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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)

Abject suffering & cruelty required in dairy

April 12, 2021
by


Source Direct Action Everywhere Instagram


In 2017, I entered a Land O’ Lakes dairy farm in California with a team of DxE investigators and the horrors I saw sent me on an unexpected journey. Was this farm just an anomaly, or was this routine treatment of dairy cows and their babies? I couldn’t understand how the dairy industry gets away with such cruelty – especially a company like Land O’ Lakes that boasts about following strict animal welfare guidelines. 

I have now gone into 14 Land O’ Lakes farms in California and Wisconsin, the nation’s top dairy-producing states. With the help of more than 20 grassroots investigators, we now have footage proving that this company routinely violates its own welfare standards, as well as animal cruelty laws.  

We have a 2 minute video proving that Land O’Lakes is going out of its way to mislead customers. Please watch and share on Facebook or Instagram (or above).

We’re reporting this cruelty, reaching out to company representatives, and sharing our findings with journalists. The Fresno Bee just published a story about our investigation findings which you can read and share here (or see below).  

Don’t be fooled by false advertising about “happy cows” and “pure milk.” There is nothing happy nor pure about the dairy industry, and when we take direct action, we can expose that.

Many thanks to everyone who helped with this investigation on the ground, and to all of you supporting online. Together, we are shattering the “humane” myth and making real progress for animal rights. If you can support this work financially, please chip in here

Alexandra



Source The Fresno Bee

By Joshua Tehee


The animal rights activist group Direct Action Everywhere is leveling claims of animal abuse at several Land O’Lakes dairy operations in the central San Joaquin Valley, including Zonneveld Dairy near Laton in Fresno County.

On Wednesday, Berkeley-based group released the findings of a three-year investigation it did at 14 of the company’s farms both in Wisconsin and in California.

Among the facilities were Zonneveld Dairy in Laton; Kasbergen Dairy, Curtimade Dairy, FernJo Farms, and Mancebo Holsteins in Tulare; Fern Oaks Dairy in Porterville; Giacomazzi Dairy and Grimmius Calf Ranch in Hanford; and Tony A Nunes in Visalia.

The investigation found dozens of violations of both Land O’Lakes company animal welfare policy and California law, according to the group, which said it has video footage showing newborn calves being dragged by their hind legs and dumped from a backhoe, among other things.

The group said it will file criminal complaints against the farms on Wednesday with letters of support from a veterinarian and a former federal prosecutor, both of whom have seen the videos, the group said.

A Land O’Lakes representative said the company was not aware of the allegations as of Tuesday afternoon, but that animal care is a top priority for the company and its member-owners.

“Participation in the National Milk Producers Federation’s National Dairy FARM Program is a mandatory condition of Land O’Lakes, Inc. dairy membership and we are committed to maintaining compliance with all aspects of the program and the science that guides its development,” the representative said in an email statement.

This is not the first time Direct Action Everywhere has taken action against a Land O’Lakes operation.

Members of the group, including former “Baywatch” actress Alexandra Paul, protested alleged abuse at Zonneveld Dairy farm in 2017. The group also removed a calf from the ranch, in what it called a night-time rescue operation.

It’s also not the first time the group has had sights on Valley farms.

In 2018, three women were arrested at a ranch north of Oakdale while trying to remove an apparently dying calf from the property.

And last month, the group protested outside Harris Ranch in Coalinga, after asking the Fresno County District Attorney’s office to investigate the company’s beef processing facility in Selma. Direct Action Everywhere claimed to have hidden camera video footage showing excessive suffering of animals at the slaughterhouse.


Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day” and read more of his work 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



“I Remember Their Eyelashes”: Why I Chose to Stop Consuming Dairy

April 5, 2021
by
Source Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals , Sentient Media

Source Sentient Media

By Natalie Blanton


I remember their eyelashes. Big, dark, doe-eyes, encased by long, wispy, soft, curled lashes on their innocent black and white bovine faces. Newborn calves were kept in a teeny, tiny individual fenced-in pen alone. As a young child, I was fascinated by these baby creatures. I thought it was quaint that they had their own little space, their very own tiny house with a front yard.  

I grew up in rural Utah and had friends who lived on idyllic “dairy farms,” you know, the kind found beaming across every carton of milk. Sure, I knew cows lived there and I knew “milk” and  “cheese” came from them. However, the exact mechanics of ​how​ eluded me. As I matured, and after enough games of hide-and-go-seek among these rows of sheds housing tiny young calves,  I started to piece together a more sinister cycle taking place. It was a gradual tugging on threads of understanding, an unraveling of a dark truth behind those happy cows on those happy milk cartons.   

As the winter melted away and spring emerged, new baby cows could be found hobbling about the farms. Taking their first steps only moments after being born, under the guidance of their mothers. My excitement turned sour as I got older and began to notice spiked nose rings piercing through these day-old calves. Hungry for their mother’s milk, the spikes stabbed her udders, leaving them unable to feed and bond. A human-induced rift, a divide, a playing of God,  separating a mother from her child. After a few days of this process, the calves were stripped from their mothers entirely. I will never forget the screams from the distressed, grieving mothers, and the cries from the terrified babies in response, now held across the farm, shackled to what I began to understand as “veal crates,” though I didn’t know yet what “veal” meant.  

In my early teen years, I became a Rodeo Queen. A rural rite of passage for gritty, yet glamorous young cowgirls. Among other royal responsibilities of a newly minted Rodeo Queen, I was tasked with judging 4H cattle at the annual county fair. I watched in awe as pre-teen kids paraded their beloved animal across the arena, radiating with pride, no doubt a genuine connection between the two. They adoringly hugged their animals, naming them endearing pet names like “Daisy” or “Buddy,” only to be auctioned off later in the night, at the going rate, pound for pound of their flesh. I then watched as these same children, while loading their pets onto the slaughter truck, broke down in sobs, viscerally connecting the dots between their beloved animal and the agriculture industry. After learning of the profound bond that can come from raising and coexisting so closely with another mammal, I met the dark underbelly of animal husbandry as we now practice it in this late capitalist system. I had to ask why these cows, with  their soft, brown and black fur without spots, were the “meat cows” sent for slaughter at such a  tender age—while the Holsteins, the ones with the Black and White iconic spots, those found on  those quaint dairy farms I spent so many hours exploring, were allowed to live and have offspring and a herd to grow and play with. I asked a nearby rancher there at the fair, and he scoffed saying, “Spots or not, they all end up at a feedlot.” 

The final straw in my relationship with dairy was when I was in my later teen years, and I was helping round up some of my friends’ cattle herd at the end of the grazing season. I saw a mysterious contraption in their barn that looked like some medieval torture device—little did I realize, that is exactly what that was—known within the industry as the “rape rack.” Bold of the dairy industry to acknowledge a machine for exactly what it was. All of these moments culminated right then and there, when I, a recent survivor of sexual assault myself, found that this industry was systematically and repeatedly normalizing the raping of these innocent creatures, all in the name of profit. I thought, Please. Someone. Make this make sense. 

The sexual division, male vs female Holsteins experience is upsetting, to say the least. It was always the male calves, who had no value in the dairy industry, were often kept in tiny veal crates, only to be sent to slaughter at barely a few weeks old, while the females were allowed to grow up—only to meet the same fate as their mothers: kept perpetually pregnant, in repeated distress from losing their children, only to be raped again—enduring this brutal cycle, repeatedly. I find it reminiscent of a dystopian sci-fi novel, or perhaps even The Handmaid’s Tale? But because they are animals and not humans, I was certainly being very dramatic now, wasn’t I? 

The pit forming in my stomach was almost fully grown, this pit of truth, knowing that what had happened to me, was not okay—and should never happen to anyone, ever. As a woman, and a budding feminist, I was learning the urgency and vitality of bodily autonomy, and consent. I couldn’t compute that this industry wholly revolves around the commodification and exploitation of a mammal’s reproductive system. Because, lest we forget, we are merely mammals ourselves. 

These vignettes in my memories are not the norm. These illustrations of Old MacDonald’s loving barnyard have been bought and sold, by Big Agriculture, since the industrial revolution. These scenes of black and white cows, leisurely grazing green pastures are a product of propaganda. And the current dairy system likens much more to a full-metal apocalyptic factory farm (industrial milking carousels). If such a place as these dairy farms still exist, they are more than likely not the source of the cow’s milk ending up in your cup. These images are tales of make-believe, and one that I fear we chose to envision to self-congratulate, or self-soothe, and absolve us of feeling the dread that factory farming imagery can bring to us—if we were only able to open our eyes. 

Industrial animal agriculture is a corrupt, abusive, exploitative system that wastes all lives, human, animal, and planet alike. Now, as an intersectional feminist, I can’t help but ask why not extend the tenets of reproductive justice across all spectrums of race, class, ethnicity, gender, ability, religion, creed, and dare I say, species. As a woman, I cannot ignore the inextricable ties to reproductive labor that is inherent in the dairy industry. And what angers me the most? Is that people continue to romanticize and idealize this relationship we have with “dairy cows.” Dairy is often the last dietary frontier. Dairy products are often a person’s last culinary holdout, but this is simply people fooling themselves into thinking that we have this gentle, reciprocal, loving “animal husbandry” relationship with the animals that are forced to produce the raw product—this misguided idea that cows naturally and endlessly lactate, continuously producing this magic “essential” fluid just for us, and all they need is for humans to tease that milk out of their udders, or else they may explode. Wrong! All mammals lactate for the same reason, for their offspring, not for anyone else. 

I fully acknowledge the damaging comparisons that have been made in earlier vegan feminist discourse, that likens these systems and structures to the abuse and disempowerment that is enacted upon female bodies. Mainstream feminism often centers and uplifts cis-gender white women and those with reproductive potential. I hope that we are collectively moving toward feminism that centers and celebrates equality for every woman. I dream of a world where mainstream feminist discourse does not exclude non-human animals. I am not at all attempting to compare the experience of women, Trans or femmes, to that of farmed animals—but what I am saying is all beings deserve respect and dignity. And these sacred bonds of fertility, conception, birthing, and lactation are what make us incredible beings, human or otherwise. I hope we can identify and celebrate these parallels across species, the immaculate ability to produce life. The most basic of bonds we create with our newborn infants are no different than a mother cow and her calf. The desire to protect, feed, and sacrifice, for our young and family ties. Expanding feminism to include non-human animals isn’t degrading our feminist movement, rather, I argue, it’s what’s required for the sake of compassion, empathy, and a more just future, for all. 

The ditch dairy argument is a tough concept to swallow, I should know. I held on, eating cheese and yogurt for years before finally ditching dairy. I too was heard saying, “I just cannot live without cheese.” To my defense, cheese sets off the same dopamine receptors as cocaine in human brains. Alas, we are but addicted lab rats (in a capitalist maze, one designed not to make us healthier, but the exact opposite). But, what I wish people would learn to recognize is that dairy is the reason so many of us are getting sick—we have sky-high rates of lactose intolerance, not to mention that dairy has been linked to many forms of cancer, and hormonal imbalances (human female youth are beginning puberty at younger and younger ages due to the increased levels of estrogen found in mammal breast milk being consumed daily). 

I read something once, in a distant theory class, that humans are superior to animals because our anatomy allows us to look up, skyward—and that these “beasts of burden” are lowly, conversely keeping their sights to the earth. I wondered if we had that all wrong, and should recognize that the creatures who center the earth, in all that they do, might just be the ones we might learn from instead.

I share this story in the hopes of expanding our circle of compassion. This is an urgent plea I ask you to consider. This is not meant to shame anyone, merely a telling of my story of why I made the choice to stop consuming dairy. These industrial food systems are decimating our planet, disrupting indigenous and natural symbiotic communion with our earth, and to put it bluntly, this is food apartheid. 

It is time to seriously consider weaning ourselves off of the teats of the dairy industry. Divest our diet and dollars away from antiquated systems of torture and destruction. If you have the privilege and access to choose what you eat, I hope you choose to reduce suffering, with every meal. I am only interested in a future of expansive and inclusive feminism, one that centers on all beings and celebrates autonomous reproductive capacity and sovereign motherhood. To this day, I can still remember their eyelashes. 


Natalie Blanton (she/they pronouns), MS is an activist and Sociology Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City. They work, research, and teach within the veins of social, environmental, and reproductive justice. Natalie understands our world-society to be built upon the backs of oppressed and marginalized communities and actively seeks to advocate, educate, and rabble-rouse to overturn that norm. In their past life, Natalie has been a rodeo queen, turned full-time animal rights activist, worked for multiple farmed animal sanctuaries, and as a community educator for Planned Parenthood. Now, at the university level, they teach undergraduate Sociology of Gender and Sexuality and Environmental Sociology. Their dissertation is at the nexus of Environmental and Reproductive Justice in the Intermountain West Region of the United States.





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

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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

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

PETA HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

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True human evolution comes from the heart

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Groups Urge Associated Press to Update Animal Pronouns

March 29, 2021
by

Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality, We Animals Media: Wet from birth, ropes used to pull her from her mother still around her ankles.

Source UPC , IDA , Animals and Media


“In an age struggling with industrialized animal cruelty, the sixth mass extinction of species, a climate crisis, and the exploitation of the natural world, the way we use language influences the way we see our relationship with our environment and the nonhuman animals we share it with.”


United Poultry Concerns is pleased to be a signatory to this Open Letter initiated by In Defense of Animals urging The Associated Press to update its pronoun recommendations for nonhuman animals from “what” to “who.” For decades, the AP’s Stylebook recommendations on the use of personal pronouns for nonhuman animals have cast animals as objects – “it,” “which,” and similar demeaning and inaccurate designations that influence media coverage and public perception. IDA is joined by more than 80 respected leaders and scholars in animal advocacy and conservation across the globe who support this change, including Jane Goodall.


Read the Open Letter:
Animals Are a Who, Not a What




See also English and Speciesism , By Joan Dunayer





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



i am a being
a form
i live
i die
i feel
i exist
i am real
i am not a thing
nor an it
i am here as are you
until called
by the one higher

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Seaspiracy

March 22, 2021
by
Source Seaspiracy, Netflix trailer, YouTube

Source Plant Based News , Seaspiracy Instagram

By Emily Baker


Seaspiracy, a documentary produced by Cowspiracys Kip Andersen, unveiled its trailer this week and garnered thousands of views.

It is described on Netflix to document humans’ harm on the sea, and uncovers ‘alarming global corruption’. The documentary is directed by Ali Tabrizi and Lucy Tabrizi.

Snapshots in the trailer show interviewees asking for the cameras to be switched off. It includes a voice clip which states: ‘The safety concerns are serious. Ignore them at your risk.’

Moreover, overfishing is featured heavily as well as illegal fishing. Additionally, the Seaspiracy trailer shows the treatment of humans working in the industry too.

At the time of writing, the two-minute-long video had secured more than 40,000 views on Facebook, and over 150,000 on Instagram.

‘If you want to address climate change, the first thing you do is protect the ocean. And, the solution to that is very simple. Leave it alone,’ one interviewee states during the snippet. (The interviewee is Captain Paul Watson of the  Sea Shepherd Conservation Society SL)

Ahead of the release on March 24, the Seaspiracy team announced the documentary will be available to an audience of more than 190 million across the globe.

They claim: “This film will radically transform the way we think and act on ocean conservation forever. 

“It is time we focus our ecological and ethical concerns on our seas and its inhabitants.This is a new era for how we treat the most important habitat on earth.”

The film’s producer is Kip Andersen. He says Seaspiracy will uncover ‘the most important missing piece in the environmental puzzle’.

You can find out more via the Seapiracy Instagram account





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



Stop Canada From Building Prison Goat Farms

March 15, 2021
by
Art by Jamie Neufeld, Source Free From Harm

Please sign international petition HERE

Source Free From Harm

By Calvin Neufeld 


According to CSC, its multi-million-dollar investment in an industrial goat farm pilot project is for the benefit of prisoners who will “acquire new skills.” The real reason: money. Canada’s prison farms will be exploiting prisoners in the exploitation of animals for institutional and corporate profit.

“The prisoners will get to play with baby goats,” said one CSC representative. 

“The prisoners will learn empathy working with animals,” said another.

“It’s important that it be dairy,” said another, “because the animals are all mothers. Many inmates haven’t known a mother’s love, and the animals are like mothers to them.”


Photo by Michael Cooper / NI Prison Service , Source Free From Harm

Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of the Plant-Based Policy Centre, offers a simple rebuttal: “Animals are not surrogate mothers for prisoners.” 

As for the so-called benefits of learning empathy, Camille Labchuck of the Animal Justice law firm demolishes this claim: “Industrial-scale animal farming creates brutal conditions for animals and workers alike. There’s no rehabilitative aspect to a factory goat farm. All it teaches incarcerated persons is that animals should be exploited and commodified. This is hardly consistent with inspiring more care and compassion for others.”

To sum up CSC’s goat farm as “playing with baby goats” is misleading to the point of obscenity. Baby goats there will be, hundreds of them. CSC plans on acquiring the first 800 female kids in 2021, to begin building the herd to at least 2200, and potentially as many as 3000 or more. An industrial dairy facility (and accompanying manure lagoon) will be built on prison grounds to produce 9000 litres of goat milk per day. The expected buyer is a transnational Chinese infant formula company that has built a massive processing facility in proximity to the prison farms in Kingston, Ontario. 


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



More cruel and stupid behind the mask of “compassion“

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



There Was A Killing

March 8, 2021
by
Animal Save Movement


Animal exploitation perpetuates normalized violence, towards all, I have never witnessed so much hostility, anger, and belligerence than from the purveyors of animal consumption. To disregard animals in such incalculable numbers and in unimaginable ways, inflicting intentional, massive, and relentless suffering and pain on trillions of animals per year, taking their lives willingly and indifferently, promotes violence towards all animals, including humans. You cannot deal in bloody violence, perpetuate and sanction it, and not have it affect others.

I can attest I saw relentless activism on behalf of the killer and not the victim, fundraisers where people happily provided thousands of dollars to the killer, not to the victim, as per normal in the animal agriculture industry: the victims are hidden and society excuses such because it personally profits and benefits from the victimization. There was no expressed remorse, regret, genuine condolences, only anger, ridicule, and mockery towards those very humans who are opposed to exploitative violence.

Even if you disagree, your opinion is meaningless to the victims, who suffer, feel pain, and die violently and unwillingly. Regan Russell is another victim of the brutal, violent, and despicable animal agriculture industry.

SL


Source Toronto Pig Save

Please sign petition to stop opening of new slaughterhouse HERE


The trucker who killed Regan Russell was cited with careless driving, a non-criminal charge.

Anita Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief, facing up to 10 years in prison, for giving water to pigs.


Regan Russell, 65, was violently struck and killed by a pig transport truck in front of Sofina’s Fearmans slaughterhouse on Friday, June 19, 2020. She was at a Toronto Pig Save vigil with six other activists giving pigs water on one of the hottest days of the year. She regularly attended pig vigils and on this particular day Regan was there to oppose Ontario’s “ag-gag” Bill 156, which had passed two days prior.

On the morning of June 19th, 2020, seven activists from the love-based animal rights group Toronto Pig Save were demonstrating outside Sofina Foods’ Fearmans slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario. What began as a peaceful vigil (giving water to pigs and offering them comfort moments before their death) and protest against “ag-gag” Bill 156 soon ended in horror for vegan activist Regan Russell.

It was a little after 10 am as another truck carrying pigs appeared on the horizon, but something was off. Though the truck would be turning right onto a service road, the driver remained in the left lane, not moving, holding up traffic for several light-cycles. Russell, waiting at the crosswalk on the far side of the service road, eventually decided to join her companions. Suddenly, the truck lurched forward and the other activists heard a terrifying scream, but the driver kept going until security guards waved him down.

By then, 65-year old Regan Russell, a decades-long pioneer in Canadian animal rights activism had been dragged more than the entire length of the truck, and she was dead.

No criminal charges were brought against the driver due to the passing of Bill 156 just one day before, a statute designed to protect transporters from animal rights activists. Dubbed an ag-gag, Bill 156 is an undemocratic and unconstitutional piece of legislation that allows force to be used against protesters. It also infringes on the right to assemble and criminalizes activists and whistleblowers working to expose violence against animals on farms, at slaughterhouses, and in transport trucks.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Shaun Monson (Earthlings, Unity), and featuring never-before-seen footage, There Was a Killing provides first-hand accounts and in-depth analysis from attorneys Robert Monson, Lisa Bloom, and David Simon exposing corruption and a cover-up that has allowed the animal agriculture industry to avoid the legal and economic consequences of their behavior through a law some may see as a license to kill.

Documentary http://therewasakilling.com


Regan Russell spent the final moments of her life providing comfort to pigs who had never experienced the touch of a kind hand. While her tragic death has brought upon deep sorrow in the Animal Save [Movement] community, we will honor her memory by vigorously confronting the cruelties she fought so hard to prevent by marching with Black Lives, protecting Indigenous rights, fighting for LGBTQ equality, and living a compassionate vegan life. The Ontario government can attempt to silence us with the passage of its Ag-Gag bill -Bill 156 – but we will never go away and we will never back down.

Joaquin Phoenix





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



Our species never ceases to be cruel
Never learns any lessons
Proud to be the fool

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

After pork giant was exposed for cruel killings, the FBI pursued its critics

March 1, 2021
by
Source The Intercept: “…making it quite possible that some pigs survived, and are therefore buried alive or crushed by the bulldozers that haul away the corpses.”

Let’s be clear: all animal slaughter is inherently abusive and cruel and causes fear and suffering regardless of how humans, who will never be subjected to the same violent fate, define it. Those who are horrified by ventilation shutdown yet not “commonly accepted” forms of slaughter are actually just using one form of cruelty to justify another.

Please visit HERE to learn of the violence inherent in the animal exploitation industry regardless of how you define such, and before you reject footage as “the exception” (it’s not) or based on vegan “propaganda” (versus nothing provided by the animal exploiters) just remember: the “animal agriculture industry” relies on and actively pursues consumer ignorance, willful or not, and DO NOT release their own footage. Ask yourself why that is: if they are humane, they can prove it, but are unable to, and rather than use funds supporting “humane treatment” they use money to hide their deception, cruelty, greed, and intentional participation in abject suffering. That is why you will never see the an-ag industry actually demonstrate “humane treatment” before or during the killing; they instead hide the barbarism and focus on those who are exposing it.

Who’s the terrorist? SL



Source The Intercept

By Lee Fang


Please see article published today, 3/1/21, in Des Moines Register

Last June, Noel Williams, the chief operations officer of Iowa Select Farms, a powerful pork company and the largest in Iowa, pulled into the parking lot of an empty housing complex typically used for the firm’s immigrant workforce.

He was there to transport Lucas Walker, a former truck driver for Iowa Select, to a meeting with Nick Potratz, an FBI agent from the Des Moines office of the bureau. That’s according to Walker, who had recently tried to report Iowa Select, his former employer, for mistreating animals. After The Intercept published leaked video of pigs being killed off en masse, Walker came under scrutiny.

Now, the FBI had a favor to ask: Would Walker become an informant? More specifically, they wanted him to help in an effort to investigate and undermine an activist group that had become a thorn in Iowa Select’s side. They even asked if he’d be willing to sell drugs.

The saga that brought him into contact with the FBI began when the 26-year-old grew frustrated with his former employer, Iowa Select, which is headquartered in his hometown of Iowa Falls. Walker thought the company was blatantly disregarding state “double stocking” rules, which limit the size and number of pigs that are held in an intensive animal feeding facility, letting overweight pigs crowd into pens far too small to hold them.

He was tired of what he saw as frequent rule-breaking and disregard for the well-being of the tens of thousands of hogs raised by Iowa Select. The company, in his view, seemed hellbent on expansion and profits, leading to rampant overcrowding and water pollution. That rapid expansion led to the annual production of 1.5 billion pounds of pork a year, a global leader before the pandemic. The novel coronavirus, however, closed regional slaughterhouses, creating a glut of pigs.

He decided to speak out and called state regulators.

Walker doesn’t fit the profile of an animal rights activist. The central Iowa-raised truck driver, who jokingly refers to himself as corn-fed with beer running through his veins, is a fervent Trump and NRA supporter who has spent years working in the state’s maze of hog production facilities. He describes himself as independent-minded with libertarian instincts, with a bit of a contrarian side suspicious of organized power.

“I’m not necessarily animal rights by any means,” said Walker in an interview with The Intercept. “I have a cattle herd — small calf herd — and my wife and myself have some free-range pigs ourselves.”

“It was a moral issue at the heart of it. … I’m the kind of person who knows right from wrong. It was a principled thing.”

Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources, the local farm regulator, Walker felt, did not seem to care about his concerns over the phone or show any interest in enforcement on a company like Iowa Select. Iowa, followed by North Carolina and Minnesota, is the largest pork-producing state in the country and infamously deferential to industry. Iowa officials have faced criticism for failing to regulate concentrated pork facilities for water pollution and poor animal welfare standards.

Jeff Hansen, the founder of Iowa Select, built the pork powerhouse first as a salesman, helping distribute modern farrowing crates, automatic feeders, and other livestock equipment to other pig farmers in the state. He built two companies at once: a turnkey construction firm known as Modern Hog Concepts, which helped farmers upgrade their barns into modern factory farms, and Iowa Select, which raised pigs for slaughter.

Along the way, as he grew his business empire, Hansen built close connections with Iowa’s political elite. In 1994, during a cycle in which Hansen was one of the largest campaign contributors to then-Gov. Terry Branstad, he had set aside employee money for campaign contributions to local Republicans. The resulting scandal forced lawmakers to return campaign funds to Iowa Select, but the company continued to grow.

The owners of Iowa Select, Jeff and his wife Debra Hansen, are still among the largest campaign contributors in the state, and close to Gov. Kim Reynolds. A recent donation of $50,000 brought the total the couple has donated to the governor to nearly $300,000.

The governor has maintained cozy ties to Iowa Select. Shortly after her election in 2018, Reynolds volunteered to auction off her time as a gift to the Hansen family foundation. In the early days of the pandemic, her administration arranged a Covid-19 testing site at a corporate office used by white-collar Iowa Select employees and foundation employees, raising concerns with one Polk County supervisor of special treatment for the campaign donor.

And Kayla Lyon, who Reynolds appointed to run the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which inspects hog farms for compliance with animal welfare and environmental rules, is a former dairy industry official and agribusiness lobbyist. Lyon, in her previous capacity as an influence peddler in Des Moines, had worked to pass the 2012 “ag gag” law that criminalized recording at farm facilities, according to lobbyist disclosures. Lyon lobbied at a time when Iowa Select’s lobbyists in Des Moines pushed for the bill, records show.

The impetus for that bill, which was designed to criminally prosecute whistleblowers at factory farming operations, also started in part with Iowa Select. The year before the bill was signed into law, an animal rights activist group, Mercy for Animals, released an undercover video that showed Iowa Select workers ripping the testicles from conscious piglets, removing tails with dull clippers, and scores of sows in small confinement cages, appearing to suffer from untreated sores and other wounds.

The law, though later overturned by a federal court, was the first of its kind and rapidly inspired copycat legislation across the country.

Walker’s failed attempts to reach regulators, to report overcrowding in Iowa Select facilities, didn’t surprise him. “The DNR wasn’t very interested in talking about it,” said Walker. “They’re too big to be regulated.”

“There have been no recent enforcement actions against Iowa Select Farms. Nor are we aware of any complaints or allegations made to the DNR,” Alex Murphy, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said in an email to The Intercept.

Walker, aware that he had few outlets for help, turned to the internet to research whistleblowing resources for factory farms. That’s how he found Direct Action Everywhere, the Berkeley, California-based group that has worked to expose the shocking treatment of animals in factory farms.


Related: Hidden Video and Whistleblower Reveal Gruesome Mass-Extermination Method for Iowa Pigs Amid Pandemic


Soon after he came into contact with DxE, the novel coronavirus reached global pandemic status, shutting down slaughterhouses across the region. The glut of hogs, which suddenly became unprofitable, quickly ran up costs for the company. Iowa Select decided to mass slaughter thousands of pigs in a particularly brutal process called “ventilation shutdown,” or VSD. Workers sealed off airways while pumping steam into the barns, intensifying the heat — over the course of many hours — to the point at which the pigs died from suffocation and/or hyperthermia.

The process further horrified Walker, cementing his belief that Iowa Select had no concern for the animals they raised. The company, he argued, had the resources to mitigate the killing of healthy pigs. Iowa Select could have offered “some pigs to our neighbors to care for and raise.” But instead, the firm opted to gas thousands — a clear indication that they viewed animal life as disposable.

Walker decided to expose the VSD process to DxE and the media, leading to an investigation by The Intercept, which published a video of the process showing young pigs squealing as they slowly roasted to death.

The widely covered video set off a fury of controversy, bringing international attention to the gruesome mass slaughter. Following the news, DxE activists also picketed the home of Iowa Select’s founder and protested outside of company facilities. Several were arrested and charged after chaining themselves to the fence surrounding the Iowa Select facility in Grundy County that had used the VSD method to kill off its hogs.

Following the controversy, a group of members of Congress filed a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture criticizing the animal agriculture industry for using VSD methods during the pandemic. “The process is inhumane, distressing, and painful for the animals who can take many hours to die,” the letter noted. “Under no circumstances should producers be utilizing ventilation shutdown.”

It sparked an ethical debate within the animal agriculture and veterinary community. “The corporation spent over a month planning this tragedy, retrofitting the barn to close off the ventilation, and preparing workers for this gruesome task — who may suffer mental health consequences for having to partake in this practice,” charged an open letter by prominent veterinarians denouncing the actions of Iowa Select.

The publicity came as a shock to Iowa Select. Emails obtained through a public records request show that Iowa Select collaborated with trade groups to manage the fallout. Animal Agriculture Alliance, an industry group that provides crisis communications support to factory farming interests under scrutiny, flagged The Intercept story about the VSD mass killing of pigs. In response, alerts and social media posts about the story were sent to the National Pork Producers Council, a lobby group currently led by Jen Sorenson, the spokesperson for Iowa Select.

“As we know they have targeted Iowa Select,” noted Dallas Hockman, the vice president of industry relations at the National Pork Producers Council, referring to DxE. “I know they have been doing mass mailing, I have received number [sic] of calls from channel partners inquiring about it as well as questions on ventilation shutdown.” Hannah Thompson-Weeman, vice president of strategic engagement at Animal Agriculture Alliance, responded to note that her group was in the process of “contacting our FBI and DHS contacts to raise our concerns.”

They also zeroed in on the role of Walker.

In June, Walker, who had been terminated following a trucking accident earlier that summer, was asked to return to the company to help fill out paperwork. When he arrived at the meeting, he says, he was asked to take his phone out and place it on the table. A private investigator hired by Iowa Select said that local police had obtained the phones of arrested DxE members, searched through their messages, and found Walker’s number. The investigator called his number, and his phone rang. He had been caught.

The discussion then went back and forth, Walker recounts, with Walker answering questions about his involvement with DxE. Satisfied with his answers, Walker was left with a few Subway sandwiches and asked if he could attend a meeting in a few days with an FBI agent.

The following week, Noel Williams, one of the Iowa Select executives who had been in the previous meeting, picked Walker up from his home and drove him to the meeting with the FBI agent, according to Walker.

The FBI agent, Nick Potratz, then started asking a series of questions about DxE: How are they funded? Do they run drugs or sell guns to finance their animal welfare activism?

Potratz then turned the conversation again to Walker. “Would you go to a protest and report back on if these are good people or bad people?” Walker remembers the agent asking. “Would you be willing to buy drugs, buy dope for the FBI?”

During the conversation, Walker says, the men in the room quizzed Walker over what types of services he could provide to undermine the animal rights group. The FBI agent asked Walker if he would be comfortable engaging in recorded conversations with DxE’s spokesperson, Matt Johnson, who had been arrested and charged with a felony earlier that summer for allegedly trespassing at one of Iowa Select’s pork production facilities — though the trespass charges were abruptly dropped last month. They asked Walker how well he could keep secrets, told him what rights he might have as an official FBI informant, and read him the agency’s guidelines for human sources — what the agent described as the “Ten Commandments” for becoming an informant.

Toward the end of the meeting, Williams said he had to leave, ironically to deal with an electrical malfunction that killed 1,500 sows. Without a ride, Walker took a lift home from the FBI agent at the meeting, who continued talking to him about how he could help the agency. He asked if Walker knew about any illegal bribes by farming interests to safety inspectors or other issues like that. The FBI agent also asked if Walker could attend a follow-up meeting with another agent who was in training. Walker agreed.

Mike German, a former FBI special agent who now serves as a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program, noted that the FBI may have been hoping to use a drug prosecution to build a network of more informants.

“That may be more in line with the assessment type of activity where they’re not trying to solve a drug distribution problem, but rather trying to find something they can use to coerce the next person to become an informant,” said German. “A buy-bust for some small amount of drugs to justify a local prosecution that can be used to leverage their participation in a bigger operation.”

“The FBI Omaha field office declines to comment,” wrote Amy Adams, an FBI spokesperson, in an email to The Intercept. Iowa Select spokesperson Jen Sorenson responded to multiple requests for comment with a statement that the company “will not be engaging in this story.”

Williams, the Iowa Select executive who brought Walker to the meeting with the FBI, declined over the phone to comment. Potratz, the FBI agent, referred questions to the FBI’s media office.

“The federal government knows that criminalizing peaceful speech activity is a sham, and that the general public is on our side,” said Matt Johnson, DxE’s spokesperson. “But they’re also beholden to the undue influence of companies like Iowa Select Farms. It’s telling to see the roundabout lengths they’ll resort to in trying to undermine our work — and keep the public from knowing the truth.”

The follow-up meeting, in an unmarked van at the local Hy-Vee grocery store, was another opportunity for the FBI to make a pitch. Walker described being brought to an FBI van in the Hy-Vee parking lot for another discussion over whether he would help surveil and engage DxE. Potraz was now joined by a colleague, and the two FBI agents went over the same set of questions, asking Walker if he was comfortable keeping his involvement secret and spying on DxE. Would he be willing to testify if an investigation came to that? He was again read the Department of Justice’s guidelines for informants.

Walker was not offered money, and the FBI did not explicitly coerce him, but the tenor of the meetings left him rattled.

During one phone call with an FBI agent from the meeting, Walker recalled asking whether he was under investigation or some other law enforcement inquiry. “He said he couldn’t confirm or deny,” Walker later said. It may have been a perfunctory response, but that uncertainty loomed over him like a dark shadow.

The FBI ha long considered animal rights and environmental groups among the agency’s “highest domestic terrorism priorities,” a focus that has been shaped by industry pressure. In the past, FBI informants have been involved in campaigns to goad environmental activists into acts of terror and violence.

It’s part of a longer history of the FBI targeting nonviolent activist groups, including protesters affiliated with the anti-war movement and left-wing individuals who were planning to demonstrate the 2004 presidential conventions. In more recent years, the FBI, including agents from the Des Moines field office, worked closely with TigerSwan, a private security firm retained by Energy Transfer Partners, which sought to undermine support for demonstrators opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline.

DxE was already on the FBI’s radar. In 2017, agents from the FBI took extraordinary steps to pursue DxE over an action in which dying pigs were taken from a Smithfield Foods-owned facility and brought to an animal shelter. A six-car fleet of FBI agents in bulletproof vests obtained a warrant to raid animal sanctuaries in Utah and Colorado in search of piglets allegedly liberated by DxE’s volunteer activists.

The bureau has faced criticism over the years for lax oversight of its network of more than 15,000 informants, a figure that outnumbers agents in the field. Although FBI agents require probable cause before directly infiltrating organizations, those rules do not apply to informants. This loophole effectively incentivizes the FBI to use informants to infiltrate political or activist groups.

Ramzi Kassem, a professor at CUNY School of Law, where he directs CLEAR, a clinic that focuses on issues arising from the U.S. security state, also raised concerns about attempted recruitment.

“It’s one thing for the FBI to seed informants within suspected criminal organizations like the Mafia to act as the FBI’s eyes and ear,” said Kassem. “It’s an altogether different matter for the FBI to treat activist groups as though they were crime syndicates and to send in informants to not only be the FBI’s eyes and ears, but also its hands and wallet, too, instigating crimes that probably would not have taken place without FBI involvement. That is a highly questionable use of public funds.”

For the most part, the FBI has targeted left-leaning activism, including the infamous COINTELPRO initiative that involved the harassment of anti-Vietnam War leaders, civil rights organizers, and other supposedly subversive political organizations. But the agency has also, at times, targeted conservative-leaning groups, including efforts to use informants to infiltrate libertarian activist circles. The FBI also took the unusual step of planting an informant with then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 to investigate accusations of collusion with the Russian government.

Despite bipartisan criticism of the agency’s conduct, Congress has done little to impose new rules limiting the FBI’s power or its use of informants.

“Once they’ve recruited somebody, they can, with minimal oversight, deploy people in pretty dangerous situations,” said Diala Shamas, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The recruitment process is a big black hole with little information and so much coercion.”

Many informants, said Shamas, face the threat of prosecution or are immigrants living in fear of deportation. The FBI uses legal vulnerabilities as leverage to coerce participation in the informant program.

But they had no such luck with Walker.

Walker eventually decined their offer. He found it odd that his former employer drove him to the meeting with the FBI, and that the FBI had sought to use its vast resources to go after a band of nonviolent activists.

The FBI agent, Walker said, seemed to have a chummy relationship with Iowa Select’s private investigator, who identified himself as a former law enforcement official. The entire arrangement appeared to be a show of deference to Iowa Select, a company that already had far too much power in Walker’s eyes.

Walker had gone to state regulators about other animal safety violations he believed Iowa Select had committed. He knew the company’s founders were among the biggest campaign contributors in the state. Now it seemed to Walker that even federal law enforcement officials were effectively in their pocket.

Months passed and Walker, after discussions with his wife, decided that he wanted to talk to the press a second time, this time using his name. The fact that Iowa Select could wield this power not only over its animals but also the political process and law enforcement agencies was too much.

Shortly after The Intercept reached out to the FBI for comment, Walker says, he suddenly received a call from one of the agents he had met. The call came from an unlisted number. The bureau no longer needed him as an informant, the agent said. Then the person hung up.

Correction: February 17, 2021, 5:15 p.m. ET
Matt Johnson, a DxE activist, was arrested inside the Iowa Select facility, not outside, as originally stated. The piece has been corrected.





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the FBI is nothing more than a tool for the authoritarian governmentals

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Inside the slaughterhouse: an investigation on the industrial slaughter of animals

February 22, 2021
by
Tras los Muros

Let’s cut the absolute nonsense of “humane” slaughter. First, the US excludes nine billion poultry slaughtered yearly from the (oxymoronic) Humane Slaughter Act resulting in tens of thousands being “boiled alive”, as listed as “cadavers” : https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Todays_Reports/reports/pslaan19.pdf

The following is an article published more than two years ago exposing the incalculable suffering experienced by animals – nothing has changed to “improve” poultry slaughter:

Chickens freezing to death and boiled alive: failings in US slaughterhouses exposed

Second, and most importantly, no animal happily, joyfully, willingly dies. To describe a killing “process” as “humane” while requiring fear, pain, and violence, means “humane” is a term meant for human moral comfort and not for the animals who are forced to endure such.

It’s baffling that people praise laws that require suffering and violent death. The following is a Washington Post article that exposed the vicious cycle of violence in slaughterhouses as perpetrated by animal consumers, and although it is older, today the lines are faster with more animal victims, and the industry is being deregulated requiring “self-policed” audits:

The Die Piece by Piece

If you consume animals, please take time to read about their suffering. It’s tragic that people will spend weeks looking for a new appliance but don’t bother to spend time discovering how the suffering they consume was rejected as deserving of empathy, body autonomy, and life. SL



Source Tras los Muros

By Aitor Garmendia

Translator: Eva Canada


Modern slaughterhouses have been designed to take the highest number of animal lives, as fast as possible. Industrialised animal slaughter is a huge business, and some of these factories —which are becoming increasingly technological and are using equipments ever more and more modern and specialised—, take thousands of animals to their deaths every day. The slaughterhouse owned by Grupo Jorge, Le Porc Gourmet, kills 13,000 pigs a day; Veravic, owned by the Ibergallus society, 80,000 chickens; Faccsa has recently initiated formalities to build a slaughterhouse in Andalusia with the capacity to kill up to 40,000 pigs. These are some of the highest production rate slaughterhouses within the Spanish State, and they help us get an approximate idea of the industry’s exploitation and extermination pace.

Between November 2016 and October 2018, I gained access into 16 slaughterhouses in the Spanish State. Inside them, I was able to document the slaughter of cows, pigs, lambs, chickens, and rabbits.

The material I’m including in my investigation is aimed to show —as opposed to the meat industry’s obscurantism and propaganda— the institutional and systematic violence suffered by animals in slaughterhouses. It provides relevant information to revive the debate that, promoted by the anti-speciesist movement, questions the legitimacy of animal exploitation and advocates for its abolition.

As long as its use is pro bono and exposure-oriented, I’ll make all the graphic material obtained available upon request, for free.1


Meat Industry: secrecy and power of influence

Social concern about the abuse suffered by animals in farms and slaughterhouses is on the rise, and the images of violence against them are increasingly taking more and more space in the media. Those images are usually obtained by activist researchers who, either by using subterfuges that allow them to enter these places with a camera in their hands, or by placing hidden cameras, expose to the public eye the truth of an industry that’s becoming increasingly armoured to the sight of its consumers.

The debate about speciesism 2 —the discrimination and subsequent oppression suffered by animals— and the social movement born to fight against it, wouldn’t be where they are now without the existence of graphic investigations carried out by organizations and activists. These investigations have helped people all over the world become aware of the atrocities perpetrated behind the slaughterhouses’ walls, and consequently, they have inspired them to get committed with the defence of animals.

The constant abuses captured by these images are not isolated instances of animal cruelty; they are just part of a systematic exploitation regime backed by the support of our institutions. This kind of investigations are undermining the meat business image, and provoking massive monetary losses.3, 4, 5 With the aim of never letting these images come to light, managers in meat companies receive specific guidelines so as to prevent the hiring of undercover activists who could gain access to their premises6, 7, 8

In the US, the animal rights movement has an extensive historic trajectory, and investigations carried out by activists have shown the brutal treatment received by animals in farms and slaughterhouses owned by important food brands (Tyson FoodsMcDonald´sJBSPerdue FoodsPilgrim’s Pride, etc). The armouring measures taken by the animal exploitation industry in this country have not been limited to hinder the infiltration of animal advocates: the deployment of their power has gone one step further. During the last decade, the powerful lobbies of the livestock industry have been responsible for laws prosecuting the filming and capturing of images inside farming premises. These laws, known as Ag-gag,9, 10 have sparked great controversy, and some law courts have declared them to be unconstitutional.11 Journalists, activists, jurists, and civil rights organizations have warned that they threaten freedom of expression, entitlement of information, animal welfare, workers’ rights, and food safety.12, 13


The Spanish meat industry’s power of influence on public opinion and institutions has also become apparent in several recent scandals.

  •  In 2016, some strategic documents 14 were leaked to the press. In them, four important meat groups (Interporc, Provacuno, Asici e Interovic) were mentioned as authors of a sleight aimed to manipulate the public opinion with regard to the WHO’s report, where cancer was linked to meat consumption. One of the measures listed in the plan included an “evangelization strategy” to counterbalance the “negative information” of the report created by the IARC and the WHO.
  • In February 2018, the Spanish TV show Salvados broadcasted a controversial report about the meat industry that showed pigs with malformations, eating each other, and in a serious health condition.15 The images, which were obtained during an undercover visit together with a team of Animal Equality researchers, belonged to a farm that’s a supplier to El Pozo. The images, which were obtained during an undercover visit together with a team of Animal Equality researchers, belonged to a farm which is a supplier to El Pozo. The broadcast provoked a big social upheaval, extensively covered by national media, and it made the brand plunge into a reputation crisis.16 Days after that, Jordi Évole, the host of Salvados, accused the Minister Isabel García Tejerina of representing the meat sector’s interests instead of those of the citizenship and also of not having opened any investigation.17
  • In March 2018, the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Castilla-La Mancha condemned the Regional Government and Incarlopsa —company that supplies meat products to Mercadona— for having taken disciplinary action against two veterinarians and having removed them from their post, after they reported non-compliance with the current regulations in the company’s pig abattoir. According to the news, pigs were not being exposed to the effects of CO2 long enough so as to lose conscience, so they remained awake during the throat slitting and bleeding processes. After that, they were introduced into the scalding tank, where the water reaches up to 65 degrees Celsius, while they were still alive. These brutal practices were carried out for three years in an abattoir where more than 3,000 pigs are «processed» every eight hours.18

The investigation

For over three years, I managed to gain access to more than 80 slaughterhouses located in Mexico and the Spanish State, and I had to earn the trust of each and every one of their managers. It was not easy at all. Had I arrived with the declared intention of showing the slaughter of animals to the public, I wouldn’t have been allowed to enter any of them.

In many of my visits, I was accompanied by a manager watching me closely, and in some of them I was forbidden to access the areas where animal suffering is most blatant, such as the stun box or the throat slitting area.

In November 2016, months before setting off for Mexico in order to finish what the media have called the biggest graphic research ever made about slaughterhouses,21 I was starting another parallel investigation in Spanish State. Part of it was carried out in collaboration with NOR, a recently founded Basque collective against speciesism which was at the time preparing its public presentation with an investigation also made in slaughterhouses. Additionally, I made all my visits together with Linas Korta, the fellow activist who has filmed part of the images shown in the audio-visual report.

We knocked on many doors, some of them belonging to big abattoirs, but all our attempts were in vain. In the last few years, and especially since the broadcasting of the report about the meat industry in Salvados, the industry’s secrecy has grown exponentially. They are aware of the risk they face, and they don’t want any cameras inside their plants. However, we managed to gain the trust of some of those slaughterhouses’ managers, assuring them that the images were not going to be published, and so we could get inside 16 slaughterhouses located in the Spanish State.

The images we obtained are a sample of the structural violence and systematic exploitation that’s being held against animals in these places. Electric discharges, captive bolt shots, or electrified water baths are standardized procedures22 and, brutal as they may seem, are a part of the regular activity in any slaughterhouse.


The fraud of animal welfare

In the face of the increasing social concern about the treatment of animals in farms and slaughterhouses, meat companies try to make consumers believe that animals are protected under animal welfare regulations. This is absolutely untrue. The so-called animal welfare and the implementation of its legal framework are only applied as long as it does not meaningfully impact production rates. It’s under these specifications that it was initially conceived.

During the 60s, the British Government commissioned Roger Brambell, Professor of Zoology at the Bangor University, a study to investigate the exploitation conditions of farm animals.24 The aim of this research was to give an answer to the social outrage provoked after the controversial publication of Animal Machines, the book by Ruth Harrison, where the horrors of intensive animal rearing had been described.

The eartags are used to identify the origin of the animals and are part of the traceability system required by the Ministry of Agriculture. In this slaughterhouse they are classified for that purpose once the animals have been killed.

Nonetheless, as it can be drawn from its own analysis, animal welfare standards do neither prevent animals’ deaths nor help avoid their physical and emotional suffering —inherent to the meat production system— for they are dominated by the industry’s needs.


[The Five Freedoms] form a logical and comprehensive framework for analysis of welfare within any system together with the steps and compromises necessary to safeguard and improve welfare within the proper constraints of an effective livestock industry. (The Five freedoms, Farm Animal Welfare Council.)


Animal welfare measures reduce the suffering in the industrial exploitation and slaughter of animals, that much is true, but thinking they protect them in any way is a mistake. Not only do they not protect animals, but their implementation is also unfeasible in many cases, and in others they have no effectiveness at all. Thus, their only reason to exist is to sweeten the industry’s image.

The existence of a law framework does not guarantee its effective enforcement. Many of the practices observed during this work, some of the recent scandals linked to national slaughterhouses —such as the one linked to the Incarlopsa company 26 or the one linked to a slaughterhouse located in Riaza 27— and the numerous investigations carried out in abattoirs all over the world underline this point.

The procedures followed during the slaughter of the more than 60 billion animals sent to abattoirs in the world every year —800 million in the Spanish State 29— are also impossible to verify. Modern slaughterhouses are factories where trucks arrive relentlessly, loaded with hundreds or thousands of animals. Some plants process up to 10,000 chickens an hour or 10,000 pigs a day. There’s no way to control their procedures.

The animal welfare discourse leads the debate to a dead end that only benefits the industry and not the animals, presenting two options as the only possible alternatives: rightful, humane exploitation vs. its opposite..

And it makes us forget there is another answer, the only one that’s acceptable for animals: the complete abolition of their exploitation.


Transport and unloading of animals

According to the last survey on livestock slaughter carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Food (MAPAMA,) in 2017, more than 850 million animals were killed in Spanish slaughterhouses30 Cows, bulls, calves, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens and animals of other species were carried in trucks up to these death factories.

Pigs truck about to depart for the slaughterhouse.

A study made in Italy during four years in more than 50 poultry abattoirs revealed that the amount of animals arriving dead to the premises reached rates of up to 1.62%.32 It might seem a small percentage, but if we apply it to the volume of birds that are transported every year to Spanish abattoirs —over 750 million during 2017—33 lhe figure we obtain involves millions of them.

During the loading, many birds suffer bone fractures. Poultry is harshly introduced into cages, loaded into the truck, and transported without any care. Several researches carried out in Germany unveiled that up to 15% of these animals were injured as a consequence of this practice.34

We should also bear in mind that there’s an important amount of animals who never reach the transportation or slaughter phase. The number of animals who perished in farms due to health problems associated with the hard exploitation regime —illnesses provoked by genetic selection, metabolic disorders, respiratory problems, etc.— or due to what the industry calls discard —the killing of animals at the farm for not reaching the optimum levels of production— is estimated to be millions.35 36

On the other hand, a sudden temperature change in the plants were they are overcrowded or a power failure may lead to the death of thousands of animals. Others may perish in road accidents during their transportation. Injured animals are not assisted. They’re killed at the very place where the accident took place or loaded again in another truck with the same destination, at best.

During the investigation, I witnessed the arrival and unloading of animals in slaughterhouses, most of them with medium-sized premises and similar architecture. Animals are received through a gateway that’s directly connected with the pens, which are usually dismal and dirty, and are guided to the stables through noises that terrify them or using electric pushers. Sometimes kicks or blows are given to those who offer resistance, and the smallest animals are tossed forward or thrown directly from the truck to the ramp leading to the stables. On many an occasion, electric shocks are given while animals are being slaughtered in some other area, and the veterinary officer cannot supervise both activities at the same time. This means that no verification is made as to whether the animal protection regulation is being properly applied. Some animals may stand for hours in the pens, while others are guided to the slaughter area right away.

In one of the slaughterhouses, a farmer unloaded two lambs from his car’s boot. They were very frightened when they arrived, and their legs were tied. Breaching the current regulation and in the presence of a veterinarian, they were carried to the stables being held upside down.


Animals shall not be tied by the horns, the antlers, the nose rings nor by legs tied together. Calves shall not be muzzled. Domestic Equidae older than eight months shall wear halters during transport except for unbroken horses. (Annex I, Chapter III, Handling, 1.11 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.) 37


Two lambs arrive in the boot of a minivan with a rope tied to their four legs. This practice is prohibited by Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.

Birds and rabbits are disposed inside the same containers they have arrived in. The cages are stacked up in a pile, and nobody prevents —as the European regulation requires— their urine and feces from falling upon the animals.


1.4.When containers are put one on top of the other, the necessary precautions shall be taken: (a) to limit urine and faeces falling on the animals placed underneath; (Annex III, Operational rules for slaughterhouses, 1.4 of the Council Regulation (EC) No1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.38


In other abattoir I visited, the last rabbits to be slaughtered were dirty, covered in urine, and they spent several hours locked in plastic cages with barely any space to move. The veterinarian asked me specifically not to take any photographs of these animals.

Regulations require priority attention to those females who have given birth during the transport. In other words, they recognize there are females that are sent to be slaughtered when they are about to give birth.


1.5. For the purpose of slaughter, unweaned animals, lactating dairy animals, females having given birth during the journey or animals delivered in containers shall be given priority over other types of animal. (Annex III, Operational rulkes for slaughterhouses, 1.5 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.39


Towards death: stunning methods

The stunning methods applied in the pre-throat slitting phase are one of the most controversial and polemic issues in the animal welfare debate. They’re aimed to guarantee immediate loss of consciousness in order to prevent animals from suffering during the bleeding. According to the regulations, any process that provokes instant death is also considered as a stunning method.40

The meat industry assures that, using these methods, animals do not suffer, 41 but they know that in their abattoirs, for different reasons, the truth is quite another.

Procedures included in the European regulations require that these practices must be carried out with a precision I never saw in the places I visited. Hitting the target on a frightened cow’s head, when the cow weighs nearly half a ton and she is resisting death, or placing two electrodes on the sides of a pig’s head while he’s restlessly slipping on a floor full of blood are not easy tasks to do, and even less with the accuracy required by animal welfare standards. The production pace in slaughterhouses —ever more and more hectic— where one single worker has to perform the same task hundreds of times a day, increases the difficulty to comply with the procedures. In addition, sometimes stun guns get stuck, or electric devices are poorly regulated, or animals wake up from the stunning and are completely awake while their throat is slit, etc., and this expands their wait, stress and suffering.

Besides, as we previously stated, in some abattoirs regulations are directly contravened in the presence of a veterinarian. During my investigation, I visited two lamb abattoirs where animals were not previously stunned. In a third one, I was not allowed to access this particular area, and in another one the worker confessed that the only reason why he was stunning animals was because he was in the presence of a camera.

A pig after entering the restrainer, a machine that immobilizes and moves the pigs one by one from the pens to the point of stunning, where the electric shock is applied.

Due to these exceptions and to the existence of malpractices in the enforcement of animal welfare regulations, everything suggests that many animals are put to death in a state of full conscience.

What comes next is a list of the stunning methods I observed during my investigation. All of them are considered, according to the regulation, as simple stunning methods —they do not provoke instant death of the animals— and they must necessarily be followed by a killing procedure.


Captive bolt gun

Due to its low cost and easy functioning, the captive bolt device is probably the most widespread stunning method in the world, used for cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses.43

The gun shots a bolt, driven by a gunpowder cartridge or by compressed air, which retracts itself to its initial position after entering the animal’s skull, provoking a brain trauma. In order to achieve an effective stunning, regulations require beef cattle to be duly placed inside the stun box, and the weapon to be firmly held against the place where they will be shot.

The regulation itself recognizes that the waiting time in the stun box may cause deep distress to the animal, that’s why it demands the waiting time to be as brief as possible. In three out of the five cow abattoirs I visited, however, this specification was not complied with. Some animals remained several minutes in the box without the presence of any operator. In one of them, a cow’s tail was harshly twisted —another practice specifically forbidden by the regulations— to make her get into the stun box. At the same time, the stun box must «have a system to limit the movements of the animal’s head, both sideways and vertically». Most slaughterhouses are not obliged to abide by these measures until 2019. Nonetheless, it should be pointed out that they were not fulfilled in any of them; furthermore, the animals could move their heads vertically, hampering the task even further. A cow even managed to turn around completely and get out of the box.

This method is not only used with beef cattle. I also witnessed its use in a sheep abattoir. Sheep were gathered against a corner and the worker shot them from behind, under the base of their horns, without holding them in any way. Once they fell on the floor, the slaughterer dragged them, holding one of their back legs, up to the conveyor hooks. Some of them showed signs of being still conscious.

This technique, even when it is correctly applied, doesn’t guarantee that the animal will lose consciousness, and some animals show signs of suffering after being shot. A study carried out in Europe on 585 bulls, 306 cows, 58 steers, and 49 calves revealed that the stunning had failed 12.5% of the times, and that the average gap of time between the shot and the throat slitting had been of over 100 seconds.44

Electrical stunning

The equipment is composed of an electric panel and, attached to this panel, a couple of pliers with electrodes at the tips. The pliers, placed on both sides of the head, give an electric shock to the animal. When used correctly, the shock causes an epileptic seizure and the momentary loss of consciousness. This is a reversible procedure, which means that in case the stunning is achieved, the animal may recover consciousness in a brief space of time.


Electrical stunning on pigs

  • Restrainer. A machine that restrains and transports pigs one by one from the pens to the stunning area, where the electric shock is applied. It’s composed of two conveyor belts placed in such a way that the pig gets completely immobilised. Pigs are carried through a tunnel up to the base of the restrainer. If they refuse to advance, they are pushed using electric shocks or hitting them. Some pigs remain at the stunning point longer than the regulation states.
  • Stunning Box. Pigs are introduced, usually by force, in a metal framing. The electric shock is applied from the end where their head rears off. After that, the animal falls through a lateral hatch and he’s dragged up to the bleeding elevator. Sometimes, when the pigs have not been properly stunned, a second electric shock is applied while they’re suspended by their legs and are being carried towards the throat slitting area.
  • Stunning pen. When there’s no restrain equipment available, pigs are guided in groups —usually by shouting and hitting them— to a room where they are stunned one by one. Pigs shake seethingly, trying to run away. Sometimes they climb on each other, or they skid and fall on the floor. The first attempt is not always successful, which makes the animals’ stress escalate.

To speed up the task, many pigs are lifted to have their throat slit while being stunned. Sometimes the slaughterers, in order to attach the animal’s chained legs to the elevator hooks, press their chest with one leg. I have witnessed this practice —which contravenes the regulations— in different slaughterhouses.

Several studies have proved that a high number of pigs remain conscious after having been applied this stunning method. Bristol University showed, after a research performed in 29 English slaughterhouses, that 36% of the pigs were not properly stunned, 15.6% had to be stunned again, and 20.5% of them were in a state that allowed them to recover consciousness.45 England is one of the places in the world where the animal welfare regulation is most demanding. Another —more recent— study carried out in a Colombian slaughterhouse where the application of electronarcosis was examined in 1,341 pigs showed that it was only effective in 20.6% of the cases.46

The stunning of pigs during lactation is done with a pair of less powerful clamps between two workers. While one holds the animal, the other applies the electric shock to the head.


Electrical stunning on sheep and lambs

Sheep and lambs are guided up to a sheepfold, usually connected by a door with the pens. Lambs are visibly scared and they group together against one of the sheepfold corners. I haven’t observed any specific restraining method. They are often restrained between the slaughterer’s legs, who applies the shock with the pliers. In two abattoirs I visited, lambs were stunned while suspended by their rear legs at the bleeding elevator. In one of them, workers even hung two lambs in the same hook. Both these practices are expressly prohibited by the regulation.


A guiding sheep, carrying the herd to the slaughter area

Guiding animals to the slaughter area is not an easy task. The transportation and their time in the pens is a dramatic change of scenario for them. Many of those animals have just been severed from their mothers; some of them even have their umbilical cord still attached. They are scared, and they refuse to walk. The following conversation —registered with a hidden camera— was held between my research fellow and a veterinarian.


—There are rams who refuse to enter the box. That’s because they can smell the blood of the animal that has been slaughtered before them. They’re always scared of the unknown, they have always lived in the farm and you suddenly bring them here… They’re always scared. But I think it is because they can smell the blood.—


At some slaughterhouses, adult sheep are used in order to facilitate the moving of the lambs to the slaughter area. These guiding or meek sheep —also called Judas sheep in some industry manuals—47, 48 are trained to guide the lambs to the place where they receive the electric shock and are then slaughtered.49, 50 They live their life in the pens, and every day they guide thousands of lambs to their death. I have observed this practice in two abattoirs.


Electrical stunning on rabbits

The rabbit’s head is placed in a device equipped with a pair of tweezers that are operated through a pedal. Once they receive the electric shock, the animals are hung by one of their rear legs in a hook of the conveyor.

A study carried out in a slaughterhouse located in North Italy on 1,020 rabbits showed that the procedure was wrongly executed more than 10% of the times. Besides, several animals recovered consciousness after being stunned.51


Electrical stunning in water tank

Bathing chickens or other similar sized birds in electrified water in order to stun them is the most widespread procedure in the Spanish state and, in general, in the whole European Union (81%).53, 54, 55 Chickens arrive totally crammed inside cages that are placed on top of each other, right at the starting point of the slaughter line. Then they are hung by their legs, upside down, in the hooks of an air conveyor that moves them along the different areas of the slaughterhouse.

Broiler chickens have been genetically engineered in such a way that many of them suffer from severe disorders in their legs and can barely stand on their feet.56 A specialised worker can hang over 1,000 chickens an hour.57 f this process is not performed correctly —something quite common, given the speed reached by some processing lines—animals may suffer even more damages than the ones they are bound to undergo. A study concluded that, after being hung, 3% of the chickens had broken bones;58 another study pointed out that hanging increases the chances of having broken bones in a 44%.59 In the poultry abattoir I visited, some of the birds remained hanging for more than a minute in the pre-stunning phase, exceeding the maximum waiting time stated by the regulation. Once they were hanging, and in a desperate attempt to get away, they flapped their wings and squirmed in anguish.

In 2003, Alternativa para la Liberación Animal, a pioneering association and seedbed of some important animal advocacy organizations in Spain, published in its Boletín Informativo a heartrending statement by a poultry slaughterer:


They come in trucks, inside cages. Between 2,500 and 3,000 chickens come in every truck, all crammed on top of each other, with their feathers, their legs, their wings rearing out of the cages. They come from Huesca and other locations. It’s quite a long trip, and it’s so cold outside that many of them arrive completely frozen, dead, or in very awful conditions. […] You hold them by the leg or whatever part of their body you grab, because when you take a chicken you do it without even looking at it, you may grab them by the neck or the legs, and then you hang them upside down. Then, they get into a container full of water with two power cables, we make this to numb the chickens. (Entrevista a un matarife. Newsletter issue 02-03 by Alternativa para la Liberación Animal – ALA) 60


With the equipment in motion, the conveyor carries the chickens to a tank full of electrified water. Their heads are immersed in the water for a few seconds but, as confirmed by several researches,61 some animals manage to raise their head, or they are too small and pass through the water tank without having been stun. Electricity flows through their entire body and may cause bleeding and broken bones.62 If the access to the tank is wet, they may receive an electric shock moments before their head is immersed in the water.


The complexity of multiple bird waterbath stunning is not conducive to maintaining good welfare. Effectiveness of the stun cannot be determined. The method, widely practiced because it is simple and cheap, cannot be controlled. You can’t control the amount of electrical current flowing through a bird. You can’t harmonize electrical resistance in broiler chickens. The waterbath has to be replaced. (Dr. Mohan Raj, USDA Seminar, December 16, 2004.)63


With this stunning system, the voltage is steady and equal for all. If the sizes and weights of the chickens are uneven, some of them might not receive enough electric power to induce the loss of consciousness.64 Virgil Butler, former worker of the meat corporation Tyson Foods and currently animal rights activist, pointed out that this method’s objective is to increase production rather than to prevent the chickens from suffering. These were his words about this particular issue:


The stunner is strictly to facilitate line speed. Before they implemented the stunner down at that plant, the line ran 98 birds per minute, with two killers. After adding the stunner, it jumped the speed up to 120. Then, they added the killing machine, dropped one of the killers, and turned the speed up to 142. Now, of course, it runs 186 birds per minute. All it does is paralyze the muscles. It doesn’t render them unconscious or make them insensible to pain. In Tyson’s own words to the workers, «It makes the plant more efficient».65


The slaughter

Throat slitting is the most common slaughter process. It is performed manually with a sharpened knife, “systematically sectioning both carotid arteries or the vessels they stem from”.66 The most sophisticated chicken slaughter lines have an automatic blade capable of slitting thousands of chickens’ necks per hour.67

According the Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, throat slitting must be carried out immediately after the stunning, before the animal recovers consciousness.68 However, since numbing methods are not a hundred per cent effective, since they’re sometimes performed incorrectly, or their use is totally skipped (which goes against regulations), a percentage of animals arrive totally conscious to this phase of the process. During my investigation, I observed this circumstance in several slaughterhouses, and I witnessed very brutal and violent scenes; there was no compassion or care in those places, just speed and brutalization.

Zona de desangrado. El matarife apuñala a un cordero tras haber recibido la descarga eléctrica.

The slaughter of pigs is similar to the process used for sheep. After the throat slitting, the animals are carried to the scalding tanks and to the scorching oven, two machines used to remove their hair. The tanks are full of hot water that covers completely the pig’s body.69 he regulation requests that the animals arrive to this phase being already dead, and that before they are immersed in the water, «absence of life in the animal must have been observed.» In some of the abattoirs I visited, the veterinarian was not present and the processing line was not stopped for this reason.

Investigations carried out by activists and institutional entities, together with the testimonies offered by workers, prove that in those slaughterhouses where the same procedures I observed during this investigation are followed, many pigs are immersed in the scalding tanks while still being alive.

Scalding tank. Several investigations have proven that many pigs are still alive at this stage of the process.

In her book, Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industryinvestigator Gail Eisnitz also shows testimonies by workers who have witnessed how some pigs were still alive when they arrived to the scalding tanks.


—These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water and start screaming and kicking. Sometimes they thrash so much they kick water out of the tank. Not a lot of water, but it was obvious what was going on because I could hear them screaming. Sooner or later they drown.

—There’s a rotating arm that pushes them under, no chance for them to get out. I am not sure if they burn to death before they drown, but it takes them a couple of minutes to stop thrashing. You think management cares about the pain of being drowned or boiled to death?

—I’ve seen hogs in the scalding tub trying to swim.


In some abattoirs, a blowtorch is also used to scorch the pigs’ hooves and detach them from their legs. This practice should only be performed when the pig is already dead. I once observed how, in order to save time, a worker burnt a pig while he was still breathing. The flames reached his face. He was being burnt alive:

Age-restricted video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qXBibhvd1bU


In other pig abattoir I witnessed how the animals were dragged on the floor up to the slaughter area using a hook stuck in their throats. This practice is forbidden, and the slaughterhouse staff expressly asked me not to publish those images.

The slaughter of poultry and rabbits I documented for this report took place at the same abattoir. The chickens are hung by their legs and carried to the electrified water tank in order to get stunned. Then, they reach the bleeding area, where a worker slits their throat with a blade. After the stunning and throat slitting phases, some of the birds seemed to remain totally conscious.

Flaying area of ​​a rabbit slaughterhouse.

In the case of rabbits, some of them also show signs of being conscious after the throat slitting. They shake their legs, twist their bodies, and lift their heads. As shown by the study performed in an Italian slaughterhouse, animals may recover consciousness after the stunning phase.77

Beef cattle has been the least documented species during this investigation. I observed the slaughter of over 20 cows. After the stunning, they are expelled to the floor through a hatch located right beneath the box. The vast majority of them are still moving after the throat slitting.

As I explained before, and as opposed to what the meat industry and their institutional representatives try to convey, animal welfare measures do not protect animals at all. The regulation that controls the implementation of the animal welfare standards in the EU slaughterhouses even recognizes that the slaughter of animals can cause «pain, distress, fear or other forms of suffering to the animals even under the best available technical conditions».78 And, indeed, I have been able to confirm this is completely true.


Age of the animals at the slaughterhouse

The meat industry takes good care of the way it presents animal exploitation to the consumers. The industry is becoming more and more aware of the impact words and images have in their consumption habits, and for some time now, it has understood that relating their products to industrial exploitation and slaughter of animals is not a good sales strategy.79

Current campaigns by the industry show us animals living in pastoral landscapes, under the care of very friendly farmers. They never show any images of their slaughterhouses, nor do they explain that most animals are sent to those places very early in their lives. And they never mention that the life expectancy of those animals in an exploitation-free environment would be much higher. Some of them are killed just a few days after their birth, others are traumatically severed from their mothers and still have their umbilical cord attached when they reach the slaughterhouse.

Sheep have a life expectancy of 10 years, but are often taken to slaughterhouses between 3 and 10 months of age.


Our connivance supports them

The meat industry deliberately hides animal exploitation and slaughter. They lie about the treatment animals receive in their sickening slaughterhouses and farms. Through the implementation of animal welfare seals, and labels that say «cage-free» or «free range», they try to make us believe that animals are protected precisely in the place where their lives are taken from them.

I’ve been visiting animal exploitation plants for many years. I’ve climbed over the walls of industrial farms together with other activists while they were carrying out their investigations. I have traveled inside trucks loaded with cows and I have accessed almost a hundred slaughterhouses. In them, I have witnessed countless abuses and aggressions suffered by animals, and I have verified the systematic exploitation they endureThere’s no place for welfare in any farm or slaughterhouse.

The apparent concern shown by the livestock industry about the treatment animals receive is nothing but propaganda. Just another part of their sales strategy. They have a detailed knowledge of what’s going on inside their premises, and they have no interest whatsoever in taking care of or protecting animals, for that would mean the end of their business.

Nevertheless, their business cannot work properly without the connivance of those who demand their products. Many of us have the feeling —or already know for sure— that there is something ethically unacceptable behind those walls, but we choose to look the other way and accept the industry’s version. We justify atrocious ways of violence against certain animals that we’d never tolerate against others. If the animal whose head we immerse in an electrified water tank or who we shoot inside a stun box belonged to another species —like a dog or a cat, for instance— we’d be accused of animal cruelty, and we’d even be brought to court.

In slaughterhouses, the biggest form of violence and abuse is perpetrated against terrestrial animals. A kind of exploitation articulated under the ideological umbrella of speciesism, the historical oppression suffered by animals.

The images shown in this report are another window to the secretive world of industrial livestock farming, and they’ve been taken for the sole purpose of offering some tools to face the distress suffered by millions of animals.



NOTES

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  54. Sanz M. (2013) Aturdido eléctrico en baño de agua. Congreso científico de avicultura. Link to the document in PDF.
  55. Estrada consulting. (2014) Aplicación de la corriente eléctrica adecuada en el aturdido a la luz de la normativa de la ue. Congreso científico de avicultura. Selecciones avícolas. Link to document in PDF.
  56. Robbins, J. (1987) Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth.
  57. Departamento Tecnico de Sistemas Agropecuarios JAT SA. de CV. (2013) Soluciones integrales para plantas de procesamiento. Engormix. Link to the article.
  58. Controlled-atmosphere killing vs. electric immobilization: a comparative analysis of poultry-slaughter systems. Reporte de Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Link to document in PDF.
  59. Gregory N.G; Wilkins LJ. (1989) Broken bones in chickens: Effect of stunning and processing in broilers. Link to document in PDF.
  60. Alternativa para la Liberación Animal (2002-03) Entrevista a trabajador de un matadero. Link to the interview.
  61. Göksoy O, McKinstry L. J, Wilkins LJ, Parkmanm I, Phillips A.; Richardson RI & Anil, MH. (1999) Broiler stunning and meat quality. Poultry Science, 78:1796–1800.
  62. Shields SJ1, Raj AB. (2010) A critical review of electrical water-bath stun systems for poultry slaughter and recent developments in alternative technologies. Link to the article.
  63. Davis K. (1996. Edición revisada 2009.) Prisoned chickens, poisoned eggs: an inside look at the modern poultry industry.
  64. Berg C, Raj M. (2015) A Review of Different Stunning Methods for Poultry—Animal Welfare Aspects (Stunning Methods for Poultry)Link to document in PDF.
  65. Testimonio de Virgil Butler, ex operario de la corporación cárnica Tyson Foods y más tarde activista por los derechos animales. Link to the website.
  66. (2009) Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. Official Journal of the European Union. Link to the regulation.
  67. Degollador automático. Aviprosave. Link to the machine.
  68. (2009) Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. Official Journal of the European Union. Link to the regulation.
  69. (2009) Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. Official Journal of the European Union. Link to the regulation.
  70. Placer D. (2018) Mercadona fue socia de la cárnica que la proveía cometiendo maltrato animal. Economía Digital. Link to news.
  71. – Hope A. (2017) Tielt slaughterhouse closed after graphic video footage released. Flanders today. Link to news.
    – Link to the investigation video.
  72. Wasley A, Robbins J. (2016) Severe welfare breaches recorded six times a day in British slaughterhouses. The bureau of investigative journalism. Link to the report.
  73. Eisnitz G (2006) Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry. Paperback. Link to the book.
  74. Kindy K. (2013) USDA plan to speed up poultry-processing lines could increase risk of bird abuse. The Washington Post. Enlace a la noticia.
  75. Wasley A, Robbins J. (2016) Severe welfare breaches recorded six times a day in British slaughterhouses. The bureau of investigative journalism. Enlace al reportaje.
  76. McGrath P. (2017) Chickens boiled alive at Star Poultry Supply abattoir in Melbourne, secret footage reveals. ABC News. Link to news.
  77. Rota Nodari S., Lavazza A., Candotti P. (2008). Evaluation of rabbit welfare at stunning and slaughtering in a commercial abattoir. 9 th World Rabbit Congress, Verona (Italy). Link to document in PDF.
  78. (2009) Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. Official Journal of the European Union. Link to the regulation.
  79. Fiddes N. (1989) Meat. A natural symbol. University of Edinburgh.
    «Traditional retailing centres around offering the public bits of animals and often identifies meat with livestock.»
    «But modem consumer attitudes shy away from this link and so the butcher would be much better served by thinking away from the animal and more towards the meal when dressing his window and presenting his products (British Meat, Summer 1987.4). https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/12813249.pdf»





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4 Reasons Why We Don’t Advocate for “Humane” Animal Products

February 16, 2021
by
Source Free From Harm


To define a “commodified process” requiring bodily control, intrusion, mutilation, and violent death as “humane” means that “humane” benefits only humans who design the terms to describe the suffering of others in manners personally, morally comfortable, not the animals whose bodies are taken and killed.

Hypocritically, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) considers CO2, for example, a ‘humane’ method of ‘euthanasia’ for pigs but specifically condemns the use on cats and dogs; in fact, there have been aggressive and active campaigns against the use of such on ‘overpopulated’ cats and dogs while, hypocritically, the same people routinely consume animals who suffered the same fate they actively protest on a few ‘special’ animals.

ALL animals suffer regardless of euphemisms employed by fact-and-empathy-challenged people who prioritize transient taste preference over the lives of ‘other’ animals. SL



Source Free From Harm

By Robert Grillo


  1. Imagine if we tried to apply this logic to any other social issue. When we see an increase in harm to an oppressed group, how do we respond to that? Do we “back off,” “soften up,” or look for ways to enable the exploitative practices and systems? Of course not! We step up our opposition against it instead. And we don’t realistically expect that 100% of society is going to completely denounce any injustice, a fact that certainly does not deter us from doing the work of ending the injustice. 
  2. Who decides what is “humane?” The industry-paid veterinarians or animal industry spokespeople who look you in the eye and actually tell you that grinding up chicks and sexually assaulting cows to impregnate them is humane? Of course not! We need to define it for ourselves. I advocate that we define humane treatment of farmed animals by the same ethical standards that we use for cats and dogs and other animals we claim to value. In this context, even the most allegedly humane farming practices would have to be considered abusive, torturous and cruel! You just don’t get away with shooting a calf point blank in the head and trying to spin this as a good humane deed. Sorry!

In the words of former pig farmer and writer, Bob Comis:

Livestock farmers, no matter what kind — from the largest, most cynical, and inhumane factory farmers to the smallest, seemingly most ethical pasture-based farmers — traffic in death. It is death that is our aim, our purpose. Death is the end. Life is the means. Money the reward.


To read the rest, please click HERE






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PETA HERE

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Have questions? Click HERE



Surge: Our Must-See Documentaries from 2020

February 8, 2021
by

Source Surge


From glimpses into the world of farm investigations to a prediction of the state of the world in 30 years’ time, we round-up our pick of short films and documentaries that came out in 2020.


INVISIBLE: A Rare Glimpse into the Life of an Undercover Investigator


Starting with a short film to ease you into things, INVISIBLE follows undercover investigators ‘Emily’ and ‘Sarah’ – not their real names, obviously – as they enter a pig farm somewhere in Europe.

It’s a rare insight into a world few people truly understand, but one that a lot of people make a great many assumptions about. The videography is cinematic and poignant, not just for the sake of a beautiful shot, but to emphasise how painstaking, slow and deliberate every move an investigator makes can be.

Emily and Sarah talk honestly about the trust they share in each other, having to keep things from their friends and family, and of course the emotional challenges of seeing the conditions in which many non-human animals are kept.

INVISIBLE is a We Animals Media production as part of the Unbound Project. Directed by Chris Shoebridge, a lovely chap who does incredible work.



Vegan 2020


The Plant Based News annual round-up of everything significant in the world of veganism has become something of an institution. The 2020 edition starts off with, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic and its zoonotic origin, linking animal rights concerns with something that has drastically changed the lives of almost every human on the planet in some way.

With such an important angle, PBN has raised the bar in regards to production, knowing full well that the audience for such discussions has never been broader. We hope Vegan 2020 is seen by a mainstream audience beyond the sphere of veganism.

Read more on Plantbasednews.org.



Endgame 2050: Humanity’s Last Chance Is Now


Filmmaker and practising physician Sofia Pineda Ochoa has used the docufiction genre to present a vision of what the world could be like in 2050, should we continue down our current path of environmental destruction.

Fishless oceans, water rationing and all manner of natural disasters brought on by what we are doing to the planet right now. The dramatisations make the issues more accessible for a broader audience and provide colour to the science that the experts explain between scenes.

The film includes a host of high-profile campaigners and respected academics, including Moby, Paul Ehrlich and Claire Kremen.

www.endgame2050.com



Hogwood: a modern horror story


Not for the fainthearted, Viva’s harrowing documentary about its campaign against Hogwood Farm has been picking up nominations and awards at prestigious film festivals and celebrity endorsements from Lewis Hamilton among others.

Hogwood follows investigators as they enter the farm, but also Viva founder and director Juliet Gellatley as she confronts the people responsible for the terrible conditions.

Narrated by Jermome Flynn, Hogwood: a modern horror story is available to stream from Amazon Prime.



Akashinga: The Brave Ones (National Geographic)


Executive produced by James Cameron and directed by Maria Wilhelm, AKASHINGA: THE BRAVE ONES tells the story of Akashinga, the all-female anti-poaching unit in Zimbabwe that is revolutionising the way animals are protected and communities are empowered.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to watch this short 13-minute documentary (free to view online), the trailer above should do the trick. We also recommend you check out the website, which in typical National Geographic style is visually rich – the photo gallery is a treat.

films.nationalgeographic.com/akashinga



TAKEOUT


TAKEOUT is very reminiscent of Cowspiracy in that it tackles the link between animal agriculture and environmental degradation. However, unlike Cowspiracy, TAKEOUT centres the narrative on Amazon forest fires and their connection to the global animal food production systems as well as our personal food choices.

The film also exposes the corruption in Brazil’s government and shows how industry shapes the politics related to agribusiness both in South America and in the US.

takeoutdocumentary.com



The Animal People


It took 15 years to tell the story of six American animal rights activists targeted by the FBI and a government under the influence of corporations threatened by the impact they were having.

The Animal People is important viewing as an insight into pressure campaigning and direct action and the more recent history of the movement. The repercussions are still being felt not only within the animal rights sphere but in other movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter.

Available to watch on Netflix now.



Andrew Gough is Media and Investigations Manager for Surge.






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we are seen
we are heard
in unison we shout
for those who cannot
speak a word!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Every last slaughterhouse will shut down in one human generation. Here’s how …

February 1, 2021
by
DxE / YouTube


Source Direct Action Everywhere (DxE)

Join the DxE Network HERE.

Help the whistleblowers facing prison time for exposing factory farm abuses and rescuing suffering animals, support the Right to Rescue by signing HERE.

Help DxE provide care for rescued animals, defend whistleblowers, and pass animal rights legislation, donate HERE.



Who’s the terrorist? Those subjecting animals to horrors unimaginable to humans or those who rescue the animals? Make no mistake, the laws, including the Animal Welfare Act – AWA – (which all animals exploited for “food and fiber” are specifically exempted from as they are considered products undeserving of consideration) are meaningless to the animals required to suffer and die for them: you cannot protect animals who are bred to die, such as for vivisection or for agriculture. Why people praise laws that “protect” animals by killing animals is baffling. And it’s important to note that some animals exploited for testing, who are “protected” by the AWA, are intentionally denied pain relief when administering such is considered detrimental to the testing results.

That’s how effective and important the AWA is to the actual victims who are required to suffer so humans can praise the laws that legalize their torment and violent deaths. SL

Page 7:


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Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

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Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

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

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

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

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

PETA HERE

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Have questions? Click HERE



treat all others as you wish to be treated
or you are no more than an expletive,
deleted.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Tofu never caused a pandemic …

January 25, 2021
by

Source YouTube , Plant Based News


VEGAN 2020 – The Film is sponsored by abillion – where you can find recommendations and review vegan-friendly restaurants near you, food products and cruelty-free beauty items.

This film is free, however if you wish to make a small donation to help it reach more people, please consider supporting us here 👉 https://plnt.news/supportus


(Clicking times will take you to the YouTube page)

00:00 – Opening scene

02:06 – Introduction

02:24 – January

06:10 – February

08:22 – March

11:38 – April

14:51 – May

19:20 – June

25:08 – July

32:28 – August

39:05 – September

42:00 – October

44:36 – November

46:18 – December





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

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:

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eat kind
eat cool
and never
eat cruel!!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



EU Challenged by Plant-Based Community on Climate-Hostile Amendment: Please sign petition

January 19, 2021
by
Source Animal Equality

No person or entity has the right to copyright a word; while the inherently-abusive industries of animal exploitation are obviously threatened by integrity and a rejection of cruelty, considering that the vast majority of the world consumes animals, nobody needs permission or encouragement via censorship of words on humane alternatives. While historically euphemistic images and terms have been exploited and nuanced to represent unethical animal exploitation, it’s ludicrous to object to other uses of a WORD to represent humane versions of such. It’s almost as if the people who exploit animals actively promote animal cruelty, and why anyone would promote that is based on a global foundation of speciesist mentality supporting mass suffering, violence, and fearful death. That is not something to advertise or be proud of.

For those who consume dairy, ie., the breastmilk/secretions from a different species, beyond infancy, requiring pain, bodily intrusion, mutilation, separation from and immediate death of (male) child, and violent death when no longer ‘financially productive’, please watch the above video and tell me why ANYONE would object to a humane alternative using a word that doesn’t require or euphemistically represent global relentless suffering and pain. SL


Source ProVeg International

Please sign HERE


In Follow-Up of the ‘Veggie Burger Ban’

Following last year’s successful campaign to ‘Stop The Veggie Burger Ban’ ProVeg International will take action to Stop AM171

AM171 will be discussed as part of the CMO trilogues scheduled to start on January 27thIn spite of existing restrictions on the plant-based sector including a ban on using terms like ‘oat milk’ and ‘soya yoghurt’, the new amendment would go even further. 

The new law would prohibit any use of ‘evocations’ of dairy products on plant-based packaging or in advertising. The ban could even prohibit brands from using images of their own products or applying factual disclaimers such as ‘does not contain milk’. 

The plant-based community has voiced concerns about further censorship of the plant-based sector. Such restrictions would make it more difficult for consumers to choose plant-based foods in spite of ever-increasing demand, and also threaten consumers’ right to information and companies’ right to fair competition. Amendment 171 also directly interferes with the EU’s vital sustainability efforts such as the Green Deal. 

Censoring plant-based-dairy not only contradicts the EU’s public-health goals and the promotion of healthy diets – it sits in direct opposition to the sustainability objectives of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. If implemented it would pose a substantial threat to the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

In Practice, Amendment 171 Could Prohibit the Following:

  • Describing a plant-based food, its taste, or function by referring to familiar ‘dairy’ terminology. For example, using wordings such as ‘it’s like milk’, ‘creamy’, or ‘buttery’ to inform the consumer about the purpose, texture, or flavour, either on packaging or advertising. This includes informative descriptions, even if they are purely factual. For instance, using the phrases “does not contain milk”, “suitable for persons suffering from lactose intolerance”, or “plant-based alternative to yoghurt”.
  • Showing climate impact by comparing the carbon footprint of a plant-based food item with its dairy equivalent.
  • Using a picture of a plant-based white beverage being poured at a breakfast table, or white foam swirling into a cappuccino.
  • In its most restrictive interpretation, this could result in bans on plant-based food packaging that looks visually similar to dairy packaging.

Please see HERE for plant-based information, recipes, and suggestions from ProVeg International





Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

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Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

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

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

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

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

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

PETA HERE

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Have questions? Click HERE



censoring kindness
is
encouraging pain
it is morally bankrupt and
basically,
insane!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Victory As US Dietary Guidelines Acknowledge Health Risks Of Dairy

January 11, 2021
by

While I do not often refer to the human-centric tangential benefits of veganism, as rejecting animal exploitation is all that is required to be vegan, I think this is very important, in particular to those who bizarrely/inaccurately suggest that animal cruelty is necessary for optimum human health; to those who are currently consuming, or considering, a plant-based diet; and to those who are future vegans. SL

Please see referenced campaign HERE

Please see the newly-updated inclusion of soy milk on the USDA Guidelines HERE

Please note that in the US cow’s milk is fortified, so opting for a fortified plant milk provides necessary nutrition absent unnecessary suffering. For ideas, please see Switch4Good’s Ultimate Guide to Dairy-Free Alternatives

Free plant-based diet information sheets can be found from Plant Based Health Professionals



The US Dietary Guidelines have acknowledged lactose intolerance as a serious health issue after advocacy efforts from health campaigners


Health advocates are celebrating a major victory as the US Dietary Guidelines have acknowledged lactose intolerance as a serious health issue.

Campaigners including plant-based physician Dr. Milton Mills and health organization Switch4Good worked towards the victory.

US Dietary Guidelines Committee

They have both presented information to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee about the health risks of dairy. 

The Committee, which is comprised of nationally recognized nutrition and medical researchers, academics, and practitioners, updates the dietary guidelines every five years. 

It invites experts to speak and share current scientific and medical evidence in nutrition.

Dairy and people of color

One of the key points made by advocates was how dairy disproportionately affects people of color. Speaking to the committee, Dr. Mills said: “The vast majority of people of color in this country are intolerant to the lactose that’s in milk. 

“Yet because they think they have to eat this stuff, they go out, eat it, get sick, and think they have some sort of intestinal problem. When I encourage them to stop eating dairy, their problems clear up.

“It’s really outrageous to encourage people to eat foods we know will make them sick, particularly when the number one reason advanced for dairy foods is its calcium content. But African American women are genetically protected against getting osteoporosis. So we’re making them sick for no good reason.”


The new 2020-2025 guidelines state that soy milk is nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk (for the first time ever!)


Switch4Good

Describing the victory, Switch4Good – whose executive director is Olympic silver medalist Dotsie Bausch – said: “Together, we compelled the US Dietary Guidelines to acknowledge lactose intolerance as a serious issue and add soy milk as an option for the millions of Americans who are sickened by dairy (over one-third of us!). 

“The new 2020-2025 guidelines state that soy milk is nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk (for the first time ever!). Compared to the former guidelines that barely alluded to anything but dairy, the inclusion of soy is HUGE.” 

“As the guidelines underwent revision in 2020, you helped us launch a tidal wave of public comments to remove dairy as a food group. While we may not have claimed this victory (yet), seeing dairy alternatives front and center is something to be celebrated.”

Continue the fight

The organization added that it will continue to fight against the ‘dairy industry’s grasp on our government’. 

It will campaign for dairy alternatives in all public schools, comprehensive explanation of lactose intolerance including the symptoms and who is most at risk, and the complete removal of dairy as a food group.

Dairy detox

In addition, Switch4Good is currently running a 14-day Dairy Detox pledge.

It says: “Some may notice changes immediately, whereas others may take a week or two to really feel fantastic. Our bodies are different, but there is one thing they can agree on: dairy does not do a body good.

“Commit to the Dairy Detox and treat your body with compassion. When you sign up, you’ll receive exclusive tips, recipes, and constant motivation to stay on track.”

You can find out more about Switch4Good’s dairy detox 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

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



each step forward, a life is saved.
every life is ALL life

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



The Meat Industry’s Bestiality Problem

January 4, 2021
by
A farmer squeezes semen into a cow’s uterus to begin her next pregnancy.
Source Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality

Source The New Republic

By Gabriel N. RosenbergJan Dutkiewicz


Big Agriculture’s artificial insemination is abusive. Most states have rewritten old laws to absolve it—but some haven’t.

It isn’t spoken of much, but a significant chunk of the Kansas economy depends on pervasive violations of its anti-bestiality laws. In 2010, the Kansas legislature revised the state’s “criminal sodomy” statute—historically vague laws criminalizing multiple forms of nonprocreative sex—to delete language that criminalized consensual gay sex. But it preserved other itemized crimes in the law, including making “sodomy between a person and an animal” punishable by up to six months in prison, defining the crime to encompass “any penetration of the female sex organ by … any object.” Although it made allowances for “generally recognized health care practices,” it offered no exemption for everyday animal breeding. This makes Kansas an outlier. The overwhelming majority of states that use similar laws to criminalize sex between animals and humans provide precisely such an exemption. With the explosive growth of artificial insemination in the past 30 years, much meat production in the United States depends on forcibly inserting objects into female animals’ genitals.

For decades, the meat industry in America has been running up against the contradictions in how Americans conceptualize animal cruelty. A growing number of Americans claim to care about animal welfare and support animal welfare legislation. But the average American consumes over 200 pounds of flesh and 600 pounds of dairy products each year, most of it sourced from animals raised on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, or fattened on concentrated feedlots. Farmed animals have few meaningful legal protections and are routinely subject to forced confinement, painful practices like castration and tail-docking, and sexually invasive interventions such as artificial insemination. How Americans claim they want to treat animals and how American animals are actually treated are two very different things, and in bestiality laws, these contradictions are laid bare.Bestiality, a highly stigmatized act, lends itself well to loud denunciations but not so much to moral consistency.

Surely when the Kansas legislature voted to prohibit criminal sodomy in 2010, it did not intend to ban artificial insemination. But the letter of Kansas’s law—which would weigh heavily in an actual court case, particularly with a textualist court—is unambiguous. While a specious reading of the “health care” exemption might be stretched to encompass artificial insemination by veterinarians, most artificial insemination is done by low-wage manual laborers. This would make virtually every farm in the state a hotbed of bestiality.

The unsavory reality is that the labyrinthine structure of American bestiality laws derives from a contradiction most consumers would find unpalatable: Many people wish to protect animals from abuse, but the system of industrial meat and dairy production they patronize depends upon practices that would not only horrify them if they were done to dogs and cats but would often be patently illegal. If animal farming had to confront the cruelty of the insemination practices by which its product is created, cheap meat and milk production would be impossible.



Anti-bestiality laws have a long and twisted history. In the colonial period, bestiality was classed with other forms of “unnatural” sex, including homosexual sex, fornication, oral sex, and masturbation, in various “sodomy” and “crimes against nature” statutes whose broad target was any form of nonprocreative sex outside of marriage. Among those acts, bestiality was the most severely punished, and it resulted in at least seven executions. Colonists believed that bestiality was a violation of a divinely established natural order and, thus, they executed not only the human transgressors but also animals, which were seen as conspirators in, rather than victims of, the crime.

But these anti-sodomy laws, written in rather figurative language, were flexible and evolved alongside changing sexual mores. By the mid-nineteenth century, courts turned to sodomy statutes to prosecute cases of sexual assault with male victims (nineteenth-century rape statutes were written to criminalize only sexual assault against women). Not until after World War II, during what historian David Johnson calls “the lavender scare” conflating homosexuality and Communist sympathy, were anti-sodomy laws consistently used to police consensual gay sex. Breeding technicians insert an arm into the cow’s anus to manually flatten the bovine cervix prior to insertion of a “breeding gun.”

When many states in the latter half of the twentieth century repealed sodomy statutes now primarily associated with homophobia, they also—in the process—axed the anti-bestiality laws. Sparked by equal parts horror and embarrassment when sensational cases of interspecies sex could not be prosecuted, state legislatures then moved to recriminalize it. With the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States, 27 states have enacted specific anti-bestiality statutes since 1990. Bestiality remains legal in four states (Wyoming, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Hawaii), while 19 other states have statutes that date to the nineteenth century or even the Colonial period.

These new statutes are distinct from older sodomy statutes in that they define the proscribed acts with precision. They apply the legal definitions for sexual contact found elsewhere in criminal codes to circumstances where one party is an animal, usually (as in Kansas) defining it as any contact between the body, genitals, or wielded object of a human and the genitals of an animal. These statutes also explicitly treat animals as victims worthy of moral consideration, with many explicitly naming the proscribed crime as “animal sexual abuse”.

Cognitive dissonance has haunted these statutes from their inception: Bestiality, a highly stigmatized act, lends itself well to loud denunciations but not so much to moral consistency. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for instance—infamous for racial profiling accusations, constructing the “Tent City” outdoor jail in the Arizona desert where inmates regularly suffered from heatstroke, and organizing a “posse” to round up undocumented immigrants—played a pivotal role in the passage of Arizona’s 2006 anti-bestiality statute, and zealously enforced it: In 2016, he posted fake Craigslist ads around the country to lure bestialists to Arizona where he could arrest and prosecute them. But Arpaio’s sympathy—unsurprisingly, given that he rarely extended it to humans—was highly selective: He happily scarfed down hamburgers at political meet-and-greets, despite most cattle suffering just as much as the abused dogs and cats for which Arpaio established a no-kill rescue shelter inside an abandoned prison.



As the laws were evolving, so was agriculture. While the meat industry had been dominated by consolidated, high-volume slaughter and processing since the nineteenth century, pro-big-farming government policy and corporate agribusiness-backed regulations accelerated this trend and spread it throughout the farming world in the late twentieth. Consolidation and ever-tightening margins drove the meat industry to discover new efficiencies and untapped profits in the bodies of livestock animals. The industry itself refers to this as “commodity” animal production: Thanks to the sophisticated tools of modern life sciences and genetics, animals themselves are mass-produced to be interchangeable in ways that were unimaginable 50 years ago.

Artificial insemination stands out as a uniquely powerful technology to standardize animal reproduction. It allows farms both to produce homogeneous animals and to standardize the breeding process itself, removing the inconvenience and unpredictability of letting animals breed the old-fashioned way. For example, it allows factory farms to sync the estrous cycles of entire barns of animals, which, in turn, maximizes the efficiency of impregnation, gestation, and birthing. In other words, artificial insemination allows farms to guarantee that animals breed on the market’s clock rather than their own biological one. The global market in livestock semen for artificial insemination also ensures ever-more-sophisticated interventions in animal genetics: Breeders are no longer limited by their own (or neighbor’s) prized studs; they can use semen from animals all around the world. And refrigeration means that particularly valuable animals often continue to stud even long after they have died and been ground into sausage.

Artificial insemination was first developed to improve the productivity of dairy cattle immediately after World War II. Dairy cattle must be continually impregnated to give milk and must be spatially confined to be milked. These logistical details made artificial insemination a good fit for most dairy farms, and farmers could expect to offset its higher capital and labor costs with considerable productivity gains. By 1960, the practice had become the dairy industry standard in the U.S. By the 1970s, it was also increasingly used in turkey production, where it helped farmers manage low fertility rates and the unusual seasonality of demand imposed by Thanksgiving. Pork and beef producers saw little promise in the technology until CAFOs farming—which was pioneered with chicken megafarms as early as the 1950s—began to dominate pork and dairy production starting in the 1980s.The legal distinction between artificial insemination and bestiality was not a foregone conclusion. Rather, it is the product of the lobbying power of large farms.

CAFOs, in which animals—rather than grazing or foraging as naturally inclined—are raised in tightly confined quarters, meant that animal reproduction could be centralized on a smaller number of high-volume breeding farms. Wage-laborers could then cheaply inseminate an endless stream of animals, creating the economies of scale needed to make artificial insemination profitable. By the 1990s, it was making inroads in the pork industry; by 2000, it was employed on 70 percent of farms. Today, it is “near-universal,” and the beef industry is undergoing a similar transformation. Only in broiler chicken production is artificial insemination still relatively rare. Chickens, the most-eaten animal in America, are bred in such massive quantities and have such high fertility that for now the technology has not been seen as cost-effective; but even there, experts speculate that it is only a matter of time before industry consolidation, the cheapness of the technology, and the production gains it enables push the industry past a tipping point. To put it bluntly, artificial insemination is so pervasive in industrial agriculture that, if it were prohibited over concerns for animal welfare, much industrial meat and dairy production would grind to a halt overnight.



The legal distinction between artificial insemination and bestiality was not a foregone conclusion. Rather, it is the product of the lobbying power of large farms.

As state legislatures began proposing anti-bestiality laws in the 1990s, the agriculture lobby repeatedly opposed the bills due largely to concerns they would criminalize artificial insemination. Missouri offered a particularly clear example of the process. In 2000, Sheila Rilenge, executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Abuse Legislation, explained to the state’s legislature that animals needed sexual protection from the state: “There is no consensual sex with an animal.… They are unable to speak out loud about this abuse.” But this argument ran afoul of the state’s agricultural lobby, and the proposed anti-bestiality law Rilenge was testifying for died in committee, where an identical bill had also perished in 1999. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a rancher named Morris Westfall, feared that the law would be used to prosecute veterinarians and farmers who harvested semen from bulls and artificially inseminated cows. Westfall blocked another version of the bill in 2001. The following year, the legislature finally passed a version of the statute that included a blanket exemption for “accepted animal husbandry, farming and ranching practices or generally accepted veterinary medical practices.”

Of the 27 states that have enacted bestiality statutes since 1990, 24 include nearly identical exemptions for animal husbandry. (Kansas, Iowa, and Delaware’s laws do not.) With the exemptions included, agricultural interests in many states have gone from covertly opposing anti-bestiality bills to either staying mum or even lobbying for them—an alleged sign of their commitment to animal welfare. Only in New Hampshire in 2016 did the farming lobby put up Missouri-esque unconditional resistance to anti-bestiality laws, driven by concerns from small, low-volume dairy farmers that they weren’t large enough to qualify for the law’s exception.



Artificial insemination is a clinical and detached term for a practice that involves invasive and sustained bodily contact between humans and animals. Anthropologist Alex Blanchette, who worked in the field as part of his ethnographic study of a massive Midwestern hog farm in the early 2010s, described it in visceral detail: “Our bodies were meant to act as mere weights, imitating the back pressure of a boar’s mounting until the sow’s uterine muscle contractions draw the semen in through a catheter-like spirette attached to a plastic bag.” Pig production textbooks refer to all this extensive human-animal contact unironically as a “courtship.” Novel artificial insemination technology like post-cervical artificial insemination is even more invasive than what Blanchette describes, requiring workers to deposit semen in the uterus through a catheter rod that penetrates past the cervix. For cattle, breeding technicians insert an arm into the cow’s anus to manually flatten the bovine cervix prior to insertion of a “breeding gun.”Meat and dairy production currently account for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

If modern farms are factories, breeding animals are reproductive machines, micromanaged to maximize their fecundity. The volume and standardization of livestock on modern farms makes artificial insemination profitable, but it can only be profitably managed through ongoing systematic cruelty. After insemination, workers on some farms inject sows with drugs to ensure farrowing occurs at precisely 114 days and within regular working hours. Humans will generally also be present to midwife the ever-larger litters: Intensive selective breeding has pushed sow fertility well beyond what pig bodies can naturally sustain.

Sows on many farms now often farrow more piglets than they have teats, leading to both fatal pregnancies and the pervasive problem of low birth weights and “runts,” animals born too weak and sickly to survive on their own and either killed or nursed back to health by farmworkers. As for the sows, when they do not immediately return to estrus, they are sometimes fed or injected drugs to jump-start their cycles again. After a few cycles of this, when their sexual organs wear out or lose productivity, sows will be killed and their used-up bodies, unfit for full cuts of meat, will be ground up for pepperoni or pet food.

The co-evolution of CAFOs and artificial insemination have made the two difficult to disentangle. Feedlot-style farming is what made the technology cost-effective in the first place. And artificial insemination, in turn, has expanded the production capacities of industrial agriculture; with razor-thin profit margins, farms that resist the technology and other high-production practices are destined for obsolescence. As a result, artificial insemination is increasingly affecting animals’ lives not just directly through unnatural and painful impregnation practices but also by supporting an entire system of inhumane practices.

And the effects aren’t just limited to animals. The litany of harms caused by factory farms, including poisoning local communities with dangerous air pollution, land-clearing and deforestation for feed crops, water contamination, and even meat production’s heavy greenhouse gas emissions are all compounded by the sheer scale of production on megafarms, itself in large part the result of industrialized breeding techniques like artificial insemination. Meat and dairy production currently account for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.



Many Americans claim to care about animal welfare but are a bit hazy on the specifics. Some, like Arpaio, may imagine that animal abuse involves a few sadistic bad apples engaging in the sorts of brazen cruelty that animal rights groups often expose through undercover videos. The reality is that conventional animal agriculture is routinely abusive in ways that are perfectly legal.

The U.S. does not have meaningful federal standards for on-farm animal welfare. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 only applies to slaughterhouses and is spottily enforced. As a result, animal welfare is in the hands of states, where the political heft of the meat industry ensures that efforts to reduce animal suffering routinely exempt farms. The meat industry has been strikingly effective at gutting regulations (for instance by lobbying for privatized safety inspections at meat plants) and escaping public scrutiny (through support for so-called “ag-gag” laws that criminalize whistleblowing about animal abuse on farms) in ways that increase profits at the expense of workers, consumers, animals, and the environment.

Taking on the meat and dairy industry is a herculean task. But most other forms of animal abuse, sexual or otherwise, are trivial by comparison. The cruelty of some pet owners decried by dog and cat rescues, for example, is a drop in the ocean compared to the sustained abuse our food system accepts as a given. This is the perverse irony of the Humane Society’s pivotal role in bestiality recriminalization. By pushing for laws that exempt farms, the Humane Society helped to install a legal regime that normalizes and even exhorts practices that it considers intolerable when done to pets. Such laws may be a small victory for pet-lovers and liberal sensibilities, but they harden the cruel boundary between companion animals and livestock ever more.

If we were consistent with our concerns, we would recognize that the most common source of harm to animals, sexual or otherwise, is industrial agriculture. That this system is legal has a lot to do with agricultural interests skewing the law-making process, but it has just as much to do with most Americans choosing to look away from the harms caused by a system in which they participate on a daily basis. We may feel justified in locking up “perverse” animal abusers, but we’re willing to stomach the ones who feed us three meals a day.


Gabriel N. Rosenberg @gnrosenberg

Gabriel N. Rosenberg teaches at Duke University and is the Duke Endowment Fellow of the National Humanities Center.

Jan Dutkiewicz @jan_dutkiewicz

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.




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disgusting, cruel, stupid and in this the 21st century, will accepted???

fhat the wuck!!

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