Since the data says that 97% of people are against cruelty to animals, it’s time for a reality check folks. I don’t like to push politics and policy on this blog much, but the reality of it is factory farming is fricking terrible. It’s bad for the environment, it’s bad for the quality of food that omnivores consume and it’s effing terrible for the ANIMALS on the farms. Most people don’t realize that there are no federal laws protecting farm animals from cruelty while they are housed on a farm or during transport to slaughter. There are limited protections for cows and pigs at slaughter that are inconsistently enforced and no protections for chickens or turkeys. Factory farms—which raise and slaughter billions of farm animals each year—view animals as cheap commodities rather than as individuals with their own needs and feelings. The cruelty inflicted by factory farms on these helpless animals is unconscionably brutal and would be considered a felony if cats or dogs were the victims.
To raise awareness and a few bucks for the Farm Sanctuary’s amazing mission and work, in October I’m walking with Team Vegan GR in the Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals to give animals a voice and to challenge the cruel practices of the factory farming industry. Please support my participation in the Walk for Farm Animals by making a donation today!
For more than 25 years, Farm Sanctuary has relied on the Walk for Farm Animals to support its life-saving mission to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassion. For more information about Farm Sanctuary, please visit their web site: www.farmsanctuary.org.
Need additional inspiration? Education? A kick in the ass? Let’s talk turkeys:
Turkeys raised for human consumption are crowded into poorly ventilated industrial production facilities, sometimes with as many as 10,000 birds packed into a single factory building. In 2007, 265 million of these naturally explorative and socially sophisticated birds were slaughtered in the United States. Bred to grow alarmingly faster than their wild counterparts, turkeys suffer from numerous health complications, including heart disease and painful leg disorders.
- Due to selective breeding, commercial male turkeys rapidly grow to a weight 3 times larger than wild male turkeys in only 4 months. Rapid growth and resulting heavy body weight can lead to heart problems and painful leg issues, which can eventually lead to crippling.
- Male turkeys are bred to develop such large breasts that they can no longer mount females to reproduce naturally. Artificial insemination managed by humans is responsible for all reproduction in domesticated turkeys.
- Turkeys may be confined so tightly that each bird has only between 2.5 to 4 square feet of space each. This space only gets tighter as the turkeys grow larger.
- The dusty, ammonia-filled air inside these facilities is a consequence of poor ventilation and overcrowding. This highly contaminated air is associated with a host of health issues, including respiratory damage and irritated, swollen eyes.
- Because a single worker may be responsible for the care of as many as 30,000 birds, these and other illnesses and injuries can easily go unnoticed.
- Crowding at this level can cause turkeys to injure each other with sharp beaks and toes — a concern to producers because it damages the flesh — so turkeys often have portions of their beaks and toes removed at a young age. Turkeys are routinely debeaked, a painful process in which part of the sensitive, nerve-filled beak is removed using a hot blade, shears, or a high-voltage electrical current. It is also a practice for turkeys to have a portion of their toes removed with surgical shears. Each mutilation is done without pain reliever or anesthetic of any kind.
- Once they reach market weight — on average, 99 days for hens and 136 days for toms — turkeys are thrust into crates and transported to slaughter. Severe injuries, such as dislocated hips and wing fractures, have been reported as a result of rough handling during crating.
- Transport may involve travel over long distances, subjecting turkeys to unfamiliar noises, motion, and extreme temperatures. These stresses, coupled with the deprivation of food and water during transport, contribute to the hundreds of thousands of turkeys who die before they even reach slaughter.
- Following a stressful transport, turkeys arrive at the slaughterhouse. Although the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act requires animals to be rendered insensible before shackling and slaughter, the USDA does not interpret this law to include birds killed for food, and it does not protect turkeys
So WTF are you waiting for? Support me in my walk to educate the public about these egregious abuses and support legislation to end them. Gobble, gobble. That’s “thank you” in turkey.
Posted in Public Policy, Vegan
Tagged @VeganGr, factory farming is fucking terrible, fundraising for animal welfare, gobble gobble, Grand Rapids Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals, Jon Dunn, Kolene Allen, October walk for animals, Sanctuary Farm Walk for Animals, Sanctuary Farm Walk for Farm Animals, Turkeys are adorable, vegan, Vegan GR
This blog first appeared on VeganGR and is written by the talented and wonderful Jon Dunn.
Ever heard of bone char? It’s got a few names and according to wikipedia, you may also know it as bone black, ivory black or animal charcoal. It’s a pretty gruesome process as you can imagine, but the short of it is, animal bones are baked in an low oxygen environment to create a charcoal of sorts. It’s a 200 year old process, first patented in 1812! The applications for the finish product are plentiful.
Tricalcium phosphate, the resulting product is used as an anti-caking agent in spices. Also this stuff is used in cheese, and as a raising agent. But the trickiest use of them all for vegans, is as a refining agent for sugar.
Thankfully we live in a time where raw and natural sugars are more easily available. But sugar is in so many prepared foods. Is the sugar that went into those products vegan?
So here are our questions for you.
1. Were you aware of bone char and it’s relationship to the refinement of sugar before you read this post?
2. If yes, are you concerned about your sugar?
3. Do you go so far with sugar to make sure that any product you buy that is made with sugar has only vegan sugar?
For more Vegan-related issues, places and things, head over to vegangr.com
I don’t usually get all political in this blog. Usually it’s a happy place where I tell you about veggies and show you mouthwatering pics of stuff Mr. Wonderful and I eat…but this time, I have to get this out there.
I grew up in a sleepy little village, south west of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a regular village with regular people and it’s home to the regular types of things like a hardware store, a Dairy Queen, pizza joints, antique stores, a fair, a football team, and happens to host a festival annually called The Chicken Broil. I’ve talked about it here a little before, always kinda glazing over the cooking thousands of chicken halves part to bring you radish sammich and coleslaw earlier in this blog’s life. You know the stuff that I don’t get angry about.
It’s kinda a big deal- The Chicken Broil is a summer tradition first organized in the 1950s in which nearly 600 volunteers grill 19,000 pounds of chicken and feed approximately 12,000 guests (SWWCOG). It’s a civic fundraiser that distributes net proceeds to a number of charitable causes in the community. Past funds have gone to public schools, community parks, libraries and other various non-profit groups for items such as playgrounds, high school band uniforms and equipment for local Boy Scout troops (USA Today). It’s a do-gooder thing and very much a part of its midwestern roots. I’m lucky to have benefited in some way from these proceeds growing up I’m sure; however, in growing up and pardon the pun, but in spreading my own wings, I’ve developed a differing attitude to the Chicken Broil in adopting a meat-free lifestyle.
I mention this festival because of the irony that comes when I see in my news feed today that my hometown-home of The Chicken Broil is also home to SASHA Farm Sanctuary one of the most loved farm animal sanctuaries in the midwest that just made national news this week for taking delivery of 100 of the 1,200 hens aero-rescued from a factory hen farm in California-the first time ever that hens were flown across country in a private plane in a rescue effort. They arrived in New York and then were prepped to live out their feathery lives at nine different animal rescues in the US. The 2-yr-old white leghorns are from a battery cage egg farm where they lived in cages so small they couldn’t stretch their wings. When they were 8-days-old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off without pain relief to prevent fighting in cages. And you thought your life was difficult!?
Image: Heather Ainsworth for The New York Times
The remaining 1,850 from the factory farm are available for adoption through Animal Place in California. SASHA Farm will be giving the hens permanent homes. Each bird needs a sponsor to help give them the life they deserve and everything they have been deprived of.
If you were wondering what the fate of the birds would have been without rescue…well, they would have been gassed and tossed like common garbage into the local landfill or ground up and placed in “feed” for other animals, etc as they were “no longer of use” to humans. Now tell me honestly….why are we supporting factory farming and mass consumption of birds and their eggs? To donate to save other farm animals from a landfill as their final resting place, please visit www.sashafarm.org.
Posted in Michigan, Public Policy, Vegan MoFo
Tagged animal welfare, animals, Annual Chicken Broil, cross country hen rescue operation, factory farming, farm animal rescue, food, hen rescue, Manchester Chicken Broil, Rescued Hens, SASHA Animal Sanctuary, The Animal Place, The Animal Place hen rescue, Vegan MoFo
The very fact that food insecurity exists in America is shameful. Thanks to Vedged Out and other food bloggers for bringing attention to this problem one blog reader at a time. In Grand Rapids you can help fight hunger through Feeding America West Michigan by donating, time, money, or food to help families in West Michigan. View their site to see how your talents best fit their needs.