Free From Harm Farmed Animal Rescue, Education and Advocacy Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:42:56 +0000 en-US hourly 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 ]]> 0 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 ]]> 0 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 ]]> 0 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 ]]> 0 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 ]]> 0 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 ]]> 0 The Blind Chick and Her Guardian Angel Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:51:34 +0000 A few weeks ago I learned about a blind chick in need of a new home. After a few email exchanges, I discovered that the chick’s caretaker lived only about five minutes from me. So I stopped by to take a look. The caretaker explained that he had separated the blind chick from the others and placed her in a small aquarium. Continue reading ]]> 0 What’s the Point of Keeping a Hen Who Cannot Lay Eggs? Thu, 25 Jun 2015 07:25:35 +0000 A few years ago, I adopted a hen about whom I knew very little except that a farmer did not want her anymore because she had stopped laying eggs. The rest of her past was a mystery, but clearly her life before we adopted her had not been a good one. For one thing, her physical condition was harsh. Her feathers were scant and coarse to the touch. She had been badly debeaked at some point, making it impossible for her to pick up seeds from the ground. Continue reading ]]> 3 Galliano: Our Little Bantam Rooster Rescue Fri, 19 Jun 2015 19:16:44 +0000 I brought home our rescue Galliano, and for the next four weeks, he was my closest companion, following me everywhere around the house, perching on my arm or shoulder while I worked, napping peacefully on my side while watching TV, and even calling out to me from the bottom of the staircase and then climbing the stairs to find me! Continue reading ]]> 1 Should Vegans Have Vegan Dogs and Cats? Mon, 15 Jun 2015 07:50:23 +0000 The question of vegan dogs and cats is one that is frequently framed in the form of the objection, But you feed your dogs and cats meat; that's not vegan! Elsewhere it arises among vegans themselves who, by definition, seek to eliminate the use of animal products wherever possible, but who find themselves confronted with a difficult dilemma when it comes to what to feed the companion animals in their care. Continue reading ]]> 1 Seeing Yourself as Good Might Make You a Terrible Person Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:35:13 +0000 “So you’re saying if I eat a piece of chicken, I’m a bad person?” Many of us have probably heard this question or a variation of it before in discussions on the morality of eating and exploiting animals. It’s fascinating how a discussion on a societal injustice can become so quickly refocused into the feeling of being judged as a person in totality. Continue reading ]]> 0 A Young Mother’s Plea to Mothers Everywhere Fri, 05 Jun 2015 07:50:47 +0000 On the day of my daughter’s birth, I marveled at the billions and billions of living souls before me whose bodies had heaved and rolled through labor. On hands and knees, my body pulsed and contracted on my bedroom floor, and I pushed my daughter out into the hands of my midwife’s assistant. I felt connected to all of the other animals in this world — human or otherwise — who had ever endured this grueling, bewildering, humbling process. It was during these early days of nurturing Melody’s life that I was hit with an acute sense of grief for dairy cows. Continue reading ]]> 3 Shooting the Messenger: Animal Advocates under Attack Wed, 03 Jun 2015 01:58:40 +0000 If you care about animals and feel compelled to defend them, chances are you’ve come across knee-jerk accusations claiming you are “pushing your agenda,” forcing your ideas down their throat,” or “spreading propaganda.” So, why don’t other social justice advocates face the same accusations? Continue reading ]]> 0 Meat: The Meaning Behind the Word Fri, 29 May 2015 14:11:27 +0000 Shortly after fostering two beautiful young ducks, a mated couple we named Ginger and Fred, I was on a bike ride running some errands and passed a barbecue restaurant with smoked Pekin ducks displayed in the storefront window facing the busy street. Continue reading ]]> 1 Are Farm Animals “Better Off” Than They Would Be in Nature? Wed, 27 May 2015 20:07:00 +0000 "Farm animals have a much better life than they would in nature" is a claim we commonly encounter. Fans of this line of thinking often present an either/or situation: either the animals we eat die a horrible death in nature after a difficult existence, or they have a comparably “easy” life and a better death on farms. Continue reading ]]> 0 Jay Quigley’s TED Talk on Overcoming Speciesism Thu, 21 May 2015 22:32:06 +0000 Jay Quigley’s TED Talk provides a great primer on speciesism, a pervasive form of discrimination against animals that permeates all animal eating cultures, and shows how it fuels the socially accepted commodification and killing of billions of famed animals. He also provides hope and practical advice on how to end their suffering and bring our food choices more in alignment with our values. Continue reading ]]> 2 Ginger and Fred: Two Lucky Ducks! Fri, 15 May 2015 17:59:11 +0000 In the first week of May, Red Door Animal Shelter notified us that they had rescued two Pekin ducks, a bonded couple, who were now in need of a permanent home. Red Door found the pair as tiny little ducklings, wandering the city streets shortly after Easter. They spent about three weeks at the shelter and were examined by the avian vets at Midwest Exotics. Continue reading ]]> 1 The Fallen Nest Mon, 11 May 2015 23:10:54 +0000 As I was biking home the other day, I found a beautiful nest in the road. The next car that drove by could have easily flattened it. All the amazing work that went into building this beautiful and functional home would have been destroyed in an instant. So I picked it up and took it home with me. Continue reading ]]> 0 A Mother At Last Sat, 09 May 2015 08:55:24 +0000 In a natural environment, chicks would spend much of their first weeks of life peeping out from under their mother’s wings, or exploring by her side, feeling nurtured and protected. But chicks raised for eggs and meat rarely know their mother’s warmth, or experience the sense of security and belonging they instinctively seek. Instead, they are hatched by the hundreds of thousands in massive industrial incubator drawers stacked ceiling to floor. Shortly thereafter, they are slaughtered. Rhonda and Popeye were luckier. Continue reading ]]> 0 Cockfighting and Chicken Wings: Pleasure from Suffering Wed, 29 Apr 2015 03:27:28 +0000 This video consists of footage taken Saturday, November 29th at Club Gallistico De Puerto Rico, the most popular public cockfighting arena on the island. I along with my partner Alejandro Gomez-Meade and producer Rebeca Garcia Morales obtained permission from the arena managers to film for this one day. Continue reading ]]> 0 The Chicken Chronicles Part II: From Battery Cage to Sanctuary Wed, 08 Apr 2015 18:57:48 +0000 The poultry industry represents chickens bred for food as mentally vacuous, eviscerated organisms. Hens bred for commercial egg production are said to be suited to a caged environment, with no need for personal space or normal foraging and social activity. They are characterized as aggressive cannibals who, notwithstanding their otherwise mindless passivity and affinity for cages, cannot live together in a cage without first having a portion of their sensitive beaks burned off - otherwise, it is said, they will tear each other up. Continue reading ]]> 0 Six Challenges to “Humane” Animal Product Claims Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:54:17 +0000 The movement to treat farm animals better is based on the idea that it is wrong to subject them to unnecessary harm; yet using and killing animals for their flesh and secretions when we have no need to eat them constitutes the ultimate act of unnecessary harm. Continue reading ]]> 0 Six Ways Becoming Vegan Can Increase Your Self-Esteem Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:00:25 +0000 As a psychotherapist, I am interested in understanding: Could there be a connection between self-esteem and choosing to live in a way that values all life? I turned to the work of Nathaniel Branden, an expert on self-esteem who believes that self-esteem is an on-going consequence of choices we make. Continue reading ]]> 0 Horrifying Meat Animal Research Center No Worse Than Most Farms Mon, 23 Feb 2015 23:41:17 +0000 Before the recent damning investigative report on the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in the New York Times, few outside the beef, pork, and lamb industries had heard of the organization. Thanks to the front page expose by Michael Moss, however, that’s no longer the case. Continue reading ]]> 4 Banning Animal Tattooing While Eating Animals for Pleasure? Thu, 12 Feb 2015 18:02:32 +0000 Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that will generally prohibit the tattooing and piercing of one’s companion animals, through an amendment to New York’s Agriculture & Markets Law. Continue reading ]]> 1 Comparing Animal Deaths in Production of Plant and Animal Foods Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:56:45 +0000 In the last several years, a number of arguments have gained traction by claiming that if vegans factor in the amount of animals killed in the harvesting of plant crops, they would find that vegan diets result in a greater number of animals killed than diets based on pasture-raised animals. Continue reading ]]> 0 Sam: The Rooster Who Tried to Cross the Road Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:27:52 +0000 On the afternoon of Saturday, January 17th, Nancy and her husband were busy doing errands and driving down a bustling four-lane Cicero Avenue in Chicago when Nancy spotted a chicken on the side of the road, looking as if he was trying to cross! Continue reading ]]> 1 Breaking the Food Chain Myth Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:10:53 +0000 Claiming to be at the top of the food chain is a popular justification for eating animal products and an affirmation of our ability to violently dominate everyone. Yet justifications for violence that draw on notions of power and supremacy are based on the philosophy that “Might makes right” — the principle behind the worst atrocities and crimes of human history. Continue reading ]]> 1 You Can’t Be 100% Vegan Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:21:30 +0000 When human slavery was the norm, one could have made a similar argument. Unless we were living outside of society, it would have been difficult to be 100% slave-free. Sure, we could have avoided owning slaves ourselves, but it would have been impossible to avoid all items that contained even a small degree of slave input. Continue reading ]]> 1