An investigation by The New York Times has exposed a little-known institution in Nebraska called the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, where farmed animals are subjected to cruelty beyond imagination. Not surprisingly, the facility’s mission is to help producers of beef, pork, and lamb turn a higher profit.
According to the author, “Since Congress founded it 50 years ago to consolidate the United States Department of Agriculture’s research on farm animals, the center has worked to make lamb chops bigger, pork loins less fatty, steaks easier to chew.”
This research has included efforts to breed cows who produce twins or triplets and sheep who are easier to care for and less domesticated. There have also been numerous attempts to breed pigs to be bigger and leaner and produce larger litters.
Many of these experiments have caused immense suffering of animals, including multiple deaths from neglect and at least 6,500 from starvation, and have not yielded favorable results.
While the Animal Welfare Act sets forth some protections for animals used in experimentation, the law specifically excludes farmed animals from consideration, leaving countless farmed animals subject to cruel experimentation.
“The center’s parent agency, the Agriculture Department, strictly polices the treatment of animals at slaughterhouses and private laboratories. But it does not closely monitor the center’s use of animals, or even enforce its own rules requiring careful scrutiny of experiments,” the author explains.
But this facility is far from the greatest abuser of farmed animals. The factory farming industry keeps billions of farmed animals in filthy, disease-ridden environments and subjects them to immeasurable cruelty, including extreme confinement and mutilations without painkillers, every year.
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Photo: Michael Moss / The New York Times