Indian Supreme Court Breaks Ground on Animal Rights

In recent years, the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of animals and birds to lead a life of “intrinsic worth, honour and dignity,” even at the cost of popular faith and practices of human beings.

The starting point of the trend dates back to May 7, 2014 — the day of pronouncement of the judgment banning jallikattu, a bull taming sport practised in Tamil Nadu.

In Animal Welfare Board of India versus A. Nagaraja, the Supreme Court historically extended the fundamental right to life to animals. It held that bulls have the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution to live in a healthy and clean atmosphere, not to be beaten, kicked, bitten, tortured, plied with alcohol by humans or made to stand in narrow enclosures amidst bellows and jeers from crowds. In short, the Supreme Court declared that animals have a right to protect their life and dignity from human excesses.

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“What Are Those Cries?” What Happened When I went Inside a Pig Farm

As an animal rights activist in Canada, I was familiar with meeting pigs in transport trucks outside slaughterhouses. We’d be there bearing witness in the freezing cold of winter and then the boiling heat of summer as part of the Save Movement, whose Anita Krajnc has become a hero with her shocking prosecution for giving water to a pig bound for slaughter. If you’ve never met a pig, it’s shocking. They have human-like eyes. They do look you in the eye. You can feel their plight.

Recently, I decided to take a step further and go inside a farm as part of a practice — open rescue — in which advocates openly investigate farms and rescue animals from harm. What I saw shocked me. I’d learned about Open Rescue via the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, whose investigations into so-called “humane” farms have made headlines from the New York Times to the Huffington Post. I longed to rescue a little soul and to find him or her a loving forever home. It sounded like an undertaking that would be a joyous project for an activist. Yes, we did rescue Madison, but what I’m left with is flashbacks and nightmares. I wasn’t prepared for the conditions inside a factory farm.

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The Repository of Depravity: Dismembered Animals Line the Shelves of Federal Warehouse

It is hard to describe the array of confiscated animals and animal parts that fills the shelves of the National Wildlife Property Repository, a federal warehouse on the fringes of Denver, Colorado. With multiple representatives of every species imaginable, it seems at first a bit like an ark, but a perverse one: perhaps fittingly so for our precarious ecological situation.

These animals did not walk up the gangplank as in familiar representations of the biblical scene. They arrived lifeless, inanimate: not really animals so much as things. They are arrayed not two-by-two or seven-by-seven, but scores upon scores, even by the hundreds. A fur coat may look like just one leopard, but in fact a dozen were skinned to make it; if you look closely, you can see where one dead creature ends and another begins. Tortoises, snakes, birds, deer (and pieces thereof) line industrial storage shelves from floor to ceiling; even when I climbed up the rolling step ladders, I couldn’t see over the top.

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World Renowned Activist and Author Gene Baur to Visit Cape Breton October 4-6th

Gene Baur, co‑founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, a national non-profit organization that works to end cruelty to farm animals and change the way society views and treats farm animals will be visiting Cape Breton in early October. Hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine and recently selected by Oprah Winfrey to join her SuperSoul 100 dream team of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity,” he was a pioneer in undercover investigations and instrumental in passing the first U.S. laws to ban inhumane factory farming practices. Beginning in 1986, he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of animal agriculture and our cheap food system.

Baur has written two national bestselling books: Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food, and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day. Gene has a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, and is a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He’s been vegan since 1985 and recently started competing in marathons and triathlons, including an Ironman, to demonstrate the benefits of plant-based eating.

Farm Sanctuary is a national nonprofit organization with more than a half a million members and supporters nationwide, including Martha Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Gosling, and Jon Stewart (who, along with his wife Tracey, has partnered with Farm Sanctuary to open the organization’s fourth location at their New Jersey farm in fall 2017), that works to change how our society views and treats farm animals through rescue, education and advocacy. The organization provides lifelong care for animals rescued from abuse at four sanctuary locations in New York, California and New Jersey; promotes compassionate vegan living; and advocates legal and policy reforms. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year! To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, visit farmsanctuary.org.

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Five Ways You are Subsidizing Big Meat Without Knowing it

Many people think of the USDA as a kind of FDA for farm products—dedicated to protecting the public’s health against sloppy or even sleazy practices. But actually the USDA, created when America was agrarian, primarily serves rural America and food producers not consumers. Its mission is “helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation’s natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.” Key word private.

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Meat Consumption Raises Mortality Rates, Analysis of More than 1. 5 million People Finds

A review of large-scale studies involving more than 1.5 million people found all-cause mortality is higher for those who eat meat, particularly red or processed meat, on a daily basis. Conducted by physicians from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, “Is Meat Killing Us?” was published today in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The authors analyzed six studies that evaluated the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality with a goal of giving primary care physicians evidence-based guidance about whether they should discourage patients from eating meat. Their recommendation: physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.

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V is for ‘Vegan’: Plant-Based School Lunches on the Rise

With obesity rates on the rise, particularly among children, pressures from First Lady Michelle Obama and the USDA have increased the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and leaner meats in school lunches, while also reducing the amount of added sodium, sugar, and artificial ingredients.

“Why anyone would be opposed to giving healthy food to kids in schools is beyond me,” Marion Nestle, author and professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, recently wrote on her blog. She points to several studies that show school lunches are healthier than ever, and kids who are eating the meals provided by the schools are less likely to be obese than kids who eat at home or bring their own meals.

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