01 March 2014 by Published in: Uncategorized 15 comments

Anyone that knows me knows I’m not a bleeding heart. I’m not a tree hugger. I’m certainly no vegetarian.

I do love animals. Guilty as charged. They’re often better than many humans I’ve had the misfortune of running across.

I can’t tell you how upset I am after watching the following video and reading the expose. I have to warn you it’s shocking, sickening, and shows the most disturbing acts of torture I’ve ever witnessed.

I try not to use my blog as a platform to advance agendas. That’s not why people come here.

But I feel like if I keep my mouth shut on this, I’m part of the problem. And I refuse to be part of this particular problem, even though I don’t live in the U.S.

People, read this report and watch the video. It broke my heart. Hours after viewing it I still feel like some essential part of my soul was violated. I’ve also sworn off eating pork anymore. I can’t do it. What kind of human being would I be, what sort of hypocrite, if I could? I’m not saying you should take the same action. I don’t try to dictate what people should or shouldn’t do. I’m simply telling everyone the steps I’m taking.

The events in this video are heartbreaking because this is happening in a nation that prides itself on being better. On being more advanced than the savage places it routinely vilifies. We’re somehow superior, because we have a moral barometer, a conscience.

No, what we have are special interests that keep their dirty laundry hidden, and politicians that accept blood money to enable them to hide from the average person the atrocities that are perpetrated every day.

I write conspiracy thrillers. Oftentimes they feature schemes where corporate interests work with governments to abuse and hurt. I wish I could say they were based in fiction. Truth is that I don’t need to invent – I just need to tame down reality so people will believe, because often, they don’t want to understand the world they live in. I try not to preach, but rather to inform. Unfortunately, most don’t want to know the horrors that take place. Because it’s uncomfortable for them. It might require that they do something, or inconvenience themselves, and that requires effort.

Note that I don’t have a solution other than to lock people like these up, or better yet, treat them in exactly the same manner that they treat animals. I could go to my grave with a clear conscience signing off on that. Wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep. These are sociopaths, and the world would be better without them. Plain and simple. More disturbing is that these are sociopaths who live in a corporate culture of torture and violence being not only acceptable, but mandatory.

You may not believe in concepts like good and evil, right and wrong. It’s hip to be apathetic and lacking of a moral barometer. But I can say absolutely that if these peoples’ acts aren’t evil, then I don’t know what is.

Why am I writing this blog? Because I want you to watch the video, read the short commentary, and sign the petition. I’ll let your conscience be your guide on what other steps to take. I know I won’t ever be able to eat pork again, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing, on balance.

And I want you to share it. I want you to tweet and Facebook it so the villains in this drama don’t get to hide. It needs to go viral. It’s clear that companies like Walmart will continue to support groups like this until the public outcry and bad press is such that they’re forced to stop. I believe there’s few nobler callings than getting them to stop.

I’m sorry if anyone gets disturbed by this. My intention isn’t to give you nightmares. It’s to encourage you to make a difference, even if it’s a simple act of signing something or saying no in your shopping habits. My next act will be to go see how I can donate to the organization that brought this to light. If anybody’s deserving of some of my cash, they are.



  1. Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I signed this petition earlier this week when Peta sent it my way. It’s a mind-scarring video for sure. And when I did eat meat I never bought it at WalMart. Only organic at Whole Foods. I still miss eating meat. I could go for a burger or a pulled pork sandwich right now. I’m the first to admit being a vegetarian really blows. But it’s seeing too many disturbing videos like this that did it to me.
    I will happily share/tweet. Although most people get pissed at me when I do. I sure wish animals could get a break. I cried when I read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. One of my favorite stories ever.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 5:51 pm

      I don’t have a solution. All I know is I won’t be eating pork anymore.

      • Kim Cano  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 8:32 pm

        That’s awesome Russell. Glad to hear it.
        If anyone’s looking for additional tweets, there’s quite a few already made on Twitter. I just searched #torture #walmart and all the animal rights groups have em already made.
        I’ve got to hand it to people who can hunt and fish and cook the food. I’d never be able to do that. I’d die of starvation. Hopefully I’d at least get to down a bottle of Veuve Clicqout and a box of Godiva dark chocolate truffles before I kicked it.

  2. Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Deeply troubling, Russell. As an avid outdoorsman, I try to keep the freezer stocked with wild game I’ve taken myself, in the most humane manner possible. Helps me sleep a little better at night knowing I’m not contributing to the problem, but it’s still upsetting to see it happen.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 5:51 pm

      When I go fishing, I only fish for what I will eat. I don’t bill fish. I can’t see torturing an animal for my amusement.

      I recognize that we eat meat. I’m not against it. But I am against the inhumane treatment of animals that is clearly sadistic – pigs feel pain, they suffer, they experience fear, they’re highly intelligent. Why in God’s name anyone would treat another sentient being in that way is beyond me. Imagine the outcry if those were dogs, or cats, or porpoises. It isn’t rocket science to determine whether their treatment is humane or not.

      I think most people just don’t want to know. With most atrocities, that seems to be the common thread.

  3. Cindy Rodenburg
    Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Only know my heart bleeds !

  4. Robert Jones
    Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Kim, Russell–I’m with you guys. My wife and I decided to go vegan about a year ago. We’ve eaten meat our entire lives and we don’t force people to eat any differently than they choose. We also eat whatever is served if we visit friends or family. But for the most part, we’ve decided to stay as clear as we can. This is unfortunately the norm for the meat and dairy industries–not just Tyson alone. And not just pork.

    There are no laws that allow any sort of rights to animals we slaughter for food. And this seems to bring out the worst in people who work in these places. The conditions of these large industrial farms is torture plain and simple. I can’t imagine what goes through people’s minds when a job requirement states you’ll have to toss live chickens into a grinder, tear testicles off male cows and pigs, or zap them between the eyes with a spike and watch then lay there twitching. I saw one video (not sure if it was shown here) where a pig was thrown alive and fully alert into a vat of scalding water, then lifted into blades that tore it’s skin off.

    I didn’t watch the full video because like Kim, I’ve seen too many already. There has to be a better way, people!

    Meanwhile, there comes a time when you just have to make choices that don’t involve whatever is handed to you, or comes out of a drive-thru window. Just sayin’.

  5. Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 6:10 pm

    This is going to hurt Walmart with their new 200 million jobs for America campaign.
    What was the movie that was an expose, they get illegal immigrants to work in these sick places because they are just glad to be there and have seen far worse from humanity.

    On the other side, where do people think their meat comes from? There isn’t enough land to humanely pasture all these animals. The resources one cow consumes from birth to death are not worth the profit it flips for its life. The entire industry shouldn’t exist and doesn’t make sense, but is subsidized and lobbied to ridiculous proportions.
    Milk; we used to understand keeping that cheap for kids, but as it turns out the sunshine and leafy greens are a better source of calcium than milk ever could be. Enough is enough.
    Meat should be a humane luxury that is afforded on occasion.
    On a side note:
    I have seen more vegetarians get drunk and scarf down a full rack of ribs like it was covered in hundred dollar bills, than I have ever seen omnivores.
    Just sayin’

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 8:53 pm

      I’m pretty sure that somewhere between torturing animals with eye digs, slamming their heads into concrete, beating them with boards, etc. and having them roam free in pristine fields is a middle ground. I may not know many things, but I know that doing those things is wrong and should be condemned by any thinking person.

      • Nicole Underhill  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 9:41 pm

        Absolutely, its terrifying knowing a human can perform such acts and then get in his car and be next to you at the grocery store. From what I understand this went to court Tyson cut ties and they supply to Walmart within a month of this video being released as well as adopted new animal welfare guidelines. Currently fighting to make gestation crates illegal, but Idaho gov signed no video inside animal farms legislation. Which would put the guy who shot those videos in jail not the culprits. I hate to see his email box right now.

        The Mercy for Animals FB page keeps you pretty up to date. Plus you go to the Walmart FB page and there are pig crates all over all their sales posts with Walmart pleading that they are spearheading new animal programs to track which farms and what care animals get. It works to get the word out and its awesome!

  6. Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Russell: I think you know where I stand on this. My wife and I have run our animal sanctuary for almost 20 years. Many of the animals have been either potbelly or wild pigs. We currently have 27 including one crazy wild boar who’s my buddy. They are some of the most intelligent creatures I’ve ever seen, and we have a lot of different ones here: dogs, cats, horses, you name it… but the pigs are amazing. I saw that video before and, like you, could barely get through it. My wife wouldn’t try when I told her about it. The biggest problem is that we’d all be naive to think this is only a problem with Walmart. It’s like Gandhi said many years ago:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
    Mahatma Gandhi

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Gandhi had it right.

  7. Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 7:41 pm

    If you care about animals, there are times when you should simply despair. Humanity seems to have lost just that very quality.

    I volunteered for years at our cozy little animal shelter…so cute, so wonderful…until I read the notes left by our Animal Control Officer. “Five puppies tossed from speeding truck. Three survived.”

    Pigs aren’t the only ones being tortured to death. Cattle, chickens, turkeys….most people actually believe the cellophane-wrapped package at the grocery store somehow, miraculously, “grows painlessly on trees.” No thought. No mercy. No hesitation, except for the price per pound.

    Ah, what a great, humane culture we have achieved after all these years of education!

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 8:56 pm

      I see this in Mexico, too, with the shelters here. People leave boxes of puppies in the desert to die. But my point is that not all, or even most, do that. It’s only some, and fortunately is a small segment. As to eating animals, again, I’m not against it. I’m against torturing them.

  8. Sat 01st Mar 2014 at 9:28 pm

    HUGS Russell for sharing this. Animal welfare, especially as far as factory farms are concerned, is a huge passion of mine. These videos are not easy to watch…they are torturous for me and I’ve seen many. They don’t get easier. I was an ignorant meat-eater only 4.5 years ago. It took me learning about the food industry and researching my food to see what it really was I was eating and feeding my family: horror, sadness, pain, filth, medications, chemicals, pus, infections and unhealthy meats. I remember watching a KFC video of how employee’s at a chicken factory treated the animals before slaughter – slamming them against walls, jumping on them and breaking their legs, kicking them. No sane human with a heart would treat any animal this way. I swore off KFC and remembered that video every time we cooked chicken and I discovered one of the legs was broken. The thing with me, is once I began learning, and seeing things for what they were, I knew I could NEVER eat another chicken, another pig, another cow, another baby goat or a fish…again. And I’ve not. It was a choice I made and allowed my daughter to make on her own. My son is 5 and has never had meat. When you think about it, raising our children to be compassionate in every way toward other humans AND animals creates a more compassionate and healthier future. I’m just hoping my kids grow up with that compassion intact. If someone told me when I was 5 years old that a burger was the ground up remnants of a heavily antibiotic-laced cow, I’d NEVER have eaten a burger again. We teach our children to love dogs and cats, to care for hamsters and fish or snakes as pets…yet we turn around and eat other animals. It took me years to really see and feel the irony with this. Not only have we been Vegetarian (me and my two kids) for 4.5 years, but 2 years ago I eliminated eggs from our diet after watching a video of an egg farm grinding up live male chicks because they served ‘no purpose’ as they could not lay eggs of their own. How does a person dump an armful of newborn baby chicks onto a conveyer belt and watch as a machine chews them up to bits?! It’s disgusting, and the sad fact is that many consumers simply don’t KNOW about this horrible animal cruelty.

    Vowing to swear off pork is a wonderful step for you to take. Not only does it cut back on the cholesterol and bad fats in your diet, but it also saves lives (not to mention, pigs are smarter than dogs and are freaking AMAZING animals). One person CAN make a difference. All movements start with one person. That’s how this industry will change – over time the hope is that the demand will decrease, cutting into how much ‘supply’ is made. It’s the ONLY way to win. Anyway. Thank you for sharing. <3


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