The meat industry is consolidating just like your grocery stores are over time. Think of WalMart. There used to be K-mart, WalMart, Woolworths, Target, Ventures, etc... And now there is basically WalMart and Target. You can think of large corporations as inherently evil...fine, but we all shop at WalMart.
It is true for cattle that the majority (over 80% of the market is controlled by the top 5 producers). However, for swine and in particular chickens...that is not the case. Swine is just over 50% of the market for the top 5 producers. Chicken is just over 40% for the top 5 producers.
As you say, the industry is set up for profitability. I totally agree with this...without a doubt. This is why a quick efficient kill is the most profitable. Sitting there beating and torturing an animal to death waste time and time is money. So I do agree that the major players are in it for profits. I also agree that the process has been tuned over the years. However, the techniques you see in those videos don't rake in the profits. If 10% of the animals are killed that way, the corporation is losing tons of money and they don't like that...anything else is wishful thinking.
What about the animals that enter the production line already dead. Or take long truck rides with broken limbs. That is part of the cruelty and happens that way for max profits. Your percentages are also misleading because the top producers force others to use their way of processing. Just because they are not under the same name does not mean they are not all part of that bigger cooperation. Many times they are branches of that main corporation.
The way they are killed is not even the most alarming thing to me. For me the way they live is the most alarming. Death for them is a welcome release no matter how brutal, in comparison.
I am glad that I live in a farming state. I buy a lot of my meat from those who raise it. I know the farmer and I drive past their place a lot of times and I see happy cows, happy pigs if you call rolling in mud, urine and waste happy. Happy chickens that wander around their coops scratching and pecking away. Sometimes seeing these documentaries is interesting but I do not believe it is happening everywhere.
Unfortunately shutting down the meat industry is not as simple as that. The meat industry employs thousands (dare I say millions?) of people. It is also generates millions of dollars. Think about those two things for a minute. Also, do we really believe the fruits and vegetable we eat are 100% healthy? It is treated with lots of harmful chemicals to grow and 'mature' faster, just like the animals. So really we are just leaving one disaster to enter another. The only difference is people won't cry out when the plants and trees are abused but it is still sending us all to our graves faster than ever.
No, actually my numbers are very good. There has been consolidation of the meat processing industry for the last 20-30 years (longer for beef). If you are talking about meat producers, coops are a good way to cut down the expenses of marketing your product.
I take long train rides in Japan and much of that time is spend standing packed into a railcar side by side with my fellow man to the point where I don't even have to really stand but allow myself to be supported by the heard. I didn't even know I was a bit closterphobic until I got here.
Honestly, what percentage of dead animals (before entering the line) do you think there are? Dead cows arent easy to move about...not the most efficient way of processing. Losing that all important corporate dollar with each dead steer that takes X times longer to get in the line. Cows and pigs with broken limbs don't process easily and cost profits as they could have processes X more in the amount of time they are dealing with injured animals.
Why do you shop there if it is evil? And please don't tell me you cant afford to take a stand for your beliefs. Corporate america is not forcing you to eat that Quarter Pounder or Double Cheese Burger. You are going into McDonalds on your own two feet, walking up to the counter and making a choice. you have many choices when you go to the grocery store. You can buy free range chickens. You can buy grain fed beef. There are many choices you can make if you feel strongly enough. These options exist because enough people are interested in it. If you support it more, the industry will follow the dollar.
Very well said Vincenzo. I have ridden on that train your talking about and I can say that I no longer want to ride it. :)
The meat industry is always going to follow the almighty dollar. If consumers got serious and started to shift away from a particular brand of meat you can bet that brand of meat and its activities will very quickly go away.
I am not saying I am innocent though I wish I was. My response would be, we have "domesticated animals". However I myself as a person cannot imagine myself in a coop or cell that I could not open my wings in because of crowding. I don't think I would like being so top heavy I cannot even walk for more than two steps for fear of having a heart attack. These are creatures whos spirit tells them to do mor than that. Yet they are forced into submission for our consumption.
I understand a certain amount of this is necessity for human advancement. I wonder if we are taking it a bit to far though at this point.
While there is overconsumption be a group of people, there are others that are just starting to eat enough meat for a more complete development during childhood. I live in Asia. About 15 years ago, I was a giant in most of these countries at 5'11". Today, I see young kids that are actually taller than me and lots of them. With better and more plentiful sources of food along with medical advancements, we are living longer. My 5'2" wife routinely talks about lack of meat as stunting her growth as a child.
That is what this pretty much boils down to...imprinting human feelings on what is an animal's life. Some try to put themselves in the cow, pig or chicken's position when it comes to certain parts of their existence:
Would I like to be slaughtered so someone could eat me? Of course not.
Would I like to live in closed quarters? Of course not.
Would I like a meal of my ground up dead comrades served to me? Of course not.
Would I like to eat the same food everyday? You wouldn't, but they don't seem to mind it.
Would I like to roll around in my own filth? You wouldn't, but the pigs are down with it.
Would I violently attack potential rivals in area? You wouldn't, but roosters are ok with it and bulls don't seem to mind it.
If my pen mate were bleeding would I try to eat them? You wouldn't, but pigs will kill their own kind if they are sickened or injured.
I don't pretend to understand the animals spirits because they do many things I would never do. I doubt animals fear heart attacks. We will just never see eye to eye on this one as we are in totally different places with regards to animals feelings and how human they are...
Too bad that Buffalo didn't domesticate well because we would have to eat fewer of them and they are more efficient to raise in general. Apparently, they really don't like captivity and don't herd well...maybe that is spirit. I think that if Jesus came to us as a cow that the bovine would be herding us in pens and making baseball gloves from our skins, but it didn't play out that way.