Does 4-H desensitize kids to killing?
June 23rd, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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What do farmers have to say about agriculture issues? Hear it straight from them in Farmers With Issues.

4-H stands for "Head, heart, hands, health" and apparently a fifth - for "haters."

To many, 4-H Clubs are all about nurturing sweet little calves, adorable children winning ribbons, urban garden patches and proud future farmers grooming prized pigs for show. To others, it's a calculated system for turning the youth of America into cold, unfeeling animal killers.

When Eatocracy ran a 5@5 feature with chef Kelly Liken on the topic of Five Reasons to Buy from Your Local 4-H earlier this week, we quickly identified within the comments two distinct perceptions of the organization - which was originally set up by the United States Department of Agriculture to train the rural youth of America in hands-on skills like agriculture and raising animals. One was that 4-H promotes responsible animal husbandry and the cultivation of food resources in a responsible, ethical way and the other was that it serves to desensitize children to the suffering of animals.

Here's what commenters to that article had to say:

In cold blood

I don't and would never support the 4-H. This group helps desensitize youngsters into having no emotional attachment to animals raised for food. For those who say no one should have attachment to animals raised for food, I say "of course". This is how the meat industry stays in business. If children are raised to love all animals and not try to see them as products, they would not be interested in seeing them killed. "Listening to the auctioneer and seeing how excited the children get when their animal is purchased is an incredibly fulfilling experience."

Really? Incredibly fulfilling experience. You mean knowing the animal that trusted you from birth is off to be mistreated before being slaughtered! That's fulfilling? Maybe that's because the 4-H has successfully desensitized these children who may have once be appalled by this. It's simply horrific. Shame on you 4-H for what you do to animals and to children. - Heather King

Education, not desensitization

What 4-H does do is promote responsible animal husbandry and the cultivation of food resources in a responsible, ethical way. I accept your position that any killing of animals for food is, in your position, not ethical or moral, however most of us are omnivores and I for one would rather that those producing the meat I choose to eat do so in a humane and ethical way. I respect your position, but I would also hope that you would rather see people brought up to understand, and therefore demand, that there an ethical way to treat an animal even if that animal's eventual purpose is the nourishment of a human being.

Desensitization is the wrong word–education is the right word. These kids (I was one) are not at all desensitized to the process–rather, they are educated about proper raising and care of these animals. Not only was I a member, but growing up we also purchased meat and produce from 4H and FFA members–talk about locally sourced! We could be confident in the quality, origin, and raising of these products in a way we can rarely be in a supermarket. - Value rather than desensitization

A lasting impact

Have you ever been at a 4-H auction? Most of the younger kids end up crying after their animal gets bought and not donated back. As they grow older, they wrap their head around the idea, but when they're first starting out they have a hard time accepting it. It doesn't mean they're "desensitized" to it, it's the fact they they've matured and understand that animal's purpose more as time goes on. - Brianna

The circle of life

Someone asked earlier in the thread how many 4-H kids had actually seen an animal slaughtered. In my club back home (rural Sierra Nevadas), the answer was ALL OF US. We toured the packing houses where our animals would later be slaughtered (note packing HOUSES, as these buildings housed perhaps thirty head at an outside estimate, nowhere near large enough to call a "processing plant"), examined carcasses, viewed the taking of animals lives and the bloodletting afterwards, and were given briefings on the saws and tools used. This while spending hours a day bathing, training, feeding and cleaning up after our own still very alive animals. - 4-H fo'sho'

The value of life

It is really so unevolved. Why are people proud that the kids are crying as they lead their animals onto the trailer to be killed for food? You are teaching them that relationships are disposable. That animals are disposable. NOT A GOOD LESSON, and these poor animals raised as pets are off to the slaughterhouse where they will be tortured before they die. - Kathy

It keeps them off the streets

Small scale food-animal raisers aren't cold blooded killers, they're making money doing what they enjoy doing. If anyone is desensitized to animal life, go to Youngstown [ed: where the commenter grew up] and talk to all the thugs on the street that grew up around murders happening weekly. THEN you'll find someone who doesn't value human or animal life.

If I have kids, you bet they'll be in 4-H. I'd rather see them doing that than doing what most of the people I grew up with did. Kids deserve more of a chance than what drugs, crime and partying can offer them. - Brianna

It should be noted that animal husbandry and sales are only a portion of what 4-H Clubs do. Other former members spoke of "arts and crafts like pottery, painting; outdoor activities like camping, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, and...skills like woodworking and leather-working" as well as horse showing and "cooking, photography, jewelry making" and others. Still, with the issue of animal raising and slaughter on the table, we'd like to know what you think in the comments below.

Previously - A day two pigs would die: ethical slaughter

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Filed under: Animal Rights • Buzz • Farmers with Issues • Food Politics • From the Comments • Local Food • Vegan


soundoff (1,645 Responses)
  1. Ann

    And what of the poor plants that are butchered endlessly...... that madness must stop!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  2. lauradet

    Oh, boy. Something else for a Republican to unfund and destroy.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  3. Mark

    Yum i love meat. yea im 17 ive not beenin 4-H but i know people that are and they have an emotional attachment to the animals. but god i could not live my life with no meat. if you want to talk about 4-H desencitizing have you see the violent games that 8 year olds play, if i were the president all the animal right, activists, enviromentalist, peta, and the epa would be gone because when it come down to it all they care about it money

    June 23, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  4. Amanda Saha

    As a carnivorous adult, I owe it to 4-H and my father for teaching me how to be responsible and compassionate when it comes to the care of farm animals. As an active 4-Her, I raised many pigs and steers for show and sale at my local county fair. Was it difficult to lead my animals to slaughter, absolutely! Did those experiences teach me how to be responsible and fair – Absolutely! I was proud of my animals and I am still proud of everything I did in 4-H. My father continues to raise healthy and humanely treated beef in rural Kentucky. Cold blooded killer? I think not.

    Heather King – Do you eat meat?

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  5. Dianna

    I grew up showing livestock. My kids grew up showing livestock and I am proud of that fact. My kids didn't learn that relationships are disposable. Instead they learned the value of REAL and lasting relationships. The relationships between the 4-H sponsors, other participants and their parents taught them invaluable lessons that can be learned no where else. Yes, they learned about cruelty to animals. They learned that the judges and other participants would not tolerate someone mistreating their animals. They learned that their is humane way to produce meat, even on a commercial basis.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  6. Gary

    4-H is one of the last organizations that teach youth how to work and responsibility. I find it interesting that in all this talk about sustainability, 4-H is not mentioned as a means to teach and educate others to be such. On another note, there are hard realities in this world and 4-H is teaching youth how to manage those realities to the best of their abilities. I cannot wait for the day that my children can particiapte in 4-H.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  7. Nelag T

    This is a completely wrong characterization of the relationship of 4-H members to their animals. I say this from personal experience. I raised beef and swine for 4-H projects, and it was a bittersweet experience to see my animals go to auction. I had just spent the better part of a year training a 1000 lb beast to follow me on a leash like a dog, and feeding it top-notch food to make it gain the right kind of weight. There was a personal relationship and respect for the animal. I learned that you put in that care for an animal so it can provide food for your family in the end.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  8. MT Miner

    4H has kids growing up in reality, not some vegtarded fantasy land, pretty simple.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  9. Animal Guy

    The premise of this article is among the most stupid and absurd I have ever seen, and not a good sign that the country is on the right track. 4H teaches the responsibilities in raising animals, the beauty in animals, the sanctity of life, animal life, and of the relationship between human beings and animals that is sacred, so that when animals become food, we acknowledge what is going on, what is necessary, and where our own sustenance comes from. Our sons raised sheep and goats with 4H, and could not have had a more meaningful, a better experience. Hats off to 4-H. "4-H Desensitizing Kids to Killing," is about the most ignorant, idiotic notion I can imagine, no doubt part of the general dumbing-down of societal standards that is ubiquitous.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  10. Fellow 4-Her

    4-H has been the best experience of my life. It is not only raising lifestock but also leadership and public speaking. This is a big part of peoples lives and a big part of yours if you eat meat. It does not desensitize children it makes them aware of how precious life is. Please research more and avoid placing your obviously strong opinion into your work. Thank you.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  11. Kim

    4-H also includes leadership and citizenship, above and beyond any agriculture or home-making type of projects. It teaches kids to value the world they live in, as well as their place within that world. I was given opportunities I would not have had otherwise, growing up in small-town Michigan: attending a program in Washington, DC; participating in an international exchange with the Dominican Republic; earning a trip to the National 4-H congress in Chicago.
    The motto is: I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living, for my CLUB, my COMMUNITY, my COUNTRY, and my WORLD.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  12. ugh

    This is absolutely ridiculous. 4-H is just fine and it doesn't desensitize kids or whatever crap you're trying to spew.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  13. Deborah

    God forbid we should teach kids life skills and train them in a career in agriculture. They're better off selling drugs and living on the welfare system.

    Based on this flawed logic, no one should go into the medical field because it will also desensitize them to death and dying.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  14. AmishAirline

    Insanity. If anything, 4H kids are the only ones in their generation who actually know where their food comes from, and the realities of meat production. Desensitized to killing? How many 4H kids are out there toting Glocks and busting caps? Please. (And I'm a vegetarian, for crying out loud!)

    June 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  15. Bill

    You are kidding me??!! These people who are against 4-H are absolute idiots!! Not only that but probably liberal, vegan PETA supporters. Where in hell do they think meat comes from and if we don't have a good base of future farmers who is going to do it?

    June 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  16. alksdjf

    Grow up hippies.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  17. Azrael

    Seriously? I equate this to the nonsense coming out of SF about the Goldfish ban.......... Society is getting plan ridiculous

    June 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  18. sbp

    "In Cold Blood" clearly represents the militant vegetarians. The root of her "hate" is that the animals are killed, period. Well, that's how you get meat. Her problem with 4-H has nothing to do with 4-H, and everthing to do with vegetarianism.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  19. Maggie

    Which child is more desensitized, the one that understands the cycle of birth to death or the one that believes all meat arrives in plastic wrapped package?

    June 23, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  20. Tim

    I never in a million years would have thought anyone would have a problem with 4H. The ENTIRE IDEA of the animal husbandry program is to produce thoughtful compassionate agricultural students who will respect the value of the life taken to provide for themselves and their community. I bet if you do some research into the slaughterhouses that you complain of that they are not run by real AG people but by corporate profit hungry clowns. Don't pick on AG people with your mouth full.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  21. Reality

    How is a child supposed to make moral decisions about eating sustainable food, etc. if he/she has no idea where it came from? 4H teaches kids the reality of where their food comes from. Kids should always learn what it takes to provide food and where their food comes from, whether that food be meat or vegetables. What is unfair is allowing children to grow up thinking food comes from a factory in neat little packages.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  22. Brian

    Keep in mind that the part where the animal is carted off to a feed confinement or corporate slaughterhouse (where the possible mistreatment occurs) is a recent phenomenon brought to us by big agribusiness. What 4-H kids are learning is how to care for animals as a traditional family farm would have, from start to finish. I don't think that the corporatization of agriculture, while lamentable, is a reason to cut ties with the positive parts of American farm heritage.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  23. Jackson

    Mooooo....munch!

    June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  24. Bettertobethoughtafool

    What's desensitized is when you go the store and buy steak and pretend like it came that way in the package and was picked off a tree, just like that, all pretty in saran wrap. We eat animals for nourishment, but passing off the duties of raising those animals, treating them ethically, and humanely turning them into food without acknowledging that it's hard work that SOMEONE must do is weak-minded and hypocritical. If you know an animal must die for you to eat, then you should be trying your hardest to make sure it did so humanely and without waste. By the way, it's highly likely the steak you buy so conveniently came from a cow who suffered its whole life. At least from 4-H you're getting actual food from an animal that actually got to enjoy its life and wasn't tortured, force fed, or crammed into a pen where it can't even lay down.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  25. Jeff

    I've never been a part of 4-H (definite city-dweller here), but everything I know about the program points to it being a great group. The program teaches about raising and caring for animals, and what those animals are used for. Those that are going to be responsible for our food source in the future need to learn the proper way to care for these animals. 4-H teaches kids not only how to care for these animals but also gives the kids some love and respect for the animals. Yes, it can be sad when an animal is sold for food, but it's also reality, and there's no benefit in hiding that reality from these children. Teaching them to understand how the process works and to respect the animals that they are raising is a whole lot better than leaving our food supply completely in the hands of factory "farms" that have no respect for the animals.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  26. Bob rediculis

    The tag line here is such an ivitation for discourse, and the idea is so absurd except to those who are on the firnge of society who beleive that animals are equal to humans in every way. what a bunch of crap. but then again CNN planned on this happenning. They love manipulation this stuff

    June 23, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  27. gaelowyn

    ugh. Just UGH! I've been around kids in 4H and in agriculture/farming my whole life. NOT A SINGLE ONE is 'desensitized' or any of that other bull-puckey being thrown around. These kids actually VALUE MORE the food on their plates, as the KNOW HOW HARD someone had to work to put it there. I can promise you this.. if something tragic/horrific/disaster were to happen, these kids will know how to survive... I'm sure the 'haters' and detractors and those who feel it's all animal torture will be among the first to go. The one's shouting the loudest about animal torture are usually people who step out of their home/apt and walk down a city street and buy their food at the store. They probably can hardly grow an indoor plant, let alone know which plants in the wild are edible.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  28. Lana

    Clearly your commentators were not 4-H members- nor do they have the slightest understanding of the real world.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  29. Thomas Carden

    I think that the people who only buy from grocery stores without realizing that an animal has to be slaughtered are the ones who are desensitized. Raising a farm animal and harvesting it teaches lessons about the cycle of life of life that exist in the natural world. An eagle who catches and eats a rabbit is not evil and neither is a farmer who raises a cow and then harvest it.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  30. Mephisto

    Who sponsored this article? PETA? or the beef, pork, or poultry industry? We are so far removed from our food. I'd much rather my children be able to provide food for themselves than not. The premise for this article assumes that we don't have to feed ourselves and if we do, we are somehow morally bankrupt. Why does CNN allow this unsophistaced trash.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Jay

      They allow it for the same reason they can't be bothered to implement spellcheck (or a non-invisible 'submit' button) for thier comment submissions: They don't care as long as they can show thier advertisers that people are paying attention to them instead of thier competitors.
      1. Think of a divisive topic
      2. Have someone write a few hundred words about it under a picture of something
      3. ????
      4. Profit!!!
      ((This comment will probably get screened out, sadly))

      June 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  31. Don

    If this is your biggest concern with the world in the condition it is, be grateful. The next thing to bitch about will be that wheat and oats have a 'heart' so we should stop planting and killing these plants for the selfish people it feeds.
    If you don't like it then don't do it. I don't like people who are ignorant, but I don't think we should get rid of them. Your welcome!!

    June 23, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  32. Len

    I think most of the people again 4-H has never been to one of the kids fairs or been around farmers. Most farmers where I grew up loved their cattle. The kids grew up helping on the farm and did a variety of different activities. I can tell you nothing made them prouder than going to the state fair and seeing a calf they raised since birth get awards. Why would you take that from a child? Farmers are an important part of our society.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom

      Thank you Len. I think that is something many people dont understand. Most people who raise farm animals actually love their animals. We raise beef and many of my other family members raise beef. We care for and enjoy our animals. If we didnt we wouldnt have them. However, they are not pets they are farm animals and they have a purpose.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
      • Maureen

        To further a point, I would much rather know, and later teach my children ( who visit my parent's farm routinely) know where we get our food, than to explain that we no longer farm or provide for our families because the Government, First Ladies and vegans know better what we should eat and how it should be prepared.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  33. Tom

    Heather King and Kathy are way off base. Humans have been eating animals for.....ever. Kids nowadays think food comes from the grocery store. Teaching them animal husbandry teaches them think analytically about where exactly their food comes from.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Lynee

      I agree with them. For me, the horror is in allowing children to raise an animal, love and care for it and then be part of the process wherein that same animal is

      June 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
      • Tom

        Lynn – When we butcher an animal we introduce our young children early like 3 or 4 to some limited aspects of the process. However, in our chapter of 4H you are 9 years old. 9 years old is old enough to know what happens. Especially because by 9 most kids around here have already shot their first deer or turkey.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Lynee

      Sorry, accidentally hit send: I was going to say that it's not right to force children to be part of that process where an animal they've loved and raised is then sold for slaughter. It would appear that many commenters simply place their appetites above concerns about how animals are treated. Look, there are good things that 4-H does but I don't believe animal husbandry is one of them. One person said the children mature and move on from the trauma of what they experienced. Sounds a lot like desensitization to me.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
      • Tom

        How would you propose teaching children about food? The reality is not many kids participate in 4H anymore especially in urban and suburban areas. The reality is kids are not taught about food. My nephew who lives in the city once asked me why we had chickens. I told him to get eggs. He looked at me like I was nuts. Its not that kids are not learning about killing. Many parents allow plenty of exposure to it through media and video games. Eating is a part of life. I know it can be unplesant....really I do know but my job is to give my kids life skills. Raising farm animals is not just looking at how cute they are...thats what dogs and cats are for.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • SicPup

        One might argue that desensitization is actually occuring when you prohibit children from experiencing all that life has to offer. Perhaps if you never award 1st places ribbons in a track meet and just say everyones a winner, everyone gets the same ribbon that should be considered desensitization. I would argue that those children will never strive to make a better life for themselves or that they will not try to find a cure for Cancer because they are not exceptional, they are just one of the masses that has nothing special to offer.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  34. Ed

    Hmmm...wrapping a de-script (i.e. no recognizable features) piece of flesh in polystyrene container is OK, but teaching a kid how the world works is somehow bad. Pathetic. Folks, this country is wimping to the point of danger.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • JDon585

      It boggles my mind......What will these PETA imbeciles come up with next? They obviously have no clue as to what would happen to these animals if they were not consumed by humans, just spouting at the mouth as usual. I'm so sick and tired of people trying to push thier ideas/beliefs on other people, believe what you believe, practice what you want to practice but be respectful enough of your fellow man to let them practice thier beliefs as well!!! As for me, I do believe I will keep on enjoying my bacon cheeseburgers....YUM!!! I grew up on a ranch, I've seen the life cycle from birth to food on the table (Pigs/Cows/Goats/Sheep/Chickens/Deer/Elk), yes it can be a heartbreaker but it's the cycle of life. The thing that really bothers me are the sport hunters, only out for the trophy, they kill a majestic animal and take only it's head, that is wrong, if you kill it eat it.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  35. ThatGuyBill

    Really?!? What a bunch of B.S.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  36. tonya

    I'm a former 4-h member who grew up to be a 4-H agent. I've seen 4-H do so many incredible things for "my" 4-H kids who are getting to the college graduate age. many of them paid their tuition with the sales of their project animals.

    for Heather King, who said, "You mean knowing the animal that trusted you from birth is off to be mistreated before being slaughtered! That's fulfilling?" – animals are not mistreated before they are slaughtered. Get with the program.

    Farm kids & 4-H kids understand the value of life, maybe more so than other people. Each animal is a livlihood. Some animals are pets (cats & dogs) & some animals have a higher purpose, to feed us. Farmers & 4-Hers are good stewards & are not desensitized to slaughter. They just understand its purpose.

    4-H is more than animals & arts & crafts. it is youth development. there are numerous projects, from science & engineering, to performing arts, to sports, to urban farming & beyond.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • pockets

      Your an idiot in the highest order. Nothing surprises me regarding man's cruelty to animals. Its amazing that kids have no idea where their Happy Meal, and Mama and Papa Burger comes from, have you ever been to the 'killing floor" and watched what these "pets' go thru before they are butchered? Get a life and wake up. Stop the insanity of killing and eating animals full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Stupid is as stupid does.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:57 am |
      • Jerrry

        Have you ever been to a killing-floor? Have you ever been on a single farm in your entire, sheltered life? Even holier then thou vegans like yourself have a negative impact on the global ecology merely by surviving. All your fruits and veggies are picked by dirt poor illegal immigrants who earn less in a month then you spend on a single trip to your supermarket grocery store. And don't pretend that because you shop at Whole Foods you are somehow not responsible for this. Even farmers who only grow vegetable organically still rely on cheap labor so that you can feel smugly superior while eating an unhealthy diet and pretending that somehow you're living doesn't have an equal and opposite cost on the world you live in.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
      • tonya

        Pockets,
        I grew up on a farm & have a BS in animal science. some of my earliest memories are butchering day on my family farm. i slaughtered my first chicken when i was 6ish. I know exactly what goes on...you on the other hand are living in some utopian dream world.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
      • T-Bones

        "your" an idiot. Genius.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
      • Clu

        The children in 4H do not use hormones or steroids in the raising of their animals.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
      • Michael

        Yet you wantonly pulverize unborn wheat plants by the billions so you can eat your Crazy Bread. What makes the soul of one cow more important than the souls of these billions of unborn stalks of wheat? Do you have some sort of vendetta against plants?

        June 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
      • Poppy

        @pockets, yes actually that is one of my earliest memories. When i was about 5 years old my father gave me a calf to bottle feed and raise myself. When the animal was ready for slaughter we took it to the local processing plant and watched the calf get slaughtered. Of course there were a lot of tears, but my father wanted to make sure we knew where our food came from. We depended on animals for our livlihood. You dont make money off of poorly treated animals. For an animal to be economically viable it has to be healthy and treated well. We were not cruel to our livestock, but does desensitize you to death. To a certain extent yes, I would call it more of an understanding of life. Most people who were not raised on a farm have a very un real view of life. When tragedy or misfortune strikes most people have a very hard time dealing with it, not so with farm kids. I was in 4H for most of my childhood. It teaches leadership and responsibility. Our animal agriculture system is what it is due to consumer choice. When the majority of consumers demand a certain system be used regardless of cost to them then it will change. Until that point comes most people want the highest quality product for the cheapest price. That is what farmers and industrial Ag gives them. Its up to the consumer. I respect peoples choices, if you want to eat meat fine, if you dont thats fine too.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • 4-Her

        You are the idiot. The whole point of raising a 4-H animal is that they are growth hormone and antibiotic free. I have never used growth hormones or steroids on my animals, just like all the other 4-Hers. You say that you have been to the "killing floor", have you ever been to the 4-H barn when we have to sell our animals? There were to many kids to count, including myself, that bawled even before we had to sell our animal. You clearly do not know what you are talking about. You are making yourself look like a fool. Why dont YOU get a life and wake up.

        August 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • deborah

      You go Girl, I agree with Andrea M. Raising four great kids with three of them in FFA, which not only gave them leadership skills and connivance they needed to live, it also help them to get into a great college and further their education. Raising an animal also teaches on to be responsible for another. Get off your high horse people. Wake up!!!

      June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  37. Tom in Kansas

    Get over it. There are too many people out there wanting to tell others how to raise their own kids, and wanting to "protect" kids from life lessons. If you want to be a vegetarian fine, but from what I hear some plants react to being sliced and diced while still alive. Just because you cannot hear them scream, doesn't mean the grass feels no pain while being cut. So lets all go for the natural look in our yards too.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  38. Dave

    Can I get the 3 minutes back that I took to read your crazy PETA rant back? 4H teaches the kids something that the author never learned. Meat comes from animals. An animal is cute, friendly, etc. But once it is dead, it is going to be consumed by something, whether that be bacteria, maggots, coyotes, or me doesn't matter. But for my sake, I would rather eat steak than watch a cow get old, die, and get consumed by the environment.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • carp of the sea

      Well said. Death is not pretty for an old cow. I saw it several times as a child, when we foolishly grew sentimental with old milk cows. Far, far better for a quick death in a slaughterhouse than a lingering, painful, maggot-ridden "natural" death over a couple of weeks.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  39. G

    Oh good lord...let me guess, PETA is probably behind this?

    June 23, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • pockets

      You don't have to blame PETA for everthing that is said to educate people on what goes on in the killing factories for animals. There are lots of us out here on this planet that do not belong to any organization, but feel that the slaughter of animals is not necessary to keep yourself alive. You don't need meat to live.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • jayh

        ^ What pockets said...

        June 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
      • Clu

        Certainly there can be little doubt that factory farming and wholesale slaughter of these animals is a horrible practice, but that's not what's happening in 4H. Don't forget that everyone has sharp teeth in their mouth along with flat ones and that we have the bifocal vision of a predator.

        While vegetarianism and veganism is a personal lifestyle choice and I can applaud the sensitivity it takes for one to adopt it, humans just weren't built that way. Eat your meat, but respect and understand where it came from.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
      • I'm an omnivore

        Yeah, I totally agree that you do not need the meat to survive when everything were are made of requires amino acids to function and to make us. The protein we get from animals helps us rebuild things in our bodies which have been damaged. So go ahead have a shorter life span than me, and kill those plants because that can't compare to killing another living thing. Killing animals for meat isn't morally corrupt because it is the cycle of life, and if you think that messing with nature by not letting em eat meat is okay then I can safely say you are the reason why the Earth is in a downward spiral. (Plants produce oxygen which keeps us breathing so go ahead kill 'em all.)

        June 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • holy crap

        try planting veggies without cow crap. are you going to raise your own cow, feeding it about $10.00 a day, bath, brush, and take care if it's health and vet bills so you can follow it around with a shovel for your veggies. you better because if there was no meat industry, carrots would be $10.00 each

        June 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • Farmer 2

        What really annoys me about Vegangelicals is their near-blanket assertion that things aren't dying for them to eat. REGARDLESS whether the plants they eat feel pain or not, there is far more carnage in the wake of a vegan fork than anyone admits – that plow is killing baby mice and rabbits who *just happen* to be born shortly before planting time; the pesticides used to keep those veggies pretty so people will buy them are killing thousands of bugs; good, bad, and ugly, without discrimination. The toxins used to remove the rodents who did survive then find their way into the predators or scavengers who clean up the leavings... Lives lost to support a vegetarian or vegan diet far outnumber those sacrificed to support an omnivore or carnivore – and at least the carnivore/omnivore EATS what dies for him!
        The root of the whole problem is that most people are terrified of death, and wish to deny it in any way possible. Yes, my steers die and people eat them. They live a *wonderful* life before then; they are protected, nourished and doted on while babies, and given as much freedom to be bovine as they can get afterward And most importantly, they get to go out at the top of their game – they never know the frailty or weakness of aging. Regardless of what I do, THEY ARE GOING TO DIE – I simply choose when and how that happens.

        June 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • utahsang

      PETA- People Eating Tasty Animals

      June 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  40. DP

    I tend to think not knowing where meat comes from is more desensitizing.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Scott Walters

      Exactly. Science has shown that vegetables express pain when they are picked. Vegetarians just can't hear them, and so they're down with it. The world is based on a food chain. Get over it. What is more desensitizing is just buying packages of "beef" and "pork" in the grocery store, as if it just got their magically.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  41. Jason

    Biology says I am an omnivore.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • jayh

      Biology says I can make that choice for myself.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
      • Dan

        True, you have the right to choose. So do I, so stop pushing your beliefs on me.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • @jayh

        No, Modern Science – NOT Biology gives you that choice – you can't change that what your body was designed to function on. You can only try and get an acceptable replacement – and vegans really only get a partial replacement.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
      • Omnivore

        He didn't really argue with you there, an omnivore can eat either. Now, if he was saying you can only be a carnivore or herbivore, then he would be incorrect.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  42. brian

    mmmmmmmmm steak, bacon.
    kill em and grill em. That's a great and tasty life lesson

    June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • John W

      I'm all for the ethical treatment of animals. I wouldn't want to deny a cow or pig his purpose in life, to keep him from his crowning achievement.

      The dinner plate.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  43. Cowboy911

    Lack of role models in their homes; Wars in the middle-east where American are dying; drugs, violence all around them in schools, TV and movies; lack of self-control; lack of self-worth; no spiritual center; cheating and corruption in our government; extremists killing anyone they can – are just a few reason kids are desensitized to killing. I'm pretty sure rural farmers have a lower homicide rate than the inner cities.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  44. Todd

    If you eat it you should know where it comes from. I grew up on a farm, I realize the facts of life and death, as well the fact that most of these animals evolutionary success is based on the fact that we will eat them, often after they have the chance to reproduce at least some at a sustainable level. This knowledge doesn't desensitize a person to killing or death, but gives them a better awareness of it. Knowing that an animal with a distinctive personality has died for your food, is a humbling experience. And makes sure that I don't wast meat when I eat it.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  45. boka

    This is pretty disgusting. It's like what Hitler and the Catholic church does. Get people when there young and warp their minds. Killing is never good. I think if we band together we can get rid of this scum from our country.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Mr. Wild Game

      You are the one who needs to be gotten rid of.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:38 am |
      • Mildred

        @Mr. Wild Game- Now that's uncalled for. You might not agree with the person's sentiments, but that doesn't mean they should "gotten rid of" It's that sort of thinking that leads to wars and other attrocities.

        Note: I don't agree with boka

        June 23, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • animallover67

        agh. i did 2 copies agh to you too

        June 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • Mr. Wild Game

        I'll decide what is, and is not, called for. Not you. In fact, you won;t even be considered.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • meateater

        hell yeah nothin better than a big chunk of meat and even better if i killed it myself

        June 27, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Truth@boka

      You're right...4H teaches murder, much like the FFA (that's Future Farmers of America to you uninformed folk)

      Kids are much better served by spending their time playing video games, reading about the Kardashians or hanging out on Facebook.

      You are clearly an idiot.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
      • Maureen

        As a former 4-H rural FARM KID, we definately knew where our food came from. Our family treated the animals well, but there was no mistake. They were our food source. Period!
        As for 'teaching killing' 4-H does no such thing. It was designed to fully inform the rural kids on respect for GOD, COUNTRY and a way of life that our fathers and grandfathers for many generations led. A quiet, respectful way of life, that is now quite obviously missing!
        I am a proud former 4-H member and earned love, respect and a few ribbons for the ethical and respectful way I raised our calves.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • John

      By killing them?

      June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |
      • Maureen

        Yes, when it is time.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Country Lady

      Wow, I certainly hope you don't eat meat, or take medication, or do anything else that is derived from the suffering of animals if that is your stance.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • 4H for life

      Are you really that ignorant? You obviously know nothing about how we raise our children. 4H gives them living skills you cannot possibly imagine. You should check out there website to learn more about the organization. http://www.4-h.org/

      June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • I eat meat

      WOW – I don't even know where to begin with that statement. You clearly are not getting enough amino acids in your diet... those that can only be found naturally in ANIMAL products.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:54 am |
      • Laura

        Um, no. Amino acids are the building blocks of any kind of protein, plant-based or animal-based. You do not need meat to get amino acids.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • The engineer 888

        You don't know your biochemistry. There are many types of amino acids and you can only get certain type from vegetation.
        All the "vitamins" you will need with the vegan route are derived from meat. So you vegans are essentially hypocrites.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Bryn

      Wow. I was a member of 4-H and didn't realize that essentially (according to you) made me a nazi. I guess I should try to undo the brainwashing by going and burning all my horse ribbons and trophies that I won riding in shows put on by that scum. Only then will I be able to live with myself. At one point farming was just a way of life. Now, as everything else, it is traumatizing for today's youth. People really need to get a grip and get outdoors and off their couches more. I would much rather support 4-H teaching how an animal should be humanely raised and handled and see our country go back to that way of life than eat the processed fake meat and veggie burgers on the shelves in grocery stores.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • Maureen

        Well said, fellow former 4-H'er

        June 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • DeepRoots

        Bryn – well spoken. In fact, I once worked for a well known national direct mail marketing company who preferred hiring former 4-H members, due to their strong work ethic, discipline, focus and their ability to make it to work on time. My own 8 years in 4-H served me well, providing me with leadership opportunities, community involvement and my own sense of self worth. Why shouldn't we return to a program like this where parental involvement with children, teaching them basic life skills at a VOLUNTEER cost instead of relying on the public schools where parents & kids pay to play?

        June 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Really?

      When you talk about getting rid of the scum it sounds like you are being a Hilter commy. I think that is what he called the 6,000,000 jews not including Christians and others that he murdered calling them the scum of the earth.

      I think about food like what the bible teaches. Eat was is good for you. Certain animales were ment for food. Certain ones were not. Certain plants were ment for food certain ones were not. Each animal was made for perpose. Soem are earth cleaners, some food, some for work,ect.....

      I like it better when kids learn the responsablities of life. Part of that is what we put into aour bodies and where it comes from. I have seen some cows in my neighborhood the seem to have a wonder happy life. .... Thanks to 4-h......

      June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • KateB

        Well in the Bible Pork and Shellfish are 100% off limits...so is wearing linen mixed with cotton, or not wearing a beard if you're male, or touching anything that a menstruating women has touched...I could go on but why bother?

        June 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • @boka

      boka, how on Earth could you compare the 4-H and the Catholic Church to Hitler? That is one of the most uneducated and unthoughtful and HIGHLY disrespectful comment I have read in a long while. Get an education. As far as those who do not agree with 4-H, it is your opinion to do so. However remember that stance the next time you eat a meat product.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Kehlyn

      It always amazes me how out of touch some people are with the realities of life. (ex. Boka) There is a food chain. It goes from single celled organisms to complex organisms and involves every living organism on earth. The food chain is essential to optimal environmental functioning. You can choose to opt out of certain levels of the food chain, but you cannot just dismiss it because aspects of it offends your delicate sensibilities. To deny that death is part of the lifecycle is , well, just plain stupid, illogical and ignorant.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Evil Grin

      Why do people always resort to comparing something completely unrelated to Hitler when they don't have enough information to make an informed argument? Drives me nuts.

      "I don't know what 4-H is, but it involves killing animals for food. How do I make everyone agree with me? Oh I know, Hilter killed, too. Everyone hates Hitler, so now they'll HAVE to agree with me."

      June 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Jit

      I spent many hours of my youth being a "scum". Because of that I have a great appreciation for the care, feeding and humane killing of animals. It takes money time and a great deal of care to do it right! While I was a "scum" I also learned many skills that I use some 35 years later. Baking, animal grooming, furniture refinishing, photograpy and sewing to name a few. No other orgainization teaches as many life skills as scummy 4-H.
      Our Head to clearer thinking our Heart to greater loyalty Our Hands to larger service and Our Health to better living!
      That says it all!

      June 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
      • 4-HisLife

        We may be 'scum' but we have no problem getting or keeping a job, right? LOL!!

        June 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • haha

      Plants have "life" to them. But you're ok extinguishing that right? Does it make you all warm and fuzzy inside hiding behind the phrase,"But they don't have feelings like animals do". Sorry hypocrites, but killing is killing. A plant is born, then has a goal to reproduce. If you don't believe in killing animals for food, than killing plants for food should be a problem as well..

      HOWEVER, everyone has to eat, so you make **** up so you feel better about it.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • John W

      Would it have been better for these animals never to have been born? Because had it not been for our desire to eat them, they would never have lived.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • mosmarter

      Maligning a previously unmentioned religion in a one-liner supposedly made in response to someone's comment regarding an article about how 4-H is desensitizing children. Now that is classic! I guess your sensitivity went south a while ago! OK, I'll play! Go suck an acorn, cornhole!

      June 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • 5555624

      "Killing is never good."

      Uh-huh. I bet you kill plants to eat them. Hippocrates like you make me sick.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Jay Roskamp

      I don't know what your problem is. have you ever been on a farm or ranch? I am gonna say no. so since you don't know or don't understand the process you think it must just be horrible. I grew up on a family farm . I was a member of 4-H for 11 years. i still volunteer to help with 4-H every chance i get. i showed cattle and hogs as well as other nonagriculture related projects. it was a great experience and teaches children life skills. as well prepares them for life by teaching them responsibility and community service. I do not want to argue about this. i raised animals and spent a month out of the summer showing them at local fairs and at the end of the summer i would but my animal that i had spent the summer with on the trailer that would hall them to slaughter. it is a fact of life. I eat meat so thats what has to happen. I respect your decission to not eat meat it is your choice. just as it is my choice to eat meat so you just do as you like and leave the rest of us alone.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Trevor

      @boka- i think that you are scum. that is all

      June 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Heather

      You're comparing us to Hitler? Really? We don't warp their minds. 4-H isn't all about one thing. It helps people grow and become better people. For me, it helped me find my dream career (broadcasting/journalism) through the projects I did. I have more confidence speaking in front of hundreds or thousands of people than most people do in front of a little classroom. 4-H gives us confidence and hope that we can better our community and our world. It's in our pledge.
      Some of the greatest people I know have been or are involved in 4-H. They're beyond compassionate. Currently, I'm one of three adult volunteers on a state 4-H youth team. The 'kids' on that team are astounding. Some of them are the most sincere people I've ever known. You're just taken aback by how nice they are to everyone, because we are used to a society where no one cares about others. Yet 4-H promotes diversity and understanding. So many types of people are involved in 4-H. The only main requirement is your age (8-19), but you can be involved before and long after. We have people of different races, religions, nationalities, beliefs. We have people with different abilities. We have people with what some people call disabilities.... yet these kids in particular will show you that they are just as able as anyone else. They will make you believe in better things. They will help you believe in yourself. That's what 4-H does. We dedicate ourselves to bettering ourselves and our communities. We do countless community service, and kids in 4-H are MORE LIKELY to do community service, plus they do it on a regular basis, not just once a year.

      I'd like to talk more about the beauty of 4-H, but see I'm helping with a state 4-H conference the next few days and need to get ready. I'm greatly looking forward to over 100 kids coming together, meeting new people, experiencing new things, and overall having a wonderful time because of something a group of 4-Hers put together.

      June 26, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  46. Mr. Wild Game

    People like In Cold Blood are ignorant and should not be listened to. That person clearly, and without question, has no idea what he/she is talking about.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • animallover67

      well you know animals do have feelings. deny all you want but they do have feelings. so you say that ALL animals that you eat is basicly their purpose. People eat DOLPHINS in some places. do you deny that they dont feel and dont trust? Some people slaughter their horses do you also deny they never trusted you? never felt or had a thought in life? they cant talk but they feel. imsgine if there were a creature that eats us like you eat cows. they cant understand you. now you still have feelings right? well i do admit i do eat meat. but i dont eat meat shamelessly i eat to survive well some of you stuff your mouths with it. causing so many unnessecary deaths. THEY HAVE FEELINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
      • idiot

        Wow you make me sick. If you want to display your hippie...all animals have feelings so you shouldn't kill them attitude, then fine. You're entitled to your opinion. But anyone taking a stance against eating meat is retarded. Humans are Omnivores:

        Omnivores (from Latin: omni all, everything; vorare to devour) are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source

        We eat plants and animals as a SPECIES. Just because you don't, doesn't me you're right. I pretty much hate you :( and I have no idea who you are.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
      • John W

        I have feelings too. And the feeling I get when I eat a medium-rare steak and think of you shedding a tear, is joy.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Amanda

        I agree. Animals have feelings / emotions. They can show pain, surprise, excitement (thinking of treat time for cats and dogs here). Some have greater ranges than others.

        I also think 4H teaches children about the life cycle of animals, caring for something other than themselves, and responsiblity for another life. Yes, let's take that away from them. Then we can have selfish little brats who think everything comes from a mall and place no value on anyone other than themselves. Oh wait – we've done that already.

        I had friends in 4H who were so excited and proud that they raised there animal to be such a good quality animal. It was healthy and beautiful, a real standard of what the animal should be. They took the same pride as those who could knit a quilt for display, or could can the best fruits / veggies. And they were confident in themselves. Through taking care of something, they learned about themselves and what THEY were capable of.

        I was not in 4H, but did grow up in the country where the neighbors had horses, cows, goats, pigs – you name it. Small farms. They hauled the "market" animals to a local family who slaughters and "dresses" animals, including venison that is killed during hunting season. The farmer would bring back his meat and be able to feed the family and sell some to pay his electric bill. Does this mean he is heartless? No. He helped pull that calf from his mother's birth canal, put up good strong high fence to protect that calf from bears and whatever else would come to harm it. He would bring it treats. The calf would come running like a little dog to you when it saw you coming. But in the end, as much as he helped this little calf, he knew that when it was grown up he would see it again – on his plate. That was the life cycle of this animal. He also had his own orchard with various fruit tress and would plant a veggie garden. Did he kill the fruit and veg? Yes, when he harvested to eat them or preserve them. But by "growing" his own meat and veg, he insured his family lived locally, instead of getting everything trucked in from Wal-Mart and fileds 1,000 miles away. The farmer was the first to have less emissions into the enviromment.

        We are born, we live, and we die – same as everything else.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
      • Babs

        you are a class A hypocrite.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • animallover67

      well you know animals do have feelings. deny all you want but they do have feelings. so you say that ALL animals that you eat is basicly their purpose. People eat DOLPHINS in some places. do you deny that they dont feel and dont trust? Some people slaughter their horses do you also deny they never trusted you? never felt or had a thought in life? they cant talk but they feel. imsgine if there were a creature that eats us like you eat cows. they cant understand you. now you still have feelings right? well i do admit i do eat meat. but i dont eat meat shamelessly i eat to survive well some of you stuff your mouths with it. causing so many unnessecary deaths. THEY HAVE FEELINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
      • Seriously???

        Yess!! Finally someone speaking sense to those that have their eyes and their hearts closed. my pet pig told me he FELT he was the best tasting BLT ever... HA!

        June 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  47. chris

    wow i imagine the people against this are yuppie urbanites that don't eat meat anyways and don't care to realize that 4-H actually teaches kids how at least 30% (if not more) of ths nation lives. what a bunch of idiots!

    June 23, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • doranyc

      Amen, Chris!

      Also I have to add that NO appreciation for farm culture (by both urbanite yuppies and people – politicians – who are more interested in big money business) is what has lead to the over-development and utilization of industrial farms rather than helping our gov't keep small farms in business. If other citizens, who rely on farms more often than they realize, weren't so freaking ignorant of how important and vital our agrarian culture is, we would be heralding 4-H as one of the most important youth organizations out there. Which it is!! If people want to worry about desensitizing children to killing animals, then they should keep an eye out for their budding neighborhood sociopaths. Those kids probably aren't in 4-H.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • jayh

      Wow, you are so insightful.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • cbelt3

      Amen. These kids are often America's future farmers. Their parents (who are often farmers) know full well what it's about. If the children are growing up on a farm, they're already doing this sort of thing as soon as they can handle tools. Too many Americans think that their carnivorous protein comes in nice little sealed packages. Nope. It comes from all those cute little moo cows, piggies, sheep, goats, etc...
      If you don't want to eat meat, fine. Just don't push your agenda on those of us who are true to our genetic programming as opportunistic omnivores. And don't judge or try to destroy a valuable organization that keeps a majority of us fed. You're a small minority. Shut up and leave us alone.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
      • jayh

        Looks like you are doing plenty of judging and pushing of agendas without any help from the smarter people.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Sam

      Well said. This article is another example of suburbanites unwillingness to understand that there is a country outside of the city limits. 4-H is a valuable tool for so many young rural Americans. When I was in the program in the 1980's the money my brother and I raised from showing and selling cattle helped save my grandfathers farm. It gave scholarships to many kids who had no chance of going to collage without 4-H help. There has been for some time a war between those who live in rural areas and those who despise them because of the way they talk, look, act and for what they believe in. THANK YOU CNN FOR FUELING THE FIRE OF HATE ON RURAL PEOPLE.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • 5555624

      If you grew up on a farm, you were exposed to this long before you joined 4H. Thaksgiving was always the time to butcher hogs, ebcause all the cousins, aunts, uncles, etc were there and could picth in, cut and wrap meat, etc. I cannot remember learning anything in 4H that was not consistent with good, wholesome values.

      BTW, if you oppose killing anmals for food, that's fine, but keep it to yourself. Don't preach your values to me. (Besides, you probably kill plants to eat them.)

      June 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  48. Truth

    If anything, I think 4H gives kids MORE of an appreciation of life since they see the cycle from start to finish. Most who judge 4H have likely never seen the group in action.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • LP

      I agree. And who knows – if these children continue farming and animal husbandry as adults, perhaps their experience as children will prompt them to make changes to the inhumane aspects of the meat-producing industry. As another poster (maggie) noted, a child who believes meat comes from plastic-wrapped packages could well be the more desensitized, as they simply have no clue that a living, breathing animal was even involved.

      We must stop trying to shield children from every last unpleasant experience!

      June 23, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • pokie

        I agree. Children are shielded from too much these days. By doing so they are breeding a bunch of wimps. That probably made me sound like a crazy jerk. But oh well. You cant please everyone.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Mom of 4Hers

        I was appalled when I saw the title of this article. I can't believe the lengths that groups like PETA will go to further their own propaganda. I was a 10 year member of 4-H and my children are now working towards that benchmark. Both my children show market beef. Yes..MARKET beef. Beef that is raised for the purpose of slaughter. And, every year, as we send their animals to slaughter. YES. I said SLAUGHTER. We all cry. My children, my husband, myself. None of us like what happens at the end but this is the purpose of these animals and we accept that. Just like we have to accept other aspects of life we don't like including death and taxes. Personally I don't think there is anything more heinous than adults who use children to exploit their own agendas. And that is what this article does. It exploits these children!

        June 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Rachael

      I agree!

      June 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Nichole Georgia 4-H'er

      We are taught the importance of life. Just recently, we had a death that rocked our small state. A girl was murdered. In fact she had a lot in common with myself. You would be amazed how many 4-H'ers got together and prayed for her and her family. Many of us who didn't even know her went to her visitation and funeral. So yes, we learn to appreciate life of not only animals but humans as well.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  49. (not) vegetarian

    Anyone out there who has enjoyed hamburgers, pork cutlets, steaks, ribs, BBQ or any other type of meat should know that (um) the meat came from an animal. 4-H teaches responsibility - period. No drama here, except what the writer of this headline wishes to instigate.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Sammy

      Yea, the writer is probably pro-abortion too!

      June 23, 2011 at 11:46 am |
      • Pete

        What's abortion got to do with it? The answer is no. The stupid wasteful wars in Irag & Afghanistan do?

        BTW Sammy how many of those unwanted babies you anti abortionists are so worried about are you providing for? I bet none.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • veggiedude

        If you don't like abortions, don't get one. If you don't like eating animals, then don't eat them. Simple as that. Be pro-choice and let others decide for themselves on issues like abortion or eating meat. Simple as that.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
      • Oscar

        That would be the ultimate twist of irony.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • agm

        Hey now Sammy.......I think 4-H is great and I have a 4 generation of showing animals in my family BUT that has nothing to do with being Pro-Choice or against abortions. I support pro-choice but think HSUS and PETA are misleading and don't really spend their money where they lead you to believe they do.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • AM

        Sammy, I understand what you are referring to. The animal rights activists are more than likely pro choice and have no problem killing an unborn baby because it is unwanted or inconvinent but killing an animal for food is "SOOOO wrong" even tho the one who created all things says it is alright to do so. The Bible also condemns being cruel to animals so these are obviously two different things.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • Just me

        Veggiedude – that is the first thing you have said that I agree with. If you want to eat meat.. then eat meat. If you don't then don't, but the minute someone tells me I have to do one or the other because that's what they do is the same minute they become not worth listening to.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
      • peolearedumb

        What's wrong with abortion? I'll take population control any way we can get it.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • pockets

      From pet to dinner.There is no need to kill and eat "ANY" animal on this planet. We don't need meat in our diet. Vegans live and have no problem with it. Its 2011 people, lots of 'other' protein out there to consume. If we were taken to the tribes who still live in jungles in South America, and we were raised as food, you can see how that would be justified by them. They were called 'head-hunters' and it probably still goes on, we are simply meat to them. Raise them and slaughter them for food is their thought, but then again intelligent people pick and choose what they kill and eat.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |
      • vegans are stupid

        and believe that they are 'holier than thou' and spread this crap all the time. They should step back and look at the big picture for once. Well, I have to get back to my bacon wrapped bacon. Yall enjoy your tofu wrap and the enlarged man-mams as a result.

        June 23, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Average Joe

        Really so because you view nutrition one way everyone should be a Vegan? Are you also an atheist that believes all religion should be banned so that you aren't exposed to it? Oh wise one, why have we not learned from your ways?

        June 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Jerrry

        @Pockets: Vegans have statistically shorter life-spans and a greater number of serious medical complications then omnivores. This is despite the strong correlation between a Vegan lifestyle and engaging in healthy activities like exercise. So the average American lard ass sitting on their couch eating pork rinds will probably have the exact same lifespan as his Vegan neighbor who does triathlons on the weekend. Also, plants are just as alive as anything else on this planet. It is hypocritical of you to say that killing plants to survive is fine, but killing animals is wrong. Meat doesn't have to be factory farmed, I buy from my local butcher who gets all his free-range animals from local farmers and they are killed humanely in accordance with Kosher law. My meat-eating is less environmentally harmful then the factory farmed veggies you eat.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
      • Del

        Ok. Lets say for the sake of argument, everyone decided to stop eating cows. What are we going to do with all the cows?

        June 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
      • jturgeon

        Vegans require artificial supplements to get what they need to survive, what on earth are you talking about? No past civilization has survived on a diet devoid of meat; NONE. Vegan lifestyles, in the majority, breed health problems. You are denying all logic, and human instinct, and are an absolute fool. I'm coyotes could live off a vegan diet if you jacked them up on supplements and held them captive. Why not just force all animals to eat a vegan diet? I'll leave you to you to try that with lions... GOOD LUCK!

        June 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
      • O

        So why do humans have incisors? to tear flesh. And why do humans have long intestinal tracks? To digest meats. and why do some humans have no brains? to help elect democrats.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • John W

        Sorry, but if it weren't for your healthfood store-bought almond milk and soy burgers you'd probably have died by now.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
      • Dave

        @ pockets: If your vegan diet is so great & good for you, how come you have to supplement vitamins & minerals that I don't? Simple answer: Because some nutrients are ONLY found in meat products.

        Now, I'm not trying to tell you what or how to eat, but please respect me and my meat & potato diet the same way. Thanks.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
      • veggiedude

        @vegans are stupid – no, you are the one that should step back and look at the bigger picture. The production of meat is messing up this planet – it is far worse than driving a car pollution wise and causes more carbon emissions. With 7 billion people on the planet, we need to conserve resources or in another century (with over 20 billion people), we will be eating each other to satisfy the craving for flesh. But then why would you care? You will be long gone, right?

        June 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Mr. Wild Game

        You're an idiot.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • kc

        And does your automobile and home have leather seats-or your shoes???? Where do you think that comes from???? And maybe if the big cities had 4H the kids would realize that animals are killed for food, and other needed things and that killing other humans is not acceptable.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
      • A vegan who just wants to get along

        I've always thought that any program that teaches people the nature of their food is not necessarily bad. Although I don't consume animal products, I respect the rights of those who do. I do urge omnivores to research and understand the nature of what they eat and how its produced. Animal welfare aside, it seems that meat and dairy today is produced with loads of hormones and antibiotics that seem, at least to my limited mind, somewhat dangerous.

        Pockets- taking a hard-line stance against animal consumption closes the minds of those to whom you speak. No one will listen to you if you are shunning their life style and doing so in a manner that makes you look 'holier than thou'.

        jturgeon- I am vegan and take no supplements. Although I respect your decision to eat meat, I will also claim that as long as I am careful with what I eat, I can acheive the same nutritional satisfaction as an omnivore through food alone. In fact, I probably have a better balanced diet than the fraction of the population that subsists on McDonalds and other fast foods.

        Jerrry- An active vegan might live no longer than a 'tub of lard' who spends his days on the couch, but I question who lives the better quality life. I'd rather not live a sedintary life dependant on diabeties and heart disease medication. Instead I would rather live a shorter life whereas every day I am able to get up and move about as I like.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • KateB

        O = a Long intestinal tract is the sign of a plant eater not a meat eater. Carnivores have much, much shorter digestive tracts than herbivores – so your comment about "humans having long intestines to eat meat" aren't true.

        You can be a ovo-lacto vegetarian...which supplies all necessary B12 vitamins and amino-acids for health, and if you get humane-raised eggs and dairy products it's ethical to boot.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • Clu

        So do your part to clean up the environment – eat the cows!

        June 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • Babs

        You eat what you want, I'll eat what I want. It's pretty presumptious of you to think you can dictate your lifestyle to others.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • Oscar

        Why is it OK to kill and eat plants?

        June 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
      • Tom

        I want to know why animals are more important than plants? Plants are alive. They eat, grow and even move. (Toward the sunlight) How do you know they don't feel also? Why is it ok to eat one living thing and not another? Vegans act holier than thou but in the end they are still eating a living, breathing, growing organism.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • Babs

        typo-should be presumptuous

        June 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
      • dave denver

        Pockets if we don't need meat to survive can you explain why Vegans are the weakest of the species both physically and mentally? You are a perfect example of this.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
      • A vegan who just wants to get along

        Sigh. I consume plants because I have yet to be convinced of their complex nervous system. Also, I don't wear leather when I can prevent it and I buy as many cruelty-free, vegan products as possible. I think most vegans accept that it is virtually impossible to live a totally cruelty-free life. We do the best we can.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • Sophia

        To be honest pockets, I could care less what your own dietary preferences and beliefs are, but I find your ignorant comments about South American tribes to be rather offensive. No tribe raises human beings for food, and any tribe that does practice cannibalism does so in a ritualistic fashion either on their own already deceased family members as a part of their religious beliefs, or a few other cultures will cannibalize their enemies who were killed in battle as an act of disrespect. There is no need to create wild accusations about foreign cultures in order to make your point clear, and by doing so you weaken your argument.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • bobcat2u

        This is idiotic. Cows, pigs, sheep, goat, etc. were put on this earth as a food source, pure and simple. If you choose not to partake in its nutrional value and deliciousness, that's your choice, just as my choice is none of your business.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
      • Auntie A

        So I had a health screening the other day and was told I need to consume more red meat. Being a farmers daughter I eat meat on a regular basis. It is difficult for me to believe that vegetarians are getting proper nutrients when a meat and taters girl like me is being told I need more red meat in my diet, but to each their own. I choose to eat meat and you choose not to. I choose to let my children be 4-H and FFA members and you don't. It should be up to the Kid if they want to be a member of 4-H. Stop telling me I am wrong for my choices when I am being told to consume more red meat!! Just keep in mind the impact farmers like my family have on the economy as a whole. Maybe you should take a step back and kick over your soap box before you criticize someone for their choices. Oh and I do hunt and kill my own food. I helped dad butcher at a very young age and guess what I AM IN A LASTING LOVING RELATIONSHIP!! Holy crap mindless killers can love.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • Heather

        Look, if you want to eat nothing but fruits and veggies and then spend all day in the toilet while that "crap" runs right out of you, go ahead. But, what on earth do you think would happen to all these animals if the circle of life didn't happen? Have you ever seen a cow, a pig, or any one of hundreds of species grow old? Let me tell you, it's more painful for an animal to grow old than a human. Animals get arthritis too. Have you ever seen a cow who can't stand up because he was raised as a pet and not for meat that his life lasted way longer than God intended? It's not a pretty sight. How about the disease that these aged unkempt animals carry and can spread. You want your way of life to follow the vegetable? Fine, but don't puke out all this garbage that you have no idea what you're talking about. In case you forgot, there is no dumb questions, so if you don't know-ask, but there are stupid answers. I grew up on a farm, we raised chickens for eggs, pigs for meat, sheep for wool and meat and it was some of the happiest times in my life. My father came from a farm, both his parents were farmers and their parents before them. My mom grew up in town but it was a small farming community so she learned the truth and how to respect it, both her parents were raised on farms, and their parents before them. My grandparents all grew up in the depression and sometimes the only food they were able to put on the table was the food they raised and the animals they butchered. They all had cows that were milked by hand and the pail was brought to the house and that was what they had to drink. So before you lay on anymore of your crappy idiotic answers, ask questions instead. One more question: where do you think food comes from that "magically" appears all labeled and stacked on grocery store shelves? I actually had a pet pig when I was a little girl, her name was Holly and she was white with a huge red stripe across her midsection. I fed her, I talked to her, I petted her and there's pictures showing that I was having the time of my life but I also knew that when the time came, it was for me to say goodbye as my folks loaded her on a truck for the stockyards. Was I said? No. I knew God put her on this earth for a reason and it wasn't so I could watch her grow old and arthritic. It was also God's way of showing me to respect the life we are given not to become "desensitized" by "murder or hate". Now I could say that I hate people like you who don't try to grasp common sense, but I don't. God put you here for a reason and right now I think that reason is to make people see just how much ignorance is in this world when it comes to plain, simple common sense.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Kelly from NC

      Totally agree........the title alone is ridiculous.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:55 am |
      • Kelly from NC

        when I saw I agree I meant I agree with (not) Vegetarian....the other people are uneducated. They obviously have no clue how animals are raised or treated. There is no abuse involved but the fact is that the animals are treated the the most humane possible way for their (animals) on good. If people would actually talk to the farmers instead of the "peta" people or actually toured a farm then I would say you are educated enough on this topic to comment but until then your point is invalid to me.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Deboyville

      Today's kids and their parents are so far removed from farm life that they've forgotten-or never knew-that their hamburgers and hotdogs and brats and lunchmeat all come from animals. It is disingenious to suggest that rural kids who know where their food comes from are desensitized killers. And, to carry the plot of this article out a little further, even plants must die to feed vegetarians, so where does one draw the line?

      June 23, 2011 at 11:58 am |
      • 4-HisLife

        My husband and I are both 26 and in our 3rd year of farming, following our college education where we both received our Master's Degrees. We raise soybeans, corn, cattle, meat goats, and brome hay. We gained our knowledge, skill, and work ethic from 4-H. It is such a rewarding experience! My husband and I both had livestock projects in 4-H. Breeding beef, Market Beef, sheep, and pigs. And we both can say that all our animals had names and were pets to us. In my own experience, I can recall the best tasting steer I raised was a Charolais/Angus Crossbred steer named Yogi. His steaks were the most tender, juiciest steaks and fed us through the winter. Because that is what he was put on this earth to do – feed people. Yes, I was very sad when I had to say goodbye to Yogi, but my parents and other 4-H friends explained to me and helped me to understand that I had given Yogi a great life and that now, he was going to thank me by allowing me and my family to eat him. So, I think of that moment about Yogi's purpose every time I sit down to eat a big juicy steak.
        The thing about it is, if Yogi had been stressed out; if I had hindered his life in any way, his meat would have been extremely tough. But it was not. Nor has any meat I've ever tasted from a species of livestock raised by a 4-H'er. Kids who are in 4-H are taught how to handle livestock with care.
        There's another part to this life cycle. Farmers and ranchers provide the world with food. This includes crops, such as soybeans and corn. Has anyone ever thought that plants die as well before we eat them or their fruits? Bean and Corn plants live a good life but then they have to die before we (the farmers) can harvest them. Same with any of your garden veggies. Some plants we eat life – like spinach and lettuce. They are ALIVE when we eat them!! And that is when they are the most tasteful.
        All I ask of everyone is to become educated. Ask the source. PETA and HSUS are NOT good organizations – they are attempting to ruin our chances of having a sustainable food source by trying to put farmers and ranchers out of business by fake and unruly articles like this one. If they succeed, then we will ALL starve. I ask and pray that if you have questions, please please please just ask a farmer/rancher. They would love to show you their farm and to tell you their story. I am more than willing to show my farm to someone from the city who wants answers. All you have to do is ask.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • utahsang

      I do enjoy a good steak . This discussion is making me hungry.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  50. The Witty One

    My local 4-H didn't raise animals. It was all the arts and crafts and outdoorsy stuff. I guess I missed out on a valuable life lesson :(

    June 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Ed

      Your local 4-H had already been gotten to...

      June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am |
      • Dancer

        I raised a pig and sent it to auction so that I didn't have to kill it or watch my father kill it. We ate a different pig. Those people who say there is no emotional attachment are psychotic. Of course there's attachment, but the reason we raise food animals is to eat them.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        People are such grandstanders;

        Starve for a few days a-holes, then tell me you won't eat sawdust. Been there. You, obviously, have not.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        And yeah, I posted there so I would be atop the thread. Sort of like the food chain. OH!!! IN YO FACE(s)!

        June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • vetvet85

        From the veterinary perspective, it is concerning that the number of individuals who have a solid understanding of where their food comes from, let alone the number that are actually involved in that process, is rapidly dwindling. If anything, youngsters in 4-H are learning the real value of the life of the animals they raise, whereas many other people (young and old) are completely UNsensitized to the sacrifice that goes into a cheeseburger.

        Most of the people I know who are involved in food production find it offensive when they are accused of not caring about their animals. As an animal health professional, my experience shows me that they tend to care far more about their animals than the average person standing in line at the grocery store or in McDonald's.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Esmee

        Reading this makes me ashamed to be human. You're all vile defending the indefensible.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • Joo

        Why does CNN continue to have stupid stories like this? Down with the 24 hour new cycle!!!!

        And my 4-H had community clean-ups, arts and crafts, district projects that you then presented in competition, and educational field trips, only a few 4-H groups in the surrounding counties had animals.

        If anything the complete lack of parenting of todays youth and violence in the school yard due to gangs and again no discipline of children would turn kids in to cold blooded killers far faster than anything else.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • Mustang

        vetvet85 is *exactly* right. Its the meat-eating society at large who is desensitized.

        Esmee, you are a drama queen. These people are some of the least-offensive and ethical food animal raisers on earth. Compare them to the chicken farms where each animal is kept in a 1 ft square cage. Maybe you should keep your outrage for someone who deserves it.

        Or while you are preaching, why not first go after your fellow man who creates the demand for meat in the first place?

        Next you will be calling a Lioness that kills and eats an antelope 'indefensible' as well.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Folks, these kids are learning valuable lessons. Unlike many of you, THEY KNOW what their food looked like.
        That is not desensitizing them, it's sensitizing them. I'm willing to bet real money that they'll not waste that food. Ever.
        They've learned by tending and caring for that life before it went to become food.

        But, perhaps each protestor should go and kill and prepare their own food. Even IF it's vegetables. We'll see what a fine song they sing about the wonderful food that they take for granted.
        And yes, I've killed animals and ate them. I grow vegetables and eat them.
        But then, my mother was a 4H girl back in the '40's. She learned never to waste food.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • Vegan Hater

        Whoever wrote this is a real ahole who doesnt get 4-h at all. its more than the animals...its about the ethics you learn, the friendships you develop, and the passion you have to get better as a person and as a leader. This person needs to be put in a room full of vegans and taken advantage of.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
      • MissO

        A couple of years ago, one of our beef cows had a calf that was apparently dropped on his head and had spinal damage. He couldn't stand or nurse, but we decided to take him home and bottle feed him (which is not as romantic as it sounds). When he was finally able to walk, it was very awkward and he had a hard time keeping up with the rest of the herd.

        At one point, we were moving all of them to another pasture and found the same calf in the bottom of a ravine, wedged between a group of trees he had fallen into. He was half dead, laying in his own urine, but we still heave-hoed the little (500 pound) bugger to the pond to save his life – again. My dad and a friend were knee-high in mud, propping the steer up because he couldn't stand, wearing only one boot so they could feed him water with the other.

        Eventually we brought the steer home, fed him out and butchered him for the freezer. I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel bad – that's part of human nature, just as being part carnivore is human nature. Callous, you may think, but I've watched a lot of animals come and go during life on a farm. When you've sludged through mud, rain and a myriad of unpleasant situations, you begin to understand a great truth of life: whether it is you or nature, somewhere down the line all things die, but those lives don't have to be wasted. Would it have been more humane to let that steer grow old and frail before succumbing to disease or starvation? Or to have left him to die in that ravine? In my opinion, it's not.

        These kids have the opportunity to truly appreciate what it takes to consume meat. They are tremendously better off than the millions of people who never bother to care about where their food comes from, or how it gets to their plate. Unlike a lot of animal rights zealots, they are FULLY EDUCATED about animal production and can make a truly informed decision about whether or not they support it.

        June 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
      • Stephen

        This is one of the most ridiculous blogs/stories I have ever read. 4-H instills so many important values in children and I can guarantee you that one of them is not to help children learn to enjoy killing animals. Respect for all forms of life is a staple of 4-H (at least the 4-H center and camp that I belong to). We have a class that shows children how to feed and take care of animals–an experience many people never get to have. 4-H changes lives–for the better. You forgot to mention that the motto is "To Make the Best Better." Productive, enthusiastic, healthy, and happy children are brought up through the 4-H clubs in their respective communities. Without this program, there would be more children with NOTHING to do, aside from experimenting with drugs, violence and alcohol. If I had to choose between becoming a Vegan or being a 4-H'er, I'll be a 4-H'er 'til I die.
        We support the environment and, aside from the writer's seriously asinine comments, only good things come from the 4-H program. Those of you who disagree are only supporting the lack of love, trust, friendship, and community that children obtain through 4-H.

        June 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
      • Dennis

        4-H is a wounderful thing it teaches kids there is more to life than running the streets all the time, can you realy say where your kids are and what they are doing. Me I can learning what it takes to care for an animal, knowing that if you are going to have them you must take care of them. They all even have learned some vet skills. One even now wants to be a vet. When it is time to sell them they no what may happen(and it dont happen to all of them). They also look forward to getting the money, yes, they now have money for special cloths for school and extra money for thing they want. So if learning to take care of animals and learning to manage the own money and time is wrong then my kids are way ahead in life!!! I am very proud of what my kids have become.

        June 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
      • WeNeed4-H

        In a country whose general population is so far removed from agriculture and understanding where and how our food is produced I am grateful and proud to support 4-H!!! Not only does it promote learning of the world around us through general projects( everything from art to electricity to conservation) but also allows any child, farm raised or not, to produce and learn from a livestock project. This organization supports children's and young adults learning in any area they are interested in and provides boundless opportunities for them to be leaders. The author of this very judgemental statement has no understanding of the depth of this program and how it has positively changed and influenced the lives of so many. Please SUPPORT 4-H! I challenge the author to actually spend a week working with some local 4-H clubs.. perhaps gain a sense of reality... and volunteer rather than condemn one of the oldest enrichment foundations in our country. As a sidenote, I was a 10 year member of 4-H. I was a child of a broken home who took solace and life lessons from this program. I raised Nubian dairy goats as a project and continue to raise them 20 years later. It's not just a project kids raise, it's their own belief in themselves.

        June 24, 2011 at 1:47 am |
      • FFA past member and FFA Alumni - HV Oregon

        they are nuts –
        1) i was in 4H and FFA growing up as were my children – kept us from drinking and trouble –
        2) I am there year after year helping these kids – I see the tears, I wipe them away and I have held boys and girls – and not just young ones – but 17 /18 yr olds when they sell – the excitement of selling is a confirmation of a good job done not that the animal is going to die – that hits when they lead the animal back to the pen and they fold and cry – even the toughest kid struggles with it – even some of the "cold" hearted ones
        3 my kids bred pigs – and even when a sow dies from old age or when the babies sell they struggled with it. what gets these kids is when you buy meat from the store – was that animal loved – held – cuddled – kept in a huge barn and pen to have room to play? no they weren't – were they fed the best food ? no – fed hormone laced crap! – abused mistreated – YES – store bought meat is an abused animal – who are u fooling? I grew up on a farm and I saw how my animal verses the "real market" animals were treated
        Stop judging something you have no experience with – I see most of my FFA / 4H kids grow up to be responsible caring adults – unlike the kids that grow up with no responsibilities and uncaring uninvolved parents – get a life idiots!

        June 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • pockets

      And in India, the cow is a sacred animal. Covered in flowers, in the US and Canada they are covered in manure and taken to a slaughter house and butchered to become a "Happy Meal", next time take the kids to a slaughter house and show them the Happy Meal before they go eat it. Maybe then they will have second thoughts about eating feces covered cows on their death.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • I eat meat@Pockets

        I am sorry – but have you ever been to a slaughter house? a meat rendering plant? I have, and they are as clean as a hospital.

        So, next time you go spouting off your fat mouth, get your facts straight – you look like a bigger idiot than you already are.

        June 23, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • chris

        Yeah, they treat the cows great in India. But the lower non-Brahmin castes, like the Sudahs but particularly the Harijans, now they get covered in crap and left to live in the streets. And most of them will eat meat because they have to eat whatever they can to survive. Much better than how we do things here...

        June 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
      • LOVELY MISHRA

        Yes most Indians are vegetarians and yes in India the cow is a sacred animal, but this is where the hypocrisy starts.
        While most hindus do not eat meat, they consume dairy products and also do not hesitate to wear leather jackets and shoes and carry leather handbags. Don't they realize that once the cow stops producing milk she is set free on the streets, surviving on garbage and plastic bags. And where do they think leather comes from ? Do they think leather grows on trees?

        What hypocrites.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
      • China is hell

        Please save us from ourselves. Please save yourselves from hell.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • your an idiot

        your an idiot

        June 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • Vegetarian

        @IEatMeat – I don't care how clean you insist a slaughter house is. The point is it's still a killing factory. If you want to eat meat tough guy you should raise it your self and kill it or go hunt it. I might have a tiny bit of respect for you then. Just a tiny bit. A real "man" takes advantage of the fact they have a brain capable of transcending the dog eat dog world of predator and prey. Humans have a choice to eat meat or eat plants. Chose the less harmful if you want to be fully human. I save my animal instincts for the bedroom ;-) (Being a vegetarian and mostly vegan I'm not fat and sluggish so that works out pretty well)

        June 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
      • utahsang

        PETA- People Eating Tasty Animals. On farms cows and live stock do get dirty from time to time farmers cannot follow them around and bath them they are busy with growing alfalfa hay and corn as well as other crops to feed there cattle and themselves.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
      • Robert

        Clearly you have never been to India. There is little to NOTHING we should emulate from them. I suggest you spend a week in Deli and DO NOT stay in an "America" hotel. Sleep on the streets, covered in waste and garbage like the other 3 million people who live there.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • utahsang

        If you enjoy being a vegan that is your choice if you would like to move to india and worship cows go ahead meanwhile I am going to enjoy a nice juicy steak .

        June 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • Billy Offspring

        No matter which side of this issue you are on domestic cows have been bred to a point they can no longer reproduce and birth without the assistance of humans. As sad as that might be if we were all to stop eating cow meat and no longer used their milk these animals would go extinct in a decade. Without the domestication of animals humans would still be nomads.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • stejo

        @veget – arrogance doesn't equal superiority, so get off your high horse (before I eat it).

        June 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Jessie

        All of you who are against 4-H are most likely vegetarians. Theres nothing wrong with these Kids knowing how to live without going to the Supermarket all the time. Eat some meat maybe you wont feel so tired and grumpy all the time.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • batgirl

        Yes, in India cows are dedecked with flowers while humans live in cardboard boxes. So humans are expendible but cows should be valued?

        June 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • dave denver

        I have been told by a friend from India that the belief that a cow is sacred is held by religious types in India from ancient times because they were believed to be essential to survival there, to help toil in the fields, to help move goods from place to place, not because they are against eating meat. India and its inhabitants slaughter sheep by the billions and are the biggest supplier in the world of sheep skin leather products.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • Bill Mosby

        In India, cows are treated better than a lot of people.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • Realist

        Ever eat maraschino cherries?it would sicken most to see the vat of chemicals they sit in to have thier exensive Juice extracted and then re-injected with more chemical flavors and dyes. But guess what they are delicious so I still eat them in moderation.

        Point is lots of food goes through icky phases to get to your plate. Stop hating yourself and enjoy it, again in moderation.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • Rachael

        You apparently havent raised cows. I am sure there is just as much feces around cows in India as in the US. Farm animals create manure – actually everything creates manure including your dog, cat and you! There is no feces in the meat. It is your choice to be a vegetarian or vegan, bu that is not a healthy choice for most people. People are biologically supposed to eat meat. Some religions in India do not eat meat, but not all. They do however eat the milk and blood from the cow. They probably don't wat meat from the cow because there is too many people and not enough cows and it makes more since to stick with milk and blood. Live as you wish, but stop being so self-righteous. There is nothing worng with eating meat or teaching kids where it comes from.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
      • Judd

        @ Vegetarian you said "A real "man" takes advantage of the fact they have a brain capable of transcending the dog eat dog world of predator and prey". Would you like to know how man evolved the brain into being capable of such things? It was called MEAT! Meat is the very reason we evolved to the top of the food chain. PETA and Animal activist have the most ignorant of all causes. Rally against food, clothing, and shelter over trivial things like homelessness, starvation, abuse and neglect.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • D

        We respect that India chooses the Cow as their sacred animal, we choose it as our primary food animal for many reasons, and they should respect that. I am sure some mistreatment of the animals goes on, but as far as being covered in feces, they wouldn't pass the e-coli test, if when the cow is butchered the stomach or intestinal tract gets hit and feces hits the meat they stop the process, remove that part, and sanitize the area. Does this always happen 100% of the time in 100% of the slaughterhouses around America? No, of course not, does every single person in India believe the Cow is sacred? Exactly.

        If you don't want to eat meat, don't, but don't hate on people for eating meat. You have canine teeth for a reason, whoever created us intended for us to eat meat.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • M1sfit

        @Vegetarian- I hope you grow and pick every veggie that you eat otherwise you are just perpetuating the circle of hypocrisy in your argument.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • RogersParkRob

        Pockets.... When you say happy meals, I assume you mean the hamburger. McDonalds hamburgers are more soybean than meat.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Lu

        My husband went to India and brought back video and pictures. Do you know what the cows were doing? Wandering around the streets, fields, and garbage dumps like stray dogs.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Dolt Patrol

        @vegetarian: No one cares about your personal preference regarding food consumption. What a pompous dbag you are. Take your celery sticks and shove them up your a$$.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Jake Rockwel

        Yeah- In India a few religions worship cows... Cool but it has nothing to do with article. What happens in India should stay in India... Along with your opinion.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • Knucklehead

        Or maybe they'll learn to raise their own meat and we won't have to rely on factory farms to provide our meat. You'd have better luck illegalizing abortion than making the whole world vegetarians. Don't be ridiculous.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • Jared

        @Pockets
        Don’t worry about my kids knowing where their food comes from. My wife and I come from farming traditions where it is common to raise an animal, name it, even bottle feed it, and then slaughter it and eat it. Bambi? Tasty! I can’t say I was ever traumatized by it. I also know how “organic” vegetables make it to the market. Do you know what “organic” farmers use for fertilizer? Manure. Make sure you wash your veggies real good…

        Slaughter houses on the other hand are very sterile. Yes, they are factories for killing and even have a place called a kill floor. That is just the reality of where we get our meat. It is also in part the reality of how you get your vegetables. Without some form of fertilization there wouldn’t be large enough crops and we would clear more land for farming, which also kills animals.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • Greg

        They may be covered in feces, but thank God they are covered in leather to keep it all off the meat. You know, LEATHER like the seats in your Prius and the Birkenstocks you wear to yoga class.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
      • Mike

        When i was young and on a dairy farm I had to help put animals down when it was needed. I didnt cry. I was taught to put it down the most humanely way possible. Nature is violent all of nature. But what seperates humans from the rest of the animal world is the ability to respect your kill. Native Americans said a prayer and thanked the animal for allowing them to survive. My grandfather always said "Remember Boy you take it you own it"

        June 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
      • crazy logic

        Anyone who says people should only eat the meat that they raise/hunt/kill themselves should only be allowed to eat the vegetables they grow/gather/harvest themselves.

        It's only fair.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • Kurt

        If we weren't meant to eat meat, it wouldn't be so tasty. Save a plant – kill a vegetarian.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Proud Past 4-Her and Meat Eater

        As a proud past 4-Her I find this absolutely and completely outrageous. I grew up on a small dairy farm and though there was death on the farm, it was not something that anyone became desensitized to. The cows are not pets by any means, but they are your investment. You put time, energy, and essentially your life into your farm to produce food that feeds the world. I don't feel like kids are happy when their steer is sold at the auction because they know it is going to die? I know multiple kids that grow attached to those animals as they have walked them, washed, and cared for their animals for months in preparation for show. I have been witness to kids sitting with their hogs on Friday night before the hogs are shipped crying. It isn't an easy thing, but a necessary thing to feed the demands of the worlds food needs. Another point I would like to make, is alot of 4-H kids are able to attend college with the money they have earned with their 4-H projects. You might point at me and tell me the money earned was wrong, but I will argue with you that it is not.

        4-H has taught me proper animal husbandry, responsibility, leadership skills, and life skills. This organization will be around for years to come and there is nothing you can do about it. If kids do not have a good organization to be involved in, they will not learn how to grow up into a well rounded adult. So before you bash 4-H and production animal farming, think about the happy meal you just bought your kid that he is now eating in front of a television.

        Signed,
        Agribusiness Management graduate, proud past 4-Her, and meat eater

        June 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • sciencestudent

        @ I eat meat: I find it really hilarious that you think hospitals are clean. Ever heard of MRSA? What about VRE? You've clearly never had any experience in healthcare. That's not important to this debate though. What is important is that by feeding animals unnatural diets and loading them up with antibiotics, we're bringing new diseases into the world. Read a little bit about how we ended up with hemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7. Having second thoughts about ordering that burger rare yet?

        June 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • Sman1234

        Are you really comparing the cleanliness of the US with India??? Really? I have a friend who travels to India regularly for business, he tells me that it is the filthiest place that you can possible imagine, its totally normal for someone to just drop trouser and take a dump on the street. Also, I am an accountant, and I have audited a few food processing plants, and I can tell you they are tightly controlled by the FDA and meticulously clean. Your statement should have read something like this “ In India cow are covered with flowers, in the US they are covered with BBQ sauce”.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • childressrulz

        You cannot trust anything that comes out of a vegetarians mouth or kitchen.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • urSaladSmellsFunny

        Feces covered cows? I guess organically grown vegetables are preferred over eating meat in your home? One question... do you know what organically grown vegetables are grown in? They don't call those big pieces of farm equipment "manure spreaders" for nothing! I challenge you to find any vegetable that has less fecal matter on it than a cow.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
      • Texas

        Here in Texas (The greatest country in the world), I was not in 4H, but still raised cows, all my life, and have eaten meat for as long as I can remember. Turns out, I have also been to a meat packing plant, killed my own meat, hunted, processed meat, and raised animals for both pleasure and food. I don't feel as though there is anything wrong with it, and I also believe that it has helped me turn in to a healthy individual (at a commanding 6 foot, 155 pounds). Now please excuse me while I finish this juicy hamburger (the cow being aptly named Lunch).

        June 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
      • Omnivore

        You're basing your logic on religious beliefs, so that's completely irrelevant to treatment of all animals from an ethical standpoint. You wouldn't be treating a cow like that if it weren't for religion, and what of the other animals?

        June 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • 4H Mom

        Have you every actually seen a picture of a cow in or from India? They are skinny, you can see their ribs. Maybe sacred but not well fed. Have you ever been to a 4H meeting, or talked with the kids who care for and raise these animals? These animals are well fed, brushed, loved and protected. 4H kids learn about the cycle of life, and what it takes to survive. Not all people have to agree with your stupid point of view.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • Locodog10

        Hey Pockets,

        Just what do you think the organic fertilizer they use to grow your vegetables consists of?

        Hmmmmmm, would it be cow manure?

        June 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        I eat meat@Pockets

        The slaughter house is clean or we would all have E-coli. The feed lot where they are ankle deep in cr@p means they are fed massive amounts of antibiotics to kill infections. The crowding makes them stressed and the stress hormones fill the meat. They are given large amounts of hormones to fatten them faster. Not good for us. They are sentient and so suffer emotionally from this treatment.

        Yes, I do know a lot about it. Beef is one of the main products from Alberta, after Oil. My family were homesteaders and farmers. My friends were farm kids. I have seen food animals killed. It used to be an animal was brought in from pasture, soothed and then killed quickly. The farmers did not enjoy it or glory in it. It was very much a life taken. My father raised a pig that he made friends with. Pigs are smarter than dogs and are loving and playful. He had to have someone else kill it. I could not understand how he could still eat it and have never understood 4H killings. Its like the old story of Marines raising a rabbit and having to kill it with their bare hands and eat it. Some cold, calculated programming of a human to be indifferent to their own feelings much less the animal's. My dad also used to shoot the ducks from a considerable distance in the farm yard so he did not have to look them in the eye chopping off their heads. I have, myself, killed hundreds of chickens with an ax. One minute they are pecking around and the next they are dead. No pens of them packed tightly together. Free range and quickly and humanely killed.

        I am not opposed to eating meat that has lived a good life and where the death is quick. I am very much opposed to children having to kill their pets.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • David

        Billy Offspring, have you ever even walked on a farm? I can guarantee you that there's nothing wrong with the average cow's fertility. Or you can be like the Danes who outlawed artifiical insemination because it denied the cow her essential bovineness.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • 'zup

        I think that meat consumption is a conditioned thing within the human race. And 4H is one venue that contributes to this. Pay attention to a dog or a cat when they see a bleeding animal. They start licking their lips and they get excited. Who among us does the same thing? I believe meat consumption would go drastically down if people had to butcher their own animals. But we're all so far removed from the process that the meat on our tables doesn't make us think of the animal that just died for our meal, and all of the blood and violence that went into killing/cutting up that animal.

        Shame on 4H for spoiling a child's innocent love of animals!

        June 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • tesla1908

        @pockets, Did you know that the biggest slaughter house in all of asia is in India? Did you know that there are other animals to eat than cows? Not all Indians are vegetarians and that cock fighting is legal there? HAVE YOU EVEN BEEN TO INDIA?

        June 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
      • Freedom 1080

        So CNN is allowing PETA to do stories or they so out of touch with reality on American streets they want a fluffy piece to get people arguring and forgoting the high unemployment the corruption in DC and the welfare grants to PETA type groups to spread propaganda? Cows in America are treated very well. They are not tortured or covered in manure. When I read idiot comments like that I know the person livs on the city clueless uneducated fool. Find something to with your pathetic lives you animal rights fruitcakes. For God sake people are suffering this country has real problems and your wasting your time crying about animals. Fools when you go get your cheeseburger I wonder where the meat came from DUH.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • Kyle

        A slaughter house is cleaner that your own house. Those happy meals that your kids eat do not come from the meat from the slaughter house i bet. Being a kid that is 16 and shows both FFA and 4-H its ridiculous how you are against showing and slaughtering animals. I have a personal attachment to my animals and yes it is sad to see them be killed but it has made me a whole lot more mature than my fellow classmates and it is preparing me for the real world. God put these animals on Earth for a reason.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • Sman1234

        If God didn’t want us to eat animals, then we wouldn’t have made them out of meat.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
      • Joe Bennett

        While it may be fun to pick on a nonprofit organization that has thousands of volunteers committed to the education and development of not only rural, but inner-city youth. You really need to find out what 4-H is about. It is teaching about life, something that some of you seem to miss understand. These so called pets are more than just a summer project. To those of us that have raised life stock, they are a member of the family (most of the time better liked then one or two of my siblings). We are there from the moment that they first come into the world, to comfort the new addition and their mothers. To those of you that say that I have been desensitized to death, I would say that you have been desensitized to life. I have spent from the time I could walk to care for, and learn about the animals that I was charged with. I was responsible to keep them safe, feed, and clean. I have spent thousands of hours cleaning barns with a pitch fork to keep my friends clean and comfortable. More time than those bleeding hearts saying “you cold hearted killer” could ever wish to spend trying to figure out how to care for animals. Here is my challenge, go to work with a pitch fork for the next thirty years, learn about life, and then tell me that I am desensitized to death. Then you might bring a halfway intelligent argument to the table.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
      • Slurp

        I LOVE eating meat. Especially veal and lamb, but now that you mention it I'm going right out to buy some ground sirloin for a little tartare later.

        I can't wait for my town barbecue. We'll have beef, pork, chicken, lamb, fish and anything else that I can get my hands on.

        Pass the catsup, please!

        June 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
      • RaisedAndATE!

        @Vegetarian

        I have raised, showed, earned money from, slaughtered and eaten animals. How is that for respect? I have worked in a slaughter house and yes they are clean. We are simply meeting the demands of a growing population who, unlike you are mostly meat eaters. So, while I understand that you are upset that we kill animals for food and you don't understand how we can be so "insensitive", I will tell you raising cattle or hogs or any other type of livestock is not like raising a puppy or companion animal. Which by the sound of your comments you have no business commenting on either. Have you raised livestock? Have you even been around livestock or those who make a living off of them? Then how, my friend, can you begin to claim you have no respect for something you dont understand? I respect your decision not to eat meat, thought I think you are missing out, but dont criticize those who do. It takes alot (money, time, energy, facilities, and ALOT of regulations) to raise your own livestock, and those youngsters involved should be proud! Please save your stupidity for other topics... why dont you try complaining about companies that buy their meat from foreign countries and serve it here in America? What are your thoughts on foreign slaughter processes? I bet you have no more education in this area than you do in domestic slaughter processes...

        Thats enough for now.. if you want to make claims, get educated! Then come talk....

        June 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
      • RaisedAndATE!

        @BillyOffspring

        I would have to respectfully disagree. My cattle are not on hormones, vaccines, or anything else. We started with 5 cows, a bull and 40 acres..now.. without ANY help from us... they have multiplied! Go figure! I had no idea that animals would reproduce when left alone... wait... maybe I did know that...

        June 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • RichardHead@I eat meat

        You obviously have never been on the kill floor,near the separating table,or anywhere near the bulk packaging sections of a meat plant. Yes,I have, and nowhere clean as a hospital. Get your facts straight–where does the e-coli come from if they are so squeaky clean?

        June 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
      • Western

        4-H is not to raise desensitized killers. The 4-H kids in my community are great kids. They help people out, and do tons of good.
        @Vegetarian:
        "If you want to eat meat tough guy you should raise it your self and kill it or go hunt it...Humans have a choice to eat meat or eat plants. Chose the less harmful if you want to be fully human." I hunt when I draw out, I raise and eat chickens, I help raise cows. The animals I kill, I butcher and package so I and others can eat it year round. I am fully human. Just because I eat the animals I and/or someone else raises doesn't make us any less of a person. The slaughter houses are not horrible hideous places that shouldn't exist. They provide the meat for others so people who don't want to go kill an animal don't have to. They provide food for those who don't have the opportunity to hunt. If no one ate meat, no one killed animals, then what would happen to this place we live on? In the US, the eastern side, they had outlawed hunting animals..the animals then overpopulated and started to harm the environment around them..Hunters were then allowed in to help the situation. The hunters in general, do not kill just for sport and leave the animal. We eat them, and that is not a bad thing. Being vegetarian may be your choice, and you are welcome to it. Others of us prefer to eat meat. Don't think that because we eat meat that we are "not fully human" or that we are desensitizing kids to kill in 4-H.

        June 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • AGuest9

        @China is hell – Oh, no, not someone else who believes in imaginary places and friends.

        June 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
      • RaisedAndATE!

        @RichardHead

        Yes, I have seen all sides of the plant. It is nearly impossible to have "squeaky clean" anything in a rendering and processing plant, there is blood and fat and offal everywhere. (Notice I did not say feces, mainly because there is none.. these animals are pulled off of feed and water before they reach the plant so that there is little to clean up) How clean are your counter tops while your cooking? Because over half of all E. Coli contaminations come from people like you who do not know how to handle meat... That being said, YOU might want to get educated as well. You people should really take a meat processing class or something. Better yet, if you think our rules and regulations aren't working, contact the USDA or your congressman, even better than that, go VOTE!!!

        Have a great day!

        June 24, 2011 at 10:18 am |
      • 4hdad

        Pockets like many of the other posts of the same ilk do not understand or have any conception of the depth opportunities in 4H for young people or how food makes it to his/her plate. Many 4Hers are involved in much more than animal agriculture. Most if not all know what happpens to animals when they leave the sale barn. Unfortunately those like Pockets have lost sight of God's purpose for animals on this earth. He placed them here to serve man, not be worshipped as in India. Pockets and those of his/her stripe are worshipping some sort of pagan entity and are part of the larger problems this country currently is enduring.

        4H is a wonderful educational opportunity for children of all demographic groups.. It offers opportunities in not only agriculture, but the arts, speech, IT, photography, community outreach, mechanics and so much more. Comments by cold ignorant organizations such as CNN are distainful and illustrative of the issues and decline of the mainline media organizations in the US today.

        June 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Rachel

      Unfortunately this is another example of "bleeding hearts" trying to say the death of an animal is a horrible thing. Stop trying to dumb down our kids. We aren't falling for it anymore. What a stupid article.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
      • veggiedude

        The death of an animal for the consumption of its flesh is indeed a horrible thing. My body is a temple, not a living graveyard.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • Vegetarian

        You are a "Grade A" moron Rachel. The needless slaughter of any animal is a sin. This is especially true when done under the factory farm system in place today. Humans have a choice whether or not to steal the life of another animal. To chose to do so simply for our own pleasure is to chose to be less than fully human. Survival on a plant based diet is not only possible but often healthier than eating meat. I'm not saying a person should chose to starve instead of eating meat but in this day and age that choice is not placed in front of most of us. Come to the light side Rachel and stop being a total jerk about people who chose to be kind and embrace a better world and a better version of our selves.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
      • Michael

        @veggiedude... Rest assured that some day your temple will be eaten. Just like the temples of these cows and just like the temples of the wheat and corn and beans you eat. We are all a part of a food chain which includes all kingdoms of organisms, and to choose one of those kingdoms as temples while gorging on the rest is unnatural to the cycle of life.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • Tim

        I agree with Rachel. The bleeding-heartism is way more dangerous to our youth. If we were ever faced with a grave emergency in our country the sensitive little wussies that the liberals have been raising would be begging my kids to fight for them.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • Clu

        @Veggidude: Right – it's a mulch pile.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • rachelsucks

        rachel, you're a stupid cunt and i hope you die then get eaten by pigs. or the reverse order.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • Kelly

        Bravo, Rachel. If you eat meat, an animal has to be killed. That's what these animals are raised for. It's not the same as raising your pet dog and then killing it for food...this is completely different. There's nothing wrong with what these kids are being taught, stop whining about it.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • stejo

        Vegetarian, gads, you make me sick. I like that you alone can define what it is to be "fully human". What a crock. Arrogance makes you no more or less human than anyone else.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • Jessie

        Hey vegetarian, just because you dont eat meat doesnt mean its wrong. It just means youre an idiot. And as far as whats in place right now? How else do you suggest feeding the millions and millions of people in the United states??? Should everyone have land with a farm so they can do it all their selves? I would slaughter cows on my land, oh and pigs too because i love Bacon. If theres one thing i cant stand more than a Religious Person, its a Vegetarian. Welcome to the top of the food chain you rabbits.

        June 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
      • Rachael

        Good comment. These self righteous vegetarians make me mad. I think I will make sure my daughter knows how to slaughter a rabbit because of it. People are supposed to eat meat. Learning how to raise a meat animal is good for kids. If you want to have poor health over your self righteous attitudes, fine, but MYOB when it comes to programs for famr kids. We should be supporting small farms and kids learning aobut agriculture, not attacking it.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
      • Dennis

        Ok, let put a couple facts out there to all you veggie lovers out there.
        1. Those 2 pointy teeth in the top of your mouth? For the tearing and rending of flesh.
        2. When mankind learned to hunt and cook meat with successful consistancy, our brains grew, we got smarter, and spread across the planet. THEN we figured out how to grow plants/crops for ourselves. So if you like walking upright, thank a meat-eating neanderthal.

        It's not 4-H desensitizing kids to killing (these particular) animals, it's them growing up and understanding that these are NOT pets, but the viable economic means of their family to live. Don't look at it as a pet, you have to look at each individual animal as "that one is my car payment, that one is my house payment, that one keeps the lights on, that one keeps the heat on..."

        A 4-H steer is treated (and fed) much better than the others in the pasture, with training so that it will be willingly led while wearing a halter, and not freak out. That excitement you see those youngsters having.....it's because that money that the auctioneer is raising goes into their pocket. $1200 is a lot of money for a 12 year old.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
      • Jake

        Amen Rachel!!! Shut Up Hippes!!! I would rather die than eat soy anything. Vegetarian, go eat eat some celery and walk into oncoming traffic you self-righteous skank.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • seriously?

        Veggiedue and Vegetarian and all the others pushing the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and saying killing animals for food is bad. Do you farm your own veggies and fruits and hand pick all of them? Millions or billions of small animals like rabbits a year are killed by the harvesting of plant crops by mechanical harvesters, they die in agony by being torn to shreds by the machines and are left to rot rather than eaten. So if you don't grow and hand pick your own vegetables and fruit, you are just as guilty at causing the mass slaughter of animals for food as those of us who eat meat, only at least the animals we kill are killed to be consumed not as a by product of getting you some beans.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • FarmWife

        Hey rachealsucks, you think it's wrong for animals to be killed for food but you wish Racheal would die and be eaten by pigs. You are one twisted individual.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
      • I eat veggies cause I hate them

        For everyone who is anti-vegetarian I implore to to TRY IT! I use to eat meat, was raised on it etc, so I have seen and lived the other side. Seriously try a vegetarian diet /low meat- I bet you will feel more energetic. You can still get all the nutrients you need from plants and grains and you seriously feel fantastic. I haven't been sick with more than allergies in years.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • dhondi

        veggiedude, what about all of those poor dead plants meandering through your colon?

        June 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Meat Eater

        @veggiedude DId you know that cooked meat protein is partly accredited to our evolution from cave men and early humans? I guess not. O well. Most primates eat meat, the monkeys we evolved from ate meat, I don't see how you can say eating meat is bad. Its just a moronic argument. Eat what you please, but STFU about it being morally wrong and your body being a temple, all that jargon. Its a failed argument. Eating meat always has, and always be a human behavorial trait. If we never ate meat, and we never discovered how to make fire, we could very well still be swinging from tree to tree running from lions, tigers, and bears. I assume that would be the life you would like to live!

        June 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Scott

        Does anyone know of a restaurant with a really good Veal dish? I'm in the mood.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • Scott

        Just about every other animal eats another in this world. I have yet to see a lion on an all salad diet. What are the animal lovers thinking when another animal eats another? Is their excuse "it's the circle of life"? But we humans shouldn't eat meat?
        I'm surprised that animal activitist haven't started shipping cows to India to try and save them.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • Mr. Meat

        More MEAT!!!

        June 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • ThaGerm

        Rachael, don't listen to these idiots who believe themselves better than all the rest of God's creatures in this Universe that rely on a healthy ecosystem that includes a FOOD CHAIN to survive. Yes, veggidiots it's true, if we didn't prey on weaker species the entire living world would would quite literally collapse.

        So go ahead oh living temples among us, show us the error of God's ways, show us that the order of the Universe is wrong and only veggidiots hold the key!

        June 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • Sarah

        To all you veggie freaks – just because you don't eat meat, doesn't mean there is anything at all wrong with it, so stop making it sound like people who eat meat are evil. If anything, you propoganda-fed people are more evil than any of us meat-eaters because you look down on those who do not agree with you as lesser people. People have been eating meat since the dawn of humanity. Many animals eat meat to survive. There is nothing evil about it ... it is simply survivalism, plain and simple, and humans are at the top of the food chain. It is not good, it is not evil, it is simply the way it is. Calling it evil is the same as calling a lion evil for killing an antelope, or a cat evil for killing a mouse. Humans need to eat meat, it is simply impossible for all people to sustain off a plant-based diet. Many places of the world simply lack the ability to participate in intensive agriculture because the land will not permit it. Not eating meat means you need to get your protein from other sources, and many places would have a hard time aquiring protein-rich foods. If animals were ot consumed, the cost of protein-rich foods would sky rocket. Animals are cheap compared to other sources of protein. You all need to step outside of the glass box you have been living in and realize that the world is a hard, unfair, cruel place and get over it.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        @Rachel,
        i agree a million times over. Another GOOD program that someone has an agenda to destroy. a VERY stupid article. I love how people who have probably never seen an animal outside of a petting zoo go on personal attacks like the one who didn't even have the balls to use their own name(must be gelded) when they attacked you using words they probably don't even understand.
        Each person has an opinion and a belief. Apparently all these "tree huggers" believe in is creating conflict. Put God back in America and reclaim the American Values that the Politically Correct world we now live in has destroyed. Get back to the way it was –when someone was an @ss you told them they were an @ss despite their color, sex orientation or religious views. Leave 4H alone, I have yet to encounter a child being FORCED to participate in 4H. it's a whole lot better then the gang banger punks in the inner city! Better then the dope smoking kids in the suburbs.
        Teach the child to take care of a living thing and they won't waste it's life because of a gang orientation, Teach a child to respect animals and they will not grow up to fight pit bulls, teach a child how to grow their own food and they will survive.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
      • Buckhuntr

        Rachel, I agree it is just a bunch of bleeding hearts. I wish the animal rights loudmouths would expend their energy on human right to life issues. How can they put more value on an animal and ignore the slaughter of the unborn, hypocrites!!

        June 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Mike

        If i dont get a steak atleast once a week I get very grumpy. I hope that the veggies dont get their way cause if they due I will have to take it out on them LOL

        June 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • "rachelsucks"sucks

        Go crawl back under your rock, troll.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • Al

        @Vegetarian:

        "stop being a total jerk"

        You, sir or madam, are a complete clod and a hypocrite. I suggest you heed your own advice.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • Omnivore

        Since when did this become religious? Eating animals is a "sin?" Please point out which religion you're from, seriously.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Vegetarian

        Holy cow! I decided to check back and look at all the comments from people all worked up about the vegetarian counter point. The anti-vegetarian arguments are as hostile, childish, defensive and stupid as ever. I'll say it again for those of you who are slow. Humans have evolved intellectually AND SPIRITUALLY enough to where we can grow up and treat our fellow animals with respect rather than eating them or abusing them. We have that choice. it's up to us to make it. that is what being human is. We have the greatest power of choice and will of any animal. We owe it to not just other animals but ourselves to make the choice that results in the least suffering. That is our purpose and to embrace it is to become more than simple selfish creatures of instinct. Imagine a world where the majority of people would not dream of hurting a fellow animal. Do you think it might just be a less violent world? (You can bring up Hitler if you want but I doubt he was vegetarian because he liked animals ) You can also call me a hippy wuss if you want but kicking ass is not an issue for me. I simply just chose not to do it to animals.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        Whenever I think the human race may be becoming more compassion and have some moral fibre I read trash like you wrote. You are about as civilized as a chimp and as well educated too. We eat more animal protein than we need. We feel much more vegetable protein to an animal than we get out of the bargain. We have many diseases caused by over indulgence in red meat and animal fats. We waste land growing grain to create meat when we could be feeding more people a better diet with grains, legumes and vegetables. There simply is no reason to be teaching kids to kill their pets nor to be treating animals the way we do. If we had no other option than animal protein in massive amounts I would agree with you. I am not speaking from an ethical stance to you. This is pure expedience that I am putting out there. I would not waste my effort to talk to someone like you about morality and compassion. You would not get it. You do not want people to be compassionate and you certainly do not want to be yourself. So just think about the damage to your health and the waste of resources.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • David

        Then, veggiedude, your premiseis that you see yourself as a meat animal? I don't believe cannibalism is the subject here.
        At any rate, I promise not to eat you.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Mustang

        "Fellow Animals"... Theres your problem!

        The only 'fellows' humanity has is itself. There is no other sapient species (at least not that we know about). Perhaps when our technology advances far enough, we'll make one.

        In a slightly related note, do you notice how many so called vegetarians (not vegans) eat fish, while at the same time speaking out against the ethics of eating meat? Its a wonderful bit of hypocrisy.

        "It's ok, fish aren't as intelligent as mammals.." Which is the same argument the omnivores make, that animals are not as intelligent as humans.
        I'd rather they didn't preach at me, but if they do, they should at least be consistent about it!!

        June 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • Mister Jones

        Vegetarian – Is this really now a discussion of "sin"? You are now our moral compass because you are lucky enough to live in a country where your decadent ways can exist? Go try being a vegetarian in a place where FOOD is sacred. And animals are food. Yes, humans are considered animals as opposed to plants (well, some of us are). But the difference stops there. There is a concept of a food chain, and we have advanced to the top of it. We are not the biggest, strongest or fastest, but we are the smartest. Therefore, if an animal is not smart enough to stay off my plate or my back or feet, then so be it. If your god really didn't want me to eat cows, he'd have given them sharper teeth, wings, spikes, flaming breath, etc. ... He also wouldn't have made them out of food.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • Jared

        @Vegetarian

        I'm not sure what you expect when you call people less than "Fully Human." When you begin your argument with such a statement anyone who might have listened to you shuts down. You can feel free to choose to not eat meat and consider yourself morally superior, but I’ll continue to eat meat and not care about your opinion.

        Now there was another poster who spoke of his/her health benefits and simply encouraged people to try it. That is someone I’d actually listen to and respect their opinion on the subject.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
      • Jaya

        I am an Indian who lived in India for more than 25 years of my life in at least 12 different cities (it's a vast and extremely diverse country in terms of culture but I have lived in the extreme East, extreme West, South as well as North part of the country). Let me tell you -your views about us drinking cow blood,etc are as relevant to my believing that all women murder their daughters based on Casey Anthony case. There are good and bad people everywhere -a large majority of the people of my country is vegetarian -our country products a wide variety of vegetarian stuff to eat, a lot of what medical science is telling us today (like Turmeric containing anti biotic properties or Yog is good for us) were passed down to us through generations of wisdom. Please don't spend illogical and irrelevant myths if you are so ignorant about a culture that someone like me can't claim to understand completely.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
      • Kyle

        @ Vegetarian.... I think that you are a Grade A Moron. It says no where in the bible that killing another animal for consumption is a sin. It only says that killing fellow man is a sin. You act like people are killing for no reason. I guarantee that all of the animals that are slaughtered are eaten by someone unless they have something wrong with them. I dont think that there is anything wrong with the Vegetarian diet. But you need to get your facts straight before you start calling someone names.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
      • T-Bone

        @Vegetarian....The slaughter of these animals is not needless, it is for food. What are all you vegetarians going to do when all the vegetable farms are gone because some real estate developer buys the land and puts houses on it. All of you and your numerous kids have to have some place to live. Oh your not going to turn me. I was born and raised on a ranch, I raise my own beef, I know exactly what goes in that meat. I also hunt and process what I kill and eat. I am not one of these idiots that think meat is made at the grocery store. Personally I think that it is very sad that most kids these days have no clue as to where meat comes from. My son was in 4-H and he has more common sense than most adults these days have in regards to the humane treatment of all animals. As far as the animal rights groups, they make up stories because they can get all these bleeding hearts to send them money so that way they can go to the grocery store and buy that high dollar T-Bone or Rib Eye Steak to eat and don't have to have a real job. You fools are supporting them.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
      • Vegans are shit

        You peta lovers need to come down off your high horse!! I could give two shits if you want to eat a non meat diet but dont try to tell me I'm a lesser human being than you! You make me sick! My boys hunt and have taken and field dressed their own game as well as help me process the meat. These boys will grow up respecting life and knowing that taking a life for any purpose other than consuming the animal is wrong. So take your holy attitude and shove it up your ass!!

        June 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
      • Cate

        Our kids are bombarded with violence and sex everywhere they turn, particularly video games and television and 4H is an area of concern? What a lack of reality and common sense!

        June 24, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • dave denver

      I raised animals in 4H from about age 8-18, and yes I sold them at auction for twice the market value to local businessmen. That money helped pay for my high school education expenses thank you very much! Yes I love animals and yes I got close to the animals I raised before the big fair, and yes I cried when I had to face the reality that they would be slaughtered for food. Is it any different than nature itself, we can't punish ourselves for being at the tip top of the food chain. Do we have to socialize the food chain and nature too? And what of the feelings of the poor Lettuce plants vegans slaughter for their feedings?

      June 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        For me, there is no problem with eating animals that have been raised as free-range and have not been stuffed full of chemicals in a feed lot. It is about the quality of their life and death and the safety of the meat. I am a geezer and grew up in cattle country before feed lots. The animals were free-range. We eat more animal protein than we need and than is healthy. If we were not so greedy we would eat much less and eat more vegetable protein.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Nate

      I was in a non-livestock 4-H group. I comapre it to Boy Scouts. It was an amazing system, with amazing opportunities to learn leadership, educate onself and perform public speaking. I went on many trips and received a college scholarship through my 4-H district. And no I am not a farmer, so its livestock application is one side to the organization.

      It is my understanding, that the livestock does not have to be sold. It is up to each family to determine what they do. If they want to auction it off, then so be it. But there will always be people who unfortunately have to kill animals so others can consume. Its a part of life. If some do it, fine .If others oppose, then dont do it or dont be hypocrtical and eat meat.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
      • Rachael

        That is a completely accurate comment. I was in 4-H from 9-19 myself and raising animals is a small, optional part of it. It has great leadership training and many other valuable activities for kids – which each family can participate in or not. When kids do raise animals, they spend a lot of time learning to care for them including veterinarian care and advanced topics.

        June 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
      • RaKa

        I learned how to recognize and treat minor injuries my horse might have. I learned proper equine nutrition and development. 4H'rs by nature are caregivers.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • Heidi

        I was in 4-H from when I can remember to when I was 18. I always like the phrase, that "4-H isn't just about cows and plows, but so much more"

        June 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Rachael

      Thanks for mentioning that. Raising animals is an optional part of 4-H. It is not the whole program.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • momomiester

      All you worthless liberal pansie. I hate to tell you due to you might not have the brains to understand, but most of these kids are future farmers. The reality is the business is food. Eventually the cattle is slaughtered. That is reality and life. It is the circle of life pansie. Deal with it. Why don't you go out in the woods and make friends with some grizzly bears. You can spread your vegan ways. I will be back later to collect your remains.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • ThaGerm

        This really isn't a political debate, so stop trying to turn it into one.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        Future farmers? There is a dying profession with the big food corporations active. How many of the animals we eat come from the hands of a small child who raised the animal like a family member? Let's get real here. Most of our meat is factory farmed and never knew a day of kindness but knew a great deal about fear and pain. I doubt very much these children are taught how to do the jobs in the feed lot or killing floor.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
      • Nichole GA 4-H'er

        okay you. Yeah you. the one who posted about us not knowing about being in the feed lot or processing plants?
        Um yes. We are. Do you know about 4-H? We take tours, we do experiments. we are hands on. We don't sit back and ignore the obvious in front of us. I personally have been in a meat processing plant. I'm NOT a livestock raiser or a farmer. But we went through it as a learning experience. Another thing, farming is NOT a dying profession. about 80% of my friend's daddies are farmers. So before you go and decide that 4-H is just a trip to mambsy-pambsy land, take a walk in our shoes, and take a walk in the shoes of farmers of South Georgia. Then you can come talk to us.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • liberalfaggotswilldieoffanyway

        hahaha nice

        June 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • momomiester

      Liberalism is a mental disorder. See they care about 'desensitizing" them. Of course it is ok to fill the media with violence, sex and perversion that desensitizes. Amazing the mentality of the liberal. Maybe we should just harvest them for food instead.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Mike

        Bet they taste like veggies!

        June 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        Where do you people come from? Is there a factory that pumps out so many nasty, nasty people who know nothing and cannot keep from slandering people for moral stances they do not share? Liberals are not the ones want all that trash on tv. That would be low brow conservatives. Note that I did not say educated conservatives.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • David

        momomiester, food is an issue that transcends Left-Right descriptions and your crude tauting of "liberals" is out of place here. I'm a card carrying liberal and a card carrying hunter. If there was a card to carry for being a meat eater, I'd probably do that, too. I was once a card-carrying 40-H county fair judge but gave it up because I got tired of the hypocrisy and ranting of the parents and leaders.
        So please, stuff your politicis based on ignorance back into your pork chop.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
      • smh

        I'm having trouble understanding just what is "unethical" about eating animals. Animals die and are eaten everyday, usually by other animals. "We are evolved enough to understand that we shouldn't," well, going by your own theories, that's how we "evolved" in the first place, we were animals that kept getting killed by something so we "evolved" to overcome it. So, wouldn't we want to keep consuming animals so they might one day start to realize they need to change and "evolve" too? Bottom line is, it's natural for us to be carnivores, it's part of the eco-system, if we all stopped eating meat the planet would surely find ways to get rid of the extra resources and would probably include us in the extermination. Want to save the planet? EAT MEAT. I'm not too concerned about these "evolved" "ethical" people, they are already working towards their own extermination (homosexuality, abortion), soon the smart families who can live on their own, growing and raising their own food, and who had 15 kids, will far out number the "evolved."

        June 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
      • Cate

        Way go generalize, momomiester. Being liberal has nothing to do with this.

        June 24, 2011 at 6:02 am |
    • Former Meat Eater

      4H isn't the problem. The real issue here is that the entire country is totally removed from the mutilation and abuse that occurs every day in factory farms. At the very least we should hold our position at the top of the food chain with some level of morality and/or respect for the life of the animals which sustain us!
      If the moral argument doesn't persuade perhaps the importance of your health will? Animal husbandry has turned into a giant science project with more hormones and antibiotics being pumped into your food every single day. Just don't complain when you are dying of cancer and bemoaning the fact that you never once smoked a single cigarette. I will be around to remind you of all the chemicals and poison you consumed while selfishly downing filet mignon or scarfing "chicken" nuggets. Botom line is that if animals are raised humanely and in suitable environments/space for thier "happiness" the level of hormone and antibiotic would not be neccessary; but raising animals the right way for food just wouldn't be profitable now would it? Wake up America. you are all sheep led by big industry. Use your brains and stop believeing the crap that big meat companies are shoveling on top of you. I for one gave up meat 6 years ago not b/c I believe the raising of animals for food is wrong but b/c the way we allow it be carried out is VERY wrong.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • pjusa

        @FormerMeatEater – You may as well go back to eating meat. If you live in a city over 100K people or you live within 100 miles of either coast you inhale more dealy chemicals with each breath you take than you consume in one 8 oz steak.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • pjusa

        @FormerMeatEater – You may as well go back to eating meat. If you live in a city over 100K people or you live within 100 miles of either coast you inhale more deadly chemicals with each breath you take than you consume in one 8 oz steak.

        June 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
      • You Are a JOKE!

        Have you ever seen how many chemicals are used in the veggie farming process??? I grew up on a farm and WAY more chemicals are used growing veggies than raising cattle! You eat just as many chemicals if not MORE than anyone eating meat idiot! It is amazing all these vegetarians can preach the way they do but yet know NOTHING about farming (vegetable farming or cattle raising), you probably have never even seen a corn field!!! Do us all a favor and Just STFU!

        June 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • Former Meat Eater

        I guess I should start smoking cigarrettes too? makes just as much sense as your suggestion

        June 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
      • Former Meat Eater

        You Are a JOKE! Why do you assume I know nothing about farming? I am VERY aware of the chemicals and pesticides that are part of the process. Its all part of the same problem, mass production for profit by big business without regard for health or wellbeing of humans or non-human animals!

        June 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • gkingii

        Back on topic, please. City folk not only don't know where their food comes from, they can't feed themselves unless someone else does all the work. 4-H is a valuable teaching and learning moment, part of the essential order of providing food. Not just meat. Farms support 4-H. Farms grow grains, vegetables, fruit and much more. Animals, too. Disgusting feed lots, slaughter houses and the like are the product of a society that uses mass production (to feed all the city dummies). Spend some real time on a farm, in the country and learn.

        June 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • S Kyle

      I hope God comes back soon and takes all the vegans to heaven so I can enjoy my dead animals for dinner in peace.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • Love it!

        LOL Agreed!

        June 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        If there is a God he is going to ask why you had to stuff yourself with so much protein that it became necessary to bring the cows in off the range and stuff them in feed lots.

        Oh, Gary. What have they done to you?

        June 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Stacey

      Hey, I think it's a cool idea to raise your own food, kill your own food, prepare it and all. I actually think I'm too sensitive because I'd actually like to own chickens and rabbits and be able to butcher them and have them for a meal, but I don't see myself able to kill these creatures. My parents raised animals for food when I was growing up, but I was never required to kill them. People used to do this all the time before you could go to the supermarket to get your food. I bet if you go back 100 years and have this same discussion people would laugh in your faces.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • Maggie

        As a proud and current 4-H member all of you who are in favor of this article is ridiculous. 4-H doesn't desentize to killing. You go through the program raising caring for and becoming best friends with your market steer or whatever you are raising. When it comes to sale day I don't think there has been one where I haven't cried. I have 1000's of pictures of all my 4-H animals and when it comes time to butcher yes it's sad, but we're also taught that this is what steers are raised for. Meat on the table. I could read on and on about you veggies and vegans about how you don't like it, but the fact is it's not cuz its cruel its cuz you plain old just don't like the taste and I'm fine with that. There is one thing though I will never eat my own 4-H steer. They have names and were way to close to me for that. I took grad pictures with my one steer I loved him so much. But I will sell it to my best friend or neighbor or even boss because I know thats what I raised him for.

        June 30, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • megr

      I have five points to make…
      1. Murder is the unlawful killing of one human being by another. Animals cannot be murdered or commit murder. Therefore, the slaughtering of animals for food is not murder it’s slaughter.
      2. In raising animals for food 4-H is teaching children the reality of the meat industry. Some children may choose to eat meat others may not but they should base that decision on information.
      3. As far as “desensitizing kids to killing of animals” I call it education. Look at the recent bill in San Francisco where they are trying to ban the sale of gold fish because of “inhumane suffering” the fish may endure. I own an Oscar and routinely buy live gold fish to feed the Oscar. This is called nature. I have also owned snakes and bought mice to feed the snakes. I’ve watched the snakes kill the mice. Again, nature. If we raise children to be unaware of life the natural course of life they fail to accept the reality of the world. I know of people who walked out of Disney’s African Cats because they didn’t like seeing the lions kill to eat.
      4. To the vegetarians/vegans who seem to have no problem eating plants I have news for you. Plants don’t “want” to be eaten either. That’s why they engage in chemical warfare, caffeine, nicotine, and pretty much all spices are chemicals plants produce to try and kill things that are eating them (mainly these are targeted at insects but I we ate enough of them they’d kill us too). The only thing that plants “want” you to eat is fruit. If you tried to live off fruit you would die. The point to this is until you start photosynthesizing you will be damaging some other organism to live. Again, that’s nature.
      5. Regarding the idea that “enlightened” people somehow don’t eat meat because of moral concerns, that is one opinion. I disagree. Humans don’t transcend nature. We are a part of nature. Humans are creatures with duel identities. We have an animal side that is just as valid as the logical humane side. If you ignore the animal side you ignore part of yourself. We can eat meat and still respect the animals that we are eating. They are giving us life. That fact should be appreciated. It is rather ignorant to assume there is only one right way to live, that your way is that right way, and that all others who don’t live that way are wrong and should live like you. It is also more humane to accept the diversity in people’s ideals even if you don’t agree with them.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        Could you be anymore boring? Telling people your opinions mixed with propaganda and BS does not make them fact. Insults are not facts.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Mustang

        Sandy, megr's response was thoughtful and reasonable, your reaction was hateful and vicious.
        Why don't you simply state your own opinion, as megr does, instead of lashing with vitriol against those who think differently than you do?

        June 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • RaKa

      4-H teaches you to properly raise livestock. It teaches you how to care for and respect these animals. It teaches people responsibility. While most kids wake up late then spend the afternoon texting, 4h'rs get up before sunrise to take care of the livestock. Most 4-H animals are raised and then auctioned off as breeders. Of course saying it that way couldn't possibly be news worthy.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        How much time did you spend in the feed lot and the killing floor in your fine education?

        June 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • Nichole GA 4-H'er

        Okay Calgary Sandy, you really need to stop bashing 4-H. I don't know what your mental state is, but take a walk in our shoes. We aren't cold-blooded, inhumane, grotesque humans. We don't kill animals just because we can. There is emotion behind it. Okay? Okay. Good.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
      • 4-HDad

        CalgarySandy, you talk 4-Her being educated about feedlots and processiong plants, but have you tried to learn first hand about modern livestock production? I believe if you would talk to and visit with the people who live and work on livestock farms that they work very hard to do the best for the animals they raise. That is what 4-H is "learn by doing", to go learn how things are done, and not just livestock production, but other skills like woodworking, forestry, gardening, electicity, or baking and sewing. 4-H teaches members responsiblity, time management, leadership, community service, and hard work (which I think is truly lacking in today's society). I feel you should get out and talk to some 4-H members and farmers and find out how things are really done and not just what you read on the internet, because believe it or not , not everything on the internet is true.

        June 24, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • Dan

      I bet way over half the people bashing 4-H in this post have eaten meat produced in the US within the past 24 hours, PETA and their billions dollar celebrity based revenue stream have done a great job of demonizing US agriculture in the eyes of an ignorant public. If you do your homework you'd know that the US meat industry is one of the cleanest, most strictly regulated industries in the country and 4-H is an organization everyone's child can benefit greatly from whether you live in the city or country.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
      • David

        Dan, there is much to demonize in conventional, mainstream American agriculture nowadays from the overt pushing of way too much pesticide and antibiotics in cattle to the mocking and marginalizlation of alternative methods and crops.
        Dang, another one of those issues in life where it's all grays – no black and white.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Ales

      Where does CNN find people to write articles like this? How do they honestly expect people to take them seriously? Ethical slaughter of a cow? Give me a break! You slaughter a cow by shooting it in the head so it feels no pain and hence no suffering. Then you hang it up by it's hind legs, slit its jugular and drain that baby of as much blood as possible. Then you butcher it. Sounds more ethical than giving Anthony Wiener a job, but i bet CNN is looking into that. hint hint Mr. Prostitution Ring Eliot Spitzer. Have you ever been to a Funeral Home and witnessed how someone is embalmed? Now that's disturbing. 4-H doesn't turn rural kids into killers, Society does. And these idiotic liberal ideas that animals have feelings too wah wah wah. My lord what are we coming to. Suck it CNN!

      June 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • veggiedude

      It's not in our nature to eat animals. It is easily provable. Put a 2 year old in a room with one apple and one rabbit. I guarantee you in the end the kid will eat the apple and be petting the rabbit. Eating animals is a learnt behaviour and a bad habit to pick up (paraphrasing Dr Benjamin Spock) and is detrimental to our health.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • CalgarySandy

        Excellent point. Thank you. I will remember it for future reference. :)

        June 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • think4yourself

        Lets try that same test except instead of an apple and a rabbit, lets use a stick of celery and a 3 piece chicken nuggets... Betcha the kid gobbles up the nuggets and tries to insert the celery in the dvd player.

        June 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • Mustang

        Nope, that is a ridiculous point. lt isn't 'proof' of anything, except perhaps lack of understanding of the scientific method. Your assertion is not falsifiable, therefore completely non-provable. And your 'experiment' is about the most non-logical, non-scientific 'experiment' I have ever heard.

        Put a child in a room with a tv set playing cartoons, and a crossword puzzle book. 'Oh look, logical reasoning must not be part human nature!' Absolutely ridiculous!!

        If you put a playboy in the room and it were ignored, would it mean that sexual reproduction is not part of human nature? Would a rabbit and a handgun prove that violence wasn't part of human nature? And what if you replaced the apple with brussel sprouts, and the rabbit with a McNugget?

        Your comment reminded me why US student are trailing in math and science!!

        June 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • Chris S

        Actually, my 13 month old regularly chews on his stuffed bunny. He hasn't been introduced to a live one, mostly because he'd probably attempt the same thing. On the other hand, if I were to offer him an apple and a piece of cooked ham, I know he'd eat the ham. This is not an assumption, this is a fact I've witnessed with my own eyes. He does like apples, but he certainly prefers meat. As many others have said, we ARE omnivores. We are meant to eat meat, vegetables, fruits...any combination we choose. If you don't want meat, don't eat it! God has given you the ability to survive on a diet that is not as specific as that of many of His other creatures. Yeah, eating too much meat is bad for you. Eating too much ANYTHING is bad for you. I've certainly overindulged on various fruits and vegetables more than once, as I have on a well prepared sirloin.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
      • veggiedude

        I can't blame you people for the comments... vegetarians are neurologically wired for more empathy, so you would not understand: http://tinyurl.com/25zr4p7

        June 24, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • Joe citizen abroad

      I tired of vegans and vegetarians and PETAns inflicting their personal world view on the rest of us. I'm a carnivore. And I'm not alone. There is a humane, community-based agrarian infrastructure in North America that not only supplies food to us all, but provides jobs and careers for generations. Do animals die so we can eat meat? Obviously they do. Does being a carnivore de-sensitize me to killing? No. Maybe violent video games do. Maybe war does. But eating bacon doesn't. Are there abuses in the meat industry? Of course there are. But the fact is, 4-H is promoting responsible animal husbandry, not abuse. Who do we target next: Girl Scouts?

      June 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Darlean

        Joe, your comment is so boring and overdone. I listen all the time to "carnivores" sick of being curtailed by vegetarians, but what I see is meat eaters who are more sensitive than vegetarians. I have friends of both variety, and by far the biggest whiners are the meat eaters. Heaven forbid anyone question the cruelty espoused on animals raised to feed you, and God forbid that someone writes about a child's crying when he realizes the pet he's loved for the past five months is going to die. This does not have to be the way our world works - forcing kids to see the "truth" in eating animals. If a child is appalled at the idea, give the kid a veggie burger and leave him alone. If you are upset that a child would want the veggie burger instead, I rest my case.

        March 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Poppy

      actually one of my earliest memories was when i was about 5 years old my father gave me a calf to bottle feed and raise myself. When the animal was ready for slaughter we took it to the local processing plant and watched the calf get slaughtered. Of course there were a lot of tears, but my father wanted to make sure we knew where our food came from. We depended on animals for our livlihood. You dont make money off of poorly treated animals. For an animal to be economically viable it has to be healthy and treated well. We were not cruel to our livestock, but does desensitize you to death. To a certain extent yes, I would call it more of an understanding of life. Most people who were not raised on a farm have a very un real view of life. When tragedy or misfortune strikes most people have a very hard time dealing with it, not so with farm kids. I was in 4H for most of my childhood. It teaches leadership and responsibility. Our animal agriculture system is what it is due to consumer choice. When the majority of consumers demand a certain system be used regardless of cost to them then it will change. Until that point comes most people want the highest quality product for the cheapest price. That is what farmers and industrial Ag gives them. Its up to the consumer. I respect peoples choices, if you want to eat meat fine, if you dont thats fine too.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
      • Joe citizen abroad

        Good point. Our culture is overly-sensitized to death. To the point where we'll routinely spend thousands of dollars to keep a pet alive. Or keep a human on life support way beyond all hope of recovery. Or prohibit euthanasia, even in cases of extreme, inhumane suffering. We deny that death even has a role in life. And when we finally have to face it...someone close, or our own imminent demise...it's devastating, because we've been denying it, avoiding it, and closing our eyes to it our whole lives. It takes more of an emotional toll on us than it should, because we're overly-sensitized to it. I wouldn't describe learning how to raise animals destined for slaughter as de-sensitization. It's a much-needed dose of reality.

        June 25, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • wilbur

      The 4-H has been imbedded with terrorists. Go to youtube and look up "cows with guns" to learn the TRUTH

      June 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Farm and 4-H Kind Born and Raised

      This article is total and complete bull. The "author" – if you can even call them that – uses the most ridiculous, exaggerated language to portray 4-H as some sort of animal-terrorizing indoctrination camp for kids.

      I was raised on a farm and through 4-H in livestock clubs, and it has only taught me the take care of them. I have saved countless animal lives whether during birthing or injuries. I have never killed an animal, and when my 4-H animals are sold to other farms, it hurts to see them leave the farm.

      This article is the unfortunate product of some neo-fascist bleeding heart riding a serious wave of self righteousness. As a result, the article reads as horribly misguided opinion and zero facts. It is short sighted, ignorant and abusive to 4-H. If you believe everything you read, on CNN no less, you need to do more research.

      4-H instills life long values, and yes it does involve working with animals in certain clubs, but just because you don't understand it, doesn't excuse your abuse of it.

      Consumption of meat is part of our society, just because farm kids know where its from doesn't make them monsters. You sell guns out of flea markets and kill each other in your schools, malls and places of work, but somehow it is still the farm kids fault. Doesn't anyone see the problem in that??

      June 24, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Justamused

      KEEP YOUR F"IN HANDS OFF MY KID!!!! You tree huggin, bunny fickers can mind your own damn business. I call being queer a crime I'd be drummed out of society. If I called a black man any but African American it would be a hate crime!!!! I love this cat's a$$ syndrome you low rent libs have. Always in someone's face just like a CAT'S A$$!!!! Be tolerant and shut the he!! up!!! I have to!!

      June 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • Matt

        LM AO!

        July 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Jay

      My question to the comments of "animals being tortured before slaughter" Do you really think that corporate companies are employing thousands of people everyday to poke jab and torture these animals prior to be being harvested? Scientific studies have proven that the better an animal is handled just before slaughter the higher the quality and more profitable the meat will be. Jay.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • C A Garza

      Well all of my valuable information is posted so far down this blog that most of you may be so tired before you ever get to it. But if any of you want to hear the real honest to God truth about 4H and FFA, then please scroll down to the latter half of this blog. CNN gave representation to Ms. King. They allowed her to make comments that are outright lies from an ignorant soul. Wonder if they would ever allow those of us who know of the well rounded benefits of these organizations to have our time in print. She picks one small part of these organizations (of which her facts are so out of whack) and trashes the whole industry. Please I encourage you to read my experience and first hand knowledge of the Future Farmers of America and the National 4H Foundation. But I warn you they are way down the line here. Abundent Blessings.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
      • Ms. King

        Dear C.A., as a CNN reader I came across an article about the benefits of 4-H a few days back. Having known people who (as youngsters) raised pets which were later bought and slaughtered, I may have been one of the first to state my opinion that 4-H's animal husbandry desensitizes children.

        I stated this as an opinion based on experience. As many people apparently weighted in, pro and con, it appeared that chose to CNN do a follow-up specifically asking if children are desensitized by this aspect of 4-H’s programs and my comment was posted first. They did not give me “representation” as you put it.

        Everyone has a right to their opinion. If I disagree with you, how does that make me ignorant since my opinions are formed from MY OWN EXPERIENCE.

        I certainly can respect other aspects of 4-H and appreciate how they may have impacted you or others. But the ONLY issue I raised and addressed concerned animals raised by youngsters who, in the statements of some 4-H supporters, were left devastated after their pet was auctioned off for slaughter. I have just as much right to be appalled by this as others have to disagree.

        For the record I have seen the lack of humanity that can develop overtime when one's inherent compassion is worn down by coming to believe that this is the way it is meant to be (i.e. pets turning into food). Therefore, I will continue to feel this way—perhaps now even more.

        In light of some of the rude name-calling, dismissive concerns about animal welfare and downright infantile remarks that I have read here, I think statements suggesting the 4-H helps to build mature adults is severely off the mark. I don’t know when I’ve seen such a failure in civil social discourse.

        June 27, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Mace

      It is really disturbing to me that you can take some factual information and distort it in this way. You have no idea what the 4-H program is about and what impact it has on the lives of young people as a whole. You have twisted small parts of things that happen in 4-H to fit this horrible picture that you have created. You do not even realize that in doing so you have contradicted yourself several times, and showed a picture of something that is very far from how things really work. I hope that as you review what you have written you will realize that you have really shown your ignorance of what this organization is all about and how young people feel about their livestock projects.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Wittest

      Most 4-H clubs don't tour packing houses. I was involved in several clubs growing up in Nebraska, the number 1 red meat producing state and we never even went near one. It is extremely difficult to get a tour into a packing plant and highly unlikely they would let children in.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Proud4-H'er

      I am currently a proud member of a 4-H club in the central California area and hold my platinum and emerald star ranks. Since joining 4-H in the fourth grade, I have learned many life lesson, that otherwise I probably would not have. This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. How could a child who has spent many months caring for an animal not be upset about its death...? I can tell you, we do become sad. How could we not? People saying that the 4-H members show no emotional attachment to their animals, must have never been to an auction.

      Another issue that I have with this article is that RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE OF BUDGET CUTS AND LACK OF FUNDS, THE 4-H PROGRAM IN MY AREA IS IN JEOPARDY. It is very likely that after the 11-12 year, there will no longer be a 4-H program in my county. I am sorry if you disagree with what 4-H teaches kids about animals, but the bringing up of animals for food is a major part of agriculture, as the program was created to educate youth about agriculture. For those of you who support what 4-H does, I encourage you to support your local 4-H clubs and programs in hopes that the programs can continue to teach children valuable life lessons.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
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