The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Dear Union of Concerned Scientists,
Having read the first chapter of your CAFO report (www.corporatecrimereporter.com/documents/CAFOsUncovered.pdf), I commend the time, effort, research and intelligence required to produce it.
Your arguments against CAFOs and your advocacy for medium-to-small animal feeding operations, as well as for a change in public policy to permit such a shift, are worthy of attention. May your suggestions be heeded by politicians and policy-makers -- in the interim, anyway.
But, long-term, what I believe we need is for every individual to look at his or her reasons for eating animal products in the first place. If this self-examination were done with integrity, many of us would reach a conclusion even more intelligent, not to mention compassionate, than the findings of your white paper.
Specifically, we would realize that our obsession with -- yea, our addiction to -- meat/milk/eggs is no more than an entrenched cultural tradition that is both unkind to animals and unkind to humans on many levels. For one thing, eating meat is terribly inefficient, thus wasteful, thus cruel to the world's poor, since it takes five times more land to grow crops for livestock feed than it does to grow grain for people to eat. Too, there is no nutritional justification for meat/milk/egg consumption, since all needed nutrients are available in an abundant variety of non-animal-based products. In short, the selfish, speciesist mentality that breeds, raises, slaughters, buys and consumes the flesh of sentient, sapient beings simply to please the palate leads to the inevitable degradation of our physical health, not to mention to gross misuse of our precious land and its natural resources.
Put another way, your study is valuable as far as it goes. It opens eyes to the unfair, unethical, uneconomic, unwise, unhealthy system that rewards CAFOs and discourages better alternatives. But to assume that we should remain stuck in the rut of what is, bottom line, a barbaric practice -- eating the flesh and secretions of other animal species -- is to leave us mired in obsolete thinking and behavior. We will never find that ever-elusive peace and harmony, either individually or collectively, as long as we treat animals as our property and as production units. They are God's beautiful creations, and they deserve to be respected as autonomous beings, with the right to life (or even the right not to be bred for food) instead of as mere means to human ends.
Please read The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle if you want to further understand what I'm trying to articulate here.
Sacrifices were invented by men to be a pretext for eating flesh. ~ Clement of Alexandria (150-200 C.E.)
To slay an animal and consume its flesh is selfish and murderous, -- the spirit which keeps Heaven away from this gloriously beautiful earth. ... Think of these things: taking a life with a view to sustain your own is wrong in principle, selfish in practice, and devoid of the apology of necessity. ~ Colonel Eldridge J. Smith (circa mid-1800s to early 1990s)
A human can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral. ... As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields. ~ Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
It is a great delusion to suppose that flesh of any kind is essential to health. ~ William Booth (1829-1912)
True human culture exists only when not just eating men but any form of consuming meat is considered as cannibalism. ~ Wilhelm Bush (1832-1908)
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