Can you still enjoy a pork chop as you did before watching the video?
After learning how animals, the environment and our own bodies are harmed by the inhumane, disgusting and unsustainable conditions in a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) several years ago, I gave up eating beef. Though I knew that not only cows, but hogs, chickens and even fish were confined to similarly cruel, unhealthy and toxic food factories, I didn’t give up any other meat.
This is a long-delayed update to my Vegetarian diary, in which I describe some of the horrors of CAFOs. Let me say right off the bat that I love pork in almost all its forms, especially roast loin of pork, pork chops, bacon, Italian prosciutto and jamón serrano from Spain. Pork figures prominently in the food culture of all the tribes I belong to: Cubans, Spaniards and Italians. It’s difficult to imagine not eating it at all.
But I can no longer consciously keep my eyes closed.
If gestation crates, and cruel practices like removing piglets’ tails and genitals without anesthesia and smashing their heads on concrete floors were outlawed, and if factory farms were abolished so that much less pork were produced, then prices would surely rise and the demand for hog meat would shrink.
I could live with eating some meat once a week or less if I could eat it without feeling guilty. Guilty about the torture of sentient animals, guilty of the great harm to the environment (air, land and water pollution), guilty about supporting the profligate use of antibiotics:
For decades, livestock producers have used low doses of antibiotics to expedite animal growth. The practice, dubbed sub-therapeutic antibiotic therapy (STAT), lowers feed costs while increasing meat production, and nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the United States are for this purpose. Because STAT can encourage the growth of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” it’s banned in many countries, but remains common in the U.S.
The more people learn and think about how meat gets to the dinner plate, the sooner CAFOs will be regulated or banned and Americans won’t have to eat meat raised in concentration camps.