For The HSUS – Timing is Everything
Schools across America are removing beef from their hot lunch menus this week because meat from potentially sick cattle was reportedly processed at a plant that supplies districts all over the country. The horrifying story was the result of an undercover investigation by representatives of the H$U$ which was publicly released last week.
The video released by H$U$ is deeply disturbing. it is almost physically painful to see the way the downed cattle were treated. Almost painful enough to send me back to my former vegetarian ways….
And sadly – the barbaric treatment of these poor beasts is not the only disturbing part of this story.
Hidden in a short line near the end of just a few of the stories published about the abuse is the fact that the video was shot in the fall of 2007. Huh? Why did the H$U$ wait several months – until the end of January 2008 – to make it public?
According to Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schaefer, it was “unfortunate” that the H$U$ “did not present this information to us when these alleged violations occurred in the fall of 2007.”
Was it just “unfortunate” or do you suppose that it’s just a coincidence that at the same time they’re publicizing this highly inflammatory video, the H$U$ is also lobbying Congress to pass the Downed Animal Protection Act and to reconsider the previously failed Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act? Is it also just a coincidence that, Westland Meat Company, the plant that was the focus of the investigation, is a primary supplier to school lunch programs?
On the surface, the Downed Animal Protection Act, which would set modest animal welfare standards, include humane euthanasia of any downed animals for producers who sell food to federal government programs, and ban any slaughtering of downed animals for human consumption, sounds like a laudable thing. But I suspect that there is more to the act than meets the eye as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has come out publicly against it. When it comes to the welfare of *real* animals (as opposed to an *ideal* of animals), I’ll continue to put my faith in AVMA rather than H$U$.
Somehow, it also comes as no surprise that the AVMA has also chosen not to support the Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act. AVMA presents logical and well-thought out arguments against the act on their website. In a nutshell, AVMA appears to believe that the act is vague and poorly worded. I can’t help but think that that vague wording is an intentional ploy by animal rights activists to wedge their way into further limits and restrictions on the meat industry.
If you’d like to read an excellent story about a recent local example of this sort of AR machination, check out the Star Tribune’s article regarding recent AR efforts to pass (and make important last minutes changes to) legislation affecting circuses and animal exhibits in Minneapolis.
There’s a huge pile of poop here folks. And it’s not from the elephants…..