Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Mad Cows, Mad Pigs and the Horse Slaughter Lobby

Fur and Hooves Fly at Animal Welfare Hearings

by MARTHA ROSENBERG

Animal protectionists are winning the agriculture public relations battle said former Congressman Charlie Stenholm at House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry hearings in May.

The recently defeated Texan and former Ranking Democrat on the Ag Committee should know. He was testifying as a paid lobbyist for the horse slaughter industry.

Other public relations challenged industries represented were United Egg Producers, the National Pork Producers Council, Sonoma Foie Gras and the National Association for Biomedical Research.

Also represented were the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, Farm Sanctuary, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and public relations firm, Center for Consumer Freedom.

The hearing on animal welfare and agriculture was scheduled by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the new House Ag Committee Chairman, at the urging of the seven million member Humane Society of the United States. Except for a meeting last year about horse slaughter, the Subcommittee hasn’t met over a farm animal issue since 1989 when it looked at veal calf treatment.

In a May 28 editorial, the New York Times accused House and Senate Agriculture committees of "cozy ties to big agriculture."

On the plate, pun intended, were discussions of gestation crates–outlawed in Florida and Arizona and dropped by pork giant Smithfield foods–veal crates, battery cages and other confinement systems and a provision to include poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act instead of the Poultry Products Inspection Act which only requires the "good commercial practices in the slaughter of poultry" that KFC has popularized.

But exchanges soon devolved into veracity bowls.

Not only did pork industry representatives dispute HSUS President Wayne Pacelle’s claim that a mad cow like disease could afflict pigs, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), ranking Republican on the Ag Committee and its former Chairman bluntly labeled Pacelle’s charge that mad cow disease has already gotten into the US beef supply, "Wrong."

But former Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman confirmed to CNN on Dec. 23, 2003 that meat from a US cow found to have mad cow disease had "gone into other processing plants from the initial slaughter plant." And on January 3 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that 11 restaurants in nine California counties had served the meat to unwitting diners. Identities of the food outlets were protected thanks to a state law.

Both horse slaughter lobbyist Charlie Stenholm and Rep. Goodlatte had blocked a ban on processing downers for human consumption earlier in 2003, assuring the public there was no health risk.

Mad cow is an animal protection issue because its spread is facilitated by processing sick and crippled downer cattle for human food, often dragged to slaughter say activists.

While some lawmakers said they saw no need for the Ag Committee hearings–"producers are vigorously addressing animal welfare issues," Subcommittee Chairman Leonard Boswell (D-Ia) assured the group; "Farmers and ranchers, not activists, should be dictating animal husbandry practices," agreed Ranking Member Robin Hayes (R-NC)–others impugned animal protectionists.

Rep. Steve King (R-Ia), known for taking pro-cockfighting and dog fighting positions, felt compelled to declare his favorite meal "a steak and a beer" and blame former NBA player Bill Walton’s knee problems on lack of meat.

And then there was David Martosko of the Center for Consumer Freedom.

"Congress could require U.S. farmers to supply every pig, chicken, duck, and cow with private rooms, daily rubdowns, video iPods, and organic meals catered by Wolfgang Puck," said the Director of Research for the controversial group which defends alcohol, junk food and even cigarettes against legislative restrictions in a kind of the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend arrangement. "But even this wouldn’t satisfy activists who actually believe farm animals have the ‘right’ not to be eaten."

[Another the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend group is the Animal Agriculture Alliance whose Executive Vice President, Kay Johnson, told North American Agricultural Journalists in April, "improvements in animal welfare should be based on reason, science and experience, not on the opinions of activists who have absolutely no vested interest in farm animals." ("Your honor, the witness has no vested interest in the property!!")]

But Dan Murphy of meatingplace hopes Martosko’s discrediting of activists doesn’t "represent the industry’s primary strategy."

"When an industry, or a company, is forced to be reactive and continually defend its business model, the chance of successfully moving the needle on public acceptance or understanding is minimal," he writes on the cattlenetwork website. Especially because food consumers "expect the companies who ask for their business to make reasonable changes."

And public sentiment, unlike the Ag Committee hearings, won’t likely die in committee.

MARTHA ROSENBERG is a Staff Cartoonist at the Evanston Roundtable. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Providence Journal. Arizona Republic, New Orleans Times-Picayune and other newspapers.  She can be reached at: mrosenberg@evmark.org