Wegmans Cruelty: An Unofficial Blog

This is an unofficial blog and informational archive related to the WEGMANSCRUELTY film and resulting campaign.

Please see that page for more information.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rochester Radio's WHAM Bob Lonsberry supports Wegmans' Cruelty!

Unfortunately, however, he clearly hasn't watched Wegmans Cruelty: his comments reveal extreme ignorance of the issues. See his column written July 20, 2005. Comments might be available here, but Bob removes nearly all comments that are critical of him.


  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Gary said…

    My comments to the column:


    I can understand how you'd want to be right, to defend your lifestyle choices, but you're wrong.

    Standard agricultural practice, as admitted in industry publications, is to treat living, breathing animals as things, and to accept and even force higher mortality to raise profits. The USDA is charged with two opposing mandates: regulation and promotion. Promotion wins by a landslide. Even when slaughterhouse workers gratuitously kill chickens by throwing them against the wall, crushing them with their boots, or pulling off their heads, or when farmers suffocate one day old chicks or grind them alive in a woodchipper, the government can find no cruelty. There are essentially no penalties for cruelty, no matter how extreme, in factory farms. To say that such operations operate within the law is meaningless.

    The cruelty in Wegman's egg farm is obvious; it would result in animal cruelty violations in every state if done to a pet. The cruelty is also obvious from common sense: a hen's most fundamental needs are to spread her wings, forage for food, breathe fresh fresh air, have some bit of room and mobility, lay eggs with care, and form bonds with others. All these needs are denied in battery cage facilities. And the hens are obviously miserable because of it. They can barely move. They look awful. Their normally pristine wings become covered in excrement.

    "Humane?" You must be joking. The birds can't preen their feathers, take three steps in any direction, breathe fresh air, feel the sun, or do anything else that hens are designed to do and have done for millions of years. Some die when their body parts are stuck in the wires, others fall through to die slowly amid the manure pits.

    And speaking of manure, waste from concentrated animal operations is one of the biggest sources of water pollution in the country.

    No one in the First World needs eggs. It's a luxury. An indulgence. I can create delicious baked goods without eggs and so can you, and so can anyone. You can make eggless egg salad out of tofu and if it's not quite up to standard, just watch what happens when demand soars. Plus there's no salmonella, which kills thousands every year. No one will die if the price of eggs increases. If the only way we can have eggs is to torture animals it's not worth it.

    Animal rights activists understand that the cost of "efficiency" is massive suffering. Your assertion that that the hens' lives are "comfortable" is ludicrous. They can never flap their wings, and they don't even have a solid floor on which to stand, sit, or lie down. You try living in a wire cage for a while and tell me if it's comfortable. The activists who broke into Wegman's egg farm are motivated by altruism and compassion for the defenseless, are willing to pay the price for their civil disobedience (which *can* be against private institutions), and are far more honest than Wegmans, with their groundless charge that the footage is from somewhere else. That desperate allegation reveals that Wegmans knows its practices are cruel and offensive to consumers, and doesn't want the public to know how they produce eggs. If Wegmans is proud of their operation, they should plaster their web site with pictures. But there are none.

    I agree with you that Wegmans has its good points. But that's irrelevant and the activists are not contesting those.

    A lifetime of misery for a few minutes of hedonistic pleasure. It's a no-brainer. You're angry at the activists and reduced to outrageous denials because you know you contribute to the birds' misery, and don't need to. As a friend not foe, I swear: I recommend racheting down your defense mechanisms a notch. Step back. The activists have a point. Even George Will recognizes that our ever-harsher treatment of farm animals is morally troubling (see latest Newsweek). Every cruel choice has a kind alternative. Where there is a will, there is a way. Everyone - you, the hens, the earth - wins when we treat other creatures, especially those weaker than us, with sincere kindness and respect.

    P.S. To those that use the Bible as an excuse for exploiting animals:

    - Your arguments are the same ones the slaveowners used. - My Bible says "A righteous man regards the life of his beast." - God's ideal is total vegetarianism as layed out in Genesis. - Jesus compares a hen's love for her chicks to God's love for us. In industrial egg farms like Wegmans, chicks are motherless and hens are denied their innate need to carefully prepare a nest for their eggs. If being created in God's image means being merciful to His Creation, we've failed. But I believe in redemption and forgiveness and we can start to do better, to treat creatures with more kindness, at any time - even today. Visit http://www.factoryfarming.com/gallery/photos_egg.htm to see how we abuse hens' bodies to extract more eggs from them than they would ever produce naturally. Visit http://www.veganoutreach.org/starterpack/index.html to see how you can transition to a more earth- and animal-friendly diet, that's also healthy and tasty. For information on how the Bible supports animal welfare and why "dominon" should be exercised as loving stewardship, not domination, please visit http://www.christianveg.com/honoring.htm.

  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger a compassionate consumer said…

    I hope this message gets sent to Bob Lonsberry, or he's called about this.


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