NY Times Publishes Stunning Article on Meat Animal Research Center; Consider Signing Petition

Hi folks,

Just a quick but timely post. The New York Times has recently published a stunning article about some of the concerns regarding animal welfare at U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska. What these animals have had to go through in the name or productivity is repulsive and arguably, not justifiable. Take a read regardless of where you stand on the issue and if you feel that the reports are unacceptable, consider signing this petition from the Humane Society of the United States to halt research at the facility.

Also, if it interests you, check out HSUS’s “State of Animal Union”, a parallel to the President Barack Obama’s recent “State of the Union”.

Until next time, fellow Hermits.


Ag. Gag and my Declaration of War


Wow, I just read this article from Mother Jones this past week. It was written by Zaineb Mohammad and was published on July 25th. I found this to be a powerful and infuriating piece that touches up on the current state of the meat industry and its lack of transparency. It also makes points about the abuse animals experience, as well as the humans that have essentially no choice but to work in this degrading industry. Please take the time to read this article, I couldn’t recommend it more: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/07/utah-ag-gag-lawsuit-animal-rights

These injustices against human and non-human animals alike remind me why I have chosen the path in life I have. With grad school beginning, articles like this help me refocus. Needless to say, I am declaring war on any representative, corporation, or group that supports ag-gag and seeks to further prevent transparency and compromise the first amendment.

If you are unfamiliar with Ag Gag laws, check out this site from the Humane Society of the United States. If you’d like, take the pledge to fight Ag. Gag laws here.

That being said, enjoy your weekend!


Image: Mother Jones.com

As Promised, Farm Bill Part 2.

This past June, the U.S. House of Representatives was unable to pass a new Farm Bill. If you read my June 26th article, What is the Farm Bill, Anyways?, you may remember that I mentioned you would be hearing about it again, as it is an important bill that not only deals with agricultural subsidies and regulations, but food assistance programs. In summary, the House did not pass a new Farm Bill due to debate of cuts to food assistance programs. Democrats thought the cuts were too steep, while Republicans felt they were too little. In an interesting turn of events, the Farm Bill is in the process of being split up into a series of smaller, more specific bills. This is unique because what was once a large bipartisan project has turned into partisan bickering.

Last month, the G.O.P. controlled house was able to pass a bill that did not include food stamps, but it will certainly be opposed by the majority democratic Senate. This has led to speculation about what will have to happen before the September 30th deadline when the current Farm Bill expires. Check out this short article from the Vindicator, a Youngstown, OH area newspaper that I feels explains the situation well.

Finally, a huge reason why I felt it was time to write about the Farm Bill, is the dreaded King Amendment, which my fellow Urban Hermit, Lauren, wrote about in her June 26th article. This was initially included in the Farm Bill that the House voted on in June. Introduced by Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa), this is an anti-regulation initiative that threatens to reverse a lot of progress that animal right groups have worked hard for. The Humane Society of the United States heavily opposes the King Amendment and requests that you take action: Click here to see what you can do! The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also opposes the King Amendment, see here. Of course, if you would like to personally message Sen. King and tell him how you feel, you can do so here.

Finally, I am going to leave you all with a New York Times opinion piece by Gail Collins that provides some interesting perspective on the Farm Bill battle, particularity the dispute over food assistance.

Image Source: Minnesota Farm, keeva999, Flickr, 1 October 2011.

Sources: “Dysfunctional house fails to pass comprehensive farm bill”. Vindy.com. 2 August 2013.