reality factory

“breakfast” – a non - graphic short film about factory farming

The setting of Kris Hofmann’s short film “Breakfast” is a child’s bedroom, with a bookshelf of stuffed animals beside a desk with a set of wooden blocks that depict a bucolic farm scene.

The film recounts the lives of Harriet, Eleanor the cow and Arthur the pig.
Breakfast reveals, in a non – graphic manner -  the connections between our food and the realities of factory farming.

Hofmann is a filmmaker, animator and designer who wanted to highlight the discrepancy between the love many breakfast-eaters show for their pets and their disregard for the suffering of other animals.


THE VIDEO MAY BE FOUND HERE:
https://vimeo.com/5365992

Wesker’s Report II

Story 1 : “Woman Specimen Subject”

31st July, 1978 (Monday)

It was summer, 20 years ago and I was 18 years old when I
visited there for the first time. I can still smell the
stench of the air stirred up by the helicopter’s rotor
blades.The mansion looked perfectly ordinary from the sky, but on
the ground, I sensed something that made me fear to tread.
Birkin, who was two years younger than me, was interested in
nothing but the research paper he was reading.

We had only been assigned to that place two days previously,
the same day they decided to close down the executive
training center we belonged to. This looked either carefully
planned or pure coincidence, only Spencer knows.
Here, Arklay Laboratory, was the very place where Spencer
himself had a base for ’T-virus’ research.

As we got off the helicopter, we saw the Laboratory Manager
was waiting for us at the lift. I can’t even remember the
guy’s name.

No matter what his official title, the laboratory belonged to
Birkin and I from that day. We were given full authority as
chief research engineers. This was of course Spencer’s
intention. We had been chosen.

We completely ignored the Laboratory Manager and got into the
lift as the previous day I had memorized a map of the building.
As for Birkin, he didn’t mean any offense but he never had time
for others.

Being in our company for more than five seconds would have made
most people angry. The Laboratory Manager, however, showed no
response.

As I was an egoistic young man these days, I did not take any
notice of his lack of reaction. After all, while I was there I was merely dancing to Spencer’s tune and the Lab Manager knew his intention better than I did
and acted accordingly.

While we were in the lift, Birkin was concentrating on the
papers, which contained detailed reports on Ebola, a Filovirius,
which had been discovered in Africa two years ago.

Even now, many people across the world are still studying Ebola.
But there are two distinct reasons why:

Some are studying the virus in order to save lives, while others have more sinister reasons.

90% of those infected with the Ebola virus will die. Once
infected, body tissue is destroyed within ten days. There is no
vaccination and no cure. If used as a weapon it is incredibly
frightening. Of course the treaty on Prohibition of Use of
Biological Weapons had been in effect long before that so it was
illegal to conduct research on the potential use of the virus as
a weapon. However, it’s perfectly legal to conduct research on it
to prevent its spreading if it was used by someone else as a
weapon.

It is only a thin line between the two researches - in fact
there is practically no difference between the two. As you must
investigate how it can be used as a weapon in order to know how
it can be stopped.

This means it is possible to pretend that research is for the
purpose of prevention and cure while your true aim is the
opposite.

However, Birkin was interested in neither of these routes as
the virus had too many imperfections.

Firstly, it dies easily when in contact with direct sunlight
and can only survive outside the body for a few days.

Secondly, the virus does not have enough time to move onto the
next host as it kills its initial host too quickly.

Lastly, the virus is transmitted in bodily fluids and secretions,
which can easily be prevented.

However, consider this :

What if the person infected with the virus could stand up and
walk ? And if subconsciously they sought direct physical contact
with uninfected people ?

The Ebola gene is an RNA gene. RNA genes can mutate a human’s
genes and that mutation would allow the human to have mutant-like
semi-immortality ?

This creature would be a “Human Biological Weapon.” To all
intents and purposes, dead as a human being but still infecting
other humans as long as it continued to function.

It was lucky for us that Ebola did not exhibit such
characteristics.

We could keep the Ebola with that particular capacity just for
ourselves.

The organization, which was established around Spencer, was for
the manufacture of this “living weapon.” Officially, it was a
pharmaceutical company specializing in a cure for the virus,
nut in reality it was a factory producing biological weapons.

The discovery of the “Founder Virus,” which can modify genes, seemed
to be the genesis of this entire business.

In order to manufacture the “Human Biological Weapon” from the
“Founder virus,” it was necessary to develop a variant with that
particular peculiarity enhanced.

That was the T-virus project.

The “Founder virus” is an RNA virus. RNA viruses are known to
have a tendency to mutilate. That tendency enables us to
manipulate them, strengthening their certain peculiarities.

Birkin wondered if he could combine the Ebola gene with the
mutated “Founder virus” to enhance its peculiarity. The sample of
the Ebola virus had already arrived to this laboratory.

After switching from lift to lift, we eventually reached the top
security unit of the laboratory.

Even Birkin took his eyes off his report when we met “her” for the
first time.

We knew nothing about her. She was the biggest secret at the
laboratory and her data was never removed from the premises.

The records showed that she had been there ever since the institute
was established.

She was 25 years old. No one knew who she was or why she was there.

She was a human specimen to develop the “T-virus” on.

The experiment started on the 10th, November 1967.

She had been receiving injections of viruses for 11 years.

Birkin mumbled something -

Was it to curse ? Or to praise ?

We realized that there was no turning back.

Were we to lead the research to a successful conclusion or rot
away like her ? Of course we had no choice.

The sight of her bound to a shabby hospital bed moved something
in out of my conscience.

Was it apart of Spencer’s plan ?

(Record continues three years later)

Story 2 : ‘Alexia 1’

27th July 1981 (Sat)

(Three years after the previous report)

Today a 10 year old girl was appointed as a senior researcher at
the South Pole Laboratory.

Her name was Alexia Ashford.

I was 21 years old and Birkin was 19.

Irritatingly, the rumor about Alexia of the South Pole monopolized
discussions amongst Arklay’s researchers.

The Ashford name was legendary to the old staff who had bee at
Umbrella long enough to remember.

Whenever the research came to a standstill they always said 'If only
Dr Ashford was still alive.“

Certainly Dr. Ashford was a great scientist, one of the original
research team who discovered the “Founder virus,” and the originator
of the ’T-virus’ project.

However, he died soon after Umbrella was established. 13 years has
passed since his death. What was the point of expecting anything
from the Ashfords ?

In fact the South Pole laboratory, which was founded after Dr.
Edward’s death by his son, had so far yielded no results.

So, not much can be expected from the granddaughter, Alexia.

However, from that day, our dotard subordinates started saying
“If only Ms Alexia were here.”

It seemed like there was no potential for future development in
this lab as long as we had staff like those senile fools, who
could only judge people by their genealogy instead of using their
own sense of values.

Those fools could never take initiative and would remain as minor
researchers even though they had one foot in the grave. But I was
different, I had good judgement.

If I, as the chief researcher, had become emotional, the
development of the ’T-virus’ would have been delayed further.

To achieve results, one must stay calm and make sensible decisions
whatever the circumstances.

An idea came to me—

The success of the research relied on how to handle those ancient
gentlemen. As they could drop dead at any moment, wouldn’t they be
most useful if we were to use them for the most dangerous experiments.

The art of management is to utilize everyone beneath you.

However, Birkin was becoming a nuisance.

His reaction towards the Alexia rumors was so pathetic.

Although he never said it, he took pride in becoming the youngest
chief researcher ever at the age of 16. But this 10 year old girl
had smashed his figurative trophy to pieces. It must have been the
first time he had felt defeated.

He could never approve of someone who was younger than him, with a noble pedigree, and a woman at that.

It was unimaginable that he was being affected by a personnel
reshuffle in such a far away place, where there had been no
achievements for so long.

After all, he was still a kid.

Immature as he was, I needed him to pull himself together.

Over the last three years, our research had reached the second stage.

By then, the “T-virus” was becoming stable enough to be used to
create “Living Biological Weapons,” better known as Zombies.

However, the virus would never be able to modify the human gene
100% -  there are incompatibilities between the virus and the genes
because no one person’s genes are exactly alike.

10% of all humans would make a lucky escape and not develop the
disease, even though a zombie infected them with the virus. There
was nothing we could do about this, no matter how hard we tried.

If it had a 90% success rate then it was good enough to use as a
biological weapon but Spencer didn’t seem to be satisfied.

Our boss wanted a “stand-alone” weapon which could wipe out and
entire population.

But, what for ?

Essentially, the virtue of biological weapons was the low
development costs. But our “Living Biological Weapon” was becoming
extremely expensive.

Spencer would never have chosen this path if he was looking for
financial rewards.

If manufactured for use in conjunction with an orthodox weapon, it
would have made a handsome profit. But to keep the research going to
make a stand-alone, exterminatory weapon did not make business sense.

Why did he continue ignoring the cost ?

If his aim was to monopolize the entire war industry by changing
the very concepts of war perhaps I could agree a little bit.

I still didn’t know what his true intention was.

Apart from Spencer’s intentions, Birkin was engineering a living
biological weapon with an increased emphasis on its ability to fight.

He was trying to create it not only through mutating human genes
with the “T-virus” but also by adding another creature’s genetic
information.

This fighting human bio-weapon, made to kill off any opposing forces or people that are immune to the virus, was later called “The Hunter.”

But we had to suspend the experiment for a while - to protect the
specimens from Birkin.

Birkin, who had this meaningless anger directed at Alexia, started
acting abnormally.

He would stay at the research facility late into the night continuously doing tests without a plan.

My staff and I collected biopsy samples as quickly as possible
before the specimens could die, but we couldn’t keep up with Birkin’s
speed.

The Manager of the Laboratory supplied the new specimens as if
nothing had happened, but they didn’t survive long.

It was Hell.

But she, the female specimen survived.

She was 28 years old by then and had spent 14 years in this lab.

The numerous injections of the “Founder virus” she had received over
the past 14 years would have left her bereft of any logical reasoning,
but if she still had any mind left, death would have been the one
and only thing she wanted.

But, she continued to live.

Why was she the only one to survive ?

The experiment data did not highlight and difference between her and
the other specimens.

We needed much more time to find out the answers to that question.

(Record continued 2 years later)

Story 3 : 'Alexia 2’

31st December 1983

(Two years after the previous record)

My 6th winter at Arklay Laboratory.

Two almost stagnant years had passed without much achievement,
but the turning point had finally arrived.

The catalyst was a report we received that morning.

Alexia had died at the Antarctic institute.

It was said that Alexia was accidentally infected by the T-Veronica
virus which she herself had developed.

At that time, Alexia was 12 years old, and was too young to continue
this kind of dangerous research.

A rumor began to circulate that Alexia had deliberately infected
herself with the virus, but that seemed very unlikely. More likely,
she had not got over the death of her father a year earlier and had
made an error.

At the Antarctic institute, Alexia’s research was then taken over by
her twin brother, her only blood relative. But no one expected any
worthwhile results from him. The Ashford family line seemed to have
almost died out without producing anything of note. As I suspected,
the legend surrounding this family was no more than that.

Alexia’s death changed Birkin - or should I say it transformed Birkin
back to the person he once was. It played a major factor in Birkin’s
psychological well-being as his researchers started showing him more
respect. With Alexia dead, these was no longer anyone who exhibited
greater potential than him.

However, talking about Alexia in front of him was still a taboo.

Birkin strongly disagreed when I tried to get a hold of a T-Veronica
sample.

I had to bide my time to find a better opportunity to find out about
Alexia’s research.

In spite of the fact that Birkin was in a much stronger, position he
still never matured.

However, in those days, I had much bigger issues to contend with.

The Arklay Laboratory was situated in the center of a mountainous
region, itself surrounded by a deep forest. I often went out for
walks during my time there, but I never came across anyone else.

Helicopter was the only means of reaching the laboratory, making it
inaccessible to outsiders. The remoteness of the area and lack of
people is an important factor when choosing a site for an institute
like this, in order to minimize a potential disaster if the virus
escaped.

However, biological weapons were not as simple as that.

The viruses would not just infect human beings.

No virus chooses just one type of carrier.

For example, apart from humans, the influenza virus can infect birds,
pigs, horses and even sea lions. It complicates the matter further when you know that not all the species of the same family can be infected. For instance, ducks and chickens might become infected, but other species of birds are
spared. More over, the same virus may take different carriers,
depending on its variants. It is impossible to know all the carriers
for even just one virus.

The biggest problem is the high adaptability of the “T-virus.”

While Birkin was not contributing much, I had been studying the
possibility of secondary infection from the “T-virus.” What I
discovered was that the “T-virus” has carriers in almost every
single species. Not only animals, but plants, insects, even fish. Almost
all species have a potential to multiply and spread the
“T-virus.”

When I was strolling through the woods, I always thought -

Why did Spencer choose this location ?

There were so many species that co-existed in the forest.

What would happen if the virus escaped and came into contact with a
creature capable of being a carrier ?

If it were some insects, then they would not pose a big threat of
secondary infection due to their size.

But insects can multiply to enormous numbers.

In that case, how far could the virus be spread ?

Suppose it was some plants. It may appear at first that the
possibility of widespread infection would be small as plants cannot
move.

But what about their pollen ?

This location was too dangerous.

Come to think of it, it made perfect sense for the Ashfords to choose
Antarctica as a site for their laboratory.

In contrast, this location it seems was selected in order to spread
the virus.

But that couldn’t be true, could it ?

What did Spencer want us to do ?

These thoughts were too important to share with anybody else in the
laboratory.

The only person I could possibly ask was Birkin. But, it was obvious
there was no point in talking to him about it.

What I needed was more information.

Around this time, I started to feel the limitations of my situation.

In order to find out Spencer’s true intention, I needed to be in a
position which would give me access to the information I required.

I had no hesitation in giving up my present position for that purpose but I did not want to be too hasty, because if Spencer had any
suspicions about my real motives then the game would be over.

I concentrated on my research with Birkin so that my real thoughts
would not betray me.

While we were keeping ourselves busy, the female specimen was
almost forgotten about.

A failure with no use, but still she lived on. We called her a
failure because we could not get any valid data from her until that experiment took place, five years later.

Story 4 : 'Nemesis’

1st July 1988 (Fri)

(Five years after the last record)

It was our 11th summer since we arrived at the Arklay Laboratory.

I was 28 years old.

Birkin was then a father with a two year old daughter and a wife. This wife was
also a researcher at Arklay.

It was hard to believe that anyone could marry and bring up a child
while both of them worked there. On the other hand, because he was
different he could continue his research at Arklay.

Only the mad could succeed there.

In those 10 years, our research finally reached the third stage.

A highly sophisticated “Fighting Biological Weapon” with
intelligence, which would obey programmed orders and act as a
soldier. This was the monster we worked to create. We called it
“The Tyrant.”

But from the beginning there was one huge obstacle - it was almost
impossible to obtain a living subject on which we could base the
Tyrant. The supply of genetically adaptable human beings for the
Tyrant was extremely limited.

This is due to the nature of the “T-virus.”

The “T-virus” variant which was ideal to create the zombies and
the Hunters was suitable for most humans, but it had a fault of
making the carrier’s brain cells decline.

To transform the carrier into a Tyrant we needed to keep the
carrier’s intelligence at a certain level. In order to overcome
this issue, Birkin had been working on extracting a variant which
would cause the least amount of damage to the brain when it adapted
itself perfectly to the carrier.

However, humans with a genetic match to this variant were extremely
rare.

The Genetic Analytic team’s simulation report told us that only one
in ten million would be infected and transformed into a Tyrant with
the remainder becoming zombies.

It might have been possible to develop a more progressive strain of
the “T-virus” which could transform more humans into Tyrants.
However, to push the research further, first of all we required human
subjects with a perfect genetic match to the new variant.

There was little possibility that such a specimen would be supplied
to us, because even if we scoured the whole USA, we would only be
able to find 50 or so of them. In fact, at the time, even with the
utmost effort we only managed to collect a few specimens with a close
match.

Even from the outset, our research was at a standstill.

But one day, we heard a rumor that a European laboratory were working
on a project to create the third generation Living Biological Weapon.

It was called the “Nemesis Project.”

I acted quickly to obtain a sample from the project so that I could
use it to our advantage. Of course, Birkin was against this idea, but
this time I somehow managed to persuade him. He had no choice but to
admit that our research wouldn’t go any further unless we found a
matching specimen.

A few days later, in the middle of the night, a parcel arrived from
Europe via various transit points. It arrived to our heliport in a
small box.

"Nemesis Prototype.”

We had to pull many strings to obtain if from the French laboratory
where it had been developed, but it could not have happened without
the support of Spencer.

Birkin showed no interest at all, but he accepted the importance of
the experiment.

The sample had been developed with a new design in mind.

A parasitic living body created by genetic modification - that
was Nemesis.

An intelligent lifeform that was unable to do anything on
its own.

However, once it parasitized the brain of another living being it
would take full control of the body and demonstrate its highly
developed aptitude for combat. The project was to provide the
intelligence and the biological body for combat separately and then
combine them in order to create one living biological weapon.

If it was successful we no longer needed to worry about the problems
we had previously encountered.

But there was a new problem in that it did not always settle in the
carrier in the same manner as we desired.

On the report attached to the sample we saw nothing but a long list
of deaths.

The carriers lasted for only about five minutes after Nemesis took
control of their brains.

But, we already knew that an incomplete prototype would be extremely
dangerous.

If we succeeded in prolonging the carriers’ survival then we could
hope to take the lead in the Nemesis project.

This was my aim.

Naturally, I was planning to use the female specimen.

With her unusual ability to survive, she could endure the Nemesis
prototype for a long time.

Even if we failed, we would lose nothing.

However, our experiments took an unexpected turn.

Nemesis vanished when it tried to enter her brain.

At first, we could not understand what happened.

We never thought that she would take over the parasite.

That was the beginning.

Until then, she was barely alive but something was about to awaken
in her.

We began to reexamine her.

Over the last 10 years, she had been checked down to the minutest
details, but we decided to ignore the past data and start anew. Now,
for the first time in her 21 years of being here, something no one
had seen was about to be revealed.

After much examination, only Birkin noticed it.

Something definitely existed in her.

This, however, went beyond the original “T-virus” project and led us
in a totally new and different direction.

That was the beginning of “G-Virus” project, which changed all our
destinies.

Story 5: 'G-Virus’

31st July 1995 (Mon)

(Seven years after the previous record)

It was summer again and 17 years from the time I first visited the
place.

Whenever I went there I always remember the smell of the wind from
that day. Nothing has changed since then, even the buildings and
surroundings.

I could see Birkin, who had already arrived, standing on the
heliport.

I had not seen him for a long time.

Four years have passed since I left Arklay Laboratory.

At that time, when Birkin’s “G-virus” project was approved, I
applied for my transfer to the Information Bureau and was readily
accepted. It must have looked natural for everyone that I was giving
up my career as a researcher and seeking a change.

Actually, the “G-virus” project was beyond my abilities. Even if I did
not have any reason to find out Spencer’s true intention, it was true
that I felt my faculties as a researcher had reached their limits.

In spite of the downdraft caused by the helicopter, Birkin never took
his eyes off the research papers. Although it seemed he still visited
Arklay regularly, he was no longer a researcher at that facility.

Sometime ago, he had been transferred to a huge underground laboratory
in Raccoon City, which was his base for the G-virus project headed
by himself.

Quite honestly, four years ago, I never thought that Spencer would
approve the “G-virus“project because it was founded on an unknown
belief and deviated from the original concept of a biological weapon.

The distinct difference between the “G-virus” and the T-Virus was
that the organism infected by the “G-virus” continued to mutate by
itself. Because a virus is an unprotected form of gene, it can easily
mutate. This mutation can happen when a virus is left on its own,
but once a virus is in another organism, it is a different story.

A gene in an organism’s body hardly mutates even though its structure
was modified by a virus, unless some external influences, such as
exposure to radiation, takes place. However, an organism infected with
the “G-virus” keeps mutating itself without any external influence
until it dies.

Similar characteristics did exist in the “T-virus.”

When we placed the “Living Biological Weapon” under certain
circumstances, we recorded some genetic recombination caused by an
activated virus in its own body. However, in the case of the T-Virus,
it always needed some external influences to trigger the
recombination and the results were always close to what we predicted.

G-infected organisms totally lacked such predictability.

No one could foresee what recombination it would take, and whatever
the means to stop the process it kept mutating nonetheless making
our manipulation worthless.

Seven years ago, Birkin found similar signs of this effect in the
female specimen. On the surface she had not changed at all, but
internally, she changed continuously and remained alive by merging
and coexisting with all the experimental viruses she was administered.
And the 21 years of internal mutation evolved her enough to accept
the parasitic organism Nemesis.

The “G-virus” project was trying to push this abnormality to the
ultimate limit.

But, the end result of this project could be either the evolution
of the ultimate organism or total destruction.

Can we call this a weapon ?

What made Spencer approve this project ?

Even though I had been in the Information Bureau for four years by
this time, I could still not understand his motives. And now,
Spencer does not even come to Arklay.

It is as if he had foreseen something was about to happen there.

The image of Spencer was fading away from me like a mirage in the
desert.

But, an opportunity must present itself sometime.

If I can survive until then.

The lift was carrying both Birkin and me to the highest security
level to the place where we saw her for the first time. The new
chief researcher John, Birkin’s successor, was waiting for us there.

He was transferred from the Chicago Laboratory and was said to be
an excellent scientist, but he seemed to be too normal to work for
this laboratory. He had doubts about the cruelty of the research
and reported to his superior to correct the situation.

That caused a big enough stir even in the Information Bureau.

It was everyone’s opinion that if any information was leaked, it
had to come from him.

We ignored John and started to give her the final treatment.

To kill her.

She had regained a little intelligence after taking in the Nemesis.
But, it resulted in nothing more than making her behave strangely.

The odd behavior continued to escalate. Nowadays, she peels off
other women’s faces and wears them over her own. The records show
that she behaved in the same manner when she was first given the
“Founder virus.” We were never sure what made her react in such a
way, but her termination was decided after three researchers became
her victims.

Now the study of the “G-virus” was on track she lost her status as
a valuable specimen.

The termination of her vital signs was checked and confirmed
repeatedly for the next three days. Then, the body was taken away
to some location at the instruction of the Laboratory Manager.

Even now, I still do not know who she was and why she was brought
here.

Of course it was exactly the same for other specimens.

However, if she had not been there, the G-Project might never have
existed and if that was the case then Birkin and I would be in very
different situations.

As I left Arklay Laboratory, I was thinking things over.

Just how calculating is Spencer ?

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Virtual Reality: Inside an IKEA Carpet-Making Factory in India . Do you want more business news? Follow now!

theguardian.com
Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory
Workers complain of verbal abuse, impossible targets and ‘poverty pay’ so bad they have to live away from their children

The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump’s label has been laid bare, with employees speaking of being paid so little they cannot live with their children, anti-union intimidation and women being offered a bonus if they don’t take time off while menstruating.

Capitalism’s strategy of justification is to present a surface appearance of justice and equal exchange, so concealing its fundamental exploitative nature as to appear to have nothing to hide…The sunlit marketplace, the very Eden, as he so bitterly describes it, of the rights of man, the natural home of Freedom, Equality, Property, and Bentham, is the realm of appearances. Reality lies behind the factory door, within the dimly lighted workrooms, where men, women, and children are chained for endless hours to brutal machines.
—  Robert Paul Wolff, Moneybags Must Be So Lucky
Benjamin Zephaniah: Why Veganism is the Ultimate Protest Against Animal Exploitation

“Our thinking about non-human animals is very confused, and people who have chosen to live a cruelty free, plant-based lifestyle, are baffled as to why other people have not made the connection. Many of us live with companion animals such as dogs, cats and rabbits. We share our homes with them, consider them members of the family and we grieve when they die. Yet we kill and eat other animals that if you really think about it are no different from the ones we love. This is known as speciesism; a prejudice against members of different species.

Most people don’t question their habit of eating other animals as they have been bought up to believe it is normal behaviour. But causing suffering should never be considered normal. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, humans kill approximately fifty-six billion animals for food each year, and this doesn’t include fish. This quantity can only be achieved by factory farming animals which can lead to diseases such as bird flu, swine flu, BSC and MRSA. Antibiotic microbes are the result of the over use of antibiotics; over half the anti-biotics in the UK are given to farmed animals, not humans, and these diseases can spread to humans… Behind windowless walls, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the horrific reality of factory farms and slaughterhouses, you may think this footage is old, that things are not like this anymore… Wrong. This is exactly what it is like, and what happens to the farmed animals who live outside is not too dissimilar.

Free-range chickens will usually be slaughtered at 8 weeks, and organic at around 12 weeks. People see cattle and sheep grazing in fields and think they’re okay, but they’ll also be sent to slaughter like all animals bred for food. Factory farmed and free range animals are treated as commodities and their individual needs and preferences are not respected. And it’s not just to produce meat; every year millions of farmed calves and chicks die in order to produce milk and eggs. Male chicks don’t produce eggs and are not profitable for meat production; so are killed the day they are born. Laying hens, when their egg production starts to fall, are also killed long before their normal life expectancy. It’s no fun for cows either; in order to produce milk the dairy cow must give birth to a calf. As soon as the calf is born they form a strong bond with their mother, yet within a few days they are usually separated, causing extreme distress. Male calves do not produce milk and are usually shot at birth or sent for veal production, and the female calves join the milk production like their mothers. Three months after the loss of her calf, while still producing milk, she is usually made pregnant again. She is put through this exhausting procedure three or four times, until she too is deemed redundant and killed.

More than 20% of dairy cows sent to slaughter have been found to be pregnant, and the skins from these unborn calves are used to make soft suede. Many people assume that leather is an incidental element of the rearing of animals for meat, its not, it’s used to produce shoes, jackets, wallets, gloves and furniture, and so purchasing leather goods help make the rearing and killing of animals a profitable concern.

Just as we have tried to end sexism, racism and ageism, we can also try to end speciesism. Enjoying a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle is the ultimate protest against animal exploitation; it’s taking action every day to reduce animal suffering and death by decreasing the demand for all animal products. With the mounting evidence; compassion, our health, the environment, water pollution, supporting developing countries, food security, rising population, sustainability, the rainforest, when people ask ‘why are you vegan?’ Perhaps the question should be: ‘Why aren’t you?’ Please… Make the connection.”

anonymous asked:

i really want to go vegan because i love animals so much and feel so guilty eating any animal products and it makes me sick, but my mom is a bit skeptical about the vegan diet and isn't so open-minded. anything i can do to introduce her to the idea? and also, do you have any tips for beginners?

I’m glad to hear that! But to make things clear, veganism is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. Plant-based is the diet. Veganism includes not supporting zoos/aquariums, animal testing, fur and any form of animal exploitation.

Anyway! First things first: research, research, research! 

Vegan Coach was one place that really helped me learn about veganism. The site format has changed so I’m not 100% sure where everything is anymore, but there is information on iron, B12, calcium, omega-3 and anything that people worry about before going vegan. I’ll also go over that a little later in this post. 

Here is a general vegan food pyramid. 

So I was going to provide you with other vegan health links and info but i decided I’m just going to use stuff off of vegan coach. The stuff that Patty (founder of vegan coach) has is really great. 

Protein

Here you can find out pretty much everything about protein that you want— even how much you need. For example, most people seem to think they need a TON of protein when that isn’t the case. I happen to be the example, I’m 105lbs so I need about 47 grams a day. Since I’m active I aim more for 60, and even that is extremely easy.

So… where can you get protein from (pulled directly from the site):

Next, let’s discuss these powerful protein sources.

BEWARE: You will encounter some technical terms such as “grams of protein”.

But fear not, my friend, because it will all become clear in the end.

Hey, that rhymes.    :)

Legumes top the list for great sources of plant-strong foods with protein. These include beans, lentils, and organic soy products such as tofu and tempeh.

1 CUP OF MOST COOKED BEANS AND LENTILS contains right around 15 grams of protein.

1 CUP OF COOKED ORGANIC SOYBEANS contains around 30 grams of protein.

1 CUP OF FIRM ORGANIC TOFU contains about 40 grams of protein.

1 CUP OF TEMPEH contains approximately 30 grams of protein.

1 CUP OF SEITAN contains approximately 52 grams of protein. I like seitan — but I consider this a “fun food” and don’t recommend you base your everyday diet on this protein source. That’s because it’s high in wheat gluten, and is difficult for most people to digest.

Meat analogues made with soy (fake meats) are another option for you to consider. Personally, I try to eat very little of them because they’re not a whole food, which as you may know is what I recommend. But if you DO want to add these to your diet, PLEASE do so sparingly. Try to base your diet on whole foods with protein versus these highly processed soy foods which are usually loaded with sodium and many times are not organic — and it’s really important to try your best to eat organic soy. Read the labels to determine how much protein you will find in these foods.

Nuts, seeds, and their “butters” are also fantastic foods with protein that you should include in your diet.

¼ CUP OF MOST NUTS can range anywhere from approximately 4 grams of protein to 8 or 9 grams.

2-3 TABLESPOONS OF SEEDS provides around 8 grams of protein, with the exception of FLAX SEEDS which will provide you with around 4 grams.

3 TABLESPOONS OF TAHINI provides you with 8 grams of protein.

While everything listed above is a protein powerhouse, there is protein in vegetables and fruit as well, so protein isn’t a problem!

Iron

Patty doesn’t have a page on iron anymore, but there is a ton of iron in dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, mustard greens, dark lettuces, swiss chard and so on. There is also a lot if beans and legumes. You can increase the amount of iron absorbed from a meal if you also eat something high in vitamin C, such as an orange. 

Calcium

Pulled right off the vegan coach site again:

  • All dark green leafy veggies*, including KaleBroccoliCollard Greens/Mustard Greens/Turnip Greens, Bok choy, and green leafy lettuces (such as romaine, red leaf and green leaf), okra
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus;
  • Oranges;
  • Figs;
  • Most nuts, especially almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios
  • Most seeds, especially flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (AND sesame tahini);
  • Pseudo-cereals such as quinoa and buckwheat;
  • Beans, especially Soybeans (and soybean products - always buy organic), White Beans such as Great Northern and Navy, Kidney, Aduki/Adzuki, Garbanzos, Pinto, and to a lesser extent Black;
  • Calcium-fortified foods such as OJ, non-dairy milks, cereals, tofu (be sure the label for these foods shows that they are calcium-fortified);
  • Blackstrap molasses;
  • All Dried Herbs. The drying process removes the water content from the plant, leaving the concentrated nutrients behind.

B12 and Vitamin D

Vegan Coach will tell you to supplement. I don’t, and most vegans on this site I know do not. It certainly is not a bad idea, but if you don’t you should be fine. However this is something you should really keep track of. Cereals, fortified milk replacements, fortified drinks (i.e. vitamin water), orange juice, and some fortified tofu’s have it. So, it really shouldn’t be a problem. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Again, it’s pretty easy. You don’t need very much a day. Chia seed, flax seed, peanut butter (in particular the omega-3 fortified ones), some fortified drinks, seaweed, beans, winter squash, leafy greens and more are full of omega-3 so again, as long as you eat a variety of foods you’re all good. All of these also have omega-6, and oils like olive oil have omega-9.

Moral of the story is: eat the rainbow (not skittles) and you’ll be perfectly fine. Most carnists and even a lot of vegetarians suffer from some degree of malnutrition so it’s something they need to be worrying about, but they don’t.

Moving on! 

Show these things to your mom. Maybe they’ll make her go vegan too. They’re mostly reasons why to go vegan. You should go vegan for ethics, not health, because as stated above, it is a lifestyle (though plant-based is better than doing nothing).

(taken from vegan-veins ask again because I’m a pleb and misplaced these again):

Earthlings

Gary Yourofsky’s Speech

From Farm to Fridge

Vegucated (on Netflix)

Food Inc (Not that great because it still supports “humane slaughter” but it shows the reality in factory farms) (Also on Netflix)

Food Matters (focuses on the health related benefits of veganism) (On Netflix) 

Forks Over Knives (also focuses on health aspects of veganism)

Peter Singer: “The Ethics of What we Eat”

Death on a Factory Farm

This may seem like a lot to remember, but it really isn’t. At first its a little tough but you catch on really quickly. I love being vegan, it’s one of the best things I ever did.

If you need any more help, don’t be afraid to ask!

7

Beautifull Clothes, Ugly Reality…

Garment factory workers staged a fashion event called ‘Beautifull Clothes, Ugly Reality’ at the Worker’s Information Center in Phnom Penh, denouncing the poor working conditions and the current oppression they currently face in Cambodia. The participants held a fashion show, attended by some 200 people, wearing clothes from brands like Adidas, H&M and others which are being manufactured here. They also threaded the catwalk on songs by 'The Messengers’, a vocal group of former garment workers, while carrying signs saying 'We need rice, not bullets’, 'Drop the ban on public gathering now’ or 'We need a decent condition and dignity.

Im very upset to hear about their recent split. Theirs was my relationship goals. Both perfectly weird.  "One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.“

Watch on thephuckery.tumblr.com

i get asked alot about why i chose to be vegan, so i figured id write it out for those who have flirted with the idea.. no doubt it will be met by those who hold onto the ideology that somehow ties meat with manhood and vegans with some sort of far left hippiedom that is better served mocked than discussed at all. truth is i don’t ever want to preach. to each his/her own.. but i also want to say there is another side to the hot girl in a bikini.. chomping on a hamburger… on a monster truck.. that we are bombarded with daily.
my experience is simply my experience and fighting against a meat and dairy industry that has endless dollars and influence is a battle better served thru individual education and choice.
ever since i was around 25 i knew i would end up vegan for the simple reason that it felt intuitively right and matched the person i hoped to become.. of course i would feel that as i chomped on a steak but at that point i wasn’t as aware as i am now. i was where many people are with it.. the illusion that ignorance is bliss. it took about 10 years to realize that “bliss” was really a guilt building inside that i no longer could ignore. the more i read and researched the more i started to understand how blind i had become to the fact that for me, meat and dairy actually wasn’t necessary for my health.. in fact it was the opposite; wholly unnecessary. since then theres countless scientific studies that show the effects of animal protein on our health. of course there are counter claims to this but its much in the same vein as the climate change skeptics.. there is in fact a TON of money in animal agriculture, likely more than many people realize. we are constantly bombarded with imagery of meat as power.. a sort of insatiable need to dominate that comes with a sort of twisted pride that i see but have never related to.
health benefits aside, the animal cruelty we overlook is astounding. over time we as a species have chosen 5 or 6 other species that we have deemed to exist simply at our expense. and we slaughter 1.2 billion of them a week without blinking. theres a reason theres no windows on factory farms. truth is if everyone was to see what it took to put that burger in front of them they wouldn’t eat it. the reason we all don’t watch those factory farm videos is because we know exactly what it will do to us… and its much easier to look the other way. that thought process became too much for me.. “even tho i am aware that this chicken, pig, cow, calf has spent a lifetime of suffering in order for me to have lunch i am choosing to not even acknowledge it existing as a being, because if i did it would cause me to feel for that animal and that would disturb my lunch..” this style of thinking has been around since we evolved into conscious beings but i believe one day we will look back in astonishment at our lack of empathy. (then again donald trump is leading in the polls smile emoticon )
for me the more i became aware the less difference i saw between beef stew and golden retriever stew (took that from video above.) the only difference is the story we have made up about the species themselves. literally. if u happen to of had that cow or pig as a pet many of those feelings wouldn’t be removed from the crispy bacon on your plate. (yes i know bacon tastes fucking amazing) nothing i could ever say or write would even hold a candle to the reality of factory farming that can easily be found online in countless videos..
fast forward to now where it is clear and scientific that animal agriculture, outside of negative health consequences and widespread animal cruelty, is the leading cause of climate change (more than all the transportation in the world combined,) rain forest depletion (leveled in order to grow food for the animals,) dead zone in the oceans (due to factory farming runoff,) antibiotic resistance (most people are taking antibiotics daily without even knowing it, as various strains evolve away from our ability to treat them) as well as numerous other issues; drought (amount of water used to make one hamburger is equivalent to 2 months of showering, water nitrate pollution, disease causing pathogens, meat corporation monopolies, etc.) for me, this all leads to a conclusion that was unavoidable. why would i continue to eat meat and dairy if i knew that avoiding it would be good for my health, wouldn’t cause any suffering or death to animals that are at least as emotionally intelligent as my dog, and would be, by far, the most effective way for me to help the planet that my daughter would be growing up in.. when i was unable to answer that question without some programmed or marketed answer likely paid for by those who financially benefit it suddenly became easy.
I’ve been vegan for about 5 months now..i was vegetarian for some time prior to that.. baby steps.. people always ask “what in the hell do u eat?” the irony is that i gave up about 5 things and added about 500. little did i realize how much food there is outside the meat and dairy isles of the supermarket. I’ve lost about 20 pounds and every possible marker i could have checked at a doctor has drastically improved. i also feel like I’m participating in something important and no longer have that lingering guilt i started to feel when i was 25.
what provoked me to write this was the fact that i had recently described myself as a vegan somewhere and a few people came up to me asking if thats how i want to be seen as if it was somehow negative and came with connotations that others would perceive as “weak.” i realized that those connotations are likely because of programming I’m no longer connected to and in fact i feel stronger than i have in years.. and yes i am proud to be a vegan. and i still listen to rage against the machine and enjoy “fight club” so there :)))
**** im NOT implying this is for everyone, nor am i saying that this way is “right..” what the hell do i know… I’m simply stating what works for ME.. we get plenty from the other side of the argument all day.. and for most of our lives.. i don’t judge anyone who chooses to eat all of the above.