Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things I don't understand

There are things in this world I shall never fully comprehend. Lots of things, actually. I saw this link my Facebook news-reel from an old college classmate. It was a link to a story about how a group of people set fire intentionally to 14 cattle trucks at the Harris Ranch feed-lot in Coalinga, CA. And thus far, these thugs have gotten away with it.

Now, I understand (to a point) why people don't like cattle feed-lots, or animals that  are raised for consumption or consumerism in horrific, abusive conditions. I don't like to see animals abused, either. They should always be treated as humanely as possible. Sometimes I really think people ought to have a license to raise animals. It may help weed out the abusers, the hoarders, and the idiots who think they can make a quick buck.

HOWEVER. I have visited Harris Ranch, and while it houses a lot of cows, they treat all the animals as humanely as possible. If you've ever heard of Temple Grandin, they've adopted many techniques for humane treatment that she came up with.

I visited the slaughter house and packing plant, ate at their restaurant shortly thereafter, and then saw the feed-lot. While most people would think, "EEEWWW. You were in a packing plant? And then you ate after what you saw?"

Yes. Yes, indeed. Was it tough to watch? Yes. Actually, only the killing floor was tough to watch. But I'm glad I did. My beef science class got a tour of Harris Ranch's facilities. Our professor was in cahoots with them - as in, they did research in conjunction with them.

Did the feed-lot stink? You betcha.

Was the food good? Hell yes.

But what our class noticed was that the ranch hands didn't go around harassing the cattle. The cattle were not abused in any way. They had plenty of feed and water.

The world is now a place where things must be mass produced in order for the world to have food on supermarket shelves. That includes the meat that humans eat, the vegetables, the fruits, the grains, everything. While I know that there are farms out there there do  keep their animals in horrific conditions, they are not the majority.

What right does some animal rights group have to go onto someone's property and destroy it? None. That's what. The North American Animal Liberation group received an anonymous email from someone claiming responsibility for the arson committed at Harris Ranch.

anonymous claim of responsibility:

"at about 3:40 am on sunday, january 8th, 14 cattle trucks caught fire at the harris feeding company in coalinga, ca. containers of accelerant were placed beneath a row of 14 trucks with 4 digital timers used to light 4 of the containers and kerosene-soaked rope carrying the fire to the other 10 (a tactic adapted from Home Alone 2 [if you're going to try this make sure to use kerosene, gasoline dries too quickly]). we weren't sure how well this was going to work, so we waited until there was news reports before writing this. we were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks 'were a total loss' with some being 'completely melted to the ground.'

we're not going to use this space to expound upon the horrors and injustices of factory farming. there is more than enough armchair-activists and those of passive politics who are more than willing to do that (anything to keep from getting their hands dirty). we, the unsilent minority (the 1%, if you will), choose a more direct form of action.

we're not delusional enough to believe that this action will shut down the harris feeding company, let alone have any effect on factory farming as a whole. but we maintain that this type of action still has worth, if not solely for the participant's peace of mind, then to show that despite guards, a constant worker presence, and razorwire fence, the enemy is still vulnerable.

finally, to all those who fantasize and romanticize about direct action yet remain on the fence: there is a lot of stuff that needs to be destroyed and we can't count on spontaneous combustion and careless welders to do all the work.

until next time..."

I shall refrain from commenting on their lack of capital letters, grammar, etc. What is disturbing is that they want others to commit similar crimes against similar organizations.

I ask, what has Harris Ranch done to you? Provided you excellent meat that comes from well fed cattle, processed in a packing plant that was clean enough you could have ate on the floor, and had it delivered to your local supermarket for you. Just because you don't agree with it, does NOT give you the right to burn their trucks down. If you animal rights folks want to make a real difference, focus on those that are actually abusing the animals on their property.

Do I wholly agree with "factory farming"? Not completely. However, that is the way world now works. Raising cattle is not necessarily a local commodity, it's a world market. And as someone who was an Animal Science major in college, and now works on a ranch in a ranching and farming community, I feel more strongly about it than I did as a kid. Ranching, farming and "factory farming" will always have positives and negatives, just like everything in this world. That does not however, give anyone else who believes differently to trespass and harm someone's property. You have the right of free speech and the right to gather in public and protest.

I checked out the website for this Animal Liberation Front that claimed they got that anonymous email listed above. Their mission:

  • To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e., laboratories, factory farms, fur farms, etc., and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives, free from suffering.
  • To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.
  • To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors, by performing direct actions and liberations.
  • To take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.
Any group of people who are vegetarians or vegans and who carry out actions according to these guidelines have the right to regard themselves as part of the Animal Liberation Front.

Like I said, I can understand wanting to reveal atrocities committed against innocent animals, and I don't agree with animal testing. However, I am not about to take the law into my own hands and set fire to the place. Also, they are discriminating against those that eat meat and still don't like to see cruelty to animals. Nice.

Violence against property, as opposed to animals, human or non-human, is viewed by many as justifiable.


They even have a page dedicated to their members who are in prison for committing these violent acts on someone's property. They have prison addresses for them and donation pages so you can write to them and help them with bail or lawyer fees. They give details about the charges brought against them, their sentence, and any other updates they find out.

Again - seriously?

While I believe that those who abuse animals should get their just desserts, I'm not about to join a group that promotes violence as a means to an end. I can't even fathom supporting that. Why burn 14 cattle trucks, when you know that Harris Ranch's insurance will cover the loss and they will be able to purchase new trucks?

I probably didn't convey my message well. It feels disjointed, but there it is. This is my point of view, so sue me. I don't condone animal abuse, hoarding, or the like. But don't take something and twist it so that domestic terrorism becomes "logical" to you.


  1. These nutjobs sound like they're taking a few pages from PETA's book....

  2. Like any other left wing group, logic or reason doesn't enter into their equation. They just pick some cause- maybe stupid, maybe with merit- find a spectacular way to call it to public attention without giving a damn about the hurt caused to the victims of their stupidity or even those they are supposedly supporting, and then pat themselves on the back for doing something "to help". They are a very good example of why we never gave up on paddling our children when all the world said that was cruel and unusual punishment.

    1. It really is amazing how many people go through the world with a lack of logic. Maybe we should call awareness to it! lol

  3. This is not the way to win against animal cruelty. Violence solves nothing.
    This is nothing less than another form of terrorism which will do nothing more than harm innocent people and animals.
    I just hope that no animals were harmed in their protest

    My New Blog – “Lizard Happy”

  4. I agree. And no, no animals were harmed. Just the trucks/trailers.

  5. Excellent post. People today truly baffle me. Taking a stand against something is one thing; breaking laws and having a complete lack of ethics is quite another. These people should use their voice, not violence.

    I'm so glad you wrote about this.

    1. I don't understand why people feel that breaking the law is a viable way to get a point across. I think it just makes people think they are pathetic.


I love comments. Please leave one. :o)