New Video on Factory Farming From The Humane Society


The Humane Society of the United States just released a new video documenting the horrible truths behind America’s factory farming industry and our incessant hunger for meat (I know, only some of us). The video, narrated by James Cromwell, is certainly an eye-opener.

The video begins with some dissonant piano notes backing up images of pigs, cows and chickens with no room to move inside of their cages, side by side with thousands of other animals who will live the same horrible lives and find the same horrible deaths. Cromwell’s voice, all scratchy and wise, is the perfect pitch for this narration. The realization is immediate that the video will be a bit coarse, but nonetheless moving.

I eat meat. I always have. I think I always will. Yet this doesn’t change my disgust for the cruelty and disregard of the Factory Farming Industry. I didn’t really learn about industrialized farming until my Junior year in college. I had never really thought much about it. When I was growing up, my father raised cattle on my grandparent’s farm in rural Virginiaβ€”so a lot of the meat in our freezer was raised just down the road and if it wasn’t I always assumed it was raised somewhere else in a similar fashionβ€” ahhh, the beauty of naivete.

In my college public speaking course I decided to do my research and speak on the Factory Farming industry. I learned first hand how absurd the industry really is. Not only is there extreme cruelty towards animals, there is also extreme environmental issues as well. One thing I focused on in my speeches was the amount of waste accumulated by these huge operations. When you house that many animals in such a small vicinity, you have to have a place to put all the waste. The industry’s answer to this: waste lagoons.They fill large pits with waste and when the lagoon walls burst or the area experiences heavy rains, the result is contaminated rivers and streams. This type of accident has been known to cause issues like eutrophication, which causes problems like algae blooms, “blue baby syndrome” (also read this) and introduce a whole host of nasty bacteria into watersheds.

I wish it was just a question of right v. wrong, cruel v. humane or ethical v. unethical, but it’s not. Unfortunately it’s also question of supply and demand. I live in Manhattan, one of the most densely populated places in the world, and I see everyday that we are some consuming SOBs. I would be a hypocrite to tell you to stop eating meat, so I won’t, but I will tell you to watch this video and decide for yourself if that is something you want to contribute to. I’m trying to buy the right foods from the right operations, and it’s not always easy or affordable, but I’m doing it solely because of my knowledge of factory farming. The arguments on this subject are many, but I’m certain I don’t want to contribute to what I saw in this video. Take a gander and let me know how you feel.[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/Z-cor1uZ2AM" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]If after watching the video you’ve decided to give up meat, here are a few posts from another Green Options writer that might help:

photo credit: cow
photo credit: lagoon

  1. Kendra Holliday

    I am so glad there are meat eaters out there like you who acknowledge that the meat industry in the U.S. is heinous. I hope you really do work towards eating more humanely.

    In addition to buying local small farm meat, try being vegetarian one day a week.

    I hope to visit Farm Sanctuary next summer in New York – their documentary Peaceable Kingdom is an amazing film that details the lives of farm animals.

    Also, there’s a new book out called “Thanking the Monkey” by Karen Dawn that is about rethinking the way we treat animals. http://www.thankingthemonkey.com/index.php

    I think some people can easily put themselves in the place of fellow creatures and imagine what their suffering is like, while others have a barrier up where they feel like other animals (or people for that matter) are on a different plane and not worthy of consideration and respect.

    Thank you for featuring this video. Education is the most important tool towards reducing the amount of suffering in this world.

  2. lou

    I am so glad to be informed of something that I was blocking out of my mind. I remember when I was just a kid of 8 or 9 years of age living on my grandparents farm in Virginia animals were a part of the family. They were our source of food, they also were treated as a part of the family. We protected them, we fed them, we treated them when they were sick, and we provided for them. They were what kept our family together. They were
    treated with respect and love and lived along life until
    they were needed for our families source of food. These animals should be treated with dignity in lif for that is what they have given us. Thanks Kyle for the video and the attention you bring to the treatment of these friends of ours.

  3. John R. Hopper

    Another option is to buy kosher meat whenever possible. I asked our local BJ’s for some, and they started carrying frozen Kosher chicken. I was surprized by the number of people buying it with me.
    Check out CSA’s in your area, too. We have one, magnoliafarms.org which uses “humane” slaughter. Going veg at least once a week is a great idea!

  4. leonardodelapaor


    THe Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator & Saviour of the world eat lamb at Passover. In nature you will find all types of systems of food eating! The little ant captures the Green Fly & brings it down into its nest. It farms it like humans farm cattle & when it cannot produce its sticky substance, the ant kills it & feeds it to its young.


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