Vegetarianism To Meat Or Not To Meat

1470 words - 6 pages

     As children, one of the first things we learn is to recognize the
friendly barnyard
animals. We easily can spot the furry cow with the gentle eyes, the
feathery chickens
who run wildly about, and the pink pigs that roll in the mud. We may
also sing about that
nice farmer, Old McDonald, and all of his nice animals. The truth is
that Old McDonald
with a straw hat has been replaced by a business man in the hard hat.
     Ninety-five percent of the meat we eat does not come from Old
McDonald's farm.
Hens, chickens, turkeys, and over half of beef cattle, dairy cows, and
pigs come from an
"animal factory" (Sussman, 95) which is a mechanized environment. This
new farming
method finds blue skies, tall silos, and grassy hillsides good for
calendars but, bad for
business. Those pictures are not cost effective. Animals are not
treated with the loving
care of a farmer but, are treated like inmates on death row.
     Poultry, pigs, and calves are forced to live in total confinement
never to see the
light of day until they head to the slaughter house. Hens are frequently
crowded into
small cages which they may not leave for a year or two. Pregnant sows
are often put in
stalls that are their homes for three months at a time. After having her
piglets, a sow may
be pinned to the floor for four to seven weeks in order to keep the sow
from rolling over
on her babies. Cows may be fed steady diet of molasses laced saw dust,
shredded
newspaper, plastic pellets, poultry manure, and processed slaughter house
wastes in order
to gain weight faster. Confinement is so complete that the animals do
not have room to
move (206).
     Not only are the animals forced to live in this unnatural
environment, they are
also pumped full off antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and are dipped in
pesticides. Over
half the cattle and nearly all pigs, calves, and poultry are fed a steady
diet of antibiotics
and related

                                             
     Jarboe 2

medications to help control diseases. No one is sure what the long term
side effects may
be for people who consume these meat and dairy products (145).
     Have you ever seen a big rig driving down a highway hauling
cattle? A trucker
hauling livestock can legally drive two to three days nonstop leaving the
creatures
without food or water. Truckers who do stop to rest or water their cargo
do so because
they choose to, not because the law requires it . It is not surprising
that much livestock is
driven through days of suffocating heat and below zero nights uncared
for, crowded, and
sometimes literally...

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