Unending Quarantine: We Are Not the Only Ones

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freefromharm.org

Ashley Capps 10-12 minutes


In addition to the logistical and financial crises so many continue to endure as a result of COVID-19, extended social distancing has plunged much of the world into a full-blown existential crisis as well. Shelter-in-place mandates, shuttered businesses and community spaces, and the loss of important social and familial rituals has found us confronting an unprecedented moment of alienation. We are profoundly disoriented by the sense of being estranged from our own lives.

While this feeling of separation is emotionally harrowing, I believe it can also provide an opportunity to consider the abjectly alienated existences we routinely inflict on so many of our fellow beings; the nonhuman animals we breed or capture for the purposes of exploitation. For us, this estrangement from the lives we belong to is temporary. For the animals languishing on farms, in zoos, vivisection laboratories, aquariums, circuses, pet stores, breeding mills, kill shelters, and anywhere else humans have imprisoned our fellow creatures, alienation is the very essence of their existence, and a permanent condition.

A “beef” cow at a “livestock” show. Photo by Unparalleled Suffering Photography.

And while the plights of all of these creatures is urgent and worthy of closer examination, in the interest of time I will limit this reflection to animals who are farmed; not only because they comprise the bulk of my research and advocacy, but because our consumption of animals, and our obsession with meat, is now unavoidably implicated in the current pandemic on multiple levels.

Our Fatal Flesh Obsession

While it is widely believed that COVID-19 jumped to humans via the animal flesh trade, this has led to a disproportionately critical focus on wildlife and “wet” markets. In reality, the “livestock” sector is the single largest source of human zoonotic disease pandemics globally. A 2012 global study mapping human diseases that come from animals found that “While zoonoses can be transmitted to people by either wild or domesticated animals, most human infections are acquired from the world’s 24 billion livestock, including pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and camels.”

Indeed, the World Health Organization states that “the greatest risk for zoonotic disease transmission occurs at the human-animal interface through direct or indirect human exposure to animals, their products (e.g. meat, milk, eggs…) and/or their environments,” while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that “Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food.”

Just a decade ago, swine flu, an H1N1 influenza virus, jumped from farmed pigs to humans and infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. alone, where it resulted in 12,469 deaths, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, as many as 284,500 people were killed by the swine flu pandemic.

The infamous 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu was also caused by an H1N1 virus. Attributed to having developed from either a swine flu or avian flu virus on a pig or poultry farm (pre-dating so-called factory farms, it should be noted), the pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people globally.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Bigger Sickness

While these pandemics are tragic, they are not inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, they are symptoms of a much deeper sickness, one of our own making, with which we have infected not only ourselves, but whose toxic consequences can now be seen across the globe: in the burning of the Amazon rainforest to make room for ever more cattle ranching; in Australia where the ceaseless bulldozing of koala habitat, and the deliberate mass killing of kangaroos, both on behalf of the beef industry, kill far more of each species every year than the recent wildfires that drew a collective gasp of horror; in the unprecedented rates of wildlife species extinction resulting from habitat loss, whose number one driver is animal agriculture; in the climate crisis to which meat and dairy production contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transport combined, leading to more and increasingly devastating droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, while inching global temperatures inexorably toward the point of no return.

A koala mother and joey on a bulldozed log pile in Queensland. Photograph: WWF

Killing animals is killing us.

And the sickness is not in the scale of our killing; this is not an argument about the evils of industrial animal farming and a need to simply shift to more so-called humane, bucolic forms of exploitation and slaughter. The sickness is the mentality that designates sentient beings as something to be farmed at all. These animals, from whom we have stolen so many dignities; the dignities of self-determination, of bodily and reproductive autonomy, of family, of wildness, and of inherent existential worth, live suspended in a Frankensteinian netherworld of separation, entirely outside the natural order their ancient instincts once belonged to.

A mother goat at a “livestock” show. Unparalleled Suffering Photography

As author Joanna Lucas has written:

“Isolated from the natural world to which they belonged for millennia, farmed animals are forced to live their short lives in severely degraded physical and psychological environments that are far different from the ecosystems and cultures from which they historically derive. Severed from the intricate social structures that governed and guided their free-living communities, and confined, without the possibility of escape, to a human world where they have no place in the present, no link to the past, and no possibility of a future, domesticated animals have no power whatsoever over the most important aspects of their lives.

Humans decide where they will live; if they will ever know their mother; if, and how long, they will nurse their babies; when, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends; when, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species; when, how, and if, they are going to reproduce; what, when, and how much they will eat; how much space they will have, if any; if, and how far, they will be allowed to roam; what mutilations they will be subjected to; what, if any, veterinary care they will receive; and when, where, and how they are going to die.”

Photo by Toronto Cow Save.

What can it mean that in a society obsessed with personal identity and freedom, we have erased the very concepts of identity, liberty, autonomy, and consent from entire populations of sentient individuals without so much as blinking at the moral implications of the indignity and debasement we needlessly inflict on them in the name of profit and palate pleasure?

To degrade any individual, much less entire species, to the lifelong status of property, captive, and commodity, is the grossest devaluing of life, and the ultimate alienation.

A dead hen on the egg conveyor. Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals Media

Quoting author Linda Clark:

“When we use other individuals, they have not a thing to call their own; not their bodies, not their children, not even their very lives. Nothing. Reduced to commodities and resources, every moment of their existence is governed by human economics of the service that can be taken from them, the cash value of such substances as milk, eggs and body fibres that can be stripped from their living bodies, and ultimately the value per kilo of their pitiful corpses hacked and sawed to pieces. Our use of them is thorough and utterly pitiless.

These are the innocent victims of our deluded species. They do not ‘live’ as we know and value the word. They endure an existence. They are powerless, brought into the world by violation on an industrial scale for the sole purpose of gratifying human indulgence.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can thrive without causing this devastating harm.”

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And here’s author Will Tuttle:

“Harboring the idea of owning another living being is in itself an act of violence, and our outer violence toward nonhuman animals, which is so devastating to us all, springs from this idea… [W]e are never owners of others. We can be their guardians, companions, friends, protectors, admirers, and appreciators, and this blesses us far more than we might think. The move from “owner” to “guardian” frees both the “owners” and the “owned,” and establishes the foundation for peace, freedom, and justice. We are all harmed by the culturally mandated ownership mentality that reduces beings to mere commodities, whether for food, clothing, entertainment, or the myriad of other uses. It is long past time for us to awaken from the cultural trance of owning our fellow beings…”

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It is no coincidence that our systematic destruction of animal lives, which is in large part facilitated by our refusal of their subjectivity, is also destroying the earth. As I write this, U.S. slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have been identified as the largest hotspot for coronavirus infection in the country, but are being forced to stay open by executive order of Donald Trump in order to supply the flesh fetish. Meanwhile, headlines continue to report “mass meat shortage” fears alongside images of people in full medical masks browsing empty meat refrigerators.

Our culture is in a state of addiction. It is pathological. And it is wrecking our planet, which ought to be incidental to the immorality of needlessly breeding billions of sentient individuals into captivity, reproductive subjugation, and slaughter. Bodies are not commodities. Body parts are not barcodes. Beings are not property.

Until we divest from this poisonous sense of entitlement, this stupor of violence, exploitation, and consumption, our species is doomed.

May it be otherwise. 

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Petition: Ban Neonicotinoid Insecticides Deadline 11:59pm May 4,2020

EPA: Follow the science, not GMO and agrichemical industry profits! Ban neonicotinoid insecticides. EPA: Follow the science, not GMO and agrichemical industry profits! Ban neonicotinoid insecticides. The science is clear and the evidence overwhelming. Neonics pose a grave threat to bees and other pollinators, birds, animals and humans. In 2013, the European Union placed a moratorium on three neonics widely used in the U.S. In 2018, the EU went further and banned all outdoor use because of the high risk to pollinators and soil and water contamination. In 2020, the EU went on to ban a fourth neonic, also widely used in the U.S., due to the threat to human health and the environment. Here in the United States, the EPA is poised to renew the registration of five types of neonics. Tell the EPA that it’s high time to protect America’s health and our shared environment, rather than Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta’s poison profits. We need the bees and other important pollinators. We don’t need poison made by Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta. Do not renew the registration for neonicotinoid insecticides. BAN NEONICS. Pesticide Registration Review: Proposed Interim Decisions for Several Neonicotinoid Pesticides Regulations.gov Document ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0581-0357 Agency Environmental Protection Agency Comment Period Feb 3, 2020 to May 4, 2020 Comment

https://gmofreeusa.salsalabs.org/banneonics2020/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=77441f17-7573-4f79-b47d-e1a4a063bb8d

How Halley’s Comet will spark tonight’s meteor shower

fox43.com

4-5 minutes


The second meteor shower in as many weeks will dazzle the eyes of stargazers around the globe tonight.

The second meteor shower in as many weeks will dazzle the eyes of stargazers around the globe, but the light show will be battling against the glow of a nearly full moon when it reaches its peak.

The Eta Aquarids is an annual meteor shower in early May, and this year, reaches its climax on Monday night and the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning.

“This shower happens to be one of if not the best in the Southern Hemisphere,” AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said. “It is a moderate shower for the Northern Hemisphere.”

People living south of the equator may count as many as 40 shooting stars per hour at the height of the celestial light show, the American Meteor Society (AMS) said. This includes Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South America.

“From the equator northward, they usually only produce medium rates of 10-30 per hour just before dawn,” the AMS added.

This year, the meteor shower will be peaking just two nights before the final supermoon of 2020. The bright moon may make it difficult to see some of the fainter meteors, but it should not completely wash out the shower.

Of course, weather and cloud cover will significantly factor into how well sky gazers in different parts of the country are able to witness the meteor shower.

Onlookers across the southern U.S. and the interior West are forecast to have the best viewing contains for 2020’s iteration of the Eta Aquarids. Mainly clear conditions are also on tap for parts of New England and into Quebec.

A storm gathering over the central U.S. will spread disruptive clouds over much of the Midwest and into parts of Appalachia, obscuring the night sky.

Clouds could also spoil the meteor shower over the Pacific Northwest as a storm moves into the region.

The Eta Aquarids will be active on the nights leading up to and immediately following the peak, so people that have cloudy weather on Monday night may be able to spot some shooting stars later in the week when the clouds clear.

No special equipment is needed to watch a meteor shower, although people should pack some patience when heading out to spend some time under the stars.

“Give yourself a solid hour to look for meteors. Get comfortable. Lay down on a blanket, or a reclining chair,” Samuhel said.

People should also avoid looking toward the moon, which will be above the horizon for most of the night. Looking at the moon can make it harder to see meteors, so try to focus in the darkest part of the sky.

Where to see the Aquarids in 2020. AccuWeather

The best time to watch the meteor shower will be after midnight once the shower’s radiant point climbs above the horizon.

The radiant point is simply the part of the sky where the meteors originate, but you do not need to look in this direction so spot meteors. However, as the radiant point climbs higher in the sky, more and more meteors will able to be seen.

Many of the meteor showers throughout the year are caused by debris left behind by comets when they visit the inner solar system. When this debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it burns incredibly bright for a few brief seconds.

“The majority of visible meteors are caused by particles ranging in size from about that of a small pebble down to a grain of sand, and generally weigh less than 1-2 grams,” the AMS said.

The debris that causes the Eta Aquarids is actually dust left behind by one of the most famous comets – Halley’s Comet.

Halley’s Comet only orbits the sun once every 75 years, but each year in early May, the Earth passes through some of the debris that it left behind.

“The Eta Aquarids are one of two meteor showers sparked by Halley’s comet. The other being the Orionids in October.”

What are shooting stars? This graphic explains. AccuWeather

People that miss out on the Eta Aquarids will need to wait a few months before the next opportunity to catch a meteor shower.

According to the AMS, the next major meteor shower will not peak until late July.

Drain The Oceans – The Baltic Sea Tuesday May 5 at 9/8c on National Geographic

10 Tips for Troubled Sleep During Lockdown

onegreenplanet.org

By Chelsea Debret 13-17 minutes


Getting quality sleep is a major issue for many of us during this lockdown phase of the pandemic.

I’m not simply talking about falling and staying asleep but this is also referencing what’s going on in our heads once we are asleep. On top of the tossing and turning into the wee hours of the morning, recent polls discovered that many of us are having some strange and upsetting dreams, as well as recurring nightmares to boot!

The stress, anxiety, and fear caused by the pandemic — ushered in by social distancing, self-isolation, drastic changes in our daily life, loss of employment, to mention a few — have seeped into our subconscious and are wreaking havoc with our ability to get a good night’s rest.

While this may not seem like a huge deal, getting the proper amount of quality sleep is an integral part of a healthy body and a robust immune system.

Therefore, no matter what your daily plans in lockdown are, getting at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep should top the priorities!

The Negative Sleep-Effects of Shelter-in-Place

Pexels/Pixabay

When it comes to trouble sleeping during this pandemic, there are a few psychological tweaks going on in our heads.

First and foremost, we need to acknowledge that our fatigue-driven sleeplessness caused by the “mental workload associated with COVID-19,” such as the unprecedented psychological stressors it has forced upon us including stress and anxiety. Plus, this trouble sleeping may also be caused by “the monotony of the situation,” which increases fatigue during the day and makes it more difficult for us to obtain quality sleep when we actually need it.

One such “unprecedented psychological state” includes phases of adjustment.

The country — and most parts of the world — are experiencing what psychologists call “phases of adjustment” as we transition from our normal life and routine into lockdown. This includes massive readjustment to accommodate the shelter-in-place guidelines — from homeschooling to working from home to new exercise routines to creating strange virtual social parameters with friends and families.

On top of these “phases of adjustment,” the change in daily routine has also made our circadian rhythm go a bit haywire.

Your circadian rhythm “is an essential internal ‘clock’ that plays a key role in regulating our sleep pattern,” by controlling “body temperature and hormones in order to make us feel alert during the day and tired a night.”

From the moment you wake up in the morning to the last cup of coffee to your commute home that evening walk or jog, dinner and then your relaxation time, these are all landmarks throughout the day that help define your circadian rhythm and signal the production of sleep hormones — such as melatonin and serotonin.

Why Should We Focus on Sleep?

The three pillars of a healthy body come down to nutrition, exercise, and sleep. In fact, some scientists even put sleep above these other two pillars in some cases.

Getting quality sleep is linked to a slew of health benefits including healthy weight management, better concentration, more productivity, increased athletic performance, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, — due to healthier glucose metabolism — decreased risk of depressive feelings, lower rates of bodily inflammation, and an improved immune system.

This last health benefits may be the most important to focus on right now.

According to research, “even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function.” The study found that “those who slept less than [seven] hours were almost [three] times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.”

This was upheld by an analysis of 15 years of sleep-immune system research, which “accumulated surprisingly strong evidence that sleep enhances immune defense, in agreement with the popular wisdom that ‘sleep helps healing.’”

Even though you may not have a reason to go to sleep or wake at specific times during lockdown, these parameters give your body cues to begin releasing those sleepy-time hormones and obtain good-quality, adequate sleep!

10 Tips to Troubleshoot Troubled Sleep

Fotorech/Pixabay

Now you know why you need to get quality sleep.

Of course, this knowledge isn’t helpful when you’re lying awake at one in the morning staring at your bedroom ceiling.

Luckily, there are a few active steps you can take — starting from the moment you wake to the hours before you sleep — which will help train your body to grow sleep. Here are a few tips to get you started down the road to quality sleep!

1. Start a Reflective Journal

Writing has always been seen as a wonderful psychological tool to help unwind and unload the thoughts in your head to make room for clarity, reduce stress, and alleviate anxieties. Using this incredibly powerful tool in order to dump your brain for sound sleep is a great place to start. Reflective journals are a great place to privately “note down your thoughts and feelings” before bed — or anytime during the day! — plus it allows you to “review your progress and see how you adjust” to the lockdown.

2. Create a Morning Routine

Morning is oftentimes the hardest for most of us.

We’re used to an alarm getting us up, a hurried shower, picking an outfit for the day, packing a lunch, and then hopping in the car to commute to work.

Just because you may not have employment or a commute doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate a healthy morning routine!

Trying filling those extra “commute” hours with healthy habits such as cooking a solid healthy breakfast, — such as this Grilled Asparagus and Smoked Tofu Benedict, Cocoa “Zoats”, Hearty Buckwheat Waffles with Strawberries, or these Pumpkin Oatmeal Lentil Cups — exercise, meditate, or even indulge in a tranquil hobby — such as a puzzle, writing, or early morning gardening. By creating a strict morning routine, you will find it “easier to stick to a nighttime routine and therefore fall asleep at a reasonable hour.”

3. Create a Bedtime Routine

While your morning routine dictates the vibe of your day, a bedtime routine dictates the quality of your sleep!

This is especially important during lockdown as it “can help you separate your workday from your evening,” signaling your body that it’s time to begin “cooling down.” Try to turn off all screens — phone, computer, and television — at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. Integrate peaceful activities such as a puzzle, reading, or relaxing yoga, meditating, or breathing exercises into this time. This also includes stopping all work at least an hour before bed!

4. Choose Late Night Snacks Wisely

Part of your bedtime routine should be a food cutoff time.

It’s recommended to not eat within at least three hours of when you will lay down. This rule is great for those suffering from heartburn, but it’s also just a great rule to follow if you’re looking to fall asleep easier. You don’t want your digestive system hard at work when you’re trying to get some shut-eye!

With that said, if your stomach is really asking for a little bit of something, choose wisely!

You’ll want to avoid alcohol, heavy metals, and sugar. Instead, focus on getting magnesium-rich foods, foods that promote serotonin and melatonin, and naturally calming agents — such as lavender and chamomile.

Here are a few late-night snack recipes to give a try: White Bean and Walnut Cookies, Banana Coconut Cashew Granola, Almond and Chamomile Panna Cotta, No-Bake Oat Bars, Peach and Chamomile Ice Pops, or this Chamomile Ginger Lemon Raw Energy Bars.

5. Make the Bedroom a Place of Tranquility

A very popular guilty pleasure is turning your comfy, big bed into an “everything” space. Some of us eat, work, and watch television in bed. While this may have worked before lockdown, when we all had the daily rigmarole to deal with, during lockdown this will wreak havoc with your brain’s ability to recognize the bedroom as a “sleep zone.”

Therefore, make sure to “remove electronic devices and make the room cool, dark, and quiet.”

Don’t eat in bed.

Don’t work in bed.

Don’t watch television, use your phone, or have your laptop in bed.

If you have to have electronic devices in the bedroom — as most of our alarms are on our phones now — make sure to set these devices to “night” mode or “airplane” mode.

6. Avoid Napping

When it comes to napping during the day, it’s important to find a happy balance. Keeping in mind that we’re all suffering from slight forms of pandemic-bred trauma, mourning, and grief, it’s okay to let your body recuperate by getting a few moments of extra shut-eye during the day. With that said, too much napping during the day will throw off your natural circadian rhythm and can interfere with the release of “sleep time” hormones such as melatonin and serotonin.

Basically, if you nap too much during the day, then you may be up all night.

7. Stop Drinking Caffeine after Noon

That cup of coffee in the morning may be the one thing getting you going during lockdown. It may also be part of a healthy, positive morning ritual.

Definitely don’t sacrifice your coffee!

With that said, caffeine — in all forms including coffee, tea, and energy drinks — does have a nasty habit of messing with the natural production, release, and flow of our sleep hormones including serotonin and melatonin.

Therefore, it’s important to cut yourself off from caffeinated beverages or products by at least 12 pm. Research has found that this cutoff time allows your body enough time to get back into the natural rhythm of those hormones by the time you need to fall asleep later that evening.

8. Get Outside!

Most cities have specific lockdown guidelines. These include leaving the house for essential trips — such as medical appointments and grocery shopping — many cities are still allowing their residents to enjoy the outdoors as long as they respect the rules of social distancing.

Take advantage of this leniency!

Getting outside not only breaks up the day and provides a great excuse for physical activity, but “exposure to both natural light and dark during this time will help us keep our circadian rhythms in balance, and make us tired.”

Try to integrate outdoors time first thing in the morning to help you wake up, as well as a nice evening stroll at twilight to signal your brain that the sun has gone down and therefore it’s time for bed!

9. Exercise

You probably knew this one was coming! So, here it is.

Exercise!

Physical activity of any kind — walking, Pilates, gardening, running, weight lifting, yoga, stretching — have amazing benefits for the health of your body and your mind. This is especially prevalent when it comes to the health of your brain! In fact, it’s been found that regular exercise can actually make a brain more youthful.

This is also linked to your brain and body’s ability to fall asleep.

With that said, make sure “avoid vigorous exercise one hour before bedtime as this may reduce our sleep duration, quality, and make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place.” Choose to integrate exercise first thing in the morning, midday, or late afternoon. If you were addicted to the gym or those butt-kicking classes, try some of these online services offering lockdown deals!

10. Melatonin

As with any supplement, it’s important to speak with your doctor before integrating it into your diet.

With that said, if you’re having trouble sleeping and nothing else is working, incorporating melatonin into your evening routine may help get your circadian rhythm back on track in a more natural way.

There are two types of melatonin: the melatonin hormone released “in the brain [which] is connected to time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light” and melatonin supplements created in a lab to mimic natural melatonin hormone. A melatonin supplement is far preferred over sleep medications due to the fact that “you are unlikely to become dependent on melatonin, have a diminished response after repeated use (habituation), or experience a hangover effect.”

After getting the thumbs up from your doctor, try a few of these vegan-friendly supplements out: SOURCE NATURALS Vegan True Melatonin for $6.29, Herbatonin Natural Plant Melatonin for $18.99, or this Natural Nutra Vegan Melatonin for $16.95.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

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Raw Almond Joys/One Green Planet

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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New Guidelines for Pet Owners from CDC

onegreenplanet.org

By Eliza Erskine 4-5 minutes


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released new guidelines for pet owners and coronavirus. After two cats tested positive for the coronavirus in different parts of New York, the new guidelines are out to share with pet owners how to care for pets in the pandemic and how to keep them safe.

Public health officials stated that there is “no evidence” that pets are part of spreading the virus. The CDC stressed the importance of the need for additional information and testing to be able to provide specific guidelines for pet owners. The CDC recommends treating pets like family members and to practice social distancing for animals too.  In the meantime, the CDC has reocmmended:

  • “Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.”

If you’re sick with coronavirus, suspected or confirmed, follow the CDC guidelines and let someone else care for your pet while you’re sick, avoid contact until you’re well and use face coverings and hand washing if you must care for your animal during your illness.

IDEXX Laboratories said it would be providing a COVID-19 test to veterinarians. The agency also said it would continue to provide updates as more information was available.

Learn more about pets and coronavirus, including transmitting the virus to pets, how to keep pets healthy during coronavirus,  how to adopt a pet during social distancing, shelters struggling during coronavirus, and the man that fostered 100 dogs in the pandemic.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

Petition: Tell the USDA to Stop Increasing Line Speed at Slaughterhouses

onegreenplanet.org

By Sharon Vega 2-3 minutes


During a pandemic that has exposed that humans’ treatment of animals leads to dangerous repercussions, there are still inhumane and cruel things being done. The United States Department of Agriculture has been quietly approving line speed waivers. This means that employees who themselves are already in danger must work at an increased pace to inhumanely kill more animals faster.

Line-speed waivers remove restrictions on how fast a meat plant’s line can move. There is already abuse and cruelty involved in killing animals and gutting and packing them as if they were objects, but to speed up the process blatantly proves there is no possibility of humanely handling the animals.

At one pork plant alone in South Dakota, 16 percent of the employees tested positive for COVID-19 — that’s 592 employees. These slaughterhouses don’t have the ability to effectively practice social distancing and provide protective gear to all employees, so they shouldn’t even be working. But Trump signed an executive order sending workers back to meat plants without protection.

Sign this petition telling the USDA to stop approving line-speed waivers which are inhumane and also endanger the workers who are already at risk.

Sign these other relevant petitions as well to demand change:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on iTunes — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy!

Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

Experts Believe Coronavirus Vaccines Should be Tested on Humans Directly Versus Animals

onegreenplanet.org

By Eliza Erskine 5-6 minutes


In an effort to increase the time until a coronavirus treatment and vaccine is available, lawmakers, experts and medical facilities are looking to humans instead of animals to be tested for potential vaccines.

Peter Singer and Richard Yetter Chappell argued the case for testing on humans in a recent Washington Post op-ed. The slow speed of animal testing makes it a less than ideal solution to coronavirus vaccine. “For example, conventional standards require that new drugs be tested on animals before clinical trials with humans are permitted. For covid-19, sufficiently promising treatments should jump to human clinical trials as soon as is reasonably possible, bypassing the usual lengthy period of animal testing,” they wrote.

Pandemic situations dictate that the “significant risk” associated with human testing isn’t equal to the “catastropic toll” the virus could cause around the globe. United States lawmakers are recommending that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), allow human trials for coronavirus testing. “[A] more risk-tolerant development process is likely appropriate in the case of a COVID-19 vaccine. The enormous human cost of the COVID-19 epidemic alters the optimization of the risk/benefit analysis, ” the group’s statement shared.

Texas A&M University is known for its medical facilities usually used for animal testing. The university is asking the government to allow it to switch processes to test on humans to increase national testing capabilities.  The FDA requires that people with human lab experience to manage human testing and the university is seeking a waiver. A&M System Chancellor John Sharp blamed the government’s “federal red tape” for their delayed permission to test.

Sharp said in an interview, “Red tape is one thing, but red tape in the middle of a pandemic is pretty ridiculous. This ain’t the time to follow the rules, this is the time to follow common sense and open up facilities that they know are some of the best in the country.”

Matthew Memoli, an immunologist at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it’s important to weigh the risks and take into account our lack of understanding about coronavirus. He told Science Mag, “Where you’re going to give somebody a virus on purpose, you really want to understand the disease so that you know that what you’re doing is a reasonable risk.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals, and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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