Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oprah's "inside" investigation of Cargill's meat processing plant.

First of all, I would like to say how wonderful it is that Oprah and her staff went vegan for a week.  That is an amazing accomplishment and I'm thrilled that she has propelled vegansim even further into the mainstream.  She has decided to adopt Meatless Mondays at Harpo, their headquarters, and they have now started offering a vegan option everyday.  Way to go Oprah!

I do, however, have a big problem with her investigation at Cargill.  Keep in mind, that she said 20 other slaughter houses denied them access.  Cargill agreed, but let's think about this.  They definitely don't want any bad press, especially on Oprah, so they're going to make sure that they choose the cleanest facility.  You can also expect an extreme bias by their spokesperson who is giving the tour through the plant.  Also, it is very obvious that they have slowed down the line for this interview.  Slaughterhouses typically operate at much higher speeds than this.  You might notice that they also refused to show the "knocking" process.  This is where a large metal bolt is shot through the skull of the animal, supposedly knocking them unconscious.  Because they normally run at a much higher speed, this process is not efficient.  Mistakes happen, and they happen often.  This means when the animal is lifted by its ankle and then "stuck" with a blade in its neck so that it may bleed to death it still may be fully conscious.  Imagine, a 1200 lb animal lifted by its ankle.  That has to hurt!  There have been reports of animals writhing and screaming as they bleed to death.  Sometimes workers will stick a blade in the anima's neck to sever it's spinal cord.  This immobilizes the animal making the worker safe from its thrashing, but the poor animals are still fully conscious of everything!  It is very obvious that these animals are still alive when this is done, but because of the production line, they cannot wait for the animals to be "knocked" again.  Also, because of the high speed operation, animals are often not even dead by the time they get to the skinning.  This means the animals are literally skinned alive.  You don't believe me?  Watch an undercover Mercy for Animals video, and believe me!  They even skin poor calves alive.  I made myself watch the video, and you should do the same.  Okay, so let's move down the "line."  These animals are "sprayed down to prevent disease like e-coli."  Do you honestly think spraying the flesh with a hose will rid it of disease?  I don't think so.  Then the animals' flesh is indiscriminately ground up into ground beef.  That means that burger that you eat may be 20 different animals.  Then you notice how the Cargill spokesperson says "you have to have respect for the living creature that they were and that means making use of everything and letting nothing go to waste."  Out of respect?  If you truly respected the animal you wouldn't kill the fucking thing.  And letting nothing go to waste?  That's so your company can make the most profit it can.  It has absolutely nothing to do with respect.  This video makes me so angry.

Want to know where your meat actually comes from?  Watch these videos below.

I would also suggest watching "Earthlings" and reading "Slaughterhouse."  Don't trust the corporations that want us to consume their product.  Trust the undercover investigations that shed light on what is actually ocurring, or better yet, witness it yourself.  I plan to make my own trip to some farms this summer.  I think it's important for us all to see.  Yes, it's hard to watch, but that's the point!  If you can't watch it, then how can you eat these animals and their by-products.  You are consciously supporting a system of complete cruelty.  The USDA and FDA don't do shit, so don't think that just because it's "free range" or "organically raised" that it counts for anything.  Often that just means the animals are fed organically and has nothing to do with their living or slaughter conditions.  The "organic" meat is sent to the same slaughter house as the non-organic.  The only way to make sure that you're not supporting this system is to give up meat and animal products all together.  Period.

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe that it is -wrong- to eat meat, but I do find the abuse that's been revealed in many major producers downright abhorrent.

    All creatures have their place in the world ... some are predators, and some are eaten. If we were intended to be "vegan" or even non-meat eaters as some animals are, Nature in her wisdom would have made us that way.

    Personally, I do believe it is wrong to support corporations like these that abuse their animals, but to say that one must "give up meat and all animal products" because some companies abuse animals is just as misguided as the other end of the spectrum.

    My family hunts and we slaughter our own animals, as do many of the sellers here at the farmer's market. We kill our animals quickly, we use every last bit of them (including the bones, bone marrow, brain, skin, etc) and we take only what we need. As a Nature-designed meat eater I can't see how this is other than the paramount of respect and it makes me very angry when I see or hear someone denouncing carnivorism in general as a "cruel" and "unethical" practice based on the actions of an entity that clearly has no understanding or respect for Nature herself.

    And no, not all animals are sent to the "same slaughterhouse." Our farmers out here have their own, that are not the same as the big processors you probably have imagined.

    Anyway I realize that makes me sound a lot more conservative than I actually am, but hopefully some food for thought. :)