CSUN alumnus and founder of Farm Sanctuary, an organization focusing on the humane treatment of farm animals, talked Thursday about the farm industry and the farm practices.
Gene Baur started the organization investigating factory farms. The lecture was hosted by Associated Students’ Environmental Affairs Committee and the CSUN Food Coalition.
Farm Sanctuary allows people the option to adopt an animal, which can mean physically bringing the animal home with them as long as the environment is suitable or people can spend time with them at the facility.
“Once they come to Farm Sanctuary they are friends, not food. Once they come here they’re companion animals,” Baur said.
Baur also told stories of inhumane treatment done to farm animals and that he would find live animals left in trash cans. Baur said that the dairy industry is not talked about as much as it should be.
At dairy farms when a female cow gives birth the calf is immediately taken away from the mother. If the calf is a female it is allowed to mature, but if the calf is a male it is slaughtered.
“The veal industry was created for those unwanted male cows produced from dairy farms,” Baur said.
Baur also said that free-range or cage-free animal products may not be exactly what they seem.
“Free range only requires animals have access to the outdoors. Those labels tend to sound a lot better than they are,” Baur said.
In regards to cage-free, Baur said that the animals are getting a little bit more space but they still have debeaked because they’re still in close quarters.
Baur said that the problem with the long-standing practices of this industry is that people tend to rationalize and make excuses for this kind of treatment by saying that animals are not like humans or that they don’t have souls.
“We usually have to rationalize something we don’t feel good about,” Baur said.