Matthew Zampa

This Is Why Politicians Need to Start Writing More Plant-Based Policy

farm policy animals

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Livestock farming is destroying the environment, and it’s not going to fix itself. A new study calls for politicians to move towards plant-based diets in climate mitigation policy. Inaction from livestock producers would require massive greenhouse gas reductions from other sectors, “far beyond what is planned or realistic,” the study says.

For obvious reasons, we support the move from animal to plant-based proteins. What might not be so obvious is why this affects every single human and animal on the planet. The livestock industry is on track to emit 37-49% of the greenhouse gases budgeted under the 2030 climate targets.

Labeling Meat Humane Is Not Humane—or Sustainable

dairy cow farm

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Animal advocates are in the middle of a fight for better labeling on food. Because behind every big meat and dairy company, there is a desire to make more money, always at the expense of animal welfare.

Last week, the Animal Welfare Institute sued the United States Department of Agriculture for refusing to respond to a dire labeling request for animal products from the organization in 2014. Since meat and dairy companies began receiving more demand from consumers for more ethical treatment of animals raised for food, more “humane” labels have appeared on more food that is not humane in the slightest, and animals are suffering because of it.

Inside the Dairy Industry’s Closed Door Policy

dairy industry cow

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

A Danish dairy farm is raising questions after they refused a big chunk of change to keep dairy industry doors closed to cameras. To give you an idea of what it might have looked like inside—and the extent of the problem—we compiled footage from dairy cow cruelty investigations around the world.

According to Faunalytic’s Animal Tracker, an annual survey of attitudes toward animals in the United States, only 8% of adults wanted fewer animal protections in 2018. More than two-thirds of respondents felt favorable about the direction of the animal rights movement. Only one-third thought that laws protecting animals raised for food were sufficient. Then why do we keep seeing dairy cows poked and prodded, burned, beaten with meat pipes, killed, and piled in a ditch?

Beyond Meat Files for the Plant-Based Food Industry’s First IPO

vegan Beyond Meat

The future of protein is plant-based. Beyond Meat (BYND), the plant-based meat maker famously sold at TGI Fridays, filed paperwork with NASDAQ for an initial public offering of $100 million. This represents the first public stock offering from plant-based food makers targeting meat eaters.

The Beyond Burger looks, tastes, heck—it even bleeds like a cow burger. It also happens to generate 90% fewer greenhouse gases than U.S. beef. And if that wasn’t good enough, the plant-based patty sells for $12.00 per pound and requires 46% less non-renewable energy, 93% less land, and 99% less water than a beef burger does.

Book Review: Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism edited by Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey

vegan diet ethical

Veganism is shaping up to be the ethical fight of the century. In a brilliant tribute to the fight ahead, Clair Linzey and Andrew Linzey of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics published a collection of essays from 25 of the most forward-thinking vegan and vegetarian writers from 11 different countries. The result is the 318-page moral heavyweight Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism (Routledge 2018).

This Utah Farm Is Sparing 100 Turkeys from the Thanksgiving Slaughter

Direct Action Everywhere

Direct Action Everywhere

Pitman Family Farms is one of the largest farms in the country. This Thanksgiving, they’re working together with the animal rights activists at Direct Action Everywhere and its founder Wayne Hsiung to rescue 100 turkeys from a slaughterhouse.

On Monday, Hsiung will travel back to the Norbest turkey farm near Moroni, UT with hundreds of animal rights activists. The rescue site will look a bit different than last time. The group plans on handing out vegan food and holiday gifts to the plant’s employees and local residents.

In return, Rick Pitman of Pitman Family Farms, who now owns the Norbest farm, agreed to release 100 birds to the activists. Finally, the turkeys will be transported to local sanctuaries, where they will live out their days as animals, not food. The exchange promises to be touching.

Thanksgiving Is for Vegans, too

 turkey Thanksgiving day

A long time ago, turkey became associated with giving thanks for a successful harvest. History lessons aside, what’s way more important to us today is that vegans feel comfortable participating in meat-based American holidays like Thanksgiving.

Explaining your dietary choices to family members who may have watched you eat meat for a part of your life is a challenge. But giving thanks has nothing to do with eating turkey and everything to do with family and friends (and cruelty-free pumpkin pie).

There’s No Covering Up the Awful Smell of Factory Farming

stats of dairy cows

The FDA just okay’ed a drug that promises to mask some of the odor produced by cow manure. This decision comes just days after the EPA ruled that factory farms do not need to report air pollution levels. Masking the odor is one thing, but supporting a factory farming industry that completely ignores the consequences its farming practices have on animals by working with private companies to cover up the smell is another.

Factory farming doesn’t have a lot of good things going for it, except for the U.S. federal government. Elanco is the new, FDA-approved, odor-eating cattle drug. It will reduce the amount of ammonia produced by cattle, usually in the form of animal waste. On its own, the drug looks like a nod from regulators saying, “Yes, this works.” But then, there’s the EPA ruling on factory farm air pollution reporting. The agency decided that the current level of noxious gas output is the right level of noxious gas output for factory farms. Farms will no longer have to report the level of ammonia, or other air pollutants, that they produce.

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