December 29, 2007

Happy, Healthy Animals Killed at Hollister Hill Farm

An article in the Dec. 20 Montpelier (Vt.) Bridge describes a source for "happy, healthy" meat in nearby Plainfield.

It's obvious that the concern is not so much for the animals but rather for the eaters of the animals,who want to feel happier and healthier about a problematic dietary choice. Since they are driven to gorge on animal flesh, it is indeed healthier if it is the remains of a grass-fed "beefalo" free of antibiotics and artificial hormones instead of a feedlot-fattened chemical-sustained cow. And they will be happier with the taste of a free-range naturally fed turkey compared with a "butterball" factory product.

And, during their cruelly shortened lives, the animals themselves are no doubt healthier and even "happy".

Thus, the people who raise them to be killed, their carcasses to be sold and eaten, and the people who buy and eat those pieces are able to feel less guilt and shame.

But the result for the "happy, healthy" animal is the same as for the industrial-raised animal: premature death at the hand of humans.

In times of famine, this might be justified for survival -- after all, cannibalism has been resorted to in such situations. But this "happy, healthy" meat market is a response to surfeit. It feeds the same desire for flesh that sustains the factory lots and drives the clearing of rainforests. Paying more for pieces of "happy, healthy", locally killed animals is an effort to separate one's appetite from that of the common horde.

But it remains, however, (literally, in our very long intestines -- quite unlike those of the carnivorous animals) quite as unhealthy, and the animals meet the same quite unhappy end.

animal rights, vegetarianism, Vermont