Thursday, July 31, 2008

More on Meat Eating

There is an interesting editorial in the New York Times that was coincidentally published with perfect timing for our recent posts on eating meat, eating the meat we know and animal welfare. A Farm Boy Reflects, by Nicholas D. Kristof is a personal and moving reflection that is well worth the read. His follow-up blog continues the discussion with commentary.

As Mr. Kristof recognizes, Americans are becoming increasingly sensitive to the welfare of animals, whether they are pets, zoo animals, endangered species, or farm animals. Yet, the industrialization of animal agriculture relies on a system in which animals are treated with less individual sensitivity, and in some instances, cruelty. Indeed, the industrialization model is dependent upon the kind of mass production of uniform products that likens farm animals to the "widgets" produced in other manufacturing processes.

These trends are on a crash course.

A game of chicken? Or a step back to consider what we are doing and how we are doing it. Consider Matthew Scully's comments from his book Dominion.
The care of animals brings with it often complicated problems of economics, ecology, and science. . . . Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us. . . . Whenever we humans enter their world, from our farms to the local animal shelter to the African savanna, we enter as lords of the earth bearing strange powers of terror and mercy alike.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to make a correction to the article. I'd put it this way:

"Yet, the industrialization of animal agriculture relies on a system in which animals are treated with less individual sensitivity, and in ALL instances, cruelty."

When is it not cruel to kill any living creature against it's will?

Just because a cow doesn't bark, people think it's compassionate to kill it with a bullet in the head. They don't know that, often, with packed slaughter lines, the bullet often misses the mark.

In both the industrialized system and the family farming scenario, animals' testicles, beaks, toes, and teeth are regularly cut or ripped from their bodies, without anesthesia, daily, across the world.


Pigs, chickens, and turkeys are packed into dark buildings, never seeing the light of day until they are lead into semi trucks taking them to slaughter, sometimes driving hundreds of miles, often sweltering to death in the heat of summer or freezing to the sides of the trucks. In these dark buildings, ammonia from their wastes accumulates so much that many animals' eyes and skin suffer severe burns and birds' feathers fall off to the point of nakedness.

Children love animals so much. Why do we cater to this love by marketing movies and animal character paraphernalia, reading to our children stories about animals and give them toy animals for birthdays, and then turn around and desensitize them to the reality that we are supporting the mistreatment and slaughter of animals that, while not as Disney-fied as Thumper, still have emotions, more intelligence than we give them credit for, and, most pertinently, the capacity to suffer and feel pain. Evolution has seen to it that even the simplest animals, like worms, experience pain in order to survive. This is an inalienable fact. One which we must acknowledge and respond to with the only appropriate course of action: to refuse to support an industry that has made a holocaust for billions of animals every year .

My wife and I are vegetarians, we love the food we eat. We don't miss meat. Our food is rich and delicious and we are living in accordance with not only our values, but with reality. We were so naive for so long. And I ask the reader: do you want to ignorantly let an industry profit from your self-imposed ignorance of the suffering in the meat that you consume, that becomes you?

We are what we eat.

8/03/2008 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugg outlet
ugg black
buy uggs
ugg boots
running shoes
nike outlet

1/29/2010 1:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home