Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bits and blurbs in the news about animals we call 'food'

Doug Moss had a short (but effective) opinion piece in a few days ago about how the majority of environmental leaders and advocates are still refusing to face (and address) the impact of the meat industry on the world around us. It reminded me of an opinion piece in the New York Times I'd read last summer that raised similar points.

Less than a year after a HSUS' investigation into downer cow abuse at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. slaughterhouse and meat packing plant in Chino, CA led to the biggest voluntary meat recall in US history, another investigation has revealed that the goings on there seem to have been the industry norm, rather than the exception. Ironically, a bill was defeated last Wednesday that would have required video surveillance in California slaughterhouses to prevent similar acts of cruelty in the future; slaughterhouse owners and meat industry lobbyists are no doubt relieved.


J said...

This is too funny, I was thinking about writing about this same article myself. I have a subscription to E Magazine (a co-workers kid was selling magazines so I got a subscription since I feel bad that kids have to pander products to have decent schools), and got that in the mail yesterday, of course the cover immediately caught my eye.

Again, this is so fascinating to me, it seems that this is a completely psychological issue. So many people claim to be environmentalists, but when you point to their diet, they get very defensive about how eating meat is 'natural' and that it's 'too hard' to be a vegetarian or vegan. I understand that eating habits are truly personal, but if one is wanting to make lifestyle changes for the benefit of the environment, then changing your diet is THE MOST important thing you can do, livestock cause more green house gas emissions than transportation, and of course this says nothing of animal welfare.

I was very happy to see some press on the issue.

M said...

Grist had an opinion piece on the topic ("can meat-eaters be environmentalists?") at around the time PETA had launched a campaign concerning it. I think it was just after the UN report linking meat-eating to global warming. The Grist piece seemed to indicate that PETA had gone to far (I'll forego making a bad joke about sacred cows). I should look up the Grist piece again, although I'm sure a Google search would bring it up. It was a kneejerk reaction in keeping with this whole defensiveness a lot of environmental groups or advocates seem to have when it comes down to putting their money where their mouths are.