From PETA.ORG. Some sweet – and arresting – images. – R.T.
PETA’s Lettuce Ladies have toured the world — from England to India, and beyond — with their vegan message, helping countless folks turn over a new leaf.
They’re culturally conscious advocates who encourage people everywhere to ditch meat by offering them free, delicious, plant-based meals, …
… vegan starter kits and leaflets bursting at the seams with information about how our choices affect animals.
Lettuce Ladies embody empowerment! Our advocates are all volunteers. Lettuce Ladies choose to turn heads to protect animals, improve people’s health, and help fight climate change.
They know that, unlike themselves, millions of animals suffering and dying on factory farms and in slaughterhouses are never given the chance to consent. Cows, pigs, chickens, minks, foxes, and all other animals exploited by the food and fashion industries have no say in what happens to their bodies, so our Lettuce Ladies use their own to call attention to the plight of these living beings.
Today, in a society that uses scantily clad models to sell everything from cars to cheeseburgers, those who use their bodies as a political or an emotional statement to call for justice and compassion — as our Lettuce Ladies do — are a breath of fresh air!
Question 3 – Humane Conditions for Farm Animals
Question 3 “would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves, and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely.”
PLEASE VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3!
By Rosalie Tirella
Don’t believe the fear-mongers!!! A YES vote on Question 3 helps the Mass. economy! Especially our local Worcester County farmers, all of whom farm with wisdom and compassion! A YES vote means an economic boost for our local farmer guys and gals! A YES vote means you are supporting our LOCAL biz folks – mostly small biz folks. Many of whom are third/fourth generation farmers…
Egg, pork and veal suppliers from other states who “factory farm” – an innocuos-sounding phrase that only hints at the cruelty/neglect that is never-ending when raising farm animals in gargantuan, miles-long warehouses, “animal-factories” where pigs, chickens and calves are treated like widgets/assembly line parts and not like animals – will have to make improvements. Animals that need sunlight; space in which to turn around, walk around, stand up, fully extend their limbs; caregivers who don’t kick, stomp, punch or fling them will at least be given “the right” to turn around in their crates and cages, lie down, turn their heads, stand up. So basic!!! This is all Q 3 asks for!
Factory farms that truck their “product” “produced” by animals living in factory farm animal-hells will be prohibited from selling their “product” in Massachusetts. Their pork, eggs, veal will not be accepted here until their farm animals are housed more humanely. Just like the way McDonald’s and Wal-Mart treat their egg suppliers: If you house your chickens in animal hell, these multi-billion dollar global corporations tell the factory farms, then we don’t buy your eggs – do business with you!
The ABUSE of farm animals in America on factory farms MUST STOP! LIKE ALL AMAZING animal/human (the two are intertwined!) RIGHTS crusades, A NEW AND BETTER WORLD FOR FARM ANIMALS needs to start somewhere. Why not in beautiful Massachusetts, once home to the abolitionists and suffragettes and now home to climate-change visionaries and women’s rights crusaders? Suppliers will get the message and, for love of the holy BUCK$$$, they WILL MAKE the necessary improvements. They will make THEIR HUGE FACILITIES MORE HUMANE so they can once again sell their “product” in Massachusetts. Like Woody sang: It’s all about the do(ugh) re me!
If all 50 of our great states had a Question 3 on their ballots election day what a wonderful America it would be! And if it was voted in, millions of farm animals would be able to literally breathe more freely, cry out in pain and fear a little less often, physically ache not as intensely … stand, turn around, move their heads in their cages/crates, fully extend their limbs! This is all we ask! To alleviate some of their suffering!
Slavery in the U.S. was once called “good business” by millions of “good” people in this country!
Child labor was once labelled “good business,” too!
Circuses with performing elephants were “business” as usual all over the world.
But times change. People evolve – our hearts grow bigger. We see the light.
SEE THE LIGHT this election season! EARLY VOTERS and NOV. 8 VOTERS – please Vote YES on Question 3!
The yes on Question 3, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection (www.citizensforfarmanimals.com) state on the Secretary of State’s ballot information mailer:
• “A YES vote prevents cruel treatment of animals in Massachusetts by ending the practice of cramming farm animals into cages so small they can’t turn around or stretch their limbs, and will remove inhumane and unsafe products from the Massachusetts marketplace.”
• “Endorsed by the MSPCA, Animal Rescue League of Boston, The Humane Society of the United States, and 400 Massachusetts veterinarians because no animal should be immobilized in a cramped cage.”
• “Endorsed by the Center for Food Safety and Consumer Federation of America because cage confinement increases food safety risks, and a YES vote protects Massachusetts consumers.”
• “Endorsed by Massachusetts family farmers and the United Farm Workers because proper treatment of animals is better for farmers. From McDonald’s to Walmart, retailers are switching to
cage-free eggs—the right thing to do at the right cost.”
VOTE YES ON 3!!!!
Factory Farming: Misery for Animals
On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for slaughterhouses.
The factory farming industry strives to maximize output while minimizing costs—always at the animals’ expense. The giant corporations that run most factory farms have found that they can make more money by squeezing as many animals as possible into tiny spaces, even though many of the animals die from disease or infection.
Animals on factory farms endure constant fear and torment:
They’re often given so little space that they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably. Egg-laying hens are kept in small cages, chickens and pigs are kept in jam-packed sheds, and cows are kept on crowded, filthy feedlots.
Antibiotics are used to make animals grow faster and to keep them alive in the unsanitary conditions. Research shows that factory farms’ widespread use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten human health.
Most factory-farmed animals have been genetically manipulated to grow larger or to produce more milk or eggs than they naturally would. Some chickens grow so unnaturally large that their legs cannot support their outsized bodies, and they suffer from starvation or dehydration when they can’t walk to reach food and water.
When they’ve grown large enough to slaughter or their bodies have been worn out from producing milk or eggs, animals raised for food are crowded onto trucks and transported for miles through all weather extremes, typically without food or water. At the slaughterhouse, those who survived the transport will have their throats slit, often while they’re still conscious. Many remain conscious when they’re plunged into the scalding-hot water of the defeathering or hair-removal tanks or while their bodies are being skinned or hacked apart.
VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3!
By Jennifer Bates
China will soon surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy.
And now it is poised to overtake this country by yet another metric: environmental protection.
In an unexpected development, China – known for its choking urban pollution and notorious Three Gorges Dam – has introduced new dietary guidelines that seek to cut its meat consumption in half.
If this sounds familiar, it might be because you remember similar guidelines proposed in the U.S. in 2015 — which were promptly rejected by officials on the grounds that dietary guidelines aren’t an “appropriate vehicle” for addressing sustainability concerns.
But what we eat is directly tied to the environment, and large-scale animal agriculture is destroying our planet. You probably know that this industry spews climate-changing greenhouse gases into the air, but animal agriculture’s adverse effects don’t end there. Because the industry relies on water-intensive crops and uses enormous amounts of water to clean out filthy enclosures, provide animals with drinking water and more, the average meat-eater indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day more than someone who just eats plant-based foods.
One pig produces as much fecal matter as 10 humans, and that waste has to go somewhere. Often, the toxic stew finds its way into our rivers and oceans, poisoning aquatic life. Meanwhile, countless acres of rainforest are cut down every day to create more grazing lands or to plant crops intended solely to feed farmed animals.
This industry is also hell on the animals raised for human consumption, who are violently abused and traumatized from birth to death. Male pigs and cattle are castrated without painkillers. Farmed fish are kept in crowded, filthy enclosures full of their own waste. And each year, nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are still alive and conscious when they’re immersed in the scalding-hot water of feather-removal tanks.
The average Chinese citizen consumes about 128 pounds of animal flesh each year. But the average American? Two hundred and sixty-four pounds, more than twice the amount of our Eastern competitors.
By cutting its meat consumption, China will spare billions of sentient beings a terrifying death. Cutting back on meat will also be a tremendous boon to public health, because it will reduce not only air pollution but also diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and obesity. China seems to understand what the U.S. refuses to acknowledge — that the health of our planet and the health of our citizens are irrevocably linked.
Fifteen years ago, the U.S. dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol — the world’s first concerted effort to tackle climate change — with the argument that it was unfair to expect Western nations to curb emissions while exempting China. But now that China has fully signed on to the new Paris Agreement and has taken this important first step toward reducing its meat consumption, what’s holding back the U.S.?
It is a travesty that China acts while we sit on the sidelines refusing to address the most pressing issue of our time. Rather than bickering over “appropriate vehicles” while the planet melts and burns around us, we must respond. The only way to reclaim our status as world leader is by going beyond China’s measures.
First, the U.S. should drop federal subsidies for the animal-agriculture industry in favor of subsidies for plant-based foods. Next, we must lead on the development of in vitro meat, which generates 96 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and whose production requires up to 99 percent less land, 96 percent less water and 45 percent less energy than “traditional” meat. Finally, we must all do our part as Americans by curbing our crippling addiction to animal flesh.
Go vegan, and the health of our environment — not to mention our status as a world leader — will follow.
By Michelle Kretzer
We all ponder the question, “Am I selfish?” from time to time. And the answer is simple: Yes, probably. If you claim to care about the environment, animals, world hunger, skyrocketing healthcare costs or pretty much any of the major crises that we face today but are still eating meat, then yes, you are selfish.
Because we could drastically slow down climate change, feed the entire booming population, fix the broken healthcare system and save millions of lives right now if we wanted to. But we don’t. Not enough anyway. I mean, sure, we want to solve those problems. But … bacon.
Researchers from Oxford University’s Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food just published the results of their study on the impact of the meat industry on the environment and our health.
They found that if the human population made a global shift toward the dietary recommendations that we hear at least once a week about eating the minimum suggested amounts of fruit and vegetables, limiting red meat and sugar, and cutting overall calories, we could cut food-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 29 percent. That number jumps to 63 percent for a collective shift toward vegetarian eating. And if everyone on Earth went vegan, we could slash food-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 70 percent.
Simply following health recommendations to eat more plants and less meat could also prevent 5.1 million deaths by 2050. And if everyone chose vegan foods, we could save the lives of 8.1 million people. Healthy plant-based eating could save us $700 billion to $1 trillion every year on health care and lost working days. And the economic savings of significantly cutting our greenhouse-gas emissions could be as much as $570 billion.
Their results mirror the findings of pretty much every food study ever.
According to the filmmakers behind the documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, “Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean ‘dead zones,’ and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.”
The meat industry wastes a tremendous amount of water at a time when waging war over fresh water is no longer seen as a movie plot but as a very real threat. Animals raised for food are the primary consumers of water in the U.S., and if the rest of the world ate America’s meat-heavy diet, the Earth would have run out of fresh water 15 years ago.
Turning animals into meat is also a grossly inefficient use of other limited resources. It takes up to 13 kilograms of grain fed to farmed animals to produce just 1 kilogram of meat for the world’s wealthiest citizens. With 795 million people currently going hungry, the only way to produce enough food, according to Worldwatch Institute, is “to cut back sharply on meat consumption, because conversion of grazing land to food crops will increase the amount of food produced.”
Every day, one vegan saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forest, 20 pounds of greenhouse gases and an animal’s life.
By saving the Earth and animals, we also save ourselves. Numerous health studies have found that vegetarians and vegans enjoy lower rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, obesity and Alzheimer’s as well as lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and better overall health.
So, are you selfish? Think about it as you head off to fry some bacon … and the planet.
Get your good-for-you goodies at REC’s Beaver Brook Park and Main South farmers markets and at the REC mobile farmers market van:
By Heather Moore
Should we all pitch in and buy the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a dictionary? Apparently, the agency is looking for the modern definition of “healthy.” It seems to have no idea what the term means — or should mean — and it’s planning to ask the public for input.
Here’s my suggestion: Forget about “healthy” labels on food packaging. More people will pay attention if the government plasters “unhealthy” labels on packages of meat, eggs and dairy products.
There’s no doubt that federal officials need to catch up with current ideas about what’s healthy — and what’s not. For example, the government still allows “pink slime” — bright pink ammonia-treated meat — to be used as filler in ground beef and permits schools to count pizza as a vegetable if it contains at least two tablespoonfuls of tomato paste. When it isn’t trying to determine whether vegan mayo counts as mayo without the inclusion of artery-clogging eggs, it’s making nutty demands about snack labels. Last year, the FDA warned a manufacturer of fruit-and-nut bars to stop using the term “healthy” on its packaging because the heart-healthy fats in nuts don’t meet the current labeling criteria. While that warning was recently rescinded, the fiasco reportedly prompted the FDA to review its antiquated “healthy” labels.
Here’s why meat, eggs and dairy products should never receive the stamp of approval: Animal-based foods contain cholesterol and saturated fat, which can build up inside the coronary arteries, putting a person at risk for a heart attack. Meat and other animal-based foods can also cause cancer, diabetes, strokes and other life-threatening illnesses.
A new study by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona shows that you can increase your life expectancy by about four years — and probably enhance your quality of life, too — by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones. Researchers analyzed six studies involving more than 1.5 million people and, among other conclusions, determined that processed meat significantly increases the risk of mortality and that people who eat little to no meat may be up to 50 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who eat a lot of meat. Other studies suggest that people who eat plant-based foods live up to 10 years longer than meat-eaters and that vegans are less likely to suffer from debilitating diseases.
In March, the Netherlands began officially advising people to eat significantly less meat — no more than two servings per week — and instead to eat plant-based foods, including beans and nuts. The United Kingdom also recently encouraged its residents to replace several servings of animal protein with healthy vegan foods.
Isn’t it time the U.S. did the same?
In 2012, the government began putting nutrition labels on certain types of raw meat so that shoppers could see how many calories — and how much fat, cholesterol and sodium — are in chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops and other types of meat. It was a good start, but labels proclaiming, “Warning: Consumption of this product can cause heart disease, cancer and other diseases that can lead to premature death,” would be much more effective.
I’ll settle for “unhealthy,” though. It’s concise and easy to understand. And while I won’t hold my breath waiting for the government to require labels reminding shoppers that each package of meat contains the decaying flesh of a dead, dismembered animal, that would make a difference, too.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for government labels in order to make healthy, humane choices. We can just do it ourselves. If you care about your health—as well as animals and the environment — just choose wholesome vegan foods. Nowadays, no one needs a dictionary to know what “vegan” means – not even the FDA.
Wildlife underpasses not only reduce the number of animals being hit by cars but also preserve movement and gene flow for the animals on both sides of the road.
The movement of genes occurs when an animal born on one side crosses the road and breeds on the other.
The three young cougars being led through this culvert by their mother will be accustomed to using it and are likely to look for mates on either side.
Photograph: Tony Clevinger/Johns Hopkins University Press
Want more great national and international pics, news and feature stories? Go to our big yellow finger on this website AND CLICK ON THE GUARDIAN LINK! You will get this – CLICK HERE!
Enjoy great stories, photos, videos from a terrific news media organization – theguardian.com ! – R.T.
BETTY GOES VEGAN – R.T.
WE NEED LAWS THAT WILL ENSURE MASS AND US FARM ANIMALS ARE HOUSED/TREATED HUMANELY! – R.T.
Animal Cruelty or the Price of Dinner?
By Nicholas Kristof
THIS month a man in Orlando, Fla., dangled a dog by the scruff of its neck over a second-floor balcony, threatening to drop it 12 feet to the ground.
Onlookers intervened and tried to rescue the dog. Someone posted a video of the dangling dog on Facebook, and the clip went viral. Galvanized by public outrage, the police combed the area and on Tuesday announced that a 23-year-old man named Ransom May II had been arrested on a charge of cruelty to animals. The arrest made news nationwide.
Meanwhile, in the United States this year, almost nine billion chickens will be dangled upside down on conveyor belts and slaughtered; when the process doesn’t work properly, the birds are scalded alive.
Hmm. So scaring one dog stirs more reaction than far worse treatment of billions of chickens.
Look, I don’t believe in reincarnation. But if I’m wrong, let’s hope you and I are fated to come back as puppies and not as chickens.
CLICK HERE to read the entire column!
By Jennifer Bates
Boston, Massachusetts. St. Augustine, Florida. Jamestown, Virginia. The events that took place at these sites helped write our country’s history. But now our gluttony could erase them forever.
Our seemingly unquenchable appetite for meat, dairy foods and eggs condemns billions of sentient animals annually to miserable lives in squalid pens and jam-packed cages followed by deaths that are terrifying and painful. But it is also fundamentally altering our landscape. Widespread animal agriculture is responsible for up to 51 percent of the global greenhouse-gas emissions that are heating up the planet at an alarming rate. Warmer air means that glacial ice—and giant hunks of it—could disintegrate in just a few decades. If the West Antarctic ice sheet melts, it could raise sea levels by 12 feet or more, and if that happens, the physical record of our country’s early history along the East Coast will literally wash away.
But our relentless drive for foods made from animals will decimate more than cultural landmarks. The animal-agriculture industry fouls everything that it touches as it oozes across the planet. It churns heavy metals and other poisons into our water and spews toxins such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia into the air. It sickens and chokes human communities unfortunate enough to be in its suffocating shadow and eliminates entire species as it clear-cuts huge swaths of forest.
What will future generations think of us when they learn that they can’t explore Boston or see a glacier up close because our generation valued the pleasure of the palate over the environment and its diverse life forms? We will lose everything to our expanding waistlines—our clean water and fresh air, our healthy communities and national treasures—if we do not make a change, and soon.
Earth Day is a good time for us to make that change. Every year, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities like composting or choosing to buy locally grown produce. But what if those participants—one-seventh of all humanity—also went vegan? Billions fewer animals would be raised and slaughtered for fleeting meals, and the domino effect would be astounding. The dramatic reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions would slow the rising of oceans. Water previously channeled into factory farms would instead be used for human consumption. Oceanic dead zones—areas where little life can survive, thanks to pollutants from farm runoff—could begin to rebound, as could ecosystems damaged by rampant overfishing.
Fewer animals would also mean more crops for human consumption. As things stand now, we grow enough food for every human on the planet. But much of what we grow is diverted into feed for cows, chickens and other animals so that the populations of rich countries can eat animal flesh and eggs and drink animal milk—an inefficient system that is as unjust to the world’s poor as it is cruel to animals.
So on this Earth Day, don’t settle for small actions. Make the choice that will help preserve humanity’s past, protect its present and ensure its future: Go vegan.