Trees, meat, animals

Last night, The Cop and I went to my parents’ house for dinner and to rescue a couple of palms. Their neighbors wanted to get rid of a couple of small trees, and The Cop and I agreed to be the rescue team. Well, I agreed, and he was the team.

It’s kind of nice because my parents live in Sun City — a retirement community on the other side of the valley. Their neighbors are all old. Having a strapping young fellow agree to pull some trees out of their yard was a welcome treat.

So I had the pleasure of watching The Cop and my Dad work together to try to get the first tree out of the ground. After lots of digging, it turned into a chain-and-truck operation. Fun! The Cop loves tearing things down by strapping a chain to the truck and backing it up.

He looked sweaty and aggravated and as my Mom and I watched through the kitchen window, I said, “He’ll replant it in our yard and forever call it ‘that fucking tree.'” She laughed. My parents love The Cop.

The first tree was such a project that the second tree rescue was shelved. We had dinner with the folks before we headed home with our prize.

At dinner, we had law and order stories — no, not the TV show, the real stories of The Cop on the job. My Dad LOVES those stories.

And then I told them that My Gift’s roommate has decided she wants to raise chickens. The Wacky Roommate became a vegetarian because she dislikes the food animal production cycle. So she figures she will raise and kill her own chickens. My Gift is horrified, because she knows she will grow attached to the chickens. My Gift has been a vegetarian pretty much her whole life.

I’m horrified at the idea that The Wacky Roommate might actually be capable of killing a chicken. The Cop said that he is a hypocrite, because while he eats chicken, he knows he could never kill one (he is a tender-hearted animal lover). My Dad mentioned that as a kid he once killed a chicken for dinner at his Mom’s behest. He didn’t ever want to do it again.

I guess I am behind the idea of people being responsible and killing meat if they really want to eat it — there’s a certain kind of honesty and responsibility in it. Still… why not just skip the whole thing?

And in that mindset, I just read an article about the current meat recall. I imagined, when I first read the headlines, that this was about listeria or possibly mad cow, but as it turns out, it is even more heartbreaking than that.

Westland did not routinely contact its veterinarian when cattle became non-ambulatory after passing inspection, violating health regulations…

Authorities said the video showed workers kicking, shocking and otherwise abusing “downer” animals that were apparently too sick or injured to walk into the slaughterhouse. Some animals had water forced down their throats.

Despite the supposed revulsion of the authorities, the recall isn’t because living creatures who had fallen down and were unable to get back up, or who were injured or crippled or ill, were abused and then slaughtered. The recall is because sick animals may have made it into the food supply.

How does that logic work? Who concocted the “we’re so appalled to see this abuse” spin? The animals were abused. But the recall is in case any of them were sick. It’s not about their suffering or their abuse.



2 Responses

  1. yuck. the abuse stuff. i have to admit, that while i really enjoy meat, i could easily give it up if my daughter and husband didn’t love it so much. but i have taken to only buying beef that was raised by my business partner brother and his wife. so i know it was well cared for and well fed. and if Girl is going to insist on her cow, i feel better about giving her this one.

  2. Oh wow. Yeah, it’s all about us, huh?

    I guess I’m glad this video is out there now.

    We were pretty close to the land when I was a kid. The neighbors had about 50 head of cattle, and my dad and a friend would go out in the fall and pick one, slaughter him themselves, and we’d keep our half in a couple of freezers in the garage. Ate beef once or twice a day. I don’t judge this or look down on it at all. It was an inexpensive, local way for us to have quality nourishment in a time my folks were doing a lot of physical work in a cold climate. I grew up incredibly healthy and well nourished, and still benefit from that physically. But I guess the question you ask–why not forget the whole thing?–was the one I went with eventually. I had seen what it was about and lost my taste for it as a result. And what I had seen was sort of the best possible scenario….

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