Tuesday June 24, 2014, 12:57 am
Since many of our readers are animal rights activists, I trust they will know a lot more about this subject than I do and provide us with additional info. I’ve been a meat lover for too many years to go vegetarian, and attempts to do so in the past have led to wet dreams about hamburger and fried chicken fantasies. However, I do believe that food animals have a right to be treated humanely, and when they are not, the public has a right to know. However Republican legislatures in many states are making it a crime to blow the whistle on the meat industry. They are called ag-gag laws.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 5:19 am
Big Ag rules in the states that passed those laws. Big Ag speaks to the politicians with money to run their election campaigns thus the cowardly politician could care less what and how any animals suffer before or during their slaughter. Like the chickens who until now were not allowed to move, spread their wings, scratch, etc. with cages stacked one on another, that has changed here now. What of the young beef kept in the dark, unable to move so people can have that wonderful tender veal? I am not a vegetarian and frankly get tired of those who shove that lifestyle at me but with spending some time, one can find humanely raised cattle, pigs, chicken and the like. It costs more, it takes time to locate the ranches that care for their animals in a humane way but it's what I strive to do. No more mass produced beef, we can get along with less meat. Anyone here ever driven down Highway 5 towards LA and witnessed the cattle in Coalinga? The smell and sounds would turn most away from so much beef in their menus. What is weird is that the workers who injure the animals waiting for slaughter would be charged if the did those things to a cat or dog but heck, do it to something that will end up on someone's plate and it's OK???
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 5:21 am
I'm not sure what the political situation is in the US concerning Big Agriculture, but if it is akin to the situation we had here many years ago, my guess is that overall Republicans have allied themselves with them and are the driving force behind the ag-gag laws.
In the past our then largest party, a Christian right wing party, was firmly tied in with farmers and farming and made reporting on wrongdoings and animal cruelty almost impossible. Activists who damaged property and set free all caged animals didn't help much to change the tide. But changed it has. Animal activism has become very professional since then, dissociating themselves from the fringes and gaining support by the day. We even have a progressive party, Party for the Animals, with 2 (nearly 3) seats in parliament and 1 seat in the EU parliament. So the opinion on animal welfare has changed a lot over time and although the general political shift has been towards the right, this opinion has kept them from introducing anything like ag-gag bills, but rather the opposite, more bills toward animal welfare for all animals, including farm animals.
So with the right vote, things can be changed in the US also.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 5:21 am
Been there and done that, exactly as you say, Cat Man, not for sport (how anyone could do that and call themselves hunters repulses me to no end) but to put food on the table when times were lean. Always respect the animal that is sacrificing its life to further yours. Always. That being said, Though it would greatly supplement our supply, neither my husband nor myself can hunt anymore, let alone want to. I have to be very careful in trying to be as vegetarian as possible nowadays because I have ended up in the ER before because of it. I am one of those humans that has to have high animal protein content in the diet. Something in my pancreas isn't right or so the Dr told me. However, I never buy factory farmed beef, poultry or pork. I know exactly where my meats/poultry comes from and how they are raised. Pricey, yes, but we eat way less that way and are thankful for what we get and are always conscience of the animal's sacrifice.
I hate the very idea of factory farms/ranches and feed lots. They hire the worst of the worst to maintain the animals so there is a horrible amount of abuse, torture and gleeful carnage. They are abominations, no animal was ever meant to be husbanded in that manner. Ever. Yet, that is exactly what sociopathic fascists love--torture, abuse and gleeful killing with no respect for anything let alone the animals themselves. Beyond revolting. Ag-gag makes it where they can do as they wish to anything they wish when they wish without any accountability to anyone, especially not to the public or the government. Criminal is an understatement.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 8:10 am
This is the kind of stuff that lets me know I am capable of murder....all life is sacred and deserves respect which also includes death with dignity and as little pain as possible. Those sorry-ass politicians who support Big Ag this way and ALL of those who torture and abuse animals have a lot to answer for - they had best hope there is no hell because if it were up to me, they would be in the hottest fires of it NOW.
"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living beings, humanity will not find peace."
--Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 9:25 am
As you say, TC, many of us are animal activists, and are rightly outraged by the inhumanity with which factory farmed animals are treated. As such, we tend to emphasize the animals' pain. Unfortunately that just doesn't work with many people. If we want to get mainstream support, we need to put more stress on two other aspects of the problem, which we don't ignore, but sometimes we undersell.
1. Public health. The article above points out that the 2008 video released by Humane Society eventually led to a recall of 143 million punds of beef. Do you remember that? I don't, but I should. We all should. People who don't care about farm animals still often care about their health, and if they have children, they care A LOT about their children's health. We need to make more of how, if ag gag laws are in force, big ag is given the right to poison us without our knowledge. Even people who don't grasp GMO (because "the government" keeps calling it safe) can grasp the concept of recall.
2. Public safety. There is plenty of evidence that people who will treat animals the way factory farm animals are treated have no problem treating humans the same way. Granted that any given person is far less likely to run unto a serial killer than to be poisoned with tainted meat, humans are funny, and are much more frightened of a less likely event than of a more likely event, especially if the less likely event is sensational. Look at how the TSA has used this. I don't think I could write this presentation, but someone could.
TC, I think you may understand the whole situation yourself far better than you claim to. Look again at the Upworthy video you posted in the Open Thread for June 8 of this year.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 9:40 am
Bravo, Joanne! Emotions are one thing - cold, hard facts are another and you've pointed out a couple of very good ones that should concern every single person. Thank you.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 11:49 am
Earlier this year, there was another HUGE recall of beef from a CA slaughter facility. The result was the facility was shut down ... March, 2014 " A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture temporarily shut the doors of Central Valley Meat (CVM), a dairy cow slaughter plant in Hanford, CA — and a major supplier to the National School Lunch Program and other federal food initiatives."
"On February 8, Rancho Feed Corporation issued a recall on more than 8.7 million pounds of meat that had been processed in its facility over the last year. No illnesses have been reported, but the Petaluma, California-based slaughterhouse allegedly defied the law and circumvented U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspections, slaughtering and selling meat from diseased cows."
The first one was dairy cows being slaughtered and fed to school children. Dairy cows are notoriously fed huge amounts of anti-biotics, not to mention the growth hormones they get. And this is the meat fed to our school children???? People are WAY too trusting of the Federal government to ensure healthy and safe food in the markets. The Federal government is sold a line of BS that is miles long when contracts are awarded and, because people in DC are politicians (or people who are quite beholden to politicians) and not people who know much about the reality of living in the "real world", they just give contracts to anyone who comes along and makes a good sales pitch. Or has a cousin in the business the contract relates to.
There is a reason besides the consumption of sugar and too many doughnuts in the United States for childhood obesity to have gone up the way it has. We ARE what we eat and if our food is full of growth hormones, estrogens, steroids (yes, the feed they give them has steroids in it), anti-biotics, and chemicals, sorry but the body WILL respond, and it WILL develop metabolic disease. The ones who are affected the worst are the children. This is one of the reasons thyroid disease is rampant in this country, even though the medical profession refuses to believe it or address it. Even our pets have ridiculous amounts of thyroid disease now, as well as cancers, obesity, and diabetes.
If we are not allowed to watch for humane treatment of animals who are going to be used for dinner plates, perhaps we need to start calling it a human HEALTH watch instead.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 3:32 pm
I'm a little surprised that Illinois didn't pass the gag rule..so many damn RepubliCONs in office now days..There should be Inspectors at EVERY site handling animals, on every shift, & they should have the authority to Shut Down any site not practicing correct, safe handling. Being from a very rural area, I hate the very idea of Big Ag, it has ruined "family farms"…and gagging is just adding insult to injury! They don't CARE how many people die from Mad Cow, etc.! I wonder if John Mellencamp or Willie Nelson could be sued for their efforts to expose Big Ag & Big Finance's War on Family Farms???
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 4:50 pm
Doesn't look like my state has (yet). But we have more democrats in office than republicans at the moment. The one republican we have I hope gets kicked to the curb next time. He is so "owned" if you catch my drift. I quit eating meat (other than the occasional wild caught fish from the eastern coast) because I have seen how these poor creatures are treated. Purdue chicken got in very hot water when a film of how they treated poultry was made public years ago. Their sales dropped big time.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 6:40 pm
Living in the great state of MN, the one that produced the likes of Michelle Bachmann, have to say I'm very happy to have a democtratic state...for now. We have turkeys and chickens in factory farms - Jennie-O and Sparboes come to mind. Both my sones worked at a Sparboe and told some horrific stories of what was done to the chickens and turkeys there. Don't know about MN beef or pork factories, but would love to do away with the chicken and turkey factories here.
TC, I have never hunted or knowingly killed an animal, but I grew up in a rural area where most people had chickens, pigs, and cows and they were the source of family protein. Without them, they would have starved. I didn't realize until a few years ago what cruelty was happending to the animals who provided the meat sold in stores. I am in the process of becomng a vegetarian. My doctor has told me it is not wise to do it "cold turkey". I quit eating chicken 25 years ago. I seldom eat red meat anymore, but eat fish instead. These ag gag laws are just more of the Republicans protecting their base contributors, they don't care about people, why would they care about animals. NO animal should suffer cruelty, whether it be a pet or an animal meant for food.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 9:37 pm
Here in BC, there is an animal abuse case on-going at the Chilliwack Cattle Co. Here is a link from McLean's Magazine, a well respected (but not perfect) news magazine Chilliwack Cattle Co Animal Abuse
Mercy for Animals Canada situated an undercover investigator at the company for a month and uncovered gross abuse. The investigators filed a report, including video, with the BCSPCA who then did their own investigatiion and have recommended to the Crown that criminal charges against 8 employees be filed.
This has brought out a lot of information and rancor between activists and company supporters. But at least here in Canada, reporting abuse like this is not illegal. It is a sad day indeed when humans think they can "lord it over" other animals and not be accountable.
Tuesday June 24, 2014, 10:53 pm
Thanks everyone. Kudos to many of you. Because I am disabled I need to get my food delivered. I'm looking for a a source of humanely raised organic meat, even though it means I'll have to cut down big time.