Monday, June 30, 2008

Euthanizing Needs to be an Option

Are no-kill shelters humane? Some dogs unadoptable, dangerous to volunteers

By Celia Gilner For the Journal-Constitution

Our Pal's Place, a no-kill dog adoption facility in Marietta, was recently featured in the AJC about its fund-raising drive, the "million penny campaign." Sniffles, a dog at the shelter who was euthanized after suffering numerous health problems, has also been in the news.

Undoubtedly, no-kill shelters including Our Pal's Place do a tremendous amount of good by finding homes for terrific dogs that would have been euthanized. But, as illustrated by Sniffles, there are times when it is appropriate to put a dog to sleep.

Our Pal's Place is dependent on volunteers to feed and care for its 15-plus dogs and puppies. I was a volunteer for more than a year and took pride in the care we gave on limited funds.

During orientation, we were told to use a plastic garbage can lid and a spray that has repeatedly been ineffective to break up dogfights. With experience as a registered nurse, boarding horses for more than 30 years and having various pets all my life, I am safety-conscious and would never interact with Lucy or Brinks, two dogs who have been at the facility for more than two years and have repeatedly attacked both dogs and people. Read More

There has been a big push to make animal shelters become no-kill facilities, in other words they won’t euthanize any animals. However, there are times when that is necessary and these shelters will no longer have that option. It seems that some people would rather send a dangerous animal to a home with kids than have it put down.

Oprah and Friends

Jeff Reinartz: Oprah and PETA on the same team? Scary stuff
6/28/2008 8:41:12 AM
Comments (6)

Listen up Austin, we have a problem, and it threatens to jeopardize our way of life, our very existence. We must remain strong. We must remain vigilant. We must stick together and stand tall in the face of ... vegetarians?

Well, not all vegetarians. That wouldn't be fair. I'm referring to certain groups of vegetarians that would have you believe that if you don't allow them to force you to adopt their lifestyle, that you're somehow morally and ethically careless.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is one such group. PETA is an organization of militant vegetarians who envision a world where an end has been put to the production of meat and the world subsists on a diet of rabbit food, presumably not tomatoes.

Apparently frustrated in their efforts, now they're even attempting to tie their cause to what I call the global warming myth, suddenly making meat manufacturers the number one producer of CO2 and the bellwether in the march toward this inevitable, horrifying calamity. In other words, if you eat meat then you don't care about animals, you don't care about the planet and global warming is your fault, you gluttonous carnivores. Read More

Oprah’s attempt at a vegan diet turned out to be quite difficult for her. As always, it comes back to eating a balanced diet. Her dieting adventures over the years have been well documented, and hopefully she has realized that eating a vegan diet will not make you or the environment any healthier.

Sharing Ag's Story

A chance to tell agriculture’s story

In August 2005 the Stephenson County Farm Bureau had a unique opportunity to share the important message of agriculture’s relevance in our world to a special audience. On that sunny Saturday we brought our “adopted” legislator State Senator Edward Maloney (D-18th) and a busload of his constituents from the south side of Chicago and neighboring suburbs, for a day of education and rural hospitality in Stephenson County. The group visited Scheidairy Farms near Freeport, Bremmer Farms at Pearl City (where they enjoyed a delicious country lunch, petting zoo, and tour), and Adkins Energy Ethanol near Lena. Among those enjoying the day were the retired chief of the Chicago Fire Department and the assistant state’s attorney for Cook County. Read More

I always enjoy sharing the stories of how people are promoting agriculture in their area. The Stephenson Co. Farm Bureau in Illinois have enjoyed some great success with the bus tours of local farms. Congratulations to them for telling the story of agriculture!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Milk Does a Body Good

The Science Is In: Drink Your Milk!

Thanks to researchers at the University of Illinois, activist-driven smear campaigns against milk and meat hit a major bump in the road this week. Contradicting what the animal rights clan has been claiming in recent years, a study published in this month’s Journal of Nutrition shows that milk still does a body good. And this latest evidence proves that the 1970s-era science cited by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is as old and antiquated as lava lamps and leisure suits.

In a futile attempt to get everyone to stop drinking milk, PETA and PCRM have been perpetuating the claim that diets in animal-based proteins actually suck calcium from our bones. PETA promotes the idea that drinking milk "can cause people to excrete calcium through their urine and increase their risk of osteoporosis." And PCRM blindly insists that milk should be yanked from school lunches because "consuming too much protein causes calcium to be pulled from the bones and excreted through urine." Read More

Another study has determined that drinking milk is good for you. It’s highly doubtful that this will stop those that are trying to eliminate animal agriculture, but science has one again proven that mom was right when she told us to drink our milk.

The "Rocking" Tree Farmer

AFB: Rolling Stones Rocker Calls for More Agriculture & Nature Education

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2008 — Today’s children are increasingly disconnected from the natural world and schools can play a big role in fixing this. That’s the message Chuck Leavell, Rolling Stones keyboardist, shared during his keynote address at the Ag in the Classroom conference in Costa Mesa, Calif., this week. Leavell addressed the teachers present not as a musician but as a Georgia tree farmer and the author of the 2007 American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Book of the Year The Tree Farmer.

Leavell told the group of more than 500 attendees he wrote his book in response to what he calls “nature-deficit disorder,” where younger generations don’t understand or appreciate nature and agriculture. He adds that classrooms are the ideal place to fix this but teachers are facing increased pressure to teach towards standardized tests.

“Programs like Ag in the Classroom and the American Forest Foundation’s Project Learning Tree help educators make outdoor experiences part of their everyday lesson plans,” Leavell said. “They teach core subjects through experiences in nature and show that learning through environmental education is not incompatible with math and reading instruction.” He adds that this method has also been shown to improve test scores.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Allegations of Abuse

Humane Society releases video of cattle being abused

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The group whose undercover slaughterhouse video prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history in February alleged on Wednesday that cattle continue to be abused, this time at livestock auctions.

The Humane Society of the United States, an animal rights group, said a new investigation discovered dairy cattle being abused in May at a livestock auction in New Mexico. The group said an investigator watched three cows and calves "being mistreated and tormented in order to get them to stand and walk" into an auction ring in Portales. The group said state inspectors "were present at the auctions and apparently saw much of the abuse."

At the group's headquarters, president Wayne Pacelle played for reporters a short video that showed a stockyard worker kicking a cow, another cow struggling to pull itself forward by its front legs and another being dragged by a hind leg with a chain attached to a Bobcat-type tractor.

A meat industry trade association condemned the handling practices shown in the video, calling them "simply inexplicable." Read More

The release of another video showing sale barn workers mis-handling livestock serves as yet another reminder that HSUS will continue to try eliminating animal agriculture by searching all over the United States for these isolated cases. The actions taken by these employees cannot be defended which is why everyone of us involved in animal agriculture need to do our part to make sure no more videos get released.

Spain Takes the Plunge

Spanish parliament to extend rights to apes
Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:27pm EDT
By Martin Roberts

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

"This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity," said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project. Read More

Spain has become the first nation to plunge off the cliff and grant human rights to apes. They use the logic that since they are “almost” human, they should be granted these rights. This is ridiculous, “almost” and “pretty close” shouldn’t cut it. I would hope that since these apes have been granted these rights that they will also start contributing to human society.

HSUS Tries to Blackmail Universities

New Front in Battle Over Studies of Animals
Activists take aim at nonresearch colleges

Far from the front lines of the nasty fight over laboratory-animal experiments at large research universities, activists are strategically drawing some teaching-oriented institutions into the same battle.

Amherst College, Fairfield University, Francis Marion University, and 10 other institutions, none of which are known for conducting animal experiments, recently signed a pledge not to subject any research animals to "severe" unrelieved pain or distress. The pledge was written by the Humane Society of the United States, which has sent it to a total of 301 presidents at similar institutions.

Signing the pledge was easy, said officials on some of those campuses, because no such research went on there. And that is just what the advocacy group is counting on: a wave of no-fuss pledge signings that will put pressure on larger universities, which do conduct extensive animal research, to follow suit. Read More

This is the same strategy that the HSUS has used to pass legislation to ban gestation and veal crates in Florida and Arizona. They start with those it affects the least to establish a precedent and then go from there. These universities are also feeling pressured to sign it, because the HSUS has promised not to go public with any infractions if they have signed the document. Doesn’t that sound like blackmail?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Antimicrobial Developed

New Invention Effectively Kills Foodborne Pathogens In Minutes

ScienceDaily (June 25, 2008) — University of Georgia researchers have developed an effective technology for reducing contamination of dangerous bacteria on food. The new antimicrobial wash rapidly kills Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 on foods ranging from fragile lettuce to tomatoes, fruits, poultry products and meats. It is made from inexpensive and readily available ingredients that are recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The new technology, which has commercial application for the produce, poultry, meat and egg processing industries, is available for licensing from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., which has filed a patent application on the new technology. Read More

As always, we continually look to improve what is already the safest food supply in the world. This new antimicrobial technology shows great promise to being another tool that we can use. However, it will always be important that consumers still follow proper food handling guidelines.

PETA's Dark Side

PETA isn't all warm and fuzzy
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
- Greg Francek, Pine Grove

People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals has become a household name and is now so mainstream that its press releases and "animal action alerts" have begun to appear in scores of American newspapers, including the Ledger Dispatch.

With close to 1 million members and financial contributors, PETA is an influential and powerful non-profit organization that, on the surface, garners the sympathies of animal lovers from all walks of life. PETA has been a vocal advocate to end animal suffering and cruelty, which most would agree is a noble cause. The four areas that they focus their campaigns are: factory farms, animal/medical research laboratories, the entertainment industry and the clothing trade (fur coats, leather products). There is, however, a darker and more militant side to PETA. Read More

The dark side of PETA is one that they would rather you not be aware of because they would like to greatly alter the way we live. They encourage violence and place human health and well being at the bottom of their priority list.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BLM Against the Horse Slaughter Ban

The unbridled range
Proposed slaughter ban could unleash unwanted horses on public, private land

West of Hagerman, hidden in a dusty valley flanked by bluffs and within earshot of the U.S. Air Force's thunderous bombing ranges, tribes of multi-colored horses - led by warring studs - survive in a delicate balance.

They depend on sparse patches of cheatgrass and metal water troughs - provided by the Bureau of Land Management for the horses to share with grazing cattle, elk and antelopes. Birth control limits the horses to about 150 head.

You never hear about these horses unless your cattle graze on the range. Most Idahoans only see the nearly quarter-million horses resting in Idaho's stables, lolling next to tall haystacks, earning prizes at rodeos.

But if Congress finalizes a total ban on horse slaughter for human consumption, domesticated and wild horses could merge and spread over patchworks of private and public lands with catastrophic results, Idaho equine regulators and BLM officials say. Read More

The issue of horse slaughter continues to be at the forefront of many conversations. While those of us in agriculture can continue to find more problems relating to the ban, the HSUS can only say “that’s absurd”. It is very important that horse owners have the ability to manage their animals as is necessary and that we don’t go down this slippery slope of banning the slaughter of livestock.

Mexican Gray Wolf

Wolf recovery failing as ranchers are left out of equation
Jun. 22, 2008

Aaaahhhoooooooo! The wolf howls as it stands over its recent kill of a calf. A leaf falls in the forest as another season changes from fall to winter, and a ranch family stands on its porch with a telemetry antenna to determine if their dogs are barking at a wolf approaching their home.

Two days later, they take one of their prized animals, an 8-year-old trained dog, to the veterinarian to stitch up a wound from an encounter with a wolf. This is real nature, an actual occurrence and what is happening under the current wolf-recovery program today. So, you can understand why ranching families in northeastern Arizona are concerned about the direction of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.

The wolf-recovery program is failing. It is not failing because ranch families are protecting their homes, property and animals. It is failing because the reintroduction of a "top of the chain" predator, with mixed canine bloodlines (the current population of wolves has a 2 to 3 percent mixture of coyote ancestry) has become a political pawn for those who want to vilify or remove ranching families from the area. Read More

Farmers and ranchers are on the front lines when it comes to preserving wildlife. Any attempts at re-introducing species will be a failure if farmers and ranchers are not considered a stake holder in the process.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meat is not to Blame

Meat Habit is Fueling World Famine
Posted on: Friday, 20 June 2008, 09:00 CDT

Approximately 854 million people do not have enough to eat. Thirty-three countries are facing food crises, according to the World Bank, and food riots have recently erupted in Egypt, Haiti, Yemen, Malaysia and other poor nations. This is hard for most Americans to comprehend. The closest many of us will ever come to a food riot is when someone cuts in line for more nachos and hot dogs at the baseball-stadium concession stand.

But we need look no further than our own shores to figure out what's causing food crises overseas: While millions of people are starving, a billion more _ many of them Americans _ are overweight. Our addiction to meat is largely to blame for both problems. Read More

This article was written by PETA in an effort to further their agenda against animal agriculture. There are several things they fail to mention however. First, if we didn’t have livestock we wouldn’t be able to utilize much of the land resources available to us in this country. Next, the biggest reason for starving people has been politics. How often do we hear about food aid not making it to those who need it most because of foreign governments that won’t give it out. Finally, in the case of ruminant animals, such as cattle, we need them to convert undigestible plants into a form that humans can utilize.

Hunting Activists Convicted

Animal rights activists' convictions upheld
by Jim Lockwood/The Star-Ledger

The state Appellate Division has upheld municipal convictions against animal-rights activists who interfered with hunters during New Jersey's 2005 bear hunt.

In a decision released today, the Appellate Division affirmed prior rulings in Vernon Municipal Court and Superior Court in Newton that the activists, Angela Metler, Albert Kazemian and Janet Piszar, had harassed hunters, one of whom was an undercover police officer, by encircling them and hooting and hollering to keep bears away. Read More

Hunting has been under fire for some time now and these activists believe they have the right to harass hunters with no consequences to their actions. However, these activists found out they will have to pay the price. Hunting is an important means of managing wildlife and whether these activists realize it or not, wildlife need to be managed for greater health among all species involved.

Houston Chronicle Editorial

Eat that?

Agriculture secretary's reassurance rings hollow in light of current industrial beef processing

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer recently assured Americans that USDA inspectors check "every single" processed American beef carcass. Charitably put, his statement is highly misleading. USDA inspections are perfunctory and fall far short of checks performed by other countries' meat watchdogs.

The issue arose after South Korea agreed this April to lift most of the restrictions it had placed on U.S. beef imports. That prompted intense protests by South Koreans who say they fear mad cow disease in U.S. beef. They want their government to negotiate a tougher deal or to scrap it.

In Texas last week touring meat processing plants, Secretary Schafer defended domestic meats as safe. Read More

There are never a shortage of people that like to say that some segments of agriculture are too big, move too fast, and are too cruel. What they fail to give us is what solution they would like to see. What chain speed would they like and how many animals are too many? This article seems to be a typical editorial because they make blanket claims against our industry about how we feed and raise our livestock without presenting any substantial reporting of specifics. The story of American agriculture is a great one and articles like this serve as a reminder of our duty to tell it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Livestock & Flooding

Iowa farmer makes a sorrowful choice

By David Greising Tribune correspondent
2:42 AM CDT, June 18, 2008

OAKVILLE, Iowa - By the time a friend sped up the lane to Ron Lanz's farm Saturday evening—shouting that the Iowa River levee had blown—Lanz knew he faced a fateful decision: To save his own life, more than 800 of his hogs would have to die.

By instinct, Lanz shut the door on the semitrailer that was half-filled with hogs. He feared a wall of water might rush across his 450-acre farm any minute. Then Lanz jumped into the bed of his friend's pickup truck and rode for his life.I

t's a decision Lanz is having a hard time living with."It's devastating to leave those hogs behind," said Lanz, 36. "I don't like to think about it." Read More

If anyone ever questions the dedication of livestock producers, they only need to watch them during a time of crisis. Floods have been decimating many parts of the Midwest and producers have had to make many tough choices about how best to save the animals they care for. Hopefully the water will soon recede and these producers can begin putting their lives back together.

Canadian Horse Slaughter Ban

Group calls for national ban on horse slaughter
Jordana Huber , Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TORONTO - A group calling for a national ban on the slaughtering of horses released more documents and video footage Wednesday from inside a Saskatchewan processing facility as further evidence they said of the "inhumane" killing of horses.

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition said more than a dozen Canadian Food Inspection Agency violations can be seen in hidden-camera footage taken at the Natural Valley Farms slaughter plant in Neudorf, Sask.

In a report entitled Black Beauty Betrayed, the coalition detailed concerns about improper transport and slaughter practices at the facility but suggest problems in the industry are widespread. Read More

A push has begun in Canada to ban the slaughter of horses in that country. Horse slaughter has increased 37% in 2007 due to the ban in the US. If Canada bans the harvesting of horses, you will see the even more problems in this country with abandoned and neglected horses.

Logging Research Protested

Logging started in Robinson Forest
By: Allie Garza
Posted: 6/19/08

After months of debate, sit-ins and meetings, logging has begun in Robinson Forest.

When UK College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith announced that logging would begin last year, students and activists alike rallied together in efforts to halt the proposed Streamside Management Zone Project, in which logging would be a necessary component.

The project, conducted by the Department of Forestry, plans to analyze different techniques for protecting water quality during logging. By producing and collecting the data, researchers intend to find new ways to manage water resources in the state with a better and stronger criteria for timber harvesting. Read More

No matter the reason for an area being logged, some people will never be happy. This research project is aimed at finding the best logging techniques for protecting water quality. Trees are a fantastic renewable resource that are growing faster than we are harvesting them in this country. The information gathered from this project will only help us better manage this resource.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cash Reward Against Agriculture

Cash reward for an end to factory farms
Louise Hall June 15, 2008

A LEADING animal rights activist will give $25,000 to any person who can come up with a viable way to end factory farming in Australia.

The outspoken former corporate heavyweight Brian Sherman, the founder of animal rights group Voiceless, announced the incentive as part of a new round of grants for projects that improve the lives of Australian animals.

Speaking at the Vegan Expo at Sydney's Wharf 8 yesterday, Mr Sherman said the projects could include advertising or awareness campaigns, academic reports, education and lobbying to pressure industry and government to ban intensive piggeries, battery hens, broiler chickens and feedlots. Read More

Whenever you read about someone speaking of the horrors of the so-called factory farming, you have to wonder how they define what is and isn’t factory farming. How big is too big? Is there some magic number that you go over that makes you too big? No one ever seems to be able to answer these questions.

Biotech Crops Gaining Approval

Brasher: Genetically engineered food getting 2nd look around world

Philip Brasher
Gannett News Service

Global food inflation has some people overseas taking another look at genetically engineered crops.

Biotech giants like Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto have struggled for years to get into markets in Africa and Asia with varying degrees of success.

But there's evidence resistance to the technology may be easing, at least in part because of the skyrocketing price of commodities like corn, soybeans, rice and wheat.

South Korea, for example, recently issued its first approval for import of biotech corn for food.
"It's a change in course, basically," said Clive James, founder and chairman of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, a group that tracks the use of biotech crops.

"The decision was a very strong no before. It's now yes." Read More

Biotech crops have been the latest step in the history of humans trying to improve the plants they grow for food. As the world demands more food for an increasing population, biotech crops will play a very important role. The decreasing world food stocks seem to be changing the tune of those who have been fighting against the use of this technology.

Waterkeepers Trespass

Waterkeepers, film crew trespass on poultry farm

6.17.2008 By STEPHANIE JORDAN Associate Editor

WILLARDS, Md. — Members of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization that held a “poultry summit” on the Eastern Shore last November, were found trespassing on a poultry farm just outside Willards, Md., on the morning of Sunday, June 8.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said his deputies responded to the property owner’s call about trespassers. When they arrived, they identified six individuals, members of the Waterkeeper organization, mostly from the Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County (Md.) area. Originally, there were eight trespassers but two of them left before the deputies arrived, Lewis added.

Also part of the group was part of a documentary film crew. The documentary, being produced by Hedrick Smith Productions, is at the heart of the trespassing, said Bill Satterfield, executive director of the Delmarva Poultry Industry (DPI) Inc. Read More

There are several anti-agriculture groups out there that have no regard or respect for private property. Their mentality is that the end justifies the means and will not hesitate to break the law nor worry about the harm they can cause on your property. This seems to be happening with more frequency and everyone should be aware of how to best handle these situations if you are ever faced with it. This article gives several tips that are worth remembering.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Supreme Court Contributes to Horse Suffering

Supreme Court decision ends US horse slaughter

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Supreme Court Monday refused to hear an appeal by the last US horse abattoir against its forced closure, despite claims that American horse meat is greatly valued in Europe.

Until last year, there were three horse abattoirs in the United States -- two in Texas and one in Illinois. But they closed after both states, under pressure from animal rights groups, passed laws banning killing horses for human consumption. Read More

The Supreme Court, by refusing to hear the arguments to reinstate horse slaughter, has contributed to the reduced welfare of American horses. As with any type of livestock, there needs to be an end market so that we can utilize these animals at the end of their useful lives rather than waste this valuable resource. With all of the concerns about food shortages in the world, another food source has been taken off the world’s plate.

When Environmentalists Cause Harm

World’s Scariest Words: ‘I’m an Environmentalist and I’m Here to Help’
June 11

Two weeks ago the media was thrilled and alarmed by a film of a “lost” tribe of naked, painted Indians, living somewhere on the Brazil-Peru border and firing arrows at a helicopter flying overhead. Some reports claimed that this tribe was previously uncontacted by the modern world. But some anthropologists admitted that “this group is one of many in the Amazon that have chosen isolation.”

The fact that this tribe chose isolation did not stop the activists from the Brazilian government’s National Indian Foundation from distributing these films worldwide. They deliberately violated this tribe’s privacy because they wanted to use these Indians to prove that logging can be harmful to indigenous people.

Of course, the film shows no proof that loggers have violated this indigenous group’s privacy. It only shows proof that environmentalists violated their privacy. It also shows how much the natives appreciated their presence. Read More

Environmentalists have never looked at the law of unintended consequences. Some of their proudest accomplishments have worsened the human condition. Malaria was once nearly eliminated throughout the world until DDT was banned to allegedly save the birds. And also consider this, countless numbers of birds have died from West Nile disease because DDT isn’t available to effectively control mosquitoes.

The Cost of fighting Global Warming

Posted June 15, 2008

Global warming is scary. I'm not so much worried about rising sea levels, superstorms, or floods and famine as I am about some of our hired help in Washington DC.

Among some circles it's been agreed that there's not enough data in to make an accurate global climate model to determine whether the Earth will be going through a global warming trend or a cooling trend. Some 31,000 plus scientists in this country have signed a petition (The Petition Project) rejecting the contention that greenhouse gases are damaging the planet's climate.

Moreover, some scientists have noted that Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto appear to be going through some warming trends of their own. Such would suggest that our very own star, the Sun, gets top billing for climate changes (unless Al Gore desires to suggest that Man is also affecting the climates of those planets as well). Read More

Luckily, the climate bill in Congress went nowhere this time around. Why should we spend untold billions of dollars to solve a problem that nobody can effectively prove exists. Not only can they not prove global warming exists, but there is a growing body of evidence that points to global cooling.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No such thing as hormone free

Lifeway Foods Switches to 100% Certified Hormone Free Milk
Wednesday, June 11, 2008; Posted: 06:00 PM

MORTON GROVE, Ill., June 11, 2008

Lifeway Foods, Inc., makers of the nutritious, probiotic dairy beverage called kefir, announced today that they are now using milk that comes from cows not treated with hormones. This 100% certified hormone free milk comes with a Farmers Pledge, which Lifeway will market on the labels of its products. This change came as a response to a growing demand for hormone and antibiotic milk by customers. Read More

Here we go again with the claim of hormone free milk. There is no such thing. Milk comes from a cow which produces hormones. Hormones are essential to life on this planet. Plants and animals rely on hormones for their very survival. To say that this milk is 100% hormone free is completely untrue.

US Beef is Safe

Agriculture secretary says U.S. beef is safe

SAN ANTONIO — Amid massive protests in South Korea over the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said Tuesday that the meat is safe.

"Every single carcass that's processed is inspected by a USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) inspector," Schafer said. "That beef is stamped A-OK, and we want to certainly assure our consumers here in the United States, as well as our consumers outside of the U.S. in foreign countries, that we provide a good, clean, safe, abundant food supply here." Read More

It has been pretty amazing to see how violent some of the protests have been in South Korea over the soon to be resumed importation of US beef. Secretary Schafer said it all when he stated that we provide the safest food supply in the world. Our livelihood depends on us doing so and each and every one of us in food production has an obligation to do nothing less.

Researchers Threatened

Protests at UC animal-lab workers' homes
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Officials have been trying to keep it quiet, but 24 UC Berkeley researchers and seven staffers have been harassed by animal rights activists in recent months, in some cases having their homes or cars vandalized.

"What they all have in common is that they all work in animal research," UC Berkeley spokesman Robert Sanders said of the targeted employees.

In several instances, the activists have shown up outside researchers' homes in the middle of the night with bullhorns and chanting, "Animal killers." Sometimes they have scrawled slogans on the sidewalk in chalk.

On more than one occasion, rocks have been thrown through the researchers' windows and their cars have been scratched up. Read More

The problem of our medical researchers being harassed by protesters has been going on for some time now, but it seems as though there has been more happening lately, especially in California. If these protesters are so adamant about stopping this research on animals and place their well being over that of humans it would seem appropriate that they would volunteer to have testing done on themselves in order to save these animals.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Humane" High School

HSUS Launches “Humane High School”
By Pork news staff (Monday, June 09, 2008)

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal-rights group, has launched “Humane High School.” This is an online service targeting middle-school and high-school students that includes courses, educational videos, study/activity guides, service learning ideas and career advice.

The program is part of the organization’s Humane Society Youth division. According to HSUS, the program asks students to “think critically” about issues affecting animals. Read More

We are continually reminded why it is important to spread the positive message of agriculture to the youth of this country. Those that are trying to eliminate animal agriculture continue to target youth with their messages and frequently their messages fail to tell the truth. Programs such as Ag in the Classroom are vital for educating our children about the true story of food production in this country.

PRCA get sued

Animal rights group sues rodeo over videos
By Rob Olmstead Daily Herald Staff
Contact writer

A Geneva animal rights group has filed suit against a Colorado rodeo association, claiming it intentionally lied about its videos in an effort to remove them from YouTube.

Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Chicago against Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

According to the lawsuit, SHARK had posted more than a dozen videos of activities at rodeos throughout the country, including video of rodeo hands using electric prods on horses to encourage their bucking, a prohibited activity according to the lawsuit.

The rodeo group then contacted YouTube, claiming the videos were copyrighted and had YouTube take them down. Read More

SHARK continues their assault on the sport of rodeo. If you will recall, they were the group that convinced a band to not perform at Frontier Days in Cheyenne. It seems as if these different animal rights groups have to carve out their own niche in order to keep the donations flowing into their coffers. SHARK has decided to make rodeo their enemy and they will undoubtedly continue their efforts to make a name for themselves.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ELF Member to Serve Time

Environmental activist to serve 2 years under deal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An environmental activist and former fugitive who once won thousands of votes in a congressional election pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges under a deal that would send him to prison for two years.

Tre Arrow, 34, pleaded guilty to the destruction of concrete-mixing trucks in Portland in April 2001 and to firebombing logging trucks at a contested logging sale near Mount Hood in June 2001. He had faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted of two counts of arson.

Arrow legally changed his name from Michael Scarpitti because he said the trees told him to do so. In 1998, he was arrested in Cincinnati wearing a pink bunny suit outside a Procter & Gamble Co. executive's home. He was charged with leafleting without a permit and fined $130. Read More

ALF and ELF are recognized by the FBI as the top domestic terrorist threats in the United States. One of the reasons they have earned this distinction is because of their total disregard for human life. They have advocated for the murder of medical researchers and have destroyed millions of dollars worth of property.

Manitoba's Hog Facility Moratorium

Squeals of protest

Too much pig poop and nowhere to put it.

It's a lot more complicated than that, but that is a basic issue at the heart of Bill 17, a highly controversial law proposed by the Manitoba government, and one that has prompted more than 400 people to sign up to give a committee of MLAs a piece of their mind. The parade of presenters began Friday and won't finish before sometime this summer.

Bill 17, which the NDP government says is designed to protect water from nutrients that leach out of pig manure, would permanently prevent hog producers in 35 Manitoba rural municipalities from expanding their barns or manure storage facilities. Read More

Attacks on the hog industry don’t just happen in the United States. Hog producers in Manitoba are having their livelihoods threatened by the proposed moratorium on expansion in the region. This could seriously jeopardize the ability of these operations to continue if the next generation isn’t allowed to expand their facilities.

Vegetative Treatment Areas

Unique system helps farmers use feedlot run-off to fertilize fields
By Victoria Hatterman/Daily Sun staff writer
Friday, Jun 06, 2008 - 09:49:39 am CDT

Their goal is to minimize their risk to the environment by installing vegetative treatment systems to handle livestock waste and the effect is cleaner drinking water for the state.

Several farmers in Southeast Nebraska have been working with Chris Henry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension to set up these Vegetative Treatment Systems as part of the Livestock Producer Environmental Assistance Project.

With aid from the Nebraska Environmental Trust grant, two brothers in the Adams area, Wes and Myron Dorn, are working towards a more environmentally friendly cattle operation. Wes said that he wanted to do something like this to ensure that the operation would be viable for future generations to use. Read More

Vegetative treatment areas are proving to be a very successful way to utilize the runoff from feedlots. The valuable nutrients in the runoff are consumed by the vegetation which in turn produces an excellent feed source that can be harvested and fed back to the livestock. This is a great example of how agriculture is continually improving our methods of raising livestock.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fur Retailer backlash in Portland

Oregon animal rights activists target remaining fur store
Associated Press - June 7, 2008 5:25 PM ET

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - After driving one store out of business, animal rights activists are targeting the last remaining store in Portland that sells furs.

Protests led by a fledgling group called the Portland Animal Defense League have intensified in recent weeks at Nicholas Ungar Furs.

The only other fur retailer in Portland, Schumacher Furs and Outerwear, closed after a 15-month campaign against the store.

Activists say the goal in the Schumacher campaign was to educate consumers. But this time, they say it's about ridding downtown of an outdated industry. Read More

Animal rights activists will always put animals before the people and their families that will be affected by the closing of these stores. These protesters think they are saving animals, however it should be viewed as protesters endangering the livelihood of these store owners and their employees. Human welfare should always be our top priority.

Child Endangerment through Forced Vegan Diet

Parents of ill vegan girl may face police
Mark Macaskill

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman.

Doctors are under pressure to report the couple to police and social workers amid concerns that her health and welfare may have been neglected in pursuit of their dietary beliefs.

The girl, who has been fed on a strict meat and dairy-free diet from birth, is said to have a severe form of rickets and to have suffered a number of fractured bones. Read More

Eating a balanced diet that includes meat and dairy products is essential for proper growth and development, especially in young children. These parents have endangered their own child’s life in order to “save” animals. Never should a parent put the life of an animal over that of their own children. I bet Oprah won't mention this during her publicity stunt.

Boycotting Australian Wool

Celebs unite to battle animal activists
By Samantha Williams June 08, 2008 11:35pm

SOME of Australia's biggest names have told an extreme US animal rights group to back off in its campaign to boycott a national icon.

As People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) convinced another international retailer to boycott Australian wool that has been mulesed, leading fashion designer Alex Perry has thrown his weight behind the wool industry.

"PETA needs to back off," Mr Perry said. Read More

This isn’t something you see in the United States, having celebrities stand up against PETA. One of the biggest things to note from this article is the lack of knowledge about this practice by the companies that are boycotting it. When the spokeswoman from AB Lindex was asked about mulesing, she couldn’t explain what it was or why it was done.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Promoting Veganism

Farm Sanctuary founder in town to talk vegan

In Gene Baur's ideal world, everyone is vegan, and animal agriculture (yep, cheese and dairy included) is nothing more than a historical curiosity.

Given current farming practices, that's about as plausible as flying pigs.

And Baur knows it.

What he's after is promoting the argument that animals have rights and are not simply a commodity, along with elevating people's consciousness of the animal products they eat and the methods — confinement, heavy doses of antibiotics, branding, force feeding, etc. — sometimes used to bring them to the dinner table. Read More

I tell people all the time that the goal of groups like Farm Sanctuary is to eliminate animal agriculture and most people don’t think that can be possible. It can be possible if those of us in ag fail to do anything. It is imperative that we continue to promote ag by telling the positive story of American food production.

Global Whining

Global Whining vs. the Truth
By Brian Sussman

"105° tomorrow? We'll be sending you out live," the television producer informed me.
Like most TV Meteorologists, I loathed the heat wave live-remotes. I would much rather work in a controlled environment, complete with air conditioning and a green Chroma-key screen. And during extreme weather events, the studio lent itself to professionalism rather than playing on emotion.

"Let me guess, the bank in Walnut Creek?" I said sarcastically. I had been through this drill many times.

"Perfect location. Plus, a lot of viewers with ratings meters out there."
Walnut Creek is an upscale town 30 miles east of San Francisco. It is sheltered from the cooling influences of the coast and the Bay by a modest mountain range. As a result, in the summer that region can bake. The bank not only referenced the name of the town, but had a thermometer that was several degrees off, thanks to the heat absorbing black asphalt on the adjacent multi-lane street and the pavement of the nearby parking lot. The producer knew 105° would easily read 110°. On air, I always quickly explained the reason for the soaring temperature reading for our audience, but it was not enough. The misleading visual message was absolutely clear: 110° in Walnut Creek-another sign of climate doom! No doubt about it, the climate was under assault. It had to be global warming.

No, it's global whining. Read More

As more and more people sit down and actually study weather records and the concept of global warming, there are more holes punched into the theory. As Congress debates a climate change bill, we must all be aware that there are more negative consequences to the passage of that bill than there are to the supposed climate change itself.

PETA Cages Girl

12-year-old girl caged during PETA protest
07:22 AM EDT on Thursday, May 22, 2008

CONCORD, N.C. -- Some parents say a PETA protest at a Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus in Cabarrus County went too far by including a 12-year-old girl in a cage.

The girl volunteered and her mother gave permission.

PETA says it represents the suffering animals encounter traveling with the circus.
Circus production manager Jason Gibson says he’s seen hundreds of PETA protests in his 11 years with the circus.

"This is the first time I've seen anything like this,” Gibson said. "It's very disturbing to see it like that." Read More

Locking up a small child in a cage would normally get you a jail sentence, but this goes to show you that PETA is more concerned about animals than they are people and especially children. I have said many times that human welfare should come first, but this group has long passed any reasonable thought and will continue to put animals above your children.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Taking the Odor out of the Manure

Treating Hog Manure with Borax Cuts Odor
By Jan Suszkiw June 3 , 2008

Hydrogen sulfide is one of the compounds contributing to the stink from manure storage pits on hog farms. Microbial activity in the manure releases the hydrogen sulfide and other compounds.

Today, at an American Society of Microbiology meeting in Boston, Mass., Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Cheryl Spence reports the results of a study in which "dusting" hog manure with borax powder--the same substance used in laundry detergents--helps to neutralize the malodorous microbes, which include sulfate-reducing (SR) and other anaerobic bacteria. Read More

Technology in agriculture is progressing as rapidly as in other industries. In the pork industry, they have been continually looking at ways to deal with odors associated with raising hogs. It appears as though borax may be a simple and inexpensive way to deal with it.

Debating Climate Change

Heated arguments begin over climate change
As senators began a raucous argument over climate change legislation Monday, even its sponsors admitted their chances of passing the Climate Security Act this year are, at best, a long shot. But both supporters and opponents of the Senate bill were so eager for the fight over the issue that lawmakers voted 74-14 to begin debate on the chamber floor.

President Bush issued a veto threat Monday, warning that the bill to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050, S2191, could saddle the U.S. economy with huge costs. And Senate Republican leaders, who hope to play up those same concerns, asked for 30 hours of debate before any amendments can be offered. Read More

The debate that needs to take place is whether there is even a problem to fix. Many scientists say that we are entering an extended period of cooling. As I have said before, there is climate change going on, just as there has been throughout the history of the planet.

Increasing Food Production

World food supply must rise 50%, Ban Ki Moon tells Rome summit

A United Nations summit on resolving the world's food crisis opened this morning with a call from Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, for world farm production to rise by 50 per cent by 2030 to meet growing demand.

He called on leaders to lower export restrictions and import tariffs on food with immediate effect to avoid further hunger and malnutrition, which have caused riots in several Third World countries.

The three day summit, organised by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization, follows massive food price rises over the past three years. Analysts blame the diversion of crops to make biofuel, drought and natural disasters, fuel costs, and speculation. Read More

The one good thing about the tight worldwide food supplies is that the world is realizing that not much else matters when you have no food. Oil prices don’t matter much when you are hungry. Increasing food production by 50% is possible if we are allowed to use the technology that is at our disposal.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Banning Bull Riding

Suburban NY lawmakers may weigh bull-riding ban
June 1, 2008
PATTERSON, N.Y. - A plan to bring a bull-riding show to suburban Putnam County has some animal advocates and lawmakers seeing red.

About a dozen organizations and individuals have written letters protesting a Patterson landowner's plan to host the show. The Humane Society of the United States' New York State director calls bull-riding shows "cruel spectacles" that exploit "frightened and distressed animals."

The county Legislature's Rules Committee plans to discuss the issue June 19. Chairman Dan Birmingham says the panel might propose to ban bull-riding. He says the sport raises public health and safety questions, but he says he hopes to hear from an advocate for the sport. Read More

Attacking the sport of rodeo has become another avenue for groups like the HSUS to further their agenda against animal agriculture. It is also apparent that this county committee has very little knowledge of the sport. Just like in agriculture, rodeo will have to continue to educate people about their sport if they wish to avoid issues like these in the future.

Livestock and Greenhouse Gasses

Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock addressed
Greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand livestock are being exempted from the country's new emission trading scheme.

"It would be wrong to say that we should stop consuming animal products as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the goal must be to produce more animal protein in a more environmentally sustainable way," Barry O'Neil, deputy director general of MAF Biosecurity New Zealand and president of the World Organisation for Animal Health OIE, said in London last week.

"Animals certainly are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, but will be exempt from the emissions trading scheme until 2012. This is because we are working on research that will reduce emissions. I think there is some quite promising research 3-5 years away, that could achieve a quite tangible reduction, certainly in our ruminants anyway." Link

How about Pigs AND People

Pigs vs. People?
Wayne County, NY

What do you get when you gather 2,000 pigs under one roof? Tons of bacon, lots of manure and undoubtedly some neighbors with concerns.

Last January, when the Town of Rose learned that a CAFO (Contained Animal Feeding Operation) was planned for Brown Road near the hamlet of North Rose, they passed a building moratorium on the construction.

Why the concerns? Gone are the days of the small family farm where a dozen pigs or cows were the center of the family business. The current market scenario favors big mechanized operations where thousands of head of livestock are mass produced for market.

According to Rose Town Supervisor, Lucinda Collier, the temporary six-month ban was enacted so the Town Board could learn more about CAFOs and their impact on the environment and to possibly quell neighbors' concerns. Read More

With the amount of scrutiny being placed on those wishing to build livestock feeding facilities, there is no way the owners would jeopardize their livelihood by not building it correctly. Rather than a conflict of interest, the hiring of a CAFO specialist should show the residents of this area that these are responsible neighbors trying to do everything right.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A New York Times Editorial

The Worst Way of Farming
Published: May 31, 2008

In the past month, two new reports have examined how farm animals are raised in this country. The report funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts calls the prevailing system “industrial farm animal production.” The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists prefers the term “confined animal feeding operations.”

No matter what you call it, it adds up to the same thing. Millions of animals are crowded together in inhumane conditions, causing significant environmental threats and unacceptable health risks for workers, their neighbors and all the rest of us.

The astonishing increase in the number and size of confined animal operations has been spawned largely by the very structure of American farm supports, which always has been skewed in a way that concentrates farming in fewer and fewer hands. As both of these reports make clear, the so-called efficiency of industrial animal production is an illusion, made possible by cheap grain, cheap water and prisonlike confinement systems. Read More

The Pew Commission Report continues to be used against modern production practices. They have tried to convince people that manure is a toxic waste and that antibiotics are used haphazardly throughout the industry. Farmers and ranchers must speak out about this report and let the public know that if the suggestions made in the report were put into practice that it could be devastating to many families that farm and ranch.

Please read the letter written by the North Dakota Food and Fiber Alliance in response to those using the Pew report against agriculture.

Rebuttal of the Pew Report

Pew report on industrial farm animal production faulty

As members of the North Dakota Food and Fiber Alliance, we feel it necessary to respond to Robert Martin's guest column (Tribune, May 12) referring to the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report.

It is necessary to set the record straight.

The commission began this study in 2006 to conduct, it said, "a comprehensive, fact-based and balanced examination" of the issues surrounding modern livestock farming. It failed.

Although agriculture and livestock groups worked to engage with the commission at every opportunity, they were repeatedly disregarded and rebuffed. Highly respected experts from major land grant universities who either made presentations to the commission or conducted research at its request have stated that they felt the commissioners had preconceived ideas about the U.S. livestock industry. Read More

This was a well written letter by the North Dakota Food and Fiber Alliance. The Pew report is going to continue haunt agriculture for years to come. Even though the Commission seemingly ignored the information provided to them by our nation’s top land grant universities, many are considering this to be a very true snapshot of production agriculture in the United States.

Unintended Consequences

Allen Shirley: Law of unintended consequences

For too long, we as Americans have been held hostage by the liberal left and environmentalists involving our energy needs. Now, Ken Midkiff (Globe, May 25) of the Sierra Club conveniently denies that his kind have any more blame for our current energy mess than the average citizen. I say (lifting my arm above my head), “It’s a little late for the shoes, I’ll try to save my watch.”

Although Mr. Midkiff is correct that there is no “one” source to blame for this mess, it is absurd to act as if liberals in Congress and environmental groups have not led the pack in preventing America from attaining energy independence. The law of unintended consequences is the rule of the day in demonstrating the mess these groups have helped achieve.

More than a decade ago, environmental and liberal groups insisted that chemical agents must be added to gasoline to reduce emissions. Now we find these agents pollute ground water and had to be removed for public safety — the law of unintended consequences. Read More

The law of unintended consequences rears has reared it’s ugly head in several other areas as well. One of the reasons that we have seen such intense forest fires in the last several years is due to logging being stopped or slowed on public lands. The same thing will happen if grazing is stopped on public lands. Things like these need to be managed. It is imperative that we always look at cause and effect when making decisions such as drilling for oil in the United States.