Friday, January 25, 2008

A Not Goat Post

Alright. So it seems as though the only thing I write about any more is goats.

And while that might be understandable as they are pretty much consuming my life right now, I still feel like ... well, enough goats for now.

I've been reading some other blogs where people are suffering from a bit of writer's block lately. It must be going around. Not unlike the sinus, chest cold thing I am currentlly not acknowledging.

I know I've never really tackled Big Important topics on my blog like Politics, Religion, Dancing With the Stars, etc. I tend to keep it a bit lighter and uncontroversial. Mainly because I get enough daily debate from my hubby and children - I do not nee to get into cyber arguments.

But I also never intended for it to become a Goat Blog either.

So, today, I am not going to post about goats.

Rather, I am going to bring some attention to two of my pet causes.

1. Responsible eating

As you might have guessed from the beef post, I am a big fan of grass fed meat - beef, pork, poultry, etc. Pasture raised meat is so much better for you, the environment and the animal. And, to be quite honest, my priorities are exactly not in that order.

In the interest of sparing the easily queased, I won't post any pictures. But google "factory farm" or "slaughterhouse practices" and go exploring a little bit. See what you find. It isn't pretty - I assure you.

But what's a conscientious omnivore to do?

I'm so glad you asked! You can start .here at the eatwild web site. If you check the links on the left hand side, there is a page you can go to where you can look for farmers in your area that raise livestock on pasture. And if there aren't any in your area, many will ship meat to you! Usually, the more you buy the better the price, so check with your family, friends, neighbors, etc. It really can be an economical alternative.

2. Animal testing

Take a look at this.


That would be Ruby (sitting) and Jasper (in repose).

Ruby came into our family via the internet. A little while back, Harold at Another Monkey, posted on his blog about some beagles in need of a home. He was made aware of the situation by a friend of his. As it turned out, there were a group of beagles at Cornell University that were slated for The Big Sleep if homes were not found.

I emailed Harold and he put me in touch with the friend who then put me in touch with the woman in charge of the beagles. I told her that we would take one and made arrangements to pick one up.

When we arrived, we were shown the beagles that were ready for placement. There were 4 girls. I would have taken them all. As it was, they had other people coming to adopt and assured me that they all had homes to go to.

I don't know what kind of testing was done on Ruby. People sometimes ask me "Aren't you worried about the tests they did?"

No. I am not.

We brought her home and introduced her to Jasper and Malachi (who was still alive at the time). She got to walk inn grass for the first time in her life. We let her run loose in our yard - something she never ever experienced.

It was a little sad at first, because all she ever knew was the chain link kennel with the concrete floor. But, over time, she learned how to be a regular dog.


Whatever that is.

After we got Ruby, I started to do a little more research on animal testing. Again, I won't post photos because they are really awful and you can easily find them yourself if you want to look into it. But, people, please look into it.

What I found were pictures of dogs with cones strapped onto their faces, being forced to inhale cigarette smoke for hours at a time. I found pictures of cats with electrodes implanted into their heads. I found pictures of rabbits in cages with cosmetics being forced into their eyes.

And then I found the pictures of their little bodies in trash bins.

I can almost understand the medical industry doing animal testing. Almost.

But I cannot understand the need for animal testing in cosmetics. And cigarettes. And paint. And cleaners. And so on and so on.

Especially when there are companies out there that can bring their product to market without animal testing.

And so, again, what to do?

Well, I came across which is an organization that gives consumers a way to find products that aren't tested on animals. Go to their shopping guide and search for the products you need.

Also, with many cosmetics, you can check right on the back of the package to see if the company tests on animals or not. One warning, some may state "Finished product is not tested on animals". While it's a start, the Leaping Bunny certified products do not use animal testing in any phase of the production.

While I was at the grocery store recently, I was checking the labels on hair care items. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Alberto V05 shampoo and conditioner is not tested on animals. And it's cheap! Also, Nexxus does not do animal testing. So I may no have that sleek and shiny Pantene hair. Oh well. It's really not all that important to me in the grand scheme of things.

Okay, that's enough for today. I don't know how to cleverly wrap this all up into a whiz-bang ending. I'm just trying to point out some of the things we take completely for granted, some of the creatures that needlessly suffer because we just aren't paying attention. It doen't have to be this way


Blog Antagonist said...

I think those are both very worthwhile issues to advocate for.

That broke my heart reading about your doggy, but I'm so glad she found a wonderful home. If we had the kind of place you do, I would do that in a heartbeat.

One our neighbors down the street takes in retired/rescued greyhound racing dogs. They are so pitiful. It makes you want to weep that they were treated so cruelly for money.

tony c said...

"Voting w/ your dollars" is what I call this approach.

On a similar note, I was listening to talk radio and this old timer had an ad about his soap company.

Family operation, natural bar/laundry/dish soaps, buy in bulk etc.

Professor J said...

Thank you, Anne. I am with you. I haven't been eating responsibly, but you are encouraging me toward something I have thought about for some time. I am TOTALLY with you on the animal testing front.

And you have the cutest beagles. I want to kiss their little noses.

Claire B. said...

Thanks for bringing these important issues into the light! I am an obnoxious animal rights person. You stated your concerns gently and with greater impact than I would have. Well done! And a huge round of applause and doggie hugs for adopting your girl!

Bea said...

Excellent post! It breaks my heart to read about animal cruelty in any form, but animal testing is a sensless arrogant act and it gets my ire up everytime I think about it. I buy my hair and body soap products at whole foods, they are usually pretty good about putting responsible items on their shelves.Thank you for the links, I know I will make more informed choices with other items as well.

Kudos to you for rescuing your adorable beagle. It's good karma!

steph said...

thank you for posting that. i, too, keep the blog light, but I, too, am very much an aware and active against cruelty to animals. i do the vegan thing, but my husband loves him some meat, and he is slowly coming aorund to the fact that he has to eat the grass-fed, no hormone animals.

also, i didn't even know you can rescue tested animals -- once we have our house, we'll be getting a dog, and we were going to head to the pound, but this is certainly another option!!

we_be_toys said...

Excellent post about some very (to me) important issues.(even though I miss the kid update - just kidding- kind of!)We really need to wake up, as a country, and ask, WTF are we doing? WTF are we eating? And refuse to buy products that are tested on animals, and meat that is raised and slaughtered so horrifically. Kind of lessens the meaning of humane, doesn't it?

insensitive_goat said...

Getting rid of animal testing is indeed, a very good cause, but look out for the lunatic-fringe Christians when they hear about the chips containing human cell cultures... You just KNOW for sure they'll make the leap that this is somehow involving potential human life (ie cloning) and that it's SATAN'S work!


Sojourner said...

Thanks, Ann for your post. I have been working hard at eating responsibly more recently. I have given up meat for the most part- with occasional slips due to the need for fast food at times. But until the industry makes major changes... It's hard to find pasture raised animals in a state like Nebraska. And I am also trying to eat as much as possible only that which is raised within a 200 mile radius. Hah! Good luck in January. Anyway- it is a good post- lots of good things to think about. And for your beagle(s) I thank you! They look very happy and content!

FairiesNest said...

Excellent post on two very important subjects. I feel very strongly about people taking control of the food chain and buying not only humanely raised meat but local if possible. And as the proud parent of a rescue go girl!

Kelly said...

I no longer have sleek and shiny Pantene hair because of you post. I just had no idea..I now buy Tres emme can get a big jug of it for $3.99 and it works wonderfully..ooh la la