Awareness Saves (Fuzzy) Lives

I hadn't planned on posting today.  There has been a lot going on here, and a lot on my mind.  So, I decided to do some research this morning.  As you've noticed in other posts I've talked about farming and sustainability and raising my own meat.  My husband and I eat our fair share of meat.  I think as far as my husband is concerned there really should be meat with every meal.  I've heard people talk about animals being raised inhumanely for slaughter.  I've seen links on blogs.  And I have a confession to make...

I turned a blind eye, and I ignored it.

For many different reasons.  I like to think that it can't be that bad, maybe that's not where my meat came from, etc.  However, it's been on my heart a lot lately.  A few weeks ago I approached the topic with my husband in regards to buying a portion of a cow, so that way we could know more about where our meat came from and how it was treated.  Rob agreed, but it is expensive.  And there has been a lot going on, so it hasn't been really talked about again.  Then comes today.  I decided to do more research on what the living conditions were like, the facts and statistics.  And I came upon this video...

!! This is a VERY graphic video !!

I couldn't finish it.  In all my time imagining inhumane treatment of animals, I had never imagined this.  There is no way to justify the actions in this video.  ZERO.  These animals are all innocent, beautiful creatures, that should be treated with respect.
"Proverbs 12:10  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."
Here are some facts and statistics in regards to the inhumane treatment of animals in case you don't want to watch the video.
  • large numbers of animals are usually held indoors in closed confined pens and sheds, and often with physical restraints to control unnecessary movement.  Pigs often get their FIRST breath of fresh, outdoor air while they are on their way to slaughter.
  • growth hormones, genetic engineering, and specific breeding programs are used to create more desirable and consistent animal anatomies, and to stimulate faster growth.
  • HUGE amounts of antibiotics and pesticides are used to fight the spreading of diseases and bacteria, as farm animals would get sick due to the crowded conditions, dirt, and humidity in the pens.
  • All factory farm animals-including fish- are fed grains, mostly high yield corn and soy mixes, which are cheap but low in nutrition.  This same feed can also contain ground-up parts of other animals of the same or other species that did not make it into human food production.
  • The typical factory farm worker gets low wages, works severe over hours, and won't complain, as he has no rights.  More often than not, illegal immigrants are used, as they would cope with all conditions for fear of deportation.
  • Roughly 1 billion chickens killed each year for KFC are crammed by the tens of thousands into excrement-filled sheds that stink of ammonia fumes.
  • Chickens legs and wings often break because they're bred to be too top-heavy and because workers carelessly shove them into transport crates and shackles.
  • Chickens' throats are slit and the animals are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water to remove their feathers, often while they are still conscious and able to feel pain.
  • KFC lets frustrated factory-farm and slaughterhouse workers handle live birds, so many of the animals end up being sadistically abused.  At a KFC "Supplier of the Year" slaughterhouse in West Virginia, workers were documented tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco into their eyes, spray-painting their faces, and violently stomping on them.  This was discovered more than two years after KFC promised PETA that it was taking animal welfare seriously.
  • A whistle blower at a Tyson slaughterhouse testified that birds intentionally were scalded to death, were blown apart by makeshift firecrackers, and had their legs broken by workers to fit them into slaughter-line shackles.  Tyson is KFC's number one supplier.
  • 'Red birds' are common.  What is a 'red bird'? Birds are supposed to have their throats slit in order to kill them and drain their blood.  Then they go through a tank of scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.  But because the system is faulty, and inefficient, many birds--millions each year, according to the USDA--miss the blades that are supposed to cut their throats and end up in the scalding tank while they are still conscious.  These birds are literally scalded to death.
  • It is not uncommon for birds to lie on the ground unable to move from broken bones or becoming paralyzed.  In these cases the birds are just left to die, and then placed in buckets around the pens.
  • Farmer who killed sick and injured turkeys by beating them with a metal rod and tossing them aside, leaving them conscious and deemed legal and standard by industry.
  • They literally cram chickens into crates for transport.
  • 5-11 hens are crammed into small wire cages.
  • The beaks of some hens are sheared off with a hot blade.
  • Conditions so crowded they are unable to spread even ONE wing.
  • Cattle are dehorned and castrated with no pain medicines.
  • The USDA allows cattle with cancerous lesions and pus filled wounds to be certified as certified pure.
  • Cattle often have their throats slit, and are skinned while still alive and fully conscious.
  • 40% of dairy cows are lame by the time they reach the slaughter house.
  • More than 100,000 cows are unable to walk off transport trucks every year, yet they are slaughtered for human food anyway.
  • Most hamburger comes from spent dairy cows.
  • Baby dairy cows are ripped away from their mothers hours after birth.  Just a note in case you don't watch the video, this is heartbreaking.  They actually grab a baby cow by the head and jerk him away as he is about to nurse his mother and drag him away.  They also show a baby cow being dragged away by his back legs and his mother (and other mothers) trying to follow.  It's heartbreaking.
These facts are from two other websites and from the video.  The video goes into pigs after dairy cows and their calves, but I didn't get that far.  I watched a little, but had to stop.  I think these are plenty of facts though.

So why am I sharing this?  Society needs to be completely aware of what is happening.  I would also strongly encourage people to do some of their own research.  I just bought, and watched Food Inc. today.  It was such an interesting documentary, and raises really good questions and thoughts.  It made me realize just how little I actually know about the food I eat.

Do you know where your food came from? (before the grocery store!)

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. Not only cruel to the animals, but we are eating animals that are unhealthy!