Nellie McKay on Factory Farms, Animal Cruelty, the Election


More artists, writers, and performers on next week’s presidential election here.

I wish factory farms were being discussed more. Someone like Governor Palin, it’s very easy for environmentalists and activists to rally against her because she goes out and kills her own moose and shoots wolves from planes—these very obvious barbarities. But you don’t hear Obama coming out against the Chicago stockyards. Our entrenched and accepted cruelty toward animals, just because they’re what we eat—that should be an issue. And the environmental catastrophe of the factory farms, their pollution of water, air, and soil. And the treatment of the workers, many of whom are minorities or women or illegal immigrants who aren’t allowed such basic rights as bathroom breaks. The meat and dairy industry is rife with need for reform. We have to get rid of factory farms—you have pigs in crates where they can’t turn around or chickens packed in cages the size of a record-album cover. I think California’s Proposition 2, which legislates against factory farms, will pass, by a large margin. That would be fantastic—it’s about time.

Nellie McKay performs December 2 at (Le) Poisson Rouge.