Barilla pasta became the first big pasta-maker to join the cage-free egg movement. Whether or not they were pressured into it or bought out by HSUS, we'll probably never know. But what I do know is that they represent just one in a huge wave of propaganda conquests by HSUS as they buy, force or lie their way into the forefront of animal rights idiocracy. I think it's great that Barilla cares so much about the welfare of chickens, but maybe before they force more of the market production to convert to cage-free production, they might've wanted to ask whether or not cage-free is really a better system for the bird. For further reading on the matter, check out this OSU compilation on the welfare of birds in both systems. You might just be surprised.
While we're at the old grind of trying to spread facts to the few who care to elevate about media-hyped fiction, try out this sow housing fact sheet released by the USDA and ARS. I found it to be a more honest and unbiased evaluation of the current situation and research. In class today, we discussed the highly controversial issues surrounding the care and euthanasia of pigs. I understand the concern with animal welfare. As long as there are people beating animals, we have not done enough. But what frustrates me is the momentum from video releases which are used to push for irrational methods of caring for animals, such as untested swine housing, lack of castration, castration with anesthetics which are more detrimental to the piglet than the surgery, and utopic descriptions of how a pig should be allowed to act to exhibit "normal" behavior. For those of you who haven't seen pigs, don't watch their normal behavior - it will make a bad impression (ever seen Old Yeller?).
Finally, I have just two topics that border gross for me. First is the suspected live burial of pigs during the spread of foot and mouth disease in Korea. Foot and mouth disease is a horrible disease which spreads much faster than the vaccine would be able to work. While Compassion advocates the vaccine, you need to understand that the animals in question were obviously already afflicted with the disease. They should obviously have been euthanized prior to burial but they were not going to be saved one way or another.
And then there's the Dutch guy who thinks we should eat bugs. What do animal rights activists think about this? What a tasty alternative to bacon, eh?