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Pet Sounds

I have some updates for you on what is happening in the animal advocate world.

Farm Sanctuary, which is located outside Watkins Glen, and in California, was started in 1981. I had the privilege of meeting Gene and Laurie Bauston in Delaware, just after they brought in the first animals to the farm. They visited slaughterhouses in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and discovered the most horrendous conditions, including sick and half-dead animals who were left to suffer or put into the human food supply.

In 1995, I went to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen and my heart soared at the sight of all those rescued animals living in clean and kind conditions. In each of the locations, a wonderful farmer had donated the land. Maybe after years of seeing animals mistreated, frightened, and sent to market, the farmers were making an atonement.

In 2009, California passed Proposition 2, which bans gestation crates (pigs kept in tiny pens, unable to get up or turn), and confining veal calves to a space that does not allow them to romp and play. There is also a ban on docking a cow's tail, which was done, without anesthesia, to keep them cleaner. Hey, how about following the Dutch or German way, which is to clean the cow top to bottom, including the tail!

Michigan passed a law that allows farm animals to get up and down, turn, and stretch. This will be phased out over ten years, which is not great, but something.

This looks like a good year for New York and Massachusetts farm animals. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has sponsored a bill to ban veal crates, gestation cages, and battery cages (for hens). The law will be called, "Nikki's Law," named for a sow who was rescued after the floods in Iowa. She was sent to Farm Sanctuary after she was saved with her piglets.

Another Farm Sanctuary article asks the question, "What is Natural food?" The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) allows natural labeling from something far from it. Did you know that natural meat can be from animals never allowed outside, living in overcrowding conditions, and filth? If you want to know more, go to to read "Truth Behind Labels Campaign."

Here's a list of new books by popular actors and others. The first book is called, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and will change your life. Also of note are Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, and Our Farm by Maya Gottfried (very nice for children and adults). I think our libraries should buy these books to enlighten people of all ages.

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