Hi, um, Secretary Vilsack uh you mentioned that agriculture has become far more efficient over the past 50 years, um and with regard to animal agriculture the reason this has become so much more efficient is that we view animals as things and as machines to be used to produce the most meat, um I mean it’s well documented that on farms across America chickens have been bred to be so grossly overweight they can barely support their weight. Their beaks are ripped off without anesthesia routinely, as are piglets’ tails. Um and you’re on the record supporting more subsidies for animal agriculture, defending animal agriculture left and right whether it goes for pink slime, or keeping animal products in the DAHS uh nutritional guidelines. I spent this past weekend at a sanctuary for animals rescued from farms, and I met a hen named Paprika and you could tell, seeing Paprika that she had a personality, that she had a life that she cared about, that she viewed the world with a fascination that parallels that of young children.
She had a family, and she had love for her companions. Now everyone in this room probably knows that animal agriculture is devastating for forests, for the climate, for the water supply. But most ignored is that there are innocent animals like Paprika who are routinely the victims of horrendous violence. And I want to ask you, why you support horrendous violence against innocent animals like Paprika? [Tom Vilsack] Okay, fair question. Um, first of all, uh I’m not willing to concede the premise of the question, that farmers and livestock producers in this country are all abusing their animals. I’m not willing to concede that premise. I’m not willing to concede that poultry producers are producing chickens all poultry producers are producing chickens as you’ve described. There clearly may be some that do that, and obviously those folks are being called out. Those, those practices are being challenged. It’s not necessarily appropriate to talk about animal welfare issues in the context of the dietary guidelines. And I think that’s an important distinction, and important for me to make.
[group chanting] It’s not food, it’s violence. [Tom Vilsack] Fair enough. [chanting] It’s not food, it’s violence. Their bodies, not ours. Their babies, not ours. Their lives, not ours. Their milk, not ours. Their eggs, not ours. [Tom Vilsack] Look, there is an issue here, and obviously there’s a difference of opinion, but I appreciate them raising it. Subtitles by the Amara.org community.