“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
Love, love, love that quote, especially the last part: ” ..because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Call me crazy. I don’t mind.
I am becoming more and more aware, and consequently, concerned, with the treatment of factory farm animals.
Companies have learned ways to maximize production and minimize cost with zero to little regards to the treatment of the animals.
When I learn of these things, I want to fix them. Now.
If I can’t directly fix them, I try to learn ways to stop encouraging the practices that are occurring.
And then I write about it…on here…to whomever may be “crazy” enough to read.
This post serves as my small, teensy, tiny, voice of my craziness….trying to change the world… one post, one thought, one evolution at a time.
So here is a small glimpse into the life of (only a few) animals, before they landed on your plate.
To begin, click on this website to watch Paul McCartney’s “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian” video (warning: graphic images).
Yikes. Dramatic? Yes. But it does drive some points home.
Now, even after including that dramatic, graphic, link on my post, I’d like to say, I am not a vegetarian. (At least not yet!)
I still eat and use animal products.
Fortunately, there have been some brave people that have stepped up and spoken out about the treatment of animals on factory farms or slaughterhouses. An example of this is seen below.
I now carefully choose the brands and products I purchase to ensure the proper, humane, treatment of animals involved.
Have you heard of gestation crates? Neither had I, until recently.
What are gestation crates? A 6×2 ft area where female breeding pigs (sows) are kept during pregnancy and for most of her adult life (pictured in video).
Why would farmers use gestation crates? Maintain individual feeding needs and decrease aggressive behaviors. In my opinion, these could both be regulated if companies weren’t mass producing. Another reason to support small, local farms.
Before reading further, click on the link below.
Who knew? Out of sight, out of mind, right?
As you may have seen, Smithfield has re-committed to stop using gestation crates in 2017. Lets hope they stay committed. Maxwell is 100% gestation crate free and Cargill is 50% gestation crate free. 7 states in the US (weak sauce) and all 27 member nations of the EU have banned the practice.
Pork companies are beginning to stop this practice because of the “crazy” person who made this video, and many others, that are exposing the truth.
All these years I have been so ignorant. So unaware.
Sigh. I suppose it is better late than never.
Luckily, technology and the internet are helping to bring all these unruly sights into focus, and into our minds.
Have you ever wondered why you should look for the “antibiotic free” or “hormone free” label?
Factory farm animals have no opportunity to engage in natural behaviors. They are crammed into a high-stress, small environment that makes illnesses easy to obtain and spread. Enter antibiotic injections. A subject worthy of a separate post..stay tuned.
Hormones are a whole other ball game-a way to increase size, weight, milk production, etc. Again, a subject worthy of another, separate post.
So what can we do?
1. Go Certified Humane®.
“A national non-profit 501(c)3 organization created to improve the lives of farm animals by setting rigorous standards, conducting annual inspections, and certifying their humane treatment.”
A great video, explaining Certified Humane® here.
I briefly mentioned the company in a post about egg buying. A day or two later, I received a comment from an employee working for Certified Humane®. I was impressed they were so on top of things. I had misstated some information…the comment…
“Thank you for writing such an in depth post to help consumers understand their choices when purchasing eggs. However, we would like to correct a misconception in your post. When discussing the Certified Humane® label, you state “Unfortunately, debeaking can still occur.” In fact, on page 17 of our Laying Hen Standards which can be found athttp://www.certifiedhumane.org/index.php?page=standards it states: H6a, Physical Alterations – Debeaking (Severe Beak Trimming) is not permitted.”
That made me so happy. I believe in this company so much.
2. Another option is to do your own research on companies (email, call, etc.) then share the information with friends!
What type of products can have the Certified Humane® label?
Most all animal products! Beef, eggs, sausage, lamb, chicken, veal, pork, cheese, dairy products, etc.
So how do I know if a product is Certified Humane®?
1. Look for the label.
What if my local grocery store doesn’t stock Certified Humane® products?
1. Search here for a store that carries the products
2. Bring these signed forms to your grocery store:
Remember, you CAN make a difference.
3. Purchase local animal products from places where you can visit or talk to the farmer.
Are all the foods in my kitchen Certified Humane®?
I wish. As previously stated, I am slowly working towards my “kitchen” evolution. Whenever the option is available at the grocery store (which is rare for where I live, so once a month I drive an hour to Whole Foods to buy them), I make the CH purchase. For sure.
No questions asked. Even if you can’t afford to purchase CH every time, try doing it every other purchase, or once a month. Every purchase makes a difference and is ultimately less money going to the factory farms.
For Certified Humane® FAQs click here.
Visit their Take Action Page
Next movie to watch:
And if you haven’t already, go out and rent the movie Temple Grandin. A true story based on the work of Temple Grandin, an incredible Autistic lady who is a top scientist in the industry of humane livestock. Major props to Claire Danes- amazing acting. Click on the “Temple Grandin” link to view the movie trailer.