Monday, December 24, 2012

Some things don't change

A while back I mentioned here that I was reading a book written in 1905 about the meat industry: "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair.  I thought everything that was going on back then was a thing of the past.
Boy, was I wrong.
I just finished "Slaughterhouse:  The shocking story of greed, neglect, and inhumane treatment inside the US meat industry", a book was written in 2006.
Few things have changed.  Meat packers insist on running the lines so fast that some cattle are still alive when they are being skinned.  Some hogs are still squealing when they get to the scalding tub.  Over thirty per cent of the workers in the meat industry are injured at some point, and that doesn't include the carpel tunnel problems and other conditions caused by repetitive motions.  Ask my husband about the arthritis in his shoulder and both thumbs.  
I can pretty much guarantee you that there is fecal matter (and worse) on any beef, pork, or poultry you buy at the store; the few government inspectors that are still around close their eyes to what's going on.  I've always been so proud of the delicious broth I make from those leg quarters I buy at the store, and now I realize I've been adding some unwanted surprise ingredients to my noodles.  Of course, if I bought the canned stuff in the store, it would likely be ten times worse, and not have half the flavor.
That's the most discouraging thing about this situation:  There's nothing to be done about it.  You can become a vegetarian, I suppose, but those workers and animals are still going to be suffering for the rest of the carnivores in the country.  I'm telling you, if you read this book you will be seriously thinking about giving up meat.  A couple of people have posed the question, "Why would you read something like that?"
Well, I can't see just sticking my head in the sand and pretending it doesn't happen.
I am now considering raising a few chickens for our own use, I'll tell you that much.  
I'm going to include a video that most of you probably won't want to watch.  I don't agree with all the complaints:  while the narrater is against the castration of pigs, in my opinion it's necessary.  They talk about pigs not being allowed to live out their natural life span, but I shudder to think what would happen if all pigs were allowed to breed and live out their natural life spans; good grief, there wouldn't be room on the planet for any humans!  I really wish these people would focus on what's important, but then this video was made with the intent of turning us all into vegetarians.  I'm not ready to make the switch.  



Rita Mosquita said...

My uncle's wife always washed her chickens and other poultry in soapy water before she cooked it. She was nuts about cleanliness in her kitchen (and other stuff), but I am now wondering if all of us (who still cook real food) should wash our poultry especially before we cook it. Maybe soapy water is over the top, but rinsing alone could make a difference.

Margaret said...

Doesn't everyone wash their poultry? I know my mom does. I can see why my daughters are vegetarians!

Penny said...

I couldn't watch all of it - just made me cry for the cruelty. I wish I could raise my own meat, but that's not gonna happen and I'm just not a vegetarian. I'll have that standing rib roast for Christmas dinner. Love and blessings, Penny

Julia Lester said...

It's amazing what people don't want to know. I am a vegetarian and have no issues with my meat eating brethren - but when I've had people put me on the spot about my husband's hunting and I ask if the anti-hunter knows how they slaughter cows - I've been told to shut up, that they don't want to know - I've even had a grown woman cover her ears! It's bizarre how people seem to feel it's fine as long as they don't get their hands dirty. But nothing will change unless the laws are enforced and people protest - not the farming of livestock, but the way they meet their end.