We Are What We Eat: Animal Abuse at Meat Factories

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • [Warning: This post includes video that contains violent and disturbing images]

    In a prior article, the Great Weight Gain Addiction Game, pt. 7, I wrote about some of the things that food companies would prefer we not know. Among those things was how those animals raised for slaughter and consumption are treated. I cited the word "inhumane" and let it go at that for the time being. 


    Having recently viewed a video that aired on NBC that shows how employees at an Oklahoma farm contracted with Tyson Foods treated the livestock, I am going to revisit the subject of poor treatment of those animals that wind up on our plates.

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    The series the Great Weight Gain Addiction Game was meant to shine some light on the practices of big food companies. The amount of concern for public welfare by some of these companies is minimal. Much of their practice is about profit and manipulation. Sometimes it is about cruelty though. The point of it all is that it is questionable as to whether not anyone in big food cares about any of it. I like to think that some do.

    The word I first selected to describe the treatment of animals raised for consumption was inhumane. I would like to add reprehensible, criminal, repulsive, disgusting, sick, heartless, and sociopathic. Here’s why.

    The Depraved Indifference of Employees at West Coast Farms

    An activist from the animal rights group Mercy for Animals filmed a video during the months of September and October of gross and blatant abuses of livestock while working undercover as a farmhand at West Coast Farms in Oklahoma. The farm provided services to Tyson Foods, who have since terminated their contract with the pig farm.

    The undercover employee signed papers issued from Tyson Foods stating he would not abuse the animals although farm owner Lonnie Herring indicated he did not follow Tyson guidelines.

    The video that was filmed showed horrific abuse of the farm pigs by employees who kicked, hit, and threw the animals. More heinous abuses were gouging of the eyes, striking the pigs with wooden boards, and hurling piglets to the ground with great force. This slamming into the ground of infant animals is the form of euthanasia referred to as blunt force trauma.

    Blunt force trauma is an accepted method to euthanize because it will cause immediate unconsciousness and a quick death if performed properly. The animals in the video of West Coast Farms shows animals clearly suffering, and the undercover film maker maintains that such suffering could continue for as long as 30 minutes.

    The undercover employee maintains he told the owner about the abuses he witnessed on three separate occasions. No action was taken and the abuse continued. Farm owner Herring denies ever have been approached and has terminated all employees identified in the video.

    Still I wonder. Perhaps the old adage of us being what we eat is precise. Perhaps we are little more than animals who are seen as a profit source by companies who do not care nearly as much as they should.       


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Published On: December 10, 2013