I’m calling this a web flow chart because I’m inserting lots of links and stuff.
I’m very high tech in my disdain, you know.
By now most of you are aware that the beef industry is experiencing the largest recall in its history. More than 120 million pounds of beef has been recalled, most of which has probably already been consumed by innocent school children.
This comes after startling video captured by the Humane Society of America showed downer cattle (those who can’t walk due to illness or injury) being forklifted, prodded by forklifts, kicked down stairs and generally abused as workers tried to get them back in the assembly line for slaughter.
The USDA is all bent out of shape because they’re assuming that the necessary measures to ensure human health were not taken – that is, having a veterinarian determine whether the cattle couldn’t walk because of a simple broken leg or Mad Cow.
Broken leg = Suitable for human consumption. Hello chicken fried steak in the cafeteria!
Mad Cow = Not suitable for human consumption.
It’s interesting to note that the USDA, mainstream media and politicians are scrambling to assure us that they have our health and safety interest utmost in their mind and that there’s probably no cause for concern of an outbreak of E. Coli, Salmonella, or Mad Cow. Meanwhile, bloggers nationwide are typing furiously about the horrific animal abuse they just saw on the 5 o’clock news, with commenters brazenly agreeing. Heck, even my own mother swore off beef.
I’m typing furiously, too. The beef industry screwed up. They shouldn’t abuse animals. But, honestly, is there a way to treat humanely an animal who exists as a unit of production?
Do we really need the beef industry at all? Let’s break it down:
First of all, 120 million pounds of beef is a heckuva lot – yet only a fraction of the beef produced in a year in the U.S. Unfortunately, those 120 million pounds of beef aren’t all that’s wasted: for every pound of beef, 2,500 gallons of water and 16 pounds of grain and soy have been wasted. These are conservative estimates from random sites I Googled.
I say wasted because that beef is doing no good. Beef is one of the culprits of heart disease and obesity.
Also, the water and grain wasted is only half of it: how much living matter (aka, rainforest) has been ruined to converted to farmland to grow feed? How much air and water pollution was created by the cows’ excretions and by transport costs for slaughter, processing and delivery?
Oh, how the beef industry suffers! Many articles on the recall say that the beef industry has ‘suffered in recent years due to recalls…” You want to see suffering? Then watch the video that’s been all over the news, which shows the real suffering going on in the beef industry.
I won’t bore you with talk of animal rights. For that, visit my previous post.
It’s disgusting to me that downer cow meat goes to feeding schoolchildren. Aren’t school lunches supposed to be healthy? Don’t answer that. I know I’m being unreasonable here. (P.S., did you know the Clark County School District lunch program has a vegetarian option every day? You have to ask for it, it’s not just out there, but awesome nonetheless.)
Finally, the meat being recalled is more than two years old. That’s not what the Slow Food Movement is about, people! You’ve been eating something that’s been dead for two years. That’s just gross.