Should We Hope for God’s Mercy?
PETA Accuses Smithfield Pig Supplier of Torture
U.S. Ag Reforms Saved “Factory Farms” $3.9 Billion
1. Should We Hope for God’s Mercy?
I contend that contemporary factory farming is among the most
egregious offenses against God and God’s Creation ever perpetrated by
humanity, for the following reasons:
1. Factory farming is unnecessary. We have access to
healthy non-animal foods, and those who insist on eating animals and
animal products could obtain them from far less abusive systems. In
fact, the article below shows that factory-farmed foods cost less
than other methods largely because of federal price supports.
2. Factory farming is cruel. Only those who close their
eyes to standard practices of factory farms – including intensive
confinement, mutilations without anesthetics, and prohibition of
virtually all behaviors God created animals to do – can believe that
factory farming doesn’t constitute animal abuse.
3. The victims are innocent. Animals have done nothing to
deserve the unrelenting abuse they experience. Even “humane” farms
typically kill animals in adolescence or young adulthood. It is
human arrogance to believe that animals belong to us, not God, and
it is human callousness and hardness of heart that accounts for the
massive abuse of about 10 billion land animals in the U.S. (50
billion in the world) each year. The number of fish killed is far
higher. At no time in history have human beings tortured more
animals, and tortured them more exquisitely, than our current times.
4. Modern animal agriculture causes suffering to humans.
As the CVA booklet "Are We Good Stewards of God’s Creation?"
discusses, modern animal agriculture contributes substantially to
world poverty and hunger, global warming, environmental degradation,
disease propagation, antibiotic resistance, and human diseases such
as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Factory farming is a choice – a choice that is having disastrous
consequences for animals right now and threatens to contribute heavily
to the collapse of human civilization. Will God save humanity from its
own violence, cruelty, destructiveness? Should God save humanity from
its own violence, cruelty, and destructiveness?
What can we do? For starters, we can stop consuming the products of
But we can do much more. Organizations like the Christian Vegetarian
www.veganoutreach.org, and PETA
www.peta.org have excellent resources to help all of us make visible
the hidden, invisible victims of factory farming.
Our being a witness to the abuse, and compassionately and
respectfully showing people ways that they can avoid contributing to the
abuse, we can serve God and God’s creatures. In addition, I encourage
those people of compassion who are able to offer financial support for
these or other organizations that strive to prevent the massive crimes
against God’s creatures.
Steve Kaufman, M.D., CVA chair
2. PETA Accuses Smithfield Pig Supplier
Eyes gouged out of pigs; injured pigs dragged by their ears, snouts
and legs; pigs hit and jabbed with 2-foot metal rods; tails and
testicles amputated without pain relief from screaming piglets in the
presence of their mothers. These are among the abuses a PETA
investigator claims to have documented at a 2,200-pig Murphy Family
Ventures (MFV) farm in Garland, N.C. (footage at:
The company supplies pigs to Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest
pig meat producer (see:
The investigator worked at the facility from September 13th until
November 2nd, after PETA reportedly received a tip from a former MFV
employee who told of similar abuses at another of the company’s farms.
He said he quit out of fear that his co-workers were becoming suspicious
of him since he was the only person there who was not abusing the pigs.
The investigator had been instructed to do so, and the PETA footage
includes a worker vulgarly describing how he viciously assaults pigs.
PETA contends the actions violate state anti-cruelty laws and it
wants criminal charges brought against the filmed workers. The
organization has turned its evidence over to the Sampson County District
Attorney. He stated that he will announce whether charges will be filed
after the allegations are investigated. PETA is also demanding that
Smithfield install surveillance cameras at farms and slaughterplants and
conduct internal investigations. Smithfield's subsidiary Murphy-Brown
LLC, and MFV, which it contracts with, have both said they are
investigating the accusations and will require strict compliance with
Murphy-Brown's animal welfare policies.
NORTH CAROLINA AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE ALLEGED PIG
ABUSE BY SUPPLIER FOR LARGEST U.S. PORK PRODUCER
Fox News, Catherine Donaldson-Evans,
December 12, 2007
SHOCKING INVESTIGATION UNVEILS TORTURE OF MOTHER PIGS
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,
December 11, 2007
3. U.S. Ag Reforms Saved “Factory Farms”
U.S. agricultural policy reforms of 1996 led to the overproduction of
crops, including corn and soybeans used for animal feed. Between 1997
and 2005, industrial animal farms, the main purchasers of corn and soy,
were able to save an estimated $3.9 billion per year by obtaining them
at below-cost prices. By doing so, these cattle, chicken and pig
operations saved an estimated $35 billion over the 9-year period.
According to “Feeding at the Trough,” a new report by the Global
Development and Environment Institute of Tufts University, this gave
these “factory farms” a competitive advantage over diversified farms
that grew their own crops. They also benefited from externalizing the
costs of pollution from the large manure concentrations they generated.
The researchers estimate that full-cost feed and stricter environmental
regulations could have increased the operating costs of intensive pig
operations by 17.4% to 25.7%, essentially eliminating the cost advantage
they had over smaller, diversified pig farms.
FEEDING AT THE TROUGH
(FEEDING THE FACTORY FARM PROJECT)
GDAE Policy Brief No. 07-03,
Elanor Starmer & Timothy A. Wise,