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Número 32 - Marzo de 2012     

Bocas de ceniza
 
Bocas de ceniza
Pecados de la carne
Camilo Jiménez

Si yo tuviera una librería me inventaría una nueva sección para ubicar el libro Comer animales, de Jonathan Safran Foer. Creo que la llamaría "no ficción de terror". No estaría solo en la estantería: investigaciones periodísticas nacionales como la de Olga Behar o la de Jineth Bedoya le harían compañía. Y muchos otros, por supuesto.

Aquí el autor se pregunta qué estamos comiendo los humanos, de dónde vienen nuestros alimentos. Particularmente, la carne. La tesis que alienta el libro, la investigación, podría ser que en la elección alimentaria de Estados Unidos –y con ellos la del mundo entero– prima el bajo costo sobre el bienestar de los animales. "Nuestro alimento procede del sufrimiento", dice el autor en la página 179. El 99% de la carne que comen las familias americanas viene de granjas industrializadas. El porcentaje es menor pero significativo en Europa, algunos países asiáticos y en América Latina. Las vacas colombianas todavía crecen en libertad, al aire libre y se alimentan de pasto. Pero muchos de nuestros pollos vienen ya de granjas industriales, y los huevos también. Por eso son tan pálidos, tan chicos, tan insípidos. Eso para no hablar de las enfermedades que traen con ellos. Y el autor se encarga de recordar que todo empezó en las granjas de pollos, que comenzaron a industrializarse hacia la década del veinte del siglo pasado. No estamos lejos, pues, del aterrador panorama que el autor describe con maestría en este libro.

Foer se metió en secreto en granjas industriales de aves, vacas y cerdos; habló con gente de la industria de la carne y con activistas, revisó toneladas de información oficial y no oficial sobre la industria de la carne. Y los resultados los dispuso en forma de libro de aventuras, con muchos momentos donde respira lo macabro. Como dijo el premio Nobel J. M. Coetzee, "cualquiera que haya leído el libro de Foer y continúe consumiendo los productos de la industria o no tiene corazón o es impermeable a la razón, o ambas cosas". En la carátula hay una frase comercial y tonta, pero que resulta cierta: "Este libro te cambia la vida". Doy fe.

 

 

 

Seamos claros: las granjas industriales no quieren alimentar a la gente, sino ganar dinero.
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Las granjas industriales han conseguido separar a la gente de la comida, eliminar a los granjeros y regir la agricultura bajo preceptos corporativos.
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Para mí, las granjas industriales son un error no porque produzcan carne, sino porque roban a los animales el menor atisbo de felicidad.
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Aquí no hay lugar para bromas ni para mirar hacia otro lado. Digamos lo que hay que decir: los animales son desangrados, despellejados y descuartizados estando conscientes. Sucede constantemente y tanto la industria como el gobierno lo saben.
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Vayamos a la crianza. En primer lugar, se trata de buscar un pollo que engorde rápidamente con la menor cantidad de comida posible.
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De 1993 a 1995, el peso medio de las aves aumentó un 65 por ciento, mientras que el tiempo que tardaban en llegar al mercado se rebajó un 60 por ciento y sus necesidades de comida en un 57 por ciento.
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La conclusión a la que llegó la industria, y esta fue la auténtica revolución, es que no hace falta que los animales estén sanos para que den beneficios. Los animales enfermos son aún más rentables.
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Los años cuarenta presenciaron también la introducción de sulfatos y antibióticos en la comida de los pollos, que estimulaban el crecimiento y reducían las enfermedades causadas por el confinamiento.
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Para mí la cuestión no es tanto que se deje de comer carne radicalmente, sino que haya una conciencia pública de cómo opera la industria cárnica.
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Dado que los utilizamos para que nos sirvan de comida, creo que tienen derecho a experimentar los placeres básicos de la vida: cosas como tumbarse al sol, aparearse y cuidar de sus crías.
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Ni uno solo de los pavos que se compran en el supermercado puede andar normalmente, y mucho menos saltar o volar. ¿Lo sabías? Ni siquiera pueden tener relaciones sexuales. Ni los que se venden como orgánicos, libres de antibióticos o de granja. Ninguno. Todos tienen los mismos genes absurdos y sus cuerpos ya no se los permiten.
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No son cosas, son animales. Así que no hay medias tintas: o los tratas bien o no.
UC

Comer animales, de Jonathan Safran Foer

 

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