Animal Cruelty on Factory Farms

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Every year nine billion broiler chickens, 250 million turkeys, 113 million pigs, and 33 million cows are raised and slaughtered in the United States. Paul Solotaroff discusses the conditions many of those animals live in—and how they are often killed—in his Rolling Stone investigation “In the Belly of the Beast.”  


Paul Solotaroff

Comments [23]

Maude from Windsor Terrace

I completely understand that you'd want to ask people to be vegan or at least vegetarian but…I think that's asking more than what most will do. I'm going to guess most people turned off the radio after the first minute of this segment. People are generally exhausted and can't bear to think about something like this unless it's in absolutely in their face. The thing is, this is something people can actually do something about--by voting with their wallets. That's the only way this is ever really going to change.

In other words, I'm going to guess most people aren't even going to listen to a radio segment on animal cruelty, much less change their entire diet. I think the most we can hope for is for people to at least start thinking about what they're buying to begin with, and maybe try to buy something organic or humane if they can afford it. If they can't afford it, maybe they will buy less meat. Americans eat too much meat to begin with.

I applaud Leonard for airing the segment in the first place! Like I say, I'm sure he lost a few listeners for airing the segment, so it was a brave move. We absolutely need to be more educated consumers.

I do find it heartening that there is humanely raised meat available now in a place like C town (granted it's a C town in Park Slope--but still!) I have been trying to find humanely raised beef for 8 years or so, and the only humanely or even organicly raised available until a few years ago was chicken and milk. I refuse to buy any meat unless it's humanely raised. If I do buy what's generally available I am essentially saying it's ok with me the way animals are treated. At least some people are beginning to think about it, otherwise it wouldn't be available, right?

People can also ask their grocery store to carry humanely raised meat.

Dec. 13 2013 02:14 PM
Steve from Catskills

I was finding this to be a valuable interview until Mr. Solotaroff's shameless confession that he has no intention of becoming a vegetarian because he "likes the taste of meat". While he might be among the privileged who has access to, and can afford to buy, naturally and "humanely" produced meat, his mentality is at the core of the problem he has documented. The reason the factory farming industry exists and has grown the way it has, is because of the outsized demand for meat and dairy products. And why is it that the demand is so great? Because people love the way it tastes. And if it's cheap, so much the better. They'll eat that much more of it.

There are three compelling reasons to give up eating meat and dairy: 1) Animal welfare (even humanely raised animals are exploited), 2)Health (watch Forks Over Knives or read The China Study), and 3) Environmental concerns. But most of us are defiantly resistant to it because, hey, we just love the way it tastes. I would lay odds that the average person couldn't stand to witness the slaughtering of an animal, let alone do it themselves, but as long as they don't have to see it or think about it, no problem. What does that say about us? As a vegan, I'm often asked whether I miss the taste of meat and dairy. My answer - I didn't give them up because I don't like the taste. And as far the question of whether we need them nutritionally, I have a debate ending example. Serena Williams is a vegan. Malnourished? I think not.

Dec. 13 2013 01:01 AM
Ted from Califon, NJ

This was difficult to listen to but it needed to be said. Thank you for airing this. None of us would treat animals this way. Why do we let it be done in our names?

Dec. 12 2013 11:10 PM
Eve from weswtchester

shocking! I felt sick for hours.

Dec. 12 2013 07:42 PM

Thank you Leonard for addressing this issue on your show. I was hoping you would give this important issue some exposure. We need to be educated consumers.

Dec. 12 2013 04:07 PM
wayne Johnson Ph.D. from BK

So called "humane" meat, means that the animals are still murdered for our taste buds. Good Show. Go Vegan!

Dec. 12 2013 03:48 PM

wnyc running an ad for a pate supplier on this very page. geese forcefed with funnels, then slaughtered. should pate eaters be forcefed with funnels; maybe get the idea?

thanks for running this segment; humans makes the connection between their consumption (of everything) and the source at their own selfish pace.

Dec. 12 2013 03:18 PM
Maude from Windsor Terrace

You can buy meat at a lot of stores now that has the label "Certified Humane"
(I've found it at Ctown)

or at least organic is going to be raised much more humanely than non-organic. (they HAVE to put antibiotics in feed if animals are raised too close together, and they can't do that and still be certified organic.)

Personally I feel it's important to put your money where your mouth is--i.e. don't pay factory farms for meat or dairy or poultry products that may have been farmed inhumanely, if at all possible. For instance, I will eat things my grandma made w/ factory raised meat, there's nothing I can do about it, I'm not paying for it and I'm not going to school my grandma on factory farms. Same at say, a dinner party.

But I can make a tiny contribution to animal welfare w/ my wallet.

Also you can give $ to the Humane Society or Certified Humane!

Dec. 12 2013 03:16 PM
Ed from Larchmont

On more reflection, this is very seriously sinful. First what it does to fellow creatures, and second what is does to people who eat this food. Very sinful.

Dec. 12 2013 02:17 PM
Caroline from Brooklyn

Unfortunately these controversial methods of producing animal products are being exported to countries with emerging economies that are demanding more and more meat, eggs, and dairy. Check out Brighter Green's country-specific policy papers and videos on the effects of exporting western-style animal agriculture around the globe:

Dec. 12 2013 02:01 PM
Ed from Larchmont

All creatures have to be treated humanely. It's actually formally sinful to do otherwise in this egregious fashion.

Dec. 12 2013 01:57 PM
Joanna from Long Island

Please ask your guest what brands of meat he buys in the supermarket.

Dec. 12 2013 01:56 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

So then we raise the animal in humane conditions and then kill it? The answer is to grow meat which is now scientifically possible.

Dec. 12 2013 01:54 PM
Ruth from Portland OR

What about meat from health food grocery stores, such as Whole Foods?

Dec. 12 2013 01:51 PM
Bill C. from Metuchen, NJ

Along the Q asked by John from Brooklyn, are the poultry and livestock considered "organic" treated any more humanely and/or fed any better than otherwise? Given what's covered by the author, do labels (organic, "all natural", no pesticides, etc.) have any meaning to the consumer?

Dec. 12 2013 01:51 PM
e from westchester

What can I do if I can't afford organic food? Is it just another thing where Im supposed to be too depressed to care what I consume?

Dec. 12 2013 01:51 PM

Thank you so much for this segment. If the public were educated about how these animals they eat live and are slaughtered, there would be sweeping changes. Unfortunately this is a topic the media turns from. I don't object to having animals bred for food, as long as the animals are treated humanely. This inhumane treatment would turn anyone into a vegetarian.

Dec. 12 2013 01:50 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Leonard, could you ask your guest if growing meat is something he has looked into?

Dec. 12 2013 01:50 PM
john from office

This guy is so over the top that he becomes unbelivable. To compare a farm or factory farm to concentration camps is a little over the top.

I guess we are dealing with a anti meat advocate.

I love animals too, but like to eat.

Dec. 12 2013 01:49 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It's like the pope has written: unrestrained capitalism is not desirable, there are other things that have to be taken into consideration.

Dec. 12 2013 01:49 PM

Oh, this is just horrifying. I need to know if there are ANY brands that don't involve this cruelty.

Dec. 12 2013 01:49 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I need my meat and I need it cheap! And I can't go hunting for it in my old age. I hope that in the future we'll be able to grow meat the way we grow plants, and that is already happening in laboratories. So technology is the only answer to our need for cheap protein without animal cruelty, as technology is the only answer to most things.

Dec. 12 2013 01:40 PM
John from Brooklyn

Are Belle and Evans chickens treated better than factory farmed chickens? What about organic/cage-free eggs?

Dec. 12 2013 01:40 PM

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