Sunday, April 18, 2010

The modern chicken

I found this post on the discussion boards at peta2. I know there is no point in trying to discuss this ther as my posts would be deleted, so I shall answer it here.

nickvicious 4/13/10 6:35 PM

The modern chicken isn't what it used to be. They have been bred to produce many, many more eggs than whats natural to them. In the process, chickens lose a lot their vital nutrients.

To rectify this man-made problem, sanctuaries often feed the eggs back to the chicken. I think that's the best alternative. It sounds bizarre and unnatural, but there isn't a whole lot that's natural about the animals we raise for food.

For example, turkeys can no longer breed on their own so they are artificially inseminated. The process is pretty violent for both males and females and probably traumatizing.

Nickvicious doesn't know as much about the modern chicken as he thinks he does.

In the past (more than 50 years ago) farmers usually kept a few chickens who would free range around the yard and were generally cared for by the farmers wife and the children.

The breed of chicken they kept was whatever was available locally.

The local breed varied from region to region.

The number of eggs laid varied from farm to farm and was dependent on a large number of factors.

In Italy there was a breed known as the leghorn that was a prolific layer of medium to large white eggs.

This breed of chicken has been around since at last Roman times, it is an ancient breed.

In the early 1950's farmers began to specialise in keeping laying hens and to keep costs as low as possible they wanted the breed that would produce the most eggs, so they filled their chicken sheds with Leghorns.

No-one did anything unnatural to the hens to make them lay more eggs. The eggs didn't lose any of their nutritional value.

Eggs became cheaper, cleaner, and standard - they were all white.

By the 1970's people were fed up of white eggs and some enterprising farmer (or more likely, his advertising agent), who had a breed other than leghorns, came up with the advertising ploy that brown eggs were nutritionally superior to white ones.

So suddenly everyone wanted brown eggs, but the brown egg laying hens didn't lay as many eggs as the leghorns did, so brown eggs were always more expensive.

To make brown egg production cheaper, poultry producers began crossing the leghorn with breeds of brown egg laying hens.

Nothing unnatural was ever done to the hens. All the farmers did was apply science.

As far as the turkeys are concerned, Yes they can breed, but not with the certainty of outcome that turkey producers require, so to keep costs down turkeys (the ones that will lay the eggs that will become poults that will grow into thanksgiving dinner) are artificially inseminated.

Secondly, there are many different breeds of turkey and the lack of breeding ability only applies to the large breasted varieties.

United States' Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, H.R. 4733

The U.S. government spends upwards of 1 billion dollars per year on animal products that feed government programs and agencies, like the National School Lunch Program, the federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Armed Services.

The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, H.R. 4733, would require the government to purchase food for these programs only from farms where animals can move freely and extend their limbs in their confinement-- that means no gestation crates, veal crates, or battery cages. Since it's essentially impossible for every packer to trace each piece of meat back to it's farm of origin, they would need all of their suppliers to comply with these standards; so the law would apply to virtually every farm in the country.

I'd just like you to take a moment to consider some facts.

United States' Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, H.R. 4733 will never be passed, because it would increase costs to beyond an acceptable level.

Prisons used to have farms where inmates could be kept occupied doing something useful and also providing food for the prison kitchens and to sell locally or give to local food banks. some still do, in Canada, these prison farms, where animals were kept in small numbers, and no doubt got much care and attention, and where inmates learned a valuable trade, will all be closed down by the end of this year. Why you ask? Because Corrections Canada doesn't want to spend the $4million annually that it costs to run these farms.

When a head teacher in rural England taught her pupils the realities of small scale sheep rearing, in a sheep rearing area of the country she was hounded out of her job. Other similar programmes in schools have been condemned by peta. 4H programmes are also condemned by peta.

So now I have a question for you. Where are the people going to come from who are going to operate these free range facilities that you propose? Where will they learn the the skills they will need to keep the animals healthy and productive?

Peta claims "The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories."

In fact such scenes only ever existed in movies, novels of fiction and in pictures. The reality was very different.

Did it ever occur to you that there were sound reasons farmers wanted to change the way they raise animals?

Prior to the widespread inception of intensive livestock operations farmers would keep a cow, a pig or two and maybe a few chickens. These animals provided food for the family with maybe a little left over to sell. The animals lived in cold draughty sheds with no power or water, but plenty of disease carrying vermin. To keep the heat in, and I'm sure you understand how important that is in Canada, buildings had low roofs and small windows and doorways. To take straw bedding into the buildings and to clean out manure the farmer had to use a wheelbarrow and a fork, water and feed had to be carried in a bucket. In winter the water froze. In summer the flies and mosquitoes were unbearable.

Life in those idyllic days was tough on both the farmers AND the animals, and what's more, cruelty was far more common than it is today.

After the second world war farmers wanted something better for themselves and for the animals.

At the same time the retail food system began to grow in order to feed the growing urban populations. Supermarkets became more common than corner stores. The supermarket chains wanted large quantities of a standard product at a low price.

So in order to meet the demand farmers began to specialise.

For example, a retailer want to buy 1000 sides of pork (to meet demand from consumers) of consistent size and quality at the lowest price.

The options are:
To buy 500 hogs from Joe Brown that are the same age, the same size, the same colour, have the same fat to lean ratio and can be delivered by two trucks at the same time.

To buy various numbers of pigs from a number of farmers. The pigs available are different ages, different sizes, some have white skin and some have brown skin or spots (it might not sound important but it it) some are fatty and some are lean, they are not all available on the same day, and it will take several trucks to drive all over the area to gather them up and deliver them to the slaughter house.

Which option do you think the retailer will choose?

Modern livestock facilities are clean, well lit, well ventilated buildings where animals lead far easier lives than their ancestors.

The last thing the world need is sending livestock farming back to the dark ages.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's that time of year again

With the East Coast seal hunt about to begin, the anti sealers are pushing their lies and propaganda to encourage people to open their wallets and dish out the cash.

The only truthful message they send is a simple one:

Send money, we want your money.

The Canadian seal hunt is a lucrative business for AR groups worldwide and they all want a piece of the action.

The following piece of nonsense is from the Humane Society of Canada, but it pretty much encompasses the propaganda and emotional rhetoric banded about by all AR groups.

I've broken it up in order to address each point separately.

Humane Society comments in brown mine in plain text:

On the ice in the midst of a seal nursery where they were born, pups will be killed in sight of their mothers;

No. By the time the pups are killed, at approximately one month of age they have been weaned for over two weeks, and left to fend for themselves. Their mothers have returned to the ocean to moult, fatten up and mate.

adults will also be shot, stabbed and clubbed.

No. Most seals are shot with a high powered rifle, a few are clubbed. None are stabbed

When protests against the seal began thirty years ago,

You didn't do much research did you? There were protests as far back as 1969. That would be 41 years ago.

tens of thousands of seals were being killed, and today hundreds of thousands of seals are being killed.

Hunts between 1971 and 1981 averaged 172,000. Between 2000 and 2007 the hunts averaged 232,623.

We need new solutions to bring an end to the largest tax payer funded slaughter of marine mammals on the planet.

Tax payer funded? Do you mean monitoring the hunt is tax payer funded? Because there is a huge difference, you know. Yes. Due to constant interference by ARA's there has to be monitoring of the seal hunt by the Coast Guard and DFO, are you saying this is misappropriation of taxes?

Find out what The Humane Society of Canada is doing to stop this, and how you can help. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty, we don’t give up. Ever.

And what exactly, IS the Human Society of Canada doing to stop this? What is any ARA group doing to stop this? Absolutely nothing. It's far too lucrative.

Offering no proof that they actually even enforce the law, government politicians and the sealing industry claim that no whitecoat harp seal pups are killed any longer.

You say this in spite of acknowledging that the DFO and the coast guard closely monitor the hunt and convictions are in fact handed down every year.

The term "whitecoat" refers to the stage of development of a pup, and means the pup is 14 to 21 days of age

Oh dear, you really don't know much do you? The term "whitecoat" refers to a young harp seal between the ages of 3 and 14 days.

Instead, sealers simply wait less than a day until the seal’s fur begins to moult before they club, stab or shoot the seal pup.

Eh? Are you crazy? Why would anyone want a pelt from a moulting seal? A seal between the ages of 14 and 28 days is known as a "raggedy jacket" because it is moulting its coat which makes the pelt basically useless and this is why sealers do not kill seals of this age but wait until the process is complete at 1+ month of age.

This special website has been set-up by The Humane Society of Canada to make it easy for supporters to make a life saving donation to help save the seals.

Why don't you just say it like it is?

This special website has been set-up by The Humane Society of Canada to make it easy for supporters to make big fat donations to swell our coffers without us having to actually do anything.

Giraffe Puzzle

Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Hunt?

This video was created by California Waterfowl to promote understanding of hunting's place in a healthy balanced ecosystem and to help hunters explain how hunting intimately connects us to our environment, especially through the food we eat and share with others.

Dog puzzle

Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A family regularly shares breakfast with a colony of giraffes that poke their heads through the window of their home in Kenya.

By A Telegraph Correspondent
Published: 1:06PM BST 21 Jul 2009
Family share breakfast table in Africa with giraffes

Tanya Carr-Hartley and children Sala (5) and one-year-old twins Tisa and Kinna: Family share breakfast table with giraffes

Family share breakfast table in Africa with giraffes
Family share breakfast table in Africa with giraffes

Every day shortly before 9am the beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats Photo: CATERS NEWS

Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley live in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro on a 140-acre estate, which is home to eight Rothschild giraffes, some of the rarest on the planet.

Every day shortly before 9am the beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats.

The couple spend breakfast sipping orange juice and picking at croissants, literally sharing their dining table with the world's tallest mammal.

Now the pair are sharing the mesmerising experience with the outside world by opening the manor gates to guests at the world's only giraffe hotel.

The couple spent their childhood living close to the house in Nairobi, Kenya and have always been fascinated with the creatures.

"Mikey and I grew up near to this manor house," said Mrs Carr-Hartley.

"We are both third generation Kenyans who have always wanted to work in conservation.

"Mikey's family have been involved in the protection of animals for many generations.

"His grandad was even involved in the relocation of giraffes as far back as the 1930s. Moving the giraffes ensured their protection and continued existence.

"When the house came up for sale we jumped at the chance to buy it as we had always dreamed of one day owning it."

Giraffe Manor is home to eight Rothschild giraffes, they are some of the rarest on earth second only to the Niger giraffe, with only a few hundred left in the wild.

A conservation project to save them was started at the manor In 1974 when the grandson of a Scottish Earl, Jock Leslie Melville, and his American wife, Betty, bought the stately home.

Later that year they moved two endangered Rothschild giraffe onto the estate, where third and fourth generations live on.

According to ARAs this is unnatural

An elephant produced an impromptu balancing act to make the most of an opportunity to get its trunk on a treat.
Elephant produces balancing act to snatch treat

Elephant: It reached out its long trunk out to gently grab the food from the toddler tourist who was being held up by his father. Photo: BNPS

The animal spotted a curious toddler holding a snack clambered up onto a narrow wall on the edge of its enclosure to snatch it.

Balancing on its tiptoes the elephant teetered precariously on the four inch wide ledge.

It then reached out its long trunk out to gently grab the food from the toddler tourist who was being held up by his father.

The moment was captured by amateur photographer Tobias Haase, during a visit to Hamburg Zoo in Germany.

Mr Haase, 34, from Hamburg, said: "The zoo is famous for its open animal areas.

"They keep the harmless animals like elephants in these enclosures without a real fence – just a big ditch which they can't jump over.

"People bring vegetables and other green food to give to the elephants – it's not forbidden and they love it.

"They're quite used to it and have learned to reach over and pluck the food out of visitors' hands.

"Sometimes they even do a bit of acrobatics to get there.

"On this day, the elephant was particularly agile. It saw the tourist holding out a bit of food and scrambled up on the ledge.

"It teetered there for a while, trying not to wobble off, as it stretched its trunk out for the food.

"It stayed there for a while trying to get more before it climbed down.

"It even looked like it was nodding thank you to the tourist before it wandered off into its enclosure."

Baboons steal rooftop luggage

Bosses at Knowsley Safari Park are warning motorists to beware of the baboons, after the animals learned how to open rooftop luggage and began stealing items such as underwear after helping themselves to the contents.

A Different Perspective

These photographs were taken by David Chancellor, a British photographer and won 3rd prize in the People in the News category of the 2010 world Press Photo contest.

Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

Local villagers fall upon the body of a dead elephant, starved of meat they reduce the huge carcass to bones in under 2 hours.

24 hours later the bones have also gone, all that's visible are the fresh tracks from the remaining elephants returning to Mozambique under cover of darkness.

While an affluent, well nourished North American may find these images disturbing, even disgusting, an empty belly soon gives a person a different perspective.