As I explained recently to a friend who was concerned about animals being harmed on farms. She was particularly outraged about dogs being slaughtered in China. “What about cows in the US?” I asked. Of course she wasn’t happy about that either. But the bulk of her outrage did seem to be reserved for the “evil Chinese” eating dogs.
Now as far as I’m concerned, being a meat eating omnivore and not about to change in a significant way, cows, pigs, chickens and ducks lead a mostly horrific life in most parts of the world where they are raised for food. The same with dogs, cats, birds, even fish and frogs. Animals live horrible lives in places where they frequently encounter humans, and even when they don’t, their lives aren’t all that wonderful. Eat and be eaten is the way of animal life in nature. Farms and ranches raise animals for our consumption. That’s not going to change soon. And our diets aren’t going to change in any major way in the near future. So animals got a tough life no matter how you look at it.
I wish more people would realize that while we eat animals, there’s no law that says we have to make their lives miserable. And I would pay more to make sure they lived in a pain free and fear free environment, as much as possible. Caring for animals isn’t a weakness, and it’s not silly, or unmanly, it’s visibly respecting all life. And yes I’d like to save all the kittens and puppies, but we all know economic forces make that task, even for our pets, impossible. But the drive for profit shouldn’t be used as an excuse for various forms of animal cruelty that are endemic to factory-scale ranching and farming. Too many people have tolerated economically-rationalized cruelty to animals for too long, and I think the world would be a better place if we started pushing back on that style of production, and the mentality to desires to use it.