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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Saturday’s article “Tyson not buying additive-fed cattle” reminds me of my letter to the editor, “Ban antibiotics at ‘factory farms’,” (March 22).
Apparently, it is OK to buy cattle that’s fed antibiotics indiscriminately, available so readily at feed supply stores, and also apparently it is OK with the Food and Drug Administration to feed cattle Zilmax, a growth-inducing drug designed to bulk up the animals before slaughter. The article mentions that some animal health experts in this matter suggest that animal well-being is compromised, contributing to lameness in cattle, inability to walk or move. But, apparently the main thing is that this drug adds “roughly 25 more pounds of beef” to each animal.
Is there anyone out there, including officials at the FDA, who can truthfully state that none of these powerful additives to animal feed ever get into humans who consume the meat of these animals?
It is ironic that Tyson Foods Inc. would actually pretend to be concerned with the welfare of animals, stating: “This is not a food safety issue. It is about animal well-being and ensuring the proper treatment of livestock,” etc. Oh really? What about the horrible conditions chickens have to endure in their tiny battery cages, or pigs in gestation crates, banned in some states? Or even the way cattle are held in individual stalls in a large circle, without room to move?
Check out Animal Legal Defense Fund or simply Google “Tyson animal cruelty” and get the facts of gross cruelty against animals at Tyson farms.
Factory farming is simply an extremely inhumane way of treating animals, and I will never understand what kind of people would be so greedy as to totally ignore the fact that all animals are living beings feeling pain, fear, frustration, etc.
Another article in the Roanoke paper concerning extreme cruelty to animals appeared July 3, headlined “Dream dishes,” by Lindsey Nair. Among the special food “foie gras” is named, which is produced by forcing food down the throats of ducks and geese with a metal rod which, besides the pain, sickens them and makes their livers swell hugely. This diseased liver is considered by some to be a specialty. It has been taken off the menu by many well-known restaurants in the country. Anyone who has seen pictures of the suffering animals and the force-feeding should never want to support this industry.
The food business involving animals is filled with tremendous suffering, and what little we know about it is due to the research of courageous people who fight for humane treatment of farm animals. But this knowledge is limited and makes us wonder what else is kept hidden from outsiders.
One must hope that compassion and humanity will one day win over greed.
A quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi says it best: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday