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.
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’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 …
Vigil for the Turlock Hens is this Saturday! »
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 email@example.com. Candles will be provided to all vigil attendees.
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?
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!
The most interesting information from NPR’s Meat Week is that eating meat is terrible for the planet »
[Source: J.L. Capper, Journal of Animal Science, December, 2011.
Credit: Producers: Eliza Barclay, Jessica Stoller-Conrad; Designer: Kevin Uhrmacher/NPR]
I listened to NPR’s Meat Week stories because I always listen to Morning Edition in the wee hours while I’m getting ready for work every day (two-hour commute party!), and am a prisoner to whatever they put on the radio. At the end of June, it was all about dead flesh. Too cool.
Here’s a summary for you, so you know what we talk about when we talk about eating meat.
Day One: Some dope who follows the Paleo diet (and does CrossFit, shocking!) is an expert witness in “We Evolved to Eat Meat, but How Much Is Too Much?” Yes. Did they ask this guy on purpose, knowing he’d come off like an idiot? Maybe. NPR, you tricksters.
Day Two: In “The Making of Meat-Eating America,” we learn that Americans eat meat because we are wealthy and can afford it, plus it’s cheaper here. Also, technology! The railway shipped sides of beef from sea to shining sea! But we’re eating less now, mostly because it’s fucking unhealthy to eat so many animals.
Day Three: Nationally we’re choking down fewer dead cows (“red meat”) than ever before. “Why There’s Less Red Meat on Many American Plates” explores “changing trends in meat consumption,” namely, with a few exceptions—like those back-to-prehistoric times dolts—people are cutting back, because we care about our health, and our planet (n.b. the above infographic), and all those animal lives. Except chickens, it’s totally cool to eat chickens, right?
Day Four: You want independent farming? “Unlike Chicken and Pork, Beef Still Begins with Small Family Ranches” will see your independent farming and raise you a “the cattle industry is bottle-shaped,” in which the wide bottom is the many smaller ranches where cows are artificially inseminated to make new cows, the shoulders are the feedlots where not-yet-year-old cows are sent to put on grain-weight, and the neck is the four packing companies that kill-n-pack 82 percent of the edible cow sold in the U.S. Gosh, the death industry is revolting.
Day Five: Hey look, meaty billboards!
So there’s your Meat Week: Americans love eating animals, but maybe less than they used to (except chickens); the meat industry isn’t very big but it sure is mighty, and really horrible for the environment. Cool story, NPR.
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s that time: WE LOVE PAUL!!!
Big news: We banned gestation crates for pigs, veal crates for calves, and tail-docking for cattle in Rhode Island. The governor just signed the bills! This makes RI the ninth state to ban gestation crates, seventh on veal crates, and third on tail-docking.
Today’s Washington Post has an interesting story about a battery egg producer who started a fake new industry trade group to help the pork and beef lobbies try to kill hen protection legislation. (In fact, the beef industry’s trade group says its “number one priority” is to kill the federal bill.)
Today’s Chicago Tribune has a big story on the battle in California about force-feeding ducks for foie gras. (The ban takes effect July 1 and is being fought by agribusiness interests.)
Video of the week: Baby goats being cruelly exploited for their massage talents… :- )
Sunday: Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary Barn Bash! Help the Turlock hens! »
We know how much you love the Turlock hens. That’s how we know you’ll be at Harvest Home on Sunday, June 3, for a barn dedication celebration! The Turlock hens got an entirely new barn to live in following their rescue this spring, where they cohabitate with other rescued birds.
Harvest Home wants to thank you for your support in the construction of the barn, as well as show it off, so they’re throwing a little party from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. You’ll eat and drink (vegan-ly, of course), and meet the birds as well as the amazing Harvest Home workers. All ticket sales directly benefit Harvest Home, and this event marks the beginning of the organization’s fundraising campaign for the future “Sanctuary Avian Medical Barn.” Awesome, right? Right!
Buy tickets here, and go party with the birds in their new, wonderful home on Sunday!
[photo courtesy Harvest Home]
Yo, vegetarians! New footage from yet another idyllic egg factory! »
From Paul Shapiro:
I’m about to conduct a press conference in Washington, D.C., to release shocking new footage of HSUS’s latest undercover investigation at a battery cage egg factory.
The New York Times covers our investigation today in a powerful column by Nicholas Kristof, “Is an Egg for Breakfast Worth This?” [Ed.: Kristof, have all our babies.]
This investigation of course underscores the need to pass HR 3798, federal legislation that would reduce the suffering of hundreds of millions of animals in the egg industry.
GO ON, HSUS! GO ON, KRISTOF! FUCK OFF, EGG INDUSTRY!
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus! And then make all your egg-eating friends enjoy it, too!]
Update on the Turlock hens at Animal Place! This is them one month after being rescued from a factory farm where they were left to starve. Now that they aren’t at death’s door, they are happily enjoying life! These hens are ‘bout it for some dust baths. I don’t get dust baths; that’s how they keep clean? I don’t understand. I’d look it up but I gave up learning for lent.
Animal Place still needs donations! I mean, they took in like a gagillion hens. That’s a lot of beaks to feed!