Saturday, June 5, 2010

Why We Need to Watch Troubling Animal Abuse Videos - Over and Over and Over

I regret to say that it is becoming pretty routine for me to post videos of the shocking treatment of animals on this Blog. This video is not only not an exception, it is deeply disturbing - as bad, if not worse, than the video footage of the abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms.

This video footage is of the horrific treatment of chicks at a hatchery in Santa Cruz, California. The footage was filmed by the group Compassion Over Killing (COK). COK sent an undercover person into the Cal-Cruz Hatcheries plant to film the ghastly treatment of chicks, which is standard operating procedure in the poultry industry.

COK's website outlined some of the abuses their investigator uncovered, including:

  • A chick drowning in a bucket of liquid waste
  • Birds entangled in machinery, their dead bodies mangled, decapitated, or missing limbs
  • Sick or severely injured birds left to suffer for hours
  • Unwanted hatchlings dumped down the egg shell disposal chute, then sprayed with a high-pressure hose
  • Birds thrown five to six feet across the room into buckets where they often languished for hours

Why post these videos? Why post them day after day, week after week, month after month? I certainly don't need to see them. I've already been converted. I'm firmly in the vegan camp and I have no plans to leave it. Ever.

So why do I watch these videos over and over again?

Because it is not good enough - it is never good enough - to have a general sense of "what is happening." I could say to myself, "Hey, I already know what's going on. I don't need to watch this video to know."

But make no mistake, my friends: As long as animals are being abused, as long they're being scalded and trampled, skinned and gutted, tossed in grinders and hung up by the neck, kicked and beaten, and made to live in dark, cold, cramped conditions without ever seeing the outside world where they were meant to live, IT IS OUR BUSINESS. And we owe it to them to watch every minute of their suffering that we can.

Denial is our worst enemy. The more heavily armed we are as advocates for the animals, the more effective we'll be at tearing down the wall of denial.

Congratulations to Compassion Over Killing for making a difference. At first, the news coming out of Santa Cruz was discouraging. The stark and violent video footage of chicks drowning, quivering on factory floors, getting ground up by machinery, being smashed alive, and just about every other horrible way of dying you can imagine, failed to sway the proper authorities. In late April, the District Attorney's office in Santa Cruz decided not to take action against Cal-Cruz Hatcheries for violating the state's animal animal protection laws.

But somebody else took action, someone with the courage to stand up against this horrendous violence. The Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority impounded 88 sick and weak ducklings from the production facility and brought them into protective custody. Many were too sick and frail and ended up dying. But more than two dozen of these beautiful creatures, pictured here, were given another chance at life.

Life is sacred and profound. But the food production industry has made a mockery of the sanctity of life by treating animals as mere commodities.

If everybody went vegan, Cal-Cruz Hatcheries would shut down tomorrow and this madness would stop. The best way to curtail supply is to end demand. Switching to a cruelty-free diet is a first step in the right direction. What happened at Cal-Cruz Hatcheries is not an isolated example. It is Standard Operating Procedure in the poultry industry.

1 comment:

  1. I agree -- these videos are incredible hard and saddening to watch, but every time i see one, i feel more committed than ever to being vegan and to speaking out for these animals. I hope such videos not just inspire me to be a better advocate, but inspire others to stop eating animals.