Thursday, December 5, 2013

Toothless Tiger

Holy Cow
I don't cry often, but yesterday morning, while reading The Food Revolution, by John Robbins, I could not stop the tears from forming and spilling down my face. A waterfall of sadness and anger.

One of the best things modern animal agriculture has going for it is that most people...haven't a clue how animals are raised and processed...If most urban meat-eaters were to visit an industrial broiler house, to see how the birds are raised, and could see the birds being "harvested" and then processed in a poultry processing plant, some, perhaps many of them, would swear off eating chicken and perhaps all meat. For modern animal agriculture, the less the consumer knows about what's happening before the meat hits the plate, the better.   Peter R. Cheeke, Professor of Animal Science, Oregon State University; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Animal Science.
 Is this how we want to get our nourishment? By the unethical, horrific, completely inhumane treatment of cows, baby cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, goats, lambs and any other animal we farm for food. 

I read these books and am devastatingly astonished that we allow this behavior. I realize most of the population doesn't know what is going on and the meat and dairy councils want to keep it that way. That's why they show us pleasing pictures of "happy cows" and beautiful people with milk mustaches and warm family scenes of dinner where meat is the main event. If we knew the true horror these animals are subjected to we ALL would never allow another morsel of animal flesh to pass our lips.

Certified organic, humane treatment, grass fed, free range, are meaningless advertising adjectives that are put on the labels to make us "think" what we are about to eat went to its death willingly, peacefully and benignly. In reality, most of the meat in the grocery stores, which were sentient animasl before going to the slaughterhouse, lived in animal concentration camps.

Europe has already outlawed many of the inhumane practices U.S. farm factories practice. Our FDA is a toothless tiger. Influenced by the moneyed lobbyist for the meat and dairy council, they won't pass stricter laws (because it would increase the cost of meat to the consumer, which a pile of cow manure), they don't demand third party auditing for those farms which "swear" they are treating the animals ethically. Most factory farms are self audited.And the laws on the books are weak and almost never enforced.

 Do we really believe putting ammonia in the hamburger (pink sludge) is good for us?
Wonder why we have so many hamburger and chicken recalls?Why so many people are getting sick with salmonella and E.coli? It's because these gentle, beautiful creatures are kept in filthy, dank, highly stressful environments. Our country's food business is killing us, slowly, bite by bite.

We can no longer remain ignorant of what is happening around us. Thankfully there are books like Robbins The Food Revolution
These are hard books to read. They shed a light on a very dark corner of our humanity. But read we must, weep we will, then action and change will happen.