After my long weekend up North I returned to a message from our neighborhood association announcing a picnic on April 11 on the Village Green. We paid a heap of extra money to live on the Village Green, so anything that happens there is basically happening in our front yard. Like a "BBQ, pony rides and a petting zoo!" Naturally, upon reading such words, my stomach turned and I immediately thought of making plans to be away from the house that day so I wouldn't have to see any of the festivities or try to negotiate walking the dogs around them.
When I started thinking about trying to get the association to cancel the pony rides and petting zoo (which are often part of one business as a quick Google search of "traveling petting zoo" will demonstrate), my several-year vegan husband said, "What's the use? It's not like these people care about animals. It's a barbeque for heaven's sake. Their kids are probably gonna be petting the animals they're eating and they might not even know it." Though I don't disagree, I guess my thinking was to at least take some business from the places that use living animals for profit because trying to affect the ones that have already killed the animals is not as urgent at that point, not to mention there's no way that would work. I might be able to nix the petting zoo, and maybe even the pony rides, but the "BBQ" will remain untouched. (Here's a factsheet about petting zoos, which at least in Florida have been a public health threat, to say nothing of the exploitation and suffering of the animals.)
I'm fairly confident that I don't know anyone who won't say that they don't approve of animal cruelty. Everyone claims to like animals and want the best for them and be against cruelty. Many will say they "love" animals. Meanwhile, most eat them, wear them and "love" the Kentucky Derby, yet don't approve of dog racing. It boggles the mind. Actually, it boggles my mind. But it shouldn't because it makes perfect sense. Their values are simply a reflection of the dominant culture, which they have either consciously or otherwise chosen not to challenge.
What would you do? Is it silly to go after the petting zoo when the event will likely
require hundreds of pig, cow and chicken corpses?
I'm thinking leave town is the best answer.