Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Subtracting Somehow Means More in Baltimore.

How does taking away meat from the menu give students more choices?

While watching balloon boy last week, we missed the awards that the Baltimore School District is receiving from a bunch of animal and environmental activist groups for implementing Meatless Monday. In case you missed it, check out the reporting from the Huffington Post and CNN.

What's the protein content on the menu?
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Who knows? I’m seeing between 2.9 and 16 grams.
Vegetarian Chili 8-12 grams of protein
Corn 1 gram
Green Beans 1 gram
Fruit 1 gram

So the kid would have to eat everything on the plate consuming to equal the amount of protein in a single serving of chicken or beef. How many extra calories is that?

Maybe trading out meat for something else gives someone a choice, but it's not a good choice when 75% of school children don’t get enough protein in their diet anyway.

But the polls say people like the idea.

In a poll on the Huffington Post, the supporters were winning. Awesome said 54.79%. Non issue, why is it getting covered said 40% of respondents and only 4.59% said they were not a fan as of 8:45 p.m. (CT) Tuesday.

Think this is about giving kids better choices? Think again. It’s about an animal rights and environmental activist’s agenda.
The rest of the story, The program is being coordinated in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of Public Health. Ever heard of the Center for a Livable Future or the Grace Spira Project? Neither had I.

Henry Spira was an animal right’s activist.

From the Spria Project website, “Launched in 1999, the Henry Spira Project focuses on documenting and communicating the public health and environmental implications of industrial food animal production (IFAP) and promoting humane, more sustainable practices that do not harm the environment and human health.”

Timing is everything. Congress will be considering standards to the school lunch program this fall. Reports on a guy like Mr. Geraci turning around a failing food service system with building blocks like school gardens and Meatless Monday is a way to get a seat at the table for vegetarian options.

Tony Geraci the had of the program is a media darling for his innovative ideas and school garden . Just putting a spotlight on him gives these groups a fan base for this concept who are swallowing the idea that a veggie lunch is a good thing. I mean that's all they're seeing in the media these days so it must be true.

So much for healthy choices.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RT @foodprovider While hurting family farmers RT @PVDairyGal1: wht HSUS sends out after scare tactics work http://bit.ly/ZWJ2O

Monday, October 12, 2009

Larry King Live or Larry King Lies?

I tuned in hoping for honest debate.
I should have known better, this was CNN after all.

But millions of people tuned in to see if what they are eating could make them sick. Over 6 million people looked at the Larry King Live website and over 200,000 of those posted on his blog.

I was on Twitter while listening to the program, which seemed to be where most of the farm community was hanging out.

Did those viewers learn the truth? I’m afraid not.
The ag folks got some good stats in, but a lot of the stats shared were either lies or gross inaccuracies.

One of the anti-meat people said that 98% of all animals sent to slaughter come from factory farms. Maybe he’s misinformed about the 96-98% of all farms being family farms. But he says that and because so few American’s have a point of reference, many will believe him.

The show started with families telling how loved ones had died from eating hamburgers. Then it moved on to a panel was stacked with vegans spouting a bunch of inaccuracies.

I may be biased, but it seemed Larry and his cohort were in their corner based on the questions they were asking and what the comments they were sharing on the website.
They’re after us and they’ll do anything they have to in order to scare people into not eating our products.

Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute, needs a raise for his part of the program. He was articulate, on message and a bright spot on the panel. We need him making the TV circuit all the time.

There was a strong voice out there echoing what the ag industry spokespeople were saying about beef being an essential part of the diet. But we weren’t out in the force we should have been.
RT @agritweets Cattle: Novartis Chief Criticizes Animal Activists : Daniel Vasella, chief executive of the Swiss pharac.. http://bit.ly/McbsR
RT@FarmBureau: 1493~Christopher Columbus brought calves, goats, sheep, pigs, hens, citrus, melons and many veggies to America. ag history

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jody vs. the Vegan the next day

AND THEN THE NEXT DAY. . . She came back with more.
More of the same
Day late and a dollar short.
She never answered any of my questions. She's still ranting about us being cruel murderers. More name calling and personal attacks. That's a way to win friends and influence people. There was one thing new--Now we're destroying the environment.
Continue reading and get inside the mind of an intense animal activist.

VEGAN: You know about the chickens yet you do not care? That hideous treatment and cruelty bothers you not? And frankly, you haven't "come back" with any evidence substantiating your position other than personal motive. What you are indeed asserting is that you eat steak now so that the planet can support food necessity in 40 years? Are you kidding? The only numbers you have shown is vitamins. Sweetie, I am vegan, I gave birth to a healthy child, and both she and I are healthy. Your naturopathic doctor? Are you serious? Why would I care what he says when my gyno and personal physician and pediatrician are completely unconcerned? Is that a joke??? What will the extra farming do to the water supply? Really? You mean animals don't drink water and CAFO's don't pollute our environment?Despite substantial improvements in the nation's water quality since the inception of the Clean Water Act, nearly 40 percent of the nation's assessed waters show impairments from a wide range of sources. Improper management of manure from CAFOs is among the many contributors to remaining water quality problems. Improperly managed manure has caused serious acute and chronic water quality problems throughout the United States."http://www.epa.state.il.us/water/cafo/

... Read MoreCanadian source:"Primary agriculture is responsible for more than 10 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities. It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of these farming-related emissions come from the production of livestock, including manure stored in open-air earthen storage areas or applied to the land as fertilizer. Untreated sewage that is used as fertilizer may also contaminate groundwater and nearby lakes and rivers. "http://www.ec.gc.ca/science/sandemay01/article2_e.html"

One of the largest pork companies on the East Coast was fined $12.6 million - the largest water pollution fine ever- for dumping hog waste into a Chesapeake Bay tributary.U.S. District Judge Rebecca B. Smith ruled Aug. 8 that Smithfield Foods Inc. was liable for nearly 7,000 violations of the Clean Water Act since 1991. She said she wanted at least a portion of the fine to be used for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. The ruling resulted from an EPA lawsuit that accused Smithfield of polluting the Pagan River and destroying documents to cover it up.Smithfield Foods, which slaughters pigs and packs the meat in two plants on the river, was accused of dumping illegal levels of hog waste into the river for several years. The decaying waste and excrement raised the levels of phosphorous and other elements in the river, poisoning shellfish beds. The Pagan River has been closed to shellfishing for 27 years because of high levels of fecal bacteria and is considered unhealthy for swimming. "http://www.bayjournal.com/97-09/fine.htm"

On June 25, in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., Tyson Foods Inc., pled guilty to 20 felony violations of the federal Clean Water Act and agreed to pay $7.5 million to the United States and the State of Missouri. The plea agreement will settle all federal and state charges against the company for illegal discharges at its Sedalia, Mo., processing plant. In addition, Tyson Foods will hire an outside environmental consultant to audit the Sedalia plant’s environmental management program and will implement an improved environmental program based on the audit’s findings. Each day, the Sedalia plant processes approximately 1 million pounds of chicken and generates hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater. Between 1996 and 2001, the plant repeatedly discharged untreated or inadequately treated wastewater from the Sedalia plant in violation of the limits in its discharge permit. Repeated citations and lawsuits by the State of Missouri did not bring the plant into compliance. Discharging wastewater containing higher than permitted levels of processing wastes can harm fish and wildlife and make surface waters unuseable for recreational and drinking water purposes. The case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the FBI with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City, Mo., and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.http://www.agobservatory.org/agribusiness_records.cfm?nID=125http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/a876fc446ef4378785256d5800666a18?OpenDocument

Cargill Pork Inc., which operates a 17,000 pig farming operation in Martinsburg, Mo., pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and will pay out a total of $1,551,000, including a fine of $1 million, $51,000 in restitution to the State of Missouri for natural resources damages and the costs of investigation and $500,000 in already spent remediation costs. The defendant admitted illegally discharging hog waste from holding ponds at its facility into the Loutre River, which is a tributary of the Missouri River. The discharge occurred due to a failure to properly operate waste management equipment. In addition, no report of the release was made to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. After the release, 53,000 fish were killed along a five mile stretch of the Loutre River. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis.http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/b1ab9f485b098972852562e7004dc686/4dc49cd1c44b8a6c85256b6e006f01f5?OpenDocument"

Approximately half of the 50 million pounds of antibiotics produced in the United States are used for agriculture and half for human health. Recent studies in Europe indicate that pharmaceutical compounds are common contaminants in surface water. Radioimmunoassay tests developed for clinical and regulatory use were adapted to screen for multiple classes of antibiotics in liquid waste and surface-water. A tandem reverse phase/mixed mode solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method was used to analyze for 21 analytes from four classes of antibiotics. Initial results indicate that antibiotics are transported into surface and ground water in areas with animal feeding operations and wastewater-treatment plants."http://www.epa.gov/esd/chemistry/ppcp/acs-mar2000.htm

Several health and welfare problems seen predominantly in meat-type birds are related to rapid growth rate. A correlated response to the selection of turkeys for increased body weight and a broad breast is the development of deep muscle myopathy (atrophy of the inferior pectoralis muscle) caused by an inadequate blood supply to the tissues. Both turkeys and meat chickens exhibit skeletal disorders, particularly in the bones of the pelvic limb (femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus) and their associated tendons. Skeletal abnormalities can be further exacerbated by the resulting motor impediments. The lack of synchronous growth among body components in broilers, including the heart and lungs, can contribute to pulmonary hypertension causing excess fluids in the body (ascites). An additional problem is 'sudden death syndrome,' the cause of which is unknown.These health problems are of great concern to the poultry industry, and considerable research is being conducted on the negative aspects associated with rapid growth in today's broilers.http://ars.sdstate.edu/animaliss/poultry.html...

Read More"Abstract: The behavioural responses of groups of seven lambswere compared with control groups after castration and taildocking by rubber rings, application of a Burdizzo clamp inaddition to a rubber ring, and after surgical castration atfive, 21, and 42 days. All methods at all ages produced changesin behaviour which were interpreted as indicative ofconsiderable pain."http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/oldbib/qb9513.htm

Negative health conditions and inhumane situations due to artificially promoting weight and size:Several health and welfare problems seen predominantly in meat-type birds are related to rapid growth rate. A correlated response to the selection of turkeys for increased body weight and a broad breast is the development of deep muscle myopathy (atrophy of the inferior pectoralis muscle) caused by an inadequate blood supply to the tissues. Both turkeys and meat chickens exhibit skeletal disorders, particularly in the bones of the pelvic limb (femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus) and their associated tendons. Skeletal abnormalities can be further exacerbated by the resulting motor impediments. The lack of synchronous growth among body components in broilers, including the heart and lungs, can contribute to pulmonary hypertension causing excess fluids in the body (ascites). An additional problem is 'sudden death syndrome,' the cause of which is unknown.These health problems are of great concern to the poultry industry, and considerable research is being conducted on the negative aspects associated with rapid growth in today's broilers.http://ars.sdstate.edu/animaliss/poultry.html

There was information with respect to prodding:"Bruising costs the beef industry about $22 million annually. The 1995 National Beef Quality Audit found that bruising cost the industry $4.03 for every fed animal marketed, a significant increase over the 1991 quality audit. To decrease bruising, use a prod only to the extent necessary. Don't beat cattle with canes and sticks."http://www.mnbeef.org/bqa/BQA_Manual/Management.htm#FFadditivies

"The No. 1 concern of packers in the 1999 audit was the high incidence of bruising. Only 11.8 percent of cow carcasses did not have a bruise. When a bruise is created on an animal, it takes time for the body to heal. Handling practices at the ranch are very important in minimizing bruises. It is estimated that one-third of bruises occur on the ranch, and the other two-thirds occur in transport and marketing."http://www.thecattlemanmagazine.com/issues/2000/05-00/realizingMore.asp

Literally millions of animals are condemned yearly due to diseases, malformations, and other repulsive conditions. If these animals were being cared for, they would not become so horrifically afflicted.http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1497http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/PoulSlauSu/PoulSlauSu-02-25-2009.txthttp://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1096...

Read MoreIt really sucks to be a chicken or "other bird":The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act:Originally passed in 1958, the law that is enforced today by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was passed as the Humane Slaughter Act of 1978. This Act requires the proper treatment and humane handling of all food animals slaughtered in USDA inspected slaughter plants. It does not apply to chickens or other birds.http://awic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?tax_level=1&info_center=3&tax_subject=182

Twenty-Eight Hour Law:Originally enacted in 1873 and 1906, the law was repealed and reenacted in 1994 by PL 103-272. This law requires that animals being transported across state lines (by truck, rail carrier, express carrier, or common carrier (except by air or water)) may not be confined for more than 28 consecutive hours without being unloaded for food, water, and rest. The law is also known as the "Cruelty to Animals Act," the "Live Stock Transportation Act," and the "Food and Rest Law." It does not apply to poultry or to animals being transported in a vehicle where they have food, water, space, and the ability to rest.http://awic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?tax_level=1&info_center=3&tax_subject=182

And then another farm guy chimed in: I have been curious to what the animal rights movement would do if for some reason the livestock industry suddenly stopped? Would they care for them.I respect you for expressing your view, even though I don't share them and I am sure that we will agree to disagree on this matter.

Jody, you forgot to mention the extremely high level of estrogen in Soy products, far higher than in red meat. Trent told the numbers on the radio a few weeks ago.

Trent: 3oz of beef 1.69 nanograms of estrogen, 1 teaspoon of soy oil 28,000 nanograms of estrogen

I was on a trip to St. Louis when all this got posted. So I wasn't in a place where I could reply. But I'm kind of at the point of why bother. She's ignoring the debate. Calling names and putting forth some junk science and reports that I find suspect.

I do wonder where she found it. I don't think this was something she pieced together on her own. But the string isn't one I've seen on other sites. If you know her source of all this cruelty infomation, let me know.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jody vs. the Vegan

This all got started when Trent Loos made a comment on his Facebook page about not attending the World Dairy Conf.

Us farm kids were talking about how to increase milk consumption through advertising and merchandising when a vegan jumped into the discussion. Sorry this is long but you will be entertained. And I have changed the vegan's name to protect her identify.

VEGAN: I am confused: here we have a culture embedded with the "eat meat, drink milk" mantra. Everywhere I go I am bombarded with these messages, and I cannot go anywhere without seeing trucks carrying animals, destination: death, packaged animal corpses, the scent of decomp as people bar-b-que the murdered animals, commercials, magazine adverts, ... billboards, fast-food establishments around every corner, etc., etc., etc., all bombarding me with the "eat meat, drink milk" message, and you get pissy over one poster? How absolutely ludicrous and prejudicial is that??? Let me ask you, by the way, what happens to the male babies? Have any of you ever had human breastmilk? Does that sound ewy to you? When I breastfed I offered to pump some for people, and the response was always one of revulsion, yet you'll drink the scummy, pus-infected secretions of animals who live in squalor, eating crap, slaughtered in reprehensible manners in hideous places? Really? Why not hire women to milk themselves? Would you be supportive of such an idea? At least they would have the choice and compensation if chosen.Nice message, CJ. Thanks for remembering me on a Saturday night. I make a lasting impression, don't I? Cannot help but think of me when espousing the illegitimate, murderous manners of animal food production and how I'll fight you people until the day I die?
TRENT: Whether you choose to admit it or not the value of milk meat and eggs to the human body are scientifically documented. Fortunately we both live in a country were we have the right to choose to keep our bodies in state of denial if you so choose.

ME: Obviously you've been brainwashed and don't really care for the facts. You're buying a line of lies without researching the facts or thinking for yourself--the declarations you made in this thread aren't even an accurate description of the dairy industry. The smell of animals means nutrition to me. If you're hungry enough, someday it will smell like sustenance to you too.

VEGAN: XX, feel free to care less even more and not send me messages about eating horses.The value of a vegan diet has been established as having a beneficial impact on health and lowering the risk of certain cancers.How many animals did you kill today, Trent and Jody?... And, Jody, brainwashed is the definition I provided above and it is YOU who has fallen into the typical stereotyped animal corpse eater. I think outside the cruel box. Furthermore, Jody, the "declarations" I have made are indeed FACTS that I have derived from the USDA and have them for your perusal if you would like. Also, what happens to the male babies? Jody, the smell of animals means nutrition to you? Do you know how perverted that sounds? Do you have cats, dogs, hamsters...?

TRENT: Oh Vegan I am glad you reminded me of the male bull calf thing...You are implying that they are harvested for veal calves as babies...less than 20% of the dairy calves born go through any veal program... but more importantly veal calves weigh 500 lbs when they are harveted that is hardly killing a baby. The rest of dairy male calves are fed to normal fed cattle weights of 1400 lbs...NO Baby killing happening here.
"veal calves weigh 500 lbs when they are harveted that is hardly killing a baby."Pure semantics: how old are they, Trent? And, yes, then they are killed. "The rest of dairy male calves are fed to normal fed cattle weights of 1400 lbs.."... Before they are killed...

ME: Only a small number of bull calves are born today thanks to scientific advancements, that I'm sure you disapprove of too. But I won't bother to explain since you know all about the dairy industry. I wouldn't want to bore you with facts you already know. Call me perverted, but I'll be eating meat tomorrow because I believe it is the ...best source of protein and many essential nutrients--taking any supplements in your vegan diet? I don't have pets. I have livestock being grown to become food. There's a difference between pets and livestock.
Oh and Vegan, Do your pets live in the house?

Vegan: "But I won't bother to explain since you know all about the dairy industry."I get my facts from what you would call unbiased sources: the industry and the USDA. "There's a difference between pets and livestock." ... That is so hypocritical, Jody. They are all animals. And did you know that reducing or discontinuing animal-derived food consumption lowers health risks? And you people baffle me with the ease and indifference you consider animals: born only to die unnecessarily so, living in horrific conditions, brutalized, suffered, exploited. You have to accept that when there is an option between kill or not, your moral obligation is to go with compassion and not kill. And you think I am brainwashed.

ME: I don't consider the USDA unbiased. Name your sources and let's compare what we know. You're obviously very passionate about what you believe, but I'm not seeing any facts. You're just name-calling in your arguments: hypocrite, pervert and murderer. That's a pretty typical argument of the anti-meat folks in America. I have seen the reports about reducing health risks, by reducing red meat intake, but usually they are accompanied by a retraction. If you want to debate that, again, start naming your sources--I would be happy to put names/dates behind what I know. About 85% of U.S. grazing lands are unsuitable for producing crops--since you like the USDA that's where it came from. Grazing animals on this land more than doubles the area that can be used to produce food. It is not suitable for growing vegetables or plant material that sustains human life. Figure out how humans can digest grass and we're in business, but until that time, people must eat meat, milk, eggs, etc or they will not get the calories they need to survive.... Read MoreDiary bulls--Thought Trent had provided some good stats, but since you asked again. Using technology less than 10% of calves born are bulls. (From a report from Cornell University.) You do need a few bulls. My moral obligation is to feed the world, and you can't do that on a plant based diet. So I am calloused in preferring that an animal die so many people can live. I know I can't convince you that steps are taken to ensure the animal doesn't suffer at the vast majority of farms or facilities. There's too much hidden camera footage from the poorly run facilities in our industry that will back up what you believe. But I've seen it done differently and better than what you think happens. Yes animals die to become food. I know you won't believe this of a murdering hypocrite, but I do care about the health and welfare of the animals in my care. But you can't convince me that they should serve a different purpose than to feed people. I'm logging off. Would be happy to debate more tomorrow.

VEGAN: Are you disputing the fact that animals are killed? No matter what you say, believe, or profess, the fact is that animals are killed: killing is inherently inhumane. You claim to want to feed the world, congratulations, it's not working. "I do care about the health and welfare of the animals in my care." That's what you claim, but as long as ... Read Moreyou are killing animals, you cannot possibly care for them other than as objects to further your motive. "But you can't convince me that they should serve a different purpose than to feed people." Yes, same old meat-eating rhetoric. "people must eat meat, milk, eggs, etc or they will not get the calories they need to survive." Really? Seriously? Prove it. "Grazing animals on this land more than doubles the area that can be used to produce food" Do these animals not require water? Or are these magical animals who do not produce any waste?Here is one link to poultry and the numerous conditions they are exposed to:http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1497
ME: Yes, I murder animals to satisfy my motive of feeding people. That's the only motive I have, because we sure aren't getting rich by farming.
Had expected more from you today than again calling me a murderer or hypocrite. Would have been nice if you had put forth some stats that I could have countered. The chicken report is stuff I already know.
You want proof that people need meat? I'm sure you won't believe any of this, but here it is.
Like I said yesterday, much of the world's surface is suitable for growing grass, not plants for human consumption. By 2050, the UN says, our planet must double food production to feed an anticipated population of 9.3 billion people. If we can't grow stuff people can eat on a large portion of our planet, we need to feed animals, so they can be turned into food. If you have another idea I would love to hear it.
Here is why we need meat. Protein--Tofu has 8 grams per serving to beef's 28. We're going to have to grow a lot more beans if we need to satisfy everyone's protein needs with them alone. Nuts range from 6 to 10 grams. That's a lot of trees.
What will all that extra farming do to the environment and water supply? And do you need me to cite a nutritionist who says that plant protein isn't as high in value as animal protein? They're all over if you Google natural protein source. Plant sources other than soy are incomplete proteins which means they don't contain all 8 amino acids. And if you're taking soy in high amounts it can block the absorption of other nutrients.
Where can you get more B-12, Zinc and Iron than you can in beef? It's not a plant. It's a pill. My naturopathic doctor says those nutrients are not well absorbed when taken in pill form. You've seen the experiments were they drop a vitamin pill into water. Kind of the same principle.
So I think I've come back with some numbers that are well documented. Better documentation than anything you've come up with so far.
I get that you think killing animals is wrong under any circumstance. I think animals are an important part of the food chain here to serve the nutritional needs of an ever growing population.
We'll never agree. I know I'll never convince you and you'll never convince me. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this topic with you.

That's where I left it with her. I used to let this stuff go. I know I won't change her--or any hard core animal activist's opinon. But I am being more vocal in defending our industry.

If you are in ag, and not following Trent's blog or on twitter @trentloos you should be.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

National Parks and Animal Rights?

The National Parks program on PBS inspired Wayne Pacelle because the founding of our national parks was radical and controversial just like the animal rights movement.

I must be missing something.
Read his blog entry from Sept. 30th.

Norman Pang not charged

The radical animal activists lost this go round.

Norman Pang has not been cited, arrested or charged for alleged cruelty to animals by the Honolulu prosecutor's office.

But the animal rights group had to get their dig in. From a prepared statement attributed to Pamela Burns, CEO of the Hawaii Humane Society.

"Although we received numerous complaints, we were prohibited access to the property to conduct an animal cruelty investigation. As a result our case was severely compromised. We stand by our decision to forward this case to the prosecutor's office for their determination about the strength and quality of the evidence to pursue a conviction."

Of course they couldn't just leave the guy alone. No word on whether he's dropping his defamation case.

Read more about the charges being dismissed.