Are you a Carnivore?

9 Apr
Beef cuts at the market

Mmmmm...

First of all, let me be perfectly clear about something. I am a confirmed carnivore. Sure, I enjoy vegetables, too… provided they’re to one side of a nice juicy steak. I like chicken and fish, too, but to be honest, I barely consider them to be meat. Meat is red, and generally comes from a creature larger than me. Pork and beef are my preferred poison.

I used to raise our own beef and slaughter one or two every year. I’ve done more than a fair amount of hunting, and butchered deer, wild boar, turkeys and even one bear. Aside from one childhood incident where I killed a squirrel just because I could (the shame of which I was immediately made to feel by my father, and which has stayed with me to this day), I have never killed any animal that didn’t find its way to my table. And I have never killed in order to hang a trophy on my wall.

I’ve slaughtered hogs, goats, and various fowl, cleaned and gutted enough fish to feed a small town for a month and I have NEVER failed to exercise compassion when doing so. When “doctoring” my animals (translation: castration, de-horning, or treating serious wounds), I always used anesthetic and antibiotics, and the most humane method I could.

I consider animals to be creatures that deserve at least as much compassion and respect as living beings as I do, even if they are headed for my table.

I’ve been a meat-eater all my life, and I have no intention of changing that now.

HOWEVER… I do know that industrialization of the meat industry has given rise to many barbaric practices in order to increase productivity (and of course, profits). I don’t know if all of those practices can be eradicated, while maintaining the necessary productivity. But I do believe we have to TRY!

The video below is not for the weak of heart or stomach. If you have a weak stomach, you probably won’t be able to watch it. I do, though, encourage you to at least listen to it. Punch the play button, and listen while you check your email or something, and you may find you’ll be enlightened.

I am certainly not trying to convince anyone to give up meat and become a vegan… I won’t be, I assure you. I simply encourage you to be aware of how hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of animals are deliberately and viciously treated every single month in this country. I encourage you to stay away from genetically modified food of all kinds, because nobody really knows what the long-term effects of ingesting such food may be.

And most of all, I encourage you to do anything you can to teach your children, nephews and nieces or grandchildren how important it is for them to remain humane when dealing with other creatures.

Don’t say I didn’t give you fair warning. This video is graphic. It’s appalling. It’s shameful. It’s something we all need to change.

Edit: 5/16/11 I see that this video has been removed. I’ll try to locate it elsewhere and put it back up.

Edit: 5/21/11 I couldn’t locate another copy of that video anywhere, unfortunately. However, I did find another one that is somewhat related and should be of interest to many of you. Food, Inc. can’t be embedded here, but here’s a link to the first of seven parts on YouTube. The remaining parts are present on the same channel.

Edit: 9-23-2013 Food, Inc. is back up on YouTube again… hopefully it’ll stay this time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkL2Q_kCRms

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8 Responses to “Are you a Carnivore?”

  1. Shawna April 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I could barely get through the whole video, but I did. I cannot ignore and pretend that kind of senseless cruelty does not exist. It indeed does and we do need to change it! I am a meat lover, especially steak and roast beef. Bacon is in a food group all its own. At our poultry processing plant we kill humanely and if anyone is caught being cruel they are fired. We have inspectors to ensure things are done right. We are just one plant while there are many more out there. There needs to be strict laws against cruelty and more supervision to ensure that!

    • Doc April 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      Yeah, there’s just no sense to it. I’m not a big fan of government regulation, but until there’s some stiff penalties… and I mean criminal prosecution, not fines… it’s not likely to improve.
      Good to see you, Shawna… stop by more often!

  2. Julie Joyce April 12, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I am a vegetarian for many reasons, many of which currently are not the same as they were when I stopped eating meat 20 years ago. However, I am unwilling to kill an animal to eat, therefore I am unwilling to eat an animal. The entire process of raising animals to eat is something that most people just don’t want to think about. I certainly don’t. I do think that it’s important to understand more about where our food comes from, though, even if the methods of enlightenment are painful ones.

    • Doc April 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

      I suppose there’s lots of reasons for being a vegetarian, whether it’s for health or humanitarian reasons. I’m not proposing that to anyone, just shining a little light on an issue that I think needs attention. I don’t have any patience for anyone that’ll raise their hand to a woman or child or that’ll mistreat an animal. There’s a special little corner of Hell waiting for them, IMO.
      Thanks a lot for stopping by, Julie. I hope to see you here more often.

  3. stone April 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    People suck…
    Thanks for posting the video… I was already aware of most of that horrible goings on, and it’s always sickening to see it again…
    I go off store bought meat again and again…
    I’d way rather eat the animal the person in front of me hits with his car…
    I have a question…
    What are you going to do if the meat packing business comes after you, like big beef did to Oprah?

    • Doc April 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      Hi, Stone-

      When I lived in the country, I never had store-bought meat… only bought on-the-hoof. Where I am now, though, I don’t have that luxury. My patio would get real crowded, real fast. ;)

      As for the meat packers, if they decided I was worth their attention, which isn’t likely, they’d find I’m not nearly as gentile as Oprah.

      Thanks for commenting! Hope to see you back real soon.

  4. noguru65 May 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I got through the video, it was tough. There are two things we must consider:

    1.) Some of these cruelties are the result of cost effective mass production. I mean think about how many people would buy a pork chop that cost 50 cents more a pound as a result of practicing more humane ways of slaughter and production.

    2.) If we look at prey and predators in the wild, animals are more often than not killed mercilessly and cruely. One time I caught a pike that had a smaller rainbow trout tail sticking out of its mouth. The pike obviously swallowed the rainbow trout whole, and it was probably still alive as it started getting digested. There is a vast number of examples in the natural world with similar results.

    I am not a heartless person, and I was appalled at all of the unneccessary cruelty in that video. Your average person would never be able to do some of those things I saw in that video. But these workers who slaughter animals have become numb to the pain they are inflicting on these animals. They are numb because to be sensitive would mean their prodution would be minimized and they would lose their jobs.

    So I guess we can blame nature coupled with capitalism for much of the cruelty we saw in that video. Nature created this hierarchy and capitalism… well capitalizes on it.

    • Doc May 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      Hi, noguru65-

      You make some good points. Yes, more humane methods will up the costs for the slaughterhouse somewhat, and those costs will trickle down to you and me.
      And yes, having your throat ripped out and predators feeding on you before you’re even dead is cruel, no arguing that. I just am not willing to trade my sense of decency for a lower price per pound for my ribeye steaks. We can’t expect a cougar or timber wolf to exhibit any concern for the pain their prey may suffer. To them, that prey is simply a means of surviving, and they operate at a very primal level. I’ve had a couple of occasions to sink to that level, and didn’t particularly like it. I liked even less the rush of adrenaline that I got from being victorious.
      Don’t get me wrong… I’m not a bleeding heart tree-hugger, or a wannabe vegan. I’ll even admit that there’s a certain amount of cruelty just in deliberately raising creatures just to devour them once they’re well-marbled. But I do think that there’s a big difference between that, and boiling the feathers of a live bird, or chopping the hooves off a live steer. Unnecessary pain and suffering shouldn’t occur. Maybe that’ll open up arguments that eating them at ALL is cruel, and we should start building Old Cow Homes so they can all pass away peacefully in their Golden Years. Hell, there are probably a lot of folks in California just itchin’ to take up that banner!
      Capitalism certainly deserves a large chunk of the blame (and that from a confirmed capitalist!), and another chunk should go to necessity. Those slaughterhouses operate 7/24 because there’s a need.
      I just hope nobody ever manages to record an ear of corn screaming in agony as it’s ripped from the stalk!

      Thanks for weighing in with a great comment, noguru!

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