Typically, when animal-lovers challenge industries on the treatment of animals, the response from any particular industry can often include discussions about tradition.
Maybe it’s the greyhound racing industry or Japan’s whaling or Spain’s bull fighting or others – but so often the counter argument suggest they can’t shut down the practice because it’s been a tradition for a long time. Tradition should never be considered a valid excuse for torturing or neglecting animals.
When it comes to factory farming – sorry – that just ain’t gonna cut it, as we say in the South. Factory farms are not a reflection of our past heritage. In those classic westerns John Wayne doesn’t take cattle out of a huge warehouse building, where they’re crammed into tiny holding pens before herding them across the fruited plains.
And the chickens are running around the barnyard in the old classic westerns. The farmer’s wife doesn’t mosey over to the barn for eggs, where thousands of birds are crammed side-by-side into tiny cages. (I’m just using the imagery of the old western.)
In too many cases, factory farms are a far cry from the way farming used to be. In fact, the factory farm put the classic, traditional, family farmer on the Endangered Farmers List.
Which leads us to the current news we’re reading about cruelty on factory farms. From pigs hung as a means killing them for slaughter to chickens crammed into cages to live out their lives never able to even spread their wings to injured cattle brutally beaten.
It shouldn’t be this way and it doesn’t have to be this way. At least – and let me stress this – AT LEAST allow the animals some freedom to roam. At least allow them some degree of compassion during their short lives.
Why most we hear the choice is between sky-high prices in the grocery stores or complete torture for the farm animals? Or – no jobs anywhere in the country or torture for animals?
As the oil companies have done with their system, the factory-farming industry has rigged the system so that they can they claim the country can’t do without them – and without them on their terms only.
Here’s a link to a very balanced article about factory farming and the safety of eggs.