Archive for Animal Living Conditions

“Opus One”

In this song and video by Madison Park, the deplorable conditions of factory farming are show.

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Biggest Beef Recall in US History

Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. recalled 143 million pounds of ground beef last Sunday. The recall was in response to an undercover video by the Humane Society of The United States showing “downer” cows being forced to walk with a forklift. Downer cows are those that are too sick to walk. Because they carry an increased risk of disease, including mad cow disease, downer cows are baned from the food supply by the federal government. Unfortunately, this ban is not always enforced, and some downer cows do make their way into the food supply. Ground beef from this particular slaughterhouse was used to supply shool lunches, including 37 million poinds of the recalled meat.

Sounce: The New York Times

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The Life of a Steer

In an article for The New York Times, Michael Pollan follows the life of  a steer born on a ranch in South Dakota. The ranch where this steer was born is a family owned operation that keeps about 850 cows. On a good year, almost every one of these cows gives birth to a calf that survives to the fall. For the first six months, these calves live a good life. They roam the pasture with their mothers, nursing and learning to eat grass. Not every calf is so lucky, those born to milk cows are separated from their mothers at birth and never see a pasture.

When the calves at our ranch are six months old, they are separated from their mothers. At this point, calves from most ranches are sent off to auction and then sent straight to a feeding lot. The calves from our ranch are given some time to transition to not having room to move around in and to eating a diet that is mostly grain instead of grass.

The calves are then shipped to a feed lot, where they are expected to gain several pounds a day in cramped, crowded conditions that breed illness and infection, eating food they were not designed to eat.

Once they have gained enough weight, the steers are shipped to a slaughter-house, where they finish their last moments of life and then are packaged to be sold as dinner.

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The Meatrix is a series of short videos that outline the basics of factory farming. The website also has more in-depth information about the problems of factory farming and what you can do about it.

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