Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Farm Sanctuary Wants It Both Ways

Factory farming awareness walk informs community on maltreatment of animals
By NICOLE SOSZYNSKI

NIU students, Sycamore residents and others undertook a two-mile walk to inform people of the issues concerning factory farming Sunday at 1 p.m.

Jon Bockman, Sycamore walk coordinator, said he organized the walk as part of the Sycamore Pumpkin Parade, for the Farm Sanctuary organization to raise money for the maltreatment of farm animals.

The organization also focuses on rescues, and provides animal’s survivor stories from the industry such as the rescue of 100 pigs in New York she said.

“The pigs were starving outside, some even frozen to the ground, and over 1,500 hens stuck in battery cages thrown about when the warehouse that they were in was hit by a tornado,” Seeley said. Read More

Isn’t it odd that in California they are going to vote on a law that will make it illegal to raise animals in an environmentally controlled building, but then Farm Sanctuary is complaining about the mistreatment of these pigs that were forced to stay outside in the cold and were hungry. The animal rights crowd can’t have it both ways. One of the problems with raising livestock outdoors is that we have to deal with some horrific weather extremes. HSUS and Farm Sanctuary say that sows raised indoors aren’t happy for a variety of reasons. Maybe they should ask these rescued pigs about where they would have rather been.

3 comments:

T. Barry said...

These 100 pigs left to suffer outside in the extreme cold were seized in a starvation cruelty case investigated and prosecuted by local authorities. Small farms are no better than factory farms when they fail to care for their animals.

Those 1500 chickens that you failed to elaborate on, were the lucky few of hundreds of thousands of birds who perished in mangled factory egg laying facilities hit by tornadoes. Even these massive enclosures can't help these animals when so many are confined in one place and disaster strikes. This summer, during the Mississippi floods, do you know what the factory pig farmers in Southeaster Iowa did when the waters rose? They left the gestation crated sows and the youngsters under slaughter weight to drown. They moved only those ready for slaughter straight to the slaughterhouse. We rescued 68 survivors off a 15 mile long levee, and I can tell you that those gestation crated sows are happy to be free, roaming our pastures and nursing their babies.

Any civilized society must demand that animals raised for food be given proper nutrition, shelter, access to pasture and basic care. It is the least we could do. If producers are unable to provide these basic requirements, then they should look for another line of work.

Troy Hadrick said...

It's nice to have someone who works for Farm Sanctuary to comment on here so we can visit about this. And with your position in the organization you should be able to address some of my concerns. As a livestock producer, I am concerned about the welfare of livestock. I would never agree with the abuse of animals. However, I don't believe that modern management systems abuse animals. They are provided shelter, clean water, and a very precise, balanced diet along with individualized care. Since you compared small farms to factory farms, answer me this. What is a factory farm? How do you know one from a family farm? And also, would you agree with the reverse of your statement that factory farms are just as GOOD as small farms when their animals are cared for?

I would love to elaborate on the chicken story. Would the outcome have been different if the management style was different? Is that what you are saying? A tornado hitting someone's farm is going to tear down buildings and maybe the owner's home. Hopefully only the chickens lost their lives and not the people that lived there.

As for the flooding this spring, yes a lot of producers got the finished hogs out first. That only makes sense. As I am sure you remember the water was rising very quickly and the producers got as many of them out as possible. There were many stories of producers risking their lives to save as much livestock as possible. But moving that many of them that quickly is an extremely difficult task and they did a commendable job.

Can you answer this question as well. If Prop 2 passes and there was a weather event that would require producers to pen their animals indoors for an extended period of time, would that be against the law and would your organization attempt to bring charges against producers that did so?

Anonymous said...

It amazes me to read the comments by t.barry....farmers care for their animals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They do not get to take time off for weekends, vacation, or personal time off days. They don't get to leave their work at work, as many in this country do when they clock out at 5:00. Just because a farmer modernizes their farm doesn't mean they are bad, it shows they are trying to protect their livestock and feed a growing nation safely.

If a tornado hits a farm, regardless of how the animals are housed, destruction is going to happen. If those chickens were housed outdoors, the probability of any chickens surviving would have been next to zero. A tornado hit in Oklahoma last year and hit a modern hog farm. NONE of the animals were harmed, they were safely protected in their individual stalls. The building was ripped from it's foundation but the hogs were safe inside their stalls. They were protected by the stalls from flying debris, and anything that landed on the stalls did not touch the hogs because the stalls were sturdy and held the weight up off the hogs. The stalls protected these hogs. Had these hogs been housed outdoors, they would have been swept away like the building.

As for the flooding, those farmers in Iowa had less than 10 hours to move their livestock. You might think it is simple to move livestock but it isn't, farmers carefully plan livestock movements weeks in advance to ensure the safety of the livestock. These farmers had to line up a truck to move the animals because many farmers can't afford to own a semi to haul livestock, and then you have to have someplace to move the animals too. It's not like those farmers could just load the hogs up and drive to town and let them roam freely.

Farmers use modern technology to produce a safe food supply for you and I. Livestock protected by modern housing systems are protected from the elements of the weather, predators that attack and spread disease, and each other. By housing animals in modern houses, we also have the ability to prevent any terrorist threat to our food supply.