| I'm horrified. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I don't think anyone - no matter how carnivorous - wants their meat treated in such a cruel manner before it reaches their plate. I don't think this is a case of PETA vs. meat eaters. I think this is everyone vs. factory farms.
I'm specifically referring to the HBO special aired last night, Death on a Factory Farm. I believe it will be replayed, and you can see several clips from it here.
Below, I've included my own opinions and those of several others who wrote about Death on a Factory Farm.
|As for me, I've always been hesitant to get into the world of animal rights. I didn't want to identify with people who throw paint on fur coats. And before I went veg, I just didn't want to think about it. I couldn't. I shared in the guilt.
But then, while writing my book, I realized I had no choice. My goal was writing a comprehensive plan for fixing the food system and I knew it wouldn't be complete without addressing animal welfare. So I started researching. And... wow. The descriptions I found about what goes on in factory farms and slaughterhouses were so grisly that I did not even include most of it in the manuscript of the book. I wanted to strike a balance, including enough to drive home the need for reform without grossing out readers so much that they wouldn't read my book.
I understand when people say that we can't have slaughterhouses that are so humane that they don't kill the animals. Animals raised for meat aren't pets. I get it. But there's certainly a lot of room between treating an animal as I treat my pet cats and the atrocities shown in the HBO documentary last night. And you know what? If treating the animals decently is less efficient and prices go up and we all have to eat less meat? FINE.
Here are some other reactions:
If that was the only way to get my food, I think I might rather starve...
My ideal vision of livestock farming does not include animals sitting in their own waste, confined in pens that don't allow them to move or encourage sores to form on their bodies, being picked up by their legs and tossed several times the length of their bodies, allowed to slowly starve, left to be cannibalized by their fellows, or strangled over a course of several minutes while hanging from a chain. - Natasha Chart
It's not something you see every day: a large sow hanging by its neck from a forklift, kicking and swinging through the air until it's dead.
That scene, surreptitiously taped at an Ohio hog facility, is the central image in both the HBO documentary "Death on a Factory Farm" and the court case that it chronicles. It doesn't get any easier to watch as the film goes on, and the prosecutors keep showing it. If it upsets you, then you'll also be disturbed by the shots of sows left to die in fetid pens and the sound of deformed piglets' heads being smashed. - New York Times
As for actions on the farm, you can see for yourself - many of the practices were extreme and unacceptable. What's more the workers (and owners) needed some serious attitude adjustment in terms of animal handling and treatment...
Again, this is not a one-industry issue, and it's long overdue that animal agriculture seriously and cohesively works together on this subject. - Pork Magazine
Folks who tune in to watch will undoubtedly be disturbed by the graphic footage, but they may be equally shocked to learn that most animal cruelty laws don't extend to farm animals. - Kerry Trueman
Also, there's an interview with the creators of the documentary Break Room Live, the internet TV show with Marc Maron and Sam Seder.