mass, i.e. beef. This means that 13-20 times as many people could be fed if those grains were simply eaten by humans. Likewise, it takes around seven pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork, and 4.5 pounds of grain to produce one pound of chicken. In a 2009 study, the Worldwatch Institute stated that “…meat consumption is an inefficient use of grain—the grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world’s poor.”

The “diminished return on investment” scenario is further complicated when you consider the fact that cows (exploited for meat, dairy, and leather) as well as other grazing animals, were never biologically designed to eat the massive amounts of grain they are fed by the farming industry. They are ruminants, and evolved to eat grass. However, because the demand for animal products is so high in today’s society, and because farmers want to produce the most product as quickly as possible, animals are fed massive amounts of grain, such as corn. In the age of factory farming, it takes only 18-24 months for a cow to grow to the desired weight and be killed. This is thanks to a steady diet of grains (which humans could be eating) and growth hormones.

However, this is not to say that grass-fed beef is a viable alternative. Livestock grazing threatens native and endangered species through habitat destruction and displacement, and causes soil erosion, which in turn can transform fertile farmland into deserts (a process known as desertification). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that around 70% of the Amazon rainforest has been cut and burned to be used as grazing land for cattle. Ultimately, whether used for grazing or growing feed crops, the use of land and other natural resources for meat, dairy, and egg production is horribly inefficient. Sadly, this does not stop farmers in both developed and developing nations (many of which suffer from widespread hunger and starvation) from using their resources to satisfy the the world’s growing appetite for animal products.

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates poses the question, “If we pursue our habit of eating animals, and if our neighbor follows a similar path, will we not have need to go to war against our neighbor to secure greater pasturage, because ours will not be enough to sustain us, and our neighbor will have a similar need to wage war on us for the same reason?” It seems this question that was asked so many centuries ago is becoming more and more of a reality in the modern world, as many political and economic experts are predicting that future wars will be fought over food, water, land, and other valuable natural resources critical to human survival. Moreover, with the human population of the world at 7 billion and growing, these natural resources are destined to become only more precious. It has come time to do something to solve the global crisis that is world hunger, and the most rational solution should be extremely clear. In order to ensure that every person on the planet has enough food to eat, and ultimately protect our own survival, humans must look deep within themselves and choose the path that is the most compassionate, healthy, and sustainable. That path is veganism.

Sources:

Farm Sanctuary
Food and Agriculture Organization
Humane Society International
JohnRobbins.info
International Vegetarian Union
Jess McNally, Stanford Magazine
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
United Nations World Food Programme
United States Environmental Protection Agency
VegNews

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.

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Cat rescued from animal testing lab is given first taste of freedom

September 17, 2014
by



Source Mirror

Held in captivity his entire life, this is the moment Xander the cat is rescued from an animal testing laboratory

Imagine spending your life in the same windowless room?

That was the life of Xander the animal testing cat before he was rescued from a scientific research lab in New York six months ago.

The tear jerking video shows Xander (previously known as Jax) and a fellow former animal testing cat on the day they were first released from the windowless lab where they had been living in tiny cages.

The kitties were rescued by the Feline Freedom Project, part of charity called Beagle Freedom Project which is dedicated to legally rescuing dogs and cats from animal testing. The charity have previously posted adorable videos of rescued Beagles stepping onto grass for the first time.

According to the RSPCA, in 2010 152 cats were used in research in the UK, where as this number is closer to 20,000 in the USA.

Xander has gained quite a following and has over 3000 fans on his Facebook page ‘Xander the rescued lab cat’ where his owner posts regular pictures and updates about him.

His new (guardian) Rachel Gruen recently said on his Facebook fan page, “we are so very grateful for the opportunity to be a voice for the hundreds of thousands of laboratory animals around the world”.

 

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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