Tag Archives: farm animals

Why this feminist would ‘rather go naked’

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Ingrid

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!

Vote YES for humane living quarters for Massachusetts farm animals! End the cruel confinement of veal calves, egg-laying hens and pigs!

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CLICK HERE to learn more and get involved!  Remember: McDonald’s is backing this initiative – and they say they will NOT be upping the price of their Egg McMuffins, etc. if it becomes law.

If McDonald’s, as un-radical a company as they come, can get behind this COMMON SENSE initiative, you can too!

Please! Continue to visit citizensforfarmanimals.com … to learn of new volunteer opportunities, progress made, etc!

THANK YOU!    –  Rose T.

12 Reasons You May Never Want To Eat Turkey Again

Let’s REFORM AMERICAN FACTORY FARMS!  No more hormones, no more cramming and beating,  no more standing in filth, no more beak and claw removal WITHOUT ANESTHESIA!

When you don’t eat meat you don’t buy into the horrific suffering of cows, turkeys, chickens, calves, pigs, lambs on America’s factory farms!

Agribusiness is just that – a business.

YOU CAN  WORK WITH OUR POLITICIANS TO CHANGE THE BUSINESS! Please demand more oversight, demand LAWS that ensure a MODICUM OF HUMANITY IN A SYSTEM THAT LITERALLY DRIVES ANIMALS INSANE, A SYSTEM OF UNENDING PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN for animals.

God’s creatures, every one of them!

– Rosalie Tirella

From PETA.ORG:

Reason #2

Turkeys love to be patted! (To see the 11 other reasons. CLICK HERE!)

Many turkeys, even those who have known great cruelty at human hands, will happily sit for hours having their feathers stroked.

Loving Beatrice, a former factory farm turkey rescued by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, is a huge snugglebug despite having been mutilated by humans as a baby. And Clove the turkey hen (pictured below) loves to cuddle with her rescuers at Animal Placesanctuary.

Clover the turkey vegan thanksgiving

 

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:

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(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.
VSK How to Go Vegan Button©iStock.com/anouchka

 

  • Browse hundreds of free recipes.

VSK Vegan Recipes Button

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

VSK For A Friend Button

All fields in bold are mandatory.

Visited my friend and her family in the country today …

… Patty, owner of Barton Brook Kennels in Leicester, has this HUGE AMAZING GARDEN on her huge, amazing stretch of land!!! And this country lady also has a horse, pony, sheep, goats, dogs and cat!

Plus the dogs she boards!

Such GREAT fun seeing the farm animals in their natural element, as God, in her infinite wisdom, intended… Jett had fun running off lead! Pat’s daughter and grand kids taught me how to pick lettuce correctly (from the bottom, OUTSIDE leaves first so the plant keeps growing strong…).

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I got some mint, too, which this Italian-American will stir into her spaghetti sauce. Wonderful for your iced tea, too!

Thank you, Patty!

Rose

P.S. Your family rules! They know so much about the land and animals and good food. So polite and nice!  You are blessed, gal pal!

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To my readers:

If you are going away this summer and want to board your dog/s in the beautiful country, with a yard and river and cute kennels. …

CALL PATTY AT (774) 200-5292

All dogs must be current on vaccinations. They must also have gotten the shot for kennel cough.

Animals pay a high price

By Nina Kahn

The school year is winding down, which means the summer fair circuit is getting under way. For animals used in agricultural displays and 4-H programs, there’s a long, hot summer ahead—and it’s unlikely to have a pleasant ending. The animals in these programs are typically destined for one of two fates: to be sold at auction for slaughter or to be used as breeders.

There’s little doubt that most young people who join the Future Farmers of America (FFA) or 4-H programs do so because they’re interested in animals. But the goals of these programs demand that children develop a harmful disconnect from those very animals.

Instead of being taught that pigs are smart enough to learn how to unlock gates and that mother pigs sing to their young while nursing, children are told to fatten them up to become “bacon.” Rather than explaining that calves who are taken from their mothers shake and bawl inconsolably because they are frantic and traumatized, kids are told to turn them into good breeders. We force children participating in 4-H programs to close their eyes to the fact that they are betraying an animal they’ve befriended—a fellow being whose trust they’ve courted. They’re told to “celebrate” as their friend is auctioned off to the highest bidder. In short, they’re forced to harden a piece of their hearts.

Sooner or later, most, if not all, of the animals used in these programs will meet a grim fate in a slaughterhouse. Pigs, cows and chickens are sensitive, thinking animals who feel pain and value their lives. They’re horrified at the sights and smells of the slaughterhouse and don’t want to die. But the children learn to remain detached and unaffected by this—and it seems clear that FFA and 4-H play a part in that.

From a young age, we’re all systematically desensitized to who, not what, we eat. We call cows’ flesh “beef” and “steak.” When we refer to wings and ribs, we gloss over the fact that those are the actual body parts of chickens and pigs who didn’t want to die. It’s easier to tell children they’re eating “nuggets” rather than ground-up birds.

But as a civilized society that values fairness and compassion, we must take our blinders off and actually stop to think about the animals themselves. Dr. Marc Bekoff, a former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, puts it this way: “I feel it’s essential for people to learn more about how animals sense their worlds from the point of view of the animals and not merely from humans’ points of view.”

Teaching kids to respect animals for the interesting, sentient beings they are, instead of focusing on how they can be of use to humans, is the kindest lesson of all.

Transparency in food labeling should include how animals are treated

By Dan Paden

According to a poll released last year, the vast majority of us favor transparency in food labeling. Eighty-two percent of respondents said that foods containing genetically modified ingredients should be labeled as such, and in May, Vermont passed the nation’s first GMO labeling law. For most of us, our food matters. We want to know if what we’re buying and eating is locally grown or organic or sustainable. I would add one more criterion to that list: Are the foods we eat kind or cruel? If you consume meat and other animal products, the answer is the latter.

Every time PETA has sent an investigator to a factory farm, we’ve found cruelty and unmitigated suffering. Every single time. Our latest investigation is no exception. For more than two months, a PETA investigator worked at a pig factory farm owned by a worldwide leader in pig breeding. The company is a leading U.S. supplier of pig semen and of sows who are sold to other meat companies and will be artificially inseminated. When most of us think of GMOs, we probably think about corn or soybeans, but animals are also routinely genetically manipulated for our dinner plates.

At this facility, lame and injured pigs were left to languish without any apparent veterinary care. PETA’s investigator documented one pig who pitifully dragged himself along the hard floor by his front legs, until he collapsed, apparently exhausted. He lay immobile for days in a pen with other pigs, unable to eat or drink, and was finally hauled to slaughter. Other pigs suffer from rectal prolapse, a painful condition in which internal tissue protrudes from the anus, or “belly ruptures,” in which the animals’ abdomens bulge with protruding intestines—again, without any apparent veterinary care.

Lame and injured animals are simply put in what workers call the “junk pen” and are held there until they are taken to the slaughterhouse. Mother pigs are confined to metal crates so small that they can’t even turn around, and many develop painful ulcers on their shoulders from the constant pressure of lying, nearly immobile, on the hard slatted floor. Their crying, writhing piglets are castrated—without any anesthetics or pain relief whatsoever—right in front of them. Mother pigs are fiercely protective, and some thrashed and struggled in the metal crates or tried to bite the workers in a desperate attempt to protect their precious babies. Boars used for semen production are also confined to tight metal crates, jammed together inside a filthy shed.

Many pigs at this facility die in the sheds where animals are fattened for later breeding or slaughter, and a company vice president blamed some of the deaths on workers’ “not really caring about the pigs.” At this factory farm—as at others—animals are viewed as commodities, not as the smart, social, feeling individuals they are. Unwanted pigs have the word “CULL” callously spray-painted on their backs, and they are eventually taken to slaughter. We have a right to know where our food comes from and how it is produced. That’s the impetus behind the movement to require labels on GMO foods.

We should also insist on transparency when it comes to the way that animals who are raised and killed for food are treated. Until that day comes, there’s one thing that we as consumers can do to ensure that we are not supporting animal suffering with our food choices: Look for the label that says “vegan.”

Think about cutting back on your meat consumption! Please! For the animals!

By Deb Young

The cruelties at processing plants defy belief!

Animals in slaughterhouses can smell, hear, and often see the slaughter of those before them.

As the animals struggle, they’re often abused by frustrated workers, who are under constant pressure to keep the lines moving at rapid speeds.

Workers are often seen kicking cows, ramming them with the blades of a forklift, jabbing them in the eyes, applying painful electrical shocks and even torturing them with a hose and water in attempts to force sick or injured animals to walk to slaughter.

Federal law requires mammals be stunned prior to slaughter .Typically, electric current is used to induce a heart attack and/or seizure; or a captive bolt gun is used to deliver a blow to the skull or shoot a rod into the animal’s brain.

It’s not uncommon for an animal to suffer one or two failed stuns. In the case of a failed electrical stun, an animal may be paralyzed without losing sensibility.Unconscious animals whose necks are not cut soon enough may regain their senses after being hung on the bleed rail. Hogs, unlike cattle, are dunked in tanks of hot water after they are stunned to soften the hides for skinning. As a result, a botched slaughter condemns some hogs to being scalded and drowned. Hogs will squeal and kick as they are being lowered into the water.

Video evidence obtained by one investigator shows slaughter plant workers displaying complete disregard for the pain and misery they inflicted as they repeatedly attempted to force “downed” animals onto their feet and into the human food chain.

Sounds like a good argument to want to cut back on meat to me, how about doing it for your health also!

Processed meat is high in calories, fat and sodium. The more bologna, ham, and sausage that you stuff inside your sub roll or pita will add up to more calories, more fat and more sodium. Too much salt in your body leads to water retention and bloating. Many of these processed meats are casually referred to as “luncheon meats” for good reason. They are easy to slap in between two pieces of bread for a mid-day meal.

Consider the burden you place on your body when you eat hot dogs or processed-meat subs. High levels of sodium weaken blood vessels. This leads to heart disease.

It’s a good bet that reducing meat consumption—particularly processed meat—is likely to score you an advantage. You’ll lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. You’ll consume less calories and fat.

It can be challenging to serve healthy meals on a budget, but with planning you can eat better for less. Many people save money by adding meatless meals to their weekly menus. Meatless meals are built around vegetables, beans and grains — instead of meat, which tends to be more expensive.

The health factor: A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, grains, beans and legumes, and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who eat only plant-based foods — aka vegetarians — generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.

Just eating less meat has a protective effect. A National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk. Those who ate mostly poultry or fish had a lower risk of death.

How much protein do you need? The fact is that most Americans get enough protein in their diets. Adults generally need 10 to 35 percent of their total daily calories to come from protein. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this amounts to about 50 to 175 grams a day. Of course, you can get protein from sources other than meat.

In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends choosing a variety of protein foods, including eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. The guidelines also suggest replacing protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories. The fats in meat, poultry and eggs are considered solid fats, while the fats in seafood, nuts and seeds are considered oils.

Just cutting back on meat will help yourself and the animals…Think about it!

Don’t let the drought dry up your wallet

By Heather Moore

Dry enough for you? No one needs to be reminded that the nation is experiencing the worst drought in half a century, with nearly two-thirds of the continental U.S. suffering from drought conditions. The dry, hot weather is fueling wildfires, scorching lawns and sending food prices soaring—especially for people who eat meat, eggs and dairy products.

If you’re concerned about your grocery bills—or your health—now would be a good time to start buying vegan foods instead of animal-based ones.

Farmed animals are fed more than 70 percent of the grains grown in the U.S. It takes 4.5 pounds of grain to make just 1 pound of chicken meat and 7.3 pounds of grain to produce a pound of pork. Now that many corn, wheat and soybean crops have been damaged or destroyed because of the drought, feed prices are soaring. It’s so bad that some meat companies, including Smithfield Foods, have even started importing corn from Brazil. Guess who’s going to foot the bill?

Meat-eaters can expect to see a spike in prices in the coming months. Consumers who eat cheese will probably also have to pick up the tab for all the calves who died from heat stress on Midwestern dairy farms in July.

Shoppers will likely see higher prices at the chicken counter first, though. The birds are fed mostly corn, and since chicken farmers engineer them to grow unnaturally fast, chicken flesh tends to reach the market quicker than beef or pork.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that chicken and turkey prices will rise 3.5 to 4.5 percent and that egg prices will likely climb by as much as 4 percent. Beef prices are also expected to rise between 3.5 and 4.5 percent this year and then by 4 or 5 percent in 2013. Pork will cost more in the coming year as well.

It’s cheaper, not to mention healthier and kinder, to eat grains and soybeans—and all the foods that can be made from them—directly rather than funneling them through farmed animals to produce animal products. The amount of feed needed to produce one 8-ounce steak would fill 45 to 50 bowls with cooked cereal grains. And while shoppers will see a spike in milk and meat prices, they probably won’t see a significant increase in the cost of corn on the cob, cornflakes or other plant-based foods sold in supermarkets. The corn that consumers buy at the grocery store is grown differently from the corn that’s used to feed animals and isn’t as severely affected by drought conditions.

Whole grains, beans, vegetables and other wholesome plant-based foods are even more of a bargain when you factor in the medical bills that you might rack up if you eat lots of fatty, cholesterol-laden meats, eggs and dairy products.

Of course, choosing vegan foods isn’t just a good way to save animals or money at the supermarket. It’s also an easy way to help conserve water—you can save more water by not eating 1 pound of meat than you can by not showering for six months. Even a collaborative rain dance likely wouldn’t make that much of a difference!

Whether you’re watching your budget, your waistline or just the weather channel, it’ll pay to go vegan. But if you need some extra exercise, feel free to do a rain dance anyway.

2011: a surprisingly good year for animals

By Heather Moore

2011 was tough—when people weren’t bemoaning budget cuts, lining up outside job fairs or fretting over the stagnant housing market, they were listening to worrisome news about the war in Afghanistan, political shootings and natural disasters. But things weren’t all bad. There were signs of progress and reasons to be positive, especially when it comes to issues that impact animals. As we head into the new year, let’s reflect upon some of the things that made 2011 memorable for animals.

Eight of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including MetLife, Goldman Sachs, PNC Financial and U.S. Bank, stopped using glue traps after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) explained that animals who get stuck in them often suffocate and die slowly. The Social Security Administration, Georgia Institute of Technology and Toronto District School Board—the fourth-largest school district in North America—also agreed to use more humane methods of rodent control.

While this is hardly revolutionary, it is indicative of a larger social movement to reform practices that harm animals. Many people are now less likely to accept activities that cause suffering—and it shows in our laws and business practices.

In 2011, West Hollywood became the first city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur. City council members in Toronto and Irvine, Calif., banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. Rodeos and circuses that feature exotic animals were also prohibited in Irvine, and Fulton County—the most populous municipality in Georgia—banned the use of bullhooks, sharp steel-tipped devices that are commonly used to beat, jab or yank on elephants.

The American Zoological Association (AZA) announced that bullhooks will be forbidden at all AZA-accredited zoos by 2014. The Toronto Zoo decided to close its elephant exhibit and send its remaining elephants to a facility that does not use bullhooks. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture slapped Feld Entertainment, the owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which routinely uses bullhooks to “discipline” captive elephants, with a $270,000 fine—the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history—for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Also in 2011, eight top advertising agencies pledged never again to feature great apes—who are often torn away from their mothers shortly after birth and beaten in order to force them to perform on cue—in their advertisements. Capital One pulled an ad featuring a chimpanzee and pledged not to use nonhuman primates in its advertisements again. The blockbuster film Rise of the Planet of the Apes featured CGI animation to create realistic-looking apes without exploiting and abusing animals.

U.S. Army officials announced that monkeys will no longer be used in a cruel chemical nerve-agent attack training course at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The University of Michigan, Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City and Naval Medical Center San Diego began using sophisticated simulators instead of live cats for intubation training. And the world’s largest tea-maker, Unilever—maker of Lipton and PG tips—stopped experimenting on pigs and other animals just so that it could make health claims about its tea.

Aspen, Colo., became the first city in the U.S. to launch a comprehensive Meatless Monday campaign—local restaurants, schools, hospitals and businesses are now promoting plant-based meals on Mondays. The board of commissioners in Durham County, N.C., also signed a “Meatless Mondays” resolution, and several more celebrities, including Russell Brand, Eliza Dushku and Ozzy Osbourne, went vegan in 2011. The Rev. Al Sharpton also ditched meat from his diet.

Many of these developments were brought about, at least in part, by PETA, but everyone can bring about change simply by resolving to be kinder, greener and healthier in the coming year. By taking simple steps such as buying cruelty-free products, choosing meatless meals, wearing animal-friendly fashions and enjoying animal-free entertainment, we can all help make 2012 even better than 2011.

Heather Moore is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation.