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Ragnar ADK 2018: The Impact

PREFACE: This is the second part of my race report, you can view part one at http://vegancableguy.com/ragnar-adk-2018-the-race/

To say this race was a success wouldn’t be the half of it. This race was amazing not only for the running and camaraderie but for the advocacy. Every race we get the usual “but bacon bro” calls and my team had someone tell us how his team would be “Carnivore Power.” Even though we had some of those comments this one felt different, at least for me. People seemed more open to approaching us and questioned how we were all so fast. They were greeted with kindness from each and every one of us.

I believe wholeheartedly that we represented the movement in the best way we could. There was no militancy or condescension. There was plenty of cordiality, thoughtfulness and informed restraint. That said, there was one defining moment for me and those of you on the team already heard Peter speak about it after the race, but for readers I’m going to explain what happened.

One of the exchanges was at a farm. Not just any farm though, a full-blown working dairy farm; King Brothers Dairy. You can imagine how disheartening it was to roll up on this place and know what was going on. While the workers were happy to walk around and talk about how “kindly” their animals were treated, the fact is that no matter the amount of subterfuge, the cows still don’t want to be forcibly impregnated, have their calves taken away and then be painfully milked for the pleasure of human beings. We all know the cycle continues until they are of no use and then are sent to slaughter. The males have no use from the get go so they get placed in small crates; veal crates.

Peter and I walked over to the side of one of the buildings and noticed a calf was walking around. We both looked at one another kind of perplexed. We wondered if it was maybe some sort of mascot that was allowed to roam, but we quickly figured out it was a crate escapee when we saw the crates just behind him. He was walking around frantically looking toward a spot where some older cows were. Those cows were knee-deep in water and were tied by a rope to a bar; obviously they weren’t allowed to roam either. The calf started walking toward us and got really close to Peter before he turned around, took a couple of steps and let out a heart-wrenching bellow. A chorus of bellows followed coming from the crates as the other babies started crying out for their mothers.

I was overwhelmed with emotion.

My heart was aching.

I have never EVER witnessed anything like this before.

Quickly some farms workers came over and corralled the calf and took him away. I will never forget that moment. I’ve of course seen the videos of this stuff and have been disheartened by them, but to witness it goes beyond that. It was real and it was raw; I will never forget the sound those babies made.

Now onto something a bit more lighthearted…

Our Sunday celebration was once again held at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary.  We shared pizza, stories and tons of love with the animals of the farm. It’s always amazing to me how settled in the animals are. Considering the fact most come from abusive situations or from factory farms or even from the Kaporos ritual, their trust in humanity is still there.

Peter, Gabby and all the volunteers do such a great job caring for these animals. Whether the animal needs rehabbing, veterinary care or just a hug they get everything they need there on the sanctuary. The animals are unconditionally loved and are treated equally and fairly. They live out their lives in an environment that is worthy of their lives.

After such a debilitating experience at the dairy farm, it was nice to decompress and see what vegan activism and advocacy can do. I left the farm feeling good about the weekend but also wondering what can be done to help close places like that dairy farm down. No baby, regardless of species, should be forcibly taken away from their mothers so another species can steal their bodily secretions.

The most logical answer is to go vegan; it’s that simple. There are so many different kinds of milks to drink that do not cause any harm. I prefer soy but others like almond milk. Maybe you like oat milk, or hemp milk. Hell you can have flax milk if you like or even coconut. The fact of the matter is this, you don’t need to drink the bodily fluids of another species when you can drink plenty of other products. For one, you are not a baby cow and that stuff doesn’t belong to you in the first place.

Go vegan!

Please enjoy these photos (below) from the celebration at Tamerlaine and if you can please donate to them by going to their site at https://tamerlainefarm.org/donate/

 

 

Okja; Animal Rights goes CGI

I watched this last night on Netflix and was amazed at how well the message of animal rights, and the film-makers antipathy toward factory farming, was portrayed. The story-line was extremely well written and as a viewer, you felt every emotion along with the main character, Mija.

The film starts with a kick-off party scene of a major corporate company (Mirando Corporation) launching a new “product”. They’ve chosen 26 farmers across the world to raise a new super pig over a span of ten years, the “winner” will be flown back to the US to celebrate the “best pig”. One of the super pigs, Okja, is sent to South Korea to be raised by a farmer and his grand-daughter, Mija.

Okja, a hippo sized pig hybrid, is a kind and compassionate animal; as most are. The viewer is treated to beautiful interactions between Okja and Mija as they climb the mountainside together and even curl up at night to sleep. Bong Joon Ho, the films mastermind, does a phenomenal job creating the relationship not only with the characters, but with the viewer and the characters.

Soon after being introduced to the Okja and Mija, Mirando Corp shows up to claim their “property” as Okja has been chosen as the best pig. What plays out next is a roller coaster of emotion. We are introduced to a small group of ALF (Animal Liberation Front) activists who, astonishingly, are not depicted as eco-terrorists but as rescuers/ guardians for Okja and Mija.

Without ruining a ton more of the film, there is one scene I’d love to point out and that’s where Okja has to be saved from a farm. We know about the 26 super pigs that were sent out across the globe but what we weren’t told is that others were also being raised to be part of the food system. Okja had been brought to a gigantic processing plant and you can hear the screams and cries of other super pigs as Mija and the ALF crew try to find Okja and save her.

The CGI and cinematography are top rate. Okja is a masterpiece, truly. The imagery is beautiful, whimsical and as visually appealing as you can get. The production is absolutely amazing and the locations for filming were absolutely stunning.

You will cry, this movie is sad. That is no reason to not watch it though, it’s necessary and I think, better yet hope, that you will view it with friends. Is it kid friendly? Minus some language it is completely kid friendly, I’d let my boys watch it and they are 9 and 13 years old.

Check out the trailer below or just fire up your Netflix account and watch this tonight!

 

Meme Monday 10.17.2016

same-slaughterhouseSometimes a meme can be amusing, other times they can be outright frustrating, This weeks meme falls under the latter end of the spectrum; it’s about “humane meat” and is frustrating as all hell that some people believe it is a real thing.

Even for the least sensible human being, those two words put together should not make any sense. Somewhere along the line, they’ve been told the lie that “humane meat” is compassionate and the animals are taken care of better than those at industrialized factory farms. They will argue with you until they, or you, is blue in the face with frustration. In the end, they just don’t get it.

“Humane meat” is still the end result of another sentient beings death, there is no way around. Do they think at all that maybe that cow or that chicken didn’t want to die? Maybe they were hoping for a future of peace and tranquility, just living there days without worrying when the knife would slide across their throat.

Is there anything about death that is humane if one is not suffering, yet instead is happily enjoying their lives?

I’m sure it makes them feel all warm inside knowing that the dead chicken carcass on their plate was given the “good feed” and was given plenty of room to walk around. Or that the cow’s milk they are drinking came from one without antibiotics or other junk the big ag companies feed them. What they don’t want to hear about though is that cow’s milk belonged to its calf, not them. The same calf that was stolen from that cow at its moment of birth. I wonder if they ever heard a mother cry when their baby was taken away. Human, cow or whatever species of mother you put into the equation, they all cry for their babies when they are taken away.

Is it humane to put a mother through that type of misery?

99% of you reading this are already vegan, or are on your way. You probably already know all this. But for the 1% know this, there is nothing humane about meat. Death is death no matter how you define it, and no one want to die before it’s their time.

There is no such thing as humane meat, NO SUCH THING!