Animal Rights Collective Blog


The 30-Day Vegan Challenge! Join us this Friday with author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau by christine
September 20, 2011, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Animal Rights @ GMU, AR Event, Benefit Show, Local Events, Vegan

Join us this Friday for author and activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau!

Colleen will be presenting at Fall For The Book, discussing her latest endeavor “The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately.” Learn about how a vegan lifestyle is excellent for improving personal health and increasing compassion for animals and the environment.

Colleen is an educator, activist, cooking instructor, public speaker and the award-winning author of five books. She is also the dynamic host of the podcast “Vegetarian Food For Thought” which works to educate people to make informed food choices, to debunk myths about veganism and animal rights, and to inspire others to live compassionately. Colleen’s books will be available for purchase at the event!

Are YOU up for the challenge?!

WHEN: Friday, September 23rd 2011 | 4:30-5:45pm FREE!

WHERE: Dewberry Hall North in the Johnson Center (bottom floor), George Mason University Fairfax Campus

This event is sponsored by the GMU Animal Rights Collective and Compassion for Animals. 

We hope to see you there!! 

.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Sept. 24 — DC VegFest @ George Washington University 11am-6pm (More Info @ http://dcvegfest.com/)

Sunday, Sept. 25 — Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary Open House, Poolesville MD 1-5pm. (More Info @ http://www.animalsanctuary.org/events/index.html)

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Updates on the Recall: Wright County Egg’s Filthy Conditions by christine
September 9, 2010, 10:22 pm
Filed under: AR Alert, AR News, News, Vegan | Tags: , , ,

Chickens in battery cages

After a half billion bad eggs get released, the FDA reveals filthy conditions of Wright County Egg

BY Tom Philpott (from Grist) | 31 AUG 2010 4:07 PM

There’s nothing like a good salmonella outbreak to inspire FDA inspectors to deliver blunt, graphic reports from inside the industrial food system. When future historians marvel at the fetid, festering underbelly of our food culture, they will relish these post-facto dispatches from the biohazardous front.

Back in 2009, a company called Peanut Corporation of America sparked a massive recall involving 4,000 products put out by 360 companies. Nearly 700 people fell ill, half of them children, and nine died. The cause: salmonella-tainted peanut paste. The FDA’s after-the-fact investigation [PDF] of the massive Georgia plant makes riveting reading (for the strong of stomach): moldy water seeping directly into “finished product”; cockroaches running around; processing machinery that routinely went uncleaned, etc. Most shocking of all, the company had several times detected the presence of salmonella in finished product based on its own testing — and sent it out anyway.

Well, the FDA has now competed its post-event investigation of the Iowa egg factories that spawned 550 million salmonella-tainted eggs and have sickened at least 1,500 people. The factories in question are run by Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, two of the 10 largest egg producers in the United States. Again, at least for connoisseurs of the grotesque, the results make a fantastic read.

Turns out, the Wright County and Hillandale egg operations, whose products end up on supermarket shelves across the country, are salmonella-ridden, dilapidated hovels characterized by rodent infestations, flies, and, everywhere, feces —  both from the laying hens themselves and from wild birds scrounging for free feed.

There are some choice images in the report. To wit, “Dark liquid, which appeared to be manure, was observed seeping through the concrete foundation to the outside of the laying houses at the following locations.” It goes on to name 10 different laying houses, each of which contained hundreds of thousands of birds.

My favorite image of all is this one:

Uncaged birds (chickens having escaped) were observed in the egg laying operation in contact with the egg laying birds … The uncaged birds were using the manure, which was approximately 8 feet high, to access the egg laying area.

If I am envisioning the scene correctly, escaped hens had climbed atop vast shit mounds in order to be high enough to get their beaks into the feed within the cages.

Cross-contamination between the laying houses was evidently rife. “Employees working within the houses did not wear or change protective clothing when moving from house to house,” the FDA inspectors report. “An employee at Layer 6 House 3 was observed walking out of House 3 with a metal scraper and into House 2 without changing protective clothing and without sanitizing equipment between the houses.”

Industrial agriculture is often criticized for wiping out biodiversity — species, whether corn or hens, are raised in vast monocrops. But at Wright County Egg, biodiversity of a certain kind thrived. Inspectors observed between “two and five mice” scampering around at no fewer than 12 laying houses. “Live and dead flies too numerous to count” appeared at 19 houses; and at one house, “live and dead maggots too numerous to count were observed on the manure pit floor.”

If you’re worried about avian flu, you won’t be impressed with Wright County Egg’s efforts to keep wild birds from mingling with laying hens. “Non-chicken feathers” were observed inside one laying house. In another three, “wild birds were observed flying inside.” In an “air vent where the screening was damaged,” pigeons roosted. Gaps and holes in the structures of the laying houses, large enough to let in rodents and wilds birds, are evidently a fact of life. The report complains of “holes in exterior siding, missing siding, holes and/or gaps in the concrete foundation, and air vent screens either missing or damaged.”

Then there’s the whole topic of the facility’s feed mill, which the FDA has fingered as the likely source of the salmonella. Here, the sins of Wright County Egg’s management seemed to combine sinisterly into a virtual incubation house for pathogens. Atop vast mounds of corn destined for the mill, “birds were observed roosting and flying.” Wild birds were so at home that “nesting material was observed in the feed mill … ingredient storage and truck-filling areas.”

And when the inspectors took swabs in and around the mill, they routinely found salmonella. They also found it in the manure mounds building up under the laying houses.

One thing the report doesn’t comment on is the environmental impact of Wright County Egg’s manure management. If the company did such a rotten job keeping its hens from coming into contact with shit, what kind of job did it do keeping that salmonella-rich stuff from seeping into surrounding streams?

At any rate, the conditions described by FDA are wretched and can be counted on to produce biological menaces, salmonella outbreaks counting as just a minor example. The prevailing conditions there will be largely read as the villainy of a single man, Wright County Eggs’ owner, Jack Decoster. Now, Decoster is no doubt quite a piece of work; but as I will show in a later post, his brand of doing business is really the logical outgrowth of a food system that rewards cost-cutting above all else.

What’s the answer? GO VEGAN!

Egg Recall Action Alert: What’s inside your egg carton (aside from salmonella)?

From COK.net

As the U.S. faces the largest egg recall in our nation’s history—more than half a billion eggs have been recalled due to the risk of Salmonella—the hard-boiled truth of egg production is starting to make headlines. All the eggs in question were produced on large-scale egg factory farms where hens are crammed inside tiny wire cages that are so restrictive, they can barely even move.

Sadly, such intensive confinement, which causes tremendous animal suffering, is not only standard practice in the egg industry, but studies suggest that keeping hens in cages increases the risk of Salmonella infection in hens, their eggs, and consumers who eat eggs from caged birds. Read the “Food Safety and Cage Egg Production”report by the Humane Society of the United States for more details.

Not only is the egg industry cruelly confining more than 250 million laying hens and putting consumers at health risk, it’s also deceiving those consumers through the rampant use of misleading labels and images on cartons.

To many consumers’ surprise, there are no federal regulations governing the use of animal welfare claims on egg cartons, including “naturally-raised” and “free-range,” enabling producers to mislead consumers with false or exaggerated claims, such as images of hens freely roaming around outside—even if those eggs come from hens forced to spend their lives in misery inside wire battery cages.

In 2006, Compassion Over Killing filed a federal rule-making petition with the Food and Drug Administration, urging the agency to mandate egg-production labeling on egg cartons, including the clear identification of “eggs from caged hens.” Similar consumer protection practices are already in place throughout the European Union and in Australia. Consumers—and hens—in the U.S. deserve the same.

ACT NOW: Read more about this Truth in Egg Labeling effort and contact the FDA today.



ARC at Poplar Springs by christine

On Saturday, May 15th the ARC joined CfA for a tour of Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, MD. Poplar Springs is a non-profit sanctuary for rescued farm animals and wildlife. Their mission is to:

  • Offer care, rehabilitation, and permanent sanctuary for neglected, abandoned or unwanted farm animals
  • Provide protected habitat for wildlife
  • Furnish information to the public regarding farm animal and wildlife issues
  • Promote compassion and humane treatment for all animals

The exquisite 400-acre property is home to rescued pigs, cows, goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, horses, sheep, rabbits, geese and ducks. Terry and Dave do an amazing job caring and advocating for these animals. We heard some amazing survivor stories that testified to both the strength and forgiveness of these creatures, it is amazing how they can learn to trust and love humans again. They reminded us to live compassionately and reaffirmed why a society based on animal exploitation is so wrong. To learn more about the animals and their rescue stories, click here.



WVBS for Gulf Coast Wildlife by christine

ARC had a small Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale in the midst of finals. We still had some yummy vegan treats though, including mini banana bread loaves with coconut topping, organic apple muffins, toasted coconut or vanilla cupcakes, and “buttery” chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies. The proceeds went to grassroots wildlife rescue along the Gulf Coast in response to the devastating BP oil spill. Thanks to everyone that donated and helped out! This oil spill is far worse that the notorious Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989, releasing that same amount of oil as that disaster – every four days! Find out more, and boycott BP!

Donate to wildlife rescue efforts in the Gulf coast!

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research and the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

A Brown Pelican being washed at the Fort Jackson, Louisiana rescue center. Photo from Tri-State Bird Rescue and International Bird Rescue Research Center.

The National Geographic Channel will air a documentary on the Deepwater Horizon blowout which sent oil gushing towards the coastlines oof Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama. “Gulf Oil Spill,” Thursday May 27th at 9pm, more info.



DC Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti by christine

**SNOW! Falls Church Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti postponed until further notice!**

We’ll post an update as soon as it is rescheduled.

Stop by one of the DC Vegan Bake Sales to raise money for Haiti! There will be one tomorrow, January 24th, in Takoma Park MD and another on February 6th in Falls Church VA. 100% of the proceeds will go to Food For Life Global.

Donate to emergency relief for animals in Haiti! The Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) has been formed by several nonprofit groups to respond to the animals in need in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Haiti.

DC VEGAN BAKE SALE FOR HAITI

DC Vegan is holding Vegan Bake Sales in the coming weeks to help raise money for Haiti due to the recent devastating earthquake that hit.

100%  of the proceeds from the Vegan Bake Sale will go to Food for Life Global.

Food for Life is a nonprofit organization, bringing food and life to the needy of the world through the liberal distribution of pure vegetarian meals. The project started in 1974 when an elderly Indian swami, Srila Prabhupada, implored his yoga students not to allow anyone within a ten mile radius of his ashram to go hungry. The program grew quickly, and today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries worldwide. FFL is providing Vegan food relief to Haiti.

NEW If you are unable to attend the either bake sale you can make an online donation on our fundraising page here.

DC VEGAN BAKE SALE INFO

BAKE SALE #1
WHO: DC Vegan Community
WHAT: DC Vegan Bake Sale
WHEN: January 24th from 10am to 2pm
WHERE: Takoma Park Farmers Market (2 block from the Takoma metro station)
WHO IS BRINGING WHAT:View the listSign up to bake
VOLUNTEER: We need some volunteers!
RSVP: Facebook Event Page

BAKE SALE #2
WHO: DC Vegan Community
WHAT: DC Vegan Bake Sale
WHEN: February 7th from 2 to 6pm  **Postponed!**
WHERE: 1230 W. Broad St. (corner of Route 7 aka Broad Street and Haycock Road), Falls Plaza shopping center (strip mall), Falls Church, VA
WHO IS BRINGING WHAT: View the listSign up to bake
VOLUNTEER: We need some volunteers!
RSVP: Facebook Event Page

**If you need to drop off / or picked up your baked goods the night before the event send me an email, tim@dcvegan.com, so we can arrange something.**

WE NEED FROM YOU

Donate your Vegan baked goods, please fill out this form.
Volunteers for the the Vegan Bake Sale, please fill out this form.

Bakers:
  • Please deliver food by 9:45am (takoma) & 10:15am (falls church). Exception: if we have a ton of bakers, it’s ok if some of you deliver the food later, but by noon.
  • If you want to contribute baked goods but cannot make it to the bake sale that day, we’ll have two drop-off points (people’s houses) where you can deliver the food the night before. This works better if the food doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
  • If at all possible: Bring the recipe for your lovely creation.
  • Remember to include a spatula or appropriate serving utensil.
Other volunteers:
  • We could use help with posting fliers.
  • Help out at the table.

DC VEGAN BAKE SALE FOR HAITI flyer



World Vegan Day! by christine
November 1, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Announcement, News, Vegan | Tags:

Today celebrates the 65th anniversary of the founding of The Vegan Society. Go vegan today and start living more compassionately! For the animals, for your health, and for the environment! Start saving the world…

Why Vegan? 

Free Vegan Starter Guide, PDF (which includes recipes).

Do they live this way for YOU?

Do it for her…

…or them…

Veal Crates

…or them!

Learn more about the founding of veganism and World Vegan Day! 

they have families too!



World Go Vegan Week: Vegan Bake Sale by christine

For World Go Vegan Week ARC had a Halloween Vegan Bake Sale on campus to encourage students to try vegan treats and reduce their consumption of animal products.

Thanks to everyone that volunteered, including Nick, Nathaly, Karen, Martin, and Dr. Verardo – who made those famous scones that all her students stopped by to try!

Vegan Cupcakes!

 

Dr. Verardo's Famous Scones!

 

Vegan Literature!

ARC will be sponsoring these cuties at Farm Sanctuary with 100% of the proceeds from the bake sale!

Meet Mello and Bubbles! This Thanksgiving, don’t eat your friends!

Sponsor a turkey in need this Thanksgiving. 

Mello!Bubbles!