A hen is a mink is a dog is a boy.* Also: site updates and intersectionality links!

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

“Mother hen”: Resting in the grass, a mother hen carries/camouflages four+ chicks under her wings. CC image via topinambour on Flickr.
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Along with The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book, the Book Publishing Company sent me a copy of Karen Davis’s Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, which I’ve had my eye on for some time now. (The book is now in its second edition; you can download the first ed. for free as a .pdf file here, via United Poultry Concerns.) With five out of six chapters down, I’m not yet ready to offer a review, but I will say that it’s excellent – a must read, and a difficult one, at that. Not difficult intellectually, but emotionally: battery and broiler farms are the Seventh Circle of Dante’s Inferno come to life. You will need to read this book from the bottom of a dog pile – soft fur and warm bellies were the only things to keep me from breaking down in tears some nights. The scale and depth of suffering is simply unfathomable.

Anyhow, whether intentionally or not, Davis writes quite a bit about issues of intersectionality in Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs. The gendered nature of egg production is an obvious topic, but the shared suffering does not stop there. For example, Davis explains what becomes of “spent” laying hens – that is, hens whose bodies are (prematurely, tragically, needlessly) depleted of calcium and other nutrients, such that they’re no longer capable of laying eggs. Their fate is a gruesome one, however, it’s only one link in a long chain of abominations:

At slaughter, spent laying hens are a mass of broken bones, abscesses oozing yellow fluids, bright red bruises, internal hemorrhaging, and malignant tumors. They’ve lost 40 percent or more of their feathers, and because they are economically “worthless,” they sit in transport cages in all weathers at the slaughterhouse “until all other birds are dealt with – up to 12 hours.” The slaughtered birds are shredded into products that hide the true state of their flesh and their lives: chicken soups, pies, and nuggets, commercial mink and pet food, livestock and poultry feed, and school lunches and other institutionalized food service and government purchase programs designed by the egg industry and the Department of Agriculture to dump dead laying hens onto consumers in diced up form. **

In order to mask the abuses inflicted upon the bodies and psyches of egg-laying hens, the industry dismembers – nay, grinds – them into unrecognizable bits. These bits are then fed to the most vulnerable among us: enslaved and exploited nonhuman animals, including the dead hens’ kin; “pets,” including dogs and cats; children who attend public schools, particularly those who rely on the school lunch system; “institutionalized food service and government purchase programs,” such as those that “feed” incarcerated men and women; and working-class and impoverished Americans, whose only access to food may come in the form of fast food joints. One injustice fuels the next, with no end in sight. (Sigh. Where’s that dog pile?!)

(More below the fold…)

HSUS: Take action for pet food safety

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Humane Society of the United States – humanesociety [at] hsus.org
Date: May 7, 2007 11:29 AM
Subject: Kelly, is your pet’s food safe?

The Humane Society of the United States
May 7, 2007
https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2007_pet_food/

TAKE ACTION FOR PET FOOD SAFETY!

Pets are part of our families, and millions of American families were shocked by the recent pet food recalls. The deaths of pets from tainted pet food tragically demonstrate the need for greater oversight of this industry. Fortunately, Congress is listening, and you can take action here: https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2007_pet_food/

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Pet and Human Food Safety Act on May 1 to provide more oversight and regulation of the food industry. In a remarkable demonstration of how important this issue is, the U.S. Senate approved a Durbin amendment on pet and human food safety on May 2 — just one day after the bill was introduced — by a resounding vote of 94 to 0!

You can help make the food supply safer.

TAKE ACTION

1. Make a short polite phone call to your U.S. Representative. Urge him or her to support and quickly enact the DeLauro/Durbin Pet and Human Food Safety Act.

Making a call is easy. A staff member will take your message and pass it to your legislator. When you call, you can say:

“Hello my name is [your name] and I’m calling from [your town and state] to urge [your representative’s name] to support the DeLauro/Durbin Pet and Human Food Safety Act (H.R. 2108/S. 1274). The ongoing pet food recall has revealed that there is very little regulation of the pet food industry. We need to change this to ensure that the food consumers are feeding their pets is wholesome and safe. Thank you.”

After you make your call, send a follow up email in support of safer pet food: https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2007_pet_food/

2. Tell your friends how they can help: https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2007_pet_food/forward/

The more people who contact Congress, the more support this legislation will receive and the better its chances of being quickly passed into law.

(More below the fold…)

LCA: Pet Food Recall Update

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Last Chance for Animals – campaigns [at] lcanimal.org
Date: May 4, 2007 5:41 PM
Subject: Pet Food Recall Update

May 4, 2007: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated yesterday that consumers have reported the deaths of as many as 8,500 dogs and cats as a result of tainted pet food. LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice was added as the latest companion animal food to the recall list.

According to Los Angeles Times “federal officials traced the initial problem to protein concentrates imported from China that were tainted with melamine and other chemicals…some of the tainted pet foods were sold for use in feed for 6,000 hogs and nearly 3 million chickens destined for human consumption”.

Now is the time…to act, to start making more responsible, informed choices about our food, the food we feed our companion animals and the products we use. There are heathy, safe alternatives!

For you…

With reports of laced feed ending up in the stomachs of animals set for human consumption, one cannot help but stop and think about our food system and the things we are putting in our bodies. As always we encourage you to go Vegetarian or Vegan! Take that step for animals, for the environment and for your health. There is a new free book that may help convince those of you that are not already vegetarian or vegan. For a limited time the book The Real Forbidden Fruit: How Meat Destroys Paradise and How Veganism Can Get it Back, can be downloaded free of charge. Check it out it might just change your life and life of hundreds of animals.

For your companion animals…

Consider what is in your pet food and where it comes from. The pet food industry profits from waste products deemed unfit for human consumption, they use vague ingredient names (i.e. by-products, meals, and digests) and are essentially unregulated for their animal protein sources.

While not all of us have time to prepare meals for our dogs and cats, there are responsible steps you can take to protect your companion animals. Become familiar with pet food ingredients, read labels carefully, and consider making the same compassionate choice you did with your diet, by feeding your companion animal a vegetarian diet. Always remember that making major changes to your companion’s diet (whether it be going vegetarian or changing the type of food) takes time, make the transition slowly and monitor your pet’s behavior, appetite, weight, coat, teeth and gums for any change. For more information about label reading and common pet food ingredients visit the The Dog Food Project.

Keep Updated on the Pet Food Recall

To get up to the minute email alerts about the Pet Food Recall visit the Pet Food Project.

For a complete list of the recalled pet food products and information about the FDA and regulations on pet food production and ingredients visit the FDA website.

For the Animals,
Campaigns Department

Last Chance for Animals | 8033 Sunset Blvd. #835 | Los Angeles | CA | 90046

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Kinship Circle: UPDATES – Pet Food Saga Hall Of Shame

Monday, April 30th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] brick.net
Date: Apr 25, 2007 9:30 PM
Subject: UPDATES: Pet Food Saga Hall Of Shame

Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Relief
PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

4/25/07: Pet Food Saga Hall Of Shame
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

Kinship Circle - 2007-04-25 - UPDATES - Pet Food Saga Hall Of Shame

Returned cans of pet food fill a shopping cart at Petco in Miami last month. Federal officials are investigating the possibility that the contamination with a plastics chemical was deliberate.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18210224/

IN THIS ALERT:

1. Latest Death Toll
2. Pet Food Saga Hall Of Shame – Timeline
3. Feeling Powerless? 2 Ways YOU Can Take Action
4. (Duh) Pet Food Recall Expands To Human Foods
5. Recently In The News
6. Product Recall Lists And Info
7. Bookmark Links With Continually Updated Info
8. To Make Reports And Follow Government News
9. Goodbye Precious Babies

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(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch tip: Natural Life vegetarian cans added to pet food recall list 4/17/07

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Apr 19, 2007 3:05 PM
Subject: DawnWatch tip: Natural Life vegetarian cans added to pet food recall list 4/17/07

While I cannot entirely keep up with the pet food recall story, I wanted to let people know that there has been an addition particularly likely to affect some people on animal rights lists. Menu foods has added Natural Life Vegetarian 13.2oz cans to its list. See
http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/menu304_07.html.

Thanks to activist Mary Finelli for making sure we knew about it.

None of the organic vegetarian pet foods are on the recall list.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php)

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Kinship Circle: PET FOOD RECALL: News, Updates, Action

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] brick.net
Date: Apr 14, 2007 4:09 PM
Subject: PET FOOD RECALL: News, Updates, Action

Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Relief
PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST AS WRITTEN
http://www.KinshipCircle.org
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/

4/14/06: PET FOOD RECALL: News, Updates, Action

IN THIS ALERT:

1. Latest Death Toll
2. Bookmark These Blogs, Sites With Updated Info
3. To Make Reports And Follow Government News
4. Product Recall Lists And Info
5. In The News
6. ACTION: Support Congressional Inquiry On Toxic Food
7. Goodbye Sweet Sam

FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE: The landscape changes daily: MORE foods are recalled, “conspiracy theories” (that food was intentionally poisoned) are suggested, Menu Foods is accused of delaying the recall as animals died, Congressional hearings are underway… There is far too much fluctuating info to include in any single alert. So here are recall cliff notes, with links to full articles, updates, and affected products.

View Kinship Circle’s last detailed alert:
4/2/07: TOXIC FOOD – Essential Recall Updates

And demand action against Menu Foods

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(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Menu foods CFO sold shares before recall

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Apr 11, 2007 8:02 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Menu foods CFO sold shares before recall — Toronto Globe and Mail, Wash Post, and USA Today April 10-11, 2007

There is more discomforting news this week regarding the pet food crisis. The Tuesday, April 10, Toronto Globe and Mail included an article, by Keith McArthur, headed “Pet food insider sold shares before recall; CFO calls sale a ‘coincidence’.” (pg B1)

The article opens:

“The chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund says it’s a ‘horrible coincidence’ that he sold nearly half his units in the troubled pet food maker less than three weeks before a massive recall of tainted pet food.

“Insider trading reports show that Mark Wiens sold 14,000 units for $102,900 on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. Those shares would be worth $62,440 today, based on yesterday’s close of $4.46 a unit.

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Strong article on pet food recall on San Francisco Gate site 4/3/07

Friday, April 6th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Apr 6, 2007 12:42 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Strong article on pet food recall on San Francisco Gate site 4/3/07

The pet food recall has been in every news outlet this week. I don’t think you could have missed it. I hope many people have responded with letters to their local papers, discussing the treatment of other species by human society. I will share, below, one of the better articles on the issue, published on the San Francisco Gate website earlier this week.

Perhaps it will inspire you to write to your media!

YOUR WHOLE PET
Bigger than you think: The story behind the pet food recall

By Christie Keith, Special to SF Gate

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Photo via Charley Lhasa

The March 16 recall of 91 pet food products manufactured by Menu Foods wasn’t big news at first. Early coverage reported only 10-15 cats and dogs dying after eating canned and pouched foods manufactured by Menu. The foods were recalled — among them some of the country’s best-known and biggest-selling brands — and while it was certainly a sad story, and maybe even a bit of a wake-up call about some aspects of pet food manufacturing, that was about it.

At first, that was it for me, too. But I’m a contributing editor for a nationally syndicated pet feature, Universal Press Syndicate’s Pet Connection, and all of us there have close ties to the veterinary profession. Two of our contributors are vets themselves, including Dr. Marty Becker, the vet on “Good Morning America.” And what we were hearing from veterinarians wasn’t matching what we were hearing on the news.

When we started digging into the story, it quickly became clear that the implications of the recall were much larger than they first appeared. Most critically, it turned out that the initially reported tally of dead animals only included the cats and dogs who died in Menu’s test lab and not the much larger number of affected pets.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: TOXIC FOOD – Essential Recall Updates

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle
Date: Apr 2, 2007 12:30 AM
Subject: TOXIC FOOD: Essential Recall Updates

Kinship Circle Primary – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

4/2/07: TOXIC FOOD – Essential Recall Updates

In this alert:

1. To Make Report + Get New Information
2. New & Ongoing Recall Info, As Of 4/2/07
3. Good Advice…
4. Suspicious DRY Food Contamination?
5. Some Retailers Not Pulling Recalled Food
6. Pertinent Articles & Websites

http://www.Petconnection.com
Update 4/1, 7:50 am: 2,822 pets have been reported as deceased to our PetConnection database. Of these, 1,557 are cats, and 1,265 dogs.

Photos from: Pet Food Recall Photo Gallery
http://www.flickr.com/groups/petfoodrecall/

Photo via Jelsy

My favorite photo of Sasha (1994(?)-March 21, 2007). Loyal, chatty, purring; cuddler; alarm clock; lap warmer; soccer player; head turner; shy; sweet. You are missed, little kitty.

Photo via fuzzybunnystew

At the end of this past February, Mao stopped eating. His vet told me he had late stage kidney failure with off the chart readings. I made the decision to have him put to sleep. I stayed up all night with him, took pictures, and sobbed. He’d lay his head on my arm trying to comfort me… I found out a couple of weeks ago about the recall. I fed Mao Iams Select Bites in Gravy daily before his sudden death. I am livid. I’m going to speak out on this issue as much as possible. I don’t want Mao or the thousands of other animals to have died in vain. Menu Foods does not deserve protection.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: UPDATE/ Demand Action In Menu Foods Recall – 2800+ Deaths

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Apr 2, 2007 12:29 AM
Subject: UPDATE/ Demand Action In Menu Foods Recall – 2800+ Deaths

Kinship Circle Primary – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN
(Please do not delete identity/disclaimer information)

**If you already sent letters, based on our original 3/24 alert — that is fine. Those letters reflect all information available at that time. However, in light of CHANGING INFORMATION, including discovery of a different contaminant (a chemical used in plastics) and over 2,800 animal deaths…we HAVE REVISED THE SAMPLE LETTERS BELOW.

PLEASE USE THESE SAMPLE LETTERS, IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SENT COMMENTS.

4/2/07: UPDATED – Demand Action In Menu Foods Recall
KINSHIP CIRCLE ACTION CAMPAIGN
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

SAMPLE LETTERS IN THIS ALERT:

1. To Menu Foods
2. To Canadian Authorities
3. To Authorities Re: Iams
4. To Authorities Re: Sinclair Research Center
5. To the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

(More below the fold…)

API: Pet Food Recall — and more

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: API Newsletters – donotreply [at] apiforanimals.org
Date: Mar 29, 2007 1:41 PM
Subject: Pet Food Recall — and more

National Alert: Pet Food Recall – What You Can Do to Save Your Animal

With recent news reports of the tragic results of contaminated dog and cat food, The Animal Protection Institute would like to be sure that you have the necessary resources at your disposal to help ensure the safety of your beloved companion animals.

As many of you may already be aware, recently there has been a large scale recall of dog and cat food. The food is manufactured by the Menu Foods company and is sold under a variety of brand names. Animals who have ingested the contaminated food have quickly succumbed to the effects of acute kidney failure. Some animals have died as a result.

For more information and a list of useful resources on this issue, click here.

As news from the recall continues to develop, we urge you to remain vigilant in keeping up with the latest media coverage by checking your local news or the national news daily.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: LETTER / Demand Action In Menu Foods Recall

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

UPDATE, 4/2/07:

Please see Kinship Circle’s revised sample letters here.

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Photo via majamom

Has your companion animal been affected by the Menu Foods tragedy? Join the Pet Food Recall Photo Gallery on Flickr,

to put real faces to all the animal’s stories. If your companion has become ill or died as a result of the devastating pet food recall we are dealing with now, or one in the past, post their photo here. We want to know who they are, their nicknames, favorite toys, funny habits. Tell us as much or as little as you want, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Kinship Circle alert…

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Mar 24, 2007 3:19 PM
Subject: LETTER/ Demand Action In Menu Foods Recall

Kinship ANIMAL DISASTER RELIEF – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN
(Please do not delete identity/disclaimer information)

3/24/07 — Death & Despair: Demand Action In Menu Foods Recall
KINSHIP CIRCLE ACTION CAMPAIGN
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

SAMPLE LETTERS IN THIS ALERT:

1. To Menu Foods
2. To Canadian Authorities
3. To Authorities Re: Iams
4. To Authorities Re: Sinclair Research Center
5. To the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
6. PLUS: Recall info, Alternative Foods, DRY Food Scare?

SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCES: AT END OF ALERT

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(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle, LCA, PETA: More on Menu Foods Recall

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Below the fold, you’ll find several recent alerts from Kinship Circle, Last Chance for Animals, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals regarding the tainted/recalled Menu Foods “pet” food. Please take a moment to read through all of these, as each contains different information and actionable items.

1. Kinship Circle: NEWS/ RAT POISON Found In Tainted Pet Food

2. Last Chance for Animals: LCA News Update – Pet Food Recall

3. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Keeping Dogs and Cats Safe During the Food Recalls

Photo via Charley Lhasa

(More below the fold…)

LCA: Mass Recall of Pet Food — Is Yours on the List?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Via Last Chance for Animals:

Mass Recall of Pet Food — Is Yours on the List?

Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands, recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.

An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, according to Menu Foods.

The recall covers the company’s “cuts and gravy” style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between December 3 and March 6 throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

For more information and to see the list of the dog and cat food in question, click here. Check back often — the list grows daily.

According to the Associated Press, Menu Foods told the FDA it received the first complaints of kidney failure and deaths among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20. It began new tests on Feb. 27. During those tests, the company fed its product to 40 to 50 dogs and cats and some seven animals died.

Many companies conduct animals tests to measure the “metabolic energy” of dog and cat food. Undercover investigations show that these test animals suffer severe effects of lack of stimulation, exercise and socialization.

Cut the cruelty out of your pet’s diet! To find out which companies do not conduct these cruel tests on animals, click here.

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