Why are tens of thousands of pigs dying in China? »
NPR investigates, but fails to find out why 18,000 pigs died during January and February in the Zhejiang village of Zhulin, or why nearly 3,000 dead pigs were found in the Huangpu River last week. The Huangpu supplies Shanghai with drinking water.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post quoted Zhejiang villagers saying farmers dumped pigs in the river because there were too many for government disposal areas. In addition, villagers said some farmers may have dumped pigs because of a crackdown on selling diseased pigs for human consumption.
Pork is the most popular meat in China. Half the world’s pigs live there, as The Salt has previously reported. China’s state media reported this week that 46 people have been jailed in Zhejiang for selling diseased pigs. Last year, police in the province confiscated about 11 tons of meat from sick pigs, according to the state-run China Daily.
The only things we know for sure is that those pigs lived terrible lives, and that they didn’t deserve whatever awful death came to them. Better check the sources of all your pork products, omnivores.
[Photo by Wolfgang Staudt via Flickr]
It’s Paul Shapiro’s weekly Animal News You Can Use! »
Want to read a great AP story about the proponents of anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bills getting part of their bodies (I’ll let you be the judge) handed to them at a legislative hearing in Nebraska yesterday? Also, the ag-friendly Bakersfield Californian editorial board slammed the supporters of a similar California bill this week, saying how they’re “amazed by the audacity of the cattle industry.”
Good week in statehouses for farm animals, with a New Jersey ag committee passing a bill to ban gestation crates and a Colorado committee doing the same on a bill to ban dairy cow tail-docking. We’ll continue working hard to further advance these bills.
There’s a fascinating story out today about a meat industry front man who admits he created a fake Facebook profile posing as an animal activist in order to criticize HSUS and encourage other animal activists to do the same.
After extensive dialogue with HSUS, Bob Evans is the latest food giant to announce it wants to phase out gestation crates. And the National Pork Board did a survey with promising results about the changing attitudes of pork producers to the gestation crate issue.
Think you’re the only one who finds promise in plant-based products? These billionaires are with you.
Finally, students! If you want “Skinny Bitch” Rory Freedman, VegNews editorial director Elizabeth Castoria, and HSUS’s Kristie Middleton to read your essay, enter HSUS’s Meatless Monday essay contest now!
Video of the week: Justin Timberlake on SNL singing about vegan eating. Words can’t describe how great it is.
Photo of the week: My cats enjoying their catio!
If you are in New York, you know it’s painfully cold. When it’s this cold, I just start to think about all the people without homes and how effing cold they must be. It’s terrible. What I forgot about was all the animals like these pigs being transported in these conditions. And this is in Toronto so I can’t even imagine how cold it is there. I could hardly stand walking to the corner store today and these pigs are just out there exposed in their bare skin for who knows how long. Awful.
From Toronto Pig Save, check them out.
Remember beautiful Eric? A year later, Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur shares this new photo of beautiful Eric snuggling with his friend Sebastian. BEST PIG FRIENDS. Is there anything better? Happy New Year, Eric and Sebastian! Happy New Year, Farm Sanctuary! Happy New Year, vegans!
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro's weekly dose of all things animals! Yes!
Pork Magazine editorialized this week about what a “tough year” HSUS created in the US with its “laser focus on pork production.” Pork’s editor concludes: “Now, HSUS won’t go away; in fact it has gained strength. It has the formula down and will replicate its strategies within the pork sector as well as across the agriculture sector.”
Related: Metz Culinary Management is the latest major pork buyer to demand that its pork suppliers end their use of gestation crates…
On the other side of the world, Forbes has a sobering yet hopeful look at the challenges the animal movement faces in China and how Humane Society International is working to move the ball forward there. This interview is really worth the read.
Finally, check out this interesting new article on how the rise in demand for vegetarian food is largely coming from meat-eaters who are reducing the number of animals they’re eating.
Six years ago this week, Arizona voters made their state the first in the US to ban veal crates, and second to ban gestation crates. And four years ago this week, Californians banned both of those practices, as well as cramped cages for laying hens. Congratulations and happy anniversary to the thousands of awesome animal advocates who labored so tirelessly on those campaigns!
Video of the week: Ever feel like someone else is freeloading off your hard work? This cat may feel the same!
Pig factory farms are really bad for the mostly poor, non-white people who live near them »
Some really depressing news from EHP about how pig factory farms are and how they impacting the lives of the people who live near them. SPOILER ALERT: it’s not giving them magic powers or helping them live really long happy lives!
Wired breaks it down:
… in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which finds an association between air pollution and odor in the near vicinity of swine farms, and hikes in blood pressure in local residents. When you put the pieces together — most hog confinement operations are in poor, non-white areas; cardiovascular disease is endemic in African Americans; North Carolina lies within the worst US area for cardiovascular disease, known as the “Stroke Belt” — you can see that anything that makes blood pressure chronically worse is bad news for public health.
That study, though, is just the latest in a long string of publications that Wing and team, and the community they have been studying, have brought forward over the past decade. During the meeting, Wing gave a comprehensive overview of the major problems with confinement agriculture, setting it within a context of environmental injustice and worsening public health.
Ugh, this shit is so bad for everyone, especially poor, non-white people, the folks who are shit on by society the most are now being literally shit on.
I get it, bacon tastes great, I’m not denying that, but the fact is, there are lots of fatty, salty, smoky foods that taste just as good (or almost as good, if you’re truly a crazy person for bacon) and the price that we pay for this obsession is ruining lives. Just fucking give it up, please, it’s better for your health, and the health of everyone else.
It’s Farm Sanctuary rescued pigs eating pumpkins, how cute are they!? Eat those pumpkins, you little maniacs!
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
Paul Shapiro is back with all the animal news you need. Let’s go:
Ever wonder what the meat industry’s tired of? Well, Pork Magazine’s editor wrote this week, “I am getting tired of the constant barrage of announcements driven by the Humane Society of the United States against the U.S. pork sector, and I know you are too.”
One thing you may not be tired of is good news like this: industry publication Feedstuffs has a story this week about a formerly pro-gestation crate animal scientist who now concludes that a transition away from the crates will indeed work, and that producers seem to be getting dragged “kicking and screaming into another inevitable change.”
Other good news: HSUS is proud to be named this year as VegNews magazine’s “Nonprofit of the Year!”
A new undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals documented egregious cruelty at a large dairy producer.
Video of the week: Rescued ducks hit water for the first time! [Ed.: UGH THIS IS TOO AWESOME]
Americans eating feces-filled fish! Yum yum! »
Love to eat dead water animals? Well, enjoy some pig and geese shit with your tasty tilapia carcass! YUM YUM.
Yep, Americans are consuming insane amounts of dead fish that were raised on feces in China (where, according to Bloomberg, 27 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from). Check it out:
At Chen Qiang’s tilapia farm in Yangjiang city in China’s Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, Chen feeds fish partly with feces from hundreds of pigs and geese. That practice is dangerous for American consumers, says Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety. ‘The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella,’ says Doyle, who has studied foodborne diseases in China.
On a sweltering, overcast day in August, the smell of excrement is overpowering. After seeing dead fish on the surface, Chen, 45, wades barefoot into his murky pond to open a pipe that adds fresh water from a nearby canal. Exporters buy his fish to sell to U.S. companies.
So, not only are your dead fish being fed shit, they’re actually being raised in it, too. Well, the ones who even survive the ordeal and make it into your shitty dinner. Pro tip for home cooks: just douse with extra fresh lemon juice to cover up that shit stank! Oh, and maybe get a tetanus shot? And also, a barf bag?
And it’s not just fish! Shrimp, one of the absolute worst things you can eat if you give a shit about the environment or AMAZING SEA TURTLES (Indonesian shrimp trawlers kill 26 pounds of sea creatures for every 1 pound of shrimp they collect! ONE POUND. Please read Eating Animals for more fun facts like this!) is feeling the funk, too. It all starts at Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Trading & Processing Export Enterprise in Vietnam (8 percent of the shrimp Americans eat comes from Vietnam), where dead shrimps are stored in water that’s deemed “not safe for drinking” and “workers stand on a dirty floor sorting shrimp one hot September day. There’s trash on the floor, and flies crawl over baskets of processed shrimp stacked in an unchilled room in Ca Mau.”
Seriously, someone get me to Long John Silver’s for a basket of deep-fried salmonella STAT! USA! USA!
[H/t to genius news juggernaut Eve Batey for the awesome/awful link!]
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Animal News You Can Use from Paul Shapiro! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals! Yay, Everyone! AND HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND TO ALL!! (Except for the terrible, terrible meat industry, who can go to hell.)
Reuters had a good national story yesterday about HSUS’s new stock purchases of financial firms that invest heavily in the pork industry (as a means of making further progress on the gestation crate issue).
Speaking of gestation crate progress, since last week’s email, Subway, Campbell’s Soup and Harris Teeter all announced that they plan to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains. (And Sodexo made a similar claim on laying hens.)
And speaking of progress, BBC had an interesting story about the increase in the number of folks reducing their meat consumption.
And finally, speaking of meat consumption, the head of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame (yes, it exists) had a surprising column placing the blame for the cruelty seen in Compassion Over Killing’s latest investigative videosquarely on the dairy industry. And while on the topic of investigative videos, this week we saw guilty pleas in Mercy For Animals’ cruelty case regarding abuse of Butterball turkeys.
Video of the week: When the lion lays down with the lamb. (Or the cat with the rat…)