Thursday, October 28, 2010

Drawing attention to the tragic fire in Iowa

Thousands of pigs perished in a huge factory farm fire in Deep River, Iowa, on Sunday, October 24. Surveying the ghastly rubble after the fire, Gene Baur, the president and co-found of Farm Sanctuary, issued a moving statement. Here is a highlight of his response to the massive tragedy:
For those unfamiliar with modern agricultural practices, it can be difficult to wrap one’s brain around such a massive loss of life. Driven by profit, the pork industry crams thousands of animals into dark warehouse-like facilities with little regard for the health and well-being of the animals. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a special closeness with a cat, dog or other companion animal, knows how heartbreaking the loss of just one animal’s life can be. Multiply that devastation by many thousands and you will begin to understand the urgency of addressing the cruelty inflicted upon animals on factory farms. Pigs, like all farm animals, possess the same feelings and sensitivities as cats and dogs, and they deserve the same consideration. (Source)
After the smoke cleared and the fire crews left, it was estimated that between 2,000 and 2,500 hogs perished in this horrific fire. This loss of life was both catastrophic and - for those tragic pigs caught in this blaze - horrific and painful beyond belief.

This fire comes in a year when there has been an epidemic of factory farm fires across North America. Blazes have erupted in the United States and Canada. Ultimately, hundreds of thousands of animals have perished in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. One of the most staggering of these fires occurred at the Ohio Fresh Eggs Farm in Ohio in March, which killed a staggering 250,000 hens. (Source.)

These fires also come at a time when numerous traffic accidents on highways in Canada and the United States have claimed the lives of countless animals.

On Monday, 40 cattle perished in a truck collision near Galesburg, Illinois. The scene was one of utter devastation, as the Galesburg Register-Mail noted:
Twelve Galva firefighters worked 10 hours lifting, moving, loading and directing traffic in the hard winds and rain and even in a tornado watch that was issued for Henry County.

A truck rollover outside of Toronto in early October killed 81 pigs. (Source.) In mid-October, another truck rollover, also near Toronto, killed at least 16 (probably ultimately more) cattle after a truck carrying 80 young cattle flipped over. (Source.)

These are but a few of the accidents that claim the lives of factory farm animals all the time. Not only is the system itself deadly and violent and based on the systematic assembly-line slaughter of sentient beings, but the creatures who are ultimately killed for their meat must live short, miserable lives, filled with violence and with no laws to protect them.

The tragedy of all these accidents is that they could have been avoided.

And I don't mean they could have been avoided by enacting tougher safety measures that would've protected the lives of these animals (although those certainly would've helped).

No, I mean they could've been avoided - should've been avoided - because we do not have the right to be murdering these animals, whether we do it for food or allow these beings to become the victims of unsafe conditions that are part and parcel of the factory farm system.

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