Re: [AnimalACTionNetwork] A letter of inspiration for 2013

From: user 1.
Sent on: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:09 PM
Is Animal Cruelty Doomed?

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Editor’s note: This is a guest blog post by Ocean Robbins.
In one of history’s most stunning victories for humane farming, Australia’s largest supermarket chain, Coles, will as of January 1 stop selling company branded pork and eggs from animals kept in factory farms. As an immediate result, 34,000 mother pigs will no longer be kept in stalls for long periods of their lives, and 350,000 hens will be freed from cages.
Not to be outdone, the nation’s other dominant supermarket chain, Woolworths, has already begun phasing out factory farmed animal products. In fact all of Woolworth’s house brand eggs are now cage-free, and by mid-2013 all of their pork will come from farmers who operate stall-free farms.
Coles and Woolworths together account for a dominant 80 percent of all supermarket sales in Australia.
The move to open up the cages was fueled by “consumer sentiment,” and it has been synchronous with a major campaign against factory farming of animals led by Animals Australia. The campaign features a TV ad, titled “When Pigs Fly,” in which an adorable piglet tells the story of animals sentenced to life in cramped cages, and then flies to freedom.
Meanwhile, in the United States, egg factory farms cram more than 90 percent of the country’s 280 million egg-laying hens into barren cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Each bird spends her entire life given less space than a sheet of paper. And in a reality that does not please fans of Wilber or Babe, between 60 to 70 percent of the more than five million breeding pigs in the United States are kept in crates too small for them to so much as turn around.
There are laws against cruelty to animals in the United States, but most states specifically exempt animals destined for human consumption. The result is that the animal agriculture industry routinely does things to animals that, if you did them to a dog or a cat, would get you put in jail.
Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, explains: “Most of the anti-cruelty laws exempt farm animals as long as the practices are considered to be normal by the agriculture industry. What has happened is that bad has become normal, and no matter how cruel it is, normal is legal.”
But here, too, change is coming. Undercover investigations have led to a $497 million judgment against the now defunct Hallmark Meat Packing company, and to the recent temporary shutdown of Central Valley Meat Company over what federal investigators termed “egregious, inhumane handling and treatment of livestock.” California and Michigan have passed laws that will phase in a ban on battery cages for hens, and nine U.S. states have joined the entire European Union in heading towards a ban on confining pigs in gestation crates.
Worried that consumers are starting to find out the truth about treatment of modern farm animals and will demand further changes, industry leaders are pushing for “ag gag” laws that would hide factory farming and slaughterhouse abuses from public scrutiny. Recently passed laws in Iowa and Utah threaten jail time for anyone working undercover and taking pictures or video of animals in factory farms without permission.
What don’t they want us to know? What are they trying to hide? What would happen if the veil was lifted and we saw the level of cruelty that has become the norm in U.S. industrial meat production?
A poll conducted by Lake Research partners found that 94 percent of Americans agree that animals raised for food on farms deserve to be free from abuse and cruelty, and that 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigative efforts by animal welfare organizations to expose animal abuse on industrial farms.
Most farmers don’t try to be cruel to animals, but they do worry about how to cut costs. And so long as consumers are kept in the dark about the real source of their food, farm owners have no economic incentive to do more than the minimum necessary to appease regulatory authorities.
Want to take action? Join the Food Revolution Network, an online community dedicated to healthy, sustainable, humane and delicious food for all.
Or join the Humane Society’s campaign for farm animal protection, or Farm Sanctuary’s work for animal welfare legislation. Or if you want to save 100 animals per year, you can sign up for PETA’s free veg starter kit.
Ocean Robbins serves as adjunct professor at Chapman University and as founder and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the 75,000 member Food Revolution Network. Find out more and sign up for free here.
What Caused So Much Fuss? Here’s The “Pigs Fly” Ad From Animals Australia
This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.

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From: Dawn Marie Groth <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, January 1,[masked]:59 PM
Subject: Re: [AnimalACTionNetwork] A letter of inspiration for 2013

    This is an excellent article....   and as someone who was there in the 70’s to see that native american man with a tear in his eye.... and help clean up the streets... I know there was a national campaign.  widely publicized.  Commercials, signs posted everywhere, and it even got into the schools, which was how I got involved.  Our class went on an outing for clean up earth day.   With that much publicity, it is not surprising that we actually accomplished this.  
To have such a campaign for animals....  we would need that much involvement.  That much publicity. That many people saying,  “Hey, this really isn’t right, lets help fix it”     If a campaign were to be created with a short title.  And we could get enough groups to back it nationally... we might be able to actually kick off a widely publicized campaign.  That is what the animals need.   
   Dawn Groth
From: Julie
Sent: Tuesday, January 01,[masked]:08 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [AnimalACTionNetwork] A letter of inspiration for 2013
The Sanctuary I volunteer for published a letter today I thought was very inspirational for all of us in the trenches, working so hard to do everything we can to assure all animals are treated humanely.  I wanted to share it with you as we head into the new year:
By Advocate | January 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm | No comments | General
SabrinaThe Wildcat Sanctuary’s director has a quote that often rings in my head. “We cannot rescue ourselves out of the captive wildlife crisis.” I’ve only been at the Sanctuary a short time and I humbly admit now that when I started here I thought we COULD rescue our way out. I thought if we and other accredited sanctuaries just took in all the unwanted, exploited abandoned cats, we could “fix” the problem.
Now, six months later and countless desperate phone calls from people wanting to surrender cats or report abuse, I know the truth. We cannot rescue our way out of the captive wildlife crisis. For every cat we rescue, a breeder somewhere is making six more. For every exotic pet we have surrendered to us, there are hundreds more left in tiny cages, chained to the ground or ignored in backyards.
While this information came as a huge disappointment to me, and a stunning reality check that has kept me awake on more than one night, it has also inspired me to learn more about how we CAN make a difference.
I often think back to the 1970′s impactful public service announcement showcasing a Native American man in a canoeJaharah_IMG_0223_LRshedding a tear for the environment. Back in the 70′s, it was commonplace for people to throw trash out their car windows. Fast food bags, pop cans, empty cigarette packs and even diapers were tossed with no regard for what it may be doing to the environment.
Through the years, we realized the error of our ways. We woke up to our ignorance of the truth. If everyone uses the earth as their garbage can, there will no future for our children. I don’t think the people of the 70′s and before were any meaner, or less intelligent than we are today. They were just ignorant, uninformed and not educated on the environment.
Likewise, I think this is the very root of the captive wildlife crisis. People do not realize that when they attend circuses or pet a tiger at a roadside zoo they are greasing the palms of the people whose greed has led to the problem of homeless and abandoned exotic pets in the first place.
Maya_LR.jpgIf people continue to buy these “pets” from breeders instead of adopting one of the millions of appropriate pets from a shelter, they will continue to perpetuate the problem. I don’t believe the general public would condone or celebrate the captive, exploited existence of so many of these animals – they just don’t realize how they contribute.
If, every day, those of us who speak for the animals touch one person and ask them to touch another and so on, be it in conversation or through Facebook or in other creative ways, we can make a difference.
Just as our children now know that they can’t throw their garbage out the window, I trust that one day their children would not think of not spaying or neutering their pets or going to a circus or petting a baby tiger at the mall or getting a serval as a pet.
Aslan Asha Shanti DevaJust like the Native American man who shed a tear for the environment, I like to believe that every tear we shed today will spare a tear for future generations. I know that we can’t rescue our way out of the exotic animal pet trade. But we can educate our way out. As we begin 2013, please join us in continuing to spread the No More Wild Pets message.
Together, we can change the future!
Holly Henry – The Wildcat Sanctuary, Communications Manager

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Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Dawn Marie Groth ([address removed]) from "Animal ACTion Network" Colorado.
To learn more about Dawn Marie Groth, visit his/her member profile
Set my mailing list to email me As they are sent | In one daily email | Don't send me mailing list messages

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