by Chris Johnson | Staff Writer|
State and federal law clash again; this time it pertains to the care of potentially diseased animals in the case of the National Meat Association vs. Harris.
The Supreme Court attempted to block a California law, Nov. 9 which requires immediate euthanizing of immobile animals to keep possibly infected meat out of the nation’s food system, according to The Sun.
According to the Federal Meat Inspection Act is in agreement with the National Meat Association in that “downer” animals be inspected so they can accurately determine whether the animal is healthy enough to eat.
Should we immediately slaughter immobile animals or take the time necessary to determine if they are truly sick and disease-bitten?
We should take time to find out if the animals are truly sick.
I can relate to the humane point of view of having an ethical responsibility, to some extent, to spare animals that might be exhausted from the heat and travel or just lazy, and that farmers want to abide by one law instead of being conflicted with two opposing ones.
However, I feel the real issue lies with farmers wanting to save money and maximize their profit.
“Eating meat from an animal that is sick would probably be in poor judgment,” said student Rebeca Sarinana. “It’s probably not a big deal though because many animals that are grown for meat production are pumped with antibiotics and we consume them as well through eating; if it’s profitable then it will happen, I wouldn’t eat it though.”
These animals are bred for the purpose of feeding America. Even though people sympathize with them doesn’t change the fact that they are destined for one of two resting places, sick or in good health; their fates lie in our stomachs or cremation.
If I was a breeder of livestock and was told that a percentage of my animals must be killed due to their inactivity or inability to move around, then I would be concerned with the hole that will burn in my pockets.
Is this a selfish way of thinking? Of course it is, but that’s the business these people are in; they need to maximize their production and minimize loss.
One way to make ends meet for all could be for the federal government to set a higher standard for meat; offering incentives and tax cuts for the best quality meat producers, and penalties for the worse.
The incentive based program will lead to farmers paying less attention on where to cut corners and turn their attention to finding more ways to improve the quality of their meat supply.
With another source of income coming in farmers can then be able to shift some focus away from profit gaining and more to reducing the hazardous effects meat production is having on our environment.
With the above in effect consumers will be able to worry less about what insects or mixed animal parts became a part of what they’re buying, be assured that the water supply is in better health then before, and chow down knowing the only potential side-effects will be laziness and a long nap.