Alec Baldwin summed it up beautifully. If you have only limited time, read his post and skip mine.
How to compare the abuses of animals at the hands of dog fighters or disgusting dog breeders versus those at the hands of our food suppliers is a delicate issue, I’ll grant you. But I guess I just don’t get the willful blindness that is incumbent upon an animal lover that he or she can vilify the one and justify the other.
We each make our own choices, and I’ve decided not to eat animals. I understand that that choice isn’t doable for everyone. But it doesn’t seem much of a stretch for anyone to be able to acknowledge that factory farming contains a multitude of examples of mistreatment of animals. No. Not good enough. Factory farming institutionalizes animal abuse. But because our food animals are lower on the totem pole than our companion animals . . . I don’t even know where to go with the rest of that sentence, because I’m not buying that one.
I’m not advocating bringing your chicken to bed (although I understand that some do). But I am suggesting that puppy mills being somehow worse than factory farms requires a devaluing of the life of the food animal. And I’m just not sure how one does that, without some basic assumption that is not founded in logic.
Take a look at some of the videos that show the abuses of animals on factory farms and at slaughterhouses, and tell me that dog fighting or puppy mills are worse than that.
What can you do?
- Go veg. A vegetarian saves 100 animals each year.
- Eat only free range meat, dairy, poultry and eggs.
- Buy meat, poultry and dairy locally where you can personally verify the living conditions. I buy eggs from a friend who raises chickens, when family comes to town.
- Write your State and U.S. representation and insist on stronger animal protection laws and – oh, horrors – effective regulation of the animal as food industry.
- Go animal-as-food-less one day per week.
- Choose a restaurant that uses only non-factory farm food animals and does not serve foie gras and let them know that’s why you’re there.
- Learn more. Farm Sanctuary and GoVeg.com are good places to start.