Nov 6, 2008

An Open Challenge to Advocates for Animal Agriculture and Meat Industry

As I posted before - It seems that the animal agriculture and meat industry feel like their views aren't being presented. I find that hard to believe as untold dollars are spent on their behalf through "pork check-off" and "beef check-off" campaigns as well as numerous class activities meant to inform children about animal farming and about the benefit of their dairy & meat products. And lets not forget the constant onslaught of advertising on tv, radio, billboards, etc. I have a difficult time navigating 2 blocks anywhere without a dairy truck or fast-food-meat-menu restaurant... I have attempted on several occasions to contribute comments to Troy Hadrick's blog. The most recent in response to a post he left here at another animal agriculture site whose topic is the PETA Hormel investigation. So all of us... are invited to "share our concerns" with the informed members of the industry. Mr. Hadrick said: "If these allegations are true, this is in no way acceptable behavior. Any person who believes in and practices animal husbandry would not do this to their animals. These rare instances of farm animal abuse do no represent the overwhelming majority of livestock producers who realize how vitally important it is to handle their animals in the proper way. There are a couple of things we should take home from this video. First, it is fortunate that we have the regulations in place to handle abusive situations in this country. If animal agriculture is forced out of this country, most other places don't have the laws in place to prevent and punish this type of behavior. We lose control of how animals are treated if they leave this country. Second, the AP article interviewed the undercover investigator and he said how he had to use all his willpower to not do anything about the alleged abuse. My question to him would be this, was shooting the video more important than stopping the abuse? Was his organization more important than protecting the animal? I believe anyone of us would have stepped in to stop these actions rather than being worried about getting good footage." This is my response: Hello Mr. Hadrick - These actions and abuses ceased to be "allegations" once the footage was made. You saw... the lame and cripple pigs, the ones who couldn't stand... the ones dragging their hind quarters paralyzed from a life of brutalities... The brutalities in the chain of animal "husbandry", "animal agriculture", factory farming, feedlots, hog barns, poultry houses, livestock trucking, stockyards, "packing houses" then finally the knocking box... This is the chain "domestic use" "food" animals are in. (Not unlike the Hallmark fork-lifted, water-boarded cows)... Little concern is given to these beasts... They are commodities and there's bottom line and all that... As long as the whole (hog, poultry, dairy/cow) barn makes a profit, there's little grief over the "expected" and acceptable rate of mortality of a few dozens/hundreds "individuals". These animals are bred, grown, finished, slaughtered and packaged as lickity-split as can be. You say (as a representative of the industry) that if the animal ag industry were to be forced out of the country - we will have "no control" in the way of their (better) treatment"... In other words, it's these "generous" laws and regulations that exist here in the good old "Humane Slaughter-Act of the U.S.D.A." that insures these (food) animals will "continue" to be treated "kindly"... before (and during) their slaughter... I'm sure these "food" animals are very thankful for your concerns... moments before and during their slaughter... Stopping this video for the pig's (cow's or chicken's) "protection" is misinforming... Her "protection" has been denied to her thousands of years ago when she was first claimed as "property". Man's "use" and man's "need" trump all her interests, all-the-time, ever since. This video simply documents a nano-moment in the animal "husbandry" business. Hers was the sad fate of billions before her... and untold billions to come... And finally, I commend you for having such high views of your institution and your colleagues... But if any of you were really *serious* about stopping abuse you would never, ever be in the line of business you're in and you certainly wouldn't be chowing down on pieces of flesh that used to be their bodies. The entire animal/"food"/meat industry thrives on smoke and mirrors. It perpetuates myths with government grants, subsidies, tax incentives and of course... the government is the meat industry's largest customer as well... so that's enough about who's guarding the hen-house. I have been on your blog site several times Mr. Hadrick... I've left civilized, mannerly comments and replies to your postings - yet you have always declined permission for my response. This (censorship) seems typical of the animal agriculture industry thus far. I will continue this conversation further on my blog - along with an open challenge to any/all representatives of the "animal husbandry" field. All are welcome to contribute views on my site. Stay tuned for more invitations to the animal agriculture and meat industry... I really would love to have an open debate to insure that every one's views are heard.

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