Category "Veg News"

June 08, 2005

Factory Farms: Driving animals and small farmers to the brink of extinction

In "Eat Them or Loose Them“, an article from Time magazine, Margot Roosevelt describes a revitalization that is happening at some small farms. These farmers have been trying to preserve traditional breeds of farm animals that are not adapted to live on factory farms.

Because factory farms have taken over the market, growing large numbers of one breed of animal, many breeds have already gone extinct or have become very rare.

Here are two examples she gives:

"According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), 15 different breeds of pigs were raised for market in the 1930s; today, six of them are extinct."

"In the 1920s, some 60 breeds of chickens thrived on American farms; today one hybrid, the Cornish Rock cross, supplies nearly every supermarket. "

Small farmers are finding a special market for these rare breeds. These breeds are often fed organic foods and live in a free-range environment. Small farmers can offer a level of quality and diversity in their products that consumers are willing to pay premium prices for. Hopefully more consumers will realize that extra consideration for animals and small farmers are things worth paying higher prices for.

Posted by john6550 at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Veg News

Category "Veg News"

June 02, 2005

Great news for hens!

Wild Oats becomes the first major natural food store chain in the U.S. to agree to ensure that the eggs it sells come from cage-free hens!

This story was passed on to me by a friend from Compassionate Action for Animals. He got the story from someone who works with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS worked with Wild Oats to create this official policy. The demand for humane treatment of farm animals is being felt. Hopefully more retailers will follow Wild Oats's lead!

Those of you who went on the online field trip to a battery cage facility will probably appreciate this news :)

Posted by john6550 at 06:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack | Veg News

Category "Veg News"

May 26, 2005

Why is humane treatment considered a luxury?

The Washington Post recently reported on a new plan for the South Dakotan beef industry. The South Dakota Certified Beef program hopes to revive the economy and struggling ranchers. This program will require participants to follow standards in their treatment and processing of livestock in order to receive a certification from the state. It is hoped that this will allow producers to get top dollar by selling "luxury beef" to conscientious consumers.

These policy makers seem to have the foresight to see the demand for more humane treatment for animals. If successful, it will also show that the rights of animals and the rights of farmers and ranchers do not have to be in direct opposition. As factory farms have sacrificed animal welfare to in order to cut production costs, small farms have had little chance to compete.

While I applaud these efforts to revive the rural economy and aid small ranchers, I think is important to realize that the humane treatment of cattle and other farm animals ought to be a standard practice in the United States. Hopefully we will come to the realization that such practices could benefit all animals (I'm including humans here).

Posted by john6550 at 04:40 PM | Comments (1) | Veg News

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