Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, January 11, 2010

Factory Farmers Have Rights Too

And so do puppy mills. And now, factory farms and puppy mills are banding together to protect their livelihoods against those nefarious treehugging animal rights commies.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, told a meeting of 5,000 members:

I love the smell of cramped bleeding tortured animals in the morning! A line must be drawn between our polite and respectful engagement with consumers and how we must aggressively respond to extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule. The time has come for us to face our opponents with a new attitude. The days of their elitist power grabs are over.”

Because of lobbying by the Humane Society of the U.S., six states have passed laws banning cramped cages. Factory farmers and puppy mill operators are mad as hell.

A cattle rancher from Utah said: “"I definitely feel like the people that are talking about animal rights are very passionate about what they're doing. I'm concerned there's a lot of money behind them. They're well-educated people and know how to get their message across. I think there will be more of an effort to educate people that we do take care of our animals.”

They “take care of” their animals, riiight. Yes, they’re so nice and cozy in those tiny cages. And they’re covered with infected wounds and excrement to keep them warm.

Agribusiness is one of the most powerful and entrenched industries in the country; they’re right up there with the oil companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Don’t fall for their bullshit about being just little ol’ family farms battling against “well educated people with a lot of money behind them.”

If you haven’t eaten in the last few hours (make sure!), check out a few of these links.

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Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

You're right about big factory-farm operations being sure to try hiding behind a Friendly Ol' Farmer Gray image, when the reality is too often completely and inhumanely different.

Regulating against terrible mistreatment of defenseless animals is necessary and the right thing to do. I do think some care should be taken not to ensnare small-farm and ranch operators in complex, expensive, one-size-fits-all regulations intended for giant factory-farm operations.

However, anyone who mistreats animals should be in big trouble with the law, no matter who they are and no matter what they do for a living. There is no excuse for cruelty to animals, and no perpetrators should ever get away with doing it.

January 11, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

As a meat eating animal lover, I say, you go get 'em Humane Society.

All our house pets have been from the pound or other people's cast-offs. Those puppy mills and cat farms can be diabolical. I buy beef from a butcher, not a supermarket, who assures me he only buys grass fed beef, not that feed lot beef, standing up to their belly in in crap living a miserable existence, steers are not super intelligent, but they must have a preference, wandering round a paddock, chomping sweet grass, or living in crap, eating corn, cheek by jowl with 100s of fellow sufferers.

January 11, 2010 at 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

What's worse than an educated, elitist power-grabber?

An uneducated, hayseed wannabe-elitist, power-grabber fuck who wants carte blanche to torture animals and fill our bodies with the flesh of animals fed and filled with all sorts of nasty concoctions - including the flesh of their own kind.

Fuck them and their federal subsidies.

I'm like Holte: I buy local or organic meat & eggs whenever possible, and get my kitties from the Humane Society.

January 12, 2010 at 2:11 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Sorry to report that even the small farms are run this way. Considering the amout of meat this country consumes the amount of land required to raise farm animals humanely would be massive. One cow requires two acres of land to raise in that manner or so I'm told. So the choice is simple either you land up paying 8 to 10 dollars a pound or the system will continue much as it is. Sorry but those are the realities.

January 12, 2010 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: That's true, a one-size-fits-all approach is not the answer. And unfortunately Big Ag has a lot of clout. But there's been more and more outcry against factory farms, so I hope something will come of it. I read somewhere that people who live near factory farms are getting fed up with the stench and pollution and the potential health hazards, and are starting to organize.

Last year there were several articles speculating whether swine flu was being spread by factory hog farms. I don't know what they ultimately found but it seems like a strong possibility.

My biggest objection to factory farms is the animal cruelty. But too many would dismiss that as "just those animal rights crybabies." I think the issue would gain more traction if it could be framed as a health hazard.

Holte: Same with all of our cats; they all came to us as strays and adopted us.

I don't eat much meat (a lot of fish) and when I do I get it from our local health food store. I agree that cattle would probably prefer grazing in a meadow instead of wallowing in each other's shit and piss.

Carlos: You're absolutely right about the "uneducated, hayseed wannabe-elitist, power-grabber fuck who wants carte blanche to torture animals." I'll take those elitist educated animal rights activists any day.

I also buy organic meat and eggs whenever possible, and our cats all came to us as strays.

Demeur: That's true, the whole issue is pretty dire. But if enough people start voting with their wallets and consume less meat and/or buy meat from an organic source, this should make a dent in the problem.

In general, meat is too large a part of the world's diet, and hopefully this can be reversed eventually. It wasn't always this way. Livestock farming is an ecological nightmare globally. Millions of acres of rain forest have been cut down just to raise cattle. Growing crops would take a tiny fraction as much land.

Most Asian countries have given up their traditional diets (rice, fish, small amounts of meat) in favor of McDonald's and Burger King. And they've become a lot pudgier and more heart-attack-prone than they used to be. I hope they'll figure something out and go back to their traditional diets, and help save the planet at the same time.

January 12, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

We don't even HAVE a butcher around here! There's Fresh Market, but with burger going $8/lb, crikey! So, the short is, I don't get much choice other than the irradiated and ammoniaized beef at Food Lion. I'm all for some restrictions on how these asses run their businesses, and I've come to the conclusion that anyone who includes the word "elitist" in their prattling is going to be an asshole.

January 12, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: You're right about the "elitist" rhetoric. I don't recall ever hearing a liberal, or any thinking person for that matter, saying "elitist." I guess the Far Right Knuckledragging community has that word patented.

January 12, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Just wait until we really fuck up the ecosystem. I shudder at the cost of free-range human.

January 13, 2010 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Free range humans, mmm...

January 13, 2010 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Soylent Green anyone? Damn elitists and all their tree hugging ways to save the planet. I buy free range organic eggs from the farmers market and our meat we get from a little family owned farm. We have been eating more veggies and beans lately. Fish I get from a fishmonger.
I hate the puppy mills and breeder places with a passion. They just treat the animals so inhumanely.
My first cat was a pound kitty. All four of my current cats are former feral kitties. 2 hubby found one day and my other two I trapped in our back yard and introduced them very slowly into the house. If I didn't like some meat I would go all the way vegan. I need meat every once in a while.

January 13, 2010 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: Yes, there's the solution. Turn all of them treehugging elitists into Soylent Green.

I really hope they crack down on puppy mills.

I like a lot of vegetarian food, but I too am addicted to at least a small amount of dead animal flesh. But I'm working on it.

January 13, 2010 at 7:24 PM  

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