“LOS ANGELES – An undercover video showing crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts has led to the largest beef recall in the United States and a scramble to find out if any of the meat is still destined for school children’s lunches.”
Watching ‘NBC’s Today’ show about animal abuse in a slaughterhouse; I’m horrified! I’m reminded of Dr. Michael W. Fox and his work at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) where I was privileged to work along side Dr. Fox in a quest to identify humane sustainable agriculture practices for livestock and poultry.
I’d never thought much about what livestock and poultry go through before it gets to the table. But after I became acquainted with Dr. Fox; the horrific nature of ‘Factory Farming’ became very clear. The dark side of this seldom viewed industry made my mission to find sustainable practices in livestock and poultry rearing imperative and to look to a more vegetarian diet.
The live images screaming out of the television on NBC’s Today’ show were horrific, however, I’ve seen much worse. This is not one isolated case; I’ve seen more proof than anyone would care to see. People should be made to see more of where our food comes from; how it’s produced and how the animals are treated.
Wendell Berry writes:
An agriculture can not survive long at the expense of the natural systems that support it and the provide it with models. A Culture cannot survive long at the expense of either its agricultural or its natural sources. To live at the expense of the source of life is obviously suicidal. Though we have no choice but to live at the expense of other life, it is necessary to recognize the limits and dangers involved: past a certain point in a unified system, “other life” is our own.
The definitive relationships in the universe are thus not competitive but interdependent. And from a human point of view they are analogical. We can build one system only within another. We can have agriculture only within nature, and culture only within agriculture. At certain points these systems have to conform with one another or destroy one another.
Dr. Fox writes:
Currently agriculture, along with all the natural wisdom and empathy that our farmer-ancestors and earlier hunter-gatherers acquired (and, with such wisdom and empathy, were deeply religious), is being lost–to high-tech agribusiness. From culture to technocracy: from sensibility to money, power, and control. The evolution of factory farming is a natural consequence of our culture’s materialistic and objectifying attitude toward nature. Consequently, humanity no longer acts as part of a unified field of being. By not acting so, we destroy this unity, violating the ecological laws of nature and the ethical and spiritual principles of our forebears. Factory farming is a second Industrial Revolution.
Thanks to the national attention brought to us by the media and film taken by the HSUS; the images are a mere glimpse of the ‘tip of the iceberg’! This is NOT a single isolated case! The trail of farm animals on the way to our table tops is paved with misery and cruelty. I urge you to stop and think about the food choices you make. Do you really need to eat that ‘Whopper’ or ‘Mac burger’ everyday. Do you give a thought to the suffering of the animals who went into it? Pain and suffering went into the meat on your plate! Do you give a darn?! Would you dare take a close look at where they live; what they are fed; the medications they receive on a daily basis?
Stay tuned, I’m going to take you to the dark side of livestock and poultry rearing. I’ll also take you to the other side and introduce you to ranchers who rear livestock and poultry with respect. I’ll give you answers on what you can do to make change to your diet.