Another brilliant and insightful article by Armory contributor and comrade Marcia Mueller.
by Marcia Mueller
Animal rights activists are preaching to the choir because the “sinners” are living in a different ethical universe and remain unconverted.
As we have noted frequently, there is a moral/legal schizophrenia in the human relationship with other animals, based on speciesism. Most human beings are indoctrinated by religion and enculturated by social norms and laws to view animals as so separate from and inferior to us that we can own them and treat them in any manner that suits our interest.
As Roland stated we are going in circles talking to people who agree with us.
While it is good to know that there are other activists out there who also care about animals and share our concerns and outrage in animal rights blogs, we need many more followers. But comments in animal-related news stories and articles on other Internet sites reveal that many, perhaps most, people do not share our views.
As I visit some of those sites, I see evidence daily involving multiple instances of animal cruelty and how people respond. I am sending samples since it reveals that we are dealing with an outlook that totally ignores the pain or interests of other beings. We can always hope some people will eventually have an epiphany that will change their values and lifestyles, but some of the ideas below don’t inspire much hope.
One topic I was researching was the fate of male chicks after several investigations revealed how they died when only hours old because they are useless in Big Ag’s production plans and in our value system. Two articles discussed macerating the chicks in grinding machines, drowning them in barrels or burying them alive.
By way of contrast the first writing below was by someone who had seen the results of the killing by Perdue, one of the largest poultry producing companies, and he was horrified:
“All day the trucks carrying thousands of baby chickens packed visibly in crates and cages stacked high on the flatbeds lumber up and down Route 13, turn into these complexes, drive back out with rickety empty containers and return with a fresh, heaving load of victims. One morning I stood outside the Perdue plant along the highway and happening to look down at my feet, I saw, beaten into the dirt, hundreds of little chicken faces, small decapitated heads and impressions of previous little faces that must have toppled out of the dump trucks as the driver turned the corner to bear these waste objects off to a landfill or rendering plant somewhere.”
(This was written by Maxwell Schnurer in “At the Gates of Hell: The ALF and the Legacy of Holocaust Resistance” and quoted in “The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale” by Karen Davis.)
Schnurer’s is the compassionate response we would hope to see if someone discovered hundreds of tiny dead chicken faces staring up from the highway. However, the comments below were submitted after a chicken farm went bankrupt and 400,000 baby chicks were drowned in barrels or buried alive. Other comments were written after videos on the maceration of chicks were posted by Mercy For Animas on YouTube and discussed in papers such as The Huffington Post.
“They should have dropped them in boiling oil instead of water and donated the little nuggets to the homeless.”
“They should freeze the little guys and sell them as snake food.”
“Too bad they don’t have a poultry anaerobic digester.”
“mmm . . . buckets of chicken.”
“Can the bodies be used as fertilizer?”
“Oh, well, this is nothing I will lose sleep over.”
“I want affordable, healthy food and consumable food, and if that is what it takes to feed seven billion people [7 billion and rising!] at reasonable prices, then so be it.”
“If the good God didn’t want baby chicks to die in a giant industrial mangling machine, he wouldn’t have made them so tasty.”
“This is how you feed thousands [billions!] of people in a modern society.”
“Whether you snap their necks in your hand, chop them with a hatchet, suffocate them with CO2, or end it quickly in a high-rpm grinder makes very little difference.”
“Can they at least electrocute them before grinding them up?”
“Outrage at animal cruelty but not a word about abortion.”
“Just realized it’s been a while since we’ve had fried chicken. Think we’ll get a bucket of the original KFC tonight. I like the original recipe best.”
A similar level of dismissive comments can be found in news stories on all manner of animal abuse, whether discussing the doomed creatures with no face and no name prodded toward the slaughter line or the “celebrities,” Cecil, Marius, and Harambe.
So while we communicate with other activists on our blogs and have the illusion things are getting better, what is written outside of our movement reveals the ugly, utilitarian side of our relationship with nonhuman beings. The comments above on the baby chicks display flippant remarks showing no appreciation that those are living creatures who are ground up, drowned, or buried alive by the millions and who suffer in the process. But mostly the complaint is that we are wasting them, that potential profits are being lost, that even after going through the grinder they should be good for SOMETHING, that killing them–no matter how horrific the manner–is not the issue. The problem is that their deaths aren’t contributing to the economy and benefiting human beings. The poor chicks—useless both dead and alive!
Reading about the total dismissal of animal lives, deaths, and suffering in some people makes me wonder why empathy is missing in their character. Does “clinging” to religions that give people dominion over creation explain it? Does going along with the culture and not fighting the norms of cruelty, especially when those norms and customs are profitable or pleasurable, cause such callousness? Does compassion have a genetic component that people either have or do not have? What does the answer mean for our future activism?
Right now things do not bode well for the fate of the billions of creatures who should have the right to their lives and their place on this planet, a place with their own peace and justice, a place our species now is not decent enough to grant them.
• I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.
If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.
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• Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls. I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty