Thanks for visiting, but please come on over to http://causematters.com.  My “Gate to Plage” blog was incorporated into a new website in July 2010 and these pages will no longer be updated. The new site has all of the resources you see here, plus a even more connections for farm, food and social media.

Visit this page often for the latest misinformation heralded against agriculture! Anyone with a concern about the viability of the agrifood business needs to be aware of this material; these articles clearly illustrate what happens without educating a public several generations removed from the farm. How can you help get agriculture’s story told to balance this misinformation?

How to Boost Your Personal Brand with Social Media? It comes down to having the intention to really help, inform and be an excellent person to know.

Want to build your personal brand? There are few tools as powerful as social media for quickly building a positive personal brand. Whether you’re focusing on a global audience or a local one, social media can help you get visibility and help you forge connections.

Living Without Meat
I used to eat meat throughout my childhood, but never really enjoyed the taste. Only after a graphic showing of a pig slaughter I witnessed in elementary school did I stop eating pig, and once I was in high-school I became of full-on vegetarian. My main reasoning for this was more that I disliked the taste of meat, but the ethics against killing animals was a reasoning as well.

Healthy Livestock, Sick People
The meat industry says giving animals antibiotics is necessary to keep costs down, but the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections is growing. Year after year, legislation intended to preserve the effectiveness of available antibiotics by limiting their use in livestock is shot down. The latest bills introduced in both houses of Congress have been stalled for close to a year.

10 Signs Vegetarianism Is Catching On
On Thanksgiving, I spent some time taking stock of my life and the world around me and, as we’re supposed to do over the holiday, giving thanks for all the joys — little and big — in my life. One of the larger joys for which I am giving thanks is all of the recent attention that has been lavished on a topic that is near and dear to my heart — the cruelty and environmental harm involved in raising animals for food.

Pressure Rises to Stop Antibiotics in Agriculture
Like Kremer, more and more Americans — many of them living far from barns and pastures — are at risk from the widespread practice of feeding livestock antibiotics. These animals grow faster, but they can also develop drug-resistant infections that are passed on to people. The issue is now gaining attention because of interest from a new White House administration and a flurry of new research tying antibiotic use in animals to drug resistance in people.

Why We Feed Animals Mountains of Anitbiotics
Big stories sometimes get buried between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  That’s when the Associated Press’s Martha Mendoza, and Margie Mason reported on the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock in this country.

Running on Empty
“WARNING: This hamburger may be hazardous to your health.  Why the American food system is bad for our bodies, the economy, and our environment…..”.  This chilling statement from the August 31 cover of TIME magazine is flashing through my brain as I head home from the college, contemplating my next article for the Health Journal.

Still No Free Lunch: Nutrient Levels in U.S. Food Supply Eroded by Pursuit of High Yields
The Organic Center’s second “State of Science Review” came out in early 2005 and focused on antioxidant levels in organic and conventional foods. We found that, on average, organic food contained 30 percent higher levels of antioxidants based on then-published studies.

American Humane’s CEO Predicts Continued Intensive Animal Agriculture, But With Significant Humane Improvements
Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, today predicted that intensive animal agriculture processes will necessarily continue and even increase in the future to meet continuing worldwide needs for food, but that food producers also will adopt significantly more humane methods for ensuring animal welfare and well-being in response to rapidly escalating retailer and consumer demand for such care.

4-H: Cruel to Animals and Kids
Like most little girls, my stepdaughter loves animals. She joined a local 4-H club when she was 9, solely because “cows are cool.” Now that the fall 4-H animal auctions are upon us, I can’t help but remember Bonnie’s first “assignment” a beautiful cow named Dana with long lashes and ears as soft as velvet. We all grew to love Dana, but none more so than Bonnie, who spent hours grooming her and walking her on a lead.

7 Diseases That Big, Juicy Steak Could Give You
More and more people are passing on meat for a wide variety of reasons. For starters, it reduces your impact on the planet. Some simply can’t bare the despicable factory farming industry in this country. And the third weighing issue on the minds of the more than 2.8 percent of the U.S. population that considers themselves vegetarian, are health issues. And studies show that there are plenty of them.

Dr. Samuel Epstein’s 20 Year Fight Against Biotech, Cancer-Causing Milk
Twenty years ago, back when Frank Young, M.D. was Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he received a report from Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. entitled “Potential Public Health Hazards of Biosynthetic Milk Hormones,” warning of the public health dangers of consuming milk from hormone-treated cows. Injection of cows with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), the genetically engineered, potent variant of the natural growth hormone produced by cows, sharply elevates levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in milk, Dr. Epstein warned the commissioner.

What’s So Scary About Michael Pollan? Why Corporate Agriculture Tried to Censor His University Speech
Even if agribusiness could shut Michael Pollan up, the outspoken author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and a journalism professor at University of California, Berkeley, it still has the Los Angeles Times to contend with. Last week, the Times blasted California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo for downgrading a scheduled Pollan lecture because it received pressure from David E. Wood, a university donor who happens to be chairman of the Harris Ranch Beef Co.

Making Hay: If I Hear That One More Time, I’ll Scream
The goal of the interview was more on the “to entertain” side, which led me and some viewers wanting more … umph. Animal activists often get deluged with all sorts of questions from people who feel threatened by our message – or our cruelty-free lunch. So today, we’re going to talk about how to handle a few of the more common questions or objections constructively.

Big Pork at the Government Trough-Again
The public has soured on bailouts for industries that have made the wrong decisions for years. With the billions it doled out to the financial services and auto industries, the federal government has finally imposed some requirements, modest though they may be, on the companies that received vast sums of taxpayers’ funds. The public no longer wants the combination of financial bailouts and government deregulation. The industries must observe some standards and have some accountability, so that mistakes are not repeated again and again, and taxpayers can feel like the industries are not getting a complete free ride.

The Food Issue: Why Jonathan Safran Foer Chose to Give Up Meat
When I was young, I would often spend the weekend at my grandmother’s house. On my way in, Friday night, she would lift me from the ground in one of her fire-smothering hugs. And on the way out, Sunday afternoon, I was again taken into the air. It wasn’t until years later that I realized she was weighing me.

Undercover Investigation Reveals Cows Suffer for Land O’Lakes
A new PETA undercover investigation inside a Land O’Lakes supplier facility in Pennsylvania has revealed routine neglect and cruelty to cows who are milked for the Fortune 250 company’s products. Over the course of several months, the investigation documented deplorable, filthy conditions for cows on the farm, such as pens that were filled with deep excrement (see video and photos), and cows who suffered from ailments and conditions so severe that they collapsed and became “downers” but were not put out of their misery or given veterinary care in a timely manner, if at all.

Mysterious Group “In Defense of Farmers” to take on Michael Pollan in Madison
I want to flag a very weird little piece in Feedstuffs, a weekly Big Ag trade mag, that caught my eye this weekend: “Farmers unite in response to Pollan appearance at University of Wisconsin this week.”

The Ten Reasons they Hate you So
In the coffee shops of mid America, the aisles of farm shows and the pages of ag websites, you hear, repeated often, an honest confusion: How have otherwise apparently intelligent city people come to believe that the world would have more food, not less, if we only farmed the way my great-grandfather did; or that the coyote would lie down with the lamb if only permitted their natural, free-range paradise; or that livestock are somehow magically healthier without benefit of medicine?

Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells
All it took was an early thaw for the drinking water here to become unsafe. There are 41,000 dairy cows in Brown County, which includes Morrison, and they produce more than 260 million gallons of manure each year, much of which is spread on nearby grain fields. Other farmers receive fees to cover their land with slaughterhouse waste and treated sewage.

Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food
Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon — circa 2009.

PETA’s Bloody ‘Unhappy Meals’ Making Parents Angry
“Unhappy Meals” featuring a knife-wielding Ronald McDonald and bloody rubber chickens are upsetting parents who say the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are unfairly targeting their kids at McDonald’s restaurants across the country.

Hog Heaven?
The horrible fates of factory-farmed pigs are relatively well-known: They live crammed in drab confinement. Their tails are docked, they’re castrated to reduce aggression, and they’re stuffed with growth promoters and antibiotic-laden feed. In the minds of most, the humane alternative is the free-range cultivation of pigs, an arrangement that affords access to open space and the chance to behave like pigs. As a system of swine management, however, free-range—even though it mercifully allows ample pig mobility—is in many ways far from the ideal that most people imagine it to be.

Farm Animals, On the Plate and in the Lab, and Human Hypocrisy
A bullish group of agricultural scientists says that farm animals have been vastly underrated as a resource for improving human health — and they’re vying for some of the billions of dollars the government invests in biomedical research.

Fix the Food Chain
A Friends of the Earth video discussing factory farms providing meat and dairy for schools and senior citizens.

Cutting Back Means Cutting Animal Consumption
At The HSUS, we are engaging in a range of cost-cutting management actions to cope with the downturn in the economy, but we are doing our best not to cut any essential animal protection programs. Especially in tough economic times, the determined actions of The HSUS and other animal protection groups are needed more than ever for animals in crisis.

Meat: The Slavery of Our Time
I have a prediction: Sooner than you might think, this will be a vegetarian world. Future generations will find the idea of eating meat both morally absurd and logistically impossible. Of course, one need only look at the booming meat industry, the climbing rates of meat consumption in the developing world, and the menu of just about any restaurant to call me crazy. But already, most people know that eating red meat is bad for their health and harmful for the planet.

Interview with PETA Official Bruce Friedrich
Before becoming involved with PETA in 1996, Bruce Friedrich spent over six years running a shelter for the homeless as well as Washington D.C.’s largest soup kitchen. Once in PETA, Bruce spearheaded some of the most successful campaigns against fast-food restaurants engaging in animal cruelty. In 2003, Detail magazine rated Bruce Friedrich as one of the “50 Most Influential People under 38.” Bruce Friedrich is now on the governing board of the Catholic Vegetarian Society and was a founding member of the Society of Religious and Ethical Vegetarians. Some of his more radical acts of protest include streaking in front of Buckingham Palace shortly before the arrival of then-President George W. Bush and attacking an F-15 fighter plane with “a ball-peen hammer.”

With CAFOs, Farms Have Many Animals — Even More Waste
Most of them, if not all, smell and smell bad. Some pollute Michigan’s air and water and increase human health risks. One of their main byproducts is, to put it politely, excrement — and lots of it. And for better or worse, they might be a big part of Michigan’s farming future.

Author Michael Pollan on “Food Inc.” and How to Eat Well
The last few years have been interesting times for food and eating habits, as “slow food,” locavores and farmer’s markets have entered mainstream conversations about how we eat. This spring saw Michelle Obama planting the first garden on White House grounds since the era of President Roosevelt. One of the Pied Pipers leading the movement to eat more fresh, local fruits, vegetables and meats has been author Michael Pollan. In books such as In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan explains why junk food really is junky and why it’s so important not to eat food that has ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. Now Pollan appears in the new documentary Food Inc., a disturbing look at giant food companies in the United States, with a focus on the beef industry.

Agriculture Is One of the Most Polluting and Dangerous Industries
Taxpayers are demanding that government enforce existing regulations and create more stringent rules to limit the excess and greed in banking, insurance, housing, and on Wall Street. But, in the rush to regulate, we can’t forget to oversee industrial agriculture. It is one of our most polluting and dangerous industries. Like the financial sectors, its practices have not been well regulated for the last thirty years. Let me run down a few of the major problems that have developed because of our poorly regulated U.S. agriculture.

Vegetarianism: Don’t have a Cow, Man
The whole point of putting food into our bodies is to supply fuel for living.  So it really makes sense that the etymology of the word “vegetarian” originates with the Latin word “vegetus” which directly translates to “lively.”

Don’t support factory farm-raised animals
I read with interest the article in Tuesday’s edition about pork. The first line stated “Just say yes to pork.” Now of all times people should be saying a big NO to pork raised in factory farms.

CBS Bows to Beef Industry and Animal Ag in Lieu of Objectivity
Most weekends, I watch CBS’s Sunday Morning; it’s a relaxing tradition I inherited from my dad. When I tuned in this morning, I was excited to see that the top story was going to be about firefighter Rip Esselstyn and the plant-based Engine 2 Diet (and Rip’s book of the same name)–and I was hoping that my bacon-loving father with family history of serious heart disease was watching too.

Studying human and animal ethics
The relationship of family and pets as well as animals and veterinarians is changing quickly, says Paul Waldau at Wilson College.

Consumer perception part of dairy’s cow methane battle
As stakeholders across the dairy supply chain look to put cows’ backsides at the forefront of efforts to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, researchers suggest consumer acceptance will be a major factor in any successful solution.

Eat Humanely
Each year in the U.S., nearly ten billion land animals are killed for food. Most of them are not raised on Old MacDonald’s farm. They are crowded in massive facilities known as factory farms. But just like dogs and cats, chickens, pigs, turkeys, and cows have their own personalities and the ability to feel joy and pain.

EPA Report Urges End to Animal Testing
Finally
. After PETA has spent the past 10 years hammering away at the Environmental Protection Agency over its absurdly archaic, repetitive, and wasteful—not to mention cruel—chemical-toxicity tests on animals, the agency has at last released a strategic plan for improving toxicity testing that basically says, “Yeah, what PETA said.”

Daily Red Meat Raises Chances Of Dying Early
Eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely, according to the first large study to examine whether regularly eating beef or pork increases mortality.

Paylean: Drug in Conventionally Raised Meat Linked to Cancer and Heart Disease
Up until recently, U.S. pork producers were worried about tightening profit margins across their industry. Now many of them are smiling, and it’s all because of Paylean, a drug that is netting them more cash for each hog they sell.

One-Sided Views on Animals in Food Production
Segments of a farm visit by an Animal Welfare Approved auditor were featured in a news piece  on Channel 11, WPIX in New York City.

Twist Says She Knows Why Cows Produce Methane
One of the relatively new television channels on cable TV is Planet Green, which, as you might guess, is devoted to programming for the environmentally concerned viewer. Last June, Planet Green launched a show called “Supper with Tom Bergeron,” which features a group of celebrities and semi-celebrities having supper and conversation with the show’s host. Bergeron is better known as the host of “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

RFK Jr.: Hog Farmers Worse Than Bin Laden
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Wednesday said he thinks hog farmers are a greater threat to Americans than Osama bin Laden.   Mr. Kennedy, son of the slain Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is an environmental law attorney who was testifying before a House Judiciary subcommittee when Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, asked him whether a quotation attributed to him in 2002 about hog farmers representing a greater threat than the leader of al Qaeda was accurate.

Beef May Be What America’s Having for Dinner, But Not at My House
As I strive for my goal to stay 100% raw, I continually read about the trials and tribulations of consuming animal products. I say trials because as it stands, scientists are finding more and more evidence to support the fact that animal products are responsible for substantially more health problems and diseases than the ones we know of like heart disease, high cholesterol, gall bladder and kidney disease. Of course, I read this stuff in order to freak myself out enough that I can make it another day without an In n’ Out urge but sometimes the information I find is so important that it needs to be shared in a major way.

Reformed Food Mascot”
Last time we saw pictures of Hormel employees with piglets, they weren’t cuddling and making cooing noises at them. It was at a farm in Bayard, Iowa, and the employees were doing things so horrific criminal charges were filed. But looking through the Hormel Corporate Responsbility Report, seeing photos like this one, it seems things have changed. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a new line of Hormel greeting cards celebrating the special bond between Hormel employees and their piglets. But hold on.

PETA Urges Obama to Create New Agency to Direct Food Policy
Citing recent reports that indicate the need for serious reform of government food policy, PETA is calling on the leaders of President-elect Barack Obama�s transition team to create a National Food Policy Council that would function in a capacity similar to the National Economic Council, but focus on food.

As More Eat Meat, A Bid to Cut Emmissions
STERKSEL, the Netherlands – The cows and pigs dotting these flat green plains in the southern Netherlands create a bucolic landscape. But looked at through the lens of greenhouse gas accounting, they are living smokestacks, spewing methane emissions into the air.

Peta Investing in Food Business
When the economy goes into a tailspin, there are plenty of ripple effects. Here’s just one: PETA, one of the nation’s leading animal right’s groups, is busy buying up more stock in family restaurant chains and some of the country’s leading poultry and pork producers.

Animal Rights Contributions Increase
In 2008, there appeared to be an increase in well-funded animal rights activities directed at animal agriculture. Based on our research, the Animal Agriculture Alliance understands why. In 2007, the latest reporting period available for review, charitable donations to animal rights groups rose 11% providing activist groups with more funds to develop wide ranging activities such as California’s Proposition 2, undercover video operations, legislative initiatives and legal actions. Donations to the extremist People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its subsidiaries increased 11%.

PETA Attempts To Make Fish More Adorable
“Sea kittens” is the new term being used by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for the creatures they believe are in dire need of an image makeover: fish.

“PETA thought that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens,” PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne says.

Farm Sanctuary & HSUS Celebrate Californian Victory
According to farm groups and influential members of the news media, it’s likely that Farm Sanctuary and HSUS will employ momentum from the passing of Proposition 2 in California to carry the measure to other states that have ballot initiatives and directly to state assemblies in those states that do not.  Read more from Farm Sanctuary

HSUS Pacelle with Larry King Discussion on Proposition 2

Obama Tells TIME Magazine Farmers to Blame for Health Problems in America
“Obama – citing an article by Michael Pollan, an author and outspoken critic of U.S. farm policy – told Time magazine that agriculture is ‘partly responsible for the explosion in our health care costs because they’re contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in health care costs.’”
(Philip Brasher, “Obama links health issues to farming, then backs off,” Des Moines Register, 10/31/08)

New York Times Magazine, The Food Issue
The 100-page New York Times Sunday Magazine focused their entire October 12, 2008, edition on food and agriculture issues. Titled “The Food Issue” the magazine features numerous stories including one by Michael Pollan entitled “Farmer In Chief.” (link to http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html?_r=1&ei=5070&emc=eta1&oref=slogin The article asks “What the next president can and should do to remake the way we grow and eat our food. Other articles include Food Fighters, A Catfish by any other name, Flipping The Bird, Why Take Food Seriously, Where’s the Beef?, Milk Cartoon, A Green Revolution for Africa, Dangerous Fruit, and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Oprah to Spin Food & Factory Farms
Lisa Ling gets a rare look inside some of America’s farms to answer the question, “Where does our food come from?” for Oprah, aired October 14, 2008. The episode, including Wayne Pacelle of HSUS, reports on the welfare of animals raised in and out of factory farms. The teaser at the Oprah web site states: Have you ever wondered what “cage-free” or “range-free” really means? It’s also designed to build support for California’s Proposition 2, which would significantly restrict animal agriculture.

Get Active on World Farm Animals Day
With the number of land animals raised and slaughtered for food worldwide every year now exceeding 50 billion (and still growing), there´s never been a more critical time to speak out for the voiceless. Animal activists around the globe work tirelessly to raise awareness, of course, but events may reach a peak on or around October 2 – World Farm Animals Day.

Meat: Making Global Warming Worse
Need another reason to feel guilty about feeding your children that Happy Meal – aside from the fat, the calories and that voice in your head asking why you can’t be bothered to actually cook a well-balanced meal now and then? Rajendra Pachauri would like to offer you one. The head of the U.N.’s Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Pachauri on Monday urged people around the world to cut back on meat in order to combat climate change.

PETA Again Equalizes Human and Animal Life
PETA’s failed in their attempt to run an ad in a Canadian newspaper comparing animal agriculture to the stabbing and decapitation bus murder. Their ad was rejected, but they’ve received millions in free advertising with the firestorm following the leaked rejection of the ad.

Grocery Manufacturers Role in the Food Price War
While Grocery Manufacturers Association was running a public campaign to blame biofuels for rising prices at the grocery store, their members’ profits were soaring. A consumer watchdog group, FoodPriceTruth.org cites the companies own press releases; Kellogg’s second quarter net earnings, $312 million, up 4% from a year ago; Sara Lee, third quarter earnings $242 million, a 61.2% increase over the same quarter last year; Dean Foods, second quarter earnings of $48.9 million a 71.6% increase over a year ago. In the last 12 months, Campbell Soup profits are up 121%…

PETA Challenges West Virginia Beef Queen to Go Vegetarian or Face Smackdown Against Sexy Lettuce Lady in a Tub Full of Tofu
Ft. Ashby, W.V. — This morning, PETA fired off a letter to Megan Webb, the West Virginia Beef Queen, urging her to switch to a vegetarian diet or accept a challenge to wrestle one of PETA’s bikinied Lettuce Ladies in a tub filled with tofu.

Unanimous Decision of New Jersey Supreme Court Results in Precedent-Setting Victory for Farm Animals
TRENTON, NJ-July 30, 2008- In a unanimous landmark decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court today struck down the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s (NJDA) regulations exempting all routine husbandry practices as “humane” and ordered the agency to readdress many of the state-mandated standards for the treatment of farm animals.

Will Food Animals’ Cruel Living Conditions Move Voters?
History and literature are filled with stories of country boys who move to the city to make their mark on the world. Gene Bauer did the opposite…

Bloody PETA KFC Chicken Ad Escapes Ban
by Nikki Sandison Brand Republic 18-Jun-08, 08:35
LONDON – The circular ad for PETA showed a caricature of Colonel Sanders a holding a chicken by the legs in one hand and a kitchen knife pointing directly at it in the other, has escaped a ban by the ad watchdog.

UK Poultry Industry Unimpressed By Chef’s Tactics
British celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has returned to UK television and states that his campaign to convert consumers to buy free-range and organic chicken was doing well.

Do Plants Have Feelings?
Beware – we may soon have to worry about plants “senses.”

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act; Ethical and Sound Science
Capitol Weekly – Sacramento,CA,USA
You do not need to be an animal biologist to know that pigs, chickens and cattle all can experience pain and fear as dogs and cats. …

Ethanol Disinformation Campaign Uncovered
Is the bad rap surrounding the ethanol business of late accurate? New information shows that recent reports funded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) present an inaccurate picture of the ethanol industry and its effects on food and fuel prices.

CO Banning Gestation Stalls
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter has signed off on the legislation that phases out veal crates within four years and gestation-sow crates within 10 years.

Will ‘animal rights’ become the next great social justice movement?
Lawful (press release) – Wellington,New Zealand
Increasing concern for animal welfare and consumer demand for organic and free range products- backed up with stricter food labeling requirements-is likely …

Veggie Pride!
New York City’s anti-meat crowd had a big day May 18. The nation’s first “Veggie Pride Parade,” held in Manhattan on Sunday, was a much-anticipated event…

Consumers’ Strange Views of Farmers’ Role
A recently released survey by The Center for Food Integrity shows an alarming number of U.S. consumers are oddly unaware of the role farmers play in providing food to the world. The findings may bolster those claiming agriculture must do a better job of getting its positive message to the masses.

Dairy Industry Now the Target for Animal Liberation
Dairy farmers are normally passive people, but when Lynda Stoner from Animal Liberation accused dairy farmers of being cruel and of harming the environment she pushed the farming community too far. And local farmers have come out fighting in defence of their industry and the way they treat their animals.

Cabinet Calls for GMO-Free Agriculture
The Swiss government has come out in favour of extending a ban on genetically modified organisms (GMO) in agriculture until 2013.

The Silent Scream of Asparagus
You just knew it was coming: At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the “dignity” of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called “plant rights” is being seriously debated.

Eat Less Beef, Get an Energy Audit, Help Halt Global Warming
ABC News – USA
Cows are fed corn and soy, which are grown using fertilizers made from fossil fuels. The production of cow feed is particularly destructive in South America …

Officials: Don’t Discount Welfare Groups
BloodHorse – Lexington,KY,USA
It is believed the animal welfare groups were behind the language. The HSUS hasn’t been as visible as PETA on the Derby issue, but HSUS president and chief…

CAFO vs. Pasture Blog Discussion
Great example of the necessity of corrective communicating – online.Scientists rip animal protection activists

Scientists Rip Animal Rights Activists
Washington Times – Washington,DC,USA
“We find it galling that these researchers would call us terrorists when they are the ones inducing terror in animals in the name of science,”…

Shearing banned at country show because animal welfare activists
London,UK
Farmers today blasted animal welfare activists who claimed the animals were being hurt by the electric clippers which nip them during the shearing…

Your Kids: PETA’s Pawns Updated and eye opening piece from Consumer Freedom

Downloadable video a Potent new Tool for Animal Rights Advocates
New York Times reports that a new generation of tiny cameras, together with the rise of YouTube and the growing appeal of so-called citizen journalism, has done for animal rights advocates what the best-organized protest could not. The article quotes an author and sociology professor who says most activist organizations have already incorporated “all kinds of Internet content into their strategy.” He says video downloads “can be especially effective if they are picked up by the mainstream media and if they portray something plausible to an audience increasingly sophisticated at dissecting images on the Internet.” The article says it is as if “someone gave Upton Sinclair a video camera and a Web link.” It also notes that USDA has said it will consider putting video cameras into slaughter plants, but that “even images of the best slaughtering practices can be misunderstood.” It quotes a spokeswoman for the American Meat Institute who says the institute is compiling a video showing humane, well-run slaughterhouses. But she acknowledges that the process of slaughtering an animal is likely to be “unsettling” to people not used to it.

It’s Only Natural
In the past two years, the food nuts at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) haven’t hesitated to drag several businesses to court over one word on food or drink packaging: “natural.”

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