Tag Archives: vegan

World Day for Farmed Animals

October 2nd is World Day for Farmed Animals, a global event organized by FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement). This year is the 30th annual WDFA and I bet there’s an event near you.

world day for farmed animals

Here in Seattle, at American Gold Seafoods, we’ll be holding an event too.

  • Date: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
  • Time: 4:30 – 7:00
  • Where: American Gold Seafoods, 4019 21st Ave W  Seattle, WA

Find out more on the NARN event page for WDFA.

Don’t let it surprise you that the Seattle event is at a seafood processor. American Gold is basically a “slaughterhouse at sea.” They hold 3,000,000 salmon in pens (with about 1 bathtub worth of space per fish) for couple years, before they’re scooped up and killed by their “Harvestor” ship. Factory farms extend far beyond traditional land animals. Fish suffer and oceans are polluted because of farmed fishing.

World Day for Farmed Animals will continue until animals are no longer seen as commodities, raised for their flesh and by-products.

Won’t you join us?

 

Letters to a New Vegan

NARN got wind of a neat new project that you might be interested in:

Letters to a New Vegan
Call for Submissions
Deadline: November 15, 2013
Send submissions to veganletters@gmail.com

At the turn of the nineteenth century, a 19-year-old military student wrote a letter to a famous author seeking advice on how to live. “Nobody can advise you, nobody,” Rainer Maria Rilke replied. “There is only one way. Go into yourself.” Having said that, however, Rilke would go on to offer ample advice to the young man, writing him no fewer than ten letters in which he shared his thoughts on thriving in a complex, insensitive world. These letters would become the small but widely-treasured volume Letters to a Young Poet (1929).

Rilke’s bipartite response to his young poet exemplifies the human paradox: We need to go deeply into ourselves and we need each other. Those of us living on the edge of a ground-breaking social movement especially need each other. We need each other’s encouragement and insights; we need to hear how others have made their way—detours, stumbles, and all. Combining the stories of others with our own experience and inner wisdom, we cultivate the sustenance for lives that matter to ourselves and to the wider world.

With that, you are invited to submit your own story to an edited collection called Letters to a New Vegan. The intention of this volume is just as its allusory title suggests: We are looking to create a community of words that can encircle new vegans everywhere, from all walks of life, as they embark on their own journeys. Letters should be no longer than 1000 words (short letters are as welcome as long ones), begin with the salutation “Dear New Vegan,” and end with your name (first or full, your choice) and place of  residence. Between the salutation and closing we ask that you write in your own voice, with authenticity, honesty, and compassion.

A possible place to begin as you contemplate your letter: What would you have wanted to hear when you were a new vegan? What would have helped?

Submission guidelines:

Please email your letter (Word documents preferred) along with a short author bio to veganletters@gmail.com by November 15, 2013. Questions can be directed to this address as well.

A final, important note: We’re eager for letters from people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives. The vegan story is nothing if not multi-vocal.

Helping a Vegan Activist

You may have heard of Vegan Outreach, an organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals. The people working with Vegan Outreach can often be found leafleting in campuses across the country, promoting informed eating.

Rachel Shippee from Vegan Outreach will be leafleting in the Seattle area in October and November, as part of Vegan Outreach’s Adopt a College program.

adopt a college

If you have time to join Rachel for leafleting or a meal, please contact Anne at anne@veganoutreach.org so she can send Rachel your contact info.

Rachel needs housing in or near the cities along her route. If you have a spare couch or bed for this polite young activist, please let Anne know that as well. You can be part
of the ‘Hotel Vegan Outreach’ chain!

Thank you for your support of this important work!

Rachel’s schedule

10/22/2013      Bellevue College, Bellevue
10/22/2013      Seattle University, Seattle
10/23/2013      Seattle Central Community College, Seattle
10/23/2013      Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle
10/24/2013      South Seattle Community College, Seattle
10/24/2013      Seattle Pacific University, Seattle
10/25/2013      University of Washington, Seattle

10/28/2013      Shoreline Community College, Shoreline
10/28/2013      Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood
10/29/2013      Everett Community College, Everett
10/29/2013      Whatcom Community College, Bellingham
10/30/2013      Western Washington University, Bellingham

11/13/2013      Highline Community College, Des Moines
11/13/2013      University of Puget Sound, Tacoma
11/13/2013      Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma

Schools are starting to increase veggie meals

You may have heard that PS 244, Active Learning Elementary School in Queens, NY, adopted meat-free menu in their cafeteria recently. The students led the change at the pre-kindergarten to third-grade school. They were drawn to healthy plant-based options like falafel, spinach wraps and cucumber salad.

creative commons image c/o rusvaplauke

Now, the San Diego school district is introducing Meatless Mondays to its kindergarten through 8th grade students. The move was voted in by the board as an attempt to introduce healthy eating to the kids and help curb obesity. Starting this fall, students will get to enjoy meals like tofu and vegetable stir fry, baked potatoes, and grilled vegetable paninis.

From coast to coast, kids are learning about veganism. Let’s hope that these two changes are the start of a healthy, cruelty-free trend.

Are you a student or parent with school-age kids? Why not ask your school to introduce more vegan food in the cafeteria. It’s never to early to start a life-long habit that has a profound effect for people, the environment, and the animals.

Monkeys are just like us

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/science/science-study-shows-monkeys-pick-up-social-cues.html?_r=0

This story is a great example of not only how monkeys and humans are influenced by social cues, but of how you can do behavioral research outside of a laboratory.  The researchers learned this information, not by putting monkeys in cages, but by going to their natural habitat. 
We may not like to admit it, but as social creatures, we are highly influenced by what others do.  Why do particular food trends come and go?  Why do we wear particular styles of clothing?  Many people base their own behaviors on what’s perceived to be trendy, popular or “normal”.  When celebrities go vegan, it is a win for the animals, not just because one more person has decided to stop contributing to animal absue, but because they make being vegan more “in style”.
This study also adds to the wealth of information of how similar monkeys are to us.  What we still need to learn is an animals value shouldn’t be based upon their similarity to us, or their perceived intelligence.  Chickens, cows, pigs, etc are just as important and deserving of life as monkeys, whales, dolphins, seals, and elephants.

Harvard announces closure of primate research center

Press release reprinted from Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513-575-5517 513-703-9865 (cell)

Harvard Announces Closure of Primate Research Center; Watchdog Group Applauds Move; Calls for Retirement of Primates

BOSTON/SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – Harvard Medical School has issued a statement announcing that the New England Primate Research Center will be closing within 24 months.

Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy following the negligent deaths of at least 4 primates. The facility is currently under investigation by the USDA and faces a potentially major federal fine for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

“Harvard wants the public to believe that this closure is due to economics,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!). “That is simply not true. The only way Harvard could quash this scandal is to close the primate center, because even last year’s resignation of the Center’s Director could not end their ineptitude. This closure is the direct result of pressure from activists led by SAEN.”

“The closure of Harvard’s Primate Research Center is the best news I have ever heard,” added Budkie. “The potential exists to bring freedom to many monkeys and to redirect millions of dollars into clinical and epidemiological research which will more directly benefit humans.”

SAEN has announced plans to contact the Harvard Medical School’s administration to explore the possibility of placing at least some of the primates in sanctuaries.

“These primates have suffered enough,” added Budkie. “They deserve a chance to have a new life in another environment where their needs will be put first.”

Bill Gates promotes veganism

You know veganism is going mainstream when people like former President Bill Clinton cut out meat, eggs, and dairy. Now, Bill Gates is on board, with a feature on his website called The Future of Food.

Bill Gates

Gates is primarily concerned with the environmental impact of meat eating as the developing world readies itself for economic growth. Meat production is a cruel, unsustainable industry that damages water supplies and land–and that’s what Bill Gates is trying to change.

He supports new innovations in plant-based foods and wants to reinvent the way people eat. Instead of fixing a broken system, he’s working with companies who want to turn the industry on it’s head and start a whole new model. A plant-based model.

Less land, less water, and no animal cruelty is a model that benefits everyone.

News of Note

 

‘Meatless Monday’ too hot a potato for USDA
The rationale behind an idea like “Meatless Monday” is crystal clear. It’s exactly the kind of step USDA should be endorsing. The reality is that it takes massive amounts of land, water, fertilizer, oil and other resources to produce meat, significantly more than it requires to grow other nutritious and delicious kinds of food. Because meat production is so resource intensive, livestock farming actually accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle farming alone consumes nearly 8% of global human water use.My own organization, Oxfam, an international relief and development organization, recently endorsed the idea of eating less meat and dairy as part of our GROW campaign to fight global hunger. We did a study and found that if a family of four decided to swap burgers or other beef for lentils just one meal a week, they could save about 12½ Olympic-size swimming pools of fresh water over the course of a year.

 

Was Jesus a pioneer of animal-rights, vegetarian activism?
The late U.S. Senator Richard Neuberger, an animal advocate, explained, “I have always believed cruelty to animals is a black mark in Heaven — I realized animals do not vote. They do not make campaign contributions to enrich the coffers of politicians. But I will be their friend. I imagine he who spoke the Sermon on the Mount would want it that way, too.”…Jesus frequently condemned “partaking of benefits gotten by wronging one of God’s creatures,” including human consumption of animals.

 

Ore. court rules animals aren’t just property
Animals can be considered victims of crime, the Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled on a neglect case from Umatilla County.  “In short,” the court found, “based on the text and context of ORS 167.325 (second-degree animal neglect), it appears that the Legislature’s primary concern was to protect individual animals as sentient beings, rather than to vindicate a more generalized public interest in their welfare.” Thus, the court concluded, each animal identified in each count for which Nix was found guilty qualified as a separate victim for purposes of sentencing, and Wallace shouldn’t have merged the counts.


Republican Congressman Gloats About Bill To Enable Animal Torture
Representative Steve King (R-IA), who is the sponsor of an amendment to the House Farm Bill that is both astonishingly hypocritical and devastating to food safety laws that protect millions of Americans from illness, recently gave an interview to the Daily Caller to brag about what he had accomplished. The King Amendment would essentially prevent states from developing strong independent health, safety, and cruelty standards, even if local voters want them.

 

FAO Yields to Meat Industry Pressure on Climate Change
Livestock are not only harmed by human-caused global-warming greenhouse gas, but also cause about 18 percent of it, according to “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” a 2006 UN Food and Agriculture Organization report by FAO livestock specialists (who normally promote livestock)…One might expect the FAO to work objectively to determine whether the true figure is closer to 18 percent or 51 percent. Instead, Frank Mitloehner, known for his claim that 18 percent is much too high a figure to use in the U.S., was announced last week as the chair of a new partnership between the meat industry and FAO.

 

Knesset cries foul on battery eggs
In addition to prohibiting hen starvation, the cabinet now requires that all battery cage sizes be a minimum of 750 sq.cm., meeting the European standards for minimum cage size, a measure to be instituted within seven years at the request of the Agriculture Ministry.  Meanwhile, the cabinet also authorized a requirement for adding essential furniture for egg-laying to cages, to be implemented within four years – a compromise between the Environment Ministry’s request that it be carried out within two years, and the Agriculture Ministry’s seven.

 

Rome: Drivers of horse-drawn carriages clash with animal rights activists
Tourists and shoppers in central Rome looked on in astonishment at the weekend as horse-drawn carriage drivers traded blows with animal rights activists in the busy Piazza di Spagna.  Three people were arrested – reportedly including the president of a European animal rights group – and five were taken to hospital. The other two arrested were drivers of botticelle, the horse-drawn carriages that have become an increasingly anachronistic sight on the streets of the Italian capital.

 

Fake Meat So Good It Will Freak You Out
Beyond Meat is going down a different path than its predecessors. The company is pushing for stores to stock its meat at the meat counter, alongside real chicken, instead of next to the tofu. “Our goal is to see that category redefined—instead of having it be called ‘meat,’ it would just be called ‘protein,’ whether it’s protein coming from a cow or chicken or from soy, pea, quinoa, or other plant-based sources,” says Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat’s founder. As the firm ramps up production, Brown expects to sell Beyond Meat for less than the price of real meat, too.


House cats kill more critters than thought
While only 30% of roaming house cats kill prey — two animals a week on average — they are still slaying more wildlife than previously believed, according to research from the University of Georgia.  Cats aren’t just a danger to others, they’re also a danger to themselves. The cats in the study were seen engaging in such risky behavior as crossing roadways (45%), eating and drinking things they found (25%), exploring storm drains (20%) and entering crawl spaces where they could become trapped (20%).

 
A Horse That Enjoys the Spoils of Defeat
Once their racing or breeding days are over, some horses are retrained for riding programs, and others end up at retirement farms like Old Friends. Adoption programs seek good retirement homes. Some racetracks help to match retired racehorses with people wanting thoroughbreds. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation sponsors several farms where retired horses are cared for by prisoners.  But the need outpaces available space for the retirees. And some still end up in slaughterhouses outside the United States.

 

Trends in Meat Consumption in the United States
This study examined historical meat consumption trends in the US and other developed countries. Although there has been a slight shift from red meat to poultry consumption, red meat remains the most consumed meat. Overall meat consumption is still on the rise in the developed world, and is highest in the US. The authors suggest there is an urgent need to better understand the determinants of meat consumption in the US.