The lives of Animals

I am back after a long hiatus! I must admit I missed writing… I missed the clarity it gave me, the vent for my frustrations… I hope to be diligent from this year!

Today I came across this book called “The Lives of Animals” by JM Coetzee, though it was publised some 10 years ago. I was much delighted to find a book on the sheer exploitation of animals because, off late I have been seeing things and becoming more and more exposed to the atrocities that animals endure and the sheer callousness with which we ignore their plight. I saw this video a friend had posted on facebook about cruel treatment of animals in China for their fur (lets not forget that cruelty to animals is a worldwide phenomenon). The video was soooo disturbing I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even now, I feel the pain and anguish every time. Since then, I gave up eating meat (which I had started 3 years ago), though I am still struggling when it comes to giving up dairy products and eggs. Coming from India, we never really had use for fur… I do have leather shoes and every time I wear them, I feel guilty…

Confessions apart, the reasons I find use of animal products undesirable and cruel is because of the way it is made available to us. Sure on the covers of eggs and meat products, the animated face of a chicken/ bull is happy and smiling that someone has killed and packed it for someone else to devour it. But the truth is this, animals are mass produced and grown in discomforting and painful environments just so that they can be killed in mass and supplied around to be consumed.

Some of my friends tell me that these animals need to be eaten because, due to decreasing forests, their natural predators no long perform the task of trimming the herd (because they are long gone). Who are we kidding, chickens and roosters and goats we never known to have lived in wild environments… These are just excuses for us to be guilt free. In the book, the slaughter is compared to a holocaust and I think there cannot be a better way to describe it… I must confess I haven’t read the book as yet, but I’ve read many reviews (just today) and I’m dying to get myself a copy.

And since they are produced and killed in mass and the industry is flourishing in spite of many scandalous news about the state of the slaughter houses and quality of meat, it is obvious that there is demand, and hence, there is supply. But does this imply we can reduce supply when demand reduces? I honestly do not know, but I wish to believe it is true.

There is always someone who raises the question of plants when we talk about animals. “Don’t you think plants are living creatures as well. How can one justify cutting and eating vegetables, fruits and greens then?” Well, we all live in a world with complex systems wherein the dark sides are always hidden. When we are exposed to them, it is better to be inquisitive about it, explore than to live in denial.

I’m adding the link to the video that I saw… I must warn you, it is very disturbing…

Even now I am only talking about consumption of animals and animal products… There are many other forms of animal cruelty, some I am not even familiar with and am slowly exploring as I read on it more… Like Horton says, It is time to get the “illusion of superiority” out of our heads!!!

I’ll end with something I heard today. Though it’s not verbatim, it goes something like this: If all species of insects slowly become extinct, all living forms will come to an end. But if the human beings become extinct, all living forms would flourish…

It is time to put the brakes on our ravenous appetite I guess…

Published in: on January 2, 2011 at 8:54 PM  Leave a Comment  

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