Recently I have started to think about how my choices affect animals. This was struck up through watching an episode of ‘Penn and Teller Bullshit’ that focused on PETA, here’s the link to the episode, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inFtOMx8nDU . The episode didn’t convince me entirely to hate PETA despite now being savvy of some of their less-than-pleasant tactics to win their war, but it did get me thinking about the way the animals I eat are treated before they become meat.
One of my friends has already done a lot of research into becoming cruelty free in the products she uses. Here’s the link to her post on the Grossest Animal Derived Ingredients that made me stop and think about what brands I choose, http://milkshake101.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/millys-top-5-grossest-animal-derived-ingredients/.
One more link, I promise! This site http://www.meat.org/ hosts 3 videos: Meet Your Meat, Glass Walls and Meat’s Not Green. HOWEVER if you’re sensitive to footage of animals being slaughtered, approach the videos very carefully. The videos are designed to both show the side of the meat industry that the average consumer doesn’t get to see, and to attempt to convert watchers into vegetarians.
When protesting to have all animal farms and slaughterhouses abolished, the protesters will always be left feeling angry, unsatisfied and disappointed.
When these feelings meet the strong belief that you’re absolutely right, violence, harassment and rage can be bred.
Because people are never going to stop eating meat.
As much as some people might want there to be, and no matter the valid arguments for it, there will never be global vegetarianism. If you’re reading this 500 years in the future and everyone there is vegan, I admit my predictions weren’t good, but for now.. This is why the fight to shut down farms and meat factories is pointless. What isn’t pointless however, is lobbying for the fair treatment, good conditions, proper feeding and as humane deaths as possible for the animals bred for food.
A hard truth for average people to learn who don’t work in these sort of factories is that if the workers treated the animals really kindly and showed them love, then they wouldn’t be able to bring themselves to do their job, or they wouldn’t be able to deal with the procedures any more. This is one of the hard parts of asking to have animals treated fairly when you’re not the one swinging the hammer or yielding the knife.
Is it better to make the workers lives easier with as little emotional damage and stress as possible, or is it better to be kinder to the masses of animals? Answers to that question will vary from person to person, and for me, I don’t have a definite answer. On the one hand I sympathise with the workers but on the other I sympathise with the animals. I think meeting in the middle could help – give the animals 5 star conditions and deaths (if such a thing actually exists) and at the same time, make sure the workers in charge of the animals have counselling readily available if it becomes too hard to treat the cows, sheep and chickens etc well before murdering them.
What constitutes an ‘animal right’ varies greatly from person to person as well, and culture to culture. Broadly, there will always be vegetarians, meat eaters (I’d say carnivore but if there are people out there who only eat meat exclusively then wow, you should probably go for a heart check up) omnivores, meat eaters who sympathise but still eat animals or only fish, and people who grow / raise all their own food. And hundreds of diet sub cultures in between the main categories.
For the most part, these groups probably each think that their chosen diet is the correct way to eat, and a lot of them will never change their opinions. So how do you come to a conclusion for how to make meat that suits everyone?
Another hard truth that people have to learn is that just because you have an opinion, doesn’t mean that it’s the way the world will suddenly work thanks to your views. Middle ground is how the world gets by. Would things be easier if we all agreed to be vegetarians? Probably yeah, except for the whole ‘where do we keep the cows now?’ dilemma but the fact is that it’s never going to happen, and people have to just breathe, and realise it. By all means attempt to convert as many people as you can to your lifestyle (because who doesn’t love doing something when it’s shoved down their throat) but don’t resort to violence, harassment or arsen to get your point across. It will help a grand number of zero people and animals in the long run.
Violence against animals should be abolished. There should be no mistreatment of any animal anywhere. Whether it’s a pet, a wild animal, a farm animal or an animal about to be killed for food – they should not suffer any kind of aggression. At all.
The only kind of animal aggression I support is killing poisonous spiders you find in your home, because I’m pretty sure if that became a federal offence, every single person in the world would be put in prison. You guys ever seen Arachnophobia? Eugh, man, nightmares for weeks. I’m getting off topic.
There should never have to be another video released that shows footage of animals being treated cruelly. There should never be animal cruelty happening off camera. This is what people should lobby for because with this, you might actually get results and happiness. No longer should there be sheep being dragged by one leg from a dirty truck, no more should there be overcrowded pig pens, no more should there be cows choking on their own blood to die.
Educate your children on how to best care for their pets, educate your children that animal cruelty is wrong, don’t make your child depend on meat to feel satisfied at meals. Report any animal cruelty you witness to the RSPCA or equivalent in your country whether it’s your neighbour, a stranger, your friend or your own brother committing the abuse. Learn where the things on your plate come from and decide whether it changes your desire to eat it. Learn where the ingredients in your products come from and decide whether that changes your desire to buy them.
Meat will always be consumed, but animals shouldn’t be treated viciously before they become it.