The Last Pig: exposing ‘humane’ farming’s betrayal of farm animals

For over a decade, Bob Comis operated a small-scale pig farm in upstate New York. Over time, his incongruous relationship with the pigs began to trouble him. He experienced delight and laughter in their company. Yet, each week he drove a small number of pigs to the slaughterhouse. Eventually, he turned his back on pig farming. This change of heart encouraged him to pursue vegetable farming and embrace veganism.

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Today, Comis’ farm is abundant with new life; vegetables sprout from the earth that once bore hoof prints.  The pigs are gone. A number of pigs were spared the fate that awaited their kin at the slaughterhouse. They are living out the rest of their days at animal sanctuaries.

Filmmaker Allison Argo was drawn to Bob’s story, and  – with cinematographer Joe Brunette –  is producing a film called, The Last Pig.

I interviewed Argo about the power of Bob’s story, her inspiration for making the film, and ‘humane’ farming’s betrayal of animals.

You can read my article here.

Argo and Brunette have launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of the film’s final scene and the editing process. You can contribute here.

Shining a light on Australia’s pig farming industry

Back in August, I interviewed Chris Delforce, the writer and producer of Lucent, a new Australian documentary.

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Lucent provides a comprehensive exposé of the largely hidden Australian pig farming industry.

Chris told me about the disturbing findings that undercover footage has revealed on Australian pig farms – the diseased and distressed sows; the dead and dying piglets; the painful procedures performed on piglets without anaesthesia; the beatings and abuse inflicted on pigs by workers; and the overcrowding and cannibalism.

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Lucent premiered in Sydney in October, and has screened in other states.  On Sunday 23 November, Lucent is screening in Brisbane at Event Cinemas, Brisbane City Myer Centre from 3.00 – 5.00 pm. To purchase tickets, click here.

To read my article Lucent: Exposing the Australian pig farming industry, click here.

For more information about Lucent, Australian pig farming and Aussie Farms, click here.

Image credit: Aussie Farms

Animal testing for cosmetics: Is the end in sight?

The European Union banned animal testing for cosmetics and the import of animal-tested cosmetics in 2013. An Australian Senator, Lee Rhiannon, seeks to introduce an identical ban in Australia.

The Australian cosmetics industry argues that a ban is unnecessary, as animal testing of cosmetics has not occurred in Australia in recent years.

My latest article for The Scavenger explores the issue of animal testing of cosmetics in Australia, and provides a global overview.

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‘Unimaginable pain and suffering is endured by half a million mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits for the global beauty industry each year. Their tiny bodies are poisoned and burned; they endure blindness and mutilation.

Rabbits are subjected to eye and skin irritation tests, in which chemicals are dripped into eyes and rubbed onto exposed and abraded skin.

Guinea pigs, a popular companion animal of young children, endure skin allergy testing.

Rodents are subjected to “acute oral toxicity” tests, where a substance is forced down his or her throat, and directly into their stomach, via a syringe.

“Lethal dose” tests are conducted by forcing the animal to swallow large amounts of a test chemical. As the name suggests, this test determines the dose that causes death.

Animals in laboratories are wholly at the mercy of the humans who use their bodies as testing implements. Rodents, rabbits and guinea pigs – small animals who are gentle and docile (the very characteristics that make them popular children’s companions) – are completely defenceless.

Once their ‘usefulness’ as laboratory tools has ceased, they are killed by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation (without anaesthesia).’

To continue reading, click here.

Ally

photo credit: iStock

Cowspiracy: An interview with film makers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

 “The incredibly far-reaching destruction caused by animal agriculture is almost overwhelming. What I found the most shocking is that land-based animal agriculture is the leading cause of ocean ‘dead zones’ due to the massive pollution runoff from factory farms, and all the fields of chemically raised feed crops that the animals are fed.”  – Keegan Kuhn, film maker

 

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret has been touted as the film that environmental organisations don’t want you to see.

 

To find out why, click here to check out my interview with Cowspiracy film makers, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, published by The Scavenger.

 

Ally

 

 

Zoos: Killing for Conservation

Earlier this year, Copenhagen Zoo sparked worldwide outrage when it killed a healthy 18 month old giraffe, then feed sections of his body to resident lions. The zoo claimed that Marius’ genes were already ‘well represented’ in the European giraffe breeding program.

Weeks later, the zoo killed four healthy lions to make way for a new male ‘breeding’ lion.

This month, a Swiss zoo killed a healthy Russian brown bear cub.

 

 

My latest article for The Scavenger,  Killing in the name of conservation, reveals a largely hidden side of zoos. That is, the killing of healthy animals is regarded as a legitimate form of population management.

But this aspect of zoos is one that stands in conflict to their public face as conservationists and caretakers.

Moreover, captive breeding programs in zoos (referred to as ‘extinction insurance’) breed animals that are largely ill equipped for life in the wild.

To read my article, click here.

 

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