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The Myth of Humane Meat



Reasonable genocide. Polite rape. Considerate arson.


Clearly all three of those bizarre phrases make no sense. However, dressing something up with a choice of words in an effort to cover up that that is inherently bad is a very human, very duplicitous and very morally bankrupt pastime. Yet millions around the planet readily engage in that, without batting an eyelid.


So, it should come as no surprise that, when it comes to the misery of animal exploitation and consumption, concepts such as “cage-free”, “organic” and “humanely raised” currently swirl around in the general lexicon of human ignorance and denial. However, as all vegans know, the truth is still the truth, even if you are in a minority of one and consequently the myth of humane meat is just that – a myth.


Some dismal context though. Humans have a long and far from distinguished history of naming animal body parts something else other than what they originally were. So dead, chopped up pig becomes “pork”, while slaughtered, dismembered cows become “beef” or “steak.” Or how about chickens that find themselves debased to nothing more than “wings” or “nuggets”?


It’s the linguistic version of ensuring that slaughterhouses never have those tell-all glass walls. Phrases like “humanely raised” or “organically fed” are meant to be deceptions, deflections, from the horror-show reality that the meat and animal exploitation industries would rather millions didn’t trouble themselves with thinking about.


This is why, as vegans, we feel a sense of both anger and stinging face-palm when we hear the many animal exploitation industries make flim-flam reference to “humane meat” or “organically raised.”


When it comes to duplicity and insincerity, the animal exploitation industry is in good, and by that I mean poor, company. For example, the masking of unpalatable truths with words and gimmicks was something that the tobacco companies of the 60s and 70s quickly mastered as a dark art.

When evidence came out that showed an incontrovertible link between smoking and cancer, the tobacco companies came up with “low tar” and “menthol flavour” in an effort to continue making their sales and to try and put their spooked consumers at ease. It was though still smoke, still tar and still a thousand different compounds of inhaled chemical junk, pollutants and carcinogens, but the branding had changed.


Just like the “organic” or “humane” meat industries, also peddling in death. Same end result, but different marketing strategies concocted per continual profits required.


One of the very few truisms of life, perversely, is that death is irreversible. Putting aside claims (and that is what they are, just claims) of near-death experiences, the insurmountable weight of evidence is that once a living creature is dead, it is dead. Consequently, by what twisted, Alice in Wonderland logic is it that anyone makes a legitimate, logically viable case for humane-reared meat?


And before venturing still further into that, the fact that humans have come up with the concept of “humane” is both laughable and spine-chilling. The species that is responsible for the ongoing carnage of slaughtering 70 billion land animals a year, every year, let alone its propensity for shooting, gassing or atomic bombing its own kind in routine military blood-baths since the year dot, has awarded itself a name that it thinks sums up its compassion – “humane.”


So, unequivocally, death is death. I don’t care if someone keeps me under house-arrest for a year, ensures I have enough to eat and “space to roam” if the at the end of that year, I’m stabbed in the neck or shot in the head with a bolt gun and then hung upside down from the ceiling to drown in my own concussed blood as my terrified relatives, all gagged so as to stay silent, look on terrified. Don’t worry though, they were all “humanely raised” too.


That’s because those animals raised for “humane meat” purposes end up in the same slaughter-houses as those that weren’t. Again, dead is dead, no matter how you dress up the run up to it.


“Cage-free” or “free-range” eggs are also scandalous misrepresentations that, sadly, millions of people buy into. While chickens may not be held in a cage, “cage-free” can mean thousands of birds crammed into dank, artificially-lit, disease-ridden barns, “living” squalid, miserable lives before ultimately being disposed of once their productivity is deemed to no longer be what it should.


“Organic” is no different. It still concludes with an unwanted, unnecessary death, irrespective of how luscious or green the grass was that was fed to the unsuspecting victim.


Animal welfarism is ultimately at the root of this miserable “humane” philosophy. Ensuring the welfare of those destined to die is no different from making sure that the unwitting passengers to Auschwitz either had seven square feet to stand in for the journey or nine. The end result is still going to be the same.


Veganism is the one side of a binary decision, and the correct side at that. The best deal, the only deal, for animals around the planet is the complete eradication of the need for their flesh, milk, eggs or any other by-products.


No need for humane, organic or cage-free.


Every need for vegan.

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