Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Eat it and weep.....

This is the full-length version of the undercover Humane Society video, which shows the unspeakably cruel treatment of cows at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company. It's the long version of the video that's been making the news, and which prompted the recall of 143 million pounds of beef.

What the media doesn't say is that the downed cows in the video had already spent their entire lives in awful conditions - why do you think they can't stand up? - giving milk and producing calves that stayed with them a single day before being shipped off to live out their entire lives getting fattened up in a tiny box before they, too, were slaughtered.

In the video, one of the cows had massive streams of water sprayed up its nose, so she (all of these were females, by the way) would think she was drowning and muster all her remaining fight-or-flight energy and stand up.

Others of course were shocked with cattle prods (which really, really does hurt; these very same cattle prods were used on humans by both Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard and certain stepmothers** we know).

I grew up on a farm with cows - and never, ever heard them scream like they do in the video.

It's hard to believe that so little has changed since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906.

Even sadder is the fact that people are more upset about the prospect of children getting Mad Cow-burgers in their school lunch than the cruel treatment of their fellow creatures.

But at least they might think twice now about eating meat.

And maybe they'll finally realize where it comes from.

Kudos to the Humane Society.

You can make a donation to them by clicking here. There's more video here.

The Humane Society is also spearheading a campaign to stop the US Department of Agriculture from adopting a horrifyingly low standard for meat products that carry a "naturally raised" label. The standard appears to be a marketing gimmick that would not address housing, diet or physical alterations such as branding, dehorning, and tail docking. You can learn more, and fire off a letter (before Feb 27), by clicking here.


*In America, we think cows say "Moo!" In India (or at least Mysore) - where cows are treated with less cruelty - they think the cows say "Ambaa!"

**Ours was kept in the corner next to the china cabinet - within easy reach in case someone misbehaved.


  1. hope he the own goes bankrupt

  2. i hope the employees of this Westland/Hallmark lose their jobs for being so ignorant and inhumane to animals who were sick. I am praying they all get a dose of reality and the owner goes bankrupt

  3. Yes, the workers were behaving badly. But if you watch the video you will see this is clearly a companywide policy - to get as many animals to WALK to the slaughterhouse as possible. If they're downed, they can't be made into meat and money is lost. And don't think for a moment that this is the only slaughterhouse that has such a policy. It's an industry standard.

    Indicting only the workers would be the same as punishing the shitworker soldiers who carry out the torture at Alu Ghraib or Guantanomo, when the real culprits are the decisionmakers -- and the society that allows this sort of behavior to continue. At some point we're all good Germans.....

  4. I had a really hard time watching this (obviously). I guess I am a total idiot and can't imagine this kind of cruelty.
    Yes I am crying and yes I am posting a link on my blog to the Humane Society presiden'ts blog.
    No I am not eating.
    I decided to stop eating cow when I worked on a farm and developed a "friendship" with a cow named Augustine.
    Thanks for this post.

  5. CK - I am so horrified by this, by all of it, but more than about the cows, I a horrified that you endured cattle prodding by your stepmother. No child should ever ever ever have to endure any sort of physical punishment. Children are defenseless and innocent, no matter how naughty. I feel like crying now.

  6. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Torture is now part of the American culture, we torture people and animals. Thanks to Republicans, it’s OK to torture.

  7. Anonymous9:57 AM

    I agree, c.k. The president of this company has posted on his website that he is appalled and horrified and had NO IDEA this was going on in his facility blah blah blah. Give me a break. These workers are clearly carrying out a company policy. Hopefully it will all come out in their trial. In the meantime, hello tofu...

  8. I have to disagree. Torture in American pre-dates Republicans. The way the cows are treated is similar to the way in which slaves were treated in this country. I saw the slave narrative drama Harriet Jacobs at the Steppenwolf this past weekend, and the parallels were eerie.

    And let's not forget that the Republicans were the anti-slavery party - and that their candidate was none other than Abraham Lincoln. No, this is much deeper rooted than politics.

    When a creature - person, animal or insect - is considered to be subhuman (with no soul), people think they can do anything they want to it.

  9. the book *dominion* was writen
    by republican matthew scully.

    taken from peter singers book *in defence of animals: the second wave..
    "there is a broad concensus within both religious and secular ethics that an ethical life respects virtues like fairness, justice and benevolence. at the heart of these virtues lies a more basic principle: i cannot resonably claim that my interests matter more than yours simply because my interests are mine..."