Dogs and cats are family, not livestock.

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“Be the change you want to see in the world”  Mahatma Gandhi

Our neighbors moved out, a few days till Christmas, not a foreclosure, just a regular move a few blocks up, to a larger house. Their wrecker business has been slow, but with 3 income sources in one household, they’re all right. They left a rusty barbecue out front, a few pieces of smelly furniture and a small TV not good enough to move.

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They took the two mixed breed middle aged dogs who had lived with them since puppies, for a ride in the car, off to the county pound, from which they will not come out.

They made no attempt to find them another home, ask around, place a free ad in the community news paper. Even I, did not know until I inquired why the yard next to ours was now so quiet.  They left 2 cats behind too, one just a stray they say, but they fed it for several years, so the stray does not know he is supposed to be homeless. He is just there alone. And the temperature has dropped. The other cat may remember where he came from a while back and venture to see if a door opens. They said that maybe when they are settled they’ll get a new purebred pup, a toy dog, smaller poop, less food. Surely another stray cat will just show up.

They bought a new stainless barbecue grill with 2 burners, and the flat screen HD TV they’ve been wanting for a while. I heard they picked out a new living room set too. They’ll hang Christmas decoration around the front of the new house. 

The lives of two sweet dogs were thrown away, just 2 aging mutts, and dismissed also were the lives of the cats, who took shelter in their crawl space for a few years. Not worth a second thought.

Times are so hard for animals all the time. People are buying and discarding them like objects. Food animals are cheaper than fill dirt, literally.

A male calf offspring is of no use to a dairy farmer and worth about 5 dollars at birth. Hard times should elevate the value love and tenderness, but on the contrary it brings out  intolerance and callousness in humans. Happiness has depended entirely on trivial entertainment, material comfort and an endless supply of stuff. In times of plenty, choices are less critical, you can have your cake and eat it too, there is enough to hand out a little goodness. But last week the dogs next door lost against the tides of frustration and anger. They were defeated by the big screen HD TV and the shadow of a bleak future. Perhaps it is better after all, they will not be there to be yelled at and kicked around.                 

There are some good city shelters, like those partnered with the SPCA or the Humane Society and everywhere there are good people who truly care about animals and also work at shelters. Alas, shelters are not sheltering dogs from harm, there are merely holding pens where, anywhere from 3 days to rarely over 10 days dogs and cats meet their fate: A reunification with his or her family (1 in 10), a lucky adoption for animals under 5 years of age (1 in 3) or their lonely death (7 in 10). In these holding facilities, workers make little money, hardly above minimum wages, are not often screened for their dedication to animals, more often spilled over from another city or county agency, especially in small towns, where working at the animal “pound” (for impound) is often considered a demotion from another public service position. Still in effect is the outrageous practice of pound seizure where dogs and cats unclaimed during the few days of grace (3 to 10) are sold for experimentation to university laboratories or Class B dealers who resale the former pets at a profit to biotech (vivisection) facilities. Few states have outlawed this transaction and your beloved pet whose only fault was to walk thru a gate left open and wander a while until lost, your sweet family dog or cat  has been shipped to an laboratory, where courtesy of the FDA, it will be lawfully submitted to painful invasive, maiming, debilitating, poisoning, burning, or bone breaking experiment. My personal experience is that shelter employees develop a veneer of insincerity, a combination of power over the animals, and callous acceptance of the harsh reality and the inexorable fate of their inmates. Systematic spaying and neutering of strays and licensed pets to prevent overpopulation, tax credits and veterinary care at reduced cost for low income and elderly citizens to deflect pet surrender, and charitable pet food banks, combined with the elimination of large breeding operations and puppy mills could realistically take away the need for overfilled shelter facilities and their maintaining costs (paid with tax revenues), property ground and building, utilities, workers payroll and benefits, veterinary services and drugs. The humane, compassionate private,” no-kill”, run shelters, could then handle the smaller number of animals in distress.

Money and power and politics has again everything to do with the welfare of animals.

The first priority is not animal welfare but the protection of jobs, at the city and county levels and the constituents jobs because there is not a politician willing to take a stand and risk losing an election by alienating a group or another. The institutionalized gambling business of greyhound racing, claims hundreds of dog lives a year for every in the  race track, either from brutal collision or from culling the dogs not fast enough to compete and the “lucky”winners are kept in the dark, in horribly small cages, at the back of facility. State governments invest in these gangster’s run gambling parks and in spite of the numerous reports from Grey2K and citizens complaints of extreme cruel treatment of these gentle dogs (recently 32 out of 40 dogs died after they were left at Embry Park,FL. kennel without food or water for several weeks) continue to support them.  The business of animal experimentation is so profitable that it does not wish to draw attention to the unethical, often sadistic nature of their research and methods and will defend them with electoral bribes and blatant lies. The same goes for the extreme cruelty of animal food production- No candidate for office in Ohio for instance, no matter how aware and disapproving he or she might be of the animal suffering, will not dare to speak against the cruelty of hog factories. That would be political suicide. Recently Senator Tom Udall replied to me in an email that in the case of the 200 middle aged and older Chimpanzees who are to be taken out of a 10 year retirement at Alamorgordo in NM. and transferred to the Southeast National Primate Research Center for more invasive experiments (see PCRM or HSUS to get involved), and while he did not write a single comment about the primates welfare, he was deeply concerned how the move would affect jobs in his district. Ethical issues never entered his mind. Chimpanzees do not vote and that is all that matters to Mr Udall. America is so quick to tell the rest of them world of its superiority, but is submitting 70000 dogs and over 25000 cats annually (+ 60000 primates, besides over a million other species) to painful, trivial and deadly experiments in the name of science in a ”civilized” Western nation morally superior to the skinning dogs and cats for the fur trade in rural China or breeding them for the meat trade in Korea ? 

Doing the right thing has no longer any value, on the street, in the office or in Washington. On the contrary, the last 30 years have highly rewarded openly unethical behavior in banking, finance, politics, health care, corporate greed with positions of power and unimaginable wealth, while the public watched not with reprobation but with envy. That is why thousands of tutorial books and videos  on how to make millions and  realestate scams  and money game shows were so successful.

Helping the helpless animals is a heartbreaking mission left to a few who care deeply.

If you know of a back yard, mobile home or deep in the woods puppy breeder, of a neglected animal, left in the cold, too thin or chained, if you witness or suspect abuse, if your hear continuous whining or pleading barks, please report it to your city’s SPCA. They are most likely to do something about.

Make it your business to speak for the helpless.

The suffering of all animals needs to be alleviated, but in particular cats and dogs, horses too, because they are companion animals therefore belong to a category apart from all other animals. They listen to us, trust us, look up to us for comfort as much as we cherish the comfort and love they give us. They are family. We need to demand the drafting of laws relevant to the importance of our companion animals to protect them rightfully, so that we finally close the puppy mills and exclude them from experimentation and other exploitation. Pet population would greatly decrease, companion animal abuse would be severely punished and subsequently be less frequent. It is not utopia. Not so long ago such laws were enacted to protect children who were practically sold into servitude as household servants or in factories, left in rags on the nearest church front steps, they were at the mercy of their parents negligence or brutality. But now, you can hardly scold a child, much less give her or him a little smack on the bottom without the fear of child services knocking on your door. There was ignorance, there was silence, there was profit in child labor, like there is profit in animal breeding and experimentation, but attitudes can change. Michael Vick inadvertently helped us publicize the horrors of dog fighting and dog fighting became a federal crime in a matter of a few months. When there is the awareness and a will, there is a way. We are not ignorant anymore of the suffering of animals at the hand of corporations, breeders and abusers and we must not be silent any longer. Let us start with our best friends and companions, dogs and cats, who sit in our pictures of the perfect happy home, so dedicated to us and intelligent and intuitive of our needs that we easily train them to serve us as guide and rescue dogs and therapy pets.

Call, write, email your congressman/woman, your senator, your state elected official, your county and city officials and demand that dogs and cats be designated companion animals and removed from the overall “animal/livestock” category, removed from the callous USDA jurisdiction that oversees puppy mills and laboratories and allows the abuse. And give them the respect, protection and love they deserve .     

Adoption:If the thought of adding a four legged child to your family, has crossed your mind, please visit the local government shelter (where animals are least likely to survive) and take home a mixed breed dog or cat. Older animals make wonderful companions, housetrained and patient, grateful for any attention for which they have so longed.  He (or she) will bring lasting joy to the whole family.

Animalshelter.org has a fairly comprehensive list of city and county shelters by State.

If your heart is set on a specific breed, because their characteristic are better suited for your lifestyle or because you have a particularly fondness for that breed, contact a private animal rescue. They do not kill any of the animals they take in. They are usually breed or “cousins” specific, either pure bred or a close related mix, and because their pets are often surrendered they have a known history which helps you make a better match.

Petfinder.com is the most comprehensive network of animal rescues and animals for adoption.

Beware! that when you “Google” Breed Specific rescues, most of the listings are from deceitful breeders and puppy mills, pretending to be helpful only to lure you to their advertisements of puppies for sale. Craigslist is not to be trusted with pet adoptions either, but your neighborhood newspaper advertises usually sincere people in a hardship trying to re-home a dog or cat.

The dogrescuelist.com has a long list of rescues but is incomplete because it has not been updated in a while.

Donatetodogs.org has another legitimate list also incomplete but helpful.     

If you are not able to take in another companion, you can make a donation to an animal welfare organization or rescue, buy a chew toy for a lonely yard dog and bring a old blanket to a stray cat in your neighborhood.  If you have used carriers or leashes, unneeded shampoos or treats or common treatments for pets, please donate them to a private animal rescue in your area.

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FDA or Federal Dictature of America

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“Be the change you want to see in the world”  Mahatma Gandhi

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” -Thomas Jefferson

 Regrettably proposition s.510 was passed and it fails on ethical, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds. It is the most dangerous bill ever passed in America. History shows that there is no better times than an economic depression, while the average man is anxious to stay afloat, to establish rules of fascism. 
In the middle of the battle of the taxes, the wrongful hunt for Julien Assange and the holiday shopping frenzie, the corporate media conveniently failed to inform the public of this bureaucratic bill that gives federal power over all State agriculture, completely favors corporate giants, helps farm conglomerates to secure market monopolies, a bill  that will cost taxpayers a minimum of 1.4 billion dollars to implement, will dramatically increase the price of food while taking away alternative choices , a bill that will mandate more cruel tests on animals in laboratories and the factory and bring federal scrutiny and rule into your back yard.
It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency!!!!

Alibris

In recent years, the demand for organic food has skyrocketed as the American people have learned the truth about how our food is actually made.  Big agriculture and the giant food producers are losing profits as Americans increasingly vote with their wallets. There is also been a number of individuals and organizations who have built websites to inform the public of the dangers lurking in their foods.

So now the food giants have used “food safety” as a way to get market share back. Many of those involved in drafting this bill and pushing it through Congress have ties and own shares in the food industry giants. Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms,  designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position that does not require Congress’s approval) to administer the agency it would create — without judicial review.  S 510 gives Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming. Thousands of small food producers and organic farmers and neighborhood organic co-ops will have their very existence threatened by this bill. It imposes a bureaucratic nightmare on all food producers that the big corporations will be able to handle easily but that will cripple much smaller operations. It gives the untrustworthy FDA an incredible amount of discretion to exercise their power over one small farm or exempt another. ”Food Safety” equals Federal rule over State and local agriculture.  This an example:

  • Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) to give very small farms and food processing facilities as well as direct-market farms who sell locally the option of complying with state regulation or with modified,scale-a ppropriate federal regulation.   
  • Senator Sanders (I-VT) providing FDA authority to either exempt farms engaged in low or no risk processing or co-mingling activities from new regulatory requirements or to modify particular regulatory requirements for such farming operations.
  • It would not be so bad if there was an attempt to limit the amount of land used for GMO crops, to control pollution runoffs and ground water contamination or to set humane Federal standards in animal husbandry, including the use of drugs like antibiotics and Growth hormones (also a gift from Monsanto). But none of these real threats are even mentioned. There is overwhelming evidence that the latest Salmonella poisoning was not caused by small farmers who take good care of their chickens. The eggs came directly from the farms that keep chickens, bunched up in cages so small they cannot even turn around, who have who have their beaks cruelly cut away which causes so much pain and often infection , many die from the procedure unable take food or water any longer. Bacteria is very often found in milk laced with puss and blood from the infected udders of confined cows attached 24/7  to  automatic milking pumps. And because the animals are artificially inseminated each year until at the age of 5 or 6, their bodies exhausted from the pregnancies, so weakened by their suffering confined to a space not big enough for them to lay down, injected with antibiotics to prevent infections their lame bodies could not fight, they are finally poked and pushed all the way to slaughter, unable to walk steadily on their own. Several times a day at Tyson, workers grab a handfull of hatchlings , a sampling from every batch, cram them into a clear plastic bag, then tied, and you watch the baby birds suffocate,  their little bodies convulsing, gasping for air, before they are sent for salmonella testing. That is food safety!!.

    The latest beef recalls again does not come from Certified Humane Producers where the needs of animals are addressed with decency, reasonable compassion and good husbandry practices.

    All food recalls in recent years come from the monstrous world Industrial Animal Producers  where animals are confined in boxes smaller than the size of their bodies, prodded and beaten, lay in their own feces, eat a diet of soy  and corn (both GMO) and ground up miscellaneous ingredients  that includes animal fat and discarded parts (like spine, brains, hooves, pets euthanized from shelters) never see day light and are injected all kinds of drugs to fights the infections these appalling conditions breed. These Agricultural Corporations have ties with chemical and pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, Pzifer,Pharmacia (parent of Monsanto) . The head of the FDA is not an elected position, but it one of the most powerful political job in America and without delay upon development, the FDA  approved Monsanto’s Bovine Growth Hormone (bgh) and Genetically Engineered seeds for all the major grain and oil crops. Today 93% of soy,80% corn,90% canola,80 % cotton (cottonseed oil) are GE crops. Industrial farming receives government subsidies for water and energy and no interests loans and is  never subjected to pollution regulations.  Small and organic farmers are on their own and under constant attacks in the courts by Monsanto. It is all big money politics. Read the following article in Greens.org about Monsanto’s history and ties to Chemical warfare (Agent Orange), Agro and pharmaceutical chemicals .

    With the Bush administration, Ann Veneman, born to a prominent republican family, a protégé of the Ronald Reagan administration, a lawyer and lobbyist for Monsanto, headed the USDA, openly pushing for approval of all Genetically Engineered seeds and organisms, cloning and biotechniques.

     The FDA and the USDA are sold out to the Agricultural Corporate Giants who in turn generate huge profits for the Pharmaceutical, Agro and Petro Chemical Companies. Win Win. 

    Big corporate farming backed S. 510 is because it will devastate their primary competition – small food producers and organic farmers.

    #1 All food production facilities in the United States will be required to register with the U.S. government.   No food will be allowed to be grown, distributed or sold outside this bureaucratic framework unless the FDA allows it. S. 510 imposes an annual registration fee on any facility that holds, processes, or manufactures food.  It also includes draconian fines for paperwork infractions of up to $500,000 for a single offense. It is written to give FDA agents power as arbritrary judges and to decide whether or not fully to enforce or to modify or remove (their discretion) the rules and the fees for any small farm or operation in their district.

    The FDA will hire an army of new inspectors to enforce all of the new provisions in the bill and will conduct much more frequent inspections of food processing facilities. S. 510  gives the FDA tremendous discretion to regulate how crops are grown and how food is produced in the United States.  Basically, small farmers and organic farmers will now be forced to farm exactly how the federal government tells them to.  

    #2 S. 510 mandates that the FDA facilitate harmonization of American food laws with Codex Alimentarius.

    #3 Any food that is distributed or sold outside of U.S. government control will be considered illegal smuggling.

      #4 S. 510 places all U.S. food and all U.S. farms under the Department of Homeland Security in the event of a major “contamination” or an ”emergency”.  What exactly would constitute a “contamination” or an “emergency” is anyone’s guess.

    The FDA will then have the power to impose a quarantine on a specific geographic area and stop the movement of all food in an area where a “contamination” has been identified.  This is very close to being able to declare martial law.

     ”… (S 510).. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.”  Warned Dr. Shiv Chopra.

    At this point it is not far fetched to believe that there is a government backed corporate design to control all food production and supplies, virtually removing free choice agriculture, replacing natural and organic grain supply with invasive GMO, thus establishing the monopoly of animal feed crops and discouraging all efforts from organic and humane farmers with red tape and fees.

    On the other hand, this bill does not address the regulation of any the antibiotics and other drugs used in animal production or question the use of dead animal parts, chemicals, fillers and additives and filth in their feed (by nature cows are strict herbivores who eat only grass), or any of the hundreds of chemical additives and preservatives, colorants and flavorings dumped in the food production and manufacturing. Makes you wonder if there is a calculated intent to place harmful substances in food to create addictions, and control the behavior and health of the population…..

    Or is it just that they don’t give a damn about you? 

    Does it seem like people all around you are constantly getting sick? We have created an incredibly toxic environment for ourselves.  Diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes have skyrocketed in recent years. Why does the FDA approve all these chemicals and food additives when clinical evidence, thousands of studies, mandated by the FDA, paid for by you, the tax payers, performed prior to approval and responsible for the painful death of millions of animals, prove, beyond a doubt, that they have extremely serious negative effects, some 2 pages long. Splenda, developed by Johnson and Johnson conducted tests, paid with your money, and killed 12,000 animals, including one instance of 52 adult beagles bled to death, a couple dozen puppies fed only sucralose who died from brain damage and hundreds of monkeys who suffered the same fate. The results clearly demonstrated numerous brain and neurological side effects, yet it was approved and said to be safe. Common food additives are linked to permanent memory loss, blurred vision, high blood pressure, bone density loss, skin disorders, liver and prostate issues, breast cancer, thyroid deficiency, immune system disorders, attention deficit, neurological impairments, and it is obvious that your welfare does not matter to your government and  that you cannot trust their corporate puppet agencies to keep your food safe.

     They are the rich, all of them. They have wealth, stocks, pensions, connections, their clubs and they will always have access to the best things money can buy, to organic and non-genetically engineered food for themselves and their family, in their safe heaven, their private estates and islands.

     From economics to health care, from animal welfare to public lands, from politics to individual freedom, America is in a deep state of decline and moral turpitude and the American Dream will soon be the caption of an old print in an antique shop

     Take another look at what you are eating and what you are drinking.  A small change can make a big difference. Defy city and county ordinances, grow vegetables in your yard and keep some seeds at maturity because next time you need seeds the only ones available will be Monsanto’s, plant fruit trees but you best keep bees too for pollination because insecticide producing GMO crops are killing them, grow butterfly flowers and shrubs, because GMO crops are decimating their population as well, keep a few happy chickens, join a food co-op, buy organic whenever you can, read labels , prepare nutritious chemical free, GMO free, cruelty free vegan feast, salads, delicious faux chicken scallopinis or beef tips, made easy with Garde-in products ( and many others)  soups, rice and pasta dishes. If you must buy meat or dairy, buy “certified humane” and tell your government in emails, on the phone and through petitions that:

    “you are sick and tired of their dirty, greedy corporate politics that you favor regional markets, that you choose organic foods, that you demand humane farming standards, that you reject GE or GMO ingredients, that you refuse to have chemicals added to your food, and will not serve GE salmon to your family, that you don’t want Monsanto or Bayer or Tyson or Smithfield or Johnson and Johnson or Pfizer and their deputies pulling the strings and bribing who is who in Washington and finally that the institutionalized torture of animals must stop”

    Watch this great video by natural news TV

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    Global Death by Gluttony

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    “Be the change you want to see in the world”  Mahatma Gandhi

    It is convenient to categorize veganism as a response to animal suffering or a health fad. But, faced with the true figures, it seems plain that it is the only ethical choice to what is arguably the world’s most urgent environmental and social justice issue. Gluttony and greed are stripping the planet of vital resources and polluting what left of them.           
    Famine can only be avoided we give up meat, fish and dairy. 
     

    The Christians stole the winter solstice from the pagans, and capitalism stole it from the Christians. But one feature

    Dante and Virgil among the Gluttons by Gustave Dore 1890

    of the celebrations has remained unchanged: the consumption of vast quantities of meat. The practice used to make sense. Livestock slaughtered in the autumn, before the grass ran out, would be about to decay, and fat-starved people would have to survive a further three months. Today we face the opposite problem: we spend the next three months trying to work it off.

    Someday, our unsustainable gluttony will be deemed the worse offending crime against humanity (notwithstanding the day in and day after torturous treatment of farm animals). 
                                                                                                                                                                                                          “Those who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests.… When non-vegetarians say that ‘human problems come first’ I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.”             Peter Singer

    Alibris
                                                                                                                                                                                 
    This is why biotechnology – whose promoters claim that it will feed the world – has been deployed to produce not food but feed: it allows farmers to switch from grains which keep people alive to the production of more lucrative crops for livestock. Within as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.
    The impending crisis will be accelerated by the depletion of both phosphate fertilizer and the water used to grow crops. Aquifers are beginning the run dry all over the world, largely because of animal farming.
    World hunger is increasing at a rate of 4 million a year. If all the farm produce that is used to feed animals was used to feed people a vegetarian diet then no one in the world would need to be hungry.

    In 2006  the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published the following  report:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Climate change: With rising temperatures, rising sea levels, melting ice caps and glaciers, shifting ocean currents and weather patterns, climate change is the most serious challenge facing the human race. The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent.… Livestock are also responsible for almost two-thirds (64 percent) of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems
    Water: The livestock sector is a key player in increasing water use, accounting for over 8 percent of global human water use, mostly for the irrigation of feed crops. It is probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to “dead” zones in coastal areas, degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures.
    Land degradation: Expansion of livestock production is a key factor in deforestation, especially in Latin America where the greatest amount of deforestation is occurring – 70 percent of previous forested land in the Amazon is occupied by pastures, and feedcrops cover a large part of the remainder………………………..

    The Natural Resources Defense Council warns:

    On factory farms, animals are highly confined into relatively small areas; their manure and urine are funneled into

    runoff from giant hog factory

    massive waste lagoons. These cesspools often break, leak or overflow, sending dangerous microbes, nitrate pollution and drug-resistant bacteria into water supplies. Factory-farm lagoons also emit toxic gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane. What’s more, the farms often spray the manure onto land, ostensibly as fertilizer — these “sprayfields” bring still more of these harmful substances into our air and water.

    To  produce one pound of wheat  takes about 25 gallons of water and a lot of sun. Yet 16 pounds of that wheat (plus soy) and 2,500 gallons of water fed to a cow to make one pound of beef. More than half our farmland and half our water consumption is currently devoted to the meat industry
    Shawn Dell Joyce writes that it takes one sixth of an acre of land to produce enough food for a vegan but more than three acres to feed a meat eater. That is a factor of 18! But according to the British group Vegfam. A 10-acre farm could feed 60 people growing soybeans, 24 people growing wheat, 10 people growing corn but only two producing cattle. That is more like a factor of 30!
     We eat most of our grain in the form of meat, 90 percent actually, which translates into 2,000 pounds of grain a year
     “The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous.”                       
    David Brubaker, PhD, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins University
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The meal plan of the average American family accounts for 2.8 tons of CO2 emitted annually, compared with 2.2 tons for driving. Worldwide agriculture contributes some 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, far more than transportation. So when it comes to cutting your carbon footprint today, the truth is that what you eat is as important as what you drive. “If you can’t buy a Prius,” says Jonathan Kaplan of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “you can certainly eat like one.”
     
    Many of those who have begun to understand the death sentence of global grain production have responded by becoming vegetarians. But vegetarians who continue to consume milk and eggs scarcely reduce their impact on the ecosystem and contribute to intense suffering of dairy cows and chickens.

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    The exorbitant cost of cheap stuff made in China

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    “Be the change you want to see in the world”  Mahatma Gandhi

    It is difficult to buy anything that is not made in China today, because the U.S. imports more than half of its consumer goods from that one country. Other country such as Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Guatemala and Mexico and a few more split the rest of pie.Whether you buy discount, store, designer or” American” brand , China makes it for us, everything from clothing, accessories, household electronics, government computer components and software, weapons , hardware, building materials, toys, toiletries, pharmaceuticals and food staples like dairy and meat. Even puppies bought online have been shipped from China, most of them very sick, many dead (from dehydration and lack of air) on arrival.

    The flood of consumer goods from China has nearly tripled since 1997, and the number of recalls has grown proportionately. The Food and Drug Administration is deluged by this flood. The FDA inspects just 0.7 percent of imports. David Acheson, an assistant commissioner for food protection at the FDA, says it logistically impossible to test all imports from China. “It’s got to be based on risk,” and the Chinese knowing gladly take the risk of losing a tiny percentage at inspection.

    FDA inspectors report tainted food imports from China are being rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs and for the products that made it to market, there has been after the fact inspections (sickness or death) recalls on pet food (after the critical illness and death of hundreds dogs), produce, infant formula, toothpaste, score of poisonous non food articles such as children and pet toys, pharmaceuticals, drywall, etc…

    Alibris

    A widely used chemical in animal feed and some human foods in China, melamine disingenuously gives food products the appearance of high protein levels, allowing watered-down dairy products, for example, to pass quality tests.                                                                                                                                                                                               In September of 2008, Canadian food inspectors issued a recall on cookies when they were identified as containing unsafe levels of melamine. But the , FDA was reluctant to make a similar stand even as pressure from the public and the media was mounting — and the cookies continued to sell in grocery stores across the country.                 When it was revealed last year that Chinese-made baby formula laced with melamine was causing infant deaths, nine countries, including Canada and Australia, temporarily banned imports of Chinese dairy products, sending a clear message to China that its food safety problems will not be tolerated. Consumer groups in the U.S. unsuccessfully called on lawmakers to take similar measure.

    The Chinese government has responded with reluctance and resistance to the safety problems and issued a public statement to this effect, stating, “as a developing country, China’s current food and drug safety situation is not very satisfactory because supervision of food and drug safety started late, its foundation is weak so the supervision of food and drug safety is not easy.”

    Why are we trading with them on such huge levels as to endanger our children, our pets,our economy, our values?

    Additionally, FDA found that imported fruits and vegetables are likely to have illegal levels of pesticide residues heavy metals and other contaminants. Water, soil, and air are dangerously polluted in many rural areas as a result of heavy industrialization and lax environmental regulation. Shawn Dell Joyce wrote “Recently, China surpassed the United States as the world’s top polluter. China has no real environmental safeguards in place to protect drinking water from contaminants, no labor laws to keep children out of sweatshops, and no legal ethics to keep entrepreneurs from producing dangerous products.                                                                                                           The FDA and USDA again and again fail to protect Americans, fail to protect animals, fail to do the right thing and seem to take advice only from lobbyists and orders from powerful American Corporations with business interests in China. For example, in March of last year, China complained to the WTO about the United States ban on the importation of Chinese poultry, a measure the U.S. took on the grounds that Chinese poultry is produced in an unsafe manner, notwithstanding the fact that China has zero animal protection laws. China has claimed that the ban “violates the basic rules of the WTO,” and the country continues to use its leverage under the trade agreement to compel the U.S. to reconsider the ban.

    Why do we do so much trade with a country that does not share our standards of ethics, of

    From Documentary China Blue

    democracy, of consumer protection, of human rights, unless the corporations who do business in China have access to Washington and put tremendous pressure on our government to keep disturbing hugely profitable relations? Or is it ransom? 

    In addition to our safety, the overwhelming cost of this contaminated flood of imports is a huge trade deficit and the loss of millions of American jobs. The United States government could do a lot to help bring some of these jobs back to America, if only they would in effect punish companies for outsourcing jobs to other countries. Ironically we should hope that offshore companies will begin to realize that they’re losing their American markets to impoverishment. Continue reading

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    The profitable cruelty of animal research

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    “Be the change you want to see in the world”  Mahatma Gandhi

    Beware! This post exposes the truth and displays very graphic pictures.

     

     Experimentation is the most cruel, deceptive, profitable crime against animals.

    Of all the crimes committed against animals, the most unethical, the most shameful is experimentation .It is kept secret from the public, it is condoned by government agencies, it is funded with tax dollars, and it is a very lucrative business for universities, and delivers huge profits to the pharmaceutical and chemical corporations. It is estimated well over 100 millions animals are dissected, infected, injected, gassed, mutilated, radiated, tortured, burned, blinded and poisoned in hidden laboratories on college campuses and research facilities throughout the US and “civilized” nations.

    It is a lucrative business at all levels, all in the name of science.

    Burned alive to study the effects of burns

    Each year, in the US alone, according to USDA own estimates and SourceWatch (which are inaccurate because they only record the sources who report their activities)  dogs (between 70,000 and

    100,000), cats (between 25,000 and 30,000), primates (50,000 to 100,000) rabbits (approximately 500,000) , farm animals (thousands of which there is no record at all), birds, fish, guinea pigs and hamsters, ferrets, and mice and rats (millions and millions) are at any given time being tortured and killed for profit. While virtual labs, simulators and many high tech alternatives to vivisection are now available, thousands of previously documented, identical studies could easily be shared,  while so much research is unethical, trivial and completely irrelevant to the human condition, government agencies and institutions  to continue enforce regulatory animal testing and do not welcome change. Change in policy means new accountability, training, initial investments (all definitely cheaper in the long run than the keep and use of animals), possibly reshuffling some positions, and the (unacceptable) risk of losing a few jobs.  Animal welfare is sadly not a motivation factor and the government has no financial incentive for it can always dig deeper into our pockets.  In a  current case involving 200 chimpanzees, previously retired, are to be submitted again to invasive experiments at a facility at Alamogordo, NM, and the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the federal government have ignored appeals from PCRM, physicians, primatologists, and from the governor of New Mexico himself, Bill Richardson, who all strongly oppose this plan .Because of their advanced age, health conditions, and and emotional distress many of the  200 chimpanzees may not even survive the move. Some of  them were used in testing at a private facility where 35 died in the experiments. For university departments, the grant is well established system to secure  both money and recognition no matter how absurd, redundant or cruel the scam, and well, for corporation profitability is all that matter. Hopefully if the drug or chemical  companies can be convinced of a financial advantage, they will consider switching to non animal models.

    Is that the kind of protection you expect from your government? Can you trust a government that mandates and organizes such systematic cruelty on such a scale with your money? Does your welfare warrant the intense suffering and killing of millions of animals with no end to it?

    Animals in laboratories are exempt from animal cruelty laws and can be subjected to all kind of horribly painful invasive experiments, such as having drain cleaner poured down their throat, pesticides pumped into their stomach or injected in their veins, being artificially induced with lethal diseases and cancers to then be poisoned with new drugs, cut open without anesthetics, kept in isolation from humans and their peers, in barren cages, for several years if they are so unlucky because a quick death would be a kinder fate. The USDA and FDA, with your tax dollars condone and demand these procedures, while they do not require accountability for the animals (which is why the numbers are uncertain).  

    There is complete hypocrisy in the manner in which the law treats animal abusers. I certainly do not approve of dog fighting and I am glad Michel Vick was caught, tried and convicted. Yet dog fighting is a money making gambling enterprise for the mostly uneducated rural and inner city poor,while the extreme cruelty of animal laboratories, where animals have no representation and no rights at all , is mandated by the government, makes money for the chemical and drug corporate giants and generate publicly funded grants for Universities. Like the recent Johnson and Johnson TV ad, showing what a nice family business they are… while they are spending millions of dollars on lobbying against environmental and animal protection legislation.

     For every cup of bleach you pour in your wash, for every squirt of dish washing detergent you load in your dishwasher, for every spray of weed or insect killer you use to treat your home, thousands of dogs have died, often their vocal cords severed so their barking and moaning will not distract, because dogs, especially the gentle beagle, are the specie of choice for drug and industrial chemical toxicity testing. Dogs’ status as “man’s best friend” offers them no protection from being locked in lonely cages and forced to endure excruciating experiments.

    Dogs are also used as “models” in human disease studies, including studies of heart and hormonal disorders. At Ohio State University, vivisector George Billman forced surgically manipulated dogs to run on a treadmill until they collapsed from a heart attack. The dogs were killed and the damage to their heart tissue studied. In a series of experiments fit for a horror movie, vivisectors at the University of Pittsburgh have killed countless dogs and then brought them back to life. Experimenters drained the blood from the animals for up to three hours and then pumped Continue reading

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    Oil addiction and the American dream

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    “Be the change you want to see in the world”  Mahatma Gandhi

    Part one:

    A win win situation

     

    Oil exploration and drilling goes back to the early colonial era. Certainly we found a bit of black gold in Texas, California and other American soil, but very quickly it was obvious that it would be found in much larger quantity in the Middle East and places where property right would not interfere. English and American entrepreneurs bought huge concessions, in Iran (then Persia), Egypt, Libya, thousands of square miles leases from countries that were not democracies, but split among tribal and sectarian lords while overall under British, French, and Dutch rule. Colonialism was not about keeping peace between the indigenous sects and tribes, it was not about bringing modern commodities, such as electricity, sanitation and rail to underdeveloped nations, that was merely necessary to commerce, it was not about the Christianization of what was deemed a superstitious pagan lot, it was not even about expansion, it was entirely about money making. Colonialism was (is) the manipulation of executive, legislative, judicial branches and economic and political affairs to establish the systematic plundering of an overseas country and its resources.

    The colonized countries slowly rose from poverty and ignorance and equipped with infrastructure and a system of government, newly armed with education and a burgeoning middle class fought, and in most cases, because the colony or commonwealth had indeed become more troublesome and costly to upkeep, was granted its independence with great hopes of new profitable, locked- in alliances.

    Alibris

    At that point we are still in total control of the natural resources of that country and we have merely shifted the cost of extracting and producing ourselves by handing over titles of ownership, while retaining the control of operations and all rights. We are now paying taxes and dues, for products and services to the new owners, but overall, as it always was, the rich, Continue reading

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    Posted in Economics, Environment, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments