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CVA Blog
Monday, October 16, 2006


The Inherent Cruelty of Factory Farming

Welcome to the weekly CVA blog! In it you will find famous quotes, news and commentaries.

1. Horse slaughter in Canada on the spotlight

2. Famous quote – Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832), English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social
reformer

3. Efforts to ban foie gras in New Jersey

4. Bible verse – how, as followers of Christ, we should treat animals

5. Animal sacrifices – 20th century rituals

6. What compassion means - Gracia Fay Ellwood, CVA sustaining member and editor of “The
Peaceable Table” monthly journal
(http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/)

1. Horse slaughter in Canada: On the September 17th issue of Canada’s Winnipeg Free Press, a three-page article examined and exposed the issue of the horse-meat industry in Canada, from transport to slaughter. There are three horse slaughter plants in Canada where mostly unwanted foals (from the Pregnant Mare Urine industry to make Premarin, a drug for menopausal women) and former race horses end up being shipped to even from the US. In fact, the number of live horses imported to Canada in 2003 was 21,434, in 2004 it was 19,725 and last year 17,324, almost all from the US, according to Agriculture Canada.

Most people are unaware of the suffering these animals go through during transport and at the slaughter-house. The Winnipeg Free Press article explained in detail how horses are handled, transported and slaughtered, with so much detail – including photos – that any reader would be scandalized by the cruelty and violence involved. No wonder why the horse meat-packing business has tried to keep it as secret as possible, since most people recognize horses as companion animals and not as food.

To view the article with photos you’d need to subscribe for free at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/subscriber/
local/story/3687519p4262608c.html 

Alternatively, the article, without photos, can be found at http://groups.google.com/group/AR-News/browse_thread/thread/0e1a01de7b283b58/
6cb66ec56cc9e00b#6cb66ec56cc9e00b 

Hopefully, articles like this one will raise awareness on the horse-slaughter issue. Everybody has the right to know how animals are treated in today’s society and to be given the chance to do what Jesus calls us to do: love them and take care of them as our Creator would.

2. “The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But rather, can they suffer?”
 ~ Jeremy Bentham

3. Foie gras news in New Jersey: The state of New Jersey seems to be the one following Chicago’s steps. Assemblyman Michael Panter, a vegetarian, is introducing this week a legislation to ban the distribution and sale of foie gras in the state. He believes that force-feeding is a "barbaric practice that has no place in any civilized society." This legislation, if passed, would not only affect New Jersey but possibly neighboring states since it would also ban the distribution of foie gras in and out of New Jersey.

It is for this reason that chefs in the New York area are worried since D’Artangnan, a major foie gras supplier, is based in New Jersey. However, in spite of it likely affecting some businesses Michael Panter believes that, "At the end of the day, finance and economics should not take precedent over protecting living things. I consider this blood money.” On the other hand, Assemblywoman Joan Voss, who proposed a bill last month that would prohibit the force feeding of ducks, geese and other poultry for the production of foie gras, believes that there should be a more humane way of producing foie gras. "I don't want to ban anything," she stated.

To read the full article please visit http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--foiegrasban0928sep28,0,3938090.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey 

It would be great news for God’s creation if New Jersey becomes a state in which the exploitation of geese has no place. We should keep in mind that if more people stopped consuming foie gras, there would be no need to implement a ban. As consumers, we have a choice: to support cruelty or to honor God’s creation.

4. (RSV) Proverbs 12:10 - A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

5. Jewish Kapparot ritual: Practitioners of the Kapparot ritual have become the target of complaints by some rabbis and animal welfare organizations because it involves the slaughtering of a chicken to depict the transfer of divine punishment to the soul of the chicken.

Despite the fact the many Jews have substituted the chicken with a piece of pottery that is then smashed or money that goes to charity, some Jews fail to acknowledge the scapegoating violence involved in the ritual and the lack of mercy and compassion it shows. Additionally, it’s not just the ritual what is inherently cruel, but the way chickens are handled and transported to markets before the ritual.

People who have witnessed this ritual believe that children who are exposed to this custom either become cruel adults or are traumatized. A board member of the Jerusalem Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believes that “It does not make sense that we are asking to purify ourselves on Yom Kippur through the slaughter of a helpless animal.”

To read the full article please visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3309121,00.html 

A common practice throughout the ages has been the sacrifice of innocent victims for the atonement of sinners. While this goes on mostly unnoticed in our daily lives, through thoughts and deeds, the actual sacrifice of an innocent animal to symbolize atonement is simply barbaric. What God requests from us is not the victimization of innocent ones, but to extend our love and compassion to all of God’s creatures.

6. Gracia Fay Ellwood, CVA sustaining member and editor of “The Peaceable Table” monthly journal (http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/), shared this insightful and loving definition of what she believes compassion is:

“Literally, of course, compassion means "suffering with" the one for whom we have compassion. It is an expression of a sense of essential kinship with the other. The other half of essential kinship is sympathetic joy in the inherent goodness, even delightfulness, of the other when s/he flourishes. The reverse of compassion and sympathetic joy is psychic numbing, which may take the form of ignorance, indifference, callousness, or cruelty."

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