A word on language:
Language has denotations and connotations, language can be emotive, language can be stark. Whether done purposely or not, language can convey feeling. In our efforts to change the social landscape and the way we view other animals in the current social consciousness, I believe it is important to consider language and the way we talk and write about the following terms:
As said by Roddy Piper in his blog
“I don’t think people involved in mass-animal killing operations should call themselves farmers. That term should be reserved for growing crops.”
Indeed farming, as described below, is the innocent notion of using land to grow:
Animal agriculture is something different. Animal agriculture uses animals; breeds them, impregnates them, packs them, and sells them for slaughter. It ends lives, it does not grow it.
I am in agreement that the term “farming” should be used to mean growing crops and resources for the good of human health, food that is healthful for our bodies, and there is no reason that it should include exploitation of our fellow animals.
There should not be a word for people who eat the food designed for our bodies. There should be a word for people who eat a diet dictated to us by a group who wish to make money by convincing us we need the flesh and excretions of other animals to be healthy. There are indeed words for these people already; brainwashed, misinformed, ignorant (IGNORE-ant of the reality) – let’s start using them.
There should not be a word for those who believe inflicting suffering on others is wrong. There should be a word for people who believe inflicting suffering on others is right, or who simply do not think about the suffering inflicted upon others because they gain from that suffering. There are words for these people already; psychopaths, sociopaths, immoral people, narcissists – let’s start using them.
There should not be a word for those who believe the trade in meat and intensive animal agriculture is destroying our planet. There should be a word for people who either don’t believe or refuse to accept that the trade in meat and intensive animal agriculture is destroying our planet. There are words for these people already; climate change deniers, anti-environmentalists – let’s start using them.
The same goes for those who believe the absurd lie that human beings are not naturally 100% herbivorous, or that we need animal flesh or secretions to be healthy, or that mammals require any milk whatsoever after infancy and weaning, or that cows’ milk is healthy for humans at all – these people are brainwashed by an industry which has influence over our public health policies – this does not make them correct, and those who believe any of this stuff are simply misinformed.
Many of those who own and exploit animals for “food” proclaim to love the animals they use.
Many who buy the flesh and secretions of animals and consume their body parts and secretions claim to love the animals they eat.
Let’s take some definitions of the term “love”:
“An emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment”
The very nature of animal agriculture ignores completely the individuality of animals being used. These animals are sent to the slaughterhouse in groups to have their throats slit on a production line. They are not led in individually, petted through the process, reassured it’s all going to be okay, said goodbye to, and laid to rest as individuals. Their carcases are then chopped and packed and sold to various marketplaces – there is no individual attachment here.
The animals used are packed tightly for live exports often suffering dehydration, hyper or hypothermia, immense stress, fear, and agony. They are not treated as individuals in these processes.
If the smaller family farms name their milking or their meat herds, they are still milked throughout their pregnancies, their babies are still “removed” to feed that baby back into the milking herd or sell them to a veal manufacturer. They are not allowed to nurse or even keep young because they are not considered individuals with individual attachments, they are considered commodities.
It has even been protested that cows lack the cognitive ability to even form these attachments – an untruth which has been proven false time and again, and one which is obviously false when we think of these animals as individuals. Please view this video of a cow running after a truck carrying her baby away, warning: it’s heartbreaking.
The people who buy packaged flesh from the supermarkets or jugs of lactate secretions, made specifically for a young who was taken to a veal crate, do not see these pieces of flesh as part of a fellow animal. The very practice of selling this stuff to them relies on the fact they do not. The meat trade relies on people never making that connection, for when they do, many rescind their support (i.e. “go vegan), realising this is the only moral thing to do.
Do you know the name of your last strip of bacon? Did you mourn the suffering and death of the pig or piglet who the strip was torn from? If the answer is no, then you are definitely not treating these animals as individuals.
“ A virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection”
This is kindness, compassion, and affection:
This is not:
(Taken in Chirk, near Wrexham, North Wales)
This is kindness, compassion, and affection:
This is not:
(Noel Chadwich Abattoir, North West, UK)
“The unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another“
The very practice of using someone else for your gain, whilst disregarding their well-being (i.e. killing or having them killed, and eating them) is the very definition of selfish.
The very practice of buying the flesh of another who suffered and died because you love bacon is the very definition of selfish.
If you use animals in this way, if you buy parts of animals used in this way, then you are not “benevolent”, you are not “concerned for their welfare”, you are not “loyal” to fellow animals, you are selfish – you are the very definition of it.
“Compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals”
You show no compassion to the animals you use, to the animals you eat, or the humans who ask you to show that compassion.
So when farmers or those who eat animals or drink their secretions proclaim to “love animals” – this is not true. This is why people say if you love animals you don’t eat them.
If you still believe you love the animals you eat, or that you love the animals you use, then you have a grossly distorted understanding of the concept of love. Ask yourself, how do you show this love you proclaim to have?
I think the love people who use or who eat used animals is akin to the love proclaimed by those who are violent towards their partners.
People forget an important point; humans are animals.
People look in horror when you use the term “non-human animals” – but, although many use that term “animal” to exclude humans (see below) the fact remains that we are members of the animal kingdom.
We share some important features with many of the other animals on this planet in that we have a brain, a central nervous system and spinal cord – giving us the ability to experience pain and pleasure – and although other animals don’t communicate in exactly the same way most human animals can and do, we all experience the world in the same way through sensations and processing information. We are all part of Kingdom Animalia.
* Plants have feelings?
I’m loathe to address the whole “plants feel pain” fulmination, but I will point out briefly – plants react, they don’t respond.
Plants cannot feel physical pain as they have no central nervous system, no brain or spinal cord, they are not sentient, and anyone believing we should err on the side of caution regarding harming plants has more moral obligation to shun animal agriculture, as many more plants are “harmed” during that process than they could ever be by being eaten directly.
Plants do not have these:
There is no known mechanism by which plants would be able to feel physical pain.
Humans are just another species of animal on this planet. Humans would not able to do the things we do to other animals were it not for the machinery and technology we use, which accounts to nothing more than a sophisticated system of bullying, and has nothing whatsoever to do with “nature” or “evolution” anymore, it is business. It is the exploitation of those who can feel pain and fear and who do feel pain and fear, for money. This is regardless of public health, regardless of global starvation, regardless of our environment, and regardless of morals. This is business. This is an abhorrent business which has no place in a civilised society.
Living, sentient beings who can feel and who have natural behaviours they wish to carry out, who have a desire to live, are not “stock”. This is true of human and non-human animals. Calling living beings stock is repugnant, whether it be humans:
Or other animals:
We do not call humans’ flesh “meat”, not readily. There may always be the Jeffrey Dahmers or Albert Fishs of the world who have a compulsion to eat human flesh, but these people are seen as evil, disturbed, sick, criminal. Just as anyone who defended human slavery today
The idea that other animals are there for us to use, harm, even eat, should and will garner the same reaction. The “mmm bacon” mantra should and will be as outlandish as was Dahmer’s “mmm sautéed human genitalia”.
Their bodies, not ours. Their eggs, not ours. Their milk, not ours. Their babies, not ours.
It’s not food | It’s violence.