Posts Tagged ‘farmed animals’

DawnWatch: Oprah and staff take the vegan challenge, Tuesday 2-1-11

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch
Date: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 5:00 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Oprah and staff take the vegan challenge, Tuesday 2/1/11

null

Many of you have already heard the news: we are all setting our DVRs because on Tuesday, February 1, Oprah and 378 of her staffers are taking a one-week vegan challenge. Guests on the show will include the terrific vegan advocate Kathy Freston and anti factory farming author Michael Pollan. Reporter Lisa Ling will give us an inside view of a “beef processing plant” i.e. slaughterhouse.

You can watch a trailer for the upcoming show at tinyurl.com/6fa4azh

You can leave comments on that page in advance or after you have seen it.

The more enthusiastic support Oprah gets the better, so please join the discussion.

And please send the Oprah show a separate note of support where the show take comments (some of which are read on air) at www.oprah.com/ownshow/plug_form.html?plug_id=220

Go to www.oprah.com/tows_listings.html to see when Oprah airs on your local station:

I send thanks to Kathy Freston and about a dozen other wonderful subscribers for making sure we all knew about tomorrow’s show.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

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Sexy hot dogs, killer cats and Crappy Meals: Catching up with The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 by Kelly Garbato

During my three-month absence from POP!, I have been tragically neglectful in sharing with you all things bestial on two of my favorite faux news shows: The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. (Mostly The Colbert Report. The student has surpassed his teacher my many a comedic mile!)

Case in point: back in September, Stephen brought in some “pretty beer girls” to serve the troops during a special, week-long military appreciation edition of The Colbert Report, culminating in a guest appearance by Vice President Joe Biden as a hot dog vendor:

This was followed the next day by a sexy dude dressed in a hot dog suit, “for the lady troops”:

Naturally, PETA was not pleased:

[Neither was I - that is, when I watched the show many a month later (it aired when I was on vacation in NY) - but I didn't see fit to write a press release about it. It doesn't take a marketing genius to know that the general public will view this as so much opportunistic bandwagon-jumping and/or an "attack" on the troops. YOU MUST SUPPORT THE TROOPS AT ALL COSTS! BY WHICH I MEAN NEVER EVER NEVER QUESTION A MOVE MADE BY THE U.S. MILITARY! Like duh.]

Anyhow, I promise to be better in keeping up with this stuff in the New Year. In this vein, I come bearing two more recent clips:

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“Changing nature to get the food we eat”: Karen Davis on the Speciesist Indoctrination of Children

Saturday, January 1st, 2011 by Kelly Garbato

2011-01-01 - 3-2-1 Contact Mags - 0010

A pile of 3-2-1 Contact magazines that I found in my filled-to-overflowing library.
Have a problem, who me?
——————————

In Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An inside look at the modern poultry industry (1996; revised 2009) animal advocate Karen Davis offers an exhaustive and heart-wrenching examination of the “poultry” industry, which is responsible for the exploitation and slaughter of an astounding 10 billion chickens annually (in the U.S. alone; worldwide, 40 billion chickens are raised and killed for their meat and eggs ever year). During her journey from the wild to the farm – and from conception to death – Davis touches upon some of the social and psychological mechanisms that pave the way for these atrocities.

Humans are taught from an early age that the earth’s resources – including other sentient beings – were “put here for our use.” We create a false divide between “us” and “them” by denying our own animal nature: there are “humans” and there are “animals.” We deny our similarities – the ability to feel pain, experience emotions such as love and joy (and sadness and fear), form and nurture fulfilling relationships – while simultaneously looking to our relatively minor but wonderfully diverse differences as an excuse to objectify, enslave and exploit the “other.” Nonhuman animals are largely considered property – “its” – more akin to a tree or tomato plant than a human being. Simply put, we exist in a supremely speciesist and anthropocentric culture – and we indoctrinate each successive generation into accepting this skewed and oppressive worldview.

Pop culture, including books, television, and movies, are central to this indoctrination. For example, Davis singles out two children’s shows for criticism – both of which were staples in my own childhood: Reading Rainbow (1983-2005?) and 3-2-1 Contact (1980–1992) – to demonstrate this process:

Chick hatching projects teach children and teachers that bringing a life into the world is not a grave responsibility with ultimate consequences for the life created. Children’s public television has contributed to this desensitization and to the fallacy that chickens have no natural origin or need for a family life. The Reading Rainbow public television program “Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones,” based on a book by Ruth Heller, shows that other kinds of animals besides chickens lay eggs. However, chickens are the only ones represented in barren surroundings. One heartless scene shows a baby chick struggling out of its egg alone on a bare table, while ugly, insensitive music blares, “I’m breaking out.”

The 3-2-1 Contact show “Pignews: Chickens and Pigs” has aired frequently on children’s public television. Promoting the agribusiness theme of “changing nature to get the food we eat,” it shows hatchery footage of newborn chicks being hurled down stainless steel conveyors, tumbling in revolving sexing carousels, flung down dark holes, and brutally handled by chicken sexers who grab them, toss them, and hold them by one wing while asserting that none of this hurts them at all. These scenes alternate with rapid sequence images of mass-produced fruits and vegetables. Children are brightly told that “farmers are changing how we grow 100 million baby chicks a week, 3 million pounds of tomatoes, 36 billion pounds of potatoes.” Chickens are described against a background of upbeat music as a “monocrop” suited to the “conveyor belt and assembly line, as in a factory.”

Is it any wonder that many people regard chickens as some sort of weird chimerical concoction comprising a vegetable and a machine? (p. 21)

[A full discussion of Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs is well beyond the scope of this blog, but you can read a rather lengthy review I published on V for Vegan.

If the psychology of animal exploitation is a topic that piques your interest, check out Melanie Joy's Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism (2009), which I reviewed here.

Finally, parents in search of animal-friendly entertainment to enjoy with their children will find a friend in VegBooks.]

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DawnWatch: Meat expose on Law and Order SVU this Wednesday, 4/21/10

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 by Kelly Garbato

Update, 6/2/10: Just thought I’d share this little tidbit from Carol Adams; it’s one of her Twenty facts about the 20th Anniversary Edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat:

9. Law and Order SVU used ideas from The Sexual Politics of Meat (and its slide show) in a recent episode on “Beef.” Of course! Because as the fictional me says on their show, “Meat eating and patriarchy go hand in hand.”

I think I’m now legally required to watch that particular episode (and report back to y’all, natch!), which is currently languishing away on my DVR, where it patiently waited out the end of May sweeps. Possibly I’ll need a few more weeks to recover from the loss of Lost, though. Fair warning.

—————-

Just a reminder: tonight’s episode of Law & Order: SVU will include a subplot of animal rights activism inside a slaughterhouse. The show airs at 10 Eastern / 9 Central; you can find additional details on the show’s website.

Karen Dawn recently sent out an action alert about the episode, featuring opportunities for you to provide NBC with feedback. Please thank them for addressing “meat” production, and also let them know how you think they handled the subject matter after you’ve seen the episode in question!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:55 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Meat expose on Law and Order SVU this Wednesday, 4/21/10

Many of you have been asking what has happened to DawnWatch. After ten years of regular coverage DawnWatch alerts were indeed sparse during the second half of last year, when I was losing Buster Dawn and focused on little else. Then the excitement around The Cove, culminating in the Oscar going to that extraordinary film about the horrors behind dolphin abusement parks (to coin Ric O’Barry’s perfect phrase) took all of my attention for a while early this year. Now I am writing a new book, and am also working on rearranging Dawnwatch to make the site more interactive, so that other people can post. But I have missed working on it, and have appreciated hearing from those of you who have missed getting it, so I am going to get back to it on a more regular basis.

Promotional artwork for Law & Order: SVU

And boy to have a great excuse to come back: This week a hit prime time dram, Law & Order SVU, will be airing an episode that focuses on the meat industry. There is no newspaper that has as many readers, or news show that has as many viewers, as this drama, so its power to educate the public is terrific. I happened to catch a preview last week, and went to the show’s site to learn more. You can see the preview of the episode [here].

According to the promo blurb, Detective Olivia Benson goes undercover at a meat plant to solve the murder of a woman who “was filming an unflinching expose of meat.” We hear, on the promo clip:

“She was going to call her film, inside the slaughterhouse… Except she’s the one who got slaughtered.”

The show will air on NBC this Wednesday, April 21, at 10pm (9 central) so set your DVRs and TIVOs and tell your friends!

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link love, 2010-04-17

Saturday, April 17th, 2010 by Kelly Garbato
  • Add your voice to Biz Markie’s Earth Day remix of “Just a Friend”!

    In honor of Earth Day, Biz Markie and the Climate Protection Action Fund want you to rap (or lip sync) along to a “clean energy” version of his ’80s classic “Just a Friend.” Repower America will provide the lyrics and instructions; you just need a web cam and an internet connection. Here are the details:

    What do Earth Day, YouTube’s home page and a rap classic have in common?

    You.

    On April 22, we’ll be releasing a remix of the top-ten-hit song “Just a Friend” performed by Biz Markie and Repower America supporters from across the country. It’s going to be featured all day on YouTube’s home page — and you can be part of the fun!

    You don’t need a perfect singing voice to get involved — and for that matter, you don’t even need to know the song. In fact, the chorus to Biz Markie’s song is famous for being beautifully off-key. If you’re still not convinced that you’re ready to bust out rapping on tape, just lip-sync or dance in your video. (Or get your kids to.) The only thing that matters is that you participate — in whatever way works for you.

    We’ve got everything else you need to sing along — lyrics, music and a video showing you how to record your own version.

    Check it out and add your voice to the Biz Markie Earth Day remix right now: cpaf.RepowerAmerica.org/Remix

    Naturally, the “eco-friendly” lyrics ignore the role of meat, egg and dairy production in climate change – which is well in keeping with environmental organizations’ unwillingness to address human privilege and its many attendant ills. That said, perhaps some of you more creative types can work a reference or two to veganism into your own video? If you’re interested, you have to move fast – the deadline for submissions is midnight tomorrow night, April 18th. Eastern time, I presume?

  • In an upcoming episode, the long-running NBC procedural crime drama Law & Order: SVU will feature an animal rights plotline:

    After a young woman is sexually assaulted and murdered, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Eliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) track down the woman’s boyfriend – their first suspect – but learn that he is a devout vegan who wouldn’t hurt a fly. They soon find that the victim had been deeply involved in the fight to expose questionable practices in the meat-packing industry, even going undercover at a large company to find out the truth. Benson goes undercover herself to retrace the woman’s footsteps and to identify who the victim might have angered along the way.

    “Beef” will air this Wednesday, April 21, on NBC at 10PM EDT.

    (Many thanks to Vegan Burnout and POP! guest-blogger Shannon for the heads-up!)

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    UPC: Fowl Play Screening & Presentation by Karen Davis in NYC 5/15

    Sunday, March 28th, 2010 by Kelly Garbato

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: United Poultry Concerns
    Date: Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 1:42 PM
    Subject: [UPC] Fowl Play Screening and UPC Presentation in New York City May 15

    Fowl Play Screening and UPC Presentation in New York City May 15
    Join United Poultry Concerns & Mercy For Animals at the Columbus Library!

    Promotional artwork for the movie FOWL PLAY.

    United Poultry Concerns and Mercy For Animals invite you to attend a screening of MFA’s award winning film Fowl Play and a presentation by UPC president Karen Davis in honor of International Respect for Chickens Month/May.

    Hosted by the Columbus Library on Saturday, May 15 from 11:30am to 2:00pm – the day preceding the Third Annual Veggie Pride Parade in NYC – this event will be followed by leafleting for chickens!

    Fowl Play Screening and Chicken Presentation will be held at:

    Columbus Library
    742 10th Ave (between 50th & 51st Streets)
    New York, NY 10019-7019
    (212) 586-5098

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

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    Penelope: A Nose by Any Other Name

    Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by Shannon Davis

    I’m tickled pink (pun so intended!) to present POP!’s very first guest post, a vegan-feminist look at the 2006 romantic comedy Penelope from Shannon Davis, aka Vegan Burnout. Based on a Marilyn Kaye novel of the same name, the film stars a (be-snouted) Christina Ricci as the titular Penelope, a young woman seemingly born into wealth and privilege – save for her “unfortunate” porcine nose. Would it trouble the reader to know that, as a child, I longed for a cat tail, à la Catra? Beauty conventions and species boundaries, who needs ‘em!? – Kelly G.
     

    Cover artwork for the novel PENELOPE

    Caution: Spoilers ahead!

    Sexism and speciesism go together like, well, movies and popcorn. Carol J. Adams wrote the book on this nasty little tag-team, and I for one am a smarter consumer of pop culture for it. I also love movies and popcorn, so imagine my surprise when, one snowy afternoon, I watched Penelope and found my vegan-feminist Spidey Sense a-tingle.

    Penelope stars Christina Ricci as an otherwise gorgeous girl born with a pig’s nose as the result of an old family curse. (Women! pigs! obvious! parallel!) The curse, of course, can only be broken by the love of “one of her own kind”—unanimously interpreted to mean that of another aristocrat. Already, we have all the elements of a fairy tale—the perfect lens for examining cultural notions of beauty and self-love.

    Penelope’s parents are a study in contrasts: her father, Franklin (Richard E. Grant), guiltily accepts responsibility for Penelope’s “disfigurement,” as his side of the family bears the curse; her mother, Jessica (Catherine O’Hara), is so terrified of what people will say that she fakes baby Penelope’s death to deter snooping reporters. She is so obsessed by her daughter’s nose that she bans anything pig-related, scolding Jake the butler when he plays “This Little Piggy” with the baby’s toes and forbidding her husband to eat bacon. Any notion of her daughter as animal is anathema to her—we’re meant to understand that she means well, but her fixation reveals far more about her than it does about Penelope.

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    When Violence Goes Viral (On The Crazies)

    Monday, March 1st, 2010 by Kelly Garbato

    Movie poster for THE CRAZIES - Help Us!

    Caution: Spoilers Galore!

    As far as horror movies go, The Crazies is fairly standard stuff. A plane crash-lands in a remote marsh just a tick upstream of the rural farming town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa. On board is a biological weapon, engineered by the U.S. government in order to “destabilize populations”; allegedly, it was en route to “an incinerator in Dallas,” having proven too dangerous for wide scale use. The plane’s payload slowly leaks into its watery tomb, where the contaminant is carried downstream, straight into Ogden Marsh’s water supply – and onto its citizens’ crops and into their bellies. In short order, the virus infects the town’s residents, transforming them from loving husbands and mild-mannered educators into violent, homicidal “crazies.” *

    The federal government quickly moves in, quarantining the town and separating the townspeople into two groups – “infected” and “not” – ripping families apart in the process. Those who are thought to be sick are taken to the local high school (now set up as a makeshift hospital), strapped to hospital gurneys, and “treated.” (“Observed” is more like it. The viewer doesn’t get the feeling that there’s anything the doctors can do to help their patients.) The healthy residents are transported to a large gas station/truck stop/convenience store situated on the edge of town, ostensibly for eventual evacuation to nearby Sioux City. Of course, because this is a horror film and all, things do not go as planned; a riot breaks out at the high school, leading to the government’s evacuation (and eventual nuclear incineration, complete with cover-up) of Ogden Marsh. The events unfold within a 96-hour period (two days pre- and two days post-outbreak), during which the audience follows four heroes – the local sheriff and deputy; the sheriff’s wife, who’s also the town’s only doctor; and her teenage assistant – as they try to understand what’s happening to their fellow citizens and, later, escape to safety.

    What’s particularly interesting about The Crazies from a vegan perspective is the way in which the town’s residents are portrayed, pre- and post-infection. Precipitating the sheriff’s hunt for and discovery of the downed plane is the discovery of its pilot – or rather, its pilot’s body – in the marsh by a group of (duck?) hunters, whom the sheriff scolds for illegal, off-season hunting.

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    Stephen Colbert on Temple Grandin : “It’s really a pro-business story.”

    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Kelly Garbato

    On Notice (but really Dead to Me) - ASPCA, PETA & HSUS

    Though it’s taken me far too long, here’s the promised writeup of Claire Danes’s February 10th appearance on The Colbert Report.

    Seeing as Danes was making the rounds in support of her new biopic, Temple Grandin, I expected to come away from this interview with a knot of frustration and anger in my stomach. In fact, I actually put off watching it for this very reason. (Which is no small feat for a fangirl of my caliber, I tell you what!) Happily, as with the Foer interview, I was pleasantly surprised by Stephen’s treatment of the subject matter.

    As you can see in the video (and partial transcript) below, Stephen plays the devil’s (animals’, really) advocate, maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism in the face of claims about Grandin’s “affinity” for and “love” of nonhuman animals. He equates killing and eating cows with killing and eating dogs, to horrifically comical effect. And, best of all, the phrase “animal rights” is not uttered once, in contrast to reports of previous appearances in which Danes praised Grandin as an “animal rights advocate” – and, likewise, described herself as a supporter of animal rights (their right not to be killed and eaten seemingly aside).

    [On a side note - Dear fluffyfun "green" and/or vegetarian celebrity gossip sites: can y'all please stop referring to Grandin as an "animal rights activist"? She is no such thing, and to refer to her brand of "advocacy" as rights-based is to shift the entire debate towards the exploitative. And your thoughts on welfare reform? Totally irrelevant. This is a factual dispute, not a matter of opinion. Thanks much!]

    While I hadn’t intended to write such a lengthy transcript, once I started typing, I couldn’t stop. Stephen’s quips – and Danes’s reactions – are just that good. If you can, you really need to watch the video to fully appreciate Danes’s flailing responses to Stephen’s gentle-yet-snarky nudging.

    It’s all after the jump, yo.

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    Stephen Colbert schools Jonathan Safran Foer on happy meat animals.

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 by Kelly Garbato

    Stephen Colbert of THE COLBERT REPORT

    Admittedly, this is rather old news, but Jonathan Safran Foer appeared on The Colbert Report last Monday in order to discuss – what else? – Eating Animals.

    [Initially, I was going to group Foer's interview with those of Claire Danes and John Durant in one big "(happy) meat peddlers" video roundup, but the Foer and Danes interviews proved a pleasant surprise - and not because of the guests! - so a dedicated post for everyone! Except for you, Durant. You're kind of a douche, and you make this galactosemic lady feel a bit like one, too. (It's not the same as lactose intolerance, but it's close enough.) But anyway, that's the backstory behind my procrastination. End: digression.]

    The interview was about as frustrating as I expected on Foer’s end, e.g.,

    * “I wouldn’t necessarily say you should become a vegetarian [...] I would say you should eat less meat.”

    * [When asked if he would eat a hot dog] “Maybe the hot dogs they made 50 years ago.” (as opposed to those produced today)

    To his credit, Foer does manage to stay on message and squeeze in a number of pertinent facts re: animal agriculture, however, in downplaying the need for vegetarianism, he negates whatever points he may have scored with the audience. (i.e., if animal cruelty is wrong, and even “happy meat” products are cruel…go vegetarian on Mondays after 6 PM? Say what now?)

    And veganism? Fuhgeddaboudit! The word “vegan” was not uttered once during the entire 5+ minute interview.

    Luckily, in his quest to be the most ridiculous caricature of a self-delusional meat-eater he could be, Colbert provided some of the more trenchant quips in the exchange. To wit:

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