Peter Singer has written an opinion piece for the New York Daily News. He cites a victory for cage birds, one he has been fighting for at least forty years! Here is a snippet of that piece with a link to read the full article…
” The hens that produce our eggs are surely the most closely confined, overcrowded and generally miserable animals in America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 93% of them are kept in cages. The standard cages are so small that even if just one bird were alone in a cage, she could not fully stretch her wings.
But these cages don’t hold just one bird. They frequently hold four, five or six birds.
For a year or 18 months, the hens never get out of their cages, and when they do, it is only to be killed. By that time, most of their feathers may have been rubbed off against the wire, leaving their skin red and raw.
The weaker hens are unable to escape more aggressive birds, who would peck them to death, except for the fact that producers routinely cut off the point of all the birds’ beaks with a hot blade, a procedure that causes acute pain.
This is the world we created for other sentient beings, and it is a world that we have a responsibility to change.
Forty years ago, I described the way we keep chickens — empathic and remarkably intelligent creatures — as one of the worst ways in which we ruthlessly exploit animals in order to buy their products for a few cents less. Since then, animal welfare organizations around the world with millions of dedicated supporters have been campaigning against the cages.
A few years ago, they had an important victory when the entire European Union — 28 countries, from Germany to Greece and from Spain to Poland — prohibited the standard cages still used in the United States. This year, despite fierce lobbying and court challenges by the egg industry, California required that hens have more space.
On Tuesday came what might be the biggest victory yet: McDonald’s announced that it will stop using eggs from caged hens in the U.S. and Canada.”
A new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.
Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.