Whether you're a cricket fan or not - there's one reason you should get behind the Australian team this summer. And that reason is Peter Siddle - the anti-factory farming, vegetarian fast bowler. Shove off, Warney ... I've got a new favourite player.
Peter Siddle hails from Victoria and has played for Australia over 50 times. And if you're a cricket fan you'll be interested to know that he is one of only 36 players in the whole history of the game to have ever claimed a Test hattrick! That's impressive. (Also impressive? The amount of cricket jokes in this blog - see how many you can find!)
As well as being a gun fast bowler, Vicious (apparently that's his nickname - how cool is that??) recently became a voice for animals confined and abused in factory farms. While some sportspeople are on telly flogging anything from vitamins to body spray, Peter is explaining clearly why he reckons factory farming just isn't cricket.
Peter was knocked for six after seeing videos of how animals are treated in the food production process. He decided that animals deserved a long innings too, and so went vegetarian. As well as saving lives by not eating animals, Peter is also seeing the benefits with his own health and performance.
Says the man himself: "I'm starting to feel good and everything's going well from it. I'm recovering well and feeling fit and strong out in the middle ... [I'm] a lot leaner, a lot lighter, and feeling a lot more comfortable out on the field ... I tell you one thing, I'm pulling up a lot better the next day, that's for sure."
Whatever sport you follow, or wherever your interests lie, making the decision to go veg is a no-brainer. It's good for your health, good for the planet, and of course - it's great for the animals. You can join Peter in making a kinder world possible by taking the pledge to avoid animal products altogether.
You can show some love for Peter in the comments below. Post a message for him and I'll make sure he gets it!
If you wanted to know the full story about where cage eggs come from - where would you go for the info? A website set up by the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL)? Or would you ask an imaginary green man named Gumby from the 1950s? If you chose the imaginary Gumby, you'd be ... CORRECT!
In case you don't know, Gumby was a plasticine man (thing?) on the telly from the 1950s right through to the 1980s. Him and his mates (including a talking horse and a dinosaur that drives a car) spent each episode getting crazy and generally having a good time. Now believe it or not, but it seems Gumby is more interested in schooling people about the reality of cage eggs than the AECL are! Check out this episode of Gumby where the Blockheads kidnap his friend Tilly (who is a chicken. Yes, Gumby is friends with a chicken - legend.)
Here's what Gumby got right about cage egg production:
Hens will never feel the sun on their feathers.
They're confined to cages their entire lives, with no chance for exercise.
Hens suffer broken bones and lameness after spending their lives in a cramped cage.
If a hen stops laying eggs, she's in serious trouble
The most accurate part comes at the 1.41 minute mark though. When Tilly asks where she is, her caged neighbour replies, "This is hell". Pretty heavy stuff for a kids show!
So how does this match up against what the AECL wants you to know about battery hens? On their website about hen welfare, they've listed all the supposed advantages for chickens confined in battery cages. (Remember, the space each bird gets inside these cages is not much larger than an A4 sheet of paper, and chickens spend their ENTIRE lives in there).
1) "If a bird does become sick, cage-based housing makes it easier to identify and remove birds for treatment." That's a touching thought, but I'm not sure that the sick bird at the end of this video would consider her 'treatment' that helpful. And it's not uncommon for birds to die unnoticed in their cage, leaving their cage mates stuck in a cage with their dead body.
2) "Better protection from in-fighting and cannibalism." The reality is hens have the tips of their beaks sliced off to prevent them from pecking at each other in their cramped cage. Since when was cutting bits and pieces off animals to make them fit cruel systems ok?
3) "Protection from the elements and predators like eagles, snakes, foxes and feral cats." But I want to know who's protecting them from factory farmers! Being doomed to a life sentence in a battery cage is no life. They'll never smell fresh air, or even get to properly stretch their wings.
One fact that neither Gumby or the AECL mention, is what happens to all the male chicks in the egg industry (sadly, not just for cage eggs)...
"Hell" pretty much sums it up :(
The simplest way to make sure you aren't supporting chicken cruelty is to go egg-free (or if not, then at the very least ditch cage eggs). Your body doesn't need eggs any more than it needs plasticine and you can find egg replacers at most big supermarkets. You can do your bit to help hens by pledging to make the battery cage history.
(p.s. Want to know what all the other labels on egg cartons really mean for hens (and chicks)? Then grab this handy chart.)
Now, I'm a massive fan of Lady Gaga's music, and I think that she's got a lot of important things to say. But jeez she makes some shocking decisions when it comes to what she wears. Her latest monster balls-up is wearing fur. As if that's not bad enough - you should hear her bumbling justification for it.
You might remember a couple of Gaga's other fashion crimes. Her meat bikini (blergh-kini?) springs to mind immediately. This time she's draped herself in a fur coat in the middle of the northern summer. She defended herself by saying that while normal people would "see a carcass, I see a museum piece de resistance". She goes on to describe it as an "art piece". Really? It looks more like the carpet a mate of mine used to have in the back of his station wagon.
Look closely at the photo - see the adorable little dog there? If I was that dog ... I'd be freakin' out! After all, millions of dogs are killed each year for their fur. I wonder whether Lady Gaga would have looked at the coat differently if it had been made out of that little guy. A recent segment on Today Tonight showed that fur products being sold here in Australia contain dog and cat fur, even though it's illegal to import.
To make fur clothes, animals are beaten, anally electrocuted, drowned, or poisoned. Some are even skinned alive! When she was criticised for wearing fur, Lady Gaga responded by saying, "I do not support violent, abusive campaigns for ANY CAUSE". It's just a bummer that she DOES seem fine with violence and abuse against animals, I guess.
To say that I "like" Ben Stiller movies would be pretty much the same as saying that I "like" lasagne. Both being total understatements. Which is why I was psyched to hear that Ben and his family have decided to go vegan!
The star of Zoolander, Dodgeball, Meet the Fockers (and on and on ...) has decided that there is "more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking" and is helping animals (and his own health) by not eating meat or any other animal products. This means that Ben and his family can look forward to probably living longer, and avoiding health problems such as obesity, diabetes ... and much less likely, but much more creepy ... WORMS in their brains!
Ben's wife Christine Taylor is also in acting (and modelling) and she's given the new lifestyle the thumbs up. "It really has changed our energy level. Sometimes you don't realize it until someone says it to you, like, "Your skin looks amazing.'"
With a couple of new movies on the way, I think Ben's gonna be needing that energy to get him through the day. Have you already made the same compassionate choice as Ben, and cut out meat? How did you feel after making the switch? Did you have more energy, or feel better in the mornings?
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.