When the farm is no longer on the farm

By Carolyn MacLaren, General Manager, BC Farm Animal Care Council (BCFACC).

When I became involved in speaking about and explaining farm animal care a few years ago I had some ideas of what the issues were, where good things were happening and improvements were demonstrated, and where there were still gaps. I also had some familiarity of the “urban” issues from my university days in large Canadian centres where both schools I attended during my academic career had their share of “greenies” or “vegan” types as they were known. All of this I could deal with and I could reconcile, it was pretty easy for the most part so either I was good at it or I had the luck to not encounter too many disagreeable or militant types. Probably a combination of both, really.

I regularly meet very nice people who know absolutely nothing about farming and food production but have clearly been influenced by people and groups who aren’t telling our story as it really is, such as the PETAs (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) of the world. I have learned to take time to listen to those questions and understand what they are asking and what the issue or concern really is and then try to answer in the most direct and simplest way possible, citing examples and drawing on analogies, as I have been taught. For the most part this does the trick and people are appreciative that I took the time to discuss the issues and did not laugh at their lack of knowledge.

The computer game Hay Day may be fun but is a poor depiction of how farms really work.

The computer game Hay Day may be fun but is a poor depiction of how farms really work.

Now that I have children of my own, I make sure their perspective is imbued with a healthy dose of realism – “ … yes, calves do have their horns removed, it’s safer for them and the other calves, yes trimming a chicken’s beak is safer for them and the other chickens …”. We speak openly about what is on our dinner table and where it came from. It’s not unusual to hear my 8-year-old ask “So, Mommy, is this chicken or pig we are eating tonight?” before she happily and heartily digs in. When we drive out to the family dairy farm on a particularly aromatic day (usually when the spreading of manure is allowed again in the spring) our girls will tell their friends, who are loudly protesting the smell, that “that smell is actually very good because without it, there would be no cheese, no milk, no ice cream, no yogurt.” I have brought them to my side and it really wasn’t that hard. Or so I thought. Continue reading

Animals aren't 4-legged people

January 6, 2010 – Happy New Year to the readers of this blog. This article was printed in the Toronto Star over the holiday season and we think this columnist got the issue exactly right. Farm animals aren’t pets and they definitely aren’t 4-legged people. And, with only 1 in every 46 Canadians now actively farming, there is a huge disconnect between farmers and consumers. Enjoy the read – OFAC

The annoying tendency to anthropomorphize animals is likely from our lost connection to rural life

by Connie Woodcock, Out There

Toronto Sun, December 20, 2009

When I was a little girl, I fell in love with a series of books about a pig named Freddy and his barnyard friends on the Bean farm in New York State.

I read every one of the 26 books available in my library over and over. I can remember peering at a New York road map in search of fictional Centerboro, the town supposedly nearest Freddy and his friends.

Written between the 1920s and 1950s, the Freddy books disappeared for a while but they were republished a few years ago and there’s even an association called The Friends of Freddy with its own website. I’ve bought several Freddy reprints and reread them still.

I mention this because much as I loved Freddy, Mrs, Wiggins the cow, Hank the horse with rheumatism in his hind leg, and Charles the henpecked rooster, we all grow up and realize there’s no such thing as a talking animal. At least, most of us do. Continue reading

PETA's New Anti-Leather Ad in Security Checkpoint Bins Could Help Cash-Strapped Airport's Bottom Line Take Off

For Immediate Release:

December 15, 2008

Memphis, Tenn. — In light of the Transportation Security Administration’s decision to allow advertising on the bins used at airport checkpoints in order to pay for security equipment upgrades, PETA has dispatched a letter to Larry D. Cox, president and CEO of Memphis International Airport (MEM).
Continue reading

PETA Shareholder Resolution Calls on PetSmart to Phase Out Live-Animal Sales

Man’s Death From Bird Disease Prompt Action

For Immediate Release:
December 30, 2008

Phoenix — PETA, owner of 151 shares of PetSmart–the country’s largest pet food and supplies chain with more than 1,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada–has submitted a shareholder resolution calling on the Phoenix-based company to report on the feasibility of phasing out the sale of live animals. Continue reading

The New Wake UP America Radio Show is Your Wake Up Call

Source:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/01/prweb1822754.htm

The recent flow of media about animals being treated cruelly in factory farms, and the up and coming vegetarian movement is covered every Saturday, on Voice America Health & Wellness Network. Listen online, download, even listen on your phone, but don’t miss a single show.

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) January 6, 2009 — Every Saturday morning Wake UP America and its expert guests will examine our food choices and talk about the wonderful animals we share the earth with. We will discuss how mega- corporations are destroying our health and polluting our world – and most importantly – the simple solutions that will keep our families healthy and safe, save animals lives, and help our planet at the same time…..

Upcoming Guests on Wake UP America:

January 3rd, 2009 – Wayne Pacelle
Few are in a position to speak for the animals like Wayne Pacelle. As President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, he leads nearly 10.5 million members and constituents in the mission of celebrating animals and confronting cruelty.

January 10th, 2009 – Ingrid Newkirk
PETA President and cofounder Ingrid Newkirk has led the world’s largest animal rights organization for more than 25 years. Her passion and dedication to making this world a better place for all living beings has inspired countless others to do what they can to help animals.

January 17th – Gary Francione
Gary Francione is professor of law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Distinguished Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law in New Jersey. Gary is an author of several books, the newest being, Animals as Persons.

January 24th, Rory Freedman
Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin started a movement when they wrote their best-selling manifesto, Skinny Bitch. Both a wake-up call and a kick in the ass, Skinny Bitch exposed the horrors of the food industry while inspiring people to eat well and enjoy food.

January 31st, Howard Lyman
A successful Montana cattle rancher for nearly four decades, Howard Lyman sold his farm in 1983. Lyman went on to become one of the most prominent activists in the animal rights and environmental movements, authoring 2 books, and travelling over 100,000 miles each year speaking.

About the host:
Tina Volpe is the author of the book The Fast Food Craze, Wreaking Havoc on Our Bodies and Our Animals, and coauthor of The Missing Peace, The Hidden Power of Our Kinship with Animals, scheduled release in Spring, 09. She is a health researcher, speaker, educator/consultant, television guest appearing all over the country, hosted the top rated radio show “Wake Up America” on GlobalTalk Radio, now with Voice America Radio, and published columnist. Tina is now affiliated with PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) as a “Heart Health” speaker, and SPEAK (Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom), as a “Humane Educator:”. She lives on a ranch in Northern Arizona, supported by her family, and 21 unique animal friends.

Meat industry not immoral

VALERIE TAPLEY, Red and Black, GA, 7/3/08

In response to Tulsi Patel’s column “Vegetarian pleas for animals,” (June 19), first, Ms. Patel, I do applaud you for having an opinion on this issue, as so many people are apathetic about many parts of our culture today.

However, I hope you see that people like myself, who are hoping to enter the meat industry as an employee in the near future, are not writing articles in an attempt to convert vegetarians to meat-eaters.

I’m glad you have a lifestyle you’re proud of, but that doesn’t mean I want to necessarily be converted to your ways of thinking. I do grant that you are able to get an adequate intake from a vegetarian diet, so long as you watch carefully your intake of certain vitamins and proteins. Continue reading

Where's the beef?

The Washington Times, October 17, 2008

Wendy’s coined the phrase “Where’s the beef?” in the 1980s. Today, it seems that meat is out, and more expensive soy products and supplements are in. Helped by activist groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who cry “Meat is murder,” they make Americans feel embarrassed to bite into a steak or take a swig of milk. Continue reading