Ag-gag Laws Create Moral Compass Confusion

Dairy cows spend most of their lives producing milk, which means they must be continually pregnant.

We are taught at an early age the difference between right and wrong, and as we grow our knowledge increases of what is right and what is wrong. Our nation was founded by a set of rules that denotes this fact. When did that line start to blur? Money has played a key role in causing confusion in our moral compass. No one seems to be safe from its tantalizing grasp. Ag-gag laws are on the rise and with it confusion starts to form between what is right and what is wrong. This law punishes people for reporting illegal or unethical acts that occur in factory farms.

Factory farms are prevalent in the United States due to the high consumption of animal products. Our society highly values ease and accessibility. Because of the nature of our society we have created a need for factory farming especially through fast food chains. Animals in these farms are not treated with respect. They are treated as if they have no feelings. Ag-gag laws were created not to protect animals or the public interest but to keep businesses safe from regulations. Animals are not able to voice how they are being treated in these places. We, as animal welfare advocates, cannot be their voice when we will be punished by a law that states we are in the wrong as whistleblowers. Where do we draw the line?

Posted in Our 2 Cents Monthly Blog. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Ag-gag Laws Create Moral Compass Confusion

California Bans Confinement Crates for Hens and Other Animals

California has banned the use of confinement crates for egg-laying hens and other farm animals.

California has banned the use of confinement crates for egg-laying hens and other farm animals.

Paws Up!
To California legislators for passing a statewide ban on confinement crates.

As of January 1, 2015, California has banned the use of confinement crates for egg-laying hens and other farm animals under Proposition 2. This law, initiated in 2008, has given egg producers six years to comply with the new standards, which requires hens to be able to “stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their wings.” Calves raised for veal and pregnant sows are also included in Proposition 2, which states “a person shall not tether or confine any covered animal on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs.” Furthermore, veal and sow gestation crates are now banned in the state of California. Companies such as Burger King, Kroger, Safeway, and McDonald’s have also joined in phasing out the use of these gestation crates.

Take Action: California residents, thank your legislators for passing a law that will end the use of inhumane cages and crates for farmed animals. Residents of other states, contact your legislators to express your support of laws that require humane care of farmed animals.

Posted in Paws Up/Paws Down. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on California Bans Confinement Crates for Hens and Other Animals

Farmed Animal Abuse Will Not Be Tolerated

pawsupPaws Up!
To the law enforcement community of Brown County, Wisconsin, for prosecuting farmed animal abusers.

Factory farmed animals are often times subjected to cruel environments, which can eventually lead to cruelty against others.

Factory farmed animals are subjected to cruel environments, which can eventually lead to cruelty against others.

According to a news story, “Two Wisconsin dairy farm workers pled no contest…to three counts of animal cruelty after an animal rights group showed with hidden cameras that the employees…had abused dairy cows.”

While factory farmed animals are destined to die, they should be treated with respect while still alive. They should be cared for based on industry standards and not become objects of human frustration and aggression. By exposing cruelty and those who perpetrate such cruelty, law enforcement brings to light abusive conditions in some factory farms.

Cruelty to farmed animals may escalate to cruelty to other animals—companion cats and dogs, for example—or even other humans. Therefore, it must be dealt with swiftly.

Take Action: Report animal cruelty wherever and whenever you see it. To avoid being part of farmed animal cruelty, consider a vegetarian/vegan diet.

Posted in Paws Up/Paws Down. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on Farmed Animal Abuse Will Not Be Tolerated

Ag-gag No Go

Paws Up!pawsupThe Ag-gag bill did not come up for vote in Kentucky, which would have banned undercover investigators from filming inside of factory farms.
To the Kentucky legislature for adjourning before considering a bill detrimental to the free flow of information on factory farms.

Several states have, over the past few years, tried to stifle undercover reports of unsavory conditions in factory farms by passing “ag-gag” laws. While Kentucky had such a bill before its legislature this session, the members adjourned before the bill could be brought to a vote. The bill would have banned filming or recording inside a factory farm.

We should all know how our food is being produced. Without undercover investigators, we would never know of the abuse, filth, and poor animal husbandry practices that occur in some factory farms throughout the country.

Animal cruelty must be exposed and dealt with and often that requires investigators have the freedom to gather information and document such inhumane acts.

Take Action: Residents of Kentucky, thank your legislators for not acting on the ag-gag bill and encourage them to not pursue it again. Residents of other states, if your legislators are considering enacting ag-gag legislation, let them know you do not want such laws passed in your state. You want to know what is happening on factory farms in your state.

The Ag-gag bill did not come up for vote in Kentucky, which would have banned undercover investigators from filming inside of factory farms.

When you think about it…killing at any speed is hazardous to one’s health.

The USDA may allow poultry companies to increase the amount of chickens processed per minute. View our list of vegan/vegetarian options that support a humane diet.

The USDA may allow poultry companies to increase the number of chickens processed per minute. View our list of vegan/vegetarian options that support a humane diet.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is putting the final touches on a proposal that would allow poultry companies to accelerate poultry processing lines. Translation: the companies can increase the speed at which they can kill animals from 140 to 175 chickens a minute and from 45 to 55 turkeys a minute.

The obvious hazard is to the birds—more will be slaughtered a minute, an hour, a day at these plants. At current “line speeds,” many birds are not dead before they enter tanks of scalding water. They are, in essence, boiled alive. With more rapid line speeds, more chickens and turkeys may die horrific deaths. Ironically, birds who die this way must be discarded. If a bird hasn’t completely bled out prior to being dragged through the scalding water, the bird’s flesh becomes saturated with blood, which can carry pathogens, thereby making the flesh unusable.

There’s another group who will suffer, too—the workers in these factories. Injuries to slaughterhouse workers can be career ending and sometimes life-threatening. Workers are dealing with frightened animals, they are handling sharp objects, walking around on slimy floors, and generally moving faster than any of us can comprehend, all to take the lives of innocent animals.

So, whether a human or a nonhuman animal, when you think about it…killing at any speed is hazardous to one’s health. Chose a vegan/vegetarian diet instead and end the killing.

Posted in When you think about it. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on When you think about it…killing at any speed is hazardous to one’s health.

Keep Antibiotics Out of Our Food Supply

Antibiotic resistance of bacteria are tested on slides to determine the effectiveness of each drug.

Antibiotic resistance of bacteria is tested on slides to determine the effectiveness of each drug.

The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013, HR 1150, and Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013, S 1256, both seek to withdraw approval of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in food-producing animals. An estimated 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are destined for use by the livestock industry. As a result, we humans are facing a rising level of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Such a situation renders the use of antibiotics for treatment of common illnesses and diseases useless and leads to super bacteria that can easily kill their host.

Write your representative and senators and urge them to support the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013 and Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013.

When you think about it…the real price of meat is staggering.

How much will eating this hamburger really cost you?

How much will eating this hamburger really cost you?

While many of us stretch our budgets to accommodate price increases, we often are able to buy a dollar hamburger at the local fast food joint. How can the price of some meat be so cheap?

We need to look at two types of costs—direct costs that the manufacturer of any product includes in the final price to the consumer. Those costs include materials, equipment, labor, and overhead. Then, there are the other costs often not included in the price—costs that are paid by everyone whether they purchase the product or not. These are the hidden costs.

Take for example, that $1 hamburger. The direct costs include raising, slaughtering, packaging, and shipping the animal to market along with the labor and equipment to do so. The hidden costs include the amount of water used in the production of that meat (500 gallons for 1 pound of chicken; 4,000-18,000 gallons for a hamburger). Such extreme use of water is causing precipitous drops in some of the country’s largest aquifers.

Another hidden cost is to our health. In order to keep factory farmed animals healthy enough to live until they are slaughtered, the meat industry laces animals’ food with antibiotics. Actually, the factory farm uses 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in this country. The more antibiotics are used for non-antibiotic needs, the stronger some germs become until they are labeled antibiotic-resistant organisms (also known as superbugs) which can cause extreme illness and death to humans.

But that’s not the only health problem we have with eating that cheap hamburger. There’s heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other nasty illnesses awaiting us if we continue to eat meat. Factor in our medical bills and the cost of that hamburger is rising astronomically.

Then there’s the cost to the family farmer. Many have lost the battle with big agra and have closed up, leaving whole communities without a source of revenue. Small towns across the country have disappeared as the family farmers have left town.

Let us not forget the cost to the environment. Run-off from factory farms, which includes fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fecal matter, and all sorts of other waste products, destroys property, pollutes ground water, and causes dead zones in bodies of water, some many miles from the factory farm site.

Of course, there is no way any of us can calculate the cost to the animals themselves, to the mothers who have their offspring taken from them minutes/days after giving birth, to the animals who suffer in cramped filthy cages for weeks, to the offspring ground up in wood chippers, to the young lives lived in horrific conditions before they undergo frightening deaths. So, when you think about it…the cost of meat is staggering. Are you, your family, friends, and colleagues willing to continue paying that price?

Posted in When you think about it. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on When you think about it…the real price of meat is staggering.
%d bloggers like this: