While the big news among food activists has been the unsettling possibility that a secret farm bill could be snuck into the super committee's recommendations and passed with no public input, Republicans have furtively dealt a crippling blow to family farmers and consumers.
Every year in the U.S., the pork industry estimates that hundreds of thousands of pigs arrive at slaughterhouses crippled and in so much pain that they are unable to stand. It is unconscionable that federal law does not require that we end their agony.
The average American eats. A lot. As a new infographic points out, per year, food intake per person can amount to some 200 pounds of meat, 85 pounds of fat, 415 pounds of vegetables, 31 pounds of cheese, 53 gallons of soda and 42 pounds of high fructose corn syrup.
Eating meat grown in labs rather than from the carcass of a once living cow, pig or chicken is inching closer to reality every day as scientists have agreed to some key positions concerning issues surrounding cultured meat production.
We might feel anger by the comparison implicit in invoking racism and animal protection. After all, Nelson Mandela didn't move the nation of South Africa to secure the rights of mother pigs or egg-laying chickens.
Compassion now has a market. And we're seeing even wider cracks in the system of factory farming, including this week's historic agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the egg industry.