Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breaking News - New Anti-Ag Group Formed

This infomation is coming from Animal Agriculture Alliance. This was posted with their permission.

We just learned about yet another anti-modern farming organization called the Center to Expose & Close Animal Factories (CECAF) that launched today. They just held a telepress conference which was wrought with misinformation and sensationalism. The group's supposed founders, Richard Middleton and Charlie Speer - two litigators who met Robert Kennedy at one of his rallies several years ago - decided filing lawsuits on their own was not enough. Therefore, they decided to form this non-profit organization to elevate the profile of "animal factory" issues and work to close these kinds of farm operations (yet they had no definition of what an animal factory was other than "big" - and "the bigger they are, the more problematic that are."

They used the guise of "swine flu" and Smithfield in their press release to announce the conference to hook reporters into participating, yet didn't reference that at all in their opening comments. Only when asked by a reporter directly if they had evidence of any connection between the H1N1 flu and the farm in Mexico, all they could say was "well it's all over the internet," and really "it's just a matter of time" before disease is rampant b/c of the mass numbers of animals on these farms today. They essentially repeated the same sensational and completely false claims made by activists - both environmental & animal rights, and , and directly stated it was not only pork farms that they intended to target but all types of CAFOs.

Interestingly, they referenced the Pew Commission report a couple of times as an "excellent source of information on these issues," and then noted one of their "clients" was GRACE - both of which are based at the Center for a Livable Future of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Steve Kopperud asked if they were affiliated with groups like HSUS or Farm Sanctuary, but they weren't named. Only GRACE, the Sierra Club and a group called Socially Responsible Ag Project.

They indicated their Board of Directors would be available on its website, but it's their Advisory Board which are all individuals and we haven't researched their affiliations yet. Here's the website for more information:

Fortunately, neither Middleton nor Speer could answer many of the questions posed with credible answers, and it showed even to the non-ag reporters on the line. But this is yet another group out to "get" animal ag & definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.

The Cage Debate

Why chickens need cages
International efforts to ban chicken coops harms birds, farmers
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
By Dennis T. Avery

My wife and I used to have free-range chickens. We didn’t get an abundance of eggs because the hens hid them in the barn hay—and then brought us batches of live chicks instead of breakfast makings. And, they stopped laying during the winter so we had to buy commercial eggs at the local grocery.

Then the local foxes and hawks discovered our chickens, and we learned first-hand why people invented chicken houses: the roosters and non-nesting hens usually survived by roosting in the barn rafters, but the nesting hens and those with chicks got taken, with the chicks as appetizers. That’s why Britain invented fox-hunting in the old days—to protect the village hens. People also kept the birds inside their homes at night, which meant more disease risk, poor husbandry, and poor hygiene.

Reluctantly, the Averys decided to put the new chickens into a coop with a fenced yard—and netting overhead to keep off the hawks.

Now our problem is that the chickens peck some of each others’ feathers off. We haven’t had any chickens pecked to death yet, but that’s the typical problem with birds that are confined, but not caged. The "pecking order" is real and natural. The only real solution is to de-beak the birds and my wife won’t allow it. We have thrown the roosters out of the "safe house" and the damaged hens are in a separate area re-feathering. But we have fewer than two dozen chickens to fuss over.

That’s why the egg producers of the modern world have invented wire cages for their hens.

Read More

One of the reasons that voters have continued to support legislation that dictates animal production methods is because there hasn’t been any consequences for their vote. That’s because other areas of the country have been making up for any loss in production. However, articles like this articulate what would happen if the entire country was forced to use these methods. Not only would our production suffer, but so would our livestock. As a student of animal husbandry, the idea of having to raise all of our chickens in an area where they are constantly threatened by attacks from predators and other chickens, and dealing with extreme environmental conditions is disturbing.

Wrong Name Is The Real Threat

APRIL 30, 2009
Pork Producers Ache From Swine Flu

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Declining hog prices amid the swine-flu outbreak could spawn losses of more than a quarter of a billion dollars and be the last straw for some U.S. pork producers.

Questions surrounding the disease and the word swine in the name have contributed to losses in lean hog futures, leading to lower cash prices and to declines in wholesale pork values.

U.S. hog producers have lost money in 16 of the past 18 months, and they needed prices to be profitable during the spring and summer. Cases of swine flu, however, have led to import bans by some countries on pork produced in a number of U.S. states and Mexico.

U.S. government officials are considering a change to the disease's current moniker. Swine flu makes some people think they can get the disease from pigs or pork, said acting CDC Director Richard Besser.

"That's not helpful to pork producers. That's not helpful to people who eat pork," he said.

Pork remains safe to eat, and the virus hasn't been found in U.S. hogs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read More

The outbreak of a flu virus that was misnamed might put some of our nations hog farming families out of business. Because of unfounded fears by not only consumers, but also some of our trading partners, the prices received for hogs has taken another hit. It’s shameful that our government has tiptoed around the subject. Some agencies are referring to it correctly as H1N1, but the media has been slow to get the hint. If you hear the media in your area incorrectly using the term swine flu, take the time to contact them and se them straight. All the little things we do can make a big difference, and undoubtedly our hog farmers will appreciate it.

Mesa Verde Ranch Days

Fourth graders head out for a day at Mesa Verde Ranch
Alamogordo Daily News
By Bev Eckman-Onyskow, For the Daily News
Posted: 04/30/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

The 627 kids from 18 Otero County schools, along with home-schoolers, weren't the only ones impressed with Mesa Verde Ranch Days, held Tuesday and Wednesday west of La Luz.

"This is my first time, and I didn't know all this ranch was out here. I'm surprised at the number of animals," said Senior Airman Shonte Small, while "branding" arrivals with an M-V hand-stamp Wednesday morning.

"I wish I could have done something like this when I was little," added her husband, Airman 1st Class Kenneth Small III. Both are Holloman Air Force Base volunteers. "I assure you this is really educational and beneficial to the future of ranching."

That was the idea behind the establishment of the event a decade ago, to make ranching real to city children who rarely see a cow, horse, sheep or cowboy up close.

The Rabon family members, who own Mesa Verde Enterprises, Inc., were hosts for Ranch Days: Randy and Cheri, Jeff and Judy, and Tim and Debbie. In addition to the three brothers and their wives, their children, grandchildren and mother, Shirley Rabon, were helping out.

"This is our way of giving something back to the community. We have to show the kids what the ranching way of life is all about. If they don't come out here, they won't see it," said Randy Rabon.

Mesa Verde is a working ranch, 13,000 acres with 10 horses, 150 mother cows and an expected crop of more than 130 calves.

"This is a great opportunity for us to see 600 smiling faces," said Jeff Rabon. Read More

Congratulations to the Rabon family, Mesa Verde Ranch, and all of the volunteers for hosting this event. Taking part of day teaching kids about agriculture is a small price to pay when this may be these kids’s only exposure to agriculture during their life. One of the reasons that I like to highlight events like this is that hopefully it will inspire others to do the same. I know that some schools won’t let their kids go out to a farm, but if that’s the case take your farm or ranch to the school. Remember, doing anything to promote agriculture is better than nothing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Properly Naming the Flu

Pork packers, producers hurt by worries about 'North American flu'
By staff and wire reports
Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 - 05:39:23 pm CDT

Pork producers and packers are being punished financially for mistaken impressions about what the news media are mistakenly calling “swine flu,” according to international animal health and U.S. health and agriculture authorities.

“It is not correct to call the current disease ‘swine influenza,” the World Organisation for Animal Health said Tuesday. “The virus that is circulating includes genetic components of human, avian and swine origin.”

The organization proposed to refer to this new virus as “North American influenza”, using the same approach to the name as used with the Asian influenza and Spanish influenza outbreaks that have occurred in the past.

U.S. officials said Tuesday they may abandon the term swine flu, for fear it's confusing people into thinking they could catch it from pork — which is flat-out wrong.

"We're discussing, is there a better way to describe this that would not lead to inappropriate actions on people's part?'' said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "In the public, we've been seeing a fair amount of misconception ... and that's not helpful.'' Read More

This outbreak of the flu has been very harmful to pork producers and processors. Even though not a single pig in the world has gotten sick and you cannot get sick eating properly cooked pork, the term swine flu was originally used as the name for this particular strain. The US government, along with international agencies, is now accurately using the name H1N1 flu. Some of our media outlets have begun using the correct terminology as well. If you hear someone using the incorrect term, please let them know. Anytime there is a potential for the public to panic over a situation, accurate information must be used.

Horse Processing in TN?

Panel Considers Horse Meat Processing Plant for Tennessee

With cooperation from the state Department of Agriculture, some state legislators are tentatively seeking ways to process horse meat in Tennessee, either for consumption by humans in other nations or animals in zoos.

Up for discussion in the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday was a proposal (HB1428) that sponsor Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, said could be the first step toward sales of Tennessee horse meat for shipment overseas.

The bill, as revised by an amendment adopted by the committee on Tuesday, calls for the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations for licensing and inspection of "equine slaughter and processing facilities" in Tennessee.

The measure also declares that anyone who files a lawsuit against establishing a horse processing plant in the state must post a bond with the court equal to 20 percent of the cost of building the plant. If the bond is not filed, the bill calls for automatic dismissal of the lawsuit. Read More

We can add Tennessee to the list of states that are considering ways to deal with unwanted horses. The bill being proposed is modeled after the Montana’s bill which has been passed by the Legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. All of the states that have considered legislation dealing with horses have passed so far this year.

The Denver Strip

Same Cow, No Matter How You Slice It?

ON a stainless steel table in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association test kitchen, a meat scientist named Bridget Wasser began dissecting a piece of beef shoulder as big as a couch cushion.

Her knife danced between long, thick muscles, then she flipped the whole thing open like book. After a tug and one final slice, she set before her visitor the Denver steak.

The three-quarter-inch-thick cut is an inexpensive, distant cousin of the New York strip. And it didn’t exist until the nation’s 800,000 cattle ranchers began a radical search for cuts of meat that consumers would buy besides steaks and ground beef.

The idea was simple. Dig around in the carcass and find muscles that, when separated and sliced in a certain way, were tender and tasty enough to be sold as a steak or a roast. “People know how to cook steaks,” said Dave Zino, executive director of the cattlemen’s Beef and Veal Culinary Center.

The Denver was invented after meat and marketing experts spent more than $1.5 million and five years on the largest study anyone had ever done on the edible anatomy of a steer. Read More

One of the great things that have been done with beef checkoff funds has been the muscle profiling research. Several new cuts of beef have been developed and available for some time now, like the Flat Iron steak. With more new cuts available soon, this research is adding value to our livestock and giving our consumers new and better eating experiences. The only way any of us stay in the cattle industry is if someone is eating our end product which is why all of us should support product development like this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Five Freedoms

Five freedoms for animals urged
(This is a letter that was written by the Winnipeg Humane Society)

In mid-March a group of animal welfare organizations met in Winnipeg to discuss agricultural confinement systems. The organizations that gathered included the Humane Society of the United States, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the British Columbia SPCA and the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Farm Animals and The Winnipeg Humane Society.

The decision to hold this meeting in Winnipeg was based upon the fact that many organizations, and, as well, many thousands of Canadian citizens are concerned about the welfare and ongoing treatment of farm animals. The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) has promoted the end of confinement systems for pigs for many, many years so it was a natural decision for us to invite these other organizations to come to Winnipeg to discuss the important passage of Proposition 2 in California. Proposition 2 was passed in the election that took place last November in the United States. It passed with an overwhelming margin of 64 per cent of the votes cast and prohibits the use of confinement cages in the state of California for pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves.

The animal welfare organizations that gathered in Winnipeg this past weekend are not out to change the world so that everyone becomes a vegan. We simply want to work with the farmers, the commodity buyers and the sellers and the government to ensure that all of the animals in the food supply chain are treated with what we in the animal welfare world call THE FIVE FREEDOMS. This is only fair; every animal that is consumed should have these simple freedoms. During its life any animal, be it a domestic dog or cat, or a farm animal, should have the freedom to have food and drink, freedom from illness and disease, freedom from distress, freedom from discomfort and most importantly the freedom to behave in a natural manner. A pig in a crate that can only move two steps forward and two steps back is not, in any definition, behaving in a natural manner. Read More

The five freedoms that HSUS and The Winnipeg Humane Society will be pushing will really boil down to the freedom to behave naturally. You will note that they are demanding this for domestic pets as well. If they are going to force livestock to behave naturally, they need to be prepared for what that means. It means more injured and sick animals, decreased comfort and a shorter life span. For pets, I would assume that spaying and neutering wouldn’t allow a dog or cat to behave as they would in nature, so that would have to be banned. And just as they push to have our livestock raised solely outdoor, I would imagine that it’s not very natural for a dog or cat to live in a house. For the pet owners that are supporting HSUS, is this what you are hoping to accomplish by donating your money to them?

Sportsmen Upset with Rush

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Gun owners attack Rush Limbaugh
Joseph Curl

Rush Limbaugh's new pet project -- fighting animal cruelty for the Humane Society of the United States -- is riling sportsmen from coast to coast, prompting fears that the talkster typically supportive of gun rights is aiding a group they say has a secret agenda to end all hunting in America.

Twenty-eight groups representing millions of hunters and sportsmen are demanding that the conservative radio commentator end his collaboration with the HSUS and stop "helping them to mainstream their image in the minds of reasonable people."

"Despite a few programs designed to attract support from the general public, HSUS is in fact an organization that opposes hunting, fishing, and trapping," the groups, including Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, wrote in a letter last week to Mr. Limbaugh.

"Its leadership has a long and established history of promoting legislation, litigation, and referenda to restrict the rights of American sportsmen and women."

The letter says Mr. Pacelle once said to the Associated Press: "If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would." Read More

Along with a very upset agriculture sector, sportsmen from across the country are also letting Rush Limbaugh know their disappointment over his support of HSUS. Not only is HSUS attacking American agriculture, but they would also like to end hunting. I really feel that we need to work more hand in hand with these hunting groups. I know we don’t always agree with them on everything, but they are an ally on this issue.

Pacelle's Comments on Ag

HSUS official says public concerns drive initiatives
Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 12:18 AM
by Ken Anderson

The CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) says his group is being unfairly portrayed by agricultural groups and the ag media. And Wayne Pacelle of HSUS says recent ballot initiative victories in California, Arizona and other states prove that the general public also wants better treatment of farm animals.

"And does agriculture want to continue to defend activities which regular Americans think are out of bounds and unacceptable," Pacelle says.

Pacelle also confirmed that Ohio is next on their list.

"I would say that we really hope to work with the agriculture sector to reach an accommodation," Pacelle says. "Each state has its own timeline and I can't remember when Ohio's clock starts ticking in a way where we must act. But we'll do it when we have to, and I think that's the principle in the other states as well."

Pacelle made his comments before a meeting of farm broadcasters in Washington, D.C.

(Click here to listen to the audio of Wayne Pacelle last night)

Speaking to the National Association of Farm Broadcasters last night in Washington DC, Wayne Pacelle claimed that they were pushing the social norm and agriculture needs to adapt to them to make it easier on everyone. Of course he had to throw out the size of their budget and membership in order to try scaring agriculture out of pushing back. The fallacy is that they claim each of the ballot initiatives shows regular Americans are against conventional practices. If this was true, they wouldn’t still be picking and choosing which states they are fighting their battles. Why would they start in Florida with their campaign to ban gestations stalls when there was virtually no hog industry there?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Named Wrong

World animal health body says swine flu wrong name
Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:23pm IST

PARIS (Reuters) - The flu virus spreading around the world should not be called "swine flu" as it also contains avian and human components and no pig was found ill with the disease so far, the World Animal Health body said on Monday.

A more logical name for it would be "North-American influenza," a name based on its geographic origin just like the Spanish influenza, another human flu pandemic with animal origin that killed more than 50 million people in 1918-1919.

"The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza," the Paris-based organization said in a statement. Read More

Not only can you not get the flu from eating pork, but this flu outbreak that we are dealing with really has nothing to do with swine. It's important for people involved with agriculture and particularly livestock to be aware of information like this. Take any opportunities to share this with our consumers.

Pork Is Safe To Eat

USDA: Swine not infected with swine flu
Published: April 26, 2009 at 10:50 PM

WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said Sunday there is no evidence the outbreak of swine flu has affected swine and consumers cannot get the virus from eating pork.

"There is no evidence at this time showing that swine have been infected with this virus," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Citing scientists at the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vilsack said swine flu viruses are not transmitted by food "so you cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products." Vilsack reminded consumers that food must be properly handled and cooked to kill viruses and other foodborne pathogens.

"USDA has in place, and did so before the last week's events, a surveillance system to monitor animal health," Vilsack said. "As an additional precautionary measure, I have asked USDA to reach out to agriculture officials in every state to affirm that they have no signs of this virus type in their state."

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday she has declared a public health emergency to free up funds to fight the virus' spread and to release one-quarter of the government's stockpile of anti-virus medications Tamiflu and Relenza.

Richard Besser, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, said his agency has confirmed 20 non-fatal cases of swine flu within the Unites States, including eight cases found among New York City high school students. The other cases were detected in Ohio, Kansas, Texas and seven in California.

As the world is learning about swine flu, some animal rights groups are using the situation to promote their anti-meat agenda. They have played on people’s fear of the unknown and have suggested that eating pork could give you this disease, when the facts are quite clear here that this has been human to human transmission. It’s unfortunate that these groups would use a serious human health issue to promote their own selfish goals.

HSUS in N.C.

Bill stirs battle – over dogs, or meat?
Humane Society says effort is to protect puppies, but meat industry fears push to change eating habits.
By Mark Johnson
Posted: Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009

RALEIGH North Carolina's meat industries are battling a bill the Humane Society of the United States and its vegan president say is meant to protect puppies, warning instead that it is the first step toward ending meat eating as we know it.

The Humane Society has made North Carolina a top priority in the fight for tougher animal welfare laws, for the first time deploying a lobbyist to work a full session of the state legislature.
Agribusiness groups predict a repeat of the tighter farm animal laws that California approved last year in a Humane Society-backed voter referendum. That measure included a requirement that egg-laying hens live in an area big enough for them to extend their wings, a mandate that opponents said was so cost prohibitive it would drive egg producers out of business.

“The public is very unaware that the Humane Society of the United States has a very direct agenda to eliminate the use of animals for food,” said Kay Johnson, executive vice president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, a livestock industry-supported group based in Washington. “Nobody would have steak, hamburger, eggs – everyone would have a vegan diet.” Read More

HSUS is working in North Carolina to bring the now famous “Prop 2” regulations there. The question to be asked here is whether or not it is in the best interests of the livestock to pass these regulations. But it never seems that HSUS is concerned about that, they just want to make it more difficult for livestock producers to remain in business. The comfort of the livestock is our chief concern as producers since we depend on them for our livelihood. And it’s from that concern that we have developed the production methods we have today.

Cow Tax Ban Gaining Support

Beef state lawmakers vow to fight EPA plan
April 21st, 2009

A handful of U.S. senators have cosponsored legislation to block a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions – including emissions from cattle – as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The legislation would prevent the regulation from adversely affecting livestock producers by amending the Clean Air Act to preclude regulation of naturally occurring livestock emissions, including methane and carbon dioxide.

The bill is cosponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

“This would have a devastating impact on livestock producers because cattle emit methane, one of the gases the EPA proposes to regulate,” said Johanns. “The steep tax that would result is commonly referred to as the ‘cow tax.’ ” Read More

The bill in Congress to prohibit a cow tax is gaining more support in the Senate. Some in Congress have scoffed at the idea that we even need this bill. They claim that a tax on livestock emissions could never happen. Maybe that is true, but I’m not willing to bet the farm on it. With all of the anti-meat propaganda out there that claim livestock are responsible for environmental degradation and climate change, passage of this bill would lay many fears to rest.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cattle Genome Mapped

Cattle genes may give clues about human health
Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:24pm BST

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Scientists have created the first genetic blueprint of domestic cattle, saying on Thursday the map may lead to tastier beef, better milk and even new insights about human health.

The Hereford cow's is the first mapped livestock animal sequence, and the researchers think it will help explain how cattle evolved, why they ended up with a four-chambered stomach, and why they almost never get cancer.

"Having the genome sequence is now the window to understanding how these changes occurred," said Harris Lewin of the University of Illinois, who worked on the research published in two reports in the journal Science.

They discovered the cattle genome contains at least 22,000 genes, 80 percent of which are shared with humans. And the team found that cattle have far more in common genetically with humans than do mice or rats, and might make better subjects for studying human health.

Comparisons of the domestic cattle genome sequence to those of the human, dog, mouse, rat, opossum and platypus reveal new insights about the human genome. Read More

This is really exciting news. Technology, like being able to genetically modify livestock, is going to allow us to improve our food supply beyond what we can imagine today. There is no doubt about that. The big question will be whether or not the consuming public will be able to understand how the technology works, why we need it and then give the social license to utilize it. At some point, consumers will need to realize that there are consequences to their opinions on how food is raised.

Research Pro-Test

Animal research rallies peaceful; pro-research demonstration much larger
12:45 PM April 22, 2009

Competing rallies at UCLA today over the controversial issue of animal research are peaceful so far, with supporters of the research appearing to outnumber opponents by more than 10 to 1.

About 400 people, including UCLA faculty, staff and students, have joined a pro-research rally on the northwest corner of Westwood Boulevard and Le Conte Avenue, just south of the campus. The demonstrators are carrying signs with such slogans as "Animal research saves lives" and "Campus terrorism is not OK."

The pro-research rally was organized by a new group, UCLA Pro-Test, which supports what it calls the humane use of animals in research aimed at finding cures for human diseases. The group is also protesting a series of unsolved arsons and vandalism at UC faculty homes and vehicles over the past three years.

Among likely speakers at the pro-research event is UCLA neuro-scientist J. David Jentsch, whose car was set ablaze and destroyed last month and who then organized the Pro-Test group. Jentsch uses monkeys in his research on schizophrenia and drug addiction, and although he kills some for postmortem exams, he says the animals do not suffer. Read More

Research scientists, like many other professions, are having to stand up and defend their work. All of us have benefitted from the work that has been done over the years involving animals. Without this important work, we would still be suffering from some of the worst crippling diseases that were so common in the early half of the 20th century. We have a spoiled society. We want all the benefits with none of the work. We have already forgotten what our grand parents and great grand parents had to endure just to survive and how grateful they were when these advances in human health came to be.

Attacks by Vegan Animal Rights Activists

As We See It: Human rights vs. animal rights
Silicon Valley Mercury News
Posted: 04/23/2009 01:30:12 AM PDT

Animal rights fanatics are obscuring legitimate cases of abuse against animals.

Earlier this week, the FBI put animal rights activist Daniel San Diego on its Most Wanted Terrorists list -- the first time someone suspected of domestic terrorism has been listed. San Diego is wanted in connection with the bombings of two Bay Area businesses. He's also thought to be a leader, if only by example, of a movement that has grown increasingly violent and unhinged in attacks on humans.

The same day San Diego made the terrorist list, two animal rights protesters were indicted in Los Angeles in connection with their harassment and threats against UCLA researchers who use animals in their labs. The two also allegedly threatened a company that makes pomegranate juice and uses animals in experiments to see if the juice helps men with impotence problems.

Last year, our community was stunned when animal rights protesters attacked a UC Santa Cruz professor and her family at home. Four people, including two former UCSC students, have been indicted in connection with the attack. Lawyers for the suspects say they were just exercising their free-speech rights in an attempt to let the public know about the use of animals in lab experiments.

That attack was followed by two fire bombings, also aimed at researchers. No suspects have been charged in that case. Read More

California has had several dealing with these criminal animal rights activists who are trying to force their vegan ideals on our society. What can never be explained is how these people can justify blowing up buildings, houses and cars, sometimes with the occupants still in them, all in the name of giving rights to animals. Even though these people claim to be against violence towards any living creatures, their actions continue to speak louder than their words.

CA Cmte. Votes on Animal Antibiotics

State Senate committee votes against some animal antibiotics

The California Senate Food and Agriculture Committee passed a bill, by a 3-1 vote, to phase out the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in animals raised for food.

Senate Bill 416, by Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter), next goes to the Senate Education Committee.

Florez made school meal programs the initial target of the bill, which would forbid schools from serving meat or poultry treated with non-therapeutic antibiotics after Jan. 1, 2012. By 2015, the ban would apply to all animals raised for human consumption in the state. “We tell people to take antibiotics only as prescribed for the very reason that they not develop resistance to these drugs they may need when they are truly sick,” Florez said in a statement. “Then we feed those same antibiotics daily to the animals they will consume.”

Several food producers and organizations opposed the bill. Among objections are that the provisions reduces the illness prevention tools that farmers or ranchers have and that banning non-therapeutic drugs could lead to an increased use of therapeutic antibiotics. Another Florez bill, which would require food growers and processors to promptly report a positive test for any food-borne illness to the California Department of Public Health, also passed the committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 173 would also give state public health authorities the power of mandatory recall.

So why aren’t animal rights activists up in arms about this? The California Legislature is considering taking away a very successful and proven method of preventing disease in livestock. Preventing disease is always going to be preferable to treating a disease. It’s obvious that the care and comfort of livestock were not considered by this committee. Agriculture was the only one there to speak for the animals yesterday in California.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hormone Debate

US agrees to postpone duty hikes in beef hormone row: EU
19 hours ago

BRUSSELS (AFP) — Washington agreed Wednesday to postpone for two weeks introducing additional duties on a number of EU products in a long-running row over beef hormones, the European Commission said Wednesday.

The new duties, including a crippling 300-percent import duty on France's Roquefort cheese, were supposed to take effect on Thursday, but the two sides agreed instead to seek a negotiated solution.

The EU has had a ban on hormone-treated beef in place since the early 1980s which has long been a source of trade disputes with partners such as the United States and Canada.

The World Trade Organization in 1998 ruled that the EU had violated trade rules by banning the hormone-treated beef, thereby allowing the United States and Canada to impose trade sanctions on the bloc. Read More

The EU doesn’t want our beef because of the estrogen implant we use to increase efficiency. What the news media never tells you is that even conventionally raised beef has less estrogen in it than most other foods. Take for example cabbage, it has over 1000 times more naturally occurring estrogen in it than in beef. And after several decades of use, it’s safety has been proven.

New Organs for Humans

Scientists Clone Pig For Human Organ Transplant
Posted on: Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 15:34 CDT

Scientists in South Korea have cloned a pig whose organs can be transplanted into humans.

Lim Gio-Bin lead the project that resulted in the birth of the cloned piglet to a surrogate mother at the National Institution of Animal Science in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province on April 3.

The piglet was designed to lack the “alpha-gal” gene that causes tissue reaction exhibited in immuno-rejection, which has been the primary struggle for human organ transplants in the past.

Antibodies in human blood attack alpha 1, 3-galactose, or ``alpha gal,' thus making it impossible for human bodies to accept non-human transplants for a long period of time. By producing a pig without the “alpha-gal” gene, researchers hope to one day be able to create organs that would be safely transferable to humans. Read More

I began thinking about the quandary this could pose for people who are vegans. Imagine the scenario of a vegan having to make the decision for themselves or someone else if they would accept one of these organs in a life or death situation. What if vegan parents were faced with the decision of accepting one of these organs for a sick child of theirs. What would they do? To be honest, I don’t know which life they would value more.

Chicken Dance

Track going ahead with 'chicken dance' at race
Associated Press • April 21, 2009

TALLADEGA - The Talladega Superspeedway is going ahead with plans for a fast-food promotion at this weekend's race despite complaints by an animal rights group.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Guinness World Records to ignore an attempt to set a world record for the largest group chicken dance at Talladega, site of the Aaron's 499 race on Sunday.

PETA says the sponsor of the event, KFC, mistreats chickens.

But track spokeswoman Kristi King says the world record attempt has been planned for awhile. And she said track officials plan to go ahead with the promotion.

KFC called PETA a radical organization that's only interested in promoting a vegan agenda.


If you are going to be in Talladega this weekend, you could be part of a new world record and annoy PETA all at the same time. The Guinness Book of World Records has said they will gladly accept this attempt in spite of PETA protesting them as well. Can you imagine if PETA put as much effort into assisting our struggling dog and cat shelters as they do with publicity stunts such as this?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Environmentalists Doing More Harm Than Good?

How Environmentalism Misses the Forest for the Trees
By Edward L. Glaeser
Edward L. Glaeser is an economics professor at Harvard.

Can environmentalism be bad for the environment?

In Massachusetts, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has led the fight against providing alternative energy with a wind farm off of Cape Cod. Greenpeace declares that “nuclear power is unsafe, uneconomical and unnecessary.” In Canada, the Sierra Club fights against the development of hydroelectric power, fearing “toxic mercury increases in fish.”

In these cases, groups are putting local environmental concerns first and the planet second. Wind farms, nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams are ways of providing clean energy, which would reduce carbon emissions and the threat of global warming.

The old mantra “think globally, act locally,” is pretty silly. Local environmentalism is often bad environmentalism, because keeping one’s backyard pristine can make the planet worse off.

Preventing wind farms leaves Cape Cod’s views untouched, but increases carbon emissions.

In my own field of housing, a similar phenomenon occurs when some environmental groups put their own local interests ahead of global warming. Read More

When do environmentalists hurt the environment? When the issue is in their backyard. They seem to be all for a project or regulation when it affects someone else, but when they are forced to make the sacrifice, they seem to change their tune. The thing this author doesn’t take into account is agriculture. He claims that California farmers should pay the “true social cost” of the water they are irrigating with. The author should weigh the true social cost of importing food.

Slamming Meat on Earth Day

Eating can be energy-efficient, too
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

With Americans looking to reduce their "carbon footprints," food seems an obvious place to start.
Choosing a diet with a smaller carbon footprint means choosing foods that are processed in ways that emit less carbon dioxide — a heat-trapping "greenhouse" gas — into the atmosphere. In general, experts say, it breaks down to these guidelines:

•Cut down on meat. "That doesn't mean never eat meat, it means eat less of it," says Gail Feenstra, a food systems analyst at the University of California-Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute.

Meat is less efficient because we eat the animal that eats the grain instead of eating the grain ourselves. It takes about 15 pounds of feed to make 1 pound of beef, 6 pounds of feed for 1 pound of pork and 5 pounds of feed for 1 pound of chicken, the Department of Agriculture estimates. For catfish, it's about 2 pounds of feed per pound of fish.

Add to the feed the cost of raising, transporting and producing cattle, and beef is by far the least energy-efficient meat. Nathan Fiala, a doctoral candidate in environmental economics at the University of California-Irvine, estimates it requires about 15 pounds of carbon dioxide to produce 1 pound of beef.

"A family of four that gives up eating beef one day a week has basically traded in their pickup for a Prius," he says. Read More

You will probably see articles like this in several places today. Unfortunately, the numbers they are using to try to make their point are wrong. For example, they are saying that eating beef leaves a large carbon footprint. The author claims that it takes 15 lbs of feed to make a pound of beef. If that was the feed conversion rate for cattle in this country, no one could afford to feed them. Cattle in a feedyard will normally convert between 6 and 7 pounds of feed into a pound of beef. In order to make informed decisions, consumers need accurate information. It’s the job of producers to make sure that happens.

Ag Teachers Needed in IL

Illinois trying to grow, keep agriculture teachers
April 21, 2009 01:36 PM MDT

SPRINGFIELD (WREX) - The state of Illinois needs agricultural teachers and now schools are getting the money to develop them.

Several universities and community colleges in the state will share nearly $350,000 from the Illinois State Board of Education to help recruit and retain future high school agriculture teachers.

"Agriculture is the backbone of industry in Illinois. Having qualified instructors specialize in this field is essential to our standing in the world marketplace," said Christopher A. Koch, State Superintendent of Education.

One of the things the money will be used for is to help students gain experience through paid internships or other career-related activities to become agriculture science teachers.

The University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University as well as Black Hawk College in Kewanee, Land Lake College in Mattoon and Joliet Junior College will all get money from the grant. Link

It’s encouraging to see that the state of Illinois recognizes the importance of ag education in the schools. Never has it been more important for people to learn where their food comes from. We have an uneducated electorate that is making decisions about how their food will be produced without any regard to the consequences of their vote. If everyone had to take some ag classes, maybe we wouldn’t have the problems we do today.

Vegan Terrorist on FBI List

Animal rights activist on FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list
By Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Department Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI for the first time has placed an animal rights activist on the bureau's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list.

The FBI announced Tuesday the addition of Daniel Andreas San Diego to the list, hoping a burst of international publicity associated with the move will help investigators find him after six years on the run.

San Diego, 31, may appear to be out of place on a terrorist list with familiar names like al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Adam Yahiye Gadahn. The "strict vegan," according to the FBI, is charged with bombing two corporate offices in California in 2003. The blasts caused extensive property damage but no deaths.

Vegans eat no meat or any other food containing animal products. Read More

For as much as animal rights activists would like you to think they are all peace loving people, their image will always be tainted by people like San Diego. His goal is to blow up buildings and kill people if necessary, in the name of saving animals. This mind set has led to him being placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. I will never be able to comprehend those who place the life of an animal above a human.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Idaho Trying to Protect Ranchers

Bighorn legislation could come back to bite ranchers
- Idaho Statesman
Published: 04/20/09

Gov. Butch Otter must decide this week whether to sign a bill that would require the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to kill or remove bighorn sheep from public land where domestic sheep graze.

Signing Senate Bill 1175 will undercut a collaborative process he set up under the auspices of Fish and Game and the Idaho Department of Agriculture. And a House leader who supports the bill acknowledges it will play into the hands of activists who want to force sheep ranchers off public lands.

But lawmakers are so mad they can't help themselves.

The Idaho Legislature passed the bill with huge majorities because many members think Ron Shirts of Weiser and his family were treated unfairly when a 1997 agreement over transplanting bighorn sheep to Hells Canyon was overruled by a federal court. A federal judge ordered the Shirts to remove their domestic sheep from Smith Mountain in the Payette National Forest to prevent them from passing disease to bighorns.

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, a cattle rancher, sees the issue as the latest in a familiar, and to him disturbing, trend in which protecting an iconic species becomes a surrogate for another agenda - this time driving sheep ranchers off of public land.

Jon Marvel, is executive director of the Western Watersheds Project.

Marvel resents being singled out as the voice of thousands of people in and out of Idaho who share his goals and love of native species and places. That's because his open disdain for ranchers, and especially the cowboy culture, undercuts the power of his cause. Read More

There comes a point in time when you finally have to draw that line in the sand and make your stand. The Idaho Legislature has apparently been backed into that corner and is now ready to do what it takes to protect their ranchers and our food supply. The animal rights activists and environmentalists are practically salivating at the opportunity to eliminate agriculture from public lands. If they get it done, how do we replace this lost resource. Remember, it’s only a resource if we can use it, otherwise it’s scenery and that won’t fill your stomach.

The Cowboy Way

Cowboy Ethics and Cowboy Values
By Patrick Dorinson Political Commentator

When it comes to analyzing America’s current economic woes and how we got here, I have heard just about all the whining, navel-gazing, excuses, television talk show psychobabble, hand wringing and pundit puffery I can stomach. This is not just about lost home value or diminished 401(K)s.

In all my born days I have never witnessed a spectacle quite as ridiculous as this. America is on the psychiatrist’s couch looking for a cure to a self-inflicted problem.

The cure for this disease is not more group therapy. It is as simple and as old as America itself and it still lives in the hearts and minds of the most iconic figure in our history-the American cowboy.

For all you tenderfoots and high buttoned shoe Easterners let me try to explain.

Unlike politicians and our current crop of business “leaders”, a cowboy still makes a deal with a handshake and his word is his bond. A cowboy does not make rash decisions because the wrong decision can be the difference between life and death for him, his horse and those he works with.

And a cowboy lives by a code-a set of unwritten principles that no one has to teach him because it is instilled in him at birth. Cowboys don’t whine and stomp their feet like spoiled children as some people seem to do when the going gets tough. Read More

I saw this article posted in a couple different places late last week and I wanted to continue passing it along. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when the nation’s ethics and values become corrupted that people look to the cowboy, agriculture, and rural America for the solution. You see, we didn’t have to read a book to learn these, it was taught to us at a very young age with the expectation that we would live our lives this way. This is what made America great in the first place. If the cowboy was every kids role model instead of athletes and celebrities, we could probably eliminate several of the problems we are seeing today.

ALF Members Indicted

2 indicted in UCLA animal liberation case
1:32 PM April 20, 2009

A grand jury has indicted two associates of an animal rights group, charging them with conspiracy, stalking and other felonies for targeting UCLA researchers who do animal research and a local juice company, prosecutors said Monday.

Linda Faith Greene, 61, and Kevin Richard Olliff, 22, who prosecutors say are part of the radical Animal Liberation Front,pleaded not guilty to the charges after their arrest Thursday. Greene was held on $450,000 bail and Olliff on $460,000 bail.

The Los Angeles County grand jury indicted each defendant on three counts of conspiracy to commit stalking, three counts of stalking and two counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of threatening a public officer or school employee.

The alleged victims included UCLA researchers and POM Wonderful Juice Co. Link

Animal rights activists continue to be taken into custody for their violent crimes. Law enforcement has done an excellent job of identifying these criminals even though they are involved with the shadow group Animal Liberation Front. And here is the question of the day: Since many of these animal rights activists believe that animals have the same emotional depth as humans, do you think the animal kingdom is grieving, sad, angry or experiencing some other emotional feeling today since they got caught?

Monday, April 20, 2009

HSUS Hoax?

Published: April 17, 2009 11:22 pm
Cruelty story a hoax?

As a concerned Oklahoma veterinarian I believe that the recent story involving a large gift allegedly being redirected away from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine was largely a hoax designed to expand the political and fundraising agenda of Humane Society of the United States in Oklahoma.

HSUS is a national organization that uses sensational stories involving animals to encourage donations to their organization.

The story broke when a wealthy friend of HSUS, Madeline Pickens, told the press that she was, “redirecting,” a grant she had made for the veterinary teaching college to another college within the university.

Her statements implied that the grant had been made and would now be withdrawn and sent to a different part of the university system.

She said she was doing this because of cruelty allegations leveled against the veterinary teaching college by an anonymous person claiming to be a student at the college. Read More

This is an interesting letter to read. I posted in February about Madeline Pickens taking this money away for the vet college and now it looks as though this was all a publicity stunt. HSUS has become so focused on fundraising and eliminating animal agriculture that now they are even working to discredit veterinarian schools. To me it is just one more example showing that HSUS really doesn’t care about animals or the care they receive. It is about how much money they can make exploiting animals.

Cuban Agriculture

April 2, 2009

CHURCHVILLE, VA—The Cubans told the world they had heroically learned to feed themselves without fuel or farm chemicals after their Soviet subsidies collapsed in the early 1990s. They bragged about their “peasant cooperatives,” their biopesticides and organic fertilizers. They heralded their earthworm culture and the predator wasps they unleashed on destructive caterpillars. They boasted about the heroic ox teams they had trained to replace tractors.

Organic activists all over the world swooned. Now, a senior Ministry of Agriculture official has admitted in the Cuban press that 84 percent of Cuba’s current food consumption is imported, according to our agricultural attaché in Havana. The organic success was all a lie—a great, gaudy, Communist-style Big Lie of the type that dictators behind the Iron Curtain routinely used throughout the Cold War to hornswoggle the Free World.

This time the victims of the Big Lie are the Greens in the organic movement who want us to trust our future food supplies to their low-yield “natural farming” The Greens want us to outlaw nitrogen fertilizer, biotechnology and whatever else might save room for the planet’s wildlife through higher farm productivity.

The Cuban farming deception was aided by the “useful idiots” in the non-Communist world. The late Donnella Meadows, who wrote the stunningly-foolish book Limits to Growth in 1972, gushed over Cuban farming: “Suddenly deprived of half its food and most of its agricultural inputs, [Cuba] has not only maintained but increased its food supply in a way that creates jobs and improves the environment.”

Right, by importing 84 percent of the food. Read More

The truth is finally surfacing about agriculture in Cuba. Many people thought this was the type of food production we needed in the United States, it was looked at as almost romantic. However, after finally seeing the actual results of their effort, we find out that it was starving their population. The European Union continues to move their ag system this direction as well. Even though they can’t feed their population, it doesn’t seem to be affecting their policies toward agriculture.

Making Animals Human

Don't have a cow!
Famous animal lover Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, the author of "The Face on Your Plate," talks about why you should consider giving up the burgers -- and the fromage.

By Katharine Mieszkowski
Apr. 18, 2009

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, 68, is a former psychoanalyst, known for his popular books about the emotional lives not of humans, but of animals. As scientists continue to debate which species have feelings, Masson has written bestsellers celebrating their emotions, such as "Dogs Never Lie About Love" and "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals," which he co-authored with frequent Salon contributor Susan McCarthy.

In his new book (which is his 24th), "The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food," Masson brings his heartfelt take on the feathered and four-legged to the dinner table. Five years ago, the prolific author, who was already a vegetarian, went vegan, giving up not just animal meat but also animal products, such as dairy, eggs and even honey. To be precise, Masson describes himself as "veganish," since he occasionally slips up when he's not at home and accidentally eats, say, a cookie prepared with milk; this vegan's not the sort of purist who would make a scene in public by spitting out an offending morsel.

Masson changed his diet because he's an animal lover, and he wants to tempt readers to do the same, whether we're motivated by environmental, health or animal-welfare rationales. As a polemicist, he marshals an impressive litany of mainstream sources to make his case that eating less flesh is a worthy goal, from the Meatless Mondays campaign, advocated by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, to the 2006 United Nations report on the environmental impacts of raising meat called "Livestock's Long Shadow."

I spoke with Masson at Salon's offices in San Francisco, where he enthused about the new White House vegetable garden, and challenged Michael Pollan, the author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma," to a friendly public debate.

How did you become vegan?

I was raised, actually, vegetarian, but when I went off to college, I just didn't know how to eat as a vegetarian, and pretty soon I was eating meat.

I didn't give it all that much thought, to be honest, until I started doing the research for "When Elephants Weep," and I realized that animals felt things as deeply as did humans. It occurred to me: How can I go on eating animals, when I feel that they're capable of love and gratitude and boredom and loneliness, and can experience traumas, very much like a human? Read More

There is an incredible effort to not only give rights to animals, but to also convince people that animals have the same intellectual and emotional depth as humans. These people are quite scary because with this mindset, you are just as likely to sacrifice a human as an animal if a decision has to be made. Imagine one of these people seeing a dog biting a child, would they do anything? It’s hard to say since they are granting each species equal consideration.

Friday, April 17, 2009

AFA on Cattle Network

We were fortunate to have Advocates for Agriculture featured by Cattle Network. Click here to read Chuck Jolley's Five Minutes with Advocates for Agriculture. Have a great weekend.

Ellen Donates to HSUS

Celebrities auctioning off their clothes for charity
Thu, 16 Apr 2009 3:33p.m.

Ellen DeGeneres is planning to auction off her own clothes for charity.

The 51-year-old star announced the plan on her talk show yesterday explaining the proceeds of sales would be donated to The Humane Society, which looks after needy animals.

Ellen said: "Today, we're starting something brand new. It's called, 'Whatcha Sellin' Ellen?' I'll be auctioning off my clothes and some of my guests' clothes on eBay to raise money for The
Humane Society of the United States. Every week there will be 25 items up for auction. Some things I only wore once. Some twice. And some I slept in. But they're clean… ish!" Read More

So Ellen is going to auction off her clothes for HSUS because they look after needy animals. Even Ellen isn’t aware of what the HSUS does. I hope someday she finds out that only 4% of what she donates to them will actually go to those animals in need.

MD & MT Move Closer to Building Horse Facilities

Schweitzer's horse slaughter changes rejected by MT Senate
Posted: April 16, 2009 05:17 PM MDT

The bill to authorize investor owned livestock slaughter and processing plants in the state made its way back to the Montana Legislature on Thursday.

Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer sent the bill back to lawmakers earlier this month after striking the legal protections it would have offered to slaughterhouses.

The House has already rejected the changes the Governor made to House Bill 418, and today the Senate did the same by a vote of 44 to 5.

The bill will now go back to Governor Schweitzer in its original form. Read More

Study of ND horse slaughterhouse approved
Apr 16 2009 10:02AM
Associated PressEds
Bismarck, N.D. (AP) North Dakota lawmakers have agreed to spend $50,000 on a study of whether a horse slaughterhouse can be built in the state.

The bill says North Dakota's Commerce Department should study whether legal and regulatory barriers now prevent construction of a horse slaughter plant.

If the project can be done, the study would look into how much a plant would cost and potential markets for its meat.North Dakota's House voted 86-5 on Thursday to approve the study. The bill now goes to Gov. John Hoeven. Link

Both Montana and North Dakota keep moving closer to the possibility of having a horse processing facility in their state. Many states have been trying to deal with this issue since the beginning of the year. Unwanted horses continue to be a problem for communities and states that don’t have the resources to handle them. Hopefully, instead of wasting this natural resource we can once again begin to use it.

Pam's Steakhouse

People: PETA pal Pam Anderson booked at strip/steak club
Compiled by Lori Spencer Smith
Posted: 04/17/2009 12:30:00 AM MDT

Sounds like the hard times may have changed the tune of one die-hard PETA campaigner.
Actress-model Pam Anderson has posed naked for PETA's "I'd rather go naked " anti-fur campaign, and has been one of the animal rights group's biggest celebrity spokespeople. She's even spoken out on behalf of chickens.

Now Anderson has been booked to open a gentlemen's strip club/steakhouse in NYC, the L.A. Times reports.

She and another apparently hard-up actress, "The Hills' " Audrina Patridge, will show up for the April 27 opening of a new gentlemen's club named Sapphire New York, which Fox News says is part of Prime 333 Steakhouse on the Upper East Side. Link

Pamela Anderson continues her tradition of being a hypocrite when it comes to animal rights. She has been one of PETA’s biggest supporters but apparently she doesn’t believe in them enough to stop her from going into business with a steakhouse. I can’t wait to hear PETA’s spin on this one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rush Supports HSUS

Rush Limbaugh Deceived by Humane Society in New Ad
By Wesley J. Smith , Senior Fellow in Bioethics - 16 Hours Ago

HSUS is masterful in masking its true animal rights ideological agenda. Now, it has scored a real coup: Rush Limbaugh has tooted his considerable horn in praise of HSUS.

Rush is right that dog fighting is wrong and shelter dogs need to be adopted. But HSUS runs no shelters. It pushes the animal rights agenda by bringing lawsuits against animal industries and seeks to bring an end to activities such as hunting, meat, and research via the death of a thousand cuts.

Limbaugh makes a point of stating that "on this issue" he is with HSUS. But he also says he is "impressed" with HSUS. He has fallen for the deception and has boosed this group in a way that is unprecedented.

Decrying abuse is right and proper. Doing a PSA against dog fighting is spot on. But Limbaugh shouldn't have boosted the group. It is really against everything for which he stands.

Postscript: Limbaugh lauds HSUS for paying $5000 for information used to stop dog fighting . That's fine. But it only offered $2500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Santa Cruz anti animal researcher bombers. To me, that is telling. Link

Yesterday we learned that Rush Limbaugh has recorded some public service announcements for the Humane Society of the United States. Considering where he normally stands on political issues, this has been quite a shock for people. With his considerable influence in mind, an effort has been made by many people in agriculture to let Rush know what the true goals of HSUS really are. You can contact Rush at

Kids Used PETA as Resource

Animal-rights protest targets McDonald's
By Noelle Frampton STAFF WRITER
Updated: 04/15/2009 11:12:43 PM EDT

MILFORD -- Kristyn Bacon admits her last name is somewhat ironic. After all, she's been a vegetarian for nearly two years and now, at 17, she's become an animal-rights activist.

Bacon, a junior at Bunnell High School, in Stratford, wore a chicken-head cap and smeared herself with blotches of red paint Wednesday afternoon to signify a bloodied bird. But Bacon is no chicken: She marched barefoot in front of the McDonald's on Bridgeport Avenue, in the Devon section, with two friends, in hopes of raising awareness about the way the mega fast-food chain slaughters fowl.

About a week ago, Bacon discovered on the Internet claims by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, that McDonald's Corp. kills chickens by hanging them upside-down in metal shackles, slitting their throats and then dumping them into "scalding-hot" water to de-feather them when some are still alive.

She and her friends, Sabrina Jean-Baptiste, 17, a senior at Kolbe Cathedral High School, in Bridgeport, and Bunnell junior Elise Olsen, 16, decided to spend their sunny spring break afternoon protesting with posters and informational note cards -- on the day McDonald's turned 54. Read More

This is a classic example of the why the ag community needs to be working hard to educate kids in school about food production. These high school girls watched a video on PETA’s website about the process of harvesting chickens. After hearing PETA’s spin put on it, they decide to go out and protest at McDonalds. Agriculture needs to be the source on matters related to our business. We also need to teach our youth enough about food production that they don’t go looking to PETA for information. Remember, the ironic part about this is that many animal rights groups are trying to stop the harvesting method that PETA is encouraging, claiming it is cruel as well.

Using Manure to Clean Spills

Chicken Manure Biodegrades Crude Oil In Contaminated Soil
ScienceDaily — It is an unlikely application, but researchers in China have discovered that chicken manure can be used to biodegrade crude oil in contaminated soil. Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution the team explains how bacteria in chicken manure break down 50% more crude oil than soil lacking the guano.

The team carried out a microbial analysis of their samples and identified 21 different microbial species known as aerobic heterotrophs. The team explains that Bacillus species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the best oil-munching microbes but of the 21 isolates 12 were capable of metabolizing components of crude oil. Other microbes included Proteus, Enterobacter, and Micrococcus species. Bacillus represented the most prevalent species.

"The use of chicken manure to stimulate crude oil biodegradation in the soil could be one of the several sought-after environmentally friendly ways of abating petroleum hydrocarbon pollution in the natural ecosystem," the team concludes. Read More

It’s amazing that many people are trying to categorize manure as a toxic waste, and at the same time, we find out that it works great to clean up oil spills. Most people don’t understand that manure should be treated as a resource not a waste product.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

AR Attack on Restaurant

Animal rights nutjobs vandalize restaurant again
Posted by Stan Moore on April 14, 2009

A Howard County restaurant vandalized three weeks ago because of an item on the menu was hit again.

However, this time the owners of the Iron Bridge Wine Company on Route 108 in Columbia, said the people responsible were caught on camera.

The owners said their restaurant was vandalized last time due to the controversial delicacy foie gras, or duck liver. They said they’re fairly certain the people responsible for the first attack perpetrated the second.

“If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck,” owner Steve Wecker said.

Two weeks ago the vandals broke windows, put glue into the locks and painted “get rid of foie gras” on walls. Read More

Animal rights extremists continue to feel the need to use intimidation against agricultural producers, small business owners and consumers. They don’t believe in allowing consumers to vote with their dollars for what products they like. It’s unfortunate that these criminals think they are helping animals when in reality they only hurt the cause they claim to represent.

Germany Bans GMO

Germany bans farming of genetically modified corn
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 1:29 PM ET

Genetically modified corn can no longer be grown commercially in Germany.

German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner announced Tuesday that the government is banning the cultivation of MON 810 maize. That strain of corn is the only genetically modified crop that Germany had allowed to be cultivated in the country.

Aigner said she has concluded the crop poses a danger to the environment.

The change in rules means that MON 810 may not be sown in Germany this upcoming growing season.

Germany had allowed the strain's cultivation since 2005.

MON 810, also known as YieldGuard Corn Borer, is a strain of corn extremely resistant to European and southwestern corn borers, caterpillars that eat and damage corn plants before becoming adult moths. Read More

I have mentioned several times on my blog how the European Union’s policies have negatively affected their ability to feed their citizens. In the 1970’s the countries in what is now the EU could feed their population. Now they are only able to produce about 60% of the food needed. Mostly it is due to the extreme regulations that have been enacted, which consider the need to grow food behind a laundry list of other things. Genetically modified plants are the result of a sped-up process of plant breeding which humans have been doing for thousands of years. They claim to be worried about the long term impact on human health. What is the impact on human health if there isn’t enough to eat?

Blaming CAFO's

CAFO subsidies no help for rural economies
By Ken Midkiff
Friday, April 3, 2009

As reported by the Associated Press, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., has earmarked a bundle of money — about $250,000 — to Premium Standard Farms on the dubious premise that concentrated animal feeding operations are a boost to the rural economy. PSF plans to use the money to find ways to reduce the amount of hog poop it produces via a dewatering procedure.
I examined the economic benefits issue and quickly learned that CAFOs harm the local economy rather than help it. What Kit “Earmarks” Bond has done is the reverse of what President Barack Obama’s stimulus package is supposed to accomplish.

Retired rural economists Bill Weida and John Ikerd have separately studied rural development, and both have concluded that CAFOs do more harm than good to the rural economy.

For indicators, they cite:

● The increase in child abuse, as documented by states’ social service agencies, and in particular the “Kids Count” data.

● The increase in spousal abuse from crime statistics. Read More

The author of this article is actually suggesting that CAFO’s, most of which are owned and operated by hard working families, are responsible for child and spouse abuse. This laundry list is laughable at best, but it’s scary that many consumers could read this and believe it might be true. It just goes to show you that these anti-animal agricultural people will stop at nothing to put hard working families out of business by suggesting that they abuse their children.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bacon's New Found Use

One too many? Try this hangover remedy...
April 08 2009 at 07:19AM

London - Scientists say they have proof that the best cure for a hangover really is a bacon sandwich.

Elin Roberts, the science development manager at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, says: "Food doesn't soak up the alcohol, but it does increase your metabolism - helping you to deal with the after-effects of over-indulgence."

So food will often help you feel better. Bread is high in carbohydrates and bacon is full of protein, which breaks down into amino acids.

"Your body needs these amino acids, so eating them will make you feel good. Bingeing on alcohol depletes neurotransmitters too, but bacon contains a high level of amines which tops these up, giving you a clearer head."

There's even a scientific formula behind that tantalising aroma of a bacon sandwich, reports the Daily Mirror.

Elin adds: "If you've got amino acids and reducing sugars at a heat above 150 degrees centigrade, it kickstarts the Maillard Reaction in the pan."That means lots of lovely smells are released and it's this which draws us in. I know of three vegetarians who have been broken by the smell of bacon." Link

Not only does bacon taste great, but now we find out that it has this added bonus feature!

Dairy Industry Looks at Reducing Methane

Dairy industry sees less-gassy future for cows
By ROBERT IMRIE – 6 hours ago

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. dairy industry wants to engineer the "cow of the future" to pass less gas, a project aimed at cutting the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The cow project aims to reduce intestinal methane, the single largest component of the dairy industry's carbon footprint, said Thomas P. Gallagher, chief executive officer of the U.S. Dairy and Dairy Management Inc.'s Innovation Center in Rosemont, Ill.

One area to be explored is modifying the dairy cows' feed so they produce less methane, said Rick Naczi, the leader of the initiative.

"Right now there is some work being done on fish-oil additives and some other things," he said. "The cow is responsible for the majority of the greenhouse gas on the farm itself. We know there are ways that we can find to cut or reduce that production."

The University of Arkansas' Applied Sustainability Center estimates the dairy industry contributes less than 2 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

The greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture have been dropping for decades and that trend will continue into the future with research like this. However, as new technology becomes available, agriculture will need license from the public to use it. Things like BST reduced emissions, but public pressure caused this safe product to be shunned.

Seed Technology Improving Food

New oil with zero trans fat could revolutionize frying
By Dan Piller, The Des Moines Register

What may be the next big thing in the quest for the perfect low-fat french fry will sprout from Iowa ground this summer.

Pioneer Hi-Bred says its genetically engineered soybean will make an oil that has no artery-clogging trans fats. The high-oleic oil is supposed to last three to five times longer in commercial fryers than most zero-trans-fat oils.

The Johnson, Iowa-based company, the second-largest producer of hybrid seeds for agriculture, will put the soybean through tests to determine whether those claims are true. If so, then McDonald's, Frito-Lay and other companies may snap up the oil and promote heart-healthy fried foods and chips.

The consequences for Americans' health could be significant. Read More

The seed technology that continues to improve our food supply is nothing short of amazing. Humans have been altering plants to benefit them for thousands of years. Today, because of the tools at our disposal, we can drastically speed up the process. Having this ability will dramatically aid us in our challenge to increase food production.

Farming or Gardening?

Students Learn About Sustainable Agriculture
A few colleges in the United States provide hands-on experience in traditional farming.
13 April 2009

Many colleges and universities in the United States provide education in agriculture. But only a few schools offer experience in traditional hands-on field work in addition to classes.

Sustainable agriculture is a major goal at these colleges. They teach the need for farming to improve the environment and make good use of natural resources. Students grow organic food and use as little fossil fuels and chemicals as possible.

Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, is one of the colleges that supports sustainable agriculture. Students produce some of their own food. They prepare the soil for planting with their hands or simple tools. They do not use much big machinery that uses gasoline. Read More

I hate to sound so condescending here, but this program sounds mostly like a gardening class. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t be confused with the segment of agriculture where each producer has the responsibility of feeding nearly 150 people every year. That requires more than simple hand tools to accomplish, it takes a modern agricultural system.

Criminal Activist Speaks at UC Berkeley

Animal Rights Activist Speaks To UC Berkeley Advocacy Group
By Mihir Zeveri Contributing Writer
Monday, April 13, 2009

In a visit to UC Berkeley Wednesday, an animal rights activist spoke to a student organization about continuing to protest inhumane animal treatment at the campus, which regularly performs research on animals.

Peter Young, who set at least eight thousand minks free from fur farms in October 1997, talked about his past experiences and encouraged members of the Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy to reevaluate their activist strategies, said Katie Cantrell, the organization's president.

"He was a fantastic speaker, a lot of people there talked about how they were moved by him," Cantrell said. "He talked about how important it is to assess how effective your methods are. A lot of people wave a sign around and think that they do something, but it's not effective."

Although most animal rights supporters have employed peaceful methods of protest, Cantrell said a small minority of activists still resort to illegal and violent methods. Read More

When I read this article, the message I got was if your legal protests aren’t working then you will need to resort to illegal activities in order to get what you want. For these radical animal rights activists, the end justifies the means; human life lost will be worth it if you free some lab rats. If this wasn’t the message being sent, then I would have thought the speaker would have denounced the recent attacks on researchers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sage Grouse Debate

Suit says grazing, drilling rules threaten bird
Scott Sonner, Associated Press
Sunday, April 12, 2009

(04-12) 04:00 PDT Reno -- Conservationists say federal rules that allow livestock grazing and oil and gas development across 25 million acres of public land in the West are illegal because they fail to acknowledge the harm being done to sage grouse.

A lawsuit recently filed in federal court accuses the Bureau of Land Management of violating two major environmental laws and its own regulations by allowing commercial activities to continue on those lands in California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.

But in a switch in strategy, the environmentalists aren't asking a judge to immediately halt those operations. They want to talk, and they think they may have a willing listener in the new Obama administration.

Ranchers and drillers said the suit is part of an effort to keep livestock, energy development and other commercial activities off an area of the West bigger than the state of Indiana.

"They are trying to tie up 25 million acres and close it down to livestock operators altogether," said Ronald Opsahl, a lawyer for the Mountain States Legal Foundation, which represents the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Petroleum Association of Wyoming. "As far as the scope of this case, it has to be unprecedented." Read More

This situation falls in line with an article I wrote last fall about the concept of “peak agriculture”. The concept is that there is a push to ban agriculture from certain areas in order to allegedly protect something else. In this case, there is an effort to eliminate 25 million acres of land from our available food and energy producing area. If things like this happen, people need to realize that this impacts our ability to produce food. We can’t replace these acres somewhere else. There is only so much land on this planet, and even less that can be used to grow food.

NJ's Seven Head Rule

Farmers face new animal waste laws
Sunday, April 12, 2009
By Randall Clark

A new set of state rules have been enacted to guide how farmers dispose of their manure and manage their pastures, attempting to minimize the impact of agricultural pollution.

The process of getting Salem County livestock and equine owners on board is under way, though several have relayed a sense of foreboding on what it will mean for their operations.

"It's a little scary. I don't really know what it means for me yet," said one county horse owner, who wished not to be named because of the mounting piles of manure on their 14-horse operation.

Developed under the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, any farm with more than seven animals (of 1,000 pounds or more) must devise a comprehensive waste management plan.

Read More

Seven head. That’s all the livestock you need to own in New Jersey to require that you have a nutrient management plan. How many producers can afford to hire an engineer to make their management plans for them if they only own seven head? Livestock producers strive to be good stewards of the land, but this is nothing but a blatant attempt to eliminate livestock in New Jersey. There is one other thing to learn from this. Many times in agriculture, we see people in our own industry working hard for the “big producers” to be more heavily regulated. It’s important to remember that anytime regulations like that are put in place, they will always end up trickling down and affecting everyone involved, regardless of how “big” you are.

Animal Welfare & WTO

Europe for inclusion of animal welfare in WTO agenda
April 9th, 2009 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS -

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Animal rights activists across the world have a reason to smile as the European Union (EU) is pushing for the inclusion of animal welfare standards in the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) multilateral trade negotiations.

“Inclusion of animal welfare standards in the WTO agenda is urgently needed to effectively enforce animal standards worldwide, and to improve the appalling condition of slaughter houses in many countries including India,” Citizens for Animal Rights (CAR), a city-based organisation, said in a release here.

Quoting European representatives, the CAR added: “Animal welfare concerns are being increasingly recognised in food production around the world, but they must be formalised within the WTO trade agreements.” Read More

The European Union has regulated themselves into a position where they can no longer feed their citizens, and now they want to force that on this country. Being able to feed your own country is a matter of national security. We have seen how relying on others for our energy works, now imagine doing that with food.

Educating Kids About Ag

In the moo-ed: Hillcrest students improve their agriculture literacy
Published: Monday, April 13, 2009

LAKE WALES - If you want 5- and 6-year-olds to listen to your Ag Day message, send someone in a cow costume.

About 225 Hillcrest Elementary students in Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade participated in the Florida Agriculture Literacy Day program recently. All eyes - and ears - were on the messenger Merry Moo, a costumed cow, who showed off Florida-fresh produce and helped students learn about the importance of their state's agriculture industry.

Representatives from Polk County Farm Bureau read the book "These Florida Farms!" and shared goodies with students, including juice from Florida's Natural, "Got Milk?" pencils and "Drink OJ" blinking buttons. Read More

I really enjoy highlighting some of the good things going on in agriculture. And probably one of the best things our industry can do is to work with our youth and teach them about food production and the people that do it. Many of these kids, like their parents, are growing up thinking that the grocery store shelves will always be full. Helping them realize that farmers and ranchers have this incredible responsibility to grow our food is important for them to learn. Congratulations to the Polk County Farm Bureau and everyone else who was involved for taking the time and making the effort to promote agriculture.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Point of View

Farmers and Ranchers Should Help Define ‘Sustainable’

By Troy Hadrick

It’s hard to get through the day anymore without hearing the word “sustainable.” In fact, I was recently asked if I was a factory farmer or if I raised cattle sustainably. Who judges what’s sustainable and what isn’t? It seems that the word has been hijacked and is being used by people who are opposed to modern agriculture.

Sometimes you just have to shake your head when you hear the term. When I hear about sustainable wood, it always puzzles me. Are there some trees that don't grow back?

But in food production, we hear more and more that modern agriculture can’t continue down the same path it’s currently on. What exactly led to that false notion, and how would anyone possess the kind of knowledge needed to back up that sweeping statement?

Skeptics say we should go back to how we used to raise crops and livestock. But how far back should we go? To the 1950s? Or how about the 1870s? Maybe we could go back to when everyone raised just their own food?

Broadly, it is frequently true that so-called sustainable practices are those techniques used before the combustion engine was invented. Every industry has adapted and used technology to improve production methods and output. That includes agriculture.

From a farmer’s perspective, there are two questions that should have to be answered before any agricultural practice can truly be considered sustainable. First, will the farm and ranch families implementing the practice be able to generate enough income to continue farming or ranching? Will those families be sustainable? And second, will the practice help producers increase food production to keep up with a growing population? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then, from my perspective, it should not be considered sustainable.

If farmers and ranchers can't make a living, they obviously won't be around very long. That’s not what I would call a sustainable practice. Or if America’s farmers and ranchers are forced to use production methods that do not yield enough food for everyone would you consider that sustainable? I wouldn’t.

At the end of the day, agriculture has a single, yet vital, responsibility -- to provide food, fiber, fuel and other basics of life for an ever-growing world. The agriculture industry that some folks like to envision is better described as nostalgic rather than sustainable or even realistic. Our society wouldn’t have developed into what it is today if 25 percent or more of our workforce was still required to grow food. For the past century, we have continually produced more food with less farm inputs. With the technologies available today, that trend will continue.

American agriculture has a longer track record than any other industry in this country. Many families are producing food on the same land their ancestors did. That is proof of sustainability. Farmers and ranchers know a thing or two about being sustainable since our livelihood depends on it. It’s time we take our word “sustainable” back and encourage everyone to think about and use its real definition.