Should the Ukiah Valley Become the Killing Fields for the Bay Area?


Factory Farm “sounded like children being tortured. And it didn’t stop.”

Jane Black of the Washington Post interviewed David Kirby, author of ‘Animal Factory’ . This one passage really stuck out.

Q: Of all the shocking statistics and stories in the book, what is the one that affected you most?

A: I visited 20 states. I saw things I never thought I would see. I smelled things I never thought I would smell in my life. But one night, I was at a small family farm in Illinois that raised pigs. Across the street was a pig factory. It was at night. The workers had gone home. And as soon as it got dark, you could hear the screams and the squealing and the crying. It was not like one pig over there. Like hundreds.

Q: Did something happen?

A: No. This was just a night on a factory farm. Because the pigs get bigger and bigger and the pens don’t. And they fight. It sounded like children being tortured. And it didn’t stop. It was the most haunting and most tragic sound I’ve ever heard. And I think it was because it didn’t stop. If there had been a commotion in the barn and they all started making noise, I might have forgotten about it. But this was arresting. That tells me these are really unhealthy animals, that there are too many animals and that they really are stressed out.
See also Again: Slaughter On The Farm With Mobile Units


“Should the Ukiah Valley Become the Killing Fields for the Bay Area?” reads the headline, but the story itself begs a larger question – should this sort of thing be going on anywhere? Humans have been eating meat since the dawn of time, but with almost seven billion of us now, the techniques used to produce so much animal food for a global market are often unarguably horrendous. There are “killing fields” somewhere out there producing the meat we buy locally now. I don’t pretend to have any easy answers, but just putting it all out of sight elsewhere does nothing to change the underlying problem.

    The larger question is answered in the post, comparing a small family farm with an industrial factory farm. Small scale, humane treatment, killing animals on the farm for local use. The meat I buy locally now is produced by a family farm in Hopland. Local mobile units for local farms is the answer. -Dave

Understood and agreed with. I’m not anxious to see a death camp for livestock located here either, and I applaud any worthy alternative demonstration projects. But as it is now, even in this lightly populated rural county, most of the meat consumed locally comes from Safeway, Raley’s, etc. And scaling up to satisfy anything like current demand (which may well have to be reduced) is going to take a good bit of time and reorientation of our agricultural practices, as well as more cooperation and foresight from regulatory agencies. Right now, we’re primarily set up for a diet that includes a generous portion of raisins. And no matter how it’s done, there is a moral ambiguity involved with killing so many animals. Not to digress, but the whole world is on tilt with the collective karma of our way of doing a lot of things. Ultimately, it’s more than a just single question and local problem. As with so many other issues, we are still along way from the solution.

“For hundreds of thousands of years the stew in the pot
Has brewed hatred and resentment that is difficult to stop.
If you wish to know why there are disasters of armies and weapons in the world,
Listen to the piteous cries from the slaughter house at midnight.”