Factory farming is American business without the bad press. It is not BP’s near ruination of the Gulf of Mexico that caused a national fury. Farm animals and the factories that make them suffer—even though they are huge and located throughout the country—seem to exist in the shadows. There are voices raised, but these come from animal advocate organizations, and does anyone listen to them unless they’re talking about wild animals?
We all know what happens to baby seals; we watch the rampant killing of grey wolves; we hear of wild burros rounded up and bound for the slaughterhouse; the shooting of a lion in Zimbabwe. We object; there is an outcry. We genuinely oppose the mistreatment of wildlife: wolves, seals, bears, lions.
Yet pigs, sheep, cows and chickens arouse no such outrage. Why? First, because we don’t know what mistreatment they suffer and in what unimaginable numbers. We’re not aware of the sheer scale of these abuses. But second, and perhaps worse, we’re involved in the abuse, and, consequently, we must deny it. These animals are on our grills and our plates.
We don’t want to know how they got there.