"Animal Freedom" is a plea for the same rights to freedom
for animals as humans. For humans freedom comes with responsibility.
Freedom without responsible behavior is indifference.
In our society we want maximum freedom for ourselves and
in return we grant this to other people as well, regardless
of how they intend to use their freedom.
This should be done to animals too.
A part of our freedom is that we don't have to worry about
producing our own food. Unlike our ancestors who had to
hunt for meat, we can limit ourselves to the hunt for
the cheapest goods on the shelves of the supermarket.
We delegate the responsibility for the production of meat
to the cattle farmer. He in turn earns money for the production
of meat and everyone is happy because everyone has the
freedom to earn money in the way they prefer.
So far so good.
Unfortunately, things turn out differently when the
producer of meat turns out not to behave in a responsible
manner. He abuses his animals by restricting their
freedom of movement and injects them with hormones and
antibiotics which poison the meat they produce when slaughtered.
The consumer is not able to trust the producer and is
forced to think about the undesired responsibility thrust
back upon him. The consumer can search for another producer,
but can also try to ignore the message or delegate the
responsibility to the government.
The governmentin turn is dependent on the consumer and the producer to behave responsibly, because policy
cannot be implemented if there is no general acceptance
of it and it has to be enforced by checking every citizens
This vicious circle is hard to break if one of the three parties (consumer,
government, producer) involved is stalemating another
one. And unfortunately, all three parties have a financial
interest in not upsetting the others. Someone who wants
to take total responsibility for his or her life and who
does not want to bother anyone else, for example by not
using animals, has a hard life. So many products contain
meat (by)products of doubtful origin, that it is almost
impossible in this society to lead a real conscientious
and responsible way of life.
Animal Freedom pleads for the introduction of a number of measures
that limit the use of animals and therefore renders
the abuse of animals nearly impossible. The measures
are listed in the goals of Animal Freedom and are based
upon the following basic aims:
Stopping the import
and export of live animals, factory farm(ing)
products and wild animal products between countries
The restoration of the natural balancefor
A realistic price for animal products, in
which the costs of an animal and environmental friendly
production is included in the price.
Ad 1. Production exported to foreign countries is the
basis for the existence of industrial farming and makes
it impossible to have an economically healthy and sound
farming policy in the country on a voluntary basis. Everyone
who refuses to restrict himself to ethical sound limits,
is ruining the market for others. Only within the framework
of "no export" can there be a free market, in
which the responsibility for animal friendly production
can be left to the producer.
Ad 2. This is used to oppose recreational hunting. The shooting of
animals for fun shows the lack of respect and arrogance
of the hunter towards the animals. We can best respect
wild animals by striving to create a natural balance in
the wild whereby natural predators make hunting unnecessary.
In those circumstances, animals can behave natural and
free as of right.
Ad 3. Those who want to eat meat at any price should pay a price
that guarantees an economically sound life for the producer
of the meat and for a relatively natural life for the
animal. This can exist in the free market as described
under ad 1. Only if we limit the excesses in and around
the farm, can we enjoy our own freedom with a clear conscience.
The basic aims of Animal Freedom will mean that in the
long run, a lot of changes in the way people earn money.
They are, however, merely simple policy adjustments that
are completely in line with the way in which our society
functions: on the base of a free market but with added
safeguards for the weak.