What our dinner says about us
An interesting perspective in an article from Bettendorf.com:
“As we depend on factory produced food, we become as much a product of the factory as have the animals on whom we feed. All of us, livestock and humans alike, are caught up in a system that is torturous to them and that dehumanizes us.”
I find the notion of our “dehumanization” very powerful. It seems that many, if not most, animal welfare, vegetarian and vegan movements naturally focus on the animals. What I find interesting is that very few focus on what it means for us humans.
Many in the agriculture industry, from executives in the Big Ag companies to factory farm workers who take part in animal abuse, are easy targets for name calling. Cruel, barbaric, evil, murderers…. as well as other choice names that are somewhat less refined… but most of the time well-deserved. But, what the quote above astutely points out is that when we
eat the animals killed by the factory farm workers and sold to us by the Big Ag company, we
also become a little less human.
But when we hold ourselves accountable for our contribution to commercial farming our food choices change. When the responsibility (and that pointing finger) shifts and points back to ourselves, reaching for those humanely raised steaks or chicken thighs changes from a should do to a must do.
And there are many ways to eat in a way that does not contribute to the system that dehumanizes and tortures, without going vegetarian or vegan. Complete elimination of all animal products from our daily lives would be ideal but it is not realistic or sustainable. By choosing grocers and restaurants that carry humanely-raised meats and that are dedicated to animal welfare, we can take dollars away from the mainstream commercial farming industry while strengthening the sustainable farming movement. And perhaps become a little more human.