“Trying to get rid of animal agriculture is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.”
This is the view held by those in the industry of “animal agriculture” or intensive farming. Yet some of us have this idea, work to this goal, how silly of us, right?
I believe in and work towards a world in which we don’t use other animals as our property, we don’t eat their flesh or drink their secretions, and we don’t subject 56 billion land animals every single year, without mercy, to a living hell, all for people who apparently “can’t live without meat”.
I believe in a world where we don’t pull the testicles off baby pigs or cut their tails off, all for people who love bacon. I believe in a world where people who suggest the above scenario is possible are not laughed at or taunted, a polar opposite in fact; a world where people who say things like “ooh I couldn’t live without me bacon” are treated with the same disdain an outrage as someone who may have said “ooh I couldn’t live without me refrigerated human heads”.
We Have Come So Far
In terms of how far we have come as a species there is an area in which we have excelled; Entitlement. I fear this exists only in the Western world, the so called “developed” world. I know for sure it is most prevalent here. While children in South America are making musical instruments out of landfill, we in the West seem to be obsessed with our “rights”;
The “right” to have “your own” child at any cost; IVF, surrogates, fertility treatments (whilst shunning children awaiting adoption);
The “right” to own a home at any cost; through borrowing and gathering debt;
The “right” to “eat what I want”; extending to even the flesh of others, regardless of their suffering for your palate…
…and the “right” to never hear of that suffering, the “right” not to have to watch the videos or view the pictures, the “right” to be left alone while you violate the right of others.
These things are not rights, they are blessings and luxuries, some of which are downright morally wrong.
While some people suffer at the hands of our capitalist system across the globe and on our own doorstep, the privileged few believe they have an inherent right to all their fanciful desires.
No one has the right to take away anyone else’s liberty, and the other animals on this planet – despite not speaking our language or satisfying our specific criteria for what makes them worthy – are living, breathing, feeling beings, and their right to protection from harm has been ignored too long. Get over yourself privileged few humans who live in the lap of luxury, and get over yourself human race – you are not special, and any special qualities you do possess you use to justify terrorising others.
We Are Still Living in the Dark Ages
Yes, we are an entitled species capable of bullying the rest of the animals on this planet into submission. We use technology, machinery, and our superior cognitive abilities to subject every single other species on this planet to extinction, to torture, to death. Given this state of dominance at which we have arrived, of course the world set out above – free of dominance and cruelty – sounds preposterous to some.
However, what these people to realise is just how far we haven’t come as a species. It seems some of us are under the illusion that we have reached some sort of goal in our evolution, that we are exactly where we should be, that we are so much more than savages in caves, and that there are no atrocities left to fight against.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the human race has got practically nowhere since being on this planet.
Some are of the belief that the space and time we inhabit is the pinnacle of progress. For instance, in the USA people proclaim their “freedom” and their support for wars against any country which wants to attack or challenge that freedom.
These people actually believe that a) they are free and b) their government wage wars mainly with the goal of protecting that freedom.
This is a so called “developed nation”, a developed nation which has the authority to proclaim others as undeveloped, “failed” even. The American people have working conditions which people in the UK would find terrifying; no paid holidays or sick leave; no job security whatsoever; undefined working hours which can see people working nine hour days as standard; healthcare dependent on working status etc.
The conditions in the UK, so much better than in the US, are laughable compared to standard of living in some European countries, where they have better working conditions, better school systems, far less littering or other social indiscretions that we consider standard behaviour.
In Europe the streets are clean and there is little in the way of what here in the UK we consider our social problems such as binge drinking or teenage pregnancy, or the “dolite” culture – what we in the UK call “something for nothing culture”: Oh how very ironic considering this is exactly the notion many have towards other animals; give me your life, give me your flesh, I want to eat it, and I will take the “right” to do so as standard, given, unchallengable.
So, unlike from those nations we in the West consider underdeveloped, it would seem Europe has the whole human evolution thing sewn up. Yet, in Denmark you can enter an “animal bordello”, where, shockingly, it is legal for humans to have sex with animals.
“In most countries, including the UK, it’s illegal to have sex with another species or to view images that depict interspecies sex. It’s time for Denmark to follow suit.” – say PETA… MOST COUNTRIES?! This is in the most progressive society I can think of with their clean streets, their what the Guardian calls the “the closest thing to paradise on Earth” in this article, where they state, “According to the UN human development index (HDI), which measures life expectancy, literacy, education levels and standards of living in a country, six of the 10 most developed nations in the world are in Europe.” – Yes, that sounds excellent, yet, as well as the other, socially accepted, ways in which this society exploits other animals, in addition, they force themselves upon these other animals sexually.
Many in the “developed” world seem to believe that, because we don’t stone people to death, practice female genital mutilation, or put children on death row, that we’re there, we’ve done it.
We’ve all heard of “Eurocentrism” as referring to the notion of European exceptionalism. I think we have what could be termed “anthropocentrism” – this deluded arrogance that Homo sapiens are so enlightened, so intelligent, so morally and cognitively superior.
The very fact we use this supposed moral and cognitive superiority not only to kill our own planet and our own people, but to breed and inflict unending misery on every single other species we share the planet with, well that tells you right there that we are, for one, definitely not morally superior, not by anyone’s definition of the term “moral”. And the fact the things above even go on today is a sign that humans have got nowhere on the evolutionary scale.
It was legal in this country (the UK) to rape your wife before 1991 – I was around then, that’s mental. We think we’re in a world that has evolved to the fullest, but we are nowhere near; female genital mutilation; modern day slavery; a monetary system that is a complete joke; a third of the world’s urban population living in slums; babies born to die the same day from starvation; rape as a weapon of war – show that collectively, we haven’t made a dent in civilisation. This is how I know it isn’t silly to believe we can make another dent regarding our view and treatment of other animals. It’s going to happen because it has to, because we haven’t even begun to become what we believe we already are; enlightened.
We are living in the dark ages compared to where we should be. A rudimentary A-Level (16 – 18), High School Diploma for the US) academic education will introduce you to these concepts, and I fear those who suggest it’s ridiculous to envisage and work for a better future for other animals lack even this.
If you are called a “fuzzy-headed dreamer”, a foolish idealist, childish, or even stupid for envisaging and working for a better future for other animals, please know that you are none of these things. You have the knowledge of history – the fact this very situation has been upon us before; with slavery, with emancipation. We have before been told it’s ridiculous, it’s unworkable, it’s idealist. The table below, exemplifies the reasons used to justify animal exploitation and to discourage people from seeking its end by making them feel silly or asserting the idea itself is unrealistic and impracticable.
|Slavery is natural||Animal agriculture is natural|
|Slavery has always existed||Animal agriculture has always existed|
|Every society on earth has slavery||Every society on earth has animal agriculture|
|The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves||The animals are not capable of living by themselves|
|Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils||Getting rid of animal agriculture would cause animals to starve or freeze etc.|
|Trying to get rid of slavery is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal||Trying to get rid of animal agriculture is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal|
|Forget abolition. A far better plan is to keep the slaves sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and occasionally entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter||Forget abolition. A far better plan is to exploit the animals as humanely as possible with gradual reforms and theoretical regulations|
It is not ridiculous or unworkable, it is idealist. It’s evolutionary, and it’s inevitable, because we are evolving all the time, we are nowhere near halfway through this process.
We have a million miles to go, but you don’t stop dead because an elitist few, who have taken control of the world’s wealth and influence, tell you we’re done. You keep going, you keep pushing, you keep progressing.
There will always be people are comfortable the way things are, and people who perhaps don’t believe we should change things because it would upset their comfort:
However, this is at the expense of the comfort – nay the lives, the true right not to be exploited – of 56 billion others per year at the hands of those who don’t believe it can be any other way. It can be another way.
Again, it’s happened, before, and it will happen again. Withdraw your support for this, because it still isn’t right, even if it has changed species.