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CVA Blog

Monday, February 19, 2007

Alleviating Animal Suffering

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

1. Horse slaughter for meat is now illegal in Texas
2. Famous quote – Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941), Bengali educator, philosopher, novelist,
poet, composer and Nobel Prize winner 1913.
3. Smithfield Foods, Inc. decision on gestation crates
4. Bible verse – Psalm 33:4-5
5. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. following Smithfield Foods’ steps
6. Veal tethering will stop at Marcho Farms

1. Horse slaughter for meat is now illegal in Texas: A decision issued by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in January made slaughtering horses for meat illegal in Texas, where two of the nation’s three processing plants are located. According to Vivian Farrell, President of Houston based Fund for Horses, "Closing the horse slaughter plants in Texas could save 50,000 to 60,000 equines from a brutal and terrifying death this year alone."

To read the full article please visit 

It’s good news for God’s Creation that horse slaughter for meat consumption is now illegal in Texas. More states should follow this example and extend their circle of compassion to all of God’s animals, who suffer pain and agony daily in factory farms and slaughter houses.

2. “We manage to swallow flesh only because we do not think of the cruel and sinful thing that we do. Cruelty... is a fundamental sin, and admits of no arguments or nice distinctions. If only we do not allow our heart to grow callous, it protests against cruelty, is always clearly heard; and yet we go on perpetrating cruelties easily, merrily, all of us - in fact, anyone who does not join in is dubbed a crank.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore
(1861 – 1941), Bengali educator, philosopher, novelist, poet, composer and Nobel Prize winner 1913.

3. Smithfield Foods, Inc. decision on gestation crates: Smithfield, the U.S.’s largest producer of pigs announced it will phase out gestation crates by 2017; that is the 2-by-7-foot metal crates used to house pregnant sows till their babies are born. Farms that Smithfield contracts with will be required to phase them out by 2027.

The company explained that the reason for that extended time period has to do with the lack of strategy and answers they are facing today, and to the fact that they would like the price market to not go up dramatically. The decision was largely affected by the pressure animal advocate groups put on the company and by customers such as Wal-Mart and Mc. Donald’s. Even though The National Pork Producers Council still maintains that gestation stalls are appropriate. On the other hand Larry Pope, chief executive of the Smithfield-based company, believes that providing pigs with a friendlier-type of housing is the right thing to do.

To read the full article please visit

There is no doubt that gestation crates are the result of trying to maximize profit and minimize cost without any regard to the lives of the pigs. While phasing out gestational crates by 2017 is a positive step towards a less abusive housing, it is a pity that millions of sows will continue to suffer the stress, fear and confinement for 10 more years. Supporting the pork industry is supporting unimaginable pain and suffering; while adopting a plant-based diet is a powerful statement of compassion and justice.

4. (RSV) Psalm 33:4-5 "For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD."

God is loving, faithful and just. We are made in God’s image and we are called to also be loving, faithful and just. The way we relate to Creation reflects our obedience to God.

5. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. following Smithfield Foods’ steps: Canadian’s largest pig producer, Maple Leaf Foods Inc., announced on January 31st it will gradually phase out sow gestation stalls over the next 10 years. Some skepticism came from Florian Possberg, vice-president of the Canadian Pork Council, and a large-scale hog farmer who stated, “If we're doing something for the perception of the general public, rather than the benefit of the animals and, quite frankly, the profitability of our business, that's tough to do."

However, animal advocates and caring consumers agree that gestation crates as cruel, abusive and to no benefit to the animals, regardless of what the pig industry claims. Possberg also said that the decision sets the bar for the industry. Hopefully, as a result, other Canadian companies may have no choice but to bow to public pressure.

To read the full article please visit

6. Veal tethering will stop at Marcho Farms: Marcho Farms, one of the largest US veal producers has announced that it will stop tethering formula-fed veal calves so they have space to turn around, lie down and the ability to interact. This company has already thousands of calves in this new program and within a few years the rest of their farms will implement the change. Wayne Marcho, company founder, said, "We are confident that leading this change in production practices will help to dispel the myths associated with veal."

To read the full article please visit

Tethering calves causes tremendous suffering to them, and to the mothers that cannot take care of their young, as God designed them. The public opinion has been crucial for the above change to take place, since caring, compassionate consumers refuse to eat veal. It is appalling; however, that the veal industry still refers as “myths” to the very real pain and suffering calves undergo. Hopefully, more veal producers will follow Marcho Farm’s example to make the lives of God’s calves a little less unbearable. A plant-based diet is still the most powerful statement against the exploitation of farm animals.

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