No matter how you slice it, meat produced in the US may come complete with grease smears and even animal feces. That’s based on information from the the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), an agency that has not only been aware of food safety and animal welfare violations inside slaughterhouse, but its agents have apparently done relatively nothing to combat them.
From Tofurky sausages to Gardein chicken to Daiya vegan cheese, plant-based meats and dairy products are quickly gaining popularity–and winning over the hearts and tastes of thousands. In fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, meat consumption nationwide has decreased 12% since 2007–and more people are searching for information on vegan eating.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and in between the long-distance phone calls, breakfasts in bed, and bouquets of flowers, why not take a few moments to celebrate and honor all moms by cooking up a mom-friendly vegan meal? After all, some of the most caring mothers in the world have a beaming heart that beats under fur or feathers – or under water.
Animal agribusiness interests are working feverishly to pass state-level anti-whistleblower laws aimed at criminalizing undercover investigations. In 2012, such laws passed in Iowa and Utah, and so far this year, “ag-gag” bills have been introduced in nearly a dozen states. Why?
Earlier this year, The Humane Society of the United States released a graphic undercover video revealing extreme cruelty to mother pigs and their piglets inside the Wheatland, Wyo.-based Wyoming Premium Farms.
The footage – which shows downright sadistic scenes of animal abuse including mother
pigs repeatedly punched and kicked in the face, piglets swung around by
their back legs or kicked like soccer balls – was turned over to local authorities who announced this week that further action will be taken.
Earlier today, the National Pork Producer’s Council (NPPC) hosted an “educational” briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC titled “Farm Animal Welfare: How We Really Treat Our Animals.” Only thing is, the NPPC’s presentation — just like the factory farms that dominate the pork industry — was hidden behind closed doors.
Ever wonder why the pork and beef industries routinely cut animals’ testicles out without painkiller? Well, you might be surprised by what one industry journal is recommending factory farmers tell you.
This year, four states — Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, and New York — have introduced bills meant to shut down undercover investigations exposing the abuses behind the closed doors of animal agribusiness. While these bills have slightly different language, each one, if passed, would criminalize the act of taking of a photograph or videotaping farmed animal facilities without explicit permission from the owner.
These “ag-gag” bills are not only an attempt by animal agribusiness to hide the cruel and inhumane conditions on factory farms and inside slaughterhouses, but they also infringe on the freedoms of animal advocates and the press. Here is the current status of each bill: