It’s just NOT the “OLD MacDonald’s Farm” anymore!
Generally speaking, most of us don’t think about the origins of our food (especially meat) when we go to the supermarket. Yet when asked, the average person envisions farm animals living a full life on the beautiful fields of ”Old MacDonald’s Farm”. After all, we read our children and grandchildren books and sing songs about animals on the farm, and as adults we may remember learning about or growing up on the early farms. This was accurate until the 1960’s. Up to that time, most farms in America were small operations run and managed by families. The animal stock was mostly well fed and well cared for, living in somewhat natural environments, being able to socialize and cluster together with other members of their groups to engage in stimulating natural animal behaviors.
In the 1960’s, the Industrial Farm Industry took over the small family run farms, and with that, the “innocent creatures of God” who were once loved and nurtured became nothing more than a monetary commodity. Their enriched lives and roaming spaces became confined “hell holes”, sometimes too small for an animal to even turn around or to scratch an itch.
In factory farms, hens are confined in crates for their entire egg laying years to an area the size of a piece of a loose leaf paper, unable to move and extend their wings. Such confinement creates agitation, so hens begin to peck at each other or pull out their feathers. To alleviate this, the beaks of hands are often ripped or cut off with a hot knife without pain medication or anesthesia. Hen houses can be larger than football fields, and the stench and ammonia necessitate staff to wear masks. Male chicks are of no use in the factory farm world and have no monetary value. Within a day of their hatching they are discarded either by being thrown into a grinding machine to be ground up alive, or thrown into a “garbage bin” and left to suffocate and die.
Cattle raised for beef are castrated, dehorned, and branded-painful procedures performed without anesthesia. Bulls are given electric shocks causing them to ejaculate and impregnate the cow. When cows give birth, the calves are taken from their mother within their first day, an emotionally painful situation with cries from both the cow for her calf. When a cow’s productive milk years are over she is slaughtered.
God loves all creation. As children of God, our responsibility is to care for and nurture God’s creatures. We cannot turn a blind eye to the abuse of these innocent and voiceless victims. We can sing songs to our children and grandchildren, but it’s not Old MacDonald’s Farm anymore, and it’s time to act.
Things we can do to help:
- Eat less meat! (See our “Meatless Monday” challenge).
- Buy meat and other products from “Sustainable Farms” that practice humane husbandry methods.
- Support reputable organizations like The Humane Society and others that fight for factory farm reforms.
- Spread the word! Direct a friend to our website.