I stand, as I write this, at the intersection of despondency and rage – all-but powerless, but for this word-weapon, in the face of a widely ignored holocaust.
In my August 24 commentary about animal cruelty at a California slaughterhouse, I lamented the fact that “most people don’t think at all about slaughterhouses until something like this ends up in the news. And even then, such reports are typically framed as isolated incidents involving a few irresponsible employees.”
The latest “isolated incidents,” as documented by Mercy for Animals and revealed in the above-provided video clip, took place at an Idaho dairy farm.
Rather than describe the images captured during Mercy for Animals’ undercover investigation at a Bettencourt Dairies facility, I leave it to you to watch the video and react how you will. And to anyone who claims that he can’t bear to watch such videos – that is, to he who lacks the courage to engage his conscience – I say: Your avoidance is contemptible.
In a “news media statement,” Luis and Sharon Bettencourt, who own the concentration camp where these latest “isolated incidents” took place, claim that they “feel it is our ethical and moral responsibility to take the best care possible of our cows. … Bettencourt Dairy is appalled at the images depicted in the video, and has taken … decisive steps to address the situation … to ensure that the actions and behavior shown in this video are never repeated again.”
I leave it to you to find satisfaction in those words.
The truth, of course, is that the Bettencourts profit from slavery – or, as they describe it on their website: “every cow has a direct impact on our livelihood.”
Beneath the company’s “mission statement” — whose insulting language was simply copied and pasted into the Bettencourts’ arrogant “news media statement” — is the nauseating exhortation “Drink Milk, Eat Cheese, and Enjoy Life!” below which is a photograph of cows who we know are doing anything but enjoying their lives.
A report in the Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho) tells us that “after being made aware of the footage, Luis Bettencourt … fired five of his employees in August. Three of the five employees are being charged with animal cruelty in Twin Falls County, according to court documents.”
An Associated Press report published in The Idaho Statesman explained that “Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said he filed misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against Jesus Garza, Jose Acensio and Javier Victor Rojas Loayza in late August after an investigation that was prompted by the video. If convicted, the men face fines of up to $5,000 each and six months of jail time on a first offense.”
While I’d prefer that Garza, Acensio, and Loayza be publicly tortured, executed, and fed to the holocaust deniers who perpetuate the “isolated incidents” myth, I’d much rather learn that the intersection of despondency and rage is not far from the tipping point at which the more evolved among us find ourselves in the majority.