Regarding the link I shared yesterday to a post from a dairy farmer which was itself a response to the horrible abuse footage at Conklin dairy farm, a reader writes:
*eye roll* to the “defense of dairy” blog entry, but hey to each their own…I notice you didn’t include the reason for that blog entry.
I did not include a link to the OH dairy farm abuse footage but I’m not sure what the inference is here. Did I not include it because I believe it’s staged footage or because I think abusing cows is swell? No, on both counts. Did I not include it because I think the timing is suspect and the release of the footage is being used by HSUS to further their quest for new farming laws in OH? No, although I am doubtful that the timing is merely coincidental. The reasons I did not include a reference to the abuse video are rather pedestrian:
1. I knew the blog post I was linking to mentioned the abuse footage so in that sense, I felt it was covered.
2. I purposefully try to avoid seeing animal abuse images because I find them too disturbing. I see many in the course of surfing the net but as of the time I posted that link, I had not seen the Conklin dairy farm footage and was hoping to avoid doing so. (I’ve since seen snippets from it on television, unfortunately.) Since I had already written a post yesterday with links to graphic abuse images, I really wasn’t that keen on including another.
3. I count my readers as fully capable of using Google to find the footage for themselves, if they felt inclined to do so after reading about it in the link I posted.
More from the reader’s comment:
As I keep wanting to know – how many undercover investigations, how many videos does it take for people to stop thinking these are “bad apples”? There are hundreds currently. Does it take thousands? Tens of thousands?
There is no set number I could think of that would personally sway me into believing that animal abuse is the norm in farming. Maybe I am naive or just out of touch with reality but I do believe that most people on this earth are inherently good, or at least not sadists. I believe, perhaps wrongly, that if I were to watch footage of every farm in America 24/7 for a year, that it would be mainly animals being taken care of in a humane manner with some small amount of the footage showing cruelty.
Similarly, while I do often post on stories of cruelty to pets, I believe that those are aberrations and that the overwhelming majority of owners treat their pets humanely. In theory, I could collect hundreds of stories of pet abuse, and pose the same question asked above – How many will it take to convince people that these are not bad apples but rather the norm? But I don’t believe that’s true.
We don’t need the breast milk of another species to survive. We never have. Why take part in maternal deprivation, slaughter, veal, artificial selection for unhealthy animals when you don’t have to?
I don’t need cow’s milk to survive – true enough. Nor do I need a car or a computer or air conditioning to survive. But I have those things because they are available and I enjoy them. I strive to be a mindful consumer but perhaps I’m just fooling myself so that I don’t have to face my own awfulness. I hope not. My dream (we’re talking lottery dream here) would be to have my own farm where I could have cows and chickens to keep as pets and to provide me with food. I would love that. But the reality is that if I want dairy products and eggs – and I do – I must buy them. I support the choice to be vegan for those who desire it but I don’t choose it for myself.
I did want to mention that I first learned about the Conklin dairy farm abuse footage yesterday on Twitter – from the farmers I follow. I saw a number of tweets from farmers condemning farm animal abuse and referring to the video. Now I’m not so naive as to fail to recognize that the agricultural community likely feels a business obligation to issue these type of statements. But again, because I do believe most people are not sadists, I have no reason to doubt those farmers who say this abuse makes them sick and they would never treat their animals this way. That’s exactly how I feel when I read about pet abuse cases and I would hate for anyone to judge me and how I take care of my pets by the actions of sadists who set their pets on fire or what have you. Those stories make the news because they are not standard fare.
I hope I’ve explained my thinking and answered the questions posed. I always appreciate reader comments. Civil debate is one way that I learn and expand my views and for that I am grateful.