ACT Greens put an end to cage egg production after almost 20 years [#geekgirl]
[From a press release from The Greens] ‘After 18 years and seven bills, the ACT Greens have finally won the battle to ban cage egg production and sow stalls in the ACT, said ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury.
“In 1996, the ACT Greens presented their first bill in the ACT Legislative Assembly to outlaw the production and sale of battery cage eggs. I am so proud that today, our 7th bill presented to the Assembly on these important issues has passed and will outlaw these inhumane and outdated farming practices,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“The Animal Welfare (Factory Farming) Bill will ban battery cages for egg production and the use of sow stalls and gestation crates for pigs, introducing a maximum penalty on conviction of 50 units ($7,000 for an individual or $35,000 for a corporation).
“Battery cage farming places laying hens in horrific conditions. It is widely recognised that hens kept in battery cage systems suffer chronically, unable to exhibit usual chicken behaviour such as flapping their wings or dust bathing.
“The Bill also prohibits the removal or trimming of hens’ beaks, a common practice in the factory farming industry where the hen’s beak is removed with a hot blade or laser. Not only is this process painful and inhumane, but it can also lead to other health complications which make it painful for the bird to eat.
“A growing number of public campaigns and a high level of recent media attention have exposed the inhumane practices of factory farming. It is clear that community awareness is increasing and public expectations are growing for higher standards of food production.
“This bill represents a growing movement in the community, as consumers are better informed and able to make more humane choices when purchasing animal produce. This is reflected even in our supermarket chains, with a number now stocking free range meats and phasing out the sale of battery cage eggs.
Animals Australia Campaign Director, Lyn White, expressed her support on the bill “Animals Australia applauds the ACT Government’s landmark move to prohibit some of the cruellest farming practices which see millions of animals around Australia severely confined and denied any quality of life, purely for commercial reasons. This legislation reflects community expectations for the treatment of animals and sets a significant precedent for other states to follow.”
Local produce farmer, Martyn Noakes from Bredbo Valley View Farm also welcomed the bill. “Prohibiting sow stalls within the ACT will have far reaching beneficial effects on the welfare of pigs beyond the ACTs borders; there is no need for sow stalls, caged birds or feed lots. This legislation is a step forward in changing the way we all think about the way all our food is produced.”’
A Bathing Owlette [#cutez0r] [#geekgirl]
How #Wolves Change Rivers [#geekgirl]
Scientists Sign Declaration That Animals Have Conscious Awareness [#geekgirl]
[As reported by altering-perspectives.com] “An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus. But will this make us stop treating these animals in totally inhumane ways?
While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here. The body of scientific evidence is increasingly showing that most animals are conscious in the same way that we are, and it’s no longer something we can ignore.
What’s also very interesting about the declaration is the group’s acknowledgement that consciousness can emerge in those animals that are very much unlike humans, including those that evolved along different evolutionary tracks, namely birds and some cephalopods.
“The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states,” they write, “Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.”
Consequently, say the signatories, the scientific evidence is increasingly indicating that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.”
Making House Calls To People Without Homes [#geekgirl]
#Gorgeous Rainbow Boa [#geekgirl]
Robobees [#sadface] [#geekgirl]
The Harvard Robobee Project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In an article in scientific American in March 2013 the project’s members discuss the complexity of building and controlling tiny robots. One central problem is that any power source capable of running the robots is too heavy for flight to take place.”
Plan Your Meat Free Day [Geekgirl]
[From the always fabbo "1 Million Women"] “Our sources estimate that one individual maintaining one meat free day a week results in 300kg carbon savings and save 10 000 liters of water a year.
To celebrate national independence from meat day we have a special treat — an amazing recipe set of sides, starters and/or snacks to keep your next Meatless Monday sufficiently delicious. All thanks to wonderful 1MW ambassador Maeve O’Meara!
Lebanese hummus bi tahine
- 2 tablespoons of Bicarbonate-soda
- 500 grams. Dried chickpeas
- 30 ml. tahini (ground sesame seed sauce)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 20 ml. lemon juice
- 2 tea spoons of salt
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tea spoon of paprika
- finely chopped parsley
Place chickpeas on pan containing enough hot water to cover up to 10cm over their volume (as they absorb the water and increase in size), to this add the 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate-soda and leave soaking overnight.
After soaking the chickpeas, rinse them with water and put them to boil for approximately 1 hour (or until their skin layer peels off).
Once the chickpeas are soft and most the skin has been removed drain and allow them to cool down.
Place the chickpeas in a food processor blend until soft and creamy. Then add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt; blend again until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
Place the mixture in a serving bowl and make a well in the centre just deep enough for the oil to be poured in.
Decorate with cooked chickpeas. Sprinkle paprika and parsley on top.
Makes approx 4 cups
The addition of lemon, salt and tahini can be regulated according to your personal taste.
Can be refrigerated for approximately 4-5 days.”
A new suspect in bee deaths: the US government [#geekgirl]
[Via Quartz] “As scientists race to pinpoint the cause of the global collapse of honey bee populations that pollinate a third of the world’s crops, environmental groups have indentified one culprit: US authorities who continue to approve pesticides implicated in the apian apocalypse.
Case in point: The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) conditional approval in May of sulfoxaflor, a type of agricultural pesticide known as a neonicotinoid. The European Union has banned neonicotinoids for two years in response to scientific studies linking their use to the sudden death of entire beehives, a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Over the past six years, CCD has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives worth $2 billion. Bee colonies in the US are so decimated that it takes 60% of the nation’s bee population to pollinate a single crop, California almonds. And that’s not just a local problem; California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds.
Now environmental and food safety groups are seeking to overturn the EPA’s green-lighting of neonicotinoids in a series of lawsuits that for the first time invoke the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the bees. “EPA inadequately considered, or ignored entirely, sulfoxaflor’s harm to pollinators and the significant costs that harm will impose on the agricultural economy, food security, and natural ecosystems,” attorneys for the nonprofit Center for Food Safety and other groups argued in a legal brief (PDF) filed in December in litigation aiming to revoke the approval of sulfoxaflor. “
A #Bobcat Showing His Love [geekgirl]