July 2009 Archives

The July 29th issue of The Washington Post carries a thought provoking article by Ezra Klein titled, "Gut Check: The Meat of the Problem" which addresses meat productions contribution to climate change. The article states:

According to a 2006 United Nations report, livestock accounts for 18 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Some of meat's contribution to climate change is intuitive. It's more energy efficient to grow grain and feed it to people than it is to grow grain and turn it into feed that we give to calves until they become adults that we then slaughter to feed to people. Some of the contribution is gross. "Manure lagoons," for instance, is the oddly evocative name for the acres of animal excrement that sit in the sun steaming nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. And some of it would make Bart Simpson chuckle. Cow gas -- interestingly, it's mainly burps, not farts -- is a real player.
Klein also empowers readers to become part of the solution by reducing or eliminating meat from their diets, stating:

The pity of it is that compared with cars or appliances or heating your house, eating pasta on a night when you'd otherwise have made fajitas is easy. It doesn't require a long commute on the bus or the disposable income to trade up to a Prius. It doesn't mean you have to scrounge for change to buy a carbon offset. In fact, it saves money. It's healthful. And it can be done immediately. A Montanan who drives 40 miles to work might not have the option to take public transportation. But he or she can probably pull off a veggie stew. A cash-strapped family might not be able buy a new dishwasher. But it might be able to replace meatballs with mac-and-cheese. That is the whole point behind the cheery PB&J Campaign, which reminds that "you can fight global warming by having a PB&J for lunch." Given that PB&J is delicious, it's not the world's most onerous commitment.

Click here to read the entire article, then click here to order your free Vegetarian Starter Kit.

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Dunkin' Donuts is the world's largest coffee and baked goods chain, serving more than 3 million customers daily. There are an estimated 6,400 stores in the U.S. alone, offering more than 52 varieties of donuts - and every single donut served contains both egg and dairy products from animals forced to endure miserable conditions on today's massive and mechanized factory farms.

dunkincrueltylogo.jpgThankfully, our friends at Compassion Over Killing have just launched an impressive campaign to encourage the donut-behemoth to ditch cruel dairy and eggs in its donut recipes, and switch to kinder vegan alternatives.

Please share your concerns, letting the company know you want it to stop using eggs and dairy in its donuts and offer vegan menu items to meet the growing demand for healthier and more humane foods:

* Call the Company: 800-859-5339
* Send a Letter to the CEO:

Dunkin Brands
Attn: Nigel Travis
130 Royall Street
Canton, MA 02021

* Finally, click here to send a quick email message to the company.

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The Pitchfork Music Festival is a three-day event showcasing over 40 of independent music's best bands and artists on three stages in the heart of Chicago. Mercy For Animals activists were out in full force this past weekend at the sold-out music extravaganza to sing the praises of veganism to concert attendees.

mfatable1.jpgMFA's educational booth attracted hundreds of visitors - all of whom walked away with a better understanding of the health, ethical and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet.

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bio_nathan_runkle.jpgNathan Runkle, MFA's Executive Director, became the youngest person ever inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame when he was honored with the award during the Animal Rights 2009 National Conference in Los Angeles, California on July 19th.

The U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of animal rights for at least ten years.  Past inductees include Cleveland Amory, Howard Lyman, Ingrid Newkirk, Peter Singer, Karen Davis, and Paul Shapiro.

During the conference award ceremony, Mercy For Animals took top honors in the "Most Effective Vegan Campaign" category for the organization's undercover egg farm investigations.

Other award recipients included Dave Bemel of Action for Animals, and Lauren Ornleas of The Food Empowerment Project - both recognized with Grassroots Activist Awards. Jane Velez-Mitchell, celebrated anchor of Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN (formerly CNN's Headline News) received the Celebrity Animal Activist Award.

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BabyLamb1_dreamstime_1287671.jpgNext week animal advocates from across the country will converge in Los Angeles for the annual Animal Rights National Conference. Complete with nearly 100 acclaimed speakers representing 60 organizations and nine countries, this is the world's longest-running animal advocacy symposium.

Over 110 inspiring and informative sessions will be presented on topics ranging from animals and the law, grassroots activism, vegan campaigns, personal skill building, and updates on national efforts to protect animals used for fur, food, and vivisection. Delicious vegan cuisine and cruelty-free shopping opportunities also await attendees.

MFA's Executive Director Nathan Runkle will present on various issues at the conference, including undercover investigations, advertisement campaigns, grassroots outreach, and vegetarian campaigns.

Other noteworthy speakers include Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns, Karen Dawn of DawnWatch.com, Lorri Houston of Animal Acres, Elliot Katz of In Defense of Animals, Erik Marcus of Vegan.com, Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach, and Erica Meier of Compassion Over Killing.

For all of the exciting conference details, and to register for the event, visit www.ARConference.org.

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Gestation Crate.jpgTwo years after Smithfield Foods (the world's largest pig flesh producer) announced that it would phase out cruel gestation crates by 2017, the company has decided to break its promise.  Smithfield states:

"Due to recent significant operating losses incurred by our Hog Production segment, we have delayed capital expenditures for the program such that we no longer expect to complete the phase-out within ten years of the original announcement."

Although Smithfield cites financial woes as the reason for putting off the promised minimal improvements for pigs, it should be pointed out that just three years' compensation for the company's highly paid directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out over the next eight years.

The majority of Smithfield's pregnant sows are currently confined to gestation crates, which are made of concrete and steel and are so small that the animals cannot turn around or even lie down comfortably in them. Many of these intelligent and social animals will literally go insane from the intensive confinement and lack of physical or mental stimulation. Open sores, cuts, infections, and neurotic behavior plague many sows confined in these inherently cruel stalls. In fact, the crates are so cruel they have been banned in six states, including California, Maine, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, and Florida.

Unfortunately, such backpedaling on Smithfield's part is yet another reminder that the meat industry places profits over ethics, leaving the animals to pay the ultimate price - a life filled with pain and misery.

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-1.jpgCalling all opinionated vegetarians. Here is your chance to vote for the best of the best in everything cruelty-free. It's time for the 2009 VegNews magazine Veggie Awards Survey! Featuring nearly 50 categories of vegetarian people, products, places, and more, this is the world's largest survey of its kind.

Don't pass up this opportunity to show your support for MFA's important work. Consider voting for:

- Mercy For Animals in the "Favorite Non-Profit Organization" category
- ChooseVeg.com in the "Favorite Website" category

Voters have a chance to win fabulous prize packages, including a Tropical Vacation Getaway, a His/Her Urban Goodie Bag, a Vegan Ice Cream Starter Kit, and a Chocolate Madness Gift Box.

But you must hurry; the polls close July 31 at midnight. The winners will be announced in the November+December "Best of Vegetarian" holiday edition of VegNews.

Click here to cast your ballot.

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The American Dietetic Association, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, has just released an updated position paper on vegetarian diets that concludes such diets, if well-planned, are healthful and nutritious for adults, infants, children and adolescents and can help prevent and treat chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

ADA's position, published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, represents the Association's official stance on vegetarian diets:

"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes."

Vegetarian diets are often associated with health advantages including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, according to ADA's position. "Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, vitamins C and E, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids and other phytochemicals. These nutritional differences may explain some of the health advantages of those following a varied, balanced vegetarian diet."

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High-fives, cheers, smiles, and applause greeted MFA activists in New York City and Chicago this past weekend as they marched in two of the country's largest gay pride parades. Carrying a large banner that declared "No one is free when others are oppressed," MFA supporters celebrated compassion and diversity, while educating thousands of parade attendees on the cruel and oppressive treatment animals endure on factory farms.  Check out these pictures from the Chicago event.


The advocates distributed over 11,000 leaflets on vegetarianism to parade attendees - inspiring many to move toward a more compassionate diet. Click here for information on getting involved with MFA in your area and click here for information on MFA's internship program.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2009 is the previous archive.

August 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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