Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where do we get off?

Ok, before I get going here I want to say that this post is regarding Factory Farming and animal cruelty. I might go mental on this one. So if this does not interest you in the least, please wait until my next post.

I have always been an animal lover and I have always wondered where we get off as humans thinking we have the right to treat animals inhumanely. They are living, breathing creatures just as we are. Sure, there are plenty of other humans being treated inhumanely, but that's a different post for another day. This post is about the animals and how outraged I am regarding factory farming. I am becoming aware of the absolute horrifying conditions that these poor animals live in and are killed in for our greedy stomachs. Stomachs, intestinal tracts and well being that do not require meat consumption on a daily or even weekly basis. Yet we feel the need to prepare some kind of meat for every meal? Look at a typical restaurant menu. How many dishes have no meat? Not very many or they will be labelled "vegetarian".

Last night Chris and I watched this HBO documentary called Death on a Factory Farm and it caused inner outrage for both of us. I was brought to tears several times. This documentary chronicles an investigation into alleged abuses that took place in a typical hog farm. Over the course of six weeks Pete (fellow working undercover) secretly filmed many scenes which included little piglets being tossed from across the room into boxes being piled on top of each other. Sometimes they hit the sides or even missed the boxes. Sows were held in pens that prevented them from even turning around and were forced to nurse without being able to move. Any unhealthy piglets where slammed against the wall to euthanize them which was absolutely horrible. Downed sows where cattle prodded, and then slowly hung by a forklift.

Each year around 10 BILLION animals are raised for our consumption in the United States alone. Most of them are raised in industrialized farms under horrific conditions where there are virtually no federal laws mandating how the animals are treated. State laws are ineffective and as long as the all mighty dollar and lobbyists are involved nothing will change until we as consumers take a stand and change our purchasing habits. One of the worst realities of this documentary is that the farm owner and persons prosecuted for their abuse were found not guilty. Why? There are too many people making too much money. Animal welfare is insignificant.

I am growing more and more aware of what's going on and I DO care. I am a bacon and ham lover and I admit I used to just pick up whatever meat I needed and went on my merry way with my blinders on. Well not anymore! I will not be involved in animal torture any longer. I just can't do it.

I might have to become one of those annoying vegetarians that people snicker at for being different, difficult and weird. I have been getting "Greenwise" meat from Publix that is antibiotic free and "all natural" but I don't know how the animals were treated. I will have to go back to only getting certified humane meats for the family. I am not going to force anyone in my family to eat or not eat meat. It's up to them. I am going to take a break and just eat my Alaskan wild fish, organic eggs, and organic cheese when I want animal products.

I guess I write this in hopes that people will just read, see and learn what's going on as far as how that bacon, ground beef or chicken got to the grocery store and what is really in them. That's all. Be informed and perhaps make a difference in your life and for the lives of the animals.


Val in the Rose Garden said...

You are not the only one. I started eating meat when I was 23 because of an iron issue (I don't digest non-heme iron) and have been very 'different, difficult and weird'. I buy my pork from a supplier near by, am starting to buy my beef from a friends dad Used to buy the 'no feed lot' beef from Trader Joes), and my chicken 'free range and organic' from Trader Joes. I buy my eggs from a local farm where I also get most of my veggies.

I have to admit that pigs for meat and chickens for eggs have always gotten me the worst. If there is anything that will get me on a rampage, it is those two industries. Who the heck do they think they are? Seriously? And the worst part... most people don't want to know. My husband is one of those people. He won't bring anything that isn't free range into the house anymore(for fear of a violent death ;) ), but he has no problem with places like McDonalds... Sometimes I want to make him watch movies like I do... read books like I do. BE INFORMED. But that would change the dynamics of our marriage a lot. ;) So for now I am just happy I have a say in what comes in our house and that I eat animals that have not been tortured first.


Nessa said...

I have to agree 100%! I am so happy not to be the only one.
I feel lonely here in small town Florida where everyone shops at Walmart and lives with their blinders on. I have only my husband and my dear friend Janet that feel the same.

Sadly it's my parents that live their life in complete denial. Most people I know are that way. They simply don't care to know and that makes me insane!