If we can’t defend animal rights, we don’t deserve to call ourselves progressives

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/19/if-we-cannot-defend-animal-rights-we-do-not-deserve-to-call-ourselves-progressives_partner/
“The world’s most pervasive form of exploitation, along with its
resultant environmental harm, can’t be laid at the feet of
Republicans, conservatives or those we define as bigots in our
society. That’s because both sides of the aisle participate in the
needless consumption of animals.

“Consumers are increasingly made aware that countless sentient beings,
just like companion dogs and cats, are abused and slaughtered for
products we don’t really need. Marketers convince the public that
animal exploitation is necessary to sustain human life. But it’s not
true.

“This profiteering is a byproduct of unchecked capitalism, producing
food products that cause cancer, contribute to obesity and exacerbate
the diabetes crisis.

“Public consciousness is sorely lagging on the issue. Standing against
the exploitation of sentient beings outside our own species is often
considered superfluous by progressives who embrace radical thought in
other areas. It’s not uncommon to hear a supposed liberal accuse
vegans of not caring enough about humans.”

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Why do vegans allow vegetarianism to define veganism?

http://www.thisishopethebook.com/vegans-allow-vegetarianism-define-veganism/

Shake hands, declare independence 

 

We must end our non-critical acceptance of vegetarianism’s influence and power over veganism. Though unintentional, vegetarianism will continue to harm and subvert veganism’s progress until vegans stand up to claim and control veganism’s definition and affirm that it is an entirely different belief system and way of life. It’s been this way so long that it may not be obvious, but it’s there for all to see.

By definition, vegetarianism allows the option of consuming animal products, which is a direct and open acceptance of the violence and endless harm it does. In the minds of its practitioners, vegetarianism is an intention to create good as an improvement in one’s health, a belief it will stop the suffering and killing caused from eating flesh, and perhaps to believe it is a temporary place for transition to veganism. Those assumptions don’t stand up to scrutiny. What vegetarianism does is transfer predation through eating flesh to predation through dairy and egg consumption. Cows and their calves, chickens and their chicks are still harmed and slaughtered at a young age in animal agriculture due to the demands of vegetarianism.

 

Veganism up to now has allowed itself to be associated with and defined as just one of many types of vegetarianism whosepractitioners overwhelmingly consume dairy and/or eggs, honey—and sometimes outside of vegetarianism’s expectations—also eat fish and other animal-derived substances.

Lumping types of vegetarianisms together causes havoc with food labeling and consumer understanding of what is and is not effective to reduce suffering and end the killing of source animals. Vegetarianism causes unnecessary destruction to ecosystems that in turn impoverishes wildlife and people alike. Because we care to our core about these tragedies, we have a duty to turn this around and prevent them with veganism.

The Vegetarian Society, founded in 1847, is still home to the 1800’sdevelopment of the concept of vegetarianism and sees it this way: “A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs [my emphasis]. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish*, insects, by-products of slaughter or any food made with processing aids created from these.”

That the Vegetarian Society and many similar organizations believe stealing calves’ milk from the females’ udders, and eggs coming from an ovulating bird through her uterus do not come from “any part of the body of a living…animal” is preposterous. Their milk and eggs are biologically intimate and as necessary for cow and chicken existence as blood and muscle. The simple fact that the business of stealing calves’ milk and chickens’ eggs harms them to an early death should end this nonsense. 

Being consistent, the Vegetarian Society offers their, “… Approved trade mark… [for]… products containing free-range eggs” in addition to vegetarian (and vegan) product certification. One of their certification criteria, “Free from any ingredient resulting from slaughter,” ignores that the fact that their approved ingredients and certifications cause the slaughter of spent chickens, cows and their calves, and other species. This magical thinking dominates many vegetarian organizations. Those with certification programs actually make money from exploiting animals. The European Vegetarian Union also specializes in logos that certify products as being “vegetarian” (and “vegan”) using the same misleading, illogical standard that screams approval. Why, why, why would vegans enable them in any way?

 

The Vegan Standard

Veganism easily and powerfully stands on its own; so how did we inherit the junior status within the list of vegetarian choices? Since vegetarianism was historically (in the European context) first on the scene in the early 1800s before Donald Watson and others coined “veganism” in 1944, perhaps we have fallen into accepting veganism as secondary just as it was in its historical timeline. That is beginning to change, thankfully.  

In 2016, the Council of the Consumer Protection Ministers who represent German states proposed official definitions for vegan and vegetarian food labeling. Though not legally binding, the Council realized what vegans and vegetarians alike should remember: the German state ministers used “vegan” as the baseline definition and then described what is not vegan to define vegetarian.

The European Vegetarian Union translation of those definitions from German:

(1) Vegan are foods that are not products of animal origin… [full text is in the link]

(2) Vegetarian are foods which meet the requirements of paragraph 1 with the difference that in their production

  1. milk,
  2. colostrum,
  3. eggs (No. 5 of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004),
  4. honey (Annex I to Directive 2001/110/EC),
  5. beeswax,
  6. propolis or
  7. wool grease including lanolin derived from the wool of living sheep or their components or derivatives may be added or used.

Compare that translation to Vegan Germany’s:

(1) A food is vegan if it is not an animal product and if the following substances are not used and not added in any step of production or processing, if they are from animal origin:
– ingredients (including additives, carrier materials, flavourings, enzymes) or
– processing agents or
– items what are not additives, but that are used in the same way and with the same purpose as processing agents

(2) [vegetarian products – not relevant]

That’s right, not relevant. They have refused to define veganism by referencing vegetarianism. That’s how it is done.

The multitude of disastrous possibilities within vegetarianism’s fog of eggs, milk, and other transgressions is a problem for vegetarians to solve. Our first responsibility is to insist that vegans are not vegetarians by definition or reference. Vegans create that clarity by never again referencing veganism as a type of vegetarianism and ask vegetarians to respect that. Vegans own veganism.

 

 

For Whom the Bell Pepper Tolls

This is an essential but maybe scary change for some because it challenges friends and organizations that we love and support. Yes, relationships might be strained or even ended but not by us. People face social pressure when they are perceived “different,” and that’s always been part of the social environment during societal change. We are humbled and motivated by the power and immense importance of veganism to transform human behavior away from violence and towards justice for all life on Earth. Remember that the visionary founders of veganism—Donald Watson, Leslie Cross and othersؙ—stood up in 1944 out of necessity to differentiate veganism from vegetarianism.

Our responsibility is to make it easier for hundreds of millions of people to embrace veganism and create the global tipping point. We must not operate from a sense of weakness out of fear that the vegetarian and vegan movements will be unavoidably jeopardized if we stand up for making veganism the primary concept that actually stops exploitation and ecological destruction as vegetarianism never will.

A social movement cannot function at its best and hope to succeed if it doesn’t know how to define itself so others can understand and be motivated by the vision it advocates. Let’s remove the word “vegetarian” from our speech and writing, from the names of our organizations, and not use that term to define veganism because they are nothing alike. In the end, it is not about us, but what we must do. END

Short videos that inspire veganism:

These two videos will reinforce your convictions (both videos have some animal distress portrayed despite being tagged as “not graphic”):

 

 

Karmic Disaster: Dead Meat as Gastronomic and Economic Sustenance

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-karmic-disaster-dead-meat.html

An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

John R. Hall, The GreanvillePost.com
April 2017

A nation of zombies feeds on the flesh of dead animals, salutes, pledges allegiance to, and sings the patriotic songs of the Empire which spreads death and destruction worldwide. Few have noticed Bad Karma nibbling away at their sorry asses. Few have noticed the Fall of Empire in progress. Their national borders are prison bars, their economy in shambles, their hopes and dreams gone. When it comes to neighbors, love has been replaced by fear. More firearms than humans populate the land…

sue coe
By Sue Coe, the world’s foremost political artist focusing on humanity’s tyranny over non-human creatures.

Hindu scriptures teach that anyone who kills or causes harm to other sentient beings is in for a big dose of Bad Karma as a result. The shit can hit the fan in this lifetime or in some future reincarnation, but it will happen. Not that I personally subscribe to Hinduism or any other religion, but I do believe that there’s a large dose of merit in their world view. A lot can be said for lifestyles which involve veganism and peaceful coexistence with our fellow beings. Stray from the path, commit the crime, and you’ll eventually do the time. Like the Hindus, we’ll define “sentient beings” as including (most) humans, all other creatures with eyes and mothers, and most importantly Mother Earth herself; for she’s borne the brunt of harm caused by her thoughtless, careless, greedy human children.

Dead meat is the fuel that powers Empire, and the resulting karmic disaster now bites all its citizens in the ass in oh so many ways. We’ve been told since birth that we need to kill and consume cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, rabbits, and/or squirrels, to maintain a necessary level of protein in our diets. Whack ’em, gut ’em, skin ’em, cook ’em (optional), and eat ’em. We’ve also been instructed to drink the milk meant for calves, in its many forms, and to ingest the embryos of large birds. If you are a believer in the studies and lifework of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, or are even mildly observant, you understand that your morbidly obese friends and neighbors (or you) are dying prematurely from meat/dairy/egg-intensive diets, in ever-increasing numbers. Heart/coronary artery disease, cancers, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and untold other karmic paybacks are their rewards for either directly killing animals or buying their dead flesh from Safeway’s meat case, and consuming it. If Dr. Esselstyn is correct, by the time the average meat-consuming high school graduate in The U.S.A. accepts his diploma, coronary artery disease is already ravaging his body.

Dead meat is the fuel that powers Empire. War is its business, and fast becoming its only business. Bombs, bullets, missiles, rockets, warships, and warplanes are its preferred delivery methods. Its young people are lured into the bloody, tangled web of death and destruction by slick-huckster, pseudo-patriotic, U.S. Military-glorifying advertising schemes. The lucky do their time, emerging with bodies largely intact, suffering only a lifetime of residual mental anguish and PTSD, souls stolen away, brains scrambled, expressionless, and aimless, demented, self-doubting heroes to the masses who cheerlead Empire’s wars. Warfare for profit drives the stock markets. In my lifetime alone: A few million dead Koreans, a few million dead Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, a few million dead Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, and Syrians, and the market values of Boeing, Exxon-Mobil, Raytheon, Halliburton, Monsanto, and Northrop Grumman soar. Billionaires, corporate executives, bankers, and politicians rake in the blood money. Combat boots leave their marks upon the faces of dead populations across the globe, as the looming shadow of Bad Karma darkens the land.

Dead meat, the fuel that powers Empire, brings a tear to the eye of Mother Earth. Mega-corporate meat-growing mass-execution operations grow sentient mammals and birds in immobile squalor, pumping them full of antibiotics and growth hormones, raping (force-breeding) them, stealing their progeny and milk, unceremoniously slaughtering them, and feeding them to the masses of sick, mindless, obese humans. Filling the atmosphere with the stench of uncontained defecation and urination, and contributing more greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources combined. Crops feeding death-row, USDA-inspected, four-legged or feathered prisoners consume more water in Empire than all other uses combined, both domestic and agricultural, not to mention the associated, indiscriminate use of toxic soil-killing herbicides and pesticides connected with corporate agriculture.

Dead meat. Populations of third world countries cry out for food and drinking water, but receive bombs instead. Citizens unfortunate enough to live in oil-rich lands yearn for basic needs, but find themselves to be testing grounds for Empire’s newest, state-of-the-art WMD’s. But who needs rice when you can have depleted uranium? Countries ravaged, war’s ultimate goal; death, destruction, chaos. Dead meat litters broken countrysides. Empire’s exceptional citizens stuff their fat faces full of dead meat. They watch in awestruck approval the fireworks of death, in countries they can’t find on a map, on their favorite corporate “news” channels. Meat; it’s what’s for dinner. Meat; it’s what you become if you’re not in sync with Empire’s agenda. Meat; it’s what all sentient beings are, in the eyes of those who push the buttons and pull Empire’s strings. Resources to be harvested. Meat.

sue coe
By Sue Coe, the world’s foremost political artist focusing on humanity’s tyranny over non-human creatures.

The U.S.A. is now ground zero for karmic disaster. A nation of zombies feeds on the flesh of dead animals, salutes, pledges allegiance to, and sings the patriotic songs of the Empire which spreads death and destruction worldwide. Few have noticed Bad Karma nibbling away at their sorry asses. Few have noticed the Fall of Empire in progress. Their national borders are prison bars, their economy in shambles, their hopes and dreams gone. When it comes to neighbors, love has been replaced by fear. More firearms than humans populate the land. Pawnshops and porn stores offer temporary solace from wretched lives of impending poverty and loveless relationships with despised partners. Self-loathing zombies cover their bodies, head to toe, with senseless colorful graffiti, squalor of the skin, ill-conceived epidermal etchings. Drug and alcohol addiction run rampant. Hungry, homeless, hopeless people beg on every street corner, while others turn a blind eye. The Police State grows like a malignant tumor across the land, but soulless faces buried in miniature electronics fail to pay heed.

It would be easy to end this sordid little piece on a hopeless note, for Empire’s apparent future appears to hold little in the way of hope. If only there was someone who might have a chance of gaining enough power to turn things around, end constant warfare for profit, and bring a degree of sanity to The U.S.A. before Bad Karma brings the wrath of the rest of the world down upon us in a big and final way. Someone who would have the huevos to run for and be elected POTUS, buck the power of The C.I.A., The U.S. Military, the neocon/neolib war consortium, and Wall Street. A John F. Kennedy reincarnate. Maybe a disillusioned combat veteran who’s also a beautiful, well-spoken, and fearless U.S. Congresswoman from Hawaii. Someone who’s travelled to Syria (with Dennis Kucinich), spoken with President Assad, doubts that he was responsible for the sarin gassing of his people, and would be extremely hesitant to EVER AGAIN start another war. How about a lifelong vegetarian Hindu? President Tulsi Gabbard….hmmm. We can only hope and dream. Karmic disaster is imminent as our karmic debt comes due, but there may yet be time to bury Empire and save The U.S.A. Hope springs eternal.


The Greanville Post Senior Contributing Editor, John R. Hall is a street-trained agnotologist with an advanced degree in American Ignorance. Other hats include: photojournalist, novelist, restaurateur, mountaineer, grocer, nurseryman, and janitor. He’s written three novels which have been read by almost nobody: Embracing Darwin, Last Dance in Lubberland, and Atlas fumbled. An untrained writer and college drop-out, he began his short career in journalism writing the ‘Excursion’ column for The Jackson Hole News & Guide. More recently he penned the ‘Left Column’ for The Molokai Island Times; appropriately on the island once known as a leper colony. John currently resides, writes, and protests injustice in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and walks among the spirits of those who once occupied the 79 Disappeared Pueblos.

All of us with compassion

No automatic alt text available.

“For as long as i can breath i will fight for the animals…
The day i stop breathing, on my final breath i will feel sadness, that i can fight no more.
Yet elated that i am freed from this living hell that all of us with compassion have to witness on a daily basis, created by fellow humans that i am ashamed to be connected with.~ X”

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto

 By Sue Coe
From All-Creatures.org Book, CD and Video Review Guide

The intent of this book and video review guide is to help us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth.

Author: Sue Coe, GraphicWitness.org
Reviewed by: Heidi Stephenson

Sue Coe

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto By Sue Coe
Available from OR Books

Review:

“We are the Nazis, there is no escaping it. Nazi is a condition of humanity.”

Animal exploitation, killing and abuse is at an all-time high and the suffering we humans inflict so sickening, so shocking, so painful to bear witness so that the majority turn away from the activist photographs which shine a light on this darkness, in horror begging: “Don’t tell me. Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.” But Sue Coe’s clever political art gets right in, under the radar. She unlocks hearts like no other and forces the wilfully blind to see. Doing what art does when it’s at its best, inspired, courageous and just about bearable, she shatters our complacency with her vivid, evocative empathy, her highly memorable compassion. Sue Coe tells it as it is, from the animals’ point of view, in sharp, black and white woodcuts. She emblazons the need for change on our reluctant, human consciousness. She dreams the dream of a humane, vegan world, Martin Luther King-style.

This is a book in two parts. The reality of our man-made Death cult in which a slaughterman can pitch-fork a living baby piglet, a human fist can hover menacingly over a newborn male chick, ready to smash him into non-existence and a baby lamb can so casually be turned into so much minced meat, is presented with an uncompromising commitment to the terrible truth. God-given lives are Satanically alchemized into meaningless bags of money, by a gang of greedy men. Lobsters are boiled alive by indifferent chefs. We witness the terror of a cow being forced into the abattoir while her desperate calf tries to cling to her. We see (and our imaginations hear) the hysterical weeping, leaping and screaming, the terrible grief of some sows as they watch helplessly as one of their youngsters is stunned in preparation for his imminent murder. Organic, free range, crate free “Happy Meat” is shown to be anything but. While we eat, drink and continue to be merry, the animals die. A couple sit, wine in  hand, over yet another roast dinner – surrounded by the spirits of all the animals whose lives they have directly taken (over 11,000 per person, per lifetime, according to VIVA! figures).

Animal suffering – emotional as well as physical – is given full vent. We witness the abject misery, the highly conscious teardrops of a trapped, ‘battery’ hen, of a grief-stricken cow in the presence of her murdered calf; the depression, profound pain (and grave sense of injustice) of an innocent pig locked inside the dark hell of his ‘prison cell.’ Lions weep in their cages; elephants are literally brought to their knees in heavy ‘circus’ chains. In a bleak landscape, filled only with dark, ominous tower blocks and dead tree stumps, a lone wolf is trapped in agony, his front leg gripped by a deathly leg-hold trap. A crying angel comforts a bleeding goose whose feathers have been excruciatingly ripped out through live plucking. A ewe hugs her lamb-child with such tenderness against the terrifying backdrop of a missile attack: a bleak reminder that human bombs rain down on animals too. Genetic mutations, vivisection, the gassing of unwanted animals, Sue Coe does not leave a single tombstone unturned.

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto also shows us the madness of it all: the two-faced, Janus heads of Man who with one arm affectionately strokes his dog, while with the other he stabs a baby lamb in the throat with a knife. Men devour platefuls of meat, while a Third World child starves to death. An autocratic father force-feeds his baby with a young piglet, creating the seeds of his own child’s premature demise. Another man devours two, huge turkey legs – and with them pus, salmonella, e-coli, and an early grave.

In part two, the tide finally, mercifully turns and we are shown what could be – what will ultimately be. Sue Coe has a Martin Luther King-scale Dream. There is love in the skies, in the heavens; animal angels are shown to be the guiding stars of their animal brethren. There is hope. And there is liberation. On pages 57 and 58 a cow cuts through the barbed wire of some hell-hole of a farm under a bright moon. Her act is deliberate and conscious, and we know that it will ultimately be effective. On page 63 a goat does the same. On pages 74 and 75 two brave pigs follow suit. Chains are broken, and the animals, literally, see the Light.

There are human cries too, vegan cries for “Freedom! Peace! Justice! Stop Violence!” The vegans become far greater in number, unwilling to participate any longer in the meat industry’s blood money scam. A thin, but determined donkey walks through the night towards a new Vegan World which is only 155 miles away. Other animals find the path too and begin to pursue it hopefully; they carry a V banner above them.

An Isaian world begins to manifest: a mule embraces a dog, a cow and a pig write a new law: “Eat veg, not us,” another cow scours The Vegan News for inspiration, and the animals unite in a common mission for love and unity. They help each other – and they find their freedom again. They share a vegan meal together, and they sleep soundly in the protective care of each other. A bat heralds rebirth and more Good News. The bears enjoy their tree tops again; bucks and fawns leap for joy, fish dance in ponds.

Shooting stars break out in the night skies as a choir of wolves sing to the new world; butterfly and grasshopper exchange flowers, a sunflowers bursts into fullest bloom. A woman holds a calf in her arms, expressing her deepest, motherly/sisterly love, clearly mourning all the terror, pain and violent death which man has inflicted on the animals for so long. There is great rejoicing as the world finally becomes vegan. Miraculously, a hardened scientist breaks out of his own man-made cage – and stretches out to embrace the animals, while a cockerel heralds a new vegan dawn.

Sue Coe grew up next to a slaughterhouse in Liverpool. In The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto she conveys the most important message of our times, about the last, most terrible, most prolonged, mass slavery and life-engulfing genocide the world has ever known. There is great love in these pages and her vision is Biblical in its moving magnificence. She has done what a thousand words from a thousand writers have failed to do.  She is a true prophet of our times – and her book is essential reading. If you buy just one book this year, let it be this one.

animals’ vegan manifesto
to 2 leggeds

1 close all slaughterhouses
2 the seas are salty with our tears,
leave us alone
3 turn all farmprisons into sanctuaries
4 we want to fly away
5 stop stealing our eggs
6 don’t take our lambs, or coats

from all of us, of fur, fin and feather
eat plants, not us, thankyou.

About the Author:

Sue Coe is a keen observer, a ‘graphic witness’ to realities more often overlooked or avoided. She is a journalist who uses printed images in preference to words. For a quarter century she has explored factory farming, meat packing, aparteid, sweat shops, prisons, AIDS, and most recently, war. Her commentary on political events and social injustice is published in newspapers, magazines and books. The results of her investigations are hung in museum and gallery exhibitions and form an essential part of personal fine print collections by artists and activists alike. Coe paintings and prints are auctioned as fund raisers for a variety of progressive causes, and since 1998, she has sold prints here to benefit animal rights.

http://www.all-creatures.org/book/r-animals-vegan-manifesto.html

International Respect for Chickens Day One Month from Today – May 4, 2017!

Chickens Ruby and Ivy.
For merchandise, posters and brochures, please visit our online store.

Please join us at the White House for UPC’s International Respect for Chickens Day/Month of May Public Outreach Event! We provide brochures, posters & banners – all we need is YOU!

When: Sunday May 7 Noon – 3:00pm
Where: Lafayette Park across from the White House at Pennsylvania Avenue
Why: Stick Up For Chickens!

For more information visit:
International Respect for Chickens Day

Karen and Liqin holding a 'International Respect for Chickens Month' banner by the White House.

MAY 7, 2017

Leafleting at the White House for International Respect for Chickens Day

Hosted by United Poultry Concerns

 

Thank you for taking action!

CONSUMING LESS MEAT COULD EASE CLIMATE CHANGE

http://daily-iowan.com/2017/04/05/consuming-less-meat-could-ease-climate-change/

By Natalie Betz 

natalie-betz@uiowa.edu

Beef consumption across the county has dropped, according to national research, and it’s helping to combat climate change.

According to a March report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans consumed 19 percent less beef in 2014 than in 2005, eliminating an approximate 185 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The council is a New York City nonprofit international environmental advocacy group.

The drop in beef consumption could be because some people are trying to help the climate, but it might also be because people are realizing that red meat can be harmful, said H.S. Udaykumar, a University of Iowa professor of mechanical engineering. He described it as a “happy coincidence.”

Some students, such as UI sophomore Logan Grant, became vegetarian for more personal reasons. She has been a vegetarian for five months after she realized that being an animal lover and supporting meat companies made her a hypocrite. Although she originally became a vegetarian because of ethical reasons, she soon learned about the environmental benefits.

Like Grant, Pete Akers, a UI visiting assistant professor of geography, noted that it isn’t usual for people to become a vegetarian because of the environment.

“Most people don’t typically switch to a vegetarian diet to initially help climate change, but a lot of people are consuming more sustainable foods with less carbon and methane emissions, which increases the ambit of food supply for everyone,” Akers said.

Additionally, he said, the amount of methane a single cow can produce with its four stomachs is extremely harmful to the planet. Methane has a greenhouse effect 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, according to the report.

“Cows, to a bigger extent, convert gas to methane,” Udaykumar said.

Akers said that pigs are a better choice over beef, because pigs require about eight to 10 pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork, rather than the 25 pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, and the hundreds of gallons of water needed for the cow to grow.

Hog farming is a huge industry in Iowa. According to statistics, it alone represents $7.5 billion in total economic activity for Iowa. The numbers are based on the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture and analysis by the Spencer Parkinson of Decision Innovation and Iowa State University on the Iowa Pork Producers Association website.

Akers also said chickens are even better than pigs because they only need two to three pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat.

Additionally, there’s an “unreasonable effectiveness” of the Chick-Fil-A campaign stating that chicken is better for humans than beef, Udaykumar said.

“Farmed fish are the most efficient, and if people chose to order fish over beef, it would make a pretty big impact, largely because they’re cold-blooded and have different metabolisms,” Akers said. “Also, fish don’t have to burn energy to stay alive.”

But the decrease in beef consumption isn’t the only meat that could help climate change, he said. Essentially, all meat from fish to cattle is going to have a greater impact on climate change because of the extra steps needed to help the animals grow, he said.

The reason is that all animal products take far more land, water, and fossil fuels to grow, Udaykumar said.

Additionally, he said, Iowa land is used to produce biofuels for cars using corn and soy, and a significant amount is used to as animal feed, then what is left is used to produce food for humans.

The effect that this has on the environment is that the crops fill soils with chemicals, which run into rivers and eventually ends up in the ocean, killing fish, Udaykumar said.

Grant said she’s glad to be a vegetarian because the feed fed to animals is what humans ultimately end up consuming.

Akers said that if the trend of consuming less beef continues, there will be more land to designate for human food. Therefore, he said, there will be more food for humans, because now, so much land is used to grow animal feed.

Farmed Salmon — One of the Most Toxic Foods in the World

http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/farmed-salmon-one-toxic-foods-world.html

Nicolas Daniel’s documentary “Fillet-Oh-Fish” takes a critical look at the fish industry, featuring exclusive footage from fish farms and factories across the globe. Many still have a rather romanticized view of fishing, but when it comes to large-scale food production, the picture is actually rather grim.

 Today’s fisheries are faced with a range of severe problems, from overfishing to chemical pollution and genetic mutation from toxic exposures. As noted by the producers of the film, “through intensive farming and global pollution, the flesh of the fish we eat has turned into a deadly chemical cocktail.”1

Despite that, the fish business is booming, in part due to efforts to keep the dirty underbelly of modern fisheries from public sight.

Aquaculture promotes itself as a sustainable solution to overfishing. But in reality, fish farms actually cause more problems than they solve. There’s really little difference, in terms of environmental pollution, between land-based feedlots and water-based ones.

 Farmed Salmon — One of the Most Toxic Foods in the World?

The film starts off in Norway, looking at the chemicals used in fish farms. Kurt Oddekalv is a respected Norwegian environmental activist, and he believes salmon farming is a disaster both for the environment and for human health.

Below the salmon farms dotted across the Norwegian fjords, there’s a layer of waste some 15 meters high, teeming with bacteria, drugs, and pesticides. In short, the entire sea floor has been destroyed, and since the farms are located in open water, the pollution from these farms is in no way contained.

A salmon farm can hold upwards of 2 million salmon in a relatively small amount of space. These crowded conditions result in disease, which spreads rapidly among the stressed salmon.

According to Oddekalv, sea lice, Pancreas Disease(PD)2 and Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISA) have spread all across Norway, yet consumers are not informed of these fish pandemics, and sale of these diseased fish continue unabated.

A number of dangerous pesticides are used in an effort to stave off disease-causing pests, one of which is known to have neurotoxic effects. Fish has always been considered a health food, but according to Oddekalv, today’s farmed salmon is one of the most toxic foods in the world!

 Toxicology researcher Jerome Ruzzin has confirmed Oddekalv’s claims. He’s tested a number of different food groups sold in Norway for toxins, and indeed, farmed salmon contains the greatest amount of toxins of them all, and by an incredibly large margin.

Overall, farmed salmon is five times more toxic than any other food product tested. In animal feeding studies, mice fed farmed salmon grew obese, with thick layers of fat around their internal organs. They also developed diabetes.

Ruzzin notes that a theory gaining traction is that rising rates of obesity is related to the increasing number of toxins and pollutants we’re exposed to through our environment and food. In light of his own studies, Ruzzin has stopped eating farmed salmon.

Genetic Mutations and Other Crazy Facts

Besides keeping pests like sea lice in check, the pesticides used also affect the fish’s DNA, causing genetic mutations. Disturbing examples of deformed cod are shown in the film.

What’s even more disturbing is that, according to Oddekalv, about 50 percent of farmed cod are deformed in this fashion, and female cod that escape from farms are known to mate with wild cod, spreading the genetic mutations and deformities into the wild population.

Farmed salmon suffer less visible but equally disturbing mutations. The flesh of the farmed salmon is “brittle,” and breaks apart when bent — a highly abnormal feature.

The nutritional content is also wildly abnormal. Wild salmon contains about 5 to 7 percent fat, whereas the farmed variety can contain anywhere from 14.5 to 34 percent.

Many toxins accumulate most readily in fat, which means even when raised in similarly contaminated conditions, farmed salmon will contain far more toxins than wild.

Shockingly, research reveals that the most significant source of toxic exposure is not actually the pesticides or the antibiotics, but the dry pellet feed! Pollutants found in the fish feed include dioxins, PCBs, and a number of different drugs and chemicals.

What Makes the Fish Feed so Toxic?

So what’s wrong with the fish feed? Why is it so toxic? In one Norwegian fish pellet plant, the main ingredient turns out to be eel, used for their high protein and fat content, and other fatty fish from the Baltic Sea.

That’s where the problem begins, as the Baltic is highly polluted. Some of the fish used have toxic levels of pollutants, which then simply get incorporated into the feed pellets.

In Sweden, fish mongers are now required to warn patrons about the potential toxicity of Baltic fish. According to government recommendations, you should not eat fatty fish like herring more than once a week, and if you’re pregnant, fish from the Baltic should be avoided altogether.

Swedish Greenpeace activist Jan Isakson reveals some of the sources of all this pollution. Just outside of Stockholm, there’s a massive paper mill on the bank of the Baltic that generates toxic dioxins.

Nine other industrialized countries surrounding the Baltic Sea also dump their toxic waste into this closed body of water. Dioxins bind to fat, which is why herring, eel, and salmon are particularly vulnerable, and end up accumulating higher amounts than other fish.

As a result of being deemed unfit for human consumption, some of these fatty fish are now primarily used as fish food. In this way, toxicity in the farmed salmon is allowed to build up even higher than in the wild.

Vegan Lifestyle Becoming More Common

https://theimpactnews.com/news/2017/03/09/veganisim-a-lifestyle-worth-considering/

 A vegan diet used to be a foreign concept for the regular American in a regular household. It was more of the lifestyle someone who decided to move to the woods and be in hiatus  of the world would adapt. However, the picture has changed over the years.

And now a change of diet may be absolutely necessary in protecting the planet from Greenhouse Emissions causing global warming, according to some experts.

Vegans now have countless food options and information available. Restaurants often have at least a vegan section and there is even vegan options for products other than food. It is fairly easy to have a full and healthy vegan lifestyle today.

But what does it mean to be vegan? And why would someone chose this lifestyle?

According to PETA, “a vegan (strict vegetarian) does not consume meat, diary products, eggs, honey or any product delivered from an animal.” This includes food, clothing, furniture, personal care and house hold items, and everything in between. Unlike a vegetarian, a vegan lifestyle goes beyond food. Every product used and/or purchases as well as any activity one takes part in, should not come from, be made out of, tested on or jeopardize an animal life.

For years, it has been assumed that diary, meat and eggs are the main sources of protein, but it turns out it is just a marketing strategy, for there are significant amounts of protein in other foods. An adult or depleting child can get all the nutrients and protein they need from a plant base diet, while maintaining good health.

According to Harvard University, vegans have a lower risk of suffering of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. It has also be proved to help with weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle.

Another huge reason to become a vegan is living a sustainable lifestyle and helping to reduce climate change. According to the world watch institute, “Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (C02) per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Methane, water vapor, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are some of the gases that contribute to the Greenhouse Effect.Many skeptics have been critical that that big environmental agencies, who exist for the protection of the one and only planet humans have, do not fully accept this theory on climate change.

Using less water and oil, recycling, being counties of energy used help as well, but the biggest impact can be made by switching to a vegan lifestyle. According to World Watch,  “Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed out 565 cigatonnes C02E limit by 2030, all from raising animals.”

Some feel that the planet has been so deeply damaged that baby steps won’t work, and a bigger change is needed to save the planet. Helping the environment is not only a choice everyone benefits from but also future generations. Regardless of nationality, humans share the same air and space. It is beyond personal choices. One’s reckless and careless choices can directly impact many others.

According to “Conspiracy” the infamous documentary on this issue, “A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50 percent less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/12th water, 1/18th land compared to a meat eater and saves one animal’s life a day.” One person’s choices have a huge impact on the resources that could potentially be wasted on a product that is not necessary for human life or wellbeing.

The question is, can college students have a vegan lifestyle on a realistic budget?

The answer is yes, just as any other student trying to save money; it’s all about being smart with spending and money in general.

Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean shopping at expensive organic supermarkets and spending a lot on money on food. Just be informed and learn how to read labels. It is probable that a portion of one’s diet is already vegan, so it doesn’t have to be such a drastic change.

Most restaurants offer a vegan section, and there are even entirely vegan restaurants now. There are numerous food choices.

As far as clothing and households items, it simply takes some research. Most brands now would include the word “vegan” on the packaging as well.

For residents, the cafeterias offer some vegan; options, however, are limited.

Annabella Alvarado, a Vet Tech major and a sophomore, says “I became a vegan once I realized the impact factory farming has on our environment. Mercy offers vegan/vegetarian options everyday, but what I did was change my meal plan to all dining dollars and that allows me to set up my own meals.”

There are also restaurants close to campus, like “Tomatillo” or “Mix on Main” with affordable vegan options as well, ranging from about $7 to $20. It is also easy to customize meals at restaurants to make them vegan.

Amy Morales, a Music Technology major and a senior, says “I gave up meat about two years ago just to try it out; after a month I really liked how my body felt. I feel a lot healthier now.”

Whether it is because of the health benefits, morals, or because your want to live a more sustainable life and help the planet, veganism is a life style worth considering.