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Posts Tagged ‘farm sanctuary’

Barnivore – This website can help you determine which beers/wines/alcohols are vegan and which aren’t.

The Recycled Retriever – Here you can find eco-friendly gear for your fur-kids.

The Discerning Brute – “food, fashion & etiquette for the ethically handsome man”; a website that shows men they can still be fashionable and vegan!

The Girlie Girl Army – “your guide to glamazon living”; a website featuring eco-friendly news, food & fashion for women.

A Scent of Scandal – Buy 100% soy wax candles.  There are a few scents for which part of proceeds even benefit Farm Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Tails – This is a blog written by some of the people who care for animals at Farm Sanctuary. They talk about animal cruelty issues, but also profile rescued animals – my favorite part.  There are some very touching stories, and it’s so nice to read about animals being well cared for when it seems like all you ever hear are horror stories.

I hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do!

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All too often even the most egregious cases of animal abuse go without any substantial punishment. This seems even more true when the victim is a “food” animal.  However, I saw some good news today that gives me some hope that times may be changing (slowly, but changing nonetheless).

Around Thanksgiving last year, People for the Ethical Treatement of Animals (PETA) released undercover video footage of Aviagen Turkeys Inc. slaughterhouse employees abusing live turkeys.   I am happy to report that last week three of those workers were indicted on  19 counts of animal abuse, 11 of them felony charges that could carry significant jail time.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Each felony charge is punishable by up to five years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. The misdemeanor charges carry possible sentences of six months and up to $2,000 in fines.”  These punishments are unusually harsh in a farm animal abuse case, but given the severity of the abuse, I think they are totally appropriate.  Until people like this are held accountable for their actions and severe punishments are the norm, the abuse will continue.  Companies engaged in any kind of animal production or handling need to make it painfully clear that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated and our legal system  needs to punish people accordingly when such cases do arise.  I am glad that in this case it seems that the courts are taking this abuse seriously.

I met a few turkeys when I visited Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen.  Having heard my whole life how stupid turkeys are, I was surprised to see that they’re actually quite bright animals, and that they, like pigs, cows, dogs, and other animals, have rich emotional lives.  They are sweet, kind animals, and I am so happy I got to meet some of them. It reinforced even more why I choose not to eat them.  Look at how beautiful they are!

Turkey being petp5094349p5094317

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When I went down to Florida to visit my sister, we made a trip to Ocala to visit the Kindred Spirits Sanctuary. Here are some of my pictures!

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“With the passage of Prop 2, California becomes the 5th state to outlaw gestation crates (joining Florida, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado) and the third to outlaw veal crates (joining Arizona and Colorado).  Perhaps most significantly, it becomes the first state to ban battery cages for laying hens, who are killed in far greater numbers than either pigs or calves.”

That’s what awaited me in my email inbox this morning, courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.  How exciting is that!?  No longer will chickens in California have to live like this:

And with California’s lead, the rest of the nation’s egg laying hens might also have a chance to someday live free of cages, able to spread their wings and turn around – such modest requests, really.

I am very excited about this, and want to thank all the animal advocates who worked so hard to make this happen. I know the folks at HSUS and Farm Sanctuary have been working tirelessly to make this a reality, and how wonderful that they have another success under their belt!

To read more about Prop 2, check out these links:

Farm Sanctuary Action Alert: Success on Prop 2!

HSUS: Californians Make History

HSUS President Wayne Pacelle’s Blog: The People Have Spoken

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It feels like every time I turn around there’s a new story about animal cruelty surfacing, and each one seems more and more gruesome than the last.  The latest undercover investigation done by PETA on a pig farm in Iowa (a Hormel supplier) is no different.  Descriptions of the cruelty inflicted on the poor pigs at that farm made my stomach turn – I could not force myself to watch the video. I just couldn’t.  The picture at left of a sow that was sprayed in the face with blue paint for 30 seconds because she wouldn’t move was enough for me.  The look on her face just breaks my heart.  If I could go get her right this second, I would….

I honestly don’t know what to say about this.  I cannot fathom what would make a human do the kinds of things that were done to these pigs–

  • A supervisor shoved a cane into a sow’s vagina, struck her on the back about 17 times, and then struck another sow.
  • Multiple pigs were beaten with metal gate rods, and lacerations were found on more than 30 sows – which is probably evidence of more abuse.
  • A worker hit a young pig in the face four times with the edge of a herding board, and investigators witnessed dozens of similar incidents involving this worker and 11 other workers.
  • Two men – including a supervisor – were witnessed jabbing clothespins into pigs’ eyes and faces. A supervisor also poked two animals in the eyes with his fingers.
  • A supervisor kicked a young pig in the face, abdomen, and genitals to make her move and told PETA’s investigator, “You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry.”
  • A worker who weighed an estimated 315 lbs. punched a sow on the back three times and said that he sat on a sow’s head.

HOW does one DO these things?  I just don’t get it.

I had the pleasure of meeting a number of pigs at Farm Sanctuary when I visited this past May, and I can tell you that they are some of the sweetest , friendliest animals I have ever met.  I can’t imagine ever hurting them, and yet this is what happens on farms all across the country every single day.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that this level of violence isn’t everywhere, but the fact that it’s anywhere is enough to make me angry.

So, what can we do?  Go to PETA’s website and sign the petition demanding that Hormel follow PETA’s eight-point policy when governing future pig-farming operations.  And, if you’re not already vegan,  think about going vegan – it’s a simple way that you can help animals every single day and stop supporting the industries that inflict such tremendous pain on innocent animals!

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MeMe

A fellow blogger over at Experiments in Living tagged me for a MeMe.  Here it is!

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:

Ten years ago at this time I was starting my first year of college. Yikes!

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (in no particular order):

  • Take my dog to the dog park
  • Empty my Google reader
  • Return emails
  • Work out
  • Go to Target

3. Snacks I enjoy:

  • Peanut butter toast
  • Fruit – especially bananas, grapes, berries, peaches, kiwis…ok, all of them
  • Trail mix
  • Cashews
  • Water (is water a snack? Maybe not…)

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Start my own HUGE farm sanctuary and rescue a BUNCH of animals
  • Travel to: Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, California, Italy, Egypt, and basically every where else!
  • Give my family a share so that they would be taken care of and could do things they wanted
  • Write a book
  • Hire a personal trainer and a personal chef
  • Get a massage every day
  • Start up a couple of foundations – one helping animals and one helping to stop the illegal sex trafficking of children

5. Places I have lived:

  • A farm in North Dakota (Years 1-18)
  • St. Paul, MN (4 years/college)
  • Reykjavik, Iceland (5 months)
  • Minneapolis, MN (6 years since college – Mpls & suburbs)

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I recently celebrated my 28th birthday, and one of the gifts I received was very unexpected: a pig!

Okay, so I didn’t actually PHYSICALLY get a pig (I wish!), but my wonderful friend Becky sponsored a pig at Farm Sanctuary in our names. It was such a wonderful gift (THANK YOU, BECKY!). Anyway, this week I received my “adoption” packet about Hazel, a floppy-eared pig. She is hilarious looking (no offense, Hazel), but in the most adorable way. I loved reading about Hazel and her companion Harry’s journey to Farm Sanctuary. An excerpt:

Like their offspring, Hazel and Harry were destined to be killed for pork, but every time Cem tried to load the willful pigs onto a slaughterhouse-bound truck, they would run away and hide, always eluding capture….Formerly of the mind that farm animals raised and treated as humanely as possible returned the favor to the farmer in their deaths, the [farmers] became increasingly troubled and slowly started to phase out their supplemental operation….Harry and Hazel were not only [their] friends, but creatures with desires all their own, namely the chance to hold onto their dignity and their lives.

The couple committed to a vegetarian lifestyle and vowed to find these two pigs a place where they could live out the rest of their lives in peace. Because of Hazel and Harry’s big personalities and determination to live, these former farmers completely changed their lives – how inspiring is that?!

So, thanks to Becky for giving me such a wonderful gift and for helping Farm Sanctuary to do its amazing work; and thank you to Hazel for making such an huge difference in the lives of the people you’ve touched. I hope I get to meet you someday. Oh, and if you get a chance, go say hello to my buddy Goodwin!

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