Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
General News    H4'ed 11/27/16

Pay No Attention to those Videos, Say Factory Farmers

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   14 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 1353
Message Martha Rosenberg
Become a Fan
  (85 fans)

Many factory farmers and ag professionals are miffed that the days of "it's-none- of-your-business" farming are over. Once upon a time, consumers cared only about the price and wholesomeness of food and didn't worry about--or investigate--its origins and "disassembly." Now consumers increasingly want to know how an animal lived, died, and even what it ate in between--and they think it is their business. Some of the newly engaged consumers are motivated by health, wanting to avoid hormones in milk, antibiotics in beef, arsenic in chicken, and who knows what in seafood. But most are motivated by what Big Food calls sentimentalizing animals--not wanting them to suffer and die.

Before hidden cameras, undercover employees and Internet exposes, Big Food was not told how to "farm" as long as basic product safety was observed and food consumers were not made sick. Animal welfare laws were not applied to livestock and to this day it is hard to get cruelty convictions for "mere" farm animals. Big Food is known to actually mock humane issues--should animals have "private rooms and daily rubdowns" asked the Center for Consumer Freedom's David Martosko--and to claim that better animal treatment would cost consumers more. (What do you want, good prices or animal welfare?)

After grisly exposes, Big Food players usually circle the wagons and fight a "slippery slope." In 2005, a delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Walter K. McCarthy, said that he was afraid foie gras bans, which exist in many countries, would lead to resolutions against veal calves and other "production agriculture." Foie gras production requires geese and ducks to be force-fed to bloat their livers, often until they can barely walk and their throats are bloody or punctured. (The videos are available on line.) "We cannot condemn an accepted agricultural practice on . . . emotion," said McCarthy, a veterinarian who presumably took the oath "I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for...the prevention and relief of animal suffering."

They are doing WHAT to birds?
They are doing WHAT to birds?
(Image by Martha Rosenberg)
  Details   DMCA

Chefs have also used the "slippery slope" arguments to defend foie gras. When the late celebrity Chicago chef Charlie Trotter renounced foie gras on his menu a decade ago, rival chef Rick Tramonto of Tru restaurant regaled him for alleged hypocrisy. "Look how much veal this country goes through with all the Italian restaurants and the scallopinis [sic]," he said. "It's killing those babies, right?"

Paul Kahan, chef at Chicago's Blackbird restaurant, joined in the fray. "There are so many things people eat every day that are raised in an inhumane way," he said. "The way chickens are raised, if people saw it . . . commodity pork, I could just go on." What about rabbit and squab? added celebrity chef Grant Achatz.

The chefs also brought up "freedom of choice" arguments which have been used to defend everything from slavery to child labor to trophy hunting. "Why should someone tell us what we can or can't serve, buy or produce that the FDA puts its stamp on daily?" asked chef Michael Tsonton of Copperblue restaurant .

Chefs also tried the "let the market decide" argument. "We live in a free-market society and if people are truly offended they won't buy it," agreed David Richards, owner of Sweets & Savories. (Hey Richards: if the purse power of the "offended" worked why did we need the Civil Rights Act of 1964?)

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Must Read 3   Well Said 2   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Martha Rosenberg Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: