Why Would Bob Herbert Slight the Animals?

In his editorial, "State of Shame,” Bob Herbert of the New York Times writes about the plight of workers at a foie gras factory farm in upstate New York. He states:
“Animal-rights advocates have made a big deal about the way the ducks are force-fed to produce the enormously swollen livers from which the foie gras is made. But I’ve been looking at the plight of the underpaid, overworked and often gruesomely exploited farmworkers who feed and otherwise care for the ducks. Their lives are hard.”
I’m very glad that Herbert chose to write about the exploited and abused workers in a factory farm. Their plight needs attention, and good for Herbert in bringing awareness to the ways in which we oppress people in agribusiness. But the quote above diminishes the plight of the ducks and geese who are treated with such extraordinary cruelty it defies most of our imaginations. Why suggest that “a big deal” has been made of it? Herbert could so easily have written that in addition to the cruelty perpetrated on ducks, these operations perpetrate cruelty upon their workers.

But he didn’t.

Exploitation and oppression of others is all connected. It’s another “state of shame” that Herbert doesn’t acknowledge and expose this.

~ Zoe

Image courtesy of Farm Sanctuary via Creative Commons.
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