<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Monday, November 03, 2003

My Take on PETA's "Meet Your Meat" Video 

Well, we finally watched PETA's "Meet
Your Meat
" video over the weekend. I
have been asked by quite a few people
about this video and whether it was an
accurate representation of what I have
seen and experienced. With my slow
dial-up connection out here in the boonies
I could not view it online. I get audio,
but no video on these PETA TV things,
so I contacted one of the people I have
done some work with and, of course, he
was happy to send me a copy.

I had heard about what was on the tape
and figured it was probably representative,
in fact probably rather tame, compared to
what I have seen. Well, my viewing bore
out that assumption. What I saw on that
video is considered to be "standard industry
practice." Therefore, it was tame compared
to some of the atrocities I have recounted
here on this site.

They didn't show things like the one-leggers
being ripped from the line, the "little games"
that go on during down-time, and it didn't
show stuff like what a chicken house looks
like after a power outage in the summer. It
didn't show the animals frozen to the side
of the cages being peeled off, although it
did mention that this happens. There are a
lot of things it didn't show.

But then, maybe that was the point. I think
what they were trying to accomplish was to
simply show what "standard industry practice"
allows every day. They did do a very good
job of that. I also think that the narration by
Alec Baldwin was right on the money. He did
an excellent job of portraying the true situation.

It would be rather hard to get good footage of
what really goes on night after night unless the
investigator was willing and able to be there
night after night, putting it together. What I
have seen surfing the different sites, looking to
see which group has done what, the main thing
that I have noticed is that mostly what they get
are small snippets of time. In and out with what-
ever they got in one shot in a very brief amount of
time. It's not like the industry is actually going
to let someone stand there for days, weeks, or
months to get a lot of footage. Not to mention
the fact of the obvious distress the person
documenting the cruelty would be in to be
subjected to helplessly standing by and watching
it go on, given the nature of the person most
likely to care enough about the issue to subject
themselves to the situation. I mean, you would
have to care an awful lot to be able to do this.

The fact that they were able to show such
graphic footage in the time frame involved says
much in and of itself. These people were in there
for a relatively short amount of time. That proves
that cruelty is common enough that no matter when
you were to take a tour of such a place, especially
if no one knew you were filming them, you would be
able to document the cruelty going on.

I mean, I know (and those that have been reading
me from the beginning know) that this type of
thing happens day and night, every day and
every night, to billions of sentient beings every
year. The fact of the matter is that anyone that
eats fast food meat or buys meat in a grocery
store is supporting this type of cruelty. That is
an inescapable fact. This does go on, and this
video brings you face to face with that reality.

I highly recommend this video to anyone who
wants to know what the true situation is like.
There are many people in the industry that
would watch that video and see nothing wrong
with the situation because they freely admit
that there is an accepted percentage of animals
who will not be handled properly. They just
don't like to bring that fact to everyone's
attention. It is not what the average person
wants to be contemplating when taking a bite
of their dinner, and it sure doesn't increase
sales or make for good PR for the company.

Most of the higher-ups that I dealt with don't
see humane treatment as an issue. That is
the problem. That is where we have to make
our effects felt most - by forcing the industry
to put people in those positions who will see
humane treatment as an issue.

If you can watch this video and still manage
to want to consume meat, there are some
organizations trying to promote alternatives
to factory farming. I have not seen it yet
because it is being launched after today, but
I have seen a notice of a new site being set
up as a "free national online guide to all meat
raised with sustainable methods."

Even though I no longer wish to eat meat, I
do realize that there are plenty of people who
are not yet ready to make this commitment.
If you are one of these people, yet you do
care about trying to at least lessen the amount
of inevitable suffering that is inherent in the
raising and killing of another living creature,
this does provide you a choice.

That said, this is at least a step in the right
direction, so I have decided to bring this site
to everyone's attention. It is called the Eat
Well Guide and "will provide a locally-searchable
online directory of producers, grocery stores,
restaurants, and mail-order outlets throughout
the country that offer healthy meat raised
sustainably, without antibiotics and other growth
promoters, as well as certified organic. Consumers
can enter their zip code and find sustainable meat
products close to where they live," according to
their announcement. It can be found after today
at www.eatwellguide.org.]
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