The Humane Society of America has sued the USDA in an attempt to close a loophole that allows downer cows who aren’t otherwise ill into the food supply. They claim the loophole increases the risk of introducing mad cow disease to humans, and leads to abuse against the cattle—like with, oh, say, a forklift. [Wall Street Journal]

“USDA Stops Production At Meatpacking Facility After Undercover Video Showed Sick Cows Being Abused”
“USDA Recalls 143 Million Pounds Of Beef”


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  1. Solidgun says:

    Go Humane Society!!!

  2. dreamsneverend says:

    As someone who enjoys beef I have to side with the HS here. Being a meat eater, you conceded the fact that animals are being killed to supply your needs, but no one wants animals that are sick or injured because of the mystery factor. I wouldn’t go out and kill any animal in that state except to put it out of pain, but not to be on my dinner plate.

  3. ancientsociety says:

    Have to agree with the Humane Society and, while they’re at it, let’s repeal the useless, corporate-sponsored NAIS as well

  4. moore850 says:

    @rainmkr: I concur, you obviously have to kill an animal in order to chop it up and eat it, but anything short of humane treatment for the live animal is just pointlessly cruel. That forklift story is the grossest thing ever! Why would someone do that… a cow is an intelligent being that deserves whatever respect we can afford, even as a food product.

  5. csdiego says:

    @rainmkr: Same here.

  6. csdiego says:

    @ancientsociety: Do you have a source of information about NAIS? A friend of mine, a farmer, keeps ranting about it on her blog, but I’m reluctant to ask her about it because we tend not to agree on politics and find it best to stay away from that subject.

  7. rhombopteryx says:

    A U.S. Department of Agriculture rule change made in July allows some downer cows into the food supply.

    Come on! Why stop half way? Why couldn’t the US Department of Agribusiness just repeal the whole rule?

    Cows that are too sick to walk due to disease or injury are probly more tender anyway…

  8. vanillabean says:

    @moore850: Someone would do that to get the animal slaughtered. You can’t process downed cows so it must be encouraged (read: made to feel uncomfortable where it is lying) to get up and walk to its own death. Every cow = $.

  9. uberbucket says:

    ‘Downer cows’? This must happen a lot if they have a special name for them.

    Someone please tell me they don’t have ‘downer tofu’.

  10. thelushie says:

    @moore850: Very well said.

  11. thelushie says:

    @uberbucket: Yeah it is called any tofu. LOL. Just joking. I could not resist. I still haven’t been able to develop a taste for tofu. I think Boca burgers are ok though.