Meghan Goss over at the Humane Society of the United States shared with me a horrifying undercover video detailing the outrageously cruel treatment of sick and weak cattle in the Hallmark Meat Packing Plant in Chino, CA. These already sick and dying cattle were forced to stand, so they could be “processed” meaning, slaughtered, by torturing them in myriad ways. According to the video (which I could not bear to watch) and Goss, this included “shocking the cows with electric prods, jabbing them in the eyes, shackling and dragging the cattle, ramming them with blades of a forklift, and spraying high pressure water into the cows’ mouth and nose” to simulate drowning. Now this is shocking, unethical, appalling and must be stopped. Read the full story from the Humane Society of the United States here. But it doesn’t end there–
It turns out that this plant is a major supplier of for the National School Lunch Program. That means the meat in your child’s school, that is supplied by the government (which is most of it) could be from this very plant. Why might this put your child at risk? Downed cattle (cows too sick or weak to stand) are 58 times more likely to carry Mad Cow disease, according to the USDA. Yes, you read that right– 58 times more likely. And, these cows are more likely to carry pathogens such as E.coli and Salmonella, which kill hundreds of Americans each year.
If that wasn’t enough, the meat from this plant is also most likely to reach the most vulnerable among us. The Hallmark Plant supplies meat for other federal programs that benefit the poor and elderly who could be exposed to harmful pathogens and disease from consuming this meat.
After yesterday’s release of this footage, the USDA banned the Westland Meat Co. (who apparently owns and operates this plant) from supplying meat to the National School Lunch Program. The Humane Society encourages the USDA to go farther and shut down the plant until it passes a through inspection for safety (and humanity, I hope–). I couldn’t agree more. Here is the link to that story.
Thankfully, several members of Congress were outraged and calling for action as well. Read some of their thoughts here (many of which I read and gave me information for this post).