Many devastated after learning a husky is butchered … Few devastated that 2000 animals are butchered each second
I have experienced a number of emotions while reading about the canine victim Chico, who was butchered violently: anger, sadness, helplessness. And I suspect many feel similar: we embrace these emotions while clawing for answers and retribution, the pain of imagery and the vice of forgetfulness an impossibility. Chico is dead, the victim of a sociopathic monster with a grudge and the lack of decency, a small, weak, utterly impotent excuse of a person. And we will sign our petitions, we will call everyone, we will demand justice, and we will mourn Chico in the quiet of the night, warm tears and agonizing nightmares hidden by the darkness, thoughts of pain that are forced into heedless corners with the dawn and the adoption of metaphoric justice. Chico was a family member who was cherished and loved, and although we may not falter under the overwhelming burden of personal connection, we still feel rage and grieve along with thousands – even millions – who come together to demand justice on behalf of a beloved child barbarically killed by a person with a twisted mind and absence of soul.
Yet, what about those others who suffer in silence? The billions of Chicos who are neither mourned nor cherished? Globally, 2000 Chicos are butchered each second. Where is their justice, their fleet of warriors who will plow forward and refuse defeat?
Where are you?
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These victims, they have no names, no companionship, no comforts. They are not loved, they are not mourned, they are but meat, flesh, blood, and bones, a symbol of greed, a mirror image of distortion. But what is their crime? Why have you no tears for them? What have they done to deserve such an ignoble status, the misery of a label, the death of an ideal? Indeed, their fault lies in the ambition, the definition, and the hubris of human animals, those who manufacture them as products and numbers, statistics in the logistics of food. They are nameless, faceless beings, victims of social choice and speciesist mandates, a mass production of murder rendered ethical and necessary with pithy phrases and solicitous rhetoric, the lie of the emotion accepted with ease and gratitude by those who gladly refuse introspection.
“It’s legal! It’s necessary! It’s healthy! It’s god-given!”
All fabrications of an extended imagination, the shortcomings of an ethic.
Yet how do you reconcile what happened to Chico with your dinner, your habit, your shawl of disguise to conceal the reality of your contribution? What is the difference between Chico … and … Chico?
The difference is YOU.
The Billions Slaughtered US
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Violence is violence, whether inspired by madness or chosen for self, when you deliberate for your purpose, you dismiss victimization: to the animal who is skinned, dismembered, stolen from a mother, electrocuted, made to endure an abbreviated life of disease and agony, your personal absolution is but selfish indulgence. Your excuses fall on murdered ears, 2000 times per second.
You may find it necessary to claim familial ties and emotional bonds, yet your recap of self-serving forgiveness means nothing to those who do not reap your regard or your thought of loving interpretation. Trust the honesty that escapes your conscience: your excuse of death means nothing to the victim of such, the only benefactor of quiet exoneration is you. The animals are dead. The animals are dying. The animals will be maimed, brutalized, and murdered.
Imagine, if you will, that your dinner had a name, and his name was Chico. And his name will be Chico, and Chico will be butchered incessantly, 2000 times per second, and you will indulge in Chico, you will purchase, consume, wear, enjoy, and willingly grasp Chico as yours, a commodification of sentient sacrifice for human pleasure.
You beg for answers while you curse the damned, and you raise your fist in a characteristic gesture of anger and fortitude. “WHY???” But I believe the question is wrong and the answer you seek is deliberately obscured by the opaque preservation of will, a camouflaged “how could this happen?”, to be replaced by transparency and intentional complicity with, “how can I help prevent this? What can I do to diminish my endorsement of speciesism?”
When you reject speciesism, the prejudicial estimation of other beings as commodities, you reject deliberate abuse by not consuming, wearing, using, or exploiting. Indeed, the limitation of a manufactured label is revealed with cold clarity: the distortion of a mirror image is but a creatively designed egocentric dictionary of validations to challenge a principled and conscionable tenet, a baseline of equitable obligation.
But while I may read, the animal does not.
So will you speak for them? Fight for them? Or will Chico’s death be in vain? Because no animal will ever be free until they all are. And they all are waiting for you.