Showing posts from 2015

Thanksgiving at the Coop - Your 2015 guide is here!

It's that time of year again! Thanksgiving is a little over a week away and turkeys are starting to appear in the Coop's meat case. Check out our 2015 Thanksgiving Guide to learn more about the welfare of the turkeys we have available this year - as well as plant-based Thanksgiving options!

Slaughterhouse Shortage

by Kama Einhorn, Animal Welfare Committee

You may have noticed a "certified humane" logo on some coop meats—but only a few. Why are there plenty of small, local family farmers raising animals well, but so few humane-certified items available in the coop—or in any store or restaurant? Here’s the four-part problem:

All farmers must use USDA-approved slaughterhouses. Farmers cannot legally sell meat unless it’s been “harvested” at an approved “processing plant” (otherwise, they can only eat it themselves or give it away). Obviously, it’s crucial for a government agency to ensure that disease is kept out of the public food supply, but the USDA is a bloated bureaucracy whose rules favor factory farms (with fast “line speeds,” which is poor for humane slaughter) and help them to thrive. And factory farms are responsible for E. coli, Salmonella outbreaks and mad cow disease (the USDA lets factory farms feed dead, diseased cows to living cows).

Small farmers are limited to smaller slau…

Have You Visited a Local(ish) Farm Animal Sanctuary This Summer?

by Deborah Diamant, Animal Welfare Committee

Are you looking for a unique day trip to flee the city with your friends or family in tow? The Animal Welfare Committee encourages you to visit one of the several farm animal sanctuaries located within a few hours of the Coop before the summer ends. Some are even reachable via mass transit!
Spending a day at a farm animal sanctuary is not just a humane alternative to visits to zoos and circuses--they enable us to interact with animals up close in an environment where they receive proper care. While stroking the radiant coat of a Holstein cow and standing among frolicking goats, we observe up close each animal’s unique personality. This simply is not possible through a cage in a zoo and from a seat in a circus.
The purpose of farm animal sanctuaries, though, is to provide a caring environment where animals mistreated as products in commercial farms can recover and live the remainder of their lives free of cages and substandard treatment. Jenny …

New Member Squad Application - Deadline Extended to JULY 1!


Like what we do and want to get involved? Apply to join the Animal Welfare Committee! We're looking to add a few members to our very active committee. Below you can read an overview of what the Animal Welfare Committee's work entails and how to apply for the Animal Welfare Committee squad as your coop workshift.
All applications are due by July 1 and we are hoping to meet with candidates who are a good fit during our August 24 meeting (7:00-8:30 p.m.), if possible.
Please review the following points before applying.  Please know our mission before applying.  The Animal Welfare Committee provides transparent animal welfare information about the co-op’s products.  Please take a look at the info sheets we produce.  This is a large part of what this committee's work is...and what the new members will be researching and creating a…

A Possible Reprieve for the Male Chicks of the Egg Industry

A little known fact about the egg industry is the number of male chicks who are killed in the process of producing eggs.  How does that happen?   Almost all hens in commercial operations are purchased from hatcheries that dispose of male chicks shortly after hatching since they only need the birds who will lay eggs – the females. The hatcheries need to wait for the eggs to hatch to “sex” the birds and identify males and females.  Females get sent to egg industry vendors and males get destroyed.  Methods of disposal include suffocation, gassing and grinding alive. These male chicks are not used as “meat” birds because their bodies are not as profitable as conventional broiler chickens (birds bred for and used as “meat” birds) and therefore have very little use and value to the agricultural industry.  The killing of male chicks is an unfortunate side effect of egg production.

You may notice that there is a column on our Egg Guide that asks vendors “Fate of Male Chicks?” with all of the a…

From the Linewaiter's Gazette: "The Five Freedoms for Animals—Plus One for Coop Members"

[From the December 25, 2014 edition of the Linewaiter's Gazette]

By Kama Einhorn, Animal Welfare Committee
The welfare of animals involved in food production has been a major concern for many since the beginning of our industrialized food system. Coop members are, of course, no exception. The Coop’s Animal Welfare Committee seeks to address these concerns by educating and providing facts to our fellow Coop members about what’s happening on the farms from which our animal products originate.
In the 1960s, as factory farming became increasingly standard practice in the UK, the British government commissioned an investigation into the welfare of “intensively farmed animals.” Soon after, they created the Farm Animal Welfare Council, which developed a set of guidelines now known in the animal welfare movement as the Five Freedoms:
Freedom from thirst and hunger: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropria…