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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)

donkeys

September 13, 2021

Donkeys

Do not judge us We are not you

We do what donkeys Were born to do

We are not stubborn we do not like being used

we are not tools of man to be beaten or abused

if you want us to help you be kind with your request

we will gladly oblige if you do your best

The Unemployed Epidemiologist Who Predicted the Pandemic

September 13, 2021
by


Source The Nation

By Eamon Whalen


In early March 2020, Rob Wallace, an evolutionary biologist who had been adrift after an unceremonious exit from the University of Minnesota, flew to New Orleans and then got on a bus to Jackson, Miss., where he was scheduled to speak at an event on health and racial injustice. Wallace, who turned 50 this summer, has been studying and writing about infectious diseases and their origins for half his life. For almost as long, he’s been warning that the practices of industrial agriculture would lead to a deadly pandemic on the scale of Covid-19—or worse. “A pandemic may now be all but inevitable,” he wrote of the H5N1 avian influenza virus in 2007. ”In what would be a catastrophic failure on the part of governments and health ministries worldwide, millions may die.”

Before his trip to Jackson, Wallace had been closely monitoring the outbreak of a novel virus in Wuhan. Though he’d been spooked by a news report that showed a delivery driver in China practicing extreme social distancing, he went ahead with the trip. As an underpaid academic, he needed the money, and as an American, he didn’t expect anything to happen to him. “I too had been infused with a peculiarly American moment, wherein financial desperation meets imperial exceptionalism,” he wrote.

When Wallace returned from his trip, he threw himself back into writing and research with such fervor that he managed to ignore a pounding headache. When the shortness of breath started, his teenage son yelled at him through the computer screen to see a doctor. After he filled out an online questionnaire, Wallace was diagnosed with Covid-19 over the phone.

He’d been infected with something he’d been warning about for years, and like so many around the country and the world, all he could do was to hope to keep breathing. “No test. No antiviral. No masks and no gloves provided. No community health practitioner stopping by to check on me,” Wallace wrote.

“You can intellectually understand something but still not assimilate the oncoming damage,” he told me later, as he recalled the “sour vindication” of having his worst fears come true. “So there’s an aspect of rage, and an arrival at an understanding.”

I met Wallace for coffee on an afternoon in late June. We sat on benches under the shade on the campus of a liberal arts college near his home in St. Paul, Minn. He was dressed in a pale-red short-sleeve shirt, dark jeans, and sneakers. He wore rectangular black-rimmed glasses and a Minnesota Twins baseball hat and had a five o’clock shadow

Wallace looks more like a dad on the way to his kid’s Little League game than a lab-coat-wearing scientist who used to consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations. That could be because he hasn’t had a job in academia for more than a decade, a circumstance he attributes to his decision to take the implications of his scholarship seriously.

That’s why the book Wallace published last October came with a provocative title—Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of Covid-19. Though there are many “brilliant, bright, amazing, and hardworking” epidemiologists whose work he cites, their impact is limited, Wallace said: “They are in the business of cleaning up the mess the system brought about, and that’s the extent to which they’re willing to go.” In his first essay on Covid, “Notes on a Novel Coronavirus,” published in January 2020, Wallace wrote that an epidemiologist is like a “stable boy with a shovel following around elephants at the circus.”

“As an epidemiologist, you’re supposed to want to put yourself out of business,” Wallace said. “Everyone has bills to pay; I understand that. But the extent to which your corruption might lead to a pathogen that could kill a billion people—that’s where my line is.” While he’s not the only Cassandra whose warnings of a pandemic like Covid-19 went unheeded, there are few as clear-eyed about where to direct the blame. “Agribusiness is at war with public health,” he wrote in the March 2020 essay “Covid-19 and the Circuits of Capital,” and if no serious action is taken, the interval before the next pandemic will be “far shorter…than the hundred-year lull since 1918.”

So during that fateful spring, it’s fair to say, Wallace should have been as aware as anyone on earth of the speed with which such a virus could spread in the United States. “Perhaps that was my version of being a dead epidemiologist, who cannot assimilate what he knows about things into action or interpretation,” he admitted. Throughout Dead Epidemiologists—some of which was written while he was afflicted with Covid—Wallace mercilessly attacks the complacency and fecklessness with which establishment scientists and politicians responded to the virus; he also surveys the damage that the pandemic has wrought on the bottom rungs of society. The book is poignantly dedicated to three meatpacking workers who died from Covid-19, and Wallace describes their barbarous working conditions in detail. But the book’s chief concern is the origin of the SARS-CoV2 virus, and Wallace works backward here, from the outbreak to the bat cave.

To fully grasp why we’re living in an age of pandemics, one must first understand how industrial agriculture and deforestation work in tandem. The H5N1 bird flu and the H1N1 swine flu emerged from poultry and hog farms, whereas Ebola and Covid-19 emerged from wild animals. All are the result of zoonotic spillovers—when pathogens that originate in animals cross over to humans and then mutate in ways that allow them to spread to other humans. According to a July 2020 report from the United Nations, three out of four of all “new and emerging human infectious diseases” are zoonotic in origin, and a study in the journal Nature found that agricultural drivers were associated with half of all the zoonotic pathogens that emerged in humans in that time. In Wallace’s view, this increase is “concurrent” with the livestock revolution, the expansion and consolidation of the meat sector that began in the 1970s in the southeastern United States and then spread around the world.

When thousands of the same breed of animal are raised in crowded conditions, the lack of biodiversity creates “an ecology nigh perfect for the evolution of multiple virulent strains of influenza,” Wallace wrote. Farms built near dwindling primary forests where zoonotic pathogens reside have inadvertently “empowered the pathogens to be their very best selves,” he told me. “You strip out the complexity of forest that had been keeping these pathogens bottled up, and you let them have a nice straight shot to the major cities, which gives them opportunities to multiply themselves. This all increases transmission and increases virulence.”

The cities themselves have also become increasingly vulnerable, without investment in public space and health care. “You’ve stripped out everything from environmental sanitation, especially in the Global South, and you’ve made public health an individual intervention,” he added.

But few have made the connection between the past year and a half and the processes that Wallace highlights. “Other than reprobates like me, most Americans think of Covid-19 as a thing that emerged out of China, and doesn’t it have to do with bats or labs or something?” Wallace continued. “So a natural act, or the fault of the Chinese, or both.” That obfuscation makes sense, given what Wallace repeatedly identifies as the essential strategy of agribusiness corporations: They leave their biggest costs off their own balance sheets and let them fall instead on the environment, animals, farmers, workers, consumers, and public health agencies the world over. “Governments are prepared to subsidize agribusiness billions upon billions for damage control in the form of animal and human vaccines, tamiflu, culling operations, and body bags,” he wrote concerning the swine flu in 2009.

Unlike your average MSNBC viewer, Wallace never dismissed the “lab leak” theory of Covid’s origin as outside the realm of possibility or beyond legitimate scientific inquiry. In 2013, he warned that the proliferation over the past 20 years of biosafety labs—which handle and run experiments on some of the world’s deadliest viruses—was making an accident almost inevitable. Though he’s still a proponent of the “field” hypothesis, which holds that the virus crossed over in nature rather than in a laboratory facility, Wallace believes that the origin debate, at least as it’s being hashed out in the public sphere, largely misses the point. “Both represent efforts at avoiding addressing the economic model driving the emergence of virulent pathogens to begin with,” he argued last August on his Patreon page, where his articles often appear first. “The trope best suited for organizing our thinking here isn’t necessarily a murder mystery. It may be better conceived as an alien invasion of our own making.”

It may come as a surprise that Wallace, a scholar of agriculture, was born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He was an only child and a self-described “pink diaper baby”—his parents to the left of the Democratic Party, but not quite Reds. Rodrick and Deborah Wallace, a physicist and an ecologist, met on a picket line protesting a weapons research lab when they were graduate students at Columbia and Barnard. Rodrick was organizing with a group called Scientists and Engineers for Social and Political Action, an early formation of Science for the People, which would count radical scientists like Richard Levins, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Lewontin as members. When Columbia hosted an Earth Day celebration sponsored by Ford Motors, which Deborah called “the first attempt at greenwashing,” the couple helped organize the inaugural People’s Earth Day event, with speakers from the United Farm Workers and the Black Panther Party, as well as the labor leader Tony Mazzocchi.

Shortly after Robert was born, his parents became epidemiologists in their own right. Their study of the destruction of housing in the Bronx in the early 1970s and its public health fallout became the book A Plague on Your Houses: How New York Was Burned Down and National Health Crumbled. The Wallaces showed that the fires that engulfed the Bronx between 1969 and 1976 were the result of the city’s decision to reduce fire services in poor neighborhoods, based on faulty data from the Rand Corporation.

“We were running a disaster site operation out of our house. We didn’t have the time or energy to indoctrinate the child,” Rodrick said during a Zoom call with the couple from their home in the Bronx. “He could tell what was going on through the conversations he heard or through seeing the hundreds of autopsy reports laid out on our terrace from the mass, fatal toxic fires.” Today the Wallace family works collaboratively; Rodrick and Deborah are the coauthors of several chapters in Dead Epidemiologists.

While pursuing a PhD in biology at the City University of New York, where he also contributed articles and illustrations to the student newspaper The Messenger, Wallace studied the HIV crisis in the city in the 1980s and ’90s. He found that AIDS death rates by zip code corresponded to the unequal distribution of the life-saving cocktails of antiretroviral medications, which in turn corresponded to previously existing inequality. “Rob’s dissertation was essentially an extension of the family business,” Deborah said. It marked the beginning of Wallace’s fascination with the social dimensions of infectious disease and served as morbid preparation for the way Covid-19 has laid bare the United States’ and the rest of the globe’s most deeply entrenched injustices.

After graduate school, Wallace went to the University of California, Irvine, to do postdoctoral research with Dr. Walter Fitch, the father of molecular phylogeny, a method of tracing the evolutionary history of and relationships among organisms. In 2007 Wallace was the lead author of the first study that pinpointed the southern Chinese province of Guangdong as the source of the H5N1 avian influenza virus in the mid-1990s. Yet there was something the genetic sequencing he was looking at couldn’t tell him: Why did it emerge there during that time? “I made the mistake of becoming curious about something,” Wallace said. “That’s not a good career move in science.”

He began to read beyond his discipline, investigating history, sociology, and political economy. “In the course of getting these literatures to speak to each other, all of a sudden my vision of what causality is completely changed,” Wallace said. He found that as China’s post-Mao economy opened up to direct foreign investment, it shifted from subsistence agriculture to vertically integrated poultry and hog farming for commodity export. Between 1985 and 2000, skyrocketing chicken and duck production combined with a globally unprecedented migration of people from China’s rural areas to the cities to create the perfect epidemiological storm. “The social sciences are utterly critical to understand how things evolve at the molecular level,” he said.

Following the money changed Wallace’s concept of what a disease hot spot is. If we paid as much attention to the entities that fund deforestation and highly pathogenic farming methods as we do to the outbreak zone, we would have to see the international centers of finance like London, Hong Kong, and New York City as viral epicenters too. “Hong Kong had been painted as a victim in this moralistic story, but it was also the source by virtue of financing the reconstruction of agriculture in Guangdong,” Wallace said. He proposed that China advocate renaming viruses and their variants to reflect their political- economic origins, as he’s begun to do in his own writing, with the “NAFTA Flu” (for the swine flu) and “Neoliberal Ebola.” In July, Keir Starmer of the UK Labour Party proposed naming what was then known as the UK variant after Boris Johnson. Wallace had already named it the BoJo Strain in December.

Wallace’s discovery that macroeconomics could shape microbiology was both a breakthrough and the beginning of the end of his academic career. He had applied for a tenure-track position in the geography department at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, but was hired in 2008 on a contractual basis instead. He suspected this was due to a factional dispute within the department, and he felt marginalized by his colleagues when he arrived. He had also started a blog, Farming Pathogens, and when the swine flu emerged in 2009, Wallace wrote about who was to blame. “When you start speaking out at Minnesota, which is an agricultural shop, and you blame agribusiness for the emergence of a pandemic, you’re not going to get support,” Wallace said. His one-year contract was not renewed, and he was given a token visiting scholar position. “They dumped my body at the Institute for Global Studies. I had no money and no office, basically just access to the library. So I got the message.”

Wallace spent the next few years bitter and angry. He was also broke, living off food stamps and unemployment insurance. He and his wife had gotten divorced. The weeks when his son stayed with him, he’d eat OK; when he was solo, not so much. Eventually he got a job making sandwiches at a deli in St. Paul. Wallace had also written enough blog posts that he could shop around a book of essays, which became Big Farms Make Big Flu: Dispatches on Influenza, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science, published in 2016 by Monthly Review Press.

“His depth of ecological understanding was just astounding, and he managed to bring it together with epidemiology and social science in amazing ways,” said John Bellamy Foster, the editor of Monthly Review, a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, and the author of Marx’s Ecology. “One of the problems on the left, like everywhere else, was that issues of nature and science were separate from social science and history. Biology was an issue for biologists, not for social scientists. Rob’s work teaches us to put these together and make sense of what’s going on.”

While Wallace’s harrowing predictions in Big Farms Make Big Flu might have seemed alarmist in 2016, today, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, they look prophetic. As Wallace’s star has risen over the past year and a half, the book has been reprinted in Spanish and Italian, and he’s been interviewed by media outlets in India, Brazil, and Germany. “His work is irresistible,” Foster said, “because we are facing these growing epidemiological and economic crises, and Rob’s analysis is really the only realistic lens to understand the problem. His critique is now a common ground for critical intellectuals around the world. And it’s happened very fast.”

Wallace’s move from studying the genetic sequencing of viruses to analyzing their origins is a matter not just of conviction but of necessity. Once a deadly virus emerges, “the horse has left the barn,” he is fond of saying. This is where the “infamous Wuhan “wet market” enters the picture, which Wallace emphasizes must be understood as part of a web of economic, political, and ecological relations. When China’s farms industrialized, many small farmers sought to become purveyors of wild food. As big farms took up more and more land, the small farmers were forced to raise or hunt animals closer to or within the forests where the most exotic pathogens might reside. Say, in a bat cave.

Wallace’s personal theory is that Covid-19 “emerged along the increasingly industrialized wild animal commodity chain from hinterlands and border towns as far south and west as Yunnan. On the last leg of its domestic tour, the virus made its way to Wuhan by truck or plane and then the world,” he wrote in May. And while southern China has been ground zero for several outbreaks, because of the country’s unique path to development in the late 20th century, and the Chinese government is not without blame, Wallace notes that the same thing could—and often does—happen elsewhere. Pandemics are just one symptom of a broader ecological sickness: a “rift” in the planet’s social metabolism that occurs when economic abstractions are treated as more real than ecological limits, to borrow the Marxist framework pioneered by ecosocialist theorists like Foster and expanded by Wallace.

This rift between ecology and the economy runs parallel with the growing political divide between urban and rural, Wallace said. Early in the pandemic, his organization, the Agroecology and Rural Economics Research Corps, launched an international collective called Pandemic Research for the People, focusing on “the needs of everyday people most immediately affected” by Covid-19. Many of America’s farmers, for example, have been in decades-long exploitative contractual relationships with agribusiness corporations. In Minnesota, they’re in such dire straits that it has led to an epidemic of suicides.

“We’re trying to bridge gaps and signal that their plight matters,” Wallace said. “It requires a respect for people who don’t have degrees at the end of their names but have a profound understanding of the systems you’re looking at.” It’s difficult to argue with the notion that any movement or coalition capable of loosening the grip of agribusiness corporations would have to address this fracture between the city and the hinterland. Such a movement, he continued, would seek to deliver on the slogan from Charles Booker’s 2020 Democratic primary campaign for the Kentucky Senate: “From the hood to the holler.” Or, to widen the scope, “From the South Side of Chicago to South America,” as Wallace wrote in a recent Patreon dispatch, once again reminding us that the pandemic is “over” only for a tiny minority of people on the planet.

The alternative is agroecology, which is simultaneously a science, an agricultural practice, and a radical anti-capitalist movement with roots in Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement and the international peasant alliance La Via Campesina. Wallace defines an agroecological system as one that is “tied to the state of the surrounding landscape from which resources are continually drawn (and returned).” The way out, then, is not so much to create a new world, or to escape into space like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk seem to be planning, but “more along the lines of coming back to earth.”

Wallace is now at work on a book of essays called Revolution Space: Adventures Outside Capitalist Science, which will extend beyond the natural and social sciences to incorporate the humanities, most notably ancient mythology. Toward the end of our conversation, he took off his glasses and leaned over the table to show me the inscription—“Epimethean Vision”—printed in white letters on the inside of his lens. It’s become something of a life mantra for Wallace: You have to look back to see what’s coming. “Foresight is important, but you need hindsight—not to go back to some prelapsarian fantasy, but to draw the lessons that happened previously so you don’t do it again,” he explained. “We’re getting right back on track to what brought us here, except next time it could be a pathogen that emerges to kill a billion people.”

While he acknowledges that cynicism is an “occupational hazard,” Wallace’s work on Covid-19 has brought him more acolytes than detractors. “I’ve found when systems are in crisis, there is room for weirdos like me,” he said. Like the archetypal outsider scientist at the beginning of a disaster movie, Wallace has struggled to be heard. But by the third act, what once seemed like doomsday prophecy could become the basis for recovery. “If I’ve arisen in this historical moment, it’s because I was thrown aside in such a way that I landed in a realm that forced me to become a different scientist,” Wallace said. “I went through the hellfire of ostracization and marginalization. It’s true, I don’t want to go there ever again. But I also understand that one can say what’s necessary to say and still survive another day.”




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



Cancel culture will turn on its own
From the truth they will
Eventually learn

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



in honor of the k9/11 heroes and as a prayer for peace

September 11, 2021



there so many heroes on that day. so many lives lost, hearts broken.
we applaud those who rose above the smoke and ash, who gave of themselves, this perhap their last gift.
we mourn the lost and the fallen
we pray for better
can we all just learn to love, accept diferences and grow from that acceptance?
or is this question just rhetorical
k 9/11 hearts
They stand by their person
Tall and proud
Waiting for each command

By hand signal or aloud
Their paws are so tired
They are cut until raw
But they keep on going
Keep looking for more
Into the rubble into the fray
Not fearing trouble
Will someone be saved today.
Eyes tearing from smoke
They plow straight ahead
As they cough and they choke
Perhaps wishing for bed
Tirelessly devoted doing their best
At the end of the long day
Head on their person’s chest
Knowing tomorrow
Will be more of this sorrow


Karen Lyons Kalmenson



California Court Rules Vegan Creamery Has First Amendment Right To Call Products ‘Butter’ and ‘Cheese’

September 7, 2021
by

Source SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation) Campaign “The Dark Side of the New Zealand Dairy Industry”


If animal farmers and industry executives weren’t so grossly deceptive, violent, and cowardly, they would just be embarrassing: people often attempt to validate abusing animals as being “intellectually superior” humans; the same people then claim that humans are incapable of telling the difference between plant milks and cows’ milk.

And their cruel rhetoric also includes the belief that killing can be humane, that harming an animal is better for an animal than not harming an animal.

Intellectual superiority? No. Just entitled, privileged human supremacy.

Too, the USDA has included soy milk as a nutritionally-equivalent, healthy dairy alternative (for the plant activists, soy is predominantly grown for animals, who humans eat, a unarguably inefficient and immoral use of resources and lives), and that in the USA, most cows’ milk is fortified, meaning vitamin is added, it is NOT naturally present. Nevertheless, I am personally unconcerned with the nutrition provided by plant milks because it is for certain 100% healthier for the animals to not use and kill them. As such, why would ANYONE choose suffering over not suffering? More than 500,000 calves and greater than 3 million of their mothers are butchered yearly, just in the USA, so that a different species, beyond infancy and with teeth, can drink the calves’ naturally- and biologically-intended milk instead. That’s an ethical fail, not a demonstration of decency. Or intellect. SL



Source reason

By Rikki Schlott


On August 11, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Miyoko’s Creamery in its lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), upholding the company’s First Amendment right to use terms like butter and cheese in marketing its vegan products.

Based in Sonoma County, California, Miyoko’s Creamery produces artisanal vegan alternatives to traditional dairy products. In just over five years, its popularity has exploded with distribution in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and other major supermarket chains.

The company is known for its popular vegan butter made from cashews, coconut oil, and sunflower oil, as well as other high-end alternative products like vegan mozzarella, cream cheese, and cheese wheels—all of which I can attest are very good.

Last year, the company received a threatening letter from the CDFA demanding it alter its marketing in the state. Although its labels clearly read “cultured vegan butter,” the department requested the creamery stop using dairy-related terms on its packaging altogether, claiming Miyoko’s marketing was in violation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s labeling regulations.

California ordered the company to remove the terms butter and cheese and cease to refer to its products as “lactose-free,” “hormone-free,” or “cruelty-free.” Instead, the state suggested that Miyoko market its vegan butter as oh-so-appetizing “cashew cream fermented from live cultures.” To do so would require an inordinate investment to produce custom packaging for sale of the product in California.

The letter doubled down by also ordering the company to scrap its mission statement, “Revolutionizing Dairy with Plants,” and to remove an image of a woman hugging a cow from its website. The photo in question is that of a volunteer at a nonprofit refuge for farm animals, Rancho Compasión, which was started by the creamery’s founder Miyoko Schinner.

At the forefront of the burgeoning movement toward ethical and sustainable alternative foods, Schinner was shocked by the letter, saying, “California is supposed to be an innovative and progressive state, and yet they are putting up roadblocks that could harm innovation.”

Nonetheless, the meat and dairy industries and their lobbyists insist that terms like cultured vegan butter and plant-based cheese confuse consumers who are not seeking vegan products. Similar moves to police marketing of vegan and vegetarian products have been made around the country, including in Mississippi, ArkansasTexas, and Louisiana.

Miyoko’s Creamery filed its lawsuit against the CDFA in February 2020. The company was represented by co-counsels Deepak Gupta and Neil K. Sawhney of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which “has been at the forefront of demanding and enforcing fair regulation of plant-based foods.”

According to a statement from the company’s legal team, the lawsuit argues that “the CDFA’s enforcement position is an attempt to unconstitutionally censor truthful commercial speech, violating Miyoko’s First Amendment right to free speech.” This month, Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California agreed.

In his August 11 ruling, Seeborg found the creamery’s marketing tactics to be truthful and upheld the company’s First Amendment rights to label its products as vegan alternatives to traditional dairy. Seeborg also pointed out a major hole in the state of California’s argument: There was no evidence of consumer confusion or marketing deception.

“The state’s showing of broad marketplace confusion around plant-based dairy alternatives is empirically underwhelming,” he said. “Nowhere, for instance, does the state present testimony from a shopper tricked by Miyoko’s vegan butter, or otherwise make the case for why Miyoko’s substitute spread is uniquely threatening to the public.”

The ruling marks a major victory for free speech and free markets in the vegan space. According to ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells, the decision also chips away at the corrupting power that industry lobbyists wield over governmental agencies.

Indeed, California is by far the largest source of dairy in America, producing 41.3 billion pounds of milk in 2020 alone. But the rise of vegan products has proved swift and threatening. As the market shifts toward dairy alternatives, the traditional dairy industry and its lobbyists have been reactive.

“The CDFA’s attempt to censor Miyoko’s from accurately describing its products and providing context for their use is a blatant example of agency capture,” Wells said in a statement. “The fact that animal-milk producers fear plant-based competition does not give state agencies the authority to restrict one industry in order to help another.”

Schinner is confident that the ruling will fortify the burgeoning vegan industry that is providing sustainable and ethical alternatives to traditional animal products. “Food is ever-evolving, and so too should language reflect how people actually use speech to describe the foods they eat,” she said in an ALDF press release. “We are extremely pleased by this ruling and believe that it will help set a precedent for the future of food.”





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



We cows are not food
Our milk is not yours
To drink
Some humans are cruel
And rude.
Some do not
Even think 

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Who died for your dinner?

August 30, 2021
by
Pig farming: This is how pigs suffer, Source PETA Germany Vimeo


I don’t speak German either, but the visuals are horrifying enough, suffering and violent death are the same in all languages.

Using animals in any manner is unethical and NOT in the best interest of animals, so don’t disingenuously pretend the small-farm model is humane or better for animals, that’s a marketing strategy, not a position of justice or humane consideration. Any time you have a group of beings (non-human animals) as the target of an exploitative system, the dominant beings (human animals) will always exert itself over the weaker ones (you sadly see this dominating control used on humans also, mostly illegal but *still practiced*: child abuse, spousal abuse, bullying, terrorism, racism, misogyny, emotional abuse, etc.), and determine itself as the entitled benefactor and define the exploited groups’ purpose, thus why a small-farming system – that has already BEEN and has devolved into the trillions of animals exploited today – is not the answer to factory farms, CAFOs, or ILOs, that’s just spin to continue the assault on beings who are denied all opportunity to define and defend their own bodies and lives.

If you CARE, you don’t act in a manner of UNCARING, no matter your PR or self-comforting words you exploit to define such. As long as any animal is treated as a product subject to the wants, desires, and whims of humans, intensive operations will ALWAYS follow, as has been already demonstrated and proven with the suffering and blood of trillions of animals butchered yearly and globally today.

I had the nauseating opportunity to read about one such “small farm” of people who openly boasted about how the animals they raised (forcibly produced) were cared for (violated), named (as opposed to numbered), provided shelter (because it’s easier to control them when confined), and killed them (violently, unwillingly).

Humans will always market the violence inflicted on defenseless, vulnerable beings as doing them a favor and appealing to other humans who also want to appear considerate.

As long as you normalize negative, lethal behaviour for the dominant party, suffering will continue, even Pa Ingalls exploited animals, he just didn’t camouflage it as “higher welfare” because it was still enjoyed as socially necessary. It no longer is, thus why “Red Tractor” and “Humane Certified” influence society into believing it is.

If you don’t stop animal exploitation for the animals, you will always resume it for the humans. SL



Source PETA Germany

In Germany alone, almost 60 million pigs are killed in slaughterhouses every year. Each and every one of them ekes out an agonizing existence in one of the many pig breeding, piglet rearing or pig fattening facilities. PETA has again made video recordings from a company, which clearly shows the cruel but everyday suffering in pig farming. 

This company is not a large-scale industrial plant. This is another example of the fact that animals suffer just as much in small businesses as they do in large ones – because even with the “farmer next door”, the animals are purely a product of production. They are used and killed.



A “breeding sow” serves the animal industry for one single purpose: to give birth to as many piglets as possible for meat production. This is done with the help of artificial insemination, for which the female pig is locked in a so-called crate , in which she does not even have enough space to turn around. Up to four weeks after the insemination, the mother sow remains locked in this narrow lattice shed. This type of husbandry causes enormous suffering to the animals: every day, every hour and every minute they have to stand, lie, eat, defecate and urinate in the same place. The sows are then housed together with others in barren group pens. The animals often injure each other due to monotonous keeping, stress and battles of rank.

Shortly before birth, the mother sow is locked in what is known as a farrowing pen: again, a metal cage that does not allow her to turn around or to exercise natural behaviors such as building a nest. The metal bars often press into the belly of the heavily pregnant sows. The mother spends the entire breastfeeding period, i.e. about three weeks, in this lattice cage. She serves as a pure milk machine – she cannot develop a bond with her children in the fixed posture. The animal industry defends this torture with the pseudo-argument that it serves as protection for the piglets that would otherwise be crushed by the mother. In truth, however, control, space as a premium, and economic efficiency, i.e. profit, is behind it. Because in the great outdoors, i.e. with enough space, a mother does not crush her piglets.


Since pigs, like dogs, are very curious and intelligent creatures, the law requires companies to provide them with toys. For legal purposes, a little straw or metal chains hanging from the ceiling are sufficient. However, these measures are dangerous for the animals, as they sometimes involve a high risk of injury. In addition, they do not challenge the pigs and are not suitable as a species-appropriate enrichment activity. This common practice in pig farming is just as absurd as keeping a dog in a tiny kennel and hanging a metal chain on the ceiling to satisfy her urge for activity.

The fact that the individual living creature counts for nothing in pig breeding and fattening is also shown by the approvingly accepted loss account with regard to the death of piglets: Because many of the animals are born weak and sick due to targeted breeding for the largest possible litters, they are stunned by employees with a blow on the head *** before they are killed or thrown in the trash many times while they are still alive , where they die in agony. Recordings from stables repeatedly show that the prescribed procedure – with anesthesia and subsequent bleeding – is too burdensome for a large number of breeders. As a result, many piglets are simply thrown against edges, walls or the floor. The animals that do not die in the process suffer a terrible agony in the garbage cans.

What You Can Do (Will direct you to PETA Germany requiring translation if you don’t speak German, use Google to translate or see below footer for English actions)

  • Do not eat pigs or other animals – make a conscious decision in favor of the many animal-friendly meat alternatives . The free Veganstart program supports you in the effortless changeover to a vegan, cruelty-free diet.
  • The so-called farm animal husbandry is based on a speciesist thought pattern. That is why it is never ethically correct to use animals for profit. Find out about speciesism – one of the greatest problems facing our society.
  • Organize a protest and make the pigs heard. We provide you with the “Schweineleid” demo package free of charge. Request now!


*** This is typically referred to as “thumping” and is an accepted practice of killing piglets in the USA as well, as approved by the AVMA as “manual blunt force trauma” and is NOT recommended on “pet” animals, as discouraged by the same AVMA group. SL





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Pigs are pigs but man is the swine

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Animals are treated worse than trash since trash lacks the capacity for fear and suffering …

August 23, 2021
by
Filmmaker Mark Devries Investigates Factory Farming Using Drones

Source YouTube , NowThis

By Mark Devries



There are more laws and regulations surrounding my trash and trash disposal than there are for sentient species who have the same capacity to suffer, feel pain, and experience emotion as humans. To treat animals like this, hidden in dystopian waste lands of suffering, toxicity, and greed, means humans have lost the war with good, the human species is apathetically evil towards the most vulnerable and helpless beings. It is estimated that globally greater than 4700 animals are killed each SECOND. How long does it take you to rationalize killing them? Consuming them? Forgetting them? Who are you consuming and how did she suffer and violently die for your 5-minute meal? SL







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People who abuse animals are lower than trash

at least trash did once and perhaps still can serve a purpose,

abusers are worthless.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The Truth Behind the Great Bacon Shortage of 2022

August 16, 2021
by
Source We Animals Media, Jo-Anne McArthur

But animal farmers LOVE the animals, and as anag representatives often claim, the animals are treated better than otherhumansmychildrenmysignificantother …

Why do you believe their lies? All animals exploited for food, die for food; any victim “produced” in a manner that considers them commodities, is a being NOT cared for. Animal exploitation is inherently cruel, and the “process” requiring suffering, pain, and violence, is one mimicked globally, from the smallest HappyHappyFarm to Smithfield, it is all related, your Uncle Ted’s Fun Farm that kills ten animals per year directly contributes to CAFOs/FFs/ILOs that kills trillions of animals worldwide each year. Humane? Welfare? Humans have historically claimed animals deserve care and consideration, a belief that has led to the normalized violence and abject fear of animals who are denied all choices about what is fundamentally theirs – their bodies.

I have seen so many people horrified by this expose. Why? What do otherwise rational, knowledgeable people think happens to animals they use and consume?

But I do wonder how many of them are actually horrified enough to STOP CONSUMING ANIMALS. But not contributing to such horrors may be a little “too humane” for people who love the taste of animals more than they believe the animals don’t want to die for such.

And for all the Prop 12 cheerleaders, have you stopped consuming animals as you clearly agree that the current “model” is worse than what Prop 12 will deliver? When veal crates were largely replaced in the United States with a roomier form of confinement, veal consumption INCREASED: people feel responsible inflicting violence on infants because calves are “allowed” a larger prison.

Too, if more space is important for animals, NOT KILLING ANIMALS IS MORE SO. Humans are so obsessed with self-indulgence that they actually believe the cost of “retrofitting” confining spaces is more than the cost of lives.

SL



Panic over California’s pork reform exposes everything wrong with the meat industry.


Source The New Republic

By Jan Dutkiewicz

Americans love few things more than bacon. American media outlets love few things more than running stories about bacon shortages. In 2012, in the face of drought and record-high corn prices, one headline predicted a “Porkpocalypse.” In 2014, outlets fretted over the outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, which killed millions of piglets around the world. In 2020, the nation was deluged with stories about meat supply chains disrupted as the outbreak of Covid-19 in meatpacking plants sickened workers and shut down slaughterhouses. And now, as California prepares to implement wide-ranging standards mandating more humane housing for animals like egg-laying chickens and pigs, the country’s top outlets have been filled with dire predictions about the coming “bacon apocalypse.”

This panic is different from prior ones. Production costs for hog producers and the price of pork for consumers could actually go up this time—unlike with prior fearmongering, when the shortages never materialized. In part, that’s because this piece of legislation is different from prior state legislations intended to reform factory farming: It would change not only how California’s pork producers need to raise their pigs but how any company in any state selling meat to California’s 40 million residents needs to raise them.This relies on so-called gestation crates: individually confining metal cages measuring about 7 by 2 feet, into which pregnant sows will be locked for the 114 days of their gestation.

The panic from pork producers is palpable. It shows just how comfortable American agribusiness has become with a business model predicated on appalling cruelty—and how uncomfortable it is with the public exercising its democratic rights to reel it in with regulations. But while California’s cage ban might save some animals from the worst of abuses, it will take much more than cage bans to challenge industrialized animal agriculture.

The vast majority of the approximately 130 million pigs slaughtered for meat in the United States every year come from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs—commonly known as factory farms—where animals will spend their entire lives confined indoors as they are fattened for slaughter. This economies-of-scale model of producing standardized animal commodities is predicated on squeezing as much productivity as possible from female breeding animals. This relies on so-called gestation crates: individually confining metal cages measuring about 7 by 2 feet, into which pregnant sows will be locked for the 114 days of their gestation, unable to turn around and often unable even to lie down or stretch comfortably.

Crates are so objectively cruel that they’ve been at the heart of animal rights campaigns for decades, producing promises from major processors like Smithfield Foods and major fast-food chains like McDonald’s to shift some of their operations to crate-free systems. Concerned citizens and groups like the Humane Society of the United States have succeeded in getting state-level crate bans on ballot initiatives, winning victories in places like Massachusetts and Florida. These states, however, are not major producers of pork, so even if local producers are obliged to go cage-free by new regulation, most bacon sold in those states will come from leading pig-producing states like North Carolina and Iowa, where crates are standard. (Exact numbers on crate use are hard to come by, but estimates suggest about 96 percent of all factory-farmed animals come from systems that use crates.Prop 12 has the power to shift how pigs are produced around the USA.

In 2008, over 60 percent of Californians voted in favor of Proposition 2, which would require “that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens, and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.” But lack of clarity about what exactly that meant and who would enforce it effectively left it dead in the water. In 2018, Proposition 12, a much clearer and expanded version of Proposition 2, again won over 60 percent of the vote, giving egg, veal, and pork producers until January 1, 2022, to conform to new standards, which included giving breeding pigs 24 square feet of space (almost double the space they are afforded in standard gestation crates). What makes Prop 12 different from the anti-crate laws that have passed in other states is that it applies not only to California-based producers but to all producers who want to sell pork in California, including those in places like Iowa.

Given that Californians consume about 255 million pounds of pork every year, Prop 12 has the power to shift how pigs are produced around the USA. But retrofitting factory farms is expensive and changes how most pork companies produce their animals. Some estimates place the cost of retrofitting all CAFOs in the U.S. to cage-free systems in the billions of dollars, costs that might be borne by already highly indebted contract farmers who work with major processors like Smithfield and Tyson. Rather than use their time to comply with the changed regulations, meat producers and processors have been fighting Californians’ democratic decision in court, with the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation losing an appeal in California, and the North American Meat institute having its petition for Supreme Court consideration rejected. Now, with January 2022 looming, the pork industry, the politicians who support it, and California’s restaurant industry have launched a last-ditch attack.

Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, the two senators from Iowa, have pushed for federal legislation to allow interstate trade to continue unimpeded, arguing that Prop 12 violates interstate commerce laws by imposing Californian law on Iowa. Meanwhile, California’s retail and restaurant lobbies have launched a public relations offensive, backed by white papers and studies conducted by the major agricultural lender Rabobank and agricultural economists, arguing that increased pork prices and decreased supply will harm the Golden State’s businesses and consumers.

Like almost all pushback to meat industry reform, lobbyists’ claims here boil down to a simple and pernicious moral claim: that “consumer welfare,” measured in the cost of food, will be hurt by the ethical decision to vote for animal welfare; in other words, that Californians’ love for animals is going to hurt them at the checkout and that they should reconsider their votes. Media coverage of the affair has taken the bait, with the Associated Press’s Scott McFettridge writing that this is “a rare case of consumers clearly paying a price for their beliefs.

Given that Californians have twice voted to remove pregnant sows from cages, it’s likely they understand that more humane treatment of animals comes with a price tag. As the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times wrote, in a rebuke of the critics, “For fans of bacon and other pork, any rise in cost is the price of not having a pig suffer before it’s killed for food. It’s a price the animals shouldn’t have to pay.”

But removing animals from cages is the lowest-hanging fruit in combating the animal cruelty that is baked into factory farming. Even in gestation-stall-free systems, sows may be locked in individually confining farrowing crates to nurse their young, injected with drugs to jump-start their estrous cycle as soon as possible so that they can be forcibly impregnated via artificial insemination, and have their piglets euthanized with carbon dioxide if they don’t gain weight fast enough. In industrial animal production, cruelty is systemic, endemic, and inescapable, even if it can be ever so slightly moderated by things like cage-free regulations. And, of course, all animals produced for food, regardless of production system, are slaughtered. In the case of sows, their bodies used up by multiple pregnancies, this likely means getting ground down into highly processed food like sausage. Making pork entirely cruelty-free would render the factory farm production model economically unviable.

Cory Booker’s proposed Farm System Reform Act, which would put a moratorium on the construction of new large CAFOs and introduce a CAFO phaseout by 2040, comes close to proposing this kind of wholesale reform. While the act is imperfect—it makes the mistake of defining CAFOs by size and not by a set of processes—it is perhaps the most serious attempt in American history to rein in industrial animal agriculture. It also offers contract farmers a way out of their relationship with meat corporations, promising debt forgiveness and transition assistance for moving into less impactful animal or crop farming. The legislation, unfortunately, is likely a political nonstarter given the power of American agribusiness. It would also force Americans to eat far less meat, since nonindustrial systems could not possibly be scaled to provide remotely as much meat at remotely as low a price as factory farms.

In the meantime, California may just move the needle on animal treatment, likely at the cost of a bit of a bacon shortage and a price spike in early 2022. Whatever happens, going cage-free is the least we can do for animals. But if voters really wanted to do away with animal cruelty, they would vote with their forks and leave animals off their plates altogether.


Jan Dutkiewicz is a postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University in Montreal and a visiting fellow in the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard University.

See More: Jan Dutkiewicz  @jan_dutkiewicz





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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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Pigs are pigs but man is the swine

Friends not food

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Regarding the Pain of Farmed Animals

August 10, 2021
by
Image source Vegan Sidekick


All animals exploited for food, die for food. As long as animal exploitation exists in an accepting, apathetic world, animals will suffer: no animal farm is a humane animal farm, that’s the lie people exploit to validate the violence they inflict on animals. And don’t forget that globally, >90% of animals exploited for consumption were “produced” in intensive operations, and that figure rises to >95% in the USA.

Stop pretending there is a right way to do the wrong thing, if you care about animals, you’ll stop your participation in their exploitation. And even if you don’t care about animals, that still doesn’t give you the privilege to abuse their bodies and kill them. You don’t have to love or care for animals, you just have to not hurt them. SL



Source United Poultry Concerns

By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns


Factory farms are places in which large numbers of genetically and chemically manipulated animals are warehoused to grow into food for human consumption. In these places, animals are mired in the squalor that results when groups of creatures of any species are crowded together in accumulating waste. We now know that these animals are not only forcibly confined in environmental filth including toxic gases, but that they are caged in bodies wracked with painful deformities and diseases inflicted on them by human beings. They are locked into what the twentieth-century animal rights activist Henry Spira referred to as “the universe of pain and suffering” from which there is no escape but in death.

By “we,” I mean those of us in the animal advocacy movement who focus particularly on the plight of farmed animals and who track the evidence reported by agribusiness researchers specializing in farmed animal “diseases of production” and “welfare.” For example, in “Pain in Birds,” animal scientist Michael Gentle writes that the “widespread chronic orthopedic disease in domestic poultry,” added to the fact that there is a “wide variety of receptors in the joint capsule of the chicken,” including pain receptors, supports the behavioral evidence that the birds are in chronic pain.

In 1990, the American Association of Avian Pathologists identified three of the most common bone pathologies associated with the forced rapid growth of present day poultry: Angular bone deformities, in which the bones become bowed in or out or twisted; tibial dyschondroplasia, in which the bones develop fractures and fissures; and spondylothesis, in which the vertebra become dislocated and/or cartilage proliferates in the lower backbone, pinching on the spinal cord and lower back nerves.

For all of these tortures, no pain relief is offered. Having been in a “pain management” program since May following my spinal surgery, I both can and cannot imagine the unrelieved suffering of these birds. I think about their suffering in its own right and also in terms of our society’s expectation of immediate pharmaceutical relief for everything from mild depression to minor stomach upset.


Before Factory Farms

In his book Animal Revolution, Richard Ryder (who coined the term “speciesism”) offers a glimpse of how animals were prepared for meals in the typical 18th-century English household during the Age of Enlightenment. Alexander Pope, the great English poet of the time, described “kitchens covered with blood and filled with the cries of creatures expiring in tortures.”

Many people believe that the pre-factory-farming era was idyllic, or nearly so, for chickens, turkeys, and other farmed animals. In reality, factory farming is an extension of age-old attitudes and practices toward animals raised for food. For example, Keith Thomas, in Man and the Natural World, observes that poultry and game birds in previous centuries “were often fattened in darkness and confinement, sometimes being blinded as well.”

Geese were thought to put on weight if the webs of their feet were nailed to the floor, and “it was the custom of some seventeenth-century housewives to cut the legs off living fowl in the belief that it made their flesh more tender.” The London poulterers, Thomas writes, “kept thousands of live birds in their cellars and attics” in conditions forecasting today’s factory farms.

In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman describes culinary practices that arose in eighteenth-century England, when “bored city dwellers became fascinated by sadism,” including the idea that “torturing an animal made its meat healthier and better tasting.” One recipe starts out: “Take a red cock that is not too old and beat him to death.” Another instructs:

Take a goose, or a Duck, or some such lively creature pull off all her feathers, only the head and neck must be spared: then make a fire round about her, not too close to her, that the smoke do not choke her, and that the fire may not burn her too soon; not too far off, that she may not escape free: within the circle of the fire let there be set small cups and pots of water, wherein salt and honey are mingled; and let there be set also chargers full of sodden Apples, cut into small pieces in the dish. The Goose must be all larded, and basted over with butter: put then fire about her, but do not make too much haste, when as you see her begin to roast; for by walking about and flying here and there, being cooped in by the fire that stops her way out the unwearied Goose is kept in; she will fall to drink the water to quench her thirst, and cool her heart and all her body, and the Apple sauce will make her dung and cleanse and empty her. And when she roasteth, and consumes inwardly, always wet her head and heart with a wet sponge; and when you see her giddy with running, and begin to stumble, her heart wants moisture, and she is roasted enough. Take her up and set her before your guests and she will cry as you cut off any part from her and will be almost eaten up before she be dead: it is mighty pleasant to behold!

Eighteenth-and nineteenth-century literature offers additional testimony regarding the treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl. In Tobias Smollett’s novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, published in 1771, the Welsh traveler Matthew Bramble complains during a visit to London that “the poultry is all rotten, in consequence of a fever, occasioned by the infamous practice of sewing up the gut, that they may be the sooner fattened in coops, in consequence of this cruel retention.”

In order to whiten their flesh, calves, sheep, birds, and sometimes lambs, were stuck in the neck so that the blood would drain out slowly for hours and days. The wound would be stopped up and the animal would be left to linger alive for another day or so. In The Rural Life of England, William Howitt describes the practice of hanging live turkeys in the kitchen upside down by their heels to bleed out “through a vein opened under the tongue,” to improve their color. This is also how calves became veal prior to the adoption of the veal crate in the twentieth century – they were suspended upside down from the kitchen ceiling.


“Evolved” Animal Farming

The effects of the “human controlled evolution” of chickens and other birds bred for the meat industry are described in an article in International Hatchery Practice. Andrew A. Olkowski, DVM and his colleagues state in “Trends in developmental anomalies in contemporary broiler chickens” that chickens with extra legs and wings, missing eyes and beak deformities “can be found in practically every broiler flock,” where “a variety of health problems involving muscular, digestive, cardiovascular, integumentary, skeletal, and immune systems” form a complex of debilitating diseases. Poultry personnel, they say, provide “solid evidence that anatomical anomalies have become deep-rooted in the phenotype of contemporary broiler chickens.”

An example is a breast muscle myopathy described in 2018 as a worldwide phenomenon. Called “wooden breast,” this condition manifests a manmade impairment in “broiler” chickens so severe that the birds’ breasts develop a hard wood-like texture involving necrosis, fibrosis, and macrophage infiltration relating to the cardiopulmonary system’s inability to supply capillary blood to the bird’s massively growing breast muscle, which as a result hardens and dies.

Ulcerative and necrotic diseases in agribusiness chickens are endemic. Femoral head necrosis occurs when the top of the leg bone disintegrates as a result of bacterial infection, oppressive body weight, and oxygen deficiency in the contaminated chicken houses that exacerbate the birds’ pre-existing pulmonary pathologies. Necrotic enteritis involving the bacterial agent Clostridium perfringens shows intestines swollen with gas, oozing putrid fluid, and full of ulcers. Gangrenous dermatitis, a skin disease, affects the legs, wings, breast, vent, abdomen and intestines of the birds as a result of toxins emitted by Clostridium perfringens in conjunction with exposure to immunosuppressive viruses in the chicken sheds.


Pain Without Pity

The idea of a past characterized by compassionate animal farming that could be revived and modernized in contrast to factory farming does not pass scrutiny. Industrialized animal production practices reflect the inveterate view that, as poultry researcher Joy Mench once told me in the comfort of her office, the basic premise of our relationship with “food” animals precludes ethics and empathy. It allows us to decide that morality does not apply to our use of these animals. Traditional animal husbandry practices support this nihilistic viewpoint.

A photograph of turkeys being “noodled” (force-fed) to increase the size and growth rates of their livers and bodies, appears in the March 1930 issue of the National Geographic, along with much else that helps to explain why a sixteenth-century observer wrote of animals raised for food: “They feed in pain, lie in pain, and sleep in pain.” Farmed animals live and die in lonely, relentless agony that even pain-relieving medication could not overcome. We may think that roasting a live bird in front of a fire and devouring her while she is dying is too cruel and savage for today’s world, but nothing could be further from the truth.



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 Books, 2019).

Amazon Reviews Praise FOR THE BIRDS: FROM EXPLOITATION TO LIBERATION by Karen Davis, PhD





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 concept of living beings being harvested for human needs is beyond abhorrent .

Animals are here with us, not for us!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Cattle Farming Is One of the Most Destructive Industries on the Planet

August 2, 2021
by
Source Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals : The tethering of dairy cows is still practiced in some countries. With the tether around their necks, they are confined to a few feet of movement.

Natural”: Humans are the ONLY species to drink breastmilk from another species and continuing past infancy. Do you understand why you and so many others are lactose intolerant? Because you’re not a calf.

This is what you do to them. Violence is so normalized in animal agriculture that many believe that subjecting animals to suffering, pain, confinement, and squalor is beneficial to animals: since animals are bred to be dead, any existence “gifted” is considered beneficial regardless of hellish treatment, violence, and suffering. It’s convenient for humans to define others’ exploitation in manners that is comfortable to ONLY humans. And the “existence” argument is an exercise in desperation and logic failure. For sure, as a vegan who doesn’t purchase products tested on animals, I am entirely unconcerned with the nonexistence of those animals who are not “gifted” a brief life of pain and blindness and fear for toilet bowl cleaner.

Please also understand that even the “small/local” farms contribute to a global foundation of animal exploitation on which abject animal suffering and cruelty comfortably rests: it is all related, the required mass confinement and industrialized “production” and slaughter of 95% of animals globally consumed arose directly from those “idyllic” fantasies of Old MacDonald Farms . The promotion of “sustainable agriculture” is a fairy tale that already has been and has subsequently been discarded due to a billions-demanded source of cheap “meat” and animal “products”.

And if you want dog/cat/horse consumption to cease because it’s inherently barbaric, you must reject causing the inherent barbarism of chicken/pig/cow/lamb/fish/etc. consumption. If you get angry at vegans for demanding the antiYulin corps cease causing the same torturous treatment and violent death of turkeys and piglets, just remember that when you eat pigs, you cause/sanction/support the consumption of dogs and cats.

It is ALL related.

The ONLY ethical is veganism. SL



Source Sentient Media

By Nimisha Agarwal


The Amazon Rainforest is being cleared of an area the size of a soccer pitch every minute. Most of this is not for agriculture that directly sustains humans, but for cattle farming — to provide grazing land for cattle and land for growing feed crops. 

When we consume the products of cattle farming, we might feel distant from these concerns. After all, why should someone enjoying beef in one corner of the world care about what is happening to a rainforest miles away? Yet cattle farming presents a serious problem for us all. If the Amazon forests were to be destroyed completely to meet our demands, the world would experience more droughts, a warmer climate, and massive flooding. And this is just one of the examples of how cattle farming is destroying our environment, placing the future of people and the planet in danger.

So what exactly is cattle farming, and why is it bad for the environment?


What Is Cattle Farming?

Cattle farming, simply put, is a form of business aimed at raising cows, bulls, oxen, and calves to be used for various purposes, the most prominent being dairy, beef, and leather.


Dairy Cows

Dairy cows are those cows who have the capacity to give birth and produce milk for their babies. That milk is then taken to be marketed for consumption by humans. Cattle farmers specifically breed dairy cows to produce large quantities of milk. In the U.S., the Holstein-Friesian and Jersey breeds are usually used on dairy farms. 

To keep the production of milk constant, a cow has to continue lactating. This is ensured by impregnating the cow every year via artificial insemination, a method that uses the sperm of bulls considered to be genetically superior to inseminate cows and ensures profitable offspring. The calves hardly taste their mothers’ milk—they are rather put on a soy milk formula. Calves who are capable of future dairy production undergo the same cycle as their mothers, and those who cannot produce dairy are put to use in other industries.


Beef Cattle

Beef cattle are bulls and calves raised to be killed for meat. Many of the calves are turned into veal, by being killed 2-3 days after birth, and sometimes even after 2-3 hours. The rest are raised to be fattened for beef. Just as with dairy cows, beef cattle are selectively bred, to help produce and sell different commodities, like leaner meats. Most beef cattle in the U.S. are put in enclosures where they survive in unsanitary conditions, while only a small percentage are given access to pasture.


Leather

Often thought of as a “byproduct” of the dairy and meat industries, leather has in fact become one of the main sources of profit for cattle farmers. Leather is the skin of a cow, bull, or calf. It is usually young calves that are killed, for their soft and unmarked skin.


How Is a Cattle Farm Maintained? 

Maintaining a cattle farm mainly requires pastures for early feeding, and “feedlots” where cattle are fed grains to be fattened up for slaughter. It also involves handling, grazing, housing, fly control, and reproduction.

Handling

Cows need to be handled in a way that prevents stress or injury to them, and that ensures their overall well-being. But quite the opposite is the hallmark of cattle farming. Cows are stationed on concrete floors for a long period, damaging their hooves and also causing sore joints. Many dairy cows are milked using machines, which among other things cause mastitis, leading to pus formation in milk. Cattle handling also involves literally breaking up families, by separating lactating cows from their babies, so that the milk can be used for dairy and the babies can be used as meat.

Grazing

Cattle farming needs ample pasture space for grazing. After a few weeks, calves and young cows then have to move to a feedlot to be fattened for meat. The problem with the feed given to cattle is that this diet is mostly focused on producing more milk or better meat, without much concern for how good the diet is for the cattle themselves. Sometimes, instead of being transferred to feedlots, cattle are allowed to feed on mostly grass and are labeled as “grass-fed” cattle.

A lot of the time cattle are not given access to pasture for grazing for very long. It is common for certain meat and dairy items to have a specific “pasture-raised, free-range” label on them to verify that cattle did indeed get some access to pasture, yet these terms don’t have legal backing when applied to cattle. 

Housing

Housing for cattle needs to fulfill many requirements, including cleanliness, personal space, and proper ventilation. But in reality, the cattle industry hardly meets these needs. Living a life of confinement, dairy and beef cattle are kept in unsanitary conditions, amidst their own feces, and are forced to inhale toxic fumes. Living with no personal space, cattle also have to deal with crowding, and at times suffocation. It is a life of being rooted to one spot, with just one imposed purpose—to be put to use for humans.

Fly Control

Seemingly harmless, flies carry a lot of diseases that cattle are susceptible to. Given the unclean housing conditions and crowding in cattle farms, fly numbers increase. Farmers often use pesticides and insecticides to deal with the problem, but that causes more problems than it solves. Firstly, all the surroundings get contaminated with the chemicals used in pesticides. This includes the air, and the food for cattle, which invariably leads to milk contamination and harm to cattle health. Cattle farms become hotspots for bioaccumulation of substances within animals, which ensures that these problems persist for a long time. 

Reproduction

To ensure a steady supply of milk and to have calves for leather and veal, reproduction is necessary. However, if left to exercise their own will, cows will rarely become pregnant every year, given the mental and physical toll that pregnancy takes on their bodies. Hence cattle farm management involves artificial insemination to ensure that the cow gets pregnant every year with good genes, ensuring a continuous supply of milk, meat, and other products for humans.

Over time, repeatedly giving birth leads to ruptures of the uterus and weakening of their bodies far ahead of the usual timescale. After 5-6 years of continuously giving birth, they are sent to be slaughtered. In some countries that do not allow cattle slaughter, they are instead left on the streets, where they can eventually die from eating plastic


How Much Does a Cattle Farmer Make Per Cow?

Incomes differ across farms, and depend on various factors, including their size, and how much farmers are willing to compromise on animal welfare to boost their profits. Given the fact that demand for one of the main products of cattle farming—dairy—is plummeting in the U.S., farmers have been facing losses and dumping milk in rivers and fields. There is not much clear data on how much cattle farmers make per cow, but on average farmers earn $300-700 a week. Again, this figure is changing with changes to consumption patterns worldwide, as people are demanding more ethical choices for food and clothing.


Why Is Cattle Farming Bad for the Environment?

Because of how normalized consumption of meat and dairy is, cattle farming is often romanticized as something essential and even empowering. But no matter how one looks at it, the facts still point to the overwhelmingly detrimental impact of cattle farming on the environment. Cattle farming is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, thus being a major cause of climate change.

Cattle farming has also often displaced local communities who have ensured more regenerative and balanced uses of land in their environments. It causes air and water pollution. The industry also treats living beings as commodities and shows no consideration for their welfare. Finally, cattle farming depends on clearing the land of forests, which is the habitat of many animals, thus threatening biodiversity. 

Dirty Water

A cow produces approximately 37 kilos of feces every day. Now imagine 80-100 cows producing this much waste on a cattle farm every day. What happens to the waste? It either lies strewn around for the cows to live, breathe, and sit in it, or it is dumped on land or in bodies of water. Cattle waste contains a lot of nitrogen, which can contaminate water sources around farms over time. Nitrate contamination from a cattle farm infiltrated most of the wells in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin in just four years, forcing many people to relocate. The use of pesticides and insecticides on cattle farms just exacerbates the problem, by contaminating major water sources with harmful chemicals.

Overuse of Antibiotics

The easiest way for cattle farms to ensure the good health of animals is by feeding them antibiotics. However, this has a detrimental impact on the environment. The antibiotics may boost methane production in cattle, which means that their waste would release gases of even more harmful intensity. It has a more obviously devastating unintended consequence for humans too—overuse of drugs leads to the evolution of bacteria resistant to antibiotics

Inhumane Animal Care

At the very least, “humane” behavior implies that one shows compassion and respect for the individuality and existence of another being. This implies that if someone does not consent to their bodies being used to earn profits in the market, then that choice should be respected. We are one among a billion species that together are important for the planet to thrive.

However, nothing that happens on a cattle farm matches this description of being humane. Right from birth, cattle are segregated according to their commercial use. The lactating cow is assigned to spend the rest of their lives chained to machines that suck out their milk, the calves are either bred to become milk producers or are killed for meat, leather, and other purposes, and bulls are bred to extract their semen, or fattened up for beef. 

Throughout this process, the calves get little to no access to the milk meant for them. The cows spread their time in crowded enclosures, in the same space, continuously for many years. Cattle born with horns are “dehorned,” which is a painful process that targets many nerve endings. They are sometimes kicked and beaten, and sick cows are left to die

Global Warming

Global warming is one of the clearest aspects of climate change. Essentially, days become hotter as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increase. Methane and ammonia are the most powerful gases that lead to global warming, and data from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization indicates that animal agriculture is the leading industry producing these emissions. Beef and dairy cattle, in particular, are responsible for the release of GHGs because of enteric fermentation during digestion. This means that the process that cattle undergo to break their food into soluble components builds up a lot of harmful gases. 

Grass-fed cattle are often considered to be a sustainable solution for global warming. However, not only do they release emissions, but they also use a lot of land and run the risk of overgrazing. 


Cattle Farming Facts and Statistics

The world has 1.49 billion cattle being used to produce different commodities. From these cattle, the world takes 841.84 million tonnes of milk per year, and 71.61 million tonnes of beef. Beef, soy, and palm oil account for 60 percent of tropical deforestation. Soy production is not primarily driven by plant-based milk, but beef and dairy production, since soy forms a major component of cattle feed. 

When we look at land use, agriculture takes up more than half of the world’s land resources, and 77 percent of this land is not even being used to grow crops for human consumption, but the grazing and feed of farmed animals, including cattle. 


What You Can Do

The appeal of keeping cattle in dreamy meadows and earning a profit from them may motivate people to start a cattle farm, but the cost to animal welfare, the environment, and farmers is too great to consider the business sustainable. Instead, one can look at booming opportunities in plant-based farming, which does not require as much land and has a dramatically reduced impact on the climate. We can also adopt an ethical approach to life and go vegan. We also need to understand that as consumers, we can not only change what we demand but also how much we demand. With limited resources and billions of people, it makes sense to reduce our consumption and embrace minimalist living.

We can market umpteen “sustainable” solutions that still try to ensure a supply of beef, milk, and all the other products that rely on the commodification of cattle, but let’s face it — what will these solutions achieve if we only focus on the sustainability of humans and not of the earth as a whole? The hierarchies that we have created between us and other species are not compatible with sustaining the earth or, inevitably, ourselves. Cattle farming is not viable in the long run, and with the ethical and genuinely sustainable options available, it is time to shift to those options for good.

Nimisha Agarwal (she/they) a is a freelance journalist primarily in the realm of sexuality, Indian politics and animal agriculture. They are a growth strategist, and they successfully run their own collaborative trekking project in India. They are a personal growth coach using alternative therapies.Their life and work is dedicated towards a just and equitable world.





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

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Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

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cattle farm is
synonymous with harm
wake up be kind
this is far more than
alarm!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The euphemisms of animal exploitation

July 26, 2021
by


People love defining another’s suffering in manners that provides them personal comfort and not the actual victims; animal exploitation is bloody, abusive, violent, and the cause of unimaginable fear and suffering regardless of how aesthetically appealing humans disguise it.

If you get angsty by grammar that legitimately describes the horrors animals experience, just remember that nobody takes their beloved cat or dog to be “humanely euthanized” in a slaughterhouse, nor are companies/animal farmers/execs happily transparent regarding this “process” by sharing footage of the gruesome, bloody, agonizing “end” of animals: in fact, the exposure of slaughterhouses is typically only from undercover exposes, former employees, or unnamed current employees. (Although there are some slaughterhouses that film the graphic, fearful, and agonizing killing of unwilling, terrified, innocent animals, the problem is, nobody watches the footage. Who wants to, though, when you can remain willfully ignorant of the violence you inflict on innocents? And, too, why is footage even needed when the reality of slaughterhouse existences …. well …. exists? It’s a slaughterhouse, its purpose is to kill as fast, as many, as cheaply and efficiently as possible, why people believe that good things happen in one is bizarre.)

Stop pretending that just because you’re afforded the privilege of associating violence and pain endured by docile, gentle animals, with pastoral, peaceful, and caring descriptions to provide you comfort means it’s comfortable for the victims: it’s NOT. YOU don’t have to physically suffer the consequences of your delusional grammatical validations, the animals DO regardless of your willful ignorance. SL



Source Surge

Right now, all around the world, the animal farming industries are working with politicians to try and get certain terms banned from being able to be used by plant-based companies. With the EU considering a piece of legislation that could make it illegal to use phrases that “imitate or evoke dairy products, even if the composition or true nature of the product or service is indicated or accompanied by an expression such as “style”, “type”, “method”, “as produced in”, “imitation”, “flavour”, “substitute”, “like” or similar.

This could make it illegal to even say ‘does not contain milk’. Yes, that’s right, we’re not even joking. We wish we were.

But this got us thinking about the words the meat, dairy and egg industries use and how they themselves hide behind euphemisms to disguise the reality of their industries. So here’s our round-up of the words the EU and other politicians should be looking to ban, if that is, they do actually care about consumer confusion.


Slaughter or processing?

If we said to you, what word would you use to describe hanging an animal on a kill line and pulling a knife across their throat, what would you say? Well, if you were a farmer you would call that processing.

The animal exploitation industries have a real problem saying that water is wet. In fact, in 2019, at their annual conference, New South Wales farmers voted for the complete exclusion of the word slaughter and for it to be replaced with the word processing. Why? Because in their view the word slaughter is used to create emotions that discredit animal farming industries and undermine trust in animal farming.  

One farmer stated: “The word slaughter is not appropriate for our industry… it’s not mass murder.” Whatever helps them sleep at night.

But this is a common term used by animal farmers, with slaughterhouses often referred to as meat processing plants. Avoiding the word slaughter seeks to detach the consumer from the reality of what happens to animals by instead using words that allow us to psychologically distance ourselves from what we are paying for. After all, would you rather pay for an animal to be processed or slaughtered?


Mass slaughter or depopulation?

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many slaughterhouses were forced to close due to outbreaks among the workers. One of the most notable was the Smithfields slaughterhouse that supplies around five per cent of all pig flesh in the US. This caused huge problems in the supply chain.

So the next question is, what do you call killing hundreds, even thousands of lives in quick succession because you can’t sell them to have their throats cut? Depopulation.

But in reality, depopulation is just a friendlier way of saying mass extermination on farms, which is exactly what it is. One way in which animals are slaughtered en masse by farmers is called ventilation shutdown, where the air supply is cut off to the barns filled with animals. This in turn causes the heat to increase to intense levels causing the animals to slowly suffocate and roast to death at the same time.

This method of mass killing is even endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, whilst at the same time they call it unacceptable to leave dogs in cars. Why? Because the temperature will increase which will cause the dog to suffer and die.

After this process was exposed by hidden camera footage, the National Pork Producers Council said in an email: “We definitely need to come up with a new name to describe this.” Yet again showing how deliberately these industries attempt to hide the things they do.

Other methods of on-farm mass slaughter include pumping foam throughout the barns blocking the airways of the animals causing them to suffocate to death, or using carbon dioxide, where the farmers turn the barns into large gas chambers or create smaller gas chambers in which the animals are gassed to death.


By using the word ‘livestock’ we are viewing these animals as mere products, commodities who can be traded and profited from. In essence, it seeks to deny the animals their individuality.


“Euthanasia”

Next word. What do you call the act of picking up a piglet by their back legs and slamming them against a wall or the floor to kill them because they’re not growing fast enough or aren’t worth spending money on for veterinary care?

Farmers call this euthanasia. But when we think of animals being euthanised, we think of our companion animals being peacefully ‘put to sleep’ because they are severely ill. Well, farmers will describe killing an animal on their farm as euthanising the animal as if it is a merciful act, but instead of it being done in the animal’s best interest, it is done in the farmer’s financial interest.

The most common methods of killing birds on a farm include blunt force trauma, which involves hitting an animal over the head until they are dead, neck dislocation, carbon dioxide gassing either head only or in gas chambers, or a captive bolt.

For mammals, the most common methods include captive bolts, blunt force trauma, gassing, electrocution or a bullet.

But the issue of euphemisms is even more normalised than this, to the point where some of the most common words used to describe animal exploitation actually contribute to the objectification of animals.

For example, the term livestock.


Sentient individuals or livestock?

By referring to animals as livestock, animal farmers are attempting to create a distinction between the animals they farm and the animals that exist in the world. It essentially ‘otherises’ the animals we exploit and attempts to put them into a different classification, which further perpetuates the idea that it is acceptable to exploit and kill these animals.

For example, if you ask someone, “is it acceptable to kill livestock?”, most people will say yes. But if you ask “is it acceptable to kill animals?”, people’s responses would often be very different, even though the question is the same question. However, morally there is no difference between killing a pig or killing any other animal we don’t classify as livestock.

This is how ‘othering’ works. We view the animals we kill as being different and refer to them differently so as to make what we do to them more palatable and less likely to expose our cognitive dissonance.





By using the word ‘livestock’ we are viewing these animals as mere products, commodities who can be traded and profited from. In essence, it seeks to deny the animals their individuality.

What about the names of animal products themselves, many of which are also named and referred to in a way that disconnects us from the reality of who we are eating? Even though the origins of many of these words can be traced back hundreds of years, referring to animal flesh as meat, pig flesh as pork, cow flesh as beef and baby cow flesh as veal, among others, further detaches us from having to think about the animals whose bodies we are purchasing.

Imagine if supermarkets had flesh aisles, rather then meat aisles. Or if instead of bacon, we bought sliced pig flesh with extra fat layers. By turning animals into objects, classifying them differently and using different words to describe them when they are living and when they are dead, it allows us to avoid the discomfort caused by thinking of them in gas chambers or hung up on the kill line about to have their throats cut.

Whether we realise it or not, the animal agriculture industries have been purposefully trying to trick consumers for years, and their on-going attempts to try and censor plant-based companies further proves how worried they are about the prospect of informed consumers making their own decisions.

In the end, consumers aren’t being misguided by clearly labelled plant-based alternatives, they are being lied to and deceived by industries that are desperate to keep the objective reality of what happens to animals out of sight and out of mind.





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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



How abusers lie from A to Z
You can fool yourselves
But you don’t fool
We!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The Reducetarian Paradox: Rigidly Applying ‘Moderation’ to Eleven Madison Park Restaurant

May 24, 2021
by


The absolute irony of nonvegans boldly offering advice on how to be vegan that doesn’t even work on themselves is totally on brand for those seeking social appreciation for their efforts helping absolutely no animals. If vegan-bashing-and-blaming wasn’t so transparently pathetic, it would be juvenile-hilarious: a “reducetarian” is nothing but an omnivore who needs to feel special but cannot be bothered to stop their contribution to animal suffering; an apologist seeking a virtual hug from others who are the exact same way; a vocal animal lover with zero actions to demonstrate such: a position that is absolutely meaningless to the victims who suffer and violently die while they play eenie-meenie-miney-mo with innocents who are denied all opportunity to defend what is wrongfully stolen from them: their bodies.

As a vegan, I’m not responsible for someone else’s inability to be decent. It’s always interesting when someone faults an “offensive, radical” vegan for their incapacity for empathy, who do people like this normally blame? Nobody forces you to eat a pig or a dog or use a product that blinded a rabbit or wear a jacket from an infant who was skinned alive for it: nonvegans do not participate in animal exploitation because of vegans, such declarations are nothing short of desperate playground bullying tactics that cause unimaginable suffering and violence, and no different from people refusing to oppose racism because they once saw an activist aggressively holding a sign promoting the radical idea of equality.

A vegan is opposed, vocally and actively, to the violence inflicted on animals. It is NOT extreme to be opposed to exploitation; it is extreme to CAUSE it, SUPPORT it, SANCTION it. Indeed, to the animal victims whose bodies are forcibly intruded upon and mutilated, whose children are stolen, and who are assigned a gruesome and fearful execution before even being born, what is “extreme” is not those who reject it, but rather the suffering, pain, and bloody control they are forced to endure under a social umbrella of acceptable, normalized violence. SL



Source Free From Harm

By Robert Grillo

“Reducetarian” founder Brian Kateman took issue with the news that famed Eleven Madison Park, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in New York City, announced it was converting its menu to full-on plant-based (well not really as milk and honey will still be on menu) instead of easing into it, the reducetarian way. In his article published in Wired, Kateman warns of the inadvertent backlash that could ensue from what he sees as a risky move that could harm vegan advocacy. His speculations raise many important issues which I address here. I’d like to thank my colleague Benny Malone, author of the new book How To Argue with Vegans, for offering his insights as well.

I must say from the get go that I find it odd and ironic, as Malone points out, that “Kateman often advises vegans on advocacy but hasn’t even convinced himself to become vegan in the course of some eight years. No wonder he thinks it’s hard to persuade others.” He appears to be in a perpetual state of flexitarian ambivalence. “His own reasons for not being vegan are due to taste and convenience and a misguided notion that a ‘middle ground’ in the arena of justice is the more reasonable one,” explains Malone, “while he positions veganism as extreme, absolutist and dogmatic.”

On the shortcomings of current vegan advocacy, Kateman writes, “Environmentalists and animal advocates have been trying for decades, and still only a small percentage of the industrialized world is vegetarian or vegan.”

First, most of the environmental movement has ignored animal agriculture’s impact on the environment. Even now, the most radical environmental groups, such as Extinction Rebellion, do not openly advocate veganism. A majority of the progressive left still dismisses and/or attacks veganism. As for animal advocacy, most of the animal groups also do not openly endorse veganism and some even endorse so-called “humane” animal products and/or certify such products and hold events with animals on the menu. Of the groups that do advocate veganism specifically, many have not until very recently engaged in the political activism needed for transformational change (targeting decision makers and institutions who have the power to influence large populations and systems). That level of strategy we see used successfully in other social movements is still in its infancy in the animal rights and vegan movement. Kateman and his ilk don’t fully understand the power of this form of activism and are quick to disparage it before it even has a chance to show its impact.

On how reducetarianism could lead to an increase in veganism, Kateman writes, “if the vegan label and stigma are removed, and diners know they can eat what they want, they are more likely to go on their own.”

It’s wishful thinking that if people are left to their own devices, they will do the right thing. As far as shedding the stigma, Malone points to the paradox that “Kateman has consistently reinforced negative stereotypes about vegans and veganism rather than challenge them. Instead of normalizing veganism and being vegan himself, he is content to feed into these negative perceptions and not engage in any myth-busting or debunking of anti-vegan positions. It serves his aims of making Reducetrarianism seem more appealing to allow these misconceptions to continue and indeed perpetuate and reinforce any stigmas.”

On the potential backlash, Kateman writes, “If Eleven Madison Park, one of the most well-resourced restaurants in the world, fails and winds up reverting back to a typically meat-heavy menu, it’ll signal to other chefs that this can’t be done well and in a profitable way. That’ll set the movement back in ways that will be hard to overcome.”

But I am hard pressed to find an example that demonstrates Kateman’s warning. On the contrary, there are a number of exclusively plant-based food brands that have grown exponentially, despite not offering any animal products. In one recent case, a 50-year-old meat company, NOBLE Jerky, announced an increase in revenues of 70% after ditching meat and introducing a 100% plant-based product line.

Please read rest 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

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



Ignorance at times is voluntary stupidity

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The Tale of Two Lab Kittens: The One We Saved, the One We Didn’t, and Why It’s Historic

May 17, 2021
by
A dead macaque at macaque breeding facility. Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media


If animals are biologically similar enough to humans to legitimatize testing on them, then they are similar enough to humans to make testing/researching on them unethical.

100,000,000 animal victims are exploited yearly for animal testing/research each year in just the United States alone. For those who champion the Animal Welfare Act as “protective”, know that 95% of all animals exploited for vivisection/testing are specifically exempt from AWA “protections” and their suffering and violent deaths are therefore not even legally required to be recorded.

For animals socially accepted as “worthy”, such as primates, cats, and dogs, also know even given AWA “protections” they are still often legally denied pain relief, and it’s anyone’s guess how many of the “un-reportable” ones intentionally suffer violent pain as well.


USDA, page 7

“Animals research facilities used in activities involving pain or distress and for which administering pain relieving drugs would adversely affect results”:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/annual-reports/Annual-Report-Summaries-State-Pain-FY18.pdf


As I always ask, why do people promote laws that require such suffering and violence and death? How can abuse ever be considered “humane” or based on “welfare”? The intentional manipulation of language to deliver moral comfort to the abusers and not the victims is victim-blaming on such a despicable scale it’s disturbingly bizarre the ease with which people accept it, especially when those very laws/regulations cause the SAME suffering and violent death to animals covered as they do to those animals NOT covered.

And if you are one of the many who champion animal research as valid by intellectually superior humans, why aren’t you intellectually superior enough to determine alternative methods of research that doesn’t require suffering and violence on those most vulnerable and incapable of consent? SL



Source Sentient Media

By Anthony Bellotti

All pictures sourced from Sentient Media

his is a tale of two cats, Petite and Sif. As kittens, they were sold by the same “kitten mill” to the United States government to be abused then killed in painful taxpayer-funded experiments. 

Petite (a.k.a. government ID #15KEY5) was sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Kitten Slaughterhouse”. For Sif (a.k.a. government ID #17LFC4), the destination was the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

White Coat Waste Project (WCWP) recently shut down Sif’s home. Two years prior, we gave Petite’s lab the same treatment. However, the two kittens’ stories diverge from there.


The One We Saved

Petite’s story is the pure distillation of something we call “FOIA to freedom”. Our investigators started with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into Petite’s secret government laboratory. Through that FOIA request, they found out that Petite was sold to USDA’s Kitten Slaughterhouse in 2016 by a company called Liberty Research that supplies animals to government labs. She was just over a year old.



The government noted that she was a “little cat.” So it gave her the name Lil Petite. 


This is the actual receipt for Petite’s purchase from Liberty Research.

The feds turned Petite into a breeder— an incubator for more lab specimens.

For nearly half a century, the USDA slaughtered and incinerated 3,000 of these healthy and adoptable kittens in toxoplasmosis experiments. The USDA also purchased cat and dog meat from China’s live animal markets and fed it to Petite’s kittens in cannibalism experiments. The USDA’s decades-long kitten experimentation cost over $22 million taxpayer dollars.

Think about that for a minute: dog and cat meat markets abroad. Taxpayer-funded animal experimentation at home.

WCWP exposed the USDA’s receipts to the international media. Then we united 3 million liberty lovers and animal lovers and rallied “Waste Warriors” in Congress to close Petite’s lab and retire the survivors. From FOIA to freedom, it took about a year to defund and defeat one of the largest cat labs in the entire federal government. 


Petite, on the ride home, the day WCWP rescued her from USDA’s Kitten Slaughterhouse.


The One We Didn’t

A young kitten named Sif was also bred by Liberty Research but sold to a different government lab on May 8, 2018. She, too, was just past her first birthday. 



Sif was bought by the Los Angeles VA Medical Center—one of three taxpayer-funded kitten labs the VA has been operating, alongside labs in Cleveland and Louisville. WCWP discovered Sif’s secretive lab by piecing together data from FOIA requests, government spending records, federal databases, and lawsuits. 

Our investigators later determined from internal VA documents obtained through a FOIA lawsuit that live cats had holes drilled in their skulls at the VA lab. The victims were suffocated, their oxygen cut off as part of ongoing sleep experiments. Electrodes were implanted into their brains. Some had electrodes implanted in their tongues and chins, as well, and had “head caps” cemented to their fractured skulls. Once deemed no longer useful, blood was drained from their bodies. Then their brains were removed for dissection. 

The grants funding the VA’s cat experiments, in total, have cost taxpayers over $10 million, according to records obtained by WCWP.



The VA doesn’t want you to know the details of what they did to Sif. WCWP had to sue them to get her records.



The last record of Sif’s life is dated January 2020. It’s of Sif’s weight. She was 3.44 kilograms—about 7.5 pounds. 

Just a wee cat, too, like Petite. 



In March 2021, a brave whistleblower came forward and exposed how the VA had killed Sif and every other kitten. But Sif’s death was a bittersweet coda to another great victory.



Why It’s Historic

Just days after our lawsuit, and following advocacy from the world-famous Kitten Lady, CBS News confirmed that WCWP’s investigation had ended all cat experiments at the Los Angeles VA. One down, two to go. And with the closure of USDA’s Kitten Slaughterhouse, the VA now operates the U.S. government’s last major kitten labs. 

Cleveland and Louisville are ground zero in WCWP’s historic campaign to end all painful cat experiments across the entire federal government. That’s why dozens of Democrats and Republicans in Congress are reaching across party lines to pass the CATS Act


Petite and Delilah in their post-government lab home.

Petite now lives in a loving home, probably a lot like yours. Her favorite activities include snuggling, head bonks, and making biscuits. She’s gone from lab cat to lap cat.

I know how much Petite loves her new life because I actually adopted her. Petite and Delilah, another Kitten Slaughterhouse survivor, live with me and my partner. So this tale of two cats is very personal to me. But it’s personal for you too. The government is still using your money to abuse kittens.

When the money stops, the killing stops. With your help, we’ll close this shameful chapter and dump wasteful government cat experiments into the litter box of history.Read More



Anthony is the president and founder of White Coat Waste Project, a 3-million-member watchdog group that works to find, expose and defund $20 billion in wasteful taxpayer-funded animal experiments.




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Dairy Kills

May 10, 2021
by
Source Expired: Dairy Still Kills


Why do some promote cow’s milk and cheese as “humane”? Consuming animals as well as their “products” is never a victimless activity regardless of how humans define it, those anthropomorphized tv demonstrations of happy cows and cows going to school are delusional deflections from the reality of hell they experience: all exploited animals die, most after brief lives of pain, torment, bodily control, and mutilation.

If you agree that such incalculable suffering and violent death of infants “from other countries” is horrific, you should read about how many infants are violently, fearfully butchered in the US yearly, page 6, and also note that the US, just as one example, exports animals and animal “products” globally.


USDA: 2019 Commercial calf slaughter totaled 587,000 head

https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/r207tp32d/34850245n/5712mr72x/lsan0420.pdf


Mind you, that number includes calves and not the mothers or the chickens or the lambs or the pigs or the fish: globally and yearly, trillions of unwilling animals are butchered.

If you consume animals or the secretions of animals and refuse to watch the violence and cruelty required for you because you find it “too distressing”, can you imagine having to actually experience it? Would you promote “humane euthanasia” of your cats or dogs in a slaughterhouse?

This really isn’t difficult: next time you make a choice, choose the one that doesn’t require such violence and misery, reaching for plant-based milks or plant-based cheeses or plant-based foods in general takes no additional effort. Nobody selects cows’ milk because it’s “naturally healthy”, that’s just the spin to validate your money subsidizing suffering. Cow’s milk is fortified with those “naturally healthy” benefits – ie, those vitamins are artificially added to it after it is stolen from the infants who it is “naturally” intended for – and the USDA includes soy milk as a healthy dairy food.

It’s bizarre that people pretend that drinking another species’ breastmilk, beyond infancy, and with teeth, causing preventable death to infants and mothers, is “healthy” or “natural”. SL



Source Expired, Animal Justice Project

A staggering 65,000 male calves under a month old were killed in slaughterhouses in 2020 in the UK, more than the number shot on farms.

Latest figures show that 60,000 male dairy calves were killed on British farms – a part of the industry which often faces public criticism. With assurance schemes, supermarkets and dairy companies prohibiting the “routine euthanasia of healthy calves” – the shooting of calves on farms – what will be the fate of these previously killed waste products? Is this another ‘kinder option’ that the industry has created following on from the mass integration of the dairy and beef industries?
 
Red Tractor, Arla and Müller, plus many supermarkets including Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons all have varying policies attempting to prevent this killing. But there are loopholes and calves will not always be protected. Some of these policies only protect calves for up to eight weeks old and others do not prevent calves being sold on at markets. Therefore, the fate of many of these calves is to enter the integrated calf rearing and fattening system, where they will be killed from 12 months old for their flesh. But thousands will still be unsuitable and unprofitable.


Oaklands Livestock Centre

‘Slaughter calves’ are bought by dealers from dairies and markets. Dealers are accountable for over half of all calves entering slaughterhouses.

We filmed calves being picked up from dairy farms, supplying Sainsbury’s via milk processor, Müller, by Oaklands Livestock Centre, owned by renowned calf dealer Derek Whittall.

Whittall buys and sells calves at Halls Shrewsbury Auction, as well as buying calves at Barbers Market in Market Drayton.

Whittall’s facility, Oaklands Livestock Centre, is in Shropshire. It is a busy hub for calves passing through. Centres like these are an integral part of the UK calf trade and aid the exploitation of calves. This site is also home to one of Blade Farming’s collection centres. Arla and Sainsbury’s have partnered with beef processor ABP through its Blade Farming operation. This aids the integration of the dairy and beef industries through rearing calves. Son of Oaklands’ Director, Josh Whittall, has been in charge of transport for some Blade Farming calves.

Some of the calves who arrive at Oaklands are destined to enter the integrated rearing system, and eventually be killed for their flesh. Many others will head straight to the slaughterhouse.

Arriving at the centre, calves were mercilessly unloaded. They were kicked and pushed down trailer ramps. Others were dragged up by their tails and ears.

We caught on camera the physical and verbal abuse of these vulnerable babies.

Gates were slammed on the calves, trapping their delicate legs. Plastic bags were waved around to scare the already distressed babies.



The violent culture of abuse amongst workers towards calves at Oaklands was normalised, condoned and seemed to be expected.


These incidents are highly distressing to watch, and not only do they breach transport and welfare legislation, they demonstrate a total lack of compassion and cause unnecessary pain, fear and suffering to the individual animals.

Molly Vasanthakumar Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery MRCVS


Naturally, calves drink from their mothers throughout the day and under legislation, those who are less than four weeks old must be fed two or more times in 24 hours. We filmed multiple groups of calves going without feeds for as long as 21 hours and others were fed only once in 29 hours. This was a regular occurrence during our filming.

 

Unweaned calves had no access to water.

Young calves paced and cried out. Being separated from their mothers and having milk restricted is highly distressing and dangerous for calves. When they were finally fed, they were often shown no patience. Some were thrown and hit and one was kicked in the face for not taking to the drinkers fast enough.

Some calves were loaded up and were left on a trailer for almost three hours. This is another clear breach of guidelines.

Oaklands takes many calves directly to slaughter. This is the heartbreaking, lesser-known part of the calf trade. Oaklands workers took calves to G. & G.B. Hewitt slaughterhouse in Chester, which they used to kill calves. Other agents including Livestock Supplies Ltd were caught on camera also taking calves there, taking almost 30 calves in February alone.

Calves are sent to the same slaughterhouses that kill larger animals such as sheep and adult cows. Their small frames are reflected in how tiny they look inside the walkways and holding pens.

We saw calves who were mercilessly stunned with a bolt gun before being strung up by their back legs and having their throats slit open to be ‘bled out’. The workers, desensitised to this horrific violence, took no hesitation in taking the lives of the calves. Curious and vulnerable babies were reduced to a mere profit-making product, hanging upside down and bleeding onto the slaughterhouse floor. 
 
Their flesh will be sold for human consumption and their skin for leather.


Their captive bolt gun failed to stun a calf FOUR TIMES



Workers blasted music and shouted loudly whilst they were next to young calves in the stun room. Frail, tiny babies, faced some of the worst parts of the industry.

There is no legislation covering the time between stunning and bleeding out but the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) states that “if it is possible to stick [cut the throat] within 15 seconds, then this should be the case”. We caught calves being left for over 40 seconds after stunning.

Could this cruel fate inside the slaughterhouse increase now that policies have been introduced to prohibit the killing of male calves on farms? Will we see slaughter figures increase? Ending the shooting of calves on farm will not end the killing inside slaughterhouses.

Whether they are killed at 10 days old or enter the “integrated rearing and fattening system” …

Dairy Still Kills





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Be the milk of human kindness and use dairy substitutes. They are delicious.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Why do you cause this?

May 3, 2021
by
Source Animal Equality


Please don’t pretend that the pigs who you consume didn’t die fearfully and violently, the footage revealed here is indicative of the lack of concern all exploited animals endure by humans globally: animal exploitation is worldwide, perpetuated by all countries and humans, no contributing person is immune. Small acts of exploitation fuel larger acts of exploitation and why those opposed, for example, to the cat and dog “meat” trades are actually complicit in them based on their “acceptable” chosen victims of cows and chickens.

If, after watching the horrors these animals are subjected to, you claim that abuse is “bad” please explain how killing is ok then: a final act of violence doesn’t negate or even mitigate exploitative existences, it actually amplifies it.

And there are NO laws that can protect animals who are bred to die, that’s just a delusion humans exploit to provide moral comfort causing the unimaginable pain, fear, and violence to the most vulnerable and innocent beings based on social acceptance of their suffering.

Why people praise laws or regulations that require suffering and death is baffling, though. SL



Source Animal Equality UK

Undercover footage captured by Animal Equality has revealed disturbing scenes of animal suffering on P&G Sleigh Pig Unit in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which is owned by senior pig industry figure Philip Sleigh. As a result of our investigation, the farm has been removed from the Quality Meat Scotland assurance scheme and Philip Sleigh is now no longer a Board Member of the initiative.

Pigs raised on the farm are slaughtered at ‘Quality Pork Limited’ – the largest pork abattoir in Scotland – and their flesh would have previously been sold under Quality Meat Scotland’s ‘Specially Selected Pork’ label. The slaughterhouse is contracted by Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the UK’s largest meat companies, which supplies around a quarter of Britain’s pig meat, including products sold by Lidl, Tesco and Marks & Spencer amongst other major retailers.

Animal Equality sent letters of complaint to the relevant authorities, urging them to take immediate action against P&G Sleigh Pig Unit using the full force of the law. A criminal investigation is now underway.

Sadly, the cruelty we exposed taking place in this particular facility is indicative of an industry which sees animals as nothing more than money-making machines.

Our investigators have filmed inside 10 UK pig farms in the last five years, finding severe animal suffering and flagrant disregard for animal welfare in every single one. This is yet another case of an accredited ‘high welfare’ farm flouting the law. The British pig industry must not be allowed to continue to mislead consumers. 





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Homo crapiens is the feces species

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Indigo

April 26, 2021
by
Indigo, a short documentary featuring Joaquin Phoenix, created by Shaun Monson


“US Rejected”: Imagine having your entire life defined by how you will be used in death: the control, fear, and violence these gentle creatures experience at the hands of “humanity” is nothing short of depraved and an absolute, scathing indictment of human apathy disguised as normalized “humane” violence. SL



Source Nation Earth, Animal Save Movement, Veg World Magazine


One day after his best actor Academy Award win last year, Joaquin Phoenix joined Los Angeles Animal Save to help rescue a mother and baby cow from an L.A. slaughterhouse. He named them “Liberty” and “Indigo” after his beloved sister and nephew. 

Today, L.A. Animal Save released a short documentary by Earthlings filmmaker Shaun Monson – INDIGO – in which Phoenix speaks frankly about the rescue, and visits the cows at their new sanctuary home in an emotional reunion. “We spend one day each year paying homage to our planet, Earth Day, but the other 364 days, we consume with impunity,” Phoenix said. “It’s undeniable the detrimental impact that animal agriculture has on the environment.

This simple act of rescuing Liberty and Indigo…in some ways, it’s just as simple as sparing the lives of these creatures. But it’s also an acknowledgment of not only the destruction they feel at our hands but the environment as a whole. By our actions, we either have the choice to continue to destroy other beings and the environment, or we begin the process of reversing the damage that we’ve done.” 

The film premiered online today (April 22) and is available above or at https://youtu.be/eJ9iQLfeGBk 

A Q&A with the filmmakers aired following the premiere can be viewed at https://youtu.be/rd7xpy_8UMc





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