Animal News You Can Use: No one’s a winner on a factory farm  »


Newspapers across the country celebrated last week’s massive litigation win for chickens, with the LA Times headlining that “Hens Win” and even Missouri’s Kansas City Star editorializing that the challenge to California’s hen protection law was “foolish.”

Though we can win battles against factory farms, no one’s a winner on the farms themselves—including workers. That’s why I’m proud to have jointly published this article with the United Farm Workers about the connection between farm animal abuse and farm worker abuse.

And speaking of having it bad, you may have seen the national headlines about the tragedy in California where some teens allegedly broke into a factory farm and clubbed hundreds of chickens. Of course, such violence is unconscionable, but it happens every day. Find out what I mean in my Huffington Post article.

With so much outcry over farm animal abuse, it’s no wonder plant-based foods are catching on so much—and if this start-up has anything to do about it, plant-based meats are about to get even better. The Wall Street Journal has the story.

P.S. Video of the week: Think cats are the only animals who like laser pointers? (Seriously, this is amazing.)


Terrible person bashes 920 chickens to death, meat-eaters condemn the massacre before they head to KFC  »

imageLittle Miss Sunshine is more introspective than your average meat-eater.

A few sites reported this awful story yesterday: an unknown sick and/or terrible person broke into a poultry facility and killed 920 chickens with a golf club. This is horrible and disturbing, but the public reaction is a blatant example of the bizarre cognitive dissonance we see with meat-eaters. This is a poultry factory. What the fuck do they think happens at a poultry factory? There are definitely more cruel ways than others to kill chickens, but I can guarantee you the way chickens are killed at a poultry plant is not going to be in a Disney movie. And it’s reported this plant, Foster Farms, houses* 21,000 chickens. What kind of quality of life do people think 21,000 chickens in a factory have?

Foster Farms is miraculously certified humane. Apparently you can be totes humane with 21,000 chickens living in warehouses. From their site:

Foster Farms poultry is neither “caged” nor “free-range.” Our chickens and turkeys are grown in large poultry barns designed to protect the birds from environmental extremes…

Yes, totally protected from environmental extremes…LIKE THE SUN. Here’s a screen grab from their “how we earned it” video about being certified humane:


Again, there are worse ways to live (for example, the way most hens used for egg production live), but are you kidding me? This is awful enough for me. 

And what’s really telling, the company, which called the killings an “unconscionable act of animal cruelty,” is offering a $5000 reward** for info leading to the arrest of the perpetrator/perpetrators. Guess why they chose that number? Because the estimated loss to the business from the chicken attack is $5000. I know putting a price on the value of a being is sad, but if we have to, that’s so fucking low. 920 chickens are only “worth” $5000? And I’m sure that figure includes property damage, so it’s not even $5000. But also, tell me how this is about animal cruelty? And not profit loss? It’s all so despicable. 

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a terrible thing to have happened. But I also think the poultry industry is a terrible thing to have happened. Yet, meat-eaters condemn this cruelty, while chomping down on a chicken club. It’s just absurd. These people are so confused. Like this SF Gate piece, they call it a “bloodbath” and refer to the assailants as “killers.” Wait, are you trying to say meat is murder?! You crazy animal rights wackos! 

Also, I just learned they’ve made an arrest. I heard the cops are celebrating over chicken parm. 

*The Gawker post says “holds” instead of houses—a nice example of the subtle distancing through language we get when discussing animals used for food. 

**The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5000 reward, but many news sites said Foster Farms was doing the same. I’m a bit confused, but Foster Farms is offering some kind of reward and I think it’s $5000. Another point of confusion: I definitely think whoever did this should be prosecuted and I think ALDF is great but why are they offering a reward amount that is the same as the monetary loss to the business? Seems to affirm the chickens are just a commodity. 


Help spread veganism on BART in under 10 seconds!  »


Dude, this is very exciting. It’s an opportunity for vegan outreach group Factory Farming Awareness Coalition to get $40,000 in BART ads for FREE!

Here are the details:

The BART Blue Sky Contest, which awards over $40,000 worth of ads to the top three nonprofits that get the most votes on Facebook, is happening right now. The Factory Farming Awareness Coalition is going for a three-peat this year!

If you’ve dreamed of seeing pro-animal messaging on BART, this is your chance! This contest is an unprecedented opportunity to expose over 300,000 people per day to the impact of factory farming on animals and the environment.

​Take 1 minute​ to vote, and please share with all your friends on Facebook!
Actually, it takes less than one minute to vote — I’d say it takes 10 seconds. It’s SO FAST and it can spread veganism to SO MANY. This is the third time around will FFAC have won free BART ads, thanks to you, so let’s get voting and then pat ourselves on the back by eating a cookie and watching some TV. Slacktivism is the best!


Breaking: Humane Society finds cannibalism, cruelty, and disease at Kentucky pig factory  »

HSUS released a new undercover video today from the Iron Maiden pig factory in Kentucky. Besides awful gestation crates, they discovered that the factory takes piglets who die from “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus” and feed them to mother pigs. It’s done in an effort to immunize the pigs. Freaking disgusting. Vegansaurus friend Paul Shapiro said of the factory, “The entire atmosphere at this facility is awful for animals, many of whom are perpetually immobilized and suffering from body sores, diarrhea attacks and prolapsed uteruses.” And it’s all for bacon? Our society is unbelievable. 

I’m wondering, am I the only one who immediately feels claustrophobic when I see the pigs in the gestation crates? NYT article describes gestation crates pretty chillingly:

They live out their adult lives without exercise or meaningful social interaction; it’s like a life sentence of solitary confinement in a coffin, punctuated by artificial insemination and birth.

Awful. As the article title asks, “Is That Sausage Worth This?” 

You can read more about the exposé on the Humane Society’s site, including a description of the video if you don’t want to watch. They also have a link to a petition but other than that, I’m not sure what we can do besides raise awareness and be vegan. If anyone knows about other ways to help, please share in the comments.


Here’s a commercial from Animals Australia about factory farming. The video is 11+ minutes but the commercial is at the beginning in the very first two minutes (it’s for movie theaters, there’s a shorter version for TV). It’s kind of the craziest thing I’ve ever seen…but I’ll admit, it totally made me tear up. Nothing too graphic, just, like, bittersweetness. Though the rest of the video may be more upsetting.

They are trying to get this commercial to run on TV all over (the world?) tonight! You can help by donating on Now, tell the truth, did you cry?


Factory Farming Awareness Coalition says, pink slime isn’t the only deadly sludge  »

Our pal Katie Cantrell of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (formerly known as the Coalition to Fight Factory Farming) would like to remind you that pink slime isn’t the only nasty slime in our lives:

[N]ow there’s a new alarming factory farmed byproduct: green slime.  Blue-green algae is infesting lakes and rivers, making people and companion animals ill and costing billions of dollars in lost revenue, environmental, and public health costs.

There are tons of images of these cyanobacteria covering lakes around the world. The above photo is from Wisconsin; the below is from Finland.

Sometimes it occurs naturally, but the recent uptick is due to runoff from factory farms, hooray! And it’s totally toxic and can fuck shit up for you and any other animals who come in contact with it!

Read more at FFAC blog, and curse the heavens that your being vegan doesn’t stop you from being affected by the disgusting practices of factory farming.

[Photos by Peter Patau and Stefe via Flickr]


Warning: scary video. This is a recent video from Animal Equality reveals cruelty at a pig farm in Spain. For those who don’t want to watch it, basically it’s pigs being stabbed with swords. Towards the end it gets super graphic while a pig is disemboweled. Yeah, not for the faint of heart. 

Three of the workers in the footage have been arrested. I haven’t heard anything about supervisors getting in trouble but according to Animal Equality:

Animal Equality has found that these events occur frequently on the farm El Escobar owned by Francisco Vera Sanchez, and that the farm managers are aware of this. In fact it is they who request these actions, have been filmed engaging in them, and have established these methods as the norm for killing animals at the farm.

El Pozo, the company said to be the retailer for this pig farm, seems to be a very big brand in Spain. It is also readily available in the UK. I can’t tell if it’s imported in large amounts to the US. 

Are animal farms the same all over the world

Share this fun video with all the bacon lovers you know! If they want to enjoy their fried muscle and fat, they should at least be witness to where it comes from.


Update on the 50,000 chickens left to starve, many rescued need your help!  »

One of the rescued hens. You can see more pictures of the rescue on Flickr.

We got an update from Marji at Animal Place:

We actually took out 4,610 hens total - more than 3,000 are currently at our Rescue Ranch facility. The hens were released into Animal Place and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary custody. They are slowly recovering…we could really use help w/ this rescue. This is the largest and most expensive rescue we have ever undertaken.

Please donate if you can! So sad! They need our help!


Update on the 50,000 chickens left to starve in California  »

The news site wouldn’t let me embed their video…come join us in the 21st century, KTVU! This is a still though—they can’t stop my screengrabbing! Can’t stop won’t stop.

Here’s an update on the 50,000 chickens that were left for dead in Stanislaus County. Apparently, while most of the 50,000 chickens were euthanized because of their poor condition or they were already dead when rescuers got there, 500 chickens have been rescued. Still, 2000 chickens have to stay over night without food again. I’m not sure if that means they are being rescued tomorrow or just that they definitely aren’t being rescued tonight. 

A petition has been started on Care2 to let the shelters rescue the surviving chickens. It takes a minute to sign and certainly can’t hurt the situation! Happy petitioning. 


"Matrix" chicken farms are creepy art, not reality  »

Here’s a creepy idea: Given that modern chicken farming causes so much pain, why not just lobotomize the things and turn them into unconscious protein-growing machines, à la Matrix? Wired posted about it last week, a reader told us about it, and we kinda freaked out here in the back room. How is that better than going vegan?! That’s so f-ed up!

Then we chilled out. Because as the savviest (nerdiest) of nerds such as myself might notice, Wired's post is on the mag's culture blog, not on any of its science pages. Deep breaths, vegans. This ain't real; this is an architecture student's creation for a design show. ART. It's supposed to make you think, not actually happen. And people thinking about the logical extension of how their food is currently produced? I'd call that good news all around.

Read a whole big long interview with the artist if you’re so inclined. You’ll notice dude’s not a saint—he says he could never go vegan, which is a ridiculous thing to say—but I think he’s clever and provocative and good news in general. Red pills for all!

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