Labeling is everything. Recently, the Indiana legislature wound itself up over “puppy mill” legislation this session, but no one seemed to give a second thought to the treatment of animals that bear the label of “here for your eating pleasure.”
I just am not sure how people ignore the fact that cows, pigs, turkeys, ducks, sheep, and chickens also feel pain and suffering. The animals we label as commodities are raised in an environment that treats them as nothing more than – well, nothing.
We panic over the treatment of “pets” because we have labeled them in such a way that they are seen as companions and partners in our journey through life. We pamper them, care for them, and bury them in special places. Yet, when it comes to animals that we have decided to label “food”, we turn our heads to the cruelty and disdain with which they are treated.
CAFOs – where these commodities are housed – are nothing more than houses of death and destruction. Animals are packed into close quarters, fed hormone-laced grain, and injected with antibiotics to combat diseases that thrive in the close-packed quarters. All for the purpose of increasing production so that Americans and the rest of the world can consume more meat so that more arteries can become clogged so that more people can die of heart disease.
What a difference a label makes. Too bad we haven’t figured out the power that those labels contain.