We have some very exciting news! In one week, Liberation BC will be partnering with Mercy For Animals Canada to mount an ad campaign on the Vancouver Skytrain which promotes vegetarianism and veganism!
The “Why love one but eat the other?” ad series took Toronto by storm in 2011. Millions of people saw these ads firsthand in the subways, they were shared in the media across the country, and the video about the campaign was watched over 66,000 times on YouTube.
Many people reported going vegetarian and vegan because of these ads. That’s how important and effective they are!
Now these ads will run on the Vancouver Skytrain for the month of May as part of a cross-Canada transit ad campaign that will also include Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
Here’s a look at the three ads that will be running in the Skytrain as poster-sized ads:
(Just click on them to see a larger version.)
Right now, Mercy For Animals Canada needs to raise just $5,000 more to run this comprehensive ad campaign in Vancouver. If you’d like to help bring the “Why love one but eat the other?” message into the hearts of Vancouverites, please donate now. (Choose: “Why Love One?’ Transit Ad Campaign 2013 from the drop-down menu below the donation amount.)
Oh, and if you’re on Facebook, you can join the event pages for this campaign in English or in French.
Please be sure to spread the word and keep your eye out for the ads starting on the Skytrain May 13th!
This is the third year that we’ve participated in the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, and our chosen beneficiary this time around is Hearts on Noses Pig Sanctuary, located in Mission, BC. (We took a trip to visit them last fall–read all about it!) All money raised from the bake sale will go straight to the pigs.
Hanging out with Comet.
Can you help out by baking or volunteering? Do you need more information? If so, please shoot me an email at becci [at] liberationbc [dot] org. You can also add your name and what you’ll be bringing to this spreadsheet.
In the meantime, let’s meet some of the wonderful pigs you’ll be helping by participating in the bake sale…
This one-eared cutie pie is Sherman.
Whisper and his family all live together in a big pen.
Penny likes to snuggle under piles of blankets.
Panda is missing most of her teeth, but she still loves to eat carrots with a little help.
Roscoe is a gentle giant.
And these are just a few of the 44 pigs who call Hearts on Noses home. So come on out on April 27th to stock up on delicious baked goods and support the pigs!
Twenty-two years later there are still plenty of things, like this t-shirt, to discuss.
Adams analyzes the t-shirt, which was created by a fraternity at Amherst College, with her usual intelligence and perspicacity; I urge you to read her post.
That this t-shirt exists in 2012 and that its roots in the sexual politics of meat go unremarked reveals how truly nested in our culture is the connection between masculinity, male bonding, and meat eating. (more)
Elsewhere on her blog, she shares this relevant ad campaign from Germany:
"Tofu is Gay Meat"
Now I’m going to share a mere handful of the hundreds of similarly creepy images that I’ve found while perusing the internet. (Click through for the source.)
What do you get when you combine a spectacular fall day, 44 of the cutest pigs you’ll ever see, and a dedicated animal rights worker? You get Liberation BC’s Thanksgiving visit to Hearts on Noses Pig Sanctuary!
Liberation BC’s five board members made the drive out to Hearts on Noses in Mission, B.C. on Saturday, October 6th. We were welcomed at the gate by Janice Gillett, the owner, who took us on a tour of her beautiful sanctuary. Most of the pigs we met were of the pot-bellied variety or some hybrid thereof, although a few were Yorkshires, a type of pig bred for food production, and three feral hybrids. (We learned that, surprisingly, pot-bellied pigs are also bred for food production, though on a lesser scale.) Janice also has a couple of horses, two dogs, a few cats, and a turtle. She started the sanctuary in 1993 when she found little Willy, a stray baby rooting around on the property she had just bought. Since then she has become a guardian angel to hundreds of pigs.
Rose, who was rescued from the side of the road with a shattered hip when she was just a piglet. She still walks with a bit of a limp.
Janice is an incredibly hard worker. Despite the fact that she also works full time for SAINTS, she somehow manages to care for all of the animals at her sanctuary as well. Hearts on Noses also benefits from the help of many devoted volunteers.
As we toured the sanctuary, Janice and her team of volunteers told us the stories of the various residents. Many of the pigs come to Hearts on Noses via Craigslist ads, where people bought them as “pets” and then changed their minds when the pigs got to be too big or inconvenient. Janice helps to adopt them out to loving forever homes or brings them to live with her through sponsor donors. Naturally, many of the stories we heard were sad. We met Sherman, who had had one of his ears and one tusk bitten off by a family dog.
Sherman, a big sweetie, showing off his good side.
We met Lucy, who had been so overfed that it will take over a year for her to lose enough weight to be able to walk around comfortably.
Janice makes sure that Lucy gets a little exercise every day.
Meanwhile, Panda had been left in a small crate for most of her life and had both her ears and her tail chewed off by rats.
Panda is also missing most of her teeth, but she still loves to eat carrots with a little help.
Janice is a pretty tough cookie, but the emotional toll this work has had on her became evident when she told us the story of one pig whose caregiver was going to give him up after 10 years. She wiped tears from her eyes as she tried to imagine how this pig was going to feel, leaving the only life he’d ever known.
At least one of the stories was a happy one. When a male and female pig arrived at Hearts on Noses about five years ago, Janice knew immediately that the female was pregnant, although the owner denied it. Sure enough, she soon gave birth to eight babies and now the whole family lives happily together in one luxury-sized pen.
The happy family.
For me, the best part of our visit came when the pigs were released from their pens to roam free all over the sanctuary. (They all spend a good amount of time roaming freely, although only certain ones can be out together at the same time.)
A couple of the feral hybrids, Jeremy and Josh, enjoying the sunshine.
The most excitement came when Roscoe, a 1000-pound Yorkshire, came bounding out his stall. It was a more than a little intimidating to see him coming towards me but I was told to just put up my hands so he could see I had no food and he would walk on by…and sure enough, he did.
Janice with Roscoe, the gentle giant.
We spent a good part of our time rubbing the bellies of various pigs while learning all about them both as individuals and as a species.
Like most pigs, Whisper loves belly rubs.
And no part of this sanctuary was off limits to pigs. Even in the house, on the way to the bathroom, we had to step around two pigs asleep on dog beds in the living room!
Comet getting some lovin' from the entire board.
We were all a little sad to leave Hearts on Noses but the good news is that we’ll be doing a fundraiser for them in the future. For those of us involved in education and outreach it is so inspiring to meet the people who work on the front lines – they are simply amazing. So this Thanksgiving, Liberation BC and hundreds of pigs are thankful for Janice and all her volunteers!
If you’d like to help out at Hearts on Noses or make a donation, you can contact Janice at heartsonnoses[at]shaw.ca. You can also make a donation via CanadaHelps.org!
Check out this video of our visit:
(Oh! After leaving the sanctuary, we went to Chomp, an amazing vegan, gluten-free restaurant in Port Moody that specializes in local and organic delicacies. It is most definitely recommended.)
That’s the word the farm owner used to describe Julia, a pregnant pig who was…
“…moved from a cramped gestation crate to an equally cramped farrowing crate to give birth, [where] a worker brutally kicked and beat her and then ran an electrified cattle prod over the length of her body as she screamed in pain. The assault ended only when [she] collapsed, at which point she was dragged into the crate by her ears.” (more)
Pregnant pigs in the gestation crates where they spend most of their lives.
When the local SPCA and police department was alerted to this unbelievable abuse, they contacted Farm Sanctuary, who came to the rescue. The supposedly feisty pig was in fact terrified, and cringed and cowered as the Farm Sanctuary rescue team helped her into the transport trailer.
Only 8 hours after Julia arrived at their New York Shelter, she gave birth to 16 premature piglets, all of whom required round-the-clock care due to their fragile state. Julia herself needed medical attention; her feet were flat and her legs had sores on them, common injuries for pigs forced to live on the barren, concrete floors of the average factory farm. She was also covered in bruises and burns as the a result of the more direct abuse that she’d suffered at the hands of farm workers.
Despite this, Julia soon came to trust the caregivers at Farm Sanctuary, allowing them to administer fluids and medications and to care for her piglets.
Julia and her new babies at Farm Sanctuary's New York Shelter
Rather than spending the rest of her short life being transferred back and forth between gestation and farrowing crates only to lose any piglets she gives birth to, Julia now has sunshine and fresh air and safety. Rather than being slaughtered at just six months of age, the little piglets will grow up in a world of freedom and kindness.
Oh, and Farm Sanctuary’s have a new word to describe Julia, by the way: “angelic.”
You can see more photos of this adorable new family here.
Liberation BC is proud to support Farm Sanctuary by participating in the annual Walk for Farm Animals. Won’t you join us?
I have visited Farm Sanctuary’s New York shelter in Watkins Glen four times over the past ten years, and each time the experience has reconnected me with my purpose in working for animal rights and given me hope for the future. I grew up on a factory pig farm in Pitt Meadows, BC. The memories of working on the farm through my teen years are difficult and sad. Being able to connect with animals–and pigs in particular–who are self-determining, playful and clearly enjoying life in such a wonderful setting is such a solace and a continuing revelation. It reminds me of the small and large victories we are making in the animal rights movement. Moreover, each happy animal at Farm Sanctuary represents a victory for that individual.
A happy rescued turkey showing off his beautiful plumage.
When I arrived at Farm Sanctuary this summer in late June there were three deer grazing unconcernedly on the lawn near the “Human Barn.” Their graceful presence was a joyful greeting and welcome to this magical place. I stayed overnight in the lovely cabins and went on the guided tour for guests the next morning. The tour introduced us to many of the residents including some of the cows, turkeys, rabbits, chickens and goats. My favorite visit, of course, is with the pigs. I love hunkering down with them in the hay and scratching bellies and behind ears. It is so amazing to hear the contented grunts and vocalizations clearly saying they feel safe and happy.
Making a new friend.
We met some of the pigs who had been rescued from the floods in Iowa in 2008. (Learn more here.) According to our guide, the sows we met had been shot at by scared humans as both the people and the pigs tried to survive the disaster on a limited area of high ground. But at Farm Sanctuary the terrible past–all the trauma of the factory farm, the harrowing flood and attacks by humans–is forgotten as the sows roam contentedly in their pasture and go down to their pond to bathe and wallow. They greet visitors and volunteers with curiosity and good cheer, and they are the best ambassadors for the millions of animals on farms around the world.
Meeting a friendly young cow.
The animals at Farm Sanctuary inspire me with their survival, their resilience in the face of cruelty, their forgiveness and how they thrive. I join the Walk for Farm Animals every year and raise money for Farm Sanctuary in honour of these animals. It also reminds me of the millions and millions of farm animals who don’t find sanctuary and why we need to keep raising our voices for those who can’t speak.
Liberation BC is proud to support Farm Sanctuary by participating in the annual Walk for Farm Animals. Won’t you join us?
The more I learn about the industries that exploit animals to be used for food, the more I realize that there is simply no concern for the animals or even for the humans who consume the meat of those animals.
Erik Marcus linked me to an article Martha Rosenberg has just written about the drug ractopamine, which is used in pigs and cattle as they near slaughter to increase weight gain. Ractopamine was originally developed as an asthma medication, and there is no period of time when the animals are taken off of the drug before slaughter.
While researchers and scientists investigate the cause of our diabetes, obesity, asthma and ADHD epidemics, they should ask why the FDA approved a livestock drug banned in 160 nations and responsible for hyperactivity, muscle breakdown and 10 percent mortality in pigs, according to angry farmers who phoned the manufacturer.
The beta agonist ractopamine, a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis, was recruited for livestock use when researchers found the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular says Beef magazine.
But unlike the growth promoting antibiotics and hormones used in livestock which are withdrawn as the animal nears slaughter, ractopamine is started as the animal nears slaughter. (Source)
And this isn’t just a mild antibiotic. In fact, people are warned to wear gloves and masks if they might come in contact with it:
How does a drug marked, “Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask” become “safe” in human food? With no washout period? (Source)
Roctopamine is known to cause increased stress in animals and increases the likelihood that animals will arrive as downers at the slaughterhouse. But, even if the death rate increases, the weight gains from the use of ractopamine are great enough that it’s a net benefit to the farmer.
But at a cost of increased suffering for all of the animals, not to mention increased human health risk. Since the drug is given to animals up to the point of being shipped off to slaughter, who knows how much ends up getting washed into groundwater or how much remains in the meat when it is sold?
What’s striking to me is that China and Taiwan have banned the use of ractopamine because of its health risks. They won’t even allow meat into the country that contains traces of the drug. in 2007 a shipment of pig meat from a slaughterhouse in Canada was found to contain ractopamine, and they banned all imports of meat from that slaughterhouse. When China and Taiwan, both countries that have slightly questionable records when it comes to human safety, prohibit the use of a drug because of its health risks, there must be something to it.
And how can you know if the meat you eat has ractopamine in it? Any conventionally raised pigs or cattle may be fed ractopamine. There is no requirement that the farm disclose the use of this drug. It certainly doesn’t make it onto any packaging. How then can anyone make an informed decisions about what (or who) they are eating?
Quite frankly, no matter how carefully we watch the animal exploitation industries (meat, eggs, and dairy included) they are focused on maximizing profit. And the interests of animals and consumers alike are just obstacles to overcome in pursuit of that profit.