Free From Harm Farm Animal Education and Advocacy Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:45:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Interview: 27-Year Vegan Veteran Hope Bohanec Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:00:40 +0000 The following is an interview with Hope Bohanec, author of The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? A vegan for 27 years, Hope shares her own insights relating to veganism and sustainable activism. Continue reading ]]> 0 Splendor in the Grassroots: “Because Each of Us is Somewhere” Sun, 11 Sep 2016 17:00:52 +0000 National organizations and e-campaigning are all well and good, but they aren’t enough, and passionate individuals have been leaning on them too much to do the work of social change. We have to understand how animal cruelty uniquely manifests in our cities, states, and regions. Once that is assessed: we have to consistently show up to counter that cruelty. Continue reading ]]> Before They Were Bacon: Stepping Into a Modern Day Stockyard Sun, 14 Aug 2016 15:00:31 +0000 We give them water. Help them drink. Carefully stroke their bellies. The stockyard gives me the opportunity to look into their eyes for longer, and their desperation and pain is palpable. It feels like hours here, kneeling in the dirt. My hands and heart tremble as I try to impart love to these beautiful beings, while inside, it is all I can do to keep from screaming. Continue reading ]]> Earth Overshoot Day: A Performance Review of Humanity Mon, 08 Aug 2016 15:00:17 +0000 Earth Overshoot Day is Monday, August 8, 2016, a day when we exhaust more resources than Earth annually regenerates. Throughout our existence, we have deemed ourselves nature’s managers. However, managers usually have to account for themselves in performance reviews. What if Earth Overshoot Day prompted a performance review of humanity? Continue reading ]]> Psychology and Long-Term Goals in Vegan Advocacy Sun, 26 Jun 2016 17:00:38 +0000 A wealth of research in the field of motivation demonstrates the importance of long-term goal setting. Importantly, goals need not be easy to attain in the short-term. In fact, the underlying premise of the widely studied and empirically supported “Goal-setting Theory”, is that specific and difficult goals lead to greater behavioral change. Continue reading ]]> The Matrix as Metaphor for Animal Advocacy Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:22:45 +0000 The question I have grappled with for years now is: how can this conditioning work so well on so many of us for so long? This question is central to the film, The Matrix, which asks us to question what we’ve been taught, to separate what is illusion from what is real, what is oppression from what is freedom. Continue reading ]]> 3 10 Mothers On Why They’re Saying NO To Dairy Fri, 06 May 2016 14:36:32 +0000 As someone who researches the dairy industry regularly, I have observed over the last few years a distressing surge in pro-dairy messaging from an increasingly visible and vocal sector of animal agriculture: female dairy farmers, many of whom are also … Continue reading ]]> Does Saying Humans Are Omnivores Justify Eating Animals? Wed, 06 Apr 2016 06:58:45 +0000 A common objection to veganism is the statement, “Humans are omnivores.” Yet, being an omnivore neither requires us to eat animal products nor does it dismiss our moral obligation to minimize the suffering we cause other animals by way of the food choices we make. Continue reading ]]> 15 Millions of Babies Are Being Stolen From Their Mothers. Does It Only Matter When They Look Like Us? Wed, 16 Dec 2015 19:41:18 +0000 “It would be funny — if it weren’t so sad — to continually witness how desperately we try to paint a happy picture of what is inherently violent and utterly unnecessary. Exploit females’ reproductive systems and breed them at our will, but look! They’re happy! Take away their babies, but look! They’re happy! Take their milk and kill them when they’re no longer “profitable,” but look! They’re happy! Continue reading ]]> Is Chicken Really Healthier Than Red Meat? Thu, 03 Dec 2015 17:53:32 +0000 With the recent WHO designation of processed meat as a carcinogen in the same class as tobacco, asbestos and diesel fumes, the news about meat is getting worse all the time. Still, "white meat" from chickens and turkeys is widely seen as the healthy alternative. Here author Karen Davis explodes the "white meat" myths and points to a real solution. Continue reading ]]> Vegan Is Love: Author Ruby Roth on Telling Children the Truth About Animals Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:00:35 +0000 Vegan children's book author Ruby Roth discusses the harm we do to children by involving them in violence toward animals they would never choose to support. "We can’t afford to wait for the next generation to grow up before teaching them to live consciously. Sugarcoating or avoiding truths only hinders what children are actually capable of— psychologically, spiritually, and physically. And hindering their capabilities delays the potential we have to green our society, improve our health, and do best for all living things." Continue reading ]]> 1 Turkeys Snuggling Like Cats and Dogs Will Touch Your Heart Mon, 23 Nov 2015 07:44:21 +0000 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? Mon, 02 Nov 2015 20:12:48 +0000 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 ]]> 4 I Visited A Small, Organic Dairy Farm to See If Animals Were Treated Better Mon, 26 Oct 2015 19:07:24 +0000 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? Thu, 22 Oct 2015 14:43:16 +0000 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 Mon, 19 Oct 2015 20:39:40 +0000 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 ]]> Rescue Exposes Free Range, Organic Hens Worse Off than Caged Thu, 15 Oct 2015 19:05:44 +0000 Tucked down a country road is a farm raising “pasture-based” hens for egg production. Peering into the field, it’s hard to see the pasture. I see acres of dirt and a sea of red hens. Presumably it is green when there isn’t a four-year drought. Chickens dart in front of our vehicles as we pull into the driveway. Continue reading ]]> Volunteer Spotlight: Mihir Shah Wed, 14 Oct 2015 03:11:08 +0000 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 ]]> Stop (Saying) Factory Farming Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:17:26 +0000 Advocates fighting for farmed animals should be proud. We’ve come a long way in educating the public about the plight of farmed animals. However, “Factory Farming” has come to imply that only the conditions the animals are kept in are of importance, and that taking an animal’s life, the slaughter itself, is unproblematic. Continue reading ]]> Book Review: The Chain by Robin Lamont Thu, 24 Sep 2015 14:32:43 +0000 Calvin Neufeld reviews The Chain by Robin Lamont. A fiction novel set in and around a commercial slaughterhouse. With a cover image, a title and a subject matter that would turn any reader away, this reader was hooked by the end of the first chapter. Continue reading ]]> Time to Spread the Joy Thu, 17 Sep 2015 16:27:44 +0000 Between December 2014 and June 2015, more than 33 million chickens, turkeys and ducks were suffocated to death with firefighting foam and carbon dioxide in the Midwestern states of Iowa, Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States in response to the avian influenza outbreaks that began on poultry farms in 2014. Continue reading ]]> 1 Is a Concern for Animals “First World”? Tue, 08 Sep 2015 13:00:47 +0000 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 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:32:19 +0000 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 ]]> 1 They Are All Cecil Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:40:37 +0000 "It may be hard for most to admit, but killing and using animals for food today is needless. Just like trophy hunting is needless. Both are done for pleasure and enjoyment and tradition, not necessity. You can’t rationally vilify one and condone the other." — guest writer, Lorelei Plotczyk Continue reading ]]> Veganism Defined by Lee Hall Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:41:35 +0000 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 Mon, 17 Aug 2015 21:42:38 +0000 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 Mon, 27 Jul 2015 20:55:13 +0000 "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 ]]> 1 Duckling Couple Rescued and Provided a Forever Home! Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:48:56 +0000 Early this month, an animal control officer spotted a duckling couple who had been abandoned in a retaining pond in a suburb of Chicago. She named them John and Grace. We found them a forever home. Read their story and please give a gift before the end of July to cover the costs of their rescue. Continue reading ]]> Severed Heads of Mothers Found in Dumpster: Story & Video Tue, 14 Jul 2015 06:42:13 +0000 As uniquely grisly as these images are, (and as singularly cruel as halal slaughter may seem), it’s important to realize that even in the best of circumstances, under the most humane labels, the dairy industry is an inherently violent and destructive industry, no matter how small, local, family-run or organic the farm. Continue reading ]]> 1 Fictions, Facts and Food Choices: A Presentation by Robert Grillo Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:55:48 +0000 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 ]]>