Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 18th, 2013

Women Fashion in Tehran

Does a Diversity in ethnicities generate glamorous fashion?

Kelly Koo published in The Tehran Times this 13 Dec. 13, 2013

‘The Tehran Times’: Photographs Of Iranian Women Wrapping Up In Style

Tehran, the capital of Iran, is known for its beautiful historic mosques and fire temples, and modern structures like the Azadi Tower.

Travelers might want to note the strict dress-code that Iranian women in the city adhere to—they have to keep their hair, arms, and legs covered.

Iran is getting noticed for is the style of its citizens—apparently, the dress-code has not stopped them from stepping out on the streets in impeccable style.

Tumblr site “The Tehran Times” has opened our eyes to the creative aspects of the city, especially its beautiful people.

Scroll down for some pictures taken from the ‘Street Style segment of the website, and perhaps you can pick up a fashion tip or two from the women of Iran.

[via The Tehran Times ]

  • Animal Cruelty: Animal activists…
I suggest you read first before clicking on video in order to:
1. Value the hard work of the undercover activists
2. Appreciate the harm done to the kids in the poor schools having to consume “tainted” meat
3. Take stock of  the life of the farm animals of chicken, cows and pigs
4. Consider the deep cooperation of the various public institutions with the giant  agri-businesses
5. feel with the calamitous state of mind of the workers having to witness the cruelties and their condition of work…
  • Sarah – let’s call her that for this story, though it’s neither the name her parents gave her nor the one she currently uses undercover – is a tall, fair woman in her midtwenties who’s pretty in a stock, anonymous way, as if she’d purposely scrubbed her face and frame of distinguishing characteristics. Like anyone who’s spent much time working farms, she’s functionally built through the thighs and trunk, herding pregnant hogs who weigh triple what she does into chutes to birth their litters and hefting buckets of dead piglets down quarter-mile alleys to where they’re later processed.
  • It’s backbreaking labor, nine-hour days in stifling barns in Wyoming, and no training could prepare her for the sensory assault of 10,000 pigs in close quarters: the stench of their shit, piled three feet high in the slanted trenches below; the blood on sows’ snouts cut by cages so tight they can’t turn around or lie sideways; the racking cries of broken-legged pigs, hauled into alleys by dead-eyed workers and left there to die of exposure. It’s the worst job she or anyone else has had, but Sarah isn’t grousing about the conditions. She’s too busy waging war on the hogs’ behalf.
  • We’re sitting across the couch from a second undercover, a former military serviceman we’ll call Juan, in the open-plan parlor of an A-frame cottage just north of the Vermont-New York border. The house belongs to their boss, Mary Beth Sweetland, who is the investigative director for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and who has brought them here, first, to tell their stories, then to investigate a nearby calf auction site. Sweetland trains and runs the dozen or so people engaged in the parlous business of infiltrating farms and documenting the abuse done to livestock herds by the country’s agri-giants, as well as slaughterhouses and livestock auctions.

    Given the scale of the business – each year, an estimated 9 billion broiler chickens, 113 million pigs, 33 million cows and 250 million turkeys are raised for our consumption in dark, filthy, pestilent barns – it’s unfair to call this a guerrilla operation, for fear of offending outgunned guerrillas. But what Juan and Sarah do with their hidden cams and body mics is deliver knockdown blows to the Big Meat cabal, showing videos of the animals’ living conditions to packed rooms of reporters and film crews. In many cases, these findings trigger arrests and/or shutdowns of processing plants, though the real heat put to the offending firms is the demand for change from their scandalized clients – fast-food giants and big-box retailers.

    IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN IN A HEN PLANT, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT HELL IS,” SAYS AN ACTIVIST. “CHICKEN SHIT IS PILED SIX FEET HIGH, AND YOUR LUNGS BURN LIKE YOU TOOK A TORCH TO ‘EM.

    In its scrutiny of Big Meat – a cartel of corporations that have swallowed family farms, moved the animals indoors to prison-style plants in the middle of rural nowhere, far from the gaze of nervous consumers, and bred their livestock to and past exhaustion – the Humane Society (and outfits like PETA and Mercy for Animals) is performing a service that the federal government can’t, or won’t, render: keeping an eye on the way American meat is grown.

    That’s rightfully the job of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but the agency is so short-staffed that it typically only sends inspectors out to slaughterhouses, where they check a small sample of pigs, cows and sheep before they’re put to death. That hour before her end is usually the only time a pig sees a government rep; from the moment she’s born, she’s on her own, spending four or five years in a tiny crate and kept perpetually pregnant and made sick from breathing in her own waste while fed food packed with growth-promoting drugs, and sometimes even garbage.

    (The word “garbage” isn’t proverbial: Mixed in with the grain can be an assortment of trash, including ground glass from light bulbs, used syringes and the crushed testicles of their young. Very little on a factory farm is ever discarded.)

    Save the occasional staffer who becomes disgruntled and uploads pictures of factory crimes on Facebook, undercover activists like Juan and Sarah are our only lens into what goes on in those plants – and soon, if Big Meat has its way, we’ll not have even them to set us straight.

    A wave of new laws, almost entirely drafted by lawmakers and lobbyists and referred to as “Ag-Gag” bills, are making it illegal to take a farm job undercover; apply for a farm job without disclosing a background as a journalist or animal-rights activist; and hold evidence of animal abuse past 24 to 48 hours before turning it over to authorities. Since it takes weeks or sometimes months to develop a case – and since groups like HSUS have pledged not to break the law – these bills are stopping watchdogs in their tracks and giving factory farmers free rein behind their walls.

    Three states – Iowa, Utah and Missouri – have passed such measures in the past two years, and more are likely to follow. “That’s why we’ve come forward: People need to fight while there’s still time,” says Sarah. “We’re not trying to end meat or start a panic. But there’s a decent way to raise animals for food, and this is the farthest thing from it.”

    The Dirty Truth
    About Cheap Meat

    Factory farming has become one of the filthiest industries in America – producing an ocean of fecal matter every year

    • Amount of
      factory-farm animal
      waste generated in the
      U.S. each year:500
      MILLION
      TONS
    • Distance
      noxious-smelling
      airborne ammonia – a
      toxic gas released by
      decomposing animal waste –
      can travel before hitting soil
      or water (causing fish kills):UP TO
      300 MILES
    • Number of
      pounds of fecal
      matter animals
      raised for food in the
      U.S. produce per
      second:87,000
    • Amount of
      the Earth’s total
      land mass used for
      animal grazing:26%
    • Number of
      times more
      farm-animal
      waste produced
      than human:130
    • Minimum
      number of
      diseases that can
      be transferred from
      farm-animal waste
      to humans:40
    • Number of
      land acres
      devoted to U.S.
      animal production:528 MILLION
    • Miles of river
      across 22 U.S.
      states reporting
      polluted waterways
      caused by farm-animal
      excrement:35,000

    CARLA GOTTGENS/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

    Two springs ago, Sarah hired on with a breeding barn called Wyoming Premium Farms, a sprawling monolith in flyspeck Wheatland, population 3,641. At her plant, which was about as long as four football fields and connected to a separate birthing barn, she was one of 12 to 15 workers tending nearly 1,000 pigs each, which is par for the course in these places. Employee turnover was high and the morale rock-bottom; the animals paid for it in blood.

    “The workers were so stressed that they beat the sows during the weaning process and moved ’em back to the breeding barn,” Sarah says. “Some moms would resist and these guys would just pounce, three or four kicking and punching a sow at once. My first day there, I saw a sow break her leg trying to get back to her young. They shoved her into an alley and left her for a week before someone put a bolt in her head.”

    “Was it that old guy, Steve, who beat the sow?” says Juan. He’d been working at a Premium barn nearby, where he spent his days extracting beakers of semen from boars and his nights washing the stench off his skin.

    “No, he abused piglets,” she says of Steve Perry, a tattooed man who seemed to take pleasure in abusing newborn pigs – flinging them around by their legs, boasting of stabbing a sow with a pen and ripping the ear off another. He was one of nine workers charged with animal cruelty in connection with the case that Sarah built. All lost their positions at the farm; five paid modest fines and were placed on probation for six months.

    But Perry entered a plea of not guilty, and later was employed at the barn where Juan found work. Eventually, he pleaded out to two counts of animal cruelty and was slapped with a small fine and a short jail stint. Meanwhile, Sarah found evidence that eventually helped to out Tyson Foods as a Premium client.

    “And what happened to Tyson – did they pay a price, either in fines or closures?” I ask.

    “Oh, no – the fat cats always get a walk,” says Sweetland, who’s been monitoring our talk from her desk in the loft above. “But we got ’em where it hurts, in the pocketbook.” Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the country, denied a link to Wyoming Premium, then copped to owning a company that did business with those barns. Tyson spun the matter further by adding, through a spokesman, that it had cut ties with Premium. Nonetheless, karmic justice was rendered when the cost of chicken feed helped cause Tyson’s net income to plunge 42 percent in the second quarter of this year.

    THE YEARLY SLAUGHTER BY THE NUMBERS:

    9BILLION BROILER CHICKENS

    113MILLION PIGS

    33MILLION COWS

    250MILLION TURKEYS

    BY THE NUMBERS PHOTOS COURTESY OF MERCY FOR ANIMALS

    You are a typical egg-laying chicken in America, and this is your life: You’re trapped in a cage with six to eight hens, each given less than a square foot of space to roost and sleep in. The cages rise five high and run thousands long in a warehouse without windows or skylights. You see and smell nothing from the moment of your birth but the shit coming down through the open slats of the battery cages above you. It coats your feathers and becomes a second skin; by the time you’re plucked from your cage for slaughter, your bones and wings breaking in the grasp of harried workers, you look less like a hen than an oil-spill duck, blackened by years of droppings.

    Your eyes tear constantly from the fumes of your own urine, you wheeze and gasp like a retired miner, and you’re beset every second of the waking day by mice and plaguelike clouds of flies. If you’re a broiler chicken (raised specifically for meat), thanks to “meat science” and its chemical levers – growth hormones, antibiotics and genetically engineered feed – you weigh at least double what you would in the wild, but lack the muscle even to waddle, let alone fly. Like egg-laying hens – your comrades in suffering – you get sick young with late-life woes: heart disease, osteoporosis.

    It’s frankly a mercy you’ll be dead and processed in 45 days, yanked from your floor pen and slaughtered. The egg-layers you leave behind will grind on for another two years or so (or until they’re “spent” and can’t produce any more eggs), then they’re killed too.

    You’re a typical milk cow in America, and this is your life. You are raised, like pigs, on a concrete slab in a stall barely bigger than your body. There, you never touch grass or see sun till the day you’re herded to slaughter. A cocktail of drugs, combined with breeding decisions, has grossly distended the size of your udder such that you’d trip over it if allowed to graze, which of course you’re not.

    Your hooves have rotted black from standing in your own shit, your teats are scarred, swollen and leaking pus – infected by mastitis – and you’re sick to the verge of total collapse from giving nearly 22,000 pounds of milk a year. (That’s more than double what your forebears produced just 40 years ago.) By the time they’ve used you up (typically at four years of age), your bones are so brittle that they often snap beneath you and leave you unable to get off the ground on your own power.

    Brittle bones aren’t the only reason cows become nonambulatory. A “downer” cow is an animal unable to stand on its own due to injury or illness; downers are deemed unfit by the federal government for human consumption. They are three times likelier to harbor a potentially deadly strain of E. coli, and at higher risk of carrying salmonella bacteria and transmitting bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, as it’s quaintly known. But before you’re classified as a downer, Big Meat will use every trick up its wizard’s sleeve to keep you on your feet.

    Workers hit you in the eyes with a cattle prod, or in the groin, if you like that better; stick a fire hose down your throat to get you to stand, a ploy inspired by those who brought you Abu Ghraib; and, if all else fails, they hoist you with a forklift and load you onto a flatbed bound for slaughter.

    In 2007, the Humane Society caught Westland/Hallmark red-handed, and just over two months later it busted the Southern California rendering plant for dumping 37 million pounds of downed-cow beef into the national “low cost or free” school-lunch program. No, it wasn’t enough merely to pawn toxic meat on an unsuspecting public; the company sold it to the Department of Agriculture for more than $156 million, which approved it for poor kids’ meal trays. That scandal shut the plant down, put Westland/Hallmark out of business and started riots in South Korea, where protesters – fearing exposure to mad cow disease – fought a pending deal to reverse an almost five-year ban on American beef. The total tab for that outrage remains a mystery, but is thought to be in the billions.

    Watch undercover videos that reveal the horrific conditions in which factory-farmed livestock are typically raised.

    PHOTOS BY LEW ROBERTSON/FOOD PIX/GETTY IMAGES; GEORGIA GLYNN SMITH/PHOTOLIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES; WIN-INITIATIVE/GETTY IMAGES; DAVID BISHOP/FOOD PIX/GETTY IMAGES; OMER SUKRU GOKSU/GETTY IMAGES, 2; DORLING KINDERSLEY/GETTY IMAGES; ISTOCKPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES.

    WOULD YOU TREAT A DOG THIS WAY?

    Pigs are among the most intelligent farm animals – comparable to dogs – but the common practice on factory farms is to confine breeding sows in tiny metal and concrete pens. As this video shows, they spend much of their miserable lives barely able to move.

    COURTESY OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

    INSIDE THE EGG FACTORY

    Egg-laying chickens on industrial farms are trapped in cages with six to eight birds and are given less than a foot of space to live in. Hidden footage taken by activists exposes the grim conditions these birds endure.

    COURTESY OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

    DAIRY’S DARK SECRET

    The typical dairy cow on a factory farm produces nearly 22,000 pounds of milk a year – more than double­ what its forebears did 40 years ago. They never graze; their hooves have rotted from standing in their own filth. This video captures the bleak existence of the modern Bessie.

    COURTESY OF PETA

    Eventually, two Hallmark workers pleaded guilty to violations of criminal animal-cruelty laws, “but no one in power was charged,” says Wayne Pacelle, the film-star-handsome president and CEO of the Humane Society, the largest and most powerful nonprofit guardian of animal rights in America. Since being promoted to chief executive in 2004, Pacelle has more than doubled the Humane Society’s budget to $181 million, grown the number of active donors to more than 1 million, and aggressively broadened its investigative beat, shutting down puppy mills, exotic-animal traders and dogfighting rings in rural hollows, where the blood sport has deep roots.

    RELATED Goodbye, Miami: It won’t be long before the nation’s urban fantasyland is completely underwater

    But Public Enemy Number One on Pacelle’s list are the dozen or so companies that gamed the system and usurped the means of production in America. Fifty years ago, before the coming of giants, this country’s cows, pigs and poultry were mostly raised outdoors and sold, for whatever the spot market bore, at livestock auctions for cash. Then Tyson, Perdue and others set about gobbling up feed lots, van lines, slaughterhouses and hatcheries, ran them, top-down, via corporate committees, and turned farmers into wage slaves on their lands, owners of nothing but the mortgages on their barns. With the craven consent of the Department of Agriculture (then, as now, a revolving door for executives in the big-farm sector), they devoured smaller companies, corraled much of the nation’s livestock and began treating animals as production units, not living, feeling creatures with basic rights. Their motto: maximum profit for minimum input, meaning far fewer workers tending vastly larger stocks, and animals confined in tight, dark spaces for the ease and convenience of staff.

    PERCENT BY WHICH MORE FACTORY-FARMED HOGS THAN PEOPLE LIVE IN MINNESOTA:

    40%

    RANKING OF PIGS ON ANIMAL PLANET’S TOP 10 SMARTEST ANIMALS LIST:6TH

    AGE AT WHICH HUMANS ARE AS SMART AS PIGS:3

    DIMENSIONS OF THE METAL CRATES BREEDING SOWS ARE CONFINED TO FOR LIFE:7 FEET BY 2 FEET

    COURTESY OF MERCY FOR ANIMALS

    Alas, cows and pigs aren’t built to live indoors; they get sick and depressed, go after one another and kill or eat their young in despair. But some companies hired scientists to find solutions, and, voilà, hatched a set of cheap fixes. They dumped antibiotics into the grain they fed the stock; created two-foot-by-seven-foot gestation crates so sows couldn’t bite one another’s tails or crush their young by lying down; and kept the animals fat and sad so they wouldn’t fight back when led to slaughter. To watch a cow die in a rendering plant is an ecstasy of slow-mo horror. They’re stunned by a steel bolt to the head, strung upside down by a metal shackle (sometimes, if the steel bolt doesn’t do its job, they’re strung up while still awake and in agony), then slashed in the throat to bleed out there and sent down a line where their limbs are lopped off as they pass. It’s reverse engineering, a disassembly line – and it has the full approval of Congress. These are the terms of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which is the only piece of federal legislation that applies to the treatment of livestock. When it comes to raising animals, there are no rules besides the ones companies foist on their farmers. If you want to perform your version of “euthanasia” by hanging downer pigs execution-style from a forklift – as an Ohio farmer was fond of doing till being filmed by an HSUS agent (a judge later found him not guilty, ruling that Ohio has no standards forbidding the strangulation and hanging of farm animals) – by all means do so without fearing a knock from jackbooted federal cops. If you want to mislead the public, as Perdue is accused in a class-action lawsuit of doing with labeling its Harvestland brand of chickens as “humanely raised,” feel free, knowing that no regulator will call bullshit on your claims.

    Instead of standing up for consumer rights – bringing antitrust suits against hegemonic firms, pursuing price-fixing crimes in the dairy aisle, passing robust standards to keep unsafe meat out of stores – the feds have merrily partnered with Big Meat, granting giant subsidies for the three main ingredients in animal feed, acting as its agent in overseas sales, and slagging HSUS agents for “withholding evidence” as they collect it to build their cases. “If we got any of the consideration these companies get, the deck wouldn’t be stacked against livestock,” says Pacelle. “But these are the terms, and we’re winning the fight. Voters in farming states are flocking to us.”

    NUMBER OF POUNDS OF MILK PRODUCED IN 1972BY INDIVIDUAL DAIRY COWS:

    9,863

    NUMBER OF POUNDS OF MILK PRODUCED IN 2012BY INDIVIDUAL DAIRY COWS:

    21,697

    INCREASE:

    120%

    • VIDEO

    HELPLESS AND ABUSED

    Watch hidden-camera footage, taken by activists, of workers kicking and attacking animals under their care at factory farms. The brutal conditions of these giant meat factories foster environments where this treatment seems normal.

    COURTESY OF MERCY FOR ANIMALS

    In 2008, Pacelle put HSUS’s muscle behind an initiative called Proposition 2. It mandated that California, the biggest ag state in the country, ban the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens, pregnant sows and veal calves inside crates and cages by 2015. The measure was fought bitterly by Big Meat and its proxies in the fire-breathing rump of the Republican Party; the top players in the egg and poultry industries donated $5 million in a single day to slander and distort the terms of Prop 2. “ ‘It’s unsafe, un-American, anti-small business’ – copy straight from the playbook of ALEC,” says Pacelle, referring to the insidious business cabal that gave us Stand Your Ground gun laws in the South, transparently racist voter-ID bills and the infamous SB 1070 in Arizona, which authorized police to arrest on sight any immigrants not carrying papers. Pacelle trotted out his own big guns, mustering Oprah Winfrey and Ellen De­Generes to advocate on live TV for humane farming. That fall, voters turned in a landslide verdict, passing the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act by a margin of almost two to one. It was the start of a runaway win streak for livestock. States from Maine to Oregon enacted similar legislation, giant retailers Costco and Walmart shifted to cage-free eggs for their private labels, while chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and dozens more announced the phase-out of all pork products from pigs bred in gestation crates.

    AT ONE NEBRASKA SLAUGHTERHOUSE, ONE COW KILLED EVERY 12 SECONDS . . . COWS KILLED PER HOUR 300 . . . COWS KILLED DAILY 2,500

    But far from caving in, Big Meat has doubled down. It’s spending vast piles of money from fat-cat donors on “Ag-Gag” amendments that it sends to legislators. In Utah, for instance, it’s now a class-B misdemeanor to film or photograph farm abuses, even if you’re parked on a public road and filming through the window of your car. And though other states have killed such bills on the grounds that they defile the First Amendment, ag lobbyists and their Tea Party clients in Congress keep cooking up new versions. They’ve also declared jihad on the Humane Society, putting its president and his mission in their cross hairs.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists#ixzz2nAAn6eRl
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

VIDEO IN OPENER COURTESY OF MERCY FOR ANIMALS. VIDEO EDITING BY MAX TIBERI

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists#ixzz2n9r4n62r
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook


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