Tag Archives | Farm Animals
Provide some kicks for both yourself and a farm animal on a faraway continent. Treehugger writes:
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In hopes of staving off boredom in human and swine alike, a team of Dutch designers have created Pig Chase — an app for interspecies entertainment that playfully pits iPad users against real-life pigs, who might otherwise only meet one another on a plate.
Since 2001, law has required pig farmers in the European Union to provide some form of entertainment to their livestock as a way of keeping them in good emotional health, which in turn helps curb aggression and anxiety. Often, toys and other materials are placed inside the sties for animals to interact with, but perhaps unsurprisingly, some farmers have found it quite difficult to turn their pigpens into playpens.
With that in mind, designers from Utrecht School of the Arts and Wageningen University in the Netherlands ventured to create new ways to make swine swoon — resulting in a project called Playing with Pigs.
In Iowa, Florida, and Minnesota, laws are in the works to criminalize the documenting of animal cruelty and health violations in factory farming. With activists nosing around, “people are scared to death that they might be found in a compromising position,” [says the] president of the Iowa Farm Bureau — it’s about “making producers feel more comfortable.” The New York Times reports:
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Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals.
Made by animal rights advocates posing as farm workers, such videos have prompted meat recalls, slaughterhouse closings, criminal convictions of employees and apologies from corporate executives assuring that the offending images are an aberration.
Could chicken feathers help reduce our waste? The American Chemical Society has announced that a more environment-friendly plastic can be produced using the discarded feathers of chickens. BBC reports:
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The millions of tonnes of chicken feathers discarded each year could be used in plastics, researchers say.
A study reported at the American Chemical Society meeting in the US suggests feathers could lead to more environment-friendly, lighter plastics.
The chemical recipe requires significantly less petroleum-derived material.
However, tests on a grander scale will be necessary to establish the idea’s industrial feasibility.
Such “biowaste” materials have been proposed as components of plastic formulations before.
Feathers, like hair and fingernails, are made up principally of the tough and chemically stable protein keratin, and can lend strength while reducing weight in the mixtures of plastics chemicals known as composites.
Researchers at the US agricultural authority have even published research into the possibility of incorporating chicken feathers into plastics, as an additive in composites that are made largely of a chemical polymer.