Earth on Fire



    Nations around the world have recently marked the observance of "World AIDS Day". Giant ribbons were hung from a bridge over Sydney harbor, stunt planes over France created a giant ribbon of red smoke, and cities around the U.S. and the world held vigils and concerts in honor of those who have died from the AIDS virus. There were calls for more funding for medical research, and in South Africa Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu publicly asked all who practice extra-marital sex to "please wear a condom."


    A plague of biblical proportions is in the land as the destruction of the human immune system continues unabated. AIDS is only one of the many forces that are diminishing the human body's ability to fight disease. The causes of this plague are multitudinous. The most obvious cause of the growing AIDS crisis is deviant sexual practices or shared syringes among drug users. Other immune deficiencies can be attributed in part to drug pushers masquerading as doctors. It can also be blamed on the atrocities committed by giant agribusiness concerns who pump farm animals full of hormones and antibiotics to achieve maximum weight for market. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with individuals who will not repent of their sick, sexual behavior, or who patronize their butcher and doctor because they like how animal flesh tastes and the pills that mitigate the effects of their appetite.

    As civilization continues its precipitous decline, it becomes more and more prone to seek a "pill", a "vaccine" or a "condom" as a remedy for its plagues. Billions and billions of dollars have been spent looking for ways to cure AIDS, cancer, and other diseases, but nothing significant has been accomplished except the enrichment of the medical establishment. Why is this remedy so illusive? Why are our best scientists so baffled? It is because the cure to these ills are as simple as "prevention", which also implies a change of behavior. Since society would rather die than give up its vices, it will continue to call in vain to its drug pushers and magicians, and the plagues will continue to have their ravaging effects.

    While there are many who may be willing to condemn homosexuality or illicit drug use as the causes of the AIDS crisis, there are few who would be willing to examine their beliefs in society's more established institutions. After all, agriculture is as American as "Mom and apple pie", and don't "real men eat beef"? Anyone who questions the ethics and health dangers of animal product consumption is quickly labeled as a pinko animal rights fanatic, especially by those of the "conservative" persuasion. A little investigation will prove that there are eating practices that cause more suffering and death than aberrant sexual practices.



"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity." - George Bernard Shaw

    In his book entitled, Diet for a New America , John Robbins describes the horrific conditions that commercial farm animals are kept in, as well as the drugs and hormones that are injected into these animals to maximize agribusiness profits. If one gives any credit to the phrase, "You are what you eat," it should not be hard to see that the hellish life that these creatures live before they are killed must certainly affect those whose stomachs become their graves.

    The chicken of today does not live in a barnyard, but a "chicken factory". These assembly line chickens do not scratch in the dirt, but live in cages called "batteries." Because they are crammed into these cages like sardines and kept under lights for 23 hours a day, these highly sensitive creatures tend to go berserk. In their madness they are prone to stampedes. Panicking birds sometimes pile on one another and some are smothered to death. The farmer has found that stuffing them into even smaller cages so that they can barely move, makes it harder for them to pile on one another when they panic. In their insanity the chickens tend to peck and cannibalize each other, so the farmer cuts the top part of their beak off to reduce his losses. Since chickens' toes tend to grow around the cage wire where they sit, the toes are cut off as well.

"Whenever people say 'we mustn't be sentimental,' you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, 'we must be realistic,' they mean they are going to make money out of it". - Brigid Brophy

    The entire process from beginning to end is one designed to maximize profit. Robbins quoted one poultry man who summarized his business in this manner: "Virtually all chickens raised in the United States today are fed a diet laced with antibiotics from their first day to their last. Without antibiotics, the industry could not maintain the intensive farming practices. An awful lot of them die anyway, before we can get our profit out of them. Without antibiotics, why, we'd be back to the backward practices of yesteryear." One president of a Georgia poultry firm put it this way: "The object of producing eggs is to make money. When we forget this objective, we have forgotten what it is all about." Another poultry man was quoted in Poultry World as saying, "I am in this business for what I can make out of it. If it pays me to do this or that, I do it and so far as I am concerned that is all there is to say about it." (Diet for a New America).


    Things are not any better for the mild mannered cow in commercial operations. "Stock density" is a method of maximizing profits in the feed lot. "Studies at the University of Minnesota suggest maximum profits can be obtained by allowing each of these large animals fourteen square feet of living space. To realize what this means, consider that a typical 12'x15' bedroom is 180 square feet. Imagine thirteen half ton steers in your bedroom and you've got the picture. Besides "stock density", a cow must face dehorning, castration, being fed "sawdust laced with ammonia and feathers, shredded newspaper, processed sewage, inedible tallow and grease, poultry litter, cement dust, and cardboard scraps, not to mention the insecticides, antibiotics and hormones." (ibid).

    The milk cow fares no better than the beef cow. "Old Bessie may spend her whole life in a concrete stall, or, worse yet, for her legs and feet, on a slatted metal floor. She is pregnant all the time and her nervous system has been made so ragged by breeding practices devoted exclusively to milk production and a lifestyle that affords her no exercise, that this most mellow and patient of animals has become something else. She is today so tense, nervous and hyperactive that she often has to be given tranquilizers." (ibid).

    Cattleman Herb Silverman expressed his concern over the high level of drugs fed to today's cattle when he said: "It's not good. Instead of improving husbandry practices, which would make the animals healthier, we just shoot 'em up with drugs. It's cheaper that way, and because this is a competitive business I've got to do it, too. But in the meantime the general public is catching on, and getting afraid of residues in the meat [not to mention milk]. And I'll tell you something. I don't blame them." (ibid).

    The pig endures all of the horrors of commercial pork production, which includes living in cages stacked five or six high, drenched in falling excrement and having its sensitive respiratory system assaulted by powerful ammonia vapors. Up to 80 percent of hogs have pneumonia by the time they are butchered. Instead of being buried under a stampede like the crazed chickens, many hogs fall victim to their fellow inmates' "tail biting" fetish. Like chickens, hogs go crazy in the commercial pig factory and tend to bite on each other's curly, pink tails. Sometimes after the tail is bitten off, the pig keeps biting into his fellow's rear end, tearing out his bowels and rendering him mortally wounded and unfit for market. Tail biting is not good for the pocketbook, so the farmer cuts the pigs' tails off.


"If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities" - Voltaire

    The slaughter house is another shop of horrors that will be measured by history to be equivalent in some respects to Auschwitz and Dachau. The imagery of this description betrays a Nazi death camp environment: "Barely three months had passed since Yoineh Meir had become a slaughterer, but the time seemed to stretch endlessly. He felt as though he were immersed in blood and lymph. His ears were beset by the squawking of hens, the crowing of roosters, the gobbling of geese, the mooing and bleating of calves and goats; wings fluttered, claws tapped on the floor. The bodies refused to know any justification or excuse - every body resisted in its own fashion, tried to escape, and seemed to argue with the Creator to its last breath." (ibid).

    Another writer described the slaughterhouse as "infernos of nauseous smells, pools of blood, and screams of terrified animals." (ibid).

dead pig

    "Before they reach their end, the pigs get a shower, a real one. Water sprays from every angle to wash the farm off them. Then they begin to feel crowded. The pen narrows like a funnel; the drivers behind urge the pigs forward, until one at a time they climb onto a moving ramp....Now they scream, never having been on such a ramp, smelling the smells they was a frightening experience, seeing their fear, seeing so many of them go by. It had to remind me of things no one wants to be reminded of anymore, all mobs, all death marches, all mass murders and extinctions...." (ibid).

    "The poet Dylan Thomas once admonished us, 'do not go gentle into that dark night.' The animals whose lives we methodically take by the millions day in and day out would have understood his meaning. They do not go gently. They go kicking and screaming, bellowing their protest, fighting for their lives, and calling, to the last, to be saved. Calling for somebody, somewhere, to please hear them." (ibid).


"I tremble for my species when I reflect that God is just". - Thomas Jefferson

    Already doctors and parents have become alarmed by children as young as four and five who have developed fully formed breasts because of the growth hormones passed to them through cows' meat and milk. One case cited a twelve year old boy who developed breasts because of these hormones. Studies have shown that high school girls in Britain are maturing sexually three to five years earlier than they were several years ago, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. One emergency room nurse told The WINDS that people who are coming into the emergency room with the cold and flu are "not just sick, they are really sick, and they're scared." Common illnesses are more acute, indicating a weakening of the immune system. Studies are beginning to reveal the effects that antibiotics in animal products have on the human consumer, as well as all the other chemical residues that make it to the grocery store.

    "...There is something uniquely painful happening in the way contemporary animals are being raised for meat. Animals have been treated cruelly before- -and in some cases sadistically -- but the process has never before been institutionalized on such an overwhelming scale. And never before has the cold expertise of modern technology and pharmacology been employed to this end.

    "Could it be...that when we eat the flesh of animals who have been treated with such complete contempt, that we assimilate something of their experience and carry it forward into our own lives? Could it be that eating the products of such an insane system may contribute significantly to the feeling pervading mankind today that this earth sometimes resembles the lunatic asylum of the universe?" (ibid).


"Men dig their graves with their own teeth and die more by those fated instruments than the weapons of their enemies." Thomas Moffett, Health's Improvement 1600 A.D.

    The "free market system" being enforced upon the world is not "free" at all, but is a system of force and coercion. If a modern farmer wants to survive, he has to use modern farming methods in order to compete in the highly competitive market where the profit margins are slim. If he doesn't use the drugs, hormones and "efficient" husbandry methods being promoted by the large agribusiness concerns, he will not make any money; so, the farmer chooses to conform rather than lose his farm. The ones who make the big money in this arrangement are the banks who are in collusion with the large agrichemical and drug companies.

    The result is a horrible system of animal abuse that is unimagined by most people who think of their meat as they do their fruits and vegetables. The result is also millions of people who are being poisoned by the flesh of tortured creatures that they put in their stomachs, flesh that is full of drugs and hormones. The ever increasing rate of illness among people today can be traced to a weakened immune system that is the result antibiotics being passed to them from their animal products.

    People may laugh at the thought of being concerned over the fate of the farm animal, as though they were sacred cows from India or something. What they should stop and consider, however, is that the agribusiness and farm finance cartels do not differentiate between man and beast. They are as willing to poison the human population for profit as they are to torture and abuse the animal population. It is all the same to them.

    What should be of greater alarm is that this represents a trend in the global economy of the 90's and beyond. All of humanity is being merged into one "global herd", whose only purpose is to profit those who are high up in the realm of international finance. Those conditions that the people of the nations, especially in the West, support among the commercially raised food animals, they will find applied to them over time. The drive for high efficiency in the work place, as well as corporate downsizing and massive layoffs, are all the first evidences of a system that makes profits its only consideration, whether it is herding man or beast.

    The universe is a very fair place. If there is any one left on this planet with a disposition to do so, it would benefit them to examine the system that they support with their appetites, their labor and their money. If they are supporting oppression and torture of either man or beast, they may be assured that they will face the same conditions. What poetic justice - for one to wear the yoke he has so readily placed on others!

"Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Job 12:7,8 ; Galatians 6:7.

Excerpts taken from Diet for a New America by John Robbins
Published by Stillpoint Publishing, Walpole, NH

Written 3/97


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