I watched an excellent presentation by Melanie Joy yesterday on YouTube about our meat-eating, animal-using culture.
Melanie Joy is the Founder and President of a charitable organization called ‘Beyond Carnism / Carnism Awareness and Action Network (CAAN)’. The organization’s mandate is to raise awareness about ‘carnism’ as she calls it – the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.
In the presentation, Melanie talks about how our culture sees certain animals as food (though interestingly, not all animals) and how we are in denial due to these cultural beliefs. We think that eating animals is normal, she says. We are also unaware of how these animals are treated before they appear in our grocery stores and on our plates.
Of course, many of you reading this are already vegan or interested in veganism and although the presentation may have as its subject matter something you already know about, one segment I found particularly moving is the part about each animal having a distinct personality, an individual life and the desire for freedom to live as it was intended to – and that animal cares about and will fight for its life as much as you care about and will fight for yours.
Every animal fights for its freedom and for its life just as we would when it is being taken away.
Each animal suffers when pain and misery are inflicted – just as we do.
And we (our culture) cause them suffering and take their freedoms away and ultimately take their lives, usually with no thought or care for them. We don’t have respect for all life – we see animals as ours to do with as we want.
Here is a moving photo of two cows seeking comfort in each other:
When we choose to believe that animals are not like us, that they do not matter, we are fooling ourselves and I believe, diminishing our own humanity.
The following quote by Joanna Lucas of the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary captures the horror inherent in our meat-eating society:
‘We know things about her that no one should ever know, or want to know, about a fellow being – the sight of her flayed body, the weight of her severed thigh, the taste of her burned, bone-punctured flesh, the charred crunch of her fractured ribs, the flavor of her spilled marrow, the taste, texture and flavor of every aspect of her despair, degradation and defeat.
We know every detail of what we have forced her to be – an object to consume and excrete. What we don’t know, what we don’t want to know, is what we must know if we are to restore our own humanity: who she is.’
Each and every animal has a personality, a life they will fight to keep, eyes that see, and a body that feels.
Melanie says that a shocking 1.2 billion farm animals are killed weekly for food and yet we don’t see any of this. This shocking reality is hidden from us as these animals live on factory farms in ‘windowless sheds in remote locations’.
The short video about how animals are treated that Melanie shows the audience part way through her presentation is disturbing, but she will warn you to look away or close your eyes and not listen if you feel you cannot witness it – I encourage you to watch it though. It could change your life! I know learning about the way our society treats animals certainly has irrevocably changed mine.
So, here it is:
Many people wish they had known the facts earlier so they could have made changes to help animals earlier. So please share this—help me get the word out! Animals deserve better than this – I know you agree.
Click the following link for more information on Melanie Joy’s organization: http://carnism.org/
Thank you for reading.
A true animal loving vegan