First is this shocking undercover video about the abuse and mistreatment of baby chicks at Cal-Cruz Hatcheries in California. The video is not for the faint of heart, and is just the latest example of animal cruelty in large scale meat factory farms. If are you looking for another reason to go vegetarian, or to buy meat only from local, trusted farmers who treat animals humanely, watch the video. Cal-Cruz is being being sued by Compassion Over Killing, represented by Animal Legal Defense Fund attorneys, according to the Huffington Post.
Swiftly, Whole Foods severed any ties to Cal-Cruz, which it was connected to at one point through its network of distributors and farms. I was glad to read that Whole Foods has standards of quality which prohibit animal abuse. According to the Huffington Post, and Beth Krauss, spokeswoman for Whole Foods:
"Last year, the chain implemented a rating system for how well pigs, chickens and cattle are treated prior to slaughter. The non-profit Global Animal Partnership, which runs the rating program, plans to develop standards for hatcheries within two years, said Miyun Park, executive director.
"The point of that was to encourage ranchers to improve their welfare practices and also better inform our customers about how the animals are raised," Krauss said. "We're one of the few retailers directly addressing animal welfare. Issues like this just prove how important that 5-step program is. But it's a work in progress."
This is good news and a giant step in the right direction toward the humane treatment of animals in farming.
Next up is the news about the FDA finally regulating a specific kind of antibiotic used in factory farms, called cephalosporins. Cephalosporins, according to the LA Times, "are used to treat people for food-borne pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. Drug-resistant salmonella already was being found more commonly in livestock. The antibiotics also are important in treating infections in children and cancer patients."
While this is another good step in the right direction, it is woefully late, and limited in scope. We need the FDA to restrict the use of all antibiotics food animal production so we can save these important medications for when they are really needed in healthcare for humans. That's why I joined Moms for Antibiotic Awareness, and I hope you will join me.
What are you reading this weekend?