Why Everyone Should Be Angry About Factory Farming ~ Anajali Sareen, Huff-Po

Often times I am asked, why vegan?  This is a tricky question because most people don’t want to know about the dark side of agriculture, especially Big Aggra.  Most people don’t want to hear about the systemic abuse of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys.  More often than not, if I even hint about this topic, I get the hand followed by, “I don’t want know?”  Not wanting to completely scare people off, I’ll down shift into the health benefits of a vegan diet. It would seem, more people care about the health benefits than the the fact they would be sparing lives that is to say, the lives of animals.

I work in an office and find it incredibly amusing when someone will bring in doughnuts from some artisan  shop located in one of our urban-artsy, slightly left-of-center-neighborhoods and my office mates will throw up their arms in protest complaining about the evils of doughnuts.   Really? Let me get this straight, you’ll eat so-called “organic free-range” egg (when nothing could be further from the truth) from an abused hen.  You’ll eat veal, which is an abused, neglected, male dairy calf (and byproduct of the dairy industry). You will eat hamburger which is ground-up “spent” dairy cows but you won’t eat a doughnut?  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, “Organic” “Free-Range” “Grass-Fed” DOES NOT MEAN THESE ANIMALS LIVED A HAPPY LIFE BEFORE BEING SENT TO SLAUGHTER! Do your own research. There are many many sources that reveal this labeling is nothing more than that, labeling to dupe you the unsuspecting all trusting consumer into believing the milk you are drinking came from a happy cow, who frolicked in the California sun when in reality, that animal never set foot outside (except for when it was sent to slaughter) and was never allowed to bond or raise her young which is stolen from her so you can pour milk or cream in your coffee, milk on your cereal, eat cheese, yogurt and lastly,  ice cream.

My feeling is simply this: EAT THE DOUGHNUT. You clearly do not care about your health if you’re consuming dairy, organic or otherwise, bacon, eggs, chicken and ground up cows. All of these animals are exploited, and none of them lived a good life before being slaughtered.

People say they don’t want to know or care. Well you know what, you should know and you should care because vegan or not, you’re eating this stuff and you’re feeding it to your kids. If you think the Ag-Gag laws are nothing more than a means to shut up us crazy “terrorist” animal rights activists, think again.  Those laws will prevent ANYONE from looking under the hood. It also means, the inmates will be running the asylum, you know, self-regulating? Do you want the factory farm industry to self-regulate? Really? Fine. Go ahead, turn a deaf ear to the Ag-Gag laws and when and if you, your child or someone closed to you becomes sick from *e-Coli, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

If you don’t believe me, check out this article by Anajali Sareen of Huff-Po. Perhaps she can convince why you should care.

Here is an excerpt:

One thing we should all be able to agree upon, however, is that factory farming isn’t good for anyone. Large-scale, industrialized animal agriculture is bad for the animalsbad for us and bad for the environment. It wreaks havoc upon worker wellness and human health and is inefficient from a world hunger perspective.

The animal agriculture industry is attempting to push bills across the nation that would make it harder for citizens to see what takes place inside factory farms. Once we’re no longer able to see inside these farms, it will be that much more difficult to change our broken system.

With our food system the way it currently is, there are many reasons to be angry about industrialized animal agriculture.

If you eating animals with nary a care for how they lived (and died) then clearly you do. not. care. So like I said,  eat the doughnut and don’t forget to chase it with a glass of milk.

Rant over.


-GAL 2013

“Aushwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re ONLY animals.”  ~Theodor W. Adorno


*Whole Foods sold fish so toxic in mercury that one customer’s blood levels had to be reported to the Center for Disease Control. (17)  Whole Foods didn’t start identifying potentially mercury-laden fish in its California stores until the government forced them to do so.  Even then, a quarter of Whole Foods stores failed to display proper signage as required by law. (18) 

In 2008, five people had to be hospitalized after eating E.coli-contaminated beef from Whole Foods.  The beef was sold even after it was supposed to have been recalled. (22)  Others were sickened by bad milk from Whole Foods, resulting in “hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses…. One victim, a twenty-eight year old mother, will likely require a kidney transplant.”SOURCE

Comfortably Unaware by Dr. Richard Oppenlander

Please take a moment to watch this video, which I have extracted from http://freefromharm.org/

The video is inspiring (at least to me, anyway) and is about Dr. Oppenlander’s book: Comfortably Unaware.


Just so you know, the video is not about blood, gore or even an inside expose of the egregious activities taking place behind factory farm doors – I assure you, there is none of that [so you can stop rolling your eyes].  What you will get is the story of one man who is inspiring others. Please be sure to watch the entire video because towards the end, one of Dr. O.’s friends speaks about how he never really cared about […humans or animals, even on a basic level…].  Wow, huh? That speaks volumes right there. I mean, if people don’t care about people, why would they bother to care about animals or what’s happening to the planet?

I know some of you out there feel it is impossible to live and/or raise your children on a plant-based diet. But as you can plainly see in the video, Dr. O and his family are living proof that it is possible. Quite frankly, I think he has a beautiful and  healthy looking family. (Personally, I want to hang out with all of his farm animals, especially Priscilla the pig.)

I hope Dr. O’s video will inspire you to adopt a plant-based diet.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Your’s truly,



Low Carb, No Carb, Gluten Free Diets

How many of you, your friends, and/or your family members have adopted a *low carb diet*? I can count on both hands the number of people in my office alone who claim to be on low-carb, no-carb or gluten-free diets.  It’s asinine.  I’m sorry, but it is.  These people fear carbs and gluten like the Boogeyman, and yet give nary a care as to how their eggs, chicken, beef, pork, and fish were raised (and slaughtered).  Carbs and Gluten are the Devil, but consuming a chicken breast is well within their comfort zone, irrespective of how that chicken lived (and died!) before landing in their salads or wrap.  Personally, I’d rather gorge myself on carbs and gluten — at least no one died in the making. You see my point?

As most of you following this blog know, I am a passionate advocate for animal rights, a vegan lifestyle, and macrobiotics.  To that end, I follow many animal welfare sites.  The other day, the following article  via Free From Harm landed in my email inbox and I felt it was worth re-posting here.  The source of the article can be found here. But I have also copied and pasted the article into this post for your ease.

‘Allergic’ to All But Meat, Cheese and Eggs?

comic I respect the fact the some have food allergies, and some of these allergies are serious and life-threatening. The fact that these allergies are real threats to their health and survival has been well-documented. On the other side of the spectrum is a growing chorus of people today who are claiming to be allergic to almost everything imaginable — except meat and cheese and eggs. Isn’t that interesting?

Many people who have adopted a low-carb diet regimen claim that complex carbs, which consequently have been the nutrient-dense staples of civilization for millennia, just “don’t agree with them anymore.” Others claim to have adverse reactions to soy and other legumes, the very superfoods that could sustain them well on a plant based diets. Suddenly with all of the options they have ruled out, they are left with no other option than to bring animal products back into their diet. And these are doctors orders, they will assure you!

Are these really allergies or are they simply excuses, ways to rationalize a return to eating animal products? To what extent do powerful psychological and sociological forces play a role in this process of elimination and justification of food choices? These are questions that continue to fascinate me and that I intend to explore more fully in the months to come.

I also can’t help but see the uncanny coincidence that none of these people I am reading about — not one — is allergic to meat, cheese or eggs! And equally baffling is the fact that no one seems to question that the animals we are eating get all of their nutrients from plants, the same plant sources they claim to be allergic to! These animals are essentially herbivores by nature (even though they are often fed animal by-products and manure on modern farms).

And why do they have so much faith in their doctors, the vast majority of whom have only a cursory understanding of nutrition and are simply regurgitating what they learned from the USDA, handing out USDA My Plate pamphlets that come from the same government agency whose job is to promote animal agriculture? If they really want to observe a plant based or largely plant based diet, why aren’t they consulting leading nutritionists who have made it their business to show how people can get all their nutrients from plant sources and show how animal products do not offer us anything we can’t get from plant sources? There’s plenty of them out there today, and they have plenty of internationally-recognized, peer-reviewed evidence to support them. Even the American Dietetic Association, also beholden to animal agribusiness interests, agrees! So what’s the real problem here?

In my efforts to dispel the myths about eating animals, I have been criticized that I am not looking at the individual nature of dietary needs. I am not a nutritionist, but at the same time, I know that calcium is calcium.

So let’s take calcium as an example. Calcium can be obtained from dairy products or they can be obtained by going to the same plants where the cow gets hers! And they are easier to digest and more readily available when we go directly to the source. I’m not failing to recognize that each individual may have different calcium needs and even at different times in their lives. My point is simply to acknowledge that calcium sources are abundant in plants. There is no disagreement about this simple fact. And we can go down the list of every essential nutrient and do the same, showing what plant sources have an abundance of said nutrient.

And yes, it is true that  B12 does not exist in a reliable or consistent manner from plant sources today (though it may have prior to modern agricultural practices), but it’s easy to take a B12 supplement or simply eat fortified plant-based foods that contain B12, like enriched breads or fortified soy or almond milk. All you need is a trace amount. Big deal! And nutritionists today, recognizing that even people consuming animal products heavily, cannot readily absorb B12 from food and therefore should also be taking a B12 supplement.

Honestly, I hate to get into the nitty gritty of nutrition debates! I say, leave it t the experts. If you want to know how to get optimal nutrition from a diet that does not include animal products, get the reference book, Vegan for Life, by Norris and Messina. You won’t need any other reference. It answers all of the concerns and objections I’ve heard.

I’d rather spend my time examining the psychology of eating that I think is really at the core of this sudden widespread epidemic of allergies and intolerances. I think we risk falling into a self fulfilling prophecy that blinds us to a deeper understanding of nutrition facts. Does it really make any sense that one could be allergic to everything but meat, cheese and eggs when these products are built upon the very ingredients they claim to be allergic to? Does something magical happen when they get ingested through an animal’s gut and become part of their flesh and mammary gland secretions? I’m waiting for real answers.

About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the founder and editor of freefromharm.org. He has been a vegan for three years now and loves to write on the subject of food choices, psychology and popular culture. He shares his life with four rescued hens and a rescued homing pigeon. You can email Robert at


Silent Spring – Rachel Carson

I live in Massachusetts, if you do too, then I’m sure you’ve heard the news stories about Malaria and the need for towns to “spray”.  The town I live in, has a “Mosquito Control Project” underway which will involve spraying.  I have to say, I object wholeheartedly to this idea.  I remember back in the 1960s when the towns sprayed DDT and consequently murdered all the birds, as well as other mammals, contaminated ponds, lakes —  essentially the water supply as well as exposed us (adults and children) to a highly toxic poison.

If you’re not familiar with what I am talking about then read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and circle back.  What happened in the 1960s was, in a word: HORRIFYING! When will the master predator on this Planet we call Mother Earth learn? In case you haven’t noticed, the planet is in crisis and there is only one mammal to blame. Just sayin’…


My town posted the following information (below) about the pesticide being used. Quite frankly, I don’t care how non-toxic they claim this insecticide is, I DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!

 Sumithrin (ANVIL) Fact Sheet


  • What is sumithrin?
  • What are the symptoms of  exposure to sumithrin?
  • What are the long term effects  of sumithrin?
  • How does sumithrin affect  other species?
  • How long does sumithrin last  in the environment?
  • Sumithrin product labels

What Is Sumithrin?

Sumithrin is a type I pyrethroid  insecticide. Pyrethroids are synthetic versions of a natural  insecticide produced by chrysanthemum flowers.

Although pyrethroids are among the  least toxic insecticides, they are nerve poisons. They act upon  the sodium ion channels in nerve cell membranes.

The pesticide containing sumithrin  being used in NY City and its suburbs is called ANVIL (TM). It  is 10% sumithrin, 10% piperonyl butoxide and 80% inert  ingredients. Piperonyl butoxide makes the pesticide more  effective by preventing insects from detoxifying sumithrin.

Manufacturers are not required to  disclose the inert ingredients, although they may be toxic also.

What Are the Symptoms of Exposure  to Sumithrin?

Inhaling pyrethroid insecticides  can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny or  stuffy nose, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.

Skin contact can cause a rash,  itching, or blisters.

Piperonyl butoxide can cause skin  and eye irritation. All the health effects of this chemical have  not been fully researched.

What Are the Long Term Effects of  Sumithrin?

Rats fed high doses (1,000  milligrams per kilogram of body weight or mg/kg) of pyrethrins  (natural versions of pyrethroids) showed liver damage. There is  also evidence that pyrethroids can harm the thyroid.

Pyrethroids, including sumithrin,  have been shown in the lab to disrupt the endocrine system by  mimicking the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen. In  men, endocrine disrupters can lower the sperm count, and in  women they can cause the growth of abnormal breast cells.

Piperonyl butoxide has been  classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a possible  human carcinogen.

How Does Sumithrin Affect Other  Species?

Sumithrin is not very toxic to  mammals, but it is highly toxic to bees and fish.

How Long Does Sumithrin Last in  the Environment?

The half-life of sumithrin in soil  is one day to sixteen weeks, depending on the type of soil.

Sumithrin Product Labels

ANVIL is a brand name of the  sumithrin product. You can learn more about it from the manufacturer’s product label.