Minced beef for sale at a supermarket in Sunnywide, Washington. Schools in Washington state and California have taken beef off the menu after a Californian meatpacker recalled the largest amount of beef in US history.
AP - Sometimes, government inspectors responsible for examining slaughterhouse cattle for mad cow disease and other ills are so short-staffed that they find themselves peering down from catwalks at hundreds of animals at once, looking for such telltale signs as droopy ears, stumbling gait and facial paralysis.
...allegations were raised by former and current U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors in the wake of the biggest beef recall in history — 143 million pounds from a California meatpacker accused of sending lame "downer" cows to slaughter.
The USDA recalled the beef after the Humane Society of the United States released undercover video that showed slaughterhouse workers at the Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. kicking and shoving sick and crippled cows and forcing them to stand with electric prods, forklifts and water hoses.
Generally, downer cows — those too sickly to stand, even with coaxing — are banned from the food supply under federal regulations. Downer cows carry a higher risk of mad cow disease. And because sickly animals typically wallow in feces and have weakened immune systems, downer cows are more likely to carry E. coli and salmonella, too.
RLCC: It's better to be a vegetarian for many reasons. It's healthier. It's less energy intensive. It's generally more environmentally conscientious. It's less expensive. Those are just a few of the reasons.
from on February 21, 2008, 9:01pm