Written by PETA
Update: Great news! The
monks at Mepkin Abbey now have a thriving mushroom business.
After PETA's protests, boycotts, and complaints to government agencies, the
monks re-examined their egg farm and discovered that they can get all their
needs met without harming animals.
The following was originally posted on December 20, 2007:
We've just heard the news that the monks at Mepkin Abbey have decided to phase out their egg-production business over the next year and a half following pressure from PETA, including protests of the monastery that are going on today. According to the Associated Press, Mepkin's Father Stan Gumula said late last night that the focus on the monks' practices as a result of PETA's investigation has been too much of a distraction, and that they will be looking for a new industry to help meet their expenses.
PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich points out that South Carolina had the 6th highest peanut production among U.S. states last year (quite how he knows such things, I have no idea), and recommends that the monks go into the booming business of peanut butter packaging, where they can pack the peanuts as tight as they like without any fear of our getting on their case about it. In fact, we might be their first customers. My own vote is more traditional—there's nothing quite like a good Trappist Ale.
Whatever they end up deciding, this is nothing short of a Christmas miracle for the chickens who have suffered for so long at Mepkin Abbey, and we commend the monks for their compassionate decision.
If you’ve been following this story over the past few days, you’ll know that Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery in South Carolina that runs an egg factory farm to cover its costs, has announced that it will be phasing out its egg production and switching to a new industry following a PETA investigation and subsequent pressure on the monks from our offices. And if you’ve been following my posts on the topic, you’ll know that a number of South Carolina residents who are familiar with the monastery have commented to say that they’re unhappy about this decision, claiming that it was unfair of us to go after the monks because they are decent men who do a lot of good in the community.
The way I see it, however, is that holy men—who should be setting an example for the people who look to them for guidance—need to be particularly accountable for cruel or unethical actions. While we have come to expect that CEOs of large corporations are going to be primarily concerned with their bottom line (and thus less immediately receptive to our concerns about their practices), in a case like this one—where good people have gone astray and are ignoring or failing to understand the fact that they are inflicting terrible suffering—it is all the more important that they be brought up short and asked to consider the damage they’re doing. Being a monk doesn’t mean that you should get off scott free when you’re caught doing something unethical—on the contrary, it means you should be held to a higher standard.
Anyone who has seen our investigation should know that the practices these monks were engaging in (such as confining chickens in cages so small that they had no room to move and denying sick animals veterinary care), as well as the practices that they were directly supporting (their suppliers slice off chicks’ beaks with a hot blade and grind up unwanted male chicks in a macerator), are cruel in the extreme, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s all you really need to know about this case. This factory farm needed to be shut down whether it was run by money-grubbing fat cats or honorable but misguided holy men. Fortunately for us, and for the chickens, it was the latter.
For a more eloquent statement of these ideas, you can read the letter that PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich wrote to the Abbey when this investigation first broke here.
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