Do you know what a "downed" cow is? It's a cow that is too sick or injured to stand up on its own. It is also a sign of Mad Cow Disease.
This is not beef you want to eat.
But your children are, if they're eating school lunches.
There are plenty of things already wrong with lunch at school, not least of which is the fact that most of it is in essence fast food (ex. Pepperoni or Cheese Pizza, Macaroni and Cheese, French Toast Sticks, Pizza Hot Pockets, Cheeseburger are 5 days worth of lunch being served at Caitlin's school). Add to that the presence of meat from downed cows and the lunch served at school is becoming downright dangerous.
The following is a video taken by the Humane Society at a slaughterhouse (No butchering shown, I promise.) where they are abusing the animals in order to get them to stand up in time for inspection. This way they will be passed and added in to the food stream.
The one from which you and I stand downstream.
So what now?
Now it is time to find an ethical source of natural beef for us at Chez Hatchet. We've been talking about buying a 1/4 cow for a long time and it (plus the twins coming) is what motivated the freezer purchase. This news seals the deal. That amount of beef will cover us for a year or longer and will be worth from the peace of mind.
Today, I actually met a rancher at a Market event and got her literature (Too bad she didn't bring any samples!). I also met the natural chicken guy and he gave me a free sample. He, too, told me a few things about conventional chicken production that are making me think I'll be stocking my freezer with his chickens as well.
While some might suggest we could just go the vegetarian route, I'm afraid I'm too much of a foodie and carnivore for that to be realistic. My argument though, is that I shouldn't have to be worried about my food supply. This is the 21st century. Mad Cow Disease, e-coli and salmonella outbreaks shouldn't even be an issue, but with the slashing of USDA and OSHA inspection budgets and staff, this is what you get (If you haven't read Fast Food Nation yet, I strongly recommend that you do.). Meat producers are out to make money and will do it however they can and damn the costs to society as a whole.
I am doing what I can to keep my family healthy, even when it costs a little more. I don't want to live to regret doing otherwise.
See The Humane Society for more about the video.
What you can do about it:
Demand the USDA ban downed cows from the food stream.