Category Archives: Animals

The end of effective antibiotics?

AntibioticsThis is serious. This could cost you your life! What if the medication your doctor gave you for an infection didn’t work? What if the second antibiotic didn’t work either? Blame the beef industry. According to a new study, sponsored by consumer and environmental groups, 23 out of 25 U.S. burger chains, including McDonald’s and Burger King, were found serving beef raised with the routine use of antibiotics.

Most of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are fed to farm animals not people. In fact, 70% of medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. go to food producing animals, and 43% of that goes to the beef industry. The result is that each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

Here’s how it happens. Farmers routinely give cows antibiotics, often in their daily feed, to help them survive very harsh and unhealthy conditions on factory farms. The problems is that these antibiotics kill off only the susceptible bacteria, allowing resistant bacteria to take over. If a farm worker then comes in contact with the bacteria or gets infected with it, they will carry it into the wider community. Slaughterhouse workers can spread the resistant bacteria as well. Undercooked meat can also harbor these bacteria.

If you get infected with such bacteria, the antibiotic the doctor gives you might not work because the bacteria is already resistant to it. Other antibiotics may not work either. This is happening more and more frequently. Once bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, that means the ability of doctors to treat the infection becomes extremely limited, and that’s really scary.  It means that infections that were once really easily and commonly treated could actually now be fatal, and common medical procedures may no longer be possible because of the risk of infection without reliable antibiotics.

While some organizations are pushing for beef farmers to stop using antibiotics, they are finding this difficult to do while maintaining the intensive farming methods they currently use. However, this problem could be solved by many more people following a plant-based diet. Then there wouldn’t be a need for so many beef cattle to be raised intensively and fed antibiotics.  Avoiding meat would also be much healthier for us and much kinder for the animals, so everyone would win.

Cats and dogs are not for dinner!

Cats and dogs.jpg

Can you imagine eating cats and dogs? There’s a new law on its way that would prevent this from ever happening by prohibiting this cruel practice. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “The House and Senate provisions will prevent this appalling trade from taking hold in the U.S., and strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide.” This bill has broad bipartisan support and is very likely to pass.

While the practice of eating cats and dogs is uncommon in the United States “Around 30 million dogs and untold numbers of cats are subjected to this brutal industry globally every year, with animals often snatched off the street or stolen from loving families, still wearing collars as they are subjected to unspeakable abuse to end up on someone’s dinner plate” according to the Humane Society.

The new law would alter the Animal Welfare Act to forbid people from knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption. Punishment for violating the law would be up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

It’s bad enough that we eat farm animals – we shouldn’t expand that to include cats and dogs. Of course, we wish cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and fish were covered under the law as well. We love cats and dogs, but we also care about farm animals just the same. While there’s no law pending to prevent eating them, there’s still something you can do – switch to a plant-based diet!

No reason to celebrate Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation DayChick-fil-A recently held a “Cow Appreciation Day”, but we’re doing anything but celebrating. Their idea of “appreciating” cows is to give away free chicken. While we’re all for skipping the burgers, substituting chicken has to be one of the worst deals of the century. Let’s look at some of the details of the Chick-fil-A bad deal.

While not quite as high as beef, chicken still has high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol that contribute to clogged arteries and other diseases. Cooking chicken also produces more cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) than any other meat when cooked, and fried chicken is even worse. So there’s no doubt that eating chicken is bad for your health. Read more

Pigcasso – the painting pig

painting pig

Meet Pigcasso, the painting pig. Rescued from a slaughterhouse by a South African animal rights activist at four weeks old, Pigcasso gained her name after showing a curious talent for art. After being given a variety of toys, including a few paintbrushes, Pigcasso became so enamored with picking up and playing with those paintbrushes that they decided to see what would happen if they left out some paint and canvas, too.

Today, Pigcasso seems to love dipping the brush in multicolored paint and dragging it across the canvas. And she’s not the only one who’s into her painting. Pigcasso, who lives in a sanctuary in South Africa dedicated to the recovery of former farm animals, now has her own gallery, and people seem to love her work, paying up to $2,000 for an original, with all proceeds going to the farm, of course.

So now the challenge is out to all animal sanctuaries, what animal Rembrandts do you have in your sanctuary? With all the creativity in the Northwest, we’re sure there’s plenty of hidden animal artists just waiting to be discovered!

Chicken slaughter is killing us

Chicken-carcassesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture recently denied a petition by the National Chicken Council to remove the line speed limit on how many chickens can killed per second in the slaughterhouse.

Some food safety advocates cheered at this, calling it a victory for workers and consumers, but we don’t think it’s that much of a victory. The current rate at which chickens can be killed is already ridiculously fast at 3 chickens per second, and accidents and injuries are already a concern. Read more

Utah rules ag-gag law unconstitutional

Curious Cows

The farm animals, and all those who care about them, just won a big victory in court. A judge in Utah has ruled that the ‘ag-gag’ law – which makes filming and photography to document abuse in animal agriculture illegal – is unconstitutional. US District Court Judge Robert Shelby claimed the law violates the First Amendment right to free speech. According to Amy Meyer, who filmed the abuse of a cow outside a slaughterhouse and was later charge with a crime, the court’s ruling is a “vindication for anyone who stands up for what’s right and tells the truth.” Read more

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