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10/16/2013

Surprise! “Humane” hatchery grinds up baby birds  »

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

Well, happy morning. Compassion Over Killing has a new undercover video showing the true cruelty of this “humane” hatchery. I watched the video, it’s not the worst I’ve seen, but it’s really sad. Poor baby chicks. From COK:

According to Bell & Evans’ website, its animal welfare standard “insures [sic] all of our chickens are humanely raised and compassionately handled, in a minimal-stress environment, throughout their lives.” A video posted on the company’s site further explains that in its hatcheries, the newly-hatched “peeps” are “carefully sorted from their shells,” then counted and “placed” in baskets headed for their new “home.”

Sadly, what our investigator witnessed and documented tells a different story. Inside this Bell & Evans facility, where an estimated 20 million baby birds are hatched each year, our video shows chicks being treated like mere inanimate objects:

  • Baby birds who are sick, injured, or otherwise deemed unfit for processing being dumped into a grinder while fully conscious
  • Hours-old chicks jostled from machine to machine in a highly mechanized process
  • Chicks with bloody, open wounds or other apparent injuries, deformities, or illnesses
  • Dead chicks, who did not survive this harsh process, left in baskets with live birds

Watch our video and you decide – does this look humane or compassionate to you?

If you want to donate to COK, go here

10/03/2013

These 150 happy young chickens were rescued by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary from a Brooklyn market after an estimated 2000 died in crates from heat and starvation. The chickens were intended to be a part of Kaporos rituals. I don’t know much about Kaporos but it seems pretty bad for the chickens obvi. 

More info on Kaporos:

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos seeks to replace chickens in kaporos rituals for 3 principal reasons:

-The use of chickens as kaporos is cruel. The birds suffer when being held with their wings pinned backward, swung over the heads of practitioners, and in being packed in crates, often for days without food or water leading up to the ritual. All these actions violate tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, the mandate prohibiting cruelty to animals.

-The use of chickens is not required by Jewish law. It is not a mitzvah but a custom that originated in the middle ages.

-There is an acceptable substitute that not only avoids cruelty but can help reduce hunger and show compassion. Money can be used as a non-animal alternative, and funds raised can be given directly to charities that provide food for the poor and hungry throughout the year, including 13,000 Jewish families living at or below the poverty line in New York City.

To sponsor one of these youngins, donate here.

09/05/2013

Here’s a sweet video of chickens getting to be chickens for the first time. Thanks to all the rescue organizations who helped save these hens! Fuck eggs!

08/19/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use  »

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It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures issued a letter opposing Iowa Rep. Steve King’s dangerously anti-animal amendment to the farm bill, writing that it “would preempt vital state agricultural policies designed to protect the safety and well being of our farmland, waterways, forests and most importantly, our constituents.”

Speaking of the King amendment, my mom already called her rep. and two senators about the King amendment. Did you? If not, you’d have to be dumber than a four-year-old! (Read on; it makes sense…)

And speaking of four-year-olds, are chickens smarter than them? Scientists think so. Check out this thought-provoking op-ed in today’s New York Daily News.

HSUS is suing the Raleigh Transit Authority for rejecting its anti-gestation crate ads. Want to see the ad and coverage of this suit? Read on!

And finally, new market research shows that more than a third of Americans are now eating meat alternatives, and the vast majority of those people are meat-reducers, not vegetarians.

P.S. Video the week: Cat dressed as shark riding robotic vacuum. Need I say more?

P.P.S. Screening dates announced for Speciesism: The Movie!

08/05/2013

Last week, Animal Place rescued 3,000 hens from an egg-laying farm in California. Another victory for this amazing organization! Remember the massive rescue of the Turlock hens? Animal Place does really wonderful work.

Here’s how they explain this most recent operation:

The farm, which will remain confidential, reached out to us after receiving a packet of information on our Rescue Ranch program…which asks egg farmers to relinquish custody of hens instead of sending them to slaughter. To date, this is the largest farm that has agreed to release birds to our sanctuary.

If you want to help Animal Place out, they could certainly use it. Donate here!

07/10/2013

“ It’s the demand that’s driving it," says Paul Sauder, who owns Sauder’s Eggs. "I mean, I wouldn’t take the risk of paying double for these eggs, versus commodity eggs, if I didn’t have the demand pushing on the other side. „

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.

06/21/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

imageIt’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

It was a roller coaster of a week, with the biggest news being that the House farm bill—which contained no animal welfare improvements but did contain Iowa Rep. Steve King’s anti-animal provision—was killed yesterday!

(Regrettably, the meat industry lobby prevented a House vote on federal legislation to help egg-laying hens. The fight continues.)

In related news, want to read a great Mother Jones story? The title says it all: “You Won’t Believe What Pork Producers Do to Pregnant Pigs.”

The New York Times editorial board this week slammed the animal ag sector, calling it an “industry that thrives on ignorance.”

And finally, check out this article: “Study suggests chickens are smarter than toddlers.”

P.S. Video of the week: Stephen Colbert’s take last night on the farm bill dispute between Rep. Steve King and HSUS. It’s truly amazing.

P.P.S. 140 years ago this week, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting. Oh, how societal norms change …

02/22/2013

Vigil for the Turlock Hens is this Saturday!  »

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Here are the details; see you there!

** Vigil for the Turlock Hens: Saturday, February 23, 7:30 pm, Turlock, Calif.**

PLEASE SHARE: A group of first responders and compassionate citizens will be gathering the evening of Saturday, February 23 along the roadside outside of A&L Poultry in Turlock to honor the lives of the 50,000 hens who were abandoned at this egg factory farm in 2012.

February 23rd is unforgettable. This day marks the beginning of the monumental rescue in 2012.

Let’s remember the lives of each and every bird on this one-year anniversary. To join in, please contact turlockhenvigil@gmail.com. Candles will be provided to all vigil attendees.

11/27/2012

OMG: Ellen Degeneres Admits She’s An Egg Eater  »

As I wrote on my personal blog today five minutes after I found out, Ellen Degeneres casually revealed during a recent segment on The Ellen Show that she’s no longer vegan. In an interview with Grey’s Anatomy actress-come-backyard chicken wrangler Ellen Pompeo, Ellen Degeneres said:

We have neighbors who have chickens, and we get our eggs from those chickens because they’re happy.

Eating eggs from chickens that are “happy” is common among the elite Eco-conscious set in Hollywood and beyond. The belief goes a little something like this: Happy chickens = happy eggs = we can all eat eggs and no longer be vegan but still be ethical eaters, because, hey, the chickens are happy, right?!

Because many of us vegans follow “all the news that’s fit to print” and therefore know that all the eggs are shit to eat, we can all now recall a recent New York Times article that showed backyard chicken farming is downright dangerous for humans, especially in certain cities. You can also read our Vegansaurus post about the study showing eating backyard eggs is like swallowing little lead-filled bombs.

I’m admittedly hella disappointed my queer vegan mentor has gone eggy, but Ellen’s admission could be a great springboard for the vegan movement to have a real debate about this weird backyard egg fad. As a vegan movement, we need to address this issue. I suggest doing tons of studies and throwing mad science at the debate by exposing more of the health and environmental dangers of eating backyard eggs, not to mention the big potential for mistreatment of chickens when they stop producing eggs. While I commend actresses and performers for wishing to care for chickens and treat them humanely, I wonder what will happen to these chickens when they stop laying eggs, or if they find lead in the eggs? I have a hard time thinking that every Hollywood eco-conscious person will suddenly want pet chickens once they stop producing; Will they then justify turning them into “happy” humane chicken meat? It’s a slippery slope.

What are your thoughts?

This is Sarah E. Brown’s latest post! Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Queer Vegan Food.

10/12/2012

Your Precious Backyard Chicken Eggs Are Lead Bombs  »


Listen up, Alanis: Here’s something actually ironic. Those fancy New Yorkers who keep chickens in their yards because the eggs are so much healthier might be poisoning their unsuspecting children with that scourge-of-paint-and-pipes, lead. BUMM-er.

The New York Times has the full scoop, but I’ll save you the carpal-tunnel of having to click and save myself the effort of having to write by copying and pasting the nut graf right here:

Preliminary results from a New York State Health Department study show that more than half the eggs tested from chickens kept in community gardens in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens had detectable levels of lead, unlike store-bought counterparts.

Now, I don’t wish lead poisoning on anyone, and I am also of the opinion that eating eggs from backyard chickens is about a zillion times more humane and less environmentally devastating than eating factory-farmed eggs. Nevertheless, go ahead and add this to your quiver of arguments as to why it might be just the bestest most best idea to the leave the eggs alone. Drop it! Drop the egg! Now walk away and no one will get poisoned!

[Link via the incomparable Ken Layne. Photo by wooleywonderworks via Flickr]

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