Apr 21, 2011

E6 Hammered Dairy Calves - Butchered Cows - Who's Responsible?

By now everyone has seen the gruesome footage of dairy calves being bludgeoned with hammers and pick axes at the E6 Cattle Company in Texas.

Here is the full release from Mercy for Animals for those who haven't...

The "owner" claims that now all employees have been trained in "proper" animal care in accordance with what the dairy industry recommends: Gun Shot, Captive Bolt, Barbituate Overdose, Throat Slitting, or Electrocution.  Yeah... That's "humane dairy" for ya...
Now in this interview Trent Loos says that the footage is "tough for anybody, even in agriculture to watch".  Loos also insinuates that the employees were coerced to use blunt force rather than the rifle to kill these calves...  The question was put (at 2:20): "Did you know anyone was using a hammer to perform euthanasia on these animals?"  Owner Kirt Espenson says "I did not. They had a rifle". And then the interview get's kind of splicy sounding... Hummm

And here from Pro News7 in Amarillo "He acknowledges his employees did not have adequate training. He credits that because he had a lot of employees quit and he was accepting basically anyone who was willing to work.
Espenson also told Pronews 7 that all his employees were given a .22 rifle but they, instead, chose to kill the calves in the malicious manners shown in the video.
Additionally, Espenson felt that the undercover worker from Mercy For Animals had some type of influence on the employees."
But doesn't the second video footage above (at l:10) show that Espenson was asked "So the hammer's okay if we don't find the rifle"?  And Epsenson responds that it is.  He just walks away unconcerned and detached from the process about to occur.  Still, he wants to "accept full responsibility" for his employees that were "poorly trained" and who had a lack of knowledge of the proper procedure.  
Doesn't that remind you of the Conklin Dairy owner caught on video shoving a downed cow yet saying the violations were just in hands of one rouge employee and encouraged by the undercover investigator?  Doesn't animal ag usually claim "alleged abuses" and "doctored footage"... It's always the undercover agent or the employees it seems.  Yet these are the favored labor force! Usually (illegal) immigrants that are so desperate they are willing to do the unthinkable just for a greenback and a chance to stay in the U.S.  Dairies depend on these people so much that they even want to give them licenses even if they are here in the U.S. illegally.  That's why dairies, all of animal ag and slaughterhouses hire these individuals.  Because they will do the work that needs to be done if people insist on having  milk/eggs and meat.  That means if you buy these "cheap" products YOU are responsible too!

These calves never got to feel the warmth of their mothers, never got to nurse or be nuzzled... Never got to experience the specialness that all babies deserve - Instead they were assaulted, battered and murdered in the most horrific way imaginable. Killing calves, killing cows, no matter what methods are used is barbaric.

That said, these poor calves are now in peace and released from the clutches of butchering men. What kind of society pays people to do this??? Whether it's throat slitting, electrocution, a gun or a bat - Who needs cow's milk this badly??? Please - whatever empathy you have for these innocent ones - Wean yourself!


veganelder said...

I can only feel sorrow for our victims. There are no words....

Bea Elliott said...

I know... This is beyond anything I could imagine. My mind just can't go there to whatever depraved place acts like this are done. Common, tolerated, accepted, encouraged --- Legal and PAID FOR!

I'm disgusted and saddened and so many things that can't be named. I'm also unable to stop thinking of the investigator... I don't know how you heal from witnessing such a thing - Or if you ever do? Again, this industry makes more victims than what could ever be accounted for! Bringing an end to it all NOW is the only justice there is.

I'm so sorry veganelder. :(

Bren McClain said...

This all makes me sick to my stomach. Almost too much to bear. But bear we must....in order to get the word out and affect change.

Bea Elliott said...

Thanks Bren... Seems like the fallout and the damage control has begun. There are several sites that have strategically left the "last word" on debates on the "pro ag" side. Youtube has removed the MFA video as well. I think it's acts like this that make their deeds all the more reprehensible. They sure do make getting the word out and affecting change that much more challenging! We'll press on in spite of it all!

Have Gone Vegan said...

It took me a while actually before I could get myself to watch the video (I believe YouTube put it back up after a letter from MFA), but I almost feel it's the least I can do as a way of honouring the victims.

I did see a couple of comments somewhere that said the undercover investigator is also on film using a hammer? Don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, it must be so hard to have to not only document such cruelty but participate as well.

What I am glad of though is that this video got so much mainstream attention, and obviously the states trying to enact those hideous laws are doing so because the videos work! If they didn't feel threatened by them, there would be no need to go on the offensive.

Bea Elliott said...

Sorry you even watched HGV - It's something impossible to "unsee". I don't know if the investigator had to participate in any of the murders... I know we all extend our most healing thoughts to him. I know his life is changed forever.

And the strange twist on banning this video... First youtube (then reinstated) - And now vimeo... In a way, it made the video all the more popular. Everyone wants to see what was so horrible that even youtube wouldn't host it.

My belief is that they can't stand many more of these exposures. People will eventually run out of excuses to participate in this holocaust. Ever onward till the day! ;)

Anonymous said...

Now, this IS legitimate and deserves attention.

You need to push the humane line in order to appeal to the mass of Americans and get this stopped. The way to do it is to make the whole entire production system "humane" with controls and inspections. That's an attainable goal that will reduce suffering.

If you just yell and talk down to industry people and American public, you miss this chance to make REAL meaningful change for animals.

Anonymous said...

Stop ruining it for people who are actually making headway on this.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello Anonymous - I'm sorry, but I don't believe there's such a thing as "humane" slaughter.

Since all unnecessary killing is wrong - What you're talking about is "welfare" issues. I'm concerned with "well being" issues.

I know there's room for all opinions on this subject of animal murder... You're certainly free to keep yours and continue working for legislation to regulate how these killings are done... As I am equally free to strike at the root of the whole process of wrong-doing.

Thanks for your concern.