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

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).

chicken on poultry farm

Poultry Farming: The Shocking Reality of a Factory Farm Chicken

Did you know that more than 1 percent of households in the United States keep chickens as pets? Backyard flocks are becoming increasingly popular, with some calling chickens “the new dog.” Those facts make industrial poultry farming all the more revolting.

People sometimes raise chickens themselves because they want access to fresh eggs. Over time, however, they bond with these animals, give them names, and interact with them like they would any other pet.

If you’re familiar with poultry farming, however, you know that billions of chickens are denied such healthy relationships. Whether they’re raised to lay eggs or for their meat, chickens in factory farming operations suffer needless cruelty and death.

You might not be familiar with the poultry farming industry, but this guide will take you deep into the bowels of operations that treat chickens as nothing more than commodities.

becoming vegan

Becoming Vegan: What You Need to Know to Make the Change

Becoming vegan is one of the best ways in which you can contribute to a healthier environment — as well as a healthier you. While becoming vegan might seem like a difficult process, it’s far simpler than you think.

Since you’re extracting meat, dairy, eggs, and honey from your diet rather than adding new things to it, you can easily avoid foods and other products that contribute to animal harm. Plus, if you focus on whole foods rather than their processed counterparts, you don’t have to worry about sneaky ingredients.

Before we get into the meat of this article — no pun intended — let’s answer some of the most common questions about becoming vegan.

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This Utah Farm Is Sparing 100 Turkeys from the Thanksgiving Slaughter

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.

plant-based protein

Vegan Health: Why Plant-Based Protein Is More Than Enough

If you’re thinking of going vegan — or if you’ve already made the switch — you might have heard an old familiar argument: But what about protein?!?! The truth is that plant-based protein is more than enough to meet your nutritional needs.

It’s a myth that you can only get protein from meat and animal by-products. Plenty of plant-based proteins exist, from soybeans and nuts to legumes and lentils. Many of these proteins have the added benefit of readily absorbing flavors from sauces, herbs, and spices, so they provide a veritable blank slate for your culinary repertoire.

Most importantly, you don’t have to miss out on anything when you’re vegan or vegetarian. There’s no reason to feel deprived, whether nutritionally or in terms of taste. Plant-based proteins keep you healthy and provide a cruelty-free alternative to meat.

To understand how a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle impacts your diet in terms of protein, you first have to understand protein and what it does for your body. Then you have to find fresh ways to work plant-based protein into your life.

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Thanksgiving Is for Vegans, too

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 the majority 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 pumpkin pie).

clean meat

Clean Meat: The Logical Solution to Factory Farming

Clean meat is a relatively new idea and one that will likely be called numerous things as it grows. Some people and organizations are calling it “cultured meat,” “cruelty-free meat,” “cell-based meat,” and “lab-grown meat.” We’ll go for clean meat in this article.

The relationship between humans and other animals has been one of juxtaposition for thousands of years. Human desire for meat – whether for reasons of culture, society, or survival long ago – has resulted in predation, domestication, and the wide-spread industrial animal agriculture that is today harming the planet, the people, and of course the animals. But could clean meat help alter that relationship so we stop viewing other animals as edible products versus sentient beings?

Vegans and vegetarians don’t eat meat at all. They may eat “meat-like” products made from products like soy and grains, or they limit their diets to fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and the like. Either way, they don’t contribute to factory farming or the slaughter of animals for human consumption.

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Dairy Cows: Their Tragic Role in Factory Farming

We’ve all seen heartwarming photographs of dairy cows grazing on green calves and nursing their young. The reality for most dairy cows, however, is much different.

The law views animals as objects. In other words, they — and their byproducts — have value. If someone is willing to pay for an object, whether it breathes or doesn’t, a business can spring up around it.

Dairy cows are commercialized because they provide the milk that companies sell to consumers. Whether it’s in a gallon container, made into cheese, turned into butter, whipped into yogurt, or otherwise altered, it’s still a product.

Since dairy cows have the product, dairy farmers use them as objects. The cows are not viewed as sentient creatures but as means to ends.

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

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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