Nothing New

January 31st, 2008 by NashVeggie Leave a reply »

I just read an article at CNN.com this morning reporting how a person with a hidden camera entered a slaughterhouse in California (Hallmark Meat Packing Co., based in Chino, California) and taped workers abusing downed cows. They were taped prodding, kicking, poking, and spraying water up the cow’s noses in a effort to get them to get up and walk to the place where their heads will be bashed in and their throats ripped open while swinging upside down. While I obviously hate to read about these situations I do like seeing them brought to light, but this article didn’t quite make me happy. Quote from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois:

“The treatment of animals in this video is appalling, but more than that, it raises significant concerns about the safety of the food being served to our nation’s children,” Durbin said. “The apparent slaughter of sick and weak animals not only appears to violate USDA regulations, but could be a danger to our nation’s food supply.”

While the supply of beef from this plant is reported to be used in the nation’s school lunch supply nowhere in the article does anyone address the animal’s treatment more than the first nine words of Durbin’s statement.

The treatment of the animals is just as heinous as any idea of diseased meat entering the food supply. Let me state that I do hold the welfare of children and what they consume in schools and anywhere else in the highest regard. The thought of diseased anything entering the nation’s food supply is a horrible thought. I don’t wish for that and am glad attention is being brought to that point but I think more and as much attention should be given to the animal’s situation. The more attention that is given to the treatment of animals in this situation the more people will realize what it is they are really munching on at dinner.

I’m sure your kids would love to go to McDonald’s tonight.

Be sure to watch the video at the top of this article. Must see viewing.

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10 comments

  1. Jerry Horne says:

    Good morning – Thank you for letting me know , I made someone laugh today. And , I don’t think you’re a Dork. Hm , wait a minute , , , ,can I rethink about that last remark ?

  2. Valerie says:

    I just wanted to stop in and say that I’m really enjoying your blog. I have been a vegan for a year now, so of course I have reason to appreciate your writing and subject matter. You just happen to be especially talented at communicating it.

    Since I am also a blog writer, I know that it’s nice to know your readers, at least a little bit. I have subscribed via RSS.

    Cheers!

  3. Nashveggie says:

    Valerie…

    Wow! Thanks for the amazing comment! I appreciate your compliments and your visits!

    Thanks much!

  4. n. ayisha says:

    i appreciate the presentation of this article, but i am concerned about potential ambiguity in some of the statements made. is it the case that the “secret footage” shows the injured animals being slaughtered and then processed into products that potentially are fed to children OR does the video simply show workers using disturbing methods to get the animals to stand (so that the “walking in” rule will be upheld)? i am by no means condoning their actions, but the press tends to misrepresent facts for the purpose of creating sensationalism. i see evidence of animal abuse (and i am appalled at that), but i do not see clear indication that the animals that failed to “walk in” to the slaughterhouse were still processed for food.

  5. NashVeggie says:

    n. aiyisha…

    If you were to follow along on this story and read the latest news included in the post here:

    http://blog.nashveggie.com/index.php/2008/02/18/more-beefy-news/

    as well as the news article here:

    http://tinyurl.com/yrmxer

    you will find that, quoting the first paragraph of the article:

    “An investigation by the group found the company processed cows that were too sick or injured to walk, in violation of the agriculture department’s rules.”

  6. n. ayisha says:

    i read the articles you suggested, but i still stand by my original comment. please understand, my intent is not to belittle the significance of this issue, but to determine where the line is between fact and conjecture. if those articles are accurate, then it appears to be the case that there is an allowance for the inclusion of animals that were initially well, but later became ill…providing that the meat is inspected and deemed acceptable for consumption.

    according to the second article you linked to:

    “Over two years, the department said, the company had killed cattle that had passed an initial inspection but then became disabled.
    Hallmark/Westland “did not consistently contact” the veterinarian at the USDA’s food-safety arm in situations in which cattle passed inspection but then became unable to walk before they were killed, the department said. The company was thus not compliant with government rules.”

    it therefore appears that the “wrong” committed, according to USDA guidelines, was not contacting the proper channels in a timely fashion.

    also according to that article, “The Humane Society’s president and chief executive, Wayne Pacelle, in a statement, called the recall “a prudent decision.” But he said that Congress and the USDA must strengthen laws to ensure humane treatment of animals at slaughter plants.”

    Mr. Pacelle’s statements suggestion that the crux of this current issue was the cruelty to the animals. the article even makes a point of stating that the potential health risk related to consuming this meat was “remote.”

    i am appalled (again) that animals are allowed to be treated in this manner, and that the USDA makes allowances for the inclusion of questionable material into the food supply. however, as this current investigation was reported by most press sources, it is implied that these sick animals were tortured then dumped into the food supply.

    many Americans still believe we are at war with Iraq because they are responsible for 9/11, as has been implied many times by the current administration. knowledge is good, but mis-information can be dangerous.

  7. NashVeggie says:

    You can tip-toe around the line in the article all you want, but the statement that I quoted above from the latest recall article says exactly what you said you could not find.

    Besides, if you want to eat the beef even though you fail to see any evidence of the factory farm being in the wrong then that’s you, but do you really want chances taken?? From your posts it seems you don’t really care and are all for taking those chances.

    As far as you “misinformation” statement, the USDA has been selling us on the fact that the US beef supply is safe for consumption although each cow is pumped with BGH before slaughter.

    Carcinogens and gene-damaging hormones have been found in U.S. meat products leading the ban of its sale in Europe.

    http://www.preventcancer.com/press/editorials/march24_97.htm

  8. n. ayisha says:

    it was not my intention to engage in an argument with you. i started by asking a question of clarification. i am a scientist. we function on evidence-based statements. simply writing or implying something does not make it fact.

    i was born outside of the US and raised there on a self-sustaining farm. we grew all of our own food and raised animals the old-fashioned way. i am a meat eater, but i happen to be a conscientious meat eater. i alter my food habits based on what is on the market, and i avoid products processed according to methods i do not approve of. i buy local, i buy organic, i even avoid purchasing produce out-of-season as a general rule because i greatly respect the concept of growth cycles (did i mention that i worked for several years in the environmental education world and taught organic gardening classes in NYC for more than 7 years?).

    my statements were not meant to be an attack. to the contrary, if you want to win someone to your position, you present the facts in a transparent manner, then make conjecture based on those facts. it’s the best foundation for a well-reasoned argument. i don’t agree with most report of science-related news for the very reason that there is not often a clear distinction between what the facts are and what these facts may suggest.

    i appreciate what you are doing with your blog, but don’t be so defensive when a question is posed. i am not disagreeing with your ideas or trying to dismiss them. i very rarely comment on people’s blogs because i usually don’t think what they have to say is worth even validating. if you’re not willing to engage in meaningful give and take, you will alienate potential listeners…in which case, you’re just preaching to the choir.

    i promise this is the absolute last comment i will leave! take care.

  9. NashVeggie says:

    I was not being argumentative. I just pointed out a statement which addressed your concern as to whether the animals in question had actually been processed as food. As I did so, you decided to discount it, in a sense attempting to make my point of discussion moot as well as my own post. As it apparently is not I cannot understand why you continued to do so. If you saw me as being argumentative then please, rethink your stance on such. If you choose to not post, your decision, but thick skin will get you far.

    Thanks for the time and the visit!

  10. Sandra says:

    I must side with Nashveggie on this one. In an attempt to dispell your suspicions that the downer cows were not used in food productions he presented you with a news report which stated that they in fact were. You then seemed to discount that and move on to other arguments against the story. I also seem to think the feed of information can sometimes get tricky to navigate in deciding truths and half-truths but from the way you come across it is hard to dispell as to whether you believe anything you hear or read at all!

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