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Cruelty and the Law

Scales of Justice

There are virtually no laws against cruelty to animals which are raised for food in the U.S. The Animal Welfare Act, which governs the humane treatment of animals, excludes animals intended for food consumption.

How would you like to be a lobster? The Struggle to Live

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Some communities have tried to fight back against the new factory farms being built in their area. Recently, in South Dakota, local family farmers oragnized against the building of a large corporate factory farm. After a long expensive battle, South Dakotan voters approved a state referendum outlawing the building of factory farms in their state.

Unfortunately, factory farms have massive financial corporate and political resources to fight public opposition.

After being turned away in South Dakota, one pork company simply picked up its blueprints and moved to Colorado. Local environmentalists and family farmers there tried to fight the construction, but the agribusiness-influenced politicians allowed the pig factory's construction.

One large factory farm displaces hundreds of family farmers, who want to raise animals ethically. Sadly, farm factories use their financial and political resources to put the family farms out of business.
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Howling Wolf

Being a Vegetarian in a Fast-Food world

Road to the fast food world

"I send you out as a sheep amongst the wolves" - God

The rest of the world does not make it easy for you to be a vegetarian. Most restaurants base their entire menu on meat based dishes. But it's not that difficult if you are determined.

Buffet style restaurants are often affordably priced and offer a wide variety of vegetqarian items to choose from. Visit the Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants page for a list.

Here are some meatless order ideas you can get at almost any restaurant! See, it isn't so hard after all!

Large salad and baked potato. This is a very healthy and delicious meal, which leaves room for dessert if you don't get full!

Pasta with Marinara sauce or Alfredo sauce, with bread/garlic bread, a salad and dessert.

Grilled cheese, french fries, salad, dessert. Baked macaroni and cheese, salad, dessert.

In health food stores, and many popular grocery stores, look for veggie burgers and tofu hot dogs. By the time you pile all the fixins on, you won't be able to taste the difference! (But you will FEEL a decidedly healthy difference!)
Tofu Hot Dog

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And just when you thought it was safe to eat dessert again...

Temptation lies ahead
Bummer! Here are some other seemingly harmless products that contain animal products or extracts.

Castor- Castoreum. From muskrat and beaver genitals.

Catgut- Tough string from the intestines of sheep, horses, etc. Used for surgical sutures. Also for stringing tennis rackets and musical instruments, etc.
Alternatives- nylon and other synthetic fibers.

Cetyl Alcohol- Wax found in spermaceti from sperm whales or dolphins. Alternatives- vegetable cetyl alcohol (e.g., coconut), synthetic spermaceti.

Chewing Gum - Some chewing gums contain glycerine, read the label before you buy! Wrigleys gum contains a vegetarian source of glycerine.

Cortisone- Corticosteroid. Hormone from cattle liver. Widely used in medicine. Alternatives: synthetics.

Estrogen- Estrone. Estradiol. Hormones from cow ovaries and pregnant mares' urine. Considered a drug. Can have harmful systemic effects if used by children. Used for reproductive problems and in birth control pills. In some creams and lotions. Has a negligible effect in the creams as a skin restorative; simple vegetable source emollients are considered better. Alternatives: oral contraceptives based on synthetic steroids or phytoestrogens (from plants; currently being researched).

Fish Liver Oil Used in vitamins and supplements. In milk fortified with vitamin D. Alternatives: yeast extract ergosterol and sunshine.

Fish Scales- Used in shimmery make-ups. Garbage cans full of scales are sold to manufacturers. Alternatives: mica, rayon, synthetic pearl.

Gelatin- Gel. Gelatin is obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, or bones with water. From cows and pigs.
Used in most popularly in Jello, marshmallows and candy bars containing "nougat". Also used in face masks, and some shampoos and cosmetics. Read your labels! Alternatives: carrageen (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelp--used in jellies, plastics, medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel.
Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marsh mallow plant. You can also buy vegetarion jello at health food stores.

Honey- Food for bees, made by bees. Can cause allergic reactions. In cosmetics and foods. Should never be fed to infants. Alternatives- Maple syrup, date sugar, syrups made from grains such as barley malt, turbinado sugar, molasses.

Keratin- From the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions. Read your labels. Alternatives: Almond oil, soy protein, amla oil (from an Indian tree's fruit). Rosemary and nettle give body and strand strength to hair.

Lard- Fat from hog abdomens. In shaving creams, soaps, cosmetics. Read your labels. In baked goods, French fries, refried beans, and many other foods. Alternatives- pure vegetable fats or oils.

Musk (Oil)- Painfully obtained from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, otter genitals. Wild cats are kept captive in cages in horrible conditions; beavers are trapped; deer are shot; cats are whipped around genitals to produce the scent. In perfumes and in food flavorings. Alternatives- Labdanum oil (which comes from various rockrose shrubs). Other plants have a musky scent also. Labdanum oil has no known toxicity.

Photos - Developing paper contains gelatine.

Progesterone - A hormone. May have been taken from the urine of a pregnant mare, and could be used in hormone creams, etc.

Rennet - An enzyme taken from the stomach of a newly killed calf. Used in the cheese making process. Look for rennin, it's vegetarian counterpart or the words "made without animal rennet".

Silk- Silk Powder. Silk is the shiny fiber made by silkworms to form their cocoons. Worms are boiled in their cocoons to get the silk. Used in cloth. In silk-screening (other fine cloth can be and is used instead). Taffeta can be made from silk or nylon. Silk powder is obtained from the secretion of the silkworm. It is used as a coloring agent in face powders, soaps, etc. Can cause severe allergic skin reactions and systemic reactions (if inhaled or ingested). Alternatives: milkweed seed-pod fibers, nylon, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments (kapok), rayon, and synthetic silks.

Shortening- Can be made from animal fats. Used in the food industry especially pastries and biscuits.

Soap- Most soaps are not vegetarian because of the tallow (animal fats) used in their production.

Stearate- This usually comes in the form of calcium stearate, and it is found in hard candies like Gobstoppers and Sweetarts. It comes from stearic acid, which is usually derived from tallow, or animal fat. Stearate is also used in vinyls (like car seats) and plastics.

Stearyl Alcohol- A mixture of solid alcohols. Can be prepared from sperm whale oil. In medicines, creams, rinses, shampoos, etc. Derivatives: Stearamine Oxide, Stearyl Acetate, Stearyl Caprylate, Stearyl Citrate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Stearyl Heptanoate, Stearyl Octanoate, Stearyl Stearate, Stearyldimethyl Amine. Alternatives: plant sources, vegetable stearic acid.

White Sugar- Made with Bone Char (Animal bone ash). Used to make sugar white. Alternative: Buy raw sugar.
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Some Misconceptions that Vegetarians hold

(see, I am not completely biased!)

It is a common misconception, and often argued wrongly by vegetarians, that the use in the English language of pig/pork, calf/veal, cow/beef, sheep/mutton etc., has something to do with meat-eaters pretending they're not eating animals. This is not the case.

In medieval England the peasants were Anglo-Saxon but the aristocracy was Norman-French, this followed the conquest of England by William of Normandy (France) in 1066. The aristocracy compelled the peasants to look after the animals but rarely allowed them to eat any meat.

The peasants called the animals by the Anglo-Saxon names; pig, calf, sheep etc. But the aristocracy, who ate the meat, called it by the French names for the same animals; porc (pig), veau (calf), boeuf (ox or bullock), mouton (sheep). This got Anglicized slightly over the centuries but this distinction between these animals and the meat has remained in every English speaking country around the world. Animals which were not commonly eaten by the Norman-French aristocracy, like chicken, turkey, rabbit etc, have the same name for the animal and the meat.
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Types of Vegetarians

There is only one type of vegetarian! That is one who does not eat products from dead animals! You cannot eat just chicken and fish, and still be a vegetarian. Some vegetarians will consume animal products, if the animal was not killed to produce it. Lacto-vegetarians will use dairy products (milk, butter, cheese). Ovo-Vegetarians will eat eggs, Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians will eat both.

But there is no such thing as a pesco-vegetarian (fish) or a pollo-vegetarian (chicken)! You either eat flesh or you don't. If you eat fish, you may call yourself a pescatarian.

Fruitarian Same as vegetarian, but only eats foods that don't kill the plant (apples can be picked without killing the entire plant, carrots cannot). A fruitarian does not, as commonly believed, eat only fruit.

There are also those who call themselves Vegan. This is a much more strict lifestyle. Vegans do not eat or use any product from animals or insects. Therfore they do not wear leather, silk, wool, fur or down products, or eat honey, marshmallows, jello, or dairy products, or use lanolin ar other products which are derived from living creatures in any way. The also do not buy products from companies that test on animals or any products with animal-derived ingredients. Vegans make a differenceIn one lifetime, the average American eats 11 cows, 1 calf, 2 sheep, 31 pigs, 92 turkeys, 2,287 chickens, and over 1,000 fish. Altogether a vegan saves about 3,424 animals.
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Dealing with the questions of meat eaters

If you should decide to go vegetarian, you will probably, at some point, have to deal with somebody trying to ridicule you for it. Here are a few answers to the most common questions people try to stump me with.

'Are you wearing leather shoes?'

Vegetarians face many times when someone will look down at your feet hoping to catch you in leather shoes. But even if youre not ready to give away all your leather shoes, this does not detract from your vegetarian diet. These types of criticisms most always come from people who do nothing to stop the suffering of animals.

All of my leather shoes were purchased before I realized the suffering of the animals that unwillingly shed their skins. I will not allow them to have died in vain now, by discarding my leather shoes. I will wear them as a reminder of the animal that gave it's life, until they wear out, at which time I will replace them with non animal skin counterparts.

Leather is a valuable by-product of the meat industry and its sale helps to fund the slaughterhouse business. For this reason many vegetarians do choose not to wear it.

'Would'nt the animal population become overcrowded and many of them starve to death if we ALL stopped eating meat?'

95 percent of the flesh food in this country is especially bred for the purpose of food and ultimately the profit of the corporations. These animals would never have been born were they not destined for the slaughterhouse. In a vegetarian world we would not have to breed farm animals, but simply allow them the space to live a free life in their natural habitat.

'But you're killing plants to eat, isn't that murder too?'

Plants do no feel pain because they do not have a central nervous system. Even if they did, it takes more plants to sustain a meat eating society because animals are fed large amounts of plants to fatten them up before the kill, therefore vegetarianism is still the more humane option.

'Why are you vegetarians always trying to push your views on the rest of us normal people?'

Far more money is spent trying to convince the eating public that meat is safe, healthy, and required for a balanced diet. The meat industries spend millions of dollars every year to ensure their continued profits. Look at the advertising; on tv, radio, supermarkets and even school textbooks.

Vegetarianism is promoted by small pressure groups and comitted individuals and a growing number of health professionals.

It says in the bible that animals were put on earth for us to use

If animals were put here for us to use, then why did they exist before man? This point suggests that they must have some purpose that doesn't include our exploitation of them.
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Peace Sign

If you're not a part of the solution
you're a part of the problem

Tree Divider

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