The myth of rural ethics

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The myth of rural ethics

I just posted a comment in response to a blog post on the Iowa Farm Bureau blog. I doubt that the comment will get approved, so I thought I’d post it here as well.

Here’s the paragraph that caught my eye:

Not only are too many suburban-dwelling kids like my daughter removed from the character-building value of the sweaty, dirty, heavy-lifting jobs which are a part of farm life, they’re uneducated on modern food production. How can we be surprised when they are seduced or recruited by animal activists who claim food today comes from cruel practices or polluters? Many kids have never been on a farm to gain the experience to discern the truth themselves.

Here’s my comment:

I grew up on a small homestead farm in rural Vermont. I watched cows and goats give birth. I saw pigs and cows killed and then butchered. I helped with the smoking of their meat. I helped in the garden weeding and picking vegetables that we ate and canned and pickled.
All of that experience led me to realize that there was no justification for killing these animals. I experienced looking into their eyes in that moment of death. I saw how they wanted to live and how they cared for their young. We were getting enough food from the vegetables we were growing, why did we need to raise these animals like this and then kill them?
I think if people allow themselves to openly and honestly experience the lives of the animals they are “raising” they will gain an greater appreciation of those lives. And a greater respect – a real respect, one that enables us to take the great and noble step of letting them live their own lives.
I’ve also spent time on farm animal sanctuaries, where I have been able to be with animals who are not destined to be loaded on a slaughter truck or get shot in the head. The experience is far different, and I remember those days with happiness. The sadness of killing an animal to eat is not necessary, and can be completely and easily avoided through responsible choices. How can any suffering we inflict be justified when we are doing it unnecessarily?



June 15, 2010 at 11:53 am

“How can any suffering we inflict be justified when we are doing it unnecessarily?” Brilliant and to the point!


June 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Thanks Cody! It’s always nice to hear such kind words.

Bea Elliott

June 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm

And the other blatant lie from animal ag is that there is a tremendous amount of “hard work” on today’s “farms”. 99% of these places are huge, industrial-type facilities. Mostly everything is push-button automated. It’s not uncommon for 6 people to take “care” of thousands of pigs… Or just 3 people to take “care” of a million chickens. It’s all a ruse. Sadly the easiest part of it all is turning the innocent victim into “food” for the unthinking masses!


June 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Whoever coined the phrase “you are what you eat” must have been vegan.


June 16, 2010 at 1:39 pm

According to the logic of this farmer, suburban dwelling kids probably should not have the right to eat animals until they actually experience how they are raised and killed. How can you decide until you’ve experience the blood, cries and screams? Start vegan, go work at a slaughterhouse then decide if you want to eat meat.


June 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

they also seem to think that every job in the city is a desk job – I know I have sweat, heavy-lifting, and dirtiness at my job, and I do live in the suburbs. I don’t know why the rural folk seem to think that the city folks opinion is not valid. I know darn well what butchering is! I know I can live without it!!! (and have known that since I was a young girl)


June 16, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I personally have talked to so many activists who actually grew up on a farm or in farm country–and think of people like Virgil Butler and Howard Lyman. Think of all the people who have come up to us just to say, “I worked in a slaughterhouse–and you guys are telling the truth.”

Nice job on your comment, Glenn!

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