Friday, November 21, 2008

It is more than that...

The worst thing livestock agriculture can do is to misunderstand its enemy. One of my favorite podcasts, Loos Tales for Feedstuffs, discussed the issue of farm animal welfare on Nov 19. The title of the program was "It's about more than animal welfare."

The thrust of the commentary was that the animal rights activists seeking more humane treatment of farm animals have an ultimate goal of complete freedom for animals, and complete veganism for humans.

It is true that many activists are simply opposed to meat and milk consumption. However, many of these activists oppose the raising of animals for food because they do not believe someone raising animals for money will treat the animals kindly. So long as the animals are given a nice life, not all of the activists oppose animal food products.

It is always nice to pretend that there is an enemy who is pure evil, an evil who will oppose us no matter what. It makes us feel innocent. But part of the reason people are against animal food products is because whenever they see us raising animals for food they see only animals in cramped cages with no natural life. We have not given them "more humane" products and placed the onus on them to pay more for the better animal life.

We are part of that problem. Pretending we are not will only lead to our demise.

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