Factory Farm Visit - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-28-2011, 06:27 PM
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I'm getting a tour of a factory farm tomorrow. We will be seeing 1200 cows and may be stopping by the veal calves.

I'm a little saddened

If there was a question you wish you could ask a factory farmer, what would it be?
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#2 Old 11-28-2011, 06:29 PM
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"How do you live with yourself?"
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#3 Old 11-28-2011, 06:31 PM
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And they take people on these tours and then expect them to continue to be consumers?
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#4 Old 11-28-2011, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrtlemaneet View Post

"How do you live with yourself?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kari View Post

And they take people on these tours and then expect them to continue to be consumers?

+1 to both of you.

So is this tour required for school/work, or for your own information?

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#5 Old 11-28-2011, 07:07 PM
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I'd be curious to know how they feel about their work, if they see it as a necessary evil or just another thing, like delivering the mail or something, not a moral issue at all.
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#6 Old 11-28-2011, 08:22 PM
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It's for school.

I think the most difficult thing will be holding back from asking the questions I really want to ask, getting defensive, getting depressed, or just shutting down entirely.

I need to think of good anthropological/anthrozoological/ecological questions.
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#7 Old 11-28-2011, 10:21 PM
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Possible questions:
- Would it be OK if I came back later unannounced?
- Can I talk to your workers in private?
- Mind if I take a video?
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#8 Old 11-28-2011, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mountainhugger View Post

I need to think of good anthropological/anthrozoological/ecological questions.

In that case...
- Are these animals artificially inseminated? If so, Why?
- Can you explain exactly how that is done?

I think the process is so disgusting it's bound to make a couple classmates rethink dairy. I could be wrong, but it's worth a try, eh?
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#9 Old 11-29-2011, 03:17 AM
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I'd love to go on a tour, I wish there was one available in my area. In fact I would love to take my mother, she claims she had no idea until recently that such atrocities existed which I find hard to believe.
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#10 Old 11-29-2011, 05:01 AM
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That must be a really hard place to visit. If I were there I would ask for all the details on how the animals are treated from start to finish. I also remember seeing a TV programme on veal and it showed that some of the cows can at least live in relative happiness until the inevitable day.
I would then put all of the info on my animal welfare blog so the world could see what happens in such places Actually,
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#11 Old 11-29-2011, 05:49 PM
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To be honest, take advantage of going on this trip. Try to take pictures and videos if you can. Keep a journal and write notes of what it's like. If they don't let you take pictures, write that down.

I understand how hard this is, and I would just want to open up all the cages and free everyone. I would ask them:
-if they feel bad for the animals
-if they know that factory farming is bad for the environment
-if they ever hope the animals will be freed

Good luck. Will be thinking of you.

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#12 Old 11-29-2011, 06:06 PM
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Good luck with the tour. I've been to a dairy farm, and the parts I saw weren't that bad (it wasn't great, but better than how pigs and chickens are treated). But I did see a new born calf who had just been taken from her mother, and that was really sad. Also, all the cows were afraid of people. Be ready for these 'farmers' to be extremely proud of their farm. They're practically brainwashed. I have a high school friend who now owns a small dairy and he is super anti-soy(he thinks soy products are bad for people) and claims to 'treat his cows like family'. They just don't get it.

As far as questions go... ask what happens to the cows when they are done producing milk, and at what age they are sent to slaughter. Or ask how many contaminants can be in the milk and still be useable.

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#13 Old 11-29-2011, 07:11 PM
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Ask everyone there, if looking at the Cow's udders makes them hungry for milk and cheese.

What might be really good is if you could take a laptop along and show video footage of such farms that the farmers don't want people to know about.

I'm a bit curious as to the reason for the tour. I know "for school", but *why* for school ?
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#14 Old 11-29-2011, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jade_price View Post

If I were there I would ask for all the details on how the animals are treated from start to finish.

I think the crucial matter is that the tour guide isn't going to be honest.

They wouldn't allow this tour as anything other than a soap box to indoctrinate the children about how factory farming is O.K. and they should be proud to eat meat.


ElaineV's question about insemination was great.

You should only ask questions you know the answers to- direct and factual, which will lead the tour guide in an uncomfortable direction and put him off his game.

The one about contaminates in milk is a good one, but you'd need to come prepared with the actual legislation printed out to read when he says "I don't know about that kind of thing, but our milk is 100% clean and natural".


Good luck!

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#15 Old 11-29-2011, 09:58 PM
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When I went on a farm tour w/ my school there was a calf that had only made it halfway out while birthing and was dead. One of the students actually pointed it out to the farmer.
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#16 Old 11-30-2011, 09:02 AM
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To be honest, take advantage of going on this trip. Try to take pictures and videos if you can. Keep a journal and write notes of what it's like. If they don't let you take pictures, write that down. .

Agreed.

slops, gloops, and gruels.
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#17 Old 11-30-2011, 10:56 AM
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im pretty surprised they even offer tours. most factory and large scale farms do not offer tours and really try hard not to let people see how they operate.

not sure what country you are in but questions about hormone injections, how they get the cows to produce such large amounts of milk, how long the calves are allowed to stay with their mothers, ask about RBST, antibiotics, udder infections associated with milking, whats the average life span of the animals, how much an individual cow "costs", how much they sell their product for.
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#18 Old 11-30-2011, 02:20 PM
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The milking facilities were as sterile as any assembly line should be: polished metal and white plastic, flickering red LED numbers, minority workers in poop-stained smocks gently rubbing cow nipples before attaching the aluminum and steel robotic suckling device.

The bovine living facilities were black-stained metal and concrete. The cows were anxious and timid. A few would walk over to the group to investigate. I raised my hand to pet a number of them, but they jerked at the sight of my hand. The facilities owner told us that no one wants to hurt a cow, but if one of the creatures started to advance or get a little too bold he would hit it over the nose with a shovel. The group laughed. He mentioned punching a bull between the eyes. He mentioned getting trampled three times and pushed through a fence.

The birthing barn had straw flooring. Two newborns struggled to stand, their umbilical cords dangled from their belly buttons. They were one-hour old. The facilities manager seemed concerned that they hadn't been taken from their mothers yet. If one of the infants drank milk from her mother and then from another cow, it would risk passing mastitis from one cow to the next. The infant cows never drank milk from the mothers.

No one seem startled at how they weren't allowed to consume any of the raw milk because of potential health risks.

The cows weren't allowed to open-graze because they would get lazy after relaxing in the sun all day. Productivity was higher if they never felt grass on their hooves.

The greatest concern shown by the group was how the farmer had to dump out a day's-worth of milk because it had trace amounts of antibiotic. Loss of profit is always a bummer.
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#19 Old 11-30-2011, 02:44 PM
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Wow...I think I'm the most amazed at the unfazed reactions of the group...to have it all right there in their faces and to STILL be able to ignore it.
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#20 Old 11-30-2011, 04:47 PM
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The greatest concern shown by the group was how the farmer had to dump out a day's-worth of milk because it had trace amounts of antibiotic. Loss of profit is always a bummer.

Great write-up.

I wonder if that was a show put on for the group.

I can imagine the corporate memo from up on high: "Oh, and pretend like we have really strict quality guidelines by throwing out a batch of milk for some reason like... antibiotics. That will put them at ease about the strict safety and health standards of milk."

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#21 Old 11-30-2011, 07:15 PM
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I'd ask the farmer if they could slaughter and eat their dog and their puppies the same way they treat these cows as well as what makes them treat their pets so much different than these animals.
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#22 Old 12-02-2011, 10:07 AM
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I'd ask the farmer if they could slaughter and eat their dog and their puppies the same way they treat these cows as well as what makes them treat their pets so much different than these animals.

+1

Vegetarian with vegan tendencies.
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#23 Old 12-02-2011, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainhugger View Post

The milking facilities were as sterile as any assembly line should be: polished metal and white plastic, flickering red LED numbers, minority workers in poop-stained smocks gently rubbing cow nipples before attaching the aluminum and steel robotic suckling device.

The bovine living facilities were black-stained metal and concrete. The cows were anxious and timid. A few would walk over to the group to investigate. I raised my hand to pet a number of them, but they jerked at the sight of my hand. The facilities owner told us that no one wants to hurt a cow, but if one of the creatures started to advance or get a little too bold he would hit it over the nose with a shovel. The group laughed. He mentioned punching a bull between the eyes. He mentioned getting trampled three times and pushed through a fence.

The birthing barn had straw flooring. Two newborns struggled to stand, their umbilical cords dangled from their belly buttons. They were one-hour old. The facilities manager seemed concerned that they hadn't been taken from their mothers yet. If one of the infants drank milk from her mother and then from another cow, it would risk passing mastitis from one cow to the next. The infant cows never drank milk from the mothers.

No one seem startled at how they weren't allowed to consume any of the raw milk because of potential health risks.

The cows weren't allowed to open-graze because they would get lazy after relaxing in the sun all day. Productivity was higher if they never felt grass on their hooves.

The greatest concern shown by the group was how the farmer had to dump out a day's-worth of milk because it had trace amounts of antibiotic. Loss of profit is always a bummer.

I think the reason so many people don't seem fazed when they see stuff like this is that they have no reference for comparison. They just assume that "this is how it's done" and don't think beyond that to wonder if it is right or wrong, if it can be done better, or if it should be done at all.
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#24 Old 12-02-2011, 11:40 AM
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Ugh, this makes me sad
I would want to shake everyone and yell out "DON'T YOU SEE!! This is NOT OKAY!"
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#25 Old 12-02-2011, 06:40 PM
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That will be really hard. I've seen tons of pictures, read tons of articles, and watches videos. But seeing it in person... oh... I would be in tears...

I would ask the people how they feel about working there. It's important to keep in mind that most workers are immigrants who can't get jobs anywhere else, or anyone who can't get a job anywhere else, really.
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#26 Old 12-02-2011, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mountainhugger View Post

The milking facilities were as sterile as any assembly line should be: polished metal and white plastic, flickering red LED numbers, minority workers in poop-stained smocks gently rubbing cow nipples before attaching the aluminum and steel robotic suckling device.

The bovine living facilities were black-stained metal and concrete. The cows were anxious and timid. A few would walk over to the group to investigate. I raised my hand to pet a number of them, but they jerked at the sight of my hand. The facilities owner told us that no one wants to hurt a cow, but if one of the creatures started to advance or get a little too bold he would hit it over the nose with a shovel. The group laughed. He mentioned punching a bull between the eyes. He mentioned getting trampled three times and pushed through a fence.

The birthing barn had straw flooring. Two newborns struggled to stand, their umbilical cords dangled from their belly buttons. They were one-hour old. The facilities manager seemed concerned that they hadn't been taken from their mothers yet. If one of the infants drank milk from her mother and then from another cow, it would risk passing mastitis from one cow to the next. The infant cows never drank milk from the mothers.

No one seem startled at how they weren't allowed to consume any of the raw milk because of potential health risks.

The cows weren't allowed to open-graze because they would get lazy after relaxing in the sun all day. Productivity was higher if they never felt grass on their hooves.

The greatest concern shown by the group was how the farmer had to dump out a day's-worth of milk because it had trace amounts of antibiotic. Loss of profit is always a bummer.

Aww man, that made me tear up ;~;
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#27 Old 12-02-2011, 07:12 PM
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One time I went to a "petting zoo" with cows and pigs and sheep and stuff at a fair and I teared up. I'd probably end up openly weeping if I ever went to a factory farm.
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#28 Old 12-03-2011, 11:48 AM
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Ugh, this makes me sad
I would want to shake everyone and yell out "DON'T YOU SEE!! This is NOT OKAY!"

Our class is going to be talking about CAFOs (factory farms) in the coming weeks as it pertains to environmentalism. I've mentioned ethics a number of times, but I'm seeing more and more how environmentalists and vegans are two very different people groups.
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