A news article came across my Facebook news feed today that caught my attention and sparked a conversation this afternoon at our house. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association posted an interview by the Brownfield Network with Joe Maxwell. Those of you who read from afar may not recognize Mr. Maxwell’s name.
Mr. Maxwell has served in our state government, is a hog farmer in our county and has chosen to align himself with and be employed by HSUS as the vice-president of outreach and engagement. The interview stated that HSUS promotes vegan and vegetarian lifestyles on its web site and encourages schools, universities and hospitals to adopt the controversial “Meatless Monday” concept. Maxwell tells Brownfield he’s fine with that. “HSUS believes that’s good for the planet, for the environment and for the animals,” he says. “Being able to respect the animal, get it back on the land, being able to have a sustainable number of animals in our herds—from an environmental impact as well as an animal welfare impact—is a very good thing.”
REALLY? Maxwell’s pork co-op Heritage Acres was suspended by USDA for violations of humane slaughter and treatment regulations in 2009. In all, USDA records show that Maxwell’s Heritage Acres was cited more than 150 times for violations ranging from inhumane handling to meat contamination to unhygienic conditions.
So I guess my take on the whole situation is this: If you’re not confident that you are raising a consumer safe product then maybe you should participate in Meatless Monday. On the other hand, we, as responsible cattlemen, eat what we produce and eat meats from other producers who care for their animals in a proper manner.
Now, the latest question that was raised by my 22 year old full-time farmer son, is this…..Did HSUS shoot videos of mistreated hogs at Mr. Maxwell’s place? Did they use it for gain on their side? How do we know? No self-respecting farmer would ever mistreat his/her animals when they are his/her livelihood! And since Mr. Maxwell has aligned himself with both sides of the fence, how can we trust him to tell us the truth? How could we trust him at all? And really, you’re going to trust him for nutritional advice? I won’t. If I want nutritional advice, I’ll seek an expert in the field – not a paid political activist.
Blessed to be a cattlewoman,