Web Flow Chart of the Beef Industry

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.

–Natalie

3 thoughts on “Web Flow Chart of the Beef Industry

  1. Natalie,
    I know you know this, but I’d like to make a point here: These abuses exist in all industrial farming.. chickens, pigs, cows, calves.. It does not matter whether a child is eating a downed cow, pig, etc. All of these gentle creatures experienced the utmost in pain and fear during their last moments of life. What a horrible way to die.
    In return, the consumer of this animal’s flesh gets a host of health problems including, but not limited to, early puberty and development of girls and antibiotic resistance. It is also thought that the adrenaline rushing through the non-human animals’ bodies before their killing is passed on to humans, accounting for aggressive behavior.

    Read more here: http://www.ncifap.org/

    Even the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace, Anna Karenina) adopted a vegetarian lifestyle late in life upon visiting a slaughterhouse.

    “Flesh eating is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to moral feeling: killing. By killing, man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity, that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel.”

  2. “Beef is one of the culprits of heart disease and obesity.”

    No, overeating is THE culprit of heart disease and obesity. If you eat pounds of cheese and bread everyday you’ll get fat and die of of congestive heart failure too. I admit, if you eat nothing but fruits and vegetables you are less likely to be obese, but you are almost certain to be insufferable and no one will invite you to dinner parties because you’re impossible to cook for. Thus you’ll stay home, eating ice cream and getting fat. Hmm, it seems nobody wins after all. Better to enjoy a nice medium-rare steak, a well-aged scotch and the occassional piece of chocolate cake and relax. Sure you might die sooner, but you’ll worry about it less. And worrying can kill a person. I’m stressed out right now. I better get a drink.

  3. i think we should all eat beef wateva fucken animal, an animal can never be the cause of our actions or behaviour it is a supisticion, ya’ll jus dont wanna eat animal ans save them so ya’ll can texas fuck dem poor animalz, well ya fuken buggers, i got news for you, I EAT BEEF FOR BREAKFAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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