I'm not a vegan and probably never will be. I eat meat, dairy and eggs pretty regularly, though admittedly less than the average American. I should probably eat more eggs since we get so many, but I digress....
It's incredibly important that people know what they are eating. What goes into the food they eat and how it's produced. Most of you that follow this blog are more than aware of the atrocities committed against animals and humans alike in our industrialized food system. This post is for those that don't know, so I please ask you to share this with who you can because I believe everyone needs to see it regardless of how difficult it is. Change cannot come until people are angry enough to do something about it. And apparently there just aren't enough of us pissed off yet to see any big changes.
But we are getting heard. Iowa and Florida are both trying to silence us by passing legislation making it illegal to film or photograph animal abuse and health violations on farms. Hopefully these bills don't pass because they would take away a huge amount of leverage we have to correct the system.
An article came out today on Grist about treatment of animals on these factory farms and how that treatment poses major health risks to us. The article includes a very disturbing video that I've included. This is a farm that raises dairy cows - calves in particular. Not meat animals, but dairy animals. This isn't the only video I've seen involving cruelty on dairy farms, but it is one of the worst I've seen. One has to wonder what makes people so violent and uncaring. It shows that for factory farms, animals are simply objects that can be disposed of with any means.
But you have options to fight this. Michael Pollan touts voting with your fork. I highly recommend doing this. But what can you do? Well, going vegan is the obvious option, though it's not the only one. Knowing you're farmers is the best option if you decide to continue to eat animals products. Don't just rely on labels. "Organic" doesn't always equal "humane." There are organic dairies out there though that are humane. There are small producers and large producers that do care. Here in the SF Bay Area we have several, including Straus Creamery, Organic Pastures, and Clover Stornetta (I've actually toured one of their organic farms and they are the only dairy in the U.S. to be certified by the American Humane Association). Visit the Animal Welfare Approved site and locate local farms that are certified with them.
To ignore this and continue buying factory farmed animal products is to support these actions.