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Category Archive: Chickens

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Chickens. XML

  1. The effort to ban cockfighting in New Mexico has ended, and the gamecocks (roosters) have emerged victorious. As of June 15, New Mexico will join 48 other states in banning the bloodsport, where two roosters fitted with razor-sharp steel blades are placed in a pit and hack each other for several minutes to over a half hour, to the death of one or both. People bet on the outcome of the fights, and apparently think they’re entertaining.

    Naturally, those who run cockfighting (the New Mexico Game Fowl Association) are upset. Ronald Barron, the president of the Association, noted that the ban is “damn near ruining [his] life.” He rather creepily added, “This isn’t a business. It’s my pleasure. It’s my right, or rather it was my right.”

    Kudos to New Mexico for taking away people’s rights! All eyes are now on Louisiana, to see if that last bastion of cockfighting will hold up.

  2. Let me begin by saying – you must read this book, Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching (Lantern Books, 2006). If not the whole book, which I recommend, then at least read some parts of the book. There is no excuse not to do so as it is offered in its entirety online for free in an easily readable format. Dr. Michael Greger, has written an incredibly well researched (roughly 100 of the 465 pages are references) book. The book consists of five sections, Storm Gathering, When Animal Viruses Attack, Pandemic Preparedness, Surviving the Pandemic and Preventing Future Pandemics with a Forward by Professor Emeritus Kennedy Shortridge, who is credited with discovering the H5N1 (bird flu) virus in Asia.

    While I consider myself fairly well versed in the horrors of factory farming, having read much of the prominent literature regarding animal rights and veganism, I found myself underlining informative sentences and gasping paragraph after paragraph with some of the information spilling off the pages. Certainly the description of the zoonotic diseases introduced to humans through the domestication of animals – including Lymes disease, rabies, AIDS and Ebola – was a particularly insightful example of one of the many reasons factory farming is problematic. Obviously bird flu is another example, historically shown to be dangerous to humanity and believed to be on the verge of a pandemic world-wide. Continue Reading…

  3. Whistleblower Virgil Butler passes on

    Filed under: Chickens Obituaries
    Virgil Butler

    Virgil Butler

    I’m saddened and surprised to learn that 41-year-old Virgil Butler was found dead on Friday, December 15.

    A former Tyson Foods slaughterhouse employee of nearly 10 years in rural Arkansas, Mr. Butler became an advocate for chickens in 2003, after growing frustrated at the rampant gratutious cruelty occuring around him. He worked closely with PETA to call for prosecution of those responsible, including speaking out at a news conference, recording a video, going undercover to videotape inside the plant, and writing a comprehensive statement detailing the sadistic cruelty he witnessed at the Tyson plant.

    You can read more about Virgil Butler’s work for animals on the blog kept by he and his wife, Laura Alexander: The Cyber Activist.

    Virgil and Laura were also interviewed in the February 2006 issue of Satya magazine. There you can read about how Virgil became a whistleblower and how he and Laura came to give sanctuary to chickens and other animals.

  4. As our regular visitors are painfully aware, SuperVegan recently took an unscheduled and unannounced 10-day break. During that time, we missed blogging about all sorts of stuff. Here’s an attempt to cover everything we missed between November 28th and December 8th, in no particular order:

    1. The always excellent U.S. Food Policy blog investigates the National Pork Board’s purchase of the “Other White Meat” slogan for 60 million taxpayer dollars.
    2. Mylan at the likewise always excellent Animal Ethics wrote a handy history and analysis of the sinister Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
    3. In brighter news, The Wisconson State Journal reports that “the law is on the side of animal-rights activists who want to buy buildings next to the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s primate labs and open a museum highlighting the cruelty they say happens at the labs.”
    4. Continental Airlines has banned the shipment of adult chickens as an anti-cockfighting measure.
    5. Vegan Freaks directs us to two new websites launched by animal-ethics superstar and Rutgers professor Gary Francione: a blog, simply entitled Animal Rights, and a more static site dedicated to explaining his abolitionist theory of animal rights.
    6. A couple interviews with vegans that you might enjoy: The Post Punk Kitchen‘s Isa Chandra Moskowitz in the Washington Post and Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey in the Wall Street Journal.
    7. Everybody’s favorite vegan blogger, Ryan at VegBlog, wrote a great essay on veganism as extreme or (as he argues) not. There’s also some heady discussion going on in the comments.
    8. Everybody’s other favorite vegan blogger, Herman at Vegan Porn, points us to the UN’s announcement that “Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving car.” (Just don’t use this as an excuse to drive a car, kids.)
    9. What happens to egg-laying hens once they’re too old to be profitably productive? They’re sealed in boxes and gassed to death with carbon dioxide. Any vegetarian who eats commercially-produced eggs should read the AP’s Zombie Chickens, which looks at the various retirement options for “spent” hens, including sausage (it’s cheaper to just buy new chickens) and “fuel for power plants” (the technology’s not quite there yet).
    10. The UK Mirror offers a roundup of fake fur vs. real fur wearing celebrities. Sadly, the more I like someone’s work, the more likely they are to wear real fur. Grrr!
    11. Inspired by their Dutch compatriots, a new animal-rights-focused political party has been formed in the UK, called Animals Count. Says chairwoman Jasmijn de Boo: “First slaves were liberated. Then women and children. Now it is time to do the same for animals.” And in a parliamentary system, they might even get elected. Right on!
    12. Finally, New York City approved a partial ban on trans fats. The SuperVegan investigative team is working through the details of the ruling and how it could impact some of our favorite eats. We’ll have more on this soon!
  5. On Thursday, I went to Stand-up NY (kind of an unlikely venue) for a lecture by Dr. Michael Greger, for a presentation based on his new book, Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching.

    The talk was both fascinating and terrifying. Did you know, for example, that all human infectious diseases are thought to have originated from animals—the flu from sheep, colds from horses—and that infectious diseases did not exist before humans started to domesticate animals? (In populations that hunt and eat wild animals, there are no such diseases.) Hence, a virus of our own hatching.

    Some facts from the book:

    “In 1918, half the world became infected and 25% of all Americans fell ill. Unlike the regular seasonal flu, which tends to kill only the elderly and infirm, the flu virus of 1918 killed those in the prime of life. Public health specialists at the time noted that most influenza victims were those who ‘had been in the best of physical condition and freest from previous disease.’ Continue Reading…