Posts Tagged ‘dairy’

FSA allows the selling of meat and dairy from cloned animals

Yesterday, the Food Standards Agency published its verdict on whether the sale of meat and dairy products from cloned animals should be allowed. The dispute over this issue broke out nearly a  year ago, when it was found that some butchers’ shops had been selling meat obtained from the offspring of a cloned cow and had been doing so without telling their customers.

It was uncovered that several farmers had been breeding cows with cloned parents in an effort to boost productivity of their cows and their size. Some have also hoped to create cows with better immune systems. The cows who were being bred from clones were not receiving any form of assessments either as to whether they were healthy or whether their products were fit for human consumption, despite requirements by the FSA.

An investigation into food products from cloned cattle and their offspring was launched last year, and discovered that there was “no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat and milk, and therefore is unlikely to present a food safety risk.”

Yesterday though, the FSA stated that there is no reason for products coming from cloned animals and their offspring to be an issue and that consumers should “definitely be able to eat these controversial products.” It said that licenses would still need to be acquired though. However, once again, there has been a failure to look at the wider picture. ‘So long as in the immediate future, humanity will be better off, then it’ll all be fine’ seems to be the view of the FSA.

Dolly, the first cloned animal

By allowing cloning into farming there will undoubtedly be a host of problems that follow it. Whether or not meat and milk is safe for human consumption is one issue, but the FSA seem to have completely neglected all of the others. My main concern lies with animal welfare. Once again, animals are treated as products, not as living beings. This isn’t like genetically modifying a tomato. A tomato is not going to suffer throughout its life by growing beyond its natural size. Meanwhile, cloned animals often develop health problems. Contrary to the idea mentioned above that cloning will develop better immune systems in animals, cloned animals often have horrific mutations, physical problems, and terrible arthritis. It is inhumane to raise these aberrations in the name of better productivity. Also, some of these clones are pumped full of antibiotics – surely there’s a health risk there somewhere?

But a bigger issue also lies here. Everyday, farming seems to become further and further removed from the stereotypical vision one has in their head. Nowadays, people don’t even tend to make a connection between the animal on a farm and the meat that’s on the plate. The world needs to be moving towards a greater understanding of what the consequences of what they’re eating are, but by introducing cloning into the mainstream then we are destined to move further away from this.

If you don’t know how cloning works, then read a little into it (you can watch a short video on this page). It’s an interesting process, but it strikes me as utterly bizarre and unnatural at the same time. It made me think of that scene in Jurassic Park, where they’re all sitting around having dinner and first discussing the park. Dr Ian Malcolm, talking to the park’s creator John Hammond, states that “genetic power is the most awesome force that this planet has ever seen, yet you wield like a kid whose found his dad’s gun.” I feel Dr Malcolm’s words ring true here too. Is it truly rational to accept this process into mainstream farming, just for the sake of allowing a few farmers to hold onto their prize cows for longer?

For more information on cloning and animal foods, please check out or go and have a chat with Dr Malcolm.

Mercy For Animals Investigation Into a Texan Calf Farm

The latest Mercy For Animals investigation has been into the E6 Cattle Company’s farm in Hart, Texas. The farm raises calves for use in dairy production, confining them to tiny spaces which, as shown in the video, do not even provide room for the animals to stand. These small spaces are thick with faeces build-up, so these calves are left to literally sit in their own waste. Any calves which become ill from these terrible conditions are just left to die. Others suffer horrific afflictions, including open wounds and severed hooves. As one of the farmers on the video says “we don’t treat those cows. We don’t put much attention on them. No medicine, no nothing.”

The video also briefly covers the process of dehorning, which is already notorious for its routine existence in the animal industry. The process is done for a variety of reasons, yet is rarely done with anesthetic. This investigation shows the company dehorning the cattle by burning their horns out of their skull.

The most shocking aspect of the investigation shows the cruel deaths of the unwanted calves. This is clearly the only aspect of fun in the workers’ lives. They’ll drag a calf out from its pen by its head, forcing it to fall to the floor. At this point they’ll begin kicking it, standing on it, and finally beating it to death (hopefully) with either a hammer or a pickaxe. I say hopefully because not all die from this. The bodies, including those that are still conscious, are piled onto a truck and driven away for disposal.

This may just be one dairy farm in Texas, but this kind of disgusting practice can be found all around the world, and I have no doubt that this isn’t by any means the worst.

*WARNING* – The scenes in this video are brutal and horrific, as you can see from the content described above.

If you drink milk, you owe it to yourself to watch this video. If you are vegan already then the next time someone says ‘I understand vegetarianism, but not veganism’ (or some similar statement) then direct them towards this video, and ask them if this is something that they want to support.

Go vegan.

As a side note, don’t forget that we could be seeing enlightening investigations and footage like this being banned in the US – read more here.

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