[Vision2020] Co-op meat, animal rights, etc.

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Tue Sep 5 21:09:54 PDT 2006


Thank you for irenic and insightful comments.  I can see how my 
characterization of PETA was too stark, and I apologize for unnecessarily 
offending you.  I was trying to make a point of logic:  that if all animal 
life is equally valuable, there is -- logically, at least -- no reason to 
necessarily save the child over the dog.  In real life, of course, I would 
like to think that anyone would try to save both in a fire, and if that 
weren't possible, do what they could to save the child.  And I'm sure that 
would happen, but the presumption of a choice for the child over the dog 
isn't, to me, obvious at all when the would-be rescuer argues as vehemently 
as PETA members often do for the equal value of all animal life.  In trying 
to make a point of logic, I neglected what would likely happen in real life. 
  I'm glad for the opportunity to clarify the point I intended to make.

And, as someone who doesn't believe in spanking children, doesn't own a 
firearm, is opposed to  capital punishment, values fetal and post-natal 
life, and abhors my country's involvement in an immoral and unjust war, I 
would be terribly inconsistent if I didn't see animal cruelty as a moral 
wrong.  I do.  I think that, as Ghandi said, the greatness of a nation may 
well be evidenced by its treatment of its animals (among other things), and 
I am utterly enamored of my precious Duffy, and my three cats, Louie, Rugby, 
and Finley Gunderson.  I don't relate well to people who aren't into pets, 
and I've confronted people before when I've seen them treat their animals 
harshly.  All life -- plants, mammals, reptiles, birds, humans -- reflect 
the beauty of their Creator, and all bear His imprint.  He cares for them, 
and so my caring for my own is a secondary argument, at best.

That said, I recognize that not all moral wrongs are equal in effect.  Just 
as spanking a child is, I believe, morally wrong,  raping one is even more 
so.  In the same way,  I believe that cruelty to human beings is worse than 
cruelty to animals.  Since I eat meat, I am responsible for some of this 
cruelty, although even more bothersome to me is the effect of meat-eating on 
the environment.  If I were single and never offered meat by people for whom 
a slab of steak is the best they can offer, a love gift of sorts -- like 
when I visit my Mexican friends back in Washington -- I would be a 
vegetarian.  But I cook for an Idaho-born guy and two ravenous teenage sons 
who like their beef, their chicken, their fish and shrimp and sausage.  For 
now, I eat meat as infrequently as I can, and I'm glad it's not an entirely 
comfortable practice to me.  (Note to hearty, carniverous men of chest:  
Notice the "to me" part.  My choice, my conscience; you all are free to chow 
down on anything you want within New Testament guidelines for conscience and 

Megan, you have contributed some really valuable stuff to Vision in a very 
short time.  I hope to meet you sometime, and I do appreciate your comments.


From: Megan Prusynski <megan at meganpru.com>
To: vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Co-op meat, animal rights, etc.
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 19:32:08 -0700

Perhaps you'd like to present your findings to the Co-op (might want
to make sure your sources are legit and up to date of course) and see
if they are willing to look into the issue more. They are usually
open to feedback and concerns, and I'm sure they'd want to know about
their suppliers. Maybe they'd even be willing to switch suppliers if
you found some that were more humane.

But, as Keely pointed out, most animal rights activists don't support
meat production at all, but certain meats can be argued to be a
necessity, so it is difficult to attack every restaurant or store
selling meat, and often we must pick our battles. If this is
something you're concerned about, by all means, address the Co-op
about it, they're the ones who ought to know your findings.

I must admit I find your stereotyping of PETA supporters a bit
offensive. Personally, I have experience as a day care manager, and I
believe all members of a species have a natural inclination to hold
their own species as special and important, so honestly I would save
a child AND a puppy in a disaster situation. If I couldn't save both,
I'd certainly save the child first. I have heard the misconception
that animal rights activists put animals before humans or that they
care about animals but not people, but this is simply not true. Maybe
a few people think this way, but it's not mainstream in the animal
rights movement. Humans are animals, and injustice and cruelty are
injustice and cruelty, no matter what kind of sentient being they are
leveled against. Many animal rights activists such as myself choose
to focus on speaking up for animals simply because they cannot speak
up for themselves, and most animal cruelty is so hidden and ingrained
into our culture that people simply don't know or don't see what
really goes on. There are many issues that tie into animal rights as
well, most notably human rights, the environment, wildlife and
habitat conservation, and world hunger. The people at PETA that I
have met are the most compassionate people I've ever known, for all
life and not just animals. The organization is simply trying to get
people to open their circles of compassion up a little more and
educate them about what really goes into their food and animal
products. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths floating around
about the movement and about PETA, perhaps you could listen to the
interview Kelsey & I did on KUOI a few weeks ago, we had a great
discussion about some of the myths surrounding PETA and dispelled
quite a few rumors.

Have a lovely evening. :)

Donovan, I wonder if it's occurred to you that vegetarian, vegan, and
extreme animal-rights groups like PETA find the use of animals for human
consumption inhumane and morally wrong regardless of the circumstances?
PETA, for example, is opposed to eating meat, using animal products in
clothes, using animals in science, and even calling my beloved dog,
Duffy, a
"pet" -- she is a "companion," because, evidently, "pet" is demeaning
has an "owner-owned" connotation that PETA finds offensive.  That vegan
groups like PETA find even the most humane examples of animal
processing for
food to be unwarranted and immoral isn't at all shocking, regardless of
whether or not you agree with them.

Consuming animal flesh is an act that occurs only after the death of the
animal.  Since animals don't commit suicide, and none are processed
in the
US after dying natural, peaceful deaths, we can assume that the violent
death of an animal provides my dinner.  Perhaps none of us should eat
As I've said before, it's something I wrestle with.  But when we do eat
meat, we should be encouraged to seek out the most humanely-processed
products we can.  It may be a perceived need, the eating of animal
flesh; no
legitimate need is satisfied, however, by wantonly and gratuitously
methods of slaughter and processing.

I applaud the Co-Op for working to find humane, clean processors of
products, and for the life of me I can't see why they should be
I think PETA does a disservice to any group or individual it lends its
support to, and I'm beginning to feel that Donovan does the same.  I
PETA's inability to grasp that humankind has a value that exceeds
that of
any other created being more than a little maddening; paraphrasing
pundit, if a PETA member were staying with your child and your Lhasa
when a fire broke out, you'd be relieved for the puppy but concerned
for the
kid.  Further, I'm puzzled by Donovan's inability to trust that
others may
also hold pure motives and practice their professions honorably, and
until I
go completely vegan, I'll withhold criticism of groups that do their
best to
conduct business ethically.



       The Co-Op and Mad Cow
                   Mr. London, last week attempted to tell everyone
that the
Moscow Co-Op doesn’t use suppliers that ever mistreat and abuse animals.

"The Co-op has a clear commitment to selling only meat that
has been raised in a humane fashion."

        I took the liberty of looking at just two regular suppliers
of the Co-Op to demonstrate the invalidity his claims.
                      The first company I looked at was Northwest Premium
Meats,  LLC. Located in Nampa, Idaho. No website I could find.
               The second company I looked at was The Diesel Family
located in Sonora,  CA. www.diestelturkey.com
                    Northwest Premium Meat LLC, which is a current  meat
supplier for the Co-Op, has been targeted and listed on vegetarian and
animals rights websites like this one;
                        In fact,  this supplier for the Co-Op was
for a period of time last year by the  USDA for violations related to
Part 500.3, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/fsis_food_recalls/
     as reported in the FSIS Quarterly Report;

             “On 7/26/05, a  suspension action concerning Bovine
Encephalopathy and Specified  Risk Material was taken in accordance
with 9
CFR Part 500.3.”
                   Bovine Spongiform  Encephalopathy is also more
known as Mad Cow Disease http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/bsefaq.html  .
Setting aside the huge potential health issues here had FSIS not come
to the
    rescue, this does directly relate to the mistreatment of animals.
rights  activists have made a big issue of this practice for a long
especially  since the recent outbreaks of Mad Cow in the United
States that
have been hushed  up and the government has cut funding to find and

             The Diesel  Family Ranch, www.diestelturkey.com  which
the Co-Op with poultry products and boasts a great view and open
space for
its turkeys, has also had a run in with animal rights groups for
off the turkey’s beaks. In fact, in Sonora, California,  where the
ranch is
located, it is illegal to clip off the beaks of birds unless  the
animal is
going to going to be processed for consumption, which these  animals are
going to be. However, that doesn’t mean the animals don’t suffer  the
consequences for a clipped beak just because they are not called
pet. Those that have has birds know beaks are a vital tool for
animals for
cleaning, health, preening, straightening feathers, and preening  other
birds to build needed social relationships.

           My point here is not to pick on the Co-Op as being an animal
abuser. My point is that Mr. London is obviously unaware of some of the
suppliers the Co-Op has and what they do, or is not aware of what
constitutes animal’s  abuse or cruelty. If Mr. London believes chopping
beaks off birds or buying  from suppliers that have gotten federal
suspensions for not controlling Mad Cow  is not violating animal
rights and
a "clear commitment to selling only meat that has been raised in a
fashion,"  he has the right to  adopt that personal use definition.
          However, according the definitions of animal rights groups
PETA www.peta.org ,  environmental groups like the Organic Consumers
Association http://organicconsumers.org/madcow.htm  , and the Federal
Government http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/QER_Q4_FY2005.pdf  ,  at
least some
of the suppliers for the  Co-Op are not being humane toward the
animals they
are raising.

             Bovine Appetite,

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