I am happy that Mr. Myslinski is concerned enough about this issue to have responded to my article against his meat campaign. Sadly, his understanding of meat production has been terribly skewed by industry propaganda.
He points out that millions of animals are killed in crop production each year, while failing to acknowledge that billions of animals are killed in meat production each year, the majority of whom spend their lives in tiny cages or filthy sheds. Plus, most crops grown in the United States are used to feed farmed animals, so buying less meat actually reduces the number of animals harmed in crop production as well! Our choices can make a very big difference, indeed.
In contrast to Mr. Myslinski’s image of modern farms as being concerned with the welfare of animals, the industry learned long ago that it is more profitable to allow a percentage of animals to suffer and die from injuries or illness than to improve their overall conditions.
I would hate to think Mr. Myslinski is being deceitful by denying the fact that highly intelligent, social pigs used for breeding in the United States spend four years at a time inside barren stalls, a practice so cruel that is has already been banned in the European Union (effective 2013) and in some U.S. states.
In The American Conservative magazine, Matthew Scully, President Bush’s former speechwriter, describes his visit to a typical pig farm: “They lie covered in their own urine and excrement, covered with festering sores, tumors, ulcers, lesions, or what my guide shrugged off as the routine ‘pus pockets.’”
Interestingly, Mr. Myslinski is correct that hens’ beaks are seared off because they “would injure or kill other chickens in close contact.” Yes, precisely because they are in such close contact, namely five to seven hens in a 20-inch-wide cage. Countless undercover investigations of the egg industry, which you can see for yourself at MeetYourMeat.com, have routinely found hens with broken wings tangled in cage wires, and rotting corpses of hens left in cages for weeks with their living sisters.
I guess this is why he was afraid to debate me. It’s time for the rest of us to stop deceiving ourselves and start thinking seriously about the animals in our power.
Junior, College of Arts and Sciences