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The truth is always stranger than fiction......
From the Michigan Daily online:
Animal rights activist shocks with pictures,
Paul Shapiro, the campaigns director for Compassion over Killing,
shows the anti-cruelty video Meet your Meat yesterday at the
By Allie Horevitz and Lucille Vaughan, Daily Staff Reporters
September 30, 2004
Lecturing to a mostly sympathetic audience, Paul Shapiro delivered a
controversial and heated message yesterday: conscious consumers
should reject meat and egg products, which are created in an
atmosphere of suffering and economic waste.
"From our very childhood we create these myths to help us feel
better about eating these products," Shapiro, campaigns manager for
the animal advocacy group Compassion Over Killing said, in the
Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union last night.
He mentioned the "Old MacDonald" stereotype of happy farm animals
and a caring farmer. "We conjure up these images of happy hens
laying eggs for us."
But Shapiro said the egg industry is the most inhumane of the
agribusiness industry. "These birds have every natural instinct
frustrated. They can't flap their wings, they can't dust bathe or
forage," he said, adding that egg-laying hens are kept in tiny cages
and suffer intense misery.
"If it was strictly about humane considerations, I would eat a steak
over an omelet any day," he added.
However, United Egg says in their online Egg Nutrition Center that
eggs provide nutritional contributions to the diet and are
affordable and convenient sources of food for many Americans.
Shapiro also condemned the dairy cow industry.
"We are the only
species that not only never weans itself but drinks milk from
another species," he said. "It's hard to think of anything more
unnatural than drinking mother's milk from another species," he said.
Milk is considered by many, including the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, to be "nutritionally irreplaceable" in terms of calcium
and fat, especially for development in children.
For people who think choosing fish for dinner is more humane,
Shapiro emphasized that aquatic creatures are able to feel pain. "By
choosing fish we're not choosing any more ethical of an option than
chicken or pigs or cows," he said.
Shapiro also addressed the issue of economic waste caused by the
meat and egg industry, saying that a cow must be given 16 pounds of
grain to produce one pound of beef. "None of us would leave the
water on when we brush our teeth or throw away 20 plates of pasta,"
he said, "But when we eat meat that's the same thing."
Roughly 70 percent of grain and 50 percent of water consumed in the
United States are used by the meat industry, according to the
Audubon Society, a conservation organization.
Shapiro's lecture was titled "Ethical Food Choices in an Age of
Agribusiness" and sponsored by the Michigan Animal Rights Society.
The society is a University student group that provides information
about vegetarianism and veganism, volunteers at the humane society
and farm animal sanctuary and holds campaigns to raise awareness for
In contrast to Shapiro's opinions, the Center for Consumer Freedom
says the animal liberation movement does not seek to improve
animals' lives and wants to place unnecessary restrictions on
The event included a graphic video of slaughterhouse procedures
titled "Meet Your Meat" and narrated by Alec Baldwin. Shapiro said
these images are repellent to us but represent the daily suffering
of animals in so-called "factory farms." LSA senior and MARS member Zahrah Kahn said the event brings realism
to day-to-day food choices. "I think in a lot of situations people
are not aware of what goes on behind the walls of the
slaughterhouse," she said.
Kahn said she decided to become a vegetarian in her freshman year of
high school, when her class visited a slaughterhouse. After the
experience, she was unable to eat meat. "It didn't take a lot to
change me," she admitted.
After exploring the realities of animal agriculture, Shapiro
addressed the topic of how individuals could make a change. He
admits to being "the anti-Christ" to vegetarians in his teen years,
enjoying foods like pork chops and Popeye's chicken. When he saw a
video of a pig being killed in a slaughterhouse, Shapiro's attitudes
"I had this little awakening and realized animals care about their
lives," Shapiro recalls. "I thought to myself, `What type of person
do I want to be?' "
"Being a vegetarian or vegan is a way to make the world a better,
kinder, gentler place for both humans and non-humans," Shapiro
MARS member Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts, a student at the Gerald R.
Ford School of Public Policy, discounted the stereotype of vegans as
unhealthy eaters. "A lot of people think if they eat a vegan diet
they will be somehow deficient," he said. "But in America diseases
of excess are the problem."
He also said vegans, who base their diet upon whole grains, legumes,
fruits and vegetables, have a significantly lower incidence of heart
disease than non-vegans. "I like my chances as a vegan."
LSA sophomore Alex Dimitrov said he attended the event to learn more
about food choices and the reality of the animal industry. "I want
to know how I could be eating more progressively, he said. "I think
(vegetarian eating) is better for the global community as a whole."
Lets close down Huntingdon Life Sciences once and for all
Protect R Wildlife (PA Rep.) http://www.ProtectRWildlife.org
PAWS-BAY (Auction for Wildlife) _PAWS-Bay Home_
TNR + _TNR +_ (http://www.geocities.com/tnr_plus/)
K.A.W.S. 4 KIDS _K.A.W.S_