Friday, April 30, 2010
For Once, I agree with the Dairy Industry - It's High Time for Some Good Old Fashioned Truth in Advertising!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
One time I visited a pig farm, a regular farm — not a factory farm — in Illinois. Right across the street was a hog CAFO. The owner didn't live there, of course. There's no farm house on a factory farm, just business offices. At night, all the workers would leave, and all I'd hear as I was trying to fall asleep was the sound of the pigs fighting each other, biting each other, squealing, screeching all night long. It was like nothing I've ever heard before in my life, and it just didn't stop. It sounded like kids being tortured over there. I'll never forget that sound. It was very sad.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Epilogue/Addendum/Post-Script: I found Becel vegan margarine at the store down the street and bought a tub. It's fantastic! Believe it or not, this is not a paid commercial announcement. But this margarine is a lot more butter-like than Earth Balance. Crazy - the things that give us a thrill in life.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thousands of animals are still suffering inside University of Utah laboratories. Dogs have their necks cut open and medical devices implanted inside. Cats, monkeys, and rats are forced to endure invasive experiments in which their skulls are cut open and electrodes are inserted into their brains, and mice are given enormous tumors and painful, deadly illnesses. PETA’s complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging multiple violation of animal protection laws is still under investigation. (Source)
The First Amendment's guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the government outweigh the costs. Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it.
The MOUSE's PETITION*
Found in the TRAP where he had been confin'd all Night.
Parcere subjectis, & debellare superbos. VIRGIL
- OH! hear a pensive captive's prayer,
- For liberty that sighs ;
- And never let thine heart be shut
- Against the prisoner's cries.
- For here forlorn and sad I sit,
- Within the wiry grate ;
- And tremble at th' approaching morn,
- Which brings impending fate.
- If e'er thy breast with freedom glow'd,
- And spurn'd a tyrant's chain,
- Let not thy strong oppressive force
- A free-born mouse detain.
- Oh ! do not stain with guiltless blood
- Thy hospitable hearth ;
- Nor triumph that thy wiles betray'd
- A prize so little worth.
- The scatter'd gleanings of a feast
- My scanty meals supply ;
- But if thine unrelenting heart
- That slender boon deny,
- The chearful light, the vital air,
- Are blessings widely given ;
- Let nature's commoners enjoy
- The common gifts of heaven.
- The well taught philosophic mind
- To all compassion gives ;
- Casts round the world an equal eye,
- And feels for all that lives.
- If mind, as ancient sages taught,
- A never dying flame,
- Still shifts thro' matter's varying forms,
- In every form the same,
- Beware, lest in the worm you crush
- A brother's soul you find ;
- And tremble lest thy luckless hand
- Dislodge a kindred mind.
- Or, if this transient gleam of day
- Be all of life we share,
- Let pity plead within thy breast,
- That little all to spare.
- So may thy hospitable board
- With health and peace be crown'd ;
- And every charm of heartfelt ease
- Beneath thy roof be found.
- So when unseen destruction lurks,
- Which men like mice may share,
- May some kind angel clear thy path,
- And break the hidden snare.
- To Doctor PRIESTLEY.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I think about a sweet little black lab who stayed up for adoption for 2 months before we finally had to put her down because we didn’t have the room, and her time was up. She looked at me with her big, brown, trusting eyes, gave me her paw when I asked for it, and licked my face while I injected her with euthanasia solution. I think about the man who brought us ten, 8-week old puppies, to be put to sleep because he was going on vacation and didn’t want to deal with them. I think about the way that they so unsuspectingly wiggled around and played with each other as I picked them up, one by one, and took their lives. I think about the countless, feral, mother cats, who watched in frozen horror as we took their kittens away from them, killed them, and then killed Mom. I think about that time that the Humane Society brought us 72, healthy and adoptable cats, to be killed all in one afternoon.
I wish I could I say that these were all exceptional cases; that this wasn’t what I dealt with everyday for 3 years. But the truth is; this is what every euthanasia technician faces every day in their job. And we do it because we care. Because we know that it has to be done by someone, and that at least when we do it, that animal will get that last little pat on the head, or scratch behind the ears. And every time a member of the public calls us an “animal killer” because they don’t understand the reality of what a euthanasia technician faces, it stings.
There is a well-known story about a euthanasia technician, who had a dream one night that she died, and went to heaven, and all of the animals that she had ever euthanized were behind the pearly gates, and they wouldn’t let her in. I would like to think that the animals would better understand why we do it than the general public seems to understand. I would like to think that they would appreciate the men and women that have stepped into that role so that they could ensure that this necessary evil was being done in the best way possible. Then again, maybe I am being idealistic, and it is just my way of keeping that armor whole, and free of cracks. I guess I will never know.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Still largely an omnivore as he completed his vegetarian cookbook, Bittman says he didn't make the big change in his diet until he (a) saw statistics about the environmental impact of large-scale livestock production; and (b) recognized, as he turned 57, that he had high cholesterol, high blood sugar, sleep apnea, bad knees and 35 extra pounds. "My doctor said, 'I think you should become a vegan,' " Bittman says, referring to a diet that includes no animal products, "That's when I decided to try the 'vegan before 6' thing," he says. "It worked for me."
"Vegan before 6" entails eating a vegan diet every day until 6 p.m. After that, Bittman enjoys whatever he wants to eat in whatever portions suit him. "In three months, I lost 35 pounds," he says, adding that he gained five of those back. "My cholesterol went down and stayed down. My blood sugar went down and stayed down. My knees pretty much got better," and his sleep apnea vanished. "It solved everything."
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Time for some Pie in the Sky... With Vegan Ice Cream on Top! (Well, maybe not... let's face it... vegan ice cream sucks...)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Before we started this work, five years ago, it was thought that great white sharks were cold water animals. But it seems the great white sharks are taking tropical winter holidays, departing New Zealand between April and September, for somewhere warmer. The maximum distance migrated was 3300 km. Our sharks don't cross the equator; so far our tagged animals have only gone as far north as 17 degrees south, north of New Caledonia. (Source)
We have to attract them to the boat, with a berley of tuna oil and minced tuna. Then we use a long pole that has a needle tip on it. The tag has a monofilament nylon leader with a barbed plastic anchor on it. The anchor slides over the needle tip, which is injected under the skin of the shark with the pole. When the shark is close enough and at (hopefully) the right angle, we use the pole to stab the anchor into the muscle below the dorsal fin as it swims by. Lots of patience is needed because usually the shark is moving around, its back is exposed only for a short amount of time and the dorsal fin is out of reach. (Source)