Between December 2014 and June 2015, more than 33 million chickens, turkeys and ducks were suffocated to death with firefighting foam and carbon dioxide in the Midwestern states of Iowa, Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States in response to the avian influenza outbreaks that began on poultry farms in 2014. Since June, the number of birds exterminated has grown by many millions more in the U.S. and globally. The concentration of billions of highly stressed, immuno-compromised birds living in filth, misery and fear across the Earth guarantees that avian influenza outbreaks and epidemics will continue to occur.
In addition to using firefighting foam and carbon dioxide to exterminate poultry flocks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture supports exterminating them by shutting off the ventilation in the houses and letting the birds bake to death – a process that can take anywhere from half an hour to 3 or more hours for every bird to die. Shutting off the ventilation in the computer-controlled houses is the cheapest method of extermination. Neither gas nor foam is needed.
Shooting hoses filled with carbon dioxide into the confinement houses, metal boxes and “kill carts” causes the birds to burn, freeze, and suffocate to death simultaneously – and slowly. This is the egg industry’s main method of exterminating “spent” hens, whether from battery cages or cage-free confinement operations, with or without bird flu.
As for fire-fighting foam, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved in 2006, contrary to the lie that the birds are dead within a minute of being blanketed under the foam, Bruce Webster of The University of Georgia told a USDA meeting in June 2006, “You saw a lot of escape behavior for 4-6 minutes. You saw the birds’ heads sticking out of the foam.” Eventually, their movements ceased, as the birds were “worn out” with their “volitional struggle,” Webster told attendees including UPC president Karen Davis at the meeting.
In a firefighting foam trial with turkeys, birds were reported flapping under the foam for up to 6 minutes. This does not mean that the turkeys were unconscious or dead when the flapping stopped or appeared to stop. And foam-covered birds cannot vocalize their suffering. They cannot be seen or heard. Necropsies showed hemorrhages in the tracheas of birds who died under the foam, and “occlusion of the trachea by the foam” was cited by Ruth Newberry of Washington State University as “a serious welfare concern.”
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 00:00
Bianca Jagger By Bianca Jagger, Truthout | Op-Ed
President Obama is the first incumbent US president to cross the Arctic Circle. The purpose of his expedition was to “witness first-hand the impact of climate change on the region” and to announce new measures to address it. Speaking at the Glacier climate summit in Anchorage, Alaska, Obama recognized the role of the United States “in creating this problem.” He also stated, “we embrace our responsibility to help solve it” because failure to do so will “condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair.” Yet less than one month ago, his administration gave the green light to Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic.
President Obama must know that it is impossible to protect the Arctic while allowing Shell to drill for oil 70 miles off the coast…
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Cecil reveals our glaring moral inconsistencies
Few issues cause more discomfort and hostility than openly questioning the practice of breeding, feeding, watering, and slaughtering tens of billions of sentient animals annually, which we do today in the total absence of necessity.
I want to be liked as much as the next gal, so when posting on my personal social media accounts, I try not to alienate myself from friends and family, the majority of whom love animals — or at least wouldn’t intentionally hurt one — but who have not (yet!) peeled back the layers that normalize the pervasive atrocities of animal agriculture affecting animals, people, and planet. For better or worse, I mostly compartmentalize these issues for discussions with like-minded folks. I’m working on that.
But the public’s justifiably outraged reaction to a lion named Cecil being killed by a hunter who paid $50,000 to do so makes it difficult to remain silent about the glaring moral inconsistencies that recently plastered many Facebook feeds.
Animal Rights BC (Before Cecil)
Here’s the deal. A man paid someone to allow him to kill an animal for pleasure.
Most people, on the other hand, pay people to kill animals for them, also for their pleasure.
Yes, in our society today, we eat animals for pleasure, not necessity. More on that in a minute.
It’s a wonderful thing when people speak up for human rights concerning specific races, genders, or sexualities. Most likely, someone who does so is not then proceeding to intentionally exploit humans outside of the group they’re defending at that particular moment. That would just be ridiculous and incredibly hypocritical. Can you imagine, for example, someone with a rainbow profile picture enthusiastically posting a racist photo?
Yet when most people speak up for the rights of certain animals — often dogs, particularly those left in hot cars — they then turn around and proceed to intentionally exploit animals outside of the group they’re defending at that moment, particularly those species they’ve been hypnotized by society to assign little to no moral consideration. This is equally ridiculous and hypocritical as the above example.
For example, over the past few week, I have seen people expressing their outrage over the intentional killing of a defenseless lion hours later posting a photo of themselves chowing down on the body of an intentionally killed, defenseless cow.
What we call a cheeseburger is actually totally vulnerable, sentient, heartbreakingly docile bovines (usually hundreds of them per patty!) whose ground-up remains are so casually consumed, covered in the congealed mammary secretions of their own species, whose formula-fed offspring likely lived out their unimaginable weeks on this Earth alone and imprisoned in a veal crate.
Amongst my many online vegan acquaintances brave enough to point out this glaring cognitive disconnect on social media, I’m seeing two common, knee-jerk reactions from their typically infuriated and offended non-veg friends:
1. It’s perfectly okay to kill (certain) animals that are plentiful, but not those that are endangered.
This would mean that animals have the right to exist, but not to live.
2. It’s okay to kill (certain) animals as long as their bodies are used in some way, especially for (unnecessary) food.
This is saying it’s not okay to kill or use just any animal for food, just certain species as dictated by society. After all, most Westerners would be horrified if someone slaughtered a local unwanted shelter dog to barbecue, defending it by saying