Hardening Hearts Through Slaughter

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Hardening Hearts Through Slaughter - 7 Apr 2006

Here are some excerpts from Frank’s letter to the editor that was published in the June 2003 edition of Animal People, as well as another reader’s comments, published September 2003, about Frank’s letter.

Under the heading “Hardening hearts through slaughter,” Frank wrote:

You [Animal People] wrote, about the effect that animal agriculture has on the emotional well-being of our society:

"…the process of hardening children toward the inevitable suffering of the animals raised for meat typically begins with encouraging children to bond with animals...whom the children are later forced to sell for slaughter. That tear-jerking ritual should be recognized by now as a form of psychological child abuse..."

As a retired pastor…I can well relate to this form of child abuse.

When I read this article, I recalled a May 1996 National Geographic article about Peru. There was a photograph of two young children with hands over their ears, eyes closed, and very disturbed looks on their faces as they tried to mute the screams and squeals of pigs who were being killed. Their mother had brought them to witness the slaughter while she collected the pig’s blood to make sausage.

Jim Mason… the author of An Unnatural Order and co-author of Animal Factories, was also traumatized by the slaughter of pigs.

When Jim was five years old he walked out into the back yard of his farm home in Missouri, and for the first time saw pigs being killed. He saw their bodies hanging from a tree. What he saw and smelled and heard… traumatized his God-given sensitivities… “My last memory is the image of those pigs' bodies hanging from the tree, the tub full of heads, and the blood.”

Hardening of the heart has permeated our religious communities to such an extent that it is causing distortions of the very principles of love, peace and compassion upon which these religions were founded. Every week we receive several letters from people who left the "church," or who are considering leaving, because of the hardness of heart they have encountered.

To my wife and me, these are constant reminders of the Biblical passage from Matthew 18:6 where we are told: "but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

In 1998 I was communicating with a missionary in Chile, who was concerned about the changes taking place in his church and community since the agriculture in the area had begun changing from the traditional plant-based form to animal husbandry. He wrote of the increase of violence and the same hardening of hearts you wrote about. He also mentioned that there were increased health problems.

As long as a society condones violence of any kind, whether it be physical or mental, particularly when inflicted upon its children, they will never know true peace.

Frank L. Hoffman

The following is a  response letter:

4-H betrayal

I was very impressed by the letter in the June edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE from retired pastor Frank Hoffman, headlined "Hardening hearts through slaughter."

As a retired teacher, I am disgusted with the 4-H Clubs that teach boys and girls to gain a living creature's love and trust, only to sell the animal to slaughter. How do they expect young people to grow up to he trustworthy, truthful, and loyal if they are taught that it is all right to betray an innocent animal?

The 4-H Clubs should he ashamed of themselves.

----Greta Bunting
St. Petersburg, Florida

See also Shooting Ourselves in the Foot: The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society at:
http://all-creatures.org/sof.html 

For the complete text of Frank’s letter to the editor of Animal People, “Hardening hearts through slaughter,” see:
http://all-creatures.org/sof/hardening.html 
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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