In horrific, never-before-seen undercover video footage leaked to PETA, training instructors hired by the military are seen breaking and cutting off the limbs of live goats with tree trimmers, stabbing the animals, and pulling out their internal organs. After PETA filed a complaint about this disturbing video footage, which shows goats moaning and kicking as they are stabbed and cut into (signs that they had not received adequate anesthesia), the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an official warning to the training provider for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act and Congress called for an investigation.
“They thought red meat put hair on their chest and made them more manly. And I said, guys, no. It doesn’t. What it does is it puts plaque in your arteries and it makes you less of a man. The canary in the coal mine, when it comes to heart disease, the first sign is an under-performing penis.” ― Rip Esselstyn, former firefighter and triathlete
Sentient beings feel pleasure, pain, fear and attachment. Biologically, sentient beings have a nervous system, which allows them to innately experience these feelings. Sentient creatures will seek pleasure, will react to fear, and most significantly, avoid suffering and pain in order to live. Animal rights are based on the idea that non human animals, like humans, are sentient beings, and like humans, non human animals have an interest in preserving their own lives.
One of New Zealand’s most popular radio programs, Sunday Ideas, aired an in-depth interview with me about my work, and how elements of the “Green Scare” are appearing internationally. When I visited New Zealand on my lecture tour, surveillance issues were becoming a national controversy; now, New Zealand has passed a law allowing the kiwi equivalent of the NSA to spy on citizens, and Kim Dotcom is moving forward with his lawsuit related to illegal spying
There’s an animal liberation meme making the rounds in which the image of a railway car loaded with doomed pigs is juxtaposed with this oft-quoted line from Dr. Helmut Kaplan:
“Our grandchildren will ask us one day: Where were you during the Holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrifying crimes? We won’t be able to offer the same excuse for the second time, that we didn’t know.”
No sentient being is safe when “radicals” and “activists” are lining up in the name of making the fast food industry a more agreeable place to work. Of course the workers stuck at these jobs need help, but is anyone willing to think long-term? What kind of vision for the future are we promoting when we make it more palatable for humans to give their daily energy as a cog in an ecocidal machine?
The goal of these laws, it would appear, is to keep consumers from seeing where modern meat really comes from. Considering that 94 percent of the American public believes that animals raised for food should be free from abuse and cruelty, the modern meat industry has some good reasons to fear the public finding out that Old MacDonald’s farm isn’t so happy these days.
“The path of the norm is the path of least resistance; it is the route we take when we’re on auto-pilot and don’t even realize we’re following a course of action that we haven’t consciously chosen. Most people who eat meat have no idea that they’re behaving in accordance with the tenets of a system that has defined many of their values, preferences, and behaviors. What they call ‘free choice’ is, in fact, the result of a narrowly obstructed set of options that have been chosen for them. They don’t realize, for instance, that they have been taught to value human life so far above certain forms of nonhuman life that it seems appropriate for their taste preferences to supersede other species’ preference for survival.”
“The mistreatment of animals can all-too-often be normalised in our society and we regularly see newspapers reporting “cute” or “funny” stories about animals in which the individual animal’s welfare may be compromised. I must say, though, I have never read a news report which takes a clear example of animal abuse, and a potential breach of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and twists it into an attempt to gain cheap laughs from its readership. A person punching, hitting or otherwise attacking an animal is never funny. I am surprised and saddened that a newspaper like the Sun, which has strongly supported animal protection campaigns in the past, has chosen to highlight a serious incident in this thoughtless manner”
That day, for nearly two hours, I sat at my computer and poured over undercover footage from inside factory farms. How could it be that in 30 years, no one had told me that this is how animals we eat become our food? I saw the terrified looks on the animals’ faces, the cruel beatings and torment they endured. I heard the desensitized farm-workers screaming in their faces. And inside, I felt hollow because I knew what this felt like. I knew it from growing up. I knew what it’s like to be bullied.
Sara Starkey comments on a short piece from The Guardian which relates how sparrow killing in the UK was still going on up until the 1930’s, and shares info on how the Chinese tried to eradicate these ‘pests’ suffering the consequences for tampering with the balance of nature. Her remarks on the grey squirrel, demonised after a killing campaign against the red squirrel, are very pertinent, highlighting how easily people unthinkingly absorb the propaganda against whatever species has fallen out of our favour.
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is calling for an investigation into wrongdoing at Imperial College London following the release of footage obtained during an undercover investigation that exposed horrific cruelty to lab animals