Hortencia: Gloria, you don't look good.
Gloria: Neither do you Hortencia.
Hortencia: It's my legs. They feel wobbly. My gout's acting up.
Gloria: You need a veterinarian to take a look at them.
Hortencia: Right. But maybe if I'm having trouble with my legs I won't be slaughtered.
Gloria: I don't know about that. I'm scheduled to "get the ax" next week, and I've been having trouble breathing.
Hortencia: I guess we fatted calves are destined to be killed and eaten by humans in order to make them merry.
Gloria: That's the udder truth!
The U.S. government on Sunday ordered the largest beef recall in U.S. history — 143.4 million pounds — and said the meat has been used in school lunches and food assistance programs.
The government portrayed the action as precautionary and classified it as a Class II recall, meaning there is little likelihood of illness.
The beef dates to cattle slaughtered two years ago, starting Feb. 1, 2006, at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing, based in Chino, Calif. The USDA said it believes most already has been eaten. It will remove the rest from inventories.
"We don't know exactly where all the product went" but will "cast a wide net to make sure that we can find all the product that we can find," Ken Petersen at the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a conference call with reporters Sunday.
The meatpacker is accused of improperly slaughtering what are called "downer" cattle — those unable to walk to slaughter.
Such cattle raise the fear of mad cow disease and are more likely to carry E. coli and salmonella bacteria because they typically wallow in feces and their immune systems are often weak.
The government said it had inspectors present "continuously" at the plant, as is standard procedure.
Even so, the use of downer cattle was brought to light by the Humane Society of the United States, which published a video last month it said was made by an undercover worker at Hallmark/Westland. The video shows cattle lying on the ground being moved by forklifts and being chained and pulled.
In a statement Sunday, the Humane Society said, "A recall of this staggering scale proves that it's past time for Congress and the USDA to strengthen our laws for the sake of people and animals."
IT'S THE OIL STUPID!