Oct 18, 2013

What's Love Got To Do With Meat?

In the recent winter storm named Atlas up to 70,000 cows, sheep and horses were left stranded, soaked with rain, and then were smothered or frozen in snow. Many of these cows were found in piles around the barbed wire meant to keep them "safe". Often buried in the drifts were young calves huddled by their mothers. 

On any site that reported this event, or in other instances where the "care" of "livestock" is scrutinized, animal users will defend their practices and habits with endless comments meant to illustrate how much they "love" their stock:

"We tenderly nurture and care for these production animals."

"Farm families love and care for each one."

"We do our best to keep our livestock comfortable; warm in the winter, cool in the summer, well fed, because we care."

"Although they may have death in the end, you can try to give them good care until then." 

"We love the animals we raise to feed the world."

At the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance you can see they "care" seventeen times on one page. Maybe they figure the more you say it... The more you mean it right? 

And Bonnie, a member of the National Turkey Federation, enters a grow-out barn 
singing Kumbia to the thousands of birds she claims to "love".

The pig pork people are just the same. They want you to know how much they "care" in one convincing logo. 

Dairymen are animal lovers too! You can read it seven times on one page, amid the photos of barren plastic hutches where the infant calves are "cared for" in isolation.

Or you could see the same line in a Dairy Farmers Care video where they "care" nine times in three minutes.

You can see the pattern over and over. Ranchers and "producers" "care" and "love" these animals so very much --- All the way to the kill floor.

But getting back to Atlas... The industry posted a series of photos that illustrate the impact this storm had. In one, the caption reads "Identifying and cutting ear tags from the animals we found deceased helped in keeping an accurate count of the lost." And other missing cows are being identified by their "brands" on left or right hip or rib, or elsewhere I guess...
Can't you feel the love?
And of course they have to keep track of the loss in order to be reimbursed via the Livestock Indemnity Program. Heck of a way to count the tears, through tags, brands, carcass disposal and cash. 

Any reasonable person can see right through this "love" and loss. It's not about the heartbreak of losing a friend and family member... It's about finances and lost profits. We should feel sorry for these ranchers we're told, for they'll never get to capitalize on flesh that's buried. Instead I and many others, weep for the cows, horses and sheep. I never knew a single one of them... But I know I love them more than those who "owned" them ever could.

I know what it means to genuinely care. It's someone who rearranges their whole day to rescue orphaned possums. It's someone who sets the alarm every 2 hours to insure that baby mice or rabbits are kept hydrated. It's someone who takes in a rejected calf from the dairy industry and loves him his entire life without a "lost milk tally". It's folks who pool their resources to rescue hundreds of "spent hens" . And they do it over, and over, and over and over again without the reward of one single egg as a "payment". 

It's finding a way to rescue one pig who then gives birth to sixteen others. It's rejoicing that all are healthy, without the calculated plan as to when they reach a market weight. Their value is priceless.

I could go on with how much authentic concern is given to these beings who have been rescued from the industries that profess to "care" while benefiting financially. And it's true, for some it is about the money... But not the making of it - But the sharing of it... Down to their last penny. That's a real love beyond counting ear tags and making meat.

Whether you are a consumer or a rancher - Words are hollow if they're not followed through with sincere action. Using others for your profit or personal benefit has nothing to do with love. Please if you don't do so already, live and Eat Like You Care.


veganelder said...

We work diligently to subvert truth. We are trained to believe lies, we are deficient in the skills needed to ascertain truth and accuracy. Because if we weren't...the dominant culture would crumple and fade away. When faced with truth we lie harder.

You did love all of them more than the "carers".

Monday of this week a federal holiday honored a monster who enslaved and murdered all manner of animals including human animals (Columbus). We lie and others die. We harm and then celebrate the harmers. We kill and then deny that we did. Lying is maybe (besides killing) one of our most persistent and universal behaviors.

We are unworthy of our fellow animals and of our planet.

If we aren't going to eat like we care, the least we could do is to quit eating. That would be a spectacular improvement.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Fascinating how many times "care" comes up. Who cared for those animals in the storm? How is it possible to "care" about 3000 locked-up sows?
The numbers reveal the truth.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi veganelder, I know what you mean about the deceivers becoming experts at lying. The more evidence there is that harming others is the wrong thing to do... The more evidence there is that such practices aren't necessary... The more the excuses and denials grow. It must be backlash.

But if we can tell vicious lies for more than 200 years about a brute and hail him as a saint - I don't hold out much hope that there's any masses courageous enough to say "STOP already!" Our lies are hypnotic and soothing... They seem to be the delicious elixir we need to feel good about ourselves. I agree that we're such a tragic disappointment to what potential we could have had... Just to be honest - And kind. :/

And just think - We're only a month away from celebrating yet another holiday that glorifies huge injustices and a skewed history just to continue the new murders-for-profit into the dinner tables of today.

I keep hoping we get what we deserve too. You can bend and twist reality only so much without the payment of doing so. The future children will curse us I'm sure. :/

Thanks for being the sort of person that sees and lives without the lies.

Bea Elliott said...

You're right D.E.M. - This latest undercover video of the chicken/egg facility shows it over and over again too. You can't possibly "care" for more than a million birds in any way that is meaningful or honest in what that word defines. It's all a big lie. But it suits us so well to swallow it. We gobble up sugar-coated dung like it was candy. --- Sigh.

Thanks for your comment and working for change. If it's possible at all.