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? A 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 MakeItPossible.com. 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.
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.
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!
Craptastrophe: Pig manure foam is making factory farms explode. »
Large midwestern hog farms have for the last few years been battling a mysterious foam that is forming on top of their barns. In the worst case scenarios, the foam blocks ventilation ducts and the barns explode — yes, explode — killing the thousands of hogs inside.
This is so disgusting and sad. The most recent explosion was last Sept., killing 1,500 pigs and injuring a worker.
Here’s a news story about it:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
This story is as gross as the lighthearted Green Acres scenes are inappropriate. I’m sure you also like how the reporting talks about the monetary loss and makes no mention of the pigs that die in explosions or any workers that are injured (#priorities).
For more info on this story, our boyfriend Tom Philpott has some good coverage over at Mother Jones. He makes the point that these explosions are relatively rare. Except that six crap-foam explosions since 2009 kind of seems like a lot to me, even though there are thousands of facilities that haven’t exploded. But however rare these explosions have been, Philpott says that the foam itself “has become alarmingly common.” So we can probably expect some more explosions in the future.
What does Grist think the solution is?:
The pork industry has been funding research into the foam and how to stop it. But as I see it the answer is simple. Get the pigs out of the barns and onto pasture, and raise them at a less intensified scale without the need for huge manure-storage “facilities.”
While that’s preferable to exploding barns, I’d go a different direction: free the pigs! Maybe a hotdog isn’t worth all this trouble.
You know I love Martha Stewart! So check out her new PSA against factory farming. Go Martha! I think I’ve already said everything before that I can say about Martha Stewart so I guess I’m kind of tapped out. Um, well, I love her! If she becomes vegan I will die a million times and go to heaven over and over.
iPad App Lets Humans Play With Real Pigs »
Designers in the Netherlands have created an iPad app called Pig Chase that lets humans and pigs play a game together in a weird form of interspecies bliss. It’s kind of like how the Oregon Humane Society lets you play with real cats online via their robotic cat playroom (um, sorry readers, how did we fail to cover that? [or editors, find me the link! i tried!]). Except the pigs are still gonna get slaughtered and eaten later.
TreeHugger has a good story that explains how the game came about (partly due to the E.U.’s laws that pigs have to be entertained) and how it works (turns out pigs are really into chasing light).
I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this news! That must mean it’s deep, right? I mean, on the one hand, users get to play with cute pigs, the pigs get to have fun, and everyone bonds. I definitely think a game like this could help a lot more people realize how smart and awesome pigs are and push them away from eating the little buggers.
But on the other hand, what about the people who play this game and then go eat some bacon? That requires such a deep level of denial it can’t be good for our species. Plus is this just justifying keeping pigs in captivity? I mean, flashes-of-light games are better than the horrible factory farm conditions U.S. pigs live in, but would a happy, outdoor farm life be best? What do you think, readers?
The app isn’t available yet, but they are planning to ”actually realize this system” next, whatever the heck that means.