the onion humanely raised meat
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: The Onion

The Onion – so witty, so controversial, and so damn educational.

In a new satirical commentary from a fictional beef farmer titled “We Raise All Our Beef Humanely On Open Pasture And Then We Hang Them Upside Down And Slash Their Throats,” the website has once again done a masterful job of exposing some dark truths that are otherwise glossed over when someone sees the words “humanely raised” on a package of meat.

A highlight from the article:

“As owner and president of Nature’s Acres and a lifelong rancher myself, let me assure you that our animals are treated with exceptional care using only traditional methods from the very second the calf is born on our farm, to the moment a cascade of blood showers from its gaping, half-severed neck, to the day our award-winning beef reaches the grocer’s case in the organic section.

“When we shackle a chain to a hind leg of each of our cows and hoist its terrified, quivering frame 12 feet up to the rafters, we can see firsthand just how tender, meaty, and well-marbled its entire body is—and that means exceptional flavor for you and your family!

“While frail and pharmaceutical-laden factory-farm cows just droop lifelessly while awaiting their deaths, our healthy, GMO-free cattle thrash about wildly in the air, very often tearing their own delicate flesh and shattering their leg bones in a hopeless attempt to flee to the nearby 100 percent organic grassland pastures where they were free to roam during their unnaturally truncated lives.”

I commend whoever wrote this piece for the site. In many ways it does a better job of educating people on the horrors of slaughterhouses than some past animal rights campaigns. The pompous tone of righteousness, which accurately mimics so much of the BS marketing for the industry out there, is yet another reminder of how far removed we’ve become when it comes to valuing the lives of animals.

Check out the full article here. 

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • imfurlife

    Good article. I think there is only one important question when talking about animals raised for food though: does the quality of an animal’s life justify the end? Was it a life worth living? In factory farms, I would say those animals would have been better off never to have been born. However, when the animal has a good life and is well cared for (but still dies as part of the food cycle), I think that is preferable to no life at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/KittydarlingZelnik KittyDarling Zelnik

      Apply that logic to yourself and see if that is fair. Not being sarcastic. Really think about that. Would you like it if someone said this about your life? All animals have a right to be free and free from our plates.

      • imfurlife

        I apply that logic to the horses I rescue. I know they love their lives now. Nothing that happened in their past, however terrible, lessens the joy they have galloping around and playing now. A few weeks of joy would have been worth it. I plan to keep my horses forever, but the end of an animal’s life is not always peaceful. Losing your animal companions is the worst part of loving them, but we can move forward knowing that their lives were fulfilling. Honestly, I would apply that logic to myself as well. I hope the quality of my life & what I am able to achieve justifies anything that might happen at the end of my life. Why do we accept the fact that animals often die painful deaths in nature? Because their lives were worth living. When the question is NO life or a good life, (but still death), the answer is clear to me. Very few people pay to keep animals that are “ornaments” on a lawn. They are only kept safe when they serve a purpose. Animals are in danger when they have no “use” to people anymore, as I have learned well rescuing horses. You would rather farm animals live free and die naturally, but that is just not realistic. Keep in mind, we are having this discussion while close to 60 billion animals are killed each year worldwide for food. A huge percent of those animals never see daylight. Rather than campaign against the few farms that actually care about animals, I would rather focus on the terrible animal factories that cause 99% of this suffering.

      • chomps

        What a great point! How many fire ants, flies, wasps, bees, etc. have self-righteous vegetarians/vegans killed? But it’s not okay to kill an animal to feed us. Being free doesn’t mean free from death, and people will never collectively stop eating meat. We are omnivores. We need meat for our health. So I second the call for the harassment of the abusers rather than the eaters.

      • imfurlife

        @chomps, we HAVE to focus on the “eaters” to reach the “abusers.” It is consumer demand that will protect animals. The truth is, most people don’t realize how terrible these animals lives actually are. When they find out, laws are often changed (thanks to the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and Mercy For Animals, to name a few). People should not be able to step back and say that animals die anyway. Humans do NOT need to eat meat to be healthy, but I agree that a worldwide vegan or vegetarian is absolutely impossible. I would like to see people eating less meat though. Most US diets are extremely unhealthy, & meat/dairy (with all the hormones added) is a major part of that. Also, as I said before, if animals are going to die as part of the food industry, the least we could do is give them lives that are worth living. That is only possible on a real farm, with grass & sunshine.