Ежедневно порядка 22 человек, не дождавшись пересадки сердца, почки или печени. Так, в США в листе ожидания 118 тысяч человек, в России, по данным Российского трансплантологического общества, в 2014 году было 6013.Американский производитель и поставщик мяса и мясных продуктов Smithfield Foods нашел выход. Компания будет использовать свиней для производства сердца и легких для трансплантации. На исследование этой проблемы Министерство обороны США выделило грант на 80 млн долларов. (https://yodnews.ru/news/v...)
Американская компания Smithfield Foods, производящая свинину, заявила о намерении использовать своих питомцев в медицинских целях, например, выращивать в свиньях человеческие органы для трансплантации.
Американская компания Smithfield Foods заявила о намерении изучить возможность использования свиней в медицинских целях, в том числе для выращивания в них тканей и органов, которые впоследствии могут быть пересажены человеку.
Компания Smithfield Foods, производящая свинину, решила использовать сельскохозяйственных животных, чтобы выращивать в них человеческие органы, которые затем будут использованы для пересадки.
Крупный поставщик мяса Smithfield Foods выиграл грант Министерства обороны США в размере $80 млн на медицинские проекты
Компания Smithfield Foods, производящая свинину, заявила, что намерена использовать сельскохозяйственных животных для выращивания органов, пригодных для пересадки людям. Специалисты планируют ввести изменения в ДНК животных, чтобы сделать их сердце и легкие подходящими для трансплантации.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans.
С приходом в Вашингтоне администрации Дональда Трампа угроза торговой войны между США и Китаем приобрела реальные очертания. Торговые отношения двух стран характеризуются громадным отрицательным сальдо для Америки, которое в 2015 году превысило 750 млрд. долл. Ещё до своего вступления в должность президента США Трамп пообещал, что установит для китайских товаров импортные пошлины в размере 45%, а также примет меры против валютного демпинга Китая, осуществляемого путём понижения курса юаня по отношению к доллару. Однако экономические отношения между США и Китаем не ограничиваются торговлей, они дополняются трансграничным движением капитала в обоих направлениях. Внимание к американо-китайским инвестиционным отношениям привлекли несколько событий конца прошлого года. Одно из них – появление доклада «Двустороннее движение: 25 лет американо-китайских прямых инвестиций».
С приходом в Вашингтоне администрации Дональда Трампа угроза торговой войны между США и Китаем приобрела реальные очертания. Торговые отношения двух стран характеризуются громадным отрицательным сальдо для Америки, которое в 2015 году превысило 750 млрд. долл. Ещё до своего вступления в должность президента США Трамп пообещал, что установит для китайских товаров импортные пошлины в размере 45%, а также примет меры против валютного...
Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL) finally completed the sale of its Saag's and Farmer John meat brands, along with its three farming operations, to the pork giant, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
(Don Boudreaux) TweetMr. Jared Bernstein Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Mr. Bernstein: In your Washington Post essay “A proposal to the incoming administration to lower the trade deficit” (Nov. 28) you simply assert that the U.S. trade deficit is “a significant drag on growth and manufacturing jobs.” Because you devote not a single word to explain […]
A copy of the transition team's code of ethics includes a rule barring lobbyists with overlapping work.
**Live from Trumpland: Betsy Woodruff**: _[Trump Tells Virginia Town It’s Failing, Cites the Wrong Place]_: >Loudoun is the richest county in America... replete with defense contractors, engineers, and rocket scientists. And it’s recession-proof... [Trump Tells Virginia Town It’s Failing, Cites the Wrong Place]: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/03/trump-tells-virginia-town-it-s-failing-cites-the-wrong-place.html >But Trump seems to think it’s...
We’re downgrading Donald Trump’s recent misfortunes from “stepping in it” to “‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ theme music.” Trump’s closest advisers plan to hold an intervention with the candidate, not because they *hate* him, but because they *love* him — and because other people hate him. And America’s Earnest Stepdad© Tim Kaine will appear at a number of fundraisers this month, where he will presumably take each Squire Patton Boggs partner aside to sign mom’s birthday card. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016: DONALD TRUMP IMPLODES HIS WAY TO FUNDRAISING SUCCESS - Paul Blumenthal: “Donald Trump’s fundraising efforts are no longer hurting, after he raised $82 million for his campaign and the Republican National Committee in July. It appears that the strength of the GOP presidential nominee’s fundraising comes from small donor contributions. The campaign says that it has raised about $64 million through digital and direct mail operations with support from the RNC. These tend to be donations of under $200, so nearly all of that money is likely headed to Trump campaign coffers. The campaign further stated that the businessman raised $16 million in larger donations for both his campaign, the RNC and a handful of state parties. ‘We are extremely proud of our 69 percent growth in small dollar donations which shows the broad based support of over one million donors across America. Our volunteers and contributors are clearly committed to electing Donald J. Trump as President in November,’ said Trump campaign finance chairman Steven Mnuchin in a statement. The real estate mogul personally donated $2 million of his own money in July, according to the campaign.” [HuffPost] Haircuts: Zach Carter. WHY AN IRAN STORY FROM JANUARY WAS NEWS TODAY - The Wall Street Journal excitedly reported this morning that the “Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran.” The cash airlift was secret, but the payment was not, as CNN and others reported in January: “As the Obama administration welcomed the implementation of a major nuclear deal with Iran on Saturday, it also prepared to close the book on another long-standing issue between the two countries: a decades old legal claim. The U.S. State Department announced the government had agreed to pay Iran $1.7 billion to settle a case related to the sale of military equipment prior to the Iranian revolution, according to a statement issued on Sunday. Iran had set up a $400 million trust fund for such purchases, which was frozen along with diplomatic relations in 1979. In settling the claim, which had been tied up at the Hague Tribunal since 1981, the U.S. is returning the money in the fund along with ‘a roughly $1.3 billion compromise on the interest,’ the statement said.” TRUMP ADVISERS PLANNING INTERVENTION - Is it really an intervention when the target gets advance notice of it in every major news outlet? Chuck Todd and Hallie Jackson: “Key Republicans close to Donald Trump’s orbit are plotting an intervention with the candidate after a disastrous 48 hours led some influential voices in the party to question whether Trump can stay at the top of the Republican ticket without catastrophic consequences for his campaign and the GOP at large. Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News. The group of GOP heavyweights hopes to enlist the help of Trump’s children — who comprise much of his innermost circle of influential advisers — to aid in the attempt to rescue his candidacy. Trump’s family is considered to have by far the most influence over the candidate’s thinking at what could be a make-or-break moment for his campaign.” [NBC News] Everything is fine! Everything is fine! Every. Thing. Is. Fine. :sob: “Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, pushed back against reports of turmoil within the Republican nominee’s campaign on Wednesday, accusing Hillary Clinton’s campaign of spreading a false narrative. ‘The candidate is in control of his campaign. That’s number one, and I’m in control of doing the things he wants me to do in the campaign,’ Manafort said in an interview on Fox News.” [HuffPost’s Igor Bobic] Since when did the Republican governor of Indiana have to go out and say he was endorsing a speaker of the House of his own party? “Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana openly split with Donald J. Trump, his running mate, on Wednesday by endorsing Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s re-election bid, doing so a day after Mr. Trump said he was not ready to make such an endorsement. That the two members of the Republican presidential ticket were taking different positions on whether to endorse the House speaker, a fellow Republican, showed the searing divisions tearing apart the party. In an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he liked Mr. Ryan and was considering endorsing him for re-election, but was not ready. ‘I’m just not quite there yet,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘I’m not quite there yet.’” [NYT] Election mood music: “The Obama administration on Wednesday pushed back against congressional criticism that available funding to combat the Zika virus is not being spent fast enough, claiming all the money on hand for domestic Zika efforts will be exhausted by the end of September. In a letter to senior health and foreign appropriators in both chambers, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services, provided further details of how the department is spending its share of the $589 million that the administration reprogrammed in April to fight Zika. CQ has reported recently that much of that total has yet to be spent, according to information from the Office of Management and Budget.” [Roll Call’s Ryan McCrimmon] DELANEY DOWNER - The New York Times made a mean video of things Trump supporters say at his rallies because Trump is the candidate of law, order and cussin’. Like HuffPost Hill? Then pre-order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill KAINE YOU SPARE A DOLLAR, FRIEND? - Tim Kain, just like your stepdad, if your step-dad were on a first name basis with half the partners at McGuireWoods. “Much has been made of the Virginia senator’s suburban dad-like mien and his Spanish-speaking skills as he’s started to attack Donald Trump, but Kaine also brings to Hillary Clinton’s ticket an under-appreciated resume point: his stealth status as one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful fundraisers...Now, after holding his first campaign finance event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Tuesday, the vice presidential hopeful is expected to play a major behind-the-scenes role on the money circuit, in addition to his public campaigning. He already has 10 more events scheduled around the country over the next 10 days, according to invites obtained by POLITICO. Kaine won’t just serve as a shiny new attraction: His talent at the art of big donor maintenance dates back to his time running the national party, and fundraisers close to the campaign are hoping his position as a full-fledged member of President Barack Obama’s finance circles will help pull any remaining skeptical Obama-era tycoons off the bench for Clinton.” [Politico] NEHLEN NEEDS LECTERN - Thank you, Jen Bendery, for calling this item by its correct name instead of calling it a podium ― also, thank you, Paul Nehlen, who is challenging Paul Ryan in the GOP primary, for not having one: “For about 10 minutes, Nehlen stood before TV cameras and laid into Ryan for being ‘selfish’ for not being more supportive of Trump ― all the while reading from a script held right in front of him by a campaign staffer. It was incredibly awkward. Nehlen didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands at first, eventually grabbing onto the piece of paper too. That meant three hands were now holding up the script. Nehlen barely looked up as he read from it, and the staffer, standing there with a hand on his hip and wearing a Colorado hat, stared at the ground, probably wishing he were invisible.” [HuffPost] TRUMP REALLY NEEDS TO PREPARE BETTER - Free advice: tape the local unemployment rate and major employers to the back of your Stratocaster. Betsy Woodruff: “Donald Trump really, really wants to win Loudoun County—the absurdly wealthy Northern Virginia county where the rally Rahimyar protested took place. Trump even said so in his speech. And he should; George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004, and Barack Obama picked it up in 2008 and 2012...But—evidenced by his speech—he doesn’t understand it. At all. And if he wants to compete there, he’s going to have to learn quick... Trump seems to think it’s part of the Rust Belt. Toward the end of his speech—to an atypically preppy, professional, clean-cut audience—the candidate bashed the county economy. ‘You’re doing lousy over here, by the way, I hate to tell you,’ he said. That is empirically false. He then listed a number of factory closures, including Ball Corp., which was five hours away in Bristol, as far from Loudoun as you can get without leaving the state. And he mentioned the closure of a Smithfield Foods Inc. ‘Anybody used to work for Smithfield?’ he asked the crowd. It’s almost certain none of them did. The Smithfield plant that closed was in Hampton Roads, Virginia—three hours from Ashburn, in the southeast corner of the state.” [Daily Beast] OK, MAYBE IT WILL BE RIGGED - We’re getting into “VEEP”-level constitutional aerobics here. Jim Galloway”[Baoky] Vu will be on the November ballot as an elector – a constitutionally mandated stand-in for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Should Trump take Georgia, Vu will be one of 16 Georgia members of the electoral college who will formally decide the U.S. presidential contest. Vu has just put out a statement saying that he cannot bring himself to vote for Trump in the November general election. And he might not vote for Trump as a member of the electoral college, either. Georgia is one of 21 states that do not require its members of the electoral college to adhere to the results of the popular vote in their state. “I have the right to vote for a write-in candidate in the electoral college,” Vu said.” [AJC] FFS: “Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon and past GOP presidential hopeful, suggested Wednesday that Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a fallen Muslim American war hero, slandered Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump…’I recognize that they are grieving, and very often they will say and do things out of that grief; I think we should just give them a pass and move on,’ Carson said of the Khans.” [HuffPost’s Charlotte Klein] OBAMA DOES RIGHT THING, ALSO BAITS TRUMP - Ryan Reilly: “President Barack Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of 214 federal prisoners who were incarcerated on drug charges. The White House said the announcement meant Obama had commuted 562 sentences, more than the past nine presidents combined. Of that group, 67 had been given life sentences, meaning that up until Wednesday they were living behind bars believing they would die there. As part of the Obama administration’s clemency initiative, the president had shortened the sentences of dozens of individuals in 2016, including in March and in June. The White House said the 214 number was the highest number of commutations announced in a single day since at least 1900, according to Buzzfeed News. Obama has now commuted more sentences than any president since Calvin Coolidge.” [HuffPost] BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog and its bird. HUELSKAMP GOES DOWN - That’s what you get for going against the farm bill, the biggest logroll in Washington. Elena Schneider: “GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a three-term incumbent and House Freedom Caucus member from Kansas, lost his House primary Tuesday night to challenger Roger Marshall, a physician backed by agricultural interests and several big-spending outside groups…. [T]he U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ESAFund, a super PAC founded by the Ricketts family, boosted Marshall, a first-time candidate, along with a handful of other groups. ESAFund aired an ad that called Huelskamp ‘Washing-Tim,’ saying it was ‘time’ for him to go. The Chamber tagged the incumbent as ‘ineffective’ in its ads and flew top officials to Manhattan, Kan., Monday for an event with Marshall.” [Politico] FREEDOM CAUCUS VOWS REVENGE - This whole Freedom Caucus versus Paul Ryan thing is a welcome throwback to simpler times. Scott Wong: “Allies of the conservative Freedom Caucus rebel defeated in a Tuesday GOP primary are seeking revenge against Speaker Paul Ryan. Conservatives say the Speaker didn’t do enough to help Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who was defeated in the Kansas primary by Roger Marshall, a Chamber of Commerce-backed obstetrician.” [The Hill] COMFORT FOOD - Oddly compelling video of a toothbrush melting. - Water bombers are terrifyingly awesome. - A look at ISIS’ own pop star. TWITTERAMA @MarkHarrisNYC: Paul Ryan just saw Suicide Squad, was disgusted by it, says its values are not his values. urges everyone to see it this weekend. @toddzwillich: Some people are saying “Lewandowski” has a foreign ring to it. Some people are saying that. @Bencjacobs: My fondest memory of Tim Huelskamp is when he visited the Senate side during gov’t shutdown “because what is it called? trolling?” Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) or Arthur Delaney ([email protected]). -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
When it comes to animal suffering in the United States, farm animals are in a category of their own. True, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized each year in shelters. Plenty of other animals are killed to produce clothing or are used in lab tests, circuses or theme parks. But all of them combined don't add up to even a half percent of the animals killed for food each year. This vast disparity is not reflected in how Americans spend their charity dollars. Quite the opposite. Americans give well over $1 billion to animal welfare groups each year. Only a tiny sliver of that money, about four-fifths of 1 percent, goes to nonprofits devoted to protecting factory-farmed animals. Drawing attention to this imbalance is a burgeoning nonprofit called Animal Charity Evaluators. Its goal is to educate everyday animal lovers (and charity donors) about how to most effectively stretch their dollars to help the most animals. "The vast majority of Americans do not want animals to suffer," said Jon Bockman, executive director at ACE. "The question then becomes, 'How can we relieve the greatest amount of animal suffering?' ACE conducts research to find that answer." Americans don't want the animals they eat to suffer unnecessarily -- but today, virtually all of them do. The group’s latest analysis of the state of animal philanthropy, first reported on by The Huffington Post, shows that support for farm animal protection remains low. As of 2015, Charity Navigator listed 90 major animal shelters in the U.S. with budgets over $3.5 million each, together endowed with $1.2 billion. By contrast, 10 major U.S. farm animal advocacy groups together controlled just $19.9 million. Yet there is progress. Funding for farm animal groups is steadily increasing. Major new donors -- like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who's giving away his multi-billion dollar fortune to philanthropic causes -- are emerging. And despite comparatively few resources, farm animal advocates are scoring big victories. The next decade will witness the greatest advancements in farm animal welfare in modern American history. Look At All Those Chickens Virtually all Americans eat meat. But we also reject cruelty. We think animals raised for food should not be subjected to needless suffering. Eighty-six percent of meat-eating Americans say it's important that farm animals are treated humanely, according to a national HuffPost/YouGov poll from 2015. Concern for the humane treatment of animals spans party affiliation, income level, sex and race, and it's expressed regularly in survey data going back years. It matters that farm animals are subjected to cruelty partly because there are so many of them. So many the mind reels. The scope of industrial agriculture in the United States is colossal. Last year, over 9 billion land animals were slaughtered for food in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's hard for us to comprehend a number as large as 9 billion. The world's human population has surpassed 7 billion. Here's another way to think about it. If, starting the moment you were born, an animal was killed every single second of every single day, the tally wouldn't reach even 1 billion until about your 31st birthday. When the 9 billionth finally came around, your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchild might be around to see it. Americans don't want the animals they eat to suffer unnecessarily -- but today, virtually all of them do. Farm animals represent nearly all of the animals who we're exploiting. Paul Shapiro, The Humane Society of the United States Only one federal law governs the humane treatment of animals on farms. It was passed in 1958, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and a young Elvis Presley had the No.1 hit. The law applies exclusively to the moment when livestock are slaughtered; it says nothing about how farm animals should be treated during the rest of their lives, from birth onward. It also completely exempts chickens and other animals that make up well over 90 percent of the animals killed for food in the United States. Fast-forward to today. Almost all of the land animals slaughtered each year in the U.S. are raised on large industrial farms, where standard practices involve substantial prolonged suffering. As far as federal law is concerned, it is all legal. Consider the industrially raised chicken. Chickens are worth highlighting because they're killed more than any other animal, at a rate of about 1 million each hour. Animal advocate Harish Sethu has studied their lives closely. In his previous career, Sethu helped design two generations of supercomputers as an IBM engineer. These days, he sifts through obscure reports on animal husbandry produced by regulatory agencies, industry groups and academics to get a better understanding of farm animal welfare. On his blog, Counting Animals, he cites several scientific journals and writes: The chickens we eat are genetically selected to reach a grotesque weight of more than 6 times their natural weight in just one-and-a-half months. They are still babies when we eat them—not yet of reproductive age—but they are so large for their soft bones that many cannot even stand on their legs, let alone walk. The only relief they get from their painful skeletal disorders, lameness, and cracked bones is when they are killed a mere one-and-a-half months after being born. But, the mothers of these chickens get no such relief; they have to suffer for as long as one year and three months in their freakish bodies programmed for accelerated growth. They have to reach reproductive age and they have to lay the eggs which will be hatched into the similarly freakish chickens we will eat.A chicken in nature can comfortably live out her natural life span of six to eight years. The chickens we eat, on the other hand, are so unhealthy they cannot even survive one year without succumbing to heart failure, lameness, heat stress or other consequences of their excessive weight. But, we need these chicken mothers to survive long enough to reach reproductive age and produce eggs [...] So, what do we do? We limit their food intake to only one-third of what they would eat if left to themselves [...]The constant state of intense hunger causes them so much stress, anxiety and frustration that they lose their minds enough to exhibit a behavior called stereotypy, repetitive actions that have no obvious purpose. They will repetitively peck at the same spot at non-food objects including the walls, the floor, the empty feeders and even litter. In fact, during approximately four months before their egg-laying phase, these hungry and psychologically destroyed birds will spend 47-54% of their time pointlessly pecking at non-food objects and exhibiting stereotypic behavior. The practices Sethu describes are the standard for large industrial chicken farms. If you've eaten chicken recently, it almost certainly came from one of those farms. According to the USDA's latest census, only about 2 in 10,000 chickens in the United States are sold by a small farm. The rest -- 99.98 percent of them -- are sold by factory farms. The same basic dynamics apply to the other animals in industrial agriculture, whether cows, pigs, turkeys or sheep. All but a minuscule fraction are sold by factory farms, and routine industry procedures involve significant suffering, including unanesthetized castration, tail docking, debeaking and dehorning, prolonged extreme confinement, overcrowding, and physically demanding procedures (like producing milk, giving birth, and laying eggs) that are repeated with such intensity that animals' lifespans are sharply reduced. A Revolution on the Animal Farm The Humane Society of the United States is a behemoth of the animal protection movement, with annual funding approaching a quarter-billion dollars. Yet it didn't have a program focused on farm animals until 2004. The Humane Society is not an outlier. Organized farm animal advocacy barely existed before the late 1990s, according to Paul Shapiro, who co-founded one of the early farm animal groups and was later hired to build the Humane Society's program. Then as now, American donors cared most about dogs, cats and wildlife. But some advocates couldn't ignore the math. "New organizations began prioritizing farm animals specifically because of the numbers, because farm animals represent nearly all of the animals who we're exploiting," Shapiro said. Despite a late start, their advocacy has proven effective, and fundraising is surging. Advocates' most sweeping achievements have targeted practices that severely confine animals for most of their lives. Mercy for Animals, the largest group devoted exclusively to farm animal protection, has seen revenue jump 60 to 80 percent for four years running. The Humane Society's farm animal campaign has doubled to over 20 full-time employees in the past few years. Another farm animal group, the Humane League, says it has more than tripled its staff and budget since 2012. Advocates' most sweeping achievements have targeted practices that severely confine animals for most of their lives, including the use of veal crates for young cows, gestation crates for mother pigs and battery cages for egg-laying hens. Animals living with these constraints can barely move for weeks and months on end. Natural behavior, like foraging and socializing, is impossible, and it's common for the animals to suffer from health problems like skeletal disorders, muscle atrophy and chronic infections. Veal crates are now on their way to extinction. After several states banned them, the veal industry pledged to stop housing calves in small crates by 2017. Gestation crates appear headed for a similar fate. Mother sows spend months on end in these restrictive cages -- a cruel sentence given evidence that pigs are among the most cognitively complex and socially sophisticated animals. In the last few years, more than 60 of the country's largest restaurant and grocery chains, food manufacturers and suppliers -- including McDonald's, Walmart, Safeway and Burger King -- have agreed to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains. So have the largest pork producers, including Smithfield Foods and Cargill. That's notable, since the U.S. is the world's largest pork exporter. In a stunning compromise, the U.S. egg industry and the Humane Society teamed up on federal legislation to phase out the use of battery cages, which hold egg-laying hens, cramped and immobilized, for their entire lives. Lawmakers blocked the deal in Congress and it was finally declared dead in 2014 after fierce opposition from pork and cattle groups that worried it would lead to national animal welfare standards for other species. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association called it "a dangerous precedent to allow government bureaucrats in Washington to mandate how farmers and ranchers across the nation raise and care for their animals." The egg industry was willing to accept national standards because it was even more worried about backlash in individual states. In 2008, California voters approved a measure to ban battery cages that passed with 63.5 percent support -- a higher margin than any ballot initiative in the state's history at the time. A subsequent bill extended the same rules to all eggs sold in California, regardless of origin. Both laws came into effect last year. California was a bellwether. Ten years ago, there was a single state law banning inhumane farm practices. Today, 11 states have passed 26 such laws, including five targeting battery cages. Every state ballot measure extending protections to farm animals has passed. Another law outlawing battery cages is moving through Rhode Island's legislature, and an initiative to ban these practices in Massachusetts is headed to the ballot this November. A Humane Society official estimated the number of egg-laying hens in battery cages has already dropped from 98 percent to roughly 90 percent in the last decade -- a modest reduction, but one that affects about 24 million animals. In just the last two years, over 100 of the nation's largest food sellers have also pledged to eliminate chicken battery cages from their supply chains. Some, including Starbucks and the global food giant Unilever, say they're going entirely cage-free. According to one estimate, these changes will spare roughly 125 million hens annually from extreme confinement, or "more than the number of beef cattle and dairy cows in the U.S. combined." Ten years ago, there was a single state law banning inhumane farm practices. Today, 11 states have passed 26 such laws. United Egg Producers, the major U.S. egg industry group, continues to fight state initiatives that would ban battery cages, like the one in Massachusetts. "There is no question that this proposal, if passed, could have far-reaching, negative consequences for residents in the state who purchase and consume eggs," the group's president Chad Gregory said. Yet the egg industry is ceding ground on other fronts. Most notably, the UEP recently announced that by 2020 it will eliminate culling of male chicks at hatcheries. As it stands, hundreds of millions of day-old male baby birds (who are useless because they can't lay eggs) are discarded each year in the U.S., typically by being dumped into mechanical grinders or suffocated in bags. Another milestone has been large institutions' adoption of "Meatless Mondays," a campaign to reduce meat consumption conceived by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Several major school districts (including in San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Los Angeles -- the second largest in the nation) have embraced Meatless Mondays. So have hospital chains, universities, and KinderCare Education, the largest U.S. child care provider. In LA schools alone, this means some 30 million fewer meat-based meals each year. The Cavalry Arrives Building on this momentum are major new donors who see farm animal protection as an especially cost-effective opportunity to prevent immense amounts of suffering. Dustin Moskovitz, 32, who was Facebook's first chief technology officer, was once asked how it felt to be a billionaire. He quoted Louis C.K.: "I never viewed money as being 'my money.' I always saw it as 'the money.' It's a resource. If it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system." Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, intend to donate their wealth before they die. Right now they're building something called the Open Philanthropy Project. Their aim is to identify causes that are "important, tractable, and uncrowded." That is, causes that will accomplish a very large amount of good and that present clear opportunities to make progress, but where there's relatively little philanthropic interest. These criteria led them to farm animal welfare. In March, Open Philanthropy Project announced it would be giving initial grants of $2.5 million to groups that are pressuring corporations to stop housing hens in battery cages. Millions in additional funding are expected. Animal advocates free chickens from battery cages in the video above. Moskovitz and Tuna describe themselves as effective altruists. They don't just want to do good. They want to do the most good possible per dollar spent, with evidence to back it up. As a result, researchers at Open Philanthropy Project spent months investigating which strategies will best reduce the harms of factory farming. This approach -- evaluating what actually works -- might seem like a no-brainer. But in fact, it's rare. "Fundamentally and sadly, the vast majority of donors aren’t interested in doing any research before making a charitable contribution," wrote Paul Brest, who ran the Hewlett Foundation, one of America's largest charitable foundations. "Many seem satisfied with the warm glow that comes from giving." Open Philanthropy Project is not the only group trying to upset this order. Animal Charity Evaluators, the nonprofit mentioned earlier, aims to identify the most effective animal protection groups. ACE has investigated over 300 animal rights organizations in recent years, many of which divulged their budgets and strategies, successes and failures. ACE has identified three top-performing charities, all farm animal groups: Mercy for Animals, The Humane League and Animal Equality, with several others earning honorable mention, including the Humane Society’s Farm Animal Protection Campaign. (Open Philanthropy Project's initial grants went to three of these four groups.) These charities are highly transparent, data-driven and save animals at an estimated cost of well under a dollar per life spared, said Allison Smith, who leads research at ACE. Increasingly, these groups' budgets focus on driving institutional reforms (like campaigns targeting big restaurant chains or meat producers) rather than encouraging individuals to change their dietary habits. Nothing offers the same reliable impact per dollar, Smith said. Of their various advocacy tactics, none has proved as powerful as publicizing undercover video of how animals are treated inside factory farms. This footage -- often violent and stomach-churning -- drives media coverage that food companies find highly unfavorable. Advocates understand this, and so does the meat industry. "Media attention to animal welfare has significant, negative effects on U.S. meat demand." This was the conclusion of researchers from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, which in 2010 assessed how news coverage of farm animal treatment affected the industry. "Increasing media attention to animal welfare issues triggers consumers to purchase less meat rather than reallocate expenditures across competing meats," they advised. Of their various advocacy tactics, none has proved as powerful as publicizing undercover video of how animals are treated inside factory farms. In recent years, animal groups have also begun to wield the specter of investigations with increasing sophistication. For instance, the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, announced in 2007 that it would stop locking pregnant female pigs in gestation crates at its company-owned factories. The phaseout would take a decade to complete. By 2009, plans had changed. Citing economic woes, Smithfield said the original timeline was no longer viable and that no new deadline would be set. "We met privately with the company and encouraged them to have a deadline," said Shapiro of the Humane Society. "It didn't work out. So we conducted an undercover investigation of one of their pig factories in Virginia." The resulting footage is grisly. Female pigs with open wounds and bulbous pressure sores strain against their cages, or exhibit stereotypic behavior -- biting the bars of their crates -- with such vigor that their mouths bleed. One pig is shot in the head with a captive bolt gun, but survives. It's tossed alive and breathing into a dumpster of carcasses. The video below contains graphic and disturbing content. The video received heavy media coverage, and Smithfield reversed course. Not only would the company set a firm deadline, but it said it would stick to its original deadline of 2017. Later, it announced that the gestation crate ban would apply not only to Smithfield's company-owned factories, but to its contractors as well. Cargill, another large pork producer, followed suit. It promised to eliminate gestation crates at its company-owned factories by 2017, and it completed the phaseout ahead of schedule. It was undercover video that forced Smithfield's hand. And for now, the company can rest easy. "Smithfield comes out with regular reports on how much progress it has made on its commitment, and so we've left Smithfield alone," said Matt Rice, director of investigations at Mercy for Animals. Undercover activists who get job offers from Smithfield are asked to turn them down. "That's not where we want to focus our attention. We want to focus on the companies that haven't made any commitments yet and see how they're treating animals." Last December, Mercy For Animals released a new undercover video. Filmed at two farms contracted to Perdue, the country's fourth-largest poultry producer, it showed oversized chickens lurching around with broken legs and other limb deformities, as well as chickens being kicked and stomped on by workers. One farm employee was convicted on three counts of animal cruelty. Six months later, breaking news. "Perdue has agreed to a series of meaningful and precedent-setting reforms to improve the lives of the roughly 700 million birds it raises and slaughters each year," the Humane Society announced. The revolution rolls on. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) inked a swine waste-to-power deal with Wilmington-based Optima KV LLC.