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General News    H4'ed 12/17/11

Pigs, cows, and chickens are the 99 percent, says animal rights activist

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Sarah Von Alt, an animal rights activist working with Mercy For Animals supports the Occupy Movement. 

"MFA stands in solidarity with anyone who works to help animals, and I appreciate that the Occupy movement has included animals in its Official Declaration of the Occupation of New York City -- specifically that corporate interests have 'profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.'"

Von Alt said as the Occupy movement continues to gain momentum, it is becoming more obvious that Americans have grown weary of corporate power in politics and the resulting abuses of humans and nonhuman animals.

"While taking to the streets and participating in peaceful protests is one way to raise awareness about these important issues, each of us can start to remove our financial support from Big Ag by transitioning to a healthier, more sustainable plant-based diet. Since cows, pigs and chickens make up 99 out of every 100 animals exploited and killed in this country, in a very real way, they are the 99%," Von Alt said.

You can find plenty of info about Mercy for Animals online, but here is Von Alt's overview of the organization.

" Mercy For Animals is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. We encourage consumers to open their hearts and minds, and widen their circle of compassion beyond family, friends and their beloved companion animals to include all animals," Von Alt said.

She said more than 99 percent of animal exploitation and abuse in this country is at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries.

"Farmed animals may not be as cute or fluffy as our dogs and cats at home, but they have the same capacity to feel love, joy, and happiness, as well as sorrow, fear and pain. The best way to help end the needless suffering of cows, pigs, chickens and other farmed animals is simply to not eat them," Von Alt said.

She said while MFA's primary focus is on the animals themselves, transitioning to a plant based diet has shown benefits to human health, as well as our environment.

"Currently, the leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, some forms of cancer, stroke and diabetes have been conclusively linked to diets high in meat, dairy, eggs and other animal products," Von Alt said.

The United Nations, Pew Charitable Trusts and other organizations have concluded that animal agriculture is a leading cause of every environmental problem we face -- from global greenhouse gas emissions to deforestation to air and water pollution.

"By transitioning to a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle, we can spare animals lives of immeasurable suffering and protect human health and the health of the planet," Von Alt said. 

In light of this, boycotts of factory farmed meat, dairy and eggs---if not a boycott of them altogether would seem to make sense.  

"Choosing cruelty-free, plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs is a powerful way to put your ethics on the table and vote for a kinder world every time you sit down to eat. If you don't like that animals are made to suffer and die for your dinner -- good news! You have options. Leave the meat at the supermarket. You don't have to continue to financially support an industry that hurts animals, the planet and your health. You can now find vegan versions of almost all your favorite foods-- including veggie burgers, soy milk, and dairy-free ice cream -- at nearly every grocery store and restaurant. It's never been easier to adopt a healthy and compassionate vegan diet," Von Alt said.

I asked her about using marches as part of a movement for animal rights. 

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My focus as a journalist and as a person is to help all I can with survival and quality of life, here, now, and beyond. Doing that involves---in my opinion---engaging our heads, hearts and hands to build better relationships (1)among people, (2) (more...)
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