Monday, February 26, 2007

Gratuitous Violence

[but first, some gratuitous cuteness, lifted in part from wtf is it now?!?]

My parents tell me that I started asking for a pony when I was about 4. For as long as anyone in the family, including me, can remember, my answer to the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" was "a vet." And not just any vet, but veterinarian to the stars -- the Thoroughbreds of the Triple Crown [there's another industry you don't want to ask about]. Failing that, I'd settle for being the reincarnation of James Herriot, country vet extraordinaire.

Which is to say that I grew up finally [had a couple ponies along the way too] and went off to Ag School, where I lasted exactly one semester. The following link is a PETA video, so you already know it's going to be over the top, but I actually did see stuff like this, and learned -- in college -- how to do some of it. Got all As in it too. I was a vegetarian for years afterwards.

Anyways, this isn't the only reason I'm against factory farming, but it's one of them. You have been warned: turn down the sound on your speakers and don't click this link if there are kids in the room. Or squeamish adults.


dogscratcher said...

Simply unbelievable.

Not to be a stickler though, but apparently not all "laying" hens have their beaks seared off: after showing that in the video, the next chickens shown had normal beaks. Brutal nevertheless.

I couldn't watch the whole thing.

Keifus said...

You know, there's a continuum of meat-eating and outright cruelty, but yeah, like you said, PETA. I'll eat meat, but some of these things go out of their way to be evil. Certainly the lives of cows and pigs I knew were not like those of the factory farm (even at UConn which is still partly an ag school), but since my Mom was something of a farm groupie, I saw the odd castration or de-horning or birthing. And if you eat them you still have to kill them. We shouldn't forget that in any case.

(We stopped keeping chickens because my father wouldn't butcher them anymore. That was pretty brutal. I had to pluck and help dismember the things.)


sbiklw: sick below

hipparchia said...

heya, scratchy! sticklers are welcome here. feel free to keep my feet to the fire, or those of any commenters that drop by. keifus does. regularly. it's a good thing.

the thing about debeaking chickens is that if you don't, living the stressed and crowded live they do, they often peck each other to death.

PETA crammed a lot of nasty and disturbing images together into a short time frame, and at the same time, streetched that time out long enough to brutalize the viewer. still, the life of a modern food animal is not a pleasant one.

i couldn't watch that video all the way through either.

hipparchia said...

hey, k. yeah, i've killed, plucked, and cleaned chickens too. ugh. i don't blame your dad a bit. i am soooo glad i live in the city and have a good excuse to only get my meat at the store.

i don't eat a lot of meat, and i try to buy organic, free-range, pasture-fed, etc meat, milk, and eggs as much as possible, but mostly i'm relying on the labels and the fact that i buy from a natural foods co-op. it could still be just like the "farms" mentioned at the ethicurean, a labelling fantasy.

minor moral dilemma: eating a chicken or pig or cow raised under factory farm conditions seems almost a kindness, rescuing the poor doomed creature from a fate worse than death, where killing an animal that's living the good life, just to eat it, seems barbaric.

solution: eat wild. live in the redneck riviera, close enough to both the ocean and the woods, where manly men go fishn-n-huntn often enough that they share the bounty with squeamish city slickers like me.

mmmm. venison and wild duck and fresh-caught saltwater anything. best eating there is.

but yeah, killing them. i was never crazy about fishing, an activity that we all did as a family when i was growing up, but i had to quit it altogether once i took up scuba diving.

Brian said...
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