Monday, April 27, 2009

A New Way To Move Manure at The Lazy Vegan!

We have exciting news here at The Lazy Vegan- we have a new way to move manure!!! The foreman bought a dump wheelbarrow type of thing that hitches on to our rider mower and can carry up to 500 pounds- PERFECT for moving the "seasoned" manure from the huge manure pile to the garden area- without breaking any backs! The foreman put it all together at lunch time (seen above with his carrot juice for energy!) and then put it to the test and it was great. It reminds me of a little train. And now if we ever have some kind of disaster where we have to leave the property but can't use our cars, we can harness up the donkeys and put the dogs & Boulder in the new attachment, and let Paco and Luigi pull all of us out!
Of course, it still takes work to fill the thing with manure!

Weegie was pretty interested in what was going on. He probably finds it a bit amusing to see all the trouble we go to just to deal with his manure!

The foreman zoomed by like he'd been hauling manure his whole life.

Here he had to gesture to the photographer (me) to remind me to open up the garden gate!

Backing up proved to be tricky.

In truth, it was hard not to laugh while taking pictures of this.

Some slight complication that the foreman figures out.
And TA DA!! A big pile of seasoned manure lands in the garden!
Bravo decided to test it out later in the day.
He looks pretty darn cute sitting in the "caboose"!
He'd probably love it even more if it was in motion!
All in all, a great new addition to The Lazy Vegan!

Paco prepares to chase whichever dog enters the pasture first- and it was Toby!
The turkeys are getting a bit too close for comfort to the Beetle lately.

Boulder is so neat with his "feline manure" that we never have to deal with it- cats are great that way- very clean about burying their "business"!

The donkeys were pretty bewildered by all the fuss just to move their manure!

Toby looks great in front of the Beetle & house.

Sundown for Boulder.

Weegie discovers a carrot that was missed at carrot treat time!

Weegie stays in practice with picking up the sweet grain pan.

Paco is fixated on the cows across the way.
(these are the types of photos that break my heart- intensively confined pigs)
Wayne Pacelle: A Humane Nation The Humane Society of the United States
A Possible Connection: Swine Flu and Factory Farms
Posted: 27 Apr 2009
02:55 PM PDT
The world is on high alert because of an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico that has already claimed about 150 lives, and that is now spreading in pockets across the globe, including in the United States. Mexican officials say they've traced the origin of the H1N1 strain to the southeastern state of Veracruz, the site of major pig farms. We at The HSUS have done much thinking about the potential for such pandemics, partly because a senior member of our staff has studied this issue as thoroughly as anyone in the nation. Dr. Michael Greger, The HSUS's director of public health and animal agriculture and author of "Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching," is a world-renowned expert on the phenomenon of diseases jumping from animals to people and how our modern uses of animals have greater potential to trigger pandemics. He’s got observations about the current crisis, below, that should be mandatory reading for policy makers across the nation.
In the last few decades, dozens of new human diseases have emerged and re-emerged as a direct consequence of how we mistreat animals. The butchering of chimps in the African bushmeat trade led to the emergence of HIV, live animal markets in Asia led to the emergence of SARS, and the exotic pet trade led to the appearance of monkeypox in Wisconsin. The greatest change in our relationship with animals, however, has been the way billions are now raised for food around the world.
Factory farming practices have directly led to the emergence of deadly human pathogens including mad cow disease, Strep suis, Nipah virus, multi-drug resistant foodborne bacteria, and highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza. Although AIDS has killed 25 million people, the reason there is so much concern about influenza is that it is the only known pathogen capable of infecting literally billions of people in a matter of months.With international attention now focused on the emerging H1N1 swine flu virus, it is important to reflect on how such viruses arise.
The first recorded emergence of a swine flu virus like the one we now face, incorporating both human and avian genes, was on a factory farm in North Carolina in 1998. When thousands of animals are crowded into filthy, football field-sized sheds to lie beak to beak or snout to snout atop their own waste, it can be a breeding ground for disease.
Though some within the meat industry have made commitments and acted to move away from some of the worst intensive confinement practices, others have instead sought to overturn laws meant to improve animal health. Last year, for example, the National Meat Association and the American Meat Institute brought a lawsuit to overturn a California law that would exclude pigs too sick or crippled even to walk from the human food supply, forcing producers to take better care of these animals.
A study of downed pigs published in 2008 in Livestock Science found that non-ambulatory pigs were significantly more likely to test positive for swine flu compared with pigs who could walk. More than half of the downed pigs were found to be actively viremic with swine flu virus, meaning that the virus was coursing through their bloodstream—53.8 percent were actively infected with an H1N1 virus and 51.9 percent with H3N2.
The meat industry trade groups argued, however, that it was okay to slaughter and process downed pigs for human consumption because swine flu wasn’t a threat. Now that the World Health Organization has declared swine flu a public health emergency, maybe industry will stop trying to undermine laws meant to protect animals and the public, and instead reduce the overcrowding and stress that helped lead to the emergence of such diseases in the first place.