Category Archives: Animals Used for Food

Tell Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat

Have you heard that Whole Foods sells rabbit meat? In Defense of Animals recently wrote about the pilot program.

There’s no justification for eating any kind of animals, but it’s especially disturbing that, as more Americans are cutting back or omitting animal products, Whole Foods is promoting rabbits.

Rabbits are the fifth most popular pet, which makes this “food” introduction especially confusing.

And as with any industry that profits from animals, rabbits in the supply chain are treated cruelly and suffer immensely.

You can help!

Please follow the link to IDA’s factsheet. It includes a number you can call as well as a form you can fill out. Here’s info from IDA about what to say when you call:

Whole Foods corporate phone number: 512-477-4455

Here are some talking points to get you started:

  • The demand for rabbit is not strong and is in fact waning. We do not need another “meat” source, especially not from a companion animal, as rabbits are the number 5 companion animal in US households.
  • As a compassionate grocer, there is no reason to add another animal to your menu, especially one that millions of households consider a family pet.
  • I ask you to take rabbit off the shelves, as one of millions of shoppers who appreciate your variety of vegetarian and vegan options in addition to your product offerings that do not test on animals, including rabbits.
  • Sprouts listened to its customers and took rabbit meat off the shelves. Please follow their lead or I will take my business to Sprouts.

Public hearing about Gray Whale Hunts

You might have read the earlier alert about how the Makah tribe wants to resume hunting gray whales. In addition to writing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, we have the opportunity to attend a public hearing.

If you are planning on attending the Monday April 27th hearing on the DEIS for the Makah whale hunt, you must preregister.

According to the Federal Register, they are requiring preregistration by 4 pm PDT on Sunday, April 26th.

Prospective attendees for the public meeting in the NOAA Auditorium in Seattle, Washington should submit their first and last names and affiliation, if appropriate, via the NMFS email makah2015deis.wcr@noaa.gov.

Also, in order to gain access to the Federal government building in Seattle, Washington, the Department of Commerce Western Region Security Office has advised that all attendees must have valid government-issued identification (such as a driver’s license, tribal identification card, or passport).

It’s a few more hurdles, but your attendance is greatly appreciated!

See the following for further information.http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/cetaceans/whale_hunt.html

Shocking animal cruelty at federal laboratory

Did you get a chance to read the New York Times article about the horrific federal laboratory in Nebraska? The lab conducts research on farmed animals to benefit the meat industry. They receive millions of dollar a year in our money–taxpayer funds–to torture and abuse animals (the experiments are so gruesome even people in the animal agriculture industry are appalled).

The article exposes experiments conducted at the 50-year-old U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, including:

  • Newborn sheep being left to die in open fields–intentionally.
  • A young, restrained cow who suffering broken legs and died while being repeatedly mounted by six bulls.
  • Stalls so small that piglets are crushed by their mothers.
  • Deliberate high-risk pregnancies that result in deformed babies.
  • Testing for extreme heat tolerance.
  • Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals.
  • Animals starving to death in plain view of “caretakers.”

Sadly, cows, pigs, and sheep are excluded from protection under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Only Congress can stop such egregious animal suffering by making changes to the Act.

The American Anti-Vivisection Society has put together a great page to help you reach out to your legislators.

Please tell your legislators that you are outraged that federal government funds are used for such cruelty and that it must be stopped. Politely tell them that ALL animals deserve protection under the Animal Welfare Act.

AND While You Are Calling Olympia…

…to ask your representatives to oppose HB 1104, the Ag-Gag bill, please also ask them to SUPPORT HB 1131, which is an important animal protection bill to help curtail trafficking in wildlife and wildlife parts by prohibiting the purchase, sale, or transfer of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns.

If you’ve already called…call back.

THANK YOU!

URGENT PS on Washington’s Ag-Gag Bill

Several states have already introduced Ag-Gag bills since the beginning of the year, but the one that is moving the fastest is, shamefully, Washington’s.   It is set to have a hearing this coming Tuesday, January 20th.                                                                                                         WE CAN ACT BEFORE THEN!  Make sure you call your representative now to ask him or her to oppose HB 1104 (a link to find your legislators is in the previous blog post on the subject). A tip for the shy ones among us: if you call over the weekend, you can just leave a message. (I would still recommend calling during business hours though, as voice mail boxes can be full.)

The Humane League offers the following great suggestions for involvement:

·         Submit a letter to the editor. Getting letters printed in your local newspaper is an easy and effective way to reach thousands of people on the issue. Plus, lawmakers and their staff regularly read the letters section to have a pulse on what the citizens in their district care about. We already have some letters drafted and instructions on how to submit them – and submitting only takes 30 seconds. To do this, please email Sarah Swingle at SSwingle@HumaneSociety.org. Just tell her which city you live in and she’ll get you started!

·         Phonebank: You can help out big time by committing to make phone calls for one hour (or more!) to Humane Society members in Washington, asking them to call their state representatives about the bill. It’s easy, effective and flexible. Calls will start tomorrow and end on Tuesday at 10:30am EST. If you can make some calls, email Kenny Torrella atKTorrella@HumaneSociety.org and he will get you started.

PLEASE MAKE THE TIME.  SO MUCH IS AT STAKE.

 

Ag-Gag Bill Introduced in the Washington State Legislature

ag-gag

Evil never, ever, sleeps.                                                                                                           Two Republican representatives, Joe Schmick of Colfax and J.T. Wilcox of Yelm, have sponsored Washington State’s first  2015 attempt at Ag-Gag legislation: House Bill 1104.  Schmick’s district is adjacent to Idaho, and he openly admits HB 1104 is modeled on Idaho’s new Ag-Gag law.  He says he wants a “strong deterrent” against taking pictures or recording operations of agricultural facilities without permission.  Guilty would be  anyone who “enters an agricultural production facility that is not open to the public and, without the facility owner’s express written consent or pursuant to judicial process or clear statutory authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the assets or conduct of an agricultural production facility’s operations … .” Penalties for conviction could include up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.Fully half the states have introduced such bills, and about half a dozen have passed.  The first such laws were adopted in 1990-91 in Kansas, North Dakota and Montana. Four more states — Idaho, Utah, Iowa and Missouri — have adopted similar measures since 2010.

I don’t need to tell you how important it is that not a single new state pass this legislation.  In addition to being a moral and ethical issue, a matter of educating people on exactly what happens when they pay others to turn animals into food, and in addition to being a freedom of speech issue, remember it is also a food safety issue: undercover investigations have led to the largest recalls of meat in history.                 Karma, you may think.  I did.                                                                                               I find it interesting, however, that the meat industry doesn’t care either.  Retaining profits by keeping what goes on secret is way more important than public safety.                                                                                  Why would you think people who don’t care about the animal suffering would care about your health?

Anyway…we will be hearing more about this, but it is never too soon to begin. Go here to find your legislator:

http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Call, write, email. Monthly. Weekly.

Good article on the subject by Will Potter: http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/ag-gag-american-legislative-exchange-council/5947/

Food Giant Scared of Eggless Mayo

 

Look familiar? You have probably seen this and already tried it, wondering if it gets better than Vegenaise. (Does it? My vote is no, but that’s beside the point here.) You may also have heard that the food giant Unilever is suing the start-up company Hampton Creek, maker of this spread that tastes like mayonnaise but contains yellow peas instead of eggs (Whirled Peas! Literally!)  — hence the logo that depicts an egg with a pea shoot growing through it.  For us, the most important aspect of Just Mayo is that no one got hurt to make it.  The lawsuit contends that Hampton Creek is guilty of false advertising and fraud (because Unilever, which sells $60 BILLION worth of stuff worldwide under 1,000 different brand names, is SO concerned about false advertising) — and, the crux of the matter, is denting sales of its own mayonnaise products, marketed under the brand names Hellmann’s and Best Foods. (Wait, isn’t that how capitalism works?!)

By FDA regulations, mayonnaise contains egg yolks.  Just Mayo does not, it is true, but then it doesn’t call itself mayonnaise either. Also, considering Hampton Creek specifically markets the eggless-ness of Just Mayo, it can hardly be said to be creating false impressions.  Nevertheless, Unilever’s suit alleges it will suffer “irreparable harm” from Just Mayo, feigns concern that “consumers are being misled”, and demands damages of three times Hampton Creek’s profits, plus legal fees, plus the recall of all Just Mayo products and marketing materials, and a change in logo.

In the first 24 hours of the story going public, Hampton Creek received 18,000 messages of support.  Unilever and Hellmann’s were deluged by negative comments. And the media visibility for Just Mayo has been estimated at the equivalent of advertising worth $20+ million in just the first week after the lawsuit was filed. HA!

During that time Unilever was busy quietly cleaning a bunch of it’s own websites and product descriptions, which were found LIKEWISE not to conform to the rules it was trying to set for Just Mayo.

Just Mayo is already on the shelves in chains like Costco, Target and WalMart, and Hampton  Creek has also begun selling Just Cookies, an eggless, dairy-free cookie dough in four varieties. Will Keebler’s elves be lining up at their own lawyer’s office to accuse Hampton Creek of fraud in their use of the word “Cookies”??

Vegan Thanksgiving Options

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up Thanksgiving. In fact, a big portion of the dinner is probably vegan–or could easily be made vegan. As for the turkey? Swap out the carcass with a delicious vegan loaf!

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of sharing precious time with family and friends. There’s no better way to show people how easy and delicious being vegan is. And if you can share your vegan food with others, they’ll know so much more about how to be vegan.

Here are some options for the holiday:

Host a dinner

Having dinner at your place guarantees you can make it an all-vegan meal and show others the joy of eating cruelty-free.

Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, soup, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are all dishes that are vegan or easily can be. Substitute butter and milk with dairy-free options and you’re set. You can find lots of vegan recipes online–even for things like gravy.

feast

Field Roast* and Tofurkey** make delicious prepackaged loaves that easily take the place of a turkey on the table. Doing an online search for “vegan turkey loaf” will return great recipes for a DIY version.

* Field Roast is made from seitan, a wheat gluten.
** Tofurkey is made from soy beans

Attend a dinner

There are two types of dinners I’ve attended. My favorite are ones hosted by vegans. I get to try all the food, and I get to spend time with like-minded people.

Attending a dinner with people who aren’t vegan is a great opportunity to bring a dish and show people that you can still enjoy holidays and that vegan food is awesome! If being around a slaughtered turkey is too disturbing, plan to arrive for dessert–with your favorite vegan sweets!

Go to a vegan restaurant

Sometimes vegan restaurants will offer a Thanksgiving meal. You’ll likely have to make reservations in advance, but it will be worth it. It’s also a great chance to take friends who still eat meat and show them vegan options.

vegan feast

No matter how you plan to celebrate the holiday, enjoy the vegan food!

 

Has Daiya Betrayed Us?

daiya

Daiya (pronounced Day-ah) Foods, Inc. has been our cheesy savior since 2008, when it was founded as a “vegan cheese company”.  Its shreds, slices, wedges, cream cheese and most recently, pizza,  have made the conversion to veganism easier for a lot of people, as well as making the vegan version of conventional foods more familiar. Daiya is probably what most of us are thinking of when someone says, “Oh, I could never do without the cheese!” and we say, “You don’t have to!” Daiya cheese is made from cassava and arrowroot and contains no animal products. It has received multiple awards, including from VegNews and PETA. Its founders, Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake, are vegans, and the company was never been shy about using the word VEGAN.  Ethical and successful…wow.

Trouble is, for some time now non-vegan things have been sneaking in. Not that your Daiya pizza now secretly contains bacon, or that beef fat is being surreptitiously added to your cheddar shreds, but references to meat, and recipes containing meat have begun surfacing on the Daiya website and Facebook page, and a subtle verbal shift away from “vegan” (with its ethical connotations) and towards “dairy-free” (now referring to human health and food allergies) has taken place.

To begin with, this passed largely unnoticed.  However, as the news has become more widely disseminated, a growing number of vegans find this seriously offensive.  A vegan cheese company, founded by vegans, promoting recipes that contain beef, turkey, ham, fish, and eggs?  Four hundred-odd people have ‘liked’ the Boycott Daiya FB page. This does feel like a betrayal. A abolition-vs-welfare kind of betrayal. We had decided Daiya was abolitionist and they turn out to be welfarist. Or worse. Since we all know with gut-wrenching clarity that a ham roll-up or seafood salad is not … NOT… just a “food choice”.  However.

Having reached all the vegan world, was Daiya’s growth as a vegan cheese company, while little short of meteoric, pretty much limited to the growth of the number of vegans?  Would we would prefer them to remain small and ethical, rather than become huge at the expense of any compromise with suffering?  And this is where the abolition-vs-welfare thing comes in. As we know, even though about 2/3 of the human population is lactose intolerant, this does NOT stop them eating cheese.  While we are all abolitionists at heart, would we prefer they eat real cheese and get upset stomachs (yes, I know, we don’t care about that bit) or Daiya and don’t?  Isn’t every bag of Daiya shreds (which, just fyi, do not contain palm oil, although some of the other Daiya products do) bought better than a bag of real shredded cheese? As a very large and successful company, would Daiya have the power to effect more change for the better than a relatively small and insignificant one?  Is Daiya poised to become the next Silk? Just thoughts. And I haven’t finished thinking this one through yet.  For what it’s worth (likely not a whole bunch) company spokespeople profess injured innocence:

“We are sorry for offending you. That was certainly not our intention. Here at Daiya, we simply try to provide resources and recommendations (which include our many user-submitted recipes) that might appeal to the many different people who love our products.”

For more info about the boycott, visit: https://www.facebook.com/daiyahurtsanimals?fref=nf

and to tell Daiya what you think, https://www.facebook.com/daiyafoods

 

Join the World Day for Farmed Animals protest

Please join NARN and FARM (Farm Animals Rights Movement) for a two-hour demo this Thursday.

WDFFA

The demo is part of for World Day for Farmed Animals and will be held outside the American Gold Seafood Company to raise awareness of the suffering of fish and the damage caused by commercial fish farming.

When: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 from noon to 2 pm
WhereAmerican Gold Seafood Company
4019 21st Avenue West Seattle, WA 98199

More details are on the event Facebook page

FISH ARE NOT SWIMMING VEGETABLES!

It’s convenient to believe that fish don’t feel fear and pain like mammals do, but this isn’t true. It’s their misfortune that fish merely do not express their pain in a way that is easily recognizable to humans.

Watch this short video for an excellent dramatization of why fish are often misunderstood and undervalued as sentient creatures.

The truth is commercial fish farming conditions are horrific: The fish suffer from gross overcrowding, lice infestations, and feces-polluted water that in turn lead to algae blooms, oxygen depletion, and the death of other marine species.

It’s hard enough to get people to care about cute fluffy animals — that’s why we’re taking time to fight for fish, who die in much, much higher numbers than those of land mammals, and suffer just the same.

For more information, go to the Day for Animals site or click here to take a one-day fast pledge.

Some signs and leaflets will be provided but as always feel free to create your own great posters.

 

 

Action alerts, news, tips, stories, and resources for Animal Advocates in the NW