Professor says ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ was propaganda.. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-19-2006, 09:02 AM
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My biology professor and I got into a small debate regarding factory farming. She claims a vegan diet is commendable, but that since folks will continue to consume animal products, we should encourage factory farming because it is the more humane way to raise animals for food. She says free range animals are left out in the rain, and they need the cozy, warm barns that factory farms provide. Uh huh. She also says the footage on PK was staged to tug at the heartstrings.. I was shocked. How do you stage that footage? What was really odd is that she mentioned what an awesome film PK was earlier in our debate!



I am curious to hear everyones thoughts, especially on the claims that the PK footage was staged.
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#2 Old 07-19-2006, 09:07 AM
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Well certainly the footage was carefully picked and arranged to make the biggest emotional impact. I assume that's what the professor meant. I'm sure none of the footage was reinacted or actually staged. It was all real events that happened, they just picked the worst of the worst. None of the AR videos are going to be "a typical day at __", they're always going to be "the most shocking moments we could find".



I'm not convinced by your teachers claims that factory farms are more humane than other farming methods. That seems counterintuitive to me.
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#3 Old 07-19-2006, 09:10 AM
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"Propaganda" and "false" are not necessarily the same thing. Certainly, it is possible to take the absolute truth and use it in a manipulative way.



I doubt anything on the video is staged per se. But I can't rule out the possibility that it is no longer representative of what's really going on in factory farms and slaughterhouses right now, today. My overall impression from what I've learned so far is that significant improvements have been made, particularly in slaughterhouses, in the last 5-10 years. (However, I'll freely admit that my information is far from complete. There are books out there that I know address the subject that I haven't read yet.) I'm not sure when PK and the other major videos were made, but even if they were made recently, they still could have been made using older footage.



But even if you assume that all the videos are complete fakes, it doesn't negate the fact that being vegetarian is the right thing to do in every way. Better for our health, better for the animals, better for the environment.
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#4 Old 07-19-2006, 09:30 AM
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She seemed to imply the footage was staged, not necessarily provocative for the mere sake of shock value.



I should mention she was raised on a dairy farm.
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#5 Old 07-19-2006, 09:40 AM
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Sounds like typical corpse-munching guilt and defensiveness, if you ask me. Yes, they do want to tug at your heart. Maybe you and your teacher could go visit a slaughterhouse sometime. I have one 20 miles down the road from me. Trust me, it is sickening. The smell,the screams of the pigs, and they do just slit their throats and hang them alive. They bleed out better that way. I've seen it happen there. This isn't a small place, either. Indiana

Packers processes most of the pork that is in grocery stores in the state, and about half of Illinois and Kentucky.
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#6 Old 07-19-2006, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grain_girl View Post

My biology professor and I got into a small debate regarding factory farming. She claims a vegan diet is commendable, but that since folks will continue to consume animal products, we should encourage factory farming because it is the more humane way to raise animals for food. She says free range animals are left out in the rain, and they need the cozy, warm barns that factory farms provide. Uh huh. She also says the footage on PK was staged to tug at the heartstrings.. I was shocked. How do you stage that footage? What was really odd is that she mentioned what an awesome film PK was earlier in our debate!



I am curious to hear everyones thoughts, especially on the claims that the PK footage was staged.





Your biology professor is astonishingly ignorant about animal farming. Only such a person could claim factory farming is "more humane" than other methods. The fact that she was "raised on a dairy farm" certainly doesn't prove she knows anything about it. Lots of people raised in agriculture are ignorant about agriculture in general.
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#7 Old 07-19-2006, 11:01 AM
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I would seriously question anything else that professor had to say if she is so incredibly ignorant about subject she is pontificating on.
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#8 Old 07-19-2006, 11:08 AM
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Did she have dilated pupils and did she appear more nervous and shaky than usual when she talked to you?

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#9 Old 07-19-2006, 03:24 PM
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Actually, factory farm footage is remarkably consistent - factory farming is about confinement. You can get footage of pigs in gestation crates or chickens in battery cages at one moment, and they're still in that condition 3 days later. To call the footage the "worst of the worst" is denial that it's bad for those animals all the time. I challenge someone to come up with good footage of, say, pigs and chickens on factory farms. Or let the industry produce it if they don't like what's out there. If you're saying it's the "worst of the worst" why isn't the industry showing us their best? Because the "best" looks remarkably like the "worst."

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#10 Old 07-19-2006, 04:48 PM
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Actually, factory farm footage is remarkably consistent - factory farming is about confinement. You can get footage of pigs in gestation crates or chickens in battery cages at one moment, and they're still in that condition 3 days later. To call the footage the "worst of the worst" is denial that it's bad for those animals all the time. I challenge someone to come up with good footage of, say, pigs and chickens on factory farms. Or let the industry produce it if they don't like what's out there. If you're saying it's the "worst of the worst" why isn't the industry showing us their best? Because the "best" looks remarkably like the "worst."

That's a good point. I think the problem with showing routine footage of what the animals go through every day is that showing 20 seconds, or even five minutes, of a pig standing in a stall doesn't really convey to a lot of people that yes, they're still there, in those same stalls, with no opportunity to move or even turn around, months later. So they need something that's more instantly shocking.
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#11 Old 07-19-2006, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by grain_girl View Post

She says free range animals are left out in the rain, and they need the cozy, warm barns that factory farms provide.



Omg, yeah... I've NEVER seen an animal out in the rain before... never, never, never in my life. How absurd to even think of it! They melt like the Wicked Witch when they get wet, don't ya know!
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#12 Old 07-19-2006, 10:01 PM
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That's a good point. I think the problem with showing routine footage of what the animals go through every day is that showing 20 seconds, or even five minutes, of a pig standing in a stall doesn't really convey to a lot of people that yes, they're still there, in those same stalls, with no opportunity to move or even turn around, months later. So they need something that's more instantly shocking.



Actually, my point is that most all of the video out there of factory farms is exactly this - showing the conditions that they live in each day - and it is shocking, and it's not the "worst of the worst," it's standard conditions. Like, have you seen Hope for the Hopeless about egg-laying hens? Most of it is just running the camera down rows of battery caged hens and showing what that looks like, and that some are caught in their cages, some are dying, etc. If you've seen much factory farming video, that's what a lot of it is - just showing the animals in their confinement and misery - how they look now, and how they will look 3 days from now.

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#13 Old 07-20-2006, 12:34 AM
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Propaganda: 1. The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.

2. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause.



By these definitions, PK is propaganda, though it reveals truths to the viewer. The problem is that propaganda is a word loaded with a negative connotation: An idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing.
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#14 Old 07-20-2006, 04:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

I would seriously question anything else that professor had to say if she is so incredibly ignorant about subject she is pontificating on.



No kidding. Where did she get this warm and fuzzy idea about factory farms. Also, free range doesn't mean they just chuck the animals out in the pasture and then lock the barn door.



Honestly.

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#15 Old 07-20-2006, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

Actually, factory farm footage is remarkably consistent - factory farming is about confinement. You can get footage of pigs in gestation crates or chickens in battery cages at one moment, and they're still in that condition 3 days later. To call the footage the "worst of the worst" is denial that it's bad for those animals all the time. I challenge someone to come up with good footage of, say, pigs and chickens on factory farms. Or let the industry produce it if they don't like what's out there. If you're saying it's the "worst of the worst" why isn't the industry showing us their best? Because the "best" looks remarkably like the "worst."

I kind of agree with you. There ARE video tapes available for purchase from the USDA and I would assume the footage in those tapes is probably some of the cleanest, most farm-friendly footage you can find... yet I also bet it'd turn some people off to see those tapes.
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#16 Old 07-21-2006, 12:48 PM
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This is not by any means convincing or even an argument, but I don't have enough faith in humans to believe that animals bred for food and kept in warehouses in huge numbers would be well taken care of.



By the way, anything that constitutes an opinion with the purpose of swaying your opinion to sympathy is proproganda. It is not negative, but carries a negative connotation. So, everytime we would try to introduce someone to veg*nism, we are spreading proproganda, but there is no need to despair, because proproganda does not imply falsehood.
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#17 Old 07-23-2006, 10:34 PM
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I doubt anything on the video is staged per se. But I can't rule out the possibility that it is no longer representative of what's really going on in factory farms and slaughterhouses right now, today. My overall impression from what I've learned so far is that significant improvements have been made, particularly in slaughterhouses, in the last 5-10 years. (However, I'll freely admit that my information is far from complete. There are books out there that I know address the subject that I haven't read yet.) I'm not sure when PK and the other major videos were made, but even if they were made recently, they still could have been made using older footage.



Tesseract, what significant improvements have been made in slaughterhouses in the last few years? None from what I've researched. If you have an update on the betterment of the lives of "farm animals", please let us know, because the videos of Peaceable Kingdom and Meat Your Meat are still unfortunately relevent today. Nothing had changed in the last few years of filming these documentaries. Status quo for the lives of the chickens, pigs, cows, all suffering and killed for profit. If I am wrong , please let me know, we would be so happy to believe what you are saying is true!!
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#18 Old 07-24-2006, 10:53 AM
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i was totally going to say what espki said.
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#19 Old 07-24-2006, 11:16 AM
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Tesseract, what significant improvements have been made in slaughterhouses in the last few years?

Two that come to mind that I've read about are the improvement in slaughterhouse compliance checklists to actually decrease the frquency of things like improper stunning, downed animals, and use of electric prods, and most of the major US slaughterhouses now have these new procedures in place; and improvements in McDonald's policies (apparently as a result of pressure from PETA) regarding the slaughterhouses it purchases from-- IIRC their policies require the above procedures to be in place and followed correctly. Considering McDonald's is one of the world's largest purchasers of beef (maybe THE largest purchaser), any improvement in McDonald's purchasing policies would be significant IMO.



I think I read about these in several sources, but one of the major sources was Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation." People may think a lot of things about Temple Grandin, but there doesn't seem to be any question that she was instrumental in creating many of these polices and designing them to be as effective as possible in the actual slaughterhouse environment. In fact, she had a lot to say about lengthy and overly complicated slaughterhouse procedures and checklists that are written by people who apparently have never been on the floor and don't work.



Now, I'm certainly not saying that I know, or even believe, that the factory farm or the slaughterhouse are wonderful places as a result of these changes. Who knows, there may well be other changes I'm not aware of that are making things even worse. And clearly no amount of policies and procedures can prevent the horrifying intentional human cruelty I've heard about in the industry. All I'm saying is that I've heard of some improvments, and without actually visiting the places, I can't rule out the possibility that it may not currently be quite as bad as the footage in the movies suggests.
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