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December 10th: International Human Rights Day
If I received a dollar every time I was asked “what are you doing about human rights, though?” while advocating for animals, I could buy all the pigs at Adare Pork Ltd. and send them to a sanctuary.
In today’s show, Alison and I discuss the ways in which advocating for animal rights and veganism is highly relevant to human rights issues; animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation, and animal agriculture is responsible for 20-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today. 2500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 lb of beef, 477 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 lb of eggs, nearly 900 gallons of water are required to produce 1 lb of cheese, and it takes 1000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk. Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. We could see fishless oceans by 2048 due to overfishing. For every 1 pound of fish caught, 5 pounds of unintended “by-catch” are discarded. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction, with 1-2 acres being cleared every second. World-wide, at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock. We currently grow enough food to feed 10 billion people. 80% of antibiotics produced in the US and the UK are used for livestock, contributing to an antibiotic-resistance epidemic which is already causing human deaths (if you were born vegan, this would affect you – vegan activists are often told to mind our own business…this IS our business.)
Meat Industry Now Exposed by a Second Toronto Activist
In June of 2015, Toronto animal rights activist Anita Krajnc along with fellow Toronto Pig Save members, gave water to severely dehydrated pigs in transport trucks approaching a slaughter house – a moment of kindness before the nightmare that awaited these sentient beings, who likely never knew love or comfort in their short lives.
Anita’s innocent act of compassion resulted in headlines around the world as she faced criminal mischief charges for tampering with the farmer’s “property” with an “unknown substance.” Surprisingly, even meat-eaters rallied behind Anita. The lengthy court case (nicknamed #pigtrial) wrapped up in May of 2017 as activists around the world rejoiced when Anita was acquitted of all charges, her two vegan lawyers essentially putting the meat industry on trial, exposing the gruesome details of animal agriculture and Canada’s pathetic animal cruelty laws.
Fast forward to October 2018, and we potentially have #pigtrial2 ahead of us… Earlier this year, 55-year old activist Jenny McQueen, with Direct Action Everywhere, donned a video camera and entered Adare Pork Ltd (a pig production warehouse supplying grocery chain, IGA) to expose the cruelty within and to rescue piglets in distress. This type of animal rights action is known as “open rescue” and is one of the most common tactics used by grassroots group DXE (Direct Action Everywhere), who have exposed many so-called “humane” farms which supply, among others, grocery giant Whole Foods which heavily promotes the “humane myth.”
During open rescue, activists enter barns or factory farms, document the cruelty with video cameras, rescue animals in distress, get them veterinary care and take them to sanctuary. Unlike similar tactics employed by animal rights groups where activists may hide their identity, open rescues are performed by activists who show their faces on camera, putting themselves at risk for legal action.
What Jenny saw and filmed that day was enough to warrant a call to the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals): pigs trapped in tiny gestation and farrowing crates, unable to move around, some with severe prolapses (their organs protruding out of their bodies from repeat pregnancies); piglets rotting on the floor; animals surrounded in their own excrement, and the stench of ammonia from feces and urine that burned her lungs.
Open rescues are intended to be broadcast far and wide on social media as well as mainstream media and therefore Jenny now faces criminal charges for break and enter as well as mischief over $5000, and had a frightening police raid on her home in the early hours of the morning while she slept in her bed. In this interview, we speak to Jenny about this experience, her activism and the industries which use animals for profit.
We applaud Jenny and Anita for facing the unknown and frightening ordeal of criminal charges in order to expose these industries and Canada’s poor animal welfare laws.
Please donate to Jenny’s legal fund here.