Three Takes on “Humane” Animal Products
Today’s theme is "humane" fill-in-the-blank.
- First, from Dallas Rising of Minnesota’s Animal Rights Coalition, we have The Humane Farming Myth
brochure, which ties into HumaneMyth.org. I like that #1 under "What You Can Do" is "Eat plant-based (vegan) foods," and of course the focus on how the public is being misled by all the talk of "humane" treatment is fantastic. The "humane" discussion makes the factory farm discussion moot, I think, in that if you know what’s going on to produce "humane" animal products, there’s no way you’d find factory-farmed products acceptable. Later today I’m going to add a category–or maybe a page–for pamphlets/brochures/handouts (/leaflets? And what’s the difference, anyway?) to facilitate easy access of everyone’s materials.
- Check out Compassionate Cooks tomorrow for an audio file of Colleen’s commentary about "humanely raised animals" that is airing on KQED, her local NPR station.
- Once again, The New York Times demonstrates its confusion about animal rights. This time, it’s Nicholas D. Kristof, ironically, the champion of the voiceless, exploited and massacred (humans, that is) in his "A Farm Boy Reflects," which is largely about California’s Proposition 2. I’m surprised by how flippant he is when speaking about animal suffering, considering how passionate about and dedicated he is to decreasing the exploitation and suffering of humans. There’s an odd disconnect there.
Kristof uses the term "animal rights" no less than six
times, and obviously has the term confused with animal welfare (though
perhaps not in the sentence: "Harvard Law School now offers a course on
animal rights.") The sheer number of misconceptions in this short
Opinion piece is astounding, and I think I could deconstruct every
paragraph (sentence, maybe?), finding a problem with all of them.
Problems include being offended by sentences such as: "Our cattle,
sheep, chickens and goats certainly had individual personalities, but
not such interesting ones that it bothered me that they might end up in
a stew." That’s a new one–"interesting" as the criterion for determining whether unnecessary slaughter is acceptable.
Then there’s: "Perhaps it seems like soggy sentimentality as well as
hypocrisy to stand up for animal rights, particularly when I enjoy
dining on these same animals," which of course leaves me shrieking You’re not standing up for animal rights!
What phrase or sentence struck you most?
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national discussion seems to have shifted from factory farms to
allegedly humane ones, but what I don’t see is a significant change in
the number of factory farms. Are these allegedly humane farms just
another way to unnecessarily slaughter sentient nonhumans? I think the
logic of those who think welfare reforms will lead to use ceasing our use of animals is that more "humane" farms will pop up and replace
factory farms (due to demand), and then someday veganism will be the
prevailing choice and "humane" farms will be replaced by fields of
grain (or something like that). It makes no sense to me, but in order
for it to prove even partially correct, we should be seeing massive
changes in the number of factory farms, right? Are we?