"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men." Alice Walker, American author

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Cruel Truth about the Latest Fashion in Hair Accessories

http://www.upc-online.org/entertainment/120426feather_hair_extension_handout.html truth behind th

United Poultry Concerns recently published a pamphlet revealing the cruel truth behind those feather hair extensions many of the young women (and Steven Tyler) are currently wearing. 

The truth is, these chickens are bred solely for their TAIL feathers, and they are not harvested in a humane way. 
 From United Poultry Concerns website: 

"Hair extension feathers are obtained from caged roosters who are raised for this purpose in filth and misery. The largest American supplier of these feathers is Whiting Farms in Colorado. According to the company: “Each rooster has only a small number of tail feathers that can be used for sales – sometimes none, sometimes 5 or 6.” Up to 1,500 roosters may be killed by Whiting Farms each week for the fashion industry. The dead roosters are then trashed like garbage. “They aren’t good for anything else,” bragged company president Thomas Whiting, showing the cruelty and waste of the feather business.
Whiting Farms lies to the public. They do NOT kill their birds “humanely.” They do not “euthanize” them. To keep blood off the feathers, Whiting Farms and similar companies asphyxiate their birds with Carbon Dioxide.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) inflicts a terrible death. Roosters killed for feather hair extensions die in painful agony while they suffocate in terror. The roosters panic as they realize they cannot breathe. Every inhalation to try to get oxygen and expel the poisonous gas from their lungs tightens the strangulation. This is the torture that Whiting Farms and its competitors put innocent birds through merely for a trivial hair ornament.
What Should I Do?
If you are wearing feather hair extensions, please stop wearing them. Give the feathers a decent burial and tell your friends why you are no longer wearing them.
If you are thinking about buying a feather hair extension or any other feather or “down” product, please don’t. There are many beautiful feather-free fabrics, beads and other ornaments you can buy, or even make yourself, that don’t come from suffering and abused animals.
Do NOT believe Whiting Farms or other feather sellers who tell you their feathers are obtained “humanely.” It is not possible to obtain millions of feathers “humanely” for the feather trade. As the beauty care company, Aveda, explained to its salon owners in a letter urging them to stop selling these feathers: “As you may be aware, feather extensions come from de-feathered and slaughtered roosters. Some may even be plucked from live animals, causing incredible pain.”
Please be kind to me. Don't wear my feathers.
If you see anyone wearing feathers braided into their hair or buying or selling “feather hair extensions,” politely inform them that roosters are being raised in filthy warehouses, cruelly gassed to death, and thrown away like garbage, merely for a few feathers from each bird’s body. Educate fashion and teen magazine editors, store managers and others about the terrible suffering and death these poor birds are enduring merely for a fashion item that can easily be made from cloth fabric. Urge store managers to stop selling feather hair extensions. Carry these pamphlets with you to hand out. Order 10 for $1.00. 25 for $2.50 from www.upc-online.org/merchandise. Or send check or money order to the address below.
Thank you for choosing compassionate fashion!
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
To learn more about how you can help millions of birds, please visit or write to:
United Poultry Concerns • PO Box 150 • Machipongo, VA 23405 USA
757-678-7875 • info@upc-online.orgwww.upc-online.org"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CAF's Meatless Monday info table at Earth Day fest at Countyside Church , Palatine IL,

On Sunday, April 22, CAF hosted a table at Countryside's annual Earth Day event, sponsored by our Green Sanctuary.  This year, CAF decided to focus on promoting the Meatless Monday campaign.  Why does our group support and promote Meatless Monday?  Our poster here explains it well - ".. for Farm Animals - Each year, 10 billion cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and other innocent, sentient animals are caged, crowded, deprived, mutilated, and manhandled in U.S. factory farms.  They are then hauled to the slaughterhouse and killed under atrocious conditions.  Nine percent (over 850 million) never make it to the slaughterhouse, dying from stress-induced diseases or injuries..."  (from www.meatoutmondays.org/animals)  However, Meatless Monday also alleviates the suffering and killing of U.S. wildlife as well - "  In addition to the ten billion animals killed by animal agriculture each year for human consumption, hundreds of thousands of prairie dogs, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, bears, bison, and other wild animals are shot, maimed, poisoned, and burned alive by farmers and government agents to keep them from interfering with agricultural operations.  Tens of millions and starlings and blackbirds are poisoned each year to keep them from eating animal feed.  An even greater threat to wildlife is posed by the destruction of their natural habitats.  Animal agriculture turns hundreds of acres of forest, wetlands, and other habitats into grazing and croplands to feed farm animals."  (www.meatoutmondays.org/animals)


CAF's info table, with free Tofurky and Sunshine burger samples...

We did eventually get 3 people to sign the pledge by the end of the day..

Belinda Draper Robinson and Sheryl Bass (co-coordinators of CAF) and Laura Walker, a fellow member of CAF. 

 Furthermore, reducing our overall meat, dairy, and egg  consumption promotes the well-being of our soil, water, and atmosphere - CAFOs are one of the biggest contributors to water, soil, and air pollution in the U.S.  Not to mention moving toward a more plant-based diet is extremely beneficial for one's overall health. 

Tofurky and Gardein coupons, and UUAM and Meatless Monday brochures
We are grateful to Tofurky for their generous supply of coupons for free Tofurky products to hand out for sampling
A CCUU member pleasantly surprised at the deliciousness of the vegan sausages..

For more information about Meatless Monday, see these websites:  

And check out CAF's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CountrysideAnimalFriends for recipes and links every Monday. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012


A new website from the UUA on Ethical Eating from various viewpoints - regarding social justice and workers' rights; animal rights and conservation; environmental effects, health, etc.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baked Seitan Loaf

Sorry I almost forgot about Meatless Monday - and I was out of town the past two weeks.. but better late than never - maybe you can make this tomorrow!

On Sunday, I made a seitan loaf - that's wheat-meat made from wheat gluten, broth and seasonings, rolled and baked into a loaf in the oven.
I'm sharing this because a)this is one of the best seitan loaves I've made, and b)home-made seitan is easy; and c)it's way cheaper and tastier than store-bought (although Upton's Naturals and Tofurky are pretty darned good - but pricey!
This seitan has a firm, yet tender texture; not bready-y at all!  

This is my tweak (I always tweak recipes!) of a recipe in Robin Robertson's VEGAN ON THE CHEAP - a very good cookbook btw, I use it all the time.  This loaf is perfect for dicing up for BBQ sandwiches, tacos/enchiladas, etc.  Or do what I did for lunch today and slice thin for a sandwich.  (My dog loves it too, so, yes it does taste "meat-y"!)

BAKED SEITAN LOAF (This will come out looking like a long Tofurky roast btw..)

Dry mix:
1 and 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 cup chickpea flour (found in most Indian/multi-ethnic groceries/markets)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional; but lends a lot to taste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Wet mix::
1/2 block water-packed tofu
1 and 1/4  cup veg. broth, COLD (I use the Pacific brand pre-pkgd individual cups of broth for seitan)
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Blend the tofu and other wet ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Make a well in the center of the dry mix, then our the wet mix in.  Stir until combined and mixed.  Then knead with your hands for 2-3 minutes.  Let rest for a couple of minutes, up to 5 or so.

Mix a tsp or two of olive or sesame oil and a tsp or two of tamari, a small squirt of tomato paste, and a small squirt of agave nectar or maple syrup in a bowl and whisk together.

Now, form the gluten dough into a log shape.  Brush the tomato-paste mixture on all sides.
Then wrap in aluminum foil but not too tightly.  Make sure to twist the ends so liquid does not escape in the oven.

Bake in oven at 325 F for 90 minutes.  Flip over halfway through baking time to brown on both sides.
The gluten will expand a bit when baking.

After baking, carefully unwrap from foil, and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or using in a  recipe.  (For best results and texture, refrigerate overnight.)