RESPONSE TO KATIE COURIC'S RECENT CBS NEWS STORIES Scientists have known for many years that bacteria can mutate to become resistant to antibiotics or pick up genetic material from other bacteria that have survived the antibiotic use, and then further spread this within the bacterial population. And this is exactly what has been happening on intensive farms across the U.S. over the last few decades. Part of the problem with this overuse of low-dose antibiotics is the fact that while the low dose kills off the more susceptible bacteria first, it leaves behind those bacteria that aren’t susceptible – in other words, the ones that show resistance. And because the farmers generally use the same antibiotics over and over again, in the end the only bacteria left are those that are resistant. Without anything to control them, these resistant bacteria can multiply and easily spread from animal to animal, and then from farm to farm.
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: VIDEO DEPICTS VIOLENT ACTS AGAINST ANIMALS
Yet another case of animal cruelty was exposed yesterday in a video released by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Shot by an undercover worker in a conventional confinement house, the video shows multiple workers beating and shocking pigs with electric prods, and jamming rods into sensitive areas. The farm is a supplier for Hormel Foods of Austin, Minnesota.
The abusive practices seem to be widespread across the farm, and among more than just one or two workers. Industry representatives would paint this as an isolated incident, but how many “isolated” incidents must occur before we admit that there is a pattern? Even without the added abuse at the hands of angry workers, these pigs live in a systematically inhumane environment. Their tails are cut off to prevent tail-biting–a phenomenon that occurs when intelligent, inquisitive animals are packed into close quarters with little environmental stimulation. These pigs spend their lives on slatted floors in an unnatural setting without outdoor access. Sows are confined to metal cages, and denied the ability to nest and socialize. This is an environment where cruelty has become normal.
Images like this will cause some to stop eating meat altogether, but those who continue to keep meat in their diets have an alternative. By choosing meat from high-welfare farms, people have the opportunity to improve animal welfare rather than ignore it. To learn more about high-welfare farming, take a look at these profiles of Animal Welfare Approved family farmers.