Think about the avocados you mash for your Super Bowl guacamole, or the fresh tomatoes you enjoy in the winter. There’s a good chance they came from Mexico.
Our southern neighbor is the United States’ leading supplier of fresh produce, providing 70 percent of the fresh vegetables we import and more than 40 percent of our fresh fruit imports. That trade has boomed since NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — was signed in 1994.
President Trump’s repeated campaign threats to pull out of NAFTA and impose a tax on Mexican imports have caused jitters for Wholesum and other businesses on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Vegan: There’s blood and pus in that cows milk you’re drinking.
Me: There’s probably E. coli on you’re spinach because the unpaid labor that all natural organic farm used didn’t offer the migrant workers a place to shit, but touché.
I’m sorry but y'all gotta stop putting raccoons on pedestals like they’re cute and harmless. They’re fuckin demons and one day one of the city people on here are gonna try to approach one and have their face ripped off. They’re not gentle little forest animals from Snow White. They’re fuckin wild animals who are terrified of humans and will attack at any sign of distress for them.
I'm curious about what procedures you think need to change in the livestock industry?
Practically, or philosophically? There is so much that can be talked about in this field
From a practical standpoint, there are a number of areas where current livestock practices are far from ideal. Farming has a huge history behind it, and many of these practices are ingrained and so difficult to change.
Before I go through the list, I should preface that if you’re not comfortable with the fact that farmed animals die for human benefit, if you just want all farms to stop using animals, then you’re not going to find this list satisfactory. If you’re fundamentally uncomfortable with livestock industries, and you haven’t already questioned why you consume the products it produces or what your alternatives are, then it might be worthwhile.
For now, these industries are not going anywhere. They’re certainly not perfect but we could improve them. Regardless of whether you personally believe all these industries should be ‘just stopped’ you have to agree that will not happen overnight, and that other welfare improvements could happen today.
Pain relief being more widely used. There has historically been an aversion to using pain relief medication in livestock due to expense, drug residues and the lack of products made for and tested in the species. This is beginning to change so there are not more options for pain relief at castration and mulesing , for example, but this needs to be more widely used. Another hurdle to this is that they are prescription products, and in order for a veterinarian to prescribe them they must have been out to that farm within the last year and be familiar with their set up and stock. Not every farm will call out a veterinarian on a regular basis.
Minimize transport time. Transport, whether by road, train, boat or plane, is incredibly stressful for livestock of all kinds. We can measure their physiological stress, so this is definitely not just anthropomorphism. Livestock are more stressed in transport than they are by witnessing death, which is the opposite to what many people would think.
On-farm slaughter and refrigerated transport. Following on from the previous point, we have the technology to transport chilled carcasses. Performing slaughter on farm removes or eliminates a large percentage of the transport an individual animal needs to be exposed to, and will improve their welfare. Animals don’t perceive death the same way we do, having a mini abattoir at the farm entrance isn’t going to bother them.
Using genetics instead of procedures. It astounds me in this modern day that we still have breeders of hereford cattle that breed the horned version, and then de-horn the calves, instead of selecting stock with the polled (no horns) trait. If you want horns then fine, but if you’re going to cut/burn/cauterize them off anyway when why not remove them genetically? The polled gene exists! Similarly there are a small number of merino sheep with a ‘bare breech’ trait, which don’t need mulesing. It would be ideal to spread this trait through the Australian sheep population, but with millions and millions of sheep and a ram only about to impregnate about 60 a month, that will take time.
Enrichment. Toys. Something for animals to play with, to investigate, to do. This has been historically neglected for a long time because originally animals weren’t though to have souls, or to be thinking, feeling entities. We know differently now. Enrichment only improves the lives of these animals, and often reduces unwanted or destructive behavior, like piglets biting off each others tails.
Dam-neonate bonding in certain industries should be reconsidered. In some situations, the dairy industry in particular, neonates may be taken from their mothers within 24 hours to reduce disease transmission in eradication of certain diseases, like Johnes disease, but in other situations it’s because for some mind boggling reason it is more cost efficient for a farm to sell the mother’s milk and feed the neonate on milk replacer.
In a similar vein, giving sows enough space to nurse their litter would be great. They’re kept in sow stalls (basically a cage that they can stand up or lie down in that the piglets can run through) so that they don’t squash their piglets and kill them. That’s great and all, except you can accomplish the same thing by giving the sow more space to turn around it and slopes on the wall of the pen.
So, the important question I hope you’re asking is why don’t we do these things already?
There are lots and lots of reasons someone could grab, but the short (and I dare say more honest) reason is this: Money.
Granting an animal more space costs you money because it reduces the number of animals you can stock in your space. Using more pain relief medication costs you money. Calling out a vet costs you money. Providing enrichment costs you various amounts of money. On-farm slaughter and refrigerated transport is more expensive than the current system.
So if this is all about money, is it the fault of greedy farmers? Well, generally no.
Most farmers actually like the species of animal they work with. And most of them, especially with recent droughts, the current political climate and monopolization of the companies that buy their products, are not making big buckets of cash. More and more farms are selling up and small producers are not keeping up.
They are under constant pressure to lower the prices of their animal products because there’s only a few big buyers, and right now it’s the buyers that dictate what price they’re willing to pay. Because these animal products are perishable, you can’t save them for a rainy day if you don’t sell them, and these buyers are big enough, they can hold out and only pay what they want to pay. This severe downward pressure means farmers get paid progressively less, and these companies make more profits while claiming it’s good for consumers.
^ Look familiar?
So we get cheaper food, the company makes more profit, and the individual farms get screwed.
Especially with milk, there was a huge crisis recently where one of the big milk buyers suddenly declared it had been overpaying dairies, and that not only was it now going to pay them much less for the season (on contract mind you), but that all their dairies now owed them thousands of dollars. After years of downward price pressure on their product many farms could not, and can not, afford this. You can get an overview here.
The point I’m trying to get to is that if these industries are gong to improve, then we need to value the individual animal and its experience of life more than we currently do.
If we value the experiences of the individual animal, and consequently put our money where our mouth is when it comes to their products, then there should be both motivation and financial ability to improve their lives. We could progress from mere ‘prevention of cruelty’ and minimum standards towards animal welfare and good welfare states.
Changing consumer patterns is probably the only way to do this, and it’s quite hard when you’re already paycheck to paycheck, but a in depth rant/discussion about politics/policy/economics etc is beyond my scope, though I would happily add veterinary and industry specific detail to a discussion if someone wants to tackle that side of it.
My mom friend says she won't eat artificial meat because it's heavily processed, filled with artificial stuff which can't be good for you, and usually soy based which she thinks is bad for you. She has said that she will never try to do what I'm doing because her 2 year old son loves meat and sometimes all he'll eat for dinner is chicken or hamburger, and all he used to eat for snacks was sugary processed stuff and now he's finally eating exclusively cheese and lunch meat instead. (1/2)
It’s always fun when non-vegans simultaneously claim vegan food is expensive because it’s for “rich health nuts” but then also claim that it’s unhealthy and unnatural at the same time. You gotta pick one or the other, guys.
Every single vegan I know was raised on meat, dairy, and eggs and enjoyed the taste. That’s no excuse. (I know you know that, but I’m giving you a couple responses you can use, if you want :) )
Children throwing temper tantrums is not a valid reason to let them eat whatever they want, either. Human beings are naturally drawn to foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar, and I think we can all agree what our bodies crave isn’t what’s always healthy for us. Children don’t know better, and we’re supposed to guide them, teach them, and most of all, take responsibility for their health. I really wish my caregivers had been more firm with me and didn’t let me eat crap when I was a kid. I didn’t know any better.
I was curious, so I thought I would grab some screenshots of vegan meats and cheeses that I love, and compared the ingredients to store-bought and fast food meats. Let’s see how they hold up.
Seems pretty natural to me. Lots of spices and vegetables. Wheat gluten, in case anyone doesn’t know, is the part of the wheat kernel that is most filled with protein, and is excellent at creating a meaty, hearty texture.
Maybe not as “natural” as the ingredients above, but Boca is cheap, is pretty damn healthy (3g fiber, 12g protein, 7% of daily recommendations for potassium and 8% for iron, 0g saturated fat, 0g cholesterol), and you can find it in every grocery store.
Now let’s look at some non-vegan products, starting with EASY MAC Cups (which is made by Kraft, who also makes Boca products)
Wow. Not sure what half of those things are. Not to say that that’s bad or good, but you can hardly call that natural, right? Even the Boca patty looks healthier than the mac and cheese.
Animal products, totally not processed or artificial in the least.
Various products from Hormel, as well as from McDonald’s and Burger King. Kind of interesting how the most natural things about these products seem to be the vegetables and spices they add to them. ;)
I could go pull out the various cans of beans, lentils, jams, nut butters, etc. that I own (and were cheap) to keep proving my point. Not only is vegan food healthy, it can be very affordable.
There is a real problem with healthy foods sometimes being more expensive than processed foods, but that’s a problem of capitalism and the government subsidizing crops for animal-feed, as well as certain crops being subsidized for being made into sweetener - not being eaten directly. Farmers who grow vegetables, fruits, and tree nuts don’t receive direct subsidies, and if they did, that would go a long way into making veganism even cheaper than it already is.
fairy forest - filled with mushrooms and jacob ladders and even weeds for a overgrown natural look, scatter ores about the town and use pwps like the stone tablet and the statue fountain
woodland forest - filled with mushroom, lots of flowers, stumps and dead trees. use wooden bridges, and picnic blanket qr’s on the ground and use pwps like water wells and streetlights
dark/forbidden forest - harry potter style, you could have your characters based on mythical creatures centaurs, grawp the giant, or non harry potter themed mythical creatures.
witch/fairy town -
each house belonging to a different sort of witch/fairy and themed to relate to them. lots of ores around town and fairy rings. i found purple and black flowers give off a really nice mythical vibe in burrow.
farm town -
using pwps like the scarecrow and the windmill, more open space, red roofs on your houses with matching red flowers, turnips about town and there’s many qr codes with growing crops on (writing this am like woah i wana make tht)
national park town -
defined paths with bench pwps lining them, garbage can pwps and street lamps. i’d have villagers set off to one side of the town in a village set up, a park area with jungle gym and lots of picnic blanket qr codes laid about.
horror town -
with dead trees, black flowers and wilted flowers, custom design signs with warning signs on
halloween town -
orange and black themed town, villagers like kiki, bella, cherry, pietro and stinky would be great for a town like this.
gothic town -
black and wilted flowers, dead trees. again bella and cherry would be good villagers for this style of town.
winter towns -
christmas town - snowy, red flowers, presents scattered around town, santa’s workshop, elfs house with the attic filled with lots of beds .
frozen over town - white and blue flowers, illuminated pwps, everything icy and white. fountains would look really cute in this town set up with blue flowers.
colour themed town -
eg. pink town with pink flowers, pink villagers, pink houses
all one type of villager town -
eg, all frogs and have a pond themed town. (if you can map edit, make sure you have lots of little ponds!)
pastel town -
pick cutesie villagers with pastel house exteriors, some of the new amiibo villagers will be perfect for this.
seaside/beach town -
houses themed on beach huts, tropical bushes and bright coloured flowers or alternative blue and white nautical theme
holiday resort town -
if you have hacks you can put palm trees on land, also using the island bushes (i have forgotten their names but the big colourful flowery ones) have the houses set out like cute little holiday villas and the villagers all wearing hawaiian shirts.
disney town -
4 different disney princesses with houses that match their stories. e.g. snow white with the 7 dwarfs house and all their little beds.
future town -
ribbot would be great for this.
ancient egyptian town -
with ankha and lucky, using the pyramid pwp.
underwater themed town -
hack the ground to be desert like sand, have lots of shells around. the octopus villagers would word great for this. alternatively a little mermaid themed town with ariel and ursula as characters.
old fashioned town -
based on a certain era e.g. tudors or victorian times.
town based on a movie -
disney movies, harry potter, grease, the addams family, the wizard of oz. there are infinite ideas with this one.
sweets/candy themed town -
there are lots of path qr codes about on tumblr for this idea.
regular town -
set out like an actual town, with road qr codes as the path and traffic signal pwps. have your player houses set out like shops, cafes, museums, cinemas.