Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Ag-Gag, Meatless Mondays, and a Puppy in a Hoodie! »
Wondering how the meat industry responded to last month’s HSUS whistleblowing exposé of a Kentucky pig factory that was locking pigs in gestation crates and feeding what NPR called “piglet smoothies” back to their mothers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, rather than fixing the problems, its response was to introduce an ag-gag bill in Kentucky to criminalize taking photos of factory farms. Our action alert calling for a defeat of that bill is here.
Inspired by the progress against gestation crates in Canada? Learn more about it in our latest Huffington Post piece.
Wondering whether students are liking Meatless Mondays in their cafeterias? Check out this great news segment from one school in Long Island.
Care about saving wildlife from extinction? NPR reports on a new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity suggesting we eat less meat.
No more questions—have a great weekend!
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro
P.S. Video of the week: I used to do this when I was a kid, too.
P.P.S. Photo of the week: Josh Balk and I taking out an Ultimate Fighter champion…
Put nutrition profiles head to head with Google search! »
Welcome to my new favorite thing!!! Google launched this food comparison search tool a few months ago and it’s so dang cool. I just read about it on NPR and I’m already obsessed. I thought all the vegans would be into this too because of course I immediately started comparing veg foods with omni foods. BEST GAME EVER.
BIG shout-out to kale for having that ill calcium content! I guess you can get calcium without torturing cows? If only we’d known this all along!
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!
Happy New Year!
You might decide you need a more ambitious new year’s resolution after reading Good Morning America’s coverage of this vegan couple—in their 60s!—who ran a marthon (26.2 miles) every day of 2013.
If that’s not up your alley, you could just take my advice on new year’s resolutions…
Looking back on the past year, NPR declared 2013 to be “The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed.” Here’s to making 2014 the same!
And of course, we’ll be doing even more this year to show Americans what ag-gag bills are trying to hide. Check out HSUS’s latest billboard campaign in North Carolina (second biggest pork production state.)
Finally, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote a new piece on animals in which he had quite a lot to say, including that “it is a kind of theological folly to suppose that God has made the entire world just for human beings, or to suppose that God is interested in only one of the millions of species that inhabit God’s good earth.”
P.S. Oddest story of the week: “Dogs might poop in line with the Earth’s magnetic field.”
P.P.S. Video of the week: Dogs who live under the tyrannical rule of cats.
Friday’s StoryCorps on NPR was the sweetest, did you hear it? A Boise couple waxed on about how cute and loving all the rats at their rat sanctuary are, and hurray the whole lefty, NPR-loving world heard about it! Tune in for your dose of heart-warming and adorbs for the day.
Foreign consumption of quinoa is good for Bolivia, say actual Bolivians »
Hopefully putting an end to the great quinoa controversy of 2013, NPR reports that while foreign consumption of quinoa has increased the domestic price of quinoa in Bolivia, it’s also increased Bolivians’ income, so “they’re able to now afford [foods such as] tomatoes and salads and veggies, and foods that they weren’t able to afford before,” Eduoard Rollet of Alter Eco told Allison Aubrey.
"It’s not true that due to an increase in the price of quinoa, less and less is being consumed" in Bolivia, The Associated Press quoted [Bolivian President Evo] Morales as saying in an article in February.
In fact, Morales pointed to a threefold increase in domestic consumption of quinoa over the past four years.
That means we can continue to eat quinoa without “stomaching the unpalatable truth” about it, right? Considering the truth about quinoa sounds pretty palatable to me, and more importantly, to the people producing the quinoa for us. If they say their experience is positive, then that’s what counts.
[summer fruit salad with quinoa by Typical Domestic Babe]
Scientists finally get off their butts to study the effects of farm runoff on our goddamn water »
It’s not that they don’t care! It’s that the extreme weather has increased runoff to a degree so alarming that scientists thought, Gosh, maybe now is the time to see what the effects of like seven decades of industrial agriculture has had on our waterways. NPR has some pretty delightful (horrifying) quotes:
Agriculture is the nation’s leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"It’s been happening for years," says [Bob Broz, a water quality specialist with the University of Missouri Extension]. "The problem is now we seem to be seeing more of these more intense rainfalls. And that, in turn, creates a huge amount of nutrient loss."
"There’s the direct impact on the aquatic ecosystem," says [Bob Lerch, a USDA soil scientist]. "And then there’s the downstream impacts on say, drinking water, or a reservoir, or a recreational [body of water]."
Want to freak the fuck out about whether the next generation will even understand the concept of “tap water”? (Potable water from … the government? Available to all of us citizens for a nominal fee? Go on, old person, tell me another ridiculous story about life before you ruined the planet for us.) Read the article at The Salt blog.
[photo by Penn State News via Flickr]
Turns out educating consumers about the nastiest parts of the agricultural industry, then providing them with slightly less disgusting alternatives, kind of works.
For more information on the latest studies on the chickens who have to lay the cage-free eggs (which term I kind of hate, by the way—like the cage ever affected the egg), check out the May 2013 issue of Egg Industry magazine, and the October 2012 report prepared for the International Egg Commission. Yes, both those things actually exist.
Produce: for growing, eating, and portraiture! Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted these crazy portraits/still lifes/reversible portraits that were simultaneously still lifes in 16th century Italy, including a series of the four seasons. Those four paintings were later turned into massive sculptures by Philip Haas, and they are now on display through October 27 at the New York Botanical Garden. Just look at Summer!
Amazing, right? Apparently some of the vegetables—like the eggplant and the corn, and is that an artichoke?—were brand-new to Europe at the time. Get more details at The Salt blog, and let’s go visit them and appreciate their massive scale for ourselves. When the rain lets up, of course.
[Photo courtesy New York Botanical Garden via NPR]
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
Big news in Tennessee: The state attorney general ruled yesterday the ag-gag bill is “constitutionally suspect.” The bill is still awaiting the governor’s signature or veto.
Other big news: The Pennsylvania state senator who announced he was going to introduce an ag-gag bill decided yesterday that he in fact won’t introduce it at all.
Politico had a big story on the beef and pork industries’ aggressive campaign to kill federal legislation to ban barren battery cages for egg-laying hens. One agribusiness spokesperson quoted in the piece says they oppose the bill so strongly that they’d fight to kill the entire farm bill (which gives them massive subsidies) if the legislation to improve laying hen welfare were included in the bill.
On a more optimistic note, meat giant Tyson Foods reported a 42 percent drop in net income this quarter…
Video of the week: Ever seen a pig and cat play cat and mouse?
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
Bonus article: If you’re as psyched about the cicadas as I am, enjoy!
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use »
It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
Big week, so buckle up!
First, the Sunday New York Times had a cover feature about the meat industry’s efforts to ban investigations by HSUS and fellow animal protection groups. It even included a full-color HSUS photo of a crated pig on A1 of the paper. As well, the NYT editorial board condemned the industry’s effort, noting “the ag-gag laws guarantee one thing for certain: increased distrust of American farmers.”
(Another interesting NYT story)
Speaking of pigs, remember last year’s major HSUS investigation into a then-Tyson supplier gestation crate confinement facility? Well, we announced this week that several of the people caught on the video were convicted of criminal animal cruelty.
Finally, I did a half-hour segment on Miami’s NPR affiliate this week about the need to reduce per capita rates of meat consumption.
Have a great weekend!
P.S. Video of the week
P.P.S. Live in Mass? Hope to see you Sunday!