Posts tagged pigs

Oh Canada! Poised to lead the way to ban gestation crates

Pigs at the Pigs Peace Sanctuary

Pigs at the Pigs Peace Sanctuary

This just in from the HSUS:

Canada Set to Ban Lifelong Confinement of Pigs in Immobilizing Cages

Progress Draws into Question U.S. Pork Industry’s Animal Welfare Policies

(June 1, 2013) —Canadian pigs would no longer be confined perpetually in gestation crates during pregnancy under a proposal released for public comment by Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council. The plan earned applause from The Humane Society of the United States.

The draft proposes eliminating the confinement of breeding pigs in gestation crates—cages roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies designed to prevent them from even turning around.

“While Canada, the European Union, virtually every major global food retailer and many of the largest pork producers are taking steps to ensure that gestation crates are relegated to the dustbin of history, some U.S. pork industry leaders inexplicably continue to defend this cruel confinement,” said

Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for The HSUS. “We hope The National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council will shift gears by helping their industry make the transition to higher animal welfare systems that allow pigs to move.”

Gestation crates, currently standard in pork production, have come under fire from veterinarians, family farmers, animal welfare advocates, legislators, scientists, consumers and food retailers. A recent national poll in Canada showed that 84 percent of Canadians support a complete phase out of the gestation crate confinement system. The poll was conducted by Environics Research Group between May 9 and May 18.
Canada’s move follows a European Union ban on continuous gestation crate confinement that went into effect in January 2013, legislation banning gestation crates in nine U.S. states, and public commitments from more than 50 of North America’s largest pork buyers and producers—McDonald’s, Burger King, Costco, Oscar Mayer, Kroger, Smithfield Foods, Hormel Foods and dozens more—to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains and operations.

The new draft of the Code of Practice will be up for confirmation by the council in 60 days. As the code is currently written, the construction of new gestation crate operations throughout Canada would be prohibited beginning in 2014, and producers would have to replace existing gestation crates with group housing by 2024.

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

AMONG THE ANIMALS: Pasado’s provides safe haven for abused animals

Lamp Chop as a baby sheep

Lamb Chop as a baby sheep

By Christie Lagally

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

January 10, 2013

Originally published in the Queen Anne News and City Living Seattle

The grunts and oinks from Bentley and Oscar started up immediately as we walked into their stall at Pasado’s Safe Haven. Stacie Martin, the sanctuary director of operations, was giving us a tour, and she kept saying we should come meet the pigs. But clearly, we were there for the pigs to meet us.

Stacie Martin and Bentley

Stacie Martin and Bentley

Bentley a stout, pink Potbelly pig had a lot to say — particularly where to scratch on his back and grunts of hello to my husband, who joined me on the tour.

Pasado’s is a unique place as a sanctuary for all types of animals, but also for their work changing law. In its nearly 15-year history, the organization has pressed through anti-cruelty laws that made many types of animal abuse toward companion and farm animals a felony in Washington state.

The sanctuary is named for the loss of a loved one: a beloved donkey named Pasado, who was brutally beaten and killed by teenagers. In the wake of his death, the founders of Pasado’s Safe Haven made it their mission to require stiff penalties for animal cruelty and to see that justice is served.

In that fine tradition, today, Pasado’s employs three animal-cruelty investigators and, this year alone, has re-homed or provided sanctuary to more than 700 animals in need. Many of the sanctuary animals are rescues from cruelty investigations.

Chickens at roosting hour

Chickens at roosting hour

A better life

A chicken barn full of white to red, big to small chickens, roosters and even a rogue turkey was our next stop. Martin explained that 50 of the white birds had come from a factory farm in Turlock, Calif., where 50,000 hens were left to starve to death earlier this year. Local animal-control agencies found 17,000 hens dead on arrival.

Animal Place, a farm-animal sanctuary in California, took more than 4,000 of the hens, and other organizations like Farm Sanctuary and Pasado’s took hens as well.

Now, with the freedom to walk around and to act like a chicken, these hens — unlike their pig neighbors — had little concern for our presence at the twilight roosting hour.

But the difference between the conditions shown in a photo of battery-caged chickens on the barn wall and the busy, nesting white hens before me was not just visual — it was palpable. These animals had been rescued from horrible conditions, and they intended to live their lives uninterrupted from now on.

Goat turned in for the night

Goat turned in for the night

Our tour continued to meet some goats tucked into piles of wood chips for the night. Whoopi Goatberg came to the stall door to observe and say hello to Martin.

“We have a bunch of animals named for celebrities,” Martin explained, rattling off a list that included Michelle O’Llama, Ellen Deheneras and George Plummy.

‘Guests of honor,’ not meals

Pasado’s is built on 85 acres of rocky, steep, forested land just east of Seattle. Generous donors have enabled continuous building and rebuilding to accommodate all types of animals, from goats to cats.

Dali Llama protecting his barn

Dali Llama protecting his barn

With the exception of the abusive pasts that so many of these animals suffered, this sanctuary is farm life as it should be: safe, comfortable, clean and honest. By its very existence, it is advocacy against the modern factory farm.

As we entered a central hillside barn, we met Dali Llama, the protector of his herd. Nonviolent and clear in his convictions, as his name suggests, Dali watched over a donkey, two ponies, three little pigs and three sheep: Lady Baa Baa, Bo Peep and Lamb Chop.

“We give some of the animals names that reminds people of the food they eat.” Martin explained. The intention is to bring awareness to the fact that precious lives are lost for meat consumption, and Lamp Chop was certainly precious.

Roaming the barn with sheep and pigs, you cannot help but be reminded that these are the lucky ones, because modern agriculture has turned barns into factories where animals are caged and crated indefinitely and where antibiotics must be used to prevent sickness in atrocious and unhealthy conditions.

Lamp Chop all grown up

Lamb Chop all grown up

So this Thanksgiving at Pasado’s, human guests ate a gourmet vegan meal prepared by chef Bridget McNasser, and an honorary meal was served to the resident turkeys as reminder of the new role that animals can play during the holidays: “where turkeys are the guest of honor and not the main course.” The event was a fund-raiser for the sanctuary and a reminder that the holidays need not be about meat.

Our tour with Martin was completed with a walk past some tail-wagging dogs and feral cats.

Eric saying goodnight to Benley and Oscar

Eric saying goodnight to Bentley and Oscar

New things to consider

As my husband and I drove home, we reflected on each of the sweet faces and unique personalities we had met in such a short evening at the sanctuary.

While thinking of Lamp Chop’s serene presence to Bentley’s informative oinks, my husband asked, “Shall we have Tofurky or the vegan Field Roast for Christmas dinner?” I’m still deciding, but delighted to know I have lots of options for a humane holiday meal.

For more information on Pasado’s Safe Haven, visit http://www.pasadosafehaven.org. 

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is host of “Living Humane” on KKNW 1150 AM and writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at  HYPERLINK “http://www.sniffingouthome.org” http://www.sniffingouthome.org. To comment on this story, write to CityLivingEditor@nwlink.com.

Leave a comment »

AMONG THE ANIMALS: Pasado’s provides safe haven for abused animals

Lamp Chop as a baby sheep

Lamp Chop as a baby sheep

Pasado’s Safe Haven is a special place, and I encourage you to check out this story about the wonderful animals at the Sanctuary and the service that the organization provides our community.

City Living Seattle

Queen Anne News

Leave a comment »

Ziggy and Eric: One year later

Ziggy and Eric in 2012 (Ziggy was napping!)

About a year ago, I wrote an article on the Pigs Peace Sanctuary where my husband Eric made fast friends with Ziggy, the 3-legged piggy!

This August, Eric and I returned to the Sanctuary for an awesome work party (!) and to say hello to Ziggy again!

See pictures:  Note, Ziggy was  a lot smaller then!

Ziggy and Eric in Aug. 2011

Comments (2) »

Extreme confinement cruelty and the meat you eat

Horrific confinement of pigs in China. Please support only farmers who are humane to animals.

Imagine that you aren’t allowed to move your legs or lift you head because the cage you are in is the size and shape of your own body.  This is a condition even worse than in a puppy mill, where dogs are in cages not much larger than they are.  But pigs have it even worse.

Extreme confinement is probably one of the most atrocious cruelty acts caused by people and it is practiced in the pork industry.  It also causes deep emotional suffering to people who witness it — like us.

Not everyone is willing or able to be a vegetarian or vegan, but we can choose to buy meat and dairy only from humane farms who do not use extreme confinement. Consider only getting your meat from places like Whole Foods in the US or local farms near where you live that practice humane farming.

Furthermore, your support of groups that advocate for humane farm animal treatment is an excellent use of money — because this kind of suffering hurts the hearts and minds of people as well as pigs.

I am a proud supporter of The Humane Society of the United States and I have spent much of my life suffering emotionally due to my concern for animals — especially farm animals that could just as easily be raised for meat without extreme confinement.   And in recent years, due to the HSUS and other groups working to stop extreme confinement of farm animals, we have a glimmer of hope that some animals need not suffer so that you can have food on your table.

It is possible, and very practical, to have humane farms.  Just this week,  Rhode Island became the next in a string of states that have banned the porcine gestation crate which immobilizes pregnant pigs.  And it’s not just activist and legislators who are willing to end the use of extreme confinement. Fast food chains and food service companies are taking action as well.

Facts from the HSUS Press Release

  • Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio and Oregon have all passed laws to phase out gestation crates. In addition to Rhode Island, bills on this issue are currently pending in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
  • Since February, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s and Sonic have announced that they will eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains, as have Kroger and Safeway, the nation’s top two supermarket chains, and Compass Group, the world’s largest foodservice company.
  • Renowned animal welfare scientist and advisor to the pork industry, Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is clear on this issue, stating: “Confining an animal for most of its life in a box in which it is not able to turn around does not provide a decent life.” Grandin further states, “We’ve got to treat animals right, and the gestation stalls have got to go.”

But the picture of the caged pigs above it also disturbing because it is in China where laws to protect animals are scarce.  But you can certainly end your support of China’s actions by not buying meat from China.  Check your labels!

Leave a comment »

A special shout out for help at Pigs Peace

This arrived in my email inbox tonight.  Please spread the word.

Elsie at Pigs Peace

[From email from Pigs Peace]
This picture was taken when Elsie was up for a brief moment to eat and potty.
This sick piglet sleeps over 23 hours a day! laboring every breath.

A man in a pick-up truck on a Washington highway was carrying a crate with piglets. He slammed on his brakes, the crate broke open and, as he made a sharp turn, each piglet fell out onto the highway to be hit by cars and killed. All but one, and she is Elsie!

Another man, who was driving, witnessed all this, stopped traffic to save the piglet, then called and asked to bring her here!!!

Elsie is VERY sick with pneumonia on top of recovering from car accident trauma and an injured leg.

Elsie barely moves as it takes all her energy to breath. It will take a long time to physically recover.

Elsie is terrified of people.

Elsie was chased and caught to be crammed in a crate with others, totally traumatized with falling out of a moving vehicle onto a highway and seeing her siblings killed. Then chased and caught by her “rescuer” to be brought here!

Now Elsie must learn she is safe! This will take many hours of contact by me with medical treatments and intensive nursing care, giving fresh bedding, offering varied and frequent food samplings, cleaning up after her. Elsie will eventually learn she is free from harm and cared for. This will take a lot of work. This is the work of love. This is what we do at Pigs Peace Sanctuary.

Your support of Elsie is a shout out YES for HER life and HER healing!

We can`t do it without you!
Help the pigs

Please help.

Judy Woods
Pigs Peace Sanctuary

Comments (1) »

Nope, ‘dontfearthevegan’ (.com)

Pigs at Pigs Peace

My husband and I were enjoying lunch at our all time favorite vegan restaurant, Wayward Vegan Cafe when we enjoyed a pleasant surprise.  A young Girl Scout was selling vegan cakes to raise money for her troop and our local Pigs Peace Sanctuary.

Her courage led us to the website dontfearthevegan.com.  It’s a site on great vegan cooking and vegan lifestyles, including a great entry on being a vegan girl scout.  Check it out here.

Also, you have to try this vegan cake!  Why bother with animal products when vegan baking tastes this good!

Comments (1) »