Free From Harm Farmed Animal Rescue, Education and Advocacy Thu, 21 May 2015 22:33:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 ]]> 0 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 Milk of the Poisonous Tree: Reconnecting with Our Food Choices Tue, 20 Jan 2015 05:33:04 +0000 There are many familiar claims through which we seek to deny personal responsibility for our food choices despite the fact that eating animal products means we pay someone else to dominate, exploit and violently kill healthy, infant or adolescent animals who want to live. Following are a few common examples: "You can still eat animals and love them;" Continue reading ]]> 0 Examining the Claim, Our Brains Evolved from Eating Animals Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:00:47 +0000 It could be argued that our brains have also evolved to become addicted to smoking, gambling, video games, alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, and harmful fast food. But we would think it insane to try to justify any of these behaviors based on some pseudo-scientific claim about the biological development of our brains. Continue reading ]]> 3 One Survivor’s Story of Whole Foods Humane Hoax Thu, 15 Jan 2015 21:38:21 +0000 They named her Mei Hua (Beautiful Flower), the sweet little hen DxE rescued from near death inside of a living hell, a Whole Foods egg supplier. Check out this moving video about the investigation and rescue of Mei Hua and the photos we obtained showing her transformation and rehabilitation. She is now living peacefully on a sanctuary in California. Continue reading ]]> 0 Hunting for Wildlife Population Control and Ethical Eating? Wed, 14 Jan 2015 17:15:33 +0000 Hunters sometimes argue that if they were to stop hunting, the deer population would explode. This is a false argument, because if hunting were to stop, we would also stop the practices that increase the deer population. State wildlife management agencies artificially boost the deer population in order to increase recreational hunting opportunities for hunters. Continue reading ]]> 1 Animals Can’t Reason, Don’t Deserve Same Consideration Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:00:51 +0000 Regarding the question of how we ought to treat nonhuman animals, philosopher Jeremy Bentham famously wrote, The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor “Can they talk?” but, “Can they suffer?” Indeed, the capacity for a being to experience pain and suffering is the only morally relevant criterion needed to determine that we should refrain from inflicting pain and suffering. Continue reading ]]> 2 Animals Eat Other Animals, So Why Shouldn’t We? Tue, 23 Dec 2014 21:41:53 +0000 Many people insist that eating animals is “natural” — and therefore morally neutral — because other animals eat animals. But it’s important to realize that, with a few exceptions, when humans kill other animals for food, we’re not doing what animals do in nature. Humans have no biological need to consume meat or any animal products. Continue reading ]]> 1 Interview with Robert Grillo, Founder and Director of Free from Harm Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:57:31 +0000 This interview with Free from Harm founder and director Robert Grillo was recently published by the Eugene Veg Education Network and conducted by Lin Silvan, Executive Director of EVEN and is republished here under their permission. Continue reading ]]> 3 Injured Chicken Found in Chicago Alley Tue, 25 Nov 2014 03:20:15 +0000 The circumstances surrounding our latest rescue, an injured chicken we named Peter, remain largely a mystery. What we do know is that he was found all alone and motionless in an alley in a Northwest Chicago neighborhood, about 10 blocks from a live poultry market / slaughterhouse at Devon and Western Avenues. We know he was a Red Ranger breed of chicken, a breed commonly raised for chicken flesh products. We know that when he was discovered in the alley, he was severely injured and unable to move. Continue reading ]]> 1 Turkey Talk Between Bird and Human Will Blow Your Mind Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:58:53 +0000 When it comes to advocating on behalf of farmed animals, activists are often urged to "be a voice for the voiceless." But farmed animals do have voices, and they can and do speak. This amazing video of a conversation between a human and a turkey demonstrates just how friendly and garrulous turkeys can be when they feel safe and loved. Continue reading ]]> 3 Dying Traditions: The Truth about Thanksgiving Turkey Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:14:49 +0000 Throughout history, many traditions that were once considered natural and normal for generations were eventually deemed outdated, cruel, or simply no longer necessary. Some traditions are positive and make society stronger and more stable, but some have proven to weaken our character, damage our health and our spirit, and are cruel to others. Continue reading ]]> 1 The Story of How a Turkey Became My Best Friend Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:20:12 +0000 When I went to the kitchen to do dishes, he would stand intently by the sink and watch me do the dishes, he was so curious about my activity. He would get up on the sofa on cold or rainy days, and give the warning cry to me if he saw a hawk fly over. This bird that most people consider stupid would come if I called him by name, just like a dog. I cannot express how many hours of intense joy and love he gave to me. I only wish that love in this world could have been enough. Continue reading ]]> 4 Haunting Video of Two Loving Turkeys Who Escaped Slaughter Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:00:29 +0000 The timing of my introduction to Jesse was particularly synchronous. The song Jesse sent me, Waiting for the Birds to Strike, arrived just after co-investigator Olivier Berreville and I returned from a Granny's Poultry turkey barn, where, contrary to company management assurances, we documented the same cruel and abusive loading of baby turkeys that we had two years prior (turkeys reach slaughter-weight at just a few months of age, still blue-eyed and peeping). We trailed the terrified turkeys to Granny's slaughterhouse in Blumenort, Manitoba feeling absolutely helpless to stop their killing. Continue reading ]]> 2 Chickens as Kaporos: A Story of Witnessing and Rescue Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:16:06 +0000 The following is my interview with Lori Barrett about her harrowing experience witnessing and documenting chickens used as kaporos in her New York City neighborhood. In the process, she managed to rescue and rehome one lucky baby chicken named Isa. This is her true story which provides an in depth look at Kaporos from a legal and religious perspective, and from the point of view of the birds themselves. Continue reading ]]> 1 Revolting Video of Turkey Breeding Looks Like Bestiality to Us Fri, 07 Nov 2014 07:45:52 +0000 Domestic turkeys have been bred to be so large, they cannot mate naturally, so hens are forcibly “inseminated” several times. Males are masturbated to get their semen. A “milker” at a turkey breeding facility in Missouri describes his job: “I have never done such hard, dirty, disgusting work in my life: 10 hours of pushing birds, grabbing birds, wrestling birds, jerking them upside down, pushing open their vents, dodging their panic-blown excrement and breathing the dust stirred up by terrified birds.” Continue reading ]]> 0 Former Meat and Dairy Farmers Who Became Vegan Activists Tue, 04 Nov 2014 12:12:11 +0000 Slaughterhouse journalist Upton Sinclair once wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” But while it may be difficult, it is not impossible. The following profiles are powerful proof that even those who stand to lose most by renouncing animal exploitation are frequently brave enough — and caring enough — to do so. Continue reading ]]> 1 Why Did This Video of a Pig Eating Salad Get 500,000 Views? Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:39:13 +0000 With his pointy pink head, roving nose disk, and impeccable table manners, this little pig eating a salad has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of viewers. Followed by a video of piglet "processing" on a small farm, this juxtaposition offers a glimpse into the difference between sharing a meal with a pig, and turning a pig into a meal. Continue reading ]]> 0