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Dave Warner, a spokesman for the NPPC (National Pork Producers Council) said,
“So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets. I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around…. The only real measure of their well-being we have is the number of piglets per birth, and that’s at an all-time high.”
Reference: ”Why an Egg Amendment in the Farm Bill Has Pig Lobbyists Flapping” (7/25/12)
This is the official position of the pork industry. It’s all about production, production, production.
Think about this statement before you purchase ham, bacon, sausage, tenderloin, chops, or the ribs from innocent pigs.
DUH…No one needs to ask a sow if she wants to turn around.
DUH…No one needs to ask a sow if she wants to be treated like a machine.
DUH…No one needs to ask a sow if she wants to be hurt.
and tell the pork industry in no uncertain terms that they won’t be getting 1 more cent of your money.
and resolve to stop funding the senseless exploitation of all animals.
Animals deserve much, much better.
Get ready for some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y rich coconut milk-based vegan ice creams. I went to Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s University District location. You wouldn’t suspect there are vegan options looking at just the sandwich board on the street…
…but step inside and your decadent choices beckon! Sample them all before you decide
The “single” scoop is actually 2 huge scoops. I had 1 scoop Mayan Chocolate (i.e. with cinnamon) and 1 scoop Chocolate Mint. This ice cream was at least as good as Coconut Bliss, which is my “gold standard” for vegan ice cream.
My friends had a scoop of the toasted coconut flavor.
Eat vegan ice cream and no cows get hurt. There’s zero deprivation here!
Check out this 6/06/12 article from the “Newsroom” of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC):
NPPC is the “global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 67,000 pork producers.”
- 82.7% of sows spend some time in gestation stalls.
- 17.3% of sows spend a portion of gestation in open pens.
The survey included pork operations of 1000 or more sows. Responses were received from 70 operations, equaling 3.6 million of the nation’s 5.7 million sows.
Here is the breakdown– by size of operation– of the percentage of sows who live in “open” pens for some portion of gestation:
- 20.2% – operations with 1,000-9,999 sows.
- 18.9% – operations with 10,000-99,999 sows.
- 16.4% – operations with >100,000 sows.
It seems that the NPPC is “concerned” about “recent pronouncements by food companies that they will use only pork from operations that are gestation-stall free.”
Here are the words from NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C.:
“Today’s survey shows that these food companies obviously haven’t thought through the complexities, logistics or implications of their requests. Simply making an announcement without understanding the entire supply chain’s ability to meet these requests or the challenges involved is utterly befuddling.
“Given that few sows always are in open housing and that producers may use both individual and group housing, it would be extremely difficult and costly for the pork supply chain to sort, segregate and trace product to meet the requirements of these food companies.”
“Regardless, this issue is about giving animals the best care possible, and hog farmers like me know through years of experience that individual housing provides that best care.”
Dear Mr. Hunt,
Indeed, I do share your concern about food companies “only” using pork from operations that are gestation-stall free.
I feel your pain.
No, I feel the pigs’ pain. My concern is with food companies using pork from any animal killing operation.
So you want to discuss complexities, logistics, implications and challenges, Mr. Hunt? Fine…
- It is complex for an intelligent animal to understand why she is confined with 1000s of other animals, whether in “individual” or “group” housing.
- It is a logistical problem for a pig to implement his own escape from entrapment.
- Pigs do understand the implication of pain being inflicted upon them.
- It is challenging for a pig to live when her blood drains out of her neck.
Yes, I find it extremely difficult to comprehend how cutting up young pigs can be the end result of giving them the best care possible. I’m utterly befuddled.
So you want to discuss costs?
Pork is infinitely costly to each and every individual pig who is killed unnecessarily. (Pigs are 100% unnecessary in the human diet.)
Yes, Mr. Hunt- the costs are way too high. Why don’t you treat this time of increasing pressure as a time of opportunity? This is the perfect time for you and other producers to get out of the pig exploitation industry.
Help meet the demand for healthy, organic, non-GMO vegan foods: fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds and whole grains.
In your own words: Regardless, this issue is about giving animals the best care possible.
Animal killing cannot coexist with animal care. Sentient beings deserve moral consideration. Animals have their own interests. We need to stop exploiting the lives of others.
DILLED UNTUNA SALAD SANDWICH
Chop the following:
1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 celery stalk
small wedge onion (to taste)
1-2 medium pickles
1/2 red pepper
optional: add some purple cabbage or cauliflower
In a small bowl, combine:
1 thawed “ice cube” of fresh lemon juice (about 2 T)
2 T vinegar from the pickle jar
3 T Vegenaise
1 t mustard
To the small bowl add dashes of:
1/2 t dill weed
1/2 t parsley
1/4 t turmeric
Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Serve on a hoagie or your favorite bread. Add some Sriracha to give it a kick!
Here are several excerpts from the following SwineCast episode. In this podcast, Dallas Hockman, National Pork Producer Council V.P. of Industry Relations, discusses McDonald’s announcement of their plan to review the use of gestation stalls in their supply chain.
SwineCast 0692 (7:50)
How HSUS and McDonald’s are Moving to End Gestation Stalls
“It’s really important to get the message to McDonald’s that farmers are care experts. We have lots of programs in place to assure animal care, liability of our product, the quality of our product.
We want to make sure that this is not a reflection of any type of animal care. As pointed out in previous work, our message is that animal husbandry is the key factor. And, where animals are raised in individual housing or group pens is all about the experience of the care that’s put forth in managing…
“…the commitment the pork industry has to assuring animal care.”
McDonald’s: “one of the largest purchasers of bacon, sausage, ham products in the country.”
“There’s no question we have seen more activity in this area, recently, by the nature of undercover videos…
…we were very pleased that the last video did not demonstrate any abuse or mishandling, or whatever. It was really an attack on a production model or system that the industry has worked through.
And we were pleased with producers showing good husbandry and practices. And there are programs in place that assure that animals are being taken care of.”
“As we’ve said all along, the marketplace will determine what it would like to purchase. Our producers will respond accordingly.”
Mr. Hockman (interesting name, by the way), which video were you talking about? Show me the good husbandry.
Was it the 2011 HSUS video of Seaboard Foods (3rd largest pork producer) and Prestage Farms (5th largest pork producer)?
Is the largest pork producer also #1 in animal care?
Here’s the most recent (2012) Mercy for Animals video, taken at Christensen Farms.
These screenshots demonstrate the standard industry practice of “PACing” to kill undesirable piglets. (PAC = Pound Against Concrete).
Mr. Hockman, is PACing abusive or good husbandry?
Mr Hockman, I have more questions and comments…
- How can pork producers– who are in the business of killing the largest number of animals as efficiently and profitably as possible- be described as care experts?
- I don’t see evidence of that “commitment” to assuring animal care. Talk is cheap. Video footage reveals the lie.
- You don’t have to be a real ”animal care expert” to know that the “individual housing production model” (i.e. using gestation stalls) is cruel.
- Furthermore, killing someone who would choose a real life over unnecessary death– if given the choice– is also cruel.
- Now do this, pork producers: Go take the place of your pigs. Experience what they go through. Just before you get killed, tell me how fun that experience was. Then, tell me that you’re “okay” with being killed (since you’re just another animal and you’re made of meat.) Be honest!
- We do agree on one thing: the marketplace determines what it would like to purchase.
I’m here to ask the marketplace to demand food that protects animals. People who are in the business of killing animals are NOT caring for animals. Exploiting animals and killing them IS abusive and it IS mishandling.
I’m here to ask for vegan foods. Producers: will you respond to me? Will you produce healthy plant foods for me? It’s unnecessary for me to consume animals to thrive.
A few years ago, I bought some Orca beans from the CSA in Wenatchee, WA. Then they just sat in my pantry…
Finally I decided to use them. When they cooked up, the water turned black and the beans turned brown! I found out that Orca beans are an heirloom variety from Mexico, rare in the U.S. (No wonder they remind me of pinto beans).
Purcell Mountain Farms’ website has a fascinating, long list of beans for purchase. There are some really interesting names on that list! Eye of the Goat Beans, Marrow Beans, Tongues of Fire Beans…these sound exactly like what a vegan witch would add to her cauldron of animal-free stew. Ah, the abundance! (Where do you get your protein?)
I didn’t make soup or stew. I decided to make up a triple batch of hummus using my Orca beans instead of garbanzo beans. Two cups dry beans yielded about 3 pints cooked.
To make 1 batch of hummus, puree:
1 pint cooked beans
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T tahini (sesame butter)
1 T olive oil
2 minced cloves garlic
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t turmeric
1-2 T water (if needed to thin)
Portion and freeze in 1/2 to 1 cup canning jars.
Don’t let your freezer run out of hummus!
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C spelt flour
4 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 C non-dairy milk (I used homemade rice/Brazil nut)
1/2 C fresh-squeezed orange juice (approximately 1 juicy Valencia)
1/3 C agave nectar
1 t vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons and 2 oranges
6 T coconut oil, cold (portion out 1 T measurements onto parchment and refrigerate until cold/solid)
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the coconut oil into the mix with a pastry cutter. Add the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.
Turn out onto a floured surface. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil in your clean palms and lightly knead the dough to form a uniformly thick circle. With a pastry cutter, divide into 12 wedges.
Bake at 375 degrees on a Silpat liner (if you have one) for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with jam.
Cutthroat Pass – Mountain Biking – August 7, 2009 & August 14, 2010
This trail is a favorite on the bike. The first 1.7 miles climbs a mellow 400 ft as it follows Cutthroat Creek to Cutthroat Lake. (Take a peek at Cutthroat Lake by taking the 0.2 mile spur trail.) From the lake, the trail climbs another 1900 ft in 3.8 miles to Cutthroat Pass (6800 ft). Prepare for gorgeous mountain views!
The trail is really nice for biking: the grade is never too steep and the singletrack is basically smooth and firm, with variable sections of sandy, or loose rocky Eastern Washington tread.
To get here, take Road 400 from Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway), about 3 miles east of Washington Pass. Trail 483 starts at 4500 ft.
(Click on a picture to enlarge the images and view in a photo gallery.)
For this batch of dehydrator crackers, I experimented with decreasing the amount of flax. I wanted to see if the crackers would still hold together if the crackers were mostly made from a vegetable. I’m always looking for ways to eat more raw cruciferous veggies, so I decided to try cauliflower.
When I spread the wet mixture onto the dehydrator sheet, I wasn’t sure if I’d end up with a too-crumbly cracker or not. As it turned out, the cracker sheet was very well bonded and actually took a surprising amount of effort to break apart. I determined that the agave nectar provided a bit of “glue.” (Mental note filed!) These are quite spicy, a touch sweet, and definitely cauliflowery!
SPICY THAI CAULIFLOWER DEHYDRATOR CRACKERS
1 3/4 C raw cauliflower, finely chopped with a food processor
1/4 C ground flax
1/3 C water
2 T agave nectar
2 T Thai Kitchen Spicy Thai Chili Sauce & Marinade
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Let mixture sit 1 hour to allow the liquid to absorb into the flax. Spread the mixture about 1/4″ thick onto 1 ParaFlexx non-stick dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4 hours. Flip the cracker sheet over. Continue dehydrating until all moisture is absorbed (8+ hours). Break apart. If you store the crackers in the freezer, the crackers can be immediately eaten and will stay crispy.
For more dehydrator crackers, see this previous blog post.
My thumb is not green…Which means that if I can grow sprouts, anyone can. It’s ridiculously easy and highly gratifying! Sprouts are the only food that I (currently) have the time or motivation to grow myself.
STEP 1: Buy seeds. Here is a nice blend of organic alfalfa, radish and broccoli sprout seeds. My local natural food Co-op has a whole section with seeds and sprouting supplies.
STEP 2: Get a quart wide-mouth canning jar and sprouting lid. A sprouting lid has holes in it to allow air flow and drainage. I made my own using some plastic mesh that I found at the craft store. Just make sure that the holes are small enough so that the seeds don’t go through.
STEP 3: (DAY 1) Soak 1 tablespoon sprouts in the quart jar filled with cool water for 4-8 hours. Drain through the sprout lid.
STEP 4: (DAYS 2-5) At least 2 times per day, rinse the seeds and growing sprouts by filling up the jar with cool water so it overflows. Turn upside down to drain. Keep out of direct light. Don’t let the seeds dry out.
STEP 5: After the sprouts start to grow, place the jar in a location that gets indirect sunlight. This develops the chlorophyll.
STEP 6: (Day 5-6) When the jar is filled up with green sprouts you’re ready to harvest!
Place the sprouts in a large bowl filled with cool water. Break up the sprout “clump” and swish around to loosen the seed hulls. Most will float to the top, and the rest will sink to the bottom. Carefully pour the hulls down the drain while keeping the sprouts from following!
STEP 7: Drain the sprouts and store in a closed container in the refrigerator. I put a damp paper towel in the bottom of the container to keep the sprouts moist but not too wet. Eat within a week.
My favorite summer sandwich is a “green sandwich,” made with sprouts, cucumber, green pepper and avocado, with dilled horseradish sauce (Vegenaise + Bubbies Horseradish + dill). Sometimes I add some marinated tofu slices.
For a great resource and more information, consult The Sprouting Book, by Ann Wigmore.
HAVE FUN AND BE WELL!