Dr. Aysha Akhtar looks at the interlocking animal and human health issues involved in domestic violence, animal-fighting, animal attacks, the wildlife trade, factory farming, climate change, and drug development.
During dinner with our children, we asked them, all enthusiastic carnivores, why they thought it was OK to eat meat. Their varying responses inspired us to frame this discussion in terms of the Passover Haggadah's description of the Four Children.
Around the country, farming states are passing "ag-gag" laws that punish activists who record and share horrific scenes from inside confined feeding operations and slaughterhouses. The reason is clear: when people get a good look at these scenes, they don't like them.
Whether an animal welfare law will be effective often turns on whether it gets adequately funded. Having legislators seek that funding is crucial, especially when there are as many strong competing budget pressures as there are now.
When our food is at risk we are all at risk. Over the last thirty years, we have witnessed a massive consolidation of our food system, leading to the loss of millions of family farmers, the destruction of soil fertility, the pollution of our water, and health epidemics.
So far, 2012 is bringing bad news for people who don't want "free antibiotics" in their food. Antibiotics are routinely given to livestock on factory farms to make them gain weight with less feed and keep them from getting sick in confinement conditions.