February 2010 Archives

Dedicated advocates with Mercy For Animals recently dished up both food for thought and the stomach, when they spent the day at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois reaching out to students and faculty about the multitude of benefits of a plant-based diet.

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Hundreds of pieces of pro-vegetarian literature were distributed to students on the cruelties of factory farming, along with samples of delicious vegan alternatives to animal products - including Tofurky slices, almond & soymilk, and vegan cookies. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with the event enticing both members of the faculty and staff, who stopped by the table to sample the cruelty-free fare.

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Willet_Dying_Calf.jpgABC News is reporting that Phil Niles, the worker at Willet Dairy filmed on hidden camera by an undercover Mercy For Animals' investigator striking a cow in the head with a wrench and then bragging about such abuse, has been suspended.

The mere suspension of Niles fails to address the issues at the root of MFA's recent undercover dairy industry investigation. As ABC News reports:

"Animal rights groups, however, say that suspension is not enough, and that Niles should be fired and brought up on criminal charges."

"This employee should be fired, prohibited from working around animals, referred for psychiatric evaluation, and criminally prosecuted for abusing animals," said Nathan Runkle of the advocacy group Mercy for Animals, whose undercover investigator filmed Niles striking the cow at Willet, one of New York's largest dairies.

"This action is too little, too late and fails to address larger underlying issues of animal cruelty at Willet Dairy."

Although workers who maliciously abuse animals should certainly be reprimanded, it's important to remember that the vast majority of farmed animal suffering is caused by the intensive confinement, mutilations without painkillers, untreated disease and injury, and the unnatural and deprived conditions that largely go hand-in-hand with factory farming.

Compassionate consumers can reject the abuse of cows by adopting a vegan diet.

Click here to read the ABC News story.

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Although rampant animal cruelty in the American poultry and pork industry is reason enough to go vegetarian, CBS Evening News is exposing yet another dark side to factory farming - the potentially dangerous overuse of antibiotics in livestock.

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vegvalentines08_logo.jpgWant to spend this Valentine's Day savoring the flavor of local vegetarian culture while also making a difference for animals? Chicagoland is teeming with anticipation for Mercy For Animals' 5th annual Vegetarian Valentine's Party, which takes place this Saturday, February 13. Make this holiday about more than cheesy cards and instead celebrate your love for all creatures and a more compassionate world!

Enjoy the company of like-minded compassionate people--this event will be the perfect place to meet new people, mingle with old friends, or bring your special someone for a romantic night out. Experience the sumptuous variety of the best vegetarian fare Chicago (and the country) has to offer. The event's all-vegan spread includes appetizers from Veggie Bite, Dharma Garden Thai Cuisine, Upton's Naturals, Ste Martaen cheese and premium vegan Match Meats; pizzas featuring the new delicious Daiya vegan cheese; desserts from The Chicago Diner, Farmacy Foods, NibMor Chocolates and Raw Creations.

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2010
Time: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Place: Black Walnut Gallery, 220 North Aberdeen Street, Chicago, IL
Tickets: $35 in advance ($40 at the door)

And breaking news: Enjoy an exclusive performance by none other than Lord of the Yum-Yum! Hilarity is sure to ensue when this unique performer helps us relive our feelings of yesteryear, our innocence, and childhood memories through song and dance. Lord of the Yum-Yum sings ridiculous grind/scat vocal versions of familiar classical pieces, remixes them up with beat-boxing and live electronic loop techniques, all while wearing his signature old-school ruffle tuxedos. Don't miss this unforgettably entertaining performance!

Guest can also treat themselves to our open bar, featuring vegan and organic wine, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and tea from Chicago's own Argo Tea.

And if that weren't enough, guests will enjoy a fabulous silent auction that includes spa and relaxation packages, museum passes, gifts for your favorite companion animals, and gifts for your special sweetheart. In addition, our raffle will feature a weekend getaway to Wisconsin, wine-tastings, and local handmade jewelry.

Get your tickets now before they all sell out! Go to VegValentinesParty.com for more details.

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valentines-gift.gifFrom now until the end of February compassionate consumers have a new way to help animals - shopping for great cruelty-free and vegan goodies. That's right! For a limited time, 10% of the proceeds from every purchase made through TheVegetarianSite.com will go to support MFA's life-saving work on behalf of farmed animals.

All products are 100% vegan and sourced from socially responsible brands. The Vegetarian Site has everything from books, videos and dvds to vegan clothing, footwear, personal care products and groceries. This month, there is even a special Valentine's Day gift basket filled with both cookies and chocolate truffles!

What are you waiting for? Get shopping!

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According to data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the total number of animals killed for food in the U.S. (not including sea life) has been steadily decreasing since 2008. The USDA projects that such deaths decreased by six percent in 2009 (from 10.3 billion in 2008 to 9.6 billion in 2009), despite the fact that the U.S. population increased by one percent in both years.

1934917078_359cfee43f.jpgSix percent fewer deaths translate into millions of animals' lives spared. While there is still vast work ahead of us to be done, we should take heart that the collective efforts of animal advocates, heath experts and environmentalists to fight factory farming seem to be significantly impacting the lives of farmed animals.

Click here for details of the USDA report.

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Ohioans for Humane Farms has petitioned Ohio's Attorney General to include a farmed animal protection measure on the statewide November ballot. The proposed measure would allow voters to require the newly enacted Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to prohibit the following common meat, egg and dairy industry practices:

• Intensive confinement of animals in crates and cages so small that they are unable to fully extend their limbs and wings, or engage in other basic natural behaviors for nearly their entire lives

• Allowing "downer" cows - those too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own to enter the human food supply by dragging, pushing, shocking and beating them onto the kill floor

• Inhumane methods of killing sick and injured animals, such as execution-style hanging of pigs, as one Ohio farmer was captured perpetrating on film

These modest restrictions will prevent the cruelest practices affecting farmed animals, promote food safety, benefit Ohio family farmers and safeguard the environment.

The petition includes signatures from Ohio voters in 48 counties, and is backed by Mercy For Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, Ohio SPCA, Toledo Area Humane Society, Geauga Humane Society, Ohio League of Humane Voters, Center for Food Safety, United Farm Workers, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and many others. Mobilizing a large volunteer base, Ohioans for Humane Farms will endeavor to gather 600,000 additional signatures from Ohio voters.

>Measures banning cruel confinement systems, similar to the Ohio proposal, have been highly successful in other U.S. states, including Michigan, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine and Oregon. The Ohio proposal, however, is the most comprehensive farmed animal protection measure yet, as it not only aims to ban cruel confinement, but abuse of sick and injured animals. 

Click here to get involved with this important campaign.

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There is major fall-out from MFA's New York dairy farm investigations that could change state law and prevent cruelty to thousands of animals!

After reviewing MFA's video of animal cruelty at Willet Dairy, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal proposed a ban on tail docking - A.09732 - similar to the one enacted in California last year. Painfully cutting off the tails of horses has been illegal in New York State for decades and it's high time that we extend this same modest protection to cattle. New York residents should contact their Assemblymembers and encourage them to support this measure, as well as spread the word about the proposed ban to other New York residents.

Tail docking cattle is among the most disturbing practices MFA's undercover investigator captured on film. A worker uses a bladed clamp to slice off the ends of calves' tails, severing nerves, skin and vertebrae - all without the use of anesthesia. The calves' legs buckle from the pain, as they stagger and stumble to the ground. The worker then applies a smoking cautery device to the amputations.

While dairy officials claim that tail docking is necessary to prevent cows from slinging manure, many veterinarians and animal scientists, including the conservative American Veterinary Medical Association, condemn tail docking as an acutely painful procedure that lacks scientific support.

taildocking.jpgAssemblywoman Rosenthal's proposed ban on tail docking and the ban enacted in California last year are major steps in the right direction; clearly, the movement to end the suffering of cows at the hands of the dairy industry is mounting. While such measures fail to address other torturous mutilations performed without anesthesia, such as castration and dehorning (burning into the skulls of calves to remove their budding horns), as opposition to farmed animal cruelty gains momentum, we are optimistic that we will see proposed bans on these practices in the future.

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This weekend a group of dedicated MFA volunteers braved sub-zero temperatures to feed the stomachs and warm the hearts of people attending the Inaugural Chicago Snow Days, an outdoor winter themed festival.

During the two-day event, droves of veg-curious attendees sampled everything from savory mini-sandwiches with Tofutti cream cheese and Tofurky deli slices to vegan cookies, marshmallows and ice cream sandwiches.

ChicagoFeedIn1.jpgAfter having a taste of a delicious vegan tidbit, most people eagerly took Compassionate Choices booklets and other helpful MFA brochures detailing the heath, ethical, and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet.

ChicagoFeedIn2.jpgVegan feed-ins are positive and fun outreach events that highlight the many delicious, healthy and cruelty-free alternatives to meat, dairy and egg products widely available in supermarkets nationwide.

Show your community that compassionate eating is simple, healthy and delicious. Click here for tips on coordinating a successful feed-in event in your area.

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If you're like me, you've always enjoyed Starbucks for its vegan-friendly soy lattes, granola, nut bars and fruit snacks, but often wished they'd offer something sweet for dunking! Alas, crave no more, as Starbucks now offers Lucy's Cookies - vegan, gluten-free, allergy-free and delicious!
StarbucksVeganCookies.jpgClick here to read more about Lucy's Cookies.

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About this Archive

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

January 2010 is the previous archive.

March 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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