The white lies of the dairy industry that no one wants you to know

There are no happy cows gladly providing their milk for humans to consume, as we are made to believe.

Animal cruelty, bloodshed, and slaughter are often associated with non-vegetarianism, meat consumption, and the leather industry. Rarely have voices been raised against the thriving Indian dairy industry where the cattle are not only exploited but also forced to live in inhumane conditions not fit for any living being.

Studying such institutionalised cruelty, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) conducted an undercover investigation in 49 dairies across four cities Alwar, Bikaner, Jaipur, and Jodhpur — in Rajasthan in June 2016. The findings uncovered the cruelty and the pitiable living conditions the cattle are subje

Don’t get milked! The white lies of the dairy industry

It is common knowledge that cattle, like human mothers, lactate for their young child. In the case of mass production of milk in dairy farms and tabelas, frequent pregnancy of cows is encouraged and often, animals are subjected to artificial insemination.

“There is constant abuse of animals that the milk industry promotes at every step. There are no happy cows gladly providing their milk for humans to consume, as we are made to believe,” says Varda Mehrotra, the 33-year-old FIAPO director.

Animals are made to calve at least once a year for the milk to be produced, which means the cattle are continually artificially impregnated. Studies show that due to the artificial inseminations and the way they are treated, the animals’ life spans are drastically impacted. In an ideal situation, cattle grow to be around 25 years of age, but milk animals have a life span of around 10 years.

While this information has often made news and is, to a certain extent, expected from the dairy industry, the FIAPO investigation revealed that there is much more these mute beings are put through.

A male calf is often deemed a burden by the dairy industry as the young animal is unable to produce milk. The only income an individual can gain from the young calf is by selling its meat and skin for leather. In short, slaughter is the only option available for a male child. According to veterinary experts, a calf should be at least four to five months old before he meets his fate. Sadly, the dairy industry fails to provide even this limited life span to the young animals. Many farms often send the little animal to the slaughter house earlier, within four to five days of its birth, thereby violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001.

“Dairy is cruel and the reality of the dairy industry which we often do not get to see is that there is brutality and abuse, leading to the slaughter of animals once they are termed ‘useless’ and incapable of milk production,” says Varda.

Once born, the calves are separated or restricted from accessing their mothers, which is traumatic for both mother and calf. While the mother’s milk is used for human consumption, the calves are fed substitutes and allowed limited suckling. Male calves and unproductive, sterile females are deemed unusable and are either abandoned or sent for slaughter. Females that are healthy are kept alive and go through the entire milking-to-slaughter cycle again. Once every ounce of milk is extracted, the infertile and ‘spent’ cows and buffaloes are killed.

The trauma doesn’t end here.

In a chilling revelation, the investigation further revealed that in order to continue the milking process and keep the mother lactating, a khalbaccha — a makeshift calf — is placed next to her. In certain farms, the tail and the head of the young calf is dismantled from the carcass and is placed at the ends of the stick. The smell of death is camouflaged with hay and a balm; hence, the cow continues to get milked, while the remains of the young calf are sold in the market as veal.

The missing element in the beef debate

It is ironic how cattle are viewed through different lenses when it comes to milk and beef, even though they are two sides of the same coin. According to an article published in The Hindu by Krithika Srinivasan, Rajesh Kasturirangan and Smitha Rao, the monetary value of milk production almost tripled between 2004–05 and 2011–12 and that there was a 98.6 percent match between milk and beef production over this period. It is neither shocking nor coincidental, that India, the largest producer of beef in the world, is also the largest producer of milk, Varda adds.

According to the data released by the US Department of Agriculture, India exported 2.4 million tons of beef and veal in 2015. While there have been major questions and discussions about what is fuelling this number, no one is ready to look at the root cause — the growth of the dairy industry in the country.

The myth of “healthy” dairy products

Through the medium of advertising and word of mouth, individuals are fed this information about milk and milk products being absolutely healthy and great for us. No one ever talks about the other side of the story, which is the health risks they carry.

“I am a mountaineer by passion and a vegan by compassion and I want people to question their consumption and the choices they make,” says Kuntal Joisher, world’s first vegan to climb Mount Everest.

The 34-year-old believes that if he can climb the highest peak in the world on a plant- based diet, anyone can live a healthy life without consuming animal products. By following a plant- based diet, one can drastically cut their carbon footprint, save precious water supplies, and help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock, he adds.

One of the strongest beliefs inculcated by the Indian society is that dairy products are healthy and synonymous with good health. The FIAPO calls this a “white lie” and questions the need for dairy products in a human diet.

Elaborating further, Vardha says, “If you tell anyone that drinking milk actually causes as much suffering as eating meat, they will not believe you. So the whole idea of ‘Don’t Get Milked’ is to bring forth the reality of the dairy industry and enable consumers to make a more informed decision.”

Source : yourstory.com

JetBlue, American, Delta cap ticket prices out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma

JetBlue (JBLU) is capping its ticket prices in every city in Florida where the airline operates so people can evacuate as Hurricane Irma barrels through the Caribbean.

JetBlue will charge a maximum of $99 up to the last available seat for direct flights and a maximum of $159 up to the last available seat for connecting flights, a JetBlue representative told Yahoo Finance. That includes government taxes.

The airline has also added flights to its schedule out of select cities where they have aircraft available.

For existing reservations, JetBlue is waiving cancellation fees as well as waiving change fees and differences in air fare for rebooking.

“Given that many Floridians are struggling to get out of harm’s way, this is welcome news,” Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said in an emailed statement sent by a spokesman. “I hope more airlines do the right thing and follow suit.”

Other airlines followed JetBlue’s lead.

On Wednesday afternoon, American Airlines (AAL) said it would also cap its airfares.

“While there are limited seats remaining before the storm hits, we will cap our pre-tax fares at $99 for MainCabin seats on direct, single leg flights out of Florida for tickets sold through Sunday Sept. 10 for travel until Sept. 13,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to Yahoo Finance.

A spokesman for Delta (DAL) told Yahoo Finance that the airline reduced the price level of its highest fares, which are “typically seen when customers are booking last-minute travel and inventory is limited.”

“In addition, we are waiving change fees for customers who want to change their flight plans due to the forecast. We have full details on the waiver at delta.com,” the Delta spokesman said. “We also are adding flights and increasing the size of the aircraft we’re using on flights to and from San Juan and south Florida, providing more opportunities for customers to leave. New flights are being added to and from San Juan, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Key West, all to Atlanta (where people can connect to destinations across the U.S.).”

Delta is capping fares at $399 on flights out of Florida and the impacted islands. New flights are being added from Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Key West to Atlanta, the spokesman confirmed to Yahoo Finance.

United Airlines (UAL) added six additional flights in Florida with airfare capped at $399. Those additional flights have already sold out, according to a spokesperson.

A number of travelers had complained of steep airfares as they scrambled to book tickets to flee the storm. Some had even noticed prices above $1,000.

Here’s what the fares look like on JetBlue’s website at the time of this article’s publication.

Source : finance.yahoo.com

Stores Full Of Furniture, ‘Mattress Mack’ Opens His Doors To Flood Victims

Houstonian Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack,” has turned his two furniture stores into temporary shelters for Tropical Storm Harvey evacuees.

As the city started to flood, he posted a video online with a simple message: Come on over. He gave out his personal phone number. And hundreds of people streamed in.

“We sell home theater furniture that you watch TV in, they’re sleeping on that. They’re sleeping on recliners, sleeping on sofas and love seats. We have sleeper sofas, they pulled them out and slept on that,” McIngvale tells NPR’s Morning Edition. “They’re sleeping on hundreds of mattresses throughout the store. They’re sleeping on the couches — wherever they can find a place that’s comfortable, and God bless ’em.”

When some of the storm’s victims couldn’t make it across flooded streets, McIngvale dispatched his large delivery trucks and drivers to collect people and bring them to safety.

“We put out a Facebook feed that we were going to rescue people, because there was so much need,” he says. “The city and the local authorities did a great job; they just couldn’t get to all the 911 calls.”

McIngvale says he is at capacity — he told NPR’s All Things Considered on Monday that 400 people were living at both of his stores. He has done this before — during floods last year and when Hurricane Katrina hit 12 years ago. He built his stores on elevated concrete to make them floodproof.

McIngvale also has food for the evacuees — and he invited them to bring their pets, too.

“Think a slumber party on steroids,” he says.

A slumber party — or maybe just a safe, dry place to wait out a record-setting storm.

Source : npr.org

Hugh Hefner, iconic founder of Playboy, has died at age 91

  • Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies at the Playboy Mansion at age 91.
  • “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” son Cooper says.

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, died Wednesday at his Beverly Hills-area home, the Playboy Mansion, at age 91.

Playboy Enterprises said he died of natural causes.

The magazine was founded more than 60 years ago and created a niche upscale men’s magazine, combining images of nude women with in-depth articles, interviews and fiction by writers and subjects including Norman Mailer, Alex Haley, Bertrand Russell and Jimmy Carter.

Hefner reportedly founded the magazine with $600 and $1,000 borrowed from his mother. The first centerfold, a feature of the monthly magazine, was of Marilyn Monroe late in 1953.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Cooper Hefner, Playboy Enterprises’ chief creative officer, said in the statement.

“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” the son added.

Source : cnbc.com

The Tech for Integrity Challenge Announces Final Awards

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I), a landmark effort to encourage technology innovators from around the world to create cutting-edge solutions to promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector and beyond, announced final awards for the competition today in Washington, D.C.

The awards were announced at an event hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to highlight the crucial role technology can play in tackling corruption around the world. The awards represent the culmination of T4I, a global open innovation competition in which companies of various types and sizes submitted technology solutions.

The initiative, led by Citi in collaboration with public and private sector allies, sought to source innovation in a number of areas, including government transactions and procurement; culture, ethics and citizen engagement; cutting red tape; and information security and identity. The T4I strategic allies include Clifford Chance, Facebook, IBM, Let’s Talk Payments, Mastercard, Microsoft and PwC.

In addition to awards presented at the six Demo Days in May and June, where 96 finalists presented their ideas, the T4I strategic allies today announced their own awards to companies that offered solutions that merited additional recognition. The Challenge also presented three additional overall awards, including the James Wolfensohn Game Changer Award for the most scalable, implementable and innovative solution.

T4I Final Awards

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is providing dedicated legal advice to six finalists, where international legal and regulatory insight has the greatest potential to support their development.

“We are excited to be working with AID:Tech, CARTO, DigiByte Holdings, ID.me, Tradle and SQREEM Technologies,” said Malcolm Sweeting, Senior Partner, Clifford Chance. “They are the best at what they do and, like all pioneers, they are pushing new boundaries. We look forward to working with them to overcome the legal and regulatory hurdles they may face and bring their innovations to a wider audience.”

IBM

IBM is awarding up to $120,000 of IBM Cloud credits and services, through the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP), to each of the following award recipients from the Demo Days that meet the program’s basic criteria:

Abu Dhabi: 360ofme
Buenos Aires: ID.me
Dublin: digi.me
Hyderabad: Docswallet
Mexico City: CityGrows
Singapore: Chekk

The IBM GEP will provide each award recipient with access to IBM technology such as IoT and blockchain, in addition to community support and learning resources. Additionally, they will be highlighted in the IBM Global Leader of Digital Government Transformation Marquis Cabrera’s Hacking Government column with CIO.com.

For the overall award recipient, ID.me, IBM will conduct a private workshop with industry leaders and experts who will provide additional mentorship and access to key stakeholders in support of further development of their solution.

Mastercard

Mastercard has selected AID:Tech to receive a $50,000 award and ongoing support and mentorship as it works to scale its business.

AID:Tech is an award-winning company that focuses on the delivery of ”digital entitlements,” such as welfare, humanitarian aid and remittances based on end beneficiaries’ digital identity. AID:Tech was the first company in the world to deliver international aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon using blockchain technology. Focusing on providing innovative solutions to governments and corporates, the AID:Tech platform is helping its clients achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

A key focal point for the continued engagement with AID:Tech will be the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Lab innovates new technologies and solutions to further Mastercard’s commitment to connect 500 million people previously excluded from formal financial services.

“We are impressed by AID:Tech’s vision and our shared mission to do well and do good,” said Deborah Barta, Senior Vice President of Innovation Management and Startup Engagement, Mastercard. “We believe that together we can improve access to and use of formal financial services, which will ultimately deliver more inclusive social and economic growth around the world. Mastercard Labs is excited by the opportunity to further explore synergies with AID:Tech as a result of our engagement during the T4I Challenge.”

Microsoft

“We have been pleased to support the T4I Challenge and are delighted to celebrate the award recipients at this ceremony,” said Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Industry at Microsoft Corp. “Corruption prevents societies and individuals from reaching their full potential. Through the power of cloud platforms and development tools, the participants have built solutions that counter these challenges through trusted, inclusive and transparent digital services. We are pleased to recognize the best of the best – the most creative and innovative solutions.”

Microsoft is pleased to announce its T4I Challenge Strategic Ally award recipients.

Microsoft is awarding the Microsoft BizSpark+ Award to finalists from across the Demo Days. This award represents a full Microsoft BizSpark Plus membership, or an upgrade to an existing BizSpark membership, providing recipients with up to $120,000 of free Microsoft Azure cloud services over a two-year term. The selected award recipients, by Demo Day, are as follows:

Abu Dhabi: from Nigeria, with its solution for Electronic Ticketing, Nultan
Buenos Aires: from Mexico, with its Government Engagement Platform, Negocios Digitales
Dublin: from the UK, with its risk-management tracking solution, Pole Star
Mexico City: from Mexico, with its Business Transaction Monitor, Lefort
Singapore: from Indonesia, with its Personal Data Ownership solution, Chekk

In addition, Microsoft has selected finalists to receive the Microsoft Go-To-Market Award, which provides a range of services, including co-marketing materials and activities, Microsoft app marketplace promotions and catalogue listing. The selected award recipients of the Go-To-Market Award are:

Wallet.Services, an Abu Dhabi finalist from the UK, with its application for licenses and permits for citizens and business to help deal with the often confusing, opaque and time-consuming paper-based interactions. The solution focuses on control and management for the full life cycle of licenses, grants, tickets or permits and new services.
CityGrows, a Mexico City finalist from the United States, with its workflow and transparency platform that helps local governments transition away from inefficient paper processes, using online processes on a cloud-based platform. This low-cost model provides automatic open data, building trust and transparency through increased public access to government information.

And finally, Microsoft has also chosen two finalists for entry into the Microsoft Accelerator program. The Microsoft Accelerator Award provides the award recipients with a four to five month tailor-made accelerator program for market-ready startups looking to go beyond the development of their product by scaling their business. The award recipients will access additional support for marketing, financing and building their go-to-market strategy, starting with the next Cohort intakes. The selected award recipients are:

Quantexa, a Dublin finalist from the UK, with its financial crime resolution software, an innovative data solution that drives enhanced Know Your Customer (KYC) in financial institutions and more broadly across the related Financial Services industry.
Docswallet, a Hyderabad finalist from India, with its document vault solution for digitally certified documents for visa applications, employment, higher studies and trade applications. The solution eliminates the exchange of paper and creates trust for digital documents shared between organizations and individuals.

Let’s Talk Payments (LTP)

Let’s Talk Payments selected SQREEM for its MEDICI live! Award, which recognizes the most promising startup worthy of the full support of the LTP innovation ecosystem.

“Our mission for the FinTech industry is to provide all ecosystem participants the research, connectivity and engagement tools for collaborative innovation. SQREEM impressed us with its own mission of using data for actionable insights to serve the FinTech industry. With the MEDICI live! Award, we are very pleased to award SQREEM the very best of what our FinTech market network has to offer,” said Aditya Khurjekar, CEO of LTP, sharing his enthusiasm in supporting the T4I program as a strategic ally, while he announced SQREEM as the recipient of the exclusive LTP award.

PwC

“PwC is proud to continue our involvement with the Tech for Integrity Challenge as it aligns with PwC’s Purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems. Our team has seen the success such events have in surfacing up and curating innovators with creative solutions to address today’s most pressing global problems,” said David Hoffman, Global Banking and Capital Markets Leader at PwC.

Overall T4I Awards

The James Wolfensohn Game Changer Award was presented to AID:Tech for its solution to bring social and financial inclusion to the world’s undocumented and under-served populations using digital identity based on blockchain technology.

Additionally, the Catalyst Award was given to SQREEM and the Accelerator Award to Taiger and Trulioo.

“We are extremely proud of what Citi, our allies and our talented finalists accomplished through the Tech for Integrity Challenge,” said Julie Monaco, Global Head of the Public Sector Group in Citi’s Corporate and Investment Banking division. “T4I produced some incredibly innovative and promising ideas, and we look forward to the next phase of the Challenge as we all work together to develop these solutions and ultimately take some of them to market.”

“T4I clearly shows the power of crowdsourcing and open innovation as tools to address large-scale social challenges,” said Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi. “This Challenge represents one of the largest public-private partnerships yet aimed at a specific Sustainable Development Goal. We are grateful for the support of our partners and look forward to working with governments and finalists to implement these integrity solutions.”

For more details on the Tech for Integrity Challenge, please refer to the T4I website: www.techforintegritychallenge.com.

Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Source : businesswire.com

Heineken Just Put Out The Antidote to That Pepsi Kendall Jenner Ad

Two strangers with polar opposite views meet in this Heineken ad, which gets political in a way that Pepsi would do well to consider next time.

WHAT: “World’s Apart,” a new Heineken ad that involves some frank conversations between people with differing views.

WHO: Agency Publicis London

WHY WE CARE: Earlier this month, Pepsi tried to walk in step with the #Resistance, and ended up falling on its face. Hard. The company’s tone-deaf ad–which used Black Lives Matter iconography and Kendall Jenner to suggest that carbonated beverages can heal America’s wounds–inspired such a seething backlash it was pulled almost instantly, and savagely parodied. It would’ve been a fine time for Coca-Cola to step up and deliver a perfectly calibrated topical ad, thereby eating Pepsi’s lunch. In truth, though, Coke had to do absolutely nothing to achieve the same result. Instead, Heineken has come along a couple weeks later with an ad that gets to the heart of political engagement in a straightforward way that makes Pepsi’s self-congratulatory ad seem even more embarrassing.

The main political problem in post-Brexit UK, as well as post-Trump America, is the depth of our division. People with opposite views believe in their own opinions so vehemently, they’re convinced everyone on the other side is practically from a different species. Making matters worse, these people from opposing sides rarely get to meet each other outside of Twitter @-replies, which are among the most contentious places to be on the planet. In Heineken’s “Worlds Apart” experiment, complete strangers who have been selected for their political opinions, but not told what the experiment entails, are matched up and made to converse. The climate change denier meets face-to-face with the environmental doomsayer, and both are made to hear out their respective views. Other issues explored throughout the ad include feminism and transgender rights. This kind of heady material is impossible to fully explore in a meaningful way within the space of a beer commercial. However, encouraging actual dialogue is a thousand times more of a mature and responsible way to address our current international predicament than glamorizing, fetishizing, and whitewashing the protest movement.

Source : fastcompany.com

 

California Crops Rot as Immigration Crackdown Creates Farmworker Shortage

Vegetable prices may be going up soon, as a shortage of migrant workers is resulting in lost crops in California.

Farmers say they’re having trouble hiring enough people to work during harvest season, causing some crops to rot before they can be picked. Already, the situation has triggered losses of more than $13 million in two California counties alone, according to NBC News.

The ongoing battle about U.S. immigration policies is blamed for the shortage. The vast majority of California’s farm workers are foreign born, with many coming from Mexico. However, the PEW Research Center reports more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than coming here.

To make the jobs more attractive, farmers are offering salaries above minimum wage, along with paid time off and 401(k) plans, but even that’s not proving enough.

It’s unclear exactly how widespread the labor shortage is for farmers throughout the country, which would have a bigger impact on prices consumers pay. Ultimately, drought and flooding have a more significant impact on farms. Low oil prices could also offset any impact of the worker shortage.

But for farmers, who have seen net farm income fall 50% since 2013, any lost income could be potentially devastating.

Source : fortune.com