Millions of Chickens, Turkeys & Ducks were Suffocated to Death (Source: Free From Harm)

Time to Spread the Joy

chicken_gas_chamber450 copy

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.”[6]

– See more at:

Reblog from Free From Harm: “They Are All Cecil”

Courtesy of Warrior of Light Facebook page

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.

Courtesy of Brain on Hugs

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

– See more at:

William Ralph Inge

“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”


Bio: William Ralph Inge was an English author, Anglican priest, professor of divinity at Cambridge, and Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which provided the appellation by which he was widely known, Dean Inge.


Need a New Year’s Resolution – How about going Vegan!

Hi GE Followers!

It’s Quarter-end at work and I have been up to my eyeballs in fund reviews.  But that’s not why I’m writing.

Since Christmas, I have been reading the blogs that I follow and almost everyone has either written a 2012 recap or written about their future goals/resolutions for 2013.  A good percentage of the blogs I follow are fellow vegans; however, some are not and hey that is their choice, I’m not passing judgment here; well at least I’m trying not to.


Every morning my routine involves catching up on the news feeds about animal cruelty stories.  These stories encompass all animals from family pets to animals raised for consumption or bred for fur.  I also ride the Commuter Rail in/out of the city five days a week and almost every day I encounter some level of rudeness from people (natch!); although, generally I brush it off.  With that said, do you want to know what really goes up my ass 90 MPH?  When I overhear conversations from these so-called “Foodies” who discuss the food they either prepared or ate at a restaurant. I especially grow annoyed when I overhear someone blather on about their grass-fed beef, the free-range chicken and their “organic” cheese.  In the past, I have posted about these food labels; however, allow me to rant about those labels here as a refresher: Grass-Fed, Free-Range and Organic Meat Labels DO NOT MEAN A DAMN THING!!! Their sole purpose is to ease consumer guilt.  When people hear: Free-Range Chicken, they assume the chicken spent it’s life running around a farm, taking dirt baths (which is a natural instinct), and basking in the sun.  The same applies to “grass-fed beef”. I’m sure most people conjure up thoughts of cows basking in a field, rubbing up against fence posts, receiving daily back rubs from their local farmers while nibbling on fresh grass — when nothing could be farther from the truth – their entire lives have been spent indoors – no fresh air, no blue skies, no sun on their backs, nada!   Oh and don’t even get me started on those stupid dairy cow commercials on TV showing happy cows as members of someone’s family, taking showers, and playing board games.  Yah, I bet all the dairy cows suffering right now as I type this post would love a life like that.  Folks, these labels ease your guilt while the animals suffer until they land on your plate, in your glass or on your pizza – trust me on this.  If you need further proof or documentation I suggest navigating to:

As for pigs, well, when was the last time you heard: “Free-Range Pig”? Or “Grass-Fed Pig?”  You haven’t right? No, neither have I.  Pigs endure such horrible abuse that it cuts me straight through to my core.  I’m not saying or even implying that the abuse pigs endure trumps the abuse of all other animals, but it’s hard to watch sows imprisoned in gestation crates their entire lives (which is up to 4 years).   I have always had a thing for pigs and I don’t know why that is. I mean I love all animals, but pigs hold a special place in my heart.  Maybe my connection to them stems from some ability to see their intelligence.  I honestly don’t know…

If you’d like to read a heartwarming story about a pig rescue, check out this story of Julia, a pregnant sow rescued from a factory farm. She endure horrible abuse before landing at the Farm Sanctuary (thank G-d!).

In conclusion, the reason I am a vegan is because I cannot subscribe to the abuse farm animals endure – whether these animals are bred on small farms or raised in a factory – the abuse is the same as is the way they are slaughtered. I can no more fathom eating my cat (and in some countries, people do!), than I can eat a cow, pig, steer, chicken, turkey, et al.  All animals have feelings; form bonds; and feel pain.  If you are justifying your animal consumption by declaring that you only eat: Grass-Fed or Free Range, well then you are deluding yourself and trying to justify your position.  IMHO, if you want to continue eating animals and consuming dairy then it is your moral imperative to watch Earthlings  If you can sit through the entire movie, well then maybe you should have your pulse checked to see if you are still alive. Better yet, have your psyche checked to see if you are human because I absolutely could NOT sit through this entire movie and I don’t see how any animal lover could. 

Before I close this post, I hope you will consider going Vegan.  If you can work up the courage to watch Earthlings, I thank you. If not, perhaps you could watch this short video that shows egregious abuse taking place inside a factory farm as well as a so-called “organic” farm. The video shows abuse to: pigs, cows, chickens as well a fish. I hope you’ll watch.


The source of this video is from: What came before

Thank you.


A Tug on Your Heart Today

Hi folks,

It’s me again.  While catching up on all the latest animal news, I happened upon this site:, and watched a video about a blind dog living in a LA Trash Dump which reminded me of the story of Linus.

Still not sure if you feel like donating, well maybe this rescue, with a happy ending, will convince you.




Help Stop Backyard (illegal) Butchers

If you’ve got the stomach for it, watch this video footage of an illegal backyard butcher.  Oh and BTW, if you think this sort of thing only takes place outside the USA — think again.  A good percentage of these illegal backyard butchers are in…ready…wait for it… FLORIDA!!!!!  That’s right. The video you’re about to watch, if you can stomach it, was taken from good ole sunny vacation spot Florida!


Backyard Butchery: An Ethical Alternative to Factory Farming?

With such a focus on factory farming today, there is little attention on a growing movement in the backyard slaughter farms which operate under the radar and without any regulatory oversight. But some activists are hoping to change that. In Southern Florida in particular, the backyard butchery movement is thriving, and investigator Richard “Kudo” Couto of Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) is a pioneering activist who does a tremendous job exposing these covert operations. His investigations have turned up some of the most horrific cruelty to animals perhaps ever documented in modern times. The photos and video footage obtained from Cuoto’s investigations are indeed harrowing and devastating…

The source of the story can be found here:


A letter to the WordPress Powers that Be

Dear Word Press:

I am very angry at you, yah that’s right YOU!  Would you please explain to me why you Freshly Pressed a blogger who openly and admittedly writes about WANTING to harm a feral cat? I’m serious, would you please explain it to me because I found’s blog very disturbing!  As an animal shelter volunteer, I have seen and continue to see egregious acts towards animals – acts that are my worst nightmare and yet,  what does Word Press do? They promote someone who clearly and admittedly has no issue, shame or guilt about harming a cat!!!!

I’m so fit to be tied that I am contemplating closing down my blog.  What a disgrace.  How could you be so callous?

I will re-post this  post every. single. day. until I receive an answer.



A picture is worth a thousand words…

Take a look at this female pig, trapped in a gestational crate, unable to turn, move, breathe fresh air or feel the sun on her back — living out her miserable life in a factory farm  Tell me you cannot feel her pain and sadness just by looking at her in this photo.

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur,

Photos Courtesy of Free From Harm

Oh and btw, gestational crates are the equivalent to being strapped into an airline chair for your entire life… noodle on that the next time you board a plane.  This is what life is like for sows in factory farms.  

Now look at this picture of a rescued pig living her life on a farm sanctuary. Can you see the difference?  It’s pretty obvious isn’t it.

Nancy, enjoying peaceful sanctuary life. This is where pigs belong! Farm Sanctuary, NY, USA. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur,

Photo Courtesy of Free From Harm

Folks I beg you, please stop eating all pork products which only supports this horrible industry. 

Oh and…

allow me to leave you with this disturbing photo — baby pigs some dead, some still alive, bulldozed or tossed into a dumpster. Nice, huh?

Dead and dying pigs are put in this dumpster at a factory farm. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur, www.weanimals.orgAll in a day's work. Piglet corpses being bulldozed away. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur,

Photo Courtesy of Free From Harm 

If you like to see more disturbing photos or learn more about what you can do to prevent these egregious acts, nav here:


“Welfare labels, as they now operate, are thus not only useless, but may ultimately cause more animal suffering than they prevent.” –James McWilliams

Hello GE Followers,

This post is directed to you non-vegans who justify your meat consumption by buying into “labels” that ease the guilt of your actions.  If I haven’t’ said it five times, I haven’t said it once, labels such as “humane” “grass-fed” “free-range”, DON’T MEAN SHIT!  If you continue to buy into this propaganda, then you should call you Primary Care Physical tout suite because, and I hate to be the one to say it, you are suffering from head-up-ass disease.  The only way to ease the guilt of eating animals is to become a vegan – plain and simple. There is no other way. Stop funding the egregious treatment and slaughter of innocent farm animals. As Phillip Wollen said, “…2 million animals are slaughtered per week.”  If we keep going the way we are going, “we will need two planet earths to sustain us and we only have one and she is dying.”  Wake up people! My crusade against the meat/poultry/dairy & fish industry isn’t for my own benefit; it is for the benefit of animals and the planet. 

If you do not believe or trust a word I say, then perhaps this article from Free From Harm will convince you.  I have copy and pasted the article in this post for your ease, as well as included the link.

Animal Welfare Labeling: What They’re Not Telling You

By James McWilliams | August 8, 2012 |

In the angst-ridden quest for an ethical cut of meat, conscientious consumers, voting with their forks, have deemed Niman Ranch the paragon of animal compassion. The reputation seems well deserved. Niman’s welfare standards, initially approved by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), were once among the world’s strictest. AWI certification requires producers to follow stringent regulations designed to enhance a farm animal’s quality of life.  An AWI-approved pork chop, for example, comes from a pig that was never crated, never pumped with growth hormones, never tail docked, never affixed with a nose ring, never transported, and never denied easy access to a verdant pasture.

Niman Ranch, however, abandoned AWI standards several years ago. As demand for humanely raised meat increased, supply lagged. To bridge the gap, Niman (according to an anonymous source) supplemented its responsibly supplied meat with meat sourced from large-scale industrial producers. This decision abruptly ended Niman’s relationship with AWI, which refuses to certify industrial feedlots. If Niman Ranch hoped to sustain its reputation, and maintain profitable relations with companies such as Whole Foods, it would have to acquire new certification. To do this, it turned to Global Animal Partnership (GAP), a welfare certifier supported by the Humane Society of the United States and Temple Grandin, the noted animal behaviorist known for her book Animals in Translation (and her autism). GAP quickly complied with accommodating labels.

It’s tempting to see this change as an innocuous, if not a positive, turn of events. Grandin, for example, is widely respected for her unique insight into animal minds. But GAP and Grandin are no AWI. Most notably, they routinely certify–one might even say cater to–factory farms. In so doing, they not only undermine the strict welfare standards of a certifier such as AWI, but they perpetuate an insidious paradox. In certifying industrial farms with a humane label, they empower big agriculture to capture niche markets once supplied by sustainable farms–farms that already treat their animals with relatively high standards. Welfare labels, as they now operate, are thus not only useless, but may ultimately cause more animal suffering than they prevent.

Ninety-five percent of meat eaters today express an avid interest in animal welfare. Given the extent of this concern, certification has become big business. Unlike “organic,” however, there’s no legal definition for “humane.” Interpretations therefore flex as far as industrial producers can convince their certifiers–who are paid by producers–to stomach. Turns out the biggest certifiers can stomach quite a bit of suffering. Consider the following sketches of the dominant welfare labels, the ones you are likely to see in high-end chains such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Fields, and Wegman’s:

American Humane. AH was founded by Tim Amlaw. Amlaw came to the business of welfare certification by way of the cattle industry. American Humane Certified has been described by one Canadian watchdog group as “the worst of the worst,” doing little more than providing industrial farms with “a meaningless label conferring a meaningful marketing advantage.” The AH label is extremely popular with chicken farmers hoping to avoid pasture requirements. American Humane doesn’t believe pasture time is essential to animal welfare. It never audits the slaughterhouses that process its animals and it places no limits on how far animals can be transported (a terrifying experience for all farm animals). AH is the bottom of the barrel.

Certified Humane. This label, offered by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), holds equal appeal to industrial producers, largely due to its tacit allowance of farrowing crates–cruel confinements that prevent sows from moving enough to even roll over–and for its lax pasturage standards (CH beef can be fattened in feedlots). CH does not require outdoor access. Its meat is processed in industrial slaughterhouses and, as a result, the label allows the unlimited transportation of farm animals. CH audits its slaughterhouses, but only to ensure that they meet American Meat Institute standards, which were designed with industry oversight in 1990 by none other than Temple Grandin.

Global Animal Protection. Mentioned above, GAP has a five point rating system that offers something for everyone. A rating of 1 is all a producer needs to achieve to earn the label. This rating allows for intensive crowding, minimal access to pasture, castration without anesthesia, and nose ringing for pigs (a painful procedure that prevents them from rooting up pastures). Every other GAP improvement (2-5) is elective. Standard 1 is so lax that its packing density requirement for cattle (250 sq/ft per cow) is less than that of the cattle industry itself (350 sq/ft). Four out of GAP’s nine board members work in industrial agriculture.  Whole Foods, which helped initiate the 5-point system, is the most famous retailer of GAP certified meat.

These dominant certifiers, in bed with industry, stand in stark contrast to certifiers that refuse to lend legitimacy to industrial farms–organizations such as AWI, Britain’s Soil Association, and previously Canada’s PGI, a stringent certifier that walked away from certification because of widespread cheating across the marketing group. These stricter certifiers are insistent that, as one representative told me, “certification has done nothing to break the stranglehold of industrial farming.” Smaller certifiers have every reason to be spiteful. When AWI fired Niman, it lost over 500 farms.

The reason is simple: there’s no oversight. The growth of industrialized farming has been made possible by the total lack of governmental regulation of animal welfare. In the 1990s the livestock industry, under pressure from welfare groups, established voluntary guidelines for producers to follow. These regulations were duly ridiculed. Further pressure came in the early 2000s, with the publication of Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nationand Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Industry responded this time by seeking third-party certification. However, if the growing popularity of labels from certifiers such as American Humane, Certified Humane, and GAP are any indication, this solution is equally ineffective. Fact is, it’s worse than ineffective. What we now have is business as usual parading under the banner of righteous reform. When consumers see a “humanely raised” label they think they’re getting “happy meat.” All they’re really getting is a dose of slick marketing.

There are, finally, two other aspects of animal welfare that never enter into discussions about “humanely” raised animals, but must.  They’re absolutely central to an animal’s quality of life. In order for standards to have more than symbolic meaning, the following three aspects of animal production should also be considered:

Genetics. The Virginia farmer Joel Salatin was made famous by Michael Pollan in the Omnivore’s Dilemmafor his system of rotational grazing. Salatin strikes me as half-nuts but his farm has captured the attention of the food movement. Chickens fertilize pastures, pastures produce vegetables, vegetable waste feeds chickens, foodies spend big bucks. But there’s a catch to Salatin’s scheme, one Pollan neglected to mention: he uses birds that were bred to live in industrialized settings. You can’t take the narrow industrial genetics of poultry and expect the birds to do well in an open environment. These birds–mostly Cornish X’s– suffer a long list of health problems (namely bone fractures) because they aren’t “designed” to move about as their wild ancestors once did. The genetics and the environment don’t match. A genuine government welfare program would take into account this factor, rewarding farms that paid attention to adaptive genetics as they moved to open-pastured arrangements.

Enriched Environments.  Farm animals adapted to free movement require more than space. They need enriched space–something, as my previous post suggested, we may not be able to accurately provide. Even a strict certifier such as AWI believes that access to the outdoors is enough to keep, say, a chicken happy. But this is incorrect. Animal ethologists are quick to note that chickens, especially heritage breeds, require shade and shelter to behave as they normally would under natural conditions. To be comfortable they need places where they can seek shelter from predators. A free range pasture without trees that chickens can hide under or roost in, or pastured pigs out on the range without enough material make paddocks–both common arrangements–can lead to animals that are just as confused and tormented as they would be under intensive industrial conditions.  This factor, too, must be taken into account.

If these prescriptions for welfare labeling overhaul sound impossible to achieve, well, yeah, that’s kind of the point. The act of raising, killing, and commodifying sentient beings capable of feeling pain and pleasure is so ethically complex that, should we truly take farm animals’ welfare seriously, we’d be looking at a task as complex as anything the government has ever attempted. There are, and thankfully always will be, people who evaluate the situation as it now stands and quit eating animals. However, given the reality of the western diet–that is, given the endless depth of our dedication to eating meat–we have an obligation to think seriously about establishing a legitimate welfare label. Should we continue to brook the unregulated welfare designations that are growing in popularity, we’ll only fuel the industrial beast that caused all this suffering in the first place.