Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
Chipotle announced fantastic news this week, stating that its popular Sofritas option will be going nationwide. CEO Steve Ells commented, “Many of our customers, we’ve realized, are vegetarian or vegan, or generally meat-reducers or concerned about their diet and questioning about how the animals are raised and how much meat they should be eating.”
The ag-gag battles continued this week, with the Idaho legislature sending a dairy industry-backed bill to the governor that, if signed, would make it a crime to take a video of animal abuse on a factory farm. Some Idaho newspapers are editorializing against the bill and even yogurt brand Chobani is urging a veto. The governor’s office indicates that it’s received well over 11,000 phone calls in opposition, and very few in support. You can take action here.
In Arizona, the PR battle on ag-gag continued, with op-eds and more.
Finally, wondering why vegetarians live longer? TIME offers seven reasons this week.
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro
P.S. Video of the week: Goats just wanna have fun…
P.P.S. Photo of the week: New HSUS ads in action!
Adorable baby goats in coats, eating roses! »
COME ON! You’ve got to be kidding me. This is like Anne Geddes-multiplied-by-baby-unicorns-cute. These little goats in coats come to us from Edgar’s Mission in Australia. Are you totally in love?
OMG how much do I need a purse goat?! I’ll feed him roses all the live long day.
These five little orphans made their way to Edgar’s Mission and now they are struggling to see humans as kind and caring, instead of mommy-stealers.
You can sponsor these five guys if you are so inclined, just head over to their page!
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… :- )
Backyard farming proves to be an epic fail for animals. »
In news that is not surprising to anyone, people are abandoning the animals in their organic, sustainable, backyard farms. It was so exciting for people in the the beginning, right? When, last year, if you so much as had a backyard, you could have fresh milk and eggs alongside that homegrown
chronic arugula! I can’t help but be reminded of when Faye told Don Draper, in the season four finale of Mad Men, “I hope she knows you only like the beginning of things.” I fancied Faye; I am eager (a delusion, I know) to see her in Season five. If you have cable, and saw the season premiere on Sunday, don’t tell me anything! I’m waiting til someone downloads it for me it comes to DVD!
Gosh you guys! Enough about pop culture! This is about the animals!
Though this Mother Nature Network post mostly talks about the plight of animals in New York, I can’t help but feel it is probably true of most who have taken on this whole “WOOO! Livestock in my backyard!” thing. It’s so infuriating. I’m not someone who gardens, or raises livestock (I just like watching TV so much) so you have to bear with me here. It sounds like people go into backyard farms all, “Oh, I’ll get some hens, and they’ll lay eggs, and I’ll have delicious fresh eggs all the time!” But instead they get male chicks! Which grow into roosters! Roosters wake people up before their alarm clocks! So roosters end up in animal sanctuaries, along with goats and all the other farm animals that humans cannot take care of in a kind or responsible manner. To quote the MNW post,
"We get calls all the time from people who don’t want their animals or can’t afford them. We get emails about roosters found in the city or goats being neglected or pigs that are going to be killed if we don’t take them," says Elana Kirshenbaum, programs coordinator at Woodstock.
As the local food movement takes hold and urban homesteading gains popularity, more people are giving backyard farming a try. The prospect of fresh eggs and milk inspires them to bring home adorable chicks and goats — but when chicks grow into roosters or goats begin eating the landscaping, these animals are often given to animal sanctuaries or simply abandoned.
"People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals. Here, we take our chickens to the vet, and when they’re sick, we give them antibiotics. People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal," says Kirshenbaum.
Arugula is one thing, livestock is another! Want a hobby? I hear knitting is popular! Baking too! Card games, Mad Men marathons…
Paul Shapiro presents: HSUS on CNN, Bittman on humans, and a goat with dance fever! »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!
Want more evidence of how important it is for animal advocates to be politically active? Check out the Des Moines Register’s article on the very large donations from agribusiness that Iowa’s ag-gag proponents received.
I was glad to be on CNN Headline News with the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell and my similarly awesome coworker Dr. Michael Greger to discuss factory farming and antibiotic use. As well, I had a good time doing an hour-long conversation about farm animal protection on Pennsylvania Cable Network (kind of like C-Span for PA) with the head of an industry group called Penn Ag.
Mark Bittman’s been tearing it up lately with his latest great NYT piece on the “Human Cost of Animal Suffering.” Don’t miss this one!
You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pshapiro.
Goddang this baby goat is cute! And his name is Scribbles? Please. Ridiculous. I need a baby goat! Man! No one ever gives me a baby goat.
You can read all about Scribbles on Farm Sanctuary’s site. Apparently some children were roughhousing with him! Dang kids. Poor Scribbles. Now he’s safe and sound! I love you, Scribbles.
Our raw expert, Sarah E. Brown, just sent me this cute pic of a baby goat she met at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market! OMG WTF SO CUTE. It’s not going to be eaten, don’t worry. The owner is a goat cheese farmer though so that blows. But still, what a cute baby!
He looks pretty lost in thought, right? He’s all, “why do I have to go to the stupid farmers’ market? I’m missing Saved by the Bell!”
Sarah has some thoughts to add:
This Sunday at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, I met this fantastic goat! My hero Vegan Ari wrote about some of the hypocrisies of the animal policies of the market (hardly any animals allowed inside unless they’re DEAD? Seriously?!) and told me that the goats aren’t killed or anything, though we both agree that it’s messed up that the goats have to brave the crowds. Poor little kids!
Love at Farm Sanctuary! I thought I was hearing things when she said those geese were 25 years old. I had no idea geese lived that long! And they get to spend all their days together. So sweet. I love the pigs best though—you know how I love pigs!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my animal friends, and you guys too!
This is the sweet rescued baby goat we read about yesterday. She saved her mom from slaughter and now they are both safe and sound at Farm Sanctuary! They gave her a green jacket! Dang, homegirl looks good in green. I love her expression here! She has a little joke in her head.
Heartwarming story time! This little baby goat saved her mama’s life! Now they are both living the sweet life at Farm Sanctuary in New York. Look at that cute lil’ pink nose! Who could hurt that baby? I hope they name her Jesus. Little Jesus, the baby goat. Actually, if this is what Jesus looked like, I’d be hella religious.
Now, let me tell you the story of this mama goat and baby goat so you can cry and then give Farm Sanctuary all your money. This mama goat was bought as a “spent” dairy goat and was sentenced to slaughter (because that’s what happens to animals used for dairy, after they’ve used them up, the dairy animals get killed just like any animal raised for meat). They had no idea she was preggers! Then, bam! Baby goat time! As Farm Sanctuary says, “after witnessing the birth and the tender devotion between the mother goat and her child” the owner decided to save them and find them a good home, at Farm Sanctuary!
Awww. But that is not the end of the story! When Farm Sanctuary got to the slaughterhouse to pick up the mom and kid, they found another goat had just given birth! Surprise! The slaughterhouse owner decided to let this pair go to live at Farm Sanctuary too. Unfortunately, that baby was premature and now the baby and mama are both sick. You can help! Make a donation today! Let the babies have a nice, warm holiday, at least these two. Look at you, so caring and compassionate, you’re basically one of the three wise men. Or whoever it was that let Mary have her bastard in their barn. You’re that person. Merry Christmas, baby!