Tyson Foods and Fractured Ethics

Tyson Foods wants you to think they are really nice to their animals. In fact their website claims:

“Tyson Foods is committed to the well-being, proper handling, and humane slaughter of all the animals that are used in our food products. This is a long-standing commitment, and we pledge our diligence in leading the industry pursuit of new and improved technology and methods to further enhance animal well-being. This is not only the right thing to do, but is an important moral and ethical obligation we owe to our suppliers, to our customers, to ourselves, and, most of all, to the animals we depend on for our products and our livelihood.”

Yet an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shows that one man’s definition of proper handling is another man’s definition of torture. A Tyson supplier, Wyoming Premium Farms, continues to use gestation crates for its pigs, small cages where the mother is confined and can barely move until it is time to deliver her babies. After only a few weeks, the babies are taken away and it’s back to the gestation crate for another forced pregnancy. How, possibly, is that “the right thing to do.”

Undercover photos showed employees kicking piglets as well as pigs, beating them with sticks and leaving dead pigs just lying there, rather than removing them.  Wyoming Premium Farm’s owner claims he was “shocked” that this kind of thing was happening, which begs the question didn’t he even inspect the facilities?

Leave it up to a Tyson’s to pass this type of treatment off as fulfilling their moral and ethical obligation. Moral and ethical to who? Even if there is some truth to Tyson’s claims that they didn’t know what was happening, shouldn’t they also do some due diligence when they contract with suppliers? Tyson Foods makes it yet again clear that factory farm operators cannot be trusted to tell the truth or “do the right thing.”

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