Let’s (not) take the kids for a day on the (US industrial beef) farm.


Tascosa Feedyard, Texas (detail) source: Mishka Henner

Those little black and whitish specks that look like ants on the left?  Cows.  That enormous acid green pool of slime to the right?  No idea.  But I know this: there is something terrible going on with our food production in this country. It’s poisoning us and it’s poisoning the environment.  I can’t imagine any of those poor cows are too psyched about it either.

But wait, there are many more horrifyingly fascinating aerial views of America’s heartland shot by photographer Mishka Henner at his website.  Take a look here.  I dare you.  When you’re done please join me at the paragraph below.

Done?  Ok.  I’m sure we can all agree that no kid (or cow) should ever have to spend the day on any of those farms.  And I consider myself a kind of casual, quasi-expert on this farm thing after having lived on a beautiful New Zealand farm where happy cows grazed in wide open pastures with no slime in sight.

So me, myself and everybody else, let’s choose to rethink our purchases.  Let’s choose to rethink our family’s diet.  Let’s choose to buy grass fed beef, locally farmed if at all possible.  It’s usually less convenient and definitely more expensive so let’s just buy less of it.  Or none at all.  If ever we could collectively be inspired to become organic farmers, vegetarians or vegans it should be right now… as we sit here staring at all those little American cow-ants imprisoned on the shores of Lake Slime.

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4 thoughts on “Let’s (not) take the kids for a day on the (US industrial beef) farm.

  1. Those photos are horrifying, but seeing one up close is even worse. I lived 17 miles from a large farm in Arizona. The stench was unbearable. When the wind blew just right it would reach our home.

    the worst thing I saw there was a dead cow that laid by the side of the road for days, stiff as could be in 100+ degree weather. Finally one day I saw a forklift come to get it. I pulled over to see what they were going to do with it. What they did sickened me. They fed that dead cow to a chipper the dumped it into the feed bins.

    I had lived around small ethical farms for years and never smelled anything like this industrial farm, no I had an idea why it was so bad. Cows are not carnivores

    The other thing those pictures don’t show is that even though there is no grass there, the cows are packed so tightly they stand in their own feces feet deep. It gets plowed into mounds now and then but these cows are anything but happy. And don’t get me started on the slaughter houses.

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