I’ve been at my parent’s home for the past few days where I happened upon the June 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine. Normally, I’d avoid this kind of magazine full of grilling recipies for steak and cheese, but enticed by a headline on the cover, I opened it up and found an article entitled, “A View to Kill.”
It began by explaining the industry’s private practices and refusal to allow anyone inside. “Spokesmen at the [big five] refused to show me the farms…refused to show me the slaughterhouses…even refused to talk to me about how they raise and kill chickens.” It when on to detail a few of the victories of the welfarist movement over the past seven years. The bulk of the article, however, consisted of explaining the cruel ways chickens are shipped an slaughtered (which, on the whole, was remarkably accurate, the only part left out was the searing off of the chicken’s beaks.) Eventually it explains new methods of slaughter that would be more “humane,” including the gas technique developed in Britian.
I was actually very impressed by the accuracy and sense of urgancy in the article. The writer mentioned PETA without making them seem completely insane, and even sided with them on the issue of KFC’s refusal to obtain more humane standards of treatment. But a few things seemed at least confsing if not contradicory. The first page of the article has a full-page picture of Peeps (those awful little yellow easter candies) hanging from hooks upside down. Why is this so bad? It made my family and even I laugh. It undercut the seriousness of the issue by making it a joke right off the bat. I caught myself laughing and was horrified by the fact that I could take such a cruel practice and laugh at it.
Secondly, what are the readers of this magazine going to think when they flip a few more pages and see a recipe for chicken? No where in the article did it make any reference to cutting down on meat intake, which is reitterated by the recipes throughout.
In any case, at least the article was there. It may not have been as complete as I would have liked, but at least the messege of compassionate people is reaching the masses.