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Slaughterhouse Jive

MJS's picture

Lest the Taste Be Not So Sweet

We all of us have blind spots
We all see what we choose to see
We have looked into the abyss
We have felt outrage fatigue

So sue me if I'm a downer
But know of what you eat
When you eat your turkey
You're eating misery

(chorus)
Can't we have this one thing?
Can't we just enjoy?
Can't we simply live our lives
Like happy girls and boys?
Must everything be vetted?
Must we know of what we eat?
No, of course not, silly
Lest the taste be not so sweet

Birds are not real animals
The laws are clearly right
Like enemy combatants
Do with them what you like

The same genius that made assembly lines
That ushered in our age
Forces suffering and sorrow
Alas, we've spent our rage

(chorus)
Can't we have this one thing?
Can't we just enjoy?
Can't we simply live our lives
Like happy girls and boys?
Must everything be vetted?
Must we know of what we eat?
No, of course not, silly
Lest the taste be not so sweet

It's all about the hearth and home!
Friends and family dropping by
We have no moral duty
This suffering to deny

I will go this far only
And see the wrongs of men
But when I look upon my plate
I will soon be diving in

(chorus)
Can't we have this one thing?
Can't we just enjoy?
Can't we simply live our lives
Like happy girls and boys?
Must everything be vetted?
Must we know of what we eat?
No, of course not, silly
Lest the taste be not so sweet

What a drag such knowledge is!
What a fucking bummer
Eating flesh is not immoral
Unlike those off driving Hummers!

I will not sit in judgement
I will not seek the mote
I will not feel superior
Lord knows I will not gloat

If such a time will come along
When one more cries "enough"
It will be because a choice was made
Not because I called a bluff

(chorus)
Can't we have this one thing?
Can't we just enjoy?
Can't we simply live our lives
Like happy girls and boys?
Must everything be vetted?
Must we know of what we eat?
No, of course not, silly
Lest the taste be not so sweet

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From Animal Ethics a post titled The Humane Alternative:

Here is a brief recap of the conditions all conventionally-raised, factory-farmed turkeys are forced to endure: Being hatched in incubators, they never even meet their mothers [in the wild, turkeys spend the first five months of their lives close to their mothers, as turkeys have a strong mother-offspring bond]. Instead of being cared for by their mothers, they are sexed upon birth and discarded if they are the wrong sex, they are debeaked and detoed without anesthesia, and they are injected in the back of the neck with antibiotics. They are then transported to factory farms, where they are permanently confined in massively overcrowded sheds. In these intensive confinement facilities, they are forced to stand in their own urine and excrement. The ammonia-saturated air damages their lungs. In addition, many turkeys endure painful lameness as a result of their having been bred to put on weight faster than their skeletal structures can keep up. After five months of this life of mutilation, confinement, frustration, and pain, they are inhumanely loaded onto trucks and shipped long distances without food and water to the slaughterhouse. Each year hundreds of thousands of turkeys die on route to the slaughterhouse as a result of this handling and transportation.

Given the existence of the Federal Humane Slaughter Act, one might think that at least in their final moments the turkeys would be treated with respect and killed humanely. But they aren’t, for while the Federal Humane Slaughter Act (FHSA) does require that all animals be rendered unconscious and impervious to pain prior to being killed, chickens and turkeys are not considered “animals” under the act. [That’s right. The federal government does not consider chickens and turkeys to be animals. Perhaps we should require that politicians pass an eighth grade biology class before being eligible to serve in the U.S. Congress.] Since turkeys are not regarded as animals under the FHSA, they receive no humane protections at all. Consequently, when they reach the slaughterhouse, they are inhumanely unloaded by workers who pull them out of their transportation crates and hang them upside down by their feet on hooks attached to a conveyor belt that transports the fully conscious, terrified turkeys to an electrically-charged waterbath where they are lowered head first into the electrically charged water. United Poultry Concerns describes the effects of the waterbath as follows: “The electricity shoots through the birds’ eyes, eardrums, and hearts causing ‘intolerable pain’.” The electricity temporarily paralyzes the birds, but it does not render them unconscious. One could use sufficient voltage to render the birds unconscious, but that would cause blotching on the skin and would make them less marketable. So, slaughterhouses use just enough voltage to paralyze the birds without rendering them unconscious. The paralyzed birds are then transported via conveyer through a machine that slits their throats, after which they are entirely submerged in a 160ºF scalding tank to facilitate feather removal. Many birds are still conscious when they reach the scalding tank. This mechanized method of slaughter is brutal and horribly inhumane.

Grief: it's what's for dinner!

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The line "Lest the taste be not so sweet" reminded me of someone...

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Comments

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

the damn 40-pound white turkey gobbler at my neighbor's house was a menace. The 30-pound bronze toms around mom's back yard, after the first one, never got that big.

and we killed them with a hatchet. Decapitation may not be painless but it damn sure beats poultry-factory torture.

Or you could do as the Indios and Plymouth settlers did, and hunt one. If you're good with your rifle or bow, you can dispatch your prey with a minimum of pain.


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Now, with all that said:

Unless you have access to reasonably priced, organically raised meat, you owe it to your conscience to develop same.
Local. Local. Local.

We say it here a lot -- the more control you have over what you eat, the better off you are.

Turkeys are not all that bright, particularly tame turkeys. Yes, they really will stand outside, staring up at the sky with their mouths open, until they drown in a rain. I've seen them do it.

However, the mature male turkey is even more fixated on sex than the average American teenage boy, and they do. not. care. what. they. jump.

With the exception of sheep -- lambs are freaking born looking for a place to die, they do not need an excuse -- turkeys are the most herd-thinking, no-sense-of-self-preservation animals this side of the GOP or the Beltway Dems.


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

I find it telling how many United Staters claim to have a personal relationship with a god but don't know where their food is from (beyond knowing it came from the market) and also don't know how that food was treated along the way. We are largely a nation of children: I believe this is borne out by how many citizens wanted to believe that Bush would be a good daddy, or that we could go hit "the bad people" who hurt us and scared us. Blessed are the children, for they are ignorant of causes. Blessed is the food that they consume, eaten without feeling any particular connection to it at all.

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