Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Awesome Website

While I was obsessively checking the Agent Provocateur website to find when my new half-price underwears would be "despatched", I came across HumaneMyth.Org . People who care and go to the trouble of searching out labels like "cage free" or "humane care certified" have the right to know whether or not those labels actually mean anything. Most people want to "do the right thing" and want to treat animals humanely -- this site provides ample material for people to figure out what it is to do so, including but not limited to moving accounts by people on how they were transformed by their experiences working with animals. Here's an excerpt from former goat farmer Cheri Ezell-Vandersluiss' story (she seems like such a great woman!):
But we later witnessed the deaths of some of our baby goats, and that finished the process of altering our life course. We watched in horror when a goat was roughly held in preparation for his throat to be cut. He cried out with such terror, and then the knife quickly crossed his neck. It was not an instant death. The struggle went on for twenty or thirty seconds, but it seemed like an eternity.

So yes, you can raise them and have them graze in green fields of grass and brush them every day, but when you ultimately put them in someone's truck or on a livestock trailer, and they go to be slaughtered, I don't care if you say a prayer before they're slaughtered or if you simply send them into the slaughterhouse. Their throats are still slit. They feel pain. They gasp for air. I can't imagine what goes through their minds. If you look into their eyes you can see the fear, and the abandonment. You've loved this animal, and then you've sent them off to this horrible death. So I can't imagine "humane" and farming going together for raising any sentient being. The words just don't go together for me.

Jim and I have since left the dairy industry and converted our farm into a sanctuary for farmed animals, wildlife, and companion animals. Now when I go to the grocery store, I have such a hard time going by the meat department. It sounds strange because I used to shop in the meat department like everyone else. And now I have a hard time even looking. I see people going over and selecting their cuts of meat, and I want to take them by the hand and explain to them that this came from a living being who had feelings just like all of us. That meat came from a cow who had babies, had a family--or tried to have a family. I want people to understand these are sentient beings who, if left to their own devices, have a real bond with their own kind, and with us humans too, if allowed to. And yet I see people picking up the slabs of meat, and they have no concept of where that meat came from or how that animal suffered when he or she was slaughtered. It's not their fault. It's just the way of life society teaches us, the way of life I was taught before my own experiences led me down another path.


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