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By Reynard Loki
Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions and images of animal abuse.
In September of last year, two executives of JBS, the world's largest meat producer, based in Brazil, were arrested and charged with insider trading. In May 2017, the billionaire siblings—Wesley Batista, JBS's CEO, and his younger brother Joesley, the firm's former chairman—admitted to bribing more than 1,800 politicians and government officials, including meat inspectors, in an effort to avoid food safety checks.
The California State Assembly unanimously approved a bill on Thursday that phases out the use drift gillnets in the state by January 2023.
The controversial fishing gear, which can stretch a mile long and suspend 100 feet underwater, is used by fishers to target sharks and swordfish, but the nets inadvertently entangle and kill scores of other marine animals, including endangered species.
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By Joe Loria
A groundbreaking study by Tulane University and the University of Michigan published in Environmental Research Letters found that meat, dairy and egg consumption is responsible for nearly 84 percent of food-related greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
By Rachel Krantz
For most of my life, I genuinely believed the false advertising used to sell dairy. When I learned the truth—that nearly all cows used for dairy are kept inside, locked up, forcibly inseminated, and hooked up to painful milking machines—I was heartbroken. How had I never put two and two together: that for humans to consume cow's milk, mother cows must have their calves taken?
I had been duped by dairy brands, whose misleading ads have never been regulated, despite truth-in-advertising laws. This discrepancy prompted a 2003 lawsuit involving the "Happy Cows" campaign, but the case was thrown out over a technicality. "The state's false advertising law simply doesn't apply to the government," explained Mercy For Animals lawyer Rachel Faulkner. The 'Happy Cow' ads were run by the California Milk Advisory Board, a marketing arm of the California Food and Agriculture Department.
By Mark Devries
The animal agriculture industry spends millions on deceptive advertising to persuade consumers that farmed animals roam freely on bucolic pastures. But I've been piloting drones over animal agriculture facilities for several years, and the video I've captured tells a far different story. Nearly all animals raised and slaughtered for food in the U.S. live in factory farms—facilities that treat animals as mere production units and show little regard for the natural environment or public health. Instead of creating widgets, these factories confine, mutilate and disassemble animals who feel pain and pleasure just like our dogs and cats.
By Rachel Krantz
Space World—a theme park in Kitakyushu City, Japan—has apologized after drawing intense criticism for putting 5,000 fish into the floor of an ice skating rink.
According to the Tokyo Reporter, the spectacle was part a limited winter and spring exhibition called "Freezing Port" that opened Nov. 12.
The park said that the point of the attraction was to allow visitors to skate above fish, shellfish and other marine animals in different oceanic zones.
"We wanted customers to experience the feeling of skating on the sea, but after receiving criticism, we decided that we could not operate it any more," Space World general manager Toshimi Takeda told AFP.
Space World shut the attraction down on Sunday following the flood of criticism and is now melting the rink, a process that will take about a week. The park will also hold a memorial service for the fish.
The exhibition was touted as "not only a Japan-first, but undeniably a world-first." The theme park started posting preview photos of its fish-filled ice rink onto its social media pages last month.
The photos, especially ones of larger creatures such as whale sharks and rays, sparked online fervor. One particularly incendiary image showed half-frozen fish with a caption that read, "I'm d..d..drowning…It h…h..hurts…"
Commenters condemned the attraction, with one saying that Space World should not "make life into a toy."
However, a park official said that live fish were not used and that the photos of the larger sea creatures were not real.
“The real fish we used were provided wholesale from public fish markets, and these fish sellers are all aware of the purpose of this project," the official told Tokyo Reporter. “Many of these fish don't meet standards for selling to customers. And the big fish like whale sharks, sharks, and rays aren't real, they're simply photos that were blown up and embedded in the ice."
As for the "drowning" caption, the official said that a park employee wrote it "hoping people would find it funny," but added, "I do feel that not enough caution was taken. I apologize."
"We received critical voices saying it is not good to use creatures as a toy, and that it is bad to let food go to waste," Space World spokesman Koji Shibata told AFP.
Let's also note that global fish stocks are currently being depleted at unsustainable rates and we are on the brink of running out of fish. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization revealed this summer that due to vast overfishing, nearly 90 percent of global fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished.