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Posts Tagged ‘cow’

Revived AR website with local bloggers

Posted by tinako on March 2, 2015

aralogo521x521I’m in the local AR group Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate N.Y.  We just re-launched our website,, with a schedule of local writers contributing to our blog a few times a week.

Check it out and subscribe by email or social media for updates.

Posted in AR | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by tinako on August 19, 2014

20140417173626-cowspiracy_posterThe movie Cowspiracy has come out.  I was so excited to learn that someone was finally asking these questions – why aren’t environmental organizations talking about livestock’s impact on the environment?  It’s such a glaring omission.  I supported the filmmakers on Indiegogo, so I received my promised DVD a few days ago.  You can look up local screenings at their web site.

The film is very well done, and I think it could have a big impact if it is put before local environmental leaders.  Two local vegan/AR organizations I’m in are going to co-host a showing.  Don’t miss it, and be sure to recommend it to your “environmentalist meat-eater” friends.

Posted in Environment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Surprising Speaker

Posted by tinako on July 8, 2014

The audience’s reaction is what’s interesting to me in this video about food marketing.

I’ve never seen anything like this and really wasn’t expecting her closing.  Sometimes I think surprise is the only way to get through.

Posted in Animals, Social Justice | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Say No to Animal Gifting Hunger Organizations

Posted by tinako on March 13, 2014

I have no problem recounting statistics about the environmental problems caused by livestock here in the U.S., and taking into consideration that Americans can choose to eat a healthy diet containing no animal products.  But when it comes to countries where marginal farmland and subsistence farming may make the issues more complex, I stayed out of it.

This article, “10 Reasons to Say No to Animal Gifting Hunger Organizations,” dives right in.  Have you been told their land will support nothing but grazing animals?  Have you been offered the image of cows and goats wandering around the homestead eating plants that were of no use anyway, producing free milk which is healthy and nutritious for starving people?  Find out.

Posted in Animals, Environment, Nutrition, Social Justice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Does Art Respect Animals?

Posted by tinako on July 25, 2013

Another blog, Honk if You’re Vegan, is running a series on my art.  This is part two: Does Art Respect Animals?, wherein I wonder whether artist’s needs to see animals a certain way really does affect the artwork.

Posted in Animals, Art, Social Justice | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

An Artist’s Vegan Journey

Posted by tinako on July 23, 2013

Another blog, Honk if You’re Vegan, is running a series on my art.  This is part one: An Artist’s Vegan Journey, about how I became vegan.

Posted in Animals, Art, Social Justice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dairy Dilemma

Posted by tinako on January 19, 2013

As part of a local environmental organization’s initiative to increase packaging recycling in school lunchrooms, I’ve been taking a turn going in to our school district primary school once a month and helping the kids recycle their lunch materials.  These are first and second graders, so they are sweet and fun but need a good deal of assistance.  In case you’re wondering about the details, there are about 200 kids eating at once, and every table gets a bin to toss their recyclables in, and in one cafeteria a student from that table brings their bin up to the sink and recycles everything with my help.  In the other cafeteria, I go and collect the bins after lunch and process them myself.  We recycle rinsed milk cartons, plastic cups and lids which fruits and veggies come in, plastic “silverware,” milk/juice boxes and pouches, water bottles, and chip bags.  Unfortunately they still use Styrofoam trays which we can’t recycle.  It is painful to watch the trash fill up with those, used for 15 minutes and lasting 400 years.  Of course it would be great if the district used reusable items, but they got rid of their dishwashing (and cooking) abilities when they shrank the kitchens to make room for more students 10-15 years ago or so.  So we are doing the best we can.  About half the kids bring their lunches and don’t generate much trash.

I didn’t anticipate when I signed up for this just how much milk I’d be handling.  Each needs to be opened up and given a quick rinse, but frequently the milk needs to be dumped first.  I pour a lot of milk down the drain in my two hours.  In addition to coming home smelling like it, it makes me very sad to think what the cow went through to provide what I’m dumping.  She desperately wanted to give it to her calf, who wanted desperately to have it, but the USDA school lunch program forces it on children who don’t need it, want it, or drink it.

Well, most drink some of it.  From memory, I estimate that about 40% of the kids get milk, 90% of the milk chosen is chocolate (even when the kids don’t open it), 30% of the cartons are completely consumed, another 40% are partly consumed, 25% opened but pretty full, and 5% are unopened.

This last time I went in, the leader told us we had the option of saving the unopened milks either for our families or the food pantry.  And so here is my dilemma.  Do I save milk, which I don’t think is particularly healthy, especially the 90% that is chocolate (22 grams of sugar, almost two tablespoons, in one cup of milk), to provide to hungry families, or open this junk the cows suffered for and pour it down the drain?  Is this sugar-milk less wasted if it is processed through a human gut than directly down the drain?  Am I a vegan promoting milk by providing it to the poor?  Is it arrogant of me to presume to choose for them, or is it caring to not dump USDA surplus sugar-milk on them?  What if it was candy instead?  Is it my right as a volunteer to decide according to my own deepest value, compassion?  If I don’t pass on this milk, will someone purchase or donate replacement milk, at the cost of further animal suffering, or will an alternative be more or less healthy, compassionate, and wasteful to the environment?

Having to make a quick decision, I thought that if I was this conflicted, either choice was probably acceptable – the choices that would best serve one and all had already been bypassed by others, and it was not my fault that I was not left with good options. I decided to collect the milk in my cooler and let people who visit the pantry decide.  I delivered about a gallon and a half.  I tried to remember the lesson of Torn and deliver it cheerfully.

What do you think I should do next month?

Footnote: Food Pantries Request Healthy Food Donations has milk in the yes column and sugary beverages in the no column.


Posted in Animals, AR, Buddhism, Schools, Social Justice | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Refugee Steer

Posted by tinako on March 22, 2012

My Dad owns 200 acres of farmland and woods several hours away in central New York.  Only about 15% of it is in production, rented to a local farmer.  The rest he just plays with: planting trees, putting in ponds, mowing rotations, trails.  The object is to improve it for wildlife.  He follows a good forester’s advice and is head of the state forest owner’s association, which encourages responsible stewardship.


Anyway, an unusual visitor showed up last fall: this steer.  He escaped from a neighbor’s land (actually a mile from my Dad’s).  The neighbor had only this one steer to look after for someone else for pay, and he ran off.  So the steer was in my Dad’s woods, and the neighbor didn’t know how to get him out, so planned to shoot him and drag him out.  My Dad protested about doing that on his land and the neighbor, with no plan B, abandoned the steer for the winter.

Fortunately it was a very mild winter, and also my Dad’s hunter friend brought in bales of hay.  This was especially kind of the friend since he wasn’t happy the steer was eating from feed plots he had planted for deer.

So the steer is still there, and appears healthy (see this video).   When I first heard this story last fall I suggested to my Dad that he call Farm Sanctuary.  He did but I’m sorry to report that they declined to get involved, which was very disappointing.  None of us are farmers and have no safe place to keep or send this guy.  Now that he’s clearly been abandoned by his owner to the elements all winter I’ve just contacted Farm Sanctuary myself with this trailcam photo (which was one of their caveats – they wanted to know what kind of cattle he was).

I’ll let you know what happens.

Posted in Animals | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bearing Witness

Posted by tinako on June 8, 2010

Pancho and Filipe, two sweet calves rescued by Farm Sanctuary in March.

Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s National Director, writes about how they know that the Conklin Farm abuse is not isolated – because most of the animals they rescue come in terrified of people.

Bearing Witness to Conklin Farm Abuse

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A Difficult Video

Posted by tinako on May 31, 2010

In case you haven’t heard, there is a very violent video making the rounds of the internet showing undercover footage on an Ohio dairy farm.  I have chosen not to watch it, since I already chose not to support this industry.  You may be interested to read a few thoughtful comments about the video that I’ve come across.

  • Here’s is a letter from Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Bauer, in which he reports that Farm Sanctuary has offered to take the cows and wants to help support prosecution, but that laws in Ohio are very lenient.
  • And here is a blog posting from Tim Gier, stating why he thinks it is a mistake to suggest this video to non-vegans.

Posted in Animals | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »