Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wanton waste

If I didn't already avoid non-local, non-free range, non-organic, not-purchased-directly-from-the-farmer beef, I would certainly give it up now. Reading again today about the Westland/Hallmark beef recall of 143 million pounds of beef, and recalling Topp's recall of 21.7 million pounds last year, I tried to estimate the number of cattle that equaled. According to South Dakota State University's Department of Animal and Range Sciences, the normal weight range for beef cattle is 950-1500 lb., and the average weight is 1150 lb. When both recalls are put together, an estimated 142,000 slaughtered cattle were never eaten. Which means that they lived through the stress of feedlots, travel to slaughtering facilities, and actual slaughtering just to end up in incinerators. If I were a cow, the least I'd want for all that would be for there to be some purpose to my suffering.

(Though I would, of course, prefer not to suffer at all.)

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