I’ve been a meat-eater all of my life, but this shocking video from Meat.org “The Web Site the Meat Industry Doesn’t Want You To See” may get me thinking and acting quite differently. This is severe cruelty and so very sad.
Update: I just want to throw Todd’s comment right into this post as I think it expresses an important idea … consumer choice, whether one chooses to be a vegetarian or not.
If you have a philosophical objection I say fine, but consumers have *choices* about the food they eat. We buy grass-fed, pastured beef (hormone and antibiotic-free), milk, chickens and eggs. We know the farmers that raise the animals we end up eating. PETA would have you believe the horrors in the video happen everywhere animals are raised for food. It’s simply not true for those of us who care to educate ourselves, eat healthier foods, and support the local economy and sustainable agriculture.
Update2: And to give equal credit to a great counterpoint, I thank Jaclyn for this comment which I choose to paste below. I won’t summarize as it’s certainly worth the read.
Yes, we have choices. But for many people they aren’t *meaningful* choices.
First, there’s education. Many people have no idea *why* they should buy these better meats, eggs, milk, etc. They may not know about the treatment of the animals involved — if they’d even care — and they really don’t know why it’s better for their health. The news most likely never reaches them, and if it does, it comes side-by-side with the standard claims by big agriculture.
Second is availability. I’m in a college town in the south, and it’s really very difficult to find organic food. We have a small farmer’s market that doesn’t operate year-round (or week-round either), and it’s primarily vegetables. I can’t tell you of a reliable source of local chickens, eggs, or milk. I do know of one source of grass-fed beef, but it leads into…
COST. This is one of the biggest problems. Does it not seem ridiculous that we have to pay more to feed healthy food to our families? And I’m not talking about junk food. I’m talking about the major difference in prices between grocery store meat, milk, and eggs and their hormone-free, antibiotic-free, cage-free, cruelty-free and everything else-free counterparts. For many people, the diet you suggest is not possible from purely a cost perspective.
I do eat animal products, and I try to buy responsibly. But I don’t think that we as a country gain so much from debeaking chickens and battery cages, for example, that those practices shouldn’t be gotten rid of completely.
Obviously this is a very complex subject, and I thank those who have responded with their insight. I’d love to hear more from others.
One thing I should add here as well, is an older site known as “The Meatrix” which focuses on the same issue, but in a much less graphic manner.