Tag Archives: American factory farming

Calves are born into a world of abuse

I’ve made some sections bold. -R.T.

By Dan Paden
 
Many consumers don’t realize (probably because they’ve never really thought about it) that cows produce milk for the same reason that human mothers do: to feed their babies.

Given the opportunity, cows are excellent mothers. They’re smart, sensitive animals, and their maternal instinct is just as strong as ours.
 
But on dairy farms, they are repeatedly impregnated and then forced to watch helplessly as their terrified babies — whom they carry for nine months, just like us — are torn away from them again and again.

In order to squeeze as much milk as possible out of them, dairy farms keep them almost constantly pregnant. They give birth to calf after calf, year in and year out.
 
This is just one reason why PETA urges consumers to ditch dairy products. Our latest eyewitness exposé of the dairy industry provides several more.
 
Daisy Farms, a Texas-based milk supplier to Daisy Brand sour cream and cottage cheese—which can be found in supermarkets all over the U.S.—claims that it has the “best cared-for cows on the planet.” It refers to them as “princesses,” “queens,” “our babies” and “our pets.” 
 
But after receiving a disturbing tip from a whistleblower who reported that many calves on this farm were visibly ill—coughing, trembling and/or unable to stand—we took a look ourselves and found that Daisy Farms is just a plain old, run-of-the-mill factory farm.
 
The cows are confined to massive sheds and some had no choice but to stand and lie down in their own waste.

PETA’s eyewitness saw workers put a rope around one cow’s head and pull her off a resting area. She slipped and fell on her udder on the slick feces-coated floor before being led away to be milked. 
 
Cows were kicked, whipped and jabbed with pens and a knife—even while they were in labor.

Workers twisted their tails, which can cause the animals severe pain and even break the bones inside.

Two cows with severe lacerations on their tails were not treated by a veterinarian, to the knowledge of PETA’s observer, including one whose wound was seen bleeding more than three weeks after her tail was severed.

Some sick cows were finally shot, while others were killed by injection to induce a heart attack—while they were fully conscious.
 
When cows at this farm had difficulty giving birth, workers used chains to drag their calves out of their wombs, causing them to cry out and defecate. The calves were not even allowed to nurse, because their mothers’ milk is sold
for human consumption. Instead, they are torn away from their mothers within hours of birth. Some are force-fed milk taken from another cow. Several newborn calves drowned when workers shoved tubes down their throats and milk was forced into their lungs instead of their stomachs.
 
Newborn calves also had holes punched into their ears and numbered tags clamped onto them, and their heads were smeared with a caustic paste to destroy their sensitive horn tissue—all without any painkillers. Nearly all cows born on dairy farms have tissue that will develop into horns if left alone, but most are cruelly “dehorned”—either via caustic paste, as in this case, or by other harsh methods such as gouging out the tissue with a sharp metal scoop as they struggle and cry out in pain.
 
When cows’ bodies wear out from constant pregnancy or lactation—after about five years—they are slaughtered.
PETA has said it before, but it’s worth repeating: The only way to ensure that no animals suffer for your sour cream, cheese, milk, ice cream and yogurt is to go vegan. By choosing kinder, plant-based options, like almond and soy milk, vegan cheese and sour cream, coconut-milk coffee creamer and cashew-milk ice cream, we can let animals live in peace.

Just how humane is “humanely raised” meat?

By Dan Paden
 
If you’ve been to a natural foods store or upscale restaurant lately, you’ve likely seen signs proclaiming that at least some of the meat came from “humanely raised” animals. But what exactly does that mean? As a new PETA investigation has found, “humane meat” labels are often worth less than the recycled paper they’re printed on.
 
This summer, a PETA eyewitness worked at a Pennsylvania farm that claims to produce “humanely raised pork” and is a supplier to Whole Foods. The farm is certified as a “Step 2” pig farm by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), a group spearheaded by Whole Foods with the goal of “improving animal welfare,” and is ranked higher and considered more animal-friendly than the majority of GAP-certified pig farms.
 
If you’re envisioning bucolic scenes with lush pastures, in which animals roam freely and breathe fresh air, think again.
 
Far from being free-roaming, the pigs on this farm spent almost all their time crammed into crowded sheds on concrete flooring. They never even touched the farm’s lush green grass, and the only time they were ever outside was when they were trucked from one shed to another, put on a scale to be weighed or sent to slaughter. Some pigs were kept in virtual darkness deep inside a barn.
 
Pigs had straw in the sheds, as required by GAP standards, but little other “enrichment.” Even though GAP requires that pigs’ “thermal comfort” be maintained at all times, on hot days, hundreds of pigs had access to a single water sprinkler.
 
On one day when the heat index exceeded 90°F, more than 20 pigs were tightly packed into a metal trailer more than 24 hours before they were hauled to slaughter—just because the manager didn’t want to wait another day to pull straw out of a pen. They had no choice but to stand or sit on top of each other for much of that time. On another day, several pigs were left on a trailer with no protection from heavy rain and approximately 60 mph winds.
 
Whole Foods’ standards require that sick or injured pigs be promptly euthanized if necessary, but PETA’s eyewitness saw obviously sick and injured pigs’ condition worsen for days or even weeks. If a veterinarian did provide these animals with care, the observer never saw it, despite more than two months of working full-time at the farm. One pig ran an intermittent fever for about a month before finally being shot in the head and killed. Another pig whose apparent neurological ailments caused her to go lame was left for eight days until she, too, was shot. Other pigs with grotesque rectal prolapses—as large as an orange and dripping with blood—were allowed to suffer in that condition without adequate care for up to 24 days.
 
The eyewitness documented the actions of a manager on the farm who grabbed and lifted pigs weighing over 70 pounds by their sensitive ears in order to vaccinate them. The manager also hit pigs being loaded for slaughter with a hard plastic board. Agitated, frustrated pigs bit each other’s tails, sometimes causing bloody wounds.
 
It’s understandable that consumers want to avoid supporting cruelty to animals when they shop, but it’s time for us to admit that “humane meat” is an oxymoron. Sparing animals some marginal cruelty in factory-farm practices is not the same thing as being “humane,” and it never will be. Even on farms that follow “humane”-certification standards to the letter, animals may still be castrated, branded and dehorned without painkillers; starve and become dehydrated because of lameness; be held in intensive confinement in unnatural conditions; and end up being scalded to death.
 
The only “humane meat” is vegan meat, which you can find in any well-stocked supermarket — including Whole Foods.
 

Yay, CNN!!!!!

We think it’s so important that mainstream media expose the REAL AMERICAN farming industry! American farms are not some bucolic fantasy! More American papers and tv news shows need to run reports like CNN’s (see below) so ALL Americans see what really goes on at these agri-complexes. Even family farms send their livestock to slaughterhouses. … Americans are good people and will demand changes, humane treatment of cows, chickens, pigs, lambs … . State houses to the White House – let’s bombard these American institutions with the truth! They MUST REPRESENT us, WE THE PEOPLE, and we the people DEMAND a new day dawn on factory farms. – R. Tirella

FROM PETA.ORG:

CNN investigative correspondent Chris Frates is being awarded the Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award by the National Press Club for his work to expose animal abuse in the meat industry.

Frates’ series gave audiences an eye-opening look at the pervasive abuse and neglect that animals endure on farms. One of his reports broke PETA’s investigation of a worldwide leader in pig production, which revealed that pigs who were severely sick or injured were commonly left to suffer for days before finally dying or being hauled to slaughter.

CLICK HERE to watch the video.

Went to a terrific birthday party yesterday

In the country!  (I got lost driving up) Multigenerational! (I want a kid, but not a baby/toddler. They are so … helpless. For me: A brash, wicked-smart 10 year old boy. I’ll let him grow his hair long! He’ll have his own dirt bike!) Vegetarian buffet before the ice cream birthday cake (not vegan – shame on us) and strawberry rhubarb pie The lovely hostess (so funny and smart!) gave me a ton of veggie lasagna to take home, some of which I am devouring now, for a late breakfast:

CAM00209

(Can you tell I make lousy coffee and tea? Note: the Keurgig machine and the 123,987,664 K cups! TOTALLY Rose-proof!)

All the food at yesterday’s birthday party was deelish – and vegetarian! Beautiful salads, so healthy … My friend’s vegan meatballs are the tastiest meatballs in the world! It is such an easy recipe, too. I am asking her to email it to me, so I can share it with you!

Why kill a living being just to eat its flesh? Steak. Gak! I haven’t eaten any since high school. I became a veggie-lover after living in a kind of hippie vegan commune in northern New England when I dropped out of college for a year, years ago. The place changed my eating habits FOREVER. I can’t believe I haven’t written a few columns about my experiences there!

Why support the animal concentration camp that is American factory farming? This country lags so far behind Western Europe in farm animal care. Many countries don’t even want our hormone-, anti-biotic-laden meat/poultry exported to their shores. Can’t blame them. Sick animals reflecting a sick, hyper-violent farming culture.

CUT BACK ON YOUR MEAT and POULTRY! MAKE OUR LEADERS IN CONGRESS AND IN OUR STATE HOUSES CHANGE LAWS THAT PERTAIN TO FARM ANIMALS. There have been some small but significant changes in the laws: cage size, stalls that let an animal turn around …Watch a couple of movies about AMERICAN FACTORY FARMING and learn and … have your heart broken.

Reject it all …

To help YOU change your life …

– Rosalie Tirella

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From PETA.ORG:

Want to get started right now? Check out info on how to go vegan, onmaking the transition, a two-week meal plan, and a list of accidentally vegan foods (some of your favorite snacks might already be vegan)!

Here are some other great resources to help you transition to a compassionate lifestyle:

  • Learn what to buy, what to eat, and where to eat.
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  • Browse hundreds of free recipes.

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  • Know someone who is looking to make the switch but needs a little assistance?

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