Last week a video surfaced from a dairy farm in Chilliwack showing beautiful black and white cows with gorgeous, soulful brown eyes being punched, hit with a stick, kicked and strung up by a chain around their neck (still alive). When the video showed the terrified cow being strung up, it’s legs desperately kicking the air, a voice in the background shouted “leave her hanging!” Undeniably heartbreaking and horrific and, on some level, we all know that this has become the norm for animals used for food production. The abuse of the animals in this video isn’t an anomaly, actually getting it on video is the anomaly. Factory farms are infamous for keeping their doors locked to the public. If you want an idea of what the horror behind the locked doors looks like, google “factory farms” and press images. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I posted the link to the Chilliwack farm video on Facebook to spread the word that our cheap meat from Costco and the supermarket chain comes with a nightmarish existence for the animals, but it doesn’t seem like enough. Not nearly enough.
I know humans have a huge capacity for denial. I only have to look at myself to know that but, at some point, we have to lift the curtain and actually see what our society is doing. And, after taking a good, long look, if we find that we’ve become monsters, we then need to instigate change.
What is the one benefit of factory farming? Cheap meat prices. McDonald’s has been caught using factory farms with horrifically abusive practices, over and over again, as I’m sure all other fast food shops with $2.00 burgers do as well. I actually have a big question about this. As North Americans become more and more overweight and obese with every passing year, and since over-consumption of animal products has been proven to come with a host of health problems, is cheaper and cheaper meat (with animals pumped full of steroids, fed unnatural diets to gain weight quickly and sometimes even fed the carcasses of other animals) something that our society needs? Isn’t it the opposite path to the one we should be heading down right now?
This dairy farm video pushed me over the edge. As my friend Sam says, there is too much of a disconnect between us, the consumer, and what the animals went through to become the shiny, wrapped in plastic, beef tenderloin in the butcher case of our supermarket. Way too much. Since the images from the video are seared into my brain, I’m giving up animal products for awhile, just to see how it feels and how long I can do it. If and when I feel I absolutely have to have a steak (and I hope I don’t), I’m buying from Pemberton Farms, the local Farmer’s Market or the cruelty rated meats from Whole Foods.
And as for dairy products, there are still amazing local farms like Avalon in the Lower Mainland and Moonstruck Organic Cheese on Salt Spring Island. The owners of Moonstruck name all of their cows, the cows have ample room to run and play outside and are basically treated like pets. The way it should be. Oh, and btw, their cheese is sublime, fresh and full of melt in your mouth flavour. The kind of flavour that can only be found on a real, old-school farm.
So, knowledge is power, and there is no way I’m giving my dollars and support to this horror for animals called factory farming and I urge you to do the same.
If we all stop buying the cheapest cuts of meat from God knows where, eat less meat and dairy and support local, family farms, then the hellish factory farms will be forced to shut down due to lack of business. It’s that simple.
Think about it. And please sign the Dairyland/Saputo Petition Here
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Ghandi
My friend, Simone, hanging out with happy German cows