Thursday, July 21, 2011

Asleep At The Wheel

I was so caught up in our big move to Boulder, CO, back in May and June ( and on into July ...) that I failed to really completely take on board the significance of the latest in animal welfare progress.   It took a listen to Our Hen House's 78th podcast on the way to Denver this morning ( to tour Denver Tofu!...but that's another story !) to jolt me awake. I was aware of the discussion and heard the rumblings, but I guess was not ready to jump back in.   Jeez...I had turned a deaf ear so that I would not have to react/deal with what was probably less than great news. But should this agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers become actual federal law, it would, according to HSUS , " ....represent the first time that any species of animal is provided with federal protection from abuse while on factory farms, the first federal farm animal protection law in more than 30 years, and the first time that chickens used in food production are provided any federal protections at all ".   Great news, actually. I'm awake now.   Time to help keep the momentum going on this very important development for farmed animals, laying hens in particular.   But what we really need, rather than incremental slow change is a wake up call to the everyday people who make food choices several times a day, everyday.   Most do not know the horrible conditions that these animals must endure, just to bring cheap, unnecessary animal products to the market.   How to get people to understand ?   One way is to have people meet chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, cows, sheep and pigs and see just how much more than food they are.   Animal sanctuaries are a great place to meet them, and Peaceful Prairie, just west of Denver , is one of the best.
Go to United Poultry Concerns for many resources ( including recipes ! ) and important updates.
Stay awake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Continue to March

Sigh.   So much effort ( research and reports ) on the environmental and human health impacts of eating animals and their "products", but damn little ( by the mainstream press) on the fact that these animals are living, breathing, sentient beings.    However, Mark Bittman had a good article  ( despite dishing about eating lambs with his lentils :/ ) today, referring to The Environmental Working Groups recent report on the environmental impacts of eating meat and dairy, plus a few good links to more discussion on the subjects.   I didnt see any reference to animals as actual living, breathing beings on EWG's website, in fact, on their home page, there's a huge plate of steak ( grassfed, organic and "humanely-raised" no doubt...)  being offered up...sigh.  
Here are a few more links to explore:
The Environmental Working Group.
An essay pointed out by Bittman in a previous article about egg production, by Michele Simon at Food Safety News : Who Really Benefits From The Egg Industry Deal ?
And the indispensable Factory Farm Map.     ,which ought to be on display in every grocery store.