Talk Back: Investigation Ovations

By on February 6, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Our comment box continues to flood as readers add their voice to the uproar surrounding our investigation into inhumane treatment of downed cows at a California slaughter plant. Among the comments we received:

To the person who had enough compassion for animals to put himself through what must have been a heartbreaking ordeal in the slaughterhouse, thank you, thank you. You are an angel. I can’t say enough about my admiration for The HSUS. You make this world a better and kinder place with every moment you devote to your work. It’s an honor to help you. —Lorraine

I have taken all recommended actions to get the San Bernardino county D.A. to prosecute those responsible for the torture at the Hallmark Meat Packing Co. I just wished to write because my thoughts go out to the person who witnessed and bravely documented the violent abuse occurring there. Watching the video makes us all feel ill but actually being there must have been so much worse. It was no doubt heart wrenching for him. I hope his recovery is made speedier by knowing that he is saving future lives and wellbeing of animals on a national level. Please tell him that my heart goes out to him and I will say a prayer to help ease his pain. It is shared in part by all of us. —Stacey Galvin

I’m always in complete awe of the people willing to put themselves into these situations to reveal such cruelty. I can only imagine what they go through to accomplish their goals. Truly, he has a special place in heaven waiting for him. Thank you, investigator… —Lisa J

I did not have the heart to watch the video; I did not think that I would be able to stomach it. But just looking at the cow on the screen, its immense suffering was so clear and evident. I was tossing and turning in bed all night, I was having nightmares! I still tear up just thinking about it. Why are people so inhumane and uncaring? How can they have no compassion? It is simply unconscionable and evil. EVIL!!! These acts MUST IMMEDIATELY be put to an end. Thank God for The HSUS, and hats off for a job done superbly on exposing these heinous acts, getting the USDA swiftly involved, and alerting the global public! I have been inspired to become vegetarian. —Helen Chung

Thank God! I am so glad this has finally received the recognition it deserves. I am from Minnesota and was not raised to treat animals this way! I just found out that some of this meat was sent to my area and I am outraged! Animals are not ours to torture! I want to personally thank the individual that had to witness these atrocities firsthand in order to open the eyes of so many! —Kristen Sackett

I found out about the Westland slaughter video from my daughter. We don’t live that far from that slaughterhouse, so probably their beef was going to her school. The school pulled the beef out of it, and she was told about the situation by teachers, and watched the video before I knew. It made me sick and angry. I wonder why, in the paper today, it says that the two workers were fired. Why doesn’t it say that they were JAILED? Isn’t their sick, sadistic behavior illegal? In Houston, they’d be jailed. On Animal Planet, on one of the animal rescue shows, we’d be watching them hauled off by sheriffs. Can we see that happen here? We have friends who are cattlemen, and they do not allow these situations to occur on their ranches. For now, my daughter is off beef, and we’ll try to avoid it even more than we already do. —Beth Glover

Thank you for relentlessly investigating the horrors of factory farming and for bringing this to the mainstream media and the public. Change happens slowly, but this powerful investigation will have tremendous effects, as we have already seen in one week. —Mary

I just wanted to say that I was watching “Inside Edition,” one of the few times that I do watch TV, on the night of Jan. 30 and this particular story aired. I have NEVER been so emotionally affected by something I’ve seen on TV before. It brought tears to my eyes within an instant. The video was so unbelievably explicit that I couldn’t believe it was allowed to be aired to the public, but I am glad it was done because a lot of people don’t understand what actually goes on behind closed doors. I am glad to know that the Humane Society acted on this case and that the people responsible for this cruelty are being dealt with accordingly. No animal deserves to be treated with so much cruelty and hatred. It made me sick to my stomach and really evoked serious emotion and the question of what I can do to contribute. I have to say that I am doing away with beef and pork because of that story, and not because I am worried about eating tainted meat. It is because I feel compassion toward the animals who give their lives to feeding humans, and that have suffered greatly in the process. I will also be active and contribute more with the Humane Society as I see that the activists are doing their part to try and put a stop to animal cruelty. —Tiffany Foell

Put slaughter videos on worldwide TV. Tell their story on “Oprah.” Send the story and pictures to all magazines. Make a commercial. Give people alternatives. Scream louder. —f.gary

I will never eat meat again after seeing this horrifying video—how those involved in any way in the brutal torture of these animals can even sleep at night is beyond me. And why they are not being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law is disturbing. Merely being fired or suspended is not enough. —Withheld

I would like to thank the Humane Society for the wonderful work that they do protecting these poor, helpless animals. This video made me cry. I had to stop watching it because it is by far the worst case of torture and abuse I have ever seen. I grew up on a farm; I know how gentle these cattle are. They would never hurt anyone and to see them tortured in such a manner was very disturbing! The other thing that bothers me is no one has indicated what happened to the workers who were inflicting this pain on these poor animals. They should not just be fired, they should be criminally prosecuted. Anyone who can perform such horrific acts of abuse certainly will not hesitate to do it again. —cbrown

My husband and I took in a group of neglected, abused cows one and a half years ago and the truth is these cows have become such amazing pets—each one of them has their own personality and our new baby calves are simply beautiful. Everyday I get to see the mothers love on their calves. Before we adopted them I never knew that these animals could feel so much love or for that matter knew how to display their love, but as I watch them lick their calves and guard them I know now that even these gentle animals know love. This is why I urge you to sign the Humane Society petition against those who abuse farm animals. The slaughter house and those who inflicted injury to those poor animals should not go unpunished. —Laurie Todd

After watching the footage provided by The HSUS, I found myself sobbing. I was outraged. The men operating that machinery seemed very comfortable using it on the animals as if it were a daily annoyance. The men ramming rods into the cow’s head and eye, the man with the hose: these people were well-versed and skilled animal abusers. Thank you HSUS for the continued and dedicated work that you do and for providing us with the deplorable reality of the pain, suffering and abuse animals endure up to the very last minute of life. It truly is despicable. —Margaret Bunce

I applaud the undercover work and exposure that has made public the case against Hallmark Meat Packing. The video was sickening to watch and I remain deeply disturbed. While most official reaction has been targeted to the potential health concerns of beef consumers (and rightly so), it seems as usual that the focus of the actual cruelty to these poor suffering creatures has widely passed unnoticed in official circles. I have already written to Sen. Barbara Boxer asking for more public concern regarding the animal’s plight, and the potential for criminal prosecution for Steve Mendell, owner of Hallmark. I have also called Steve Mendell’s office to verbally log a complaint. Nothing has touched me more than this story to finally bring me to the point of ending my red meat consumption. This also in turn is the strongest way for me, as a consumer, to show my outrage… with my wallet as well as my contempt. Steve Mendell and the employees of Hallmark should be greatly ashamed. Thank you HSUS and Wayne Pacelle for bringing this atrocity to the light of day. —Robert Jameson

It’s about time that our so-called representatives act on this. Animal cruelty is rampant and seems to be swept under the rug all too often. Those manufacturing plants and workers inside them need to be held accountable for their actions. Keep bringing the truth! I applaud all those involved and will surely keep focused to see what happens. —Andrea

Thank you, HSUS, for being the voice for animals. No living thing should endure such misery at the hands of mankind. I pray for the day when everyone will look upon these times of sheer savagery as inexcusable. —Jim Bertram

Please give my congratulations to the employees and volunteers of the Humane Society for all of their actions. Also, I believe your moderate but firm stance is the best way to continue to gain traction to ensure humane treatment of animals with the larger public as well as elected officials. —Antoine Parmentier

We also heard from a few readers with a contrary response:

You all have no clue what you are doing. Cows get down all the time. The cow that has the rope between her back legs is not uncommon. When these cows are milked for years they sometimes slip and split their pelvis. Dairymen take great care of these animals to keep them up and milking. HSUS attacking a very small incident in the business of producing meat and milk is very damaging to farmers and dairymen everywhere. I understand you have your opinion and I have mine, but why don’t you go to where they harvest something other than the very worst condition animals. By the way, where is the video of the thousands of other cattle that get to the kill box just fine? —Cody

I am a dairy farmer and I was not pleased with what I saw on this video either. However, this is an isolated incident and I would not jump to conclusions that this is the norm. Farmers take care of their animals and though the public is only interested in the bad, there is 99 percent good in animal ag. —J. Lewis

What do you think? Offer a comment below or submit it by email.

Animal Rescue and Care, Farm Animals

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