McDonalds Celebrates 50 Years of Big Mac: estimated 11 million animals have been slaughtered for the sandwich

The Big Mac was first launched 50 years ago. Over the decades, the sandwich has become legendary to the point of being a comparative instrument in international economics in the Big Mac index by The Economist. Today, over 550 million Big Macs are sold in the U.S. alone. A 2014 estimate places international sales of the sandwich at 900 million. That type of volume is bad news for the animals involved.

Sheep ready for transport

Animal Transport in the EU; and Your 5-A-Day

28 different sets of animal welfare rules exist in the EU. But the second the animals are herded into containers and shipped across country lines, those rules become very hard to enforce. [Guardian]

  1. U.S. meat producers have 2.5 billion pounds of extra meat in cold storage, while another 1.4 billion pounds of cheese waits in surplus. Just look at the size of that cheese block. [Vox
Impossible Burger

The Impossible Burger is Possible, Says FDA; and Your 5-A-Day

The FDA has no questions that the Impossible Burger is safe to eat. The meatless burger company responded to environmentalist groups sceptical of the meat’s genetically engineered additives with a 1,066-page report on the research that said the meat was safe to eat. [New Atlas]

  1. 70 billion animals are farmed for food per year, and more and more consumers want them to be treated well. That’s why Nestlé, Unilever, Ikea Food Services, and four other major food companies founded the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare to help set higher standards across the industry. [FoodBev]
Mouse in a tube

Cruelty-Free, Anyone? And Your 5-A-Day

China used to require cosmetics to be tested on animals, which effectively banned cruelty-free brands like The Body Shop and Burt’s Bees from the stores. Now it’s changed the rules and many tests are done on living skin samples. The $30 billion Chinese makeup market responded to increasing demands from consumers in other countries for cruelty-free products. [Bloomberg]

Plus, four top food and beverage companies with $27 billion of annual sales just promised to stop testing on animals. Some of their products include Top Ramen and Jim Beam.

U.S. Latinos Embracing Vegan-Mexican Cuisine; and Your 5-A-Day

Vox: There are 311 threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act. The Trump Administration wants to narrow the definition of “threatened” to a case-by-case basis and bar the sage grouse and burying beetle from the endangered species list for 10 years.

NPR: Latinos are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than whites. Their families (and family restaurants) are rallying around them and going vegan.

Modern Dairy Farming (USDA)

Who Is The World’s Biggest Polluter? And Your 5-A-Day

The world’s five biggest meat and dairy companies emit more greenhouse gases per year than fossil fuel giant Exxon. The top twenty combined emit more than the entire country of Germany—and by 2050, meat and dairy emissions are predicted to occupy 80% of the emissions cap set to prevent the global temperature from rising more than 1.5°C.

Plus, only six of the 35 meat and dairy producers surveyed have set comprehensive goals to reduce their emissions. [GRAIN]

Creative Commons HQ/Flickr

WeWork Bans Meat; and Your 5-A-Day

WeWork’s meat ban could save 15,507,103 animals and 445 million pounds of CO2 emissions and by 2023. The company has removed meat not only from the menus at company events, but also banned expensing meals containing animal meat. [Guardian]

  1. Cell-grown beef startup Mosa Meats just received $8.8 million to bring their petri dishes to the masses. Bell Food Group, one of Europe’s biggest meat processors, and drug-maker Merck KGaA are backing the project. [Market Watch]
  2. The Food Standards Agency estimates that 88% of animals killed by halal methods (outlined in the Quran) are stunned first. But stunning doesn’t guarantee that the animal feels no pain. [Aeon

Exposing Beagle Farming in the U.S.

Supporting The Intercept’s video coverage of dog farming.

The Intercept exposes “a largely hidden, poorly regulated, and highly profitable industry in the United States that has a gruesome function: breeding dogs for the sole purpose of often torturous experimentation, after which the dogs are killed because they are no longer of use.” Sentient Media supported the video covering a rescue operation conducted on a farm with nearly 4,000 dogs.

Read more at the Intercept.

How to Spot A Happy Horse; and Your 5-A-Day

How to spot a happy horse: Look for pointed ears and listen for snorts, apparently. Horses living in restricted conditions snorted twice as much in the pasture than when they were in stalls. [PLOS]

  1. China will now pay an extra $14.95 per metric ton of soybeans from the United States as a result of Trump’s new trade tariffs. Farmers are looking elsewhere (like South America) for cheap sources of animal feed. [South China Morning Post

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