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

Meat Feeds More than Our Bodies. Meat Feeds Our Egos.

One of the highlights from the almost 2-hour long Australian debate about meat eating called Should Animals Be Left Off the Menu came from an unidentified young man in the audience who made a profound statement about the pyschological motivations behind why we eat animals. Following is a transcript of his statement:
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Marketing Versus Reality: The Myth of the Organic Happy Cow

Everybody says they want to know where their food comes from these days. But we won’t get it from product marketing. What we see here on this Whole Foods 365 Organic milk carton is a happy, healthy looking cow, beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds, an idyllic Old McDonald farm scene. But the gulf between this facade and the reality could not be greater in this case. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: The People and Quotes That Inspire Us

This ongoing gallery of well know and lesser known figures from the world of animal rights and vegan culture is a wonderful way to get to match the names with the faces. Some come from academia, some from popular culture. Some are great authors and speakers, while others are political, social justice or cultural icons. Our hand picked photos and quotes attempt to capture the essence of who these people are and what means the most to them. Continue reading

Morality, Biology, Complicity: Humans Not Predators

The world is red in tooth and claw, it is said. Animals kill and eat each other as a matter of course. It’s as natural as breathing, sleeping, and breeding. But yet … What this elision obscures is the self evident truth that humans are the only species with the potential to conceptualize and consciously apply basic moral principles to the chaos of biological life. Continue reading

Zoe Weil on TEDx: The Brave New Age of Solutionaries

In this follow up to her previous TEDx talk, The World Becomes What You Teach, Zoe Weil, President of the Institute for Humane Education, focuses on how each of us can combine our passions, talents, and concerns to contribute to a better world and how this concept must be woven into our education system. Together we can solve our pressing challenges and create a humane, just, and healthy world for all people, animals, and the environment. Continue reading

Not Surprisingly, More Science Elevating Chicken Intelligence, Proposing Higher Moral Status

In a new study conducted by Andy Lamey of Monash University in Australia, researchers who studied chickens conclude that, contrary to earlier studies, chickens do possess “primitive self-consciousness” as identified in human newborns and higher primates. In this report, Lamey demonstrates how chickens respond to tests where they must learn the details of the tests first, hold them in memory for varying periods of time, and react on their memory of these learned behaviors by choosing an “optimal” reward, which requires practicing self control, i.e., “the ability to resist immediate gratification for a later benefit.” Continue reading

The Rise of Vegan Culture in Israel: Interview with Ikey Greene

“Real change is about making social justice for everyone, any gender, sexual orientation, race or species. Many people I know demonstrated for social justice last summer, but weren’t vegan. This summer they are, and they call for justice for all animals. This is how the social revolution in Israel is evolving and I hope we’ll be seeing this kind of transformation in other countries.” Continue reading

Elizabeth DeCoux’s Impassioned Speech on the Importance of Fighting Ag Gag Legislation

Animal advocate and educator Elizabeth DeCoux explains how and why to oppose agriculture gag laws that seek to criminalize animal advocacy efforts in exposing the abuses of animal enterprises like farms and labs. She begins her talk with explaining the political motivation behind the emergence of ag gag bills in Florida and other states, Continue reading