Monday, September 05, 2005

Meat Is Not Murder

Today many of us will be observing Labor Day by drinking beer and firing up our grill one last time. Most likely a nice piece of thick meat will be cooking on that grill. With that in mind, initially I was going to write about cheesesteaks, but since a debate about meat being murder broke out after my last blog, I had to address this topic. The act of turning an animal into a vital nutritious product, also known as meat packing, is not murder; rather it is known as “humane slaughter.”

Animal activists have created a lot of trouble for the meat industry by spreading this false notion that meat is murder. The activists have used extreme actions in the past to try to illustrate their point. For example PETA has been known to throw red paint on meat company owners, and have told the Oscar Meyer Wiener Children’s Choir that hot dogs are made from puppies and kittens.

The truth of the matter is leaders of the meat industry are very much in favor of the ethical treatment of animals. That is why their trade associations in Washington, DC supported and help create the Humane Slaughtering Act of 1978. This law ensures that livestock and swine are unconscious or dazed so that they will feel no pain during the meat packing process.

The beef and pork industries have developed new technologies to provide a relaxing atmosphere for the animals before they become a product. Case in point, most beef packers use an enormous conveyer belt that allows the steers to lie down and let their legs hang. Likewise pork packers shower the pigs with warm water and all natural nutrients which basically intoxicate the animals. Some pork companies have even gone as far as playing soothing music for the pigs.

Surely factory owners who go to these measures to make the animals comfortable can not be labeled murders. In fact it is in the company’s best interests to take care of these animals. In order to make a good product the animal must be relaxed and calm before the meat packing process. Otherwise the packers are liable to end up with meat that is too tough to sell to processors.

The bottom line is, if you don’t want to eat meat because you are an animal activist that is your choice. As a meat eater I wouldn’t push my lifestyle on a vegetarian, but I expect the same in return. Meat is not murder, meat packers are not murderers, and unless you kill somebody, no one deserves that label.

Happy Labor Day and enjoy your BBQ.

--The PCSB


Blogger The Management said...

Ummmm.... Just ate a half pound of bacon wrapped around a pound of shrimp... Bacon good...


2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soothing music for animals? That is some funny shit.

Mr. Cow is laying on his side listening to elevator music and then.. "blam" "splat" Mmmmmm.

Beef, it's what's for dinner!!!

all though I am meat eater, the way that milk fed veal is obtained is just plain awful, I suggest you read up on that.

HE IS!!!

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Badger said...

If God didn't want us to eat milk fed veal, he wouldn't have made them so delicious.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Kid and Otter,

Haven't been over in a while. I'm going to briefly mention the carnivore vs. herbivore debate before I discuss New Orleans.

What strikes me as funny is the way that for this argument -- as with most arguments -- we select the extremes on either end as our foundations. "Meat is Murder" vs. "Animals are happy, relaxed, and listening to Mozart (or, God help them, Barry Manilow) as they travel down that comfy conveyor belt." Both are true, but neither is an honest representation of the overall situation. Yes, there are absolutely ghastly slaughterhouses, and yes, there are slaughterhouses that maintain extraordinarily humane conditions for their animals in life and death. But somewhere in between the paint-throwing PETA extremists and the bow-hunting Ted Nugent extremists lies the true conditions that most animals face.

Just for fun, pick a topic about which you have strong feelings. Now, pick the extreme opposite argument of your feelings, and go research it. I guarantee that you can find some sort of Person Of Authority who will give you lots of Facts that back up this point of view. But in the overall scheme of things, it's just extremist bullshit that has little to do with the true conditions facing the relevant parties.

Likewise, it's easy to look at a few fuck-ups in New Orleans and use them to paint a picture of how America is going to hell. But if you're going to make an honest argument based on that fact, you need to determine how many people actually did take responsibility for themselves and evacuated before the storm; then determine how many people did the best they could with the resources they had, and still civilly followed directions when the shit hit the fan; then determine how many people used the opportunity to loot, rape, and pillage. I'm completely making up numbers here, but I imagine that they'd look something like 300,000 to 100,000 to 2,000.

Can you really declare that America is going to hell because there are 2,000 (or however many) assholes amidst the 400,000 (or however many) people who took responsibility for themselves in the best way that they were able?

On my site, I often discuss that Baltimore is a Horrible Place because we have about 300 murders a year. But let's look at Baltimore: There are about 650,000 people living here. About 10% of that population is estimated to be involved in some sort of drug addiction. So that means 585,000 people are not drug addicts. 300 people get murdered, which means there are about 300 murderers, which means that about 649,700 people in Baltimore did not commit murder last year.

We can spin the facts any way we choose. But we have to remember to be careful as we spin them, for pretty soon they stop being spun and start being nothing more than lies.

11:04 PM  
Blogger The Management said...

Chuck... thanks for the comment... But I'm a little confused (not about the extreme point of view part... I whole heartily agree). I appreciate your blog because you don't look at the 649,700 people who didn't commit murder. Every murder is a tragedy. Just as people need to wake up and face the crap that’s going on in Baltimore, we need to face the facts that something is going wrong in our society that allows New Orleans to respond they way it is. A problem is a problem, and when even a few respond… poorly… it can affect everyone else… America as a whole isn’t going to shit, but we have processes in place which are helping it on its way.

IF you have the time, please read the Bill Whittle post above… He explains a lot of my thoughts better than I do.


9:42 AM  

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