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10 Alarming Facts About Factory Farms That Will Break Your Heart

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After hearing these facts about the conditions that animals are forced to endure on factory farms you might be displeased to learn that 99% of all of the meat that is sold in the U.S. comes from factory farms (1), something to keep in mind.

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*Warning: Some of the images used are graphic* 

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I know that these can be very hard to look at, it was hard enough to do the research for the article. However, if this is what it takes for people to wake up and realize exactly what they are contributing to, then I am all for it, as it needs to be done. I know a number of people who have gone completely Vegan after watching the graphic film “Earthlings,” which exposes the inner workings of factory farms. People are simply unaware of what has been going on behind closed doors, the intent of this article is to open some eyes and open the doors to this tragedy that has been taking place for far too long.

1. The majority of chickens raised on factory farms have their beaks cut off.

debeak_lg

According to the United States Department of Agriculture 36.8 BILLION pounds of chicken were raised and slaughtered for consumption in 2013 alone (2.) That is a lot of chickens! Since these animals are kept to live in such close quarters a lot of farmers remove the beaks from the chickens by clipping, or burning them off to avoid the chickens from pecking each other to death. Many people claim that this practice causes no harm or pain to the animals, however a number of chickens die from this process.(2a)

2. Male chicks that are born serve virtually no purpose to the egg industry so they are sorted from the females and ground up on the same day they are born. (3)

GRINDER

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Like me you may have wondered, why don’t they just raise these chickens for meat? Egg laying chickens are actually different from chickens that are used for meat. Chickens used for meat are known as broiler chickens and they are bred specifically to be a factory standard size and are usually slaughtered at around 2 months of age. This factory standard size makes it easier for the chickens to be put into the machine that is used to slaughter them, although this machine does miss a few from time to time, and these birds are sent to the next step of mechanical separation while still alive.(2b)

3. The term that comes across, as ethical “free range” isn’t at all, and in some cases is worse for the overall well being of the chickens than being kept in cages.

Free-range-hens

When you see the term “Free Range” you may get a picture in your head of happy chickens roaming free through green pastures –this is exactly what egg and chicken suppliers want you to think so that you can feel good about the purchase that you are making, however this is very far from the truth. There is no government certification required to boast the label as free range for egg laying hens or boiler chickens. (4) This means that when eggs or chicken meat is labeled as free range this only means that the chickens were not kept in cages. They were however, kept inside big warehouses cramped together so tightly that they can barely spread their wings. (5)

4. Newborn calves are taken away from their mothers almost immediately after birth.

Can you imagine carrying something inside of you for 9 months, going through painful labor, finally getting to meet your newborn and then have them taken away from you after as little as two hours? As you can imagine this can be quite traumatizing for a mother cow and her newborn calf. (6) Calves born of dairy cows are not even allowed to drink the milk that their mother produces, ironically, that milk is for humans consumption only. See something wrong with this picture? The babies are then fed a nutritional supplement. Mother cows will wail for days and days longing for the bond with their newborn. They often go into depression and lose weight from the ordeal. Studies have shown that this gets particularly harder each time the cow gives birth.

5. More than 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the United States were fed to livestock.

500px-Naturally-yours-antibiotics-animals

This statistic is almost sickening. Scrap that, it is sickening. The thought of this makes me sick to my stomach.  Because these factory farmed animals are forced to live in such inhumane and disgustingly dirty conditions, these antibiotics are needed -and in large quantities to try and keep the animals healthy. If that alone isn’t alarming enough, the majority of these antibiotics are specifically administered to artificially increase rapid growth.(7) It is important to note that everything these animals are eating, we are then eating… you are what you eat.

6. Calves that are bred for veal are kept in tiny very dark containers called veal crates for their entire short lives.

deadcows

Because newborn calves that are male are not useful to the dairy industry and are considered a by-product. The male calves are kept in crates that are no more that 30 inches wide and 72 inches long.(8) These crates are small so that the baby calf has no room to move around too much and often times they are held down with chains to ensure that they don’t build muscle and their flesh stays tender. The calves are fed a diet that consists of only a synthetic formula so that their flesh will be pale and anemic, as desired by the consumer.

7. 82% of cows used for dairy production have their tails cut off.

spanish_cows_painfully_taildocked

The tails are docked from one of a few different processes that include cauterizing docking irons, application of elastrator bands or surgical decision. The reason that this procedure is performed is to create an improved comfort level for milking personnel, a reduced incidence of mastitis and allegedly, improved milk quality and milk hygiene. (9)

8. Pregnant sows are kept in disgustingly small cages and are unable to even turn around.

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Each year millions of pregnant sows are kept in cages that are referred to as “gestation crates.” These crates are a cost cutting measure that keeps the pregnant pigs immobilized. These crates have slatted concrete for the floors so that manure and waste from the pregnant pigs can easily slip through into huge pits beneath. Shortly after giving birth the new mothers are then moved to what is referred to as “farrowing crates,” which are very similar to the gestation crates except that there is a bit more room to fit the small piglets so that they can nurse. (10) The entire lifespan of a sow is in a tiny cage just big enough for it to fit. Think about that for a minute. This whole process is so inhumane that it is actually banned in the UK, Sweden and some states. (11)

9. 65% Of Hogs tested from factory farms had pneumonia.

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Researchers believe that this is due in part to the massive amount of manure that these pigs are excreting every single day while being confined to these small concrete cages that are indoors. (12)

10.  Almost all of the cattle raised on factory farms for the purpose of consumption are fed a diet that consists of GMO corn. Cows are naturally meant to eat grass.

Feedlot-Cattle

This is alarming for a few reasons: one being that this is entirely unnatural and cows have evolved over millions of years on a diet of grass. Two the process of digesting the corn is so unnatural to their digestive systems that if not done properly it can actually kill the animal, especially if the animal is not being fed a copious amount of antibiotics along with it. Why the switch? It’s faster and consequently more profitable. Seventy five years go a cow would live to be 4 or 5 at the time of slaughter, today they are less than two. (13)

After reading this a lot of people will think, yes this is terrible, but what can I actually do to stop this? This is just how the world is. I want you to understand that you can make a difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

You always have a choice! It is up to you to decide what you are putting into your body and where you are buying it. I realize that there is no way to prove the next statement that I am about to make; however it is something that should be considered. You are what you eat… approximately 40 million Americans will experience an impairment because of an anxiety disorder this year.(14) When you realize the tremendous feeling of anxiety that billions of animals are feeling at all times it is not difficult to assume that there could be a direct relationship between these extremely distressed animals and what many of us are putting into our bodies every single day.

I do have a question for those who regularly consume meat, do you still think being Vegan is extreme? If switching to a Vegan or even Vegetarian diet at this time in your life seems too daunting to you there are some other alternatives. One option is to simply cut down the amount of factory farmed products that you are consuming. Consider participating in “Meatless Mondays.” Another option is to do some research and find out exactly where the products that you are consuming are coming from. There are ways of getting meat and animal products that come from sufficiently more humane farmers with better, safer farming practices. Share this information with people. The majority of people who consume animals and animal products are just completely unaware of what is going on, you might be amazed to know that just a little information can go a long way if given to an open-minded individual.

Much Love

Further Readings From Collective Evolution:

9 Dirty Secrets the Meat Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

FDA Admits Chicken Meat Contains Arsenic

A Worldwide Genocide Is Happening Right Under Your Nose

Mainstream Science Finally Recognizes The Consciousness of Animals

Why Your Cheeseburger May Be As Deadly As A Cigarette

Factory Farming Is Destroying Our Environment

Sources Used:

(1) http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/what-factory-farm

(2) https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CGQQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ers.usda.gov%2FersDownloadHandler.ashx%3Ffile%3D%2Fmedia%2F984422%2Fldpm223.pdf&ei=HJIgU6D4D-ew2gXQlIDYAg&usg=AFQjCNHiZcgj58B0yNWC9hyjayZAKbcLew&bvm=bv.62788935,d.b2I&cad=rja 

(2a) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1167019/

(2b) http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/09/10/779426/-Why-They-Grind-Up-Baby-Chicks

(3) http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/09/10/779426/-Why-They-Grind-Up-Baby-Chicks

(4) http://www.care2.com/causes/what-does-free-range-really-mean-for-your-eggs.html

(5) http://www.upc-online.org/freerange.html

http://www.stopfactoryfarms.org/category/factory-farm-facts/

(6) http://www.vegsource.com/sarah-taylor/dairy-cows-and-their-calves-when-mother-is-separated-from-baby.html

(7) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/opinion/antibiotics-and-the-meat-we-eat.html?_r=0

(8) http://animalrights.about.com/od/animalsusedforfood/g/What-Is-A-Veal-Crate.htm

(9) https://www.avma.org/kb/resources/backgrounders/pages/welfare-implications-of-tail-docking-of-cattle.aspx

(10) http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/06/pregnant-sows-gestation-crates-abuse

(11) http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/pigs/pork-industry/

(12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240832/

(13) http://www.stopfactoryfarms.org/corn-fed-vs-grass-fed-beef/

(14) http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-statistics-information.shtml

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Vancouver Council Votes Against Mandatory Mask Mandate: They’re Not Required

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vancouver, Canada will not have a required mask policy in civic facilities, and instead will simply recommend that people wear them.

  • Reflect On:

    Should governments recommend what they feel we should do and present the science instead of forcing certain measures on the population that many people and health professionals clearly disagree with?

What Happened: The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will not mandate masks inside city buildings and will “strongly encourage” people to wear them instead. This is a bold move as many cities across the globe have mandatory mask measures in place.

The proposal by Counc. Sarah Kirby-Yung, which would have required masks inside city buildings, was opposed by more than a dozen speakers who pleaded with the city council to vote against it.

“Please consider our forefathers fought for our freedom, and if we release that choice, it’s the first step towards a dictatorship,” said one speaker according to City News. “Masks are used as weapons and they have certainly been used as weapons against me and others to silence and marginalize us and it’s not fair.”

According to Coun. Christine Boyle, public health experts encourage wearing masks, but a mandatory policy is not needed.

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Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?

What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ  by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”

To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.

The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”

The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.

He goes on to mention another study:

In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.

So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.

But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.

That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:

In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).

The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.

Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.

  • 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
  • A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
  • 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
  • 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.

Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.

At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.

We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?

In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.

When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.

The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.

In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.

The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?

When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.

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Some South Korean Doctors & Politicians Call To Stop Flu Shots After 48 People Die

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, but health authorities in South Korea have found no link between the vaccine and the deaths.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the flu shot as safe as it's marketed to be?

What Happened: It’s that time of year and flu shot programs are rolling out across the globe. The number of South Koreans who have died after getting the flu shot has now risen to 48 and some South Korean doctors and politicians have called to stop flu shots as a result, according to Reuters. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has decided not to stop the program, and that flu vaccines would continue to be given and will reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics in the era of COVID-19.

Health authorities in South Korea have explained that they’ve found no direct link between these deaths and the shots. KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung said, “After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering…the COVID-19 outbreaks.”

According to Reuters, “Some initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.”

The South Korean government is hopeful to vaccinate approximately 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.

Concerns Some People Have With The Flu Shot: One concern many people seem to have is the worry of a severe adverse reaction.

Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:

The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of  vaccine related injuries are the flu shot.

Moss is one of many who believe that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it’s been marketed to be. For example,  A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions outlines the following:

Recently outlined A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal)  published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

These are just a few examples out of many claiming that the flu shot has not really been effective, opposing others that claim it is.  Mercury that’s still present in some flu shots also seems to be a concern.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference that more doctors are starting to be hesitant when it comes to recommending vaccines.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…

This is no secret, and actions against mandates are being taken. The University of California was recently sued for making the flu shot mandatory. That trial will begin soon, and you can read more about it here, and find information regarding the claim that the flu shot can help in the times of COVID-19.

The Takeaway: We are living in an age of extreme censorship of information, no matter how credible or how much evidence is provided, information that goes against the grain always seems to receive a harsh backlash from mainstream media as well as social media outlets. Why is there a digital fact checker patrolling the internet? Should people not have the right to examine information openly and freely and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?

As far as vaccines are concerned, despite the fact that there are many safety issues the scientific community  is bringing up, a push for vaccine mandates continues and the idea that we are protecting other people is usually the narrative that’s pushed hard. Vaccine skepticism is growing at a fast pace among people of all professions, and people aren’t stupid. There’s a reason why more and more people are starting to question what we’ve been told for years, and those reasons should be acknowledged and openly discussed amongst people on both sides of the coin.

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