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compassionate carnivores focus on activism

August 20, 2007

for those not in the know, there is a silly, stupid battle going on in the “animal rights” movement concerning those that are welfarists (i.e. folks interested in bettering the welfare of animals raised for human consumption) and abolitionists (those folks interested in abolishing factory farming altogether.) these days, those of us in the movement are forced to take sides on the issue; to be put in a category of which we don’t fully believe. i call it silly and stupid because in the end, we’re all fighting for the same thing. if the whole world were vegan, we’d all be happy. well, at least, that’s what i thought. until i read this article.

this kind of thing sickens me. i was having a discussion the other day with someone (you know who you are), and i was talking about how bettering the standards for animals raised for food was only making it seem that we (animal rights activists) think it’s OK for them to eat animals because they were raised in better fashion than their predecessors. basically, that’s what this article is saying. i think it’s utter bullshit. not the article; the fact that folks are now getting the impression that it’s OK to eat an animal because groups like PETA and HSUS are backing humane standards!!

so the person who wrote this article, jenny stein, is one of the producers of the tribe of heart film, “peaceable kingdom.” she wrote this essay not too long ago, and it hurt because i know she was somewhat attacking the very organization i work for, and the very organization she features in the prior version of the film. but now i know what she was talking about. i get it.

quite frankly, i don’t know where i stand on the issue. part of me is all for the improvements for animals currently sitting in crates and battery cages. part of me likes the idea of convincing more folks to go vegan. part of me can’t see either of these ideas making any change to the real issue at hand; billions of animals are dying every year so that we can eat them. billions of them die in horrific ways, no matter how they were raised.

all i want to say is, if you think you’re doing the animal any good by purchasing free range, organic products, or products stamped with some made-up humane seal, think again. want something to think about? when you’re purchasing organic, free-range milk, you are still supporting the veal industry. those male calves have nowhere to go and they are sent to be in a crate for six months or they are slaughtered within two days of birth. do you buy free-range, organic eggs? those male chicks are either ground up alive, tossed into trashbags and thrown out back, and they are even fed back to the hens in some cases. some of them end up as feed for other farm animals, like pigs and cows. you think i’m making this up? call the company you buy your products from and see what kind of answer you get when you ask them what they do with the male babies, in either case, dairy or egg. you might not even get a straight answer, which means, they don’t want to tell you.

buying free-range organic beef just means you’re getting meat without hormones; the cattle are still rounded up into trucks, trucked for hours on end in all degrees of weather, and they are all slaughtered the same, horrific way. go watch “fast food nation” and see a cleaner version of it. pigs? same damn thing. go on, do your own research; don’t leave it up to me to educate you. watch how much you find out. watch how much the industry is willing to share with you.

the carnivores of the world need to wake up. wake up and figure it out. humans don’t need meat to survive. the research is out there. we all enjoyed our steak and eggs at some point, but we woke up. we figured it out. you need to do the same and quit pointing your finger at us, accusing us of trying to force our beliefs down your throats. eat your meat, that’s fine. but at least know where it comes from and what that animal went through to get to your plate. know what the slaughter was like for them, not how they were raised. know what it was like to have to get on and off that truck, being able to see, smell, and hear other animals just like you, dying, slowly and painfully. read this. if you still think you could sit there and watch all that, and/or do all of it yourself, then and only then do you have some right to eat that animal. you selfish bastards.

dang, i went off on a rant there. i tell you, i’m tired of it though. i’m proud to be vegan, and i’m even more proud when i convince someone else to go vegan instead of convincing them to buy humane, organic, free-range bullshit.

article source.

excerpts below.

Compassionate carnivores” see an option that allows for meat consumption with a side of activism, focusing on small farms with sustainable and humane practices.

Some of those who are vegetarian, or have reduced their overall meat consumption, for reasons of conscience or politics are beginning to take that activism and shift it towards eating sustainable meat, choosing products with the intention of striking a blow against industrial farming practices.

“I was talking to this guy I know who said ‘The grass-fed movement is the new vegetarianism,'” said Alix Wall, a personal chef in the Bay Area of California. “I’d never heard of that but when he said it, it made a lot of sense to me.”

Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a vegan cookbook author, points out that sustainable meat production still has its issues. Organic labeling aside, producers can use many labels that advertise humane practices without having to prove it.

“I think the term is misleading,” she said about sustainable meat.

“A lot of people don’t know what actually goes on on these farms. You have a situation of the foxes guarding the henhouse, so to say.”

The new availability of sustainable meat may be just another way out for people who would not have stayed vegetarian anyway, Moskowitz said.

“I don’t think more people are leaving veganism because of this, or leaving vegetarianism because of this,” she said. “I think it’s just the excuse they’re giving.”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2007 11:30 pm

    The grass-fed movement is the new vegetarianism? This guy is the new turncoat.
    Compassionate-Carnivores? Oxymoron anybody?

    – Johnny

  2. August 20, 2007 11:56 pm

    great post, sarah! thanks for sharing it.

  3. August 21, 2007 12:04 am

    Excellent post, sarah!

  4. August 21, 2007 12:27 am

    I thought you were a little calm in talking about the “vegan butcher”.

    It all inflicts suffering. You can’t justify that. Not for a dietary preference.

    I don’t think the “ethical slaughter” argument makes any sense, but I also don’t think it should be a target. Like it or not it does a little good for the short term, and infighting makes no progress outside the bubble. It serves abolitionists better to march through that friendly territory and take the fight to the front lines.

  5. Thom permalink
    November 1, 2007 10:08 pm

    Understanding that the 3 or 4 billion people in the world will not become vegan overnight, we have to move the world toward changing the habits we’ve developed over the last hundred thousand years or so. Campaigning for humane treatment of farm animals raises the awareness of current farm practices and begins the philosophical thought process leading to a long term, sustainable life style, which may include veganism, but definitely should include humane treatment of all animals. We must start somewhere is this may be the path for the largest movement ever in this direction.

  6. Aileen Wuornos permalink
    April 23, 2009 1:03 am

    You put this in a more eloquent way than I did. And by that I mean, you used far less swears. I likey.

    This kind of trendy-“ethical” nonsense is sweeping Australia by storm too, sadly :(

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