Chipotle Halts Pork Sales in Some Locations

pawsupPaws Up! To Chipotle for halting the sale of pork due to animal welfare concerns.

Although not a meat-free restaurant chain, Chipotle is well known for efforts to maintain humane and

Chipotle's policy requires that farmed pigs have opportunities to access outdoor areas.

Chipotle’s policy requires that farmed pigs have opportunities to access outdoor areas.

sustainable business practices. Last year, NHES wrote about Chipotle’s decision to offer more vegan-friendly menu items. According to a recent news article, Chipotle has decided to halt the sale of pork in hundreds of locations after an audit revealed that one of the restaurant’s suppliers was not meeting the company’s standards  for humanely-raised pigs. For example, Chipotle stipulates that animals must have opportunities to be in the outdoors. While NHES is committed to promoting vegan and vegetarian diets, we applaud Chipotle for acting on the company’s commitment to upholding sustainable and humane farming practices.

Take Action: Consider a vegan or vegetarian diet and learn about the humane and health benefits of plant-based eating. If you decide to eat meat, reduce your intake and avoid factory-farmed meats. Contact Chipotle to express your support of humane treatment of farm animals.

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When you think about it…maybe shipping animals long distances should just stop.

Live animal transport can be extremely hazardous, subjecting animals to extreme weather conditions and traffic accidents.

Live animal transport can be extremely hazardous, subjecting animals to extreme weather conditions and traffic accidents.

Live animal transport is injurious to most, if not all, the animals who are shipped long distances to be slaughtered.

In the United States, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, and cattle are routinely shipped fairly short distances before they reach slaughterhouses, yet they can still be subjected to extreme weather conditions. Horses sent to slaughter may be in transit for a couple days before reaching slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada and some are shipped overseas. Australia transports sheep and cattle to the Middle East by cargo ship. All these transports are fraught with danger. Trailers break down, traffic jams occur, accidents happen. What then becomes of the “cargo”? They often languish inside hot containers, are ejected onto roadways, or are tossed about in high seas.

Of course, the worst danger of all is that they are being shipped to slaughterhouses. So, when you think about it…maybe shipping animals long distances should just stop.

When you think about it… rooftops are no place for chickens, pigs, cows, or goats.

City environments are unsuitable for farm animals, exposing them to air, light, and noise pollution.

City environments are unsuitable for farm animals, exposing them to air, light, and noise pollution.

For many urbanites, the idea of a little country in the city is appealing. Instead of putting posters on their walls of country scenes, or taking weekly drives into the country, they decide to bring the country into their home or more often onto their rooftops or balconies. While rooftop vegetable gardens are definitely a great way to enjoy fresh produce without having to go to the country, bringing chickens and other farm yard creatures to the Manhattan skyline is a bit over the top. Legalities aside, keeping animals typically thought of as farm animals in a city environment places them in unnatural settings. They are exposed to air, noise, and light pollution unheard of on the farm.

Animals who live on farms are of course also at risk—their lives may be shortened or debased simply because they are thought of as commodities for human consumption. If we can move away from the idea of animals living on farms so they can be killed for our dinner to animals living on farm sanctuaries so they may enjoy their lives to the fullest, we will all benefit. For, when you think about it…rooftops are no place for chickens, pigs, cows, or goats…neither are factory farms.

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Goodbye to gestation crates

Paws Up!
To Safeway, Inc. and to Denny’s for announcing they will work with suppliers of their pork products to eliminate the cruelty of gestation crates.

According to a news story, “The nation’s second-largest grocery chain [Safeway] said it will adopt purchasing policies that favor more humane treatment of pigs.”

Eliminating gestation crates is progress, but you can help pigs even more by enjoying a vegetarian/vegan diet.

And in another news story, “Denny’s has pledged it will only purchase bacon, sausage and other pork products from companies that don’t take part in the practice [of using gestation crates].”

Pregnant sows live for four months in gestation crates that are about the same size they are.
Several states have banned the practice of confining sows to gestation crates and additional states have legislation pending. In addition to Safeway and Denny’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s have also announced they will require their suppliers to eliminate gestation crates; and Smithfield and Hormel along with Cargill are also on board to eliminate gestation crates in their operations.

Take Action: Write notes to these companies and applaud their decision to work to end the cruel confinement of sows in gestation crates. Urge them to put their policies into practice as soon as possible. In the meantime, consider changing your diet to reflect a more compassionate way of eating. Check out our article on vegetarian/vegan eating and our plant-based section. A vegetarian/vegan diet promotes healthy eating, environmental sustainability, and best of all compassion for farmed animals.

Steven A. Burd, CEO
Safeway, Inc. Corporate Headquarters
5918 Stoneridge Mall
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Tele. no.: 925-467-3000

John C. Miller, CEO
Denny’s Corporation
Corporate Office Headquarters
203 E. Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29319
Tele. no.: 864-597-8000

Source:
Spokesman.com
Reuters
GoUpstate.com

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Farmed Animal Welfare Becoming Mainstream

Paws Up!

To two supermarket chains in Hawaii for agreeing to no longer purchase pork products from pigs sent by live transport from the mainland.

According to a news report, “Two supermarket chains in Hawaii – Foodland Super Markets, Ltd. And Times Supermarkets – have agreed to no longer purchase pork products from pigs transported live from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii for slaughter, citing animal welfare reasons for their change.”

Photo by John Morris/Flickr

The inherent stress on these animals shipped across seas is inestimable. They are forced to endure cramped, overcrowded, and unsanitary conditions; and many animals suffer stress-related illnesses along with horrific injuries and diseases. Many die in the process of the transport.

NHES, of course, promotes a vegan/vegetarian diet in order to reduce the amount of animal suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses.

Take Action: Hawaii residents, thank the owners of these markets for their awareness that farmed animals suffer when transported across the seas. In addition, let them know that you want to see more plant-based products on their shelves.

Janai Wall, Chairman and CEO
Foodland Super Markets, Ltd.
3536 Harding Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816

Bob Stout, President
Times Super Market
3375 Koapaka Street # D108
Honolulu, HI 96819-1865

Source: The Business Journals

 

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Texas Approves Aerial Slaughter; Sponsors Killing Contest

Photo by Sean McCann via Flickr

Two Paws Down!

To Texas Governor Rick Perry and the State of Texas Legislature for passing HB 716, the “pork chopper bill”, allowing the aerial slaughter of feral pigs and coyotes, and to the Texas Department of Agriculture for declaring October “Hog Out Month” with a statewide contest including $60,000 in awards for the counties that kill the most pigs.

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently signed House Bill 716 into law, legalizing the aerial slaughter of coyotes and feral pigs as of September 1st. The new bill allows anyone with landowner permission and a hunting license to rent seats on a helicopter and shoot from the air. According to a news report, “Vertex Helicopters, based in Houston, will offer its services and require hunters to take a safety class costing $350, in addition to charging $450 an hour with a minimum of three hours in the air where hunters can blast away with semiautomatic rifles and kill as many pigs as they want and/or can.”

The Texas Department of Agriculture has declared the month of October “Hog Out Month”, kicking off their “Get the Hogs Outta Texas” contest scheduled from October 1st – December 31st. The contest will award money from a $60,000 state grant to the five counties that indiscriminately kill the most pigs.

Photo by Todd Ryburn via Flickr

Culling of both feral pigs and coyotes have previously been shown ineffective, in that both animals will give birth to greater numbers of offspring to make up for any of their numbers killed. Shooting these animals also further facilitates their spread into new areas as they seek out safe places of habitation. Studies by Kansas State University have shown that 70-80 percent of the estimated 2 million feral pigs in Texas would need to be killed each year over several years for any lasting impact in population to be made, a virtual impossibility. Several humane alternatives exist, including modern sterilization methods for coyotes and pigs as well as thoughtfully planned fencing methods. Shooting animals from the air is fraught with dangerous risk, as there is no guarantee against a gruesome and painful death when shooting at moving targets from a moving platform. It also presents certain risk to companion animals and other wildlife, who may be hunted mistakenly.

Take Action: Contact the office of Governor Perry as well as the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and urge them to repeal HB 716, the “pork chopper” bill, and ban the import of Russian boars and other exotic wildlife for hunting purposes. Also contact the Texas Department of Agriculture and ask that they repeal their sponsorship of “Get the Hogs Outta Texas” and use their funds instead to invest in sound environmental stewardship practices.

The Honorable Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Tele. No.: 512-463-1782

Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources
Chair: The Honorable Troy Fraser
Tele. No.: 512-463-0124
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711

Vice Chair: The Honorable Craig Estes
Tele. No.: 512 463-0130
State Capitol, Room 3E.8
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711

Todd Staples
Commissioner
Tele. No.: 1-800-835-5832
Texas Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 12847
Austin, TX 78711

Sources:
http://www.care2.com/causes/texas-approves-aerial-hunting-of-pigs-and-coyotes.html

http://www.texasagriculture.gov/agr/program_render/0,1987,1848_5446_0_0,00.html?channel=5446

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Protect Pigs and Other Farmed Animals

A happy pig roams a grassy area.

Photo by NHES

The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is taking comments until early April on whether additional farmed animals should be protected under the “no downer” rule of 2009. Cattle are the only animals now protected.

The “no downer” rule states that any cattle not able to walk to slaughter must be humanely euthanized and not slaughtered and sold for human food consumption. However, all other farmed animals are exempt from this protection. Some who are too weak, injured, or ill are shocked, beaten, and dragged to slaughter or are simply left to languish and die. These animals have the capacity to suffer just as cattle do and should be protected just as cattle are.

Send a letter to the administrator FSIS urging his agency to add pigs, goats, sheep, and other farmed animals to the “no downer” protection rule.

Alfred V. Almanza, Administrator
Food Safety Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250-3700

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