Most people tend to ignore animal welfare because they think their governments or animal groups are taking care of whatever needs to be taken care of. They generally think it is okay to eat animal products, while at the same time believing it is not okay to treat animals badly. What many fail to understand, however, is that bad treatment is built into the food system. And part of the reason for that failure is that they are kept in the dark, like the proverbial mushroom, and fed bullshit.
Keeping people eating animal products requires skillful manipulations and rationalizations to maintain ignorance and to manipulate choice. • • •
You need to be heartless to be a factory farmer, but if you do begin to see and acknowledge the suffering around you, what do you do?
This farmer was prompted to speak out after hearing Joe Perdue’s agrispin in a promotional video, saying “Doing the right thing is things like treating your chickens humanely.” This is a standard platitude for the meat industry, which appropriates the language of animal welfare for self-promotion and profit. In fact, the Perdue family has a long history of animal abuse and run-ins with animal advocates, along with their “pile of poultry puffery hiding the brutal realities of an inhumane industry.”Henry Spira took them to task back in the 70s for this, see http://www.upc-online.org/henry_tribute.html. • • •
America’s top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the largest fines in EPA history. Welcome to the dark side of the other white meat.
By Jeff Tietz
Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year. That’s a number worth considering. A slaughter-weight hog is fifty percent heavier than a person. The logistical challenge of processing that many pigs each year is roughly equivalent to butchering and boxing the entire human populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City and Tucson. • • •
J.M. Coetzee won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2003. This is an edited version of a speech he gave on February 22, 2007, in Australia.
Exposing the Beast: Factory Farming Must be Called to the Slaughterhouse
To any thinking person, it must be obvious there is something terribly wrong with relations between human beings and the animals they rely on for food. It must also be obvious that in the past 100 or 150 years, whatever is wrong has become wrong on a huge scale, as traditional animal husbandry has been turned into an industry using industrial methods of production. • • •