Factory Farming News Blog

The Factory Farming Blog comments on current events and breaking news on the industrial food scene as reported by the media; both for food factories and big agriculture produce. To subscribe to The Blog, click on the orange button.

Feb 05, 2017

Introducing a New Friend and a New Affiliate

This is a short blog to introduce visitors to a new friend of the site and a new affiliate.

The new friend is Helen Nichols who is the creator of a wonderful site dedicated to living the healthful life. Do yourself a favor and visit her site called Well-Being Secrets. You'll be glad you did.

The new affiliate to Factory-Farming is none other than GORUCK

Yes, you have seen them advertised everywhere and now you can access them here. Need a back pack, a bug-out bag, computer bag, airline carry-on or any other type of gear? Get it here.

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Jan 29, 2017

Resurgence: The Bird Flu is Alive and Well

I probably shouldn't use the word "resurgence" in the context of bird flu since it never went away, just took a little snooze for a couple of years. Guess what? It's back.

The latest strain is H5N6 and so far it has killed 32 million chickens in Korea and managed to jump to cats. No telling how far and wide a bunch of feral cats will spread the virus.

According to a January 28, 2017 Wall St. Journal article, the bug is spreading country to country in the droppings of migratory birds but can also hitch a ride on truck tires, clothing or even dust particles. It travels well and mutates on a whim. H5N8, a cousin of the current threat has shown up in 25 European countries from Spain to Russia and even China just since November.

The U.S. egg industry is giddy since so many chickens died in Korea they are having a serious egg shortage and our egg industry was able to sell a million and a half eggs to Korea in January alone.

The experts who monitor such things say that two cases have appeared in wild mallard ducks in Alaska and Montana. They say the "risk to North American wild birds and poultry is significant and we need to be watching for it".

No kidding!

Continue reading "Resurgence: The Bird Flu is Alive and Well"

Jan 24, 2017

Valentine's Day at Farm Sanctuary

Valentine's Day is coming fast and there's a whole lot of rescued animals at Gene Baur's Farm Sanctuary that need a whole lot of lovin'.

Now is our chance to symbolically adopt one or a family group of these animals and really share the love. Please go to Farm Sanctuary to see this remarkable place and learn more.

Remember, it's not what we get out of life that matters, it's what we give to life.

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Jan 23, 2017

Drugs in Fish - How Bad can it Get?

Contamination of both fresh and salt water fish is rising at an alarming rate with dire consequences for both the fish and consumers that eat them. It's not so great for birds, bears and other critters that eat them either.

The contamination comes from all directions. From human use, medications that we take are only partly metabolized in the body, the rest is excreted into wastewater. Most water treatment plants are not equipped to deal with pharmaceutical pollution.

Industry contributes their share. The manufacture of pharmaceuticals can lead to high levels of drug contamination in waterways downstream from the production plants. Use of drugs in factory farmed animals gets excreted into our waterways.

Sadly, unused drugs often get flushed down the toilet and medications used in the form of creams or topical applications get washed into the water supply simply from showering and bathing.

The results are devastating to fish. Consider that anti-anxiety drugs cause young salmon to alter their behavior and migrate too soon and disrupt their survival instincts in addition to degrading their fitness for open waters.

Antidepressants, diabetes drugs and birth control hormones have been found in fish from the Puget Sound. All of this has been shown to change behavior, reproduction, growth and even cause the feminization of male fish.

Prozac detected in fighting fish tends to change their behavior, making them "mellow", less bold, and more reclusive.

It is really uncertain as to how these contaminated fish affect human health but it can't be good. It seems reasonable that high levels of accumulated pharmaceuticals in fish consumed by us would lead to higher levels of antibiotic resistance, ingestion of heavy metal toxins, and why wouldn't the consumption of endocrine disruptors cause sexual development and identification to go haywire just as it does in fish and wildlife?

If you must eat fish, look for wild Alaskan salmon, Sockeye salmon or the smaller fish like sardines anchovies and herring. Also look for the Marine Stewardship Council certification which means that the product has been audited to ensure it conforms to sustainable standards.

Continue reading "Drugs in Fish - How Bad can it Get?"

Oct 20, 2016

Tendergrass Farms Does it Again

One of our honored affiliates, Tendergrass Farms has just notified us that they are now taking orders for their fully organic hot dogs, corn dogs and organic smoked sliced chicken. Take a look at their Amazing Organic Uncured Frank and see if it calls out to you.

You can also click the link below and see all their products and read the story of Tendergrass Farms at their home page.

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Sep 24, 2016

Brook Hill Farm: Helping Horses, Helping Kids

Anyone even glancing at the content of this website knows about the horrendous treatment that our food animals suffer at the hands of industrialized factory farms.

Not so well known is that, worldwide, too many horses suffer the same or worse inhumane treatment.

Horse racing takes a huge toll on many horses, Hollywood has killed far too many horses in their action films, when horses can no longer bring in the money for their owners they are shipped off to slaughter houses and turned into pet food or shipped overseas for human consumption, those high-stepping show horses do that because of the torture inflicted on them by "soring" their hooves with harsh chemicals and heavy weights, in the Philippines, stallions are made to fight to the death for entertainment, Pfizer inflicts terrible abuse on mares to produce the hormone replacement drug Premarin; and the list goes on.

That is where Brook Hill Farm comes into the picture. They are a non-profit organization located in beautiful Forest, VA in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. They exist to provide rehab services and a safe haven for unwanted horses as well as a therapeutic riding program for personal growth and equine education for the areas at-risk youth and adults.

Horses come in emaciated and very often show signs of severe abuse and neglect. When such a horse is paired up with an at-risk problem child or young adult, miracles happen. The human participants, through hard work and love, care for and heal their rescue horses and in the process, find healing themselves.

Visit the website and especially find it in your heart to donate to this worthy endeavor. They operate strictly on donated funds from individuals, churches and local businesses.

They need your help and by the way, Brook Hill Farm has the blessing of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries; this means they have been evaluated and certifed as a legitimate sanctuary.

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Sep 08, 2016

Medical Schools End Animal Use

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has done it again. Just who is the PCRM and what did they do?

The PCRM is a group of over 12,000 physicians and over 150,000 members around the world dedicated to changing the way doctors treat chronic disease and how medical research is conducted.

Specifically, they stress prevention over pills and aggressively push for ending the use of animals in medical research in favor of more effective scientific methods that do not subject animals to unspeakable cruelty.

What they have recently accomplished is to get the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act passed and signed into law by President Obama.This law requires that alternatives to animal tests be considered and used, and places stronger restrictions on the animal testing. They have been tirelessly pursuing this for 30 years.

On November 16, 2015 they got the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to end all federally supported chimpanzee experimentation. The last 50 chimpanzees kept in reserve will be retired to a sanctuary, along with 310 previously retired from experimentation by NIH. This is a huge step forward.

Their next challenge is to get Wayne State University to end its horrific and useless dog experiments. If you are not familiar with it, read up on the fate of a dog named Dorrie who was endlessly tortured to death at Wayne State in totally useless cardiac experiments.

If you are the supporting type, there are not many more deserving humanistic organizations than PCRM to receive your support. Click here to donate and/or become a member. It will make a difference to thousands of animals.

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Aug 21, 2016

The Future of Food

Join the Humane Society of the United States at the J.W. Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW in Wasington, DC on October 7th and 8th, 2016 for their Future of Food program.

Click the Future of Food link above to see the full agenda, speakers, events and registration instructions.

It has been said that whoever controls the food, controls the people. If you accept that, and I do, it is vital that we all learn as much as we can about the state of our food supply and what we, as individuals, can do to insure a sustainable, unencumbered, healthy food supply.

It is only a little over a month away, so reserve your spot now and don't be left out.

Continue reading "The Future of Food"

Aug 15, 2016

Giving a Plug to the Burpee People

As this is being written it is well into a very hot, dry summer. My tomatoes are afflicted with sun scalding and splitting. My broccoli plants are wilted and buggy and my pole beans are looking pretty scraggly.

All this brought Burpee to mind and I revisited their website to see their online catalog. It had been awhile since I looked at their offerings and I was amazed and how much they really offer to the home gardener. It's no longer just a seed catalog. Now they offer every type of garden tool imaginable, organic fertilizers, no-GMO products, and of course every kind of vegetable, fruit and herb seed imaginable.

Now is a good time to start thinking about food sustainability and learning how to provide for ourselves should we ever really have to. It's not too late for summer planting and fall planting is not too far off.

Take a look. Here's a good link dealing with Organic Gardening Seeds and Supplies to put you on the right path.

Continue reading "Giving a Plug to the Burpee People"

Apr 19, 2016

Farm Sanctuary Needs Your Help...NOW.

Spring is in the air and summer is on the way. Delightful as it is, it always brings special problems of the financial kind to animal sanctuaries such as Gene Baur's Farm Sanctuary.

Winter is hard on animal sanctuary infrastructure and money is desperately needed to complete projects necessary for the survival of rescued animals.

The 2016 Farm Maintenance Fund needs $4000 to replace 20 year-old water units; $10,000 for shade structures, coolers and fans to shield rescued farm animals and fowl from blistering heat in California and the southwest; $6000 for creating firebreaks around western sanctuaries; $25,000 for fencing repairs and replacement; $30,000 for general equipment maintenance and a cattle treatment system in California and Watkins Glen, NY, and the list goes on.

The immediate need is for $90,000. It would be wonderful if some well-heeled kind-hearted soul wanted to cover the entire expense or 18,000 individuals giving $5 each.

To help Farm Sanctuary by donating what you can, go to Donate Now.

Thank you for your concern and help.

Continue reading "Farm Sanctuary Needs Your Help...NOW."

Apr 15, 2016

Must Pass Laws from Ohio

This blog entry will be the final two legislative items from the Humane Farming Association's Spring 2016 newsletter.

Both of these are from Ohio and both deal with sickening issues that demand punishment to fullest extent of the law.

The first calls for a ban on bestiality. This is the word for engaging in sexual activity with animals. The proposed measure would "make it a crime to knowingly engage in sexual conduct with an animal or knowingly possess, sell, or purchase an animal with the intent that it be subjected to sexual conduct".

The penalty for violation of this law would be a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. This strikes me as a slap on the wrist and should carry a much steeper penalty...how about the electric chair.

Anyway, Ohio residents are urged to contact their state Senator and ask them to SUPPORT SB 195 by Senator Jim Hughes when it comes up for a vote.

The second item involves forcing animals to fight each other such as in cockfighting, bear-baiting, dog fighting and the like. The measure would upgrade such activity to a felony offense and is important because Ohio is one of the few states where such "sport" is not a felony.

Besides being inhumane and disgusting, it is also associated with other activities such as gambling, drug distribution and illegal weapon sales.

The measure, HB 215, passed the Ohio House in February, so now residents are asked to urge their state senator to SUPPORT HB 215 by Representative Barbara Sears when it comes up for a vote in the Senate.

You can find the contact information for your Representatives simply by using the URL https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

Continue reading "Must Pass Laws from Ohio"

Apr 14, 2016

New York: Stop Confinement and Tail Docking

Continuing the Humane Farming Association's call for legislative help in their Spring 2016 newsletter, we now turn to New York where the HFA has focused attention on two initiatives.

The first deals with the extreme confinement of veal calves in crates and breeding pigs in gestation crates. The proposed measures would ban confinement that prevented the animals from turning around and extending their limbs. Violation would result in a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1000.

We would rather see such crates banned altogether with much stiffer penalties but it's a start.

For this one, New York residents are asked to urge their state legislators to SUPPORT A 384 by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and S 59 by Senator Phil Boyle when they come up for a vote.

The second measure deals with Tail Docking of Dairy Cows and would prohibit the amputation of half or more of a dairy cow's tail; a painful process with no hygienic benefit and leaves the cow unprotected from flies.

California and many other states already ban the procedure. In New York, violation would be punishable by up to a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $500. We also think these penalties are too light and tail docking of any animal, including pets, should be banned.

New York residents are asked to urge their state legislators to SUPPORT A 925 by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and S 4100 by Senator Jack Martins when the come up for a vote.

You can find the contact information for your Representatives simply by using the URL https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

Continue reading "New York: Stop Confinement and Tail Docking"

Apr 13, 2016

Keeping Factory Farming Records in the Dark

Continuing the Humane Farming Association's call for legislative help in their Spring 2016 newsletter, we now turn to another state initiative, namely Missouri.

Missouri has a "Sunshine Law" that is much like the federal "Freedom of Information Act" which is intended to make sure that all government meetings and records are open to the public.

Two proposed pieces of legislation would allow records pertaining to animal health, environmental protection, or other farm-related issues be exempt from the Sunshine Law and not available to the public.

It is "nothing more than attempts by the livestock industry to cover up animal abuse and pollution on factory farms" and shame on the legislators that are pushing this travesty.

The requested action is for Missouri residents to urge their state legislators to OPPOSE HB 1414 by Representative Jay Houghton and SB 928 by Senator Brian Munzlinger.

You can find the contact information for your Representatives simply by using the URL https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

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Apr 12, 2016

Massachusetts Livestock Advisory Board

Still following the Humane Farming Association's call for legislative help in their Spring 2016 newsletter, we now turn to several state initiatives.

We will start with Massachusett's legislation dubbed H 713 which would create a "Livestock Care and Standards Board". This is a nice sounding piece of legislation that is touted as promoting the well-being of livestock.

The Board's role would be to "promulgate regulations and/or standards for the treatment of cattle, swine, poultry and other farm animals". According to the HFA, the Board would not be accountable to the public and would put farm animals in Massachusetts at great risk.

We presume the risk that HFA is concerned with is that the proposed regulatory Board could easily be high-jacked by proponents of factory farms and big Ag, thus issuing regulations favorable to CAFOs while keeping them away from the prying eyes of the public and consumers.

The HFA is asking residents of the state to contact their legislators and urge them to OPPOSE H 713 by Rep. Stephen Kulik when it comes up for a vote.

You can find the contact information for your Representatives simply by using the URL https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

Continue reading "Massachusetts Livestock Advisory Board"

Apr 11, 2016

Crush the "Crush Videos"

Hopefully, there is a special place in hell for those sick, depraved sub-subhuman beings that appear in videos crushing, impaling, burning, drowning or otherwise torturing animals.

These are known as "crush videos" and the "creation and distribution of these obscene videos was outlawed by Congress in 2010". The law didn't go far enough since the monsters that actually inflict the torture are not subject to prosecution under the federal law.

It's time to change that. HR 2293 and S 1831 would close that loophole, thus making it a federal crime to "engage in animal crushing on federal property or in interstate commerce where the federal government has jurisdiction".

It's a start, but even that doesn't go far enough. This horrendous practice needs to be wiped out everywhere and cover all types of animal torture for entertainment; crush the crushers.

The action requested is for readers to ask their U.S. Representatives to cosponsor HR 2293 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and their U.S. Senators to cosponsor S 1831 by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).

You can find the contact information for your Representatives simply by using the URL https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

Continue reading "Crush the "Crush Videos""