I think we need a little time out:
Play LOUD !
I think we need a little time out:
Play LOUD !
A group of 22 environmentalists, public health, and animal-rights aficionados led by the Stand Up For Factory Farms coalition is petitioning Oregon to adopt new air quality rules — specifically targeting dairy.
Filed on August 17, the petition was submitted to the Environmental Quality Commission seeking to create an emissions program that applies to “large” dairy farms — those the federal EPA defines by housing 700 or more mature cows.
Oregon is home to over 200 dairy farms — most which have been family owned and operated for multiple generations. The state is known for producing high-quality milk and consistently ranking amongst the top five states nationwide for milk quality. Although the petition purportedly is aimed at “mega dairy,” a 700 mature cow operation hardly qualifies as a large farm. In fact, 700 mature cows doesn’t place a dairy into the top ten largest dairies in the state … or the top 50.
The introduction to the petition reads, “Air pollution from the State’s growing number of exceedingly large mega-dairies threatens the public health and safety of Oregonians, as well as the environment. Yet the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality neither monitors nor regulates this air pollution through its current Air Contaminant Discharge Permit program. It is past time for Oregon to address air pollution from large dairy concentrated animal feeding operations.”
The coalition’s petition calls for a requirement that proposed and existing dairies obtain an air quality permit to “curb” harmful emissions. The permit would likely apply to 39 percent of Grade A dairies in the state, which house 84 percent of cattle. The commission has 90 days to respond by denying the request or by beginning rule-making proceedings.
The groups support their claims with a “fact sheet” by Food and Water Watch, which reads, “Mega-dairies have wreaked havoc on communities in eastern Oregon for years. Nitrate from fertilizers and animal waste infiltrates groundwater and threatens the health of those who drink it.” In their conclusion, they state, “The numerous problems that mega-dairies create and the incalculable damage that they inflict on Oregon are not going away without strong action from the state’s leaders. Touting factory farm gas as a solution is only entrenching pollution among frontline communities. Oregon’s legislature must take strong action to protect our air, water and health, beginning with a moratorium on new and expanding mega-dairies.”
The removal of dairy cows from the U.S. agricultural industry wouldn’t do much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, data from Virginia Tech suggests that emissions would only drop about 0.7 percent, with far worse implications for human health if dairy was removed.
Dairies are already under regulation by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality. Since 1993, all Oregon dairies have maintained a Confined Animal Feeding Operation Permit, which provides a checks and balances system that ensures protection of the state’s waters.
Should vets be vegan? Nurse argues it is contradictory to treat and save the lives of some animals; and then go off to eat others.
Britain’s top veterinary organisation has published an article suggesting that vets should go vegan.
Saving the lives of pets, then eating other animals, could be seen as ‘contradictory’, according to the article in the flagship journal of the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
The article, written by veterinary nurse Leanne Dalton, is given the headline: ‘Do we have a moral obligation to be vegan?’
The text states: ‘We are expected to treat all our patients equally, but equality should extend to animals beyond those in our care. Is it not contradictory to perform life-saving surgery on one animal and then eat a chicken sandwich straight after?’
It comes as fashionable veganism sweeps across public bodies, from Oxfordshire County Council banning meat at County Hall events to universities banning beef.
There is even a movement encouraging people to feed their dogs and cats vegan food.
The BVA does not have an official stance on whether vets should eat meat. But Mrs Dalton, who works at Vets4Pets in Loughborough, Leicestershire, writes: ‘Studies in farm animals, decapods and cephalopods have shown that they are able to demonstrate a wide range of cognitive abilities equal to, and in some cases superior than, the small animals that many of us see in practice.’
Decapods include crabs and lobsters, and cephalopods include the octopus and squid.
Mrs Dalton concludes: ‘If we are against cruelty to animals, we should stop contributing to harming them and collectively adopt veganism.’
Responding to the article, published in the journal Vet Record, Professor Victor Kumar, a moral philosopher at Boston University, said: ‘The problem with articles telling people that they should be vegan is that they can backfire, since people who eat meat feel they are disapproved of, or perceive that vegans are claiming to have moral superiority.
‘It might be better to encourage people to reduce the amount of meat they eat, or to look for ethically sourced meat, as most people do not like the cruelty involved in factory farming. We need to remember that meat is a big part of many people’s lives, from summer barbecues to Christmas dinners.’
Mrs Dalton could not be reached for comment.
Sean Wensley, former president of the BVA and author of Through a Vet’s Eyes, said: ‘Some people take an animal rights-based view, which promotes an end to the use of animals by humans, while others have an animal welfare-based view, which accepts animal use, so long as the animals have a good life and a humane death.
‘The veterinary profession largely adheres to an animal welfare-based view. But veterinary professionals who adopt veganism have a legitimate philosophical view and must be respected.’
Justine Shotton, president of the BVA, said that the journal Vet Record is editorially independent and does not represent the views of the BVA.
She said: ‘Diet is a personal matter and vets are well-placed to make educated decisions about the best way that they can consider sustainability and animal welfare in their choices as consumers.
‘At the British Veterinary Assocation, we encourage everyone to consider the environmental impact of their dietary choices and have long campaigned for a ‘less and better’ approach to consuming meat.’
Animal rights activists celebrate as controversial rabbit farm firm ceases trading
A rabbit farm in Rutland has closed after facing sustained pressure from animal rights activists – including alleged cases of vandalism. T&S Nurseries, ran by Phil Kerry, set up a rabbit farming site at Lyndon Top Farm, close to Rutland Water, and previously submitted plans to expand the farm to breed 10,000 rabbits a year for slaughter.
However, the company, which also had farms in Nottingham and Buckinghamshire, faced significant opposition and scrutiny from residents and animal rights campaigners, including PETA, as it attempted to expand the business.
PETA gathered more than 21,000 signatures on a petition to block Mr Kerry’s plans during a campaign which also won the support of comedian, TV, and film star Ricky Gervais.
Now, Mr Kerry has confirmed he has decided to cease trading because of that pressure and the repeated rejection of his applications to expand the business.
(Friday, August 19), that he was pulling out of the trade. He said: “We’re passing over the last of the rabbits from the farm over to the activists tomorrow and winding down the rabbit farm business.
“I was looking to retire next year anyway, so pushing it forward a few months doesn’t matter to me. But we’re diversifying into other things such as vineyards, orchards, as well as going into the ‘glamping’ business, so nobody is going to lose their jobs from the closure.
“The legal activism outside the businesses through the day was one thing, but we had a lot of activists at night that caused us a lot more issues, especially graffiti and vandalism. One staff member’s car was even covered with paint stripper.
“We were very much a small base of operations for rabbit farming compared to what gets shipped in from Europe. So maybe the focus should be on that now instead.”
In a statement regarding the business ceasing trade, PETA’s vice president of programmes Elisa Allen said: “Animal advocates are jumping for joy over news that T&S Nurseries has read the writing on the wall and will soon be closing up shop – meaning no more rabbits will be bred and killed at its facilities.
“On these farms, sensitive animals spend much of their lives confined to barren hutches, unable to socialise or explore. Then, after enduring a miserable life, they’re hung upside down and their throats are slit so their dismembered body parts can be used for pâté, pies, and other “products”.
“Business owner Phil Kerry revealed the decision to cease trading was made, in part, because local councils repeatedly blocked his applications for new butchering and breeding sites – applications which tens of thousands of compassionate PETA supporters spoke out against.
“In a true sign of the times, the public has once again reminded animal-exploiting businesses that the only viable industries are those which don’t harm other living, feeling beings.”
The animal rights charity also said that it intends to send Mr Kerry a “box of vegan chocolate bunnies to wish him a happy retirement.”
Vegan chocolates – wonderful and the very best !