Friday, July 8, 2011

V V Friday 1

There is always some good news related to the vegan lifestyle and animals rights. I think once in a while it is emotionally rewarding to hear about them. This is a little section I think will be my "Vegan Victories" segment. If you are a carnivore, it's okay. I won't tell anyone you read it! I've found even the most die hard steak eater would try to take down IronMan if his/her pet Fluffy was in danger from him.

The first news story that was a feel good, was about hens...
     A slightly better life is in store for factory farm raised hens. There will be new regulations (agreed upon by both the United Egg Producers and The Humane Society of the United States) for these animals. Currently, factory hens are crammed into cages for the entire existence of their sad, short lives and don't even have enough room to open their wings to stretch. (If you are a New Yorker or have ever been there, think rush hour -- in the summer -- every minute for the rest of your life!.... I will wait because I am sure you just had a mini-attack at the thought of that. We have conniptions when the train is stuck for 5 minutes in a bloody tunnel!....)
     Anyway, there will also be regulations on force molting hens - which is basically starving them for up to two weeks in order to shock their already drained systems into producing a few more eggs before they are slaughtered. These "enriched colony cages" as they are called, are almost 2 decades away as I understand it from being fully implemented, but this is nonetheless huge. More space per animal means less stress so hopefully they won't attack each other and need to be debeaked (very painful - no anesthesia) and maybe won't need as many antibiotics pumped into their systems because their environment may actually be cleaner. I know it is a long shot, but I can still dream.

The other news is not so good...
     There were protesters at the premiere of "Zookeeper"  because one of the animals, a giraffe named Tweet died during production of the movie nearly two years before. Tweet was found eating tarp that covered his enclosure, but his trainers when notified, did nothing. While I understand the frustration at the senseless death of such a beautiful creature, going after the star at the premier may not be the way to 'win friends and influence people' so to speak. Target the trainers who blatantly let an animal under their care die.
     Personally, I am torn about using animals in movies. I know there is the risk that some are not treated as they should be (I believe the "Water for Elephants" movie is dealing with some allegations of abuse now too). We want to trust that they were trained without abuse in the years before they got to the set and that they were treated well during production. Some of us only get to see animals on the big screen; that is where we see them in all their splendor... It is a tough call. This will continue to be a problem as long as Big Brother can't be everywhere...yet.

Anywhoo, that was my first entry.  Upon reflection, that second story really ISN'T  a victory, but maybe the attention it garners will move us one step closer to another victory for humane treatment like in the first story. Little by little does the trick, right?