DxE News of the Week:
DXE MARCH AGAINST BIG AG IN PETALUMA, July 27-August 2, 2018
DxE News round-up by Rasa Petrauskaite
Animal Rights News round-up by Leslie Goldberg
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT: DXE PROTESTS “INHUMANE CONDITIONS” AT PETALUMA FARMS
On July 29, about 140 activists with DxE marched in Petaluma, CA to Amazon/Whole Foods supplier Petaluma Farms, a cage-free egg farm that was the site of DxE’s very first Open Rescue (written up in the New York Times in early 2015). Based on a California law (California Penal Code 597e) that activists say allows them to enter a farm if they have information that an animal is being mistreated, activists hoped to gain entry to Petaluma Farms. They were stopped by police who threatened to charge activists with “trespassing” if they stepped on farm property. DxE negotiated for a meeting with police in the near future, and then marched five miles through the Petaluma streets to an Amazon-owned Whole Foods where there were speak outs in the parking lot in front of the store. Jonathan Mahrt, whose family owns Petaluma Farms, told a reporter for the Press Democrat that DxE was “rehashing old allegations” of bad conditions for the hens. He said the DxE protest was “an attempt to intimidate a small family farm.” DxE estimates that this “small family farm” has between one and two million egg laying hens. Mahrt also said that he has no current plans to sue DxE. Petaluma Farms supplies Whole Foods with eggs under at least three different brands: Uncle Eddie’s Wild Hen Farm, Judy’s Family Farm and Rock Island. This story was reprinted in the Argus Courier as well.
This past weekend peaceful protesters from the Athens, Greece DxE chapter were attacked and injured by a mob of 30 donkey owners in Santorini, Greece. Members of the mob grabbed and burned DxE signs, hit the protesters with sticks and yelled, “We are going to kill you.” DxE was there to protest the use of donkeys in Santorini to transport tourists up the steep flights of stairs in the ancient constructions on the cliffs. Many of the donkeys have open bleeding wounds from ill-fitting harnesses and often carry heavy tourists on their small bodies. DxE Athens chapter leader Maria Skourta said [members of the mob] pulled her hair, and she was thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly. “They threw my bag over the cliff and then lifted me up, ready to throw me too,” Skourta told a reporter. “Luckily one of the [DxE] group came to save me.” A Greek newspaper covered this story as well.
ISTHMUS: U.S. SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN IS NOT PROGRESSIVE WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMALS
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for re-election this November, supports affordable college education, Medicare and Social Security. She is the first openly-gay U.S. Senator. However, she also cosponsored a bill to delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act and introduced the Dairy Pride Act. In a new article about Baldwin, Isthmus, the Madison, Wisconsin weekly, reports that DxE disrupted a 2017 Milwaukee town hall meeting hosted by Baldwin over her Dairy Pride bill and support for the dairy industry in general. “In keeping with the progressive values that you demonstrate in other areas, how about working instead for those who have no power in this issue?” a DxE activist asked Baldwin. “A discriminated-against-group that is rarely talked about and heard from: the dairy cows in Wisconsin.” Baldwin said that visiting a dairy farm is an “awesome thing to do.” And: “I am open to the perspective that you’re sharing,” she told the activists last year. “But right now, I have no apologies about the Dairy Pride Act.”
OTHER ANIMAL RIGHTS NEWS
ASSOCIATED PRESS: SMITHFIELD ORDERED TO PAY $473.5M FOR INDUSTRIAL PIG ODORS
A federal jury decided Friday (August 3, 2018) that Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three of the company’s North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks. Five DxE activists have been charged with felony charges for removing two sick piglets from a Smithfield farm in Utah. They are due back in court Monday August 6, 2018.
METRO: PETA IS NOT BUYING THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER
The bleeding Impossible Burger made it past U.S. food regulators this week, but PETA isn’t a fan. Why? The inventors tested it on rats.
DAIRY HERD: DAIRY INDUSTRY BLEEDING
Thanks to Trump’s tariffs, the American dairy industry has lost its Mexican customers for cheese. According to Tom Vilsack, who heads up a dairy lobbying group, the milk/cheese/etc. business lost $1.8 billion in the last few weeks. Trump’s $12 billion bailout won’t help the industry regain its foreign markets.
FOX NEWS: STEPPING UP FOR FISH
Two Save groups, the Wilmington Fish Save and the North Carolina Farmed Animal Save, staged a vigil for fish, protesting the Wrightsville Beach Inshore Challenge, a fishing contest. In an effort to be “humane” and environmentally aware, the contest gives extra points to fishermen who bring in fish alive, so the fish can be released back into the water. Unfortunately, this practice does almost nothing for the fish, since wounds caused by being impaled usually become infected and the fish die.
INQUISITR: NO MORE TESTING ON CATS, DOGS AND PRIMATES IN BRUSSELS
The Brussels region of Belgium has banned testing on cats, dogs and primates, thanks to the hard work of animal rights activists.
SCIENCE ALERT: MEAT INDUSTRY BEGGING TRUMP
In an effort to protect their practice of torturing and killing animals for profit, the meat industry is pushing the Trump administration for strict regulation of lab-grown meat. They want lab-grown meat producers to be inspected the same way slaughterhouses are. They want “clean meat” overseen by the USDA instead of the FDA.
VEG NEWS: THE HORROR OF WORKING AT A SLAUGHTERHOUSE
A report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists, published in The Guardian, said that the U.S. meat industry averages two amputations a week and that workers in factories are three times as likely as other workers to suffer burns, head trauma and finger fractures. Yet the industry is pushing the government to allow the speed up of the production lines, increasing the danger to workers