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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:10 am 
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Been a lurker for a while, but wanted to share a new site I've launched to help spread cruelty-free, eco-friendly recipes to the masses :) A lot of people think "vegan" and "eco" mean "bland" and "expensive," but this couldn't be farther from the truth. So I've put together a bunch of easy, inexpensive, and delicious recipes, with step-by-step video guides to show how easy it is to vote for a better world with our forks and frying pans :) Let me know what you think!

http://www.happivore.com

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:30 am 
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Well, that certainly is a lot of work... but being vegan is quite difficult since humans evolved to be omnivores and require some foodstuffs and vitamins not available from pure vegan diets. Really, all that matters is that a diet should be considered in terms of its consequences for the consumer and his or her world. To use milk, eggs, honey that are produced in excess to the animals' needs, and meat from responsibly reared and painlessly killed animals is quite OK, in my view; as well, something often not considered by vegans or animal rights people is that agriculture without the input from animals requires enormous investment of energy, both in terms of fertilizers and in power to harvest; in many countires, these are provided by animals. And many areas of the world are not suitable for crops but will be good for raising livestock. So I am not changing my very moderate meat intake, or stopping having dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, butter, and milk; and will continue to eat eggs, nature's wonder food; and happy to eat essentially vegetarian most days. And BTW, are those chocolate chips on your cookies from non-child labour cocao? Life is never simple.... but good luck with your recipes!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:00 am 
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Cobie wrote:
Well, that certainly is a lot of work... but being vegan is quite difficult since humans evolved to be omnivores and require some foodstuffs and vitamins not available from pure vegan diets.

Humans evolved to survive. The "hunt" probably added to our brain development at one time. I believe the only thing lacking from a vegan diet is B12. So eat an ethically raised chicken's egg once a week, et voila! Not so difficult after all. Not vegan and not difficult.

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Really, all that matters is that a diet should be considered in terms of its consequences for the consumer and his or her world. To use milk, eggs, honey that are produced in excess to the animals' needs, and meat from responsibly reared and painlessly killed animals is quite OK, in my view;


In mine too. You sound like me. Which is why many of us are refusing to consume the meat and dairy we find in our typical grocery stores nowadays. It's difficult to actually find milk, eggs, and meat that are produced in excess of the animals needs. Most animals that are reared for the super market are found there and have not been put there sanely and rationally and humanely. Most of them have been considered as a commodity or object ... fit for consumption. So why bother at all?

We don't need it. Most of what's available is "conjured" or "fabricated'. In other words, the entire industry is fabricated. They have done an excellent job of convincing people that protein must be found in animals when, in fact, it is everywhere. And to be honest, there is no excess for us to consume. Who is using milk and eggs that are in excess of the animals ability to produce? Nobody. In order to make money, we are congregating animals into confinement situations in order to mass produce .... and we are trying to convince people that they need these mass produced "product", which isn't true, is it?

In some circumstances it is true, but generally it isn't. As well, something often not considered by vegans or animal rights people is that agriculture without the input from animals requires enormous investment of energy, both in terms of fertilizers and in power to harvest; in many countries, these are provided by animals. And many areas of the world are not suitable for crops but will be good for raising livestock.

Okay. But do you consider yourself part of that population? If this is so, do we need to confine sows for 3 years ..;. so that they cannot move or turn around for 3 years? Isn't this torture?

So I am not changing my very moderate meat intake, or stopping having dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, butter, and milk; and will continue to eat eggs, nature's wonder food; and happy to eat essentially vegetarian most days. And BTW, are those chocolate chips on your cookies from non-child labour cocao?

Life is not simple. But we can be conscience.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:46 pm 
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Hi animal-friendly:

It just takes considering where your food comes from, regardless of your diet. And BTW, sows are not kept in stalls for years, but that is neither here nor there here, if you buy your pork from responsible farmers. Although sometimes over the top in regulation, some countires in Europe are far ahead here; for instance, in my country of birth, the Netherlands, people will pay more for free-range foods, be they eggs, meat or whatever (let's not forget sustainable fisheries). Australia is not as advanced but in its capital city, where I live (and people have relatively high incomes and high education levels) even the big supermarkets sell lots of organic produce, buth vegetable and animal. However, rules are confusing and free range eggs, for instance, are not consistent in how "free range" the chickens are. One must also consider other things, such as infection risks in free range animals - we have had food poisoning cases from free range eggs. But just about all beef and lamb, in this big country, is free range and grass fed, although some "premium" beef is finished in feed lots. Again, not the end of the world if there is room to move and shade for the animals. OTOH in a big country, long distance transport of livestock is also an issue. In the end, though, humans are omnivores, biologically, and agriculture has always been about crops that provide staples and animals that provide extras (meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, etc. etc. - I have a book at home called "Pig (number)"; the pig with that number was slaughtered and the book lists *all* the uses the animal's tissues were put to; meat is only the beginning... very interesting, and if one wants to argue for a veg*a*n world, all these products will need to come from somewhere else. And of course already it is somewhat hypocritical for ARAs to want fake fur and plastic shoes when these are made from non-renewable and polluting resources. Real fur, and leather, are sustainable (and frankly, much nicer to wear too)). I also saw an interesting article just this week about how important for developing brains and children ;

Here is the abstract:

Humans evolved a uniquely large brain among terrestrial mammals. Brain and nervous tissue is rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Docosahexaenoic acid is required for lower and high order functions in humans because of understood and emerging molecular mechanisms. Among brain components that depend on dietary components, DHA is limiting because its synthesis from terrestrial plant food precursors is low but its utilization when consumed in diet is very efficient. Negligible DHA is found in terrestrial plants, but in contrast, DHA is plentiful at the shoreline where it is made by single-celled organisms and plants, and in the seas supports development of very large marine mammal brains. Modern human brains accumulate DHA up to age 18, most aggressively from about half-way through gestation to about two years of age. Studies in modern humans and non-human primates show that modern infants consuming infant formulas that include only DHA precursors have lower DHA levels than for those with a source of preformed DHA. Functional measures show that infants consuming preformed DHA have improved visual and cognitive function. Dietary preformed DHA in the breast milk of modern mothers supports many-fold greater breast milk DHA than is found in the breast milk of vegans, a phenomenon linked to consumption of shore-based foods. Most current evidence suggests that the DHA-rich human brain required an ample and sustained source of dietary DHA to reach its full potential.

and it was published in the Journal of human Evolution by Brenna and Carlson ("Docosahexaenoic acid and human brain development: Evidence that a dietary supply is needed for optimal development").

Food for thought in more than one way especially for those who want to have a vegan pregnancy......


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:55 am 
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Hi animal-friendly:

Hi Cobie.

Quote:
It just takes considering where your food comes from, regardless of your diet. And BTW, sows are not kept in stalls for years, but that is neither here nor there here, if you buy your pork from responsible farmers.

But it is both here and there Coby! For one thing, sows ARE kept in stalls. Both here AND there. Keeping sows in stalls is, in fact, common practice. Considering where our food comes from is not common practice because most people are too over worked to take the time to consider where their food is coming from.

Realistically, what busy mother considers where her food is coming from? She likely shops at the supermarket close to her home. So the real question is, where is the supermarket getting its food/animals? If she is buying pork because she has been taught that the "best' protein comes from animals, and she wants to insure the best nutrition for her children, is she considering where her food is coming from? Is it coming from so called "responsible" farmers? Do supermarkets provide meat ONLY from "responsible" farmers? No. They are getting the best deal available to them in a capitalist system where animal is both commodity and economic unit.

How do we "responsibly" feed an addiction to meat-as-protein propaganda industry without an abuse to the beings they are? How? If we are of the mind that animal protein is best for us, please don't tell me that we can provide all these families with responsibly raised sows without confining them. I just watched a documentary called "The Ghosts in Our Machine" which was made by a Canadian film maker and spoke of 40,000 pigs in one operation, and that was just one example! Sows are confined for up to 3 years .... without being able to stand up or turn around. You may speak of Old McDonald? Do you?

With the human population being what it is and it's conditioned familiarity of meat as protein, I don't think it is possible, especially when the economic system in place has so many depending on these particular jobs.

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Although sometimes over the top in regulation, some countires in Europe are far ahead here; for instance, in my country of birth, the Netherlands, people will pay more for free-range foods, be they eggs, meat or whatever (let's not forget sustainable fisheries). Australia is not as advanced but in its capital city, where I live (and people have relatively high incomes and high education levels) even the big supermarkets sell lots of organic produce, buth vegetable and animal. However, rules are confusing and free range eggs, for instance, are not consistent in how "free range" the chickens are.

Count me in! Except I have access to eggs from farmers in the nearby countryside where I absolutely know where my eggs are coming from ( I am able to see the chickens from which these eggs are produced). If I can't see the chicken, I don't buy the eggs. But of course, this is not possible for many. So clear labeling is an asset and yet, the eating of eggs is not a requirement .... just a convenience which would include an employer.

Quote:
One must also consider other things, such as infection risks in free range animals - we have had food poisoning cases from free range eggs.

Sure, but in the US they have to deal with antibiotics. Canada is close at hand. We have also had food poisoning from agri-business of both plants and animals. Mass production of food has its liabilities too and meat even more so!


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But just about all beef and lamb, in this big country, is free range and grass fed, although some "premium" beef is finished in feed lots.

Really? I'm aware of the same factory farm operations in Europe as in the US and in Australia.

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Again, not the end of the world if there is room to move and shade for the animals.


Sure, but only about 4 or 5% of animals raised for food even need shade as they don't get to see sunlight.

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OTOH in a big country, long distance transport of livestock is also an issue.



Yes, I know, as I happen to live in a big country. When there is a traffic jam, we have the opportunity to run to the transport trucks and give thirsty animals a drink as they are being transported and in dire need. It seems that, because they end up on our dinner plates, their needs are not generally met while in transport (and otherwise).

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In the end, though, humans are omnivores, biologically,


Sure we are! We have a few canines to prove this point. When we run out of plant protein, we do our best to survive and then we go hunting! This is an explanation for the mass production and consumption?

Quote:
and agriculture has always been about crops that provide staples and animals that provide extras (meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, etc. etc. - I have a book at home called "Pig (number)"; the pig with that number was slaughtered and the book lists *all* the uses the animal's tissues were put to; meat is only the beginning... very interesting, and if one wants to argue for a veg*a*n world, all these products will need to come from somewhere else. And of course already it is somewhat hypocritical for ARAs to want fake fur and plastic shoes when these are made from non-renewable and polluting resources. Real fur, and leather, are sustainable (and frankly, much nicer to wear too)). I also saw an interesting article just this week about how important for developing brains and children ;


Yes, yes, yes. I have read similar literature, and it is rational. But agriculture has never meant what it means now ..... In smaller communities, it meant feeding and clothing the members of that community. But now we have an economic system which is so intertwined and complicated .... so much so, that we are sending animals on journeys (Australia) to faraway places that don't even have basic animal welfare considerations. These practices cannot be equated with our formal needs for survival, as much as we justify these practices for current economic needs. Plastics are produced and sold anyway .... not that anyone needs them. I see the freighters in my own harbour and I know they are full of plastic "stuff" which no society needs. It's bogus trade deals which has us "cooperating" for a system which is just ruining the planet anyways.

Quote:
Here is the abstract:

Humans evolved a uniquely large brain among terrestrial mammals. Brain and nervous tissue is rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Docosahexaenoic acid is required for lower and high order functions in humans because of understood and emerging molecular mechanisms. Among brain components that depend on dietary components, DHA is limiting because its synthesis from terrestrial plant food precursors is low but its utilization when consumed in diet is very efficient. Negligible DHA is found in terrestrial plants, but in contrast, DHA is plentiful at the shoreline where it is made by single-celled organisms and plants, and in the seas supports development of very large marine mammal brains. Modern human brains accumulate DHA up to age 18, most aggressively from about half-way through gestation to about two years of age. Studies in modern humans and non-human primates show that modern infants consuming infant formulas that include only DHA precursors have lower DHA levels than for those with a source of preformed DHA. Functional measures show that infants consuming preformed DHA have improved visual and cognitive function. Dietary preformed DHA in the breast milk of modern mothers supports many-fold greater breast milk DHA than is found in the breast milk of vegans, a phenomenon linked to consumption of shore-based foods. Most current evidence suggests that the DHA-rich human brain required an ample and sustained source of dietary DHA to reach its full potential.

For me, proof is in the pudding. My husband is now 66 (!) and has been vegan(except for the odd egg) since he was 21. He is healthier than most 40 year olds I know. He just had a bone analysis done because we were concerned about osteoporosis and the results came back that his bones are more solid and dense than a 40 year old. How is that for someone who hasn't eaten any dairy for 45 years? Almonds? Kale? Chard? Almond 'milk'? There are plenty of individuals who are hale and hearty with either a vegan or vegetarian diet. Animals as the "best" protein is a marketing strategy for an industry which employs people. It's a paradigm that is changing and will evolve as people become more aware of the lack of necessity. "Meatless Mondays" should be substituted with "have a steak on Monday". if you so desire. Sure, we evolved with hunting and meat eating, but we have NEVER, in the history of humankind, treated animals in the way we do now ..... And how we rationalize and justify such treatment is a testimony to how we can rationalize and justify just about anything.


But we have never treated animals in such a way as we do now. Not ever!

Quote:
and it was published in the Journal of human Evolution by Brenna and Carlson ("Docosahexaenoic acid and human brain development: Evidence that a dietary supply is needed for optimal development").

I'm not going to get into this right now. Suffice to say that I know many 60+ vegans who are hale and hearty!
Quote:
Food for thought in more than one way especially for those who want to have a vegan pregnancy......

Vegan pregnancy? That is very specific. Especially when we have an entire industry contributing to an entire economic system which sees animals as commodity. The reality of this could not be more plain and simple to see.


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:36 am 
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I have no intention to go into any kind of slanging match here, or to be aggressive. I point out that we must consider what we eat, and you want me to come up with a system where all meat is "cruelty-free" and where all mums therefore don't have to worry. That was not the issue, so don't shift the goal posts. And please read again, sows are NOT kept in stalls for three years; only for farrowing. And this is unnecessary and something that we can do something about. As for a male living healthily as a vegan for 60+ years, that is just one case and not therefore representative. Furthermore, by you own testimony he grew to adulthood non-vegan, and in all likelihood, his mother was not vegan, either. And he has never had to go through a pregnancy. I am not claiming people cannot be healthy as vegetarians (especially if they use some fish, or eggs and dairy products) or even as vegans - but the latter in particular takes a lot of attention to one's diet and many vegan foods are fortified. You deliberately ignore my claim that human are omnivores and try to make size of canines an issue here. The issue is what our intestines are like, and they are not those of an obligate herbivore; neither are our teeth, canines or otherwise. Humans are very much like that proverbial omnivore, the pig. And nothing you say can alter that biological fact. Or the fact that we cannot grow crops everywhere (which in itself would to other animal suffering), or that plants and animals have a reciprocal relation where animals may eat the plants but in turn will fertilize, spread seeds, and make room by eating competitor plants. Trying to feed the world's population by just plant food is not feasible but good animal husbandry is.


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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 11:44 pm 
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Quote:
"I have no intention to go into any kind of slanging match here, or to be aggressive. I point out that we must consider what we eat ..."


So far, so good.

Quote:
"...and you want me to come up with a system where all meat is "cruelty-free" and where all mums therefore don't have to worry."


Wow. If you could do that, I'd hand you a cape. I mean, really, I'm not expecting you to be a super hero!

Quote:
"That was not the issue, so don't shift the goal posts."


Okay.

"And please read again, sows are NOT kept in stalls for three years; only for farrowing."

Yes, for farrowing. What else are they there for? Their purpose is to reproduce. When are they not farrowing?

At Old McDonald's farm, there are no farrowing crates. Are you speaking of farms where pigs are raised to feed one's family and maybe some of one's community?

Quote:
"And this is unnecessary and something that we can do something about."


Yes. This is what I am saying.


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:16 am 
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Farrowing is giving birth and then feeding the piglets where crates are used to prevent the sow crushing the piglets. And if you think the only alternative is Old MacDonald's, you are incorrect. Free range piggeries rely on small "huts" where sows can have and hide their piglets (in the wild, sows will use hollows to make a nest). Even if kept indoors, providing larger space and nesting materials and keeping sows in groups is an alternative. However, the latter too has welfare issues. From Karlen et al, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 105, 2007, "The welfare of gestating sows in conventional stalls and large groups on deep litter"
Abstract:
Confinement of breeding sows and gilts is a controversial welfare issue in livestock production and there is worldwide interest in finding alternative housing systems for gestating pigs. This study measured aspects of the welfare of gestating sows housed in either large groups on deep litter (Hoops) or conventional stalls (Stalls). Six hundred and forty sows were studied, with 40 recently mated sows weekly entering each treatment over an 8-week period; groups of 85 were formed using 40 experimental and 45 non-experimental animals. Sows in Hoops had a higher (P < 0.001) number of scratches, a higher (P < 0.01) return rate to oestrus after mating (13.20% versus 7.35%) and there was a trend (P = 0.06) for higher salivary cortisol concentrations in week 1 of gestation (6.29 nM versus 4.03 nM). Sows in Stalls had a higher incidence of lameness at weeks 9 and 15 of gestation (13.8% versus 0.8% at week 15) (P < 0.01). There were changes in some leucocyte sub-populations in the Stalls treatment late in gestation: the percentage of neutrophils was higher (46% versus 41% of WBC), the number and percentage of lymphocytes was lower (4.59 x 106 c/mL versus 5.16 x 106 c/mL and 41.6% versus 46.5% of WBC) and consequently there was a higher neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio (1.22 versus 0.94) (P < 0.05). There was a trend (P = 0.06) for a lower reproductive failure in the Stalls treatment (14.5% versus 27.3%); farrowing rate was higher (76.8% versus 66%), and while sows in Stalls weaned fewer piglets per litter (8.31 versus 8.97), the average weaning weight of these piglets was higher (8.69 kg versus 8.01 kg) (P < 0.01). The combination of these reproductive parameters resulted in sows in the Stall treatment weaning the equivalent of 39 more piglets per 100 mated sows. The results suggest that sows in large groups on deep litter faced greater welfare challenges in the early stages of gestation based on the findings of increased scratches, a higher rate of return to oestrous and a trend for higher cortisol concentrations early in gestation, all possibly a consequence of aggression. In contrast sows in stalls faced greater welfare challenges later in gestation based on a higher incidence of lameness and an increased neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio perhaps as a consequence of increased stress. In conclusion, these data suggest that in both housing systems the welfare advantages and disadvantages change overtime.

Food for thought... In addition, people are looking at sustainability and husbandry, see for instance McGlone, in Animals, vol 3, 2013, "The future of pork production in the world: Towards sustainable, welfare-positive systems"

Abstract:
Simple Summary: More pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. Making production systems and practices more sustainable will benefit the animals, the planet and people. A system is presented by which production practices are evaluated using a sustainability matrix. The matrix shows why some practices are more common in some countries and regions and the impediments to more sustainable systems. This method can be used to assess the sustainability of production practices in the future where objective, science-based information is presented alongside ethical and economic information to make the most informed decisions. Finally, this paper points to current pork production practices that are more and less sustainable.
Abstract: Among land animals, more pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. The earth holds about one billion pigs who deliver over 100 mmt of pork to people for consumption. Systems of pork production changed from a forest-based to pasture-based to dirt lots and finally into specially-designed buildings. The world pork industry is variable and complex not just in production methods but in economics and cultural value. A systematic analysis of pork industry sustainability was performed. Sustainable production methods are considered at three levels using three examples in this paper: production system, penning system and for a production practice. A sustainability matrix was provided for each example. In a comparison of indoor vs. outdoor systems, the food safety/zoonoses concerns make current outdoor systems unsustainable. The choice of keeping pregnant sows in group pens or individual crates is complex in that the outcome of a sustainability assessment leads to the conclusion that group penning is more sustainable in the EU and certain USA states, but the individual crate is currently more sustainable in other USA states, Asia and Latin America. A comparison of conventional physical castration with immunological castration shows that the less-common immunological castration method is more sustainable (for a number of reasons). This paper provides a method to assess the sustainability of production systems and practices that take into account the best available science, human perception and culture, animal welfare, the environment, food safety, worker health and safety, and economics (including the cost of production and solving world hunger). This tool can be used in countries and regions where the table values of a sustainability matrix change based on local conditions. The sustainability matrix can be used to assess current systems and predict improved systems of the future.

So rather than simplistically advocating a meat free diet, the global picture of not farming animals (if possible) creates long-term problems in feeding the world, and is likely to increase rather than reduce using non-renewable resources. It is about more than food: If we cannot have wool, leather and fur, what will we wear? Fertilizer and water hungry cotton that will even take even more land away from animals and peoples? Hemp? What will replace all those pig parts that are now used but not eaten (see my earlier message).

There is a middle way, in sustainable agriculture and in educating people about choices. We cannot take away all stress to animals in that; but we can reduce it. Why is n't that good enough for the world and its people?


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:03 am 
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Cobie wrote:
Farrowing is giving birth and then feeding the piglets where crates are used to prevent the sow crushing the piglets.

We know the process. Sows are farrowed in crates so that they don't roll onto their piglets.

But, if given enough space, they would not be rolling onto their young anyway.

Quote:
"And if you think the only alternative is Old MacDonald's, you are incorrect."


No, sorry. The alternatives might resemble Old McDonalds , but only if they were to be found anyway.

Free range piggeries rely on small "huts" where sows can have and hide their piglets (in the wild, sows will use hollows to make a nest). Even if kept indoors, providing larger space and nesting materials and keeping sows in groups is an alternative. However, the latter too has welfare issues. From Karlen et al, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 105, 2007, "The welfare of gestating sows in conventional stalls and large groups on deep litter"

Abstract:

Confinement of breeding sows and gilts is a controversial welfare issue in livestock production and there is worldwide interest in finding alternative housing systems for gestating pigs. This study measured aspects of the welfare of gestating sows housed in either large groups on deep litter (Hoops) or conventional stalls (Stalls). Six hundred and forty sows were studied, with 40 recently mated sows weekly entering each treatment over an 8-week period; groups of 85 were formed using 40 experimental and 45 non-experimental animals. Sows in Hoops had a higher (P < 0.001) number of scratches, a higher (P < 0.01) return rate to oestrus after mating (13.20% versus 7.35%) and there was a trend (P = 0.06) for higher salivary cortisol concentrations in week 1 of gestation (6.29 nM versus 4.03 nM). Sows in Stalls had a higher incidence of lameness at weeks 9 and 15 of gestation (13.8% versus 0.8% at week 15) (P < 0.01). There were changes in some leucocyte sub-populations in the Stalls treatment late in gestation: the percentage of neutrophils was higher (46% versus 41% of WBC), the number and percentage of lymphocytes was lower (4.59 x 106 c/mL versus 5.16 x 106 c/mL and 41.6% versus 46.5% of WBC) and consequently there was a higher neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio (1.22 versus 0.94) (P < 0.05). There was a trend (P = 0.06) for a lower reproductive failure in the Stalls treatment (14.5% versus 27.3%); farrowing rate was higher (76.8% versus 66%), and while sows in Stalls weaned fewer piglets per litter (8.31 versus 8.97), the average weaning weight of these piglets was higher (8.69 kg versus 8.01 kg) (P < 0.01). The combination of these reproductive parameters resulted in sows in the Stall treatment weaning the equivalent of 39 more piglets per 100 mated sows. The results suggest that sows in large groups on deep litter faced greater welfare challenges in the early stages of gestation based on the findings of increased scratches, a higher rate of return to oestrous and a trend for higher cortisol concentrations early in gestation, all possibly a consequence of aggression. In contrast sows in stalls faced greater welfare challenges later in gestation based on a higher incidence of lameness and an increased neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio perhaps as a consequence of increased stress. In conclusion, these data suggest that in both housing systems the welfare advantages and disadvantages change overtime.

Food for thought... In addition, people are looking at sustainability and husbandry, see for instance McGlone, in Animals, vol 3, 2013, "The future of pork production in the world: Towards sustainable, welfare-positive systems"

Abstract:
Simple Summary: More pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. Making production systems and practices more sustainable will benefit the animals, the planet and people. A system is presented by which production practices are evaluated using a sustainability matrix. The matrix shows why some practices are more common in some countries and regions and the impediments to more sustainable systems. This method can be used to assess the sustainability of production practices in the future where objective, science-based information is presented alongside ethical and economic information to make the most informed decisions. Finally, this paper points to current pork production practices that are more and less sustainable.
Abstract: Among land animals, more pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. The earth holds about one billion pigs who deliver over 100 mmt of pork to people for consumption. Systems of pork production changed from a forest-based to pasture-based to dirt lots and finally into specially-designed buildings. The world pork industry is variable and complex not just in production methods but in economics and cultural value. A systematic analysis of pork industry sustainability was performed. Sustainable production methods are considered at three levels using three examples in this paper: production system, penning system and for a production practice. A sustainability matrix was provided for each example. In a comparison of indoor vs. outdoor systems, the food safety/zoonoses concerns make current outdoor systems unsustainable. The choice of keeping pregnant sows in group pens or individual crates is complex in that the outcome of a sustainability assessment leads to the conclusion that group penning is more sustainable in the EU and certain USA states, but the individual crate is currently more sustainable in other USA states, Asia and Latin America. A comparison of conventional physical castration with immunological castration shows that the less-common immunological castration method is more sustainable (for a number of reasons). This paper provides a method to assess the sustainability of production systems and practices that take into account the best available science, human perception and culture, animal welfare, the environment, food safety, worker health and safety, and economics (including the cost of production and solving world hunger). This tool can be used in countries and regions where the table values of a sustainability matrix change based on local conditions. The sustainability matrix can be used to assess current systems and predict improved systems of the future.

So rather than simplistically advocating a meat free diet, the global picture of not farming animals (if possible) creates long-term problems in feeding the world, and is likely to increase rather than reduce using non-renewable resources. It is about more than food: If we cannot have wool, leather and fur, what will we wear? Fertilizer and water hungry cotton that will even take even more land away from animals and peoples? Hemp? What will replace all those pig parts that are now used but not eaten (see my earlier message).

There is a middle way, in sustainable agriculture and in educating people about choices. We cannot take away all stress to animals; but we can reduce stress. Why isn't that good enough for the world and its people? Why be so insistent on a menu?


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:32 am 
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"......prevent the sow crushing the piglets."

Yes, we know. We are saying that this practice is cruel. It is a practice which produces a lot of bacon.


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 6:03 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
"......prevent the sow crushing the piglets."

Yes, we know. We are saying that this practice is cruel. It is a practice which produces a lot of bacon.


Because being crushed to death is not cruel or being bred for food is?

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 8:05 am 
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[quote="Cobie"]Farrowing is giving birth and then feeding the piglets where crates are used to prevent the sow crushing the piglets.

Yes Cobie, farrowing is giving birth and then being immobilized for a month as the sows feed the piglets. Farrowing ensures that the pigs don't roll over onto their piglets because they are all so close together anyway and not something that would be needed if they were not being intensively raised to begin with .... so that people could consider these animals a source of protein that happens to taste good and is featured in many dishes and recipes.

So, after the sows have given birth and farrowed for a month, what do they do? Go out and have a mud bath? The story continues, doesn't it? What happens next for the sows Cobie?

You eat little meat, by your own admission.

Why?


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 8:19 am 
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"Farrowing is giving birth and then feeding the piglets where crates are used to prevent the sow crushing the piglets."

Quote:
We know the process. Sows are farrowed in crates so that they don't roll onto their piglets. But, if given enough space, they would not be rolling onto their young anyway and we wouldn't even be discussing this issue.


There is a middle way, in sustainable agriculture and in educating people about choices. We cannot take away all stress to animals; but we can reduce stress. Why isn't that good enough for the world and its people? Why be so insistent on a menu?

Quote:
Middle way? Really? I like that! So why are you not a proponent of it? If you were, you might agree that the menu is extreme. One needn't be a vegetarian or vegan to see the choices. And in seeing the choices, one must see that the industry is created rather than necessary. Isn't this what we are talking about? Obviously the industry is in favor of employing people to create a largely unnecessary product that is both regulated and legal and profitable. ie: animal as economic unit.


Last edited by animal-friendly on Sun May 18, 2014 8:37 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 8:22 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
"......prevent the sow crushing the piglets."

Yes, we know. We are saying that this practice is cruel. It is a practice which produces a lot of bacon.


Preventing piglets from being crushed is cruel? So allowing piglets to be crushed would not be cruel?

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 8:46 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
"......prevent the sow crushing the piglets."

Yes, we know. We are saying that this practice is cruel. It is a practice which produces a lot of bacon.


Preventing piglets from being crushed is cruel? So allowing piglets to be crushed would not be cruel?


Sows don't crush their young anymore than we do. I guess if we were being intensively raised, we would need to be confined too. Our farmers would not like us to roll onto our young. Who wants to destroy their product?


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