Government Bailouts to Agribusiness with YOUR Money

America was incensed when investment bankers held their hands out for the government bailout funds, and then paid themselves handsomely in personal bonuses from that money. There is still anger today about it as only one criminal charge was laid, despite deliberate and obvious fraud.

Well, a week ago there was another government bailout that few people know about made with taxpayers money. In a news release (#0181.16) the USDA announced that they would purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private companies for $20M, the highest surplus in 30 years. Why is there a surplus? Because people are learning that the dairy industry is selling products laced with antibiotics and growth hormones, (because of their severe abuse of animals causing pain, suffering and illness), and high cholesterol and saturated fats. People are choosing healthier and kinder alternatives.

To soften this ludicrous gesture, the USDA says it will give the food to food banks and pantries for good nutrition. If it was truly to increase health, it would be a laudable move, but it isn’t.  Plant-based meals are healthy. Cheese, milk and related dairy products clearly are not.

Perhaps the USDA should remind itself that we live in a capitalist system where suppliers meet consumer demand. When that demand changes, suppliers move with it or go out of business. Propping up companies like this only weakens our economy.

The recipients of this money are the factory farmers who deny animals the right to breathe fresh air, see sunlight, tend to their young and confine them so rightly they cannot even stretch their limbs for their whole lives. I strongly object to my money being used like this.  If you agree, http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2016/08/0181.xml&navid=NEWS_RELEASE&navtype=RT&parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&edeployment_action=retrievecontent  

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Endangered Species Act

I met with my Congressman, Jim Himes, today to talk about the dangerous riders being added to this bill that has protected 99% of species from becoming extinct. Such riders include allowing sportsmen (now that’s a euphemism) to shoot swimming caribou from motorboats and grizzly bears from planes. It isn’t for subsistence. It’s for trophy hunting. Taking an innocent, defenseless animal’s life for fun.  Females are often shot and their babies are then left to die. Yeah, that’s a sport. Disgusting.

Luckly, Congressman Himes is a compassionate man. We are lucky to have him in office. I was honored to talk with him about this and encouraged that he is easy and open to talk with.

90% of the U.S. population is in favor of the Endangered Species Act. What they don’t know is that over the past five years there has been a 600% increase in legislative attacks on it because trophy hunters and their ilk who don’t respect life. Animal advocates need to speak up against these hunters so that our opinion is heard loudly. Contacting your politicians is easy to do. As a voter, your opinion matters.

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Why You Should Not Eat Chicken

Chickens are intelligent, affectionate and playful. They tend to their young, enjoy their lives and want to live as much as we do. While those are good enough reasons for me to avoid eating it, there are plenty of health reasons why meat eaters should avoid it.

Here are a few:

The European Prospective Investigation Study Into Cancer and Nutrition, known as the (“EPIC”) study recruited more than four thousand men and women in ten countries and followed their diets for nine years. Of all the animal products studies, chicken was associated with the highest risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, all grades of follicular lymphoma and several B-cell lymphomas. In fact, for every 50 grams of chicken consumed, there was a risk between 56% and 280%. To give you an idea of size, one cooked, boneless chicken breast can weigh about 384 grams.

That is a small amount of chicken eaten to be associated with several blood cancers. Researchers believe that it is not just the antibiotics that cause this, but also the dioxins found in poultry meat.

There are also higher rates of blood cancers among farmers, slaughterhouse workers and butchers. People who prepare meat have contracted contagious postular dermatitis and “butchers warts” on their hands. Even butchers’ wives have been known to be at higher risk for cervical cancer.

Slaughterhouse workers have higher rates of cancer of the throat, nasal cavities, mouth, oesophagus, rectum, liver and blood.

80-90% of urinary tract infections are caused by chicken bacteria. That bacteria tend to be drug resistant.

Just look at the pictures below. In the top one, I am holding a rescued chicken from a factory farm. Compare it to the factory farmed picture chickens on the right. They have miserable, sickly lives because of their horrible living conditions. There is absolutely no reason to eat them.

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Where Are All The Animals?

Someone asked me the other day where all the animals have gone? He was referring to a farm in Northern Connecticut where his father lives. On a recent trip up there, he happened to notice that where there used to be chickens and cows, there was now barren land, except for what looked like long, windowless, concrete barracks.

Turns out that the local farm had been put out of business by a factory farming organization that produces eggs.

So where are the chickens?

They’re there. Millions of them. All housed in battery cages in windowless barracks where they cannot move a wing. They never see the sunlight or breathe fresh air. There is no air conditioning in the summer. They are only widgets in a production process where efficiencies reign supreme to attain the highest profit.

In 2010 half a billion eggs were recalled due to Salmonella outbreaks. Despite the blatant health risk, the chairman of the United Egg Producers insisted that “completely cooked eggs are completely safe.” Wait a minute. Did the world “completely” seem superfluous to you? It should have.

After landing up in the Toronto General Disease Ward after a trip to South America, I know from personal experience that you can contract Salmonella from cooked eggs. So what did he mean by “completely?”

Dr. Michael Greger reports that the egg industry funded research on Salmonella and found that scrambled, eggs over easy and sunny side up cooking methods do not eradicate the Salmonella germs. Salmonella can even survive in eggs boiled up to eight minutes. It seems that “completely cooked” is some concoction yet to be explained.

Salmonella is on the rise. Is it any wonder? When chickens are stuffed into crammed cages for their whole lives, unable to move, where does their fecal matter go? Nowhere. It is all around them, and easily gets transferred to their eggs.

It is clear that if you want to stay healthy, don’t eat eggs. There are plenty of ways to get protein that don’t involve animal cruelty or poisoning yourself. Here are 10 sources: sprouted-grain bread, tempeh, lentils, beans, quinoa, tofu, veggies, hemp, nut butter and non-dairy milk, for starters.

We have all been brainwashed to believe that we need eggs for protein. It is simply not true. You can be healthier and kinder to the chickens, the planet and yourself if you choose alternatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to Secretary Clinton on Animal Rights

Andrew Kirschner is an animal rights activist who does many wonderful things to help draw attention to the plight of animal suffering. Among the many activities he is engaged in, he interviews interesting people who have made a difference in animal protection, he sells vegan products and he has a blog on http://kirschnerskorner.com.

I have re-created his latest blog because I could not have written this better! Enjoy.

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by Andrew Kirschner
Dear Secretary Clinton,

A few days ago, animal rights activists interrupted your speech in Nevada to draw attention to the plight of billions of animals. You responded by suggesting that they were seeking to redress their grievances with Donald Trump because his sons shoot animals. While I appreciate you spotlighting the cruelty of sport hunting, the people holding “Torturing Animals is not Progressive” signs at your event were actually speaking to you and your supporters. Since you eat and wear animals and buy products tested on animals, and supported the animal agriculture industry as a U.S. Senator, you, like millions of other Americans, also contribute to the needless killing of animals.

I watched a video of your recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. You stated, “I really like elephants. I love the way elephants remember–the matriarch of the family looks out for everybody. I have such a sense of connection to elephants. It breaks my heart that they’re being poached and murdered and babies being left to fend for themselves. I just love them. I just want to do everything I can to stop the murdering of elephants in Africa.” Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of elephants.

The people protesting at your event, however, were asking you to extend your concern to all animals. While I like elephants too, I care about all animals equally. I don’t base respect for animals on what they do, how they look, or convenience but rather on the moral principle that they all have the same right to live their natural lives to completion in freedom. That’s why I don’t shoot them, eat them, wear them, buy anything tested on them, or pay to see them exploited.

I hope you will consider that the animals you eat, for example, are as sentient as elephants. They feel pain, suffer, and want to live. They also have memories and strong family bonds. A chicken is a turkey is a cow is a pig is an elephant. In addition, the animal agriculture industry is equally if not more cruel to the animals it kills than the poaching industry.

As you campaign on a platform of respect for everyone: LGBTs, women, special needs, and people of color and from all walks of life, I hope you recognize that your message is incomplete until you extend it to all animals. A transformative leader does what’s right before it becomes widely accepted. This is a historic opportunity for you to lead.

Approximately 98% of all animals killed in the United States are brutally slaughtered for food. It’s suffering and violence most people can’t even watch. For that reason, I hope you will change the language on the “Protecting animals and wildlife” page on your campaign website. It currently reads that you “encourage farms to raise animals humanely.” There is no way to raise an animal humanely for food in the factories where 99% of animals are bred, confined, caged, deprived, abused, transported, and slaughtered. Instead, please invite people to show real mercy for farmed animals by eating plant-based food. It’s humane, healthier, sustains the global food supply, and reduces climate change–positions that you have made the centerpiece of your presidential campaign.

Let’s join forces to advocate for all animals and offer a truly progressive agenda for the American people. Thank you for your consideration.