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Meet Charlie The Chicken



Meet Charlie The Chicken

One of the most famous questions in the world, why did the chicken cross the road? Even though it’s fairly rare to see a chicken anxiously loitering by a zebra crossing.

Of course what we are being asked to do is to suspend reality. So let us suspend reality for a moment and instead of a chicken crossing the road, imagine a chicken in a vast shed crammed with other chickens. And let’s imagine one of those chickens is called… Charlie. Meet Charlie the Chicken. The reason Charlie is very unlikely to go anywhere near a road, is because he has, perhaps, drawn the shortest straw of all farmed animals. Charlie is a factory farmed meat chicken.

And as we’re suspending reality let’s imagine we were able to somehow magically bestow upon Charlie our feathered friend the ability to philosophically ponder, not only the metaphysical purpose of roads, but also the meaning of life.

Unfortunately of all the animals that are farmed, meat chickens like Charlie could be forgiven for thinking life is pretty meaningless.

Compared to cows, pigs and even egg laying hens Charlie will live for the shortest period. In fact at around six weeks Charlie faces a life that is shorter than the average school summer holiday.

He is also the most numerous of all farmed animals. 60 billion chickens are reared for meat around the world every year, two thirds in industrial chicken farms.

Charlie will spend his short life confined in a shed, one of many, many sheds, packed with tens of thousands fellow chickens. He may never have anything he can peck and investigate, other than the devices that provide food and water. The litter he stands on will become increasingly contaminated with faeces, which will fill the air he breathes with ammonia. The space around him will become more cramped as Charlie and his fellow shed mates rapidly grow to slaughter weight. In many cases Charlie won’t even get to see the sun rise and fill the shed with daylight, and then grow dark as it sets. Charlie’s growing pains might be even more painful than the average human teenager. For some of his shed mates their rapid growth rate might even be the death of them, as their hearts and lungs and bones struggle with the super charged DNA forcing his muscles and bones to grow incredibly fast.

So if Charlie the chicken should conclude life is bleak and short, he might also conclude he needs a ‘bucket list’ pretty sharpish. What might he put on it? Obviously as a factory farmed chicken his bucket list options are going to be limited.

But maybe some windows might be a good start, so he knows what it is to be able to see daylight? Perhaps something interesting to peck and investigate? And hey – let’s forgive Charlie for going a little bit crazy here! – what about something to perch upon, apart from the faeces strewn floor? And talking of the floor wouldn’t it be nice if the litter didn’t get quite so dirty so quickly? And then a bit more space to flap about in? So maybe not quite so many chickens crammed in the shed? And ultimately, if life is going to be a little bit better, wouldn’t we all want to live a little bit longer? So although it’s too late for Charlie, maybe future generations of chickens might grow a bit more slowly, and so live a little longer with less aches and pains?

And it’s these seemingly simple things, that Charlie might put on his bucket list, that World Animal’s Protection’s ‘Change for Chickens’ campaign is hoping to tick off, to give all meat chickens a better life. We hope you’d agree with us, that is these simple things that those who buy chicken meat from factory farms should be insisting on, that could make Charlie the chicken’s short life a bit better. Not just in a few countries around the world, but for every chicken like Charlie wherever they might be.

But of course when we come back to reality, just as there is no chicken at the roadside looking both ways for a gap in the traffic, there is no Charlie chicken. There’s just a small, sentient, anonymous ball of white feathers. One of 40 billion around the world, alive on average, for just 42 days in a dark, barren, cramped, ammonia filled shed, who knows nothing other than what has been provided for him.

Maybe, just in case there really is a Charlie the Chicken, we all need to suspend reality a bit more often? Maybe if we did, we would all try a bit harder to find a way to give Charlie a better life.



Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy



Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands



Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.

Small waste adds up over time

A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:

  • Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
  • Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
  • Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
  • Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.

Going electronic has significant benefits

If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.

Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:

  • Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
  • Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
  • Using financial software to manage your books
  • Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
  • Arranging digital feedback and review forms
  • Making the most of Google Docs

Going green can help you to make money too

Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.

Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.

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