Free from Harm promotes farmed animal rescue, education and advocacy… and the power of our forks!

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Turkeys Snuggling Like Cats and Dogs Will Touch Your Heart

It seems that the more people spend time with turkeys, the more they are able to recognize them as individuals with unique personalities, emotions, and preferences, just like the cats and dogs we know and love. It’s an instructive moment, and a good reminder that our job as advocates isn’t just about helping people understand the suffering farmed animals go through, but also about helping them perceive these homogenized beings as individuals. Continue reading

Is An Excuse-itarian Diet Keeping You From Living Your Own Values?

Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s rousing talk, “From Excuse-itarian to Vegan,” has reached nearly 100,000 viewers on youtube, and is a great tool for empowering others to live their own values of compassion and wellness. This inspiring, entertaining and information-packed lecture provides responses to everything from “I don’t have time to chop vegetables” and “I tried being vegetarian, but I just craved meat” to “I could give up everything, except cheese” and “Vegans don’t get enough protein.” Continue reading

I Visited A Small, Organic Dairy Farm to See If Animals Were Treated Better

While passing a small dairy farm on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the Point Reyes National Seashore in early October, I made an impromptu visit to a small, family-owned, pasture-based, grass-fed dairy farm that supplies milk to Trader Joe’s. This is the true story about what I learned from the farmer and what I witnessed firsthand about the animals in his care. Continue reading

Do Different People Really Need Radically Different Diets?

The concepts of personalized medicine and personalized nutrition have really taken off. People are eating according to their blood type, their metabolic type, their Ayurvedic constitution, and their genotype. Micaela Karlsen discusses that our species does have specific nutritional requirements all of which we can meet from a diverse plant-based diet. Continue reading

Why Plant Crops Don’t Kill More Wildlife than Pasture Raised Animals

Picture this: You’re a harvest mouse who lives in a wheat field. Being a mouse, you have excellent hearing and can easily pick up sounds that a human cannot hear. Thanks to your sensitive whiskers and small size, you’re acutely attuned to vibrations caused by large machines. And to top that off, you have lightning reflexes and dash about at a top speed of 8 miles an hour. Continue reading

Volunteer Spotlight: Mihir Shah

Mihir Shah is a custom jewelry designer and gemstone wholesaler from Chicago. He was born into a vegetarian (Indian Jain) family. Although non-violence is one of the main precepts of Jainism, like other vegetarians, Jains are generally unaware, and unwilling to concede to the cruelty inherent in dairy farming. Milk and milk products, therefore, remain a significant part of the Jain diet. Continue reading

Is a Concern for Animals “First World”?

In the Q & A at one of my recent presentations, someone pointed out that they’ve heard a concern for animals criticized as “first world.” Aside from the obvious prejudice in the use of terms such as first world and third world, for our purposes, let’s just focus here on its implication that advocating for animals is a frivolous issue compared with much bigger global problems and one that only affluent people have the luxury to think about. Continue reading

When I Look Inside the Trucks, I Look With My Heart

Each day that I wake up with the thought of bearing witness in mind, I feel that same knot in my chest anticipating how much suffering I will see during my visit to the slaughterhouse. But still I go. To at least be present at the scene of another’s pain and suffering, even when I cannot stop it, feels important; to be there sending empathy and compassion to as many individuals as I can connect with while the death trucks idle. Continue reading

Veganism Defined by Lee Hall

Lee Hall presents a poignant, yet simple, definition of what veganism means. “Veganism is a social movement. It’s based on the principle that human beings should live without exploiting animals.” Lee penned the “Vegetarianism” entry for the Encyclopedia of Activism & Social Justice and blogs at Vegan Place. Continue reading

Baby Hen Found Near Death Off Busy Street

Rosa is a tiny little red hen only a few months old who a kind young lady named Jessica found lying motionless off of the side of a busy city street, dangerously close to cars whizzing by her. She took Rosa home and contacted us for help. When I saw the photo Jessica sent of Rosa that day, I immediately thought she was dying Continue reading

Preventing Ex-Vegans: The Power of Ethics

“Helping people go vegan is great. But it’s meaningless if we can’t help them stay vegan.” Plant based dietitian Virginia Messina discusses the power of ethics in preventing ex-vegans, citing several studies of vegan recidivism. Two big reasons people abandon vegan diets: they lose faith in its benefits and don’t understand the ethics behind it. Continue reading

Fictions, Facts and Food Choices: A Presentation by Robert Grillo

We are what we eat, but what are the powerful forces shaping our food choices? This is the key question explored in Robert Grillo’s presentation, Fictions, Facts and Food Choices. This visually-engrossing presentation reveals how the powerful forces of popular culture shape our beliefs and manipulate the food choices that stem from those beliefs, often without our knowledge. Continue reading