Category Archives: Animals
“If you take a look at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) stats, protein consumption is growing around the world—and it continues to grow. It’s not just hot in the U.S.; it’s hot everywhere, people want protein, so whether it’s animal-based protein or plant-based protein, they have an appetite for it. Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction,” Tom Hayes, CEO of Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) told FOX Business.
Today, the U.S. food giant, which got its start during The Great Depression, already owns a 5% stake in a plant-based protein start-up called Beyond Meat. The company also launched a venture capital fund worth $150 million to invest in startups that develop meat substitutes.
“We just got to the point last year where the consumer is demanding [the elimination of antibiotics in the food chain] and wants transparency. They want to have trust in the brands they buy …. [so] let’s push ourselves to go all the way,” Hayes told FOX Business.
Tyson made news earlier this week when a strain of bird flu was detected at one of its Tennessee contracted chicken farms.
“We’re addressing a form of avian influenza on a single contract chicken farm in Tennessee. It’s a bird health issue and not a food safety or human health concern. We’re responding aggressively, and are working with state and federal officials to contain the virus by euthanizing chickens located on the farm,” Tyson Foods Inc. told FOX Business in a statement.
Tyson has also faced charges of chicken abuse and price fixing.
“We do a lot. We have 114,000 people and we have 100 plants and we have 11,000 family farms that we work with, so there is a lot that can go wrong. But we do things really well and we have team members who are really focused on making good food, and are actually doing things for the world,” he said.
Hayes said the company today is committed to helping to create a more sustainable food system, which involves cleaning up its factory farms and investing in more plant-based proteins.
“It’s important for us to continue to make progress. We don’t get everything right all the time, we know that. But the idea of how do we continue to try to get better … and we have done a lot of research for our poultry business to really understand what a closed loop farm of the future looks like,” he said.
To that end, he said the company is looking into a vertical farming approach that uses 60 percent less land and provides a healthier environment for the birds.
“It’s a lower stress environment because there’s not interaction with humans … it’s been greatly reduced. And we have barns that collect the rain water in roofs that can be used for grain, irrigation and a lot of things that are pushing our thinking,” he said.
Hayes said the company has created a new corporate logo to separate its top office from its shelf brand, which he says is just the beginning.
“Our new purpose as a company is to continue to raise expectations for the good big food can do. Big food is often seen as potentially bad, and in order for us to feed … 9 billion [people] we have to get in the game and say how do we come up with solutions and innovations,” said Hayes.
Not long ago, we reported on a study that suggested babies as young as 6 months old have an innate sense of morality. Now, another study has looked into whether that applies to animals, such as dogs and monkeys. It turns out yes, both judge humans on how they treat other people, and both prefer us when we are nice, helpful, and fair.
Both animals displayed a preference for helpfulness in humans, and though the monkeys appeared to show a preference for fairer people, your dog is definitely still judging you.
The researchers from Kyoto University, Japan, suggest in their paper published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews that these types of judgment of behaviors could help us understand the origins of human morality.
The team carried out a series of experiments where humans acted out various behavioral scenarios and made the animals watch, to test how the animals reacted to human interactions. In one of the scenarios, an actor struggled to open a can and asked for help from a second person, who either helped or refused. Sometimes a third person passively watched, but did not get involved.
Afterward, the researchers got all three actors to offer treats to the animals who had been watching, and they reported that after all the experimental scenarios, all of the animals showed a clear disinclination to accept a treat from the person who refused to help, compared to those who were helpful and even the passive players.
According to lead author James Anderson, the tests showed that both monkeys and dogs make social judgments in a similar way to human children, primitive instinctive evaluations that may be the root to understanding our own sense of morality.
“If somebody is behaving antisocially, they probably end up with some sort of emotional reaction to it,” he told New Scientist. “In humans, there may be this basic sensitivity towards antisocial behavior in others. Then through growing up, inculturation and teaching, it develops into a full-blown sense of morality.”
Cute dogs to start off the week…
Enjoy the cute dogs to start your week!