This article is a fantastic example of only ONE of the contradictions our society operates under so that we can live the good life without ever having to confront the consequences. And the big sign of our American Willful Ignorance is the fact that Romney is so close to winning the election. But I digress.
I think this audience understands better than the general public that ALL meat has a name (even if it’s an ear tag code, or a cage number) and that someone cared for that meat as it grew, however well or poorly they cared for it. American society HAS declared dogs and cats and a few other house pets NOT meat, and I also acknowledge that some meat is grown for emotional pleasure, but I still think we can call an old hen or an old ox “meat” to prevent the anthropomorphizing of livestock. So even when our meat works with us to plow our fields, that doesn’t erase the ultimate purpose of their existence. We should, instead of protesting, celebrate that these two Bos taurus escaped their date at the slaughter house for so much longer than their compatriots. I am heartened that there appear to be so few protesters of the decision that the college has made, and I love the retort of one student to those protesters of the fulfillment of Bill and Lou’s destiny:
“Why aren’t you at factory farms right now?” Ms. Hardiman said.
To every person who would spend the time and money to take Bill and Lou off to some Old Ox Home and care for them until their “natural” death when they could be buried, I say the same thing. There are SO MANY other worthy causes that need that money, effort, and time, why would you deny those causes your support and give it to animals that otherwise would have been slaughtered for hamburger long ago? Our emotions (“Death Panels!”) sometimes get the best of our society.
2 thoughts on “Meet the Meat”
Well said, Eric.
And let’s give a hip, hip, hooray for Green Mountain College, their mission and their will to stand up to the mouth-breathers of the world.
In the end, the carnophobes won:
Their victory was that no area abattoirs were willing to slaughter Lou for fear that they would suffer from adverse publicity and perhaps materially destructive protests by the same carnophobes. This is a tactic commonly employed by terrorists and organized crime syndicates (“if you butcher that ox, someone might get hurt…”). So the injured ox was euthanized and fed to subterranean invertebrates rather than to students, at a cost of much more than the factory-farmed meat that the college ended up buying in place of Lou.