by David Hewitt
News alert: If you’re not vegan, you are an animal abuser.
Shocked? Defensive? Gast has been all flaberred? Well, here’s why.
Humanity has long had something of an obsession with itself and coming up with concepts and terminology that suits its own selective, overpowering, more often than not omnivorous agenda.
For example, it has invented the cloud-cuckoo land “food pyramid” and of course, surprise-surprise, positions itself at the very top of that mythical structure on the basis of pretty much two things:
1. Well, where else should we be?
2. We kill so many animals.
Humanity is not at the top of its self-designated pyramid though, it just merely thinks that it is. In fact, there simply is no pyramid. Rather, it’s completely interdependent on all living things on the planet and let’s face it, if push came to shove, bare naked human versus bare naked lion, tiger or panther, the human is at super long odds to make it beyond the first ten seconds of round one.
Likewise, “oh, I raise my farm animals humanely.”
Yes, plenty of food, a little space to roam around in, maybe some sunshine on their backs from time to time. They’re happy animals. That is until their time comes, and then they’re butchered, subsequently dismembered and end up in the grave of a human stomach for a few fleeting moments of “taste.”
How very humane.
In fact, what does “humane” even mean? Clearly an anthropocentric notion, that because it is somehow human sounding, it has to be the ultimate seal of caring approval – at least until you’ve served your purpose and off to the chopping block you go.
Any process that results in death, no matter how it is dressed up in wordage, is not kind and compassionate. It’s a cover for death. “I mugged him humanely” just doesn’t work no matter how long you try and spin that.
If you thought that black American slaves in the nineteenth century were somehow better off if their chains were a little less tight, a little more humane, you lose sight of the fact that they remained slaves regardless.
Likewise, animal “welfare” is misleading at best, a Vichy-style collaboration at worse. For example, what is the point in transporting animals in government approved regulation sized cages, so as to not be cruel, if the end result of the journey is death? Just who is making these rules up? Non-vegan humanity – that’s who.
This is where veganism is a zero-sum game. We either see animals as a commodity, or we don’t. It is wholly irrelevant whether they are free range, kept in certain sized pens, allowed out into the yard for two hours a day or fed fresh cut grass. Ultimately, it is simply dressing up the core fact that animals are being used as commodities.
If you order a car to be delivered to your house, you want it to be in great condition on arrival. But it’s still a possession – a thing for you to use. “Animal welfare” and “humane treatment” are just a fancy way of ensuring that the goods are better presented – that’s all. Yet goods they remain to be used as seen fit.
Only veganism challenges this anthropocentric, convenient logic of attaching a “kinder” label to cover up the actual crime. Therefore, by extension, if you are not vegan, then you are, whether you like this or not, perpetuating animal abuse. You may not know it, but your non-vegan status allows for the world to carry on being a dark, cruel and scary place for billions of animals.
“Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Elie Wiesel: Holocaust survivor.
Or, as a rather famous Greek deep-thinker once put it:
“Your silence is consent.”
In contrast, vegans are a noisy lot – and so they should be. If you don’t choose vegan, you are condoning, in some way, some-how, the abuse of animals.
Veganism rejects, absolutely, all forms of animal exploitation, cruelty and degradation. Be that for food, clothing, entertainment or experimentation. By making non-vegan choices, by accident or by design, one is allowing the remorseless wheels of animal subjugation to continue to turn.
“It’s only cheese” is literally a death sentence for millions of dairy cattle every year.
Likewise, you cannot condemn the report in the Sunday paper about the local dog-fighting ring being busted while at the same time you casually chow down on the roasted remains of an animal on your Sunday dinner plate.
It’s a zero-sum game. It’s either one or the other.
If you’re not a vegan, you are an animal-abuser. It’s that black and white.