The untold suffering of our animal friends, victims of collapsing slaughter houses in the wake of mass worker viral infections, is so manifest it shouldn’t be ignored. It isn’t just Asian wet markets that need closing, though China bristles in denial, but industrial farming here at home, latent with cruelty, harbinger of disease, pervasive in despoiling the earth and advancing climate change. We rightly become angry at those who selfishly resist public safeguards like wearing masks and practicing social distancing￼ yet, hypocritically, continue to crave meat that perpetuates such wrongs. I’m not asking you to become vegan, but at least reduce your intake of meat. Let’s get rid of this institutionalized mass cruelty. There are better ways.
This morning’s Guardian informs us that “at least two million animals have already reportedly been culled on farms, and that number is expected to rise. Approved methods for slaughtering poultry include slow suffocation by covering them with foam, or by shutting off the ventilation into the barns.” I’ll not even tell you about the plight of pigs, those most remarkably sentient animals.
Peter Singer, the world’s renowned ethicist, makes good sense to me and, hopefully, to you:
“It is tragic that countries such as China and India, as they become more prosperous, are copying western methods and putting animals in huge industrial farms. If this continues, the result will be animal suffering on an even greater scale than now exists in the west, as well as more environmental damage and a rise in heart disease and cancers of the digestive system. It will also be grossly inefficient. As consumers, we have the power – and the moral obligation – to refuse to support farming methods that are cruel to animals and bad for us.”