FARM Activists Unfurl Banner at Salmonella Hearing!

Two FARM Activists unfurled an anti-egg banner at today’s Congressional hearing on the recent massive egg recall.  The banner read “Recall All Egg Production.”

“DeCoster and his cohorts are a piece of the larger picture. This is not an isolated incident,” was yelled out as the hearing stopped. As the activists were being escorted out, they chanted “All Eggs Kill!” repeatedly. Each year, 230 million male chicks are ground up or suffocated at birth, while an equal number of females are slaughtered after wretched lives, crammed into tiny wire mesh cages that cut painfully into their feet and tear out their feathers.

The hearing, at the Rayburn House Office Building, was called by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce to delve into the massive recent salmonella contamination and record recall of eggs produced by Austin “Jack” DeCoster’s Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.

Two of the activists- myself (Michael Weber) and Jen Riley- were detained, along with FARM’s founder/president Alex Hershaft, who was handling media and video.  All three were released without charge after it was determined that we left as soon as we were asked to. This action was done as part of the Dirty Secrets component of the World Farm Animals Day campaign. There was news coverage on  CNN Health and Yahoo/AP News. See our Youtube video below.

The hearing included testimony from two survivors of the recent salmonella contamination about the severity of their sickness, including weeks of illness, multiple hospital stays, and serious medical procedures – including heart procedures.  The next panel included Austin DeCoster, his son, Peter DeCoster, Orland Bethel of Hillandale Farms, and Duane Mangskau of Hillandale Farms. Orland Bethel invoked his 5th amendment rights and refused to answer any questions from the committee.  Peter DeCoster answered the majority of questions, including many intended for his father.  All of the egg producers expressed how “sorry” they were for the outbreak and Mangskau noted he was sorry for any “inconvenience.”  The final person to appear before the committee was Joshua Sharfstein of the FDA who repeatedly stressed the need for food safety legislation to be passed, thus giving the FDA more inspection and enforcement powers.  The FDA had never inspected DeCoster’s hen houses and Sharfstein pointed out – they do NOT do general inspections – only AFTER an outbreak has occurred.

View our Youtube video, and check out www.AnimalAgribusiness.com for more of animal agribusiness’s dirty secrets.

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How Creative Is Your Activism?

Interested in hosting a World Farm Animals Day event but aren’t sure what to do?  Over the years, people worldwide have come up with creative ways to share the message of compassion for the animals.

The more creative the event, the more likely it will stay in the minds of people who attend or simply pass by.

The following are a few creative event ideas. However, please feel free to share your own ideas here for everyone’s benefit.

Cage-Ins – a visually effective way to demonstrate the uncomfortable and inhumane conditions in which animals spend their lives. Invite passerbys to get in the cage or simply stand barefoot on a mesh cage for a while.

Photo Exhibits – in 2009, FARM hosted a ‘Make The Conection’ photo exhibit in DC and in Baltimore.  The large thought-provoking photo display depicted humans in the horrific situations that farmed animals endure on a daily basis.

Protests & Demos (Costumes & Props!) –  A great way to express your outrage toward a particular establishment or organization.  Check our site for a directory of animal agribusiness offices, as well as tips for staging an effective protest.  Or you might decide to get more creative with your demo ~ check out FARM’s effective & eye-opening “Stages of Meat” demo.  Or your creative demo might involve street theater with costumes, stories, and music.

Video Exhibits – show short, powerful videos such as Glass Walls or Meet Your Meat for groups of people in your community.

Die-Ins – a dramatic and powerful demonstration where participants lie motionless in a public setting. (often done in conjunction with an information table and/or video screening)

Film Screenings – of films such as Fowl Play or Earthlings.

Vigils – organize a vigil outside of a slaughterhouse or factory farm. Add live or recorded music to further engage people attending or passing by.

Get DETAILED TIPS on how to host each of the above events, plus ideas for other activities, such as vegan feed-ins, food demos, lectures, banner drops, marches, and more.  Go to www.wfad.org/actioncenter/#activism

If you can’t host an event, you can still get involved….

  • Post info about World Farm Animals Day on Facebook and Twitter
  • Blog about World Farm Animals Day – what does it mean to you?
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper & raise awareness
  • Drop Off our handouts at local stores, libraries, and restaurants
  • Place a Web banner on your site or blog
  • Make a donation
  • Talk with people you know about the animals.

And don’t forget to REGISTER your event with FARM so we can provide you with FREE resources and promotion for your event.

And please feel free to share your event ideas here!

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WFAD Events Directory Posted; Last Chance for Free Materials

World Farm Animals Day is just two weeks away! We can’t wait to hear about the great events you all hold during the end of September and beginning of October! To make your event run smoothly, we want to make sure you receive materials by Friday, October 1st. In order for us to do that, it would be best if events are registered by Wednesday, September 22nd.

We can still send out materials later than that, but we cannot ensure their arrival by October 2nd. Please register your events as soon as y0u can!

Can’t plan your own event? No worries! We have posted the events directory online, so attend the nearest event to you and support farmed animals around the world!

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Eat, Think, Write. Vegan Authors in Baltimore.

Make your plans now!  On Saturday, September 25th from 6:30 to 8 p.m., readers will have a rare opportunity to learn first-hand about the inspirations of several notable vegan authors during a discussion at the Baltimore Book Festival.

Davida Gypsy Breier will host and participate in the discussion.  Breier who works in the publishing industry and is known as a “zinester,” contributed animal portraits she took at sanctuaries for the book, Ninety-Five: Meeting America’s Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs, a book project of publisher No Voice Unheard that contains beautiful and heartbreaking stories and photos of rescued farm animals.   As a result of her involvement with No Voice Unheard on the Ninety-Five project, Breier started Wild Leek Photography to further support animal sanctuaries and rescues.

Next up is well-established writer & commentator Ben Shaberman, whose essays and articles have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, National Public Radio, The Baltimore Sun, and VegNews, to name just a few.  His book, The Vegan Monologues, is a collection of humorous essays, stories, and ruminations.  In contrast to the heavier reading available about animal rights or welfare issues, Shaberman helps readers explore the lighter side of living the vegan life!

Representing the ever-important topic of food & healthy weight loss is Tracye McQuirter, author of By Any Greens Necessary, the first vegan food guide for African American women.  McQuirter, also a speaker and public policy advocate, helps people to achieve extraordinary health by making better food choices and advocates for positive societal dietary changes.  Her book includes her personal story, tips for making the vegan transition, and tons of delicious recipes with beautiful photos.

Weighing in with his vast knowledge about animal behavior and experience, is Jonathan Balcombe, activist, scientist, & author. In his most recent book, Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, Balcombe enlightens readers about animal experience by skillfully weaving scientific information with anecdotes and his own compassion. As he demonstrates that animals are perceptive, intelligent, aware, and emotional beings with lives of their own that matter to them, Balcombe stresses the importance of humanity granting them the respect, kindness, and consideration they are due.

And last, but certainly not least is Corinne Bowen, Editor-in-Chief of the wildly successful Web site/blog & wellness community, www.CrazySexyLife.com.  Bowen worked with founder, Kris Carr, of Crazy Sexy Cancer, and Brian Fassett to build the sunny, upbeat site and its thriving online community.  CrazySexyLife.com functions as a virtual hub of inspiration, plus tools & tips for living a happy, healthy (crazy, sexy) life.  The site boasts a “blog posse” of compassionate & motivational experts, such as Neal Barnard, M.D., Michael Greger, M.D., Gene Baur, John Robbins, Brendan Brazier, SARK, and many more…plus tons of special guests too.

The book festival runs from Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 26th and is FREE.  Go to www.baltimorebookfestival.com for more details and full schedules of events.

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FARM Holds Demonstration at Industry Front Group Conference

On September 15, FARM staff and volunteers showed up during the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) Legislative conference at the Leasion Capitol Hill Hotel in downtown Washington DC. With bullhorns, air-horns and signs stating “NCBA…Bribing Politicians and Lying to the Public since 1898”, “There is No Excuse for Animal Abuse” and “Animals are Not Ours to Use” activists aired the NCBA’s dirty secrets to street full of lunch time pedestrians.

During the protest, Liaison Capitol Hill hotel staff approached activists claiming that the National Cattleman’s Conference had changed their plans the night before and decided to hold their meeting at a different undisclosed location.Cutting the demonstration short, activists still made it clear to NCBA’s hosts what is in store if they continued to allow groups like the National Cattleman’s Beef Association to hold conferences at their hotel.

Additionally, National Pork Producers Association members walked by and received FARM’s Dirty Secrets of Animal Agribusiness handouts as well as an ear full of what they and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association are complicit in.

National Cattleman’s Beef Association, your giving of hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians and lying to the public will catch up to you. You can run, but you can’t hide from your legacy of lies and brutality. Next year you will have an even larger headache when activists show up again!

World Farm Animals Day is a campaign of FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement), a national nonprofit organization promoting a vegan lifestyle through public education and grassroots activism to end the use of animals for food. We believe in the inherent self-worth of animals as well as environmental protection and enhanced public health.

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Activist, Nadia Masoudi, to speak on Capitol Hill

Let’s hear it for 18 year-old activist, Nadia Masoudi, who will be speaking on Capitol Hill on September 7th at the Second International Roundtable Supporting Ancient Indigenous Knowledge.  At the invitation of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the young activist who hopes to change the way people perceive animals, one day at a time, will discuss her concerns about the environmental crisis, world hunger, animal welfare, and human health.  You may have learned about Nadia earlier this year as the young activist & filmmaker raised awareness about animal rights with her Animal Freedom Day campaign and her docu-film, “Don’t Eat Me.”

The primary goals of the Roundtable include emphasizing the importance of sharing ancient indigenous knowledge and supporting young people and their dreams. During the first Roundtable, held in Manitoba, traditional healers, elders, and spiritual leaders from around the world shared knowledge and encouraged respect for traditional teachings.  Nadia believes that positive change for ALL life on Earth is key, and she sees this opportunity as a way to enlighten others about the importance of her endeavors.

And Nadia’s goals reach beyond this trip as she hopes to then visit the United Nations to share her concerns and to have Animal Freedom Day placed on all calendars and recognized as an international event.

The overall vision for Animal Freedom Day is for the world to be vegan by the year 2375 or sooner.  The first observance took place on July 24, 2010 and included festivities that encouraged people to choose a humane and healthy way of life.  People are to refrain from consuming and using animal products on this day, and each consecutive year, Animal Freedom “Day” will be extended by an additional day, until it reaches a full vegan year!

The first Animal Freedom Day will be featured in Nadia’s docu-film, “Don’t Eat Me,” which has involved celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Moby, Pamela Anderson, Weird Al, and more.

Learn more about Nadia and Animal Freedom Day at www.animalfreedomday.com.

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FARM Blog is Back

Welcome! After a brief hiatus, we are dusting off the FARM blog and we look forward to having you join us for the ride.

We’re back at a great time of year as we gear up for an especially intense World Farm Animals Day.  This year’s theme is set to bring out into the light the ways that we are ALL impacted by animal agribusiness’ continued corruption, manipulation, questionable practices, and of course, cruelty.  Activists across the U.S. and around the globe will help draw attention to key industry information that is purposely kept off of the public’s radar.  We will encourage people to make more informed choices and we will hold animal agriculture accountable!

But before we get on a roll, we’d like to pause and thank everyone who helped make the Animal Rights 2010 National Conference a great success!  From our generous sponsors & donors, to people near and far who helped spread the word, to our wonderful presenters and exhibitors… and of course ~ to everyone who attended!  Check out all the post-conference coverage, including photos and recordings, and lots of feedback, at www.arconference.org.

And don’t forget to visit our WFAD campaign site today and see how you can help us honor the animals and hold animal agribusiness accountable. You can help by simply placing a banner on your site and we’ll post yours on ours.  Or find out more about staging a demonstration. We’ve got addresses of industry offices on our site to help you plan an effective strategy for your event.  Don’t forget to register your event with us so that we can provide you with materials and support.  Stay tuned for more!

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