January 2010 Archives

Willet_Injuries_4small.jpgIn response to MFA's release of cruelty footage at Willet Dairy on Tuesday, Leprino Foods, a Denver-based cheese producer, has dropped Willet as a milk supplier. Leprino distributes cheese to the three largest pizza companies in the U.S. - Pizza Hut, Dominos and Papa John's. Until Wednesday, milk from Willet had been sent to Leprino's Waverly, N.Y. plant. Mike Reidy, a senior vice president of Leprino, stated on Thursday, "We are no longer served by that dairy."

The footage obtained by an MFA undercover investigator revealed the following abuses perpetrated on a routine basis at Willet:

• Workers burning out the horns and slicing off the tails of calves without anesthesia
• Cows confined indoors in herds so densely packed or stalls so small that they could not move freely
• "Downed" cows - those too sick or injured to stand - left to suffer for weeks before they died or were killed
• Workers kicking, punching and electrically shocking cows and calves
• Cows with debilitating leg injuries, abscesses, open wounds and prolapsed uteruses, many caked with feces and left to fester without veterinary care
• Workers injecting cows with a controversial bovine growth hormone used to increase milk production

"We take these issues, very, very seriously and we will respond," Reidy said. "We continue to view animal health and welfare as a matter of critical importance." He added that Leprino had not yet decided on what further actions to take.

While MFA is pleased that Leprino has dropped Willet as a supplier, and it is an important step in the right direction, Leprino and other producers must adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to animal health and welfare.

Compassionate consumers can take immediate action to help end this abuse simply by ditching dairy and going vegan.

Click here to read more on this important fall-out of MFA's investigation.

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"Issue with Jane Velez-Mitchell" aired a powerful segment last night, spotlighting the findings of MFA's newly released dairy industry investigation.


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CL5Coversmall1.jpgThe new Fall/Winter '10 issue of MFA's Compassionate Living magazine is chock-full of inspiring information and resources - delicious vegan recipes, a touching interview with the author of The Inner World of Farm Animals, tips on nutrition from Anya "The Vegan Dietitian" Todd, provocative pork industry and hatchery exposés, a guide for bringing MFA's award-winning documentary, Fowl Play, to a screen near you, and much more.

Click here to download the latest issue of CL.

Click here to read past issues of the magazine.

Click here to become an official member of MFA and receive future issues of the magazine by mail.

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The hundreds of guests who attended the star-studded Celebrating Compassion Gala in New York City where treated to live musical and comedy performances, a delicious vegan dinner and an awards ceremony that honored community leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to farm animal protection. The sold out event was a huge success and helped raise funds to the support the Mercy For Animals' life-saving work.

DanPiraroGala.jpgDinner was provided by New York-based Natural Delights organic catering company, and featured Match vegan meats and Daiya vegan cheese, and delicious desserts by Vegan Treats and SO Delicious vegan ice cream. Guests also enjoyed organic wine from Frey Vineyards.

NYCGalaFood.jpgHonorary guests included legendary artist Peter Max, HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell, HBO film producers Tom Simon and Sarah Teale, New York Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Super Size Me co-star and author Alex Jamieson, famed musician Nellie McKay, bestselling author Victoria Moran, and many more.

Click here to see more photos from this memorable evening.

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A newly released Mercy For Animals investigation is pulling back the curtains on the largest dairy factory farm in New York State - Willet Dairy in Locke. The investigation, which broke last night on ABC's World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer and Nightline, is exposing millions of Americans to the hidden cruelty common in the dairy industry.

Evidence gathered at the dairy facility reveals:

    • Cows with bloody open wounds, prolapsed uteruses, pus-filled infections and swollen joints, apparently left to suffer without veterinary care
    • "Downed" cows - those too sick or injured to even stand - left to suffer for weeks before dying or being killed
    • Workers hitting, kicking, punching, and electric-shocking cows and calves
    • Calves having their horns burned off without painkillers, as a worker shoved his fingers into the calves' eyes to restrain them
    • Calves having their tails cut off - a painful practice opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association
    • Newborn calves forcibly dragged away from their mothers by their legs, causing emotional distress to both mother and calf
    • Cows living in overcrowded sheds on manure-coated concrete flooring
    • Workers injecting cows with a controversial bovine growth hormone, used to increase milk production

In a joint statement, internationally renowned experts, including Dr. Bernard Rollin, an expert witness on animal welfare issues in the U.S. and abroad, and Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned cattle welfare expert and advisor to the USDA, compared the conditions documented at Willet to the infamous Hallmark slaughterhouse, where undercover video exposing abuse of downed cows resulted in the largest beef recall in US history. They state, "This dairy presents at least as bad a picture of the industry as does Hallmark."

New York veterinarian, Dr. Holly Cheever, bluntly stated, "(I)t is my professional opinion that the environment that this dairy provides as well as its cattle-handling techniques are improper, unhygienic, dangerous, and inhumane."

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the dairy operation repeatedly violated New York's animal cruelty laws, which was meticulously compiled by Mercy For Animals and presented to the Cayuga County District Attorney, the law enforcement agency refuses to uphold the state's laws to protect animals - allowing abuse to continue at Willet, unchecked.

Sadly, the inhumane conditions uncovered at this factory farm are not isolated. Whether raised for meat, dairy or eggs, animals used in food production are frequently subjected to appalling confinement, mutilations, brutal handling and slaughter. Because agribusiness values profit over ethical principles, cruelty to animals continues to run rampant on factory farms.

Thankfully, compassionate consumers can choose to withdraw their support of these abusive industries by adopting a vegan diet. Each time we eat we can choose kindness over cruelty.

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Bostonians are waking up to the cruel truth of factory farming, thanks to MFA's new, pro-vegetarian bus ad campaign. Since early January, 300 interior bus ads and 70 exterior bus ads have been running on Boston's public transit system. One ad features the adorable faces of a piglet and a puppy side-by-side, and the other of a cute kitten and a fluffy, yellow chick. Both ads ask, "Why love one but eat the other?"

IMG_7121small.jpgIMG_7120small.jpgThe interior ads have pull-off sheets that riders can take with them with information on how to order a copy of MFA's Vegetarian Starter Kit, along with our ChooseVeg.com website and 1.866 Veg.Tips number. This month-long campaign is estimated to amass over 25 million views.

BostonBackBus2small.jpgSimilar MFA ad campaigns have hit bus lines in Chicago, New York City, Denver, Michigan, and Toronto.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund future MFA pro-vegetarian ad campaigns.

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January 11, 2010

The Year in Meat

31109steak1.jpgErik Marcus, author of The Ultimate Vegan Guide and Meat Market: Animals, Ethics & Money, and writer of the daily Vegan.com blog, has written a captivating article, which highlights 2009's most significant events affecting the meat, egg and dairy industries, as well as the vegan and animal advocacy movements.

Marcus chronicles 2009 as the meat industry's "most horrific year on record," with factory farms and feedlots "hemorrhaging cash," quitting the business or unsuccessfully attempting to sell their facilities. He also humorously describes the industry's bumbling efforts to redeem itself in the eyes of consumers.

"The Year in Meat" details the "unprecedented barrage of scornful media coverage" suffered by animal agribusiness in 2009, including the high-profile release of Mercy For Animals' investigations into the world's largest hatchery for egg-laying breed hens and a Pennsylvania pig breeding facility. Time magazine also published a detailed attack on factory farming and vegan book publishing reached an all-time high, with three different vegan-friendly books simultaneously ranked in Amazon's top 100 bestsellers: Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, Tal Ronnen's The Conscious Cook and Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet.

Marcus highlights progress made on the farmed animal protection and vegan fronts, such as bans on veal and gestation crates in Maine, bans on crates and battery cages in Michigan, a ban on tail docking of cows in California and recent anti-cruelty measures taken by the European Union. 2009 also brought the successful "Meat-Free Mondays" initiative promoted by Paul McCartney and other big-name celebrities, as well as vegan-friendly corporate policy changes, such as BOCA's switch to a completely egg-free product line.

Click here to read about these and other momentous events in 2009.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2009 is the previous archive.

February 2010 is the next archive.

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

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