economic, not altruistic concerns in winter

by Pamela Teisler-Rice

The VivaVine: Volume #4, No. 4; Sept./Oct., 1995

I came across a wire service story about a year ago which now that it is winter again becomes very relevant.

[I have this extremely convenient news service, called Alan (husband), by the way. He has access to wire service stories at his workplace. He knows that I eat agriculture news for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he feeds me with it in ample supply. All he does is call out to his computer for agriculture news.]

Way back when, I found the story very sad and it's just one more reason why I don't eat animals... This story told of less hogs going to slaughter at one point last winter.

From the news story of February 7, 1995: "The Iowa daily "hog run" was 107,000 head yesterday, below 113,000 the previous week, according to the Department of Agriculture. The run is estimated at 100,000 head today, below 105,000 last week, the USDA said." So why would *less* hogs going to market have any significance to us vegetarians?

Please read on.... from the wire story:

"While hogs may be uncomfortable in cold weather, the farmers' concern is more economic than altruistic, economists and livestock agronomists said.

"Foremost, transporting hogs in cold weather can be expensive and damaging to the slaughter value of the animals.

"Hogs that are forced to spend extended periods of time in cold weather will use body fat to stay warm, shedding valuable pounds before they can be weighed and sold. ......

"In addition, the hogs are moved in covered trucks with open slats to allow circulation. The hogs that are pressed against the open slats can suffer frostbite, which must be trimmed off at slaughterhouses, reducing the amount of prime meat per animal.

"And there is the risk of some of the animals dying, if, when they instinctively press against each other for warmth, some of the animals suffocate the others."

The article went on to say that farmers save on heating in the winter when sheds where hogs are kept are (necessarily) full of hogs. When weather is freezing cold, taking hogs out of sheds where they are confined forces farmers to have to turn up the heat in those sheds, an economic consideration...

There are no laws to protect animals used for food.

Meat eaters might consider the following when sitting down to that roast beef sandwich, that BLT, those buffalo wings....

A letter I received from the USDA earlier this year clarified the federal law of the land:

"......While we are aware that there is a growing public concern about certain methods of animal agriculture, the Animal Welfare Act, as passed by Congress, excludes from coverage animals used for food or fiber. - Lonnie King, U.S.D.A."

The following is from my 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian:

#81. There are no laws to regulate transport of animals for food consumption, specifically via truck.* So this is the meat industry's preferred method of transport. That many of the animals are dead after their brutal trip is calculated in as a cost of doing business.

* There are some laws for cattle and sheep (not chickens) via other forms of transportation.

Back to Feces Fiasco.
Copyright © 1995. The VivaVegie Society. All rights reserved.
HTML source file: Copyright © 1995 EarthBase, Inc. All rights reserved.