A great starting point for Vegan education

From The Humane League  (I don’t have any connection to them other than I want to be able to provide any good resources available to help people make the right, compassionate choices)

The biggest thing that any individual can do to help animals and reduce the amount of cruelty in the world is to stop consuming animal products, including chicken, fish, eggs, red meat and milk.

The average American eats nearly one hundred animals per year, with most of these being chicken and fish. (It’s important to note that chickens and fish feel pain and have distinct personalities just as dogs and cats do.)

Most animals (including fish) are raised in intensive conditions where animals cannot exhibit instinctive behaviors or live any semblance of a natural life. Many are confined in cages so small they cannot or can barely turn around, and most spend their entire lives indoors in dark, filthy sheds. To learn more about animal agriculture and how you can make more compassionate food choices, please click here.
What’s the bright side of all of this? The bright side is that each person who reduces their meat consumption, eats vegetarian, or eats vegan will in the course of their lifetime spare hundreds or thousands of animals from the daily misery of animal agriculture. This provides The Humane League a tremendous opportunity to help animals through effective vegetarian advocacy work.

Each year we hand out hundreds of thousands of detailed Compassionate Choices booklets on college campuses and at concerts and festivals. These booklets give the public an eye-opening look at factory farming and provide resources and tips for going veg. Each year we hear from many people who went vegetarian as a result of getting a leaflet from us.
We also distribute tens of thousands of free Vegetarian Starter Kits through public news stand boxes (the same kind of news stand boxes you might get a free weekly newspaper or an Auto Trader guide from), located on busy city streets and by public transportation centers. Thousands of Veg Starter Kits are also mailed out each year to individuals who order them through our comprehensive veg resource site,VegStarterPack.com.

We created VegStarterPack.com to provide a concise collection of the best resources available online for anyone interested in eating vegetarian. To further help people make the transition, we’ve launched three statewide guides to veg-friendly restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, bars and more.

A very important component of our vegetarian advocacy work is online outreach, exposing key audiences to videos about factory farm cruelty and helpful resources on veg eating. We are currently drawing nearly 100,000 visitors each month to our Who’s Against Animal Cruelty website through targeted Facebook advertisements and a viral outreach campaign.

In addition, we air television programs about factory farm cruelty and vegan cooking on numerous PBS, college and public access television stations. Our programs are designed both to educate the public and to inspire people to make a difference for animals in their own lives.

The Humane League also regularly tables at festivals, fairs and other community events to educate the public about animal agriculture and provide helpful resources for vegetarian eating. Lastly, we host an annual Baltimore Veg Fest to promote veg eating in the Maryland region.

The Humane League is always seeking volunteers to work with us on these easy and highly effective veg advocacy programs, in particular our veg leafleting. To get involved, please sign up today to be a part of The Humane League!

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A new rule

So let’s adopt a new rule. If you insist on using an animal or animal byproduct in any way, you have to kill and process the being you choose to destroy, all by yourself. If you choose to have bacon with your morning eggs, you have to process (kill, clean, etc.) the pig yourself. You pick out the pig, you “process it” (kill it), and you get it to your plate without any assistance. If you want to continue buying and wearing another being’s fur, you find the animal, you kill it and skin it and then make the product you choose to wear. And when it comes to that evening’s meatloaf, well, you get the picture.

I wonder then how many people will continue to condone factory farming and the “processing” of these innocent beings? And let’s make the above rule even better. Let’s make it mandatory that you have to raise that being you choose to destroy, from its embryonic stage, all the way to its slaughter.

Yes, I realize that people who grow up on farms likely have, or continue to do these very things. They raise and kill these animals for their personal consumption all the time. But do you think the average non-farmer could do these things? Doubt it.

There are billions of people on this earth that still believe that “free range” animals and the like, freely give their lives so that we can have our hamburgers and hot dogs at the weekend barbecue. There are billions of people who probably think that those nice, neat packages of hamburger are magically harvested from some field in North Dakota, already packaged and ready to ship to market. There are billions of people on this planet who know no other way, or who willfully remain blind to the truth. And, there are many who, even knowing the truth about factory farming, believe it is their “god-given right” to hold this “dominion” over the beasts of the fields. Really?

The war to stop the killing is overwhelming at times because most people who consume animals, just don’t care about the truth. They just don’t get it. Or they get it, but think it’s all just part of the circle of life. But as for me, I’ll continue to fight until ALL animals are once again free to roam the earth as life intended. At peace. Without pain. Without fear. For their entire NATURAL lifespan.

Everything you need to know about animals

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Can you possibly live without bacon?

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What is Veganism?

And in case you don’t know what this is a picture of, it is a cow being as free and as happy as they were meant to, and want to be.

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Doesn’t their plight bother you?

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Who said Vegans don’t drink milk?

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A victory!

We went to lunch at our city’s only Vegan restaurant on Saturday, and talked to a young man who we had worked with when the restaurant he worked at, Vegeria, did a benefit for Sunny Day Farms a couple of weeks ago. He was a Vegetarian at that time. I told him about the movie Earthlings, and how that movie convinced me to become an animal rights activist and a Vegan. At any rate, he went home and watched it, and as a result, switched from being a Vegetarian to a full-fledged Vegan. Woohoo! One down, just a few billion more to go.

Earthlings

It’s Baffling

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We all know that animal cruelty exists in the world. We all know animal abuse is pretty rampant. It is a sad, sad state of affairs when to some people, animals are merely “things” instead of being recognized for the living beings that they actually are. We eat them. We abandon them. We use them for amusement. We abuse and torture them. We treat them as disposable. And that’s wrong.

What really gets me, besides all of the above, is that there are those who record the utter cruelty and post it on YouTube or somewhere similar. One question, why? Who needs to see a video of some assholes burning a tiny puppy alive? Who needs to see pit bulls and other dogs fight each other until one dies? Who needs to see animal slaughter? Obviously, someone does. Because if you go on YouTube and start searching around for these types of videos, your search will produce sometimes hundreds of results. And if you inadvertently end up watching one or parts of one, I’d hope you’d find it as disturbing and disgusting as I do. And once you see that stuff, it can’t be unseen. It stays with you forever. Especially if it bothers and saddens you. And you don’t even have to actually watch the video to get a sense of what’s happening. Just look at the stats for those videos that get tens if not hundreds of thousands of hits. Someone is watching that stuff. And forgive my language, but whoever is watching AND enjoying this stuff, are really a bunch of very sick f***s. Sorry, that’s what they are.

And I AM NOT talking about those videos from organizations like Farm Sanctuary, or Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, or Mercy for Animals or SARA Sanctuary that are posted to show people the horrors of what happens so as to inform and educate. To make a positive difference. Certainly not to titillate and entertain.

I don’t know, I guess I truly can’t conceive of such hatred of another being that you would actually commit these atrocities in the first place. Granted, there are some very psychologically sick people in this world. There are probably those that just can’t help themselves. Sad, but probably true. But, what about those people who just do this stuff because they think it’s funny? Or “cool?” And even those that work in slaughter houses and on factory farms? How do you turn off that switch in your conscience that tells you the killing and abuse is wrong? How do you just block that out and contribute to, and live with, being a part of that?

Admittedly, I may care TOO much about animal welfare. Wait, no I don’t. I don’t think it’s possible to care too much. Raising an animal for the sole purpose of fattening them up to slaughter and kill them later, IS wrong. Grinding up a newborn chick because it happens to be a male, IS wrong. Ripping a male calf away from it’s mother within days of it being born so that calf can then be raised as veal, or simply sold for $25 for cheap beef, if wrong. Shoving a pipe down a goose’s throat to overfeed them and cause their liver to become diseased so people can enjoy their daily dose of foie gras, IS wrong. And I could go on, and on, and on. And when it comes to domesticated animals, if you cannot treat them just as you would one of your own children or other family member (provided you are a child abuser), then you don’t deserve a pet.

Is that going overboard? Is that attributing way too much worth to an “animal?” Deal with it. I’m not changing.

Momma and Baby

A Smidgen of Good News

Calculated by Noam Mohr, noammohr@gmail.com, 5/2012

In 2011, compared to 2010:

  • The average meat-eater ate 1 fewer land animal — a 4% drop from 27.1 to 26.1 animals.
  • Cattle, pigs, chickens for meat, and chickens for eggs each saw a drop of 3-5%. (Turkeys saw a small 0.7% increase.)
  • Overall, the number of land animals that died for Americans fell from 8.4 to 8.2 billion, or 242 million fewer animals – including 1 million fewer cows, 5 million fewer pigs, and 240 million fewer chickens (but an additional 5 million turkeys).
Long-term trend:
  • In 2011, the average meat-eater caused the deaths of fewer cows, fewer pigs, and fewer chickens than any other year going back to at least 2000, while deaths for turkeys and ducks remain at near lows.
  • Since peaking in 2004, the average meat-eater eats 4 fewer land animals — a 13% drop from 31.2 to 27.1 animals.
  • Overall, that’s a nationwide drop from 8.9 billion in 2005 to 8.2 billion in 2011, or 725 million fewer.

(Click the image to make it bigger and more readable)

If You Want to Be Convinced…

…that vegetarianism or veganism is the truly compassionate way to live, read “Diet for a New America,” by John Robbins, the intended heir to the Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream fortune. This book has probably single-handedly been responsible for more people adopting a plant-based diet than any other author. Read it. Live it.

HOW Much Is That Hamburger?

This chart was shamelessly stolen from NPR.

We are (or should be) aware of the costs in lives of all sentient beings raised and slaughtered each day for food we don’t even need. But here are some other costs added on top of the cost in lives lost. And these costs are for a single hamburger patty, not tons of beef.

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Meet Scribbles

This is how happy and free, farm animals can actually be if we just let them.

Scribbles the Baby Goat

So Do You Still Think Animals Have No Feelings or Emotions?

Mother Goats Remember Kids’ Bleats Even After Long Separation

(From the best news site in the world – The Huffington Post)

Don’t underestimate the emotional lives of farm animals. According to new research, mama goats recall their babies’ bleats at least a year after mother and kid are separated.

The study is one of the few to test whether the mother-child bond in animals lasts after the first period of dependence ends. It seems that goats, at least, remember their family ties long-term.

“They still react more to the calls of the kid from a previous year than to the calls of familiar kids born to other females” a year after weaning, said study researcher Elodie Briefer, a postdoctoral researcher at Queen Mary, University of London. “That means they have a long-term memory of the calls of their kids.”

Mama-baby bond

Plenty of mammal mamas are known to recognize their babies during the post-birth and nursing periods, but it’s tough to follow pairs of animals over time to see whether those bonds last. A few researchers have followed mother-baby pairs of some seal species, finding that both moms and pups remember each other’s voices for years after weaning. Tamarin monkeys recognize their relatives even after four years of separation.

While goats can probably also use markings and scent to recognize each other, there is plenty of evidence that their voices are also important. Baby goats seem to pick up distinctive “accents” from their herdmates, research has found. And Briefer and her colleagues have found that mother goats know their babies’ cries as early as one week after birth.

To find out if this voice recognition persists, the researchers recorded the calls of the 5-week-old kids of nine pygmy goat moms at a farm in Nottinghamshire in the U.K. Between seven and 13 months after these babies weaned and were separated from their mothers, the researchers played the bleats back to the moms in their pens, recording whether and how long the mother goats looked toward the sound or bleated back.

They found that mama goats responded more strongly to their own babies’ cries than to the recorded cries of babies of other mothers living in the same pen. The responses weren’t as strong as they were when the kids were dependent little 5-week-olds, but it seemed that mothers still remembered. This memory held even though the mothers had mated again and moved on to new offspring by the time of the follow-up experiment.

Remembering the Kids

The cries of the current babies and the previous kids were different, the researchers found, so it’s unlikely the moms were mistaking the recorded calls for the voices of their current young.

Goats are social creatures, Briefer told LiveScience. In the wild, they live in groups, segregating by sex in the day and coming together as a whole herd at night. Female goats probably stick close by moms their whole lives in the wild, so recognizing each other’s voices is likely important, Briefer said. Knowing her son’s call may also help prevent a mother goat from accidentally mating with him, she said.

Alternatively, the long-term recognition may just be a side effect of the strong mother-kid bond in the first days of nursing. It could be that these early memories are so strong that they just don’t fade, Briefer said.

For farmers, the message is that goats are smart, Briefer said. They have long memories, and early separation of moms and kids may be very stressful. In the wild, baby goats wean at around 5 to 6 months of age, while at dairy farms, they’re separated from their mothers at only about 2 months old. Lengthening their time together may be more humane, Briefer said.

More broadly, the results suggest that family ties run strong throughout the animal kingdom. Many mammals, from seals and monkeys to squirrels and elephants, have been shown to recognize family members after long separations, Briefer and her colleagues wrote Tuesday (June 19) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

“It could be quite widespread,” Briefer said.