words and images by mk swanson
Gruesome but Good

Gruesome but Good

What if the overworked agents of the FDA and the animal welfare organizations could watch meat processing plants over a webcam? Bear with me–I know it’s horrifying to think about where your food comes from, or what it goes through to get to be a hamburger or a tasty chicken wing, but if you love animals (or even have concern for the karmic implications), this is something you should want to happen. Even a moral vegetarian might get next to this idea as better than nothing.

  1. Set up webcams in meat processing facilities.
  2. Make them federal property so that destroying or deflecting them is a crime.
  3. Stream the footage for FDA agents and registered animal rights groups.
  4. Record randomly (continuously for suspected abuse).
  5. Secure access to the content so that it can’t be hijacked.

For an extraordinary person’s real change to the way animals are treated, see the website of Dr. Temple Grandin.

For those out there like me, who love animals but still eat meat, I’ll tell you what my practice is:
I eat less meat. When I do eat meat, I eat seafood more often. I no longer shy away from the fact that meat is the body of an animal who shares my DNA, that I probably would have thought was cute, and that I would have risked my neck to protect from cruelty. I briefly acknowledge the life that has been given for me, and I promise that I will try to protect the right of each animal to have a good life for as long as it lasts.
I am grateful. I say thank you.