A Vermont slaughterhouse, Bushway Packing Inc. of Grand Isle, was ordered closed for inhumane treatment of animals after hidden videos showed several days-old male calves culled from dairy herds dragged, kicked, shocked, skinned and cut while conscious.
What is even scarier is that Bushway Packing was certified as an organic processor. Organic rules currently are geared mainly toward ensuring that meat labelled organic comes from animals raised without hormones or chemicals, it doesn't deal with how the animal is treated or slaughtered.
I didn't know that male calves in dairy farms are often slaughtered almost immediately after birth and that if they were mistreated during slaughter it is often because they were too weak to walk or stand on their own due to their young age. Meat from days-old calves ("bob-veal") usually ends up in hot dogs and luncheon meats. Meat sold as veal usually comes from animals raised to about 4 months old. It's sad thinking of the cows carrying their young for months, having a hard time birthing, instinctively licking their young after birth only to have them not live for more than a few days or months.
I must say that I have never liked veal and I prefer pork sausages. And the more you read about how chickens are treated or pigs are fed, how cows are slaughtered and how prawns and fish are farmed etc, the more you wonder if you should keep eating meat and farmed seafood. I am probably romanticising things here, but I get the impression that in the past when people hunted for their food, they had more love and respect for their animals then we do today. Truth probably is we're heartless sauvages through and through.
Actually I've almost stopped eating chicken unless it's free-range. I'm sticking to the occasional Argentinian or Piemontese beef and will try to educate myself about their ages. I usually buy pork ribs just to make soup and have almost no occasion to eat suckling pig. I've cut down on the prawns (MIL has been scaring me with her stories of how prawns are being farmed in Thailand and elsewhere). Farmed fish doesn't have much taste.
I'm trying to get most of my protein from free-range chicken eggs. Problem is that I'm not a fruit and vegetable person, I'm a carnivore. Or I love carbo and it loves me too seeing that it prefers to stay in my body and transform itself into fat.
Whatever it is I will try to eat lesser but better and especially manage my waste better. When you know that there are so many people dying of hunger in this world and your neighbourhood supermarkets probably have lots of unsold fresh produce everyday that will go to waste, I feel bad. I have educated my children badly as they have bad food habits. Will I manage to help them change for the better?