Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 13: Intro to the Meat Industry and Issues Today

One of the many ways the world has changed since the early 1920s to today is how we as people view animals, food, and survival.  I am sometimes attacked as a supporter of animal production.  Why should they look at me strange?  They have spent their entire life eating meat and animal products.  It baffles me.  In the early 1900s, we were in a more agricultural nation.  Most people more than likely had a close relative that was a farmer, and they probably even bought meat or eggs from them.  What happened?  Technology advanced, cities boomed, and many Americans left the farm to go to the cities.

Here we sit in 2013, and what has happened?  We live in a world that is becoming nearly a battle of radicals, carried by much money and advertising, against the people producing, processing, and packaging the food that they all eat.  The average person in America is 5-6 generations removed from the farm.  I am seeing these issues more and more every day.  At one of the United States top agriculture colleges, (I believe we are #6 nationally, and 14 in the world) I have gotten to first hand have a couple conversations with radical groups that show up on campus.  The first account was the most interesting to me.  I wish I had kept his pamphlet.  "Sign our petition and end the violence!!" the man yelled.  He followed by shoving a pamphlet into my hand about whatever his anti-animal agriculture company was.  I opened the first page and all I saw was a collection of misleading, false facts, and pictures of animals in indoor housing.  I found his approaching me as unique, considering I was wearing a Case IH hat, and an FFA t-shirt.  Instead of attacking this man on his beliefs, I kindly handed him back the pamphlet, said, "I'm sorry you see it that way, but if you want to know about real animal production, give me a call."  I struggle with people that have no interest in learning the truth about production and processing.  With the world of "undercover video evidence" today, it is hard to know what is truth, and what is staged by someone paid by PETA, HSUS, or another organization that wishes to end animal agriculture. 

I am making it very clear that I am fully aware that all producers aren't perfect.  No animal is perfect.  But.  Just because you have a couple bad people, this does not mean that we are all bad people.  I read a dispute on Facebook the other day about animal production and what is/isn't right.  I liked one comment.  The lady said, "I realize that not all farmers are good, and I have seen this, but you can't group us all together like that and say we aren't compassionate, just like I can't say that all atheists are heartless people."  The atheism comment is just supposed to be an example of how sometimes people of certain convictions tend to be extreme, and thus it is assumed that others with one similar conviction must be the same.  This is false in many cases.  Many times in life we get into what is called "Slippery Slope Reasoning."  This is the idea that if one thing happens, there is an assumption of what happens next, and this continues with a set of assumptions where each is more false than the one before.  Using slippery slope reasoning is very dangerous, and thanks to many anti-animal agriculture groups and people in this nation, these are the theories that the public is getting to hear.  Make sure that before you assume something, you have a varied set of sources, and have even checked out a situation in real life before you draw a conclusion. 

Attached to this webpage are a few links.  This last weekend I got to sit a table away from, and listen to Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the nation's leading animal pathologists.  Dr. Grandin almost singlehandedly analyzed and revamped the entire animal packing and processing industry to where animals can go in with the least stress and fear possible, and not have to suffer.  She put together, in cooperation with a few other organizations, produced a series of videos about different animal processing plants and the industry in general.  Please take some time to watch the videos on these links.  NOTE:  If you have a weak stomach, watch with caution.

Link 1 is a Turkey Farm and Processing Plant Tour:

Link 2 is a video of a Pork Processing Plant Tour:

Link 3 is a video of a Beef Cattle Processing Plant:

No this isn't all pretty, but the reality is, especially if any of you have ever read, "The Jungle," we are now dealing with a food supply that is handled, raised, and processed in a far more humane sense, with more regard to not only our health, but the condition of the animal and its state of being through the whole process. 

Please take some time to watch these videos and enjoy a little bit of free education.  I'm really happy to see how many of you are still reading!  I hope you enjoy!

Linking up with Holly's 30 Day Challenge here.

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