Fantasy Farming vs. Factory Farming:
A Faustian Bargain
“The one good thing the ballot did was raise more awareness of animal suffering, but the energy and time and money spent on welfare issues has got to stop. This is such a glaring example of where it leads.”
— Cynthia Cruser, email to United Poultry Concerns on October 11, 2017, regarding a slaughterhouse for cows, pigs, sheep and birds that is under construction in Westport Massachusetts, where activists are peacefully protesting.
Many animal activists are uncomfortable with farmed animal “welfare” initiatives because of their tendency to suggest that an acceptable alternative to “factory farming” is “ethically-sourced,” “locally-sourced,” “humanely-raised,” or “responsibly caught” animals. This approach to gathering support for an animal welfare initiative seeks ominously to sweeten the pot by offering the public a compensatory group of animals as bait for their support for an “anti-factory-farming” initiative. People are tacitly or overtly given permission to hurt this group of animals (“humanely-raised”), if only they will leave that other group (“factory-farmed” animals) alone.
The fact is that all animal farming is factory-farming, a business like any other – only the precursors of the final products, instead of being inanimate, are conscious beings like ourselves. What’s happening now, in the factory farming versus “humane” farming rivalry, is a version of George Orwell’s parable, in 1984, of how the revolutionary Brotherhood rises up to challenge Big Brother, only to become indistinguishable from its evil “opposite.” Turns out there is no real rivalry between them, because they are, at bottom, cut from the same cloth.
Animal rights activist, Cynthia Cruser, explained to UPC this month that the Massachusetts ballot, in 2016, “passed by a wide margin in favor of the animals. I don't think one person I talked to did not want to sign it, so it didn't surprise me. One man said he hadn't voted for years but he was going to go out and vote for the animals, and another young girl, who said she had never registered to vote because she didn't think it was worth it, said she was going to register so she could ‘vote for the animals.’ The Ultimate Betrayal is sickeningly true for these animals, but it is also true of the people who love animals in their hearts and are led to believe that somehow someone is on watch making things okay. Time to end the sabotage.”
Cynthia’s Letter, “Show compassion, and reject new Westport slaughterhouse,” was published in The Herald News on October 10, 2017:
Letter to the Editor:
Show compassion, and reject new Westport
A few years ago I helped gather signatures for a ballot initiative in Massachusetts. It prohibited animal products from being sold in the state if the animals had been kept in “extreme confinement” situations. The initiative eventually passed, easily. I love animals. It makes no sense to me to love a kitten and eat a little lamb or a piglet. So of course I don’t want to see them suffer in any way, and clearly neither do a large majority of the residents of Massachusetts.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals — states that, when appropriately planned, vegan diets (diets containing no animal products) are “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” It further says that a vegan diet is appropriate for all stages of life including in pregnancy and for athletes.
The Herald News reported on Sept. 12 that there is a new slaughterhouse under construction on State Road in Westport. If this killing of animals, in fact, is unnecessary, then it follows that it is inhumane and morally wrong.
Carnism, a term defined by Melanie Joy, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, is a lifestyle that revolves around the domination and consumption of animals and their excretions. This slaughterhouse will add to carnists’ convenience and enjoyment.
If the residents of Massachusetts really care about animals, I ask them to consider the fact that cows, pigs, sheep and chickens — the beautiful, sentient creatures to be “processed” in Westport — are individuals with lives of value, worthy of our respect and love. They are not commodities to be owned and killed at our whim. Because we think something is traditional or natural does not make it morally right.
Let’s not drive by these animals on the way to their death, as our children sit beside us in the car. Instead let’s show our children what compassion and empathy look like.
Do not make a truce with “humane” animal abuse.
Vegan is the only solution.
– United Poultry Concerns