Farmed Animal Watch: Objective Information for the Thinking Advocate
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November 3 , 2006 -- Number 39, Volume 6

1. AETA THREATENS ANIMAL ACTIVISTS

The National Lawyers Guild, which defends activists against First Amendment violations, “strongly opposes the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,” which was unanimously approved as S. 3880 by the U.S. Senate on September 29th. If the measure is enacted into law, any activity causing an “animal enterprise” business to suffer a profit loss, including peaceful protests and media campaigns, could be considered a terrorist act. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act was drafted by the lobbyist group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), in association with the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. ALEC, which has the support of over 300 large corporations, had a hand in introducing over 3,100 pieces of legislation in the 1999/2000 session, of which over 450 were enacted, all benefiting corporations.

The Equal Justice Alliance, a national coalition of social advocacy organizations, has formed to stop the measure in the U.S. House of Representatives when Congress reconvenes on November 13th. The Alliances website explains the legislation and its opposition to it: http://www.noaeta.org/home.htm


NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD OPPOSES ANIMAL ENTERPRISE TERRORISM ACT
The National Lawyers Guild, Oct. 30, 2006
http://www.commondreams.org/news2006/1030-14.htm

 

2. WELFARE LABELS DRAW ATTENTION & CONTROVERSY

Animal-welfare labels are becoming more common in the grocery store, in part due to standards being pushed by animal protection organizations. The trend is increasingly apparent in restaurants as well, such as in advertising by Chipotle Mexican Grill. Supermarket chains themselves are also getting in on the game (see: http://tinyurl.com/ygq5jd ). Whole Foods Market has been working on its “Animal Compassionate” standards for three years and will soon unveil its new logo indicating how the animals were treated up until slaughter.

Such products can be twice as expensive as conventional products. Critics also warn that the labels will further confuse consumers who are already trying to differentiate between such terms as “organic,” and “antibiotic-free,” “grass-fed” and “natural.” But many believe well-established labels are needed, since the federal government doesn’t generally regulate how farmed animals are treated and has only a voluntary, fee-based program for verifying certification systems and labels. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture has established definitions for terms such as “natural” and “organic”). Additionally, some welfare standards allow such practices as routine amputations and lifelong indoor confinement.

A number of animal protection organizations have formulated their own welfare standards. The American Humane Association oversees the “Free Farmed” program, while Humane Farm Animal Care administers the “Certified Humane” label. The Animal Welfare Institute plans to unveil its own label next month (see: http://tinyurl.com/yebbsf ). There is disagreement, however, as to which are the best or even “humane.” (See also “A MENU’S PASTORAL DESCRIPTIONS MAY NOT BE WHAT THEY SEEM,” The San Francisco Chronicle, Bonnie Azab Powell, Oct. 18, 2006 at: http://tinyurl.com/y2x5qu).


The New York Times ran five letters in response to this article. See: “JUST HOW DID MY BURGER GROW?” The New York Times, Oct. 30, 2006: http://tinyurl.com/yalocc See also: “MEAT LABELS DON’T TELL WHOLE STORY,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Denise Anderson, Oct. 30, 2006: http://tinyurl.com/y93xx3

MEAT LABELS HOPE TO LURE THE SENSITIVE CARNIVORE
The New York Times, Andrew Martin, Oct. 24, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/yx3t96

 

3. SATYA SERIES, PART II - MILKING US GENTLY

The second part of this 2-part series (re part 1, see: http://tinyurl.com/oxq3z ) opens with Catherine Clyne's editorial "BRAVE NEW VEAL: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES," which examines how, with the support of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), U.K. "industry hacks are trying to pull baby cow flesh back from near oblivion with a clever PR campaign." Clyne observes: "Conspicuously absent in all of CIWF’s calf campaign literature is any suggestion to reduce dairy consumption..."
http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/edit.html.

In “RESTORING THE SMALL FARM ETHIC,” Diane Halverson discusses why the Animal Welfare Institute is formulating its forthcoming animal welfare standards and what makes them superior to others. Halverson explains why she thinks the word “humane” should not be used in regard to slaughter: http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/halverson.html.

In "SINGER SAYS," philosopher Peter Singer discusses the intended message of his new book "The Way We Eat." Singer tells why he thinks that applying the word "compassion" to the killing of animals (re Whole Foods' "Animal Compassionate" standards) is appropriate: http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/singer.html.

In “ANIMAL RIGHTS AND WRONGS” Lee Hall of Friends of Animals tells why she thinks "advocacy involving systematic pain management [animal production welfare standards] makes activists into industry adjuncts": http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/hall.html See also: http://www.friendsofanimals.org/actionline/fall-2006_07/fall-movement-watch.php

In "SERVING ABUSE: PROMOTING ANIMAL-DERIVED FOOD," Joan Dunayer explains why "endorsing any form of speciesist exploitation is counterproductive and morally wrong." Giving true-life examples, Dunayer demonstrates how "When individuals who call themselves animal advocates promote a product-whether or not they label it "compassionate" or "humane"-much of the public concludes that the product is virtually cruelty-free": http://tinyurl.com/ymmjb5

Four brief articles give the perspectives of people who are affiliated with farmed animal sanctuaries on alternatively produced animal products: http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/index.html.

In “DISHING OUT THE BULL: THE RISE OF THE EXCUSE-ITARIANS,” Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, founder of Compassionate Cooks, gives her take on why promoting “humane meat” is a matter of “consecrating cruelty”: http://www.compassionatecooks.com/word/satya_oct_06.htm.

In “FARM FALLACY,” Eric Nicholson explains the campaign against worker and animal abuse at the world’s largest dairy, at Threemile Canyon Farms, which supplies milk to Dean Foods, owner of Silk Soymilk and Horizon Organics: http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/nicholson.html.

Three LETTERS in response to the September issue, part 1 of this 2-part series, are also included: http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/letters.html. A DISCUSSION FORUM is also accessible: http://pub38.bravenet.com/forum/3182297110/show/583048.

Additional articles not freely available on-line include “CALCULATING COMPASSION” by Miyun Park, “INVASION OF THE MOVEMENT SNATCHERS” by James LaVeck, “ORGANIC MILK: THE UNWHOLESOME CHOICE,” by Andrea Rose, “THEREAT EGGSCAPE” interview with Adam Durand, “DOES NIBBLING AT THE EDGES CONFLICT WITH TAKING A BIG BITE?” by Karen Davis, and “STILL STUCK IN THE MEATRIX,” by Sangamithra Iyer. (The Meatrix animated graphics series is on-line at: http://www.themeatrix.com ).



MILKING US GENTLY
Satya, Oct. 2006
http://www.satyamag.com/oct06/index.html

 

4. MAGAZINES REJECT PIG 'RECIPES'

Some women’s magazines have rejected ads by a $500,000 Australian campaign against the intensive confinement of pigs. The ads mimic recipes found in the popular magazines, featuring color photos of dishes with titles such as “Traumatised Suckling Piglet with Severed Tail.” The accompanying text tells how week-old piglets have their tails partially amputated and their eye teeth clipped off without any pain relief. The ads have also been pulled from billboards in supermarket parking lots. The publishers deny being pressured by the meat industry -which spends $800,000 annually on magazine ads- to refuse the ads, claiming instead that they are inappropriate. A pig industry spokesperson said the ads misrepresent farming practices. The campaign is funded by an alliance of organizations, including Animals Australia which received a sizable donation from Paramount Pictures after having found homes for the 40 piglets used during the Australian shoot of Charlotte's Web: http://www.charlotteswebmovie.com. The alliance was last planning to try to get the ads published in newspapers instead.


WHOEVER SQUEALED, PORK ADS ARE OUT
The Sydney Morning Herald, Julian Lee, Oct. 28, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/ykz4v6

 

5. TURKEYS ASSAULTS: U.S. & U.K.

Following an incident in which two of its workers were given community service for brutally battering turkeys (see: http://tinyurl.com/ydgc7v ), food company Bernard Matthews ran a full-page ad in the Eastern Daily Press stating: “Our employees are conscientious people… They are trained in animal husbandry and do not abuse turkeys…we will not and do not tolerate cruelty to our turkeys.” The company emphasized that the men were “subcontractors” rather than official employees. It criticized the sentencing as being “derisory,” and further stated: "Many recognise that there is a small minority of individuals who are determined by whatever means possible to discredit the production of livestock for human consumption." Hillside Animal Sanctuary’s Wendy Valentine countered: “Why didn’t Bernard Matthews or its workers alert the authorities to what the men were doing if they do not tolerate cruelty?”

On September 30th, Kevin Mahoney, 19, and Jon Stella, 17, broke into Stella’s stepfather’s Newbury, Mass. farm. There, Mahoney repeatedly threw a pitchfork at a group of turkeys, killing two at a time. Police reported that one of the males got a baseball bat and was "beating [turkeys] up against the wall." The two killed 21 of 3,700 turkeys at the farm. In an initial news report, Stella’s stepfather, Matthew Kozazcki, said he had "absolutely forgiven" them for killing the birds. A defense attorney attributed the attack to alcohol consumption. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to the prosecutor, demanding jail time for the two and psychiatric evaluation if they were convicted (see: http://tinyurl.com/y6jwz4 ). Police said the charges were taken seriously “…because if a person is able to commit such an ‘atrocity’ as killing 21 turkeys in such a manner, he may be capable of another serious crime.”

On Nov. 1st, Mahoney and Stella were each found guilty of 10 counts of cruelty to animals. Another 11 counts of cruelty to animals and a breaking-and-entering charge will be continued for three years without a finding. They have been sentenced to a year in a correction facility, with 30 days to be served and the balance suspended and three years of probation. (Prosecutors had asked for them to be sentenced to two and a half years in the correctional facility, with one year served and five years of probation. Each count had carried a maximum of five years in prison.) Mahoney and Stella are to remain drug- and alcohol-free, receive counseling, and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They will also have to make restitution to Kozazcki, who said they can work off the debt at his farm instead of paying him.

TURKEY FIRM ADVERT CONDEMNS ABUSE
BBC News, Sept. 15, 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/norfolk/5349336.stm

DRUNK TEENS SLAUGHTER 21 TURKEYS
The Daily News of Newburyport, Stephen Tait, Oct. 2, 2006
http://www.news-tribune.net/wierdnews/cnhinstalkers_story_275225848.html

TWO TEENS GUILTY IN TURKEY SLAUGHTERING CASE
The Daily News, Dan Atkinson, Nov. 2, 2006
http://www.news-tribune.net/wierdnews/cnhinstalkers_story_306231719.html

 

6. VEG*ISM IN THE U.S. & U.K.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) believes the number of children who reject the meat-eating habits they grew up with is on the rise. A 2000 poll by the Vegetarian Resource Group estimated that 6% of American youths ages 6 to 17 do not eat red meat, and 2% avoid poultry and fish as well. Another 0.5% is vegan. The ADA states that a well-planned vegetarian diet can be nutritionally sound for children and adolescents – and perhaps even healthier, as the change encourages some families to improve their diets. A 2002 survey of 4,746 Minnesota adolescents, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that vegetarians were more likely than non-vegetarians to meet recommended government dietary standards. Additionally, a 1991 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study involving 1,765 children ages 7 to 18 attending public schools and Seventh-day Adventist schools found that the Adventist semi-vegetarian children (those consuming meat less than once a week) were on average taller than the other group.

The rise in vegetarianism is not limited to the US – veganism has risen by 200% in the past decade in the U.K., with an estimated 300,000 people choosing this lifestyle. There are also more than 3 million vegetarians in the country, and another 5.5 million people who avoid dairy products for various reasons. Among omnivores, overall meat and dairy consumption has declined over the past 50 years, after peaking in 1979 when the average person ate over 2.5lbs of meat each week (in 2000, it was only 2.13lbs per week). Egg consumption is also down 3 eggs per person per week since 1965.

DON’T HAVE A COW, MOM: YOUR KID HAS GONE VEGETARIAN? THAT CAN BE GOOD.
The Washington Post, Jennifer Nelson, Oct. 31, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/y3udyw

GREEN FOR GO IF YOU’RE VEGAN
Daily Record, Maria Croce, Oct. 31, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/tmr9p






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Compiled and edited by Cat Carroll and Mary Finelli, Farmed Animal Watch is a free weekly electronic news digest of information concerning farmed animal issues gleaned from an array of academic, industry, advocacy and mainstream media sources.