Editor’s Note: When I read the news this morning I came across a brutal, gruesome piece about a family who had been murdered; it was shocking and extremely upsetting, a nightmare in print, described as bloody, fearsome, and agonizing.
However, the commentary provided further details that the perpetrator used a stun gun on the victims prior to murdering them, so apparently their deaths were humane and therefore socially acceptable …
I received no less than ten emails this morning asking me to sign and publish a petition against using a particular instrument to slaughter animals. It had in its title Extreme Cruelty. I asked myself, then what is tolerable? Just Cruelty? And who defines such?
And what makes murder “humane”? The loss of consciousness prior to being skinned, dismembered, or eviscerated?
For those who strive for “less-barbaric” forms of murder, how can you even be certain that these animals are always unconscious prior to being sawed in half? It is impossible. In Joby Warrick’s exposé They Die Piece by Piece, Investigation Reveals Rampant Cruelty in Industrial Slaughterhouses he establishes that this is an illusion. Indeed, 287 chickens, 3.68 pigs, and 1.120 cows are murdered EVERY SECOND, just in the United States. Stunning procedures are a moral stupor, an ambitious foray into ethics meant to benefit HUMANS and not the victims.
Slavery is equally reprehensible, but what is acceptable? As long as one has five minutes in the sun, or an unshackled leg, then one can be ethically “reared” and then destroyed?
My goal is not to criticize or condemn whatsoever. I understand the temptation and the desire to implement measures NOW, to diminish suffering NOW, but studies have proven that welfare “improvements” only serve to increase suffering by ironically increasing public demand and subsequent death.
In recent years the UK has seen an explosion in the popularity of free-range eggs – thanks in part to many high profile campaigns by animal welfare organisations.
And, interestingly, these measures are fluid and can be compromised, meaning the human manufactures the humane based on the human benefits:
THE RSPCA is relaxing its rules on stocking densities for free range hens because soaring demand by consumers means farmers are running out of space.
The maximum number of hens allowed outdoors under the RSPCA Freedom Food assurance scheme will rise from the current 1,000 birds per hectare to 2,000 over the life of the flock.
And this all goes without saying that cage-free is just as inhumane as caged animals, but it makes people feel better about eating them.
Furthermore, it is insufficient to ask how I would prefer to be enslaved and murdered because I will never meet this decision and nobody is giving the animals the choice anyway: animals are non-consenting victims, and as long as non-human animals are bred to be dead by human animals, none will ever enjoy any conditions even remotely “humane”.
Please don’t make slavery and murder humane by accepting forms of husbandry and slaughter you feel are less malicious: doing so is speciesist and only endorses the depraved precept that animals are products.
The only humane is vegan. SRL
Forwarded by AR News (Brennan Browne)
By Bea Elliot
Jim Sinclair who has autism, helped organize Autism Network International. He has written some insightful and poetic essays regarding his autism and his experiences living in a world in which he is “different”.
The ANI was founded not for parents or family, but rather for the people with autism. Their annual retreat attempts to provide a space in which they can interact with each other without the pressures of a world trying to find a “cure” for their differences.
Sinclair is also pro animal rights. He wrote the following poignant piece in response to Temple Grandin, who works for the meat industry by providing more efficient methods of animal slaughter.
If you love something, you don’t kill it.
By Jim Sinclair
I didn’t need to spend time in a squeeze box to learn that. Love is not killing. If you know what another being feels–not just how you feel when you touch it–then you know that living things want to remain alive. It doesn’t matter if they’re not afraid of death before they know what’s going to happen to them. In the moment when the killing happens, they know, and they want to stay alive. I have seen this, and I have felt death happen. I haven’t seen as much of death as someone who is obsessively drawn to slaughter factories, but I’ve seen enough to know. Life does not consent to be killed. I don’t need a Ph.D. in animal science to recognize that.
Dying as a natural process is not the same as killing a healthy living creature. I have witnessed sudden death from injury, and gradual death from aging or disease. They’re not the same. (I have not witnessed deliberately inflicted death, because I will not stand by and allow killing to happen in my presence.) It’s irrelevant if a middle-aged scientist can say that she doesn’t fear death, that she understands it as a natural part of life. Almost all the beings whose lives she helps end are immature or just barely mature. Almost none of them are close to natural death. They’re not ready to die. If someone were to shoot or stab or electrocute the middle-aged scientist today, she might find that she’s not ready to die either. If you understand life, you know that it wants to continue. If you feel life throbbing under your touch, you know it’s desecration to set your hand to stop that living pulse. If you love something, you don’t kill it.
Skill and ingenuity are not the same as empathy and caring. And love is not the same thing as killing. If you love something, you don’t kill it. It’s as simple as that.
There’s a special technique involved in tying a hangman’s noose so the victim is killed instantly by a broken neck, rather than slowly by strangulation. I suppose it’s part of a hangman’s professional expertise to learn to tie this knot properly. That expertise doesn’t make the hangman a caring or compassionate person. The hangman’s knot, the guillotine, the electric chair, the gas chamber, and the lethal injection were all designed to make deliberately inflicted death less painful to the victim. But I’ve never heard the inventors or the users of these technologies hailed as great humanitarians. I’ve never heard them praised for their great empathy toward the lives they’ve ended. Certainly it takes some ingenuity to invent new equipment. I’m a pretty smart person, but my expertise with knots is limited to being able to tie my shoes, to make a slip knot and a square knot. I tie these knots the way others taught me to tie them; I’ve never invented a new kind of knot by myself. If I were to try to design a knot that could quickly and painlessly kill someone, I’d never be able to figure it out. Whoever invented that knot had a type of mechanical creativity and skill that I don’t have. But if I did have it, I’d use it for other purposes. I wouldn’t need to invent a way to kill with a knot, because I would never be willing to participate in any way in killing a bound and defenseless person. Skill and ingenuity are not the same as empathy and caring. And love is not the same thing as killing. If you love something, you don’t kill it. It’s as simple as that.