Is Using Science to Help Animals Adapt to Life on Factory Farms Ever the Solution?

cow animal welfare

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Last week it was announced that scientists have developed a silicon food supplement for poultry, potentially allowing producers to continue, even speed up, the fast growth of modern strains of meat chicken without the associated lameness and skeletal problems. The aim of this feed supplement is to address not only welfare but “economic concerns for the poultry industry”, the researchers stating that this new food science will allow farmers to “increase the production efficiency of the world’s most commonly consumed meat”.

Nearly Half of Poultry Slaughterhouses Fail USDA Salmonella Inspections

factory farm chicken

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Hundreds of USDA-inspected chicken and turkey slaughterhouses failed federal Salmonella performance standards, according to a new report. Of the 821 facilities inspected between October 2017 and October 2018, a total of 390 failed to meet these standards. In other words, almost half of poultry slaughterhouses failed the inspection.

Over the past year, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) claims to have modernized its approach to poultry slaughter inspection. But for food producers, modernization sound more like a welcome distraction. After 390 facilities tested positive for hazardous levels of Salmonella, the FSIS will do almost nothing to intervene on the slaughterhouse floor, aside from collecting more positive tests.

Federal food safety inspectors are waiving the white flag. According to the FSIS policy, if test results indicate a loss of quality control, the slaughterhouses themselves are responsible for fixing the problem. So, the same 390 slaughterhouses that just failed the FSIS’s Salmonella performance standards will now take independent action to investigate and correct the cause of a potential outbreak.

Call It Pig or Pork: People Still Want to Eat Bacon

pig farm animal

Tim Geers/Flickr

Faunalytics asked, and U.S. consumers answered. Research shows that even if you trade indirect terms for meat like beef and pork for more explicit ones—like cow and pig to more accurately describe the meat—it does not affect consumer behavior.

Meat companies use indirect terms like beef and pork to distance consumers from animals. Despite the high hopes of researchers at Faunalytics, Sentient Media, and vegans everywhere, referring to meat by its animal explicit name does not make people care about the animals they’re consuming more, at least, not yet.

Man’s Best Friend Not Safe Inside Carrefour Stores

dog stray cage

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Protests erupted in Brazil after a dog was killed inside a supermarket. The image of a stray dog side-by-side with the trail of blood left in the aisles of the Carrefour in Osasco, Brazil surfaced last week after a security guard savagely beat the animal to death. Both the dead dog and security guard have been removed from the premises, out of sight and out of mind like the rest of the animals suffering to stock Carrefour’s shelves.

One report claims the security guard killed the dog by trampling, grossly inaccurate by first glance at the photo evidence. It shows blood splatter four feet wide. Paw marks can be seen in large puddles of blood, marked with a Caution: Wet Floor sign, as if the dog walked backward, trying to face the attacker. Eyewitnesses claim security beat the dog with a stick after offering it cheese filled with rat poison. Local authorities opened an investigation into the cause of death on Monday.

There’s Meat on the Menu at the UN Climate Change Conference. That Should Scare You.

animal angry cow

Attendees have twice as many meat-based entrees as plant-based ones to choose from the menu at this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, according to a food court analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Eating less meat is the single best way to reduce your carbon footprint and slow down climate change. This fact was reported more than a month ago. Somehow, the organizers of a 30,000-person climate conference missed it.

The climate cost of COP24’s menu is wildly irresponsible. That might be the understatement of the year. Meat offered at the conference generates 4x the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than the plant-based offerings. Friendly reminder: The conference is not happening in a vacuum. Meat always produces four times the amount of greenhouse gas as the plant-based alternative.

JUST Cell-Based Meat Is Ready for Limited Release. What’s Next?

chicken animal equality

This just in from the maker of egg-free JUST Eggs: animal-free chicken bites. Expect to see JUST chicken bites released with “limited availability” at select restaurants outside the U.S. later this year, Bloomberg reports.

For cell-based meat producers, the technology required to produce enough to bring their products to market has slowed growth. JUST’s chicken bites are no different. But the company wants to plant their flag in the global meat market—forecasted to produce 1.2 trillion pounds of meat by 2050—and they’re stopping at nothing to make this happen. JUST is committed to making meat from cells instead of live, confined animals.

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.

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