Thursday, May 16, 2013

Animal Cruelty: a topic deeper than it seems

There was quite a stir a few days ago in Chile when the "En la Mira" TV Show aired its episode entitled "The Sins of Meat", which showed the abuse suffered by the vast majority of animals cataloged as "for human consumption" from birth until they lose their lives in slaughterhouses. But beyond the impact of the show, the reaction displayed by most of the country in this regard is what really deserves to be commented on.
Documentaries dealing with animal cruelty have existed for many years, but I think this is one of the first times that a local TV station explored this situation further and in such a raw manner, and I think the fact that the situations depicted in the show took place here in Chile, and not in some foreign country, it's what shocked people the most around here. Many praised the show for bringing attention to this type of issues, hoping this would bring some awareness so people stop supporting an industry that treats animals as food and nothing else ... but many others did nothing but use this topic to generate a debate that went nowhere.

"I bet all those who defend animals, this weekend will be enjoying a nice barbecue" read a comment in one of the many social networks which addressed the issue. "It is not about stop eating meat, it's about animals not suffering when being slaughtered" another user was trying to reason in cyberspace. The truth of the matter is that it IS about no longer seeing animals as mere "things" we can eat whenever we want, thinking that because a cow cannot speak English and say " Hi, would you mind not eating me, please? ", that automatically means that animals give us permission to eat them. Others use the Bible as a justification that humans have a right to eat everything they want, but that is an even murkier subject to tackle.

What surprises me is that nobody seems to be making the connection that not so long ago there were human beings who were treated the same way or even worse than these animals. Maybe most people forgot that time of slavery where some humans were considered lower than animals, and therefore, you could do whatever you wanted to them? And that situation actually ended just recently. As I watched ChilevisiĆ³n's program, I could easily picture people in those cages, being forced to breed and fatten for consumption by someone else. Thing is, if humans did not have rights as they do now, could something like this be happening right now?

If it were legal to catalog a certain group of people as "fit for human consumption", would still there be some who defended their preference for human flesh saying "It's okay eating humans, just do not make them suffer when they're slaughtered"? Or those who would say "we need to eat humans for the protein"? However deranged these questions may seem, I see no difference between these justifications and those who advocate eating meat  as natural. The excuse that  since animals do not talk it's ok to eat them, I find it more insane than any of my ideas. Besides, no one can say for sure that there is no conspiracy somewhere to go back to the times of human slavery, as animal slavery still continues going strong to this day, and there are no signs that this will end anytime soon.

What do you think? Do we really have the right to eat animals for the simple reason that they can't tell us not to do it? Please leave me a comment in the section below, I'd appreciate it.



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