This Week’s Good and Bad: April 22, 2011

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This week’s bad…

This week’s bad comes from Mercy for Animals, the team behind a number of undercover videos exposing the cruelty inherent to animal agriculture. This time around, they’ve got a video from E6 Cattle Company in Hart, Texas. E6 raises calves for use on dairy farms. As you’d expect, the video is brutal.

The video shows (from the MfA site):

  • Workers bludgeoning calves in their skulls with pickaxes and hammers – often involving 5 to 6 blows, sometimes more – before rendering the animals unconscious
  • Beaten calves, still alive and conscious, thrown onto dead piles
  • Workers kicking downed calves in the head, and standing on their necks and ribs
  • Calves confined to squalid hutches, thick with manure and urine buildup, and barely large enough for the calves to turn around or fully extend their legs
  • Gruesome injuries and afflictions, including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves
  • Ill, injured and dying calves denied medical care
  • The budding horns of calves burned out their skulls without painkillers

Awful stuff. Keep this video handy for the next time someone tells you that “drinking milk doesn’t hurt the cow.”

(It should be noted that the final message the viewer is left with is “Boycott animal abuse. Go vegetarian.” Why would they choose to use “vegetarian” instead of “vegan”? Because, you know, going (lacto-ovo) vegetarian ain’t gonna stop this type of abuse at all. In fact, it might increase it since vegetarians often increase milk, cheese, butter, etc. consumption after they stop eating meat. We can say vegan when advocating for animals. It’s not a dirty word.)

This week’s good…

Deb tweeted a recipe she found today for homemade margarine. It doesn’t use palm oil, instead using a mix of corn or sunflower oil, olive oil, and coconut oil, blended with some coconut creamer and a few other things. And the good news? It tastes mighty fine on a bagel.

I’d use a touch more salt than they call for here. And when they say a “dash” of turmeric, they mean it. I put in a touch too much and things got a bit too yellow. Otherwise, it’s good stuff.

It’s nice to have an easy homemade option that’s an alternative to palm oil-based margarines. (To catch up on everything palm oil, Deb’s original post continues to be a great resource and the comment section is still active.)

5 Responses to “This Week’s Good and Bad: April 22, 2011”

  1. Deb

    Wow, you made the margarine already! So glad it is tasty. I’m going to have to give it a try soon!

    Something I wondered from reading the recipe – it says to store it in the freezer. Do you think it really needs to be stored in the freezer? Seemed odd to me!

    Thanks for the link to my palm oil post! I’m always surprised by how often it still gets hits. I’m going to add this recipe to the tail end of it now.

  2. Earth Balance, palm oil, rainforests and RAN « Invisible Voices

    […] is soy free and palm free, and which Ryan reports to be quite tasty! Check out the recipe and also Ryan’s review of the recipe. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Palm Oil: How You As A Consumer Can […]

  3. ryan

    You know, the storing in the freezer does make the consistency a little odd, but it still works just fine on a heated bagel, etc. It’s definitely not the type of thing that’s going to fool anyone, but it’s a good sub because, really, butter/margarine/etc. is all just fat anyway. And there’s plenty of fat from the oils in this. It’s pretty rich, too — a little goes a long way.

    I may take a chunk out and put it in the fridge and see what happens with it.

  4. Brendan

    Huh… I think I more or less made that margarine. I’m not sure coconut oil is that much more sustainable than palm oil, though, just that there’s not as much demand for it yet. Sometimes I wonder if the benefits of full hydrogenation might outweigh the problems.

    For some reason, though, it got moldy (after a month or two). It was basically just oil and lecithin – what was there for the mold to eat?

  5. peace

    While dramatically increasing dairy and egg consumption was a hallmark of 1960s/1970s vegetarianism, the image no longer holds true today. Many vegetarians reduce their dairy/egg consumption when they make the switch, for example, they start buying soymilk instead of cow’s milk. This is true whether they’re doing it for ethical or health reasons. (there’s nothing healthy about big glops of cheese.)

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