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Posts Tagged ‘PETA’

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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A while back PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offered $1 million to any company or person who could come up with a cost effective way to produce cloned meat on a large scale, the goal being that people could still satisfy their meat cravings, but that animals wouldn’t have to be slaughtered for that purpose.

Well, it looks like we’re getting closer and closer to being able to produce “meat with no feet”.  “The Washington D.C. research firm New Harvest is just one group developing the technology to actually clone meat cells without the need, expense, or health concerns of raising entire legions of beasts to slaughter.” If we could produce cloned meat in controlled environments, it could mean amazing things for our environment, human health, and for the animals that people currently eat.   In this country alone, we raise about 10 billion animals each year for food.  Those 10 billion animals have a profound effect on the environment during their lives, but that could all be avoided with cloned meat.  More importantly, those animals suffer greatly during their short lives, only to end up at a slaughter house where they will be killed for food.  They experience pain and fear just like you and I would, and they want to live just as much as we do. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could?  I mean, I’d prefer if humans just stopped eating animals out of their own morality, but second best would be if they ate meat that didn’t come from a tormented soul, but rather from a petri dish!

So, would I eat meat with no feet? Would other vegans and vegetarians?  If I knew that the meat was humane and safe, I wouldn’t have a problem with it ethically at all.  The thing is, I think I’ve lost my taste for meat now. I know I have, actually.  So I’m not sure I’d go back to eating it even if I knew no one had to die to produce it, but that’s mostly just out of personal preference now — I wouldn’t have a problem with anyone else eating it.

What do think? Is it too weird?  Would you support this research?  If you are vegan or vegetarian, would you want to eat this meat? If you’re an omnivore, would you make the switch?

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Adopt. Never Buy.

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What’s for dinner?  This, which can be seen in a recent PETA undercover video:

[The video shows] stomach-turning brutality. Workers are seen smashing birds into loading cages like basketballs, stomping heads and breaking necks, apparently for fun, even pretending to rape one.

On the tape, one worker describes losing his temper at a tom who pecked him, marking its head with a pen so he could find it again, fetching a broomstick, ramming it down the bird’s gullet and holding it up in the air while shouting “Let this be a lesson to y’all” at the rest of the flock.

His supervisor later excuses such behavior by saying, “Every once and a while, everybody gets agitated and has to kill a bird.” Noting that only two of his crew “really like to do it,” he says they are otherwise steady workers and adds: “As long as they don’t do it a lot, I don’t really say too much about it.”

Well, that sounds DELICIOUS, doesn’t it?!  Um, yeah, I think I’ll stick to my Field Roast Celebration Roast. What about you?

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A great PSA illustrating the importance of spaying & neutering your pets!

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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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We all mistakes. Since switching to a vegan diet, I’ve made a few food mistakes. The other day I got take-out food from an Indian restaurant. I asked the chef beforehand which dishes were vegan and loaded my take-out container with them. Then I added a couple pieces of naan because you can’t eat Indian food without naan, right? Turns out I’ll have to learn how because it isn’t vegan! Stupid naan!

I also learned that the onion rings I ate the other day weren’t vegan, nor were the lime tortilla chips. Seriously, why do tortilla chips need milk product in them? Really?? It doesn’t even make sense. Anyway, I can’t let myself feel too badly about these mistakes because obviously they were honest mistakes. It just goes to show you that you can’t assume that something is vegan just because you think it should be, or because it would be stupid to coat tortilla chips in dairy products. So, I’ll have to be a little more careful going forward….but my guess is these won’t be the last mistakes I make – hopefully they’ll just get to be fewer and farther between. And don’t even get me started on product purchases. It seems like I learn of of some new, obscure animal byproduct every day and have to look over all of the products in my house to check for it. It is incredibly frustrating, let me tell you.

For a really, really lengthy list of animal-derived products, check out the PETA website here. I’ve read this a few times, but there is almost no way I will be able to remember every single item on this list. Still, it’s a good resource if you want to research something. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if products were required to disclose whether or not they a) did animal testing or b) used animal-derived products? Hey, Government, let’s get busy on that, okay? Thanks.

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