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Karen Davis: Why are farmed animals forsaken by their advocates?

An animal advocacy group claims factory farming is as brutal to humans as to animals, it is NOT. Unlike the chickens, cows, and pigs, humans are not the ones being SLAUGHTERED.

KAREN DAVIS: Today, most animal organizations in the U.S. include farmed animals, whose plight on factory farms they acknowledge. The question is, what form does farmed animal advocacy take in our contemporary animal advocacy movement? What are groups actually doing? What are they asking, or urging, their supporters and others to do for the largest population of abused animals on the planet: those billions of chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, ducks, aquatic animals and so many more, each of whom is an individual, an embodied consciousness with feelings, the same as ourselves. The question involves asking: What is our goal for farmed animals? I take this opportunity to express a concern I have, looking forward.

One group’s long-term goals for several categories of animals are: ending fur-wearing, ending puppy mills, ending the use of animals in personal-care product testing. By contrast, this group’s long-term goal, or “vision,” for farmed animals is, vaguely, “a better life” – a “better life’ in conditions that cannot be good, compared to the life these animals need and deserve to enjoy every bit as much as you or I, a cat or a dog. For farmed animals, the long-term goal for this advocacy group is merely to eliminate “extreme confinement and other inhumane practices.” The single exception: “Dogs are no longer raised and killed for their meat.”

Unlike wearing fur, for example, dining on animals other than dogs is not an issue as long as the animals on the plate were treated “humanely” on the farm and during slaughter. The term “humane” in this context is whitewashed not only by animal-abusing industries, but by animal advocacy societies that support the continuation of animal farms. One’s eyes glaze over just looking at the word, “humane.” What does “animal advocacy” even mean when it condones cutting an animal’s throat for cuisine? And when it hides the realities of so-called humane animal farming in a way that hardly differs from how agribusiness and its affiliates bury their brutalities in euphemisms and lies?

Seldom, if ever, does a “humane farming” advocacy group reveal the atrocities of one of its humane-certified farms. Typically it takes an OUTSIDER – an investigative journalist, an accidental visitor, a whistleblower – to reveal what goes on in those places. Only then might we learn that a “humane certifier,” so-called, has “suspended” certification of a particular farm. Doesn’t this say something about the entire “humane farming” enterprise?

Another large animal advocacy group posted an article this month advocating what its president called, “Smaller farms that treat animals humanely,” going on to say that “factory farming” . . . is just as brutal to humans as it is to animals.” It is painful to read this false equivalence and to quote it.

Factory-farming is NOT just as brutal to humans, by which the writer means small rural farmers and factory-farm workers, as it is to the animals. Yes, it is brutal to workers, in corporate slaughterhouses especially. But there’s a Huge Difference here: Unlike the chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, fishes and other victims of factory farming, the workers are not the legally enslaved property of corporations. They are not the ones being SLAUGHTERED.

Moreover, the workers are not intentionally mutilated (without pain relievers, of course) as the animals are (debeaked, detoed, ear-cropped, etc.). They do not endure the terror and indignity of artificial insemination and masturbation that turkeys and pigs helplessly endure; they are not subjected to genetic assault to produce bodies and body parts designed for human consumption. “We are no longer selling broilers, we are selling pieces. A knowledge of how broilers of different strains and sexes grow and become pieces is increasingly important”…

The workers and rural farmers are not forced to live without respite in filthy, polluted buildings and feedlots from which they cannot escape. Unlike the animals, workers can walk outside for a breath of air if they choose. Not being enslaved property like the animals, they can walk away for good; and, unlike the animals, the workers get to go home, even after a miserable work shift. By contrast, the animals never get to “go home,” ever. The only “home” they will ever know is that Home in the Sky where they are finally free, in other words, Dead.

As we begin the New Year, I urge my fellow animal rights advocates to think about what we want to say and do on behalf of farmed animals and their plight in 2023 and beyond. SOURCE…


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