Canadians Have 'The Right To Know' The Beef About Their Beef

In overcrowded feedlots cattle are packed together and  forced to live knee-deep in their own manure and urine.

Despite the pretty pictures of cattle grazing on the wide open range with the snow covered Rockies in the background during the first few months of their short lives almost all cattle spend the last few months of their lives in overcrowded, urine and manure drenched feedlots. As Micheal Pollen writes in the New York Times, "Cattle spend the last months of their lives standing ankle deep in their own waste eating a diet that makes them sick. Typical cattle feed includes corn which the animals cannot properly digest, and "fillers" such as sawdust or chicken manure."

Canadians have 'the right to know' that cattle raised for beef are subjected to numerous painful procedures during their lives. A person can find many websites that detail this disgusting story [here's a link to one that's accurate but is a bit less digusting than most]. It's true that many millions of people eat beef, but it's also true that most of them never think about the process that brings it to their table let alone allows themselves to extend empathy to the cattle. Humans like to think of themselves as qualitatively different from animals, but in reality animals have the same feelings and thoughts as humans. Imagine having some of the things described in the link above done to yourself.

Of course, cattle aren't the only animals we humans try to deny sentience to. Pigs are highly intelligent yet we treat them equally inhumanely. Poultry too are most often treated like things instead of beings created, as we are, by the same creator. When a person lives on a small farm and watches a few creatures give birth to their babies, and lick them, and feed them, and protect them from a predator to the point of giving their life to do so. When a person goes out each morning to feed them or let them out to graze and is greeted by them with warmth and fellowship, then again at night helps them and sees them bed down and snuggle with their family, it's impossible not to understand that they have feelings. If, for some unfortunate reason, a person sees another creature cower in fear when a situation that earlier caused them pain arises again, it's impossible to deny that they have thoughts just like we do.

Of course people, including those who live on small  farms, will continue to eat meat but if they do it consciously, if they understand that we are all in this world together, if they only eat the meat of animals who have had the chance to live a real life and who have been treated with dignity at their life's end, those people will be far more healthy in body and spirit.

The Californians are voting on Proposition 37, the mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients in their foods, named 'The Right To Know Law'. Wouldn't it be great if after winning that first victory over the forces of industrial agriculture that want only to obscure the truth that people everywhere woke up to their 'right to know'. First about the GMO contents of their foods, then moved on to demanding their 'right to know' how and from where all their food is produced. Canadians, Californians, all of us from here to Timbuktu, we all have 'the right to know'.