Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” ~ Sir Paul McCartney
There are horrors being committed in our names and for our benefit thousands of times each minute in feed lots, on dairy farms, in processing plants and in slaughterhouses across the globe. If Sir Paul is to be believed, if only we could see these horrors as they happen, then we turn away from those practices which necessitate them. If only we knew what was really going on, if only someone could lift our veil of ignorance, then the horrors would stop. If only it were true.
But we have no reason to believe it is true, and every reason to believe it is not. Glass walls would not cause us all to demand the doors of slaughterhouses shuttered; glass walls would just cause us to shutter our eyes even more against the horrors.
There are Glass Walls Everywhere
As I write this, hundreds of people have been killed by government crackdowns in Syria, Gadaffi’s forcescontinue to strike at rebels while NATO forces strike at his. In Africa, in 2009, as many as 700,000 people died from malaria; as many as one-in-six of all children who died there died from that disease. Meanwhile, the United Nations reports that more than 10 million children die in developing countries from hunger and starvation each year.
The glass walls of 24 hour worldwide news channels and the internet make it possible for most of us living in the developed world to look upon these horrors. No-one need to think through any arguments about whether other animals have rights, or are enough like us to deserve our compassion in order to see and understand that our fellow human beings do have such rights and do deserve our compassion. But rather than look, understand and act, many, if not most of us, choose not to act to help our fellow human beings and instead we choose to turn away.
Re-published with the kind permission of One Green Planet ~ An online destination for the ecologically ethical generation.
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