Wednesday, June 6, 2012
thoughts on "local" and "humane"
This story from farm sanctuary originally caught my attention because it was in upstate NY, near by birthplace and my dad's current home. When I read it though, it kind of overwhelmed me to the point where it took some time and some updates on how the critters are doing to help me come to my perspective on it.
I think for me this story highlights two things: the extreme importance of farm sanctuary work and also the reasons why well-meaning animal product consumers have to be so cautious about the idea that "local" or "small farm" means "humane."
In the rolling hills and charming scenery of rural NY, Maine, or many other areas; we may assume that animals in these settings have escaped the cruelty of poor conditions, neglect, abuse, or malnourishment found at factory farms. It certainly may be the case but we really cannot assume so. When we buy eggs from a roadside stand or even at our co op or store because they are local, it does not guarantee humane treatment (or hygiene). And even if the animals are treated more humanely than these poor creatures were before rescue - they meet the same ends as their factory farmed relations. Herbivore - http://www.herbivoreclothing.com/ - just put out a graphic that speaks to this. It shows two butcher knives - one next to "the fate of factory farmed animals" and one next to "the fate of humanely raised animals" (I'm paraphrasing but to that effect). Anyhow, even if folks are reducing animal products and trying to use more local/humane products to balance the ethics scale, just urge them to try and be very knowledgable about their sources.
More info and updates about the farm and rescue above are at farm sanctuary's site at: http://farmsanctuary.org/rescue/rescues/2012/cattaraugus.html