This is what we’re up against


18 comments on “This is what we’re up against

  1. Joanna says:

    Horrid! I know chickens are not humans, but still! More dignity than that please


    • Bill says:

      They are not humans, but neither are they machines. As living creatures they have worth and value, as do the pigs and cows shown in the clip. Shame on us for allowing animal husbandry to turn into this.


      • Joanna says:

        I suppose that is because people have become divorced from the source of their food. I know of two people who spent time in their younger years working in some kind of meat processing factory where they saw the conditions and have since become vegetarian and I can’t say that I blame them.


  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, the video says it all. The ending was so appropriate. I’m really surprised that the slaughter houses allowed the process to be videoed. Maybe they didn’t and it was an under cover video. The pig segment did not show happy pigs at all. I’m not sure how we compete with that but as yesterday’s post said there are more folks that are taking notice to sustainable agriculture so some are beginning to see the truth in the food chain. It’s just too easy in today’s culture to go to the store and buy the chicken or better yet pick it up at KFC through the food window and not consider one iota about how it got there. The obesity of it all is slowly catching up with our eating lifestyle. I know I’ve changed my eating habits over the last few years. These segments are short and I’m sure it’s even worse than we can imagine. I’ve seen other videos on the cow milking operations and the segment shown in this video just shows one group. They have group after group of cows to milk. It’s an all day operation with different groups being milked at different times. Animal compassion has left the commercial food chain and has been replaced by volume of product and ease of growing and harvest. Joel Salatin believes that killing a stressed out chicken will affect the taste of the meat. I’m inclined to agree.

    Have a great day on the Virginia market garden homestead.


    • Bill says:

      The caged sows were the worst of all, in my opinion. These facilities are probably better than some if not most of them. Imagine the reaction if the animals were horses, dogs, kittens or even parakeets. Animal husbandry has been replaced by industrial efficiency in this model. Fortunately more and more people every day are rejecting this in favor or more natural ways of raising food.


  3. Will says:

    Completely amazing. The line on the stomach…it’s just the best ever


  4. Thanks for sharing this Bill, it was very interesting. I am at least glad that it was as a sterile environment as it was but thats about all the good you could say about. It would be a total night mare to be one of the animals raised in this manner. I am so glad I will soon be farming myself and raising my own food more humanly.

    In Iowa they passed a law that no one can film food processing plants like those shown in the video. You could be thrown in jail for doing so.


  5. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    No time to watch the vid right now… But, are they all standing around a circular feeder? There are Dairy operations around here (southern Ontario) where the cows come in and do “self-serve” milking. Each animal’s data is tracked (from the tag in their ear, I assume) as to the time she came in, how often, how much produced and on and on… (Watched the vid – nothing like this massive carousel here.)
    And look at the muck! Who would want to drink milk taken from these udders? (If they only knew, eh?): NO WONDER pasteurisation is law. No comparison to hand milking with my aunt as a kid, that’s for sure!
    The rest of it… *sigh*


    • Bill says:

      This morning I drove over to a neighbor’s farm to get some hog feed. The family was doing their morning milking. The contrast couldn’t be more striking.


  6. This clip is from a film called “Samsara” that came out a few years ago. The theme of the film is about the patterns in life – it’s an attempt to portray a wide variety of patterns that we may or may not be aware of as we move through our days. The circular sweep of the chicken collection, the repetition of the processing line. Etc. I know people are shocked by this clip, but really, how on earth do they think chickens and pigs are processed. We use a lot of milk in this world, not just straight up milk, but cheese, yogurt, every processed food that has “milk ingredients” on the label. Those rotary dairies are very popular in Europe, and come in a variety of sizes. There is a dairy farm here in BC that got into trouble a few months ago for some horrific animal abuse – they’re the second largest dairy in Canada (I think 7000 cows), and they have an enormous turntable milking parlour.

    Yes, this is what we’re up against. It’s just normal, and that’s the problem. It’s not abnormally horrible at all. This is just normal horrible. Actually as someone pointed out above, better than normal – because most of the sequences show pretty ultra-hygienic processing plants (not the cows, sharp eyes, Deb, I hadn’t notice that before), which is not always the case for processing.

    It’s not enough to just share this clip on FB, people have to be shocked enough to change their eating/shopping pattern. That’s the problem.


  7. Bill says:

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I’d like to now. A friend shared this on facebook, and we in turn shared it on our page. It’s not so much that what they are depicting here is cruel and abusive–nothing like the videos that sometimes emerge of animals being beaten, etc. What’s so shocking is that, as you say, this is just “normal horrible.” What should be disturbing to any normal human being has become the industrial norm.

    As for the reaction it should inspire, I couldn’t agree with you more. The only reason factory farms exist is because consumers are willing to buy their products. No matter how cheaply they can produce a chicken nugget or a strip of bacon, if no one was willing to buy or eat it, they’d go under.


  8. avwalters says:

    Like science fiction.


  9. Joanna says:

    I came across a report by a chicken farmer and researcher on the future of broiler chickens that I thought you might be interested in. The author and her husband do industrial farming but to exacting standards by the look of it and they have a viewing shed to show people how the chickens are raised, which I think is promising. Here is the report if you want to take a look

    Here is one on sustainable milking that suggests that looking after the soil is better for production. If we were to do that, I am sure a lot of more healthy practices would be the result

    As you can see they come from Nuffield International reports ( and the organisation is committed to developing people to make a difference in agriculture. I have seen a few interesting reports coming out of there


    • Bill says:

      Thanks for the links. I read the chicken report and can’t say that I agree with the way the conclusions are framed. I do agree that we are at an important pivotal point for the future of agriculture (as perhaps we are in many other areas too). It’s important, I think, that we not let food scientists have the only voice in determining our direction.


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