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Religious people... hold a kind and merciful view of life, the faith of the broken, the hounded, the hopeless. Yet too often, they will not extend that spirit to our fellow creatures.
Best, I'd advise, to give up all animal products obtained by cruel methods. There are some fine companies nowadays offering leather substitutes.
An environmentalist can oppose factory farming because it's reckless stewardship. A conservative can oppose factory farming because it is destructive to small farmers and to the decent ethic of husbandry those farmers live by. A religious person can oppose factory farming because it is degrading to both man and animal - an offense to God.
I did attend Catholic schools up to the ninth grade, and I admire much in the Catholic Church.
In the summer or fall of 1974, I read some books about factory farming, and decided that I wanted no part of it.
Factory farming, like comparable evils throughout history, depends for its existence upon concealment. It depends on people either not noticing or willfully averting their gaze.
Factory farming came about from a moral race to the bottom, with corporations vying against each other to produce more and bigger animals with less care at lower cost.
Veal, by definition, is the product of a sick, anemic, deliberately malnourished calf, a newborn dragged away from his mother in the first hours of life. Veal calves are dealt the harshest of punishments for the least essential of meats.
'Cost-saver' in industrial livestock agriculture may usually be taken to mean 'moral shortcut.'
The truth is that at the White House and in Congress, you are as likely to find sympathy for animal issues among Republicans as among Democrats.
Conservatives like to think of animal protection as a trendy leftist cause, which makes it easier to brush off. And I hope that more of us will open our hearts to animals.
I have no doubt that President George W. Bush - a man, in my experience, of extremely kind and generous instincts, and back in Austin even a rescuer of stray animals - would be appalled by the conditions of a typical American factory farm or packing plant.
To the factory farmer, in contrast to the traditional farmer with his sense of honor and obligation, the animals are 'production units,' and accorded all the sympathy that term suggests.
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Henry David Thoreau
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