Cruel [OR Books, $40.00] is a series of art and text about the meat industrial complex, the hidden lives of the victims of it.
From birth to death, animals live in a way of inconceivable suffering. They are bludgeoned, cut, hooked, their tails are docked, they are de-horned, their ears are punched, their testicles are gauged out, their beaks cut off, they're branded, their babies are torn away, they are gassed, electrocuted, their throats are cut. Bred only to be slaughtered, their lives are concealed from us. Historically, small family farmsteads struggled but couldn't compete with vertically integrated corporate-owned agribusinesses. Farmed animals moved out of the sunshine and off the grass, into confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), becoming units of production in the process. Biology and pharmaceuticals developed ways to keep the hapless "units" alive and growing rapidly, producing more meat, milk and eggs under ever harsher conditions: turkeys and chickens grew faster than ever but on less feed, meaning more profit. There was selection for those better able to withstand the greater stresses of confinement and mutilation.
Antibiotics that were new on the scene from the 1950s were used both as growth accelerators and to proactively treat the inevitable ills brought about by stress due to confinement in an enclosed ammonia-rich atmosphere. Hidden in dark sheds, force fed other species body parts and waste, animals exist and die for the propaganda of "meat," that it tastes good, and is good for us. Nothing is further from the truth.
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