6 Crimes Against Nature in Factory Farming Part I
If you are not aware of the horrors of factory farming, then you are not paying attention. Treating animals like heads of lettuce--"forget it's an animal" says one farmer magazine--has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward animals, workers and the environment at the same time it harms humans who eat the products. Factory farming even damages the economy thanks to meat-related obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer and greedy, short-sighted land-use policies. Eating has never been a more political act.
While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, some practices like breeding animals into mutant-like parodies of their original species and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.
Crime 1--Veal and Bob Veal Calves
Male calves are an unwanted byproduct of the dairy industry to keep cows pregnant and yielding milk. Calves to be sold for "bob veal" arrive at slaughterhouses weak and injured testified a federal meat inspector to Congress. After their truck journey, they are forced to endure "yet another 12-18 hours without food, when already they had been deprived of sustenance for perhaps days, since they were usually removed from their mothers immediately after birth," said veterinarian Dean Wyatt. "It always broke my heart that employees would carry the bodies of these dead baby calves out of the pen because they died of dehydration and starvation." Male calves not sent to slaughter at birth are grown for marketed veal products in crates in which they can't turn around or in outdoor sheds.
Of course such treatment is tolerated because the allegedly dumb animals don't know what's happening to them or suffer psychologically. But undercover videos clearly show mother cows rushing after their babies as they are taken away for veal. And the haunting bellows of mother cows deprived of their young are so loud, they regularly inspire people living near the farms to call the police. The newborn calves also know their loss. Calves being sold at Cambridge Valley Livestock Market for $40 a head, some with their umbilical cords still attached, swarmed a Rolling Stone reporter who entered their pen. "Since being ripped from their mothers, they've barely been fed and will nurse anything resembling a teat," he wrote. "They find one, of sorts, in my leather jacket. Its worn-in hide must taste like love."
Crime 2--Newborn Chicks