Tag Archives: cows

Soul 🎼!

Show compassion for all Moms this Mother’s Day: Go veggie!

By Dr. Heather Rally, D.V.M.

What if your mother were artificially inseminated time and time again? What if you were taken from her shortly after birth? No nurturing, no love, no celebration. What if she cried out for you constantly but to no avail? You had already been slated to become someone’s dinner.

As a veterinarian who’s concerned about all animals, I hope you’ll keep cows in mind on Mother’s Day — and any other time you’re enjoying a meal with your family — and opt for dairy-free foods.

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Cool your jets this summer with vegan ice cream! Tastee! And it’s always for sale at Trader Joe’s, in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, right over the bridge!

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to feed their young. But on today’s dairy farms, they are kept almost constantly pregnant so that they’ll produce a steady supply of milk. Their calves are typically taken away from them when they’re only a few hours old.

Male calves are commonly raised for veal. They’re chained up in tiny crates and intentionally fed a formula that’s low in iron so that they’ll become anemic and their flesh will stay pale. They take their first weak, wobbly steps — to slaughter — when they’re between 3 and 18 weeks old.

Females are turned into virtual milk machines like their mothers. When their production wanes, they, too, end up at the slaughterhouse, bloodied, dangling by a hind leg with their throats cut.

Cows are like us in important and relevant ways: They’re made of flesh and blood.

They feel pain and love.

They form strong family ties and grieve when they’re separated from their loved ones.

In An Anthropologist on Mars, Dr. Oliver Sacks wrote of a trip that he and agriculture-industry advisor Dr. Temple Grandin took to a dairy farm — and of the bellowing that they heard:

“They must have separated the calves from the cows this morning,” Temple said, and, indeed, this was what had happened. We saw one cow outside the stockade, roaming, looking for her calf, and bellowing. “That’s not a happy cow,” Temple said. “That’s one sad, unhappy, upset cow. She wants her baby.”

As that mother cow demonstrated, all animals have thoughts, feelings and desires. Here’s an example of another basic need: Cows long to live in pastures. A study at the University of British Columbia recently found that cows want to get outdoors as much as they want food.

The researchers steadily increased the amount of force that it took for a cow to open a door leading to either food or pasture. Most of the cows studied pushed just as hard to get outside as they did to get to food.

The scientists speculate that this is because grass is softer than concrete, so outdoors, cows can move comfortably. Soft ground is better for their hoof health and reduces the likelihood of lameness. And they have a basic behavioral need to live in the grasslands, which are, of course, their natural environment.

Yet fewer than 5 percent of cows in the U.S. are allowed to spend time in pasture, and “80 percent never see a blade of grass,” according to researcher Marina von Keyserlingk.

Change is needed, and gradually it is happening. Surveys suggest that half of Americans now consume dairy-free milk. To those of you who still drink cow’s milk, please consider going vegan for Mother’s Day — and beyond.

If you have children, you’ll surely understand how traumatic it would be to lose a baby. And as we all have mothers, we should be outraged that any mother, human or not, would be subjected to a life of torment, as are cows in the dairy industry.

By choosing tasty vegan foods this Mother’s Day and all year round, you’ll be showing compassion for all mothers!

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Remember …

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This Valentine’s Day, show some serious love to animals! Pledge to go vegetarian – or eat way less meat! Drop the fur – forever! Bannish wool from your closet! Fight for ALL animals (even the ones you don’t think are cute)!💙

From PETA.ORG. Some sweet – and arresting – images. – R.T.

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Go, Lettuce Ladies, go!!!

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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, …

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… vegan starter kits and leaflets bursting at the seams with information about how our choices affect animals.

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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.

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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.

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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!

The case for vegan Christmas cookies

By Paula Moore

Of all the foods associated with the holiday season, cookies may be the most ubiquitous — and the best-loved. They’re easy to make and fun to eat and instantly put everyone in a better mood. What’s a holiday office potluck or party for friends without plates piled high with rugelach and spiced snickerdoodles?

But what if all those batches of sugar cookies and gingerbread folk could do more than bring holiday revelers brief moments of cheer? What if they could help promote peace on Earth?

Don’t believe it? It’s true. You really can help foster an atmosphere of goodwill to all—by swapping out the eggs and butter in traditional recipes and using vegan ingredients in their place. In the process, you’ll also be giving your guests some food for thought.

As vegan television star Christina Pirello, from the PBS show Christina Cooks, says, “Cookies are the most benign, noncontroversial way to start conversations” about what we eat. “When presented with a chocolate chip cookie, most people will not turn up their nose, even if told it’s vegan. And if a ‘healthful’ cookie turns out to be yummy, the door is open for discussion.”

And there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to delicious vegan cookies and other baked goods. Not only do they contain none of the animal fat or cholesterol found in eggs and dairy products, they also spare animals enormous suffering on factory farms.

Virtually all hens used by the egg industry spend their entire lives in cages so cramped that they can’t even spread a single wing. They never get to breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or engage in any natural behavior.

Cows on dairy farms are typically forced to stand all day on hard concrete or in manure-laden dirt. And since they produce milk only to nourish their calves, farmers keep them pregnant or lactating from the moment they become sexually mature by artificially inseminating them.

The male offspring of chickens and cows are useless to the egg and dairy industries. Male chicks are discarded shortly after birth—often by being thrown into high-speed grinders while they’re still alive. Calves are often torn away from their loving mothers within a day or two, causing both extreme distress. Mother cows are known to call out for their lost calves for days afterward. The male calves are sold to the veal industry, which keeps them confined to tiny crates, while females are sentenced to the same sad fate as their mothers.

If all that’s a little too heavy for holiday party conversation, just mention that when you use vegan options instead of raw eggs in recipes, you can sneak a bite (or three) of cookie dough without fear of salmonella poisoning.

Vegan baking substitutions are as easy as they are compassionate. For instance, instead of cow’s milk, just use an equal amount of soy or almond milk. If a recipe calls for buttermilk, add a little apple cider vinegar to your nondairy milk. One tablespoonful of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoonfuls of water is a tried-and-true egg replacement. Look online for other vegan baking tips. These simple substitutions won’t change the taste of your holiday favorites, and no one will know they’re vegan—unless you tell them.

But remember, everything in moderation—including vegan chocolate candy cane cookies. If you do overindulge in jam-filled thumbprint cookies and macaroons, there is some good news: Eating vegan can also be your best ally in the battle of the bulge come the new year.

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From PETA.ORG:

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Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup vegan margarine
1 cup sugar
Egg Replacer equivalent to 1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves

In a large bowl, cream the vegan margarine and the sugar. Mix in the egg replacer, molasses, and vinegar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients.
Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the edges brown.

Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and remove to a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Nov. 8 please vote for humane living conditions for farm animals! Vote YES on Question 3

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Rosalie – 10/12/2016 …Over the years she’s run hundreds of articles in InCity Times on animal cruelty. Massachusetts farm animals need your support this election! Educate yourselves! Learn more below (we’ve made some sentences bold):

VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3

Please visit citizensforfarmanimals.com

Thank you,

“Rose”

Factory farms abuse animals

By Craig Shapiro

Imagine spending your life confined to a crate that is so small you can’t turn around. Imagine being mutilated without getting a painkiller or being forced to live in your own waste.

Billions of farmed animals endure these and other abuses every day — and when their bodies give out, they’re slaughtered for their flesh.

Mother pigs spend most of their lives in “gestation” crates about 7 feet long and 2 feet wide. After giving birth, they’re moved to farrowing crates that are only wide enough for them to lie down and nurse. Some piglets are just 10 days old when they’re taken from their mothers, who, in a cruel cycle, are impregnated again.

Piglets are held in crowded, filthy stalls until they’re separated to be raised for breeding or meat. The stress of confinement often leads to cannibalism and tail-biting, so their teeth are broken off with pliers and their tails are chopped off. Millions are also castrated — without being given painkillers.

Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do — to nourish their young — but calves on dairy farms are taken from their mothers when they’re just a day old. They’re fed milk replacers, including cattle blood, so their mothers’ milk can be sold to humans.

Female cows are artificially inseminated just after their first birthdays; once they give birth, they lactate for 10 months and are inseminated again. Some spend their lives standing on concrete floors while others are crowded onto massive feedlots and forced to live amid their own feces.

The stress of these conditions leads to disease, lameness and reproductive problems that make the cows worthless to the dairy industry, and after four or five years, they’re trucked to slaughter. A cow’s natural lifespan is about 20 years.

Female calves who aren’t slaughtered immediately replace their mothers in the dairy herd. But many males end up in miniscule veal crates that intentionally prohibit exercise and normal muscle growth. Kept in darkness, they are fed low-iron milk substitutes so that they will become anemic and their flesh stays pale and tender.

Many suffer from chronic pneumonia, diarrhea and other diseases that are caused by their unhealthy living conditions. These young calves are often just 12 weeks old when they’re sent off for slaughter. Many can barely walk because of disease or muscle atrophy.

More than 8 billion chickens are raised and killed for meat each year — in fetid, windowless sheds that stink of ammonia. To keep up with demand and cut costs, farmers give chicks steady doses of growth-promoting drugs to ensure they reach “processing” weight quickly, often in as little as six weeks.

The hundreds of millions of hens who are raised for their eggs spend their lives in wire-mesh cages that rub off their feathers, chafe their skin and cripple their feet. Chickens can live for a decade, but these hens are so exhausted their egg production wanes after about two years. More than 100 million “spent” hens are slaughtered every year.

Male chicks born on egg farms don’t survive nearly that long. Millions are just a day old when they’re killed, usually in high-speed grinders called “macerators.”

Factory farms don’t want us to know their dirty secrets, but there is a cruel, bloody story behind every piece of animal flesh, cheese or egg on our plates. The silver lining is that we can end this abuse by switching to a humane, healthy, eco-friendly, plant-based diet.

For more info, visit:

http://www.citizensforfarmanimals.com

China is leading the way on climate change, and the U.S. should be ashamed

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Rosalie’s kitchen table this a.m.: More corn please! pic:R.T.

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.

Protect our history with every bite

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.

Why this feminist would ‘rather go naked’

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By Ingrid Newkirk
 
Is it odd that a feminist like me, from back in the bra-burning ’60s, champions racy protests featuring women wearing little more than body-paint markings that mimic a butcher’s diagram? Some might raise an eyebrow, but this March, National Women’s History Month, let me explain why I believe that supporting women’s rights and stripping for a cause go together like Gloria Steinem and miniskirts.
 
With feminism, as with all social movements, each generation has its own battles to fight, and while respect is certainly owed those who helped society evolve to this point, today is a new day with new issues to grapple with. I relate best now to the third-wave feminists who are sick of second-wave feminists—ever so ironically taking the place of repressive fathers and husbands—demanding that women cover ourselves up and “behave.” How dare we expose our bodies to prying eyes! But dare we do, with more feminists daring to do something more important: to challenge the idea that breasts are to be kept covered like a dirty magazine.
 
At PETA, which is awash with “uppity women” like me, we’d rather go naked than wear not only fur but leather or wool—any skin. We see animal liberation as a logical part of a philosophy that rejects violence to, and the exploitation of, those who are not exactly like oneself in some way or another. We reject prejudice on the basis of any arbitrary factor such as skin color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or species. For surely there is something fundamentally wrong with moaning about freedom for yourself while denying it to others.
 
We are all of us composed of flesh and blood. We have faces and feelings and a beating heart, as did the pigs and chickens and other animals who were killed and decapitated for nothing more than a fleeting taste. What is done to them would be the same if it were done to us. And that’s the point of provocative PETA campaigns such as our “All Animals Have the Same Parts” protests featuring those aforementioned butcher’s diagrams. The scantily clad women who stand out in the cold know that people will stop and stare and that many of them will have never thought about animal rights before. That’s the power of their protest.  
 
Instead of attacking the (naked) messenger, who doesn’t need anyone’s permission to strip, I ask people to  put that energy and outrage where it belongs—into taking action against those who would abuse and exploit the most vulnerable among us. Women’s rights and animal rights go hand in hand. If you reject violence against women, you can’t in good conscience eat bacon and drink milk. Why? Because mother pigs—sows, who are smart as the dickens and who love their precious babies as dearly as any human mother loves hers—are confined to metal crates so small that they can’t even turn around and they develop painful ulcers from the constant pressure of lying, nearly immobile, on the unyielding cement floor. Because terrified, crying calves are torn away from their devoted mothers right after birth so that humans can steal the milk that was meant for them. Because factory farm and slaughterhouse workers, who have grueling, dangerous, soul-crushing jobs, often take their frustrations out on female animals by sexually assaulting them—sometimes in their terrifying last moments. The video is on our website and is hard to watch.
 
I have seen slaughter, have seen pigs beaten and loaded into the trucks on their way to it, and have been disturbed by the unmistakable sorrow and fear on their faces as they rattled down a highway for the first and last time ever. It’s the same look that you or I would have. We all feel pain and fear and long for the freedom to live our lives. We’re all the same.
 
With one significant difference.
 
Unlike the pigs and turkeys and fish and cows, I have choices. I can choose to walk away from meat and eggs and dairy products and continue enjoying my life, opting instead for healthy, humane vegan foods. If you haven’t done that yet, please, come join me. Women unite for animal rights!

Escaped cow teaches us a lesson in compassion

By Alisa Mullins
 
His name is Freddie. Two weeks ago, he was just a number — one of the 30 million anonymous cows slaughtered for their flesh and skin in the U.S. every year. Today, he’s a poster cow for eating vegan.
 
Freddie became famous when he made a break for it while being unloaded from a truck at a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York, and bolted down a busy street. He was quickly rounded up by police and returned to the slaughterhouse. But by then, his story had gone viral and captured the public’s imagination. New York musician Ramona Montañez expressed the sentiments of many with her tweet: “Let the cow live!”
 
The cow—technically a steer—did live, thanks to Mike Stura, founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue in New Jersey, who drove to the slaughterhouse and waited outside all night in his truck to make sure he was there first thing in the morning when workers arrived. His patience paid off: The slaughterhouse owner agreed to spare the young steer.
 
“It’s nice if one lives once in a while,” said Stura.
 
Freddie had been earmarked for a family who was planning to use his flesh for a “special event,” and another cow will probably be killed in Freddie’s place—unless the family decides to serve only vegan food at its big do.
 
Sound unlikely? Perhaps, but it’s almost certain that many of the millions of people who heard Freddie’s story are looking at their T-bones and hamburgers in a new light. That steak used to be a someone—someone who didn’t want to die.
 
We don’t like to give much thought to the billions of animals killed for food every year. It’s easier to pretend that they don’t suffer when the killing goes on behind closed doors, far away from our kitchen tables, where we can’t see the terror in their eyes or hear their screams of protest. We don’t like to think about their slaughter: how they are shot in the head with a captive-bolt pistol, are shackled by a hind leg and hoisted up in the air, have their throats slit, and are eviscerated and dismembered—all while fully conscious if the captive-bolt gun happens to be off the mark, as it often is on high-speed automated slaughter lines that kill 19,000 animals every minute.
 
But when we’re brought face to face with our “dinner,” as people in Queens were, most of us realize that this animal is not a walking entrée—he’s an individual who has feelings, just as our dogs and cats do … just as we do.
 
People who’ve never met a cow like Freddie in person often pretend that cows are stupid, because that makes them feel better about eating them. But cows aren’t stupid. They’re known for their problem-solving capabilities, as well as for being gentle, inquisitive, sociable, amiable and trusting. If their trust in us is misplaced, that reflects badly on us, not them.
 
Maybe the humans who insist—all evidence to the contrary—that eating meat doesn’t hurt animals (or the planet or our health) are the slow-witted ones. In her book, Do Unto Animals, author Tracey Stewart writes movingly about hearing mother cows on a dairy farm crying for their calves, who’d been taken away to be sold for veal. “Sometimes you have to listen a little harder to understand what an animal is trying to say,” she writes. “And sometimes they are saying it so loudly it’s hard to imagine people don’t hear.”