Everyday I pray for certain intentions as well you may. Among mine are the
hope that all the horrible CAFOs be disbanded. This is a biggie. The Reagon administration in the 80's allowed big corporations to "swallow up" little farms and ranches without so much as a blink. That was the beginning of the factory farm systems from "hell" for millions and millions of animals and which we the taxpayers probably subsidize.
I also recall a meeting in the 80's with Elspeth- a beautiful lady from the UK who was involved in animal concerns as I. She noted that my greatest concern seemed to be for the innocent animals who suffered in research labs. But then she surprised me by telling me that the farm animals would suffer a great deal more than even the the research animals who she agreed suffered greatly and often needlessly. Too much money is spent on cruel, repititious experimentation which could have been lessoned if a wise and compassionate Congress had enacted the Research Modernization Act in the 90's but didn't.
CAFOs (Confined Animal Farm Operations) were proliferating and she was aware of them, but I was not. How right she was. We began reading about all types of horrible living conditions for the animals, and probably the first which stunned us was the cruel fates of male calves whose only existence would be to provide veal for a populace hungering for their flesh. They would be wrenched from the warmth of their mother's bodies soon after birth and placed into crates so small they could not even turn around
in. Isn't this torture - plain and simple?
I wrote to one of the veal producers and the CEO had the audacity to imply that I should put my money where my mouth was. What money? What audacity? Both belonged to this cruel veal producer. I believe though that when this cruelty was exposed, that many people decided that they would no longer eat veal.
What about battery hens? I have received material from Mercy for Animals, Humane Farming and the HSUS re the suffering of these poor birds. Included in the HSUS envelope was a folded piece of typewriter paper. This they said -when opened up was the size of the space devoted to each bird. Too many of them are crammed together in a cage. They had to be debeaked because otherwise they would have pecked each other
to death from this stressful existence. From time to time they were "molted" - food was withheld to encourage the production of eggs. All this for our gastronomical delight and absolutely nothing for them but suffering to provide it.
Peta this past year visited a monastery of monks in the northeast who used battery cages. They thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with this cruel practice. My letter to Our Sunday Visitor re the cruelty involved went unpublished, but the editor's comments in defense of the monks with a liberal lambasting of Peta was. Responsible, objective journalism? I think not.
Mother pigs suffer too. They are incarcerated in small pens -19 inches wide. In this particular Nebraska Pig Factory, there were about 200 mother pigs in the gestation room. They had to stand when not lying down on concrete slated floors so their excrement would fall down to a waste pit. Pigs are clean animals and when given the choice and need of hydrating themselves, they chose a clean water wading pool to a muddy one
every time. How terrible too that they had to be exposed to the smell of their own excrement in this huge room. They need fresh air and sunlight like the rest of us. After 17 days. the newborn piglets were removed to another area and the poor mother then was soon impregnated again to go through the same wrenching process.
One sow in this factory would soon be released from this hell, but not before going through another one in how she was allowed to die. This was from a press release at the Humane Farming internet site:
"There was one downed sow that laid there for close to a month...The feed got thrown in there...Feed was piled up on top of her head about two inches thick.
The tears from her eye got covered up with feed. Her eyes was encrusted with feed...
When she died it was a pretty rotten mess."
"Some of them lay in those crates so long, their legs rot off...It's just a real atrocity how many sows that die in that place."
If you are not ashamed of the people who own these places I am. If you are not ashamed of the people who work there, I am-- unless they were forbidden to help the animals in any way. If you are not ashamed of the Christian Churches which never address cruelty to animals, I am.
However, if you are ashamed. If you are horrified by the cruelty that is often found in CAFOs such as this one, I hope you will sign HSUS' two California initiatives which would give 20 million animals in California a fighting chance to receive some compassion and care.
Here is the letter written by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the HSUS:
"Abuses of animals on factory farms are not only hidden, but they are needlessly harsh and inhumane. Confining animals in cages so small that they can barely move is standard at these industrial facilities.
The Humane Society of the United States has launched two major initiatives to help improve the lives of factory-farmed animals. With your help, these campaigns can take on factory farms, and free millions of animals from being confined in crates and cages so small that the animals can't even lie down or turn around. I invite you to get involved today by taking one (and perhaps two) very simple online actions: