The Texas Farm Bureau Applauds Domino's Support for Gestation Crates, Orders a Pizza

Categories: Chewing the Fat

gestationcrates.jpg
FarmSanctuary via Flickr
Confining sows in small gestation crates has come under great scrutiny lately. Major companies like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and most recently the nation's second largest grocery chain, Safeway, have announced a phase-out of pork supplied by farms that use gestation crates.

However, recently Domino's Pizza shareholders rejected a resolution suggested by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for a ban.

The HSUS dabbling in the pig business drew the ire of the Texas Farm Bureau publications director, Mike Barnett, who posted a letter on the bureau blog praising Domino's for "showing some backbone to the animal rights activist group," while others "caved to their demands, fearing HSUS will stir public outcry and reprisal if they don't."

Matthew Prescott, policy director for the HSUS, doesn't see it that way: "It's not surprising to me that a group that is consistently in the same position on this issue would grasp at straws in order to make itself seem like it might be in a better position than it actually is."

In his blog, Barnett suggests we "let research and science determine what animal welfare standards should be, not an animal rights activist groups who misplay public sentiments not to achieve better animal welfare, but to end food-animal production."

In an interview, Prescott admonishes the Texas Farm Bureau for minimizing the degree to which Americans are concerned about how farm animals are mistreated.

"We're a nation of animal lovers. We care very much about how animals are treated and that doesn't stop on the farm," Prescott said. "American farmers have a long history of innovation and the Texas Farm Bureau and Pork Producers Council refusal to address these issues really sells farmers short. I think farmers want to farm. They don't want to run a factory of widgets lined up in a row. They should take note of that and let farmers be farmers."

Barnett also criticized animals rights activists for conducting themselves as animal experts, pointing out that the experts are veterinarians, such as those in the American Veterinarian Medical Association. "I think livestock growers working hand-in-hand with veterinarians do [qualify as experts]," he wrote

But this point is negated by the fact that the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association is led by, you guessed it, veterinarians.

"Because of our long track record of making science-based decisions and reforms, HSUS is now the number one entity in the country which consumers trust on farm animal welfare issues, as reported by the meat industry's own publication, Meatingplace," Prescott said. "Veterinarians followed at No. 2, and farmers operating large livestock operations ranked last on the list, which isn't surprising considering the abusive way many of them keep animals."

Prescott points out that the HSUS sponsors an outreach program working directly with farmers and ranchers who want to move to better farming systems.

"In fact, on the gestation crate issue alone," Prescott said, "a 2007 study at Iowa State University, the largest hog producing state in the country, which also included support from the USDA and Iowa Department of Agriculture, found that it can save pork producers 11 percent on their costs not to confine animals. There are ways to address these issues that are good for farmers, consumers and the animals themselves."

Barnett of the TFB closed his blog by thanking Domino's "for not playing follow-the-leader in these fast-food follies" and ordering an extra-large pepperoni pizza.

He can eat all the pizza he'd like, but when McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Safeway get on board, it's not mere folly. The tide is slowing changing. People are starting to think more about where their food comes from. Ask any one of the three pink-slime corporations that has recently been shut down.



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53 comments
rharwell
rharwell

I refused to buy from Taco Bell and McDonald's over the issue of tomatoes and the rights of the workers in the field demanding a few more pennies for their efforts. I still refuse to support them or BK. I have now added Domino's to my list and will urge all my friends to no longer buy their product.

Samantha Biggers
Samantha Biggers

I encourage those that care to let Dominoes and others supporting this cruelty know that they do not approve of gestation crates.

Samantha Biggers
Samantha Biggers

This makes me so sad. I can't imagine why anyone would think it is ok to keep a pig in conditions like this. My 600 lb sow will have her piglets out on pasture and be provided with a shelter with clean bedding if she decides she needs to take her piglets inside. Just imagining what her life would be like if she was a factory farm pig makes me sick.

Cteavin
Cteavin

They lost me as a customer. 

mlaiuppa
mlaiuppa

Not a problem. I don't eat Domino's anymore. It's gotten worse and worse, the latest bad pizza is their newly improved stuff. Glue on cardboard.

So no sweat Domino's. You go ahead and support torture of animals. I just won't be giving you any of my money. I'm probably not the only one. So we'll see how successful this decision is for you.

Texas Farm Bureau? Right up there is the Texas School board's textbooks and the Texas Prison system killing innocent people. It's Texas. Where $tup¡d is bigger than anywhere else. 

Cammy
Cammy

Haven't had a Domino's pizza in 20 years. Not about to start again, either.

Barry K
Barry K

I don't like Domino's pizza, and this give ma one more reason not to like Domino.

Karen
Karen

I am curious as to who the experts are in the quote “We rely on established industry experts and the USDA to determine best practices in this area, and will continue to do so”.  I have seen this quote on many of the "Domino-Supporter" posts/While I believe that many, many farmers, either raising pigs and hogs indoors or outdoors do not abuse and neglect them, it is those that do – whether it be a massive factory farm or a small farm – that MUST be stopped. If animals are to be consumed by humans, shouldn’t they at least be honored since they are giving up their lives for you? I was raised on a farm and realize that sows in particular are not the cute shiny piglets that they start out as. Aggressive behavior and “unmotherly” behavior are definitely things that must be managed. But force, and abuse are not good management strategies. Also, slaughter and butchering are, literally, horrific acts, and it is also then,that more humane methods need to be employed by ALL.Here is a quandary — one that puts categorical generalizing into the mix on both sides of the issue: From my perspective it seems that in the case of Domino’s, and their supporters, the moral, ethical, and humane treatment of animals is a “decision” that they want others (“experts”) to make. So, if the USDA deems that it is UNFIT for animals to be confined to crates with limited-to-no mobility and to NOT be abused beyond any degree of decent humane treatment, then you will suddenly support that decision?In that case, what will “poor” Domino’s do with all the pizza that contains the flesh of abused and horribly neglected and terrorized animals? Since the support is unanimous (e.g. no distinction between good and humane farmers versus the alternative) it is challenging to support them as their decision seems narrow-minded and self-serving.

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

when do you stop eating chicken.  Have you ever investigated a fully integrated poultry operation...they grind up the chicken parts after slaughter and feed them to the new chicks.   pigs are big enough to take care of themselves if loose...chickens need help figuring out whether or not to cross a road.

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

The entire city of Detroit is a big gestation crate for gangbangers and drug dealers.

LouisL.
LouisL.

Everyone in favor of  banning this indefensibly cruel practice:  Walk your talk!  Boycott Domino's Pizza!  When the market speaks, the corporation listens.

Kpatterson67
Kpatterson67

Shame on you Domino's. If something dies for me to eat, the least I can do is ensure it had a good life. I will not be ordering from you again.

Mike Rawlins
Mike Rawlins

"Meatingplace" sooo clever.

If I ate Domino's "Pizza" (uttered like the word "dogshit"), I'd stop.

Vet Barnes
Vet Barnes

More people are buying Dominos pizza since they stood up to the lies that HSUS puts out. I always wondered how Hitler got the citizens to go along with his lies now I see the same thing in HSUS. Do you not realize that HSUS goal is to end the lives of all domestic animals. No Pets, no medicines, no food. There is no science behind your statement only the propaganda of the  animal rights cult and there is more science that says what you propose is a danger to all human beings. The settled judgment of science is that man is an omnivore, capable of eating both meat and vegetables, much as certain four-year-olds might like to convince their mothers otherwise. The human small intestine, at 23 feet, is a little under eight times body length (assuming a mouth-to-anus "body length" of three feet). This is about midway between cats (three times body length), dogs (3-1/2 times), and other well-known meat eaters on the one hand and plant eaters such as cattle (20 to 1) and horses (12 to 1) on the other. This tends to support the idea that we are omnivores.Herbivores also have a variety of specialized digestive organs capable of breaking down cellulose, the main component of plant tissue. Humans find cellulose totally indigestible, and even plant eaters have to take their time with it. If you were a ruminant (cud eater), for instance, you might have a stomach with four compartments, enabling you to cough up last night's alfalfa and chew on it all over again.Like the hard-core carnivores, we have fairly simple digestive systems well suited to the consumption of animal protein, which breaks down quickly. Or you might have an enlarged cecum, a sac attached to the intestines, where rabbits and such store food until their intestinal bacteria have time to do their stuff. Digestion in such cases takes place by a process of fermentation — bacteria actually "eat" the cellulose and the host animal consumes what results, namely bacteria dung.

The story is roughly the same with teeth. We're equipped with an all-purpose set of ivories equally suited to liver and onions.

Good thing, too. I won't claim meat is the ideal source of protein, but on the whole it's better than plants. Sure, soybeans and other products of modern agriculture are pretty nutritious. But in the wild, much of the plant menu consists of leaves and stems, which are low in food value. True herbivores have to spend much of the day scrounging for snacks just to keep their strength up.

So make no mistake: we were born to eat meat. Obesity does not come from just eating meat, but from overeating. One can see this obesity in the poor who relied upon food stamps and filled their weekly needs with pasta and other starches all plant materials. Many animal rights cults say because apes eat vegetarian so we should too.  But not all anthropoid apes are exclusively vegetarian. The primatologist Jane Goodall established more than 20 years ago that wild chimpanzees kill other animals once in a while and eat the meat with relish. Other primates (although apparently not gorillas) do so as well. It's true chimps and other apes eat a mostly veggie diet, but for that matter so do most humans. Hunter-gatherers today consume only about 35 percent meat to 65 percent vegetables (Lee and Devore, 1976). The best evidence is our history as a species. We have been happily eating meat for at least two million years, and probably much longer. The common view among anthropologists, in fact, is that increased meat consumption was a key element in the development of human brain and its culture, since getting and distributing the stuff requires cooperation. The other argument that animal rights cults like to push is  that meat-eaters are more prone to chronic disease is irrelevant. Chronic disease typically strikes the old, not those of prime child-rearing age. Till recently most folks never got chronic disease because they died of the acute kind first. It's had minimal impact on our ability to reproduce ourselves, which of course is the basis of natural selection. In short, as we evolved, chronic disease did not "select out" for vegetarianism. I trust you see the significance of this.

Vet Barnes
Vet Barnes

I am proud of Dominos for not kowtowing to the lies and propaganda that HSUS puts out. Gestation crates are uses only for three weeks while the baby pigs are little. The sow is put in to feed her babies and to eat. This prevents her from rolling on and squashing her babies to death. This was common before the use of gestation crates. Only stupid people believe the HSUS just because they put out propaganda against eating meat and animals as pets. They are nothing more than a cult intent on getting your dollars none of which go to take care of animals but to line their pockets and pay for more fundraising. Don't believe the lies that HSUS puts out. They are a scam organization.

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Thank God I don't eat Domino's anyway and I never will after reading this.

todd
todd

I don't intend to piss in anyone's cheerios but I am going to opine on this subject and recognize that I may do just that. 

I do not personally believe that any animal should suffer unnecessarily.  But I do eat them and I feel that greatly limits the value of my opinion regarding the methods of how said animals should be harvested.  If I felt so strongly about their suffering that I needed to try to dictate how the supplier conducted his/her business, I would stop supporting their death for profit (eating them).  YMMV.

   

twinwillow
twinwillow

I'd like to put Mike Barnett in a crate and watch him gestate.

East Dallas Dad
East Dallas Dad

I grew up on a farm and pigs are incredibly sensitive, intelligent creatures. There is no excuse other than unadulterated greed and a complete lack of empathy for keeping pigs in gestation crates.

mightcan
mightcan

Quote Mr. Barnett, "let research and science determine what animal welfare standards should be" 

So you will be banning antibiotics immediately since the science, well, shows the detriment to humans and animals. Don't let that burden of honor interfere with that paycheck.

Kelly
Kelly

Just as they have the right to use pork that is confined, I have the right to never eat their (nasty) pizza again, and to tell as MANY people as I can about the products they use. People are starting to understand how their food is produced, and they want meat that is raised and processed in a humane way. Happy pigs = better bacon. :D

biff
biff

"Farmers just want to farm." This veering into presenting modern day farms as a family or individual running it. There aren't much of those left. Ag company farming will do anything to maximize profit, which includes gestation crates.

Kristie
Kristie

Thanks for your coverage! Domino's and other restaurant companies need to stop burying their heads in the sand and recognize that consumers care about animals and don't want them to be treated cruelly. Most people who see the image in your article would agree that that's no way to treat a sensitive, intelligent animal. I hope Domino's will get with the times and join the many other companies that are no longer using gestation crates.

S. L-D.
S. L-D.

How much are you paid to post on these sites? do you just troll the internet looking for articles?

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

*ha ha*

 You said, "anus to mouth". You kiss your mother with those lips?

*ha ha*

S. L-D.
S. L-D.

and you are probably a scam as well! how much do you get paid to post on these sites sir? shame on you!

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Wait, todd. Are you saying you feel you only have the right to eat meat if you don't say anything about where it comes from? Because you can, and should, choose meat produced by farmers who treat their livestock as humanely as possible, if that's how you feel. And it becomes easier to find out and push producers to behave better as more people demand accountability.

It's a bit like saying that because you like to eat apples, you can't demand organic ones from growers. Or because you like clothes, you can't demand they not be made by little kids in third-world sweatshops.

Moocherin_and_Looterin
Moocherin_and_Looterin

It's just that the phrase, "they are going to die anyway" could justify all sorts of depravity. And if we improve the quality of the critters lives it might do three things- it would improve the quality of the product itself, the act of improving quality could give small local producers a leg up, since the rationale for the pen in the first place is to grow as many units in the most efficient way possible and let economies of scale make up for tiny margins, and finally, since the unit price is going to be higher, Americans will eat better meat, but less of it.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Sensitive... no kidding. We named one of our sows "Bacon" and she was not amused.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

How bout a hilarious satire about lawyer Rick Berman...Oh wait...can you satire a satire?

Collette Gillian
Collette Gillian

Brought to you by the same guys who want to keep gestation crates - Big Ag protecting their profits at the expense of animal suffering. 

Yeah, animal suffering is hilarious. 

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

 it was lifted right off of the pictures of Obama's campaign organization at work in Chicago.

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

It was the only picture I could find of gestation crates in which I could site the source.  We have to always be able to give credit to a photographer/group. Even if it's flickr. I wasn't crazy about using it because of the name on the photo, but chose to b/c I was able to link to the source to give proper credit. 

Also, this was one isn't too disgusting. There are some really bad ones out there. This one was middle of the road. 

Warnerd
Warnerd

No, actually science does NOT show that antibiotics are detrimental to humans and animals.

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

 "nasty"...uh Kelly, kinda purple hyperbole there....the food inspectors and FDA prevent "nasty" food from getting to our mouths.....how can you KNOW what makes a happy pig unless you are either married to one, living with one, or actually ARE one?  creepy

fearnot
fearnot

LOl.. really I would challenge you to a "taste test"   good for Domino's..

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

 obama ate his dog, romney took his on vacation. I personally never make friends with animals I intend to eat....just as Obama gets to have secrets about how he was raised, my sausages deserve the same respect.  One man's crate is another man's castle.

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Agreed, 100%. Just because I eat animals doesn't mean I want them to live horrible lives and die violently. So sad. We should have more respect for the animals we eat.

S. L-D.
S. L-D.

its people like you that give the human race a bad name. you give off a strong, pungent air of complete ignorance for all fellow creatures we share this planet with. keyword there, is share.

fearnot
fearnot

I see the trolls are out of their crates.. Nina Skip .. Collette and next John Schiff.. and really using FARM SANCTUARY as a photos source.. the author could not find anything else.. Farm Sanctuary is an animals RIGHTS groups that is heel bent on the destruction of and extinction of the domestic animal.. one generation ad out is their motto..ask them if the actually BREED any animals at their "sanctuary"..

Collette Gillian
Collette Gillian

The link share reads "Pizza Hut" in the headline, instead of "Domino's". Thought you guys would like to know. 

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

 and Agent Orange makes good skin care lotion.

mightcan
mightcan

I don't think you are correct.USA Today, "But by the 1970s, researchers began warning regulators that routine use of antibiotics was contributing to a surge in drug-resistant germs, or superbugs, that render antibiotics powerless against deadly infections. Professor Stuart Levy of Tufts University conducted the first study in 1976 showing highly-resistant e. coli E. coli bacteria could pass from chickens to farm workers who worked with the animals in just a few weeks."I know no one comfortable that antibiotics entering the food chain is a short lived, isolated effect.

S. L-D.
S. L-D.

well, the way you would know the pigs were raised "happy" is to buy your meat from a local farmer. You can visit the farm and see how the pigs are treated and fed.  And yes, believe it or not but a pig raised in a calm fam on good food is gonna be a lot tastier than one stuffed in a dirty crate, fed crappy food and rasied in a negative enviroment. People feel good when we eat well and are peaceful we might walk upright and think more complexly but we digest and eat the same as piggies.

mlaiuppa
mlaiuppa

Obama did not eat HIS dog. When he was a child in Indonesia, his Father gave him some dog meat to eat. Dog meat is common in Indonesia and the Philippines. I'm sure a six year old would defy his Father over this. 

Romney tortured his dog and now he laughs about it. The same way he laughs about physically assaulting a classmate in high school.

One man's opinion is another man's $tup¡d.

Nick R.
Nick R.

Thanks Collete--early typo. The link should correct itself shortly

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