The Animal Kill Counter

Click this link to learn see and learn more about how many animals are killed for food globally: http://actionforanimalskansas.blogspot.ca/2008/11/animal-kill-counter.html

When I first saw this “Kill Counter”, I couldn’t believe it and I actually felt panicky realizing that every second of every day, thousands of innocent animals are being slaughtered for food. Watching the counter, I wanted to do something to make it stop!

In many parts of the world, eating meat is simply unnecessary.

Make a change!  Feel your humanity! Feel for the animals!

How can you not when looking at that counter?

Something is definitely very wrong.

Beyond Carnism

I watched an excellent presentation by Melanie Joy yesterday on YouTube about our meat-eating, animal-using culture.

Melanie Joy is the Founder and President of a charitable organization called ‘Beyond Carnism / Carnism Awareness and Action Network (CAAN)’.  The organization’s mandate is to raise awareness about ‘carnism’ as she calls it – the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.

In the presentation, Melanie talks about how our culture sees certain animals as food (though interestingly, not all animals) and how we are in denial due to these cultural beliefs. We think that eating animals is normal, she says.  We are also unaware of how these animals are treated before they appear in our grocery stores and on our plates.

Of course, many of you reading this are already vegan or interested in veganism and although the presentation may have as its subject matter something you already know about, one segment I found particularly moving is the part about each animal  having a distinct personality, an individual life and the desire for freedom to live as it was intended to – and that animal cares about and will fight for its life as much as you care about and will fight for yours.

Every animal fights for its freedom and for its life just as we would when it is being taken away.

Each animal suffers when pain and misery are inflicted – just as we do.

And we (our culture) cause them suffering and take their freedoms away and ultimately take their lives, usually with no thought or care for them.  We don’t have respect for all life – we see animals as ours to do with as we want.

Here is a moving photo of two cows seeking comfort in each other:

cows

When we choose to believe that animals are not like us, that they do not matter, we are fooling ourselves and I believe, diminishing our own humanity.

The following quote by Joanna Lucas of the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary captures the horror inherent in our meat-eating society:

‘We know things about her that no one should ever know, or want to know, about a fellow being – the sight of her flayed body, the weight of her severed thigh, the taste of her burned, bone-punctured flesh, the charred crunch of her fractured ribs, the flavor of her spilled marrow, the taste, texture and flavor of every aspect of her despair, degradation and defeat.

We know every detail of what we have forced her to be – an object to consume and excrete. What we don’t know, what we don’t want to know, is what we must know if we are to restore our own humanity: who she is.’

Each and every animal has a personality, a life they will fight to keep, eyes that see, and a body that feels.

Melanie says that a shocking 1.2 billion farm animals are killed weekly for food and yet we don’t see any of this. This shocking reality is hidden from us as these animals live on factory farms in ‘windowless sheds in remote locations’.

The short video about how animals are treated that Melanie shows the audience part way through her presentation is disturbing, but she will warn you to look away or close your eyes and not listen if you feel you cannot witness it – I encourage you to watch it though.  It could change your life!  I know learning about the way our society treats animals certainly has irrevocably changed mine.

So, here it is:

Many people wish they had known the facts earlier so they could have made changes to help animals earlier. So please share this—help me get the word out!  Animals deserve better than this – I know you agree.

Click the following link for more information on Melanie Joy’s organization: http://carnism.org/

Thank you for reading.

From,

A true animal loving vegan

Compassion, kindness and love

Excellent post from a fellow vegan blogger:

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

10897805_414209538729603_2424309430562232130_nI seldom post about ‘compassion’, ‘kindness’ or even ‘love’ in relation to nonhuman rights because whilst they are admirable qualities, compassion, kindness and love do not necessarily drive our values.

It’s not out of love, kindness or compassion that we refrain from harming other humans. For example we would quite rightly be outraged to see campaigns in favour of ‘compassionate’ domestic violence, making ‘kinder choices’ about child abuse, or being ‘more loving’ about raping and murdering. No one would congratulate me for my ‘compassion’ for refusing to steal from, harm or kill another human. No one would praise me for making a ‘kinder choice’.

No, some behaviour is deeply wrong in the eyes of the vast majority of humans and we do not hesitate to call for it to end completely; we see it as black and white. To reject what we see as wrong behaviour is basic decency. To refuse to participate…

View original post 223 more words

What’s wrong with free-range eggs?

As a vegan, I have often been asked, “What’s wrong with eggs, especially free-range or ‘humane’ eggs?” “It’s not as if the eggs are all fertilized, and if we don’t eat them who will? “ “It would be a shame to just waste them.”

I knew already about the fact that in the egg industry, male chicks are disposed of extremely cruelly regardless of whether the issue is regular industrially farmed or free-range eggs. As they cannot lay eggs, male chicks are literally thrown out in garbage bags to suffocate, or ground up while fully conscious just minutes after breaking out of their little shells.

chicks_trash

If you haven’t seen photos like the one above, you might ask how this could even be.

Female layers are de-beaked with a hot blade. A chicken’s beak is loaded with blood vessels, pain receptors, and nerve endings much like a human fingertip, so this process is extremely traumatic and is done without anaesthesia.

debeaking-still-2-cropped-300x188

Then they are crammed into cages with others stacked high – one on top of another. Urine and feces fall from one level onto ones below. Many chickens die in their cages and they are not necessarily removed but remain to rot with live chickens in the same cage.

Then, after only a fraction of what their natural life span would be, they are literally spent and killed for human food.

It’s a very cruel industry.

If we care about animal welfare, we should not eat any kind of eggs, even free-range or ‘humane’ eggs.

In a natural environment, hens only lay eggs until they have a full nest. At this point, they stop laying eggs and begin nesting.

We interrupt this natural process when we remove eggs from the nest, thereby encouraging the chickens to lay more eggs to again fill their nest. So, even free range hens go through this stressful situation if we take their eggs from them.

It’s stressful on the hens as well because every egg that is laid involves great effort on the hen’s part. Hens sometimes die while laying their eggs as a result of the intense pressure on their laying organs. It can take over 30 hours for a hen to lay just one egg.

Laying eggs also involves a tremendous loss of calcium from the hen. This goes to producing the shell of the egg, protecting what would be their future babies.

When not interfered with, laying hens restore some of their calcium loss by eating their own eggs.

Famers are taught how to prevent hens from eating their own eggs, so that they can get to them first.

So you see, no matter what kind of eggs you are considering, all cause pain and suffering to hens. Free range eggs are definitely a better choice but neither is good and certainly neither is ‘humane’.

‘A sentient being’s body and its secretions are not things for us to eat, any more than a human being’s body and its secretions are things for us to eat. Consuming eggs (even from rescued chickens), or giving them away to people who would otherwise buy eggs from battery caged hens, does not “reduce suffering”, it legitimizes suffering, it demands suffering, It perpetuates suffering by condoning the very practice of violence we are struggling to end.

The hen may not know that her suffering body, her unfreedom, her isolation, and every misery in her life is inflicted intentionally, systematically, and solely for the sensory gratification of humans, but you do.

She may not know that the fertilized egg that brought her into existence was the result of confinement and rape, or that hens like her are the product of mass infanticide, but you do. She may not know that the cost of killing male infants, “spent” breeding parents and “spent” hens is built into the price of eggs, but you do. She may not know that, if we became vegan, the horrors that she and her kind are forced to endure would end, but you do.

Act on that knowledge. Become vegan and educate others about the violence and injustice inherent in all non-vegan choices. Rescue (don’t buy) chickens and other animals, respect their lives, and please remember to always give the eggs back to the birds: They are, after all, the only rightful owners.’

 -The Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

We do not need to eat eggs.  Let’s leave the chickens be.

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Word is Getting Out!

My heart is warmed and my eyes moved to tears by the so many people out there who reach millions daily with their television shows or with their newspaper articles spreading the word about animal rights.

One such person is Jon Stewart from the “Daily Show” who recently interviewed Gene Baur, the founder of ‘Farm Sanctuary’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW3UPfXHSUs

Although Jon Stewart jokes occasionally during the interview, the message is getting out! And that is important.

In the Toronto Star recently, there was an article by Peter Fricker about how we raise and treat chickens that will ultimately be used for meat:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/04/04/we-need-to-stop-torturing-chickens.html

Anyone can relate to Peter Fricker’s first paragraph:

“Imagine finding a bird with a broken wing on your front lawn. Most of us would be prompted to take some action to alleviate its suffering, at the very least calling the local wildlife rescue group. People care about injured wildlife.

But what if the bird is not wild and what if it isn’t on your front lawn? What if it’s a chicken with a broken wing, shackled upside down on a conveyor belt in a slaughterhouse? Does anyone care?”

It seems like there is a wave of real change happening. Am I being naïve? I am not sure but it certainly seems positive!

And I agree with what Gene Baur says – We are passionate – We are vegan!!! 

Animals do not ‘give’ their lives so we can eat them. We ‘take’ them.

I was watching Oprah Winfrey talking to Michael Pollan about mindful, conscious eating.

It was, overall, a good interview.

What I took offense to was that both Oprah and Michael at different times in their conversation said that we must be respectful and mindful about the animals we eat, and that before doing so, we should thank them, as these animals have ‘given’ their lives to us so we can consume them.

I definitely support thanking and respecting the animal that died because of you if you are a meat-eater. But to say that it gave it’s life to you is wrong.

‘Giving’ implies permission. And no animal gives you permission to take its life.

If you eat it, you must know that you are taking that life.

‘Taking’ implies control and dominance.

Saying an animal gave its life so you could eat it may make you feel better but it’s not true.

You took it.