Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What If a Cow Was a Dog?

As I watched ABC World News Tonight air the footage of the torture and abuse of sick cows by Westland-Hallmark Slaughterhouse, I wondered, what if this was footage of dogs being abused. Would the coverage be different? Would the outcry be louder? Would more people care? Sadly, I think the outrage would be off the charts if the victims were dogs. The outrage should be off the chart, even though the victim is a lowly cow.

This is where western cultures use some ridiculous rationalizations in order to continue their behaviors. We decry the hunting of whales, yet participate in the slaughter of blue fin tuna. We tell the Chinese that it's disgusting to ship us goods trimmed in dog fur, yet we pay thousands to wear mink or sable. We secretly laugh at the Hindus for allowing cows to roam, while spending $30 for a new coat for our dog. Shouldn't we at least try for consistency?

The USDA and the Cattleman's Association tell us that the Westland abuse is isolated, it's not endemic. They are most likely misleading the public, giving the public what it wants, to be told they don't have to change their ways. Keep doing the easy thing, drive through that McDonalds and eat another Big Mac, it is ok. Well, sorry to burst your bubble but it is not ok and it never has been.

There is little to no oversight of farms or slaughterhouses. In Michigan, there are few protections for farm animals from animal cruelty. Pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys and even little lambs face horrendous lives if they happen to be destined for the table. Do you really want to be a participant in the torture of animals? Do you believe that dogs somehow are more deserving of decent treatment than lambs or pigs? If the answer to those questions is no, then please do the compassionate thing, adopt a vegan lifestyle. It's better for the environment, it's better for animals and it's even much healthier and better for you. Take the first step, stop eating animal products. No matter how we try to rationalize, a cow isn't different from a dog.

More Information on Westland Meat Cruelty

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