This gets the Graphic as Fuck rating. Very hard to watch, I won’t blame you if you don’t (unless you eat pigs, in which case you should be forced to watch it a million times). This video was released by Mercy for Animals last month, documenting cruel conditions for pigs in Walmart pork suppliers’ factories.
Mercy for Animals is encouraging people to contact Walmart and tell them these conditions are horrible and unacceptable. So I drew attention to this campaign on our fb, which I guess means I don’t believe all animals should ultimately be free? That’s at least the conclusion one vegan came up with.
The truth is, I do think all animals should be free to live life undisturbed by humans. I don’t think we should kill them to eat them. But what I do think is that while we work towards that ultimate goal, we should also be doing whatever we can to improve the lives of animals that are currently suffering in extremely horrible conditions.
One fundamental issue may be that I don’t think death is the worse thing to ever happen. I think a life of pain, suffering, and misery is far worse. While I don’t want any animals killed for food, yes—I would rather a pig live the highest quality of life possible before they are killed, rather than suffering their whole lives and then being killed. I know conditions sans gestation crates aren’t anywhere near the highest quality of life, but it’s better, and what I’m really addressing is the underlying philosophy.
I also think it’s very self-important to decide that helping animals that are suffering right now isn’t worth it. They’re immediate comfort does matter and helping to alleviate their pain to any degree doesn’t mean we can’t also work towards complete freedom for all animals. It’s like the people who oppose “welfarism” have decided these animals should be left to suffer as a sacrifice to our cause. Like I’ve said in the past—tell that to a chicken being trampled on the bottom of a battery cage. Did they agree to this martyrdom?
I know the argument that promoting “happy meat” is somehow detrimental to our cause because then that 1% of people who actually eat “happy meat” will think it’s ultimately OK to eat meat. I disagree. When you really get down to it, I would rather have people eat “happy meat” than factory farm meat if it means less suffering for millions of animals. But to the point, I think anytime you make people actually consider maybe animals shouldn’t be tortured for food, you are awakening them to animal rights. You’re also awakening them to the idea that food choices are about more than what tastes good. And as we’ve seen, though many of us remain “welfarists” as they like to call us, meat sales are falling. Promoting improved living conditions for suffering animals hasn’t skyrocketed meat consumption.