by Angie Weaver
Native Foods Tribe Member
ee ii ee ii Oooooo...and on that farm he had a chicken...when I sang that song as a child, I would picture idyllic images of farms in my head--cows grazing on green grass, chickens clucking, roosters cock-a-doodle dooing, and pigs rolling around in mud baths. Farm animals seemed more like pets than food producers. What else was I to think? In school, we are taught about a very sanitized, gore-free version of farms. The farmer and his farm hands sit down to a breakfast of eggs (which we learn they collect from the cheerful chickens), milk (which we learn is hand milked from the happy cows), and bacon/ham (which, I guess, we assume they bought from the store since we never learn where bacon and ham comes from).
Certainly, we would never tell young children about the horrors of slaughtering animals for food. But, as adults, I think we can handle it. I'll go even farther to say we should know everything about where our food comes from. We are educated consumers these days. When we are going to make a big money purchase, we go to consumer reports and check out the ratings or Google the item so we can check out what other people's opinions are about the product. We do this kind of legwork for buying a flat screen TV, but many people don't do it when it comes to what they put in our bodies . Let food be your medicine. If you are putting contaminated junk in your body, don't expect great results.
There is a sensational book out now, that I highly recommend to any and everybody. The book is called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer had been vegetarian on and off throughout the early years of his life, but when he and his wife were expecting their first child, the prospect of having to feed someone else drove him to want to further investigate if he would raise his child as a vegetarian. This quest drove him to investigate the horrors of factory farming first-hand. Beyond just opinion, Foer goes undercover to see first-hand what goes on at these "farms" (I use that term loosely.) He is driven underground after he tries for many months to get open access to a number of factory farms. He sent many letters explaining his situation and how he could be available at any time to come and tour the factories where they house animals. Surprise, surprise no one responded to his request. In the honor of full-disclosure, wouldn't companies want their customers to see the conditions the animals live in that will be sold as food? That's a rhetorical question, of course. In my opinion, if people saw the misery of animals in confinement and abhorrent living conditions of 99% of farms, they would drastically change their eating habits. Foer appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show, after the release of this book, to talk about his findings. Click on this link to watch the interview : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYZ7IlWo3BM&feature=related
Animal Acres, a wonderful sanctuary (that's me with the curly hair!):
I've always thought that quote had such great insight beyond our motto, "eat peace". The pursuit of peace should be never ending. It's unfortunate, but the farm, as we once knew it, or thought we knew it, is gone. What a shame! Old MacDonald has lost his farm...ee ii ee ii ooooooooo.