I was reading a little bit about factory farms today and feeling the usual pangs of guilt. Then this afternoon, a story hit the headlines in Australia where a piggery operator who supplies one of Australia’s largest supermarkets with pork has been charged with cruelty offences after animals were found in squalid conditions.
According to the report, one poor sow had a wound infested with maggots. There were also emaciated sows in stalls that couldn’t move and wounded animals with abscesses that had swollen their legs horrendously.
The report states the supermarket chain says it has given the operator a list of improvements it must make. While Woolworths aren’t to blame for the cruelty, that’s just not good enough a respsonse for such a terrible incident in my opinion; I would expect them to terminate their association with the piggery.. immediately.
I’ve written to Woolworths indicating that I will not buy pork products in any form from their stores in future while this operator continues to supply the company. I’ve told them a zero tolerance approach to these sorts of infringements would send a strong signal to all their meat suppliers that animals cannot be kept in such conditions; ever.
I really cringe when I read this kind of thing as I like to eat meat. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d turn my back on pork chops, a juicy burger, a thick steak or a spicy chicken wing, but since starting this site and learning about the meat industry, its effect on the environment and the treatment of livestock, that day is probably coming.
I’m still in the slow process of reducing meat consumption – I’ve found it rather difficult, but it’s stories like this that make it a more pressing issue. I’ve been finding a few more decent mock meat products around which is a big help.
It just sickens me the way we treat meat animals and I think every meat eater should know what can go on behind the scenes. We gasp in shock and horror when a cute baby seal is clubbed to death; but the plight of livestock goes relatively ignored.
Meat eaters – do you dare to meet your meat? Watch the video below.
Or for something a little less in-your-face; this photo gallery will still give you an indication of the conditions many meat animals endure in factory farms.
By the way, the term “free range” can also be a little misleading. Short of knowing the farmer who raises the livestock and the slaughter person; it’s really hard to be sure that what’s on your plate hasn’t led a pitiful existence followed by an excruciating death.
It issues such as these that really makes me question the concept of “civilization” and how badly disconnected we are from our food. Soylent green anyone?