Mercy For Animals makes history! First-ever cruelty to animals FELONY conviction! »
MFA made history last week, when Brian Douglas of Butterball factory farm pleaded guilty to felonly cruelty to animals on August 28th. It was the MFA undercover investigation at the farm in Hoke County, North Carolina that sparked what is believed to be the “first-ever felony cruelty to animals conviction related to birds used for food production in US history.” Douglas will serve 30 days in jail, followed by 42 months of probation, for the horrifying violence towards the butterball turkeys he executed. On August 31, Butterball employee Rueben Mendoza also pleaded guilty to felony identity theft and misdemenor cruelty to animals. He faces a “consolidated sentence of a minimum of 8 months, and a maximum of 19 months, in state prison”.
I can’t watch the undercover video at the Butterball Factory farm. But it’s up on MFA’s site if you can stomach it. To show my advocacy however, I like to sport my MFA “Not Cool” t-shirt around town. If you get one too, we’ll be twins! We can start a club! Maybe wear them to Vegan Drinks so we’ll know to schmooze with each other? If the merch doesn’t appeal to you, you can always donate to the cause as well! Man, I love Mercy for Animals, and the incredibly difficult work they do on the behalf of animal rights.
The little chick in the stomach is saying “Not Cool”. I love, love, love it!
Of course there always needs to be a naysayer, doesn’t there? Examiner.com plays that role well with this article which I think screams, THANKS A LOT CAPTAIN OBVIOUS AND BY THE WAY, MFA IS A VEGAN NON-PROFIT. Rachel touched upon all the same points, about the injustices that the workers must face on on these farms, back in Febuary. I think she covered this issue in a much more compassionate and well-informed (I’m not biased!) way. Thoughts? I noticed there’s nowhere to leave comments, but that might be a good thing considering the comments section usually makes me
want to throw myself off a building sick.
ANYWAY. No more turkeys for holiday feasts, or sandwiches OR ANYTHING. Why eat an animal when we can have delicious vegan turkeys???? RAINBOW please order more this season; I did not get one last year and it gave me a case of the sads. Actually no, because I made this delectable tart, but I want both this year!
[Photos via MFA.org]
This gets the Graphic as Fuck rating. Very hard to watch, I won’t blame you if you don’t (unless you eat pigs, in which case you should be forced to watch it a million times). This video was released by Mercy for Animals last month, documenting cruel conditions for pigs in Walmart pork suppliers’ factories.
Mercy for Animals is encouraging people to contact Walmart and tell them these conditions are horrible and unacceptable. So I drew attention to this campaign on our fb, which I guess means I don’t believe all animals should ultimately be free? That’s at least the conclusion one vegan came up with.
The truth is, I do think all animals should be free to live life undisturbed by humans. I don’t think we should kill them to eat them. But what I do think is that while we work towards that ultimate goal, we should also be doing whatever we can to improve the lives of animals that are currently suffering in extremely horrible conditions.
One fundamental issue may be that I don’t think death is the worse thing to ever happen. I think a life of pain, suffering, and misery is far worse. While I don’t want any animals killed for food, yes—I would rather a pig live the highest quality of life possible before they are killed, rather than suffering their whole lives and then being killed. I know conditions sans gestation crates aren’t anywhere near the highest quality of life, but it’s better, and what I’m really addressing is the underlying philosophy.
I also think it’s very self-important to decide that helping animals that are suffering right now isn’t worth it. They’re immediate comfort does matter and helping to alleviate their pain to any degree doesn’t mean we can’t also work towards complete freedom for all animals. It’s like the people who oppose “welfarism” have decided these animals should be left to suffer as a sacrifice to our cause. Like I’ve said in the past—tell that to a chicken being trampled on the bottom of a battery cage. Did they agree to this martyrdom?
I know the argument that promoting “happy meat” is somehow detrimental to our cause because then that 1% of people who actually eat “happy meat” will think it’s ultimately OK to eat meat. I disagree. When you really get down to it, I would rather have people eat “happy meat” than factory farm meat if it means less suffering for millions of animals. But to the point, I think anytime you make people actually consider maybe animals shouldn’t be tortured for food, you are awakening them to animal rights. You’re also awakening them to the idea that food choices are about more than what tastes good. And as we’ve seen, though many of us remain “welfarists” as they like to call us, meat sales are falling. Promoting improved living conditions for suffering animals hasn’t skyrocketed meat consumption.
Mercy For Animals staged a protest against the ag-gag bill in Iowa. From MFA:
On Tuesday, both the Iowa Senate and House passed a bill aimed at preventing farm workers from documenting and exposing acts of cruelty to animals - an effort championed by corporate factory farming interests.
The bill is currently on the desk of Iowa’s governor. MFA is urging him to veto this dangerous and misguided legislation.
Take Action:Call Iowa’s governor Terry Branstad today at (515) 281-5211 and urge him to veto the ag-gag bill.If you are an Iowa resident, please use this form to urge Governor Branstad to veto SF 431/HF 589, a bill designed to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute brave whistleblowers who dare to speak out against cruelty to animals, corporate corruption, dangerous working conditions, environmental violations, and food safety concerns.
What are factory farms trying to hide? This (scary video):
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com
Adele is going to give vegetarianism a go! And we’re here to help! »
Oh-so-lovely songstress Adele is making an effort to go vegetarian! She says that for what’s on the agenda in the year ahead, she has to be “really healthy and stuff like that.” Plus, when she eats meat, she thinks of her dog and sees his little dog eyes. This is incredible news, though of course going vegan would be all the more fantastic. It can be a difficult transition to make, I understand. But, Adele, I’m here to help you. Anything you need, any time of day. Then when you visit San Francisco, I’ll give you the
drinking vegan tour of the city! Or you can hire me as your personal chef, whatever works.
1. I understand you don’t like the taste of tofu, that you go so far as to describe it as “rank.” Tofu is not chicken, this much is true. However, when seasoned well, tofu is delicious! I’ll let you borrow my Tofu Xpress and we can marinate blocks of protein together! You must also read Sarah’s guide to making the most out of a tofu scramble: It will change your life.
2. Faux meat and cheese are your friends during this transitional time. Every time I blink, new ones hit the market. Try them all out to find your faves. You don’t have to like them all, it’s OK. I stay as far as I can from Tofurky deli slices and cheddar-flavored Follow Your Heart cheese.
4. Check out Happy Cow so you know where to eat in every city on your tour. I really should have checked Happy Cow before I went to Reno (as opposed to the drive home), because I subsisted on a salad, a sandwich, and a Lara Bar for two days—not enough food for me. Learn from my mistakes.
5. Barnivore is your new best friend. Use it, download the app, and then go to your nearest pub.
6. Get yourself some vegan cookbooks! Because Vegan with a Vengeance was my first, I am biased in believing it should be every vegan beginner’s guide!
7. I have heard that it is safe and nutritious for doggie companions to go veg as well as humans! You and your pooch can go on this veg journey together, OMG that would be the cutest.
8. Read Vegansaurus! You’ll love us, we are sassy. Like you!
probably will not lose respect for you if you pose for a PETA ad, but personally, I think it’d be amazing if you did work with Farm Sanctuary or Mercy for Animals. Just don’t pull a Ginnifer Goodwin, in which you yell about your veganism only to turn around and bash it on Jimmy Kimmel Live, OK?
Now it’s time for a video, with everyone’s favorite kale-lover, Anderson Cooper! Just kidding; he openly hates kale because like my sister, he has the palate of a six-year-old!
Adele is just stunning in all these clips. Are you getting chills watching her sing? I am!
[photo via Tom and Lorenzo. Who does your makeup, girl? It’s perfection.]
Eggs are going DOWN! According to a study from the egg industry, says Mercy for Animals. It seems to be similar to egg sales in the late nineties though. I’m guessing it’s pre-Atkin’s craze and post-Atkin’s craze? What do you think?
Here’s some more info from the study that’s good to know:
First of all: “Presently, there are 65 egg producing companies with 1 million plus layers and 14 companies with greater than 5 million layers.” And the top five egg producing companies accounts for 50% of egg production. So yeah, hello factory farms!
Second of all: “For 2009-2010, cage-free production is 3.7 percent of the total U.S. flock size of 10.5 million birds. Of this, 1.8% is organic and 1.9% is other.” So basically none of the eggs people are buying are organic or cage-free. Kudos, egg-eaters.
If you need a good reason to celebrate this trend downward, here’s a handy video for you.
Paul Shapiro on food scandals, the EU battery-cage ban, and celebrities! Now with alternate Spanish version! »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yes!
The Huffington Post listed its top 13 food scandals of 2011, with HSUS’s exposé of Smithfield Foods ranking #1! Check out the full list. (And for my Spanish-speaking amigos, puede leer mi articulo sobre los puercos en Que Pasa Mi Gente!)
If you’d like to see a nice BBC story about former battery hens (“ex-bats”!) getting a second chance at life, here’s your chance.
Speaking of the EU, here’s an interesting article about member nations facing legal action over not complying with the upcoming historic EU ban on barren battery cages (it was passed in 1999 and takes full effect Jan 1).
Finally, check out this CNN piece about celebrities working with Mercy For Animals to combat abuse of laying hens.
Video of the week: Is there anything more popular than a dog and pig wrestling?
Ryan Gosling speaks out for animals, a billion undergarments drop »
Ryan Gosling, hero to every person with eyes, is speaking out for abused chickens! Whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty fine man GOOD LORD.
According to Mercy for Animals, the appeal comes after hidden-camera video, shot at Sparboe facilities in three states revealed hens crammed in tiny wire cages, dead hens left to rot in cages with birds still laying eggs for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins, and workers burning off the beaks of baby birds without painkillers. Yum! Watch the undercover video here:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Ugh, egg farms are the grossest. Seriously, this kind of abuse isn’t just happening at Sparboe facilities, it’s happening any place animals are treated as commodities. I see those poor chickens and I imagine my dog in that situation and I just want to murder everything.
So, thank you, Ryan Gosling, and assorted other celebrities I don’t give a shit about because your faces are like garbage compared to his, for speaking out. I already wanted to go all Kathy Bates in Misery on him and now the odds of that happening are about 2-1. G’damn!
And finally, some Feminist Ryan Gosling to both tantalize and amuse:
Paul Shapiro Presents: Animal News You Can Use! (Thanksgiving Edition!) »
It’s time for the next installment of Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! This time, it’s THANKSGIVING-STYLE, boooy! Take it away, Paul! I’m thinking we might need an adorable graphic for this? Anyone want to make us one? In return, I will give you a gigantic Thanksgiving high-five! What a feeling!
Well, if you’ve been living under a rock, you may not have heard about Mercy For Animals’ potent new investigation at Sparboe Foods, one of the sole egg producers in the country lobbying against the federal effort to ban barren battery cages. In the wake of the investigation, both McDonald’s and Target dropped Sparboe as a supplier.
MFA’s investigation resulted in massive news coverage, including a powerful 20/20 segment along with much other ABC News content (including a couple minutes of me hanging out with chickens talking about battery cages). Amusingly, a spokesman for the egg company claimed the video was “staged,” only to have the company later publicly correct him, asserting they have no evidence of that.
The NPR affiliate in DC sat down with me for lunch to talk about veg eating and Meatless Monday. You can listen to the six-minute segment here.
Finally, the headline says it all: “Talking Turkey: 9 out of 10 retail turkey samples contaminated with fecal bacteria.”
Have a nice holiday… :-)
P.S. No, the above video of me with chickens isn’t the video of the week. This cow playing with a ball is.
An undercover video of McDonald’s egg suppliers by Mercy for Animals. Shit is fucked!
From Mercy for Animals:
The organization is urging McDonald’s’ CEO to implement a new animal welfare policy prohibiting the sale of eggs from hens confined in cruel cages – something the company has already done in Europe.
The undercover footage recorded at Sparboe Egg Farms in Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado reveals:
· Hens crammed into filthy wire cages with less space for each bird than a standard-sized sheet of paper to live her entire miserable life, unable to fully stretch her wings, or engage in most other natural behaviors
· Workers burning off the beaks of young chicks without any painkillers
· Rotted hens, decomposed beyond recognition as birds, left in cages with hens still laying eggs for human consumption
· A worker tormenting a bird by swinging her around in the air while her legs were caught in a grabbing device
· Chicks trapped and mangled in cage wire – others suffering from open wounds and torn beaks
· Live chicks thrown into plastic bags to be suffocated
“In my opinion, the treatment of the birds at this facility is unconscionable,” veterinarian Dr. Lee Schrader said after viewing the footage. “The unnecessary violence, unskilled killing, and especially the extreme confinement and deprivation of the most minimal and basic needs of the hens cannot be allowed to continue.”
Confining hens in battery cages is so cruel that the entire European Union and the states of California and Michigan have banned their use. Additionally, leading food retailers, such as Whole Foods, Hellmann’s, and Wolfgang Puck, and hundreds of colleges refuse to use or sell eggs from hens subjected to the inherent abuses of battery cages.
“McDonald’s’ secret ingredient in every Egg McMuffin is horrific cruelty to animals,” said MFA’s Executive Director Nathan Runkle. “Consumers would lose their lunch if they saw how McDonald’s’ rotten egg suppliers crammed hens into tiny, filthy cages where they couldn’t freely spread their wings, burned off their beaks without painkillers, threw them, and broke their necks.”
View the undercover video at www.McDonaldsCruelty.com
“McDonald’s’ secret ingredient in every Egg McMuffin is horrific cruelty to animals,” damn! Tell it! There is that one nice part in the video though where the employee laments the treatment of the chickens. That gives me a little hope that all people aren’t evil. Just a lot of people.
The McDonald’s Cruelty site says that McDonald’s is the biggest egg purchaser in the U.S., if they changed their ways, that would make a big difference. Bigger difference: if people stop eating eggs! Yay! But people love eggs. People are gross. And McDonald’s! Good lord! Get a conscience! We already know about the cruelty behind the McRib, now the Egg McMuffin. Is nothing sacred?!
3rd annual Chicago VeganMania Fest this weekend! »
If I still lived in Chicago, I’d totally hit this fest up! Actually I probably wouldn’t because my job is in the restaurant industry, therefore I work every weekend of my life. Sucks for me! You should go, Chicago readers. Report back in the comments section (I live for your comments!). And if I’d given anyone else enough notice, they could’ve hopped a plane and frolicked about the glorious(LY cold) city of Chicago for a weekend. Has it gotten to that point your nose hairs are freezing together yet? Wait, that’s more of a December thing, right?
Looks like one of the best ways to spend a Saturday. Get to Pulaski Park Fieldhouse—1491 W. Blackhawk (a few blocks east of the Milwaukee/Division Blue Line stop)—from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s free!
Speakers include Natan Runkle, founder of Mercy for Animals, vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke, and Vegan Outreach's Director of Outreach, Jon Camp. Food provided by Chicago Diner, Chicago Soydairy, Laviyah Ayanna of Vegan Food Truck, and Sandi Swiss of Canary Confectionery.
All in all, it looks like a fun day filled with vendors, music, artists, speakers, and FOOD! Plus, there’s totally an all ages after party at the Silver Room, at 1442 N. Milwaukee Ave. It’s $15, goes from 5:30 to 10 p.m, and includes live music, DJs, a raffle, food from Soul Vegan, plus door prizes.
C’mon, what else were you going to do Saturday? Cry in your Old Style about how cold it’s getting at some dive in Wicker Park/Logan Square/Ukrainian Village? Hit up Chicago VeganMania!
[Image courtesy mfablog.org]