Where slavery is concerned, people mistake effect for cause; no animal alive, including humans, are slaves because it is a right for slavery to exist. People can isolate their own liberty to self-govern, trading it for elective power toward parliament, but any condition of slavery must always be forced; the moment our own government makes choices that we, as a people, do not vote for or want, they have ceased to be representative of those who have given them their liberty.
Non-human animals have nowhere near this amount of control or consent over their own freedom or liberty.
We, as a world, have mistaken their inability to not speak as we would understand them for not having a right to exist as themselves. This has been used as a form of prejudice and discrimination throughout the history of humanity, and we have extended it to non-human animals. We are repeating our errors because we know they work. We know that once slavery becomes the law it is an uphill fight for anyone to oppose it. We know that once it infects culture and economy, it is an even more strenuous battle. Factory farming is not a part of historical culture; it has been around for a mere 60 years, but if it had been around for longer – if it was a part of long-term history – my refute to you would be so was serfdom. We fought that. So was slavery of peoples considered ‘lesser’, not because anyone could prove such an accusation, but because it served whole countries to subjugate whole nations. We fought that (we continue to fight it today with the much less visible illegal human-trafficking). England found it easier to give up slavery because we had already started with industry. The Southern states of the USA may have defended an inherently abominable practice, but I do not believe it was because they themselves as a people were inherently abominable: their culture, and their economy, was built on slavery. The North, in comparison, was already stepping into the industrial era.
Why then is it such a difficult vision to see the next era, the next, more sustainable brach of the economy? No, we cannot take one large step and get there, but that does not mean we allow slavery of animals to continue until we get there. We will never move forward so long as we are trying to sustain the past – the present! We all know the South suffered an economic fallout after their loss in the Civil War, but no one understanding to the cause of compassion and progress will say that it was better for whole families, entire generations, to be subject to brutality – and ‘rightful’ brutality under the law – instead.
We live today in a world where we cannot say industry is the main focus of Britain; it was this very fact that allowed the banking crisis to happen – because we export our industry, import our products; we bought our own debt. Yet still we believe that industrious factory-farming still belongs in the future, where we go. Yet we are advanced enough (indeed, we have the evolutionary choice to be able to eat plant or meat matter biologically; why then should it be more smiled upon to cause unnecessary slaughter if we are blessed with a choice to turn away from it? It is in our very DNA to choose between causing suffering or not) to have cured diseases that culled us when they broke out – we did not cry out ‘nature!’ then when we ourselves were suffering, when our families were dying – we have refined our own liberties and we have, slowly but surely, found more ways of doing so without having to sacrifice someone else. Except for that one facet of ‘nature’ that we cling to, we love what we do for ourselves; for it is only the cry of ‘nature’ or ‘evolution’ that most people have, when confronted with the truth of factory-farming, indeed, even of ‘humane’ slaughter in small farm-holdings. I say be not afraid of the truth, and if you are because you think it shows you as a person – as what you are willing to accept – then know that you can change what you accept. Be not afraid of the truth even if you find the truth hideous, because we can change the truth: we can change the very reality of other lives. Stop crying for a nature that we no longer need – in fact have transformed more than nature itself in all the millennia we have existed – and start crying for compassion. Meat is the very fact that you enjoy another creature’s pain, for you enjoy the results it yields.