I was browsing through Youtube and came across this clip of Earthlings that really touches a nerve.
I’ve been a vegan for purely ethical reasons since the end of 2007. Part of that was due to this movie, most of it was due to my own conscience (and my wife). This clip really stands out in my mind since the scene starting at around 4:06 minutes (you can skip forward since the link didn’t show it properly) shows a chicken, just a random chicken from a slaughterhouse. After being manhandled and basically “broken” she misses the tube and casually sits on the ground. Within seconds, you know she’s dead, but, in that brief moment, she’s still a chicken.
Something about that one scene strikes me. Despite the absolute hell she’s surrounded by, this chicken could have been any number of chickens I’ve worked with. She could have just been a chicken sitting down after a long stroll in the pen… until the moment she’s picked up and slammed into the tube where she’s killed.
I can understand people who don’t know any better, still going to the store and buying meat. I can even understand people who have been brought up in cultures where their attitude towards animals is total indifference, still eating meat. What I can’t stand are people who should and do know better, have all the information at their finger tips, call themselves “animal lovers”, sill eating meat or any animal product.
How twisted is that logic? How do you justify that supposed love? Do you love all animals except the ones you’re about to eat? Do you love only the cute and cuddly ones?
That term, “animal lover” has been so perverted thanks to these twisted minds, that I refuse to use it when describing my relationship with animals. I respect animals, not love them. Unlike their “love”, that respect doesn’t go away because the animal has feathers, scales, or fur. I don’t lose respect for an animal acting like an animal. I don’t lose respect for an animal that shows fear of me. I don’t lose respect for an animal because they bite me. With that respect will come love, but without it, what kind of relationship do you really have?
Animal Welfare advocates and workers, especially, really need to take a step back and see how much respect they actually do have for these animals. If they still eat meat, wear wool, sleep on down pillows, eat dairy, etc. how can they really say they respect the animals?
I don’t doubt that doing this kind of work makes them feel better, but how one-sided is that relationship? They gain all the benefits from it, while the animals gain whatever goodwill trickles down to them as a side-effect.
In a more practical sense, what gives them the right to talk to others about animal advocacy programs, if they don’t “practice what they preach”? People working in this field who go around lecturing and teaching others about animal welfare, but still knowingly use animals in their day to day life, are worse than the people they’re preaching to. Their audience can at least use ignorance as an excuse for still eating and using animals in their lives. What’s the excuse for the people doing the preaching though?
How is the Animal Rights community at large supposed to gain any ground in their argument for protecting animals, if these people and entire organizations, are this blatantly hypocritical about their own message?
In some of the places I’ve worked, even some of the largest organizations in this country, you’d be lucky to find just a quarter of the staff who were even vegetarian, let alone vegan. On the surface their message is all about compassion, but dig just a shallow hole and you’ll spot those same people enjoying a cheese pizza or a t-bone steak for dinner.
What’s their excuse? That cow wasn’t as cute as their dog?
If you want me to bring this back to parrots… you’d be horrified at how many people think chicken is a great food/treat for their bird! And the way they describe their birds “sucking the marrow out of the bones” would almost cause your jaw to drop.