The Animal rights activists and the United Egg Producers (UEP) have compromised recently improving hen’s cages to be roomier in Minnesota, the countries eighth largest egg producing state. The compromise was made with the realization that federal legislation, to mandate cage size is currently linked to the farm bill, presently under consideration in Congress. Amon Baer, a longtime UEP board member, who along with his brothers spent more than $2 million to install a new cage system in his egg barn, just two years ago said; “From a philosophical standpoint, I don’t think the federal government should be setting farm production standards, and I don’t care whether it’s whether it’s for oranges or apples or cows or chickens”, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune 8-1-12. See: http://www.startribune.com/business/164686556.html?refer=y
Baer’s statement sounds off base at best, when we consider that without strong regulations, our farm-raised animals are often very abused, fed unhealthy diets filled with antibiotics and steroids, are slaughtered in inhumane methods, and the filth in processing has led to many recalls, illness, and death. If we all lived with high morals, were kind to our fellow humans, as well as our animals, Baer would be correct, we wouldn’t need government regulations, however that is not the current situation in our world.
The famous Rabbi Hillel, the renowned sage and scholar associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud, is remembered for two wonderful quotes that are applicable to most everyday life: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.” And “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” See: http://www.jewfaq.org/sages.htm I believe that which is hateful to animals would be included in this statement. Moreover, our overall health would improve if this attitude prevailed and we no longer consumed foods that contained pesticides, antibiotics, steroids, etc.
Rabbi Shavit-Lonstein of Temple of Aaron, St. Paul, Minnesota asked his congregation if they wanted to be a better person quickly? He then responded with a challenge to take a spiritual “Hippocratic oath: first do no harm. Avoid causing others pain” and asking our self: “How would it feel if such a thing happened to me?” Imagine our world, our improved health, and our lives, if we all lived the Hippocratic oath!
It is in most cases futile to attempt to change another; we can only change our own attitude, our own thoughts, and our own self. Yet think of how much better our own life would be and the lives of those around us, if we simply practiced the spiritual Hippocratic oath. Whether it is in relationships with our loved ones, with colleagues/ coworkers, with our children, with the values we use in our consumer purchases, or with our animals/pets.
Thank-you for reading.