Hunting becomes a more humane way to eat meat than the meat industry in America.
It's no secret that Americans are becoming more conscious about how and where they live and what they eat to sustain themselves. A look into some very controversial practices in the meat industry gives a whole new meaning to eating what you kill.
The majority of hunters eat what they kill and even if they are going after trophy game, they still harvest the meat. Yet, anti-hunters still see hunting as cruelty to animals and are constantly making their position known.
Hunting is the most self-sustainable you can get; hunting gives you the freshest, healthiest and most ethically-killed meat. Recently reporters have been investigating the meat industry in America and the practices that have been unearthed are both alarming and disturbing. The welfare of the livestock in this country is inhumane and solely so to turn a profit.
Experiments aimed to produce a higher yield of livestock around the country have been on-going for years. These experiments and surgeries are in order to produce more meat for higher profitability in the meat industry.
Recently the New York Times had access into the private world of the meat industry and what they found is a bit frightening.
Livestock across the nation are being re-engineered to make the parts we eat more profitable; lamb chops have more meat, other parts of the animal less fatty for human consumption, loins and steaks bred to be easier for people to chew.
Laboratories and testing centers across Nebraska, run by the U.S Meat Animal Research Center which is funded by taxpayers, have been experimenting on livestock for 50 years. Their main mission is to aid "producers of beef, pork and lamb turn a higher profit as diets shift toward poultry, fish and produce."
The parent center is the Agricultural Center, a fenced-in, former army base, that oversees slaughterhouses around the nation and surgical experiments, which are performed behind closed doors in the center. It houses over 580,000 animals that are often not taken care of.
Pigs have been bred to be so lean that they become infertile. And the sows that are intended to breed have been surgically enhanced in order to yield more young. Sows now have up to 14 piglets that are born so weak that only half survive. What is worse is that bigger litters mean more piglets that the mother cannot take care of. Over 10 million weakened piglets are crushed by the genetically larger mothers each year.
Ranches and meat-producing plants have what are called "dead pits" where dead livestock, including the multiple dead young, are discarded.
Cows have been genetically altered to have twins with each birth. Instead of doubling the herd, the twins' legs get tangled and one or both don't end up surviving. There have also been disturbing libido experiments with cows and bulls.
Dr. Keen, who approached the New York Times with concerns about how animals are treated within these facilities, witnessed a brutal experiment first-hand. A young female cow was the subject of one of these experiments where she was locked into a cage, while at least six male bulls took turns mounting her for hours. Breeding usually is done with one male and one female for 15 minutes. This particular young cow ended up having two broken legs and was in poor physical shape. Dr. Keen wanted to euthanize the animal but had no clout with the head scientists.
Dr. Keen told the New York Times of multiple times he witnessed gross violence for the sake of animal experiments, where the scientists in charge may not be qualified. Many of the overseers of these experiments do not have medical degrees and still operate and euthanize animals.
Less and less people are eating sheep in the U.S. It is now estimated that Americans eat less than one pound per person. But sheep are still undergoing experiments to make them more lucrative in the meat industry. Pregnant ewes are given hormone injections in order to make the lambs heavier. What resulted were lambs born with genital deformities which made it difficult for the lambs to urinate.
Sheep are the most domesticated of all livestock and depend on human care to survive. Yet, most ranchers do not have room to house sheep so many newborn lambs are eaten by predators or abandoned by their mothers in the field.
Experiments like this are expected to be ongoing for the next four years.
Scientists, researchers, ranchers and workers in the meat industry have notified people for years of the mistreatment of animals in the meat industry. Today the Agricultural Department is still approving tests and pharmaceuticals to make animals produce more meat.
The New York Times investigation has spurred outrage across the country, including state representatives who are abhorred these experiments are being payed for by taxpayer's money.
All of these horrendous experiments to the animals we eat, all happening behind closed doors, makes hunting seem the most ethical way to eat meat. I come back to a quote from "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn every time I think about the state of the meat industry. There is something to be said of only taking what you need.
The green plants are food for the plant eaters, which are food for the predators, and some of these predators are food for still other predators. And what's left over is food for the scavengers, who return to the earth nutrients needed by the green plants...hunter-gatherers are among the best-fed people on earth, and they manage this with only two or three hours a day of what you would call work-- which makes them the most leisured people on earth.
The circle of life doesn't include meat plants.