Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Tag
It has recently come to my attention that shocking laws have passed in both Iowa and Utah this year. These laws are designed to stop whistle-blowers from going undercover in meat factories and videotaping the cruelty that happens there. In the past 20 years, probably the most essential tool used by animal rights groups to convince the public about the plight of animals has been for whistle-blowers to go into factory farms (undercover), videotape the horrors occurring in those places, and then share their recordings with the public — to make them aware of the extreme suffering and brutality caused to billions of living beings, and to show the poor standard of health in such locations (potentially posing a health risk to the public). Such documentations have been crucial in pushing people to recall contaminated foods and have been essential in make the public aware of the horrors that occur behind close doors in places like Iowa.
Understandably, corporations in places like Iowa want their doors to be shut. They want the freedom to do whatever they feel like, even if that means exploiting animals in filthy, deplorable conditions in order to maximize profit. Corporations like those in Iowa do not want transparency — they want an opaque environment free of scrutiny. They also want people who eat meat to not think about the horrors that went into making their meals. Because of this desire to be secretive about their ways, the corporations of Iowa lobbied politicians there to make a law called an ag-gag law. “Ag-gag” laws, like the one in Iowa, have one purpose: to stop undercover whistle-blowers from revealing the truth about the suffering and cruelty they inflict on animals. The lawmakers cleverly disguise the law with euphemisms, using names such as “animal enterprise interference prevention act”.
The Humane Society of the United States, Mercy For Animals, the ASPCA, PETA and Farm Sanctuary have all came out against ag-gag bills in Iowa. It is now recommended that people boycott all animal products coming from Iowa. People need to send a message to Iowa that trampling on First Amendment rights will not be tolerated in this country. People have a right to know where their food came from and what’s occurring to it. People have a right to go undercover and document the truth. The same is true for the 4 other states with “ag-gag” laws: Utah, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas.
But of those states, Iowa is probably the most important because it has very large agricultural facilities, including the nation’s largest pork producers. People need to fund politicians in Iowa who oppose the draconian new “ag-gag” law, and they need to vote out politicians like Joe Seng who authored the bill. The “ag-gag” law in Iowa MUST be repealed.
Even more shocking is that there were about 7 other states (including New York, Florida and Minnesota) where similar ag-gag bills were introduced and failed. I fear that the big agricultural corporations will keep authoring these laws in all states until they finally get their way. Unless people stop them, they will try year after year to get unconstitutional “ag-gag” laws passed in various states until they succeed.
It is amazing that instead of actually trying to solve the problem by stopping animal slaughter, the agricultural corporations are trying to cover it up by attacking the whistle-blowers (who are the true heroes in this case). It is such bull**** that the good people in Iowa (i.e. those who try to stop animal abuse via videotaping) are now being criminalized, and the real criminals (i.e. those in the meat industry) are getting away with billions of murders every year. The real criminals (the meat industry animal abusers and animal torturers) are now being protected by Iowan law thanks to the new ag-gag law, and the whistle-blowers who try to stop the animal abuse are now being punished. The law in Iowa, Utah, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas is the opposite of the way it should be.
Part of the problem is that in many states, farm animals are deliberately excluded from the state’s animal cruelty laws. State laws often say things like A person may not torture or kill an animal… farm animals and animals used for “standard farm purposes” are exempt from this law. Either that, or they’ll say A person may not torture, kill or strangulate an animal… so long as it is not a farm animal. Sometimes the law of a state will say A person may not torture or kill an animal… this law may not be construed to be used against “accepted” farm practices.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this kind of legal language is UNACCEPTABLE and never should’ve been written in the first place. It is unfair to write a law banning animal cruelty, only to conveniently exclude animals which people torture and kill for profit (i.e. the agricultural industry). See these links:
The above links are to the “consolidated animal cruelty statutes” of Indiana and Montana. They both prohibit cruelty to animals so long as it is not a farm animal undergoing “accepted farming practices”. The term “accepted farming practices” is a euphemism for “cruelly killing billions of animal who suffer miserable lives prior to their deaths”.
And it is not just Indiana and Montana that have this bad legal language — nearly every state conveniently excludes farm animals from their animal cruelty laws. This is not the way the law should be; the law should be protecting all animals from cruelty, regardless of whether they are being “farmed” or not. It is clear that the language in these laws was written by corporations or lobbyists for corporations, and do not represent the will of the public (a recent poll estimated that 71% of Americans support whistle-blowers who try to stop cruelty behind the closed doors of animal slaughter facilities).
Another issue of concern is that in about 28 states, there are “anti-ecoterrorism” acts — the term “ecoterrorism” is a scare tactic used by corporations to paint the good guys (i.e. the anti-slaughter whistle-blowers) as “terrorists”, which is complete bulls***. These bad laws also take on other monikers, such as “law to prevent interference with animal enterprise or facility”. Whatever they are called, these laws, though not as bad as the ag-gag laws, are pretty bad in their own way. By labeling the good guys (i.e. the animals rights people trying to stop abuse) as “ecoterrorists” and making laws to stop their animal advocacy, the corporations have already successfully silenced their opposition in 28 states. Now, in states like Iowa, they’re taking it a step further by unconstitutionally making it a criminal offense to videotape animal cruelty [damning evidence] happening in factory farms.
Go to the anti-ag-gag petition website and sign it: ag-gag.org
Those who are reading this should try to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. The more vegetarians, the better, because it will mean less money in the pockets of these unethical corporations who try to trample on people’s First Amendment rights by silencing their opposition. If you have that “I’ve gotta have meat” feeling, just buy Boca or Morningstar products in your local grocery store — they are meat imitators (but not actually made of meat). Or you could try Amy’s products, which are always vegetarian. But you should really avoid meat at all costs, and you should definitely not buy any meat coming from Iowa (as a way to send a message to the corrupt politicians there that their behavior is unacceptable).
Above: pink states = states with unjust “hunter harassment” laws; dark yellow (olive) states = states with unjust “hunter harassment” laws AND unjust “interference with animal facilities” laws; red = states with unjust “hunter harassment” laws AND unjust “interference with animal facilities” laws AND unjust “Ag-Gag” laws (anti-whistle-blower laws); gray = no data
Here are some quotes relating to the atrocious, unjust, unconstitutional ag-gag laws:
“One of the best tools the animal protection movement has against factory farming is the truth, and a picture is worth a thousand words. But special interests are trying to take those tools away from activists in Iowa and Florida by trying to ban the making of undercover factory farming videos. In Iowa, H.F.589 creates the crime of “animal facility interference” for shooting a photo or video without the facility owner’s consent, and “animal facility fraud” for those who obtain employment at a farm for the purpose of shooting undercover photos and videos. […] Iowa residents can contact their state senators, and ask them to oppose H.F.589. You can find your Iowa state legislators here, along with their contact information. The Humane Society of the US recommends making a phone call first, then following up with an email. If you’re in a hurry, you can use their webform.
Bottom line? Whether or not it’s unconstitutional, these bills are wrong and dangerous because criminalizing the making of undercover videos protects the animal abusers and hides illegal activity from the public. These bills would also prohibit journalists from shooting undercover videos, and even prohibit the farms’ own employees from making undercover videos of animal cruelty, unsafe work conditions and other illegal activity.” — Doris Lin, http://animalrights.about.com/b/2011/03/23/bills-to-ban-undercover-factory-farming-videos-moving-ahead-in-iowa-and-florida.htm
“Undercover footage filmed last year at Iowa’s Sparboe Egg Farms, America’s fifth-largest egg producer, shows scenes more harrowing than a slasher flick. Workers burn the beaks off young chicks without painkillers, then toss the bloody, beakless birds into crowded pens. Other employees grab hens by their throats and shove them inside battery cages, enclosures so small the birds can’t even stretch their wings and some become mangled and disfigured by cage wires. Others are tied inside plastic bags and left to suffocate. A particularly disturbing incident shows a worker torturing a hen by swinging it around in the air while the bird’s legs are stuck in a trap.
The video was produced by a representative from animal welfare organization Mercy for Animals who took a job with Sparboe to go undercover. While the footage is tough to watch even for the most committed egg eaters, it led to positive results: McDonald’s, Target, Sam’s Club, and Supervalu—Sparboe’s biggest clients—all ended their relationships with the producer after viewing the video last November. But such changes won’t happen in Iowa anymore: Capturing this sort of footage is now illegal under the state’s newly passed “ag-gag” law—and other states are poised to follow.[…]
So if undercover farming videos are bringing about such positive change to the food system, why blow the whistle on whistleblowers? Blame Big [Agricultural groups]. Industrial farming groups like the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Select Farms (the very same operation that was investigated by Mercy for Animals in 2011), the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau, and Monsanto heavily supported the legislation in America’s biggest hog and egg producing state. Because these Big Ag interests mean big money to Iowa, lawmakers wanted to crack down on the folks who hurt their bottom line: animal welfare advocates.
The irony is that while legislatures protect factory farms, they’ve shown far less interest in protecting defenseless animals: No federal regulations protect farm animals from cruelty, and while state regulations exist, factory farms are rarely investigated and laws are seldom enforced. That’s why forward-thinking organizations like the Humane Society of the U.S., Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing have taken it upon themselves—often at great risk to those involved—to expose the food safety and animal cruelty issues rampant at factory farms throughout the nation. Undercover farming investigations make our food system better—not just for animals, but for consumers too.” — Sarah Parsons, http://www.good.is/post/gag-order-why-states-are-banning-factory-farm-whistleblowers/
From the New York Times:
“Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals. Made by animal rights advocates posing as farm workers, such videos have prompted meat recalls, slaughterhouse closings, criminal convictions of employees and apologies from corporate executives assuring that the offending images are an aberration.
In Iowa, where agriculture is a dominant force both economically and politically, such undercover investigations [are now] illegal. […] Their opponents, including national groups that oppose industrial farming practices, say these undercover investigations have been invaluable for revealing problems and are a form of whistle-blowing that should be protected. They argue that the legislation essentially hides animal abuse and food safety violations.[…]
After a 2008 investigation of an Iowa pig farm showed workers beating sows and piglets as well as bragging about the abuse, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals turned over its unedited video to law enforcement, leading to criminal convictions against workers for animal abuse, said Jeff Kerr, general counsel for the organization.[…]
The association representing egg producers helped draft legislation to ban such videos, earning support from other powerful agricultural groups in Iowa.” — A.G. Sulzberger, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/us/14video.html?_r=1
“[Iowa's new ag-gag law] criminalizes investigative journalists and animal protection advocates who take entry-level jobs at factory farms in order to document the rampant food safety and animal welfare abuses within. In recent years, these undercover videos have spurred changes in our food system by showing consumers the disturbing truth about where most of today’s meat, eggs, and dairy is produced. Undercover investigations have directly led to America’s largest meat recalls, as well as to the closure of several slaughterhouses that had egregiously cruel animal handling practices. Iowa’s Ag Gag law — along with similar bills pending in other states — illustrates just how desperate these industries are to keep this information from getting out.[…]
As a Humane Society of the United States investigator, I worked undercover at four Iowa egg farms in the winter of 2010. At each facility, I witnessed disturbing trends of extreme animal cruelty and dangerously unsanitary conditions. Millions of haggard, featherless hens languished in crowded, microwave-sized wire cages. Unable to even spread their wings, many were forced to pile atop their dead and rotting cage mates as they laid their eggs.
Every day, I came to work wearing a hidden pinhole camera, using it to film conditions as I went about my chores. Once I quit, the Humane Society released a video of my findings that showed viewers the everyday, routine conditions in modern egg factories. Although nothing I filmed was illegal (since Iowa’s anemic animal cruelty law exempts “customary farming practices”), the video was alarming enough to make national headlines.[…]
But without investigations like the ones I did in Iowa, the impetus behind this progress would be gone. At least, that’s the hope of groups like the Iowa Poultry Association and Minnesota Pork Producers, each of which helped draft the Ag Gag laws and oppose the federal hen protection bill. They and their backers at Monsanto and Dupont don’t want anything to change at all. They prefer having no rules on how they treat animals and no one from the public second-guessing what they do.
The Ag Gag laws pretend to be about preventing “fraud,” but they actually perpetuate it. They protect a system where consumers are regularly deceived into supporting egregious animal suffering, deplorable working conditions, and environmental degradation. They protect guys like Billy Jo Gregg, a dairy worker who was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty in 2010 after being caught punching, kicking, and stabbing restrained cows and calves at an Ohio farm.[…] Perhaps most egregiously, the Ag Gag laws also protect the slaughterhouses that regularly send sick and dying animals into our food supply, and would prevent some of the biggest food safety recalls in U.S. history.[…] In short, the Ag Gag laws muzzle the few people that are telling the truth about our food. With no meaningful state or federal laws to regulate industrial animal farms, they take away one of the only forms of public accountability this multi-billion dollar industry has ever faced. Now, the foxes are truly guarding the henhouse.” — Cody Carlson, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/the-ag-gag-laws-hiding-factory-farm-abuses-from-public-scrutiny/254674/
“There may be many regulations, but PETA, Avella and others say enforcement is sorely lacking and that undercover investigations are essential. Cayuga County district attorney Jon Budelmann, who prosecuted Phil Niles, tells TIME that the Mercy for Animals video of the employee striking the Willet Dairy cow “was the case.” Banning undercover investigations on farms strikes him as ludicrous. Without proof, he says, authorities would have just one person’s word against another’s. ‘Without the videotape, we wouldn’t have had the admission,’ he says. It seems that down on the farm, if you see something, you have to do more than say something. You have to show something too.” — Alexandra Silver, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2077514-2,00.html
“[Bills aim to keep Americans in the dark] — The industry has introduced “ag-gag” bills in numerous states aimed at making whistle-blowing on factory farms essentially impossible. Some of the bills would criminalize photo-taking at factory farms, while others would make it a crime for whistle-blowers to gain employment at an agricultural operation. Some would impose unreasonable and impossible reporting requirements intended to silence potential whistle-blowers. These bills aim to ban critical whistle-blowing investigations such as The HSUS’ exposés of unacceptable and callous animal cruelty at a Vermont slaughter plant leading to its closure and a felony criminal conviction—as well as our investigation of a cow slaughter plant in California which prompted the largest meat recall in U.S. history and led to a new federal regulation that banned the slaughter of adult downer cattle. These ag-gag bills raise the question, “What does animal agriculture have to hide?” — http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/campaigns/factory_farming/fact-sheets/ag_gag.html
From the Huffington Post:
“Americans overwhelmingly believe that food from our farms should be safe to eat and that farm animals should not be abused for its production. So it is disturbing that legislators in a number of states throughout the country are considering legislation known as ‘Ag-Gag’ bills that would cripple the ability of investigators to expose animal abuse and food safety concerns. Ag-Gag bills criminalize taking photos or videos on farms to expose problems, such as animal cruelty, environmental and labor violations, and other illegal or unethical behavior. Simply put, Ag-Gag legislation poses a danger to the American public — people and animals.[…]
Legislators bent on suppressing exposés through the passage of Ag-Gag legislation are not only harming animals, but putting all of us — including our children — in jeopardy by preventing our access to critical information about our food supply. They also threaten our constitutional rights by stifling dissemination of information and chipping away at our First Amendment protections.
It’s ironic when you think about it. The individuals targeted by Ag-Gag laws are not the criminals who are beating or stabbing animals (as seen on some undercover videos). Instead, the bills would punish the whistleblowers, the people who dare to lift the veil on these oft-hidden cruelties. The language in the bills varies somewhat state to state, but in many cases the penalties for exposing cruelty may be harsher than those for the actual commission of cruelty. In a number of states the proposed legislation would not only prevent the documentation of the abuse of farm animals, but also could prohibit investigations of puppy mills and dog racing.
Lawmakers who support Ag-Gag bills do so because they are accommodating the agribusiness lobby, not because it is in the interest of their constituents. In fact, a recent national poll by Lake Research Partners found that 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigative efforts to expose farm animal abuse on industrial farms.[…]
These bills represent a wholesale assault on many fundamental values shared by all people across the United States. Not only would these bills perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms, they would also threaten workers’ rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists, employees and the public at large to share information about something as fundamental as our food supply. We call on state legislators around the nation to drop or vote against these dangerous and un-American efforts.
Ag-Gag laws are an affront to many values Americans hold dear. If you live in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska or New York, you should be especially concerned since Ag-Gag laws are now pending in your state legislatures. Please contact your legislators to let them know that Ag-Gag laws are dangerous for people and animals.” — Ed Sayres, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ed-sayres/aggag-bills-threaten-our-_b_1370091.html
[Ag-gag laws] are troubling not only to animal protection activists, but also to those concerned with food safety, labor issues, free speech, and freedom of the press. The bills would apply equally to journalists, activists and employees. By prohibiting any type of undercover recordings, a farm’s own employees would be prohibited from attempting to record food safety violations, labor violations, sexual harrassment incidents or other illegal activity. First Amendment concerns were raised[…]
[This paragraph: Matt Rice] Legislation should focus on strengthening animal cruelty laws, not prosecuting those who blow the whistle on animal abuse… If producers truly cared about animal welfare, they would offer incentives to whistleblowers, install cameras at these facilities to expose and prevent animal abuse, and they would work to strengthen animal abuse laws to prevent animals from needless suffering.[…]
Undercover videos are important not just for educating the public, but also because they can be used as evidence in animal cruelty cases. — Doris Lin, http://animalrights.about.com/od/animallaw/a/What-Are-Ag-Gag-Laws-And-Why-Are-They-Dangerous.htm
“If the Iowa law had been in effect in California in 2008, Hallmark and Westland [an agricultural company who was targeted by whistleblowers] would have been able to go to court claiming status as victims of “animal facility tampering” for an “amount equaling three times all the actual and consequential damages” against “the person causing the damages.”
“This flawed and misdirected legislation could set a dangerous precedent nationwide by throwing shut the doors to industrial factory farms and allowing animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination issues to flourish undetected, unchallenged and unaddressed,” says Runkle. ”[The Iowa Ag-Gag law] is bad for consumers, who want more, not less, transparency in production of their food.” [The purpose of the law is] “to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute investigators who dare to expose animal cruelty, environmental violations, dangerous working conditions or food safety concerns.”[…]
Animal rights organizations like HSUS and MFA – working with investigators to expose violations – could themselves be prosecuted under the new Iowa law. Runkle says passage of the ”ag-gag” law proves Iowa agriculture “has a lot to hide.” “This law is un-American and a broad government overreach. It seeks to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute the brave whistleblowers who dare to speak out against animal cruelty, environmental pollution and corporate corruption.” The new law makes criminals out of those who dare to expose cruelty to farm animals and threatens the consumers’ right to know, according to the MFA.[…]
“The intent of [the Iowa Ag-Gag law] is simple: shield animal agribusiness from public scrutiny by punishing whistleblowers and protecting animal abusers,” wrote Pacelle. “By signing this bill into law, animal agribusiness will have unbridled and unchecked power over worker safety, public health and animal welfare.”
This year , ag-gag bills have been introduced in Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Florida and New York. [Of those states, only Utah and Iowa signed them into law]
Under the new [Iowa] law, anyone making “a false statement or representation” as part of an application of employment at an animal facility could, after a first conviction, be charged with a class D felony.
To produce a record of image or sound without the owner’s permission is defined as the new crime of “animal facility interference.” — Dan Flynn, http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/iowa-approves-nations-first-ag-gag-law/#.UEvCVXAtcXx
“Now in Iowa, if someone captures that treatment on video, he or she can be prosecuted. Constitutional law professor Mark Kende of Drake University says this could infringe on free speech rights. It could silence any worker who sees abuse and films it. “He can be threatened, not just with being terminated, but he can be threatened with criminal prosecution,” Kende says. “So this is really an extraordinary form of anti-whistle-blowing legislation — and really troubling in that respect.” — Kathleen Masterson, http://www.npr.org/2012/03/10/148363509/ag-gag-law-blows-animal-activists-cover
Multiple states have passed what are known as “ag gag laws”, designed to penalize investigative reporters who explore conditions on industrial agriculture operations. Many of these laws focus specifically on livestock, in the wake of numerous exposés on the abuses of livestock in industrial agriculture. These laws are a significant threat to the freedom of the press, and it’s rather remarkable that they are being allowed to stand. More than that, they threaten the health and safety of consumers, in addition to making it difficult and sometimes impossible for consumers to make educated choices about the sources of their food.
The US should be in an uproar about ag-gag laws, and it’s not. That’s a telling reflection of attitudes about agriculture, and illustrates the lack of interest among many people in the US about journalism[..] Attempts to raise awareness about the issue are often met with indifference[…]
It should come as no surprise to learn that the source of the pressure behind ag gag laws is, of course, industrial agriculture. Big companies have pushed legislators heavily to pass laws limiting the freedom to report on conditions at livestock facilities, including ranches, feedlots, and slaughterhouses. With the benefit of lobbyists, they can exert pressure directly in the halls of the legislature, as well as doing so indirectly by contributing to the electoral process and deciding who gets elected. In states like Iowa, you have to be agriculture-friendly to get elected, and if you want a chance at beating the competition, you’d better be willing to toe the line on industrial agriculture so you’ll get the needed support.[…]
It’s not just about animal welfare. Industrial agriculture also trashes the environment, something that should be of grave concern even to people who aren’t concerned about the health and wellbeing of animals raised for food. Industrial farms contribute to air, water, and soil pollution, consume vast volumes of water, and destroy soil biology and animal habitat[…]
This is why investigative journalism is important: because it brings these kinds of abuses to light and confronts consumers with information about the facts behind their food. Journalists in a wide range of industries and environments spend months or years on research, often from the inside, to prepare stories intended to spark comment, discussion, and change. Ag gag laws are only one example of an attempt to limit the ability to report freely on pressing social issues, and they should be a subject of anger and horror in the population at large. Lobbyists are attempting to limit access to information, and they are doing so by limiting the abilities of journalists to do their jobs.
The anger about exposés is well-founded; consumers are usually horrified when they see images and video from livestock facilities, as well they should be. Dead and dying animals packed close together in unhealthy, dangerous conditions, some with open sores and other obvious health problems. Animals treated casually and abusively by staff members who need to work fast, and cannot afford compassion or gentleness. Horrific conditions in slaughterhouses, where terrified animals are rushed through the production line and subjected to utterly inhumane and dangerous conditions. Workers who are tired, working through overtime, obviously ill, and at high risk of injury.
That the reaction to exposés is to silence journalists, rather than addressing the poor conditions, is an inevitable consequence of capitalism. It is more cost effective to shut off the stories, rather to fix the problem, and legislators are evidently happy to go along with this plan, passing ag gag laws to ensure silence about the continued abuse of farm animals. Consumers, in turn, tolerate this because they have no idea about the nature of the news they can’t see.” — S.E. Smith, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/06/agriculture-gag-laws-press-freedom
“State Sen. Joe Seng, [author of the Iowa Ag-Gag bill], is challenging three-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack in the state’s Democratic primary on Tuesday for the right to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington.
Unfortunately for Seng, the folks over at the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) have a very good memory, and they’re hoping Iowa Democrats do too. Just in case, they’ve been busy contacting voters to remind them of Seng’s record, and strongly encouraging primary voters to support Loebsack, whose district was recently redrawn. The legislation Seng authored, they say, “punishes whistleblowers, investigative journalists, and anyone who helps them report on problems uncovered at a factory farm.” Loebsack, on the other hand, is animal-friendly.[…]
Part of our message is to signal to candidates that there are consequences for championing ‘Ag Gag’ bills that stomp on our first amendment rights and dim the spotlight on animal cruelty,” Sara Amundson, executive director of HSLF, tells TakePart. [Update: Seng was defeated by Loebsack] — Clare Leschin-Hoar, http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/06/01/humane-society-legislative-fund-iowa-race-ag-gag
“Ag-gag bills may seek to criminalize the recording, possession or distribution of still images (photos), live images (video) and/or audio at or upon a farm, industrial agricultural operation or “animal facility.” Bills in some states seek to bar potential investigators from gaining employment on farms. As noted above, many successful animal welfare investigations have revealed severe abuses of animals and raised additional concerns about industrial farms, such as the potential contamination of eggs and meat.
[Ag-gag laws are dangerous for at least 6 reasons]: Animal Welfare — Ag-gag laws are a direct threat to animal welfare. […] Food Safety — Ag-gag laws threaten our food supply[…] Control over food choices — Ag-gag laws are a direct threat to marketplace transparency[…] Worker’s rights — This legislation often seeks to criminalize the recording of sounds or images in animal facilities, no matter the content. […] Free Speech — [Ag-Gag bills] pose serious First Amendment threats.[…] Environmental Damage — Undercover investigations offer an effective way to expose [environmental] violations, [and Ag-Gag laws seek to stop them] […]
Ag-gag laws are also troublesome because they do not reflect the public’s will. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans favor humane treatment of farm animals.[…]
If you live in a state that has introduced an ag-gag measure, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online to take action now.
Be vigilant in your state—keep an eye on the local media for any news regarding the introduction and/or progress of ag-gag bills. Talk to your friends and neighbors about why ag-gag legislation is a bad idea.” — http://www.aspca.org/ag-gag
From Iowa State Daily:
“The video is graphic and shows male chicks just hatched being put on conveyer belts, sorted from the females and tossed into grinders alive. The females are debeaked and put in crates to be shipped throughout the states. The newly passed [Iowa Ag-gag law] makes it more difficult for activists to get access undercover to make such videos. “This bill moves this out of the realm civil and into realm of criminal behavior,” Mack said. […] Individuals and groups with animals in mind, such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, are concerned.” — Randi Reeder, http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_f340fa68-7132-11e1-907d-0019bb2963f4.html
“Similar bills have been introduced in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York. Weeks after Iowa passed H.F. 589, Utah enacted an even harsher law to go after undercover reporting of industrial farm abuse.[…]
As the Food Integrity Campaign explains, undercover video is a vital tool for proving allegations of wrongdoing and vindicating whistleblowers. One need only recall ABC’s undercover expose into the Food Lion grocery chain’s unsanitary practices for an example of the public good these investigations can produce. Tellingly, Food Lion responded not by challenging the damaging content of the report but by accusing the undercover reporters of fraud. That case, which involved years of legal battles and court fees, had only the threat of civil penalties—these new [Ag-gag] laws come with potential jail time. The implied threat of legal action will only discourage employees who see problems from standing up to increasingly powerful agriculture business interests. [It is of ethical concern to] protect people from conditions that breed E.coli, salmonella, and unhealthy food [via undercover investigations].” — Joseph Jerome
“It is all too understandable why factory farmers would want to keep hungry eaters in the dark. Research shows that following reports exposing modern animal agriculture, general meat consumption of the public lowers for up to six months. In 2008, Hallmark Meat Packing Company of Chino, California, was shut down after undercover investigations from The Humane Society of the United States brought forth footage depicting workers beating sick cows, striking those too crippled to walk into kill pens, and even ramming animals with forklifts. This company, which recalled 143 million pounds of meat (the largest recall in history) after the USDA saw footage and deemed the meat unfit for human consumption due to lack of complete and proper inspection, was also the nation’s second largest supplier to the National School Lunch Program.[…]
The scariest part of this mess may be the meat industry’s response to the unveiling of norms at factory farms. How does the industry respond to the public slowly being educated on the inhumane and unsanitary ways in which food is raised? Do they work to reform their ways, abolishing each method that adds to the diminishment of nutrition, environmental health, and animal well-being? Nope. Instead they work as fast as they can to cover it all up. Eradicating their factory farms of the disgusting practices shown in undercover footage would mean a complete reform for the entire industry. So instead they work to build a thicker barrier between their everyday practices and public knowledge. It’s got to make you wonder, just what is the industry so desperately trying to hide? […]
The undercover investigations, which sadly are the few accurate illustrations of how our meat is produced, should be lit with a spotlight, free for all to see and learn from, not shut in the dark, covered by corporate interests. Supporters of the bills claim they are necessary for the health and safety of our farms, but if factory farms were properly regulated to be healthy and humane, then there would be no need to conceal these practices. They would welcome the mindful consumer, not criminalize his assets.
These ag-gag laws are an assault on our values and rights as Americans. They are a violation of our first amendment rights to free speech and free press, and they constitute a huge step back from our American principles. If Ag-gag bills continue to pass and make undercover investigations illegal, there is no knowing where this will end.[…] Our basic American principles hold “freedom and justice for all” above all else. Let us defend these values even in the face of large companies whose ties run deep in government. Let us exercise our right to unveil truths, which will be held as self-evident when given the opportunity to transcend. “ — Clare Edwards, intellectualyst.com/ag-gag-laws-a-violation-of-our-rights-as-consumers-and-americans/
It is suggested that you also read this post: http://vividrandomexistence.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zoosexuality-should-it-be-considered-acceptable-or-not/
Over time, it has come to my attention that although I am a zoosexual vegetarian, there seem to be very few people out there who are like me. One would think that because zoosexuals love animals, they would thus not eat meat, since eat meat implies that one does not care about the lives of some animals. Yet (per evidence on Beastforum.com) there are apparently plenty of zoosexuals who eat meat, which frustrates me and puzzles me.
I find myself in an odd situation — if I go to an online vegetarian discussion group and talk to them about zoosexuality and bestiality, they will likely react with ignorance and “shock” and go on a “witch hunt” to remove me from their discussion. On the other hand, if I tried to bring up pro-vegetarianism ideas on a zoosexual forum such as Beastforum.com, it is likely to be met with scorn by all of the fiercely anti-PETA, pro-meat-eating people on Beastforum. As it stands, I am stuck in the middle; I am a zoosexual vegetarian, but most pro-vegetarians reject zoosexuality, and most pro-zooseuxals reject vegetarianism.
So what is a vegetarian zoosexual like me to do? Surely there must be other people out there who are both zoosexual and vegetarian. Why? The two ideas compliment each other. The ideal of a zoosexual is to love animals. What better a way to love all animals than to become a vegetarian or vegan? It really bothers me when people say “I’m OK eating the flesh of a cow, but not the flesh of a dog because I love dogs”. Why does this bother me? Because that person should respect the lives of both the cow and the dog. It is unjust to assume that a dog’s life is more valuable than a cow’s life; both lives are valuable. In reality, there is no “hierarchy” of animals — all animal’s lives are valuable. When a person says “I love my dog, but I also love eating steak”, that person is a total hypocrite.
On the other hand, here is something that is not hypocritical: being vegetarian and owning a meat-eating dog. Why? Because humans can see the “big picture” and philosophize about whether or not to eat meat, whereas dogs cannot do this. The moral and ethical questions which come into play
for humans do not come into play for dogs, so it is not a contradiction for a vegetarian to own a meat-eating dog. However, it is possible for a vegetarian to give a dog (or other animal) a vegetarian diet; dogs do not need to be meat-eaters. And contrary to popular belief, dogs do not suffer from “malnutrition” due to lack of meat; in fact, one dog (who was on a vegetarian diet) lived to be 27 years old.
In addition, it is not hypocritical to be a vegetarian, but not a complete vegan. I consider myself to be a vegetarian who is leaning towards veganism (for example, I drink soymilk instead of dairy milk). However, ultimately I consider myself to be in the same category as Peter Singer: I am
a vegetarian who is a partial vegan. This is a lot better than not being a vegetarian in the first place. A person who eats no meat is being a lot nicer to the environment than a person who does eat meat.
All people (whether they eat meat or not) should lessen the amount of meat they consume — it is more ethical, it is more environmentally friendly, and it is healthier to not eat meat. It also shows that you have a profound compassion for other animals, and it shows that you understand that other animals have a right to live out their entire lives (rather than being slaughtered in a barbaric factory).
As I said before, it is unethical for a person to love one kind of animal (i.e. a horse) while being OK with the slaughter of another kind (i.e. a pig). Such people are hypocrites. Additionally, people who say “I eat meat and try not think about how the meat got to my plate” are also hypocrites. It is imperative that people realize the abominable truth of how that meat got to one’s plate. The notion that non-human animals are “disposable commodities” is speciesist and anthropocentric. (Speciesism = failure to accord any non-human being equal consideration and respect). People in slaughterhouses don’t treat animals as beings with their own rights, they treat them as objects (property) to be exploited as much as possible. And they don’t care about the pain and suffering animals get.
Now, many pro-meat-eaters are going to argue the “humane slaughter” card. Let me briefly explain why “humane slaughter” doesn’t make any sense. Here is a hypothetical situation:
A person has the choice of doing the following:
1) Humanely slaughtering a human or other animal
2) Not humanely slaughtering a human or other animal
3) Not slaughtering a human or other animal AT ALL
My choice would be #3, and I would hope that most people would choose #3. Why? Because the murder of human should be considered equal to the killing of a non-human animal. The only reason this is not the view of our legal system is because our legal system is severely tainted by speciesism and anthropocentrism; from the point of view of our legal system, humans are “superior” to all other animals, which is bullsh*t. My point here is this: if a person goes out and kills another person, that person is a murderer (except in the case of the death penalty). However, if a person goes out and kills another animal, it is not considered murder (even though it should be considered murder). The range of penalties for killing a non-human animal range from a little bit of prison time (i.e. killing an animal that humans “like” such as a dog) to no penalty at all (i.e. those who are working in institutionalized slaughter factories). This needs to stop.
What I am trying to say is that “humane slaughter” is not a valid argument. Just as a person shouldn’t “humanely slaughter” a human, a person should also not “humanely slaughter” any other kind of animals. All individuals (both human and non-human) have a right to live, and no animal (human or non-human) should be forced to get an early death. Yet that is what happens to billions of animals every year. In one decade, one trillion non-human animals are killed for selfish human purposes, and those “purposes” are often backed up by delusional religious beliefs or the delusional belief that it is OK to “humanely slaughter” an animal. The fact is, “humanely slaughtering” an animal is still slaughter, and it still shortens the lifespan of an animal. Humans should be allowed to live to old
age, and so should animals.
Another card meat-eaters play is the “natural” card — the argument that because meat-eating is “natural”, it justifies their eating meat. While it is true that humans are naturally omnivores, humans (unlike other animals) have the capacity to choose their own destiny — and in this case, that “destiny” would be not eating meat. Although one can make the argument that literally everything in existence is “natural”, keep in mind that a subcategory of “natural” is “artificial” — i.e. anything that a human makes. So although massive slaughterhouses which kill billions of animals are “natural” in the sense that they are made by yet another evolutionary animal (humans), the facts is that because they were made by humans (i.e. artificial) it is a stretch to call such institutions “natural”. It is also a stretch to claim that 7 billion animals (humans) taking total control of the planet as “natural”. In any case, I believe that humans have lost their “right” to eat meat due to their selfishness and the suffering they have caused to the non-human animals of the Earth. A lion in Africa has not lost its “right” to kill and eat its prey because there aren’t 7 billion lions who are killing their prey (in the billions) in industrialized factories. Lions also rely on instinct, and not on arrogant philosophies like “human exceptionalism” — this is yet another reason why lions have a “right” to kill and eat their prey while humans have lost that “right”; humans are just too damn smart for their own good.
The best option would be to forbid killing and/or eating meat altogether; but if this cannot be done, the next best option would be to heavily regulate it and tax it (as is done with tobacco). The extra money would go towards animal welfare and programs which educate people about the cruelty that goes on behind closed doors.
In a previous post, I mentioned how the mechanized, industrialized assembly lines of death present in the WWII holocaust are similar to the industrialized assembly lines of death present in the current animal slaughtering institutions. Obviously the motivations behind both holocausts are different, but the outcome is similar — the mass slaughter of millions of beings. (Actually, in the case of the “animal holocaust”, you would have to change the word “millions” to “billions”.) This analogy is not meant to “offend” people, it is designed to show how the cruelty of humanity continues to live on, in the form of torturing non-human animals.
Just remember: no animal (human or non-human) should be considered “disposable”, and no animal should have to deal with pain and suffering. There are 7 billion people on Earth — this is yet another reason people should stop eating meat (there are too many of us). People “compensated” for the overpopulation by making their methods of killing “crueler”, “more efficient” and “mechanized” in order to satisfy the selfish needs of billions of arrogant, religiously-driven people.
And, as I have said before, people (especially those who eat meat) should feel a moral obligation to feed their remains to animals after they die. After all, if a person eats meat their entire lives (thus stealing nutrients from others), it is only fair to give those nutrients back to the animals.
I also wish more people would have bumper stickers that say “I hate people who hate PETA”. Why? Because I’m so tired of PETA bashers with their “People Eating Tasty animals” bullsh*t. To be clear, the majority of people on Beastforum (a zoosexual site) seem to be strongly anti-PETA and love to bash PETA. Yes, I am aware of their flaws — some PETA members are opposed to bestiality, and PETA does overreact from time to time. But the criticisms of the “PETA haters” are far harsher than they need to be. I feel sometimes that people love to bash PETA just for the sake of bashing PETA. They also bash PETA because of PETA “myths” (i.e. the myth that PETA wants all people to “free” their pets). This is not their opinion — they actually are OK with there being “animal guardians” — what they don’t like is when people put large animals into “prisons” (i.e. killer whales at SeaWorld).
PETA-haters are prejudicial people just like any kind of prejudicial group — in this case they are extremely intolerant of vegetarians and PETA supporters. I myself am not a full PETA supporter, but I do support some of their beliefs. Although I dislike some of PETA’s views, I really dislike the PETA-haters, who smugly eat their steak while screaming insults at vegetarians.
Here are two quotes I found:
“I used to be a huge meat lover. I grew up eating lots of meat everyday and never thought anything of it. I always loved animals growing up and loved to be in the company of cats/dogs. I have always felt I had a special connection with animals, but I didn’t realize I was actually a zoophile until recently, when I absolutely fell in love with a beautiful collie bitch. I love everything about her and I know she loves me back. I feel more attracted to her than any human girl I’ve known.
Being in love with an animal really made me question meat-eating. I’ve always justified meat-eating by putting humans on a higher plane than animals, but being in love with a dog completely changed that view. In some parts of the world, eating dog meat is considered acceptable. Although I would have never even considered eating dog (or cat) meat back when I was a meat-eater, I now had to question myself whether cows were sufficiently different from dogs to a degree such that I could justify eating a cow, but not a dog. The only answer I could come up with was “no” so I literally became a vegetarian overnight. Since that day I haven’t eaten any meat at all even though I’m a former steak-lover. Such is the power of my emotions towards animals.” — http://www.beastforum.com/showtopic-137453.html
“There might be something about loving animals, both as friend and erotically, and respecting ALL animals by not eating their meat. After all, zoophilia means the love for animals. How can we as Zoos say we love animals when we just pick and choose which animals we love? Something to think about.” — Dogssup, http://dogssup.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-03-08T14:17:00-05:00&max-results=7
In the meantime, I do not know what to do in terms of my zoosexual vegetarianism, since most people are either zoosexual or vegetarian (or neither), and pro-vegetarians are likely to reject my beliefs (because of their anti-zoosexual beliefs), and pro-zoosexuals are likely to reject my
beliefs (because of their anti-vegetarian beliefs). I can only hope that more people will come to understand the utilitarian ideas that both me and Peter Singer adhere to, and then become a vegetarian zoosexual.
Ultimately, I may never know the reason why there are so few vegetarian zoosexuals. I also may never fully understand why there are people out there who are both zoosexual and yet also eat meat. In my opinion: if an animal is capable of being a sexual partner, it should not be killed and used for meat. This includes dogs, cows, pigs, goats, and many other animals which are slaughtered for food.
I also want to add the following: for centuries, there were traditions (such as slavery and Chinese foot-binding) which originally were considered to be “moral”, but are now considered immoral. I find it frustrating and disturbing that the majority of people in our society think that killing and eating billions of animals is morally acceptable. Animal slaughtering should be in the same “immoral” category as slavery and foot-binding.
I also want to point out that both vegetarians and zoosexuals (represented in the ven diagram above) are minority groups; not only that, but they are both minority groups that have social stigma attached to them. For example, people erroneously believe that zoosexuals are “disgusting” and “perverted”, and people erroneously believe that vegetarians are “weak”. Because society has such prejudices against both vegetarians and zoosexuals, it makes things twice as difficult when a person (such as myself) is both vegetarian AND zoosexual. Why? Because you are constantly being criticized not only by the anti-vegetarians, but also the anti-zoosexuals. You have to deal with twice the hatred and ignorance.
It is sad that vegetarians and zoosexuals are looked down upon by society, and it is sad that they are outcasts. That is why I am so vociferous about this issue: I am tired of seeing aggressive anti-vegetarians make personal attacks against vegetarians (and the vegetarians don’t fight back); and I am tired of seeing aggressive anti-zoosexuals make personal attacks against zoosexuals. I want people’s perceptions to change: zoosexuals should no longer been seen as “weird” and “disgusting”, and vegetarians should no longer be seen as “weak”. Ultimately, I’m tired of vegetarians and zoosexuals being ridiculed for their beliefs.
Many people will say “I have a choice to eat meat”, and they are correct; in today’s screwed-up society, it is socially and legally acceptable to slaughter animals and eat meat, but consider this: imagine there is a strongly anti-slavery man in the U.S. South in the early 19th century. He goes up to a slave owner and says “you must stop owning slaves, what you are doing is morally wrong”. The slave owner then turns his head and says to the man, “Shut up, I have a choice to own slaves. Plus, the people in my community approve of my slave ownership and the law allows me to own slaves, so why should I have to listen to you?”
And that is what I’m talking about. I bring up the slavery analogy because it gets to the point of what I’m saying: when it comes to libertarianism, I fully agree that a person has a right to smoke marijuana or a right to be a prostitute or what ever else they want to do, so long as no harm is involved. Although I agree with the libertarian spirit, there are things I disapprove of due the harm they cause: killing a person, killing a non-human animal, slavery — these are all things I disapprove of because of the harm they cause. And certainly the current massive slaughter industry is causing cruelty, suffering and harm on a massive scale (yet being quietly hidden from the public). In the case of both slavery and animal slaughter, harm is involved and is thus morally unacceptable. Today, if a slave owner tried to own slaves, he wouldn’t get away with it. And in the future, I hope people who slaughter animals and eat their meat won’t get away with it either. Maybe then people will be intelligent enough to treat non-human animals with the same respect and consideration they give humans.
Although my views may seem extreme by the standards of today’s society, remember that the views of the early 19th century anti-slavery person were seen as extreme by the standards of the early 19th century society (in the U.S. South). Just as slavery ended up being viewed by society as barbaric, I hope that eventually society will come to view our current system of animal slaughtering as barbaric. Eventually, my views on vegetarianism and zoosexuality, which seem extreme by today’s standards, may be the “norm” in the future.
Above: “Speciesism, [a word which means] a failure, in attitude or practice, to accord any nonhuman being equal consideration and respect”
I highly recommend that people should read this New York times article:
It is a New York Times article all about how arrogant and human-centric (anthropocentric) people are when it comes to their view of humans and other animals. Here are some quotes from the article:
“Hunting has become a tool of sorts within the realm of political image making. With few exceptions, President Obama among them, most presidents and presidential hopefuls have been seen hunting. Meat eating, too, is an act used to portray strength. Obama is known to enjoy his burgers, a fact that has helped counter his image as a green-tea drinking elitist. Even Sarah Palin’s so-called new brand of feminism revolves around the image of a tough “mama grizzly,” as she calls herself, shooting and gutting moose to feed and protect her family. As she says in her memoir, “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals — right next to the mashed potatoes.” But while politicians continue to channel “Joe Six-Pack” by hunting and killing animals to prove that they are tough providers, animal lovers are often infantilized, pathologized and derided. It is true that White House pets have often become celebrities, but they are usually there for the children, part of the pretty picture of the all-American family.
This is part of a complicated and often hypocritical view we hold toward animals.
In popular culture, celebrities who take on animal causes are seen as a bit crazy — rich versions of the “crazy cat lady,” or dog-crazy Leona Helmsley. Not coincidentally, they are usually women. And, our relationships to the animals with whom (or rather which,to be grammatically correct) we live is given very little status in our society. Despite the proliferation of “cute” pet pictures and anecdotes on the Web, actual displays of affection toward one’s pet or companion animal, or grief expressed over their illness or death, is looked upon with ridicule.
To love animals is to be soft, childlike, or pathological. To admit dependence on animals — particularly emotional and psychological dependence, as pet owners often do — is seen as a type of neurosis.
One telling aspect of this manifests itself in our legal landscape, in which we bestow approval of non-food animal dependence only in cases of illness, handicap or severe need.[...]
Within philosophy, as we know, animals and our own animality has been denigrated and disavowed. After all, philosophy is regarded as a flight from our animal natures and into the realm of intellectual activity, knowledge and enlightenment. Traditionally, man has been seen as having dominion over animals because of his superior capacity for reason, language, technology and other intellectual characteristics valued in philosophy. Some feminists, notably Genevieve Lloyd, Susan Bordo, and Alison Jaggar, among many others, have challenged philosophy’s privileging of mind over body and reason over emotion, issues that bear directly on the question of the status of animals. Philosophers have asked not whether animals think or speak but whether they suffer; but some within the animal rights movement have argued that animals are capable of many of the same intellectual feats as humans. The animal rights and animal welfare debates continue to be dominated by discussions of whether and how animals have minds or intentions like we do. This discourse continues to measure animals against human standards in order to judge whether or not they deserve legal rights. The animals closest too us, namely our so-called pets, are often dismissed from these discussions as yet another example of our exploitation of animals.” — Pet Lovers, Pathologized (Kelly Oliver)
I hope more people will read this article and other that make people aware of how arrogant humans are when it comes to animals. Humans are way to speciesist and anthropocentric, and they need to start seeing non-human animals as being on the same level as humans. Yes, humans can come up with complex physics problems, but that is only “icing on the cake” when it comes to making a biological organism. People should be focusing on the similarities between humans and other animals, not the differences.
It is suggested that you also see this website — the moment the reader visits it, it starts automatically counted the number of animals killed for food
People often talk about the atrocities of the holocaust during World War II, in which millions of people (mostly Jewish) were murdered by the Nazis. But what people don’t realize is that there is a similar event occurring right now all over the world — I and others refer to it as the animal holocaust.
As I’ve said before, humans are animals, and humans are phenomenologically equal to other animals. But the majority of society doesn’t think this way — they think that non-human animals are property and that their purposes is to be exploited for human financial gain. Each year, billions and billions of animals are ruthlessly slaughtered to become the meat on your table — hamburgers, hot dogs, you name it. Chances are that that meat came from animals which were slaughtered in poor health conditions and were treated like objects. What the people in the meat industry fail to realize is that animals are sentient, conscious beings who have an intrinsic right to live out their lives to the fullest possible extent.
People often say that when the Nazis killed Jewish people, they were “slaughtering” them, and I agree with this point. In World War II, millions of Jewish people (and other people) were systemically killed behind closed doors in mechanized, industrialized assembly lines of death. But today there are billions of animals who are currently being systematically killed behind closed doors in mechanized, assembly lines of death, just as the Jews were 70 years ago. Of course, most people are not likely to think like this because of their speciesism and anthropocentrism; unfortunately, most people think that non-human animals are “below” humans, even though many animals (i.e. dogs, pigs, etc.) have the ability to feel emotions just like humans do and the ability to suffer just like humans. And perhaps most importantly, they have consciousness just like humans. The only reason people think of non-human animals as being “below” humans is because our society has brainwashed people by using delusional religious teachings and a constant bombardment of pro-meat advertising.
It has now come to the point where when a person sees a commercial for a steak on TV, they say “mmmm… I want to eat a steak”. However, they should be saying to themselves “this is highly unethical and unjust”. People should see a beef steak as equivalent to a piece of human flesh — because, as many people have said, humans are made of meat just like other animals. That’s why people sometimes get eaten by animals like sharks and bears.
It is also worth noting that when a person goes into a restaurant to eat meat, the truth behind what they are eating is deliberately hidden from them. They no longer think of the meat as having come from an animal, they think of the meat as having “magically” been created out of thin air. This illusion is created by a complex series of smoke and mirrors that the meat industry creates to increase their profit. Not only does the meat industry hide how they treat animals, but they also hide their unsanitary conditions. Few people realize how unsanitary the meal processing plants are.
The point I’m trying to make is that there is an animal holocaust going on right now, and it needs to stop. Most animals that are killed for human consumption are not “humanely” slaughtered and are actually slaughtered while they are still alive. Non-human animals are being killed on industrialized assembly lines of death simply because they aren’t human. These atrocities need to end, and people’s speciesism and pro-human arrogance need to end.
For reference, here are some statistics:
Global Slaughter Statistics for 2003:
45,895,000,000 (45.9 billion) chickens killed
2,262,000,000 (2.3 billion) ducks killed
1,244,000,000 (1.2 billion) pigs killed
857,000,000 (857 million) rabbits killed
691,000,000 (691 million) turkeys killed
533,000,000 (533 million) geese killed
515,000,000 (515 million) sheep killed
345,000,000 (345 million) goats killed
292,000,000 (292 million) cows and calves killed
65,000,000 (65 million) other rodents killed
63,000,000 (63 million) pigeons and other birds killed
23,000,000 (23 million) buffaloes killed
4,000,000 (4 million) horses killed
3,000,000 (3 million) donkeys and mules killed
2,000,000 (2 million) camels and other camelids killed
In addition, 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans. And keep in mind that the total number of animals killed per year is 150 billion. That means that in one decade, more than one trillion animals are killed to satisfy the needs of selfish humans.
Here is a quote by Victor Hugo:
“First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.”
The next time you eat meat, think about these statistics and the animal holocaust you are contributing to.
(See also: http://www.animalsuffering.com/animal-cruelty.php, Google search “animal kill counter”)
Most people are unaware of how their meat gets to them. People turn a blind eye to the industrialized process in which animals are slaughtered. For example, most people don’t know that pigs are often killed in very inhumane ways. In many cases, pigs are tied by their hind legs, left hanging from a hook, and then slowly lowered into a boiling container of water while they’re still alive. They suffered unimaginably painful deaths. And then they become the ham on your ham sandwich.
This is not the case for all animals; some are killed humanely. But unfortunately, the majority of animals in our society are treated like commodities — objects to be exploited for mass consumption. We no longer live in an age in which people can casually kill an animal here, an animal there — we live in an age in which there are so many people that it requires a gigantic, cruel system of slaughter. I believe that when people go to Applebee’s, there should be photos of animals being slaughtered on their menu; it would hurt their business, but at least it would be honest. By enabling people to buy hamburgers and hot dogs at such places, but acting as if the meat simply came out of thin air, they are being deceptive and encouraging the customer to turn a blind eye to the slaughter that occurs behind closed doors.
This is why people should stop eating meat. But many people say “I can’t stop eating meat because it tastes so good! I could never go without meat!” The solution to this problem is to eat products which taste just like meat, but aren’t. A good example of this are the frozen foods companies Boca Burgers and Morningstar Farms. Both of these companies offer foods that look and taste just like meat, but are made from non-meat sources. There are also a lot of ethnic cuisines (such as Indian) which do not have any meat in them. What a lot of people don’t realize is that one of the reasons their meat tastes good is because of things that were added to it (i.e. BBQ sauce, ketchup, seasonings, flavorings, etc.) — these “added” things can be added to non-meat products too. In other words, it’s not the meat itself which tastes good, its the things which are added into the mix. The only reason people think the meat itself tastes good is because people are brainwashed by the meat industry and by advertising to think of it that way.
Above: example of a Morningstar Farms product
If you go into a local Supermarket, look for Boca Burgers, Morningstar Farms products, and Amy’s products. Also look for foods such as tofu and products which say they’re veggie or vegan. There are now more choices than ever when it comes to food that looks and tastes like meat but isn’t. There are Morningstar “Chik’n” patties (which looks and tastes like Chicken but is made of soy), there are products such as vegetarian hot dogs which are also made from soy, and both Boca and Morningstar make burgers which taste like hamburgers but aren’t made of meat. And it turns out that not eating meat is actually healthier than eating meat; there is a lot of cholesterol in products such as beef.
The easiest way to stop eating meat is to slowly stop making it part of your diet (kind of like the way smokers use nicatine gum to slowly stop smoking). Eating products that look and taste like meat but aren’t (such as Boca and Morningstar products) will help you to “get off” eating meat. Eventually, you won’t be eating meat and you won’t even be aware of it.
If you had the opportunity to walk up to a cow or a pig on a farm and cuddle with it, you’d never eat meat again. This is why I’m a vegetarian — I have compassion for other animals.
It is suggested that you also read this post: http://vividrandomexistence.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zoosexuality-should-it-be-considered-acceptable-or-not
People never stop to think how vast the universe is. On a cosmic scale, the Earth is equivalent to a grain of sand on a beach. There are billions and billions of planets out there which humans do not know about. In fact, the universe is so vast that the nearest star to our Sun is 25 trillion miles from the Earth. And yet, on this lonely planet we call Earth, it is a shame that there are people who dedicate their lives to hating others. These people are what I call the haters. All they ever do is go off on witch hunts against people who are different then themselves. In this post, I will specifically discuss people who have vicious hatred towards zoosexuals.
First, begin by reading this quote:
“On libertarian grounds, [arguments regarding homosexuality] are the same arguments that might incline us to agree with Peter Singer about bestiality — i.e. that what one does in one’s own barn is none of the government’s business. The key words here are, of course, ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. Both terms have been used to condemn gay sex, and both are equally meaningless when applied to interspecies sex.”
Now, read this quote:
“Bestiality, or zoophilia as they prefer it to be called, has been around since the beginning of time. Sheep herders and farmers have often had sex with animals, but it’s usually joked about or regarded as something done of necessity when no women were available. Now, instead of just seeing it as a behavior, they want it to be seen as a sexual orientation. Research has been done on these people and is seems that some legitimately prefer animals. When hooked up to a penile plethysmograph and shown nude photos of all varieties and ages of humans, the man was decidedly flaccid. Nothing happening down there either when he looked at slides of cats, dogs, sheep, chickens, or cows. But he certainly wasn’t impotent, as the researchers clearly observed when the subject was shown images of horses.
And for those of you who might be thinking they abuse animals with this behavior (“interspecies sexual assault”), zoophiles adamantly disagree. ‘In other recent surveys, the majority of zoophiles scoffed at the notion that they were abusive toward animals in any way — far from it, they said. Many even consider themselves to be animal welfare advocates in addition to zoophiles.’
Because they love animals and care deeply for them, they claim they would never do anything to hurt them.[...]
If he prefers to be with horses over humans, should we judge him for this or just let him be?[...] So, these people [zoophiles] prefer animals over humans, they are not particularly distressed about their sex life, and they care about the animals and apparently wouldn’t hurt them. That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? [...] The animals are not hurt, and likely won’t even remember the next day. Are any of YOU getting hurt by this? No your not. — http://www.divinecaroline.com/22079/99584-sex-animals-legitimate-sexual-orientation/2
Then I came across some discriminatory comments:
“This is completely disgusting! You are trying to justify this by grasping for something even a little bit acceptable about it, but there is nothing. God created sex to be between a man and a woman. Period! Just because something turns someone on doesn’t mean they need to act on it! It means they have a sexual perversion and have to discipline themselves to control it.” — http://www.divinecaroline.com/22079/99584-sex-animals-legitimate-sexual-orientation
The above quote isn’t just bullshit, it is bullshit to the power of ten. Religion should never be used as an argument for or against something because anyone can say anything when it comes to religion. Who is this person to claim what God knows? How does this person even know there is a God? And for that matter, does this ignorant person realize that their “argument” could also be used against gay people? God did not “create” sex — it was created out of a very slow evolutionary process that took billions of years to develop.
Then I came across more discriminatory anti-zoosexual comments:
“I think [bestiality] a bad thing, and no we should not just ‘let them be.’ These are animals who cannot speak for themselves. Just because they’re not human doesn’t make it okay for humans to do whatever they want. I don’t care if they did it in the bible;
many people believe the bible is fiction, so I wouldn’t take that as the gospel. Bottom line: people who have sex with animals aren’t right; they’re the same class of people who have sex with children, if you ask me. Sick people who need help and need to be monitored.” — http://www.divinecaroline.com/22079/99584-sex-animals-legitimate-sexual-orientation
The above quote is another complete bullshit comment. Animals are not in the same category as human children. For example, a 10-year old dog is equal to a 53-year old human. They are in different categories — adult animals have nothing to do with immature humans. Do people put children in kennels? Of course not. Do people dissect children in science classes? Of course not. Do people perform laboratory experiments on children? Of course not. Yet these are things that people do to animals all the time. Zoosexuality deals with mature animals, wheras pedophilia deals with immature humans. People need to stop treating animals like cute little human babies and see them for who they actually are. Also, zoosexuals should not be “monitored”, just as gay people should not be “monitored”. In fact, monitoring people is reminiscent of Geore Orwell’s 1984 — we as a society should be moving away from that kind of mentality. Spying will never solve anything.
And here are more discriminatory comments:
“[Bestiality] is cruel, disgusting, and just WRONG in so many ways… people who rape pets should be SEVERELY punished” – Jessica T.
“Bestiality in any form should be a felony and these people need to be locked away, and be treated” – Carol H.
“[Bestiality] is just sick and makes me want to vomit.” – Tessa S.
“OMG, [bestiality] is so sick and wrong!” – Linda G.
“[Bestiality is] demented and perverse” – Nadine G.
“I was shocked and disgusted when I learned that bestiality is not illegal in all states.” – Bob E.
“I am so totally outraged by [bestiality] and any tolerance of it in any way.” — Pamela T.
(Above quotes from http://www.change.org/petitions/support-charitys-law-make-bestiality-a-crime-and-a-felony-in-all-us-states)
The above quotes were made by extremely ignorant people. If you go to the URL that the above quotes (comments) came from, you will see that the hatred of anti-zoosexuals is truly a bottomless pit. But it’s not just that URL; I’ve found so many vicious and hateful attacks on zoosexuals that one could probably fill a dictionary-sized book with them. The mentioned URL dealt with real animal cruelty, but the problem is that the people commenting on that URL began to mixed the specific cruel incident with bestiality in general, which isn’t fair. They believe the following delusional logic: “this one incident involved cruelty, therefore all bestiality involves cruelty.” That logic is false and erroneous, because not all cases of bestiality involve cruelty.
I will now be discussing not just the above quoted people; I will now be discussing all
people who discriminate against zoosexuals.
Also, consider this quote:
“There is a pro-active movement going on among the anti-bestiality crusaders to deliberately confuse bestiality with child abuse. There is also a growing fantasy that zoophiles ‘all know each other’ and form some kind of hidden secret society where we go around raping and molesting each others’ ‘poor innocent animals.’
These vigilantes are fond of quoting the flawed studies that purport to show that a majority of sex offenders started out abusing animals. The flaw most often pointed out is that the studies begin with criminals, not a random sampling of the general population. We don’t honestly know what percentage of a random sample of people who have sex with non-human partners would end up becoming sexual predators, but I suspect it wouldn’t be any different than the population at large.” — http://blog.wetgoddess.net/?p=659
As the above quote shows, many people strongly dislike zoosexuals because of misconceptions, such as the erroneous belief that zoophiles are also pedophiles. This is not the case; there is absolutely no link between zoophilia and pedophilia, and studies which attempt to do so are flawed. The misconceptions are created by ignorance; many people are too lazy to think for themselves and get all of their perceptions of reality from un-reliable sources, such as the sensationalist media and delusional politicians.
One of the worst things a person can do is to be intolerant of a group of people, to not accept them, and treat them like gum stuck at the bottom of one’s shoe. And that is the way people are treating zoosexuals. This must end. People need to make laws to stop anti-zoosexual people from going on witch hunts against zoosexuals. It is already happening on the Internet. There is now a petition going from website to website, and it is called “Charity’s Law”. It describes a sad event in which animals were tortured, and bestiality just happened to be involved in it. The people who were outraged by this event should have made a petition urging people to make better animal cruelty laws. Instead, they used this event as an excuse to justify their prejudicial views about having sex with animals.
Remember, there are bad people in every group. While most heterosexuals are good, there are some bad heterosexuals. While most homosexuals are good, there are some bad homosexuals. And while most zoosexuals are good, there are some bad zoosexuals. This is what these ignorant people supporting “Charity’s Law” fail to realize — by trying to gain support for their “Charity’s Law” petition, they are condemning all zoosexuals — both the bad ones and the good ones. While it is true that people who are cruel to animals should be punished, the fact is that bestiality alone does not equal animal cruelty. The “Charity’s Law” petition is completely unfair and needs to be stopped because it is a petition created out of prejudice, ignorance and intolerance. Although it addresses an abusive incident, it does it in completely the wrong way. It should be addressing the cruelty itself, not bestiality (because bestiality is not cruel in all cases).
What is even worse about this “Charity’s Law” petition is that it is attempting to make bestiality a felony in every state and name the new law “Charity’s Law”. This is such bullshit! People should be trying to repeal anti-zoosexual laws in every state, not make more of them! In fact, there should be laws prohibiting the discrimination of zoosexuals (and that would mean laws prohibiting things like the bigot-filled “Charity’s Law” petition).
For years, I have been trying to get to the core of why people are so hateful towards zoosexuals. These people often claim that they believe that bestiality is “animal abuse”, but I think it is more than that. These people have an unexplainable and extremely irrational disgust of zoophilia. They are the foaming-at-the-mouth kind of people who write in all caps and go off on witch hunts against people.
But again, I ask myself, why? Why do people hate zoosexuals so much? Is it hard-wired into their DNA? Is it because society and religion has brainwashed them into thinking it’s “wrong”? Is it because many people are born to be hateful? Is it because they’re not used to it, so they end up being “shocked” in a knee-jerk kind-of-way? Why are people so intolerant, and why do people have such irrational knee-jerk reactions towards bestiality, zoophilia and zoosexuality? We may never know for sure, but no matter what the reason is, the bigotry must be stopped. When I say “bigotry” I am referring to comments (such as those above) which specifically target zoosexuals and aim hateful attacks towards them. We already have laws against African-American discrimination and homosexual discrimination — it’s now time to start making laws against zoosexual discrimination. Zoosexuality is a legitimate orientation just like homosexuality and people need to stop groups such as “Charity’s Law” from forcing their bigotry down other people’s throats.
I am also sick of the taboos and stigma associated with zoosexuality, and people’s prejudicial views towards it. For example, if a person (let’s call him “Person A”) suddenly told their friends and family that he/she was a zoosexual; whenever the friends and family saw “Person A”, they wouldn’t think “Hey, that person’s an engineer” or “that person is a good cook” — the first thing that would come to minds is “Hey, that person likes to
f*ck animals”. Why do people think this? Because people are extremely prejudicial. They are not intellectual, they do not think philosophically about things, they do not have a utilitarian point-of-view, they are ignorant and they are intolerant. Chances are also high that they are speciesist and anthropocentric.
Which brings me to another point: perhaps one of the reasons why people think bestiality/zoosexuality is so “immoral” and “disgusting” is because they are speciesist — in other words, they arrogantly think humans are better than all other species, and therefore having sexual relations with an animal brings us “down” to “their level”. However, these people fail to realize that humans ARE animals! We eat, sleep, and have sex just like any other species. This arrogant “speciesism” is what allows people to act as though humans are “separate” from other animals. The truth is that humans are NOT separate from other animals — it is only a human-created social construction developed by delusional religions and our delusional society.
And also, consider this: many people claim that bestiality is “immoral” because the animal cannot “consent”. However, can a non-human animal consent to be slaughtered and turned into meat for human consumption? Of course not! And yet plenty of people who condemn zoosexuality for the “consent” reason hypocritically go about their lives eating the meat of animals who never consented to be eaten. Consider also that animals cannot consent to be hunted, or tested on in laboratories, or neutered; and yet when it comes to sex, humans all of sudden think consent is important. (And remember that non-human animals can in fact consent to sex, through body language; if an animal doesn’t want sex, it will make its needs known).
Also, I have another theory why anti-zoosexual people express such illogical, moral outrage: it could be because of their values. Remember, anti-zoosexuals are not stupid; after all, they make perfectly good airplane pilots or engineers. The problem isn’t their ability to carry out work, it is what their values are — and their values have been warped by a delusional sense of ethics which treats animals as subordinates to humans. The main divide between zoosexuals and anti-zoosexuals is that both groups have values that are in conflict with one another. Zoosexuals value non-human animals in the same way that a human would value a husband or wife — with extreme kinship and devotion. On the other hand, anti-zoosexuals value sex as being exclusively human based on the irrational religious and cultural beliefs they were raised with. Essentially, zoosexuals and anti-zoosexuals have incompatible ethical systems which they follow, and they have incompatible moral compasses which they use. The moral compass used by the zoosexuals is based on intellect and rationality, whereas the moral compass used by the anti-zoosexuals is based on fear, hate, prejudice and intolerance.
Now, remember this: in the spirit of libertarianism, if anti-zoosexuals went about their business (i.e. living human-exclusive lives), I would not have a problem with it. What I have a problem with is that anti-zoosexuals are trying to make the lives of zoosexuals miserable — they are trying to infringe on the rights of zoosexuals. Keep in mind that the zoosexuals which the anti-zoosexuals hate have done nothing to interfere with the lives of the anti-zoosexuals — they simply want to be left alone. It is the anti-zoosexuals who are harassing the zoosexuals and trying to make their lives miserable. THAT is what I hate, and that is what must be stopped. There need to be new
laws which specifically prohibit discrimination against zoosexuals and people with the zoosexual orientation.
There is no reason for zoosexuality to be taboo — people should discuss it freely in conversation, and when a person declares that he or she is zoosexual, he or she should not have to explain it or rationalize it, no more than a gay person would rationalize his homosexuality. If a person declares his/her zoosexuality, the people around him/her should simply accept it and say whatever floats your boat or to each his own. But here’s the problem: there still a lot of anti-zoosexual bigots out there (the same bigots who are behind the hateful “Charity’s Law” petition). If bigots found out that “Person A” was zoosexual, they would go on a witch hunt against him/her and possibly even get the authorities involved. This is not how our society should work. Our society should go after the anti-zoosexuals, not the zoosexuals themselves. As stated earlier in this post, people should have the libertarian point-of-view that whatever people do in their own barn is none of the government’s business.
People need to realize that there are good zoosexuals and bad zoosexuals. The good zoosexuals have a deep emotional bond with their animals and treat them like royalty — they treat them better than the average person would treat an animal. Good zoosexuals would never harm and never abuse a non-human animal. Then there are bad zoosexuals — the bad zoosexuals are the ones who give zoosexuals a bad name. They’re the ones who appear on the local news having injured or killed an animal and then the public ends up erroneously believing that all zoosexuals are like that. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, there are some zoosexuals who are cruel to their animals, just like there are someheterosexuals who are serial killers. But the fact is that most zoosexuals would never hurt or abuse an animal, and petitons like “Charity’s Law” which attempt to lump all zoosexuals into one “evil” category are extremely discriminatory and need to be stopped.
As I said at the beginning of this post, although the Earth is special to us, it is extremely small and insignificant on a cosmic scale. Relative to the rest of the universe, the Earth is like a speck of dust. And yet, us humans should be thankful for its existence, because it allows us to live, and is basically like a Garden of Eden. We also must realize that this is our one chance to live, so we must seize the day and enjoy our time in the Sun. What I really don’t like is when people try to steal other people’s time in the Sun, and that is what anti-zoosexuals are doing. Zoosexuals have a purpose on this Earth, and they have a right to enjoy their lives because this is the one and only chance they will have to enjoy their lives. To zoosexuals, living the good life means living a mutually satisfying sexual and non-abusive lifestyle with other animals. At the same time, there are bigots out there who try to destroy the lifestyles of zoosexuals by going out on witch hunts against them and trying to enact laws prohibiting their way of life. This is shameful
and must be stopped. Zoosexuals need to stop being harassed and should be left alone. Their businsess is no one else’s business. Those self-righteous anti-zoosexual haters need to take a real good look in the mirror — they are far worse than the zoosexuals they prey upon.
I must also say this to zoosexuals: it is extremely important to be respectful and compassionate towards other animals — love them and treat them better than you would treat yourself.
A piece of cow flesh; now (keeping in mind that humans are animals just like cows) imagine if the above image represented human flesh; not as appetizing, right?
No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I am surrounded by meat-eaters. So long as I am in a human institution or a human environment, I am likely to be surrounded by meat-eaters because 90% of people are not vegetarian. (And because of this, there is lots of meat-related advertising). What I find perplexing is why people are so resistant to changing their eating habits. I have presented many arguments in favor of not eating meat, yet people typically ignore these arguments and continue to eat meat anyway. I believe this stubborn attitude is similar to the smoking addiction — a person might say “I know eating meat is wrong, but because it tastes so good I can’t stop eating”.
As I’ve mentioned before, I resent the hypocritical attitude most people have towards eating meat. Most people who eat hamburgers all the time would not want to personally kill a cow themselves, and they would not want to actually watch a cow get slaughtered. A person who regularly eats hamburgers, yet is not willing to kill a cow (or watch a cow get killed) is a hypocrite. That’s because when these people eat meat, all of the “dirty-work” (i.e. slaughtering the cow, etc.) has already been done for them, so they don’t have to think about it (and become lazy and ignorant). Relating to this hypocrisy is the following quote:
“It is truly bizarre that people who love animals grow up eating them. Although many young children are often repulsed by meat, they are usually persuaded by parents that the portion of flesh and bone on their plates is somehow different from Libby the Lamb in their storybook[...] thanks to sales pitches and dishonest advertising, when someone asks, ‘What’s for dinner?’ the mental image often conjured up is that of the prepared pot roast or chicken drumstick, not of what went before it. No one thinks, ‘A pig!’ and starts imagining what it must have been like for that animal at the moment when he watched his fellows being killed by the machine or the knife just ahead of him in that strange, frightening [slaughterhouse][...] Having seen inside dog slaughterhouses in Asia and pig slaughterhouses in the United States, I can personally say that while all animal slaughter for food is unjustifiable, it is awkward to join the chorus of Western voices raised against dog eating when many of the protesters blithely tolerate equally hideous cruelties visited upon equally feeling animals [pigs] in our [slaughterhouses].” – Ingrid Newkirk, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights
From now on, whenever you see someone eating meat, tell them to stop. Some might consider this act to be a self-righteous one, but ultimately, if people like you don’t try to stop people from eating meat, they will continue to go about ignorant routine by eating lots of meat and making the meat industry rich.
The idealistic goal is for everyone to stop eating meat. However, if 20% of the world population stopped eating meat, that would still be a huge accomplishment (despite not being everyone). But first, humans must get beyond the delusional view that humans are better than all other species; they are not.
(Note: I already wrote a post about why I’m a vegetarian)
You may be interested to know that most toothpaste brands are not vegetarian, and are made from pigs and cows. The key reason why some toothpaste brands are not vegetarian is because they contain glycerin. If you see glycerin in a list of toothpaste ingredients, it does not automatically mean that it is anti-vegetarian; rather, it means that it might be anti-vegetarian (depending on whether or not it was derived from animals).
For example, read this quote:
“A major point to understand in reference to toothpastes is that glycerin can come from pig or cow in addition to plants. Crest says they will be going to use glycerin from a vegetarian source in the future, which means that it is made from animal ingredients right now. Sensodyne uses animal (beef). Colgate has a list of toothpastes that they make which are vegetarian”–http://www.vegetarian-restaurants.net/Vegetarian-Newsletter/Toothpaste-Vegetarian-Ingredients.htm
According to the above quote, Crest toothpaste is not vegetarian and Sensodyne toothpaste is not vegetarian. That means that when someone puts crest toothpaste in his/her mouth, he/she is actually putting the remains of pigs/cows in his/her mouth.
The above quote does say that Colgate offers some vegetarian toothpastes (link: http://www.vegetarian-restaurants.net/Vegetarian-Newsletter/Colgate-Vegetarian.htm). However, although Colgate does provide some vegetarian toothpaste brands, remember that Colgate is not a vegetarian company — it still has toothpaste brands that are not vegetarian. This means that by buying a Colagte product, you are supporting a company which does produce products which involve animal cruelty. Nonetheless, Colgate is the lesser of the evils when compared to other toothpaste brands such as Crest because at least Colgate has some vegetarian toothpaste brands.
What I found interesting was that there is a systematic rating of which toothpaste brands are ethical and which are not. This rating list (i.e. which brands scored the most point and which didn’t) can be found at this link:
The toothpaste brands which was rated most ethical was Green People Vegan toothpaste. Other ethical brands include Kingfisher toothpaste, Urtekram toothpaste, and Weleda toothpaste. The toothpaste brands which received the lowest ethical rating was Crest. Other toothpaste brands which recieved low ethical ratings include Rembrandt toothpaste, Sensondyne toothpaste, and Aquafresh toothpaste.
The next time you go to the Supermarket, make sure that the toothpaste you are buying did not involve the slaughtering of innocent animals.