The Ghosts in Our Machine

Animals are hidden within the shadows of our highly mechanized world. That is the message of a new documentary project by Liz Marshall featuring the life and work of animal rights photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, a woman who has equal parts bravery and empathy for non-human animals trapped inside of a cold and mechanized world which reduces their identity down to mere commodities. Continue reading

Legal Action Taken Against Santa Cruz Chicken Hatchery Based on 2010 Animal Abuse Investigation

Newly released undercover video footage, taken by a Compassion Over Killing investigator working inside Cal-Cruz Hatcheries, reveals shocking abuse of newly-hatched chicks. As described in the lawsuit, this video documents numerous routine abuses—including acts amounting to felony animal cruelty—that are in violation of the California law. Among the atrocities documented are: Continue reading

The New Cheese Addiction Guide Book to Recovery

On Free from Harm we’ve published a few wildly popular posts about cheese and its scientifically-documented addictive properties. Now there’s a new book out called Cut the Cheese: Quit Your Cheese Addiction to Transform Your Life by author Cathleen Woods. Woods make a solid case for what makes cheese addictive, what chronic diseases are associated with cheese consumption and why dairy production is so inherently cruel to the cows and their offspring. Continue reading

How Huffington Post Promotes Animal Exploitation

At least once per week I come across a story in the Huffington Post Food section about how to raise or hunt and kill your own animals for food. One week it was a story about how to salvage road kill and turn it into a tasty meal. Another week it was an amateur urban chicken “farmer” intent on having her first chicken slaughter experience but didn’t have the heart to kill her own hens so she went out and found a wandering hen who had escaped from a live market which she brought home and slaughtered for a meal. The stories of these so called “conscious” people who are taking the journey to trace where their food comes from seems to have an endless stream of variations on the same theme. Yet the underlying premise of all of them are predictably consistent: these animals are here for our use, for us to raise, kill and eat as we see fit, because they have no other value or meaning in life other than to be our food. Continue reading

The Invisible and the Innocent 10,153,000,000 Victims of the US Food Industry in 2010

FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) has released its report on animals killed for food in the US in 2010 based largely on the USDA’s own data. Of all the findings, perhaps the most mind numbing statistic is this: Of the 10,153,000,000 land animals systematically killed across the country, 875,000,000 of these animals died lingering deaths from disease, injury, starvation, suffocation, maceration, or other atrocities of animal farming and transport. Assuming that all of these practices were perfectly legal, we have an industry that exploits and abuses animals with impunity and a flagrant disregard for their most basic needs as sentient beings. Continue reading

Venus and Serena Williams Go Raw Vegan to Combat Immune Disorder

The Daily Mail published a story the other day about tennis star Serena William’s admission of her diagnosis of the immune system disease known as Sjogren’s syndrome. She explains that symptoms of fatigue drove her to doctors for years who could not diagnose her condition, so she is relieved and yet frightened about her diagnosis. Continue reading

Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate Almost Kicks Dairy to the Curb

Perhaps Harvard’s most dramatic departure from the USDA’s pro-agribusiness My Plate is the complete absence of dairy products! It seems almost unpatriotic or blasphemous to suggest that Americans should not consume dairy products for strong bones and teeth after years of propaganda from the Got Milk? advertisers. It seems that Harvard just kicked the dairy industry to the curb. In it’s place, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate recommends replacing the dairy with such calcium dense things as Bok Choy, Soy Milk, Collards and Beans. Continue reading

Proactively Supporting Wavering Vegetarians and Vegans

Researcher and scholar Jamie Hecht has been involved in an ongoing research study of former vegans and vegetarians with the goal of better understanding their motivations for “defecting,” that is, going back to eating meat. We reported on her latest discoveries from a study group that identified the top 6 reasons why people give up being vegetarian and vegan. Interestingly enough, non of the top 6 reasons had anything to do with health concerns or health conditions. ALL of them were connected to social pressures—from family, friends, popular culture and even ethnic cultural traditions.
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Does Higher Animal Welfare Lead to Higher Consumption? Considering the Case of Whole Foods Market

In several of his essays and talks, animal rights leaders like Gary Francione argue that welfarism does not lead to abolitionism but instead greater consumption since consumers that perceive animal products as higher welfare or more humane will feel better about eating them and therefore consume more than they would had these products not been available. Touring any Whole Foods Market store would certainly suggest that the dominant presence of the meat and dairy departments would indicate that animal product sales are booming. Continue reading

A Hearty Vegan Lasagna for All!

This recipe is based on a classic Italian lasagna recipe from my grandmother. I think if my grandmother were alive today she would be delighted by my twist on her trademark recipe. In fact she might be quite amazed to find how incredibly good this becomes by replacing the ricotta with a sumptuous and creamy blend of cashew cream and firm tofu. This recipe serves 5 to 6. Continue reading

Aflatoxin in Milk, Fast Food Foie Gras Burgers and Asia’s Western Food Craze Fiasco

In the movie Forks Over Knives, the decline of the health of modern day Asians is sharply contrasted with the healthier eating traditions of their recent past. Interviews with young Chinese reveal that the same myths about meat and dairy are becoming just as pervasive in popular culture now as they took hold here decades ago. For example, in a country where milk was fairly unknown a few decades ago, young Chinese actually believe that milk is necessary for strong bones. All that Western influence is really paying off for the meat and dairy industries. Continue reading

With 2 Million Pounds of Unwanted Whale Meat in Freezers, Japanese Government Provides 30 Million for New Hunt

According to sources at Greenpeace, there’s more than two million pounds of dead whales, slaughtered by a fleet of whalers subsidized by the Japanese government, wasting away in Japan’s freezers. In the midst of this excess, the Japanese government has allocated … Continue reading