Tag Archives: hens

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

Early voters! All voters! – Please VOTE YES on QUESTION 3

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Rosalie asks you to Vote YES on Q 3 – for the animals!

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!

OUTSTANDING! VISIONARY!

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!

Thank you!

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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!!!!

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From PETA.ORG:

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.

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VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3!

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.

This Easter, choose eggs that are green, not mean

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

The White House recently announced that its annual Easter Egg Roll event will feature “green” eggs. They’ll come in a variety of pastel colors, but they’ll all be “green” because they’ll be made from Forest Stewardship Council–certified hardwood and packaged in environmentally friendly materials. Not only are these eggs better for the environment, they’re also better for chickens. Everyone who celebrates Easter can follow the White House’s lead and be green, not mean, by choosing faux eggs instead of chicken eggs this spring.

For hens who are forced to lay eggs, Easter is nothing to celebrate. Most of the eggs that Americans dye and decorate for the holiday come from chickens who are confined to filthy factory farm sheds containing row upon row of tiny, multitiered wire cages.

These hens spend their lives crammed into cages with four to 10 other birds. Each bird’s average living space is smaller than a letter-sized sheet of paper. Hens on egg factory farms never breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or engage in any of their natural behaviors.

They can’t even stretch a single wing.

The birds are crammed so closely together that these normally clean animals are forced to urinate and defecate on one another.

The stench of ammonia from the accumulated feces under the birds saturates the air and burns the birds’ feathers. Disease runs rampant in the filthy, cramped sheds. Many birds die, and the survivors are often forced to live with their dead and dying cagemates, who are sometimes left to rot.

Due to extreme crowding, stress and boredom, the miserable hens peck at the only thing available: each other. Farm workers “solve” this problem by slicing off a portion of each hen’s sensitive beak with a hot blade—without giving the birds any painkillers. Many birds, unable to eat because of the pain, die from dehydration and weakened immune systems.

The light in the sheds is constantly manipulated in order to maximize egg production. Periodically, the hens’ calorie intake is restricted for two weeks at a time in order to force their bodies into an extra laying cycle. When hens are “spent” and their egg production drops at about two years of age, they’re sent to slaughter, where their throats are cut open while they’re still conscious.

Meanwhile, male chicks are considered worthless to the egg industry because they don’t produce eggs and are too small to profitably be used for their flesh. So every year, millions of male birds are thrown into macerators and ground up alive or tossed into trash bags to slowly suffocate.

Luckily, kids don’t care whether their Easter eggs came from a chicken. Having fun and spending time with family and friends is what matters, and neither of these requires real eggs.

Most craft stores sell paper or wooden eggs that are perfect for painting or decorating with crayons, stickers, glitter or markers. They are mess-free and won’t crack if dropped, and kids can display them for as long as they’d like because, unlike real eggs, they won’t rot. For kids who are dying to dye something, making tie-dyed T-shirts is always a hit.

Brightly colored plastic eggs are ideal for Easter egg hunts. They can be filled with candy, small toys, coins, stickers, love notes or any other small surprise you can imagine. They are inexpensive, can be reused year after year and are much more exciting for kids to find than a hard-boiled egg.

Real eggs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. This Easter, why not follow the First Family’s lead and have a first-class Easter celebration—without harming hens.

Lindsay Pollard-Post is a staff writer for The PETA Foundation.