Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Downed Cows

The president of the California packing company which was subjected to the largest beef recall in history testified before Congress today. His previous story was that they didn’t knowingly put any downed cattle (those to sick to walk) in the mix. Unfortunately, there was secret tape that showed him downed cattle being forced into the slaughtering pen. At that point he admitted that they had indeed done exactly what they were accused of and denied.
This is a shocking display of honesty – albeit after the point where he might have gotten credit for it – probably brought on by the company already being in ruins and visual evidence. On the other hand, if this guy had ever run a tobacco company, he would have been a lot better at responding to it. A tobacco company exec would have tried something like this: “Congressman, cattle are a lot smarter than you think. Every once in awhile one realizes what is about to happen and fakes an injury to avoid slaughter. We have expert and experienced people on the line who can tell when cattle are faking it, which, if you were a trained observer, would probably be obvious to you.”

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