let's talk farm animals

When environmentalism and science face off

By Lisa McLean, Agricultural writer

Destruction of GMO crops (also called genetically modified organisms) is a common form of protest, particularly in the EU where public acceptance of biotechnology is low. Activists dress in their best white garb and face masks to make the most of a photo opportunity while they wade into fields and haul out healthy plants by their roots.

Share

Posted by FFC on May 14th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Crops,Environment,Innovation and technology,Research
Tags :: , , ,

When rodents get political

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

Mice may be cute but they are also the subject of political debate. According to RadioNetherlands, mice have moved into the Dutch parliament building during the winter recess. The debate began when the Animal Rights Party informed the press and the leader of the lower house that the party would be “removing all the mousetraps in their part of the building and replacing them with mouse-friendly traps.”

This became front-page news and editors came up with some truly awful puns as they covered the rodent drama. Things took a new twist when a regional TV station discovered that the mouse-friendly traps weren’t friendly at all: “the mice start squeaking and create panic throughout the rest of the mouse family,” the station reported.  Presumably these “humanely” trapped rodents are being relocated or adopted by the Animal Rights Party. Meanwhile, some MPs have recommended getting a house cat to solve the pest problem.

Share

Posted by FFC on February 28th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Animal cruelty,Regulations,Wildlife
Tags :: , ,

The Power of Words

Guest Blog by: Sarah Hubbart, Communications Director, Animal Agriculture Alliance

Last week, I came across interesting new research on effective communication strategy that was conducted on behalf of the Humane Research Council (HRC), VegFund, and the Farm Animal Rights Movement, three organizations that work to promote a vegan diet.

Share

Posted by FFC on February 20th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Education and public awareness,Research,Speaking out,Vegan
Tags :: , , ,

Animal rights vs. religious freedoms

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and Food commentator

In December a plan for an outright ban on ritual slaughter methods in the Netherlands failed to pass the Dutch Senate. The bill and the issues surrounding it garnered world-wide attention by Jewish and Islamic communities, the meat processing and retail sectors, and animal activists. Government diplomats also became involved.

Share

Posted by FFC on February 13th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,animal handling,Food,Meat/slaughter plants,Regulations
Tags :: , , , ,

Animal activism: Like a charging cow

Guest blog: Adele Buettner, Farm Animal Council Saskatchewan

Most reasonable North Americans have always opposed animal cruelty. But if you had said “welfare” to ranchers and farmers 30 years ago most would have thought you meant a government cheque.  If you had spoken about farm animal care to most retailers, you would have been met with a blank stare.

Share

Posted by FFC on January 23rd, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Vegan,Vegetarian
Tags :: , ,

A teachable moment on fur applies to agriculture too

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

As anyone who knows a teenager is probably aware this year’s hot ticket items for Christmas receiving (or any other occasion) included real UGG boots (not the synthetic copies) and Canada Goose jackets.  The price of these natural fibre clothing items put them in the “not happening” category in my household and that of many of my friends. But both items are hot sellers among the under-30 crowd. So it should come as no surprise that they are also receiving negative attention by the “don’t use animals” crowd.

Share

Posted by FFC on January 16th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,animal by-products,Animal cruelty,Innovation and technology,PETA,Wildlife

Why expertise does not trump politics

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food Commentator

There’s lots of talk on the need for science-based policy decisions by politicians at all levels of government.  No more so than at the municipal level.  The City of Toronto is a prime example of local politicians over-riding both science and experience in making decisions about animals.

Share

Posted by FFC on November 28th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Regulations
Tags :: , ,

There is no reasoning with the unreasonable

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

One of the great things about our country is the freedom to express and defend our personal opinions.  We have more venues to do so than ever before.  Not so long ago I was pulled into an on-line discussion on food animal production. The discussion was prompted by a CBC radio commentary on egg production but quickly moved into animal farming and food practices in general and the need to eat animal products in the first place. Illustrating how agriculture crosses into so many issues.

Share

Posted by FFC on October 24th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Housing,Misconceptions,Speaking out,Vegetarian
Tags :: , , ,

The Myth of Meatless Mondays – Alleviating the consumer’s conscience without affecting climate change

The following is reprinted with permission from the Animal Agriculture Alliance in the United States (www.animalalliance.org). For its full collection of Meatless Monday resources, visit  http://animalagalliance.org/current/home.cfm?Section=Meatless_Monday&Category=Current_Issues.

The Myth of Meatless Mondays – Alleviating the Consumer’s Conscience Without Affecting Climate Change
Judith L. Capper, PhD, Washington State University

In July, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report claiming that everybody should eat less meatand dairy products in order to mitigate climate change. It was an interesting report, not least because it recommended that if consumers were going to eat meat, they should choose “meat, eggs and dairy products that are certified organic, humane and/or grass-fed as they are generally the least environmentally damaging”. Working within the sustainability arena, I firmly believe that any production system has a role within agriculture provided that it is environmentally conscientious, economically viable and socially acceptable. However, the EWG’s promotion of organic or grass-fed systems as having a low environmental impact is ironic given that such systems actually have a greater carbon footprint per unit of meat or milk produced compared to their conventional counterparts.

Share

Posted by FFC on October 6th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Beef cattle,Feeding the world,Global Warming,Meatless Monday,Misconceptions,Organics,Sheep,Vegetarian
Tags :: , , , , , , , , ,

Guest blog: Ballot measures scuttled

Dan Murphy  

(Dan Murphy is a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator in the United States)

Updated: July 11, 2011 -  Both sides are carefully calling the agreement between the nation’s egg producers and HSUS leadership a “victory.” For industry, that means that two ballot measures set for November that would have asked Oregon and Washington voters to ban the use of cages in egg production will now be withdrawn.

Why? Mostly because the odds of victory were looking less certain for HSUS.

Share

Posted by FFC on July 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Chickens,eggs,HSUS,Regulations,Uncategorized
Tags :: , , , , , ,