farming industry

independent.co.uk
Industrial farming is driving the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth, says leading academic
Industrial agriculture is bringing about the mass extinction of life on Earth, according to a leading academic. Professor Raj Patel said mass deforestation to clear the ground for single crops like palm oil and soy, the creation of vast dead zones in the sea by fertiliser and other chemicals, and the pillaging of fishing grounds to make feed for livestock show giant corporations can not be trusted to produce food for the world.

Asked what people could do “as a consumer” to try to avoid contributing to such problems, Prof Patel said people needed to think on a bigger scale.

“‘As a consumer’ you are only allowing yourself a range of action. ‘As a consumer’ you can buy something that’s local and sustainable, that’s labelled as organic or fair trade,” he said.

“But ‘as a consumer’, you don’t get to do a whole lot of good. As a citizen, as a decent person, you can demand more from your government, from one’s employer, from yourself.

“Be more aware of your power as part of a society where we can change things. We have this power to change things in the future. What we have to do is make that change.”

He said some people thought being a vegetarian avoided contributing to the extinction crisis.

“I’m vegetarian but it’s not enough. If you are vegetarian and you walk around with your halo of virtue but you are eating tofu that comes from Brazilian soy, then you’re just as complicit in all of this as if you are eating the beef fed on Brazilian soy,” Prof Patel said.

Vegetarianism did not provide a “pure and simple” route out of the problem.

“Capitalism is involved. The capitalist will take your vegetarianism and make money from it with the same kind of techniques they’ve honed in meat manufacture,” he said.

Instead, Prof Patel argued it was time to switch to a world in which resources were shared and looked after, harking back to the days when people had access to common land.

theguardian.com
Meat industry blamed for largest-ever 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico
A new report shows toxins from suppliers to companies like Tyson Foods are pouring into waterways, causing marine life to leave or die.
By Oliver Milman

The global meat industry, already implicated in driving global warming and deforestation, has now been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico.

Toxins from manure and fertilizer pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.

Meat Is murder for animals, the environment, your health - mind, body, & soul.

The reality the meat and dairy industry doesn’t want you to know.

Three innocent creatures murdered because they are of no value to these greedy and cruel industries. Humans allow this to happen everyday without any care or concern, but you as an individual can make the choice to stop funding this needless cruelty. Educate yourself and make the connection. Choose to end your participation in animal exploitation, choose vegan.

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I did some digging, and I found this spreadsheet of monthly payments from Blossom Maple Farms to Lodge Industries, until about five months ago when they stopped. The payments, which are significant by the way, have been happening for 75 years. That’s a ton of money. What if Clifford implicated daddy to get out of paying the monthly fee?

theguardian.com
Meat industry blamed for largest-ever 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico
A new report shows toxins from suppliers to companies like Tyson Foods are pouring into waterways, causing marine life to leave or die
By Oliver Milman

The meat industry has caused the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Eating animals directly contributes to immense environmental degradation, toxic pollution, and species extinction. Go vegan to take a stand for the planet and all its inhabitants.

At a Halloween happy hour recently in Washington, D.C., a small crowd gathered to celebrate the relationship between bats and spirits.

Not spooky spirits. Instead, think tequila and mescal.

“We’re here at a bar tonight to talk about [bats], because they are intimately tied to agave,” announced Mike Daulton, the executive director of Bat Conservation International, a nonprofit devoted to the well-being of bats.

You can’t have tequila without agave, the spiky desert plant used as its base. And it’s hard to have agave without bats — because a few species of these winged creatures are the plant’s primary pollinators. Agave co-evolved with bats over thousands of years. As a result, it’s one of the very few plants that pollinates at night. Daulton says industrial agave farming adversely affects both plants and bats.

Bats And Tequila: A Once Boo-tiful Relationship Cursed By Growing Demands

Photo: Merlin Tuttle/Bat Conservation International

vimeo

Quick fun video takes you through and over the Hops harvest in Washington. Original caption:

LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES OR GOOD SPEAKERS!:) Beer has roots deeper than you might think.
Gearing up for the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in Yakima, Washington! And it wouldn’t be made possible if not for the many great individuals hard at work that contribute heavily to the beer industry. Here’s a quick window into their relentless work behind the pint.
Dakota Huntley and I were only there filming for a day and a half, but we were able to visit Carpenter Ranches, LLC, Perrault Farms, and Cornerstone Ranches and witness the incredibly diverse operations and passion behind their craft. YCH Hops led us through their processes, connected us with several growers, and gave us a necessary piece to the story behind our upcoming Bellingham beer documentary. Stay tuned for more delicious footage;)

Enviro rant//Hoof disease in Sitka elk is a result of disgusting industrial cow farm practices, fyi

It’s so fucking awesome how our shitty large farming practices that developed with cow farmers in europe and the usa started the bacteria that now causes hoof disease in Sitka elk in the PNW. Washington’s elk herds especially are suffering so much, and wildlife officials are doing nothing to treat them or develop a vaccine, of course. And, in spite of herds being sick and needing help, hunting permits for them are being sold like cheap candy. We barely develop any vaccines for humans, why would we make any for species that actually contribute to this earth and its valuable ecosystems?

Fuck lazy corporate farms and farmers, and fuck -all- government environment regulatory programs. The Forest Service and other government wildlife sectors have small bands of individuals who care and do good, but don’t be fooled overall. The upper management uses the name “Forest Service” as a guise for continued environmental destruction for corporate capitalist interests that is hurting every species. They can get away with this because few people truly understand ecology and the impacts of the Forest Service’s/EPA’s/DOFW’s less than desirable methods and lax standards overall. I’m sure the lack of science education in public schools (and the almost unidirectional focus on computer/mechanical engineering jobs for merchandise production in our society as opposed to earth sciences and medicine)is entirely intentional by the the government – understanding the truth about how the earth works and can thrive if we changed makes everything our government does seem nonsensical and careless. If people don’t understand the science, corrupt leaders can do what they want, and use rhetoric exclusive to the scientific community to confuse the public. These government regulators are still the arms of logging lobbyists and politicians who give no shits about the environment other than draining it dry to benefit them short term.

((I know this personally as well – not only did I study conservation biology, ecology, climate science, and botany while working in a lab with one of the best botanical ecologists in the country for five years – we did several studies for free for the Forest Service regarding invasive species managment. It was our job to show them the best ways to kill invasive species and the best ways to recover native assemblages post destruction. The Forest Service’s methods always involved deadly sprays, some were glyphosate which has been strongly linked to cancer in livestock and humans, while my methods involved hand picked weeding and planting of strong native plants/primary succession species post destruction. Guess which method allows the forest to grow back!!! Mine. The forest grew back with healthy native assemblages and no invasives, as long as all invasive material was removed from the site and humans were not allowed to trample the site. Destruction by humans simply walking around with invasive seeds and spores on their shoes, or dogs, is the number one cause of invasive plants overtaking native ones. My results were the same regardless of the forest area or original plant assemblage, or regardless of the invasive. The Forest Service’s lazy spray method had NOTHING other than weeds growing back on the site. Gross. Also, their standard practice in my state is to leave invasive material on site in huge piles even when they did hand pick some specimen along with spraying various chemicals. This is really dumb, because many of the worst invasives are clonal/can spread by rhizomes and can reproduce from a tiny slice of living material leftover. In the forests my lab and I studied, they had to employ our methods and three Oregon forests are now safely recovering from Brachypodium sylvaticum, Himalayan blackberry, and English ivy, as far as I know. They could have reverted back to old methods with Trump in charge, though.))

They will take and destroy in the name of capitalism until we get to a point where certain ecosystem types, and thus huge arrays of species, will disappear completely without recovering. It’s already happening. If enough remaining forest is destroyed, especially the Amazon, our climate systems will lose their drive (most importantly a huge part of the water cycle will effectively be stopped due to deforestation) and the jet stream will shut down, triggering another ice age. But it’s no big deal, don’t worry about the trees or the animals who live among them~

pretty-love-ly  asked:

Isn't supporting bee keepers by buying honey kind of a good thing? Like its a double edged sword bc we shouldn't use animals as food and all but right now with the changing climate and GMO crops and colony collapse disorder it's killing off bees and we desperately need them, so isn't it a good thing that bee keepers are keeping bees alive?

Hi there pretty-love-ly!

We’ve been tricked into believing that honey is simply a byproduct of the essential pollination provided by farmed honeybees. Did you know though that the honeybee’s wild counterparts (such as bumblebees, carpenter and digger bees) are much better pollinators? They are also less likely than farmed honeybees to be affected by mites and Africanized bees. The issue is that these native bees can hibernate for up to 11 months out of the year and do not live in large colonies. Thus, they do not produce massive amounts of honey for a  $157 million dollar a year industry.

Honey and the Different Types of Bees

Honey bees: Honey bees make a large quantity of honey (possible due to the size of colonies – that is, many worker bees collecting nectar). Honey consists of nectar combined with a ‘bee enzyme’ that goes through a process of concentration in the honeycomb before it is capped by the bees.

Bumblebees: Bumblebees, in one sense, make a form of honey, which they collect in nectar pots to be eaten by the colony, including the newly hatched worker females. However, the process of concentrating, capping, and the making of honey combs does not happen in bumblebee colonies, nor is nectar stored over winter, since only the queen survives and hibernates, whilst the rest of the colony do not.

Solitary bees: Solitary bees do not make honeycombs. They construct egg cells which they provision with a ball of nectar and pollen that will be consumed by the new larvae.

Honey bees will pollinate many plant species that are not native to their natural habitat but are often inefficient pollinators of such plants.

The crops that can be only pollinated by honey bees are:

• Guar Bean
• Quince
• Lemon
• Lime
• Karite
• Tamarind

The crops that are pollinated by bees, in general, are:

• Apples
• Mangos
• Rambutan
• Kiwi Fruit
• Plums
• Peaches
• Nectarines
• Guava
• Rose Hips
• Pomegranites
• Pears
• Black and Red Currants
• Alfalfa
• Okra
• Strawberries
• Onions
• Cashews
• Cactus
• Prickly Pear
• Apricots
• Allspice
• Avocados
• Passion Fruit
• Lima Beans
• Kidney Beans
• Adzuki Beans
• Green Beans
• Orchid Plants
• Custard Apples
• Cherries
• Celery
• Coffee
• Walnut
• Cotton
• Lychee
• Flax
• Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements
• Macadamia Nuts
• Sunflower Oil
• Goa beans
• Lemons
• Buckwheat
• Figs
• Fennel
• Limes
• Quince
• Carrots
• Persimmons
• Palm Oil
• Loquat
• Durian
• Cucumber
• Hazelnut
• Cantaloupe
• Tangelos
• Coriander
• Caraway
• Chestnut
• Watermelon
• Star Apples
• Coconut
• Tangerines
• Boysenberries
• Starfruit
• Brazil Nuts
• Beets
• Mustard Seed
• Rapeseed
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Cabbage
• Brussels Sprouts
• Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
• Turnips
• Congo Beans
• Sword beans
• Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers
• Papaya
• Safflower
• Sesame
• Eggplant
• Raspberries
• Elderberries
• Blackberries
• Clover
• Tamarind
• Cocoa
• Black Eyed Peas
• Vanilla
• Cranberries
• Tomatoes
• Grapes

Check this chart to see which type of bees can pollinate those crops.

While you may spread a heaping tablespoon of honey on your morning toast without thinking, creating each drop is no small feat. To make one pound of honey, a colony must visit over two million flowers, flying over 55,000 miles, at up to 15 miles per hour to do so. During a bee’s lifetime, she will only make approximately one teaspoon of honey, which is essential to the hive for times when nectar is scarce, such as during winter. At times, there may be an excess in the hive, but this amount is difficult to determine and large-scale beekeepers often remove all or most of it and replace it with a sugar or corn syrup substitute. Can you imagine someone removing all the fruit juice from your house and replacing it with fruit-flavored soda? It may still give you energy, but eventually, it will probably make you sick.

BEES DIE FOR YOUR HONEY

Another thing to think about while you sit by your beeswax candle and contemplate the lives of these little fellows is that bees must consume approximately eight pounds of honey to produce each pound of wax! And the more we take from them (bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis) the harder these creatures must work and the more bees are needed, which isn’t good news for a population that is dwindling.

When you see a jar of honey, you may think of the sweet cartoon hives depicted in childhood stories such as Winnie the Pooh. But most hives are now confined to large boxes (a completely foreign shape to bees) that are jostled and shipped around the country to pollinate crops and produce honey. This is stressful and confusing to the bees’ natural navigation systems. Along the way, bees are lost and killed, and may spread diseases from one infected hive to another. The practice of bee farming often limits the bees’ diet to monoculture crops, introduces large amounts of pesticides into their systems and causes the farmed bees to crowd out the native wild pollinators that may have been otherwise present. Beekeepers (even small-scale backyard beekeepers) will also kill the queens if they feel the hive is in danger of swarming (fleeing their file cabinet shaped homes) or drones* that they deem unnecessary to honey production. * The drones’ main function is to fertilize the queen when needed.

We have got to the point where we mass exploit honeybees as pollinators to fix a problem that should be fixed from the roots and not partially.

“At certain times of the year, three or four trucks carrying beehives rumble along Highway 20 every week. Their destination: California, where the bees are required for pollination services. During my time in California researching dairy farms, I learned about an extraordinary consequence of intensive farming taken to extremes: industrialized pollination - a business that is rapidly expanding as the natural bee population collapses. In certain parts of the world, as a result of industrial farming, there are no longer enough bees to pollinate the crops. Farmers are forced to hire or rent them in”
— Farmagedon. The True Cost of Cheap Meat

The Case of the Disappearing Bees

The question of what will happen if bees disappear may not be far from being answered. Over the past couple of years, stories about bees disappearing and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) have been popping up in the The New York Times, Star Tribune, Huffington Post, PBS, Discovery News and more. If nothing else wakes us up, perhaps the fact that the disappearance of bees has become front page news will. Scientists are rushing to discover what’s causing this problem before it’s too late and before we lose the important environmental link created by bees.

Thus far, there are three main theories/contributing factors:

  • Pesticides

Pennsylvania State University published a study in 2010 that found “unprecedented levels” of pesticides in honeybees and hives in the United States. (If it’s in the bees and hives, what do you think is in your honey?) Some of these chemicals are killing bees, and guess what? The EPA knows about it.

“The EPA identifies two specific neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and clothianidin, as highly toxic to bees. Both chemicals cause symptoms in bees such as memory loss, navigation disruption, paralysis, and death.

Both chemicals have been linked to dramatic honeybee deaths and subsequent suspensions of their use in France and Germany. Several European countries have already suspended them. Last year Slovenia and Italy also suspended their use for what they consider a significant risk to honeybee populations.”

– Mother Earth News

This is old news; this story came out in 2009. But has anything changed here? Not as far as I can tell.

  • Mites and Viruses

With weakened immune systems (stress, inferior food sources, pesticides etc.) bees have become more susceptible to viruses, fungal infections, and mites. Many of these invasive bugs are spread as hives are moved around the country or transferred from country to country.

While there are a number of treatments on the market for the mites, viruses, fungus and other pests that are attacking our colonies, none have solved the problem completely. These treatments can also introduce antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals into the hives in an attempt to prevent or heal the infection. If these chemicals (often on strips) are not removed from the hive after they lose potency, they can, in fact, help the viruses or mites become resistant to treatment in the future.

  • Cell phones

This is one of the newest theories on CCD and may need further testing.

“According to a Swiss researcher who recently published a paper on the subject, the electromagnetic waves from mobile phones have a significant impact on the behavior of honeybees and could potentially be harming honeybees around the world.”

“To test the relationship between honeybees and buzzing cell phones, he placed phones inside bee hives and then monitored the bees’ reaction. He found that in the presence of actively communicating cellphones (those not in standby mode), bees produced the sounds known as “worker piping,” which tends to indicate disturbance in a bee colony.”

– ABC News

Cell phones, pesticides and viruses aside, commercial bee farming – whether organic (where bee deaths are fewer, but still occur) or conventional – does not provide bees with the opportunity to live out their normal life cycle. No matter how small the animal, farming is farming. Whether you choose to buy backyard honey or a large brand, eating honey and using other bee products encourages using bees for profit.

If you truly want to save bees as a whole and not only honey bees because is much more convenient.. then support bee sanctuaries, boycott the agribusiness and its use of chemicals everywhere. Here I leave some ideas and ways to help bees.

  • Sanctuaries
  1. Spikenard Farm  Honeybee Sanctuary | • Virginia, USA •
  2. New York Bee Sanctuary | • New York, USA •
  3. Native Bee Sanctuary | • Australia •
  4. Artemis Smiles - Honey Bee Sanctuary | • Hawaii, USA •
  5. Urban Evergreen Bee Sanctuary | • Washington, USA •
  6. The Honeybee Helpers | • North West, Ireland •
  7. Bee Sanctuary - The Bee School | • North Carolina, USA •
  8. Bellingen Bee Sanctuary | • Australia •
  9. Morgan Freeman Converted His 124 Acre Ranch Into A Bee Sanctuary To Help Save The Bees
  • Plant your garden with bee-friendly plants

In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers - asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good.

  • Encourage local authorities to use bee-friendly plants in public spaces

Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.

  • Weeds can be a good thing

Contrary to popular belief, a lawn full of clover and dandelions is not just a good thing—it’s a great thing! A haven for honeybees (and other native pollinators too). Don’t be so nervous about letting your lawn live a little. Wildflowers, many of which we might classify as weeds, are some of the most important food sources for native North American bees. If some of these are “weeds” you chose to get rid of (say you want to pull out that blackberry bush that’s taking over), let it bloom first for the bees and then before it goes to seed, pull it out or trim it back!

  • Don’t use chemicals or pesticides to treat your lawn or garden

Yes, they make your lawn look pristine and pretty, but they’re actually doing the opposite to the life in your biosphere. The chemicals and pest treatments you put on your lawn and garden can cause damage to the honeybees systems. These treatments are especially damaging if applied while the flowers are in bloom as they will get into the pollen and nectar and be taken back to the bee hive where they also get into the honey—which in turn means they can get into us. Pesticides, specifically neo-nicotinoid varieties have been one of the major culprits in Colony Collapse Disorder.

  • Bees are thirsty. Put a small basin of fresh water outside your home

You may not have known this one—but it’s easy and it’s true! If you have a lot of bees starting to come to your new garden of native plants, wildflowers, and flowering herbs, put a little water basin out (a bird bath with some stones in it for them to crawl on does a nice trick). They will appreciate it!

  • Let dandelions and clover grow in your yard.

Dandelions and clover are two of the bees’ favorite foods – they provide tons of nourishment and pollen for our pollinators to make honey and to feed their young (look at this bee frolicking in a dandelion below – like a pig in shit!) And these flowers could not be any easier to grow – all you have to do is not do anything.

I highly recommend also taking a look at this article too as honey is tested on animals, yes, as it says and the article explains honey is tested on dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, mice, rats…

As you can see, there is much more than saying “let’s help the bees by eating honey, vegans are dumb, they need to eat honey because what they eat relies on it”... We can save the bees without taking away the honey they produce, that’s a fact.

Honey is meant as a health food; a healthy food for bees. The more we interfere with their natural processes, both by relying on farmed bees as pollinators (rather than other native wild bees, insects or animals) and to feed our desires for “sweets,” the close we’re coming to agricultural disaster.

Sources

Keep reading

theguardian.com
Dairy is scary. The public are waking up to the darkest part of farming
The photo of calves in cramped pens will shock many, and with so many non-dairy alternatives now, consumers have a choice.
By Chas Newkey-Burden

Dairy is proving to be a vulnerable spot for the entire slaughter racket. The public is steadily waking up to the fact that the reality of milk production is not a matter of trivial imperfections, of concern only to idealist vegans, but in fact the most dark and wicked part of all farming. And delicious, non-dairy milk, cheese and dessert alternatives are now widely available, so as people learn the truth it is easy for them to ditch dairy for good.

Suggested Reading
Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment

Okay, consider this:

Vegans have absolutely no reason to lie to you about conditions of meat, dairy, and egg farms. By exposing those industries, they do not personally gain anything. But the government has billions of dollars riding on animal agriculture.

Think long and hard about that before you accuse vegans of propaganda and brainwashing.