Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's been festering

So I haven't commented on the Oprah Puppy Mills show because I just don't know what to say. I know this sounds terrible and horrible and horrific, but I actually expected the conditions to be worse. I am in no way, shape or form in support of this practice. I am against the abuse or neglect of any animal- big or small. But in comparison to some of the conditions chickens, pigs and cow live in- the puppy mills weren't too bad.

Hens often can't even move their wings in their cages and their feet grow into the cage bars. The ammonia from urine gets so strong it burns their lungs and skin. Cows live in cramped fenced in quarters where they stand in their own waste. Baby male calves are sold from dairy farms to the veal industry. They are kept in crates so tiny they can barely turn around. There is currently legislation to change this in a few states. Pigs live in very similar conditions.

Now I know that these animals are considered agriculture in this country. Then again the Amish consider puppies to be agriculture. They won't let dogs in their houses just like many people would not let chickens or pigs in their houses. What makes them wrong and us right? All of these animals are being abused. I understand that the chickens, cows and pigs will most likely end up on a dinner plate. I am not saying you should stop eating meat. But why do they have to live their short lives in such horrific conditions?

I am sure many of you are thinking, "Well I buy Free Range Chickens?" Please don't be fooled by these labels in grocery stores. Free Range only covers their like of the farm and it isn't like these animals are grazing in the pasture.

I never try to push being vegetarian on anyone because I feel it is a difficult personal choice. Okay- so maybe I push my husband a little. Sorry Pete. I just want people to be informed about the practices in this industry. Just because we don't know it happens, or ignore the fact that it happens, does not mean it doesn't happen. It is only the consumers who have the power to change this industry.

So my answer is yes I am shocked at the horrible conditions of puppy mills. But I am equally shocked about the conditions that these other animals live in as well. and I doubt Oprah will be doing a special on them.


Leslie said...

Amen, to the post!! I'm with you 100%! Have you ever read the book The Food Revolution- How Your Diet Can Help SAVE Your Life and The WORLD, by John Robbins??!! It's a must,especially for anyone thinking about going veggie...this book inspired me in a number of ways!! It's very detailed and engaging...on agriculture waste, inhumane pratices...etc.

Dana said...

I hate any cruelty to animals!!!

I would never buy from a pet store and support the puppy mills..

And Dan- the chicken video bothered me the 1st time you sent it to me.. Grrr

Mommy Mechanics said...

Oh my gosh that video made me want to cry. I'll pass it on. Great post!

Sheri said...

I wanted to pop in and say hi. Last year I watched a video called meet you meat. I haven't touched meat since. I am not sure how anyone could after they saw that video. I cried for weeks.
Hope Eliza is feeling better these days.

Marcy said...

I came very close to giving up meat after reading Fast Food Nation. Not only are those animals treated horrendously, but also the people working in the slaughterhouses, their work conditions are barbaric (think The Jungle). I don't actively avoid meat, and I did sometimes seek red meat while pregnant b/c I needed the iron, but I also don't really eat meat very often (maybe a couple times a week) and maybe one day I'll be more conscientious about avoiding it (and finding other foods to substitute the nutrients found in it that I need).