F f


Factory    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  building for manufacture of goods.

Factory Farming

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Using intensive or industrial methods of rearing livestock.

Our definition:  Industrial systems in which animals are treated as inanimate objects being ‘produced’ as cheaply as possible.  In these systems sentient beings are kept confined in cramped, filthy conditions, with no access to fresh air or daylight.  With no opportunity for natural behaviour and often not enough room to even turn around, these animals suffer horribly until their miserable lives end in slaughter when they are still just babies.

Falcon    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Small hawk trained to hunt.

Our definition:  A falcon is any one of 37 species of raptor in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica.

Adult falcons have thin tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly.  Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which makes their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing.  This makes it easier to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults.

Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth.  Other falcons include the gyrfalcon, lanner falcon, and the merlin.  Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels.

As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.

Feather    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. One of structures forming bird’s plumage, with fringed horny shaft.  2. These as material.

verb    1. Cover or line with feathers

feather bed:  bed with feather-stuffed mattress.

Our definition:  Feathers are unique to birds and help them stay warm and protected. Many birds’ feathers are also waterproof, which keeps them safe from the rain or helps them stay warm in the water.  Feathers are also one of the things that make it possible for birds to fly. Feathers are lightweight and allow birds to catch and direct air with their wings in a special way which enables flight.

In lots of cases, feathers also help birds to attract a mate.  A peacock’s beautiful display of tail feathers is one great example.  In other cases, feathers can help a bird to hide and camouflage.

Because feathers are so important to birds, they naturally “molt” and replace their feathers about once or twice a year, to make sure all of their feathers stay in good shape!

Horribly, some humans have decided that they want birds’ feathers to keep them warm so they rip them from the bodies of dead and living birds and stuff them into coats, duvets, pillows and other soft furnishings.  (See down on the  D d page )

Felt¹    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Fabric of matted and pressed fibres of wool etc

Our definition:  Felt is a soft fabric, often made in bright colours, used for craft activities. Unfortunately it is often made from wool which is sheared from the bodies of sheep in a violent and rushed procedure (shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, which makes them determined to work as fast as possible, regardless of the suffering of the sheep).  Consequently the animals are often left battered and bleeding.

But, crafters, have no fear!  There is no need for an animal to suffer for you to have felt! Felt can be found in quite a few vegan varieties.  There’s the standard acrylic felt, acrylic felt made with recycled fibres, and now,  bamboo felt which is amazingly soft and comes in beautiful colours.

Ferret    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Small polecat used in catching rabbits, rats etc.

Our definition:  Ferrets  spend 14–18 hours a day asleep and are most active around the hours of dawn and dusk, meaning they are crepuscular.  Unlike their polecat ancestors, which are solitary animals, most ferrets will live happily in social groups.  A group of ferrets is commonly referred to as a “business”.  They are territorial, like to burrow, and prefer to sleep in an enclosed area.

Like many other mustelids, ferrets have scent glands near their anus, the secretions from which are used in scent marking.  Ferrets can recognize individuals from these anal gland secretions, as well as the sex of unfamiliar individuals.  Ferrets may also use urine marking for sex and individual recognition.

When excited, they may perform a behaviour commonly called the weasel war dance, characterized by a frenzied series of sideways hops, leaps and bumping into nearby objects. Despite its common name, this is not aggressive but is a joyful invitation to play.  It is often accompanied by a soft clucking noise, commonly referred to as “dooking”.  In contrast, when scared, ferrets will make a hissing noise, when upset, makes a soft ‘squeaking’ noise.

Fertilizer (also -iser)    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Substance added to soil to make it more fertile.

Our definition:  Chemical fertilizers, added to soil for the purpose of ensuring high crop production, are very damaging to the environment.  Many of the “quick-release” fertilizers have been known to lead to oxygen loss in waterways due to runoff into the street and, as a result, into the water.  High amounts of nitrogen can find their way into waterways in this way, causing an excess of algae and a resulting loss of oxygen in the water which has a negative effect on fish and other wildlife in the water.

Some fertilizers are made from the residuals of waste water treatment facilities or recycled from other areas that cause them to test positive for toxic waste.  Twenty nine popular fertilizers have tested positive for twenty two toxic heavy metals, including silver, nickel, selenium, thallium and vanadium.  All of the metals found are linked directly to human health hazards.

Conversely, in organic growing, the nutrient cycle is completed by returning organic matter/fertility back to the soil that has been removed through production and harvest of the crop. The building and maintenance of soil structure and the provision of essential nutrients and minerals, including N, P & K, is therefore achieved using a number of fundamental processes, including:

  • Planting legumes
  • Effective crop rotations
  • Incorporating green manures
  • Appropriate application and incorporation of composts

Field Sports

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Outdoor sports, esp hunting, shooting, and fishing.

Our definition:  The word ‘sport’ (defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill) is inappropriately used in this context where it is simply a euphemism for cruel, sadistic and decidedly unsporting pastimes in which animals are terrorised, chased to exhaustion and brutally killed, in the name of entertainment.

Fish    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. Vertebrate cold-blooded animal living in water.  2. Its flesh as food.

Our definition:  Fish are sentient beings.  “In many areas, such as memory, their cognitive powers match or exceed those of ‘higher’ vertebrates, including non-human primates. Best of all, given the central place memory plays in intelligence and social structures, fish not only recognize individuals but can also keep track of complex social relationships.” – Culum Brown, New Scientist, 12 June 2004.  “They have fantastic learning and memory capabilities. A lot of people think that fish behaviour is totally inflexible, like little swimming robots, but that’s absolutely not the case. They can learn all sorts of things and adjust their behaviour, if only we give them the chance to do it.” – Culum Brown, Catalyst, 4 December 2007.

Fishing    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Occupation or sport of trying to catch fish.

Our definition:  Fishing is a bloodsport.  “The scientific literature is quite clear. Anatomically, physiologically and biologically, the pain system in fish is virtually the same as in birds and mammals…in animal welfare terms, you have to put fishing in the same category as hunting.” – Dr Donald Broom, Professor of Animal Welfare at Cambridge University, Daily Telegraph, October 19, 1995: http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/vegetarianism/ALL/539/

Fleece    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. Woolly coat of sheep etc.  2. This shorn from sheep.

Our definition:  Wool fleece is a sheep’s entire coat which is roughly shorn off him or her (see link for more information if you can bear it).  It is extremely cruelly obtained.


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