I have never been a watcher of Oprahâ€™s TV show, but I have always been impressed by how much she can push the needle one way or the other.Â Therefore, when I heard that her program recently showed the inner workings of a Cargill slaughterhouse, it caught my attention.Â I knew her nameÂ was big enough that even the meat giant couldnâ€™t push her aside.Â The footage, featuring reporter Lisa Ling, shows a cowâ€™s progress from a feedlot to its last stop.Â Some of the footage is pretty shocking, especially considering they donâ€™t show the killing process (a four-inch bolt shot into the animalâ€™s head).Â Â Watch the video here.
A few thoughts:
- The heifers gain 3 pounds a day over 200 days in the fattening process â€“ loading up on bio-engineered corn, or â€œenergy,â€ as the rancher notes.Â
- 4,500 head of cattle are â€œharvestedâ€ each day at this one plant.Â Thatâ€™s over 3 per minute for a full 24 hours at this one site.
- How can Cargill really say with a straight face that these cows are being killed with dignity?Â Anything involving a conveyor belt kind of makes that point less credible.
- The assembly line culture is pretty astonishing â€“ those cows are sliced and diced in a flash.Â No wonder local farmers canâ€™t compete with this machine.
Now I am pretty biased against Cargill due to what I have read as well as seen in movie like Food, Inc.Â And of course, this was very much a PR effort by Cargill, so whoâ€™s to say what happens when the cameras are not around.Â I remain very wary of what they are doing behind the scenes – to the meat and their competition.
What are your thoughts?Â Did you know where your ground beef comes from? Â Has your opinion of eating beef been affected at all?Â Talk to me, readers.
H/t to GOOD for the top picture.