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Quibbling over lame slaughter animals underscores Sacramento silliness

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POSTED April 2, 2010 2:19 a.m.
The Humane Society believes it is animal cruelty to slaughter a pig that is too feeble to walk.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agrees. That is why they upheld a California law adopted in 2008 that bans the sale of pork from such pigs.

The federal government, which is responsible for standards to assure the safety of the meat Americans consume, has no problem with so-called “downer” livestock being slaughtered and used for human consumption as long as they aren’t diseased. The California Legislature in all of its infinite wisdom believes otherwise.

The court decided essentially that federal law governs the meat inspection process which doesn’t prevent states from ruling what animals can be turned into meat.

California lawmakers worrying about whether feeble cows and pigs that pass federal inspection for meat quality get consumed by humans instead of dogs is a perfect example of what happens when you have a full-time legislature that can tackle unlimited legislation aimed at controlling every facet of our lives.

Yes, there are some who believe such a practice is inhumane but then again how is that crueler than slaughtering a cow or pig that can walk on its own to its death?

There are obviously those who believe no animal should be consumed for food. That’s a perfectly legitimate stance. This, however, is in the twilight zone. It is akin to a vegetarian who is against the killing of animals going to a fast food place and ordering a burger without meat and then becoming highly offended when they accidently are served a burger with meat. Why even go to a place you know is cooking meat if you are offended by the practice and then get upset because they inadvertently served it to you?

To make it clear, I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 24 years which means absolutely no meat, fish or fowl. I have no problem if anyone else consumes meat. I also have no problem owning and wearing more than a few leather jackets.

That is what makes us who were are as a nation. You can be a Republican lacto-ovo vegetarian driving a hybrid or you can be a meat-eating Democrat who owns a Hummer. Once we start using the power invested in our elected officials to get carried away with regulating behavior – in this case what livestock is slaughtered when there isn’t an issue with the safety of the meat that is produced – we are on that slippery slope of making everyone comply with the views and sensibilities of others.

It is a far cry from being worried about either public health or safety that are legitimate concerns of those who govern us. At the same time those insisting on such meddling – or government intervention if you prefer – need to have rational arguments. Being cruel to an animal – whether it is livestock, pet, or wild – is inexcusable for a civilized society. But saying that a “lame” animal can’t be slaughtered for food until such time it is healed and able to walk doesn’t pass the head scratching test.

It falls in the same category of not executing a convicted mass murderer who has become ill with a serious disease until such time as he is treated for it and has recovered.

That said, a civilized society still has to eat.

If the real goal of those behind the 2008 state law is to prevent the slaughter of any animal for human consumption then they should take that position and stick to it.

Diluting it to the point they have only deserves to remind everyone how silly grown men and women can act when they have been invested with the power of authority to govern California’s 38 million residents.
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