In light of developments over the last two years, and specifically spurred on by our enemies’ win in the New Mexico Horse Slaughter story and ratcheted-up kow-towing by industry to companies like McDonald’s and Nestle, I feel compelled to publish this piece that I wrote in October 2012 but never made public.
Production People, if we do not all stand together and say “ENOUGH,” our kids and grandkids will not be able to produce, and therefore many, many people in this world will starve. Let’s end the extortion with a simple “No!”
Given the sheer magnitude of intensive confinement agriculture — in terms of the number of individual animals involved and in terms of the impact on animal welfare, human health, and the planet’s limited resources — the sense of urgency cannot be overstated. Whether one spends his or her days in a corporate boardroom in India, a government office in Russia, a university classroom in Brazil, or a farm in Canada, all who are involved in the global food industry, as producers or consumers, have an obligation to find remedies to the problems caused by the growth in intensive confinement animal agriculture around the world. It is time for a global commitment to reduce animal suffering and to mitigate the many unintended and undesirable consequences of raising animals for food. — Conclusion from “The Globalization of Animal Welfare” by Miyun Park and Peter Singer
What does a “global commitment” look like? (Hint: The Singer Crowd is focussing on UN action.)
What, specifically are these “problems caused by the growth in intensive confinement animal agriculture around the world?” (Hint: The “problems” are largely invented.)
What, specifically, are the impacts on “animal welfare, human health and the planet’s limited resources?” (Hint: Since factory-efficiency-type concepts have been applied to agriculture, net impacts upon animal welfare, human health and the planet’s limited resources have been wholly positive.)
There are many questions that arise from this disturbing piece. But fundamentally, the Singer Crowd’s offensive is in direct and utter opposition to the sanctity of private property. If we animal agriculturalists fight this in any way other than that, we will lose. There are two Macro Plans of attack by the Singer Crowd:
1) legislation/regulation and
2) pressure on consumers (mainly through pressure on large buyers of products, like Cargill, ADM, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, etc.).
The Singer Crowd has experienced staggering success in both. Regarding Macro Plan #1, they have acted through local, state, national and international (UN) governments. Interestingly, the UN’s Agenda 21 program connects the UN to local governments. Not exactly the “circle of life” we all know and love.
In the “beef industry,” we have, at the top-most levels, decided that just being open and honest with everyone will solve all of our problems. We’re supposed to blog and read blogs and comment on NY Times articles online. In the mean time, Beef Products Inc. (BPI), who could not have been MORE open (they allowed Food Inc. full access, for goodness sake!), had to close down 3 of their 4 plants and lay off 650 people because of the stunning triumph of Macro Plan #2.
I have thought through these issues fairly intensely for several years now. No matter which way I attempt to tackle the subject, the only way I see to successfully fight is to have an alternative supply chain. We must have a supply chain that is committed to providing a good product at a reasonable price without being distracted by third-party accreditation programs, ticks of approval from WWF, official USDA grading, or patronage to environmental and animal rights groups.
When they attack “pink slime,” we sell pink slime burgers. When they attack gestation stalls, we announce that we buy gestation-stall raised pork. When they say that timber producers are evil and we must install hand dryers in bathrooms, we announce that additional paper towel dispensers will be added to all bathrooms in the supply chain.
We have been told (and all of our “industry” efforts are now based on the assumption) that “the consumer” wants to know where and how their food is produced. This is true for a tiny percentage of consumers (who will never eat at McDonald’s anyway!), but for the vast majority of consumers, it is patently false. They want a good product at a reasonable price. That’s all. They trust farmers and ranchers to give them what they want in the best possible way.
So long as we continue to cower and apologise and defend and pay protection money to “third party auditors,” we will continue to lose. Big time.
We must stand up, be proud, go on the offensive and PRODUCE, PRODUCE, PRODUCE. In order to do this, we must be allowed to control what happens on and with our private property — including animals.
I love agriculture. I love independent thinkers. I love private property and all the benefits that accrue under a system which respects and defends the divine rights of life, liberty and property.