Vegan Meat Price Parity: Why Cost Not Kindness Will End Animal Agriculture


‘It’s likely that ‘price parity’ between plant-based and animal-derived meats will see the quickest changes made to our food system’by Dr. Alex Lockwood18th March 2021Updated 6 hours ago



‘Buying plant-based alternatives will drive up demand and drive down the cost’ Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It will be cost not kindness that ends animal agriculture – but when will we achieve vegan meat price parity?

As much as we care for animals, it’s likely that ‘price parity’ between plant-based and animal-derived meats will see the quickest changes made to our food system

We love cheap food. When asked, we nearly always say we prefer to buy products that are ethical, sustainable, and healthy. But research shows time and again that what actually drives most of our food choices are cost, convenience, and taste.

Most of all, it’s the price. 

Vegan meat price parity

That’s why the question of ‘price parity’ is a hot topic in plant-based food. With price, especially a cheap price, such a driving force in our food choices, the cost of plant-based meats really matters.

Right now, supermarket customers are paying almost 200 percent more for plant-based products in comparison to meat alternatives. 

It’s also why the European dairy lobby is trying to stop plant-based products being sold in ‘dairy’ packaging. If plant-based providers have to use different packaging, this could make plant-based alternatives more difficult to produce and, critically, more expensive to buy.

But lessons from other industries (such as electric cars) show that as technology develops and demand increases, price parity will arrive. But for plant-based meat products, when will that be? Can it really bring an end to the slaughter-based meat products that are currently cheaper and purchased more often?


12 December 2020

An Anthology

Sailesh Rao, Editor

Cover design by Suzanne King

A Climate Healers Publication (2020)

Reviewed by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

Dedicated to all of the animals with whom we share this beautiful planet, and to all of the children who will inherit the consequences of our choices.

Animal Agriculture is Immoral is a collection of short scholarly essays assembled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to explore the question of animal production and consumption through the lens of social and religious history and contemporary information about the state of the planet and the moral implications of how we treat each other and our fellow forms of life. Contributors ask, “How much horror do we want to contribute to this world?” Why do we subject innocent, defenseless creatures to “such cruelty, anguish, and grief”? Can we create “a new normal of compassion and care for everyone – animals and the planet included”?

Many of us have hoped that the global coronavirus pandemic that erupted into public consciousness in early 2020 would awaken people to the myriad dangers posed by global animal agriculture and the immorality of this massively destructive system in which billions of land animals and aquatic animals suffer in surrealistic misery and filth. The coronavirus responsible for covid-19 originated in Chinese “wet” markets, where wild and domestic birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes and virtually every creature that can be caught or raised jostle together in squalid shops where customers pick out animals and all manner of carnage to consume.

But it isn’t just them. The exact same squalor characterizes the industrialized confinement buildings and slaughter complexes, commonly called factory farms, that arose in the 20th-century United States and Europe to replace traditional farming. Factory farms pollute the planet and spread diseases, including novel zoonotic diseases and strains of old pathogens that infect the animals and the humans who handle and consume them and their “products.”

One difference between factory farms and live animal markets superficially is that the live animal markets, situated in ethnic neighborhoods in U.S. cities and elsewhere, hide nothing, whereas factory farms hide everything that takes place before the final products appear in restaurants and supermarkets, “sanitized” and dissociated from the living creatures whose suffering, however invisible, is incorporated into every bite and swallow.

Even so, with the Internet, we can no longer assume that mainstream people “don’t know.” The growth of vegans/vegetarians and vegan/vegetarian food products in the past 20 years can be traced in large part to Internet revelations and social media. By contrast, if you follow the mainstream media, you will not learn from them what animals or their slaughterers go through. Rather, you will hear about “meatpackers,” and “poultry processors” and “essential workers” and “euthanasia” – a rhetoric signaling the corporate advertisers to whom these outlets are beholden.

Animal Agriculture is Immoral cites religious bases for a vegan world, particularly in ancient Hebrew teachings. A Muslim contributor makes a passionate plea to people to “be brave and advocate for a transition from animal agriculture to horticulture.” These pleas for justice, compassion and a cared-for planet reflect sorrow for the Earth and its creatures in our contemporary world. Contributors, including myself and UPC projects manager Hope Bohanec, maintain that “supremacy” doctrines – not just White Supremacy but the arrogant speciesist belief in Human Supremacy – are a curse. The question is whether we care enough to change or whether we’re content to continue down our dark path and drag every living soul down with us.

– Karen Davis


UPC Announcement

an anthology

Edited by Sailesh Rao


Animal Agriculture is Immoral includes two contributions from United Poultry Concerns:

“Employing Euphemism to Falsify the Fate of Farmed Animals,”
by UPC President Karen Davis, PhD

“A New Normal: The Anti-Speciesism Imperative in the Post Covid-19 World,”
by UPC Projects Manager Hope Bohanec




Also available on Amazon.

World’s largest livestock carrier docks in Timaru

Recommended by

Alice Geary16:27, Aug 02 2020

The Ocean Drover, the world’s largest livestock carrier, arrived in port at PrimePort Timaru on Saturday.
BEJON HASWELL/STUFFThe Ocean Drover, the world’s largest livestock carrier, arrived in port at PrimePort Timaru on Saturday.

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The world’s largest livestock carrier, the Ocean Drover, entered Timaru’s port on Saturday night for its first visit in two years.

A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) spokesperson said the Ocean Drover was in Timaru to collect up to 14,000 cattle bound for China.

Saturday’s arrival marked the third time the boat has docked in Timaru. The vessel was due to depart, carrying a mix of dairy and beef cattle, in a few days’ time once loading was complete, they said.

“The Animal Welfare Export Certificate sets stock numbers for this export at no more than 14,000 cattle, predominantly dairy – friesian and jersey – with some beef – hereford and angus,” they said.

Ocean Drover departs Timaru in foggy conditions bound for Napier
Ocean Drover docks at Timaru to load thousands of cows bound for China
Ocean Drover livestock carrier waits just off coast of Timaru
World’s largest purpose built livestock carrier ships dairy heifers to China

“No export of live animals can proceed until we have conducted a post-loading review to ensure we are completely satisfied with the conditions on board.”

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MPI introduced strengthened requirements last year stating that exporters were required to provide a report on the condition of the animals at 30 days after their arrival at their destination. There are also added conditions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ocean Drover is in Timaru to collect up to 14,000 cattle bound for China.
BEJON HASWELL/STUFFThe Ocean Drover is in Timaru to collect up to 14,000 cattle bound for China.

“In response to Covid-19, MPI introduced two further conditions that exporters must meet for their Animal Welfare Export Certificate applications to be granted,” the spokesperson said.

“The master of the ship [is] to provide a contingency plan for a rejection at the port of arrival or a delay in unloading [and] the exporter satisfies MPI that there is unlikely to be any delay in the unloading of the cattle from the ship or movement of the cattle to a quarantine facility after arrival.”

They said the cattle will be accompanied by 10 stock handlers, of whom two are veterinarians.

The exporters had to provide MPI with a back-up plan in case Covid-19 prevented the vessel from entering its destination port.
BEJON HASWELL/STUFFThe exporters had to provide MPI with a back-up plan in case Covid-19 prevented the vessel from entering its destination port.

Livestock exports have been operating for the past few months and the timing of this shipment has not been affected by Covid-19, they said.

MPI did not know where the cattle were coming from, commenting that often a shipment will have stock from more than one farm and from different regions.

“Live animal exports can help in supporting New Zealand farmers to manage stock numbers.”

The Ocean Drover is 176.7 metres long and 31.1m wide and is capable of transporting 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle.

Coronavirus: ‘Wake-up call’ for how we treat wild animals

2 Aug 20202 August 2020Last updated at 23:03View Comments (25)Baboon in a cageGETTY IMAGESAnimals like this baboon are caught in the wild and then sold

Animal campaigners say the coronavirus pandemic is a “wake-up call” about how wild animals are treated across the world.

It’s thought the virus, known as Covid-19, might have originally come from animals at a wildlife market in Wuhan, China.

The pandemic has highlighted some of the problems around the way people treat wild animals and the impact that this can then have on humans.

So how does a disease pass from animals to humans, and what can be done to help stop it happening again?

What is a zoonotic disease?

Covid-19 is what scientists call a zoonotic disease – that means it starts off in animals and then humans catch it.

Diseases like this have been around forever – you may have heard of others like Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Ebola and Malaria.

Because of how quickly Covid-19 has spread around the world, we’ve heard much more about it and the problems it can cause for people. World Animal Protection’s Sonul Badiani-Hamment explains what the global wildlife trade isHow does a disease pass from animals to humans?

Animals can carry bacteria and viruses that cause disease, and these may be passed on to – or even jump to – other animal species, including humans. The other species’ body tries to fight the bacteria and virus but, if it can’t, it can become ill.

When wild animals are in unnatural conditions, they can become stressed or weak which makes it more likely that they will pass on the bacteria or viruses they have.

It also makes the wild animal more likely to catch them from others.

If a place isn’t clean enough for the animal, or if they’re near species that they wouldn’t normally meet in the wild, disease is more likely to spread as well.Why does a disease pass from wild animals to humans?

It can happen when wild animals come into contact with humans.

This occurs more often when their habitat is reduced, for example through deforestation and the impacts of climate change.

It means wild animals don’t always have the most suitable or right types of places to live, and some might come into cities instead to find food. This then means they can have much closer contact with humans than they naturally would.Flying macaws in tropical forestGETTY IMAGESIf tropical forests like this get smaller then animals, like these birds, won’t have a place to live

Most wild animals live in the wild where they can find their own food, make their own home and live in the conditions that their bodies were designed for.

However around the world, millions of wild animals such as parrots, iguanas, lizards, tortoises, pangolins and chimpanzees are taken from the wild.

They’re then bought and sold for lots of different reasons, for example to be kept as pets, to be eaten, to provide entertainment, to be used in traditional medicines, or parts of their body, like their scales or nails, might be used for ornaments. Pangolins are often caught and sold for their scales

More on wild animal protection

Wildlife groups want animal markets to be shut down

Can tech help protect global wildlife?What’s being done about it?Conservationist and chimpanzeeGETTY IMAGESConservationists around the world work to get animals, like this chimpanzee, back to living in the wild

Conservationists around the world work really hard to make sure wild animals, and the places where they live, are protected – so that the animals can live their life as naturally as possible.

Following the first outbreak of Covid-19 the city of Wuhan, in China is banning the farming and eating of live wildlife. Thousands of wildlife farms raising animals such as porcupines, civets and turtles have been shut down.

But it’s a worldwide problem. Professor Cunningham from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) told the BBC: “It’s easy to finger point, but it’s not just happening in China, it’s happening in many other countries and even in the western world. We like to have exotic pets and many of those are wild caught and we ought to be putting our own house in order too.”

But tackling the problem is tricky as there are many poor people in parts of the world who depend on the wildlife trade for their jobs.

Professor Cunningham added: “The people who are providing them, whether that’s farmed wild animals or animals from the wild, that’s an important source of income for them.”

Covid-19 only a the dress rehearsal for pandemics

27 JUL 2020SAVE | EMAIL | PRINT |  PDF   Some scientists feel that the current Covid-19 pandemic, which has already infected more than 16-million and killed more than 600,000 worldwide, is only a dress rehearsal for an even bigger pandemic.Covid-19 only a the dress rehearsal for pandemicsProfessor Robert Bragg, researcher in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, and Professor Aliza le Roux, assistant dean: natural and agricultural sciences and associate professor: zoology and entomology at the University of the Free State (UFS), warn about future pandemics, saying that humans’ interaction with animals and lack of learning from the past are the reasons for this.

Another researcher, Dr Martin Nyaga, senior lecturer/ researcher: next generation sequencing (NGS), agrees with Bragg and Le Roux about new viruses and says viruses will keep emerging due to their general nature.

More pandemics might be on the cards

“There is a feeling among some scientists that this could just be a dress rehearsal for the real big pandemic. Many virologists, including me, have been predicting an influenza pandemic for many years. Mankind has been warned about the coming pandemics for many years, but people seem to want to listen only when they are in the midst of a pandemic.

“The bird-flu virus, Influenza H5N1, has a mortality rate of around 60-65%, but it has not yet developed human-to-human transmission. If it does, we could be in for a really serious pandemic,” says Bragg.

Humans’ need for affordable meat on a regular basis is creating the perfect breeding ground for more diseases like this. “This means our demand for meat is driving cheaper and less controlled agricultural practices, cramming more animals into smaller spaces, feeding them less and less natural fodder.

“Remember mad cow disease? Have you seen chicken batteries? We should not blame ‘exotic’ eating practices, but look at our own. If we could see eating meat as a ‘treat’ and not a daily ‘right’, we can reduce pressure on the environment and reduce the speed at which another zoonotic virus can evolve,” says Le Roux.

Nyaga says that more viruses are possible in other organisms as well. “In as much as research on viral particles continues, more outbreaks are possible within not only the coronavirus domain, but also any other class of organisms. The ever-changing nature of viruses, mainly due to mutations and other mechanisms of genetic diversity, could occur through chain of transmission, including via the intermediate hosts. This kind of antigenic mutations could make the general population vulnerable due to lack of immunity against the new strains of emerging strains or completely novel viruses.”

Origin of SARS-CoV-2 and other diseases

According to Bragg, the previous coronavirus that led to SARS and caused major concerns, also started in a wet food market in China – just like Covid-19. That virus was traced to a civet cat meat. This virus had a very high mortality rate but could only be transmitted when a person showed clinical signs. Therefore, measuring the temperature of people was useful and beneficial.

“There are many other examples of serious human pandemics which was spread from animals to humans. Another good example is the Ebola virus, which has also been traced to people eating bats in Africa. Yet another example is HIV, which is believed to have spread to man as a result of the consumption of chimpanzee meat.

“The most serious has been the 1918 Spanish flu, which started off in pigs and spread to man. All of these have to do with the mistreatment of animals by man.

Learning from past pandemics

Le Roux says past pandemics can teach us how to respond from a public health perspective. “If we found treatments that worked before, we can use that as a starting point for current treatments. But if we can’t even control human behaviour (learning from past mistakes), think of how much more challenging it is to develop a vaccine against a virus that is so adaptable.”

Prof Bragg adds: “Mankind should also have learned lessons from the 1918 pandemic, but man is notoriously slow at learning lessons from the past. Each generation wants to make their own mistakes. One can only draw parallels from the people who defined lockdown regulations in 1918 to celebrate the end of the First World War and the demonstrations currently underway in the USA.

“The celebrations in 1918 caused more deaths than have occurred during the four years of the First World War. I predict that within a week or two, the number of cases and mortalities in the USA (and around the world) are going to skyrocket,” says Bragg.

Knowing the animals involved

Nyaga explains that identification of the source (reservoir hosts) and the intermediate host(s) is crucial in devising strategies, including palliative measures and designing drugs or vaccines against a potential pathogenic agent such as SARS-CoV-2. This will help in understanding the genomic dynamics and likely immunological responses that could be triggered along the chain of transmission to humans, and more importantly, how the compounds in the therapies can terminate the different stages of viral replication.

Le Roux says she is not sure if a vaccine would be developed based on knowledge of a host species, but there is the possibility that (depending on the species) we can use some of the host’s antibodies to develop our own antibody therapies. “But generally, the knowledge can help more long-term planning on how to avoid future host shifts to humans. If we know where the virus originated, we can study that species or group of species better, and understand how the mutations occurred, etc. It would help us with future prevention more than current mitigation, I think.”

Research in the fight against Covid-19

According to the experts, various research efforts are afoot on the control of the disease. These range from the development of a vaccine, development of antiviral drugs, and the development of monoclonal antibodies or antibody fragments. Research is also needed on improved, faster, and cheaper diagnostic tests to test for the presence of the virus as well as for the detection of antibodies against the virus in people. This last test is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of vaccines as well as people in the population who have recovered from the virus.

Bragg says research on the epidemiology of the virus is also needed. How far it can spread and how long it can survive are critical questions, particularly when talking about social distancing. Much of the current information is based on guesswork. “Worldwide, research efforts are gaining an understanding of the virus and how it is causing disease in humans. If you think that this virus was unknown before December 2019, mankind has very quickly learned a lot about this virus and there are many very interesting articles coming out on what receptors the virus binds to and how the virus causes damage to the host and overcomes the host defence mechanisms.”

Nyaga says while the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19 is still in its infancy, results are already emerging on the molecular dynamics and immunological perspectives of the virus. With the characterisation of the genomic sequences of the virus, it has been possible to design several vaccines, including the inactivated virus, viral vectors, nucleic acid-based and protein-based vaccines. A good number of them are currently under clinical trials for possible WHO qualification towards global use. “Just recently, a clinical trial on one of these vaccines, called ‘the South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-trial’, was on schedule locally to be championed by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,.”

According to him, effective prevention essentially requires an in-depth understanding of the clinical severity of Covid19, the extent of transmission and infection, and the efficacy of treatment options in order to accelerate the development of diagnostics and treatment options.

Bragg says that the socio-economic impact of the virus is very serious at this stage. The final number of human cases and fatalities are still a long way from completion. This virus is going to be with us for quite some time and the mortality rate in some countries with high levels of HIV and TB could become very high.

8 people, thousands of animals killed in floods in Mongolia

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-07 14:39:59|Editor: huaxia

ULAN BATOR, July 7 (Xinhua) — Eight people and thousands of livestock animals were killed and thousands of homes were flooded as a heavy rain caused flash floods in some provinces of Mongolia on Friday and Saturday, the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported on Tuesday.

“A total of eight people, including two children lost their lives due to the heavy rain-triggered floods in Umnugovi province in the south and Sukhbaatar province in the east on July 3,” NEMA said in a statement.

More than 7,000 livestock animals were killed in three provinces, namely Tuv and Govisumber in the central and Arkhangai in the central-west due to the floods, the report said.

In addition, a total of 2,360 homes in some provinces such as Khentii, Tuv and Khuvsgul were flooded, it said.

Meteorologists forecast heavy rains to hit a large part of the country in the coming days, urging citizens, especially herders, to take extra precautions. Enditem

Rethinking meat — from farm to table

Kate Mountain Farm is one of many Adirondack Harvest-associated local farms offering CSA meats and vegetables. Find local producers at (Photo provided)

The food supply chain system is vulnerable. America’s meatpacking plants endure some of the highest rates of workplace injury of any U.S. job sector, and COVID-19 has introduced yet another occupational hazard. These crowded facilities have become frighteningly successful vectors for COVID-19 contagion.

On Sunday April 26, a news release entitled, “A Delicate Balance: Feeding the Nation and Keeping Our Employees Healthy” appeared as a full-page ad in The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It was also widely posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Written by John H. Tyson, chairman of the Board of Tyson Foods, the statement declared, “In small communities around the country, where we employ over 100,000 hard-working men and women, we’re being forced to shutter our doors. This means one thing — the food supply chain is vulnerable. As pork, beef, and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain. … Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation. Millions of animals — chickens, pigs and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities. The food supply chain is breaking.”

And with that, Southern and Midwestern farmers began euthanizing livestock.

Two days after the publication of Tyson’s letter, President Trump declared that meatpacking plants were “critical infrastructure” under the Defense Production Act of 1950 and prohibited their closure.

While this was happening, vegetable farmers were forced to let their crops rot in the fields or plow otherwise harvestable food into the ground. Dairy farmers, already grappling with low prices, found themselves dumping more than 3.5 million gallons of milk every day (estimate from Dairy Farmers of America). And everywhere, food pantries, facing unprecedented demand, were running out of food. This clearly reveals just how vulnerable, and how unjust, our food supply system can be. It also emphasizes the need to fix it.

Zoonosis: diseases transmitted to humans from animals

Lots of diseases, including most pandemics (e.g. H1N1 [swine flu], H5N1 [bird flu], Ebola, Lyme disease, malaria, rabies, ringworm, West Nile virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS], HIV/AIDS), originated in animals.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which infected roughly one-third of the world’s population of 500 million people, killing an estimated 50 million including 675,000 Americans, is believed to have originated on a pig farm. That was long before CAFO factory farms existed.

CAFOs: confined animal feeding operations

CAFO farms can generate a myriad of environmental and public health problems. CAFO manure contains potential contaminants including plant nutrients (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus) and pathogens (e.g., E. coli, growth hormones, antibiotics, animal blood, silage leachate). The volume of waste produced depends on the type and number of animals farmed. A feeding operation with 800,000 pigs can produce over 1.6 million tons of waste a year. That amount is one-and-a-half times more than the annual sanitary waste produced by the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (GAO, 2008).

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2000 National Water Quality Inventory found that 29 states specifically identified animal feeding operations (AFOs), not just CAFOs, as contributing to water quality impairment (Congressional Research Service, 2008).

In order to protect their livestock from diseases that might kill entire populations, resulting in huge profit losses, CAFO farmers commonly treat their animals with antibiotics. And poultry fed antibiotic feed show significantly higher weight gain than those fed non-antibiotic feed (Settle et al. 2014). Animals growing at a greater rate than they would otherwise reduces operating costs and increases profit.

But use of antibiotic feed is threatening human health. Every year 2 million people experience serious illness due to untreatable bacterial infection and 23,000 die because the bacteria that made them sick is antibiotic-resistant (Young 2013). When antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreads to a large group of people and cannot be treated, we have what is known as a superbug. And many scientists believe that superbugs are the inevitable consequence we will face if CAFOs continue to use antibiotics indiscriminately in the feed of the nation’s largest source of meats.

Then there’s the animal cruelty issue, which I won’t get into here, other than to say that 9 billion animals, including 8.8 billion chickens, are raised and killed on large, overcrowded U.S. CAFO farms every year (source: Humane Society of the United States).


Locally sourced meat: a better alternative

There’s a better way to keep your freezer full: meat CSAs. Community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm programs directly connect farmers to consumers. You know right where your food is coming from. You’re supporting local farming families that raise top-quality pastured and grass-fed livestock — working with nature rather than against it. Pasture-based farming improves animal health, maximizes cost-efficiency and minimizes farm pollution. You reap the rewards by purchasing affordable, quality meats (and eggs) produced using sustainable farming practices.

You buy a share, and you pick it up when it’s ready. It’s that simple. And most farms offer share sizes to fit everyone’s needs. You can receive meat on a regularly scheduled timetable or one time only.

To learn more or find pretty much every type of locally grown and/or prepared food imaginable (and more), visit or contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.

Moral consideration for animals

I WOULD like to gravitate our concerns towards a video that recently went viral, showing a helpless kitten being crushed over and over again by an adult woman for her entertainment/fetish.Also, we have news on 11 cats being ruthlessly poisoned to death over Hari Raya Aidilfitri at the Apartment Seri Lily Bukit Beruntung.

Animal cruelty is real and pervasive. It happens to all different types of animals and in every corner of the world. It is also preventable and unnecessary.

A composed ecosystem is made up of all living organisms. Within this system, all things have their rightful place and warrant the essential consideration and regard for that place and balance.

In the words of Albert Schweitzer, the Alsatian polymath (1875-1965): “We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do.

“True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognise it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”

Animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests – such as the need to avoid suffering – should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.

Therefore, it is prejudicial to oppose the suffering of humans while accepting the suffering of animals as simply a fact of life.

By respecting animal rights and having consideration for animal welfare, we also support ecological balance.

However, many animals endure heinous cruelties as people do not recognise that animals have rights, let alone the importance of having those rights.

As sentient beings, animals have the right to live a life free of agony and torment. Just because we are at the top of the food chain, it does not mean that we, humans, are the only ones with rights nor do we have the right to take animal rights away.

Animals couldn’t possibly speak for themselves and for that reason we have the responsibility to protect them. Safeguarding them is something we should take pride in.

It is important to view animals as having an intrinsic value separate from any value they have to humans and are worthy of moral consideration.

In his book Animal Liberation, Peter Singer says the fundamental dictum of equality does not prescribe equal or identical treatment; it demands equal consideration.

Animals are neither inanimate nor automata objects. They have the faculty to suffer in a similar manner and to the same degree that humans do.

Every action that we take which would impede with their needs and welfare, we are ethically obligated to take into account their ability to experience maternal love, fear, frustration, pain, pleasure and also depression.

Animals also have the faculty to exhibit empathy toward humans and other animals in a myriad of ways, particularly reassuring, mourning and even rescuing each other from harm at their own expense.

It is important to acknowledge that empathy in animals stretches across species and continents. This is not just sanguine thinking.

Research has disclosed that illuminating kids to be compassionate to animals can guide them to become good-natured and more heedful in their interactions with other humans.

Additionally, it helps them be more respectful and valuable to society. Francis of Assisi said: “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men”.

Animals are sentient beings and sentience is the only thing that matters when discussing those to whom we should give moral consideration.

In the words of Mohandas Ghandi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

Therefore, as a civilised society, we must count animals as worthy of moral consideration and ethical treatment. The question is not can they reason, nor can they talk, but can they suffer? – May 30, 2020.

* Suzianah Nhazzla Ismail reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.



The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) sent an urgent message to pork producers today, warning of animal welfare activists taking videos of hogs being euthanized on farms.

Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) has members on the ground in Iowa, says CSIF, and all farms and processing plants should be on high alert that they may be targeted in an attempt to capture video footage and cause a disruption to normal business activity.

Livestock farmers must be vigilant in monitoring the security of farms at all times, for the safety of people and livestock.

“Most people think they will never be the target, but no one can assume they are safe,” says CSIF executive director Brian Waddingham. “There are many preventive measures you can take to protect your farm and your livestock.”  For a complete list of ways to keep your farm out of the crosshairs, click here.

If you find a suspicious vehicle near your farm or discover criminals on your property, do not try to apprehend them, says Waddingham. Contact local law enforcement.

This is an extreme animal rights group that is taking advantage of a heart-wrenching, crisis situation some livestock farmers are faced with to advance their own agenda – which is to eliminate animal agriculture, he says.

For additional suggestions on preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk, as well as suggestions of what to do if you are the victim of a criminal act, visit our website.

Trump Demanded Meat Plants Stay Open, COVID Cases Have Now Tripled

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in late April requiring all meat processing plants in the U.S. to remain open, despite reports of coronavirus infections and related deaths being prevalent at a number of the plants.

Since that order was issued, the number of COVID-19 cases that have been identified at meat plants across the country has likely tripled, according to estimates from a nonprofit watchdog group.

At the time of Trump’s executive order, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had identified around 5,000 employees across 20 meat processing plants who had contracted COVID-19, and 17 workers at those plants who had died from the disease. In spite of concerns about the disease spreading at these and other locations, the president issued his order, utilizing the Defense Production Act to classify processing plants as essential infrastructure.

The executive order prevented local governments and health officials from enforcing plant closures in the event of an outbreak and it’s now apparent that the disease has indeed spread at these meatpacking locations since the order.

More than 100 plants across the country have seen a high number of cases of COVID-19. The Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN), a nonprofit journalism watchdog group dedicated to food and agricultural issues, estimated in a report published last week that 17,000 workers may have now contracted the disease, with at least 66 COVID-related deaths recorded among employees at meat processing plants.

In light of this, other organizations are demanding the federal government take a more proactive approach toward limiting the spread of COVID-19. Citing the large numbers of workers at meat processing plants contracting coronavirus, the Center for Food Safety produced a petition in which it demanded the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issue new emergency standards to protect employees’ health.

“Protecting workers in meatpacking plants is important not just for the workers, but also for our food safety,” the organization wrote in its letter. “Unprotected and sick workers are more likely to make mistakes, making it more likely that tainted meat gets onto store shelves. The last thing we need during this pandemic is a major foodborne illness outbreak.”

There are a number of reasons why meatpacking plants could be hotbeds for COVID-19. Workers typically stand close together, often shoulder-to-shoulder, on the assembly line. Many workers aren’t wearing protective gear at this time either, as it slows down their pace of work, while the companies themselves have admitted to struggling to find the necessary protective equipment for their workers, even after Trump’s executive order was issued.

Colder temperatures in the plants may also be helping the virus linger longer on surfaces or in air particles, and ventilation systems may be spreading coronavirus throughout the buildings.

Among the U.S. population in general, it’s feared that coronavirus will likely continue to spread even more than it already has, as several states begin transitioning away from stay-at-home orders that were previously issued.

As of Tuesday this week, the nation surpassed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, and one estimate forecasts that 30,000 more Americans could die from the disease by Independence Day. Many health experts agree that a second wave of cases is likely to come about as states reopen businesses and other public areas.