“Most farmed animals know no kind touch or compassionate care, only a life filled with intensive confinement, abusive handling, painful mutilations, careless neglect, and merciless slaughter,” says Mercy For Animals’ Executive Director Nathan Runkle. “Farm to Fridge serves as a wake-up call to all American consumers that the meat, dairy and egg industries are morally bankrupt and should be boycotted.”
You can take action to voice your opposition to the live burial of millions of farm animals afflicted with Foot and Mouth Disease and support more humane methods of euthanizing now. PETA Petition: http://goo.gl/8MyQ5; Mercy For Animals Petition: http://goo.gl/QvLi; Compassion in World Farming Petition: http://goo.gl/or5fU
When a government of a major Asian power mandates the “culling” of three million farm animal to prevent the spread of a highly contagious disease and the method is live burial (essentially suffocation), I think we must seriously ask ourselves, what kind of world are we creating? Who in their right mind finds it morally defensible to mass breed animals to feed our population (their sole existence being to serve as food) and then when they become ill and contagious, our only way of managing this crisis is to inflict upon them the fate of suffocating to death? What perverse form of judgement would inflict this kind of suffering on defenseless animals that rely entirely on our mercy or lack thereof? What more humane alternatives could exist to prevent such an epidemic? I do hope these are the questions on people’ mind when reading about this tragedy.
For seven years, between 2000 and 2006, Emanuelle Mercado left his west loop office high rise with a knot in his stomach. But the stress of his day was not typical of what most of us experience at work. After analyzing countless claims from clients in the commercial poultry industry, the images and words describing these horrific cases left an indelible scar on his psyche.
The Massachusetts Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, introduced by Rep. Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) and Minority Whip Sen. Robert L. Hedlund (R-Hingham), would require that farm animals have enough room to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. These basic standards of care are often absent on many industrial factory farms. The law would prevent three of the worst factory farm abuses: veal crates for calves, battery cages for egg-laying hens and gestation crates for breeding pigs.
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“Do fish have a capacity to detect tissue damaging stimuli and if they do, can the fish perceive such stimuli as painful? We have shown that fish possess a nociceptive system – specialized nerve fibers that mammals and birds use to detect noxious stimuli. We have also found that fish experiencing noxious stimuli are cognitively impaired, but this impairment can be reversed if the fish are provided with pain relief. We are currently using fish cognition as a tool to investigate whether fish suffer. Our work aims to determine what types of welfare measures might be appropriate for fish held in captivity for aquaculture or in research establishments.” — Victoria Braithwaite, Professor of Fisheries and Biology, Penn State University
Most of us are raised to understand food animals as property in the service of farmers to provide them with income and consumers with food. And to justify the fate of food animals, we must vehemently deny those same animals any deeper identity and ignore their true nature, that is, that they are physiologically and psychologically the same in many ways with our companion animals and even ourselves. We now know this not just intuitively but scientifically through centuries of study—starting with Darwin.
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As the public becomes increasingly aware of the negative consequences of farm animals raised in extreme confinement operations, a nationwide movement spearheaded by some of the leading animal protection organizations, is sweeping across the country state by state. Not only do the forms of confinement used today cause needless pain and suffering to animals, they also have been implicated in causing some of the largest outbreaks of food borne illness in history, conditions for workers that are dangerous to their health and huge environmental messes that fall largely on taxpayers to clean up.
Simply put, raising beef, pigs, sheep, chicken, and eggs is very, very energy intensive. More than half of all the grains grown in America actually go to feed animals, not people, says the World Resources Institute. That means a huge fraction of the petroleum-based herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers applied to grains, plus staggering percentages of all agricultural land and water use, are put in the service of livestock. Stop eating animals and you use dramatically less fossil fuels, as much as 250 gallons less oil per year for vegans, says Cornell University’s David Pimentel, and 160 gallons less for egg-and-cheese-eating vegetarians.
According to recently published data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several other official sources, 59 billion animals died to feed Americans in 2009. The average American meat eater was responsible for about 198 deaths in 2009. Over a lifetime, this amounts to 15,000 animals per meat eater.
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“The 9 million cows in America, for the most part, are not healthy. Half the herds in America have cows affected with bovine leukemia virus, half the herds have cows infected with a disease called Crohn’s disease, which is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium paratuberculosis, which 40 million Americans have been affected with irritable bowel syndrome from this. Every person with Crohn’s disease tests positive for mycobacterium paratuberculosis. Every one! One hundred percent! … You’ve got thousands of studies published in scientific journals, thousands of converging lines of evidence that tell us that milk does not do the body any good. We drink body fluids from diseased animals.”
In a recent story, Farm Sanctuary described a scene all too common in animal agriculture. The author recounts the disturbing experience of attending an animal auction where animals are hauled in on trucks and herded out into an arena where auctioneers determine their price. This a world where a farm animal is mere property and the weak ones are sometimes bidded down to $0. This was the case of a terribly sick baby male calf, paralyzed from fear and disease, and unable to walk even when prodded by the workers.
Many “organic” operators provide only tiny enclosed porches, with roofs and concrete or wood flooring, yet call these structures “the outdoors,” says Cornucopia. “Many of the porches represent just 3 to 5 percent of the square footage of the main building housing the birds. That means 95 percent or more of the birds have absolutely no access whatsoever.”
Black Eagle Farm is an operation owned by Dr. Ralph Glatt in Piney River, Nelson County, Virginia. Located in central Virginia 100 miles from Richmond and 130 miles from Washington, DC, Black Eagle Farm is a self-styled “traditional family farm with a long history of treating our animals and the environment with respect.”
Ever wonder why pork is so cheap today? The answer is that the pork industry, in it’s relentless pursuit of higher productivity and cost reduction, has developed a method of raising sows (female hogs) in extreme confinement, forcing them to live in a gestation crate barely large enough to fit their bodies—for their entire lives. Their miserable existence consists of pumping out and nursing baby piglets until they are too weak or diseased to perform anymore and then they are brutally sent to slaughter. And for the time that these sensitive and highly intelligent mothers nurse their young in these awful conditions, they typically go insane.