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Posts Tagged ‘PETA’

It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up and, let me tell you, there was no shortage of stuff to talk about this week. WOTUS, COOL, TPA and EPA’s proposed RVOs for RFS all happened, or are in the process of happening, this week. And if you don’t know what all of those acronyms mean, don’t worry. We’re going to cover a couple of them this weekend.

But first, it’s quick hit time:

  • This, from CBS News, which gives an interesting overview of how you, now matter where you are, will feel the pinch due to California’s unprecedented drought. It’s definitely interesting.
  • This, because, of course. I do love The Beatles.The Beatles
  • This, from Three Little Birds and One Messy Nest, which I thought was really interesting. This self-proclaimed ‘food activist’ decided it was high time to get the rest of the story on GMOs. So she went to Monsanto and asked the hard questions. She was traveling as part of a group of moms who toured the St. Louis facility and asked every question under the sun about GMOs and biotech. Kudos to her for having an open mind and being willing to listen, rather than just talk.
  • And this, from the Peterson Farm Brothers. They’ve released parody after parody and they’re always great and always about agriculture. And this one features an ’80s rock anthem. What’s not to love?
  • This article, found via Holly Spangler, which is just…well, it’s really something. It’s my sincere hope that everyone who doesn’t have livestock can at least see through PETA and their ridiculous antics.

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I wasn’t going to touch this topic with a ten-foot pole — for a couple of reasons, really:

  • Personally, I’m not a big fan of Carrie Underwood. I just don’t subscribe to her brand of country music. I’m more of a red dirt girl myself.
  • Ag gag bills are so misunderstood it’s sickening.

Then I realized that those two reasons were probably good reasons to talk about this, so here we go.

Carrie has been on the country music scene for some time. At first, her background — growing up on an Oklahoma cattle ranch — seemed like a perfect fit for country music and, maybe, for agriculture.

Then we learned that Carrie was a vegan (don’t get me wrong — if you think being a vegan is healthier for you, go for it. It’s certainly a choice.), and a supporter of the animal rights group PETA.

Now, I love puppies and cats, and animals in general, as much as the next guy. Where I run into problems with PETA is when they accuse me and my family of dairy farmers of being evil, greedy, no-good people for milking our cows twice a day. After all, milking those cows and caring for them day-in and day-out, in the rain, snow, mud, heat, cold and any other weather Mother Nature throws at us, must be cruel and unusual punishment.

carrieunderwood_milkad_e

I bet the milk on Carrie’s upper lip didn’t taste very good, considering she’s a self-proclaimed vegan…

Unless you’re a Carrie Underwood uber-fan, you probably didn’t know that, due to her PETA celebrity status, she’s been extremely vocal in her opposition of a bill working its way through the Tennessee state legislature.

The bill, HB1191, would require anyone with undercover footage of a farm or livestock operation to submit an unedited copy of the footage to law enforcement within 24 hours of shooting it.

Critics call it an “ag gag” bill, saying the legislation would criminalize whistle-blowing while allowing livestock producers to cover up alleged abuse.  

In fact, now that the bill has landed on Governor Bill Haslam’s desk for consideration, Carrie put her thumbs to work, Tweeting up a storm about the injustice of it all:

Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?

Carrie’s Tweets rallied the animal rights troops. But, for me, their opposition of the bill begs an important question: Shouldn’t a group like PETA be happy that a bill working its way through the legislature would work toward stopping animal abuse?

Groups like PETA tend to wait weeks — or even months — before releasing edited video footage to law enforcement. Holding on to the videos for months at a time gives animal rights activists the time necessary to edit footage to their desired maximum effect, and release it at the most opportune time.

But this bill, if approved, would mean that animal rights activists would not be allowed to hold onto footage for an extended period of time, allowing the alleged animal abuse to continue. A violation would be considered a misdemeanor crime and would be punishable by a fine.

Bottom line? A bill requiring undercover video evidence of alleged animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours is a win for everyone. It’s a win for farmers, animal rights activists (if they truly are concerned about animal welfare) and, most of all, it’s a win for the animals, which is why Carrie’s — and PETA’s — beef with the proposed law just doesn’t hold water.

 

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Can you believe THIS? Where do they come up with this stuff?

Cow Raffle

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Mr. Ed.

On Nov. 18, Congress and President Obama quietly lifted a ban on equine slaughter when the president signed an appropriations bill without the annual riders that prevent the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from inspecting equine slaughter plants.

And, the story stayed quiet…for a while. But, since it hit the mainstream media earlier this week, there’s been quite a bit of talk about whether equine harvesting is a good or bad thing for the U.S.

Before I start a firestorm with my opinion on the topic, it’s important to provide some background on the issue — something that most folks who are only too happy to share their snap judgment opinions don’t care to look into.

Prior to 2006, there were three equine harvesting facilities operating in the U.S. — including one in northern Illinois — with most of the meat produced being shipped overseas to countries where people regularly consume horse meat.

But, in 2006, Congress effectively outlawed equine harvesting in the United States by making it illegal for USDA inspectors to be present in equine slaughter plants.

And they did it despite warnings from equine professionals, breed associations and veterinarians across the country. They did it based on misinformation, pushing and prodding from activist groups — and because when most congressmen and women think of horses, they think of Mr. Ed. 

In fact, according to Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state lawmaker and vice president of United Horsemen, the federal ban devastated “an entire sector of animal agriculture for purely sentimental and romantic notions.”

As most horse owners and organizations predicted, the elimination of equine harvesting in the U.S. lead to serious unintended consequences for the industry. 

Following the cessation of equine slaughter, the value of horses across the country plummeted. Before, buyers purchasing horses for slaughter plants helped to establish a base price for other horses. But with no base price, all horses were devalued almost immediately, making it extremely difficult for owners to sell their animals. 

Add to that extra hay, feed, facilities and veterinary care (during a recession, no less) for horses that owners were unable to sell and it was a hard first year for most horse owners. When asked to choose between horse expenses and living expenses, many horse owners chose the latter, leaving many horses in the U.S. neglected and starved. Worse yet, an estimated 138,000 horses spent increased time on trucks bound for slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada — both countries that still harvest horses for meat. In fact, the number of horses sent to Mexico — a county that does not have as stringent inspection or humane standards as the United States — increased more than 600 percent.

Finally, after five years with rock-bottom sale prices, neglected and starving horses, equine sanctuaries filled to the brim and, in some cases, owners turning horses loose because they could no longer care for them or sell them, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on equine slaughter. Its report detailed many of these “unintended consequences” stemming from the cessation of equine slaughter.

Which brings us back to Nov. 18 when Congress and President Obama finally lifted the ban on equine slaughter — and gained a few surprising supporters.  

Of course, most equine and farm organizations across the country are standing behind Congress and President Obama. Among many other organizations, the Illinois Farm Bureau supports the full funding of federal meat inspectors for equine harvesting facilities, allowing humane harvesting operations to reopen and provide an end-of-life alternative for horses and their owners.

As a horse owner, I find myself backing the president’s decision, as well (it was surprising to me, too). But, here’s the shocking one:

PETA has jumped on the equine-slaughter-in-the-U.S.-is-a-good-thing bandwagon, too.

Yes, I’m talking about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. If you need proof (it’s okay, I didn’t believe it either) you can check out the article posted at the Christian Science Monitor

I never thought I would say it. Shoot, I’m sure farm and food animal organizations like the Illinois Farm Bureau never thought they would say it, either, but we agree with PETA on this issue.

Allowing equine slaughter plants in the United States to reopen and process animals is a step in the correct direction to righting the wrong Congress instigated in 2006.

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While you might think talking about Justin Bieber is just a ploy to drive traffic to this blog, we actually have a legitimate reason.

Turns out The Beebs is partnering with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for a new ad.

But it’s not like those Sarah McLachlan (You know–“In the arms of the angel…”) or Wendie Malick tear-jerkers encouraging you to donate to you-know-who.

Here’s the ad:

If you can manage to look past the hair, the eyes and the smile to the bottom of the ad, you’ll notice it says, “Adopt from your local shelter.”

Whoa.  Imagine that—a celebrity encouraging you to put your dollars and your efforts to work for the direct care and support of an animal and the facility that has taken care of it. 

Thumbs up, J-Beebs.

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