By now, you've probably read or seen one of the over 2,000 media accounts involving the cruel treatment of cows sent to slaughter and the subsequent recall of 143-million pounds of beef. Cruelty charges are being laid, schools are making sure their beef isn't from the Chino, CA slaughterhouse and legislation is being proposed to close a loophole that permits downed animals from entering the human food chain.
We are duly impressed with the coverage this industry-standard cruelty is receiving. It's about time. We don't want it to overshadow the fact that this slaughterhouse is not unique, and the treatment of these animals not aberrant within animal agribusiness.
A big thank-you to the Humane Society of the United States and their dedicated undercover investigator for exposing this cruelty.
Times are changing, and we believe it will be for the better.
How You Can Help:
1) Press Pause: That's right, pause and consider your dietary choices.
If the time isn't right for a vegan diet, reduce your consumption and nominate a day of the week as your Meat-Out day.
If the time is right (and we hope it is!), go vegan!
There are a plethora of mouth-watering and tasty-recipes available on the internet and at your local bookstore!
Try Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Planet, How it all Vegan, and the very important Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Becoming vegan is a fun experience - it is a kindness we extend to the animals, our bodies and the planet. A win-win situation for all, really.
2) Contact the USDA: Contact USDA secretary of agriculture, Edward Schafer.
Ask him to:
- close the loophole permitting such blatant cruelty to animals.
- stop allowing downed animals to enter the food chain.
- require USDA inspectors spend more time present at federally-inspected slaughterhouses.
3) Change the Menu: Here's a truth animal agribusiness doesn't like to share: the beef that ends up in government-funded school programs come from sick, diseased, overworked dairy cows.
Why? It's cheap.
And the solution shouldn't be to just buy meat from other slaughterhouses. It should include a serious reflection on what we do and do not want to teach our children. If we want to imbue a sense of compassion, of what is right and what is wrong, then perhaps we should encourage a trend of vegan menu options, instead of replacing one cruel product with another. After all, there is no escaping this fact: in order to produce cheap meat at a fast pace, animals must be mistreated from birth to death.
What you can do: Visit CHOICE, a website that will assist you in getting vegetarian menu options available in your child's school. If you're a teenager, advocate on behalf of the animals and encourage menu changes at your school.