World Day for the End of Speciesism demonstration Sat. August 26, 2017 3 – 4:30 pm

 

LOCAL ACTION

PLEDGE TO GO VEGAN

GET TEXT ALERTS

Please join Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) Connecticut for a World Day for the End of Speciesism demonstration. Passersby will be reminded that we are all animals and that we all deserve to have the right to live in peace. To learn more about what happens to animals raised for food, watch this video.

WHEN

Saturday, August 263-4:30 p.m.

WHERE

New Haven Green, intersection of College and Chapel streets, New Haven, CT 06511 (See this map.)

CONTACT

Alexander at Alexandermherpst@gmail.com.com

 

RSVP on Facebook

 

All materials (such as posters and leaflets) will be provided. Note that reserved parking will not be available, and please be prepared for the weather. If you can’t make it, you can still help by taking action here.

 

Outreach Tips

 

 

Take Action

 

Don’t forget to buy T-shirts and other activist gear! Be sure to enter promo code ACT10 during checkout to enjoy your discount. Discount excludes donations, gift cards, literature, memberships, sale items, shipping and handling, and taxes. Expires September 30, 2017.

Thank you for your compassion for animals.

Sincerely yours,


Kimberly Spiegel
Senior Outreach Coordinator
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
KimberlyS@peta.org
Add PETA on FacebookYouTube, and Twitter.

 

Ban Bee killing Neonics – Our Food Supply Depends on It.

We delivered 164,000 comments from bee lovers like you directly to the EPA’s front door.

Watch us try to save one out of every four bites of food on our plate in this short video and help our fight to save the bees by sharing the video.

 

We delivered your demands to ban bee-killing neonics straight to the EPA’s doors.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked for public input on four of the most widely used neonics in the world, and our partners at Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Environment America, and Earthjustice delivered 164,000 comments from bee lovers like you.

This was a historic opportunity to show the EPA that we’re paying attention about the massive die-off of our pollinators. We had to show that we won’t let corporations like Bayer put profit before our ecosystem, our bees, and our food supply. That message came through loud and clear, thanks to members like you.

See us in action to save the bees from giant agribusiness corporations who don’t care if they destroy our food supply. And share the video with your friends to get the word out.

Click here to watch the video and to share it with your friends

The EPA first allowed neonic clothianidin on the market in 2003 under “conditional registration” — which means the agency green-lit this pesticide without knowing all the facts about its potential harms.

Now the data is in — and it’s undisputable: imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran harm and kill bees. And due, in part, to the use of these neonics, 2008 to 2013 saw a massive 23 percent decline in bee populations. Anyone who values our food supply more than corporate profit had no choice but to take action. Unfortunately, countless Americans still don’t know the full scope of the problem.That’s why we need your help in spreading the word.

Will you watch and share this short video with your friends and family on facebook to let them know you’re part of the vital fight to save the bees and they should be too?

We have already taken huge steps toward saving the bees in the US. In May, Walmart and True Value Hardware announced that they are prepared to stop selling bee-killing neonics. And earlier this summer, we delivered over 110,000 SumOfUs member signatures at Kroger’s annual shareholder meeting, asking it to join Walmart and Home Depot and stop selling neonics too.

You can help this incredible work to save the bees continue by chipping in for a monthly donation.

Thanks for all that you do,

Angus, Reem, and the team at SumOfUs 

 


More information:

Ag groups rallying around Clovis, Politico, July 24, 2017
Last Chance to Comment on Pesticides and Bee Health, Public News Service, July 24, 2017
Food Safety and Environmental Organizations Call on EPA to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides, CommonDreams, July 21, 2017


 

SumOfUs is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations. We want to buy from, work for and invest in companies that respect the environment, treat their workers well and respect democracy. And we’re not afraid to stand up to them when they don’t.

Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in $3

 

 

 

SUPPORT H.R. 1406 The Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act

Introduction by: Jean Furs

Here we humans are passing laws in many of our states in this Great United States of America which prohibit Animal Abuse, yet we find a large gab in credibility and consistency when we are notified that our kind companion animals are being slaughtered, and tortured for human consumption. Are we worse than barbarians that we can’t leave these loyal, kind gentle animals alone. Why is it that humans are so unkind that they don’t realize that these animals have feeling hearts and minds. 


Taken from the Humane Society Legislative Fund

I strongly urge you to Support Humane Society Legislative Fund, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 455, Washington, DC 20037 www.hslf.org. Support their efforts to pass H.R. 1406, The Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act which would outlaw the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States. 

Every year roughly 30 million frightened dogs and untold frightened cats are subjected to extreme conditions without their basic needs being met while they are subjected to extreme conditions and torture through this brutal industry in Asia. The dog meat trade also presents serious health risks for those who catch, kill and eat dogs.  This legislation will prevent the appalling and dangerous trade from taking hold in the United States and strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide. Please do whatever you can to enable swift passage of this crucial legislation. Thank you for being concerned and kind and supporting this legislation. 

Contributions or gifts to Humane Society Legislative Fund [HSLF] are not tax-deductible.  Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates for political office. 

 

Arsenic in your and your pets drinking water.

Help EWG Protect Your Health: Donate Now to Help Us Raise $25,000 by Midnight and Get Your Copy of EWG's Guide to Safe Drinking Water | Donate Now!

 

81 percent. That’s how many water systems in the United States contain contaminants linked to cancer – chemicals including chromium-6 (the “Erin Brockovich” chemical), arsenic and dozens of others.

These contaminants are perfectly legal in water, but are not necessarily safe. That’s right – the government thinks it’s OK for harmful chemicals to be in your water – even at levels deemed unsafe by scientists. EWG believes you shouldn’t be drinking chemicals that could make you sick, and that you have a RIGHT to know what’s in your water and how to filter it out.

That’s why EWG spent two years aggregating and analyzing data from almost 50,000 public water systems across the U.S.

It wasn’t easy, but it is important. Without EWG’s Tap Water Database, Jean, it would be nearly impossible for you to find out what’s really in the water you drink every day.

We’ve set a goal of raising $25,000 by midnight to maintain EWG’s Tap Water Database and expand our research on the toxic contaminants that make it into your water. And it doesn’t take much – all we need is a gift of $10 from you today.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation of $10 or more to help EWG expand its research and continue fighting for your health. If you give before midnight, we’ll instantly send you an electronic copy of EWG’s Guide to Safe Drinking Water so that you can have our top tips with you wherever you go.

Here are just some of the key findings from EWG’s new Tap Water Database:

  • Chromium-6, made notorious by the film “Erin Brockovich,” was detected in the drinking water supplies serving 250 million Americans in all 50 states.
  • 1,4-Dioxane, an unregulated compound that contaminates tap water supplies for 8.5 million people in 27 states at levels above those the Environmental Protection Agency considers to pose a minimal cancer risk.
  • Arsenic was found in the drinking water supplies of 70 million people. This poison is a naturally occurring mineral that causes bladder, lung and skin cancers.

Just like EWG’s Skin Deep®, Food Scores and Guide to Cleaners, EWG’s Tap Water Database is one of a kind. No one else is working this hard to inform you and protect you from potentially dangerous chemicals you may encounter daily – not the government, not the private sector. Just EWG.

So if you want EWG to be able to continue updating its Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, the Tap Water Database, and countless other resources that you and so many others rely on, we need you to act right now.

Please, click here to donate $10 or more to help EWG raise $25,000 toward this critical work. To thank you, we’ll instantly email you a copy of EWG’s Guide to Safe Drinking Water, with tips on how to stay safe and hydrated.

With your support today, EWG will continue to be on the front lines, arming people with the information they need to protect themselves and their families from water contamination, and advocating for better safeguards for water quality and human health.

Thank you.

Nneka Leiba
Director of Healthy Living Science, EWG

 

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Blue Spruce Farm Bridport, Vermont Saturday July 22, 2017-Breakfast

Taken from Sunday Republican-American Newspaper, Waterbury, CT  7-16-17

Farm Will Serve 1,000 Breakfasts Saturday July 22, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Bridport, VT More than 1,000 visitors are expected to have breakfast at a Vermont dairy farm and tour the facility next weekend. 

The states third annual breakfast on the farm is happening July 22, at Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport.

Visitors will get a free pancake breakfast and self-guided tours of the farm. The tour includes 15 educational stations and a look into the life and business of dairy farming. 

Agricultural leaders, educators and industry representatives also are expected to attend.

The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please join us.

 

Stop Declawing Cats – What Vets Aren’t Telling You.

THE TRUTH ABOUT DECLAWING: WHAT VETS AREN’T TELLING YOU

(ANIMAL WELFARE/PETS) Declawing a cat is the equivalent to amputating a human finger at the third knuckle, and yet twenty-two million domestic cats per year are declawed in the United States—a third of which reap serious behavioral and physical consequences from the procedure.

Due to a general ignorance and perpetuation by greedy vets, the procedure remains one of the most common in the United States for family pets.

The detrimental results of this procedure has led to its ban in over twenty countries but it’s a trend not followed by the U.S. due to the backlash from national veterinary associations who reap tremendous financial gain from the practice.

cat, kitten, kitty, pictures of animals, pictures of cats, pictures of kittens

Approximately 22 million domestic cats are declawed in the U.S. every year. Photo Credit: Nick Ridley via Getty Images

Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets, is at the forefront of a recent campaign to ban declawing nationwide. Conrad is featured in a documentary called The Paw Project, which follows her non-profit movement to ban declawing and help cats already subjected to the procedure.

Her documentary explores specific cases of domestic and wild cats who suffer from the side effects of declawing. One particularly appalling story describes a mountain lion whose pain forced him to walk on his elbows and prevented him from attaining water. Sadly, he eventually died from renal failure.

“With so many thousands of big cats who need their paws repaired, I realized, there must be millions of domestic cats, the ones who live in our homes, who need their paws repaired,” Conrad said.

The feline nail, unlike the human nail, is embedded within the bone and in order to remove it, veterinarians will axe the entire third phalange from the feline’s paw. The most common way of declawing is to place the nail and the last bone through the guillotine of a nail clipper, which is, according to Conrad, “the equivalent of taking cigar cutters and slipping (her) finger through and cutting (the) whole last bone off.”

Cat claws are embedded within their bones. Photo Credit: pawprojectmovie.com

Cat claws are embedded within their bones. Photo Credit: pawprojectmovie.com

“Imagine somebody takes your feet that you walk on everyday and cuts your toes and then says: oh yeah, have a nice life, ” said Erika Willhite, a cat guardian who, at age 19, decided to have her cat declawed for lack of better knowledge. “Seriously, the worst decision I’ve made in my entire life,” she said.

The removal of the bone and claw also has unhealthy, harmful side effects for your feline, including infection, abnormal claw growth within the toe, inflammation, arthritis, behavioral changes such as increased aggression and biting, as well as emotional trauma and an inability to walk comfortably.

Unfortunately, although the evidence against the inhumane amputation should be enough to outlaw the practice, overarching veterinary associations—including the American Veterinary Association and California Veterinary Association—are leading the defense of the procedure.

An anonymous veterinarian shared with Conrad that he makes upwards of $75,000 dollars per year from declawing alone and refuses to give up the cruel practice, recommending it for every cat.

“(There is) such an injustice in the fact that it’s their doctors doing it to them and it’s even worse because their doctors aren’t telling what they’re doing,” Conrad said.

Before you consider declawing your cat, it’s important to know all the facts and be aware your veterinarian may not be transparent about the harms of the procedure.

Declawing has many side effects including infection, emotional trauma, behavioral changes, pain, arthritis. Photo credit: change.org

Declawing has many side effects including infection, emotional trauma, behavioral changes, pain, and arthritis. Photo credit: change.org

Here are five main reasons to forgo declawing your feline companion:

THE TRUTH ABOUT DECLAWING: WHAT VETS AREN’T TELLING YOU by Dori Edwards on November 10, 2015  739  9  3  759 (ANIMAL WELFARE/PETS) Declawing a cat is the equivalent to amputating a human finger at the third knuckle, and yet twenty-two million domestic cats per year are declawed in the United States—a third of which reap serious behavioral and physical consequences from the procedure. Due to a general ignorance and perpetuation by greedy vets, the procedure remains one of the most common in the United States for family pets. The detrimental results of this procedure has led to its ban in over twenty countries but it’s a trend not followed by the U.S. due to the backlash from national veterinary associations who reap tremendous financial gain from the practice. Approximately 22 million domestic cats are declawed in the U.S. every year. Photo Credit: Nick Ridley via Getty Images Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets, is at the forefront of a recent campaign to ban declawing nationwide. Conrad is featured in a documentary called The Paw Project, which follows her non-profit movement to ban declawing and help cats already subjected to the procedure. Her documentary explores specific cases of domestic and wild cats who suffer from the side effects of declawing. One particularly appalling story describes a mountain lion whose pain forced him to walk on his elbows and prevented him from attaining water. Sadly, he eventually died from renal failure. “With so many thousands of big cats who need their paws repaired, I realized, there must be millions of domestic cats, the ones who live in our homes, who need their paws repaired,” Conrad said. The feline nail, unlike the human nail, is embedded within the bone and in order to remove it, veterinarians will axe the entire third phalange from the feline’s paw. The most common way of declawing is to place the nail and the last bone through the guillotine of a nail clipper, which is, according to Conrad, “the equivalent of taking cigar cutters and slipping (her) finger through and cutting (the) whole last bone off.” Cat claws are embedded within their bones. Photo Credit: pawprojectmovie.com “Imagine somebody takes your feet that you walk on everyday and cuts your toes and then says: oh yeah, have a nice life, ” said Erika Willhite, a cat guardian who, at age 19, decided to have her cat declawed for lack of better knowledge. “Seriously, the worst decision I’ve made in my entire life,” she said. The removal of the bone and claw also has unhealthy, harmful side effects for your feline, including infection, abnormal claw growth within the toe, inflammation, arthritis, behavioral changes such as increased aggression and biting, as well as emotional trauma and an inability to walk comfortably. Unfortunately, although the evidence against the inhumane amputation should be enough to outlaw the practice, overarching veterinary associations—including the American Veterinary Association and California Veterinary Association—are leading the defense of the procedure. An anonymous veterinarian shared with Conrad that he makes upwards of $75,000 dollars per year from declawing alone and refuses to give up the cruel practice, recommending it for every cat. “(There is) such an injustice in the fact that it’s their doctors doing it to them and it’s even worse because their doctors aren’t telling what they’re doing,” Conrad said. Before you consider declawing your cat, it’s important to know all the facts and be aware your veterinarian may not be transparent about the harms of the procedure. Declawing has many side effects including infection, emotional trauma, behavioral changes, pain, and arthritis. Photo credit: change.org Here are five main reasons to forgo declawing your feline companion:

Infection, Emotional trauma, behavioral changes, pain, arthritis 

Efforts to End the Yulin Dog Meat Festival Trade

Lessons From Yulin:

What this year’s efforts to end the Yulin dog meat festival taught us

The year 2017 has been a critical turning point for ending the global dog meat trade. This was the year organizations, activists, and people around the world came closest to victory. Celebrities used their platforms to tell the world about the festival, while millions of people got their friends and families to speak out. Animal organizations made inroads with local officials, allowing them to save tens of thousands of dogs and coming closer than ever to getting a temporary ban enforced.

But as with most fights to change the status quo, the journey is long. It can be a frustrating experience for those who have invested so much. Most importantly, it’s heartbreaking to the people who have spoken out and are working hard on the ground to know many animals will still die.

Still, each year brings with it new lessons and a chance to build on the progress that has been made. This year maybe more so than ever. Here are some reflections on where the battle to end Yulin and the global dog meat trade stands — It’s knowledge that will be key to carving a path to victory.

Lesson #1: There are signs of progress from Yulin authorities

After years of pleas and protests, animal lovers around the world were cautiously optimistic when news broke that dog meat sales would be temporarily banned at this year’s festival. But with dog meat still legal everywhere in China, Yulin authorities had little leverage to follow through with a temporary ban, and caved under pressure from Chinese dog meat vendors.

Irene Feng, Director of Dog and Cat Welfare in China, Animals Asia explains that attempts to implement the temporary ban are actually a positive sign that Yulin authorities are interested in finding a solution to end the festival:

“We do believe that the government has had enough and wants to end the global association of Yulin with the minority practice of eating dog meat.”

Andrea Gung, founder of Duo Duo Project explained that although the festival carried on, this year’s moves by government officials indicate progress:

“We understand the disappointment and anger because the slaughter and sale of dogs will continue this year, despite a fleeting ray of hope. But we also urge you to remember that change does not occur overnight, and Yulin’s attempt to curtail the trade — however briefly — is a sign that our pressure is taking its toll.”

Lesson #2: China has a blossoming animal rights movement

On the eve that the Yulin festival was to begin, Chinese activists intercepted a truck with nearly 1,000 dogs and cats (mostly stolen pets) headed for slaughter. This was the largest single dog truck rescue ever — and it was led by China’s growing network of compassionate and relentless animal activists. What was noteworthy about this particular rescue is that the truck wasn’t headed for Yulin.

The truck was stopped in Guangzhau — which is China’s primary hub of dog meat consumption — hundreds of miles away from Yulin. Peter Li, China Policy Specialist for Humane Society International, explains that this rescue is emblematic of China’s younger generation, who are making progress by changing hearts and minds across the nation, even in areas of their country where dog meat is a staple:

“Hundreds of Guangzhou’s young men and women are unloading the dogs off that truck of misery. Look at these young people, the so-called spoiled generation from one of China’s most developed and affluent cities, shedding sweat for 800-plus furry individuals they have no personal connections with on this sizzling summer day. They have shown to the world that the Chinese activists are capable of working miracles.

They are extremely courageous. They operate in a society where activism can be quickly shut down or punished. They can also face violence from people who are engaged in the dog meat trade. Yet, they still push forward despite the risks to their own safety.”

Li explains that China’s animal protection community has blossomed into a rapidly expanding, pragmatic, strategic, and politically savvy force:

“The leaders of the rescue are seasoned and experienced activists who use smart strategy to defeat the traders and forces of evil, and use reason rather than emotion to win support from those in the middle. Dramatizing cruelty or suffering does not always help. They [the Guangzhou rescuers] see government as an ally, not an enemy. Winning government support is also a way to shape policy change in the long run.”

“With these young people, the dog meat industry has no future. The day of its demise is fast approaching.”

Lesson #3: The problem is bigger than just Yulin

The Yulin Dog Meat Festival of 2017 is over. The vendors may have packed up until next year, but the dog meat trade is still alive and well. Organizations and activists stress the need to focus on the fight to end the global dog meat trade. 30 million dogs are killed annually for meat across the world, a staggering statistic that proves the fight doesn’t start or end with Yulin.

Many are working to end the sale of dog meat every day of the year, through a holistic approach of public education and legislative change. Tackling the source of the problem will be key to ensure those working to end the dog meat trade are not literally chasing their tails year after year.

Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia, summed up this approach when she said, “The path to victory isn’t ending a single festival. Ending Yulin won’t end dog meat eating, but ending dog meat eating will end Yulin.”

Want to learn more about the organizations mentioned? Be sure to visit their websites:

Sources for this story:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Asks to Stop Killing Innocent Animals

To. Jon L. Pryor, M.D. M.B.A CEO of Hennepin County Medical Center. 

I am writing to ask you to end the use of animals for training emergency medicine residents at Hennepin County Medical Center [HCMC]. As you know, at HCMC, emergency medicine residents are instructed to experiment on live rabbits and sheep to practice procedures. However, there are validated and widely available nonanimal methods that allow trainees to hone their skills – HCMC already has a state of the art simulation center that could provide the resources to replace the use of animals! To ensure that future emergency physicians are receiving educationally and ethically superior training methods, please end the use of animals immediately!.

To: Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., Chairperson of the Advisory Counsil on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services

I am writing to ask you to save human and animal lives by prioritizing funding for human-relevant research efforts for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.  Animal studies have not led to safe and effective treatments for this devastating disease.  In vitro, computational, and careful human studies have been shown to be better at predicting response and safety.  Increased focus on clinical studies on diet and other lifestyle factors are badly needed.  Thousands of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and researchers are depending on your leadership and stepping up to engage the research community – please make their efforts count. 

To: M. Roy Wilson, M.D., President of Wayne State University

I am writing to ask you to please halt the cruel and unnecessary heart-failure experiments being conducted at your universtiy.  These experiments haven’t led to any benefits in people, and are killing innocent dogs in the process.  I urge you to switch to more effective, animal-free, human-based studies. As the president of Wayne State University, the fate of these animals is in your hands.

Please act wisely and compassionately – stop experimenting on dogs!

To: Army Special Operations Command

I am writing to ask that Army Special Operations Command USASOC has a great responsibility to modernize battlefield medicine.  The Department of Defense has stated that its goal is to replace animals with alternative training methods, but progress has been slow. Instead of harming pigs and goats, combat trauma training can be taught using a variety of realistic, effective, high-fidelity medical simulators.

Please use your considerable authority to modernize USASOC medical training and end the use of animals. 

 

 

,

 

 

 

Grizzly Bears Are Endangered After 40 Years of Protection

KEENESBURG, CO - OCTOBER 20: A grizzly bear waits to be fed at The Wild Animal Sanctuary on October 20, 2011 in Keenesburg, Colorado. The non-profit sanctuary is a 720-acre refuge for large carnivores that have been confiscated from illegal or abusive situations and is currently home to over 290 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and other large carnivores. It is the oldest and largest carnivore sanctuary in the United States, having been in operation since 1980. On Tuesday the owner of a Zanesville, Ohio private animal reserve set loose 56 animals, of which 49 were hunted down and killed by law enforcement and six others were tranquilized and are being treated at the Columbus Zoo. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Why do we want to hunt a bear that isn’t bothering anyone, and keeping a balance of life in their hunting areas the way it should be?  Can humans be that stupid, self centered and greedy?  By Jean Furs

For over 40 years there have been federal protections on Yellowstone grizzly bears. Trump’s new Interior secretary Ryan Zinke says that it’s been so successful it’s time we end that crap and let some shooting start!

Grizzlies in all continental U.S. states except Alaska have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1975, when just 136 bears roamed in and around Yellowstone. There are now an estimated 700 grizzlies in the area that includes northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho, leading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude that the population has recovered.

“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement.

Let’s sell some grizzly hunting licenses!

The final ruling by the Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Yellowstone grizzlies from the list of endangered and threatened species will give jurisdiction over the bears to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by late July.

That will allow those states to plan limited bear hunts outside the park’s boundaries as long as the overall bear population does not fall below 600 bears. Wyoming and Montana are unlikely to hold hunts this year, state officials said. Idaho officials said it is too early to discuss a possible hunting season.

Let’s put this into perspective. Before trapping and hunting decimated the grizzly populations in North America, there were around 50,000. Now we just want to make sure the population doesn’t get below 600 in a state. Some of the groups opposing grizzly trophy hunting are Native American tribes who hold the grizzly up as a sacred animal. The AP says this ruling should not affect populations that are still classified as “threatened.”

Severe Cruelty and Torture Behind Big Dairy Farms Closed Doors

Papa John’s and Little Caesars: Offer Vegan Cheese Pizza!

I recently worked inside one of the largest dairy factory farms on the East Coast, one that touts its innovation as the first in the country to implement machine-milking of cows, known as “robo-milking.” Yet the horrors I documented at Mason Dixon Farms as a Compassion Over Killing undercover investigator reveal the much darker reality of this massive dairy factory.

At Mason Dixon, which supplies to Land O’Lakes and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the largest milk marketing cooperative in the US, I witnessed violent abuse of mother cows on a regular basis, including workers kicking cows in the face or udders, jabbing cows with their elbows, bending and twisting their tails, and even punching them for fun. One time, I even saw a cow who was too weak to stand up being electrically shocked over 100 times.

On this massive factory farm, 2,500 cows live in hazardous conditions, often getting stuck on large water troughs, unable to free themselves, and falling. Cows even walk in water contaminated with formaldehyde, which workers often handled without proper protective gear. I also watched as terrified cows were turned completely on their sides by an enormous machine, and then they had all four legs restrained so that their hooves could be sawed down in a frightening process.

While this facility is not in the Papa John’s or Little Caesars supply chains, the cruelty I documented at Mason Dixon is, sadly, not an isolated case. Footage like mine has revealed time and time again that suffering is inherent in the dairy industry—from newborn calves being ripped from their mothers shortly after birth for the veal industry, to exhausted mother cows being trucked off to the slaughterhouse when they’re no longer producing milk.

These haunting images are the sad reality of Big Dairy in America. Fortunately, however, millions of consumers are now waking up to the cruelty—as well as the health and environmental hazards—behind every carton of milk, and are increasingly choosing dairy-free options. Sales of dairy alternatives are soaring, even outpacing those of dairy itself, and the market is projected to reach $35 billion by 2024.

But pizza giants like Papa John’s and Little Caesars have yet to take a stand against the misery behind every bite of mozzarella and offer consumers an alternative: vegan cheese. So while pizza chains like Mellow Mushroom, Lebron James’ Blaze Pizza, and Pieology are shaping the future of pizza by offering dairy-free cheese options, Papa John’s and Little Caesars are lagging behind.

As leaders in the pizza industry, Papa John’s and Little Caesars have an opportunity to make a meaningful change for consumers and cows alike through a simple addition to their menus. Please join me in urging these chains to take a slice out of cruelty and offer vegan cheese.

In solidarity,

“Ross” (Compassion Over Killing undercover investigator)

(*this language was updated from an earlier version)