Monday, May 11, 2015

Animals are Friends, Not Food

   
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/dining/animal-welfare-at-risk-in-experiments-for-meat-industry.html?action=click&contentCollection=Food&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article
     Farm animals used in federal experiments to help the meat industry received new protections against mistreatment and neglect. The bill aims to extend the federal Animal Welfare Act to "shield cows, pigs, sheep and other animals used for agricultural research at federal facilities, including the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., a unit of the Department of Agriculture."
     The act, which became law in 1966, excluded farm animals, focusing largely on cats and dogs used in laboratory research. The Aware Act came into place because raised concerns about the treatment of farm animals at a center that uses "breeding and surgical techniques to make the animals bigger, leaner, more prolific and more profitable." Interviews and internal records showed that experiments and everyday handling there have often subjected animals to illness, pain, and premature death.
     One of the many experiments has to do with lambs. Lamb consumption in a year is less then a pound, so it is not a shocker that their treatment becomes overlooked. In one experiment, they tried to make the lamb bigger, so they would produce more meat. These babies were injected with male hormones in the womb and in result, deformed their genitals, making it hard to urinate. Another experiment consisted of pasture lambing. Instead of lamb being dependent on human help, a Shepard, this new breed would be totally self relate, which sounds good in theory, but ultimately is proven to be a total bust. Even under perfect conditions, lamb mother's are notorious for leaving their babies. Without human help to keep the mother and their young together, there is no one looking out for the new baby lamb. A sheep with out it's mother, is expected to survive at most one night.
    With acts such as the Aware Act or the Animal Welfare, experiments and ill-treatment of animals will seize to exist.

For more info: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/dining/animal-welfare-at-risk-in-experiments-for-meat-industry.html?action=click&contentCollection=Food&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

Creep Feeding?


www.flickr.com
“Creep feeding” is a common calf raising practice unknown to the consumer. To define it, creep feeding is the practice of providing supplemental feed to nursing calves still on the cow. Basically, the calves are herded through a gate or fence that is large enough for calves to enter the feeding area, but too small for the fully grown cows. The feed consists of a high protein  cotton seed or soybean meal with added salt that increases the weight of calves without having them eating a lot of grass.  It is often used as a managerial decision because creep feeding yields larger calves in a shorter period with less feed. It’s a waste if used in long term for feed considering that the system has fluctuating variables such as unpredictable cattle and grain prices, available forage, cattle breed, and management system.  

http://cattletoday.com

     While not blatantly harmful, more research is required to fully understand the creep system. Although a useful tool, calve raisers must take careful inventory of pasture conditions, cattle, and grain markets prior to initiating creep programs. 

Read More about cow food here: http://cattletoday.com/archive/2015/May/CT3194.php 





Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chicken Slaughter


Most people think the chickens they eat walk around a large open grassy field pecking away at the fresh soil beneath their feet.  Well, this is entirely untrue.  Chickens are kept in small confined spaces and because of the hormones they are given,  can barely stand or walk.  Chickens have a rough life, but the trip to the slaughterhouse and the slaughtering itself may take the cake for the worst treatment the chickens receive during their short lives.

Once chickens arrive at the slaughterhouse, after a long journey with no food or water, workers grab them by their legs and put them in shackles.  The shackles are meant to hold the chickens upside down so the slaughtering process is easier and is similar to an assembly line (as seen above in the picture).  The chickens are then put through an electric shower that is supposed to paralyze them.  This means when all chickens die, they are completely conscious.  Americans still believe that the birds must be alive for the blood to properly drain out.  Some chickens miss the blade, and when they go to the next step, the boiling bathes, they remain conscious.  The cry of these birds can be heard throughout the factory.

Out of all of the animal slaughters that I have researched, this is by far the worst one.  Chickens in America are one of the most miss treated animals and it is a sad reality.  To read more please visit http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/chickens/chicken-transport-slaughter/


Monday, May 4, 2015

Fiasco in the Phillipines

In Factory Farming in the Developing World,Danielle Nierenberg explores the world of Bobby Inocencio, a freerange chicken farmer who had once operated a factory farm for a major company in the Philippines. Bobby, who now owns and operates his freerange chicken farm, recounts for Danielle the poor conditions that the white chicken he raised were forced to endure, as well as the difficulty of competing with large marketdominating companies for food production after his schism with the factory farm.

On Bobby Inocencio’s previous factory farm, the chickens were cooped up in “long, enclosed metal sheds that covered his property.” Bobby was required to give his thousands of white chickens, a breed that was unable to adapt to the local environment, antibiotics; with them followed disease. Avian flu, avian leukemia, and Newcastle disease spread amongst the white chicken he raised and to the native chicken populations as well. The trend of antibiotics made for an ultimately weaker breed of white chicken and damaging repercussions upon the native people of the Philippines though the inadvertent killing of local poultry populations. Nierenberg compares the poultry practices of white chicken in the Philippines to "setting up the potential for a potato blight on a global scale."

Another aspect of Inocencio and the chicken farmers of the Philippines’ dilemma was the industrial area of factory farming. A large poultry boom in the Philippines for the past fifty years has benefitted the major food companies while bringing dismay to smallscale chicken farmers. The food industry, similar to the United States, is controlled by a few major companies, such as Pure Foods. Pure Foods, ironically, is the name of the company that Bobby Inocencio used to work for. While the local and pasture-raised chicken farmers of the Philippines must compete with companies such as these on a production scale, they must also endure major restrictions placed on them by the World Trade Organization. 

For more information about this chicken catastrophe, check out www.worldwatch.org/node/534

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Whose Rights?

Humans are animals; animals are not humans. But who gets all the rights? Some of what we have now labeled "non-humans" experience the same cognizance and intelligence as human toddlers. Does it seem completely fair that the toddler has far more rights than the non-human that may or may not be smarter than him? Certainly, a toddler is not the same as an adult monkey or dolphin or cow, but there is room for argument.
Animal rights are not about eating meat. They aren't about citizenship. They're not about freedom or voting or justice. Animal rights are simply about doing the right thing, as humans, for our not-so-distant cousins. We already know we are the superior species. We can comprehend, act, and invent far beyond the other animals. Must we continue to prove our dominance by ruthlessly slaughtering chickens, cows, pigs, geese? To me, it is obvious that humans need meat. It provides us with the protein, energy, and substance that we sometimes just can't get from fruits and vegetables. It's not murder; it's the food chain. However, we can change how the food chain behaves. Instead of making the only purpose of lesser animals to be food, we should focus on making the food healthier and happier.
Whether we like it or not, non-humans feel pain just like we do. It is inhumane for humans to knowingly put the non-humans through not only a painful death, but also a painful life. It doesn't matter how sophisticated a creature is, if it can feel pain, it deserves a relatively painless life and death. We grant this to our lovable family dogs and cats, yet when it comes to the animals we eat, we seem not to care. Chickens can be thrown into the boiler alive. Geese can be stuffed so full that they can barely walk. Cows' stomachs can be prodded through while they are fully conscious. The animals we eat should not be any different from the ones we pet when it comes to rights. They matter too.

For more, check out Sam Vaknin on "Whether a Right or Not, Animals Should be Treated Morally."

Got Milk?

fortysixthstarpress.wordpress.com
There’s nothing like a cool, crisp glass of milk. Milk provides vitamins and nutrients that are vital to the human body, but is all milk clean for drinking? By clean, I refer to a state free of toxins and parasites that’d endanger the delicate homeostasis of the human body. Milk can’t transmit Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy from animals to humans. Instead the pathogen agents, prions, are transported from animals infected with BSE to humans. Unfortunately, pathogens like prions are hard to destroy. They are extremely resistant to heat, and easily move from one host to another. Prion proteins quickly damage the brain until finally killing the host.       
Contaminated milk is unchecked problem in the milk industry. A random USDA test of a California dairy plant found a BSE infected cow producing milk for unsuspecting consumers. Although the agency’s chief veterinary officer, John Clifford released a statement to dismiss concern, a real threat is plausible. Further studies revealed that BSE had been transmitted from ewe to lamb via their milk. Infected milk is just another consequence of factory farming cows. The possibility of BSE contaminated milk products is a looming threat ignored by industry regulators. Got "clean" Milk?   

Before you drink, read more: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/04/mad-cow-bse-milk


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Have No Fear, the USDA is Here!

       
https://drawception.com/pub/panels/2012/8-14/erdwp6jRqz-8.png
We all know the people that kill animals, prepare the animals, and eat the animals. But what about the people who protect them? This group of people are known as the USDA. 
USDA Animal Care, a unit within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, upholds and enforces the Animal Welfare Act. This federal law sets the standards for humane care and treatment that must be provided for certain animals that are: exhibited to the public; bred for commercial sale; used in medical research; or transported commercially.Facilities using regulated animals for regulated purposes must provide their animals with adequate housing, sanitation, nutrition, water and veterinary care, and they must protect their animals from extreme weather and temperatures. 

       In simpler terms, if the food industry is Gotham City, the animal owners who mistreat their animals are The Joker and the USDA Animal Care is Batman. Like Batman, the USDA Animal Care is always watching, protecting the innocent, and beating the bad guys. For example, highly-trained USDA inspectors, located throughout the United States, conduct routine, unannounced inspections of all facilities licensed/registered under the Animal Welfare Act to make sure these facilities are adhering to the standards set forth in the federal regulations. Have no fear, for the USDA is here