Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Animals As Food


  • April 4, hunting and rodeo presentations
  • March 28--your blog post and proof of visit is due


Is it ethical to use animals as food?
  1. No, we should be vegans--(a) authors we've already studied (who?), (b) Norcross
  2. Yes, it can be ethical--(a) authors we've already studied (who?), (b) 4 defenses (Frey, George, Davis, Pollan)
  3. It would be more ethical after genetic engineering (Shriver)
Fact Gathering First  
  1. Impact--on animals, on environment 
  2. Nutrition--can a vegan diet be healthy?
  3. Taste--does a vegan diet taste good?
IMPACT--on animals, on environment
    Numbers (source)
    • About 10 billion land animals die annually in food production in the US
    • 218 million are killed by hunters, in animal shelters, research, product testing, dissection, and fur farms (2% of total killed)
    Types of Animal Farming (discuss #1 and #2 today, 3-5 later on)
    1. Factory farming (vast majority of US farming)
    2. Reformed factory farming 
    3. Boutique humane farming
    4. Perfectly painless farming
    5. Plant farming (animals still killed, but accidentally)
    The Big Picture
    The Meatrix (about history of factory farming) (we'll watch)
    Food Inc
    Glass Walls (PETA video)

    Broiler Chickens (for meat)

    Treatment: debeaking, very short lives, crowding (20,000 per barn),  ammonia fumes, collapsing under own weight (see Food Inc.)

    Laying hens (for eggs)

    What happens to the males?

    Looking down into a dumpster - discarded male chicks
    Treatment: crowding (each chicken has less space than a piece of typing paper), debeaking

    Farm Sanctuary

    Slaughter of chickens: thrown on trucks, long trip, no water, shackled upside down, dragged through electrified water, throats slit, more about slaughter


    Treatment: crowding, tail-docking, sow crates

    An industry video about phasing out of sow crates: http://www.smithfieldfoods.com/responsible-operations/animal-care (scroll down)

    Beef Cattle

    Treatment: castration, branding, range life until 8 months, feedlot for several months; corn diet, antibiotics, hormones
    More info:  Power Steer

    Dairy Cows

    Treatment: separation from calves, over-milking, mastitis, BST
    What happens to the males? (read about sexed semen)
    Good account of modern dairy farm here 

    Veal Calves

    Veal facts (old method)

    Industry changes in last 10 years

    Slaughter of pigs, cattle
    Transported on hot, crowded trucks
    Animals shot in head with stun gun, lose consciousness (ideally)
    Hoisted upside-down, throats slit
    Animals killed at a rate of 400 per hour
    Temple Grandin reforms: more auditing, curved chute

    some issues:  seine fishingbycatch, how fish die, dwindling stocks, endangered species
     Environmental impact
    Is Meat Green? 
    Rethinking the Meat Guzzler
    Livestock's Long Shadow 
    NUTRITION: can a vegan diet be healthy?

    1. Indifferent omnivore (eat anything tasty)
    2. Compassionate omnivore (consider the source--humane standards)
    3. Vegetarian/Compassionate (no meat, consider the source of eggs, dairy)
    4. Vegan (100% plant-based)
    Are vegetarian and vegan diets healthy?
    Expert statements on vegetarian and vegan diets
    B-12 supplementation      Vegan athletes 
    TASTE: does a vegan diet taste good?
    Did you enjoy your vegan meal?

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