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Mad Cow Disease Articles


  • "Animal Rendering Products In More Places Than You Think: You'll Be Surprised To Learn What Goes Into Film, Glue & Crayons:" (by Renea Mohammed, The Vancouver Humane Society Newsletter Summer 2003): "Human food is not the only "product" derived from the bodies of factory farmed and other animals. Animals or their parts not considered suitable for the dinner table are typically sent to rendering plants. Rendering plants take in a wide variety of source materials that include parts such as brains, eyeballs, spinal cords, intestines, bones, feathers or hooves as well as restaurant grease, supermarket rejects such as spoiled steak, road kill and in some areas euthanized cats and dogs from veterinarians and animal shelters. Such source materials are processed at the rendering plant into ingredients used in a number of products that many people do not associate with animals. Such products include soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, hair dyes, nail polish, photographic film, crayons, glue, solvents, shoe polish, toys, anti-freeze, ornaments, pharmaceutical products and cosmetics (including those not tested on animals). There have been some health concerns associated with the rendering industry. Perhaps the best known of these is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or mad cow disease."
  • "A Look Inside a Rendering Plant" (by GS): "Rendering has been called "the silent industry." Each year in the US, 286 rendering plants quietly dispose of more than 12.5 million tons of dead animals, fat and meat wastes. As the public relations watchdog newsletter PR Watch observes, renderers "are thankful that most people remain blissfully unaware of their existence."
  • "Food not Fit for a Pet" (by Dr. Wendell O. Belfield): "Some of these dead pets -- those euthanized by veterinarians -- already contain pentobarbital before treatment with the denaturing process. According to University of Minnesota researchers, the sodium pentobarbital used to euthanize pets "survives rendering without undergoing degradation." [Short, but powerful article by an expert]
  • "Mad cow outbreak may have been caused by animal rendering plants" (NY Times News Service): "Renderers in the United States pick up 100 million pounds of waste material every day -- a witch's brew of feet, heads, stomachs, intestines, hooves, spinal cords, tails, grease, feathers and bones. Half of every butchered cow and a third of every pig is not consumed by humans. An estimated six million to seven million dogs and cats are killed in animal shelters each year, said Jeff Frace, a spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City."
  • "Rendering: the "Invisible Industry" Gets a Green Facelift" (PR Watch): "In 1990, the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, CMF&Z deployed a greenwashing theme to portray the renderer as "socially responsible" and "dedicated to environmental responsiveness."
  • "The Rendering Industry: Big Business in By-Products" (by Kieran Mulvaney): "Processed cow fats are sometimes used to make cookies and salty snacks taste rich and to make lipsticks glide smoothly. Cow proteins show up in shampoo. Collagen, extracted from the inner layer of cattle hide, is used to balm wounds and cosmetically puff up lips. Gelatin, refined from cattle hide and bones, is found in such foods as ice cream, gummy candies and marshmallows--as well as the capsules encasing drugs."
  • "How Dead Pets, Bad Brains, and Free Speech Landed Me in Amarillo" (by Van Smith): "We were at once aghast, amused, and skeptical. "No, really, it's true," they said blandly, sensing our doubts. "We pick up dead pets from the SPCA and take them to the plant. The plant cooks up the carcasses and other things to make stuff that goes into pet food. Honest."
  • "Beauty, Pride and Pig Grease" (by Sandi Mitchell): "The great majority of the product is sold for women's makeup, especially to manufacturers of lipstick and eye makeup. Some of the most prestigious cosmetic companies in the country are the chief customers of rendering plants."
  • "On Rendering" (from the UK BSE Inquiry Report)
  • "The NRA [National Renders Association] is an American Trade Association, whose business is to promote the interests of it's members. Members of this association are all in the business of rendering, i.e. transforming waste from the meat industry into useable products for animal feeds and technical use."
  • "Render Magazine: The rendering industry processes or "recycles" animal by-products such as animal fat, bone, hide, offal, feathers, and blood into beneficial commodities including tallow, grease, and protein meals."
  • PDF file of US Renderers (location, contact info, etc.)

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The Meat Free Zone (MFZ) campaign is intended to make the MeatFreeZone logo as recognizable a symbol as the "Smoke Free Zone". The idea was originally conceived  when The WARM Store in Woodstock, NY, was in operation throughout the '90's (Woodstock Animal Rights Movement).  The store was truly a meat free zone as it was the first cruelty-free, Vegan, socially conscious animal rights store in the United States.  Now  that  the Vegan and Vegetarian movements have been growing so rapidly, more and more people are showing concern about the food in their diet and their overall  health and nutrition.  Many people are giving up eating fish, chicken, beef, pork (pigs ), dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream) and eggs.  Headlines of Mad Cow disease, E-coli and salmonella are in the news with greater frequency.  Vegan and vegetarian recipe cookbooks are standard now  in all bookstores and many restaurants have added Vegan and Vegetarian options to their menus. We hope you will help us with the Meat Free Zone campaign by putting the signs up in your homes and workplaces and by spreading them to all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants that you know and frequent.  And someday we will have true "meat free zones" in establishments that serve meat. (d-4)

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