Tag Archives: food system

Activism Real Food

National Animal Identification System – How It Will Affect Our Sustainability

Are you familiar with the NAIS (National Animal Identification System)? If you aren’t, you soon will be. If you currently own livestock, are planning to own livestock, or eat meat, dairy, or meat-by products, you will be affected by this measure.

In the midst of supposed “pandemics” such as the Swine Flu, plans to make this measure mandatory (currently it is a voluntary choice) have been in the works for some time (since 2005), and we are headed toward yet another bill soon to become a law which will strip citizens of their rights. According to Mary Zanoni, PhD., (Executive Director of Farm for Life) this plan, headed up by Secretary of State Tom Vilsack who has been working with Big Agribusiness giants such as Monsanto, National Pork Producers, and Cargill Meats will “drive small producers out of the market, will make people abandon raising animals for their own food, will invade Americans’ personal privacy to a degree never before tolerated, will violate the religious freedom of Americans whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply, and will erase the last vestiges of animal welfare from the production of animal foods”.

All the details of this costly, imposing, and limiting system can be read at Poultry Press. Basically, if you own even one animal – horse, cow, pig, sheep, chicken, or any type of livestock, you must adhere to a very strict plan to manage the animal by registering it with the USDA and tracking it according to their requirements including the following:

* each animal is assigned a 15-digit number in the form of a tag or microchip
* could include collecting DNA from each individual animal
* owner will be required to report the following for each animal: date of birth, each time animal enters or exits the property, application of every animal’s I.D. tag, each time tags are lost or replaced, when animals die or go missing(must be reported within 24 hours)

Third “parties” such as veterinarians are required identify animals they treat or “sight” which are not tagged and report them to the USDA. This applies whether you are raising the animals for food to sell or only for your own self and family. There will be no exceptions. If you do not comply, the USDA will exercise “enforcement” against you (St., p. 7; Plan, p. 17).

The costs associated with implementating NAIS protocols are incidental for CAFOs and smaller factory farms. These facilities currently use computer technology for systems monitoring purposes. Smaller farms will be hardest hit as each individual animal will be required to have a tag. It is estimated that tracking one animal through a small farming environment will be equal to the cost of monitoring a thousand animals on the premises of a factory farm. This is because in the factory environment, all animals moving through a chain of production at once can be issued a single number – whereas on a smaller farm, each animal must be counted as one and issued a separate number entirely.

Does this feel a bit like Nazi Germany? It should!

This system is supposed to keep animal disease under control, but in reality, this is just another government program that will cost taxpayers more money, erode personal rights, and essentially wipe small, sustainable farmers and individual farmers off the map. Such impositions upon small business owners and individual citizens will prove too costly and difficult to maintain, and the USDA is counting on this as a way to “eliminate disease and illness” from the world of farming and agriculture. Of course, the real enemies in all of this are the factory farms working hand in hand with the government and USDA, who refuse to make mandatory passing necessary legislation about raising animals in sanitary and sustainable conditions.

When innoculatory vaccinations were issued in 1976, people paid the price after various individuals became paralyzed and experienced other permanent side-effects. This is yet one more thinly-veiled execution of “controlling” disease and is another method of supporting Big Ag and Big Pharma. These entities don’t really intend to keep citizens from getting sick, and if you believe that, you are just being deceived. Where are the discussions about prevention? You won’t hear them from the mainstream news media or the CDC because too much power and money is at stake. If you believe these events to be the big hoaxes they are, please visit Agriculture Society and read our open letter to the President and Congress about the necessity for prevention and real nutrition for proper maintenance of both our health care systems and our health.

Make no mistake, these new regulations will move toward effectively removing all sustainable and small farming operations, and seek to take away our rights to healthy, safe food.

Please, consumers, farmers, and anyone who cares about health and agriculture: PLEASE, AS urges you to take action and raise your voice about this important issue – the future of our ability to procure healthy food for ourselves and our families is at serious stake!

To sign a petition against this measure, visit Petition2Congress.

For more information about this system, visit the Organic Consumer’s Association .

For more information about taking action on this critical issue, visit Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

For more information, visit Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.

To see what the USDA is planning for this measure, visit the USDA site.

Activism Real Food

ACTION NOW! An Open Letter to the President And Other Decision Makers Regarding Preventative Health Care

Dear Mr. President and members of Congress,

Most people know the health care system in our country is beyond broke. Even now that the new administration is in place, I’m seeing very little being done to remedy the desperately dire health care conditions in this country. I realize a major system change takes time.

I know things don’t happen overnight. What I’m most frustrated by is the fact that I’ve heard various commentators, political figures, and decision-makers throw the word “prevention” around like it is the latest buzz word of the day and give the subject much lip service…but still nothing substantial is being done. It’s time for these individuals to put their money where their mouths are! And, it’s time for citizens to stop being passive and take action. I say let our voices be heard! Advocacy is important in any critical movement, and this is no exception.

Under the current health care system, citizens have little to no choice about their treatment options. Not much  emphasis, education, nor insurance coverage is allowed for preventative health care. I stress this with great importance: until we gear our health care system toward prevention and move away from what I refer to as reactive care, disease numbers and conditions will continue to increase. This of course means health care costs will also go up.

I want to see alternatives in health offered for coverage by insurance companies – not just drugs and surgery, which I believe have played a major role in causing the ills of people in our nation. Alternatives would include but not be limited to chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic, osteopathic, massage, acupuncture, reflexology, hypnotherapy, nutritional therapy, exercise physiological services, and colon hydro therapy.

Almost never do any members of my family see allopathic physicians. When we have health concerns, we see one of the above-mentioned practitioners, and none of these services are covered under our insurance plans except chiropractic – and the coverage is limited. These health care expenses are not affordable, and no one is helping to offset the cost of these goods and services. But I’d still rather spend my money on preventative care that works than wait until something is wrong and then treat it otherwise. It’s a choice I’ve made to ensure better health and provide a better future for my family. This choice I have made because I spent years seeing doctors that neither listened to my problems, nor gave me solutions, nor had any way of dealing with the issues at hand except with drugs and surgery. I’ve gone down that path before, and I say with certainty that I won’t go down it again. Reactive medicine only made my problems worse, whereas preventative and natural care made me well again. Which choice would you make?

We need more advocacy and education on the subject of alternative and preventative health care and nutrition. Too much of our health care system emphasizes use of drugs and surgery for treatment of health care issues after the fact and sometimes when it is too late to save a life. If our system included programs and educational efforts to help teach people about and encourage them to engage in preventative health measures, we would see a noticeable decline in disease and illness. We desperately need a strong movement in advocacy of elimination of processed foods from our primary diets in order to combat disease and promote well-being. Again, very little emphasis is placed on this important component of a health care system that actually works.

Too many people have health care issues they need to take care of – today, yesterday, a month ago, or a year ago – but are crippled by the cost of treatment, and therefore are forced to do nothing.  As unemployment numbers continue to climb, more and more people are losing medical coverage from losing their jobs and being deprived of the income they need in order to cover medical costs and bills in the first place. The unemployment rate has been hovering just under 10 percent – and that’s just what’s been reported by the Labor Department. If this number goes up, 13 million Americans will have lost their employer health insurance since 2007.

Many people could greatly benefit from having the option and ability to participate in alternative and preventative care, to keep their medical conditions from becoming worse. But under the status quo, that is simply impossible. This type of opportunity would not only prevent needless suffering and misery, but would save people thousands and thousands of dollars in future health care problems. We all know the longer we wait to take care of a health issue, the more acute and more expensive it becomes.

We need more than just a dependable plan – we need groups willing to promote and maintain a reliable system that provides a deliverable end result of better health care and ultimately, health for everyone. This system would include educational materials, health care events and consultations with knowledgeable providers, and willingness to use food as medicine as well as herbs and natural treatments for health issues.

If good, reliable coverage was available to the average citizen, health care problems will be addressed before conditions become a serious problem, and in some cases, in plenty of time to eliminate a fatal illness from taking hold and ending someone’s life – such as cancer or diabetes – even heart disease. Coverage for every man, woman, and child should be available, and it should accommodate for the type of treatment specific to the individual’s wants and needs.

As it stands, those insured have no choice but to accept coverage from bloated insurance companies who make money hand-over-fist while at the same time deny pre-existing conditions, refuse necessary treatments, and  increase premiums, co-pays , deductibles and various out-of-pockets costs on an annual basis. These same systems also favor reactive treatments over preventative ones.  How can any of us survive in such a system? We need to stop accepting expensive, reactive care from health care providers who fail to understand the holistic component that is so integral to the improvement of our health as a nation. We must demand that the methods and ways which have been in place for so many years and have brought ill results be altered and geared toward prevention, nutrition, and proactive measures.

Finally, we must demand that emphasis be placed on implementing a truly sustainable health and food system. To start, we would need a program which would allow for all the accountable players in the equation from the agricultural sector to be acknowledged, from removal of components that are causing added health issues and health safety (i.e., factory farms, genetically modified organisms, irradiation, pesticides and other toxins), to follow-through and definitive action from the newly formed Food Safety Working Group.

This, I ask as a hard-working American citizen, taxpayer, mother, and wife for myself, my family, and for all residents of our great nation.


-Raine J.E. Saunders

Boise, Idaho


To make your concerns known to the current decision-makers, visit Prescription for Change.

This post is listed on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays page as part of their carnival of food posts. Visit Food Renegade and take a look at the other good blogs and sites listed there.