From the Road: Everything is Bigger in Texas, Especially Compassion Towards Animals (Part One)

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When Andy (truck tour operator) and I (Amanda, tour assistant) told our friends that we would be bringing the 10 Billion Lives program all around Texas, we were usually met with pity laughs or dropped jaws. Everyone seemed to picture us going into a “Meat Country” war zone. On the contrary, our several weeks in Texas proved that the Lone Star state is full of surprises. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes compassion toward animals.

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Meatout 2014 Reaches Thousands & Sparks Vital Conversation

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This year marked the 30th celebration of Meatout, an international day of awareness devoted to educating the public on the many benefits of a vegan diet. Every year, the campaign and our activists accomplish numerous feats that never fail to impress; however, Meatout 2014 has been a landmark year. With proclamations from mayors and governors across the United States, national and international media press, a network of passionate animal activists behind us, and a coalition of organizations and businesses with a common mission to spare as many animals as possible, Meatout 2014 undoubtedly changed the diets and minds of thousands.

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My Journey Toward Veganism

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Me and Esperanza at Animal Acres in Acton, Ca.

I was a vegetarian for 12 years, and although I wasn’t eating meat, I was still consuming dairy and eggs. I didn’t drink glasses of milk or eat omelets, but I did enjoy baked goods that were made with eggs and pizza and pasta dishes with cheese, and I loved dairy ice cream. I somehow rationalized to myself that because I wasn’t eating the actual animal, I wasn’t playing a role in the animal’s suffering or being killed. And I guess I thought “hens lay eggs regardless” and “cows give milk regardless, so what/who does it hurt for me to eat those products?” At the time, I didn’t realize how cruel and abusive the dairy and egg industries really are; so I continued to consume those products, all the while, thinking I was helping animals.

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Get Active for Animals in the New Year!

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So it’s the beginning of a New Year, with endless possibilities…time to take stock of how far we’ve come and plan for where we’re headed.

According to statistics, overall meat consumption for the United States is declining and campaigns such as Meatout or Meatless Mondays are rapidly gathering support. We are making real strides for animals. However, everyday we still see the heart-wrenching images and videos of farmed animals being beaten and killed, and we’re taunted by ads that glorify eating more meat, dairy and eggs. And most of us think to ourselves, “What can I do to stop these atrocities? What can I do to help save more animals?”

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Evolution of Our Leadership

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The following Editorial was written by FARM’s Founder and President, Dr. Alex Hershaft and appeared in the 2013 FARM Report.

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The history of our movement has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the definition and character of our leadership. The early days were marked by spectacular achievements by individuals, with an ability to mobilize our entire movement that no one has been able to duplicate since. Their deeds alerted the public to the problems of animal abuse and remain an inspiration to this day.

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Measuring our Effectiveness

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The following Editorial was written by FARM’s Executive Director Michael A. Webermann and appeared in the 2013 FARM Report.

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We all strive for a world where animals are no longer raised and killed for food. We accept that this will not be achieved overnight, as we engage in a variety of strategies and tactics in pursuit of this common vision. But how do we measure the effectiveness and success of our efforts?

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All Turkeys Deserve a Pardon this Thanksgiving

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Every year the president of the United States pardons a turkey or two, but what about the other 46 million turkeys who will be brutally slaughtered and picked apart limb by limb on dinner tables across the country? Are they any less deserving of being pardoned — of living out their natural lives?

For a holiday steeped in the tradition of giving thanks for an abundant harvest, it’s pretty hypocritical to give thanks and promote love and compassion while surrounding the carcass of a dead bird. The tradition of consuming a dead animal is far from aligned with this holiday’s life-affirming message.

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