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Idaho’s dairy industry is pushing legislation that would make it a crime to document animal cruelty occurring on farms “agricultural operations” within the state. Under Bill SB 1337, any person caught taking photographs, video or audio recordings of animal farming practices could end up in jail for a year and face a $5,000 fine.

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Join us for Meatout on March 20th, when caring activists in all 50 U.S. states and dozens of other countries will encourage their community to explore vegan eating. This year we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of Meatout, which was started back in 1985 by our founder Dr. Alex Hershaft. In honor of this milestone, we’ve set a goal to distribute 30,000 vegan food samples to illustrate how delicious and convenient vegan food can be. And we need your help to make it happen!

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FruitVeggieHeart_520x480Valentine’s Day is this week, bringing a heightened sense of affection, caring and love to our everyday routines. February is also known as “Heart Month,” drawing attention to heart heath by raising awareness of the number one killer in the United States – heart disease. Every year, 600,000 Americans die from heart disease, with many of these deaths being preventable. So what better way to take care of your heart and show yourself a little love than by adopting a vegan diet.

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On Saturday, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a recall of almost 9 million pounds of meat because it came from “diseased and unsound” animals and was not properly inspected. The meat products were processed at Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Northern California company.

According to a statement from the FSIS, these products are “unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce.” No illnesses have been reported but the notice went on to say there’s a “reasonable probability” that consumption of the tainted meat could result in “serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

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The vegan diet got another mainstream boost from a new report by scientists working for the United Nation’s International Resource Panel. The report states that a dramatic shift in diet, away from animal products, is necessary in addressing increased land use, world hunger, and climate change.

As the world’s population continues to climb towards a predicted 9 billion people by 2050, the need for more sustainable food systems is more important than ever. And a diet rich in animal protein and dairy products is certainly not the road towards sustainability.   

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Whether you’re into the Super Bowl or not, any excuse to indulge in some yummy vegan food and hang out with friends is a good excuse. Here are a few crowd favorites to help get you started.

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Sloppy Joe Lentil Sliders

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Me

Me and Esperanza at Animal Acres in Acton, Ca.

I was a vegetarian for 12 years, and although I wasn’t eating meat, I was still consuming dairy and eggs. I didn’t drink glasses of milk or eat omelets, but I did enjoy baked goods that were made with eggs and pizza and pasta dishes with cheese, and I loved dairy ice cream. I somehow rationalized to myself that because I wasn’t eating the actual animal, I wasn’t playing a role in the animal’s suffering or being killed. And I guess I thought “hens lay eggs regardless” and “cows give milk regardless, so what/who does it hurt for me to eat those products?” At the time, I didn’t realize how cruel and abusive the dairy and egg industries really are; so I continued to consume those products, all the while, thinking I was helping animals.

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WeAnimals

“These images take us to dark and hidden places visited by only a few determined and courageous individuals like Jo-Anne McArthur. They reveal the secret practices that many people will not want to know about. For the animals’ sake, I beg that you will not only look but feel. For if we truly understand their suffering then, surely, we shall no longer condone it. And the heart-warming images at the end of the book show us the road to compassion.”  — Dr. Jane Goodall, primatologist and author

So when you’re making your list of books you want to read this year, be sure to include Jo-Anne McArthur’s We Animals. Drawn from many photos taken over 15 years, We Animals illustrates and investigates animals in the human environment: whether they’re being used for food, fashion and entertainment, or research, or are being rescued to spend their remaining years in sanctuaries.

The images in this book are truly riveting, and a must-see. Jo-Anne captures poignant moments in a way that creates an emotional experience for the reader. Her images and accompanying text, really make the reader take a hard look at one’s own interaction with animals, and see the world of animals differently. I recently had the pleasure of asking Jo-Anne a few questions about her book. Here’s what she had to say…

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So it’s the beginning of a New Year, with endless possibilities…time to take stock of how far we’ve come and plan for where we’re headed.

According to statistics, overall meat consumption for the United States is declining and campaigns such as Meatout or Meatless Mondays are rapidly gathering support. We are making real strides for animals. However, everyday we still see the heart-wrenching images and videos of farmed animals being beaten and killed, and we’re taunted by ads that glorify eating more meat, dairy and eggs. And most of us think to ourselves, “What can I do to stop these atrocities? What can I do to help save more animals?”

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Ducklings

The following Editorial was written by FARM’s Founder and President, Dr. Alex Hershaft and appeared in the 2013 FARM Report.

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The history of our movement has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the definition and character of our leadership. The early days were marked by spectacular achievements by individuals, with an ability to mobilize our entire movement that no one has been able to duplicate since. Their deeds alerted the public to the problems of animal abuse and remain an inspiration to this day.

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