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Food Log: Ignorant…bliss?

on January 28, 2012

During my food class today, we talked about slaughter houses. My professor showed several disturbing videos of animal cruelty, only one of which I was able to bring myself to watch. However, I could not avoid the videos’ sound. Hearing the screams of the animals in the crates and cages pulled at my heart strings in a way that I wasn’t expecting.

In all honesty, I was expecting to come to class, learn about slaughter houses, and then go to lunch and eat a cheeseburger or chicken or whatever meat the cafeteria was serving today.  However, that didn’t happen. I actually ordered a chicken sandwich and couldn’t eat it. I had a banana instead. I really had no idea how incredibly grotesque those slaughter facilities actually are.

Pigs are my favorite animal. (They are quite possibly the cutest animals ever.) And when I saw the cages they are kept in for their entire lives—unable to move more than an inch in any direction—it made me so sad for them. For an animal that’s destined to die from the moment it is born, I think there should be some at least some sort of happiness for it.

It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn about slaughter houses before now, I have simply chosen not to. I guess that in the back of my mind I know that this happens, but I have chosen to believe that every farmer is humane to their animals and treats them with some element of respect. Today, I guess I have to face the fact that most of our meat is not produced on “happy animal farms.” This is the same as with any injustice. Unless it is shoved into people’s faces, many times we avoid acknowledging any part of life that is less than ideal.

I’m not saying that I won’t eat meat ever again. And I’m definitely not saying that eating meat is wrong. In fact, I think that hunting as a source of food is absolutely morally acceptable, even good. I also think that raising farm animals like pigs, cows, chickens, etc.  for the purpose of meat is also ok. However, I AM CERTAINLY SAYING THAT HARMING ANIMALS for no reason, allowing them to sit in their own feces, caging them in a metal box that prevents them from extending their limbs, allowing open sores to go untreated and the many other horrifying things that happen in industrialized meat factories IS.

Eating meat is NOT the problem. The PEOPLE that allow inhumanity to happen ARE THE PROBLEM.

Final thought: We are what we eat. When we allow animals to contract diseases, ingest parts of other processed animals, and lay in their own excrement, that doesn’t all disappear once it gets to us. WE ACTUALLY INGEST ALL OF THAT OURSELVES!

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