Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HBO Movie on Ag

U.S. pork producers brace for HBO special on cruelty

Reuters March 9, 2009 - 12:00 a.m. EST

DALLAS (Reuters) - U.S. pork producers, already worried that high prices for their product may chase pinched shoppers to the chicken section, are facing another possible hit - an HBO special on animal cruelty in factory farming.

Producers at the annual Pork Industry Forum were discussing the documentary, "Death on a Factory Farm," which the network plans to premier on March 16 and show 20 times by April 1.
The documentary, based on a video taken by the Humane Farming Association, an animal rights group, "takes a harrowing look at animal cruelty in an Ohio factory farm as chronicled through undercover footage," the HBO website said.

Owners of the Ohio farm were charged with animal cruelty following six weeks of secret filming of events there.

The video also contains footage of the trial where representatives of the pork industry gave testimony detailing acceptable hog care practices, Tom Simon, co-producer of the documentary, told Reuters. Read More

We’ve known this show on HBO has been coming for quite some time, however, no one knows for sure what to expect. First off, let me start by saying that I would never support anyone that is abusing animals. However, there are things that are done on livestock operations that most people don’t understand. There is no doubt that it will try to make livestock producers look as evil as possible. They will also try to convince people that every producer wants to treat their animals cruelly. The best way to defeat these images is to invite people out to your farms and ranches. Show them the great care you give to your livestock. No body else can do this for you, you have to tell your own story.


Bea Elliott said...

Looking forward to it of course... Hoping their next expose' might be to examine life/death on a feedlot... Cows that can live 25 years slaughtered at 11 months - Who knew?

Troy Hadrick said...

Bea, if you would just go and visit a livestock operation, you would see your statements are quite inaccurate. Cows living to age 25 would be as common as people living to 130. As I am sure you know Bea, cattle only have teeth on their bottom jaw and those teeth eventually fall out. So most of the time, they wouldn't have any teeth left by age 15. Of course their are exceptions, but this would be a general rule. And as you can imagine, without any teeth, it would be hard to graze for grass. Thus making it very hard to survive, especially through winter.

And you are going to have a tough time finding any beef cattle that are being harvested at 11 months. I'd be interested in seeing where you found this information. Why don't you share?

You are selling yourself short by relying on youtube and the internet for your information Bea. Anytime you want a tour of an operation, just let me know. Until then, it is apparent you aren't interested in the truth.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with your comments, Troy. The best way to educate consumers is by example and explanation by real life producers. I believe that includes all of animal agriculture, not only swine.

Years ago I used to raise quite a few pigs on dirt. Farrowing outside of confinement can be a harrowing experience for both man and beast especially if the weather is uncooperative.


Bea Elliott said...

Okay, so I'll buy that cows might "only" live a natural life span of 18 to 23 years... At least that's what 10 "veterinarian" sites claim. Still, don't cattle have to be slaughtered before 20 months because of BSE worries?

So if a (young)cow dies a "natural" death at 15 years old
(180 months) vs. 20 months - these are just adolescents aren't they?

And there are plenty of cattle ranches here in Florida. Been to 3of them... Not impressed at all - sorry. I've also been to 2 livestock auctions... And they are pretty depressing too. Seen the inside of a pig barn as well - there are no words for the pity I was overcome with. They reminded me of "prisoners" - very sad.

I've also seen an egg factory - 3 houses with 850,000 birds! I managed to rescued 14 "egg" hens - they hit the lottery, so to speak, as they will never be "culled" once their "production" dwindles.

Really, I am quite the lover of truth - which is why I managed to see (enough) with my own eyes - no need for youtube.

Anonymous said...

Bea, we enjoyed your absence. Please take your nonsense back to wherever you were.

Bea Elliott said...

To "Anon" - why is this "nonesense"? I'm just responding to Troy's comments? And in a civil manner - certainly that doesn't warrant rudeness or name calling.

I thought the whole objective of a blog was communication? Or does this only apply as long as there's no controversial debate? And if that's the case - what's the point?

Will people in animal agriculture ever concede that to the average person, (with accurate "husbandry"), finds these practices distasteful? Not much of it leaves anyone feeling "warm and fuzzy" and this is the problem animal ag will have to work it's self around.

As I've spoken to several animal farmers (I have connections I'd rather not disclose)... anyway, a great majority of them don't like the way modern animal care has gone either. I suppose they are who make up th 86% of folks who don't like it at all? And certainly Troy, if you were honest would admit that there are practices that challenge your idea of "dominion" or "humaneness"?

Troy Hadrick said...

So Bea, do animals know how old they are? They are full grown animals at that age. You can't compare animals with humans Bea.

An animal knows if they are comfortable and that's about it. And that is the job of people that take care of them is to make sure that they are comfortable. Just like people do with their pets.

When you did your tour of a ranch, what didn't you like?

I've actually met animal rights activists that tell me they don't really care about animals but rather it's a good way to make money. It must be why 94% of the public is against the animal rights.

And everything we do to animals is for their benefit. Why would we go the work of performing unnecessary cruelty to our livestock. That makes no sense at all. I must even be hard for you to say that all livestock operations are as evil as you make us out to be.

Troy Hadrick said...

You didn't tell us where you've been either. Must have been a long vacation. Didn't hear from you forever, and now you are all over the blogs again in one day.

Bea Elliott said...

No, animals do not know how old they are or what state/country they're in - but neither does a mentally disabled person or a child, yet we would not condone injurying them needlessly would we? Oh... sorry, you said I can't compare animals with humans - but I just did.

And I realize that this is rooted in "rights"... and there are many reasons why people ignore the "rights" that animals (should) have - but, aside from the prime motivator of "profit" there is nothing that justifies what we do to them.

Specifically, in regards to what I didn't like about the ranches? The idea that these animals were viewed as "meat on the hoof". And of course those dreadful animal tags. And watching what I knew to be "mothers and sons and daughters" seperated from each other. As the best of science and animal husbandry knows... cows form lasting bonds - and it's sad to see them severed. I was told it's not uncommon for the one left behind to grieve for weeks... I have empathy.

I really have no idea what Animal Rights spokesperson you're speaking of who is "in it for the money"... After all, it is animal agriculture that sees animals as "commodities" is it not? And I don't know about your "94%" statistic... here's mine:
According to a 1995 survey commissioned by the Associated Press (AP), two-thirds of Americans agree with the statement, "An animal's right to live free of suffering should be just as important as a person's."[5] Another survey commissioned by Animal Rights International (ARI) in 1995 found that 90% of those surveyed believe it is wrong to confine animals in cages so small they cannot turn around (eg, veal calves and pigs) or stretch their wings (eg, battery hens)

And of course, these numbers are old but have only escalated since... You see, people really do care for (all) animals - they just have to be reminded.

"And everything we do to animals is for their benefit." I disagree. Their "benefit" is to live. All beings wish foremost: To Live.