Video: German Demonstrators Hold Corpses of Farm Animals

On July 29th, 2012, 40 activists from Animal Equality Germany participated in a demonstration in Regensburg, Germany to shine a light on the casualties of modern animal agriculture. The activists held the bodies of dead animal corpses — piglets, chickens, chicks, fish and other farmed animals — the invisible victims of exploitation who no doubt experienced pain, sorrow and anxiety during their short and miserable lives. They represent the billions who are massacred daily in farms and slaughterhouses all over the world. Continue reading

Book Trailer: The Lucky Ones by Jenny Brown

Pioneering animal advocate Jenny Brown has a fascinating personal story to tell in her newly released book, The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals. In it Jenny describes her early childhood experience with bone cancer, her early animal activism, her “investigative” travels to stockyards in Texas and the founding of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. This well-produced book trailer captures the spirit of this new book and Jenny’s work. Continue reading

Animal Welfare Labeling: What They’re Not Telling You

Ninety-five percent of meat eaters today express an avid interest in animal welfare. Given the extent of this concern, certification has become big business. Unlike “organic,” however, there’s no legal definition for “humane.” Interpretations therefore flex as far as industrial producers can convince their certifiers–who are paid by producers–to stomach. Turns out the biggest certifiers can stomach quite a bit of suffering. Consider the following sketches of the dominant welfare labels, the ones you are likely to see in high-end chains such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Fields, and Wegman’s: Continue reading

Why Veganism Must Be the Baseline

In 2007, I wrote a newspaper editorial, which was republished in 2009, arguing that Michael Vick’s dog fighting was, as a moral matter, no different from our consuming animal products. I have received literally thousands of responses to that editorial. Many people agree with my position; many people have said that the editorial provoked them into thinking about veganism; many have said that they have become vegans after thinking about my argument. But no one–no one–who disagreed with my position has been able to articulate why what Vick did was any worse than what the rest of us do. That is because there is no coherent way to distinguish what Vick did from what everyone else does. Continue reading

Love and Liberation: Insights on Animal Liberation from James McWilliams

When we drift into the vexed territory of benevolent control and ownership over animals, by what set of standards do we determine what makes an animal happy, or what kind of environments are conducive to the development of their mental and emotional lives? Given that answers to these questions are beyond the ability of humans to grasp for themselves, is it possible to own or oversee an animal while creating settings that foster genuine satisfaction? Continue reading

The Excusitarian Syndrome: “That’s Why I Can’t Be A Vegan or Vegetarian”

Last week I sat in a brew pub and spoke with a 55-year-old cyclist who was really into fitness. He looked good for his age. When he learned I was a vegan for three years now, he explained to me that he had tried to be a vegetarian for a while and then described the many obstacles that made him defect. Continue reading

French Foie Gras Investigation: A Haute Cuisine Hell

France is the largest producer and exporter of foie gras. Over 20,000 tons are produced and approximately 700,000 geese and 37 million ducks are slaughtered by the French foie gras industry each year. Over 4,200 tons are consumed in Spain, and 850 tons are produced. Over 1,150,000 ducks are slaughtered by the Spanish foie gras industry each year. In this unflinching look at the Foie Gras industry, Animal Equality documents the shocking reality of life for ducks and geese confined and force-fed for foie gras production in France. Continue reading

Nature’s Perfect Package: Labeling Our Way to a Clear Conscience

Consumers opposed to factory farming want to know more about the animals we eat. How were they raised? Did they live on a pasture? What did they eat? Where were they slaughtered? The ultimate problem with these questions, important as they are, is that it’s generally not in any producer’s interest to provide complete answers. The labels that describe animal products today thus rely on an industry-influenced lexicon that salves our conscience but obscures the harsh reality of raising, killing, and eating animals. Continue reading

Over a Thousand Dairy Calves Left to Die from Wisconsin Heat Wave

While their mothers are likely indoors hooked up to computerized milking machines pumping their mammary gland secretions for profit, calves just days old birthed from these mothers are snatched from their mothers and penned outside in the hot summer sun, dying in record levels of heat exhaustion, dehydration and perhaps malnourishment. That was the story that hit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the other day. Continue reading

This Little Piggy Did Not Go to Market and Instead Changed A Pig Farmer’s Life

Lo said that at the time, a staff member from a slaughterhouse had gone to his farm to single out a few hogs, prompting the terrified animals to start wailing. “Except for one piglet, which abruptly quieted down when I took it in my hands and then it looked me right in the eyes, as if saying: ‘How could you do this to me?’ That look in its eyes shattered me and kept me awake all night,” Lo said. Continue reading

Sentience, According to Gary Francione

The concept of sentience in non human animals and humans seems to be largely misunderstood today, and yet it is critical to our understanding of the social justice movement for animals. For a clear and concise explanation of sentience, we turned to the abolitionist approach to animal rights as set forth by professor Gary Francione of Rutgers University. Following is Francione’s recently published article on Sentience. Continue reading