- Is Ten’s viral Kekovich video part of a commercial deal with MLA? (mumbrella.com.au)
- Sam Kekovich gets Lambnesia in this year’s MLA Australia Day campaign (mumbrella.com.au)
- Was Kekovich really treated with a frozen chop? (mumbrella.com.au)
- McDonald’s Indulges Australia’s Ignorance (gawker.com)
The Unseen War On American Family Farms
The Unseen War On American Family Farms
he movie tells the story of small, family farmers providing safe, healthy foods to their communities who were forced to stop, often through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies. The movie succinctly poses and addresses the question “why is this happening in 21st century America?”January 10, 2013
Haiflossen auf Fabrikdach: Grausamer Fund in Hongkong
Yahoo! Nachrichten – vor 18 Stunden
- Es ist ein schrecklicher Anblick, der sich einem Journalisten in Hongkong bot: Tausende von Haiflossen, zum Trocknen ausgelegt auf dem Dach eines Fabrikgebäudes. Trotz weltweiter Proteste findet der Handel mit den Tierkörperteilen insbesondere in China noch immer statt – denn in der Upper-Class gilt Haiflossensuppe als Delikatesse. Die Fotos lösten unter Umweltaktivisten einen Sturm der Empörung aus.
Auf Dächern von Fabrikgebäuden wie diesem trocknen Händler abgeschnittene Haiflossen (Bild: Reuters)Rund 73 Millionen Haie werden laut der Naturschutzorganisation “World Wildlife Fund” (WWF) jährlich getötet. Der Hauptgrund: Ihre Flossen gelten in Asien als Delikatesse. Beim sogenannten “Finning” werden die Flossen der Haie abgetrennt und die Tiere verstümmelt ins Wasser geworfen. Damit die Upper Class ihre Haiflossensuppe schlürfen kann, importiert Hongkong – einer der Hauptumschlagplätze – an die 10.000 Tonnen pro Jahr, die dann häufig aufs chinesische Festland weitertransportiert werden.
Dass die grausame Prozedur des Finning insbesondere im Westen verpönt ist, ist inzwischen jedoch auch in Hongkong bekannt. Daher trocknen die Händler die abgetrennten Flossen nicht mehr für alle sichtbar auf Bürgersteigen, sondern fernab der Touristenpfade auf Dächern von Hochhäusern. Eines dieser Dächer entdeckte zufällig ein Mitarbeiter einer Nachrichtenagentur. Seine Fotos zeigen mindestens 15.000 frisch abgeschnittene Haiflossen. Die Bilder verbreiteten sich wie ein Lauffeuer und lösten lautstarke Proteste bei Umweltschützern aus.
Lesen Sie auch: Trotz Vertrag – Samenhändler soll Unterhalt zahlen
Zwischen 15.000 und 20.000 abgschnittene Haiflossen entdeckte ein Journalist auf diesem Dach in Hongkong (Bild: …
Es sei das erste Mal, dass er eine solch große Menge von Haifischflossen an einem Ort in Hongkong gesehen habe, erklärte Gary Stokes von der Umweltschutzgruppe “Sea Shepherd” gegenüber dem US-Ableger der Nachrichtenagentur AFP. “Das ist der anschaulichste, brutalste und barbarischste Teil der Industrie: einem Hai die Flosse abzuschneiden und ihn wieder ins Wasser zurückzuwerfen, das ist grauenhaft und unmenschlich.” Auch Silvy Pun, Vorsitzende der Gruppe “Shark Savers” in den USA, äußerte sich zu dem grausamen Fund: “Die Regierung ist viel zu gelassen und geht der Konfrontation mit den Haiflossenhändlern aus dem Weg.”
In China gilt Haiflossensuppe als Delikatesse (Bild: Reuters)
Ende 2012 schloss sich die Europäische Union den USA, Kanada, Brasilien, Namibia und Südafrika an und verbot den Haifang. Auch in Taiwan ist der Handel mittlerweile strafbar. “In gewisser Weise ist es ermutigend, dass sich die Händler nun in Hongkong verstecken müssen”, so David McGuire von der Umweltschutzgruppe “Sea Stewards” gegenüber der Zeitung “New York Daily News“. “Haiflossen sind nun etwas, wofür man sich schämen muss. Aber China bleibt als Problem bestehen.”
Pesticide Exposure in Children
“The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in
arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology
and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature
exists for the convenience of man.”
- Rachel Carson
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports in the
December, 2012 issue of their journal Pediatrics:
“Pesticides are a collective term for a wide array
of chemicals intended to kill unwanted insects, plants,
molds, and rodents. Food, water, and treatment in
the home, yard, and school are all potential sources
of children’s exposure. Exposures to pesticides may be
overt or subacute, and effects range from acute to
chronic toxicity. In 2008, pesticides were the ninth
most common substance reported to poison control centers,
and approximately 45% of all reports of pesticide
poisoning were for children.”
How bad has this problem become?
“A growing body of epidemiological evidence
demonstrates associations between parental
use of pesticides, particularly insecticides,
with acute lymphocytic leukemia and brain
tumors…Among the findings associated with
increased pesticide levels are poorer mental
development…and increased scores on measures
assessing pervasive developmental disorder,
inattention, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity
Pediatrics researchers conclude:
“Children’s exposures to pesticides should be limited
as much as possible.”
The higher up one eats on the food chain, the
more one consumes concentrated toxins from flesh
and body fluids of animals. Eat one portion of
broccoli or lettuce and you’ll ingest one dose
of pesticides. Ingest body fluids from animals who
eat thousands of doses, and you deliver these same
concentrated residues of poisons to your own body.
“A 1988 FDA survey of milk samples from grocery
stores in 10 cities found that 73% of the samples
contained pesticide residues.” – Environmental
Contamination and Toxicology, 1991; 47
“The pesticides chlordane and heptachlor cause
cancer, harm the immune system and may be endocrine
disruptors…their long half-lives ensure they
remain biologically active for decades.”
- Environmental Health Perspectives, April 1997
“Atrazine is used primarily as a weed killer in
the production of feed corn. This highly toxic
herbicide has been linked to many kinds of cancer,
including cancer of the breast, ovaries, uterus,
and testicles, as well as leukemia and lymphoma…
According to farming averages and data supplied
by the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Ben &
Jerry’s farmers now use thousands of pounds of
carcinogenic atrazine every year.” – Food and Water
Journal, Summer, 1998
“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for
what it is – whether its victim is human or animal -
we cannot expect things to be much better in this world.
We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in
killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies
or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing,
we set back the progress of humanity.”
- Rachel Carson
- Even low-level exposure to a widely used group of pesticides can produce long-term damage to cognitive abilities, according to a study conducted by researchers from University College London and the Open University and published in the journal Critical Re (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Crazy things pesticides are doing to your body (sott.net)
- Study Links Pesticides to Bumblebee Destruction…Again (naturalsociety.com)
- 7 Crazy Things Pesticides Are Doing to Your Body – Waking Times : Waking Times (2012indyinfo.com)
- Pesticide-Chemical in Tap Water Linked to Increase in Food Allergies (kjens22141989.wordpress.com)
- Limiting Children’s Exposure to Pesticides (healthyschoolscampaign.typepad.com)
- Organic Does Matter: Pesticides Making US Kids Stupid (ecochildsplay.com)
- Pesticides: Now More Than Ever (markbittman.com)
- Pesticides: Now More Than Ever (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Food Allergies Linked to Pesticides (livingwithallergy.com)
Sat, 17 Nov 2012 00:00 CST
Sat, 17 Nov 2012 00:00 CST
© Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
A security guard watches over empty cattle pens at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. in Chino.
A security guard watches over empty cattle pens at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. in Chino.
The owners of a Southern California slaughterhouse whose workers were caught on videotape abusing cattle, leading to one of the nation’s biggest beef recalls, have agreed to pay more than $300,000 to settle a lawsuit.
The Los Angeles Times reports Donald Hallmark Sr. and Donald Hallmark Jr. also agreed to a nominal $497-million judgment against the now-defunct Hallmark Meat Packing Co., which will not be collected because the company is bankrupt.
The government recalled 143 million pounds of beef in 2008 after the Humane Society released video from the Chino plant showing cows too sick or injured to stand being dragged with chains and rammed with a forklift.
Source: The Associated Press
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (heraldonline.com)
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (kansascity.com)
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (miamiherald.com)
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (wfaa.com)
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (ktvb.com)
- Chino slaughterhouse to pay $300k settlement (kfwbam.com)
- Slaughterhouse that mistreated cattle must pay $300,000 fine (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Calif Slaughterhouse to Pay $300,000 in Settlement (abcnews.go.com)
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (cnsnews.com)
- Calif slaughterhouse to pay $300,000 in settlement (seattletimes.com)
Animal Abuse Breaking My Heart-Live Horse Shipments To Japan
What happens to animals on a daily basis in this country and this whole world is horrible. Animals rely on people to take care of them and we always fail them one way or another.
I am not strong enough to go on the front lines of animal abuse like a lot of people are. I am to weak and I could never sit back and watch something so horrible happen to something so beautiful.
The only way I can help is to donate money and spread the word to others on how to stop it. I can make people aware of what is going on. Most people don’t care or want to know about it.
I hope someday our beloved pets can live in peace and harmony with us all in a world full of love.
The live horses they are shipping to Japan needs to be stopped. People need to be aware of the horrid acts against these horses and help stop it. Here is a link please read the story.
I hope someday the world is a better place for these sweet horses and the people who abuse them rot in hell.
A very powerful and relevant example of the continued biological fallout of the revolutionary shift to agricultural society ten thousand years ago, and the decision to “domesticate” animal species to exploit for human purposes. Since that decisive historical watershed, human “evolution” in fact has been a long co-evolution with other animals. Animals shape our lives and history as we share theirs, but as the victims of human domination they have borne a tragic toll and catastrophic cost due to the implacably violent nature and hyper-alienated mindset of Homo rapiens. But in the vast web of ecology and the infinite dialectic of action-reaction, the debt of destruction is soon to be paid in even more astronomical terms. For all our scientific, technological, and cultural brilliance, humans have yet to learn that they can never overshoot their boundaries, disrupt and destroy animal communities, or relentlessly assault the earth without catastrophic consequences. Here is just one such well-known example, vividly demonstrating that hubristic humans have “mastered” nothing on this planet and that violation of the laws of ecology carries the most severe penalties.
CONNECTION BETWEEN HUMAN ANIMAL NATURE EVIDENT:
David Quammen, Yale Environment 360, October 4, 2012,
The Next Pandemic: Why It Will Come from Wildlife
Experts believe the next deadly human pandemic will almost certainly be a virus that spills over from wildlife to humans. The reasons why have a lot to do with the frenetic pace with which we are destroying wild places and disrupting ecosystems.
Emerging diseases are in the news again. Scary viruses are making themselves noticed and felt. There’s been a lot of that during the past several months — West Nile fever kills 17 people in the Dallas area, three tourists succumb to hantavirus after visiting Yosemite National Park, an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo claims 33 lives. A separate Ebola outbreak, across the border in Uganda, registers a death toll of 17. A peculiar new coronavirus, related to SARS, proves fatal for a Saudi man and puts a Qatari into critical condition, while disease scientists all over the world wonder: Is this one — or is that one — going to turn into the Next Big One?
By the Next Big One, I mean a murderous pandemic that sweeps around the planet, killing millions of people, as the so-called “Spanish” influenza did in 1918-19, as AIDS has been doing in slower motion, and as SARS might have done in 2003 if it hadn’t been stopped by fast science, rigorous measures of public health, and luck. Experts I’ve interviewed over the past six years generally agree that such a Next Big One is not only possible but probable. They agree that it will almost certainly be a zoonotic disease — one that emerges from wildlife — and that the causal agent will most likely be a virus. They agree that sheer human abundance, density, and interconnectedness make us highly vulnerable. Our population now stands above seven billion, after all, a vast multitude of potential victims, many of us living at close quarters in big cities, traveling quickly and often from place to place, sharing infections with one another; and there are dangerous new viruses lately emerging against which we haven’t been immunized. Another major pandemic seems as logically inevitable as the prospect that a very dry, very thick forest will eventually burn.
That raises serious issues in the realm of health policy, preparedness, and medical response. It also suggests a few urgent questions on the scientific side — we might even say, the conservation side — of the discussion. Those questions, in simplest form, are: Where? How? and Why? Addressing them is crucial to understanding the dynamics of emerging diseases, and understanding is crucial to preparedness and response.
First question: From where will the Next Big One emerge? Answer, as I’ve noted: Most likely from wildlife. It will be a zoonosis — an animal infection that spills over into humans.
Everything comes from somewhere. New human diseases don’t arrive from Mars. Notwithstanding the vivid anxieties of The Andromeda Strain (1969) and other such fictions, lethal microbes don’t arrive on contaminated satellites returning from deep space. (Or anyway, knock wood, they haven’t so far.) They emerge from nonhuman animals, earthly ones, and spill over into human populations, catching hold, replicating, sometimes adapting and prospering, then passing onward from human to human.
According to one study, 58 percent of all pathogen species infecting humans are zoonotic. Another study found that 72 percent of all recently emerged zoonotic pathogens have come from wildlife. That list includes According to one study, 72 percent of all recently emerged zoonotic pathogens have come from wildlife. everything from Ebola and Marburg and the HIVs and the influenzas to West Nile virus, monkeypox, and the SARS bug.
In Malaysia, a virus called Nipah spilled over from fruit bats in 1998. Its route into humans was indirect but efficient: The bats fed in fruit trees overshadowing factory-scale pigsties; the bat droppings carried virus, which infected many pigs; the virus replicated abundantly in the pigs, and from them infected piggery workers and employees at abattoirs. That outbreak killed 109 people and ended with the culling of 1.1 million pigs.
Second question: How do such pathogens get into humans? The particulars are various but the general answer is: contact. Contact equals opportunity, and the successful pathogens are those that seize opportunities to proliferate and to spread, not just from one host to another but from one kind of host to another.
Wild aquatic birds defecate in a village duck pond, passing a new strain of influenza to domestic ducks; the ducks pass it to a Chinese boy charged with their care, after which the boy passes it to his brother and sister. A man in Cameroon butchers a chimpanzee and, elbow deep in its blood, acquires a simian virus that becomes HIV-1. A miner in Uganda enters a shaft filled with bats carrying Marburg virus and, somehow, by ingesting or breathing bat wastes, gets infected. Contact between people and wildlife, sometime direct, sometimes with livestock as intermediaries, presents opportunities for their infections to become ours.
Third question: Why do such spillovers seem to be happening now more than ever? There’s been a steady drumbeat of new zoonotic viruses We are interacting with wild animals and disrupting the ecosystems they inhabit to an unprecedented degree. emerging into the human population within recent decades: Machupo (1961), Marburg (1967), Lassa (1969), Ebola (1976), HIV-1 (inferred in 1981, first isolated in 1983), HIV-2 (1986), Sin Nombre (the first-recognized American hantavirus, 1993), Hendra (1994), the strain of influenza called “avian flu” (1997), Nipah (1998), West Nile (1999), SARS (2003), and others. These are not independent events. They are parts of a pattern. They reflect things that we’re doing, not just things that are happening to us.
What we’re doing is interacting with wild animals and disrupting the ecosystems that they inhabit — all to an unprecedented degree. Of course, humans have always killed wildlife and disrupted ecosystems, clearing and fragmenting forests, converting habitat into cropland and settlement, adding livestock to the landscape, driving native species toward extinction, introducing exotics. But now that there are seven billion of us on the planet, with greater tools, greater hungers, greater mobility, we’re pressing into the wild places like never before, and one of the things that we’re finding there is… new infections. And once we’ve acquired a new infection, the chance of spreading it globally is also greater than ever.
We cut our way through the Congo. We cut our way through the Amazon. We cut our way through Borneo and Madagascar and northeastern Australia. We shake the trees, figuratively and literally, and things fall out. We kill and butcher and eat many of the wild animals found there. We settle in those places, creating villages, work camps, towns, extractive Evolution seizes opportunity, explores possibilities, and helps convert spillovers to pandemics. industries, new cities. We bring in our domesticated animals, replacing the wild herbivores with livestock. We multiply our livestock as we’ve multiplied ourselves, operating huge factory-scale operations such as the piggeries in Malaysia, into which Nipah virus fell from the bats feeding in fruit trees planted nearby, after the bats’ native forest habitats had been destroyed. We export and import livestock across great distances and at high speeds. We export and import other live animals, especially primates, for medical research. We export and import animal skins, exotic pets, contraband bushmeat, and plants, some of which carry secret microbial passengers.
We travel, moving between cities and continents even more quickly than our transported livestock. We eat in restaurants where the cook may have butchered a porcupine before working on our scallops. We visit monkey temples in Asia, live markets in India, picturesque villages in South America, dusty archeological sites in New Mexico, dairy towns in the Netherlands, bat caves in East Africa, racetracks in Australia — breathing the air, feeding the animals, touching things, shaking hands with the friendly locals — and then we jump on our planes and fly home. We get bit by mosquitoes and ticks. We alter the global climate with our carbon emissions, which may in turn alter the latitudinal ranges within which those mosquitoes and ticks live. We provide an irresistible opportunity for enterprising microbes by the ubiquity and abundance of our human bodies.
For decades, deadly outbreaks of cholera were attributed to the spread of disease through poor sanitation. But recent research demonstrates how closely cholera is tied to environmental and hydrological factors and to weather patterns — all of which may lead to more frequent cholera outbreaks as the world warms.
Everything I’ve just mentioned is encompassed within this rubric: the ecology and evolutionary biology of zoonotic diseases. Ecological circumstance provides opportunity for spillover. Evolution seizes opportunity, explores possibilities, and helps convert spillovers to pandemics. But the majesty of the sheer biological phenomena involved is no consolation for the human miseries, the deaths, and the current level of risk.
There are things that can be done — research, vigilance, anticipation, fast and effective response — to stave off or at least mitigate the Next Big One. My point here is different. My point is about human ecology, not human medicine. It behooves us to remember that we too are animals, interconnected with the rest of earthly biota by shared diseases, among other ways. We should recall that salubriuous biblical warning from the Book of Proverbs: “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.” The planet is our home, but not ours only, and we’d be wise to tread a little more lightly within this wonderful, germy world.
- Indonesia: Ebola, Marburg found in Kalimantan’s orangutans (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Indonesia: No evidence of Ebola in orangutans (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- New virus in Africa looks like rabies, acts like Ebola (vitals.nbcnews.com)
- The looming zoonotic danger (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
- A new virus that appears similar to rabies, but has the symptoms and lethality of Ebola, Bas-Congo virus. (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Deadly Viruses That Threaten Human Survival (readersupportednews.org)
- Killers on the loose: the deadly viruses that threaten human survival (guardian.co.uk)
- Quammen: Anticipating the next pandemic (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
—By Tom Philpott | Wed Jun. 27, 2012 3:00 AM PDTPost.
They’re going hog wild in Iowa again. Chart: Des Moines RegisterSince the dawn of the Great Recession, Americans have been eating less meat, including pork. Meanwhile, prices of corn and soy—the main components of US livestock feed—have been high. Lower demand, high feed costs: Basic economics tells us that US factory farms should be cutting back, slowing down, producing less. And that would be a good thing, because as I’ve written so many times before, our style of meat production sucks up huge amounts of resources and creates vast amounts of pollution.
Yet look what’s happening in Iowa, the by far the nation’s leading hog-producing state. There, the Des Moines Register reports, there’s been a boom in state-issued permits for new factory-scale hog confinements. As the chart to the right shows, new permits fell off dramatically in 2009, driven down by the low hog prices, but are now charging back up. .Advertise on MotherJones.com Why would the meat industry be investing so heavily in new hog capacity if the economics aren’t working out? Grist food editor Twighlight Greenaway proposes an answer: The industry is looking toward a boom in pork exports. Greenaway points to a recent article in Iowa Farmer Today showing that the US pork industry is salivating at the prospect.
Recent free trade pacts with South Korea and Colombia, plus an expected one with Panama, will likely boost that number. Indeed, the pork export explosion is already underway. The industry currently exports nearly 28 percent of of the pork produced in the United States, Iowa Farmer Today reports. According to this recent USDA report, pork exports in the first four months of 2012 jumped 13.5 percent compared to the same period of 2011. The biggest driver was China, with its rapidly expanding demand for meat. Pork exports to China reached 107 million pounds in the first 4 months of 2012—a 142 percent leap. If present trends continue, China will soon surpass Mexico and Japan as the largest export market for US pork. And that could happen quickly. According to a hog-industry official quoted by Iowa Farmer Today, the United States produces hogs much more cheaply than its Chinese counterparts—$63 per hundred pounds of animal for US producers vs. $113 for Chinese farmers.
The difference quite likely lies in the degree of industrialization of hog farming in the two countries. In the US, nearly all hog production takes place in factory-scale facilities. Small-scale, diversified farms have been all but wiped out by the consolidation of meat packing, replaced by gigantic confinement operations. Between 1990 and 2010, this USDA report shows, the number of farms that keep hogs has plunged from about 260,00 to about 70,000, and about 98 percent of pork comes from facilities with at least 500 hogs. China, too, has made a major push to industrialize farming. As recently as 1985, 95 percent of Chinese pork came from backyard operations distributed across the country, a 2011 report for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade policy found. Today, as the charts below show, 27 percent of hog production still takes place in traditional backyard farming; another 51 percent takes place in small operations with between 50 and 200 pigs. The other 22 percent comes from US-style factory production, in many cases in partnership with US hog giant Smithfield. Of course, huge operations cut costs by replacing human labor with machines, buying feed in great bulk, and foisting the cost of dealing with massive concentrations of hog waste onto society at as a whole.
The mighty US pork machine has much to teach China’s food planners on these topics. A flood of cheap pork imports from the US could be the death knell for what’s left of China’s small-scale hog farmers. Here in the States, the export boom means that even if we continue eating less meat, we can expect no slowdown in industrial-scale livestock production. Both our poultry and beef industries are experiencing similar export surges. Indeed, the Obama administration has actively encouraged it as part of the effort to double all US exports under the president’s watch. It would be a singular irony if the United States, the most powerful nation on earth, emerged as the place where lax regulations and low wages made it the hog (and chicken and cow) butcher for the world.
- The CAFO – MRSA Connection (ediblearia.com)
- Ethan family hosting China trade delegation (rapidcityjournal.com)
- UK in £50m pork deal with China (bbc.co.uk)
- China’s Taste for Meat Prompts Industry Transformation (voanews.com)
- Meatifest destiny: How Big Meat is taking over the Midwest (grist.org)
- Selling porkies: offally big boost for UK exports as Chinese pig out (guardian.co.uk)
- The Tiger Father (zendialogue.wordpress.com)
- Your meat on drugs: Will grocery stores cut out antibiotics? (grist.org)
- Trenton’s famed Case Pork Roll factory suffers heavy damage in three-alarm blaze (nj.com)
- Vast Majority of Americans Want Meat Raised Without Antibiotics (blacklistednews.com)