the 70's I thought that once people would learn about farm-animal cruelty, big humane changes would be imminent. Of course, I would soon become
disillusioned about my naivete. I now realize that knowledge alone about animal cruelty and
suffering will not change the world's concern in this matter. I now believe that the
all-important missing ingredient is COMPASSION, and I am sorry to say but I feel that not
people have it in regards to animal suffering.
In 2003 when I wrote some 350 Catholic bishops about my concern in this regard
and the church's lack of concern for animal suffering, I had hoped for some
positive feedback and/or at least some acknowledgement of my letter. Was I ever in for a
shock. I believe I received 16 compassionate responses. Clearly, I was not impressed by
this seeming lack of compassion then and even today as well as the lack of acknowledgement of my letter.
Would I still have taken the time and expense to xerox a 3-page letter to
the leaders of the Catholic Church? In a heart beat. I knew that if I truly cared
about animal suffering, than I should always do all I can to alleviate it.
church was not then or even today receptive to consider the need for compassion to
animals. It seems they have forgotten that God also created the animals and expects us to
treat them compassionately. Sadly, ditto, and also lack of response from the 80
Cleveland Catholic clergy and the 5 theologians I also wrote to in this regard.
Undercover videos revealing animal cruelty is not new, but recently in an
effort to galvanize support for a referendum mandating cage-free eggs in
Massachusetts, a video depicting chickens packed in tight cages was released. Particularly
disheartening was the picture of chickens trampling on the carcasses of dead hens.
The Humane Society of the United States said the clip was filmed at a large
Maine egg farm that supplies Massachusetts stores. The practices seen on the video
were not only detrimental to hen welfare but to public health as well.
Revealed at a Boston news conference, the video underscored the battle over
the ballot question that requires changes. Starting in 2022, farms and business
would produce and sell eggs from cage-free hens; pork from pigs not raised in or born of a
sow raised in a confining gestation crate, and veal from calves not raised in confining
crates. I can't believe that poor calves are still being placed in crates -- cruel and unusual
punishment for a baby
cow whose only crime is that his flesh is prized by meat eaters.
Paul Shapiro of the HSUS said the video exposed the facility managed by
Hillandale Farms, a major national egg producer, as a facility with rampant problems. They
found birds in cages dead and decomposing for weeks.
This farm was also the subject of a 2015 ABC News investigation. I am
always happy when something like this makes it on the world news. Thank you, ABC News.
On the other side of the coin, Chad Gregory, president and chief executive
of United Egg Producers, decried the press in this regard as a ridiculous stunt. He said
the farm in Turner, Maine, had passed an independent United Egg Producers Certified audit last
Well, I don't know about you -- but I believe videos don't lie. I also
believe that the HSUS doesn't lie either. I am also glad that as a vegan, I do not eat the eggs
of these tortured hens. And I truly hope and pray that, for the chickens' sake, the
referendum mandating cage-free eggs will pass in Massachusetts. These battery cages have been in
existence for far
too long. When will we get rid of them once and for all?