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All Slaughterhouses In England To Have Mandatory Cameras Installed

Michelle Blair

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In the past, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the filming of animal agriculture practices. Clips of undercover footage have made it into the mainstream through animal activists and documentaries such as Earthlings, and it hasn’t boded well for factory farming corporations.

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These undercover films led to the creation of “ag-gag” bills, a term coined in 2011 that refers to state legislation forbidding the act of undercover filming or photographing activities on farms. For example, one of these bills was the ALEC-backed “Animal and Ecological Terrorism in America bill, which claimed that taking pictures on livestock farms can “defame the facility or its owner.” This is more than a little ironic given the fact that they torture and kill animals every day; how great can their reputations really be?

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Additionally, ALEC proposed that violators be placed on a “terrorist registry.” This seems like a ridiculous way to spend taxpayer dollars, enforcing a rule that would prevent people from actually doing the “right thing.” Then again, it’s not exactly surprising that the people who profit from factory farms would try to prevent people from exposing the cruelty that takes place there.

Well, it seems that England is taking a stand against animal cruelty, or at least increasing transparency within factory farms, as it’s set to implement mandatory cameras in all slaughterhouses. Not only will there be documented proof of any animal cruelty that occurs, but veterinarians will be given unrestricted access to all footage as well.

Why England Is Forcing All Slaughterhouses to Install Cameras

As part of an entire series of actions to reduce animal cruelty, slaughterhouses based in England will be forced to install CCTV on the premises. CCTV stands for closed circuit TV, which is essentially a security system that’s closely monitored but not by the public. 

Installation of cameras will be mandatory and they must be active anywhere that live animals are presented, whether that be where they’re unloaded, killed, or anywhere else. All footage will be available in its entirety to vets.

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The government is also modifying animal welfare standards for farm animals and domestic pets in order to mitigate animal cruelty.

The Guardian reported that these changes to welfare codes will “reflect enhancements in medicines, technological advances and the latest research and advice from vets. The codes will remain enshrined in law and the first to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat.”

“We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the actions I am setting out today will reinforce our status as a global leader,” explained Environment Secretary Michael Gove. “As we prepare to leave the EU, these measures provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that our food is produced to the very highest standards.”

So far, the public has responded well, as cameras in slaughterhouses have been proposed by animal welfare as well as environmental groups countless times in the past. There’s a clear need for these cameras, particularly in the UK, since animal welfare group Animal Aid pursued undercover filming between 2009 and 2016 at 11 UK slaughterhouses and found evidence of cruelty and law-breaking in 10 of them.

Director of Animal Aid Isobel Hutchinson stated:

After many years of campaigning for mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in slaughterhouses, we are greatly encouraged by this news. But although this development is a huge step forward, we urge the public to remember that even when the law is followed to the letter, slaughter is a brutal and pitiless business that can never be cruelty-free.

“Last year, we concluded that it was time to make CCTV compulsory in slaughterhouses, progress on voluntary adoption having plateaued,” noted Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). “I and the Board of the FSA warmly welcome Defra’s consultation about making CCTV mandatory. We look forward to the introduction of a comprehensive requirement for using, accessing and retaining footage from CCTV in abattoirs.”

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, this is a wonderful step forward toward ending animal cruelty, and I hope that other countries adopt this practice, too. However, it’s important to note that even if the entire world makes these changes, we still have a long way to go until we officially put an end to animal cruelty.

The very word “slaughterhouse” implies animal cruelty, given that it’s an organization that profits off slaughtering animals. Until we stop killing and eating animals, animal cruelty will continue to exist, regardless of how we’re killing them. Though it’s important to stop torturing animals, we still need to ask ourselves, to what end are we killing these animals? You can be healthy and reduce your environmental footprint by eating less or no animal products, and we no longer need to eat these products to thrive.

If you’re interested in learning more about animal cruelty in factory farming, check out these CE articles:

A Shocking Undercover Video Reveals The Truth About A BC Dairy Farm

10 Alarming Facts About Factory Farms That Will Break Your Heart

Can You Face The Reality Of Factory Farming? These People Couldn’t (Graphic)

This Is What We Support When We Buy Meat, Eggs Or Dairy From Factory Farms

Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning more about how to adopt a vegan or more plant-based diet, check out these CE resources:

6 Vegan Cookbooks You Need To Try This Summer!

16 Vegan One-Pot Recipes If You Are Considering Cutting Animals Out Of Your Diet

7 Simple & Delicious Vegan Slow Cooker Recipes

21 Easy Vegan Lunches To Take To Work

 

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Autistic, Alzheimer’s & Multiple Sclerosis Brain Tissues Have Significant Amounts of Aluminum In Them

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A 2020 study found that the aluminum content in brain tissue of people with Alzheimer's disease, familial Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis is significantly higher compared to tissues used in the study as controls.

  • Reflect On:

    Could aluminum be playing a role in these, as well as other diseases? How does it get into our brain?

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There is no shortage of studies demonstrating that aluminum is present in human brain tissue. This is a problem given the fact that aluminum is neurotoxic and wreaks nothing but havoc on biology. This is firmly established in scientific literature. There is no debate on whether or not aluminum exists within human brain tissue, the science is settled. The debate is now focused on how much aluminum is too much. How much aluminum does it take to impact the health of a human being in a negative way?

A study published in the journal Nature compared the aluminum content in human brain tissue of people with Alzheimer’s disease, familial Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis with healthy controls. According to the authors, “detailed statistical analyses showed that aluminum was significantly increased in each of these disease groups compared to control tissues.” They go on to mention that,

We have confirmed previous conclusions that the aluminum content of brain tissue in Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis is significantly elevated. Further research is required to understand the role played by high levels of aluminum in the aetiology of human neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disease.

The researchers used tissue from twenty control brains of healthy individuals to compare against the brain tissue of people who have had a diagnosis of the neurodegenerative conditions mentioned. The fact that all disease groups had significantly higher brain aluminum content than the control group is quite concerning. That being said, it’s not proof that aluminum actually plays a direct role in each of these diseases. The important takeaway from the study and what we know about aluminum toxicology is that there is absolutely no debate, at all, as to the neurotoxicity of aluminum in humans. It’s just not a good thing to have in your body.

The study emphasizes,

Animal models of aluminum intoxication reproduce the neuropathologies and neurodevelopmental effects of human neurodegenerative disease, if not the diseases per se. Cell models and in vitro studies demonstrate mechanisms of aluminum toxicity known to be involved in human neurodegenerative disease. Perhaps the information that is still missing from understanding of aluminum’s role in each of the diseases compared herein is how much aluminum is too much in human brain tissue. The comparison we have made herein between control brain tissue showing no signs of neurodegenerative disease and the disease groups…is beginning to answer this question. Only further measurements on more donor brains will enable a definitive conclusion to be reached on the role played by aluminum in human neurodegenerative disease.

The authors make it clear that aluminum and its presence in human brain tissue “cannot be without consequence” given everything that’s been discovered about aluminum toxicity. There is a great need for further study here and to determine how much aluminum the brain, and other organs for that matter, can tolerate before there are detrimental effects. These effects may be short term as well as long term, and they may play a role in neurodegenerative disease like the ones the study examine. It’s hard to think that the high aluminum content in the brain tissue of people with these diseases  is simply a coincidence, especially given the fact that the aluminum content in “normal” brains is significantly less.

Once you start to see these sort of data together, once you start to see the levels of a known neurotoxic metal accumulate to these levels, it is absolutely inevitable that they will contribute to disease. – Professor Christopher Exley, lead author of the study, taken from the interview below.

Exley is a Professor at Keele University, and arguably the world’s leading expert in aluminum toxicology. Exley and his work is supported by many scientists from around the world, yet he is facing a potential set back with regards to continuing his research on aluminum and disease. One hundred scientists came together and recently wrote a letter of support, stating,

We are writing to express our concern over the possible interruption of research on aluminum and disease conducted by Christopher Exley and his group in your (Keele) University. We feel that Christopher Exley’s work conducted for so many years in line with the previous research of late Pr Birchall at Keele University has been an important service to the scientific community, patients and society in Europe and globally. We firmly declare that Pr Exley has always defended rigorous research independent of commercial conflicts of interest, and has freely carried out his research without any control by any of his sponsors.

You can read more about what’s going on with regards to this situation, and access the correspondence that’s happened between Keele University (Exley’s employer), Exley, and the academics who support his work, here.

Below is a very informative interview with Exley if you’d like to learn more about aluminum and its accumulation within humans. On a side note, ask yourself, what products and substances may contain aluminum that could be contributing its accumulation in various human organs like the brain?

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Texas Bans All Government Entities & Businesses From Requiring Proof of Vaccination

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas, recently announced that it will be illegal for government entities and businesses within the state to require proof of vaccination in order to access their services.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the idea of "vaccine passports" just? Should governments have the authority to implement measures against the will of so many people? Do we give them too much power?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

“Texas is open 100%. Texans should have the freedom to go where they want without any limits, restrictions, or requirements. Today, I signed a law that prohibits any TX business or gov’t entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information,” tweeted Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas. He made the announcement on Monday and the news went viral across social media platforms and independent media outlets. It hasn’t really received much substantial coverage from mainstream media, in fact, debating or calling into question the idea of “vaccine passports” has not really been a welcomed conversation despite the fact many health experts have been condemning the idea since they were first introduced.

Texas will be the seventh state to sign such a measure into law. Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, and North Dakota have also banned businesses and government entities from requiring proof of vaccination, while Utah and Arkansas have barred just governments from requiring proof of vaccination.

As far as the United States as a whole, the Biden administration has said on multiple occasions that a national vaccine passport won’t happen. Instead the U.S. is working on a system that will allow Americans who travel internationally to show proof that they have been vaccinated. This will be required given the fact that multiple countries around the world will saying they will require it, like several European Union nations, and Canada.

Why ban vaccine passports? Well, there are multiple reasons, and I’ve covered these reasons in depth before. In an article I published in April titled “The top four reasons why some people, doctors & scientists refuse to take the COVID vaccine,” many of the points outlined indicate why freedom of choice and informed consent are paramount when it comes to COVID vaccines.

The fact that many of these points, as well as the doctors, scientists, and peer-reviewed papers that are raising concerns about the COVID vaccine, are being completely censored, and in some cases ridiculed and called a “conspiracy theory,” is also very unsettling and suspicious. You would think in a time of a global pandemic, all concerns that are being raised would be open to discussion, transparency and a healthy debate.

Critical criminology repeatedly has drawn attention to the state-corporate nexus as a site of corruption and other forms of criminality, a scenario exacerbated by the intensification of neoliberalism in areas such as health. The state-pharmaceutical relationship, which increasingly influences health policy, is no exception. That is especially so when pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, a burgeoning sector of the industry, are mandated in direct violation of the principle of informed consent. Such policies have provoked suspicion and dissent as critics question the integrity of the state-pharma alliance and its impact on vaccine safety. However, rather than encouraging open debate, draconian modes of governance have been implemented to repress and silence any form of criticism, thereby protecting the activities of the state and pharmaceutical industry from independent scrutiny. – Paddy Rawlinson, Law Professor, Western Sydney University. (source)

Is the push for vaccinating the entire population actually justified and scientifically sound? If it’s not, then why is there such a hard push for it? Is it really about our health? Or are there other agendas and conflicts of interests at play here? Why can’t freedom of choice remain for people who want to travel, attend sporting events and more? Do mandatory vaccine measures separate and divide society even more? Should people who want to take the shot and those who do not want to take the shot all unite as one to push for the freedom of choice? If a large portion of the citizenry can be made to believe that vaccine passports are just, what else would they agree to in the future? Would they agree with the idea that unvaccinated people cannot work, that it is just to take away their ability to feed themselves and keep a roof over their head? Would they agree with the idea that the unvaccinated should simply be exterminated?

A lot of questions, and important ones.

We are in a time where humanity must question the power and authority they are given to governments who implement these measures against the will of so many people. We have to question the motives of governments and whether they have the best interests of the citizenry at heart, or whether allegiances exist elsewhere.

Perhaps it is time to look elsewhere for solutions instead of constantly relying on our political system for significant change.

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Facebook Fact Checker ‘Lead Stories’ Can’t Answer Why My Report on Masks Is “Missing Context”

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CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

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Do masks work in stopping the spread of viruses? Do they work to stop the spread of COVID? Are they harmful to human health during prolonged use? These are all key questions that have been asked since the start of this pandemic, however, getting clear answers has been tough. Then came a meta analysis on mask wearing that I wrote about at the end of April 2021. This large meta analysis was published in the journal Environmental Research and Public Health and is titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?”  It looked at 65 studies pertaining to prolonged mask wearing to examine whether or not there may be any health consequences. In short, the study found that masks can lead to “relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields,” and also clearly outlined why the effectiveness of masks to stop the transmission of COVID is highly questionable.

Not long after we published our balanced reporting on the study, it was subjected to a “fact check” via third party Facebook fact-checker Lead Stories. When I clicked on the notification sent through our Facebook Page (Collective Evolution), it took me straight to an article published by Lead Stories claiming masks are effective at stopping the spread of COVID. They claimed that my article was “missing context” and were essentially saying the scientists who published the large meta analysis I reported on were wrong, and that they (Lead Stories) were right.

Lead Stories’ article and headline irrefutably claiming ‘masks work.’

Meanwhile, the Lead Storied fact check article did not address any of the points I made in my article, nor did they reference it. It felt clear to me that the people at Lead Stories didn’t even read my article, although I can’t know that for sure. My article contained science suggesting masks are not effective, as did the meta analysis, but it also contained a discussion around the science showing that masks may actually be effective in stopping the spread of COVID. It was a well balanced piece, and as a result it was clearly, inarguably, not “missing context” at all. It seems any article or scientific publications that even suggests may be dangerous as well as ineffective is just not allowed to be shared without consequences. This is censorship at its finest.

Furthermore, the bulk of my article, as well as the meta analysis, focused primarily on the health consequences that can occur from extended periods of mask wearing. The Lead Stories article that Facebook was leading our readers to instead of mine didn’t even touch upon that topic at all. This made me wonder, how on earth could a fairly recent, large meta-analysis published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal be considered to be “missing context”? And who exactly at Lead Stories is responsible? How could such a punishment and label be handed down on an article that wasn’t even read? Keep in mind, when a Facebook page receives some sort of ‘fact check’ multiple things happen: the brand’s content reach can be cut, and thus their revenue is cut. The brand has the notion of ‘false information’ associated with its name, defaming and hurting the credibility of the brand. And of course, Facebook users don’t see the content the brand posted as easily, and instead are pressured towards reading the ‘fact check’.

I decided to contact Lead Stories to find out what happened. The contact information on their website provides information for a man named Alan, and another named Maarten. I sent an email to them explaining my concerns, suggesting it felt quite obvious that they did not even read my article before labelling it “missing context”. Perhaps the title and what it implied set them off? But there was nothing misleading about it, I was simply reporting on the study. “Large Meta Analysis: Mask Wearing May Lead To Health “Consequences In Many Medical Fields.”

In an email to Alan I wrote on April 29th, 2021,

Although the article is more so about the physiological and psychological changes that can occur as a result of mask wearing according to the meta-analysis cited, we do not believe our article was read by you. The article clearly outlines many studies that show masks can protect against the spread of coronavirus…So we are quite confused.

Furthermore, this article wasn’t posted on Facebook yet our reach/distribution etc. seem to have been severely punished, and we got the notification via our Facebook Page. I’m not sure if you have put any restrictions on our page as a result?

Please let me know if this is sufficient enough to remote the rating.

Kind regards,

-Arjun

He replied,

This was flagged with a Missing Context label. There is NO punishment imposed by Facebook for that rating.

We are not directly involved in that aspect, but we are assured by Facebook it is only the label.

I have my staff reviewing the merits of the appeal and we will reply soon.

I’m not sure I agree that “NO punishment is imposed by Facebook.” Our business metrics stem greatly off of data, we watch data everyday. It’s always strikingly clear when a Facebook ‘fact check’ has dramatically reduced our traffic. Perhaps Facebook is not being forthcoming about its censorship of pages?

It took over a month and multiple requests to Lead Stories to finally hear back from Alan. And when we did he said:

“Your article is missing context, which is what we rated it. Let us know when you have added the context.”

Once again, Alan has made it clear he has not read the article, nor can explain what the problem with our piece is. As journalists who work incredibly hard, Facebook fact checking has become a joke where ‘fact checkers’ do not respect the hard work of journalists and have the power to hold their stories hostage with little respect given to properly stand by their strong handed claims.

The “missing context” label has yet to be removed, and thus we are unable to post this article on our Facebook Page, because if we do that message will come up for our readers – further harming out brand and potentially adding more ‘instances’ where we ‘repeatedly publish false information’ which is something Facebook has said can lead to permanent page deletion.

Alan has failed to explain how this article is missing context.

I stand by my feeling that there is nothing that Alan and his team can say about this article to claim it is missing context. I still assume they didn’t even read my article before putting a rating on it, and I am still awaiting an appropriate reply Why won’t they simply remove the rating, email me back, and apologize? You can find his contact information at the bottom of this page if you’d like to ask him the same question.

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If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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