Thought Of The Day. June 21, 2016

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Today’s Thought:

Big Ag rejects humane treatment because it costs them profits. Allowing them to use the most barbaric methods to produce meat is to condone their cruelty. Until we burn down the slaughterhouses and shoot their boards of directors, the only avenue we have is through working for their voluntary compliance. We certainly have no political power to force them to change practices. And pushing veganism does absolutely nothing for the animals trapped in the food system. They all are going to die horribly. The question is How horribly?


Author’s Notes:

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3 thoughts on “Thought Of The Day. June 21, 2016

  1. Big Ag has the money, political power, and customer demand to torture and kill animals for human pleasure and their own profits. Can anything stop it?

    One solution is veganism. Reduce the demand for Big Ag’s killing machine.

    Unfortunately, that is impossible. There are relatively few vegans in a world of over 7 billion human beings. That population is expected to keep growing, and as people in the developing and poor nations grow wealthier, they are expected to increase the demand for meat. We cannot outcompete them by changing diet.

    Another solution is destroying Big Ag by burning down its facilities and shooting its CEOs (our collective secret fantasy!). That is also impossible. We could never assemble the army of assassins and arsonists to keep up with it. Look at how hard it is to mobilize people for simple protests: 5 people to protest wolf hunting, 12 people to protest elephant abuse at Ringling Bros., 19 people at Wal-Mart to protest gestation crates! Note the memorials of flowers and teddy bears for Cecil and Harambe and how they pale in comparison to those for human victims. Even recruiting an army of activists would be discovered and bring down the full force of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act long before we acted. We would have to synchronize the mass destruction to occur simultaneously to avoid the AETA.

    One possible answer—I will call it an option rather than a solution—is compromise. That compromise would entail demanding better treatment for farm animals. It would be an admission that we cannot save them all, that we could only fight to make their lives better and their deaths less hideous. It would mean enacting laws limiting the current mistreatment by Big Ag.

    Conceding that the suffering and deaths would continue will be philosophically and morally unacceptable to the vegans who are fighting speciesism and the cultural diminishing of animal lives and who demand nothing less than abolition.

    Changing business as usual on factory farms and slaughterhouses would be financially and ideologically unacceptable to Big Ag. It would mean abolishing “standard agricultural practices” that allow painful procedures without anesthesia, that allow withholding of veterinary care from sick and injured animals, and that permit grossly inhumane methods of “euthanasia.”

    The above approach—the lesser evil—is liked by neither side. It undermines humane treatment of animals and accepts the inevitability of their death. It decreases efficiency of farm and slaughter operations and reduces profits.

    What about the animals themselves. Aside from the battle over human principles—humane and financial—what about the view of the victims? What would they choose if they could be asked? If they knew they were going to die no matter what, would they not at least want a little better life and a less painful death?

    Even settling for the lesser evil will be a fight. For ethical vegans it will mean spending part of our time working for laws that will still mean slaughter and might not even be enforced. For Big Ag it would be a lobbying frenzy to stop the proposed laws or at least ensure loopholes and methods to evade compliance.

    What it all really means is that in a world controlled by human greed, stupidity, and meanness, animals will keep losing and that we will never achieve the victory we seek for them, not in this life.


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