Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead [sic]. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Shit every day. (Source)
First row from left are: Silje Merete Fjellbu, Birgitte Smetbak, Margrethe Boeyum Kloeven, Bano Abobakar Rashid, Hanne Fjalestad, Diderik Aamodt Olsen and Kjersti Berg Sand (26) from Nord-Oda. Second row from left are: Sharidyn Meegan Ngahiwi Svebakk-Boehn, Guro Vartdal Haavoll , Syvert Knudsen, Simon Saeboe, Haakon Oedegaard, Johannes Buoe and Eivind Hovden. Third row from left are: Sondre Furseth Dale, Sverre Flaate Bjoerkavaag, Gizem Dogan, Dupe Ellen Awoyemi, Silje Stamneshagen, Tove Aashill Knutsen. PHOTOGRAPH BY: HANDOUT, REUTERS/SCANPIX
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
"If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."- John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Right now, as most of us struggle to stay cool, a tragedy is unfolding in our midst. Each day in this sweltering heat, truckloads pigs are left outside in the sun next to Quality Meat Packers Limited on Tecumseh Street in Toronto. The pigs squeal in agony, packed into nightmarish, oven-like conditions. Dazed, overheated, their snouts bleed from pressing against the walls of the truck trailers. They have no sweat glands, so their internal body temperature spikes. All the while, the heat blazes down on them relentlessly, making the final moments of their short lives unbearable. Efforts by concerned citizens to bring relief to the pigs are met with resistance by plant managers.
Six thousand pigs a day are processed at Quality Meat Packers. They know nothing but misery before their lives are cut short to fill our plates with meat we do not need to consume in order to survive. Sadly, Quality Meat Packers is not unique. This deplorable treatment is standard operating procedure for pork producers. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Ask yourself if this is the kind of Canada you want.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
On Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at about 2pm, a local resident -- Teresa -- witnessed pigs that were very hot, dehydrated and wounded, including several pigs with bloody snouts in one transport truck. She was shocked to see about 10 transport trucks waiting in line in the hot sun to be unloaded at Toronto's Quality Meat Packers, including three trucks waiting on Wellington Street West. Distressed by what she witnessed, she ran into the plant and asked to speak to the manager. She demanded that they address the crisis. She was asked to leave.
Teresa texted her friends and various NGOs and through social media Toronto Pig Save was informed at about 4 p.m. We immediately visited the site.
The footage in this video is of one transport truck waiting in line at about 4 p.m.; most of the trucks had left the site already. The pigs are clearly in distress -- extremely hot, dehydrated, overcrowded, and many with wounds, including one with an open eye wound. The pigs are very vocal communicating to each other and perhaps to us as well, crying for help.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has set up a media alert and aform letter you can send to your MP, but please personalize the letter and refer to this case of July 12 and this video.
Video footage: Anita Krajnc, Photo stills: Teresa Ascencao, Toronto Pig Save
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
In North America, over a million infant calves pass their short lives in wooden crates to produce veal for the table. Their mothers in the dairy industry are condemned to a continuous cycle of pregnancy-birth-lactation to keep producing milk. The veal and dairy industries are therefore completely intertwined and interdependent. In a dairy operation the female offspring replace the slaughtered milking cows, but the male calves, once born, have little value for farmers. One common outcome is to simply leave the calf to die of exposure or to smash his skull with a handy shovel or sledgehammer.
Where there are dealers to collect them, newborn calves are sold as "bob" veal for about $50 apiece and killed, barely able to stand, at under a week old. In larger dairy operations, where more infants are available, traders buy them for sale to veal producers. Once there and crated, they are treated as nothing more than mechanical units of production, never as living creatures with needs and natures of their own.
"The thoroughbred industry needs to address the issue of the legs being too weak. The Stampede has done everything they could do to prepare the track, to change the rules so the wagons are not smashing into each another.” (Source)
How the chuckwagon races are run, as well as standards for other events at the rodeo, have been greatly overhauled in the last year since six horses died at the Stampede's 2010 edition. Two died of heart attacks, two were destroyed after suffering injuries and another broke its back from bucking too hard. The sixth died after experiencing health difficulties 40 minutes after a chuckwagon race. One change made in the wake of those deaths sees veterinarians implanting a microchip in every horse that is scheduled to compete in the chuckwagon races.
Next time you drive through Iowa farm country, you may want to put away your camera. Earlier this year, the state proposed a new piece of legislation, House File 589, that would make it a crime to videotape, audio record, or in any way document a crop or animal facility without the prior consent of the owner. Anyone who produces, possesses, or distributes an unauthorized recording would face hefty fines, jail time, or both. The proposed law, an amendment to Iowa Code 717A, passed the Iowa House by a wide margin. It recently stalled in the Senate, but it will most likely be taken up again months from now in the state's next legislative session: as Iowa Representative Jim Lykam recently noted, "I'm sure that somebody will try to see if they can resurrect it." Most importantly, the underlying issue—industrial agriculture's fear that activists will continue to expose its practices—hasn't gone away.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
"We need the monument because our casualty list of close to 60,000 in the First World War and some 48,000 in the Second World War would have been much higher had it not been for the support of our animals," he said. "The animals managed to bring the guns forward, the animals that managed to bring the provisions forward, the animals that evacuated our wounded. We owe a great debt to them." (Source)
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
In the first week of December 2006, Matthew Garcia felt feverish and chilled on the blustery production floor. He fought stabbing back pains and nausea, but he figured it was just the flu—and he was determined to tough it out.
Garcia had gotten on at QPP [Quality Pork Processors, which processes the meat for Hormel] only 12 weeks before and had been stuck with one of the worst spots on the line: running a device known simply as the "brain machine"—the last stop on a conveyor line snaking down the middle of a J-shaped bench [DC] called the "head table." Every hour, more than 1,300 severed pork heads go sliding along the belt. Workers slice off the ears, clip the snouts, chisel the cheek meat. They scoop out the eyes, carve out the tongue, and scrape the palate meat from the roofs of mouths. Because, famously, all parts of a pig are edible ("everything but the squeal," wisdom goes), nothing is wasted. A woman next to Garcia would carve meat off the back of each head before letting the denuded skull slide down the conveyor and through an opening in a plexiglass shield.