Now that the Bacon Apocalypse has befallen us, some people are just now starting to pay attention to the absolutely wretched conditions that are factory farms. There’s a slideshow here, via TreeHugger that is somewheat incriminating, although I have to say photos do not even begin to fully express the horror.
Thing is, farms like these may or may not be responsible for the Scare of the Week, but they are responsible for a whole heck of a lot of misery and sickness and general environmental disaster.
(see: antibiotic resistant bacteria strains, e-coli in groundwater, dead zones in the ocean, manure lagoons, downer cattle and Mad Cow…)
SO what do we do about it?
I’m not about to tell anyone to quit eating meat. Or eggs, or milk, or (god forbid!) cheese.
Not only are we omnivores, but all those things can be quite tasty, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating animal products. Responsibly.
No one wants to think about a burger that came from some cow who spent 3 years sleeping in their own poo, with never a blade of real grass in sight, and who may or may not have still been alive when the “processing” began. No one wants those conditions to exist, except maybe the guy fattening his wallet along with the veal. However, maybe it’s time we started thinking about it. I think we deserve better, just like those animals deserve better, and the only way we are going to get it is by becoming more aware and more respectful of where our food comes from. Would you cut meat out of a few meals a week if you knew it might mean the meat you did eat was raised more sustainably and in a way that was less likely to create and contribute to major health problems later? I think most people would, just like most people would pay the extra 5 cents a cup to get coffee grown and traded fairly. It isn’t a hard choice, but it is one we often don’t get the chance to make because suppliers are depending on us NOT to think about it.
The awesome thing about Globalization is that now we can see the effects our choices have on the world, if we only choose to look. So yeah, maybe there might be a little guilt at seeing what our fast-food lifestyle has created, but as we know better, we do better, right? And I have a sneaking suspicion THAT is the way to a better world.