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by Mark Hawthorne
Monday, Feb. 04, 2008 at 7:34 PM
HSUS' recent undercover investigation of a California slaughterhouse is making headlines around the world. Here are 5 things you can do to help end this kind of animal torture.
Here Are 5 Things You Can Do to Stop Factory Farming Cruelty
The Humane Society of United States’ recent undercover investigation of a southern California slaughterhouse is shocking – with cows unable to move being rammed with the blades of a forklift, jabbed in the eyes, stabbed with electric prods and sprayed in the nose with high-pressure water hoses. Animal experts have called this one of the worst cases of animal abuse they have ever seen. Why did Hallmark Meat Packing workers violently torment these animals? Profit. So-called “downed” animals (animals who are too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own) are not allowed into the human food supply, so getting them to stand long enough to pass USDA inspection meant Hallmark could slaughter them for meat.
Unfortunately, this kind of abuse is probably not uncommon. The good news is the public can do something about it. In fact, here are five steps you can take to help end such cruelty:
1. Go vegan. By keeping meat and dairy products off your plate, you are no longer supporting the industries directly responsible for the egregious abuses revealed in the HSUS’ investigation. With so many delicious, nutritious plant-based foods available, being vegan is easier than ever. Visit http://www.GoVeg.com or http://www.TryVeg.com for suggestions.
2. Contact the USDA. Email Secretary of Agriculture Edward Schafer at Edward.W.Schafer [at] usda.gov. Tell him to close the loophole created by inconsistent agency regulations that permits the kind of inhumane treatment of animals demonstrated by Hallmark Meat Packing. Demand that downed animals not enter the food chain, as they pose a danger to consumers (12 of the 15 identified cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy – “mad cow disease” – in North America originated from downed cows). Request that USDA inspectors be present at slaughter plants on a regular basis to ensure humane standards are maintained.
3. Contact policymakers. Urge your legislators to support or introduce legislation to help downed animals. The Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act (H.R. 1726) would set modest animal welfare standards, including humane euthanasia of any downed animals, for producers who sell food to federal government programs, while the Downed Animal Protection Act (S. 394 and H.R. 661) would ban any slaughtering of downed animals for human consumption.
4. Educate yourself. Agribusiness gets away with such animal abuse because it’s carried out away from public view. Visit http://www.hsus.org and learn more about its investigation of Hallmark Meat Packing. Visit http://www.nodowners.org for details on what downed animals are forced to endure. Whatever your views on meat-eating, you’re likely opposed to treating animals so cruelly.
5. Tell others. If you agree that downed animals deserve humane treatment, share your feelings with family, friends and co-workers. Encourage them to speak up for these defenseless creatures – animals whose illness or injuries are the result of callous treatment received even before they reached the slaughterhouse. Write letters to editors of newspapers and magazines expressing your feelings.
We ask an awful lot of the animals we raise and slaughter for food. The very least we owe them is a painless death.
Mark Hawthorne is the author of "Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism" (strikingattheroots.com).
Comment written by different author
How 2 shut down factory farms 4 good
Restore indigenous tule elk, pronghorn, etc..
Sunday Feb 3rd, 2008 7:05 PM
This lengthy response to above article is based on prior knowledge of factory farms and reflects how this latest evidence only adds to the countless other undocumented acts of cruelty taking place at factory farms throughout the U.S. and the world. This video will probably not show me anything that i don't already know, though it will certainly inspire me to acts of rage and vengence against those responsible. As i am already overburdened with rage, i will not partake in any new material to add to the fire. The torture of animals at factory farms is nothing new. The community of animal rights activists came about primarily because of these factory farms, and the related topic of animal research. We hear alot about the horrors of factory farms over the years and yet no other option given beside going vegan to end the cruelty of factory farms?
Another option not often heard in this factory farms debate is the restoration of range habitat for the original ungulates (hooved mammals) of the CA central valley ecosystem following the phase out of factory farms. Around the southern sections of the San Joaquin Valley, there are few tiny little reserves for the tule elk (none for the pronghorn), once the dominant hooved mammals of the entire CA central valley (Sacramento/San Joaquin) plains. Their habitat was only in a few decades replaced by industrial agribusiness and factory farms. Needless to say, domestic cattle are imported animals not adapted to this valley ecosystem and require additional inputs from agribusiness (includes fertilizer, pesticides, etc..) in the form of corn, wheat, etc..
Central Valley intro;
"No one knows exactly what the Great Valley looked like before European man came to stay. We do, however, have enough scientific information to develop a pretty clear picture. It was a vast, sprawling plain of a great variety of vegetation and animal life. It was a mosaic of grasslands, marshlands and woodlands, topographically altered by wild river, shallow lakes, and pools. It must have been an Eden for its fauna: everything from insects to mammals. It once supported large herds of deer, Pronghorn antelope and Tule elk. There was even enough space for Grizzly bears to roam (a California variety now extinct). The valley supported huge flocks of herons, egrets, and similar large birds. Bald and Golden Eagles, hawks, and falcons represented organisms high on the food chain. The California Condor must have made frequent visits into the valley in search of food.
We might wonder what crossed the minds of the first white explorers in the Great Valley. It must have been a sight to see. But how could man change in two hundred years what was sculptured by nature in more than ten thousand? How powerful was this man that he could alter the biological course of evolution beyond recognition? Before him, thousands of Miwok, Maidu, and Yokuts lived without significantly altering the landscape. What needs and wants of this man could threaten this one of a kind valley?"
article continues @;
How odd that the indigenous Native Americans pre-Columbus were able to live in harmony with the pronghorn, tule elk and not overhunt them, to gain nutrition and protein from them yet not subject these animals to the cruel conditions of modern factory farms and also be able to give thanks for their meat when hunted? Why is it that the Euro-american immigrants could not grasp this simple concept of "don't take more than you need" when applied to hunting pronghorn and tule elk? Why are we now in the predicament of factory farms being the sole source of meat while the original herd animals that indigenous peoples depended upon for food are practically non-existant? In addition, the domestic varities of cattle and pigs found in factory farms are unsuited for the ecosystem, while tule elk and pronghorns evolved to meet the climactic conditions of the CA central valley..
My take of all this factory farming mess is that ALL factory farms (pigs, cattle, chickens, etc..) should be permanantly and completely shut down and discontinued. People who choose to be vegan and/or vegetarian should be free and able to do so anywhere, having the complete nutritional option available, not limited to iceberg lettuce and other menu items lacking in nutritional protein content..
However, people who have the desire to eat meat from animals should also have this option without the involvement of factory farmed cruelty. In order to attain this goal of phasing out factory farms completely, other options for meat consumtion need to be reintroduced. The most effective model available is in restoring the conditions of the valley range habitat prior to the arrival of Columbus and Euro-american settlers, with full restoration for pronghorns and tule elk in the central valley ecosystem. This restoration of tule elk and pronghorns needs to be achieved by any means neccesary, come hell or high water (that's coming also!!) The risk of a massive human die-off is far more likely if we continue to depend on industrial agribusiness and factory farming for sources of food and protein. We cannot depend on agribusiness and factory farms in the future, so they are false security options, as are genetically modified (GMO/GE) food crops and agribusiness in general. Not to mention that the factory farming method is also deeply intertwined with agribusiness (corn, wheat, etc..) as most domestics (cattle, pigs, etc..) would not survive on the natural plant growth of the region without supplements from corporate agribusiness (Cargill, ADM, ConAgra, etc..). In order for people to have the option for meat, habitat for elk and pronghorn needs to be restored. Currently the factory farms and agribusiness monopolize the landscape with their monocultura, and there is not enough room for the tule elk and pronghorn herds to attain significant numbers to make hunting a viable option..
Animal rights activists promoting "veganism" would likely oppose any restoration of tule elk and pronghorn habitat if hunting were included in the process, though the current lack of habitat for indigenous ungulates with or without hunting is a form of cruelty in itself. We already have the cattle industry and the agribusiness corporations in opposition to any restoration of rangeland habitat for indigenous ungulates, so why would "vegans" give the corporations more support by being opposed to hunting? At least give the elk and pronghorn the chance to run about their range before imposing "animal rights" sanctions on them ever having their land back..
Another myth promoted by corporate media to encourage continued dependency on corporate factory farmed food products is that returning to the indigenous lifestyle pre-Columbus by phasing out agribusiness and factory farms would result in a massive human die-off from starvation. We would instead witness an increase in indigenous food sources, both plant and animal and with these indigenous food sources providing people with greater nutritional content than the current monocultura found with industrial agribusiness. As in indigenous tribal societies, those people disabled or elderly and not able to hunt for themselves were taken care of by the people who were able to hunt, as tribal society was communal (not communist, not capitalist). These myths that promote the indigenous pre-Columbus lifestyle as ineffective of feeding large groups of people are the capitalists and the communists, both "statists" to the core, ganging up on the freeminded indigenist and eco-anarchist ideologies. In addition, if we look at what some historians claim, there were many more indigenous peoples living in North America prior to the arrival of Columbus than previously believed. That means over the last few centuries of European occupation of North America, a genocide in far greater magnitude than Hitler and the trans-Atlantic African slave trade was waged against the indigenous populations of North America. What can be learned from this sad knowledge of genocide is that the landscape itself was capable of feeding larger human populations that previously believed if only allowed to remain in a semi-wilderness condition and the greed and consumption of humans were regulated by the indigenous people's motto of "don't take more than you need" and the Earth will continue to provide. Under industrial factory farming conditions, we have done the exact opposite of this cautionary motto, and will soon be reaping the consequences of our collective greed if we don't change our ways. These sorts of predictions are often ignored until after the writer or speaker is long dead, so be it..
Personally if i had enough dyn-o-mite skills (ya'll factory farm workers be thankful i don't) i alone would make my mission in life to destroy every single factory farm on the landscape, workers and pigs and cattle and all sent off into the next spirit realm in a great ball of fire. Though that may appear cruel and inhumane, i doubt the need for "jobs" really justifies factory farm workers poking cattle in the eyes, better they all die a swift death than endure years of torture in the current system of factory farming. If there needs to be torture, maybe capture the CEOs (better hire some good security guards!) of these factory farms and subject them to the same treatment as the cattle before sending them off to the next realm. As with other abuses, the hatred i feel for factory farms and all those involved in the process, from the CEOs to the workers to the consumers of meat products is a result of the decades of abuse unanswered. In addition, i also hate the fact that i've been so starved for protein in rural regions of the U.S. that i myself was forced into eating factory farmed meat products against my wishes. This may appear as weakness or hypocrisy to some, though in my reality it only adds my self-hatred as fuel to the fire of rage, as the monopoly of factory farms as a protein source is just another reason to destroy this system entirely. Factory farms and agribusiness as a system have turned me into a psychotic monster, and now blind rage is my sole method of action. In addition, i have studied the methods of suicide bombers in occupied Palestine and understand why this option becomes needed and is effective in times of crisis. May there be 1,000 more "9/11s" until the imperialist invaders are finally driven into the ground. We need to remind ourselves that for anyone of indigenous North American "Indian" lineage or anyone else (wherever they are "from") who seeks to follow in the lifestyles and cultures of indigenous North American tribal people prior to the arrival of the cursed conquistador Cristobal Columbus and the invading European hordes, we here in the U.S. are also living in occupied land..
We need some sort of an Al-Queda type group for the animal rights movement, beyond the semi-pacifist methods of ALF/ELF using harm-none sabotage. In my mind, it has come to this point. Workers and wage slaves of the factory farming system living in economic misery while torturing animals can find their freedom in death. That is far better fate than what awaits the CEOs of factory farms, as justice demands their lust for profit as justification of cruelty be met with equal treatment. Better to get a clean finish to all the domestication of factory farms and shitty jobs, raze the factory farm buildings with fires of purification and restore the valley ground with tule elk, pronghorn and other ungulates indigenous to the San Joaquin Valley ecosystem. Then all the people; indigenous and immigrants, all the former factory farm workers who needed "jobs" to feed their family can take up archery and at least give the tule elk and pronghorn a fighting chance before killing them for meat to feed their family. So consider your new job as a hunter of wild game animals, a modern day indigenous tribal member in post-industrial North America..
Feel free to discredit this author as an "agent provocatuer" for not being a good commie sympathizer and defending the plight of the worker wage slaves in factory farms, though in the past i did speak up in their defense. Nor am i trying to get indymedia websites in trouble with Dept of Homeland Security for making "terroristic" threats online. We (?still?) have the rights to freedom of speech and the words i use that show intent and desire though lacking ability to physically perform said intent should negate any potential of actual risks of "terrorist" activism. Anyway, just how many CEOS would i be able to detonate before i end up sharing a prison cell with Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski??
With regards to my hatred for the workers at factory farms, it just comes from a general disgust with humanity (myself included) and our willingless to enable the truly evil and destructive corporate elites to go about making profits from the misery of others unopposed. Maybe i expect more genuine compassion coming from the workers at factory farms as they themselves are an economically exploited group of mostly South/Central/Mexican-American immigrants and should "know better" than to maintain their family's health on the income derived from torturing animals. If immigrant workers are themselves so oppressed by the racist system of Anglo-americans, why then do they transfer this cruelty of oppression to the innocent animals? Or does the dominant Catholic theology of many immigrants promote that animals lack souls and are therefore incapable of suffering, thus enabling torture to continue? That doesn't sound like something the indigenous Zapotec people of Mexico would believe, maybe the immigrant workers are lost souls themselves and should return to Spain? For how long will the "liberals" of the U.S. use economic desperation of immigrant workers as an excuse for jobs that include torture of animals as part of their daily activity? While the U.S. foreign policy dictated by corporations in the form of free trade (NAFTA/WTO/etc..) is primarily responsible for the economic desperation of said immigrant workers, where is the compassion of the workers themselves for the animals they torture daily??
What i observe from immigrant wage slaves is their desire for money and "upkeep with the Joneses" in capitalist U.S. overrides their humanity by enabling them to rationalize working in these cruel jobs of factory farms. After only a few generations, many immigrant workers are assimilated into the materialist values of the U.S. capitalist system. What difference is it to the factory farm animal whether the worker torturing it is either an Anglo-american, African-american or Mexican-american? Makes no difference to me either. Same can be said about the Iraqi who had their house bombed by the U.S. military fighter jets, did they ever ask about the ethnicity of the person flying the plane that dropped the bomb? Would the knowledge of the pilot's race or ethnicity bring back their loved ones? Ever wonder why Al-Queda does not discriminate against U.S. military targets based on their ethnicity? Once a human being dons the uniform of an invading U.S. military, the race and ethnicity of the soldier becomes a secondary trait. When doing the bidding of the uniformed imperialist, consider yourself an enemy of those fighting imperialism. People would be advised to consider carefully what "jobs" they chose to feed their family..
When looking at the military "jobs" of bombing civilians in Iraq, or nuclear tech "jobs" exposing people to radioactive nuclear waste, or prison guard "jobs" depriving the economically disadvantaged of their freedom, factory farming "jobs" that torture animals or housing development construction "jobs" destroying our shared ecosystems to build private mansions for yuppies, it is clear that the rationalization of "jobs" cannot justify any action, and the workers themselves in addition to the CEOs need to be held accountable for their cruel treatment of animals, peoples and ecosystems..
That being said, the specific targeting of CEOs in a manner similar to Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski style should be looked upon with a fresh perspective, even if it is unpopular and the majority of the fools in the U.S. will actually feel sorry for the CEOs if the CEOs get themselves blown up or kidnapped for their cruelty to workers, animals and ecosystems. That is just the opinion of one person driven to these views by helplessness, as a cornered animal in a cage, we will come out with fangs and claws unseathed. Let's get ready for a civil class war right here in the good ol' U.S. of A waged against the executives of corporations and their minions from the top down. Maybe then we'll get the troops home from Iraq, they can then be hired on as security detail to defend the CEOs from people like myself..
and the thoughts of my role model Ted K;
Interview with Ted Kaczynski;
"The big problem is that people don't believe a revolution is possible, and it is not possible precisely because they do not believe it is possible. To a large extent I think the eco-anarchist movement is accomplishing a great deal, but I think they could do it better... The real revolutionaries should separate themselves from the reformers… And I think that it would be good if a conscious effort was being made to get as manv people as possible introduced to the wilderness. In a general way, I think what has to be done is not to try and convince or persuade the majority of people that we are right, as much as try to increase tensions in society to the point where things start to break down. To create a situation where people get uncomfortable enough that they’re going to rebel. So the question is how do you increase those tensions? I don't know."
Kaczynski wanted to talk about every aspect of the techno-industrial system in detail, and further, about why and how we should be working towards bringing about its demise. It was a subject we had both given a lot of thought to. We discussed direct action and the limits of political ideologies. But by far, the most interesting discussions revolved around our views about the superiority of wild life and wild nature. Towards the end of the interview, Kaczynski related a poignant story about the close relationship he had developed with snowshoe rabbit.
"This is kind of personal," he begins by saying, and I ask if he wants me to turn off the tape. He says "no, I can tell you about it. While I was living in the woods I sort of invented some gods for myself" and he laughs. "Not that I believed in these things intellectually, but they were ideas that sort of corresponded with some of the feelings I had. I think the first one I invented was Grandfather Rabbit. You know the snowshoe rabbits were my main source of meat during the winters. I had spent a lot of time learning what they do and following their tracks all around before I could get close enough to shoot them. Sometimes you would track a rabbit around and around and then the tracks disappear. You can't figure out where that rabbit went and lose the trail. I invented a myth for myself, that this was the Grandfather Rabbit, the grandfather who was responsible for the existence of all other rabbits. He was able to disappear, that is why you couldn't catch him and why you would never see him... Every time I shot a snowshoe rabbit, I would always say 'thank you Grandfather Rabbit.' After a while I acquired an urge to draw snowshoe rabbits. I sort of got involved with them to the extent that they would occupy a great deal of my thought. I actually did have a wooden object that, among other things, I carved a snowshoe rabbit in. I planned to do a better one, just for the snowshoe rabbits, but I never did get it done. There was another one that I sometimes called the Will ‘o the Wisp, or the wings of the morning. That's when you go out in to the hills in the morning and you just feel drawn to go on and on and on and on, then you are following the wisp. That was another god that I invented for myself."
So Ted Kaczynski, living out in the wilderness, like generations of prehistoric peoples before him, had innocently rediscovered the forest's gods. I wondered if he felt that those gods had forsaken him now as he sat facing life in prison with no more freedom, no more connection to the wild, nothing left of that life that was so important to him except for his sincere love of nature, his love of knowledge and his commitment to the revolutionary project of hastening the collapse of the techno-industrial system. I asked if he was afraid of losing his mind, if the circumstances he found himself in now would break his spirit? He answered, "No, what worries me is that I might in a sense adapt to this environment and come to be comfortable here and not resent it anymore. And I am afraid that as the years go by that I may forget, I may begin to lose my memories of the mountains and the woods and that's what really worries me, that I might lose those memories, and lose that sense of contact with wild nature in general. But I am not afraid they are going to break my spirit. "And he offered the following advice to green anarchists who share his critique of the technological system and want to hasten the collapse of, as Edward Abbey put it, "the Earth-destroying juggernaut of industrial civilization": "Never lose hope, be persistent and stubborn and never give up. There are many instances in history where apparent losers suddenly turn out to be winners unexpectedly, so you should never conclude all hope is lost. "
"Ted Kaczynski interview found @;
May we witness the speedy collapse of all forms of industrial farming, militarism and other destructive manifestations of imperialism..
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