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News in a Flash

July - August 2015

Dairy farmers dump half-million dollars in milk

Canadian dairy farmers are dumping hundreds of thousands of litres of milk down the drain. And while they point to the flat demand in skim milk as a key reason why, farm industry critics say the real reason is Canada’s antiquated supply management system.
 
In a free market, increased production results in lower prices. In Canada, however, supply management fixes pricing so that farmers are guaranteed a certain price for their products.
 
Because of a recent high demand for butter and cream, farmers have been left with more skim milk, a by-product of butter and cream production. But instead of selling the milk and allowing the extra supply to lower prices, farmers are dumping it in order to keep demand and prices high.
 
“The [supply management] system can’t accommodate fluctuations in demand,” says one industry observer who advocates getting rid of supply management.
 
Supply management has also been cited as the main reason behind problems faced by milk producers like Organic Meadow, which has pioneered organic dairy farming in Canada.
 
Says one professor at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute: “Supply management depends on perfect market conditions, and there are no such things.”
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Horses killed and injured on way to slaughter    

Six Canadian horses died in the air and three died while landing during one flight in August 2012, according to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC). The CHDC has obtained Access to Information documents that show these kinds of deaths are routine during air transport of horses bound for slaughter in Japan.

The horses are shipped in wooden crates wrapped in netting. During takeoff and landing, the stressed animals often rear up and break the crates. One horse was found dead upside down in his crate.

“Past instructions from the CFIA [Canadian Food Inspection Agency] to exporters have included repairing the broken shipping containers with duct tape,” the CHDC says in a recent news release. Attempts within the CFIA to install cameras and study the issue have been turned down.

“In 2014, over 7,000 large draft horses were shipped from Canada to Japan under these circumstances,” says CHDC Executive Director, Sinikka Crosland. "It is clear that international trade and profit take precedence over animal welfare, possibly even human safety, and that the CFIA is turning a blind eye, circumventing laws and misleading the public. We have strong evidence of the agency failing to follow its own regulations concerning the live transport of horses for meat, and even lying to the public to cover deviations from the law." 

TAKE ACTION
Email these government representatives and demand an end to all long-distance transport of horses on humane and legal grounds:

Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade:   
ed.fast@parl.gc.ca  


Bruce Archibald, President of CFIA:   
Bruce.Archibald@inspection.gc.ca
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Be kind to animals, says Francis 

You know that when the Pope tells us to clean up our act and respect our planet, it's serious. Pope Francis, known for his environmental advocacy, has recently spoken on the issue again in an Encyclical Letter (a teaching document) to the world’s one billion-plus Catholics. In the letter, animals are clearly a priority.

He points out that everything on this planet has “an intrinsic value” that goes beyond “usefulness” — a message that hits home especially hard when it comes to farm animals.

“We have only one heart,” the Pope says, “and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people.” Such mistreatment has become an accepted and routine part of industrial farming, where productivity often trumps welfare.

“Men and women have constantly intervened in nature,” the Pope says, “but for a long time this meant being in tune with and respecting the possibilities offered by the things themselves…. Now, by contrast, we are…attempting to extract everything possible from them while frequently ignoring or forgetting the reality in front of us.”

Read more of the letter here.
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Egg-replacer in a can 

You might have heard about the amazing 'new' egg replacer in the form of 'aquafaba' — i.e. humble chick pea water. And if you haven't heard about it, yes, believe it: the liquid you used to toss down the drain while making hummus or chana masala can now be used to make all kinds of egg-based foods... even meringue.

We were so amazed by this 'invention' that we had to devote some space to it here in News in a Flash. To learn more, including how to make egg-free meringue, we're going to point you to the blog Food52. Thank you Food52!
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MEMBER PROFILE:

TRACS  

TRACS, The Responsible Animal Care SocietyIn 1994, The Responsible Animal Care Society started as a small group of people in the Okanagan area of B.C. coming together to help neglected horses. Today, TRACS is a registered non-profit that has expanded into a strong and dedicated team of volunteers. Their work ranges from hands-on rescue — i.e. providing food and medical care to abandoned and feral animals — to adoption, crisis intervention and raising awareness of abuse and neglect. 

Successes include saving more than 800 rabbits that the town of Kelowna had decided were pests and required 'lethal management'. TRACS stepped in to trap, spay/neuter and relocate the rabbits to sanctuary spaces.

Ongoing initiatives include their Compassion Fund, which helps homeless and low-income people care for their pets, and their work with people who donate land for sheltering animals.

They rely heavily on fundraising and volunteering — learn more about them here.

Thank you, TRACS, for all your hard work for animals and your support for CCFA.
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Rain couldn't keep us away!

The skies might have been grey and the roads wet, but the mood was anything but at Toronto's  Veggie Pride Parade May 31st. Hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, the parade included floats, banners, be-boppin' tunes, and big smiles on everyone as we made our way through the rainy streets of Toronto.  A big thanks to Lindsay White and Deborah Chalmers for helping to 'carry the torch'— and to all the animal folk who turned up in droves to spread the message of kindness and compassionate eating.
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Join CCFA at Holly's Hope! 

The 3rd annual Holly's Hope Walk for Ontario Farm Sanctuaries happens Sunday July 26th, so get your walking shoes on! We meet up at noon at Toronto's Dufferin Grove Park, and make our way to Kensington Market. It's a wonderful way to catch up with your peeps and raise much-needed funds for the folks who care for rescued farm animals. Learn more and register your team here.
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RESCUE PROFILE
Rabbit Rescue to the rescue

Rabbit Rescue is happy to report that after several visits and positive discussions with a southern Ontario slaughterhouse, two young rabbits have been released. They're now settled in their foster home. RR helped engineer the rescue together with The Save Response Team, which was behind Meadow the lamb’s release from slaughter at Easter.
 
The rabbits, both female, are estimated to be about 10 weeks old. It's not known if they’re sisters, but they are very attached, and spend a great deal of time grooming and cuddling one another.
 
"Both are brave and curious and have become comfortable around people very quickly," says RR founder and owner Haviva Porter-Lush. Happy rabbits do an amazing little happy dance called a binky, and she says the bunnies' first binkies were nothing short of fabulous.
 
The rabbit meat industry is growing, which worries CCFA and Rabbit Rescue. Both groups have been closely following The National Farm Animal Care Council's development of a Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Rabbits (for meat), expected out in Fall 2017.
 
Rabbits are very social, sensitive and gentle, and make wonderful pets. They can live up to 10 years.
 
“It is concerning that retailers such as Whole Foods are pushing rabbit meat, and the fear is that more food retailers will follow,” says Porter-Lush.
 
CCFA is glad to see that some slaughterhouses are welcoming dialogue with animal groups. While we always strive for improvements in the way food animals are treated, our ultimate goal is to reduce animal meat consumption and to promote a vegetarian or vegan diet.  
 
In the meantime, these two lovely bunnies are awaiting their forever adoptive family. To learn more, please visit the website at rabbitrescue.ca
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If you have feedback for us... or a rescue story to tell us, or a vegan recipe to share, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at info@humanefood.ca. 



 
 
 
COOKIN' IN A FLASH
Creamy Vegan Potato Salad
Summer and potato salad go together like a beach towel and a good book. This zesty, tangy version of the recipe comes courtesy of The Detoxinista. And a quick variation on the below: Try adding a touch of maple syrup for southern-style sweetness. 
 
INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 lbs. small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp diced red onion
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
black pepper, to taste

METHOD

1. Scrub potatoes well and chop into 1-inch cubes.
2. Add 2 inches of water to a large sauce pot and arrange chopped potatoes in a steamer basket inside.
3. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and cover, allowing potatoes to steam for about 10 minutes or until fork-tender.
4. While potatoes are cooking, combine avocado, Dijon, onion, cucumber, dill, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Mash well with a fork.
5. Drain cooked potatoes and allow to cool.
6. Stir cooled potatoes into avocado mixture, season with pepper and enjoy.

 
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