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Some Thoughts on Animal Liberation: An Appeal to Both Sides

I’m like you. I’m not against murder. I’m not against eating meat. I know that sounds sarcastic, but I mean it: meat is murder, and that’s okay. I’m a realist and I understand the laws of nature. But the way we get the meat we eat today, its sadistic nature, its toll on the environment, and the way it warps our own understanding of the world makes our literal thirst for blood a social cancer and WE NEED TO SHUT IT DOWN, like right now.
Total liberation is out of the question. What do you do with billions of domestic cows, chickens, pigs and sheep, among others other species for whom, like it or not, we’ve played God with and they’ve devolved into little more than meals on wheels. Set them free? That’s equivalent to genocide. Extinction may be preferable to what they’re going through now, a lifetime of pain and torture, but we can still do better. We could have a pretty mutualistic relationship, privately or communally raising these animals in a way that respects them as autonomous lives, letting them live in a way that suits their needs, and then at a ripe age, offer a quick death. In return for providing for them, they would provide for us. It’s better than anything you could promise these species in the wild.

Instead, domestic animals are in the tragic position they are in today, where they are indisputably the greatest victim of the profit system and capitalist logic in general, which dictates that whatever is the cheapest, most profitable system must thereby be the most desirable, the most ethical, and the most suited to our needs.

Because it is cheaper, we substitute room to roam with blinding and crippling surgery and undersized cages from which they never leave. Because it is cheaper, we have no handling regulations, and chickens are punted around and tortured for fun by the kind of Neanderthals who would seek work at a slaughterhouse. Because it is cheaper, they will not spend the extra one cent per cow to slaughter these sentient creatures humanely. Because it is cheaper, we substitute nutrition with hormones and cannibalistic scraps. We treat them like inanimate things, mere commodities for consumption, only giving them the bare minimum to stay alive and fat, and doing whatever is easiest for us beyond that. It’s possible to raise animals for slaughter while still respecting them as sentient creatures. Instead, on a daily basis, we treat billions of animals in a way that makes most forms of torture look mild. We should feel lucky they don’t know about suicide (or revolution), or there is no way they’d put up with this.

The animal product industry represents a whole world that seems to believe that dollars are more important than quality of life, that flavor is more important than values. This is why I have rejected and actively resist the meat and dairy industry. It’s not out of some Judeo-Christian impulse to sanctify the life essence, but out of respect and accountability to my peers, the non-human animals. Yea, I feel cheated out of some meals and good sneakers, but I’m certainly not going to support that industry for those products any more than I’d support the holocaust to get good soap.

If you support the basic idea of animal rights, you need to do something about it. At the very least, try a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or try raising your own poultry.

It is only because they are so defense-less that we could ever rationalize this treat-ment, and only because these atrocities are so far removed from our daily lives that we can even bring ourselves to swallow it. Except for groups like PETA, there is a veritable media blackout on commercial animal treatment, much like there was on the Armenian, Jewish, and Rwandan genocides. If you feel fine about your current meat consumption, I challenge you to watch some of the footage on www.PetaTV.com and think about those images as you eat your next meals. If you find it difficult, then please join vegans and vegetarians in the demand for animal rights and accountability in the meat and dairy industries.

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Re: Some Thoughts on Animal Liberation: An Appeal to Both Sides

Thank you for this article. As we treat the animals we treat each other. Check out An Unnatural Order by Jim Mason which traces the enslavement of animals and nature by humans.

After gatherer-hunting was replaced by animal husbandry and agriculture, humans began to feel dominant over nature instead as part of it.

An injury to one is and injury to all. None of us are free if one of us is caged. We must be kind to animals and show compassion to all beings instead of abusing power over them .

Abuse of power is ALWAYS wrong.
 

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