We’re All BP

We were at the grocery store the other day, perusing the vegan section for any new developments, when a deli worker strolled up and informed us of a “special” on fried-chicken[s] the store was offering.  Now, usually when someone offers us the carcass of a tortured dead animal, we respectfully reply, “No thanks, we’re vegan.”

But as soon as she (the deli worker) mentioned the birds on offer, we thought of the article by Gary L. Francione titled “We’re all Michael Vick”. In the article, Francione talks about people’s reactions to the horrors Vick put animals through – simply for his own pleasure – and how Vick’s behavior is really not that dissimilar to much of our own behavior. He points out that our consumption of animal products subjects animals to conditions and abuses that are strikingly similar to what Vick’s animals suffered. He describes a situation in which, when asked by a stranger about the Vick fiasco, he tries to point out the discrepancy between thought and behavior as they pertain to the Vick scenario. He found a teaching moment at a gas station.

So when posed this question about the “deal” on carcass, we responded, “Do you think it odd, at all, that we are so upset about the BP disaster and all the images of oil-soaked dead birds, yet we casually dine on the carcasses of other oil-soaked dead birds?” She sort-of half-heartedly agreed and walked away, so maybe it wasn’t the best teaching moment execution. Or maybe she is mulling it over right now. Either way, as a result of this conversation we have been thinking about many other aspects of the BP spill and our general behavior before, and after, the spill. Our considerations have mushroomed into a small body of thought that will continue after this tragically hilarious graphic we made.

We’re all BP. BP has managed to cover thousands of birds in oil. When the birds are covered in oil, their feathers don’t work as they are intended. Obviously, this means the birds can’t fly, but the feathers also help regulate body temperature. So when covered in oil, the birds start to overheat. Combined with the intense tropical sun in the gulf, the birds start to literally deep-fry until they die in agony. Pretty gruesome, huh? Well, one difference between BP’s fried pelican and last night’s fried chicken is that BP’s was an accident. Every year we purposefully boil billions – billions! – of birds in oil without a second thought. Most of the birds we kill (on purpose) live their entire lives in a cage with space no bigger than a standard envelope. After having their throats slit, many are immersed in boiling water while still conscious, to remove their feathers. Then they’re eviscerated, chopped into pieces, dipped in their liquid babies, dredged in flour, and boiled in artery-clogging oil – for us to stuff our faces with. And we’re pissed at BP about a few pelicans. And don’t even get us started on foie gras or down. Compared to our insatiable appetite for winged-torture and death, BP pales in comparison to suffering caused.

But it’s not just birds dying in the gulf, right? It’s sea turtles, dolphins, crustaceans, mollusks, fish, and innumerable other species of life. Well, let’s examine our relationship to these creatures before they were tainted by BP’s Eternal Fountain of Filth (thanks, Devo!)  Fishing, shrimping, and all other forms of oceanic hunting have been affected by this disaster. We all saw the news report about the shrimper who burst into BP’s senate hearings with “oil” on her hands and demanded criminal charges be brought against BP. But what’s really happened, objectively? BP killed a bunch of animals accidentally, which made it harder for other people who make a living killing animals to kill animals. Regardless of who’s doing the killing, the animals are gonna’ get killed one way or another. The only difference is that some of the animals killed by the hydro-hunters would have been consumed by people. The other animals killed by the sea-going-serial-killers are either fed to land animals so we can fatten them up and kill and eat them, or they are casually tossed back into the gulf to die a slow, miserable death.

Shrimp aren’t the only animals killed by shrimpers. 16 pounds of by-catch – unwanted and useless animals – are killed or maimed for us to get 1 pound of shrimp. Again, sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, pelicans, jellyfish and myriad other species are killed or maimed as a result of our lust for sea-flesh and resulting by-catch. And it’s not just shrimping that results in by-catch. Every form of aquatic murder results in the deaths of unintended species. So before BP got here, we were already consciously and brutally pillaging the sea-life in the gulf, with little to no regard for non-target species. We were eating some of what we killed, but much was “collateral murder” to begin with. The slight difference between the Domestic-Dahmers (US) and the Gulf-Gacys (BP) is that the BP spill is 100% by-catch, so to speak. We claim to care about the wildlife needlessly dying because of BP’s acts, yet we commit what amounts to genocide to the same wildlife in order to please our taste buds – something equally needless.  Along with the hypocrisy involved in showing a callous disregard for animal life in action while professing to be horrified and outraged by other’s callous disregard for the same animals, there are the environmental consequences.

Like the dead zone. Yeah, the part of the gulf stretching 500 miles in all directions from the base of  the Mississippi River that contains such high levels of nitrogen and CO2 that one of the only forms of life that it can sustain is jellyfish. This was here long before the BP spill and is a result of our farming practices all along the (not so) Mighty Miss. Most of the Mississippi River is just an effluent stream from our factory farms and use of synthetic fertilizers. You see, much of the by-catch we kill goes to feeding other animals we plan on killing; animals in factory farms. We cram animals together in factory farms, spray them and their feed with pesticides, inject them with antibiotics, and then shovel their ridiculously copious amounts of nitrogen and synthetic-chemical-laden feces into our waterways – like the Mississippi. Along with runoff from farms using synthetic fertilizers used to grow corn for feed and biofuels, this fecal soup travels down towards the Gulf making the entire aquatic ecosystem virtually uninhabitable wherein it eventually makes it to the Gulf and creates what we call a dead zone. So we were already shitting where we eat long before BP decided to join us.

Our demand for animal-products (including meat, sea-meat, dairy, eggs, leather, wool, down, and all other products that result from animal exploitation) and our reliance on synthetic fertilizers for crop production (most of which gets fed to animals) are inherently unsustainable, have dire unintended consequences, and depend heavily on negating harmful externalities – just like drilling for oil (with or without relief wells or safety protocols in place).

This is not a defense of BP, or a Palin-esque rally cry to “Drill, baby drill!”.  This is an appeal to reason. We as the pot need to stop calling the kettle black. Our practices were destroying the Gulf long before BP fucked up. The difference is that BP didn’t expect – or intentionally bring about – their oil spill, while we knowingly pollute the water and ravage the ecosystem, draining it of all it’s life while simultaneously destroying it’s ability to sustain life. They failed to use proper safety measures and had no effective response protocol. So have we for the past 50+ years. Because of our combined carelessness, the mutilation of the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be a long lasting and devastating infliction, brought about by our general carelessness and lack of foresight.  Instead of pointing out problems, it might be more effective to discuss solutions. Rather than expecting BP, Obama, JP Morgan Chase or anyone else to find an effective solution, what can we, as individuals do? What can we do in our own lives to try and mitigate the effects of this disaster, one of so many our world faces? What can we do to try and prevent this from happening again?

It’s more than obvious that we need to change the source of our energy, but we as individuals have little to no options when it comes to trying to change the infrastructure of energy production without drastically reducing our quality of life. We are so dependent on oil and fossil fuels in general, if one were to try and stop consuming them, the attempt would leave one living under basically stone-age conditions. Most everything we consume is dependent on fossil fuels either to be produced or to be transported to market. From our gasoline to our cars themselves. From the shoes on our feet to the gel in our hair. From veggies to meat, books to computers, you name it and oil was involved. The current problems we face are, arguably, only solvable through the wise use of what little energy-producing goo we have left. Inefficiency cannot be tolerated when resources are so limited and obtaining more resources is so dangerous. (As demonstrated in the Gulf and every oil spill previous.)  We need to use our existing non-renewable energy wisely while developing alternative methods of energy capture in order to effectively and efficiently abrogate our use altogether with as smooth a transition as possible. This is not going to be accomplished in any way if we continue to use our limited resources in the ways we do. Driving a car with decent gas mileage is a much more efficient use of energy to achieve the goal of rapid transport than feeding cows 16 pounds of energy-intensive grain to produce 1 pound of exponentially intensive beef is to achieve the goal of feeding ourselves. Animal agriculture and the fruits of it’s inefficiency are testimony to the wasteful tendencies we have adopted as a whole. Hummers are another.

Using plastic bags instead of re-usable bags is a waste of our limited resources, even though the reusable bags are dependent on fossil fuels (and probably chinese sweatshops) for their production and transport to market.  Still, rather than giving up on re-usable bags because of the dinosaurs it took to produce them and using plastic, or foraging for food not using bags altogether and awkwardly carrying our items to our electricity-less cave – that is, rather than try and give up fossil fuels altogether in some vain quest for eco-martyrdom – we could consume in a way that uses our existing energy resources wisely and possibly mitigate the adverse effects of our current practices. Using our existing sources of energy for making reusable bags is a much more efficient and wiser use than churning out billions of throwaway bags. Using fossil fuels to grow grains and eat them directly is a much more efficient and wiser use of our current energy resources than growing grains and feeding them to animals so we can eat the animals. On the road to fossil-fuel independence is the need to use our existing energy infrastructure as efficiently as possible. Most of us don’t own giant corporations which have the ability to create a new energy infrastructure, or the means to be energy-independent, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a say in the matter. Just because we can’t remove ourselves totally from supporting fossil fuel consumption doesn’t mean we can’t make conscious decisions to improve our efficiency and reduce our impact along with creating a demand for alternative methods.

Aside from the obvious things – recycle, reduce, reuse – what we choose to buy before the need to rely on the three Rs is a major factor in determining the efficiency of our oil consumption.  We vote with our dollars, and really this is the only vote most of us have. What we purchase, and who we purchase from, dictates what is sold and how it is made. We don’t buy many cars or bikes, compared to things like food and beauty products.  We buy gasoline more frequently, but there aren’t many realistic options as alternatives available. Many of our purchases meet our goals in a way that is relatively efficiently met by our use of fossil fuels. That’s not to say their production and transportation efficiency couldn’t be improved, just that some uses of our limited energy supply are more efficient than others. Some goods do not meet these goals efficiently and are actually quite inefficient and absolutely unsustainable – even if we had unlimited renewable energy supplies. The worst and most frequently consumed of these would be animal products. This UN report points out the inherent inefficiency and un-sustainability of producing animal products in an ever increasingly populated world.

So back to the question: What simple things can we do, individually, to help prevent this from happening in the future and to try and mitigate the destruction already wreaked?

All you need is L.O.V.E.

The L.O.V.E. life is a commitment to four principles of consumption:

Local – Buying locally produced goods provides many benefits. It cuts down on the energy needed to transport products to market, it helps ensure the money stays in the local economy, and it is a good way to avoid goods made by exploiting low wages in developing nations. By supporting smaller community-based businesses, relationships between consumer and purveyor can be cultivated on a much deeper level, influencing business practices quicker and more effectively. Buying locally produced goods made from locally produced raw materials is the next step, and ensures even more security in knowing the processes and practices of production are traceable.

Organic – Buying organic helps ensure that unsustainable farming practices are not used to produce the food, clothing, bath and cosmetic products, and household cleaners, soaps, and detergents we buy. It also ensures that we are not exposed to harmful chemical residues, irradiation, genetic-engineering and a host of other toxic materials. It helps preserve the air, water, soil, and ourselves.

Vegan – The best thing we can do for ourselves, the animals, and the environment is to refrain from using any animal products, products tested on animals, or supporting any practices involving animal exploitation in any aspect of our lives where it is avoidable.  Using animals for human purposes is unnecessary, unsustainable, and it violates all animals’ inherent right to not be treated as property by humans. Eating animal products has been repeatedly demonstrated to be harmful to humans, wearing animal skins or furs is simply barbaric (it is 2010 after all, we have people living in space and we still walk around in skins and furs like neanderthals), and testing on animals to discover anything about humans is unscientific and, put simply, stupid. Rodeos, bullfights, aquariums, zoos – all testaments to the fact that we are not civilized yet. Any society that accepts putting a bird in a cage is severely disturbed. We can do better. We can avoid all of these things so easily, and make one step in the right direction towards achieving humanity.

Ethical – All of the above practices could be utilized for purely selfish reasons – buying local to make sure one gets the freshest most nutritious food, or for the highest quality hand-made goods; buying organic because one wants to avoid harmful pesticide residue or gene-altering GMOs; eating vegan for health. And this the reason for the last principle. To commit to a L.O.V.E. life, you gotta have the love for others, not just the self. Making sure what we buy doesn’t come at the expense of others is a prime requirement of such a profound – yet profoundly simple in practice – commitment. It seems like common sense, but most of us would be surprised by how little we know about the history of our purchases. This last principle simply asks us to take steps, not simply for ourselves but for others – hoping that they might do the same – to inform ourselves about what effect our day-to-day decisions might have on those whom provide us with the goods we consume, the environment, and society in general.

The L.O.V.E. life asks us to simply be aware of what impact we have on others, to bear witness to and take responsibility for the consequences of our actions, and to change our behavior to align with our beliefs.  Isn’t this what we’re demanding of BP? If we’re all BP, isn’t this what we should be demanding of ourselves?

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The Liberator: Remix – Issue 8 – Abolition At The Ballot Box

From The Liberator: Remix

February 19, 2010

Abolition At The Ballot Box

Once more, I beg not to be misapprehended. I have always expected, I still expect, to see abolition at the ballot-box, renovating the political action of the country—dispelling the sorcery influences of party—breaking asunder the fetters of political servitude—stirring up the torpid consciences of voters—substituting anti-animal-slavery for pro-animal-slavery representatives in every legislative assembly—modifying and rescinding all laws solely by a change in the moral vision of the people—not by attempting to prove that it is the duty of every abolitionist to be a voter, but that it is the duty of every voter to be an abolitionist. By converting electors to the doctrine that animal slavery ought to be immediately abolished, a rectified political action is the natural consequence; for where this doctrine is received into the soul, the soul-carrier may be trusted any where, that he will not betray the cause of bleeding humanity. As to the height and depth, the length and breadth of MORALITY, it is not the province of abolition to decide; but only to ettle one point—to wit, that slaveholding is a crime under all circumstances, leaving those who believe in the doctrine to carry out their principles, with all fidelity, in whatever sphere they may be called upon to act, but not authoritatively determining whether they are bound to be members of the church, or voters at the polls. It has never been a difficult matter to induce men to go to the ballot-box; but the grand difficulty ever has been, and still is, to persuade them to carry a good conscience thither, and act as free moral agents, not as tools of party.

Original By William Lloyd Garrison

Remixed By Peace Is Coming For You

The Liberator: Remix – Issue 7 – Depravity Of The American Press

Depravity of the American Press

From The Liberator: Remix

February 12, 2010

The American press is, to a fearful extent, in the hands of a cowardly, mercenary and unprincipled class of men, who have no regard for truth in dealing with what is unpopular; who cater to the lowest passions of the multitude, and caricature every movement aiming at the overthrow of established wrong; who are as destitute of all fairness in controversy as they are lacking in self-respect; and whose columns are closed against any reply that may be proffered to their libellous accusations. It is true, these men represent the prevailing public sentiment, either in the locality in which they reside, or in the country at large; but, fearfully demoralized as that sentiment is, in many particulars, they aim to make it still more corrupt, rather than to change it for the better. They not only publish all the lies they can pick up, in opposition to the struggling cause of humanity, but they busy themselves in coining lies, which they audaciously present to their credulous readers as reliable truths. There is no end to their deception and tergiversation. Such men are far more dangerous to society than terrorists, insurgents and suicide bombers. Occupying a position of solemn trust, and almost awful responsibility,—exerting a potent influence over a large class of ignorant and unreflecting minds, who look up to them as teachers and guides, however deficient in brains or vicious in morals,—they have it alike in their power and in their disposition to deceive, mislead, circumvent, and demoralize, to a ruinous extent. Each of them is a local authority; and of their many readers and viewers, comparatively few think of questioning the authenticity of what is laid before them, from day to day, or from week to week.

In what part of the country—in what town or village—can an animal rights protest be held, of an uncompromising character, even after a struggle of thousands of years, without being basely misrepresented by the press, or treated with silent contempt? Yes, for thousands of years, abolitionism—the denial of the right to make animals the property of man—has been lampooned, anathematized, vilified, unceasingly and universally, by the journals of the day, both religious and secular—its advocates have been held up as crazy fanatics and wild disorganizers—and its meetings represented as unworthy of countenance by sane and decent men! Every other unpopular movement, however noble and good, has been treated in the same manner—and “the end is not yet.”

We feel competant thus to arraign the American press generally—first, because we have been familiar with its course for the last forty years—and second, because we have the consciousness of publishing a free, independent, impartial journal, in the columns of which all sides have ever been allowed a fair hearing, and which seeks to make known “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” at whatever cost or hazard. How such a paper—advocating the noblest cause that can engage the attention of man, and giving auxiliary support to other great reformatory movements—is appreciated and sustained, is seen in its petty subscription list, in its limited hits, in the covert and open effort every where made for its suppression; and how other papers, which espouse the side of the oppressor, make falsehood and speciesism their stock in trade, and resist every attempt to reform society by removing all abuses, are encouraged and upheld, may be seen in the wide circulation and richly remunerative income of Fox News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many others of a similar stamp. What does all this indicate as to the state of the country?

Original by William Lloyd Garrison

Remixed by Peace Is Coming For You

Surprise! Pastured Beef Not So Green

Pastures are supposed to be, according to all the Michael Pollan wannabes and Polyface jockers, the greener alternative to feedlots. According to an article at physorg.com, it seems this is another bullshit claim – like the claim that pastured or “free-range” slave-animals harbor less E. coli – used to portray a bucolic and eco-friendly image of exploitation. The Sustainability Assessment Program at the UNSW Water Research Center in South Wales has found that factory farms are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions less per head than the small “family” farmers that purport to be so sustainable. If this study is accurate, and isn’t just industry misinformation, it further solidifies the argument that confining and torturing animals is the only way to produce enough animal-flesh and secretions to meet demand in an economically or ecologically viable way. Keeping slave-animals in captivity for the purpose of exploiting them for food is an inherently inefficient and wasteful process. Pasturing wastes vast spaces of arable land and tons of [hypothetical] food that could be grown in place of grazing, factory farms waste monstrous amounts of [real, but mostly GM] food, both waste copious amounts of water, both produce enormous amounts of waste contaminated with deadly pathogens, and both destroy the environment – air, water, and land. But most importantly both reduce living beings to mere things.  Either way, animals suffer enslavement. Either way, animals are killed unnecessarily. If we are to consider ourselves even remotely moral beings, mustn’t we avoid causing or contributing to suffering or death if and when we can?  There is no sacrifice in avoiding causing or contributing to suffering, even if it prevents us from attaining pleasure; or, there is as much sacrifice as a pedophile must make when avoiding molesting children. If factory farming -confining and torturing animals- is the only way we can get close to sustainable animal agriculture, doesn’t it make sense to quit the practice of exploitation altogether? Maybe the fact that no matter the method, treatment, or design, the inefficiency of animal agriculture is Nature’s way of saying, “Animals are not property!”

Go vegan. Because we don’t need to torture or kill animals or destroy the environment to accomplish any of our worthwhile goals. Because even the “greenest” animal slavery is far from green; it is destroying our HOME – faster than anything else we do.

Because you don’t shit where you live.

Assholes, Violence, and… Oh yeah, The World Is Vegan

Food Fight in Portland, one of the most awesome places in all of creation, sells a cleverly confrontational “What Kind Of Asshole Eats A Lamb?” shirt. So we ran with that and assembled a whole line of images to put on stickers, shirts, etc.

And of course…

Thanks Food Fight and Kurt Halsey.

Louis Vuitton sells a ton of animal skins, like most other “fashion” designer companies. Plant-based textiles had been invented  before recorded history. Since we are no longer neanderthals or cro-magnons, abstaining from using animal products as clothing is simply utilizing pre-historic technology to join the rest of homo-sapiens here in the modern world.  Leather is Violence.

For some reason, the indigenous cultures of where-ever have always been called savages throughout history to justify exploitation, enslavement, torture, genocide, etc. Rarely is the mirror turned back on the “civilized”.

And, as we all know, The World Is Vegan – If You Want It.

The Liberator: Remix – Issue 5 – To-Day

From The Liberator: Remix

January 28, 2010

To-day

Another New Year is born, and, after the similitude of farm animals’ inevitable fate, in a little space must die. Brief as it will prove, how serious and important will be its history—to individuals, as well as to nations! How many thrones may it not shake, or fetters sever, or revolutions witness! The crisis of the world has not yet come: scarcely the preface of its eventful history is writ. Empires are to be re-fashioned, and a large portion of the earth reclaimed from superstition and barbarism, from oppression and idolatry. We talk of the march of the mind; we marvel at the age of creation;—but does knowledge keep pace with ignorance, or virtue with vice, or benevolence with suffering, or liberty with tyranny, among mankind? Most evidently not. How long will it take to regenerate and disenthral benighted animals? how long to veganize Asia? how long to reform carni-centric America? how long to redeem the world? Surely time is in its infancy. Strange that men predict a millennium at so early a day.

The past has been an eventful year; the present will probably be yet more troublous. The exploitation industry has just begun to feel the upheavings of the earthquake which is to overthrow its strong towers, and the heat of a fire which is to melt every cage. There are signs in the political firmament of industry which portend sudden and disastrous convulsions; but known only to fate are the hidden things of time.

In this country, of those who hailed the opening of the past year, there have died at least 100 billion animals. More than a million vegans have “gone about the streets pamphleting.” How cruel is man! Who and how many must die the present year? Perhaps half a trillion. Of this number, how many shall we or our friends make? O Life! O Death! O Eternity!

In this free and “civilized” society, too, be it remembered, there were kidnapped during the past year, and violently slaughtered, more than 700,000 veal calves, the offspring of slave parents!!! A greater number, this year, is to meet a similar doom! Have we no reason to fear the judgments of conscientious folks upon our guilty land?

Original by William Lloyd Garrison

Remixed by Peace Is Coming For You

Got Milk? “Humane” Dairy Farmers Get Hoof In Mouth Disease From ABC

hoof-and-mouth disease

noun

a contagious viral disease of cattle and sheep, causing ulceration of the hoofs and around the mouth


to put your foot in your mouth

english idiom

to say something stupid or embarrassing

ABC ran an exposé about a slave plantation, Willet Dairy, in New York state on Jan. 26, 2010. The slaves in question were allegedly being horribly mistreated above and beyond what is considered “humane” slave treatment by the workers. If you haven’t seen it yet, the footage is here. The footage used was obtained by Mercy For Animals, and adds to the monstrous heap of undeniable evidence that cruelty is the norm in slavery operations such as these. Now that ABC has finally caught up with and examined decades old wisdom, farmers are (once again) coming out in droves to claim that this is “just a few bad apples” – that what was represented was one-sided, is not a an accurate representation of the dairy industry as a whole, and is just one example. Which is funny (paradoxically) because no one buys it when animal “terrorists” use that defense. The fact that many sources estimate that 99% of farmed animals are raised using factory-style methods eludes them. The $350 million in stimulus funds does not soothe their troubles. And if, as they claim, that money went to factory-farms, this does nothing to incite their opposition. The slave-owners who insist that they exploit their slaves “humanely” and that inhumane treatment is intolerable, consistently rally against animal-rights proponents and opponents of factory farms on blogs, news sites, etc., and through the lack of support of and prevention of legislation. What the fuck is their deal?

Peace Is Coming For You has decided to unleash (with an extra dose of catharsis, and profanity to drill that shit in) a volatile and furiously reactive one-sided view of our own – diagnosing these dairy farmers that don’t really matter of contracting a viral disease around the mouth that causes them to say stupid or embarrassing things. Hoof-in-mouth disease.

Some examples from the comments made by “humane” dairy farmers on ABCnews.com:

Posted by:

DAIRY-FARMER

I live on a family dairy farm. We treat our animals as well as people treat their children. maybe even better! Dogs that people treat as children are exactly like our cows. I call my favorite cow my baby, they have a personality too!

Yeah, because people force inseminate and milk their children and dogs all the time!

I am seriously hurt that people have no respect for dairy farmers. where do you think your food comes from?

Well, according to Farmforward.com, “Factory farming now accounts for more than 99 percent of all farmed animals raised. and slaughtered in the United States.” So if it comes from an animal, we’re guessing it comes from a farm like this.  Why should we respect these dairy farmers?

The day that everyone fends for themselves will be amazing, there are kids who live in the city that have NO idea where food comes from and that is crushing.

“Fends for themselves” would mean not relying on animals for food, no? And there are many “kids from the city” – recent famous ones being John Foer and Rob Kenner – who have tried to find out where most of the food is produced. The ones who produce it won’t allow it…Hmmm.

I though school was to learn? We aren’t learning much because unless your school has an agriculture department no classes are available.

Most agriculture departments at universities teach “Better Living Through Chemistry” – they teach how to factory farm. Ask Howard Lyman, 4th Generation rancher and farmer turned vegan.

if you have a problem, try buying land which is high priced, seed, a tractor, a planter, fertilizer. then buy a cow, a chicken a pig, and see if it eats what you try to feed it. And see if you can butcher it yourself.

Is this a defense of the practices ABC showed? Does this mean that there is no problem? And does this state that people who slaughter and butcher animals are some sort of elite group, accomplishing what no mere mortal could accomplish? Or that these killers are specially trained in a lost and forbidden art of assassination to which the general public is not privy?

PEOPLE: stop overlooking who provides you with your food! stop disrespecting how we do our jobs.

So, showing videos of who produces the food is overlooking who produces the food? Consumers should just shut up and go about there business? “Nothing to see here, move along…”

if a hidden camera went into your offices, there might be some light shone on you that isn’t exactly impressive.

Not to say anyone isn’t mutilating anyone else on a regular basis at any office, but it seems highly unlikely. It is definitely not the standard office practice. There don’t seem to be too many videos of sick, dying, and dead people at every single large office building, either. If all the large corporations did abuse their “employees”, though, the small-business owners would probably would not rally in support of “offices in general”.

family farms have a hard time surviving because we DO NOT get enough money for our products.

Thanks to factory farms. Tell us why, again, you are not explicitly against factory farming and this type of treatment?

ABC NEWS: How about a story about the POSITIVE side of dairy farming or all farming!

YouTube would be a good start to try and educate the public about the wonders and joys of animal exploitation. There’s a lot of competition, though. For every one happy farm video, there will always be hundreds of factory farm cruelty videos to compete with. They are the industry. “Happy” farmers are fucking clownshoes. Maybe ABC wants to report on what’s happening on farms that are actually responsible for a great deal of the products available. No one wants to watch you fisting cows.

dairy farmers are suffering enough with pay losses and debt, making us look like horrible people does not help.

Who the fuck isn’t suffering? The dairy industry – the large businesses that matter financially – just received $24 billion in TARP funds. All the small-potatoes farmers got fucked royally by the same industry they purport to be a part of.

As i said before if we went into your office and made a video, you might be treating a co worker negatively. maybe only on occasion. well this is one instance. i feel the same way. one instance of mistreatment.

One instance? It seems most dairy farmers who accuse “city folks” of never having been to a farm, have never been to a factory farm and do not have any significant clue about their (small farmers) role, or the role of factory farms in industry. Torture. Is. Standard. Industry. Practice. Most animals exist (they ain’t livin’) in concentration camps. An “eternal Treblinka”. (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, Concentration Camp – Get it? Got it? Good.)

I love our cows and they are our children. please shine some light on positivity already!!! thank you.

How many farmers sodomize their own children? (Now that we think about it, that may be a question that would provide an unwanted answer.) How many steal child’s their breast milk? How many farmers send their grandsons to be slaughtered? And what, exactly, is the positive side of slavery, even if the torture is minimized?

This is just one of hundreds more comments like this. Here is another:

Posted by:

udderworldly

It is disgraceful that ABC has decided to air this story of abuse and promotes it as ‘the norm’ in the dairy industry. The procedures performed in this segment are not typical. Dehorning and tail docking are performed in many instances, but not in the fashion shown in this video footage.

So, other “fashions” such as rubber banding aren’t painful, and neither is just scooping the horn out with a horn-spoon. Did we mention the rape-rack? “Humane” farms still consistently mutilate animals for the farmer’s benefit. This footage was G-rated compared to most of the footage available.

However, we cannot really blame ABC. They are showing what ‘the people, the consumers’ want to see. They (consumers) are not interested in the numerous stories of farmers, producers and veterinarians that show the actual majority of farms: animals being handled and treated humanely.

Really? The people want to see people abusing animals? Really? Consumers want to see animals suffering? Is this why Earthlings is the #1 movie? Is this why people have such a horrible time visiting farm sanctuaries?  As for veterinarians, from AVMA,org: “The AVMA opposes routine tail docking of cattle. Current scientific literature indicates that routine tail docking provides no benefit to the animal, and that tail docking can lead to distress during fly seasons. When medically necessary, amputation of tails must be performed by a licensed veterinarian.”

Oh, these stories exist, numerous accounts of them…

Farm Sanctuary (also in NY) has many positive stories about animals being treated humanely, but they actually treat them humanely – they don’t exploit the animals they care for. Their stories don’t end in the animals being killed and eaten. There is even a documentary about them.

…but they will never be aired on the news because that simply does not sell to the general public, and that is the job of companies such as ABC—selling air time to advertisers, which requires ratings.

The day Farm Sanctuary is featured on Nightline is the day that the coverage won’t be one-sided. For now, not farming animals is never presented as a possible solution by any mainstream outlet. It’s not small-farm vs. big farm as it is usually reported. It’s abolitionists vs animal exploiters with a spectrum of different views in between. Abolitionists get zero exposure. Small farmers benefit from billions in advertising indirectly promoting their products. Quit complaining. The day that small farmers are handing out pamphlets at colleges to spread their humane message is the day they can invoke the “grass roots” mentality. Further, there couldn’t possibly be any advertisers from the dairy industry that might be instrumental in preventing the majority of stories like this from being aired, could there? Posilac…anyone? There couldn’t be any advertisers preventing the abolitionist message from being considered in the mainstream, could there?

The average consumer wants to be horrified, mortified and generally disgusted, which is why news coverage is what it is (murder, child molestation/kidnapping, violence, etc).

What is farming if not child kidnapping, violence, murder, slavery, or torture? When farmers stick their entire arm in a cow’s rectum is that not anal rape – sodomy? When calves are dragged away from their mothers, is that not kidnapping? When animals’ horns or tails are mutilated is that not violence and torture? Is slaughter different than murder? When herds of animals are culled is this not genocide? One need not stray any further than a local “humane” farm to see brutal injustice and inhumanity.

I am not defending the actions seen in the video footage, they are not appropriate. However, do not be fooled into thinking that scenarios such as these are commonplace in the dairy industry. Before you jump to conclusions, take it upon yourselves to become educated in a topic and not blindly believing any media propaganda that you come across.

To be able to give such good advice but be unable to take it, while a profound curse, amounts to no more than willful ignorance.

These arguments are repeated hundreds of times by slave owners who think they actually represent even a small portion of what happens to animals on a daily basis. Like this one:

Seriously! Cows in filthy conditions! Have any of you (editors and producers) ever walked through a cow barn? It’s by nature filthy!

Maybe that’s how most of our zoonotic diseases in humans were spread from animals, from you dirty fucks!

Pastures aren’t much better and tend to be more dangerous for both cows and man.

Pastures aren’t better? Really? For who? Well, when one predator wants to keep his prey away from other predators, he usually hides them like a sneaky little bitch. But which is more dangerous to the cow? Possibly being eaten by a wolf or definitely being eaten by a human?

Dairy farmers are constantly cleaning pens, and barns. However, they are barns, that’s the point. Animals create and lay in their own filth. That is what they do.

How many wild animals lay in their own filth? Maybe farm animals do this because their trapped in a fucking barn!

As far as abuse, yes abuse is intolerable. However, what is your definition of abuse? Dehorning is not abuse. It would be abuse to leave those horns on. Think about it.

I guess it does depend on one’s definition of abuse. Oxford American Dictionary defines it as “use or treat in such a way as to cause damage or harm” I think dehorning would fit this definition. Wait, wha? It would be abuse to leave the horns on the cow? Wow. Obviously “God” or whatever fucked up when making cows because apparently farmers have decided that they are extraneous. So farmers have their own language and own rules about how animals are supposed to have evolved.

How many cows and calves would be injured due to the horns being left on?

How many cows need to be crammed together so tightly that this might be a problem? This doesn’t happen in the wild, or with ample space to move.

Cows have a pecking order and it is constantly changing. Horns would be extremely dangerous for the cows and for the people tending them.

Horns aren’t dangerous to people who aren’t trying to steal the cow’s baby or milk.

Tail docking if done properly is fairly painless and should be done when the animal is a calf.

How the fuck would anyone know what is fairly painless to a cow? How could anyone assume that getting your fucking tail cut off is not painful? And of course it should done be when their calves, otherwise a 2000 lb. animal is going to kick you in the naughty-bits once you get behind them and try to cut their tail off!

There are different methods in tail docking, so it is a dairy farmers choice of when it should be done. Tail docking does help with the cleanliness of the animal and it helps prevent the spread of mastitis

The tail is docked because the environment is filthy, not because cow’s tails give them mastitis.  It is banned the U.K. You know what else prevents the spread of mastitis? Not farming animals!

Not to mention, if you ever have milked cows getting hit in the face with a frozen, manure tail is not much fun.

I’m sure it’s better than being born into slavery.

Doesn’t taste good either.

You eat shit! Ha ha.

Before you condemn dairy farmers maybe you should get to know one and spend a day in their shoes. Farming is hard. Go try it sometime.

Why would anyone want to spend a day in a farmers shoes? No one wants to cut the tails off animals or eat shit. Animal farms are not fun places. Huge companies exploit animals to make money, and people give them money so they don’t have to do it. Small-farmers are just that – small. As in infinitesimal. You know what’s not as hard or cruel and provides more food than any animal farm? Vegetable farms! Before you condemn vegans, try it sometime.

These small dairy farmers, who average less than 100 cows, are not feeding the world as they claim. They have little to no impact on the supply side of things, yet they are under the impression that they are responsible for the majority of production. It makes absolutely no sense for small-time dairy farmers to argue with the videos and ABC. If anything, you’d think they would take these events as an opportunity to distance themselves from large-scale production and drive clientele to their farms, but as they continue to demonstrate, they’re all infected with the hoof in mouth.

The replies weren’t all defensive farmers. Some people are outright done with milk:

Wow! I can’t believe they do these things to animals! I am never drinking milk again!

Posted by:

Allen Sneed

Maybe if there were a strong go vegan message on ABC’s video like in the video on MFA’s website, it wouldn’t be just milk.

Some are confused, but may be put on the right track with vegan education:

I will only buy SOY MILK from this point forward, and I will start the transition to exclusive Goat Cheese products. Good-by ice-cream. I regret that I did not make these changes in 1989 when I stopped eating beef and pork.

Posted by:

verdiway

Just go vegan already!

Of course the cosmically-tuned vegans were there:

This mistreatment happens all over the slaughter industry. Animals are just a cash producing product. The collective Karma for this is going to be terrible. One of many reasons I’ve been a vege for over 30 years.

Posted by:

Jiva Soul

And the welfarists:

if you are a dairy farmer doing the right thing and treating your animals humanely, you should applaud this ABC report, because it encourages people do buy milk from the humane farms who are treating their animals well.i abhor the farm factories that treat animals like nothing more than a product without feelings or a right to be treated kindly. Enjoy a pasture, free space, sunshine and without torture. BRAVO ABC!!! Come on America!!! Buy only food you know has come from people with a conscience! Let these other idiots go out of business!!

Posted by:

njwillams123

Many comments were just ignorant or hateful. (On the Interwebs? No, it can’t be!):

Cows are milk production machines. They are also hamburgers, steaks, belts, coats, chairs, etc. Do you think there would even be cows without all these benefits for HUMANS. They would have become extinct hundreds of years ago. Treating them cruel is not acceptable, but there is a thing called a food chain and luckily we are at the top. Yum!

Posted by:

Kickin or reading

Descartes, anyone?

But mostly it was farmers defending themselves. One, very…creatively. By lumping themselves in with boy-fuckers.

In the same way that priests, teachers, and individuals in other professions do things to make others in their profession look bad, those of us in the agricultural industry have the same problem. And, just like priests, teachers, etc. there are far more good dairy producers out there than bad.

Posted by:

WisFarmWife

Priests? Really? Stay classy, Wisconsin!

We have cleverly formulated our own fictional response acting as mouthpiece for the real dairy industry – the factory farms:

Dear Small Farmers,

Increases in population and demand for animal products requires the use of modern farming methods, such as those seen on ABC. Confined operations such as ours maximize efficiency while minimizing inputs. High-density and controlled chemical applications for antibiotics in feed, pesticides and hormones deliver maximum results resulting in maximum profits for farmers. Shortage of land, water, and fossil fuels requires food production to be highly centralized and production maximized if producers are to meet demand. The methods used before the advent of CAFOs are costly, inefficient, and will never meet the high demand put on industry by consumers. And in the end, you guys are doing the same inhumane shit.

Signed, The Big Boys

P.S.- Thanks for defending us every chance you get, it really helps! Now STFU and get out of the way.

Of course, this is a sterile version of what would actually be said. We’ve all seen how they talk to their animals.

Also, a response to consumers:

Dear dairy consumers,

The only way to meet the increasingly high demand for animal products is through the application of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to animal agriculture. Demand for low prices forces us to cut costs wherever possible, often resulting in what might look like abuse. It is surely not. Regardless of what you or any scientists or veterinarians say, it is simply not abuse. Honest. Unless consumers are willing to pay $35 for a pound of beef, or $20 for a gallon of milk, tail-docking, de-horning, etc. are part of the true cost of production. The choice is clear. Factory farms are the only way to meet the demand you the evil consumer puts on us the benevolent producer. We wouldn’t do these things if we were not forced to by the American People. We also wouldn’t do these things if we weren’t paid by the American people. Thanks for the $24 billion, go fuck yourselves.

Signed, The Big Boys

P.S. – Anyone who disagrees with us is a terrorist.

The Humane Challenge

One of the sharper knives commenting challenged farmers:

Kittyweese1 commented:

“Okay, so you all say that YOU don’t know any farmers who do this, YOU have never encountered this kind of cruelty. Well, do you join with the animal rights people to push for legislation to outlaw this kind of cruelty? Do you support them in banning gestation crates for pregnant pigs, or cramming chickens in cages stacked on top of one another, or confining calves to crates where they can’t even turn around? If as you all say, this is not industry standard and if no one YOU know does this, and most farmers “love” their animals, then you would all be supporting outlawing these kinds of practices. But my guess is no. Not one of you will stand side by side with animal rights people to outlaw these practices. Animal rightists wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if in fact, this type of stuff was rare. It isn’t rare and that is the problem. It is all too common. 90% of animals we use for food are raised on factory farms in these conditions and I bet not a one of you apologists have EVER come out on the side of animal rights people who are trying to expose this cruelty. Look at the posts here. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Put you money where your mouth is — it this is so rare, if this is such an isolated case, then I would love to see a bunch of “family” farmers come out and stand side by side with animal rights people when they try to get the NY bill to ban tail docking because, you know, THEY never do anything like that. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.”

Good point. But. These “humane” farmers claim that these are isolated incidents. Does it make sense for them to support legislation banning something they don’t see as a significant or widespread problem? They claim that this is a one-sided argument – meaning that if given the chance, the farmers depicted would be able to justify what they are doing. Does it make sense for them to rally against people who they think are justified in what they are doing? They claim that “humane” farmers are responsible for the majority of the production of animal products. With delusions of grandeur such as these, are these slave-owners mentally competent enough to be engaging in any type of relevant political discourse?

The challenge to farmers to step-up and support welfarists in passing the NY ban is kind of a teensy cupcake.

The demand for animal products creates and sustains the industry producing them, not the other way around. Those who should be ashamed are not just the exploiters that side with worse exploiters, but also those who support these industries three times every day in ignorance. To their credit, consumers are purposefully misinformed by industry. But ignorance is not a good excuse in the information age. If you don’t know about factory farms you are living under a fucking rock.

Superficially, “humane” farmers and ARAs joining together to campaign against factory-farming seems like a good idea for welfarists and abolitionists – strategy-wise. If enough welfare laws are passed that farming becomes uneconomical, abolitionists gain more ground in the eyes of the public. This does not seem realistic, though, considering the amount of influence the Big Boys already have over government, compounded by new politi-corporate finance legislation. (Michael Taylor…Anyone?) Unfortunately the cliche join-together-to-fight-a-common-enemy “temporary He-Man/Skeletor alliance” isn’t an option. Last time we checked, public opinion (voting) doesn’t really matter. (Bush…Twice?) Now we vote with our dollars.

But to vote wisely, even with our dollars, we need to be educated. If the general public learns one thing from this type of exposure, hopefully it’s that they know fuck-all about their food. And hopefully they start to do something about it besides placing the blame elsewhere. The tiniest bit of effort put into researching our food yields myriad profound and unexpected results. Every time exposure like this is presented outside the tiny AR world and gets projected in the mainstream (and not by PeTA), millions get challenged to think about their choices. Are they up for it?

Here’s the real challenge for “humane” exploiters:

On this, the 28th day of January, Twenty-Ten

Peace Is Coming For You

Officially Declares

A Challenge To All So-Called “Humane” Farmers

to demonstrate how you treat animals. Do the undercover investigator’s job for them. Don’t tell us, show us. Videotape the “humane” tail-docking, and the “happy” de-horning. Show us the nicest way to castrate a pig. Show us how you inseminate the cows. Show us what happens to your male calves. Show us the “humane” slaughter process. Explain why it’s done, and why it’s necessary. Be honest with us, show us how you treat animals when no one is looking. Show us how you are different than factory farms. Let us decide what we think is humane and what we want to support. The ones who keep you in business, who pay your bills will decide if they want to continue doing that. If you want us to see your side of the story, show us – don’t wait for someone to show up with a camera sewn inside their jacket.

Also, to explain how it is possible to meet increasing demand without concentrated/confined operations.  With 80% of current land used by humans dedicated to animal slavery, translating to 30% of total global land area – most of those animals existing in concentration camps – how do you plan to feed the world with 50 cows?

Which begs the question, is it possible to be a humane farmer?

And an equal challenge to consumers:

On this, the 28th day of January, Twenty-Ten

Peace Is Coming For You

Officially Declares

A Challenge To All consumers Of Animal Products

to watch Earthlings, to learn more about the animals you eat or support the exploitation of, and to research the ways in which 99% of animals are treated on factory farms. Then research even the 1% exploited on small “humane” farms, and ask yourself: Is any of this necessary? Do I want to be a part of this?

For the most part, it seems people have forgotten the most important moral guide – the golden rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. When considering animals – who feel pain, fear, and loss just like us – the best (and easiest) way to decide is to ask yourself: would I want this done to me? If this is the question we ask, the answer – when it comes to animal exploitation – is always “fuck no”.

Go vegan. Now. It’s easier than you think, and it’s never going to be a better time.

Peace Is Coming For You.