go to viva.org.uk

B

barn-fresh eggs – eggs from hens reared indoors, usually thousands to a shed, but not in cages. Large stocking densities, selective breeding and poor indoor conditions result in many chicken welfare problems. After two to three years they are killed for low grade meat. 
battery eggs - 70% of eggs produced in the UK are from hens kept in battery cages. Close confinement means hens suffer extreme physical and mental suffering. After a year or two these worn-out hens are slaughtered and ground down to be added to many processed foods such as pies, pasties and soups (thus disguising their battered bodies). This system is to be outlawed in Europe from 2012 but replacement ‘enriched cages’ are little better with only tiny amounts of extra space being provided. *see also eggs, free-range eggs, barn-fresh eggs. 
beef - meat from cows. Beef cattle may spend just six months of their life outside. They are then sometimes kept inside feedlots (huge barns) where they are fed a concentrated diet to be fattened for slaughter before they reach 36 months (natural lifespan is 20 to 30 years, depending on breed). 
beer - most real ales (cast-conditioned) are clarified (cleared) with animal-derived *isinglass. Canned, keg and some bottled beers are normally animal-free. 
bees - are exploited in similar ways to farmed animals. Beekeepers often kill the old queen bees at two years old (natural lifespan is five years) and replace her with a new one. This is because older queens are much more likely to swarm – fly away and form a new colony – than younger ones, and since swarming requires a queen, the queen's wings are often clipped. Artificial insemination involving the death of the male is the norm for the generation of new queen bees. The favoured method of obtaining bee sperm is to pull off the insect's head: decapitation sends an electrical impulse to the nervous system, causing sexual arousal. The lower half of the headless bee is then squeezed to make it ejaculate, and the resulting liquid is collected in a hypodermic syringe for insertion into the female. On factory bee farms, hundreds of queens are kept in cages waiting to be flown around the country. After arrival at the post office or shipping depot, they can suffer from overheating, cold, get banged around, and be exposed to insecticides. No matter how careful the beekeeper, bees are always killed when honey is collected. A whole array of products are derived from bees including *honey, *propolis, *beeswax and *royal jelly, which are used in cosmetics and food. 
beeswax (E901) – secreted by bees, used in candles, polishes and cosmetics. 
beta-carotene – an antioxidant (disease-fighting) plant form of vitamin A, found in fruits and vegetables often used as an orange colourant in soft drinks and foods. Foods containing beta-carotene can include *gelatine as the carrier for it. The use of gelatine will not necessarily be listed in the ingredients label. 
bone char – The ash of burned animal bones. Used in bone china crockery and ornaments. Major use to produce *charcoal. 
bone meal – ground or crushed animal bones. Used in garden and agricultural fertilisers. Also used in some nutritional food supplements as a source of calcium. 
brawn – boiled pig parts such as the meat, ears and tongue. 
bristle – animal hair used for brushes, mostly from pigs but also from *sable, horse and badger. The hair may be from a slaughtered or living animal. Found in many ‘natural’ brushes eg shaving/hair/cosmetic make-up/paint (decorating, painting and artist) brushes. 
British Farm Standard – umbrella *farm assurance scheme covering both plant and animal production eg Farm Assured British Beef & Lamb (FABBL), Assured Chicken Production (ACP). Food produced under this scheme carries the *Little Red Tractor trademark symbol and it claims that its standard is a promise to consumers that, when they buy food carrying the British Farm Standard mark on the label, it has been produced to meet exacting food safety, environmental and welfare standards. There is an implied assumption that such a logo ensures animals are reared to strict welfare standards but work by Viva! and other groups shows this not to be so and usual intensive farming methods are routinely allowed. 
BSE – Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease). A degenerative brain disease in cattle. First known about in 1986. Responsible for fatal human form vCJD – new variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease.