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Big Abuses and Bad Lies at America’s Factory Farms – The Shocking Truth

March 13, 2010 | 44,944 views
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factory farmsMore animals than ever suffer from injuries and stress on factory farms. Veal calves and gestating sows are so confined as to suffer painful bone and joint problems.

The unnatural high-grain diets provided in feedlots cause severe gastric distress in many animals. And faulty or improperly used stun guns cause the painful deaths of thousands of cows and pigs a year.

A New York Times Op-ed column suggests one way to “solve” this problem -- genetically engineer livestock so that they suffer less.

Neuroscientists have found that by damaging a laboratory rat’s anterior cingulate cortex, they can block its affective perception of pain. Recently, scientists have learned to genetically engineer animals so that they lack certain proteins that are important to the operation of the anterior cingulate cortex.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states' rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word "natural" on products that contain GMOs. TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

So the animals will still be mutilated, diseased, and stewing in their own waste products, but at least they’ll be so brain-damaged that they won’t care.

And some would actually want us to believe that this is progress?

It is a sad testimony to the society we live in today that we’ve allowed corporations to turn family-farming methods into cost-saving, mass-production strategies, which can endanger public health and treat animals so cruelly.

Many, if not most, factory farms treat animals like production units, not living creatures. As a result, most are overcrowded (some are kept indoors their entire lives), suffer from hunger, thirst and illness, are subjected to painful procedures like tail docking, and sometimes are kept conscious or even skinned alive during the process of slaughtering.

The “solution” should not be genetic modification of the animals’ brains in order to allow these atrocious behaviors to continue.

The solution should be to stop trying to fool nature and instead abide by its laws. When you mimic the natural ecologies found in nature, the food that is grown by these natural laws will inherently be healthy and need not suffer the way many factory-farmed animals do today.

Mangling Animals’ Brains to Protect Agribusiness Profits

The New York Times Op-ed column points to the genetic manipulation of animals’ pain pathways as a noble and obvious choice.

“If we cannot avoid factory farms altogether, the least we can do is eliminate the unpleasantness of pain in the animals that must live and die on them,” the author writes.

While pointing out the problems -- that unnatural high-grain diets causing severe gastric distress in animals, veal calves confined to the point of painful bone and joint problems, and faulty stun guns causing painful deaths -- nowhere is it recommended to return to the natural grass diets of these animals, or offer them freedom to roam pasture instead of being confined to tiny pens.

Instead, commercial agribusiness giants would invest untold amounts of money to block the animals’ perceptions of pain. That way the factory farming industry can cram even more animals into the pens, and feed them just about anything, and it won’t matter. The animals will know no different.

Likewise, the meat from these poorly raised animals will also be passed off as high quality, much in the same way it is now. And as for the genetic engineering, the New York Times author brushes that off too.

“Knockout animals have specific proteins removed, rather than new ones inserted, so there’s no reason to think that their meat would pose more health risks for humans than ordinary meat does.”

Is that so?

To date, studies have shown serious repercussions from just about every form of genetic modification, and I have no reason to think this would be any different.

Choose Humane Food Sources and You’ll be Healthier

There is a growing movement underway that you may not have heard of. It’s called permaculture, and I believe it represents the future of healthy food. Michael Pollan, the New York Times author who wrote the book Omnivore's Dilemma, does a great job of explaining it in this video.

At its roots is a focus on the relationships between animals, plants, insects, soil, water and habitat -- and how to use these relationships to create synergistic, self-supporting ecosystems. Permaculture strives to mimic the natural laws of nature and, as I said earlier, food that is grown by these natural laws will inherently be healthy, both for you and the animals.

The food being produced by factory farms is not done with the laws of nature in mind. Instead, it’s the law of making a profit that is steering the ship.

Let me make it very clear that if you shop at the typical supermarket, you are supporting these mass-production factory farms -- virtually all animal products (eggs, milk, meat, dairy products) at supermarkets come from these sources.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to find a humane and reliable source for your food -- sources that are growing food with the health of the environment and the animals as the driving forces. One approach is to go down to your local food coop, small farm or sustainable agriculture group in your area.

It may be slightly less convenient. You may need to plan your purchases in advance, and stock up for a week or two at a time. You may even need to spend a little more to get it. But the reward is that you will have access to food that is pure and healthy, and which does not cause a moral conflict in your heart.

[+] Sources and References

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Food Democracy Now
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