Why do animals in industrial farming have so few supporters?

People place others, including animals, in so called "moral circles" around themselves. Animals in industrial farming are placed outside our moral circle, while pets are placed inside it. Furthermore, there are a number of circumstances that are unfavorable for chickens and pigs. If you step into the breach for animals in industrial farming you need a lot of patience, and you have to take into account that you'll be facing a lot of mockery, because there's little enthusiasm for supporting these animals in society. Why is that? Production chicken condition after 1 yearFrom psychology, we know the theory of cognitive dissonance reduction: a person adapts his beliefs to his behavior. "Because I eat animals, an animal's life must not be worth much" instead of "I care about animals, should I be eating them"? Contrary to cats and dogs, chickens and pigs are not natural allies during the hunt. By breeding in non-aggressive behavior these animals have been made more suitable as docile prey animals, and they became easy to keep in close proximity to farms. By stripping them of their natural dignity even further (they do not raise their own offspring, can't find a mate for themselves, procreation is arranged elsewhere), the animals no longer radiate a sense of pride. They look like junkies with their shabby appearance (docked beaks and tails) and they eat mostly garbage. They have turned into born losers, dependent and aggressive to each other due to stress, but at the same time not rebelling. A chicken or pig does not try to escape from its prison. It is as if they have given up ambition to live.
The industrial farmers themselves have become dependent. Because they have deeply indebted themselves, they are also displaying junky-behavior: unfeelingly the money-grubber saddles the prey animals with his addiction to the kick of the big money. In an insidious process with the following characteristics. People and animals were driven apart by producers and their sectors. Consumers consider it a luxury to have access to her meat cheaply and in great quantities. These animals are endangered anonymous individuals and not endangered species. Their large quantities (450 million in the Netherlands yearly) give people cause for indifference, as if an animal's life is worth less if his species is abundant. Chickens and pigs nowadays are living in large numbers in stables behind closed doors. They are no longer visible in their deplorable condition.
cow and calveWhile man can take the 5th amendment in court, pigs and chickens face the impossible requirement of proving they have feelings before people are ready to be considerate with regard to their interests. People don't have to prove anything to have basic rights; animals are only assigned rights in clear cases of infringement of their well being. Who would take it if their rights were ignored just because something would not infringe on their well being? Cat and kittenBesides, what in people we call feelings and intelligence is called instinct in animals. But pets such as dogs and cats are endowed with these characteristics. Such arbitrariness used to be applied to slaves and women as a form of humiliation, to mask the injustice of man's own mental disposition. Even linguistically, they are made out to be stupid: "ignorant lamb, black sheep", "dumb as an ox", "dirty, lazy hog", "chicken"! "Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace" (Albert Schweitzer).

Removing economic pressure and temptation

If animals wants to go back to being respected, and if we want cattle farmers to act accordingly, then the economic pressure and temptations have to be taken off the - proverbial - shoulders of animals and their masters. Animals must be set free to behave as they (naturally) want. One effective means is by stopping export. Removing economic pressure means that cattle farmers have to get out of debt. Not by producing massive amounts, but by sharing the risk of an abolishment of industrial farming with all the parties lending or borrowing money. The consequences of a bankruptcy would then be distributed equally among banks, livestock fodder producers, the government and the farmers themselves. The government can help retraining cattle farmers to a more decent profession. If you think these four parties are entitled to income through industrial farming, read this list of invalid reasons.

logoThis page describes one aspect of the influence that man has on the quality of life of an animal. We wish to promote the (in other countries as well) growing of awareness, that freedom is also important for an animal. An animal is not a thing, but a being that has the right to quality of a natural way of life. If you want to do something to help animals, click here for our suggestions.

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