Documentary – SEED: The Untold Story

Seed: The Untold Story is an absolutely fantastic documentary detailing the significant loss of biodiversity at the hands of human ‘progress’ and capitalistic greed, and the people who are trying to create ‘backups’ of natures bounty by the way of seed banks:

SYNOPSIS

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

SEED is Executive Produced by Academy Award Winning Actress Marisa Tomei, Marc Turtletaub (Little Miss Sunshine) and Phil Fairclough (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams).

“Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being.”

– Vandana Shiva

And here is the full documentary:

On a side note: as any vegan knows, you find animal products in all manner of unbelievable places. Well, now we know that animal DNA is used on GMO crops!!!

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The Rise of Vegetarianism and Veganism in China

Sixth Tone has an in-depth interview with Zhang Si, CEO and co-founder of Veg Planet, an online platform for China’s rising number of vegans and vegetarians, on the challenges she faces promoting vegetarianism, veganism and animal rights in her home country:

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In early 2013, WeChat launched its public account feature, and I created an account called Veg Planet, hoping to inspire people to change their stereotyped impressions of vegans. I translated a lot of vegan-related English articles, recipes, and information about environmental impact and animal welfare. The platform equipped vegans who face resistance from their family or colleagues with this information, and also provided products to meet their needs.

The platform attracts more people to consider a vegetarian diet and then begin to enjoy it. At the very beginning, 80 percent of our followers were vegetarians, and now 30 percent of our 300,000 readers are nonvegetarians who are considering giving it a try.

Lots of respect and support going out to Zhang and her team for their hard work! You can feel the positive impact she’s having and I believe this is the start of some major social changes in China!

‘Fake’ fur being sold on British high street is actually from cats, rabbits, and raccoon dogs, investigation reveals

The Telegraph reports on some disturbing news that real fur is turning up in products marketed as fake fur!

Items bought from popular stores Missguided and House of Fraser, which were labelled as faux fur, were found to be real after tests by a fibres expert.

Sky News found that a pair of gloves bought from House of Fraser were found to have fur likely to be from a rabbit.

Missguided sold a pair of pink stiletto heels decorated with pom poms to shopper Donna Allison. After testing the pom poms were found to have been made with real fur, most likely to be from a cat.

This is far from the first time this has happened. Today reported in 2014 on a similar finding across American retailers!

Some of the nation’s biggest retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Belk, Jacadi and Gilt Groupe, advertise “faux fur.” But a Rossen Reports investigation found that some of the items they’re selling actually come from the fur of real animals, including rabbits, coyotes and raccoon dogs.

The Fur Free Alliance also produced a report on large retailers pulling the same bullshit in 2016!

Fur Free Alliance member The Humane Society of the United States asks the Federal Trade Commission to bring enforcement action under federal consumer protection laws against the 17 retailers for false advertising of fur garments. Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Kohl’s, Nordstrom are among those facing potential civil or criminal penalties.

So there you have it: unless you’re in the business of genetically testing the fake fur you want to buy, best stay away from it altogether. Keep in mind that, in Asia at least, its often cheaper to produce real fur than fake fur.

Also consider that most people won’t know you’re wearing fake fur and you’re basically promoting the fur industry everywhere you go!

The HSUS have a field guide to telling animal fur from fake fur, if you still insist upon it for some reason!

Canada – Hundreds of Birds Frozen to Death Again at Maple Lodge Farms

Mercy for Animals reports on another case of shocking animal abuse by a slaughterhouse:

Maple Lodge Farms, one of Canada’s largest meat companies, has been caught a second time allowing hens to freeze to death en route to slaughter. The latest offense involved thousands of hens forced to suffer subfreezing temperatures in Quebec. A staggering 860 hens died. The Federal Court of Appeal in Canada fined the company $6,000.

$6.97 per hen that froze to death. Wrap your head around that.

Chickens are, by far, the most abused and slaughtered animals on the planet, with 51 BILLION killed globally each year.

Free From Harm lists 17 Chicken Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, including:

  1. 151.4 billion chickens are artificially hatched, fattened up and slaughtered as 42-day-old babies every year globally. A chicken’s normal lifespan is 10–15 years. 
  2. Chickens and turkeys together represent 99% of land animals slaughtered for food in the United States.
  3. Chickens bred for meat are arguably the most genetically manipulated of all animals, forced to grow 65 times faster than their bodies normally would, and the industry continually seeks to increase their growth rate.

The HSUS also have a great article on the cognitive abilities of chickens:

When mom sends out her food call, her chicks respond by pecking at the ground. In one study, hens learned that red-colored food was good while their chicks were given blue-colored food. When the hens saw their chicks eating the wrong color, they began scratching, pecking, and vocalizing to convey the perceived error. Notes Shields: “It’s one of the true teaching examples that we have data for in the animal kingdom.”

We can end this madness right here and right now!

GO VEGAN!

Evil – Belgium’s Largest Slaughterhouse Expose!

Animal Rights is a foundation in the Netherlands, a non-profit organization (ASBL) in Belgium. The foundation was established in 2009 as a pressure group against animal testing.

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They recently went undercover for a month inside Belgium’s largest slaughterhouse. What they saw, and what the filmed, is shaking Belgium, and Europe, to it’s core:

How serious the consequences of not being able to stun becomes clear when the camera follows a pig throat cut along the automatic conveyor line. The animal is immersed fully conscious in the broeibad, a hot water bath which serves to facilitate removing hair from carcasses. The pig becomes detached from the pulley, trying desperately to get out of the steaming water, but dies a horrible death by drowning.

The footage of what is described above is absolutely gut-wrenching. As someone who has sat through hours of evil animal-abuse footage, including the infamous ‘Earthlings’, this may be one of the worst! I absolutely implore everyone, vegan or not, to watch and share this footage, and bear witness to what is happening at this slaughterhouse, along with slaughterhouses worldwide. Let’s work to end this insanity once and for all!

Please take a moment to sign the petition and help shut down this evil slaughterhouse. Please also consider a donation to their organization to assist then with their important work!

De Standaard has an article on the impact that the investigation is having:

Despite the legal requirement that animals must be anesthetized during slaughter, on the images repeatedly shown pigs hoisted conscious, are going to be killed and bled the animal rights organization continues. The gas chamber which is used in the slaughterhouse does not always work well. The law required to perform an additional anesthesia in such cases, but practice shows that this hardly happens.

Europe is known as having the strictest animal-welfare standards in the world. Keep that in mind when you watch the video and imagine what levels of evil exist in other parts of the world!

NOTE: the website is in Dutch but Google Chrome let’s you translate into English, or whichever is your native language.

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Vegan Bags – EVE

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EVE are a fantastic Canadian company specializing in vegan bags and ship to Canada and the USA:

We set out to design high-quality, contemporary products that were unique and made to fit into our modern lifestyles. At the same time, we wanted to create a company that had a positive impact on both the environment and economy. From sourcing our materials to practicing business, sustainable actions were at the core of what we wanted to do.

Sounds good:

Our entire lineup is ethically handmade in Portugal and PETA Vegan Approved. Our premium cork fabric makes our products ultra-lightweight and durable, while maintaining a feeling just like leather. In addition, our unique material is waterproof, easy to clean and antibacterial.

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