Categories Animal

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Perhaps nothing is more emblematic of modern day ecological degradation than the abominable practice of industrial animal factory farming. If the environment has been driven to near destruction – think of the current Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a disaster that may take generations to fully clear up – then a look into the world of factory farming may explain the world’s current environmental predicament.

The Horrors of Factory Farming in Eating Animals

As Jonathon Safran Foer shows in this first work of non-fiction Eating Animals (he is the author of two previous novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ), animals are not respected as an integral part of nature, but rather as so much disposable rubbish. They are “produced” in large quantities, kept in confined spaces, fed inappropriate foods, pumped full of pharmaceuticals, prevented from exercising their limbs, sometimes beaten, and sometimes even skinned alive. Large amounts of animals die under brutal conditions, a loss that is rationalised by the industry’s huge profits.

 

If today’s economic model is a race to the bottom, then things don’t get much lower than factory farming. Foer asks the question, if a dog in the street was treated like the typical factory farmed animal, then wouldn’t the abuser be publicly excoriated? Why does the public allow this to go on?

A Novelist Considers the Ethics of Meat Eating

To answer this question, Foer employs his considerable skills as a novelist to produce a considered, somewhat philosophical investigation not only into the ethics of eating meat, but also into the clearly barbaric practice of factory farming. Unlike other writers on the subject who can polarise, or too brusquely confront, Foer has a wonderful ability to draw the reader into a mature and reasoned conversation. His style doesn’t dictate moral terms, but rather invites discussion and understanding.

Ultimately, Foer argues that vegetarians should look for ways to support humane animal agriculture. He cites one rare example in Eating Animals, a turkey farmer named Frank Reese. Foer makes friends with many other farmers concerned with ethical issues to do with animal farming, which persuades him that a hard and dogmatic line on vegetarianism is not necessarily the way forward.

Who is the greatest culprit for the insane system of factory farming, where chickens are pumped with chicken broth to mask their unusual taste, where cows can find themselves skinned and dismembered while still conscious, and where pig factories produce huge lagoons of excrement that seep into human water systems?

Foer explains it as the economic landscape slipping one way, and everyone sliding in. No one could resist the cheap prices of factory meat, prices that could only be sustained by intensive and inhumane factory farming.

The Veil Removed from Factory Farms

The one major factor that has allowed the factory farm to thrive is the secretive veil that is cast over it. Eaters don’t get to see how the meat is produced. As the statistics provided in the book show, it’s impossible to eat meat without eating animals that have suffered enormously in the process somewhere along the production line.

Viewers of the documentary Food, Inc. will know how keen the industry is to keep cameras and peering eyes out of their operations.

Eating Animals turns out not to be an argument for vegetarianism, but rather a plea for honesty and openness about how meat is actually made today. Foer asks that the veil be taken down so we can assess the reality of factory farming, its impact on public health and animal welfare, and decide whether the cheap price of animal protein does not involve intolerable costs.…

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Categories Animal

Create an Animal Notebook: Learn about animals the fun way.

Animals A- Z – Make Your Notebook

Notebooks are a great way to keep track of your science projects. In this column we will be learning about all types of animals. If you have a notebook already prepared then you can simply put your animals where they go once you learn what type of animal it is.

You will need:

  • Three ring binder
  • Hole punch
  • Card stock (colored if you like)
  • Divider tabs
  • Colored pencils or crayons

Use the card stock to print out the dividers you will need for your notebook. There are two major classifications of animals – INVERTEBRATES and Vertebrates. You can either make two main sections or have two separate notebooks. Vertebrates are animals with backbones. Invertebrates are animals without backbones. You can print out the divider pages for these two groups by clicking on the links above.

Once you have these printed out and in your notebook you will then add subdividers.

First print or make one for ARTHROPODS. This will go behind your invertebrate divider. There are three types of arthropods -INSECTS, CRUSTACEANS and ARACHNIDS. You can add those subsections now or wait until you come to that animal.

Finish the invertebrate section by adding dividers for:…

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Categories Animal

Dog Lover's Wine Club: Purchases Benefit Animal Shelters

With the wide range of wine clubs available, is it any surprise that there is a Dog Lover’s Wine Club?

Wine is often chosen for holiday celebrations, including Christmas parties, New Year’s toasts, and for gift giving, but when your purchase also benefits animal shelters, it’s an even better reason to find out more about the Dog Lover’s Wine Club.

Health Benefits of Wine

Information from the Mayo Clinic website states that, according to studies involving mice, antioxidants found in wine can increase levels of “good” cholesterol and protect arteries from becoming clogged with fatty deposits. Other research suggests that a substance in wine called resveratrol may reduce the risk of inflammation and blood clots, as well as obesity and diabetes. Various amounts of resveratrol can be found in foods other than grapes, such as blueberries, cranberries and even peanuts.

 

Health Risks of Wine

Although wine may have some health benefits, alcohol in wine is addictive and can affect the body in many adverse ways. According to the Mayo Clinic, it increases the risk of accidents, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, weakened heart muscle, liver damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, and other problems. Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. People with health issues or taking medications, including daily aspirin, are advised to consult with their doctor about the risks and benefits of alcohol concerning their individual case.

Dog Lover’s Wine Club Helps Animal Shelters

Wine for the Dog Lover’s Wine Club comes from a small Pinot Noir vineyard near Lompoc, California and comes with dog labels and stories about dogs. Members of the Dog Lover’s Wine Club can choose from the Sit, Sip, and Stay Monthly, the Chase Your Tail Bimonthly, the Fetch a Bottle Quarterly, or the Vicktory Dogs Wine Club.

Members enjoy discounts on wine and pet accessories along with the satisfaction of knowing that a portion of each wine club billing supports affiliate shelters. When placing an order, members can choose from the Bark Partners Listing which shelter they would like to support, however, sales percentages of the Vicktory Dogs Wine Collection go exclusively to Best Friends Animal Society where most of the Michael Vick dogs were rehabilitated. These funds are used for work towards strengthening laws and penalties against dog fighting. Choose from such labels as Little Red, Oscar, Bonito, Curly, and other Vick dogs.

Many people enjoy an occasional glass of wine or wine punch. Wine is often a part of Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and other holiday celebrations or given as gifts. Dog lovers can enjoy theirs knowing their purchases are also helping shelter dogs.

Please note that not all states allow wine to be shipped to your door so check your state’s laws before ordering.…

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