February 18, 2008
I MUST address the issue of animal cruelty in our food supply. Our Purple People Mission, “Promote equality among all humans and RESPECT FOR ALL LIVING CREATURES” will not allow me to remain silent today.
This morning, I was greeted by a MOST disturbing story reported by CNN - the recall of 143 MILLION (no, that is not a typo)pounds of beef. Exactly how many cows does 143 million pounds of beef represent? Too many in my opinion.
I originally wrote this article prior to watching the video taken by an undercover cameraperson at the Westland/Hallmark location in California, about which these accusations have been levied. Although the video is short, it is HORRIFIC! DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO UNLESS YOU WANT TO CRY AND BE DISGUSTED AT WHAT WE DO TO ANIMALS IN OUR COUNTRY IN ORDER TO PUT THEM INTO OUR FOOD SUPPLY. I AM ASHAMED TO KNOW THAT MY COUNTRY HAS COMPANIES THAT ARE DOING THIS IN 2008. I AM EMBARRASSED THAT WE DO NOT RESPECT OURSELVES ENOUGH TO DEMAND BETTER. I AM MORTIFIED THAT DESPITE OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THESE ACTIVITIES, WE WILL CONTINUE TO PURCHASE BEEF THAT HAS BEEN PROCURRED AT THE SAKE OF AN INNOCENT ANIMALS TORTURE. ISN’T DEATH FOR THESE ANIMALS ENOUGH? MUST WE HAVE SOME COMPANIES DO IT IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO HAVE A TERRIFIED COW MOOING FOR MERCY IN HIS LAST MINUTES OF LIFE?
OK, let’s start with a few basic premises. Yes, I feel that people are entitled to choose what they eat and from whom they purchase it. I am also aware that not ALL companines process animals inhumanely or with such malicious intent.
Personally, I stopped eating beef and beef products 15 months ago. I was on a long flight to Australia and chose to watch a video, “Fast Food Nation.” If you haven’t seen it and can “stomach” a documentary-style film based on factual evidence about the fast-food hamburger chains and their meat processing procedures (I do not know how much of what the film depicts is based upon actual observation and/or employee testimony but the film presents it as if it is factual), I recommend it. It changed my life. I haven’t touched beef since.
Another premise- from a spiritual perspective, I have had conversations with people, elders, medicine people, healers and others who state that ingesting animals that have “negative energy” prior to its death, transfers that energy to you. Again, I don’t know if that is true, but I choose not to eat certain food products which include all beef and fried chicken … if you really want to lose your appetite, watch “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” at www.kentuckyfriedcruelty.org. After watching this video, I chose to join His Holiness The Dalai Lama and others by not eating at this particular fast food chain.
Yes, I understand that if the cow or chicken is already slaughtered and in the food industry chain, I realize that I am not saving a particular chicken or cow from its death. I just cannot ingest an animal that has been allegedly tortured in the slaughtering process. I do eat other chicken, though, but frequently question myself about that, also.
So, on this particular Monday morning, prior to the sun waking up, I am disturbed to be greeted by a CNN Article proclaiming that the “USDA Orders Recall of 143 Million Pounds of Beef.” Shouldn’t I be? ALL of that beef will be destroyed. At least if we are slaughtering cattle, it would be nice to adhere to the concept that it will be used for food.
I live in an area where hunting is not uncommon. On occasion, I have had to remind an overzealous hunter that although I live adjacent to national forest land, my property is not “fair game”, nor are the animals on it. If there are javelina in my yard, I do not expect arrows to be aimed toward my home in an effort to get an “easy kill.” However, whenever I’ve had a conversation with a hunter, they generally are hunting the animal for food. The indigenous people I know use every part of the animal and view “the hunt” in sacred terms. They pray prior to and after the hunt. I can honor that. I can respect that they are feeding a family with that animal. I can even accept that the animal came to its demise quickly and without suffering, hopefully, in most cases.
I can not accept that 143 pounds of beef will be destroyed because the food might be contaminated and unfit for consumption DUE TO INHUMANE SLAUGHTER. That is not acceptable. We, as Americans who consume huge quantities of beef, should not allow this to happen.
According to the CNN Article, “In January, the Humane Society of the United States accused Westland/Hallmark of abusing “downed” cattle, releasing video that showed workers kicking cows, jabbing them near their eyes, ramming them with a forklift and shooting high-intensity water up their noses in an effort to force them to their feet for slaughter.”
I don’t know about you, but I CAN NOT, and WILL NOT stand by silently while cows are being kicked, jabbed and rammed with a forklift when they are already down. No, that’s not true… I can not and will not stand by without acting while ANY cow is kicked, jabbed, rammed with a forklift or has high-intensity water shot up their nose. I support the Humane Society of the U.S. in its efforts to monitor slaughtering techniques so that they are both humane for the animal and safe for the worker. Apparently there is a federal government investigation on this particular plant and its methods, which the Humane Society of the U.S. uncovered.
143 million pounds of beef translates to approximately 2 hamburger patties for each man, woman and child in the U.S. according to the CNN Article. This potentially tainted meat has been in circulation in the U.S. since 2006.
Will you eat a burger today? Will you serve your child hamburger for dinner? By the way, a good majority of the beef went to the school lunch program… what will you do to stop this action?
Watch the video of cows being abused *WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC & DISTURBING FOOTAGE. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.