BBQ’s that Harm Animals: Simply Unnecessary

Paul McCartney at the grill

Sir Paul at the grill cooking up delicious meat-free foods

BBQ’s are firing up everywhere, and the general consensus is that it’s perfectly o.k. to throw animal pieces on the fires and consume them without thinking of what’s actually behind the body parts.

I smell the cooking flesh and feel heartsick that that animal resisted death with all its might and did not go down “humanely” as most people would like to believe.

There is no humane way to do the inhumane: taking the life of an innocent, harmless animal who didn’t want to die anymore than our beloved pets would want to and done in a bloody, gut-drenched place far away from most human eyes, a place of terror for the animals who are forced to enter it.

The thing that is really infuriating and tragic to me is that it’s all simply unnecessary in this day and age.

An argument could be made that in the past mankind was forced to eat animals and had no real choice not to in most instances.

But today there is nothing but habit and disconnect that creates the demand for the products of suffering and violent death.

I throw BBQ’s every summer in which no animals were harmed in their making, and meat-eaters and vegans alike seem to have no complaints.

Let’s pause for a moment to think of the brutality shown to sentient creatures all for a moment on the grill and on the tongue and begin to make the connections necessary to finally evolve away from violence and onward to mercy towards our cousins in feathers and fur.

Paul McCartney will tell you the BBQ will be delicious. 🙂

(P.S. My personal favorite and the favorite of all my party guests is the Gardein Beefless Burger--incredibly delicious! Remember: I don’t get paid for endorsements of any kind–this is just simply the best burger I’ve ever had–on the grill and off! I recommend this one over the Veggie burger by Gardein. The Ultimate Beefless Burger rocks!)

 

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“Welcome to my World”

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Lead character Owen with a baby Blue in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

This weekend I saw the new Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie and in an early scene the lead female character is bemoaning the fact that creatures are dying on an island that’s being destroyed by a volcano with no help for rescue in sight.

She utters a mournful, “Dinosaurs are dying and no one cares.”

I leaned over to my friend and said, “Welcome to my world”.

She got the dark humor.

The movie was clearly written by progressive thinkers in that they created characters who care about the lives of the animals and feel they deserve rescue (based on characters by author, screenwriter, film director and producer, the late Michael Crichton, of course).

In fact, there are touching scenes of the bond between the lead male character and his beloved “Blue”, the raptor who has been raised by him.

Meanwhile, we continue to live in a real world that clearly could have been written by people who mostly disregard the suffering and death of animals.

And yet we absolutely have some real people in our world like the main characters of the story in the movie who do care and are willing to choose to help.

What’s really interesting is musing upon the idea that people would go to great lengths to save creatures that would just as soon tear them to shreds but most people in real life have no pity for the gentle cow, pig or chicken who would do them no harm.

My hope is that the idea that all lives matter spreads far and wide and veganism becomes the “norm” that it should be.

Now back to the screenplay I’m working on: Vegan World: Rising Kingdom. 😀

“The Future of Protein”

 

 

Beyond Meat chicken strips.jpg

This is the product I bought today

When I was in the supermarket today I saw (and bought) a product from Beyond Meat and noticed its slogan: “The Future of Protein”.

This little phrase made my day.

Moments before I saw a couple of young guys buying steaks and try as I might I couldn’t help but feel down–for the poor cow who was violently killed, for the planet that is being compromised due to our meat addiction, and for the men who were putting a product into their bodies that we know is just simply not really good for human health.

So when I saw the Beyond Meat display I was reminded that slowly but surely the world is waking up and changing.

To be sure, it always feels too slow for those of us on the front lines, who know of the suffering of animals, the planet and human health.

But that little phrase said it all.

The future is actually almost here.

(Check out this review of the very product I purchased today at wired.com).

 

Shepherding All God’s Creatures Has A New Site!

To those who are following this wonderful blog and to those who are simply curious, I urge you to check them out at their new website as this site is filled with love, mercy, wisdom and compassion. 🙂

Shepherding All God's Creatures

Shepherding All God’s Creatures New Site Cover Photo

This blog post is being written to specifically introduce our new website!!  All of the articles that we have written have been transferred; all new content will now be written and published from the new site.

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Why is it “Controversial” to Want to Protect Animals?

BroilerChickensSweden-JMacWhen people defend the use of animals for food, clothing, etc., they are usually not thinking of the animal suffering or being violently slaughtered against his or her will.

They are likely thinking that it’s done “humanely” and after all, we are the dominant species and we are “entitled” to use animals, right?

In short, most people were raised to think only of themselves and what they could gain by the use of animals. Since we were all (or the vast majority of us) raised to think that way, it seems very “normal” to view things only from our own perspective and to almost never see it from the animal’s perspective.

Who talked at the dinner table about the cow who feared for his or her life as the smell of blood was detected from the ones who had gone before? Who spoke of her violent slaughter?

Who mentioned the chicken who was likely boiled alive in an industry that doesn’t protect them at all from cruelty and inhumane slaughter?

Unless someone was raised on a farm or with hunters, the subject of animal killing and butchering was likely not brought up at all.

Who would want to “spoil” our appetites by wondering how the animal felt as he/she faced her executioner and describing the gory and merciless details of the process?

This probably explains in part at least why it’s considered “controversial” to want to put an end to “food” animal suffering and death.

Animal exploitation and the cruelty behind the steak on the plate was, and still generally is, simply invisible.

Therefore when someone shines a light on the subject and claims it’s wrong to harm animals for our dinner plates, the knee-jerk reaction from most people is to condemn the idea.

And it explains why defending helpless animals and refusing to be a part of their suffering and death is so resisted.

If someone speaks out for a cat or dog against abuse and killing here in the U.S., that’s not considered “controversial”, it’s considered the right thing to do.

Let us strive to get beyond our conditioned thinking that it’s “all about us” and consider the victim on our plate.

This way, slowly but surely, defending “food” animals from abuse and slaughter will no longer be considered “controversial”.

“Stuck in the Past”

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Vegan veteran and all around compassionate guy, Chad W. Hubbs with his furry friend

When I read the words I later used to title this blog post by a fellow animal advocate, they rang so very true.

He was talking about so many people, specifically those in his family, who are resistant to change (whether out of fear or simply stubbornly resistant).

They are, without acknowledging it, stuck in the past, holding on to outdated ideas and views, hanging on to traditions that are being exposed for what they are: cruel to animals, unnecessary, dangerous to health and destructive to our environment.

I don’t know why so many people deeply fear change or get defensive when being shown new ideas, but I suppose the human condition is such that most of us are uncomfortable at best with change and furiously resistant at worst.

This man is raising his children to value all life and to truly be kind to animals (by not eating them, to begin with).

Someone on his Facebook page commented: “You’ve planted a seed and it will grow.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The younger generations that follow us are our hope for a more peaceful world towards all living creatures, one in which life is truly valued and the instruction to “be kind to animals” is not just lip service, but honestly followed.

By the way, the man I’m speaking of (photo above) is a wonderful voice for the animals, a vegan veteran who has seen enough bloodshed in war and is determined to make a positive and compassionate difference in this world.

His name is Chad W. Hubbs and you can check out his messages on his Facebook page.

Thank you, Chad, for your strong advocacy for compassion towards all! 🙂

 

Why Does Her Life Matter so Little?

pig in crate

I happened to be channel surfing when I paused at an episode of “The Chew” just in time to hear one of the hosts talk about cooking pork.

Oh, lucky me.

Now, mind you, most people wouldn’t blink an eye.

But in my own mind I substitute “cat” or “dog” with “pork” and am continually stunned by the disconnect and absolute refusal to see that a pig– an intelligent, inquisitive, friendly social animal– was treated with the utmost cruelty in order to become “our” pork.

It’s times like that that I wonder what the hell I’m doing on this planet where if someone dared to cook pieces of a dog or cat the show would be abruptly cancelled (as it should be) but there is no such outrage at cooking up the remains of a creature who died in a horrible way and who most likely came from a factory farm where his/her short life was one of misery.

I also had been watching an Animal Planet show about predators where the narrator was talking about lions, as scenes of their disemboweling and devouring an animal carcass were shown, and he described it as a “macabre” meal.

Huh? Isn’t that what we do to animals before we devour them? Lions are eating a “macabre” meal but we are simply eating “pork” (or “beef” or “sausage”, etc.)?

What, I ask myself, is wrong with this picture??

If we don’t need to eat them, why would we?

If we don’t need to violently take the life of an innocent animal who has done us no harm, why would we?

If we say we “love” animals yet continue to cause them suffering and death, why would we?

If we wouldn’t do it to a dog or a cat, why is o.k. to do it to a pig?

I long for the day when all human beings of compassion make the connection.

 

 

Mama Chicken is no “Chicken”

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Hen with her brood in a bar in Key West

While on vacation in Key West I was surrounded by roosters, chickens and adorable little chicks, running around on the island freely.

I ran across these dear creatures in a bar!

Did you hear the one about the chicks in the bar who got flagged for being underage and had to call mom to pick them up?…. 😀

It was nice to see these birds free and happy, instead of where most of them are kept when raised for food–crammed into tiny cages their entire miserable lives, transported in all weather, and finally ending up in the horror house of slaughter, where even basic “humane slaughter” rules don’t apply.

In other words, ending up where they are treated as disposable garbage.

We eat chickens in massive quantities in the U.S. and throughout the world, and most of the chickens do come from factory farms, no matter what we’d prefer to think.

It’s astounding to me that more people don’t connect the dots and see that chickens are thinking, feeling animals who would prefer not to be tortured and killed mercilessly.

But back to our lovely friends roaming the island….

I observed a rooster attempt to bite a chick and immediately and without hesitation, the mama hen zoomed in on him and chased him away to protect the baby.

People use the word “chicken” in a derisive manner, of course, and perhaps this explains why we so easily eat the remains of chickens and are seemingly unconcerned with their treatment, no matter how vile.

Words are powerful and so often humans associate chickens with being dumb, cowardly and insignificant, except of course as a meal.

They are not dumb and certainly not cowardly (as the story of the brave hen chasing the rooster away from her baby shows clearly).

They are also significant to their own lives, just as we are to ours.

We don’t need to eat them or ground their male babies up to eat their eggs or exploit them in any way.

Let’s take a page from Key West and simply live side by side with them and treat them with respect and kindness.

 

Our Sense of Entitlement

pig with ear tag

This sweet pig who had a name was slaughtered because humans feel entitled to eating her flesh.

The reason animals continue to be harmed is that mankind in general has a sense of entitlement towards the use of other creatures, a belief that animals are here for us to fulfill our needs, wants and desires, no matter how trivial or genuinely unnecessary.

To be sure, most of us are good people who don’t think of it exactly in those terms. We are instead born to exploit, a part of a society that views most animals as expendable, disposable, and here for us, rather than for their own interests.

Do we get this belief from religion? Perhaps–I often hear people quoting from the Bible that animals are here for our use. But “dominion” doesn’t exactly translate to “brutal domination”–it instead urges compassionate stewardship.

Do we get this attitude from the larger society? Seems like it to me–we are inundated with commercial after commercial expounding all the wonders of animal foods, normalizing the use of farm creatures, never showing the horrors inflicted on them for that piece of flesh or glass of milk.

Do we get this sense of entitlement from our family? Think about that and you’ll surely see that our parents and extended family modeled for us a behavior of using animals but not thinking about what the use actually meant for the animals themselves (unless you grew up on a farm or your parents were extremely honest).

This sense of entitlement reveals the arrogance of man.

For although most people would never harm an animal themselves and think of who they are as kind and decent, the underlying belief that animals are merely here to provide us with anything we desire is firmly entrenched and causes terrible cruelty and abuse, hardly the mark of kind and decent behavior towards other creatures who are feeling, thinking beings with wants and needs and with a strong desire to not be killed.

Entitlement is what the slave owners felt towards owning people, what some men feel in dominating women and what abusers in general feel when justifying pretty much the ugliest behavior man can display.

Anyone who has compassion should examine this issue to see how we justify the exploitation of animals because we feel entitled to do so.

Help Popcorn Park in the Ocean First Charity Challenge!

If you live in or near Ocean County, New Jersey, chances are you know about Popcorn Park, a place of rescue and refuge for abused animals of all kinds. It’s a wonderful place to visit and to support!

Popcorn Park Zoo is a small 7-acre refuge located in Forked River, New Jersey within Lacey Township.

According to the Associated Humane Societies, the zoo is “a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals, and birds.” The zoo has programs to educate visitors about animals and their environments and offers hundreds of rescued dogs and cats for adoption.

For the third year they are raising life-saving money for their ResQ Fund in the Ocean First Charity Challenge:

“All of us at Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park are so excited to be entered into the Ocean First Charity Challenge for the third year.

Let’s make this year even better than last! We are so grateful for the support that we received during the contests in previous years, and with your donations, not only we were able to purchase a laser for our medical department, which has helped so many animals that have come in with orthopedic issues and injuries, but we’ve also helped countless animals that were victims of abuse and neglect, and got them the medical care that they desperately needed.

Thanks to you, so many animals got a second chance in life, and found wonderful homes that they were so deserving of.

This year we are, once again, raising money for our Res-Q Fund. The Res-Q Fund at Associated Humane Societies is a fund that was set up to provide animals with urgent medical care.

Sadly, this fund is depleted time and time again as so many more animals come through our doors with serious injuries and conditions that require critical care. We have veterinary teams at all three of our AHS branches that treat animals of all breeds and species daily, and also utilize many of the specialized veterinary hospitals throughout New Jersey.

Our medical departments are in need of new equipment, such as an autoclave and various other instruments, and the need for medical care for animals is a constant at AHS.

We see countless cases of abuse and neglect of innocent, defenseless animals every day.

So many of these animals need surgery, therapy, medications, and continuing medical care to make their lives whole again. We have cured so many, yet more keep coming.

Donations to our Res-Q Fund go such a long way in the plight of helping animals in need. Please help us reach our goal of $20,000 this year by clicking here to donate: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campai…

Thank you!”