|Enewsletter • May 6, 2002|
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ABC News Report: "Researcher: Vegetarian Diet Kills Animals Too" Cites Jack Norris
From this, we received this feedback:
To which Jack replied:
1) Animals are harmed through displacing them from their habitat;
2) Animals are harmed by killing them through tilling the ground and harvesting the plants.
The specific comment you quote was made only in response to the first point.
And Matt Ball added:
Personally, I have never lived on a farm, although I spent much of my childhood working at my paternal grandparent's farm. I also lived near farms, through which I spent many hours walking.
The vast majority of land cultivated in the U.S. is used to grow feed for farmed animals. If a vegan diet were the norm and we obtained our calories/nutrients directly from crops, instead of inefficiently cycling them through animals, deaths would be minimized; and more importantly, the intense suffering caused by factory farming would be eliminated.
Some argue that, in today's society, fewer animals might be killed per person if one were to get the bulk of their calories from purely grass-fed cattle / dairy cows. This case has not proven, and there are a variety of reasons to believe it untrue. Furthermore, it's based on the assumption that one is only concerned with the number of deaths, not the amount of suffering and happiness
Regardless, there is an insufficient amount of land to graze enough animals to feed our society this way. The same problem applies to arguing for hunting to minimize deaths.
So the bottom line remains: If you are concerned with minimizing deaths and/or suffering, you should advocate a vegan diet. This doesn't make one "pure" by any stretch of the imagination, but it is, IMO, the best one can do at this time to make a better world.
McDonald's New Farm: Interview with Temple Grandin
"'... I remember another time when I was out with some managers and we visited a hog farm and there was a half dead pig lying in the alley. He had been there for a good long time, and the manager leading the tour just walked our tour group right over the half dead pig. It's like they become totally desensitized and don't even see it. Bad had become normal.
"'Oh, I can remember watching a guy taking an electric prod and shoving it down a cow's throat,' recalls Grandin. 'That was absolutely horrible.'
"Grandin heads up a ramp to check the most important place in the slaughterhouse: she's going to the killing platform. And the executive from McDonald's says they will not allow me to record it. He says if listeners hear cattle dying, they might get upset at McDonald's.
"'You know,' says Grandin, 'when an animal dies in a well-run slaughter plant, it's much more peaceful than out in nature. People forget that it is a harsh world out there. Animals could die in a snowstorm. There could be a drought and they could starve to death, or get eaten up by predators. If I was an animal, I'd rather go to a slaughter plant than have my guts dined on while I was still alive.'"
Food: How Safe? in National Geographic
Commentary on the Dairy Industry's Press Releases
A Contrast of Europe and the U.S.:
From the U.K....
Under the rules, owners could be prosecuted if they failed to fulfil the needs of pets from adequate food and water to enough space and companionship. The legislation would be the biggest change in Britains animal welfare rules for almost a century. It could include codes of conduct for owners of cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and birds.
Illinois Bill Threatens Animal Facility Investigations
The Illinois House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill which would make it illegal for anyone to enter an animal facility, without the owner's permission, to videotape or photograph. According to legislative analysis, the stated need for the law is to protect the food supply from terrorists. The editorial explains that not only will the bill not accomplish this but, as written, it would prohibit state inspectors from documenting their investigations. The proposed law could also deter whistleblowers who are legally at an animal facility or individuals filming from a public right-of-way.
Judge Rules in Favor of Veggies
A USDA officer conducting a random inspection at Helmos Food Product Inc. caught the meat wholesalers "red-handed" when he discovered extremely unhygienic and unsafe conditions at the warehouse. Some of the meat and poultry was labeled with expiration dates from past years. Other meat was sitting around unpackaged and covered with feces resulting from a severe rodent infestation in the building. All the products in the warehouse were sitting below a canopy of black mold growing on the ceiling. To add insult to injury, Helmos employees refused to comply with the officer, throwing the meat away when the officer tried to take photos, and continuing to sell the tainted stuff behind the officer's back, even after a seizure order was declared. Later that day, the owner finally closed the warehouse, but not soon enough to avoid a judge's 2 year sentence and a $50,000 personal fine, and a $250,000 fine to his business. The court noted that eating meat or poultry might not be such a good idea, with Judge Terence Evans venturing that the number of US vegetarians would skyrocket if the public found out about the case. Understandably, Judge Evans recommended that future court dinners should be sure to include lots of vegetables and tofu burgers.