Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TIVO ALERT! TIVO ALERT: Oprah's Show today on California Politics: Prop 2

Well, sorta good news. 

Following the trend of another popular daytime talk show host, Ellen - Oprah today is entering the arena of California politics by devoting her entire show to Yes on Prop 2, the farm animal protection act.

So set your tivoes.

Why is this interesting? For a couple of reasons. One, I've been hoping beyond all reason that Oprah would do a show on the factory farms on this country, but considering that huge law suit of her's in Texas a few years ago, it seemed unlikely she would delve into this.

Oprah has incredible influence in this country. Like Ellen, her show airs during the day and reaches people that might not read newspapers or watch national news. It also reaches housewives, who in turn talk to their families at dinner, talk with other mom's at the park, and take this information out into their communities.

The last time Oprah said something about factory meat, she was sued by the meat industry on the grounds that her flippant comments on the show of "Well, I"m not going to eat hamburgers!" was enough to justify a US Court to take her to task in a legal proceeding. She won that case, but hasn't touched the subject since.

The other interesting thing is that this is currently the cause du jour of Ellen. While some LGBT folks are wondering when Ellen will appear at a No on Prop 8 rally, or publicly donate money to protect marriage rights, she has done both with Proposition 2.

Oprah did do a tremendous show on Puppy Mills a while back that had a tremendous impact, as shelters saw a huge rise in donations, and people started a trend of getting a dog or cat at a rescue or pound instead of a breader or pet store. By the way, Puppy Mills fall under jurisdiction of the USDA and those animals are considered "farm animals" for the purpose of regulation, which is why the law protects those that keep a multitude of animals in small cages their entire lives.

Factory Farming and Gay Rights are my two biggest issues, which you probably know if you read this blog. They both have to do with humanity. It is pretty sad when you have to regulate humanity. There is nothing good about factory farming, in any area. The same is true about marginalizing any group of people in America.

Another interesting thing about all this is why is Ellen and Oprah doing shows on Prop 2 and not Prop 8? The gays in this country - all of them - are losing now. With Prop 8 falling way behind in the polls, we really need the most help here. Prop 2 is ahead in the polls. If No on Prop 8 succeeds in America, it will provide a huge precedent across the U.S. in all forms of legal cases against discrimination. It also puts into verbiage that separate is not equal.

The solution is that Oprah and Ellen talk openly on their shows about BOTH.

As far as factory farming goes, a few facts. In the old days, there were farmers. Not any more. Large corporations have now gone into factory farming and put all those family farmers out of business. Like most big money hungry businesses in this country, they are corrupt.

The meat you eat on a daily basis is contaminated with chemicals, hormones and these days can legally contain dangerous bacteria and disease (new laws under Bush Administration. Nice, huh?).

They have genetically altered animals to meet the incredibly large demand for meat in this country. FYI - hormones don't break down in the body, or anywhere at any time for that matter. When they pump chickens full of female hormones so their breast meat - the most desired portion - grows ridiculously large in just 5 weeks - those hormones now go into your mouth and your system. If you need proof of this in play, look up the occurrences of infertility of men in this country and the rise in breast cancer. Both caused by unhealthy levels of female hormones.

The biggest contributor of gas house emissions in this country is not oil/gas. It's refuse from Factory Farming. Again, google it. This is just truth.

Factory Farming destroys communities. Whenever one of these businesses sets up shop in a town, within short order, their air and water supplies are compromised by the above mentioned gas house emissions. Local farmers are put out of business and if people want to literally want to survive, they have to move to another town.

Obviously, one of the worst aspects of this is the ridiculously inhumane treatment of all animals in this system.

Look, I love bacon as much as the next human, but did you know that a pig is four times smarter than a dog? Fact. Would you eat bacon if it came from your beloved pooch? Why do pigs get the back of the bus? I could go into the horrible treatment of all farm animals, but it boils down to one thing for me. They are sentient beings. That is such a great word - sentient.

All you have to do is find yourself a live pig, cow, duck or chicken and look into their eyes. Does something look back at you? That is what sentient means. To me, that is definition of a soul.

The treatment of these animals in this country deteriorates the collective soul of our country. Some religions - Christians for example - think animals do not have souls and that all these creatures are here to serve us. Which personally, I think is arrogant.

When chicken satay is passed around at a party I just think to myself, do I want to participate in this? Is that 30 seconds of passing pleasure from eating worth hurting anyone or anything? Do I want to put harmful chemicals into my body? Lastly - and most people don't think like this - do I want to be complicit in a living, sentient being having been tortured and killed just for that fleeting pleasure? The answer to all of this, to me, is no.

When I think about how much I miss bacon and eggs, I have to remember how much I love cherries. And avocados. And a multitude of other things I can eat and not feel like I am contributing to this horrible factory farming industry in this country.

On that note, I am looking forward to Oprah's show today and I hope she dives deep into the subject. I also hope very soon she has a show on No on Prop 8.

No comments: