"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Call for empathy with all farm animals

A couple of days ago I wrote about the dangers of remoteness – how if we saw the results of our actions we may think twice about some of our behavior.
I may have said this before – forgive me if so, but it is such an important topic, it bears repeating. And some readers of my blog are just passing through for the day, so to speak, so will have missed previous posts on this.
1 in every 30 Americans, that is 10 million people, back the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals and is America’s ‘mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect.’ This means that 29 out of every 30 or 290 million Americans may not care very much about animal cruelty. That is a huge number of people. OK I appreciate that many will not be able to afford belonging to every cause that takes their fancy. But that doesn’t mean we have to ignore the plight of farm animals. We can vote with how we spend our money on meat. Many farm animals are subjected to the most appallingly cruel conditions in factory farms. Would those who love their own family pets be happy for them to be treated to the same kind of cruelty? By our inactions we appear to condone miserable birthing cages or farrowing crates for female pigs, where they are held for months and can hardly move let alone turn around or socialize with other pigs; we eat and apparently enjoy the French delicacy pate de foie gras which requires that ducks and geese are force-fed unnaturally large quantities of food through a metal tube that is shoved down their throats and into their stomachs two or three times each day. This barbaric treatment produces a liver that is fatty, diseased and ten times the normal size. It sounds disgusting and it is; goodness knows how those birds must suffer. We prefer not to know about the calves separated from their mothers within the first few days of birth and crammed into individual crates or stalls, tethered by their necks, so they can hardly move, for the duration of their dreadful short lives; and we ignore the plight of the 280 million laying hens in the United States which spend their lives cooped up in tiny cages with no more than the space of an A4 piece of paper that they can (hardly) call their own.
This is not only about cruelty to animals, although that is reason enough to do something to stop these dreadful practices. Organic humanely reared food is better for our health, and usually tastes a whole lot better as well. We could all pledge to eat quality not quantity, cut back on portion sizes but really savour the taste of what we eat. These factory farms are pushing the small family farmers, on farms that have practiced small-scale humane husbandry sometimes through generations, to the brink of bankruptcy. It is said that every new factory farm forces 10 family farmers out of business. With every small family farmer that has to leave the farm, communities lose access to fresh, healthy food and local economies are weakened. And a sustainable environment is threatened with abnormal pollution patterns and disease.

So let’s try to think a little more about the effects of what we do, how we behave, as we go about our daily living. Let's use our imagination and help stop animal cruelty.

1 comment:

Edwin Rutsch said...

hi Eleanor

May I suggest a further resources to learn more about empathy and compassion.
The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
The Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews,  videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.

Also, we invite you to post a link to your article about empathy to our Empathy Center Facebook page.

Let's Find 1 Million People Who Want to Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion


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