Mercy for Animals Releases Horrific Dairy Farm Investigation

Our friends at Mercy for Animals are at it again with another undercover investigation showing unfathomable cruelty. This time, they went for the milk industry, targeting New York’s largest dairy operation- Willet Dairy.

The video shows the terrifying conditions dairy cows face, including having their tails and horns cut off, having their babies stolen from them at birth, being crammed into quarters so small they can not turn around, and receiving wounds so swollen and infected that they result in the cows’ deaths. At one point, a worker brags about the injuries he inflicts on cows, including kicking their genitalia. His speech is too laden with profanity to quote here, so be careful if listening on non-private speakers.

The industry continues to call these abuses “isolated incidences,” with the CEO of Willet claiming that the business “ensures [the cows’] lives are good while they’re here.” And while Mercy for Animals concluded their video with a call to adopt a vegan diet by visiting their website www.ChooseVeg.org, the mainstream media continues to water down the issue by merely using the video to campaign for an end to tail docking.

What the media is refusing to acknowledge, again and again, is that practices such as taking calves from their mothers within days of birth are inherent to the dairy industry, and won’t go away even on regulated free-range farms. The only way to end all of these practices is to stop consuming dairy products.

FARM commends Mercy for Animals on their outstanding work, and encourages all who were affected by the video to order a Free Vegan Starter Guide at www.VegKit.org

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BREAKING NEWS: Raising Farmed Animals is Still Terrible for the Environment

With the United Nations’ 2006 scathing report on animal agriculture, and the recent WorldWatch Magazine article purporting that raising animals for food contributes more than 50% of all greenhouse gases, one would think that the book would be closed on the issue. Unfortunately, we’re not even close to having the last word.

Time Magazine recently posted an error-ridden article entitled “How Cows (Grass-Fed Only) Could Save the Planet.” The fallacies are too numerous to bother detailing, I have already addressed many of them in the past. But let us always resist the baffling logic that says “if grass-fed beef is better for the earth than grain-fed beef, then it must be helping the environment.” If punching someone hurts less than stabbing them, is it helping them heal?

Worse than the Time Magazine article was a story earlier in the week, from an environmental news site, blindly praising Niman Ranch for its supposed sustainability and animal welfare standards. Considering that the cows are still killed in the end, and that the methane that ALL cows emit far outweighs the environmental impact of the fuels, fertilizers, and feed for the cows, there is really no way a cow could be raised to “high welfare standards” or “sustainably.”

Every grass-fed “miracle” story emphasizes that cows can actually help sequester carbon by helping grass grow. But they conveniently leave out or downplay the fact that grass-fed cows emit significantly more methane than grain-fed cows (not that grain-fed cows don’t contribute to a host of other environmental problems), and methane is about 75 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a twenty year period. Additionally, these stories all compare raising grass-fed cows to either raising grain-fed cows (omitting the option to just not eat meat at all!), or to growing vast amounts of monocrops for vegetarians (omitting the fact that most monocrops in the US are grown to feed cows!).

Even if raising grass-fed cows is slightly better for the environment than grain-fed cows (and that is debatable), a vegan world is not only possible, but high preferable. It would be more sustainable, would not raise any animals to be killed, and would more easily nourish the entire earth’s population. Why strive for mediocrity when we can work for total compassion?

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A Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“When you are right you cannot be too radical”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr day and people from all over are honoring him for his courage, determination and dedication to equality. It seems like his insights on social justice, compassion for all species, and government repression are often over-shadowed by his eloquent and inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech. Martin Luther King Jr was adamantly against war, violence and poverty. He has even spoken in defense of non-human animals:

“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”

This is also a day to figure out how to move the principles of King’s words and deeds beyond annual mentions on his birthday to an everyday occurrence. Dr King would have spoken out unequivocally against the inherent cruelty and violence non-human animals go through just as he did against an unjust war.  His wife and son are both carrying on his legacy of non-violence and equality for all by living vegan everyday.

Ironically, a sweeping law that brands animal activists as “terrorists”, entitled the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), was passed 3 years ago- on the day of the “groundbreaking” ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr memorial on the national mall.   It is important to reflect on the very essence for which Dr. King stood: nonviolence, equality, and justice.  We need to start recognizing institutionalized violence and speciesist attitudes in our actions.  Living vegan is just the first step.  From there, it is essential that we stay on top of new information, incorporate it into projects in class or at our jobs, and get active!

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Egg Producers Look at Idaho to Avoid CA Welfare Laws

When California’s Proposition 2 passed by a landslide last November, requiring the state to end the tight confinement of veal calves, chickens, and breeding sows, the industry was forced to respond. Though the law doesn’t go into effect until 2015,  The Wall Street Journal published a piece on Wednesday explaining California’s egg and poultry producers’ plan to adapt to the new animal welfare standards .

Are they going to abide by regulations? Maybe a few of them. Are they going to willfully stop raising animals for food? Not a chance. Instead, animal abusers in California are being invited by lawmakers to move to Nevada, Idaho, and even states as far as Georgia that won’t plague them with pesky anti-confinement laws.  The article explains:

In Idaho, as lawmakers convened Monday, Republican state Sen. Tim Corder said he would introduce legislation designed to attract California chicken farmers who might consider relocating. In Nevada, Pershing County is aggressively recruiting poultry farmers in California, the nation’s fifth-largest producer of eggs. Georgia’s poultry industry also has reached out to some California farmers in a bid to woo them eastward, California egg-industry officials say.

This article, better than any other I’ve come across, demonstrates why animal welfare measures are NOT the best path towards animal liberation. At their best, farmed animal welfare measures increase people’s awareness about factory farming, potentially inviting them to consider a vegetarian or vegan diet, while hopefully eliminating the worst abuses of industrial animal farming. At their worst, however, welfare measures  cause dedicated activists to spend millions of dollars and countless hours, only to have animal abusers exploit loopholes and to have meat-eaters’ consciences cleared of the guilt that they should rightfully feel when they consume animal products.

(more…)

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FARM Underground Program Launched

We invite you to come check out FARM’s new program website for FARM Underground!  Navigate and discover ways to get active for farmed animals.  Join the FARM Underground Liberation team to stay active throughout the year for farmed animals.  Farmed animals account for 98% of all land animals abused and murdered among all by people. By working on farmed animal liberation we can create a real vegan revolution- not just a passing fad or phase.

By joining the Liberation Team, you will be able to get free materials for all campaigns and receive action alerts for local tabling at shows, tips on veganizing your cafeteria, and getting people to live vegan for at least one day a week.  Making the switch to veganism is imperative. From there, it is essential that we stay on top of new information, incorporate it into projects in class or at our jobs, and get active!

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For the Animals- Billions of Reasons to Live Vegan

Farmed animals are the most abused of any beings on the face of the earth, and account for 98% of all land animals killed by humans. They are treated as nothing more than commodities whose intrinsic value is how they can be profitable to humans.

We do not protect (or even take into consideration) the interests of non-human animals unless there is an economic incentive for doing so. These animals are sensitive individuals who want to live their lives free from exploitation. Society has stripped these vulnerable creatures of all basic rights and assigned a “property status” to these intelligent and sensitive beings. This property status has been ingrained into our culture and society. In order to put an end to oppression, this world view must be shattered.

Animals raised for food are just as intelligent, lovable, and sensitive as the animals we call “pets.” Yet, as standard procedure, farmed animals are subjected to brutality, confinement, crowding and deprivation. Most animals raised for food are reared in factory farms, where these sensitive beings are forced to live in filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, veal crates, and other intensive confinement systems. Even so-called “humanely raised,” “cage-free,” “organic” or “free-range” animals endure most of the same conditions. Most importantly, ALL of these animals suffer a painful and frightening death at the end of their short lives, regardless of how they are raised.

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