If the saying is true, this recent article, in the Australian National Affairs, is quite disturbing, to say the least. According to the article, “MEAT & Livestock Australia planned to spend seven times as much on marketing as on improving cattle welfare this year, despite receiving repeated reports over the past decade that animals exported to Indonesia were being abused.” I won’t go into detail about the nature of this abuse. You can read for yourself.
This article addresses just one of many issues surrounding the treatment of animals prior to slaughter. There are several reports which indicate that chickens, for example, are stuffed into crates so small that farmers are forced to cut their beaks. This is done to prevent them from pecking at each other. Due to the stress caused by such horrific conditions, most chickens sent to slaughter for mass consumption end up looking more like this. Looks tasty, eh?
As a former vegetarian, these issues hit close to home for me. The more I research, the more I consider returning to my veggie ways. I am not suggesting that people follow in my footsteps. I know, too well, the savory taste of chicken wings, steak, and cheeseburgers. I am, however, advocating the idea of knowing where your food comes from and/or choosing alternatives.
In this day and age, buying organic food can be costly. Buying groceries without going organic is expensive enough on its own. The first step to making a positive change for our animal friends (and your health) is being informed. According to the Australian National Affairs article, the MLA first noticed a need for an improvement in welfare when “30 per cent [of Australian beef was being discounted] because of chemical changes associated with stress during the slaughter process.”
Let’s say Australia imported 1,000,000 cattle last year. This is clearly an underestimation. If that were the case, 300,000 cows died needlessly. Those that did “make the grade,” so to speak, were served at meals across the country. It seems to me that there must be a fine line between what is seen as acceptable for consumption and what is not. Doesn’t this make YOU question what YOU’RE eating?
Just some (healthy) food for thought…