This month we found ourselves fostering an orphaned duck for three days we named Suzanna who comes from Chicago Animal Control. Within 48 hours, she went from fearing us to friending us. And we quickly realized what a deeply sensitive, intelligent and affectionate bird she is. We knew nothing about ducks before we met Suzanna. I did some research and found that she was a Pekin duck, a species commonly raised as a meat commodity.
This video presentation provides an overview of the key environmental impacts of our food choices and answers the question, what is truly sustainable in terms of food choices? Oppenlander debunks many of the common myths and greenwashing pitfalls of the so called sustainable animal agriculture industry.
Speciesism is a term coined by Richard Ryder in 1970. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines specieism as “prejudice or discrimination based on species; especially discrimination against animals.” Ryder pointed out that all such prejudices are based upon physical differences that are morally irrelevant. He held that the moral principle of Darwinism is that all sentient animals, including humans, should have a similar moral status. If all organisms are on one physical continuum, then we should also be on the same moral continuum. In other words, speciesism defies evolution. So how did our judgment become so clouded?
If it’s so natural and normal and necessary, why does the New York Times try to defend meat eating and the meat industry with many elaborate, convoluted and often bizarre arguments from its panel of “experts” in its recent forum on the subject? Philosophy professor John Sanbonmatsu of Worcester Polytechnic Institute submitted the following amazing letter to The New York Times Magazine incorporating the concerns that many of us felt about the contest and its judges:
In this video presentation, Jack Norris RD compiles highlights from the leading scientific studies that provide a comparison of vegan and non vegan, meat eating diets. The findings can be at times quite surprising and unexpected, breaking through the misconceptions and conjecture that plague discussions of vegan nutrition. Norris focuses particular attention to health conditions and deficiencies where vegans may find themselves more vulnerable than non vegans, providing clear and straightforward advice for avoiding them. This video can help empower vegans with science-based facts and recommendations to optimize their health in the long term.
Animal Equality has carried out an undercover investigation into East Anglian Pig Company, which is the third largest pig meat producer of the UK. EAP is a member of Freedom Food and is audited and monitored by Assured Food Standards (AFS). Over 120 hours of footage and recorded conversations, as well as 281 photos, provide a truly shocking insight into the so called high standards of the British pig industry.
How many times have you heard the dismissive phrase veganism is extreme? What is extreme is not veganism but its polar opposite, carnism, which remains largely invisible and unexamined. What is extreme is the fact that a species of 7 billion kills 120 billion land and aquatic animals every year for a food source that is not necessary for survival or health.
I’d never have guessed my children’s book would provoke such claims. That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, though well received, also caused some controversy, garnering attacks from the likes of animal agriculture trade magazines and even Farm Bureau CEOs. Though veganism is swiftly gaining momentum, it still provokes knee-jerk reactions—for me, each case of opposition a study of the invisible forces that shape our thinking about food, health, and animals.
In Melody Petersen’s new piece in The Chronicle Review entitled, As Beef Cattle Become Behemoths, Who Are Animal Scientists Serving?, Petersen questions the influence of Big Pharma working against the interests of Big Ag. I thought these two worked pretty well together to destroy our environment, limit our food choices and monopolize taxpayer subsidies, but apparently Petersen makes a pretty good case for how animal scientists working for major public universities are unduly influenced by Big Pharma, thereby compromising their allegiance to Big Ag? Hmmm. Okay. I can’t seem to find the empathy for this argument.
Why do we look away from millions of animals in industrial farms while pampering and humanizing others? Such is the fundamental question posed by a fascinating new documentary film by Dutch photographer and filmmaker, Jan Van Ijken. “The film takes the perspective of the animal, but actually is about man who in his inscrutable wisdom labels one animal as a cheap piece of meat, and the other as an interesting research object, beauty ideal, pest, pathetic creature or partner/mate/child. In Facing Animals, I give the hidden animals in the industrial farms a face. I invite the viewer to think about the value of an animal,” writes Van Ijken.