Friday, April 29, 2011
Mark Bittman on factory farm inhumanity
We don't like to think of this, let alone see it, so let words (from Mark Bittman’s April 27 ‘Opinionator’ column in the NYTimes) suffice here. The piece was titled “Who Protects the Animals?”
“. . . employees at E6 Cattle Company in western Texas were videotaped bashing cows’ heads in with pickaxes and hammers and performing other acts of unspeakably sickening cruelty,” Bittman reports.
Describing that as “far from an isolated incident,” he continues: “Remember the four Iowa factory farmers who pleaded guilty in 2009 to sexually abusing and beating pigs, and the abuses of downed cattle exposed by the Humane Society of the United States in 2008 at the Hallmark slaughterhouse in California, which led to the country’s biggest ever recall of meat.”
Bittman’s column was prompted by proposed new state laws that would prevent whistle blowing photographers and videographers, and those who distribute their work, from publicizing what happens on factory farms. Under such laws, we would not know about the terrible abuses just described.
He points out that “The problem is the system that enables cruelty and a lack not just of law enforcement but actual laws. Because the only federal laws governing animal cruelty apply to slaughterhouses, where animals may spend only minutes before being dispatched. None apply to farms, where animals are protected only by state laws.”
And, Bittman says, “. . . we’ve created a system in which standard factory-farming practices are inhumane, and the kinds of abuses documented at E6 are really just reminders of that.”