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Animal Rights Activists Disrupt Exclusive Pig Roast Event in Washington, D.C.

August 8, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

Dozens of animal rights activists disrupted a event celebrating pig consumption at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. According to organizers, Cochon555 is “a nose-to-tail culinary tour dedicated to . . . educating chefs and diners about the agricultural importance of utilizing Old World livestock.” The event is held in 14 cities around the country. “Cochon” is French for pig.

“Cochon555 is working to make people feel good about eating meat by perpetuating the myth that animals can be slaughtered humanely,” said Amanda Houdeschell, one of the organizers of the protest. “It’s a fraud, and it’s giving people who might otherwise abstain from eating animals a free pass to turn a blind eye to the horrors inflicted on them.”

Cochone555 guests appear to be amused by the disruption. Activists speculate that, for many, nervous laughter was a defense mechanism.

Several minutes into the disruption, Cochon555 organizers turned off the lights in the hotel ballroom and turned up the volume on the music in an effort to drown out the protesters. While many of the guests at the carnivorous event appeared to be amused by the disruption, organizers were visibly jarred.  As protesters exited the hotel, one Cochon555 representative attempted to justify the pig festival to the activists: “No matter if you think it’s murder or whatever, we’re still honoring a product that is bred by breeders with their wholehearted integrity.” In response to his assertion that the pigs are “treated just like your kids,” TheirTurn’s Donny Moss asked, “Do we slaughter our children?”

One of hundreds of individuals killed and dismembered during Cochon555 tour


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Disruption of Hotdog Eating Contest Garners Widespread Coverage in Mainstream Media

July 7, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

Animal rights activists with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) waited in line for five hours to get a prime spot at the annual hotdog eating contest at Nathan’s in Brooklyn, and their patience – and willingness to be manhandled – paid off.

After the activists disrupted the event and got arrested (see video below), several TV and print media outlets in NYC ran stories, and dozens of newspapers around the country published an Associated Press story. Notably, the New York Post, a paper frequently hostile to animal rights activism, reported on why the activists protested:

Several international newspapers also covered the disruption.  In Argentina, Flores Buenos Aires included the DxE statement from the NY Post article.

Animal rights activists have protested the infamous hotdog eating competition for the past several years, and have, each year, garnered at least some favorable media coverage. In 2016, the NY Daily News, another newspaper notoriously hostile to animal rights activists, published a story that included strong animal rights messages.

Ironically, the annual hotdog eating contest is held on Independence Day, in spite of the fact that the individuals who were consumed by the contestants spent their entire lives being held captive before being slaughtered.

Cattle are held captive in sheds and feedlots before being slaughtered

Matt Cataldo, one of five activists who was arrested and later released with no charges, told TheirTurn, “These people who stuff dead animals down their throats, vomit into their own hands and then shove it back in are regarded as athletes, but they are lazy cowards — exploiting innocent animals for money and fame. There is no excuse for animal abuse, and we will never stop fighting for their freedom.”

Police falsely arrest Matt Cataldo (left). Rocky Schwartz (right) and three other animal rights activists for legally protesting at Nathan’s hot dog eating contest on July 4th.

When she was released from jail, Rocky Schwartz, who was handled aggressively by police, encouraged her followers on social media to take a stand for animals. “Are you supporting the system that says my friends and I should be handcuffed for speaking out against violence–the system that glorifies the exploitation and killing of animals–or are you fighting against it? Because that is the choice each of us has to make.”


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Catskill Animal Sanctuary Hosts 15th Anniversary “Shindig” in Upstate New York

September 18, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

On September 17th, about 1,500 people traveled to upstate New York to attend Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s (CAS) annual “shindig,” a day long celebration with rescued animals, live bands, cooking demonstrations, vegan food vendors, speakers and hayrides.

According to Kathy Stevens, the founder of CAS, sanctuaries enable visitors who aren’t already vegan to “connect the dots between their lifestyle choices and the suffering of these beautiful animals.” She asserts that people must “understand that our choice to eat animals condemns countless beings to an unthinkable level of torture, fear and terror.”

Attendees bond with farm animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary's 15th Anniversary Shindig

Attendees bond with farm animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s 15th Anniversary Shindig

By inviting many vegan food vendors to the shindig, Stevens demonstrates that adopting a diet free of animals is hardly a sacrifice, given how delicious vegan food in 2016.  And while not all vegan food is health food, a plant-based diet, Stevens asserts, is better for our health and for the planet, as animal agriculture “is the primary cause of the global devastation we’re experiencing.”

catskill-animal-sanctuary-food

At least a dozen vegan food vendors lined the roads within the sanctuary.

Your Turn

Please visit Catskill Animal Sanctuary to learn more about and support the organization’s life-saving work.


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Gas Chambers – The “Humane” Alternative?

July 12, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

Following numerous undercover investigations revealing shocking cruelty in slaughterhouses, U.S. meat and egg companies are slowly shifting towards a method of killing regarded by many as being less inhumane: gas chambers.

Euphemistically referred to as Controlled Atmosphere Killing (CAK), gas chambers are widely used in Australia and some European Union countries to slaughter pigs, chickens and other animals.

In several countries, pigs and chickens are commonly killed using gas chambers.

In several countries, pigs and chickens are commonly killed using gas chambers.

PIGS

In order to gas pigs, slaughterhouse workers use electric prods to force them into small steel cages which are lowered into carbon dioxide filled chambers. Undercover footage shows pigs screaming, thrashing and gasping for air in their final moments. An Australian activist conducting an undercover investigation described what he saw: “In their last minutes, these pigs are burning from the inside out.”

Pigs being suffocated in gas chambers.

Pigs being suffocated in gas chambers.

BROILER CHICKENS

The travelling crates that contain chickens are typically unloaded from a truck onto a conveyor belt which carries them into a gas chamber. According to an eyewitness from Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals, “Aversive behavior in the form of gasping, shaking of heads and stretching of necks to breathe could be seen beginning in window two [of the gas chamber] and, by window three, all were exhibiting strong convulsions. The birds’ movements eventually became still and by the time they emerged from the CO2 chambers they were completely lifeless…”

Gas chambers are used trendier broiler chickens unconscious before they are bled to death.

Gas chambers are used to render broiler chickens unconscious before they are bled to death.

EGG-LAYING HENS

Workers aggressively grab spent layer hens birds out of their cages and toss them into mobile metal gas chambers.  On some factory farms, the hens are simply stuffed into trash cans where they are gassed. According to a former worker at a supplier to Eggland’s Best: “It’s absolutely chilling to hear these birds scrambling and fighting for air in these gas chambers.”

At worst spent hens are killed by being thrown into trash cans which are than filled with gas.

At worst spent hens are killed by being thrown into trash cans which are than filled with gas.

Several animal advocacy groups are pressuring companies to transition to using CAK as their primary method of slaughter because it has been shown to be, in many ways, less painful and stressful than conventional methods.

Your Turn

To learn more about the use of gas chambers to kill pigs, please visit aussieabattoirs.com

To watch the investigation that revealed the use of gas chambers to kill spent hens, please visit Mercy For Animals

To learn more about animal cruelty in the food industry, please watch Farm to Fridge and Earthlings

To order a free vegan starter kit, please visit PETA


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VIDEO: Film Documents Explosion of Factory Farms in China

January 3, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

Historically, meat in China was used as a seasoning. Today, it’s the main course. The radical change in diet coupled with an exploding population has led to the rapid industrialization of animal agriculture — in a country where the humane treatment of animals has not yet entered the public consciousness. Brighter Green, a U.S. based public policy action tank, is attempting to change that.

Industrial agriculture in China has expanded with the increased demand for meat and the explosion of fast food restaurants

Industrial agriculture in China has expanded with the increased demand for meat and the explosion of fast food restaurants

Using an all Chinese crew, Brighter Green produced a half hour film – What’s For Dinner? – that documents the surge in factory farms and the tragic impact they are having on the environment, public health and the animals. According to Executive Director Mia McDonald, Brighter Green is using the film as “a tool to raise public awareness about the negative impact of industrialized agriculture and the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.”

The story is told through the eyes of a retired pig farmer, a vegan restaurateur in Beijing, a livestock entrepreneur, and residents of a city whose water supply has been polluted by factory farm waste.

In addition to exporting fast food restaurants to China, the United States has exported the fallacy that the meat and dairy-centric American diet is healthier than the traditional vegetable-heavy Chinese diet. The mainstream Chinese public has not yet connected the dots between the increase in the consumption of animal protein and the growing obesity and diabetes epidemics. The public also hasn’t made the connection between animal agriculture and the country’s food shortage, which could be curbed if the grain being fed to livestock was instead fed to the people.

Chinese people connect the dots between animal agriculture and their polluted water supply

Chinese people connect the dots between animal agriculture and their polluted water supply

According to What’s For Dinner?, there is hope, as vegan restaurants gain popularity in Beijing and other cities, and animal welfare organizations are increasing in number and influence. But the shift away from the newly-adopted meat-heavy diet has to occur quickly because, as the filmmakers point out, “Twenty percent of all people live in China, so what the Chinese eat and how they produce food affects not just China, but the entire planet.”

Industrial animal agriculture is especially egregious in China, where the humane treatment of animals isn't a part of the public discourse

In China, the humane treatment of animals is not yet a part of the public discourse.

Your Turn

What’s For Dinner? is available for rent or purchase on Amazon Video.  To purchase the DVD, please contact Icarus Films.


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