Target: Lou Gentine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Sargento Foods, Inc.
Goal: Stop the cruel and unnecessary dehorning of cows among Sargento farms’ suppliers
Sargento, a “family-owned company dating back three generations,” pledges on its corporate website that it “will be moral.” The website states that, “In our public and private lives, we will strive to give precedence to that which is right over that which is merely expedient or convenient.” However, the company has so far refused to stop dehorning cows – a stressful and extremely painful process for the cows involved. Sign the petition and urge Sargento to drop dehorning and pursue humane alternatives.
Dehorning is unfortunately a common practice in dairy farming. Although most cows are born with tissue that will later develop into horns, many are forced to undergo painful and traumatizing procedures to remove it. Calves only a few weeks old have “their horn buds…burned or cut out of their heads.” Ridding older cattle of their horns requires amputation, which is often risky and always painful. The wounds left behind may take months to heal.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution: breeding cows without horns. This is a relatively easy undertaking, as horn development is controlled by only one gene. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the beef industry has already embraced this alternative to dehorning. It would not be difficult to adopt similar measures in the dairy industry as well.
As a company that clearly prides itself on its values of respect, morality, responsibility, and fairness, Sargento must take a stand. Sign the petition and urge Sargento to require its suppliers to phase out dehorning.
Dear Mr. Gentine,
With pledges like “We will be moral” and “We will be responsible,” Sargento proves itself to be a company that cares about doing the right thing. So why does it continue to allow the unnecessary and cruel practice of dehorning among its suppliers?
Dehorning is a barbaric procedure that can involve calves’ or adult cows’ horns being burnt off with chemicals or hot irons, or chopped off with handsaws, guillotine-like instruments, or other blades. These procedures are often risky; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that “[h]orn removal in older animals can lead to post-operative problems of hemorrhage, tissue necrosis, bone fracture, sinusitis, and even death.” Furthermore, the wounds produced by dehorning can take months to heal.
Luckily, there is a solution. Naturally hornless, or polled, cows, can be bred through the manipulation of a single gene. Such a process eliminates the need for dehorning–as well as the manpower required to perform the procedure. It also, it goes without saying, is beneficial for the well-being of the cows.
A company that prides itself on its values has a responsibility to uphold those with whom it conducts business to a similarly high standard. I therefore urge you to require your suppliers to phase out dehorning and replace it with a humane alternative.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: MsLissome via DeviantArt