Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For Healthy Change, Vote with Your Dollars

Food Animal Concern Trust (FACT) is dedicated to making farms healthier and more humane places for animals to live through research, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1982 by Robert A. Brown, they rely on firsthand, on-farm research to make science-based recommendations to federal regulatory agencies and as the basis for organizing a broad public response.

I have been a supporter of FACT for many years, there is no reason other than greed and ignorance that farm animals cannot be raised humanely. Indeed, it is in the best interests of our own health that they are, and I have written about this in another article, The Dance of Life.

FACT believes that all farms should be humane and healthy places to raise animals. In support of those aims, and others in the Animal Rights links in my Resources section of my website, I wanted to share their vision from a recent FACT newsletter:

"Scott and Roxanne Bok, FACT supporters since 1995, are a positive example of what is possible. They operate Twin Lakes Farm, a small, humane and sustainable farm in northwest Connecticut that supplies grass fed beef, free range eggs and fresh produce to their restaurant a few miles down the road. The Bok's, with the help of two young, third generation farmers, are giving dozens of cows and chickens a better life. They are also improving environmental health, protecting green space, and contributing to their local economy.

"In this time of industrial-scale, confinement agriculture, Twin Lakes Farm illustrates a healthy and humane way of raising animals. The laying hens roam freely on a grassy meadow and can retreat to an enclosed house during inclement weather. The beef cattle have access to pasture year-round, as well as a state-of-the-art barn that is equipped with a sand floor for cooling and fly control. The barn is also outfitted with a large brush wheel the cows use for scratching. Currently the herd consists of 75 adult cows and 12 calves, all experiencing a happy and social life on the pastures at Twin Lakes. They are curious animals and creatures of habit. The cows can be heard bellowing to each other, perhaps signaling that it is time to go out to graze on the pasture or return to the barn, a routine that happens four to five times per day. It is not uncommon to see the calves playing together with one adult cow watching over the group, and image that reveals and innate awareness and distinct personalities these animals possess."

This is how farm animals should live; laying hens should not be confined to cages so small that they cannot even stand up. Farm animals should not live in such appalling conditions that they must be continually fed antibiotics to keep them healthy, and that are then passed along to us.

So, what can you do? Vote with your dollars, one of the most persuasive arguments in a supply and demand economy such as ours, and support local, organic farmers. As more of us make caring and healthy choices we can change the marketplace and educate others.

Labels can be deceiving, the word organic can be used very loosely, and cage free does not mean free range, so educate yourself by shopping at someplace like PCC Natural Markets. PCC is a certified organic grocery store and co-op, located in Seattle that specializes in natural food, organic produce, and naturally raised meats. They go the extra mile and research every item that they carry. You can find a link to their list of PCC-approved ingredients in my Nutrition Resources section under Human Nutrition.

And make a donation to FACT, so that they can continue to create positive change for farm animals.

Rose De Dan
Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC
Animal and Reiki Art:

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