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Year of the Pig Is Starting. Let’s Consider the Pig.

pig farm animal

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

It’s the Year of the Pig, according to the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese culture, pigs are a symbol of wealth and their chubby faces and big ears are signs of good fortune. But today, pigs have come to mean so much more.

Most pigs don’t get a name, like Wilbur, Timon, or Miss Piggy. They get a number and live their lives under the yoke of industrial animal farming.

This year, entire parades will be held in honor of an animal that lives and dies on factory farms by the billions. Pigs are special creatures that share distinct personality traits and behavior with humans. Despite what popular turns-of-phrase might lead you to believe, pigs are smart and clean–when they are given the opportunity to live a natural life.

Slaughterhouses: The Horrifying Secrets About How Meat is Made

slaughterhouses

Image via WeAnimals

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we’d all be vegetarians.”

The Beatle and decades-long vegetarian, Paul McCartney, has been speaking out for animal rights for many years.

The quote is short but speaks volumes. People don’t want to know the truth.

Most people, even meat eaters, love animals. Aside from fishers and hunters, it will be hard for you to find someone that willingly hurts or kills animals. And even if you ask the biggest meat eater you know whether or not he or she likes animal suffering, they will likely say no.

The disconnect between people and meat is simply astonishing. Urbanization has taken people from the farms and into cities where they have no connection to animals.

Slaughterhouses are kept at a distance and don’t try to attract visitors. While some allow tours, photography and video are generally prohibited.

Processed Meats and Your Health: What You Need to Know

lab for processed meats

The meat industry has evolved over the years to include lots of food products that don’t resemble their original form. Some can say that this is done strategically to create a larger disconnect between people and their food choices.

Processed meats are the products of manipulation that drastically change fresh meat into something else.

This “something else” is designed to be consumed in a convenient and cheap way.

Some of the most popular processed meats include bacon, jerky, sausage, salami, and corned beef. In many cases, processed meats are engineered to last longer on the shelf or to be packaged for fast and easy consumption.

Processed meats are made for the convenience of a growing population that doesn’t have the time or desire to cook.

They are simple solutions in a world that is becoming more and more fast paced by the day.

But what is the cost for these “convenient” food-like products?

The Western Diet: Processed Foods and Meats Are Killing Us

the western diet is killing us

It goes by many names: the Western Diet, the Standard American Diet, the Processed Diet. Whatever you call it, though, you need to be aware of its consequences.

Over the years, the Western Diet has created numerous dangers for people who follow it. Unfortunately, many of those people don’t realize they’re harming their body or are unwilling to give up their favorite foods.

Human habits die hard.

One way to escape the Western Diet is to go vegan or vegetarian. Research shows that a cleaner diet is beneficial not only for animals and the environment but also for human health.

Vegan Weight Loss: Why Veganism Goes Beyond Just Your Diet

vegan weight loss

The idea of veganism at its core is quite simple: avoiding animal-based food products and products that test on animals. That is veganism in a nutshell.

However, veganism can be a lot more to some. Some vegans are activists. Many aren’t. Some vegans preach to others. Others do it for themselves (and the animals of course).

Veganism can be defined differently depending on who you ask but the above definition is the baseline to which veganism exists.

Most people think of veganism as a diet and not a lifestyle comprised of choices and decisions that expand well beyond one’s food preferences.

Dairy Industry Horrors: It’s Neither Wholesome Nor Humane

the dairy industry

Image via WeAnimals

The dairy industry is often presented to consumers as wholesome and humane. What actually goes on at dairy farms doesn’t match up with the marketing message, though.

Dairy cows lead miserable lives from the moment they are born. Both male and female calves are taken from their mothers when they’re just a few hours old. The females are destined to follow in their mothers’ footsteps, while the males face early slaughter for the veal industry.

Furthermore, the dairy industry has a consistently harmful impact on our environment and health.

Vegan Snacks to Curb Your Hunger and Stay Healthy

best vegan snacks

Vegans don’t have to feel deprived. In fact, they shouldn’t. There are plenty of vegan snacks and meals to satisfy every palate, and it all starts with fresh, whole foods.

Hunger can strike at any time of day, and if you want to sustain your energy for whatever tasks await you, vegan snacks can become your hero. Since you have to be careful about what you eat, planning is essential to successful vegan snacking.

The important thing is to make sure that your vegan snacks give you the fuel you need to get through your day. One’s nutritional needs vary depending on their lifestyle choices. For instance, if you’re an athlete and work out every day, you’ll need carbs as well as protein to maintain your energy level and build more muscle.

What Is Animal Cruelty and How Can We Stop it For Good?

animal cruelty

Image via WeAnimals

Every 60 seconds, an animal gets abused. That’s unconscionable, especially in our advanced culture, but animal cruelty continues to occur all over the world.

Animal cruelty can take many different forms, as you’ll discover below, but the impact is always the same. A sentient animal capable of love and creating social relationships experience pain, fear, and desperation. And it needs to stop.

We live in in a world that not only turns a blind eye to animal cruelty but condones it — whether through indifference or legislation. It’s legal to raise chickens in deplorable conditions for the sole purpose of slaughtering them later. If that isn’t animal cruelty, then what is?

Food Labeling Secrets You Need to Know to Stay Healthy

what is food labeling

Food labeling is something that most people don’t think to take very seriously. And at times, it might be better that way as there are some fairly deceptive practices when it comes to food labeling. More on that soon.

Most people are pretty familiar with the traditional food labels. For instance, you know what the Nutrition Facts panel communicates on the back of a box of cereal.

However, certain food labeling practices are deceptive, and it’s important to educate yourself about what food labels mean, especially if you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. Food labels like “organic,” “free-range,” and “natural” can be deceiving.

And even if you think that you’re savvy about food labels, almost 59 percent of consumers report that they experience confusion when reading those labels. If you’re in the same boat, you’re definitely not alone.

The problem is that product packaging comes with lots of messages — many of which are meaningless. It’s important to look past marketing and get to the facts before you fill your cart at the supermarket.

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