Sunday, August 26, 2007

It disgusts me how callously some inhumane beings treat other life forms.
More recently, they could be found ranting and railing against using embryonic stem cells in research to develop treatments and cures for things like Parkinson's and Spinal Cord injuries, from embryos which have no chance of being used to create a baby... You know, the extra, 'back-up' ones which are headed for the trash can at the fertility clinic anyway...

I bring this up because of a show I saw on PBS about a ranch that rescues abused, neglected and abandoned horses and foals, as well as ones who were about to be '...taken out back and shot' or sent to the slaughterhouse. These horses have worked tirelessly their entire lives for their owners and, since they now aren't able to continue at the expected level... their reward is not retirement in a field with other horses... No, it's to be slaughtered for horsemeat for human consumption in Europe or Japan.


The PBS show mentioned the Rescue Ranchers acquired two Premarin foals... saved them from being sent to a feedlot to be fattened up and then sent to slaughter.

Hmmm... Premarin... Prem-Pro...
You know how they came up with the name 'Premarin'?
Pregnant Mare's Urine....
No, I'm not kidding.
And when you keep your mares pregnant... they keep producing foals.
So, what happens to the foals (baby horses)?
Read the article below and find out.

(*And, if you could care less about baby horses... there's always this pharmaceutical's side effects of increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease.)

It's similar to cow's milk production.
The cows produce milk for their offspring... just like humans do for theirs.
But the cow's milk is destined for sale to humans to consume (well, the one's who don't know better than to drink the stuff.).
Well, I guess some of it is given to the baby cows... the ones kept in tiny crates which don't allow movement... the one's who are soon to be on the menu as: "milk-fed veal."
(And don't get me started on what's in commercial cow's milk and why you shouldn't drink it.... anyway, if you are reading this, you have a computer and can look it up yourself. Besides the hormones, antibiotics and pus... why adult humans continue to pursue drinking Mother's Milk beyond childhood is anyone's guess. I think it's just become 'tradition.' An outdated one. )


I'm so glad that I'm vegan.



The Facts About Premarin®

The truth behind one of today's most widely prescribed drugs will shock you. Get the facts and get involved.

What Is Premarin®?
Premarin®, a drug derived from pregnant mares' urine (PMU), is prescribed to alleviate symptoms of menopause and to prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. The estrogen-rich urine used in its production is collected from mares confined in barns on PMU ranches in Canada and the United States. Despite the availability of humane alternatives, including lifestyle changes and plant-derived or synthetic medicines, Premarin, PremPro, PremPac and PremPhase are among the most widely prescribed and profitable drugs in America. A company in Minnesota is currently seeking permission from the FDA to produce a generic version of conjugated estrogen from mares' urine. Women, doctors and the general public must be made aware of the unnecessary stress and pain inflicted on horses in the manufacture of these drugs, and of the alternatives from nonanimal sources that exist.

How Do Horses Suffer in the Production of Premarin®?
The Premarin industry is self-regulated through manufacturer Wyeth Ayerst's Code of Practice, but there are hundreds of farms and no outside scrutiny. Mares used in the production of conjugated estrogens are at risk for abrasions, leg swelling, excessive boredom, stress, and an early death, due to the conditions under which they are kept. The mares are:
- strapped to urine collection bags six months a year;
- tied in narrow stalls that do not allow them to turn around or lie down flat;
- denied free, continual access to water, and
- exercised, if at all, according to the rancher's assessment of how much each mare needs, because there is no minimum in the Code of Practice.

Mares are kept in production, foaling every year, for eight to nine years. When no longer able to reproduce, they are sold for slaughter. Under normal circumstances, a domestic equine will live 20 to 25 years.

What Happens to the Foals Who Are Born?
Every year, tens of thousands of foals who are born as "by-products" of this industry are sent to auction. Many of them eventually end up in slaughterhouses, where they are sold to meat markets in Europe and Japan. The first time Helen Meredith of the United Pegasus Foundation attended an auction of Premarin foals in Manitoba, Canada, what she saw was "absolutely devastating." Hundreds of terrified foals as young as three months were run through the auction and loaded onto cattle trucks for a trip to the feedlot—where they would live until they were large enough for the slaughter plant.

The ASPCA supports the work of several dedicated individuals and organizations who are trying to save as many of these foals as possible and find them loving, responsible homes.

Are There Any Alternatives to Premarin®?
It is time for our society to see menopause as a natural life process rather than a disease. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a better diet, can be effective in maintaining health and lowering the health risks associated with menopause. There are FDA-approved plant-derived and synthetic medications that have the same effect as Premarin. Hormone replacement therapy has its own risks. Recent studies show that long term use of PremPro increases the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. Women should consult with their doctors about all the treatments available in order to make an informed, safe, effective and ethical choice.

Dr. Ray Kellosalmi, a Canadian physician involved in Premarin foal rescue, sums up the sad truth: "Unfortunately, it is easy and comfortable for physicians to prescribe drugs that have been around for a long time. It is also easy not to think about our contribution to the cruel chain of events that our prescriptions may allow, and thus the PMU industry is supported by our acquiescence. But the doomsday clock is again well on its way for tens of thousands of innocent lives that, once again, will end in terror needlessly. With a few strokes of the prescribing pen, we are able to decide the fate of future innocents."

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