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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)

What Does It Mean to Be an “Animal Lover”?

January 18, 2022
by
Source Animals Australia, Vimeo


Before anyone gets morally outraged at even the hint of criticism towards Betty White, just remember, vegans don’t exist to mitigate animal suffering, we don’t defend animal exploiters, we defend animals. The above video, courtesy Animals Australia is the GLOBAL STANDARD for killing pigs, CO2 is AVMA-approved in the USA and accepted as “humane” elsewhere.

So if you feel inspired to malign people for defending animals, watch the above footage and tell me how creating the conditions and profiting from the exploitative control subjecting animals to abject fear, pain, suffering, and violent death, is remotely aligned with being an “animal lover”. And be sure to acknowledge that the same form of gas in the US is vehemently and aggressively opposed by “animal lovers” who care about cats and dogs (gas is still used to “humanely euthanize” shelter cats and dogs in the US) while consuming pigs. Until humans end their exploitation of “unworthy” animals, “worthy” animals will continue to suffer as well, it’s all related. SL



Source United Poultry Concerns

By Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns


The term “animal lover” sounds like a relic of a bygone era, pre-1990s at least. For modern animal rights advocates, “animal lover” sounds quaint, but the mainstream media seem content with it. Granted, being an “animal lover” is better than being an animal hater, but should we embrace this attribution as a tribute to the designee or as a favor to animals? What might animals say if they could weigh in?

Tributes to celebrity actress Betty White, who died December 31, 2021 at age 99, led me to raise the question in a comment I posted to Animals 24-7’s more sobering look at Betty White’s decades-long association with animal welfare. The thoughts presented here expand that comment. I knew Betty White from ads for Golden Girls, a popular TV comedy in which she starred from 1985-1992. Scanning tributes to her in early January 2022, prompted by her death, I saw among the accolades that she was a front for the American Humane Association’s seal of assurances that “No Animals Were Harmed” in the making of films in which animals appeared under AHA’s oversight. I think there is evidence to the contrary.

A question I asked was, did Betty eat animals? She not only ate them; she publicized her consumption of animals to the point of being the celebrity booster for a hot dog business in Los Angeles. Of course, she is beloved by the owner of that business. A hot dog has been named for her with proceeds from sales going to the Los Angeles Zoo.

Unfortunately, the term “animal lover,” whether attributed to a celebrity or anyone else, suggests that the person may be more cloyingly sentimental than truly sensitive toward nonhuman animals, their feelings, needs and miserable frustration in institutional captivity. Thus I believe it is time to retire the term “animal lover”, which is as demeaning and patronizing toward animals as this same type of attribution would be in being used to characterize a socially privileged person who “loves” an oppressed human population.

The fact that Betty White has been gushed over, almost universally, by celebrities, media, and other commentators signals that she was an “animal lover” who ensured that the status quo would not be disturbed and would even be enshrined. Betty’s love for animals is reminiscent of white people’s professed “love” for cute little “colored” children, as reflected in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Life Among the Lowly. Such “love” is quite compatible with an approval of enslavement of the “loved” objects of affection.


Don’t Disturb the Dead

A couple of comments to the Animals 24-7 critique of Betty White’s animal-loving career complained that she should be allowed to rest in peace unexamined as to her actual commitment and contribution to animals and their so-called welfare. To which I replied that the critique legitimately looks beyond the clichés to provide a fuller picture of Betty’s involvement on behalf of animals.

By putting herself in the limelight, she invited scrutiny.

Betty White was a public figure who constructed a persona for public consumption. The fact that she died or is still fresh in the grave does not exempt her public doings from examination, including criticism when the shadow falls between fiction and fact. I believe she honestly cared about some animals – the kinds of animals it is socially “safe” to “love” and the kind of care that does not rock the boat. At the same time, the animals she was photographed with, whether wildlife captives or pampered pets, were props for her celebrity image. She and her publicists knew that the public loved her twinkly face snuggled up to captive creatures who were made to appear to “smile” for the camera.


Smug Love for Animals

“Animal lovers will find much to savor.”
Publishers Weekly (2021)

I posted a review on Amazon along these lines, in October 2021, of New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean’s collection of essays in her book, On Animals – hailed mightily on Amazon by the pundit media. I’m pleased that so far my customer review has garnered the majority of “Helpful” clicks. I wrote:

As for this superficial set of essays by Susan Orlean assembled in “On Animals”: The type of “love” Orlean patronizingly has for animals is the type conventional reviewers love to praise and promote since it conveys, falsely but comfortably, that you can “love” nonhuman animals the way many white people in the South “loved” their African-American slaves while supporting their victims’ enslavement against their will (of course) and forcing them, through legalized torture and terror, to work or die or be sold.

Orlean speaks of the animals she is “fascinated with” as if they were nothing more than objects for her amusement while ensuring that complacent readers will be unfazed by the human brutality and animal suffering she describes and supports. She shows no true respect for our fellow creatures, making her book just one more self-satisfied effusion that goes nowhere but back to the beginning. So much for the globetrotting aspect. ‑ Karen Davis


I thank Mary Finelli of Fish Feel for responding to the question of Betty White’s diet in the comments section of the Animals 24-7 article on Betty White. It irks me that the only chicken ‑ the only farmed animal ‑ Betty probably ever loved was the one on her plate.


KAREN DAVIS, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Liberation, Karen is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns. Her latest book is For the Birds – From Exploitation to LiberationEssays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl published by Lantern Publishing & Media.




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Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

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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

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To think that caring
Implies that one can pick
And choose
Is self deception
And innocent animals lose

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



build

January 10, 2022

People pick and choose what aspects of religion, societal mores etc and compassion towards other species that fit into their world view. They adhere to whatever preprogrammed notions were instilled in them.Thinking out of the box, for many, is too frightening and challenging. Time to build a new box , framed by kindness and constructed with empathy❤

If you love cats or dogs but eat chickens, you might as well eat cats and dogs …

January 10, 2022
by
Source Earthling Ed, YouTube


I sign a lot of petitions, not that I honestly believe they will inspire meaningful change (maybe a few do), but because it’s easy and fast, what with the efficiency of technology and pre-filled fields. A couple weeks ago I received yet another anti cat-dog meat trades petition asking for my digital support to end the practice of cat and dog meat consumption. I signed it, with little optimism: don’t get me wrong, I detest the cat and dog meat trades, the footage I force myself to watch will haunt me forever, and judging by the volatile comments, a LOT of people who are predominantly NOT vegan, do as well. This is understandable. We are a nation of animal – cat and dog – lovers; we’ve been raised in a society that places value on cats and dogs (not just a financial sort for those who profit from their forced breeding, but I digress) but also based on our positive emotions and feelings towards them. We love cats and dogs and want to protect them.

Anyway, back to the petition: there were manymanymany angry, violent comments, some wishing karma, including pain and death, on people who kill and consume cats and dogs, ironically-enough written by people who consume pigs and cows.

Why? Cognitive dissonance is the short, easy answer, but the actual reason is speciesism, the global construct deeming non-human animals as being unworthy of their own bodies and lives, considered only worthy as human benefits via food, entertainment, vivisection, fur/skin, etc. Speciesism is all related. The speciesism YOU embrace to legitimatize eating eggs or fish or cheese directly fuels the speciesism that other people embrace to legitimatize eating cats and dogs (which aligns with THEIR social status quo). Who are you to vehemently attack other cultures, countries, people as “barbaric/imbeciles/evil” while you do the EXACT SAME THING to other animals? If, as so many people often do, you want to scale it, you really are no better. If you want to get verbally angsty and aggressive regarding cat and dog consumption, you need to be verbally angsty and aggressive towards the people who burn, bury, macerate, and eviscerate the animals socially accepted as “food” where you live. Otherwise, you’re just a hypocrite pretending that dogs are special so you can feel morally robust while eating baby cows’ food.

And before you go off about deliberate torture often inflicted on cats and dogs, do remember that years ago it was exposed that chickens are routinely boiled alive in the USA (and NOTHING has changed except lines are now faster resulting in more torture), where all animals exploited for food are EXEMPT from the (meaningless) Animal Welfare Act, and where undercover investigators and whistleblower employees have continuously revealed the horrors endured by animals being stabbed, gutted, and dismembered while the animals are still fully conscious. Indignantly screaming that, “It’s not supposed to be like that!!!!” doesn’t negate that it IS like that. And even the “quick” death validation so many people exploit while NOT KNOWING or accepting the evidence demonstrating the opposite, STILL doesn’t make killing another acceptable to the other.

Society doesn’t define ethics, it just makes it fluid, timely manipulating the words used to define the abject suffering and violent experiences inflicted on others to inspire people to feel rationally good about violently killing pigs while verbally condemning killing dogs, ie., you support the “humane harvesting” of pigs while verbally assaulting the “deranged monsters for torturing the innocent, screaming, terrorized dogs”. Mitigating via Webster isn’t actually meaningful to Webster’s victims.

The foundation of animal exploitation is global and caused by all acts of exploitation regardless of whether your status quo includes a few as “family members”… Do remember, many animal farmers boast that the animals they subjugate and kill are treated better than “family members”, a disturbing association that typically gets thumbs-up-mentality congrats from the people who would sue and prosecute/imprison anyone who treated a cat or dog like animal farmed “family members”.

If you’re not vegan, don’t wear that moral badge concerning some animals, it doesn’t work that way. If you won’t reject all animal suffering, your words are about as meaningful to worthy victims as they are to unworthy victims. It’s like the masses who praise future regulations that will “gift” animals two inches of extra confinement space prior to their still-violent and fearful butchering: if you honestly believe a future environment will be “humane” why won’t you stop participating in the “inhumane” environment now? Or is it just wordy praise showing off your abundance of empathy? You’re so considerate you need to boast about your overly-generous paragon-of-kindness nature to ……. other people, yet not to the actual victims of your paragon-of-kindness nature. Correct?

Nobody ever answers that question. It doesn’t actually help animals when you praise a fairytale utopia of kindly killing, animals still suffer and die regardless of the delusions society holds as current events when meaningful to humans, but never to the animals.

How about this one: since you are capable of caring, of exercising morality and empathy, will you make it consistent? Because the animals are denied all opportunities to defend what is fundamentally theirs: their bodies and lives. The most vulnerable beings who are forced to endure the most hellish conditions and fear and pain, are the ones YOU can defend the easiest. SL





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



People pick and choose what aspects of religion, societal mores etc and compassion towards other species that fit into their world view.

They adhere to whatever preprogrammed notions were instilled in them.

Thinking out of the box, for many, is too frightening and challenging.

Time to build a new box , framed by kindness and constructed with empathy

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Oh, but they Care… So… Much…

January 4, 2022
by

Source Tablet: David McNew, Getty Images

As long as people consume animals and their secretions, biologically intended for infants of the species making the breastmilk (like cows for calves, not like cows for aging humans with teeth, even human infants cannot drink cow’s milk; get weaned, people, it’s embarrassing and violently abusive), then you don’t care about animals, it’s beyond nauseating to listen to people stumble around their euphemisms desperately searching for ANY word that provides them forgiveness and only landing on, “It’s illegal to be cruel to animals/animals are killed painlessly/when it’s done humanely/…/…/…” An endless rambling litany of preposterous excuses that benefits only the species – humans – that kill non-human animals.

Killing an unwilling being is inherently, violently abusive and cruel, dancing cows in party hats going to school notwithstanding. Taking a life that is not yours to take, is inherently, violently abusive and cruel. Subjecting another being to control, confinement, violation, and deliberate butchering is inherently, violently abusive and cruel.

The thing is, I don’t get paid anything to advocate on behalf of animals. Me asking you to not cause animals harm brings me zero profit. Conversely, humans are so willfully ignorant and complicit, believing the anag charlatans who rely on anthropomorphized English-singing cows to sell you milk you don’t need but that causes the violent death of all the animals including the infants who actually DO need the milk AND their mothers but who are stolen and butchered at a young age because males are unprofitable……you’ll give THOSE PEOPLE money, the ones with the actual “agenda”.

You don’t kill those you care for about, and even if you don’t care about any animals, you still have no right or legitimate reason to kill them.

It’s like, you don’t consume animals violently, fearfully, painfully humanely-butchered because you honestly believe that NOT consuming animals is INhumane.

When did you lose your decency and empathy? SL



Pigs to the Slaughter

Source Tablet

By Leighton Woodhouse


On April 15, 2020, four weeks after the first American city was locked down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a gruesome experiment was performed. The experimenters filled a trailer, specially fitted with heaters capable of bringing the temperatures inside to lethal levels, with pigs, and turned the heat on. The experimenters wanted to know how long it would take for the pigs to die. The answer, for some of them, was over an hour.

The test was designed to determine whether roasting pigs alive was an acceptable way to kill them. The result, for now, was no. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s standard for the acceptable mass extermination of livestock in an emergency situation is 95% mortality within an hour. The test had fallen slightly short of that marker, killing only 90% of the pigs in that time frame. So the experimenters decided to make the process even more “humane” by adding steam to the process.

Two days later, they conducted a second test in the same trailer, with another group of pigs. This time, the trailer was equipped with a steam generator. This did the trick: All of the pigs died inside of an hour. The pork industry now had their AVMA-approved method for mass killings of their surplus hogs.

The improvised death chamber was the pork industry’s solution to a crisis that had befallen the entire meat industry, across all its sectors. At slaughterhouses all over the country, workers were catching COVID-19 and being forced off the disassembly line.

For a little while, slaughterhouse operators had tried to ignore the problem. A worker for Tyson Foods in Arkansas who was hospitalized with COVID-19 told me about how workers at his poultry processing plant were expected to come in sick. Managers would lie about how many cases had broken out in the facility, he said; workers would be told there were fewer than 10, then go home and see on the evening news that there were hundreds. The company had put some safeguards in place at his plant to prevent the spread of the virus, but they were cosmetic. Partitions were put up between workers on the line, but not between workers standing directly across from each other. Employees had to pass through a temperature check scanner as they entered the building, but on weekends, nobody was there to pull workers off whose temperatures were too high. The machine would just keep beeping as sick, symptomatic workers walked inside. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the meatpacking industry was lobbying the Trump administration to weaken the existing safety regulations for workers.

When workers developed cases of COVID that killed them or landed them in the hospital, leaving the plant short staffed, instead of slowing production, companies like Tyson just forced the remaining workers to work faster. In some facilities, line speeds were increased, thanks to a Trump administration waiver on line speed regulations, which made it even harder for workers to socially distanceA worker at a second Tyson plant told me that almost every employee there got COVID. He said he saw at least an accident a week as workers rushed to keep up production with inadequate staff. He saw one maintenance worker lose a finger while changing out a broken piece of machinery.

But the industry still couldn’t keep up with the COVID-induced labor shortage. Magaly Liccoli, the founder of Venceremos, a group that advocates for poultry workers, told me she had never in her career seen so many workers die in such a short period of time. In April, a single pig slaughterhouse in South Dakota was the biggest COVID-19 hot spot in the country. One study estimated that between meatpacking employees and the people they spread the virus to in the communities surrounding the plants, 6% to 8% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. originated in slaughterhouses. Eventually, so many workers got sick or died that slaughterhouses had to pause their operations, creating a glut of live animals in the supply chain. “The food supply chain is breaking,” Tyson’s chairman of the board wrote in a full-page New York Times ad.

By the time President Trump used the Defense Authorization Act to order slaughterhouses to reopen at the end of April, the swine slaughter industry was operating at just a little over 50% capacity. (Even after reopening shuttered plants, short staffing left the plants operating at severely reduced capacity.) This meant that hog farms, already facing reduced consumer demand due to restaurant closures, had hundreds of thousands of slaughter-ready animals with nowhere to go.

Pigs on factory farms are already so densely concentrated that they barely have space in their pens to move around. At the same time, the entire industrial process is designed to grow them as quickly as possible, through breeding, diet, and forced inactivity. With nowhere to send the pigs for slaughter, it was only a matter of days before they would outgrow the tiny spaces they were confined in. The industry needed a way to kill them all, and quickly.

Other, less excruciating methods were off the table. Factory farms claimed that they couldn’t obtain enough guns and ammunition, captive bolt guns and charges, carbon dioxide or electrocution equipment quickly enough to pursue any of the methods those tools imply. So after the success of the second test in the converted trailer, the industry adopted “ventilation shutdown,” as the method of overheating animals to death is known. Construction crews converted barns into giant makeshift ovens, their ventilation inlets and wall seams sealed, food and water removed, and heaters and steam generators affixed to them. In at least one case, the steam generator the farm used was designed for the railroad industry, to heat railcars.

For the animals themselves, it resulted in what the industry deceptively calls ‘euthanasia,’ but that is, in fact, in many cases an excruciatingly slow and torturous death.

It’s unclear how many pigs were killed this way. But nationally, at the end of April, when swine processing was down by 45%, according to one peer-reviewed paper, a quarter-million pigs per day who would have been sent to slaughter in normal times remained in their pens, awaiting some other end. As of June, when the industry began to bounce back, there were still 3.2 million such pigs. The National Pork Producers Council estimated that more than 10 million pigs exceeded the industry’s processing capacity from the end of June to mid-September. All those pigs were killed somehow, and if the industry is to be believed, ventilation shutdown was one of only a few feasible methods with which to do it (others included CO₂ gassing and slaughtering without processing the animals). An article written by five veterinarians on ventilation shutdown reports that at the single site they studied, nearly 250,000 pigs were roasted alive between April and June of 2020.

I’ve reported on animal exploitation extensively in the past, and specifically about Direct Action Everywhere, a Berkeley-based animal rights group. A couple of years ago, I formally joined the organization as a member. I don’t claim to be neutral when it comes to this issue, or this organization. I disclose this because DxE, as the group is abbreviated, is a big part of what happened next—and specifically, a DxE activist named Matt Johnson, whom I consider a personal friend.

Lucas Walker is a young, burly guy who voted for Trump and belongs to the NRA. Until recently, he was a truck driver for Iowa Select Farms, and looks the part. Walker grew up in the heart of pig farming country in Iowa and raises a few cows and pigs himself. But he found himself increasingly bothered by the casual abuse of pigs by overcrowding that he had seen every day on the job. Walker struggled with what to do about it. He knew there would be a backlash in his community, a town of just 6,000 people where the industry he was exposing constituted the entire local economy. “Big company, small town,” he said to me. The company’s COO lived just a mile and a half from his home.

Walker first learned about DxE when he watched a video that Matt Johnson had shot of the atrocious conditions on the hog farm of an Iowa state senator who had sponsored the state’s new “ag gag” law. In May, Walker sent an anonymous email to DxE to inform them about conditions at Iowa Select.

Walker wasn’t familiar with Matt Johnson, but his employer was. And some of the workers at Iowa Select Farms facilities soon would be, too. Later, when Johnson snuck onto an ISF farm, he found a flyer in the break room with his picture on it. The flyer said, “Si entra à la granja, nos carga la verga”: “If he gets on the farm, we’re fucked.”

Walker and Johnson struck up a dialogue. Walker told Johnson conditions at Iowa Select were far worse than on the state senator’s farm. Johnson was listening, but it was only after the pandemic began that the conversation really started to take shape. Johnson would ask Walker about the company’s ventilation shutdown plans—when and where were they happening—and Walker would go to work, strike up casual conversations with coworkers and find out. Then he’d pass it back to Johnson.

After having gathered logistical information from Walker, Johnson returned to Iowa. Along with a small team of activists, he staked out the facilities. “It was never a sure thing it was going to happen,” Johnson said. “Maybe a 50-50 chance.” But Johnson managed to sneak onto the barns that had been converted into VSD death chambers, and planted hidden cameras inside. The cameras captured hours of the agonizing extermination of hundreds of pigs, on both video and audio. Glenn Greenwald and I released the footage to the public.

The supply chain crisis that led to the implementation of ventilation shutdown was, in a sense, inevitable, given the structure of modern animal agriculture. Meatpacking is a classic economy of scale; large players are able to drive down their per-unit costs to such a degree that they can squeeze out smaller players, increasing their market share. Over the course of decades, the animal slaughter industry has become one of the most highly concentrated industries in the world. Eighty-five percent of beef packing in the United States is controlled by just four companies. In pork processing, 67% is controlled by the four largest firms; the number is 54% for chicken. Out of all of the high-volume pig slaughter in the country, nearly 90% of it is carried out by fewer than 30 slaughterhouses, each of which kill more than 1 million pigs per year.

That means that even a single one of those slaughterhouses coming offline can create a massive bottleneck across the industry. And in 2020, slaughter capacity was reduced by half, resulting in a supply chain backup of epic proportions. For consumers, that backup resulted in skyrocketing prices for meat. For the animals themselves, it resulted in what the industry deceptively calls “euthanasia,” but that is, in fact, in many cases an excruciatingly slow and torturous death.

In the aftermath of that crisis, the Biden administration has pledged to break up this hyperconcentration through antitrust enforcement, which could help control prices for consumers, create a fairer market for ranchers and livestock farmers and bring resilience to the supply chain in the event of another major disruption. A bill from Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Ro Khanna, meanwhile, was recently introduced that would extend protections to meatpacking workers.

But for animals, there’s no relief on the horizon. Dr. Crystal Heath is a Berkeley-based veterinarian and a member of DxE (I count her, too, as a friend) who wants to make sure ventilation shutdown, or VSD, is never used again in future supply chain crises. She helped circulate an online petition under the name “Veterinarians Against Ventilation Shutdown,” which calls on the American Veterinary Medical Association to classify the practice as “not recommended.” She has about 3,500 veterinary professionals signed on, out of which about 1,500 are licensed veterinarians.

The request seems modest enough. But when the petition was submitted to the same effect to the AVMA House of Delegates, one delegate said that VSD needed to remain an option for the animal agriculture industry, in the likely event of another pandemic. Dr. Heath is worried that AVMA is setting the stage for allowing VSD to go forward in the future, in the event of another major supply chain disruption.

The AVMA’s scientific journal is the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, or JAVMA. “JAVMA publishes stuff that’s nothing but supportive of VSD,” Dr. Heath said. “They’re saying we’re going to have to use it again, like it or not.”

JAVMA published the paper that described the results of the converted trailer experiment, and essentially endorsed the method. Responding to two letters to the editor in JAVMA that were critical of the practice, the researchers who conducted the converted trailer experiment accused their critics of putting veterinarians’ lives at risk. The researchers warned that “criticism from peers may have unintended negative effects on our colleagues,” referred to the “mental health crisis” within the profession and suggested that those who were advocating ending VSD might drive the veterinarians who helped implement it to suicide.

The status quo has persisted for slaughterhouse workers, as well. To date, an estimated 86,000 workers have caught COVID-19 and at least 423 have lost their lives to it. Today, fewer workers are getting sick because of the vaccines, but one poultry worker told me that at her plant, managers had learned from the pandemic that they can keep up the same pace of production with fewer workers. They never bothered hiring new staff to replace the workers they’d lost to COVID; they’re just pushing the remaining workers even harder. That’s led to fatigue and injury, which is a hazard to workers and animals alike. Whenever workers are pushed to the brink, animal welfare suffers too, as tired workers means less focused workers, and that can mean animals not being fully killed before they get through the kill line, which means they’re eviscerated while still alive.

The owners, however, have come out of the COVID supply chain crisis intact. Though livestock producers have been getting squeezed for decades by an evermore consolidated meatpacking industry, and the pandemic made it worse than ever, the government came to the aid of the producers who had exterminated their animals due to the slowdowns and closures of slaughterhouses. The USDA’s Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program compensates pig, chicken, and turkey growers for 80% of their economic loss. Dr. Heath has calculated that the farm that carried out the converted trailer experiment likely received between $23 million and $34 million from the government for roasting its pigs alive.

And the giant meatpackers are doing better than ever before. Prices for meat are skyrocketing, with the lion’s share going to the packers. In fact, profits for meatpackers are so high that the Biden administration has accused the industry of “pandemic profiteering.”

But activists like Johnson remain a threat, so the meat industry is doing everything it can to destroy DxE. In June of 2020, local police and a private investigator for Iowa Select Farms identified Lucas Walker as DxE’s source. In a meeting that Iowa Select’s COO drove him to, the FBI tried to recruit Walker as an undercover informant against the activist group. An agent who interrogated Walker asked him if he knew if DxE sold drugs or guns to finance their activism, and asked Walker if he would be willing to sell drugs, too, in his role as an FBI spy. He asked him if he’d be willing to covertly record calls with Matt Johnson to help the FBI amass evidence against him. Walker turned him down.

In January, Johnson will be tried in Iowa for felony burglary, electronic eavesdropping, and “agricultural trespass.” (The last of those is part of the new ag gag law that was championed by the state senator whose hog farm Johnson infiltrated and filmed.) He says he looks forward to the trial, which he sees as an opportunity to further expose VSD to the light of day.

Walker’s only regret is that the company was able to spin the story as some shady act of sabotage carried out by some anonymous troublemaker, when in fact it was a respected senior employee of the company who had blown the whistle, as a matter of principle.

“When all is said and done,” Walker told me, “I wish I had been even more public about it.”





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



The pandemic of cruelty keeps mutating into worse

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The Shocking Viral Video They Don’t Want You To See

December 27, 2021
by
DontWatch.org


Source Pathless Pilgrim, Medium


I don’t normally do this, but I need to start this post with a WARNING.

The shocking viral video I’m about to share is harrowing to watch. It shows upsetting scenes of violence, cruelty and abuse towards vulnerable animals.

However, I believe it must be watched. I believe it must be shared and viewed by as many people as possible in order to expose the horrific cruelty which is inherent within the animal agriculture industry all over the world.

Because, as terrible as this footage is, what is most upsetting is that these are not isolated incidents. Thousands of hours of undercover footage from hundreds of random farms and abattoirs in dozens of countries show that this kind of abuse is inherent throughout the industry.

Animal agriculture is rotten to its core and this video shows why.

I know how hard it is to watch but I beg you to watch it if you can and to share it with as many people as possible, because we can only tackle this abuse if we are aware of it.

After the video, I’ll drop a link so you can take action to help stop this abuse. For the animals in this footage it is too late, but with your help we can prevent millions more from suffering the same fate.

So for now, please set aside a few minutes, brace yourself, and prepare to expose these horrors to the world…


Once you’ve watched the video, there are three things I want you to do:

  1. Share this page like crazy with everyone you can think of — this cruelty needs to be exposed
  2. If you’re not already vegan, take the 22 Day Vegan Challenge — this horror show will only stop when we stop paying for it.
  3. Sign up HERE for notifications about future posts to keep you inspired and informed — together we are stronger. Together we can change the world.






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Click HERE to search.

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Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

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Another disgusting example of humans cruel evil and beyond stupid

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




Does Guilt Have a Place in Animal Rights Activism?

December 21, 2021
by
Source United Poultry Concerns: Photo of our posters in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

Source United Poultry Concerns

By Karen Davis, PhD


“Without guilt improvement is drastically diminished.”
– Thomas Coates, Facebook comment, Nov 22, 2021


The fact that animals are suffering and dying for appetites that can be satisfied in many other ways makes some people, perhaps many, uncomfortable, though not necessarily because of guilt. People get annoyed that you’re bothering them, trying to curtail their freedom and uncover a guilt they may not feel or feel strongly enough, so that some end up feeling “guilty” because they don’t feel guilty, just vexed that they’re being victimized.

If animals are largely overlooked in the range of human endeavors, is it any wonder that their suffering is barely accorded human knowledge, and that it makes sense to speak of the “secret” and “hidden” suffering of animals?

Even so, many people regard pain and suffering as morally objectionable and would agree with the Reverend Dr. Humphry Primatt, who wrote in 1776, “Pain is Pain, whether it be inflicted on man or on beast; and the creature that suffers it, whether man or beast, being sensible of the misery of it whilst it lasts, suffers Evil.”


Ecology of Pain and Suffering

Yet the idea that pain and suffering are evil per se is not always true. Pain can be constructive as well as debilitating. Pain that is degrading in one situation may be uplifting in another, as when a person suffers for the sake of a loved one or a worthwhile cause. Philosopher Jeff Sebo writes, for example, that “people often claim that traumatic events serve as catalysts for rational behavior, helping them to reprioritize their lives and focus on what is important.”

At the most basic level, pain is informative. Physical pain informs us biologically that we are injured or ill, while the pang of guilt informs us morally that we have done or are doing something wrong. Few would argue that a morally pain-free person is enviable simply because lacking a conscience is soothing and freedom from moral restraint is gratifying.

The fact is, not all pain is the same. While it is true that pain is pain regardless of who suffers it, other considerations apply. For instance, if I have to choose between suffering from cancer and suffering in a concentration camp, I will choose cancer. Why? Because cancer is not a sign of human character; it’s a malignant physical disease, not a malignant assertion of human will. Cancer is unfortunate, whereas a concentration camp is evil.

The contrast between human agency and random occurrence is important to counter the claim that it makes no difference whether a human or a nonhuman animal, say, starves to death from natural causes or as part of someone’s research; whether she or he suffers in the course of natural predation or in the machinery of somebody’s factory farm. Pain has a context. There are not only degrees and durations of pain; there are also causes and conditions. There may be motives and attitudes that enter into it that include a guilty, if unacknowledged, consciousness.

Clearly seen, each episode of pain reflects the environment that produced it. Images of animals undergoing vivisection and slaughter, Auschwitz inmates recounting their experience of being experimented on by Nazi doctors, the testimony of the doctors themselves, all show that there is a moral ecology of pain and suffering, as well as a natural ecology of misfortune, which may or may not overlap.

Pain is a symbol in the sense of something that is a part of – that stands out from and illuminates – a larger reality. To talk meaningfully about pain, we must take into account the conditions in which it occurs, including whether those conditions are primarily moral – involving human attitudes, motives, and conduct – or natural, like a plague or an earthquake. We will not then be confounded when someone dares to assert, as I once heard a researcher say at the National Institutes of Health concerning the head-bashing experiments that were being conducted on baboons at the University of Pennsylvania, that what “happens” to animals in laboratories isn’t so bad, because “life is full of suffering.” A guilt-free mind is indeed a great comfort.

By contrast, Thomas Coates, who is quoted at the beginning of this article, goes on to say in his Facebook comment, “There are a lot of things I used to do that were immoral. Guilt has continuously guided me to learn and improve. I’d hope that anyone watching this footage [of turkeys enduring massive cruelty on a turkey farm] will experience guilt and use it to make more educated and kinder decisions.”


Can Guilt Constructively Penetrate the Wall?

Animal advocates struggle with how to get people to care enough about animals to do more than just passively agree that animals shouldn’t be made to suffer. Speaking of activist efforts in China in words with global applicability, Mercy For Animals’ president, Leah Garcés, was recently quoted in Why the future of animal welfare lies beyond the West: “I think we have to keep throwing spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. We have not cracked the code. Nobody has.”

Should the “spaghetti” we throw include an effort to induce consciousness of guilt in people who are in a position to make a positive difference for animals in their personal lives? B.R. Myers wrote in The Atlantic, in 2007, in Hard to Swallow: The gourmet’s ongoing failure to think in moral terms: “Try forcing most Americans to consider the suffering of the animals they consume, and they will conclude . . . that the whole exercise has more to do with punishment than persuasion.”

As for encouraging people to feel guilty about contributing without reasonable cause to the suffering and death of a fellow creature, I think guilt is an appropriate and even a necessary feeling to have toward one’s innocent victims, as long as it empowers rather than impairs the ability to think and act better as a result. Guilt can be motivating along with pity and remorse and the uplift of deciding to wash one’s hands of contributing further to an abuse, and in this way transform the guilt incurred when one behaved less mindfully.


Further Reading: Moral Injury in Animal Advocates and Nonhuman Animals and the Commonality of Being Reduced to “Lesser Beings”


KAREN DAVIS, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Liberation, Karen is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns. Her latest book is For the Birds – From Exploitation to LiberationEssays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl published by Lantern Publishing & Media.







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Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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Friends not food

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




Give Back All That We Have Taken …

December 13, 2021
by
UKWondering


Source Alfred, UKWondering


The concept of rights for nonhumans is one I laughed at for the vast majority of my life. For the last few years they have become absolutely central to my thinking, I totally utterly and completely believe that not only should non humans have rights, but that they should be exactly the same as the rights every human has. We look at the world in a myopic self serving human centrist manner putting ourselves at the top of some imaginary chart. A chart which we our selves devised.

What makes us special? The more I know about humankind the smaller that answer becomes. We are petty, selfish, greedy, ignorant, arrogant, unpleasant, violent, stupid, disgusting.

Everything that we have done through our entire existence is to make our lives easier, not better. As a result we have become not greater not more but less. Every device we have invented has been invented for our ease. We fear what other nations revel in, nature.

We are puny, weak pathetic, Beavers cut down trees with their teeth we had to invent the axe and saws, now of course powered Fish live underwater breathing oxygen through the gills we had to invent the aqualung

Horses elephants antelopes and others, cover huge distances every day, we had to invent trains, bicycles, planes and automobiles we had to enslave horses to pull carts.

“Beasts of burden” what an appalling phrase, and yet it’s what we called those of our fellow citizens we enslaved to do our work, before we invented the internal combustion engine and machines to lift and carry for us.

Birds fly seemingly effortlessly while we remain tethered to terra firma, we had to invent the aeroplane, in order that we could copy or mimic birds.

Goats clamber effortlessly up virtually vertical slopes, we are forced to rely on ropes, hooks and other equipment, protecting ourselves with helmets because we are so fragile and frightened.

We learnt to write to record our amazing achievement of copying our fellow citizens, and communicate with others who lived ever further away. No longer content with writing we travelled to see them by ship and then by plane mimicking the journeys of whales and albatross.

But then that wasn’t enough either so we invented the telephone and cameras and videos and mobile devices and the Internet so that we can never be disconnected again and I can talk to people on the other side of the world as we laugh and smile at each other.

Because we were scared of the size of the Earth and our own utterly unremarkable smallness. Isn’t that the reason we explore be it space or land or sea, to increase our understanding and decrease our insignificance?

What has all this knowledge bought us except closer to our own destruction? Nearer the brink of the precipice towards which we madly rush. Fear, that is what drives humankind, a fear of realising how ridiculous we are.

A cuckoo lays their eggs in another birds nest and demands that those birds care for its young, we are the cuckoos of the animal kingdom, we steal we lie we cheat we enslave we never give back we never say thank you.

The time is coming closer for the final reckoning and unless we miraculously rediscover our place in the grand scheme of things we are going to find the bill rather more we can afford.

So what has all this got to do with non human rights? Everything, our miraculously rediscovering our position depends upon those right and our understanding of them.

Either we return those right to whom they belong, either we give back all that we have taken, either we cease to think about ourselves as anything other than just another animal and behave accordingly or all life ceases to exist.







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Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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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Our species feels the need to mold their environment to accommodate themselves , ignoring the consequences of their harsh and callous footsteps.

We are the only species who, in order to survive, destroy that world we need in order to survive.

And we consider ourselves superior?

Other species are far better at being who they are than we could ever be.

So how about some respect for our superiors!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




Yes, plant-based meat is better for the planet

December 6, 2021
by



Source Vox

By Matthew Hayek and Jan Dutkiewicz


Plant-based meat has gone mainstream. The Impossible Burger, which debuted at a single restaurant five years ago, is now on Burger King’s permanent menu. And McDonald’s is testing its McPlant burger, featuring a Beyond Meat patty, in select US locations. Both plant-based startups are now veterans in a product category that did $1.4 billion in sales and grew 27 percent in 2020.

Under the tagline “Eat Meat. Save the Planet,” Impossible Foods claims its soy-based burger uses 87 percent less water, takes 96 percent less land, and has 89 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than a beef burger. Beyond Meat makes similar claims about its pea-based burgers.

This matters because animal agriculture contributes around 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions, and experts agree that without a major shift away from meat in our diets, we won’t be able to meet the global community’s climate targets. The promise of plant-based faux meats is that consumers will be able to keep enjoying the foods they love, but with a far lower climate footprint.

But an increasing number of researchersfood critics, and environmental groups are casting doubt on these types of claims, warning that faux meat production still relies on industrial farming practices. They claim that we don’t know enough about these relatively new products to say for certain if they’re better for the environment than the meat they are trying to replace.

One recent whitepaper from an environmental NGO states that the above claims from faux meat companies “are unproven, and some clearly untrue.” A sustainability analyst quoted in the New York Times goes further, claiming that the companies’ secrecy about their production methods means that “We don’t feel we have sufficient information to say Beyond Meat is fundamentally different from JBS.” (JBS is the world’s largest meat producer).

But years of research on the environmental impact of food make one thing clear: Plant proteins, even if processed into imitation burgers, have smaller climate, water, and land impacts than conventional meats. Apart from environmental impact, reducing meat production would also reduce animal suffering and the risk of both animal-borne disease and antibiotic resistance. The criticisms against the new wave of meatless meat appear to be more rooted in broad opposition to food technology rather than a true environmental accounting — and they muddy the waters in the search for climate solutions at a time when clarity is sorely needed.


The climate impact of animal meat versus plant-based meat, explained


Americans eat well over 200 pounds of meat each per year, and it’s accelerating us along a collision course with climate catastrophe. While many other countries eat far less meat, global appetites are catching up quickly, spurred especially by the growing affluence of the rising middle class in Asia and Latin America.

Fossil fuels do make up a far greater proportion of emissions in the US and globally, but even if we reduced energy emissions down to zero, demand for meat and dairy alone could make us exceed critical levels of global warming. That makes shifting diets away from meat a critical tool in preventing global temperatures from rising above 1.5°C or 2°C by 2100.

There are a number of reasons for meat’s outsized ecological footprint. The first is that cows belch out methane created from fermenting grassy food in their multi-chambered stomachs. With a billion and a half cows on the planet — raised for both beef and dairy — that adds up to about 9 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions alone.

Although pigs and chickens, the two most farmed species on the planet, don’t belch methane, they still produce lots of manure — and that generates nitrous oxide, another potent greenhouse gas. They also need to eat fertilized crops, like corn and soy, which generate more emissions. And while all cattle graze on grass, most in the United States are eventually fattened for slaughter on feedlots where they too eat corn and soy.

Feeding all of these crops to animals is far less efficient than feeding them more directly to humans. For example, every 12 calories from corn and soy fed to a pig provides just one calorie of meat back. The proposition of plant-based meats is that they cut out the animal, allowing more efficient use of land and resources.

Different animal products have vastly different emissions. For instance, pigs and chickens emit far less than cows and sheep. But according to recent peer-reviewed research from the University of Oxford and Johns Hopkins University, which compiled several estimates, all of these animal foods (except some chicken) generate more emissions than plant-based meats. (Editor’s note: Jan Dutkiewicz, one of the authors of this article, was a co-author on the Johns Hopkins paper.)

This research consisted of meta-analyses of multiple life-cycle assessments, or LCAs, which measure the total environmental impact of a product. While some of the plant-based meat estimates were commissioned by the faux meat companies themselves, including Beyond and Impossible, others were not, and all used internationally agreed-upon LCA standards for accounting of every emission source throughout processing.

Even the lowest-emitting beef from dedicated beef herds (34 kg carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e) and lower-emitting beef from dairy cow herds (15 kg CO2e) came in far above the highest-emitting tofu (4 kg CO2e) and plant-based meat (7 kg).

Chicken and pork production emit far less CO2 equivalent than beef. And while there is some overlap (the lowest-emitting chicken [3.2 kg CO2e] and pork [6 kg CO2e] rival the emissions of the highest-emitting plant-based meat), the average emissions of tofu and plant-based meats are still lower than the average emissions of both chicken and pork.



Chart: “Plant-based meat has a lower carbon footprint than most animal products”


Of course, climate emissions aren’t the only environmental impacts from food. Producing animal-based food also requires large quantities of fresh water. For instance, one kilogram of pork requires 442 liters of water, versus 84 liters for one kilogram of plant-based meat. Similarly, producing beef, pork, and chicken requires far more land and causes much more pollution to waterways than plant-based alternatives.


How techno-skepticism muddles the environmental debate over plant-based meat


Despite the clear evidence that plant-based meats are generally better for the environment, criticism persists, and some of it is rooted in techno-skepticism — the attitude that because most plant-based meat is made using similar industrial farming and food-processing techniques as animal meat, it too is highly problematic.

It’s true that just like feed crops for farm animals, most faux meats are made with soy or wheat (or peas, in the case of Beyond Meat), and are grown as monoculture crops, meaning they’re grown in large fields that consist of just one mechanically farmed plant. Monoculture farming has long been criticized by environmental advocates for causing soil degradation and requiring a lot of pesticides, among other problems. A further extension of the criticism is that monocultured crops are usually the product of genetic modification, or GMOs.

While the safety of genetic modification itself has been well established, some of the intensive farming practices associated with growing certain GMO crops have come under fire from environmental NGOs and champions of organic farming. Plant-based meat companies take very different stances on using GMOs, with Impossible Foods embracing the technology and Beyond Meat going GMO-free.

However, the vast majority of chicken and pork requires more crops in the form of animal feed than what is contained in an equivalent serving of plant-based meat — and that’s almost always more monoculture GMO crops. Paradoxically, if you want to eat something meaty, a great way to reduce your monoculture (and GMO) intake is to eat faux meats.

To be sure, exclusively grass-fed beef doesn’t use any monocultured feed. But it’s sold at a premium price, and scaling up its production to meet current demand for beef would require multiple times more land than is already used, making this a dead-end proposition (unless we also drastically reduce consumption).

Critics of plant-based meat have also pointed out that it tends to be highly processed. No doubt, most plant-based meats are not health foods, due to their high saturated fat and salt (though beef and pork, too, are high in saturated fat). But “processed foods” is a vague and often ill-defined term that encompasses everything from high-fructose corn syrup to whole-grain pasta to yogurt, and has little bearing on foods’ environmental impact. As Vox’s Kelsey Piper has written, the term “processed food” “can obscure more than it clarifies” when it comes to the debate over plant-based meat.


What “corporate sustainability” measurements get wrong about the environmental impact of food


The final major critique of plant-based meat revolves around transparency.

This critique is raised both by some food NGOs and by a niche group of professional ESG (environmental, social, governance) corporate analysts. These analysts are paid by conscientious investors to rank companies by the riskiness of their supply chains. This is an important and growing space, but corporate ESG analysis still has major problems and limitations.

Some corporate sustainability analysts have criticized plant-based companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat for not precisely and continuously reporting climate impacts across their supply chains, like packaging, transporting, and processing. As noted earlier, when speaking to the New York Times for a recent article, one ESG analyst said that Beyond Meat and JBS are not “fundamentally different.”

One academic researcher called these products a “black box,” claiming that “much of what is in these products is undisclosed.” These kinds of statements are hyperbolic, akin to saying a gas-guzzling SUV and an electric car are similar because the companies that make them don’t reveal the emissions that come from producing the specific microchips they use.

It’s true that ingredient labels can’t tell us precisely where and under what conditions a given ingredient, like soybeans or coconut oil, was grown, and most meat and faux-meat companies don’t disclose emissions throughout their entire supply chain and manufacturing. These details aren’t trivial, and emissions across manufactured food production can likely stand to be improved.

But because corporate ESG is a niche space, its demands for transparency often revolve around details that investors want to see, including small tweaks and changes in production processes, while potentially missing the lion’s share of the real environmental impacts. When it comes to plant-based burgers, we already know most of the impacts and where they are coming from. According to FDA regulations, food companies must list all ingredients on product labels, meaning that much of the “black box” of plant-based protein can be unlocked simply by looking at the back of a package.

Labels on conventional meat also do not disclose all the inputs and processes that went into producing it. If you’re eating a Beyond Burger, you might not know exactly where its peas come from or how it was packaged, but you would know that peas were the most-used crop ingredient. If you’re eating canned pork from Hormel, the maker of Spam — which one sustainability analysis firm rated as much lower-risk than Beyond Meat when it comes to their reputational risks like harming workers or the environment — you nonetheless wouldn’t know what their pigs ate or, for that matter, how those pigs were treated.

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of the environmental impacts of our food are a result of what happens on farms, not in manufacturing or shipping. For example, a local, grass-fed burger is going to cause more emissions than, say, a pea-based burger or manufactured block of tofu trucked in from 1,000 miles away. With meat, most of the impact is from the cow belches, the feed crop production, the polluting manure, and the deforestation required to make way for ever-increasing production.



Chart: “Meat’s carbon footprint is almost entirely in land use and farming”


As seen in the chart above, packaging and transport emissions across different kinds of meats and plant foods are pretty consistent, never going above 2 kg CO2e per kg of product.

However, the emissions for land use, farming, and feed range greatly among foods, from 0.7 kg CO2e for peas to more than 57 kg CO2e for beef.

Put differently, packaging, transport, and processing make up a large percentage of tofu’s emissions only because soy’s overall production emissions are already very low. In order for plant-based meats to even approach beef’s environmental impact, they would need to have a manufacturing footprint at least 10 times higher than that of tofu.

All of these criticisms may have more to do with techno-skepticism than scientific rigor. The discourse against technological “frankenfoods” is a longstanding one that contrasts bucolic images of “real food” and “real farms” with labs, factories, and smog. The real story isn’t so simple. And while many of the harms from food production are industrial in origin, we can also thank technology for major advances in food safety like pasteurization — and for the creation of faux meats that, while imperfect, give people a more sustainable alternative to animal-based meat.

None of this is to say that makers of plant-based meat alternatives can shirk transparency. Companies that are serious about making big sustainability claims should strive to win the public’s trust through greater transparency of their entire production chains, including not simply emissions but other impacts like labor practices and manufacturing waste. Nonetheless, we currently know enough to conclude that plant-based meats’ climate impacts are smaller than those of conventional meat, even if the precision of their monitoring could be improved.


Why other ethical impacts get left out of the equation


Beyond climate and pollution, there are a host of other impacts corporate sustainability evaluators and public interest groups should consider in their assessments, including animal-borne disease and animal welfare.


A row of cattle with their heads down in a long feed trough.
Cattle eat at a Columbus, Nebraska, feedlot in June 2020.

Most meat eaten by Americans comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where animals have scant legal protections. This barren legal landscape has led to a race to the bottom on animal welfare, resulting in animals bred to grow so fast that their vital organs can painfully lose function, or they can barely walk without pain. Animals’ natural behaviors are restricted by confining them in cages too small to turn around or spread their wings.

It’s unsurprising, then, that footage depicting neglect and mistreatment of pigs, chickens, and cows on industrial farms has caused reputational damage to the food companies that were unaware of or unconcerned about practices on the farms from which they source. For instance, the dairy company Fairlife faced protests and lawsuits after undercover footage apparently showed abuse at a farm from which it sourced milk.

Because of this reputational risk, the meat lobby has pushed states to pass “ag-gag” laws criminalizing private investigations and whistleblowing on animal farms, which have only worsened the pressing transparency issue across North American animal farms.

Another risk in factory farming (for which there’s no equivalent in plant-based food manufacturing) is pandemic risk. The confined conditions that create animal welfare problems on intensive farms also increase the risk of animal-borne diseases. Thousands of animals are kept in quarters close to each other and their waste, allowing pathogens ample opportunity to propagate and undergo mutations that can jump to workers and communities near production facilities.

Spillover of avian flu strains from chickens to humans is an ever-present possibility, which has seen sporadic outbreaks around the world, exacerbated by the closely confined and often unsanitary conditions in which billions of chickens live on meat and egg farms.

And diseases that don’t spread to humans are also a near-constant risk to the business of industrial farming and our food supply. The ongoing African Swine Fever pandemic alone has claimed the lives of hundreds of millions of pigs, with preventative pig culling the only existing measure to control disease spread, causing tens of billions of dollars in losses in Asia alone.

Antibiotic resistance is another potentially existential threat that can emerge on industrial animal farms. Antibiotics are a basic and critical tool in modern medicine and also our last line of defense against many diseases.

However, the majority of antibiotics produced globally are used on farmed animals to prevent bacterial outbreaks and boost animal growth, and their chronic use creates new antibiotic-resistant strains of harmful and potentially deadly bacteria.

Already, 700,000 people die each year of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including 35,000 in the United States. The World Health Organization has specifically called for the phaseout of farms’ unnecessary antibiotic use to reduce this risk because we don’t have an alternative — an antibiotics 2.0 — if antibiotic resistance keeps increasing as it has.

Disease and animal mistreatment are directly relevant to sustainability and to companies’ material and reputational risks, but meat companies have generally sought to avoid addressing them as they would make their operations more costly and less efficient.

Sustainability firms and other industry watchdogs, meanwhile, have not quantified these impacts, with some exceptions. There are a few reasons for this, including that it’s difficult to put concrete numbers on risks of zoonotic disease outbreaks (which are sporadic and hard to predict), as well as animal welfare. If sustainability firms could track companies’ non-climate risks better, we may have very different conceptions regarding which have riskier production processes and which are more sustainable.

More broadly, there is a pressing need to widen the debate over food sustainability. Fish, for instance, may have lower greenhouse gas emissions, but overfishing is harming fragile ocean ecosystems. Replacing beef with chicken might reduce climate emissions, but chickens are raised in worse conditions, have more viral outbreaks, and are given more than three times the antibiotics that cattle are — and far more chickens would have to be killed to create the same amount of meat. If emissions, animal welfare, and disease risks were all considered, neither chicken nor beef looks all that good.

Narrow sustainability measurements and techno-skepticism have clouded the public conversation about plant-based meats. Claims that these products might not be much better for the environment than meat goes against extensive, peer-reviewed research.

This is not to say that Beyond and Impossible burgers are the optimal choice. Taking a broad view of sustainability that includes emissions, environmental impacts, animal welfare, and animal-borne disease risk mitigation, the clear winner is a diet based on whole plant foods — just vegetables, grains, fruits, and legumes.

Such a diet, widely recommended by environmental groups like the World Wildlife Fund, is likely best for individual and planetary health. But plant-based meats are designed to fill a role that just plants often can’t: easily appealing to meat-loving taste buds and dietary habits with little culinary finessing required. The additional environmental price paid for this convenience and pleasure still leaves faux meats far better for the planet (and animals) than conventional meats. The science there is clear.


Matthew Hayek is an assistant professor of environmental science in the department of Environmental Studies at New York University and Affiliated Faculty at the NYU Center for Data Science.


Jan Dutkiewicz is a policy fellow at the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School and a postdoctoral researcher with the Swiss National Science Foundation.






Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

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Have questions? Click HERE





Eat with kindness
Save lives and our planet.
This is our Eden
Do not sh*tcan it

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




Traditional Thanksgiving: Where the “Sacred” and the Profane Intersect

November 29, 2021
by
Mockery

“Two turkeys — named Peanut Butter and Jelly — were pardoned by President Biden on Friday during this year’s annual turkey pardoning ceremony.”

“I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys that weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom,” Obama said from the Rose Garden in November 2016. “Who met their fate with courage and sacrifice and proved that they weren’t chicken.” (1)


Reality: The Guardian


By Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns


Since the last quarter of the 20th century, ridicule has outranked sentimental piety in the prevailing rhetoric of Thanksgiving in America. If nobody really hates a bungling turkey carver as long as the food gets served, the smarmy drama played out between the carver, the carved, and the dining chorus is a ritual of dinner that could be said to reveal, as well as conceal, the “determination of each person present to be a diner, not a dish,” wrote Margaret Visser in The Rituals of Dinner. (2)

Traditional Thanksgiving has other functions, but one thing it does is to formalize a desire to kill someone we hate and make a meal out of that someone. In this role, the turkey dinner is not far distant from a cannibal feast, that “strange mixture of honor and hatred” in which not a few cultures in the history of the world have disposed of their enemies and relatives in ceremonial fashion.

Many people to whom I mention this “hatred of the turkey” idea say they never noticed it before. Such obliviousness illustrates in part the idea that the “most successful examples of manipulation are those which exploit practices which clearly meet a felt – not necessarily a clearly understood – need among particular bodies of people.” (3)

In the case of Thanksgiving, the need is not so much to eat turkey, which many people complain about, and more and more people forego, but to rationalize an activity that, despite every effort to make the turkey seem more like a turnip, has failed “on purpose” to obliterate the bird into just meat. To do so would diminish the bird’s dual role in creating the full Thanksgiving experience. In order to affect people properly, a sacrificial animal must not only be eaten by them; the animal’s death must be “witnessed by them, and not suffered out of sight as we now arrange matters.”

But since this is how we now arrange matters, attention must somehow be “deliberately drawn, by means of ritual and ceremony,” to the reality of the animal’s life and the “performance of killing.”

This is why, in order to be ritually meaningful, the turkey continues to be culturally constructed as a sacred player in our drama about ourselves as a nation, at the same time that we insist that this bird is a nobody, an anonymous and absurd “production animal.”

According to Margaret Visser, “what is meant by ‘sacrifice’ [is] literally the ‘making sacred’ of an animal consumed for dinner.” No wonder that any mention of cannibalism in connection with eating turkeys or any other animals provokes a storm of protest, given that, as Visser says, cannibalism to the Western mind is “‘massively taboo,’ more damnable than incest.” However, cannibalism, transposed to the consumption of a nonhuman animal, is a critical, if largely unconscious, component of America’s Thanksgiving ritual.

America knows that somehow it has to manage its portion of humanity’s primeval desire to have “somebody” suffer and die ritually for the “benefit” of the community or nation at a time when the consumption of nonhuman animals has become morally problematic in the West as well as industrialized to the point where the eaters can barely imagine the animals involved in their meal.

It is ironic, as Visser points out, that “people who calmly organize daily hecatombs of beasts, and who are among the most death-dealing carnivores the world has ever seen,” are shocked by the slaughtering of animals in other cultures.


REFERENCES

(1) Mariana Alfaro, Nov. 19, 2021. In Thanksgiving tradition, Biden grants presidential pardon to turkeysThe Washington Post, Nov. 19, 2021.

(2) Margaret Visser, 1991-1992. The Rituals of Dinner. New York: Penguin.

(3) Eric Hobsbawn and Terence Ranger, eds. 1983. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Turkeys being transported in freezing temperatures from Des Moines, Iowa to the Sara Lee slaughter plant

This photo shows turkeys being transported in freezing temperatures from Des Moines, Iowa, to the Sara Lee slaughter plant in Storm Lake, Iowa. Though this photo was taken in 2007, the exact same conditions prevail in 2021 for turkeys in the Midwest. After their long, hellish ride through ice and snow, the truck pulls into a gigantic steaming Inferno where the birds are slowly tortured to death.



KAREN DAVIS, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Liberation, Karen is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns. Her latest book is FOR THE BIRDS: From Exploitation to Liberation: Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl (Lantern Publishing & Media).






Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

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Be thankful for the kind few
With hearts aligned
Knowing what to do
Be blessed each day
For all here that dwell
Make our earth for animals
A heaven
Not a hell

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



MILKED: White Lies in DairyLand

November 23, 2021
by
YouTube


Stopping animal exploitation doesn’t require human benefit, but that it DOES and humans still radically embrace animal cruelty as their “right/choice/blahblahblah” is disturbing. You literally drink the breastmilk of a different species, beyond infancy and with teeth, that requires the suffering, pain, misery, and violent death of the other species.

Animals don’t belong to you; what comes out of their bodies doesn’t belong to you. That you can be ethical but deliberately choose to not be is a perversion. Stop defining others’ suffering in manners that brings you comfort but does nothing to ease the suffering of your victims. I recently read about how adding cameras in slaughterhouses will help to decrease cruelty. In SLAUGHTERHOUSES. A slaughterhouse is INHERENTLY CRUEL, it’s where animals die in fear, blood, and often torturous manners in some grotesquely defined “humane” ethic slander. Slaughterhouses do not attract people who care about animals, and the evidence is in: animals experience abject fear; they smell and hear the death of their death-mates; and they die in often agonizing, torturous manners.

Euphemistic morals serve only those whose intentions are the absolute antithesis of morals but do nothing to help their animal victims: HUMANS.

SL



Source MILKED


MILKED is a topical feature documentary that exposes the whitewash of New Zealand’s multi-billion-dollar dairy industry. 

Young activist Chris Huriwai travels around the country searching for the truth about how this source of national pride has become the nation’s biggest threat. It’s rapidly gone from a land with no cows to being the biggest exporter of dairy in the world, but the industry seems to be failing in every way possible. 

Featuring interviews with high-profile contributors such as Dr Jane Goodall, environmentalist and former actress Suzy Amis Cameron, and Cowspiracy co-director, Keegan Kuhn, MILKED reveals the behind-the-scenes reality of the kiwi dairy farming fairy-tale. It uncovers alarming information about the impacts of the industry on the environment and health, leading up to the discovery that we’re on the edge of the biggest global disruption of food and agriculture in history. 

An impactful global story told with a local eye, the film also points to what New Zealand and other countries can do to change their fate.



MILKED facts:




See More About What You Can Do HERE





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

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Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

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Have questions? Click HERE



The lies may be covered in verbiage

but truths always poke their ways through these fancy deceptions

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



How the ‘Eat Local’ Food Myth Led to COP26’s Menu Failure

November 15, 2021
by


Stopping animal exploitation does not require any human benefit, people don’t need profit to be opposed to human exploitation, the same is true for animals. However, given that nonvegans live on a planet hurtling towards destruction and potential extinction, you would hope people would at least embrace a plant-based diet, if not for them, then for their children.

Using plastic straws and reducing animal consumption is the same as doing nothing. it’s meaningless “baby steps” that will result in the same planetary destruction: don’t pretend to support the disingenuous nonsense that consuming animals is “environmentally friendly”, the scientific data has proven time and again that consuming NO animals is ideal for the environment despite the cherry-picking animal farmers/consumers/execs desperately manipulate to satisfy their greedy agendas: as I have asked previously, if you’re vegan, where will you get the decomposing flesh, rotten blood, bacteria, parasites, disease, necrotic organs, feces, gore, and pus to maintain an environmentally stable position? See? Ludicrous.

I’m not asking anyone to do more than I do, but even if you don’t care about justice or decency for animals – for whom veganism is a moral imperative versus a plant-based diet – at least care about the human ones. SL



Source Sentient Media

By Caroline Christen


he 2021 United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) hosted by the UK in Glasgow is drawing to a close. As the conference unfolded, environmental advocates criticized COP26 for serving animal products instead of a more climate-friendly, plant-based menu.

While the COP26 menu includes vegan haggis, mushroom risotto, and lasagna topped with plant-based cheddar, it also offers beef burgers and haggis made from sheep offal. More than half of the menu’s items contain meat, dairy, fish, and eggs, according to Levy, the company in charge of catering at COP26.

Despite the accelerating climate crisis, yet another COP conference chose to serve attendees some of the world’s most climate-damaging foods. A closer look reveals that livestock producers were selected as suppliers for a simple reason: being based within 100 miles of Glasgow. The COP26 menu failure is a direct result of the “Eat Local” myth, the misguided belief that locally sourced foods are ecologically superior to imported foods regardless of their other qualities.

COP’s history of serving meat-heavy menus

At first glance, the COP26 menu seems to be a far cry from the food available at COP25. Attendees formed long lines in front of a pink food truck—one of the few, if not the only venue offering plant-based options at the 2019 conference.

At a second glance, however, the COP26 menu proves to be a bewildering setback. After the meat- and dairy-laden menu served at COP24 drew criticism from environmental experts, the Food and Climate Alliance (FCA), a sustainability alliance comprising more than 50 organizations, partnered with the UN and the Chilean nonprofit Vegetarianos Hoy to make sure that COP25 would serve a more climate-friendly menu.

Had COP25 not been relocated from Santiago de Chile to Madrid due to the 2019–2021 Chilean protests, up to 70 percent of its menu would have been plant-based. Following the 2019 climate conference, one reporting outlet ended on a hopeful note, pointing out that COP26 would take place in Glasgow, “one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK.”

Two years later, not only is Glasgow still considered a very vegan-friendly city; the UK ranks as the most popular country for veganism in the world, according to foodie magazine Chef’s Pencil. Further, the country is home to The Vegan Society, one of the oldest vegan organizations in the world, a vibrant plant-based scene, and to Veganuary, an initiative that encouraged more than half a million people worldwide to try veganism in January 2021.

“The Vegan Society strongly believes that the COP26 menu should have been fully plant-based,” said Francine Jordan, Media and PR Officer at The Vegan Society, when contacted by Sentient Media for comment. “How can we have a discussion about the climate crisis while ignoring the evidence that vegan diets can reduce individual dietary carbon emissions by 50 percent?”

COP26 failed to devise a menu aligned with climate goals

How did we get from a 70 percent plant-based COP menu scheduled to be served in Chile in 2019 to a 42 percent plant-based menu served in the UK in 2021? Certainly not due to new evidence letting animal products off the hook. Over the past years, more scientific evidence has accrued, confirming the devastating climate impact of meat, dairy, and eggs.

According to new estimates, animal agriculture contributes between 16 and 57 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and experts warn that the expanding livestock sector threatens to prevent the world from reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to a study published in the journal Science, food production alone could heat the world by more than 1.5° by the 2060s.

COP26 caterer Levy acknowledges these findings in part. Releasing the conference menu at ARecipeForChange.co.uk, the company states that “the food industry has a responsibility to do more for the planet.” It also features a graph showing the emission caused by different foods per 100 grams of protein. Tofu, the only plant-based item, has lower emissions than all other options shown.

Keeping these numbers in mind, it is startling to realize that Levy chose to offer all animal-based foods featured in the chart but not a single dish containing tofu. And there is another striking discrepancy between the educational material provided by Levy and the menu it devised.

All menu boards—ranging from pizzapasta, and pastries to soupsandwiches, and burgers—note that an average meal in the UK has a carbon footprint of 1.7 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), a number that needs to come down to 0.5 kg CO2e, according to the WWF, to reach the goals set by the Paris Agreement. The WWF explains that this number applies to lunch and dinner. For breakfast and snacks, the amount needs to be reduced even further to 0.4 and 0.2 CO2e kg, respectively. 

Levy states that it analyzed the carbon footprint of all menu items in partnership with Swedish start-up Klimato to help attendees “choose the dishes with the lowest carbon footprint.” Nonetheless, 35 percent of meals served at COP26 have carbon footprints higher than 0.5 kg. Two dishes containing beef and lamb emit as much as 3.4 kg, more than six times the amount recommended. 

“The organizers opted to include the CO2 emissions alongside each item, however, all this does is highlight just how damaging the non-vegan options are,” said Jordan from The Vegan Society, who attended this year’s conference. “Almost every plant-based option is below the recommended amount of 0.5kg of CO2.”

The carbon labeling shows that COP26 failed to devise a more plant-based menu that would have enabled participants to eat meals aligned with the goals pursued by the very conference they were attending.

The reason for the mismatch between Klimato’s calculations, the WWF’s recommendations, and the COP26 menu can also be found on ARecipeForChange.co.uk. According to Levy, it assembled the menu intending to use at least 80 percent Scottish-sourced food. This objective is also a defining feature of the sustainability strategy established by the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), the venue for COP26.

Yet, as the COP26 menu illustrates, the climate impact of a meal depends less on its origin than its ingredients. The three items with the highest carbon footprints on the entire menu— traditional haggis and two types of beef burgers—are made from ingredients sourced in Scotland. The burger menu even notes that the meat content of the burgers had been cut down from its standard size; otherwise, the burgers’ CO2 emissions would have been higher than 5 kg.

“Each dish’s carbon footprint has been measured, which has been positively received,” a spokesperson from SEC responded when contacted by Sentient Media for comment. “The carbon labeling has supported people to make an informed decision about the food that they eat and the impact is [sic] has on the environment.”

‘Eat Local’: one of the most misguided pieces of advice

The idea that eating local food effectively reduces food emissions is a widespread sustainability myth. Our World in Data—an Oxford University project⁠ also quoted by Levy—regards the recommendation to eat local as “one of the most misguided pieces of advice” because transport accounts only for a fraction of food emissions. Far more important are food emissions caused by land-use change, such as deforestation, and processes at the farm stage such as fertilizer use, manure handling, and cow methane emissions.

On ARecipeForChange.co.uk, Levy ironically mentions serving grass-fed beef approved by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) in a paragraph that explains how replacing meat with plant-based ingredients can help lower food emissions. The QMS is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government representing the red meat sector and has a record of opposing meat reduction initiatives.

Earlier this year, the QMS criticized the BBC for encouraging children to go meat-free for at least two weeks as part of the Blue Peter TV show. In an open letter co-signed by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the QMS referred to a carbon calculator mentioned in the show as “a simplistic tool that cites global data not representative of the UK’s red meat industry.”

Ahead of this year’s climate conference, the three organizations launched a toolkit intended to “help positively manage the reputation of red meat during COP26.” The toolkit states that eating less beef and other red meats “is not the answer to improving the UK’s environmental impact and reducing carbon emissions.” 

The toolkit lists several narratives that often feature in meat industry climate messaging, including another widespread food myth: the notion that grass-fed cattle can bind more carbon than it emits. According to an Oxford University metastudy, carbon sequestration achieved through grazing “is small, time-limited, reversible and substantially outweighed” by the emissions the animals produce. A second study by Oxford researchers showed that beef, even when farmed using low-impact methods, has a higher carbon footprint than the highest impact plant protein.

Levy does not mention this claim directly. It claims, however, to be “calling for a food revolution” in response to the climate emergency while including beef on its menu, the most climate-damaging food available. Levy did not respond to Sentient Medias’s requests to comment on this story; neither did SEC, QMS, and HCC.

When contacted for comment by Sentient Media, the AHDB said that the carbon footprints of milk and beef produced in that the UK were lower than global averages and that the UK’s livestock sector’s share of national emissions was in line with the Paris Accord at 6 percent. “This is often overlooked in media reports and means UK livestock farming is not being fairly represented in terms of the work going on to reach net zero,” said Phil Maiden, Head of Media and PR at the AHDB.

COP27 opens in Egypt on November 7, 2022. The negative impact of meat-eating has to be on the next climate conference’s agenda, not its menu. To avoid another COP menu failure, more work needs to be done until then to dispel the sustainable food myths that perpetuate the climate-damaging business model of animal agriculture. 





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



The do as I say not as I doodoo gang
Private air killing jets
In hypocrisy they sang

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The Twisted History Of Milk In America

November 8, 2021
by

PETA LAMBS



Source Plant Based News

By Switch4Good


Why do adults still drink milk? Why do we obtain it from an entirely different species, let alone a being who is not our mother? Why do we continue to guzzle down a drink that leaves us bloated and uncomfortable hours later? It simply does not make sense.


According to evolutionary history and fossil records, the modern human being has inhabited this earth for the past 200,000 years (1). 

Historians date the practice of drinking cows’ milk back to the past 8,000 to 10,000 years. (2).

What this tells us is that consuming the milk of another species isn’t instinctual, and our bodies don’t naturally ‘crave’ it. So the question is – which one of our brilliant ancestors looked at a cow’s udder, licked their lips, and started sucking? Perhaps more importantly, why did others join in? 

‘A short but riveting history’

Relative to human existence, the history of milk is considerably short – yet it is truly riveting. Power, corruption, greed, mass manipulation—all are present in the evolution of milk in our modern-day society. 

Thanks to the bizarre thinking of that early human, most of us are guzzling down a substance not meant for human consumption. It’s time to leave cow’s milk to the textbooks, and of course, to baby cows

Dairy farms organize

Fast-forward through the evolution of lactase persistence in European regions (yes, all early humans were lactose intolerant past their toddler stage), domestication of dairy cows, the invention of cheesemaking, millions of people who died from milk-borne illnesses prior to the invention of pasteurization (a fourth of all food-borne illnesses in the US were attributed to cows’ milk prior to the early 1900s), and the invention of the glass milk bottle, and we find ourselves in 1922 with the seminal passing of the Capper-Volstead Act (3). 

This bill gave agricultural industries permission to act together, form organizations, and market their product. While the industry was very much reliant on small farms back in the day, this bill paved the way for the enormous dairy conglomerates and massive milk marketing campaigns of today. Without it, the American people would have never known the phrase: “Got Milk?”.

The popularization of skim milk

Before pressing further, a note on skim milk. Prior to the 1930s, most of it was literally sent downriver. Families who drank milk had one option – whole – but skim milk still existed as a byproduct of the butter-making process. 

This ‘waste’ was commonly disposed of by dumping it into rivers throughout the 1920s until the government was forced to put a stop to it due to the horrific odor of spoiled milk that permeated the surrounding areas. 

Skim milk powder

It wasn’t until the 1950s that skim milk received some commercial attention, though this was in the form of a dry, powdered, ‘just add water!’ mix (4). As awful as instant milk powder sounds today, we can’t blame our grandparents – instant was all the rage back then. 

The industry also had plenty of skim milk to get rid of, as much of it was leftover from WWII when dry milk powder was used as a relief food. To chisel down this surplus, the industry employed skilled marketers to position skim milk as a weight-loss food. 

Milk dealers received backing from physicians to pedal this product as a health food, and by the 1950s, skim milk had transformed from a waste byproduct to a trendy weight loss beverage mostly consumed by affluent society (15).

In reality, farmers just need a way to get rid of (and profit of off) the skim milk they had made during the war effort … which tends to be a theme in milk’s history: made too much? Turn to clever marketing.

Surplus and subsidies

Let’s hop back to WWI – the global event that catapulted America’s century-long milk surplus into existence (5). The US government started sending canned and powdered milk to soldiers overseas, and dairy farmers responded by ramping up production. They invested in the latest equipment and even abandoned other forms of farming to dedicate their work to the war effort. 

While the war ended, the milk production did not – creating a surplus and dangerously low milk prices. Throughout the 1930s, dairy farmers staged several strikes and unionized to demand a fair price for their milk (2). To appease these farmers, the government created federal programs to artificially drive demand. 

The first of these programs included the 1940 Federal Milk Program for Schools and federally subsidized milk advertising under the Works Progress Administration. In 1946, President Truman passed the National School Lunch Act, which mandated each lunch include between one and a half to two pints of whole milk. 

In essence, since adults weren’t buying milk, the government solution was to force it onto their children. To this day, children who participate in the National School Lunch Program – which offers free or low-cost lunches to students of low-income families—are required to take a carton of dairy milk (6).

Billions of dollars

Despite the government-funded campaigns to convince nearly every demographic of American to drink more milk, the surplus continued throughout the decades. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter allowed $2 billion federal dollars to be funneled into the dairy industry over the course of four years(7). 

As in the past, dairy farmers ramped up production to take advantage of this government subsidy, which resulted in yet a greater surplus. This soon-to-rot milk was homogenized into ‘government cheese’, and held in vast underground storage units across 35 states. 

Not only was this a waste – it was also expensive. In 1982, a New York Times reporter stated that the federal government would spend $40 to $50 million transporting this surplus dairy, and another $40 to $50 million to store it (8). 

By this time, the government was spending $2 billion in taxpayer dollars annually to support the dairy subsidy. The solution was twofold: give the nearly moldy cheese to low-income citizens, and funnel money into heavy dairy marketing.

Modern marketing (and extra cheesy pizzas)

Introducing the Dairy Checkoff Program – an industry-funded federal program that has a profound impact on what Americans choose to consume. Prompted by the dairy industry, Congress created the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board in 1983 whose sole purpose was to promote dairy products by way of marketing and ‘nutritional education’ (9).

To fund this effort, dairy farmers agreed to pay a small fee based on the weight of the milk they sold. This program is responsible for some of America’s most craveable (and least healthy) food products including the Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza and Taco Bell’s Quesalupa and succeeding Quesarito.

The Board has worked with dozens of companies to promote dairy-heavy menu items – the result is 40 percent more cheese on Domino’s pizzas, more milky drinks at Starbucks, and larger cheese slices on Egg McMuffins (10, 11, 12).

Pro-dairy slogans

In addition to these corporate collaborations, the checkoff program is also responsible for the pro-dairy slogans we can never forget – ever heard of Got Milk? or that ‘milk does a body good?’. It’s all for promotion’s sake. 

The illusion that chocolate milk is a recovery food is also an industry-supported idea. The studies that demonstrated a positive correlation between athletic performance and chocolate milk were funded – at least in part – by the dairy industry and specifically designed to favor dairy. Scientists ensured the industry’s desired result by comparing chocolate milk to water or a nutritionally deficient sports drink (13).  

Of course, most constituents don’t read beyond the fold, let alone analyze scientific studies. People see the professional athlete sporting a milk mustache when they flip the page in a magazine, or they scroll through the headlines and see that a new study confirms the benefits of chocolate milk in teen athletes, and they’re reminded to add milk to their grocery list. 

Milk has become so ingrained in our culture that we cannot see past the smoke and mirrors to what milk really is—a century-long problem the government cannot spend enough money to get rid of, no matter how much cheese Pizza Hut stuffs into its crust.

Moving Forward

Looking back at the history, we can see that milk isn’t a health food – it’s just a very heavily funded and well-marketed product. If that ancestor had decided to suckle a dog instead of a cow, we all might be drinking dog milk; or if there was a mass surplus of soda in the early 1900s and the soda producers balked loudly enough, cola could have been today’s pre-workout beverage. 

We believe milk is healthy because that is what we have been told, and there has been little to question this – until now. 

Let’s start asking questions. Why do adults still drink milk? Why do we obtain it from an entirely different species, let alone a being that is not our mother? Why do we continue to guzzle down a drink that leaves us bloated and uncomfortable hours later? It simply does not make sense.



References:

1.Valente, Lana. “The Origins of Milk: Why Was the First Cow Milked in the First Place?” Medium, Medium, 8 May 2017, https://medium.com/@lanavalente/the-origins-of-milk-why-did-the-first-cow-milker-milk-the-cow-c41e8ef761d6.

2. “Historical Timeline – Milk.” ProCon.Org, 10 July 2013, https://milk.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000018.

3. United States, Congress, Volkin, David. “Understanding Capper-Volstead.” Understanding Capper-Volstead.

4. Green, Emma. “The Controversial Life of Skim Milk.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Mar. 2014, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/the-controversial-life-of-skim-milk/281655/.

5. “How Big Government Helps Big Dairy Sell Milk.” Vox, 2 May 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=XRCj8LVTRyA.

6. “School Meals – FAQs.” USDA, 27 Feb. 2019, https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/faqs.

7. Blakemore, Erin. “How the U.S. Ended Up With Warehouses Full of ‘Government Cheese’.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 26 July 2018, https://www.history.com/news/government-cheese-dairy-farmers-reagan.

8. King, Seth S. “Warehouse Bulge With Surplus Cheese, Butter, and Dried Milk .” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 July 1982, https://www.nytimes.com/1982/07/06/us/warehouses-bulge-with-surplus-cheese-butter-and-dried-milk.html.

9. “National Dairy Promotion & Research Board.” National Dairy Promotion & Research Board | Agricultural Marketing Service, https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/research-promotion/dairy.

10. Wallin, Scott. “Checkoff Scientists Help McDonald’s USA Create Dairy-Focused Offerings.” Dairy Management, Inc, 23 Mar. 2018, https://www.dairy.org/news/checkoff-scientists-help-mcdonalds-usa–create-dairy-focused-offerings.

11. Philpott, Tom. “The Real Reason Pizza Hut Just Rolled out the Extra-Cheesy.” Mother Jones, 8 Mar. 2018, https://www.motherjones.com/food/2018/03/dairy-glut-pizza-hut-trump-dominos-checkoff-taco-bell/.

12. Dickrell, Jim. “New Starbucks Drinks Use Dairy Protein.” AgWeb, Farm Journal, 29 Aug. 2008, https://www.agweb.com/article/New_Starbucks_Drinks_Use_Dairy_Protein__204990.

13. Flink, Tanya. “The Truth Behind Chocolate Milk Athlete Studies.” Switch4Good, 28 Jan. 2019, https://switch4good.org/the-truth-behind-chocolate-milk-athlete-studies/.

14.Smith-Howard, Kendra. “Hog Slop and Turtlenecks: Skim Milk’s Unlikely Transition From Animal Feed to Diet Product.” Slate Magazine, 3 Feb. 2014, https://slate.com/technology/2014/02/uses-for-skim-milk-before-it-was-marketed-as-a-nonfat-diet-product-hog-slop-and-wool.html.




Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

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Have questions? Click HERE



Animals are here with us, not for us

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Eating Meat is Cultural Narcissism

November 2, 2021
by
Dominion Movement


Source All-Creatures.org

By Robin Schaper


In a healthy environment, people would be thrilled to find out that we can end animal exploitation and improve our health and the environment at the same time. We would all be working together to close slaughterhouses immediately. So, why do people side with the animal abusers and gaslight anyone who doesn’t? Because eating and using animal products is a form of cultural narcissism.

We’re becoming increasingly aware of narcissism, but few of us know that it doesn’t only apply to individuals. Collective and cultural narcissism also exist. The problem is, however, that this can be hard to see when it’s part of our own culture. So, I’m going to unpack exactly how the meat industry and other animal industries engage in collective narcissism, and how society’s support for these industries is a form of cultural narcissism.

If you eat or use animal products yourself, then please read this with an open mind. My goal is not to call you a narcissist, but to arm you with information, so we can end this form of cultural narcissism together.

Objectification

Two thirds of US households have at least one cat, dog, or other companion animal. We don’t expect these animals to do anything for us. They’re valued purely for their company. Often, they’re considered part of the family, and we recognize that they each have their own unique personality and love them for it.

In the animal industries, however, the exact opposite happens. One of the core traits of narcissism, treating others like objects, is expressed to the fullest extent here. The industries don’t bring animals into this world to love them, but to kill them and sell their bodies. They literally turn living beings, who are just as sentient as cats and dogs, into products. The animals’ desire to stay alive isn’t even factored into the decision, only how much they weigh when they’re killed.

Entitlement and grandiosity

Entitlement is about taking what isn’t ours. And if there’s one thing that isn’t ours, it’s someone else’s life. Taking a life is the most extreme form of entitlement. Even if it was an “us or them” situation, the idea that animals should die for us would still be entitled, but it would be understandable. However, that’s not even remotely the case. To quote the largest organization of nutrition experts in the US:

“It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.”

So, not only are all animal products unnecessary, cutting them out of our diet can actually benefit our health. And the average person has access to a wide variety of plant-based food. We even have plant-based products that look and taste like animal products. So, the industries aren’t killing trillions of animals for us out of any kind of necessity.

The fact that, even under these circumstances, they feel entitled to kill as many animals as they want so we can eat as many animals as we want can only be described as grandiosity.

The rules don’t apply to them

Because of the animals we share our homes with, we do have some animal protection laws. But even though the industries house far more animals, they consistently manage to get exemptions for these laws. Kicking a cat is illegal, but killing a chicken is legal. Standard practices like keeping animals in confined spaces their entire lives and cutting off testicles and tails without anesthesia would be illegal if done to dogs but are legal when done to pigs because they are standard practices. So, the fact that they always abuse animals in these ways is used as a justification to keep doing it.

But it’s bad for the industries’ image if people see this, and the industries also don’t like the few restrictions they do have. So, they have actually managed to get so-called ag-gag laws passed. These laws make it illegal for people, even for employees, to expose the animal abuse that goes on inside. In some states, these laws have been overturned because they’re unconstitutional and make investigative journalism illegal, but various states and countries still have them, and the industries continue to push for them.

In other words: If they abuse animals and you film them, then you are the criminal. This is nothing short of gaslighting by law.

Lack of empathy

Practically everything I’ve mentioned so far shows a lack of empathy. If they had empathy for the animals, they wouldn’t needlessly kill them, and the industries wouldn’t exist. The lack of empathy is so pronounced that even documentaries that simply show the standard practices in the industries, like Dominion, are hard to watch for most people. I still recommend you watch it, though.

It’s available to view for free via https://www.dominionmovement.com/

Or via YouTube: https://youtu.be/LQRAfJyEsko



But what I think showcases the lack of empathy even better are the pictures people in these industries take themselves and share among each other as entertainment. Here are some examples. The story continues below these pictures.



(All pictures courtesy All-Creatures.org and Robin Schaper )


ridiculing farmed Animals
ridiculing farmed Animals


Taking credit while being counterproductive

The people in the animal industries consistently refer to themselves as “farmers” and often emphasize that they’re “feeding the world.” In reality, however, we would have more food without them. This is not something most people are aware of, so allow me to explain.

Crop farmers actually produce food. They start with seeds, soil, and sunlight and end up with something we can eat. But the same can’t be said for the animal industries. Animals need to eat, just like us. And just like us, they use most of their food to maintain their bodies and only part of it to grow. So, the industries actually need to feed a pig 5 pounds of plant-based food, grown by a crop farmer, to get just 1 pound of meat. By definition, they end up with significantly fewer calories and fewer nutrients than what they started with. That’s not food production, that’s food waste.

So, the whole claim that they’re producing food for us is incorrect. Just like it’s incorrect that they’re producing protein. Animals simply recycle the protein that’s already in their plant-based food. And the same goes for calcium in dairy. Cows don’t make calcium, they get it from their plant-based food.

Worldwide, of all the land used by the food industries, 19 percent is used to grow crops for direct human consumption and 81 percent to produce animal products. However, we get 83 percent of our calories from plant-based food and only 17 percent from animal products. That’s how wasteful the animal industries are. And because of the simple fact that animals produce more poop than meat, the animal industries also produce the most pollution. They are responsible for 60 percent of the food industries’ greenhouse gases. And on top of that, they’re also major contributors to ocean dead zones, deforestation, and new antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases.

Financial entitlement

Because they take more steps to end up with less food, animal products cost more money to produce than plant-based products. So, the animal industries feel entitled to subsidies. And through persistent lobbying, they manage to get billions of dollars in subsidies every year.

Even though the USDA recognizes that we don’t need any animal products and acknowledges that most people don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, they spend 52 percent of all subsidies on animal products and animal feed crops while spending only 2 percent on fruit and vegetables. The subsidies are completely at odds with their own recommendations, just to appease the animal industries. And, of course, society also pays the bill for the environmental and healthcare costs caused by these industries.

Manipulation

The reason these industries are getting widespread support is because we’re all being manipulated and have been manipulated since we were children.

Part of this is done by the industries themselves, who spend millions of dollars on advertising every single day. They have no problem killing an animal, putting their dead body in a box with a toy and some fries, using a clown to promote it, and calling it a Happy Meal. Children cannot see through that kind of manipulation if adults don’t point it out.

And that’s the other part of the problem. Most adults not only act as enablers who actively pay the industries to kill animals for them, but those who are parents also act like flying monkeys. They manipulate their own children into supporting these industries.

Parents start feeding their children meat before they can talk. The children get used to eating animal products for years without realizing that animals are being killed for them. And all this time, their love for animals is actually encouraged. They grow up with Piglet, Peppa Pig, and petting zoos, while unknowingly eating actual pigs.

What they learn about “farm” animals is propaganda. Pictures and stories about happy animals living harmoniously on farms and “giving” us eggs, milk, and meat. The farms look nothing like the buildings and cages where animals actually live, the male chicks who get killed because they don’t lay eggs are never covered, the calves who are taken away from their mothers so we can drink their milk are never covered, and the slaughterhouses where they all get killed are never covered.

Some children do actually see through the manipulation and want to stop eating animals. But usually, that just leads to more manipulation. For example, they are told that the animals are already dead anyway, so they might as well eat them, as if that’s a reason to keep paying the industries to kill animals. Or they are told lies, like that the animals are treated well and killed painlessly after a happy life and that animal products are necessary to stay healthy. If all of that fails and a child still resists, parents often simply fall back on force.

This manipulation that starts in childhood continues in adulthood. Companies shamelessly market the bodies of animals that they abused and killed with photos, videos and drawings of happy animals. Organizations that claim to want to protect animals still condone killing them. Journalists consistently present the “hardworking farmer” narrative and never ask them basic questions like: “How can you say you love these animals when you’re killing them all?” And while anyone can post pictures on social media of the meat they eat, footage that actually shows how the animals lived and died immediately gets covered with a graphic content warning.

The animal industries also abuse the legal system to attack their competitors. For example, they’ve managed to get lawmakers to make it illegal in the entire European Union to call soy milk “soy milk.” And in various US states, a vegan burger can’t legally be called a “vegan burger” anymore. These are just two examples out of many, and the industries are continuously pushing for more of these laws to make it impossible for plant-based competitors to market their products. Of course, their official story is that they’re just trying to protect consumers from “misleading” labels so they don’t get “confused.”

Furthermore, the animal industries exploit people’s lack of knowledge. For example, they often imply that more ingredients in plant-based products means they’re automatically less healthy than animal products. Or they cherry-pick certain plant-based products with sustainability problems, like avocados and quinoa, and conveniently leave out that most of the demand for these products comes from meat eaters and that they’re not even an essential part of a plant-based diet. Or they emphasize that their products are “local,” while leaving out that one person adopting a plant-based diet does more for the environment than seven people switching to local food.

Cultural gaslighting

If, despite the manipulation, you decide to stop consuming animal products, society has a problem with that. Even though research shows that meat eaters consider people who don’t eat meat more virtuous, research also shows that they dislike them almost as much as they dislike drug addicts. And you’re disliked more if you’re doing it for the animals than if you’re doing it for your own health.

Even if you don’t set out to talk about it, you run into a lot of gaslighting. People act like you’re annoying/preachy/pushy/militant for simply talking about it, even when they brought it up. People say they love animals while paying for them to be killed. People act like you have a superiority complex when you’re the only one not feeling superior to animals. People say they respect that you don’t want to have animals killed and therefore you should also respect that they do. People claim that the animals are treated well and killed “humanely” while refusing to watch any footage. People insist there are essential nutrients that you can only get from animal products, even when shown proof that there aren’t. People are okay with seeing meat ads every day of their lives, but dismiss verifiable facts about the industries as “vegan propaganda.” People say you’re choosing animals over humans, even though your choice benefits both. Et cetera.

In a healthy environment, people would be thrilled to find out that we can end animal exploitation and improve our health and the environment at the same time. We would all be working together to close slaughterhouses immediately. So, why do people side with the animal abusers and gaslight anyone who doesn’t? Because eating and using animal products is a form of cultural narcissism.



Do you love meat and want to keep eating it? Are you skeptical of arguments against it? But are you still driven by curiosity and interested in having your ideas challenged? Then this free e-book is perfect for you! Free download at Questioning Meat





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



Feasting on flesh
The right thing to do?
How can that be
When we are flesh too

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



You’re Eating Pus: Meat Industry Spends €1.7 Million To Influence EU Politicians, Leaked Docs Reveal

October 25, 2021
by

Source PlantBasedNews YouTube: Huge Pus – The Gross Reality Of The Meat Industry. Two former butchers share something they used to see on a daily basis – pus. “The people that say ‘my butchers doesn’t have this’ need to open their eyes”.


There is NO transparency in the animal agriculture industry, a system that relentlessly pursues “ag-gag” to criminalize people who expose animal cruelty, and that purposefully deceives (willfully ignorant) people with anthropomorphized advertisements depicting animals dancing in classrooms, happy to to go to birthday parties, and singing in pastoral splendor, an absolute farce compared to the abject suffering and violence animals are forced to endure continuously: animals are burned, buried, and boiled ALIVE while anag pretends they act in “humane” manners, and other people pretend that human “intellectual superiority” believing such obvious lies, makes it ok.

Like the immoral science-rejectors traumatized by wearing masks to protect people around them, anag is threatened by decency and ethics and will spin any tale to quash exposure.

Animals are bred to be dead, to pretend an industry based on profitable suffering and violence is somehow acting in the best interests of those they kill, for those they kill for, is lunacy. Trillions of unwilling animals die yearly, not a single one is given the opportunity to defend his/her life, it’s evil that people who can choose to NOT cause such rampant cruelty won’t defend them either.

Why must such a small group of people, vegans, have to convince other people that causing less harm is better than causing more? Why do you selfishly choose transient taste preference over the life of the vulnerable and defenseless? SL



Source Plant Based News

By Emily Baker


An EU meat industry lobby giant has reportedly ‘waged a campaign’ against a strategy aimed at creating a more environmentally-friendly food system.

Copa-Cogeca reportedly spent a staggering €1.7m on plans to influence MEPs, according to investigative journalism organization EU Observer.

But the group claims it fully supports the program and claims that the leak is a ‘deliberate attempt to trigger a media backlash’.

Meat industry leak

Copa-Cogeca identifies itself as the ‘strongest’ interest cooperative of European farmers.

The document leaked to the media this week includes plans to maintain the agriculture industry. And, according to EU Observer, it involves tactics to ‘influence’ political debate.

This is with regard to the Farm to Fork strategy, which is a plan to ‘redesign’ the food system and make it more sustainable as part of the European Green Deal.

Moreover, it was created to mitigate climate breakdown and ‘adapt’ to its impacts, as well as promoting fair trade.

But Copa-Cogeca calls for the vote on the strategy, penciled for October 21, to be delayed by a fortnight. It told MEPs this is to ensure a public debate can take place. And, that it’s ‘critical’ for communication strategies, based on a number of unnamed studies.

The delay will create a ‘richer debate’, says Copa-Cogeca.

Branded ‘disinformation’ campaign

But European Environmental Bureau’s Célia Nyssens told the news outlet the lobby group has ‘orchestrated a massive disinformation campaign to undermine the EU’s sustainable food goals’.

Nyssens added: “They are shamelessly picking and choosing the studies and within those studies the specific findings, which fit their agenda in order to convince MEPs to reject the EU Farm to Fork targets, which are direly needed to put agriculture on a sustainable path.”

Following the leak, Copa-Cogeca issued a statement in response.

It said there is ‘nothing’ problematic in the document, and that the process is the norm in EU affairs.

Additionally, it said it ‘fully supports’ the Farm to Fork strategy. And, is merely asking for a full assessment of its impacts.

‘We consider it normal that all opinions can and should be expressed on a subject as important as the future of our food system’, the statement reads.

It concludes: “We are well aware that this leak is a deliberate attempt to trigger a media backlash. Just as we start speaking of the potential impacts of the Farm to Fork strategy for the first time. 

“The current discussion shows the desperate need for public data on the subject.”





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click 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 HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



no matter human self deception
and deceit
bottom line
you are what you
eat!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Why do you abuse others?

October 18, 2021
by
Source DxE YouTube


Source ABC News YouTube


The first video is age restricted due to graphic content, and it’s not just the “abuse” that’s considered inappropriate, it’s the standard treatment of animals who you eat. What about being inflicted with pain and fear and violent death is NOT inhumane and cruel and abusive?

The second video is five years old, a news story about THE SAME FOSTER FARMS, also for “abusive” practices. The video has been heavily edited and includes disingenuous validation from company execs who pander to the masses, claiming that “humane treatment” is paramount. Again, what part of being violently, fearfully killed is NOT INhumane? If treating animals humanely is important, than NOT KILLING them is more so. And, too, that they have been caught AGAIN just substantiates that all animal “agriculture” is abusive, you cannot conclude in any other rational manner.

Conversely, you can watch endless hours/days/years of plants being harvested with no negative effects and no warnings.

That should tell you something.

The Humane Slaughter Act specifically exempts billions of animals, including chickens, but since the few animals “protected” are violently killed in fear the exact way that the animals “not protected” are killed, it’s meaningless. To be fair, I did try to screenshot the “best practices” “standards” but was warned on two browsers that it wasn’t a “safe site” to visit, even insentient computers know they suck:



And by the way, factory farms were birthed by small farms, there will never be a “return” to what has been destroyed by consumer demand, greed, and entitlement, which exists regardless of population. The ONLY humane is vegan. SL



Source The Intercept

By Sara Sirota


CHICKENS SEVERELY MISTREATED AT “HUMANE” CALIFORNIA SLAUGHTERHOUSE, NEW VIDEO ALLEGES: Activists arrested while protesting Foster Farms are being held in county jail on $50,000 bonds


This article and the below video include graphic images some readers may find disturbing.


In June 2015, the animal rights organization Mercy for Animals sent two investigators to work as undercover employees at a slaughterhouse run by Foster Farms. They documented workers throwing live chickens against metal shackles, birds being scalded alive, and other treatment that the group argued amounted to animal cruelty. Mercy for Animals complained to the Federal Trade Commission that Foster Farms’ labeling of its products as certified by the American Humane Association, or AHA, deceived consumers. The agency declined to take action, though, noting that the company fired employees suspected of abuse, passed an audit, and installed its own video monitoring system.

New footage from Foster Farms, California’s largest poultry producer, shows the company continuing to engage in similar behavior that activists allege amounts to cruel treatment of live chickens. Foster Farms, which was recertified by the AHA earlier this year, has been on the receiving end of millions of dollars in state and local subsidies to expand its product lines in California.

The recent footage, obtained by an anonymous videographer and provided to The Intercept by animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, shows workers throwing live chickens on the concrete floor; discarded yet conscious birds under the weight of one another; some chickens missing electrical waterbaths designed to stun them before slaughter — all under the supervision of employees working dangerous and long shifts in the dark. The videographer, who requested anonymity to avoid repercussions for sharing the footage, entered the company’s facility in Livingston, California, to set up miniature infrared cameras and obtain hundreds of hours of footage, recorded over the past several weeks. Foster Farms did not respond to a request for comment.

DxE alleges that the documented footage amounts to a violation of California code outlawing animal cruelty, Foster Farms’ AHA certification, and the company’s own policy to raise chickens free from hunger, discomfort, pain, cages, and distress. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act also requires that all livestock be stunned before slaughter; however, much to the frustration of activists, poultry is exempt from this law. Still, the federal government does require that chicken producers abide by industry best standards, which include rendering birds unconscious prior to slaughter.

The video also appears to contradict statements made by the AHA and Foster Farms representatives at the time of its most recent certification in February. “Farmers and associates like those who work with Foster Farms are part of the growing humane movement to elevate standards for animals living on farms and ranches,” Robin Ganzert, the AHA’s president, said at the time. “Today’s consumer insists on independent third-party verification of animal welfare practices,” added Ira Brill, Foster Farms’ vice president of communications. “American Humane’s ethical and scientific based standards and requirement that welfare practices be in place 24/7 365 days a year, provide this much needed assurance.”

DxE released the video to coincide with a protest at the facility Tuesday. According to a DxE press release, demonstrators locked themselves in place to prevent trucks from entering or leaving the site. “The public is shocked to see the brutality happening behind closed doors,” DxE organizer Christina Liu told The Intercept. “We’re taking action as a last resort.”

Liu and several other protesters were arrested Tuesday on charges of trespassing and resisting a public officer. Some are being held on $50,000 bonds, which attorney Bonnie Klapper, who is representing the activists, told The Intercept amount to a “bail enhancement” in which a judge grants officer requests for a larger bail than usual.

“These outrageous bail amounts are another example of law enforcement targeting peaceful activists rather than the exploitative corporations that are illegally torturing animals, as well as destroying our environment,” Klapper said in a press release today.

First, the DxE video shows a sorting station where workers hang live chickens arriving at the facility on metal shackles. According to a training manual shared with The Intercept, Foster Farms expects each worker to hang 23.3 birds per minute. The videographer told The Intercept six or seven employees are stationed at each line, meaning that the site’s operational tempo straddles the 140 maximum rate that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service allows.

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency began granting waivers to allow even higher speeds, which activists complained would increase health risks to workers and animals. A Foster Farms facility in Kelso, Washington, obtained one of these waivers, though it’s unknown whether the Livingston site did as well. Regardless, the Livingston location experienced what opponents to the waiver feared: a mass coronavirus outbreak. Episodes like this prompted Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., to introduce a bill last summer prohibiting higher operation speeds. “The USDA should be in the business of prioritizing worker and consumer safety over the profits of large multinational meatpacking corporations, not the other way around,” Booker said at the time.

In the video, workers throw unviable chickens — those injured or already dead — on the floor, where they lie injured and piled on top of one another, potentially suffocating or drowning, according to the videographer. One employee is shown throwing a bird against the shackles, which also occurred in the Mercy for Animals video. Some live chickens jump off the table before being shackled and join the discarded ones. The video shows an employee returning those birds to the station for shackling but not inspecting them to ensure that they’re in fact the ones already deemed fit for consumption.

“The company has specifically created this situation where you’re literally killing hundreds of thousands of animals, you’re being treated like a machine,” the videographer said, arguing that those responsible for designing this system should be the ones to face accountability, whereas employees often bear that burden.

After shackling, a conveyor belt transports the birds to electrical waterbaths that are intended to turn them unconscious, leaving them less vulnerable to pain — a value Foster Farms professes to uphold. But chickens are shown lifting their heads above the water, avoiding being stunned. Some conscious birds also manage to avoid the blade intended to slice their necks, leaving workers to cut them with a handheld knife. Similar incidents were found in the 2015 investigation that prompted the complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

“Animals are being eviscerated alive — right here, right now,” Liu said in DxE’s press release. “These practices are horrifying and illegal … but they’re also business-as-usual for the factory farming industry.”

The videographer also shared with The Intercept footage they recorded of a bin filled with maggots crawling all over “inedibles” left out in the open air. “The smell is indescribable,” the source said.


DXE-1
Direct Action Everywhere footage shows a worker slaughtering a chicken by hand at Factory Farms’ slaughterhouse in Livingston, Calif.

DxE is planning to hold another major demonstration Wednesday, with the expectation of possible arrests, in order to demand government action against factory farming. Also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, these types of modern farming facilities are notorious for using as few resources as possible to maximize profit. In addition to risking harm to animals, workers, and consumers, these operations are major drivers of pollution and deforestation. The United Nations estimates that global livestock is responsible for more than 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

DxE has already begun a broader campaign to call on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to establish a moratorium on the expansion of factory farming in the state and has received more than 52,000 signatures in support. The demand echoes legislation introduced by Booker to end large factory farms and crack down on monopolistic practices.

But the factory farming industry carries a layer of protection. Several states have passed laws to punish whistleblowers exposing conditions at factory farms, though an attempt to pass such legislation in California in 2013 failed to muster support in the state Legislature.

A search through California campaign finance records shows how embedded Foster Farms is in state politics. For example, Foster Farms received a major government grant developed in part by a local politician who has accepted campaign donations from the company. A February 2019 notice announcing that Foster Farms won a $6.5 million “economic incentive package” to expand and upgrade its Livingston facility credited California Assembly Member Adam Gray, whose district includes the site, with helping draw up the subsidy. Gray had raised $23,000 from the company in the years since his first campaign for the 2012 election, and Foster Farms donated another $4,000 after the subsidy was announced. The California Poultry Federation, an industry group of which Foster Farms is a member, gave Gray another $2,000 for the 2020 race.

The $4,000 was Foster Farms’ largest individual contribution in the 2020 California elections, but Gray certainly wasn’t alone. The company gave a total of $106,000 to various candidates running for the state Assembly and Senate. The California Poultry Federation, meanwhile, handed out more than $44,000. Separately, Foster Farms gave Newsom $12,500 in his 2018 race for governor. The industry group gave another $10,000.

At the federal level, a political action committee representing the California Poultry Federation gave its largest contribution — $4,500 — in the 2020 congressional elections to Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., who represents the county where Foster Farms’ Livingston site is based. Earlier this year, Costa called on congressional leaders crafting new tax policy to protect family-owned farms like Foster Farms. He joined Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, in leading a group of 13 House Democrats urging an exemption from changes to the stepped-up basis for capital gains. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., announced earlier this month that the tax increase didn’t have enough support, protecting the loophole.




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