By Paul Graham,
Bacon is not bacon…it is a pig.
What sickens me all the more is the pleasure that some of these workers take in doing it without any disregard for the life before them. These are not isolated incidents but have been shown over and over again to happen regularly in our factory farming environments to pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys and other animals.
The problem lies in these companies and the industries they have created, but it also lies squarely in the hands of people. Not just those associated with these industries, but with the people that buy their products and thus support them. I know it is one of the flaws of our human nature that we seemingly want what we want and we don’t care about the process or the consequences as a result of it. It happens every day with food.
“When we learn to respect all life, we learn to love all life.”
– Anthony Douglas Williams
There is not a day that goes by that we are not reminded somehow of the incredible cruelty that man continues to inflict upon the animal kingdom. I could spend my days and nights watching the videos and reading the stories of how so many can disregard the beautiful life of another living being and make a conscious choice to bring harm and death to them. It differs from the horror genre that many are fond of because this type of horror and gore actually exists and is perpetuated over and over again throughout our country and the world. If there is any decency left in our humanity it is time for us to bring about a lasting change to this gruesome daily reality.
This past week I watched an undercover video by Mercy for Animals taken at Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest meat producer and a major supplier to Walmart, the leading retailer. The video shows pregnant pigs confined to filthy metal gestation crates that are so small that the pigs are unable to turn around or even lie down comfortably. Other scenes depict workers slamming conscious piglets headfirst into the ground, leaving them lying in pain and left to slowly die. I have seen workers punch and kick these animals with all of their might, causing the pigs to shriek in pain and terror. Other workers are ripping out the testicles and slicing off the tail of piglets without the use of painkillers. Sick and injured pigs with severe and bleeding wounds and infections are left to suffer without veterinary care. The images and sounds are disturbing enough. What sickens me all the more is the pleasure that some of these workers take in doing it without any disregard for the life before them. These are not isolated incidents but have been shown over and over again to happen regularly in our factory farming environments to pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys and other animals.
I am sorry to say that we live in a day where profits are celebrated over basic thought, reason, kindness and decency. These food companies will go to great lengths to protect their interests and pass these off as fabrications or even use their political alliances to go after those who film these videos and label them as “domestic terrorists” and try and criminalize their actions. Like those exposing the truth are the ones to blame. We will threaten as a nation’s government to send troops into another country to protect the human rights violations of the people of another country, even if it is only a guise to protect the financial interests that some would hold there. Our government also goes to great lengths to protect the financial interests of these big corporations and participates in covering up their dirty and disgusting little secrets.
We should pay more attention to the rights that are being denied or trampled upon for the tens of billions of animals each year who are forced to live in a hellish existence and then a brutal slaughter. It is something that we would wish upon no human being and yet we somehow try and look away and pretend it is not happening. We need to hold these companies and those that protect them accountable. We also need to hold ourselves accountable.
The problem lies in these companies and the industries they have created, but it also lies squarely in the hands of people. Not just those associated with these industries, but with the people that buy their products and thus support them. I know it is one of the flaws of our human nature that we seemingly want what we want and we don’t care about the process or the consequences as a result of it. It happens every day with food. We can be confronted with evidence of this kind of abuse, torture and slaughter and yet some still choose to eat what they want to eat whenever and however they want to, somehow like they are disconnected to the process. The folly is that this is not even possible. People that still eat meat and dairy support the process.
Without a demand there would be no supply. I take heart that meat and dairy consumption has been steadily going down and more and more people are becoming consciously aware of their actions, but it is still not nearly enough. Our society as a whole needs to realize their role in all of this. It is a crime against the animals and against our humanity. If you are associated with a crime and you do nothing to stop it, you are thus deemed an accomplice to that crime and seen as guilty of that crime as the one that pulled the trigger or thrust the blade.
People love their bacon. They can’t get enough of it…they want it every which way and now can even have their liquor flavored with it to keep them in their blinded stupor. Bacon is not bacon…it is a pig. When you eat bacon or any other animal product you are contributing to this cycle of abuse and death and you are partaking of it in a monetary, physical, and spiritual way. Supporting and partaking of this process negatively impacts our health, our spirits, our environment and directly affects the rights and the lives of billions of animals each year. It is time for us to wake up, to grow a heart and maybe some other body parts and stop pretending like none of this exists. People cannot justify any of this. To say you don’t know is hard to believe in this age of information. To say you want what you want regardless is just mindless and selfish. To say you don’t care is barbaric and absurd. These words have never been truer for our humanity. If we cannot get our relationships with animals’ right, we will never get our relationships with people right. A real hope for our humanity and our continued existence is to start getting this right with animals and not only stop this abuse and torture, but to wean ourselves from our dependence upon them and eventually set them free and care for them as we should. To do so will be the greatest act ever in human history. This change starts and with you and I and it needs to happen now. The animals are waiting.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blog, Eating Vegan in Vegas which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.
Paul’s e-book, Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.