Strong opinions, weakly held

Massive beef recall

The horrible animal abuse video that I linked to has resulted in the largest beef recall in US history. If you read Fast Food Nation, you won’t be surprised to learn that a large portion of the recalled meat was sold to the government for use in school cafeterias. That’s the most common destination for the worst meat produced in America.


  1. As a kid my family lived in American Samoa, a territory of the United States (it has just one delegate) in the early 1980s.

    The schools and hospitals in American Samoa are run by the federal government (at least they were in the 1980s, not sure about now). One day, being kids, we were exploring around the back side of our school and noticed a bunch of empty fod crates stamped “Rejected – U.S.D.A”.

    Looking back, we can easily see that anything that didn’t pass the U.S.D.A inspectors in Hawaii then made it onto a ship to American Samoa. So I think this practice has been in place for quite some time.

  2. Too bad we no longer deal with misbehaving companies the old fashioned way: yank their corporate charter.

    Do that a few times a year, and you’ll find companies will become less willing to take shortcuts, as it will mean the end of them.

  3. It is naive to think that this kind of horrific abuse is isolated. There are only a handful of slaughterhouses in the U.S. that process the vast majority of all beef consumed. This isn’t the first undercover video released depicting severe animal abuse by slaughterhouse workers. The odds that all this abuse was randomly happened upon in a few isolated incidences is astronomical. The only way to ensure that you are not supporting this cruelty is to boycott meat altogether.

  4. I agree that there’s no chance that this was an isolated incident.

    I disagree that the only way to avoid supporting this type of cruelty is to eliminate meat from your diet.

  5. We eat way too much meat in the U.S. anyway. And it’s killing us. So we, as Americans, can support the Humane Society’s (and the Humane Farmign Society’s) efforts to stop this abuse and lean towards buying meat only from family farms. Look for the Certified Humane label – it’s a bit more expensive, but we should be eating more fruits and veggies – ask your doctor.

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