Holding a Standard to the Meat Industry

To the editors:

I was glad to see Lewis E. Bollard’s piece on the recent beef recall (“Where’s The Beef,” column, Feb.20) as it raises the key issue of how our society’s treatment of animals puts us all at risk.

Certainly everyone can agree that it’s dangerous to consume flesh from animals that are so diseased and abused that they are unable to walk. Moreover, it’s important to recognize that these animals are forced to suffer for their entire lifetime in filthy, crowded conditions. As privileged, educated individuals we must make choices which reject industries based on the mass slaughter of billions of sentient beings every year. When safer, more compassionate choices exist for food, why would we choose any other option?

I assume the average Crimson reader would not be willing to personally slice an animal’s throat open each time he or she is looking for a meal. It’s bloody, messy, and cruel. So then, why are these same individuals so willing to pay for this act to be committed in their name? In the days since the massive recall of millions of pounds of animals’ flesh, I hope we all recognize that individual responsibility is as important as industry accountability.

We can and should hold the meat industry to a standard of decency for our own health and the welfare of animals. But let’s not use this as an excuse to avoid the personal responsibility we can all take to make the world a kinder place by choosing healthy, humane vegetarian options.


Norfolk, Va.

February 22, 2008