I just realized how to personally solve the argument about large-farm safety regulations being applied to small farms.
There’s a small farm here whose beef I once looked forward to, when it appeared in our town co-op. It was clean, the animals were raised in large, open pens, they were content and well-fed. There were no hormones or additives involved. They were grass fed.
Then one day, as I was picking up some chicken feed from their small feed-sale shed, the owner told me he’d caught three young wandering cougars on this land, and with the advice of a forest ranger, shot them and buried them. True? I don’t know — but he told me so.
Another person from here is making and selling a beer in western Washington state. But before he took off to do this, he left his cat in our care. The cat was left out in all weathers, with access to water from the fishpond or the river, but with nothing left for us but a bag of food, that quickly became moldy in the feed area. The two weeks I was supposed to care for the cat stretched into a month and a half. It became clear the cat was always treated this way, and this was a former beloved pet, begging for affection. Even farm cats get treated better, and this had been a member of a family.
So here’s my question: if the producer of something I might put in my mouth takes shortcuts with other animals — what else might they do — or put in the food products — to maintain or raise profit? Out of nothing more than care for my own health, if I find out there’s any sort of animal cruelty or laziness about animal welfare involved, including with wildlife, that’s the end of my doing business with the producer. If they don’t care about their cat or a young wild animal, they don’t care about me. I’m not here for them to make money off of, regardless of the replacement of the concept of “customer” with “consumer.” Sorry about the GNP.
And it’s a pity, because that was damn good beef, and I was one of their best customers.
We ended up adopting the cat, by the way, and he us. He knows who loves him and will care for him, now.