Pain on Your Plate
Part X -- What's Behind Your Order: Absurdities and Atrocities
A truck dumping a load of cement.

You should know what's behind your order of a "quarter-pounder" when the person behind the fast-food counter asks to take your order.

You should spell it out to them:

Yes, you can take my order...
A cow eating from a trough.

...I'd like you to imprison a cow, feed it drugs, cement, ...
A food-preparation machine, mixing a liquid into a mixture of excrement and sawdust.

...its own excrement, ...
A butcher slicing open a cow.

...then slit it open, yank out its internal organs, ...
The cow's internal organs falling at the butcher's feet.

...grind up what's left, and serve it to me on a toasted bun in a neat little non-biodegradable styrofoam package.
If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities -- Voltaire

When it comes to eating meat, people like to delude themselves with two lies:
  1. That eating meat is essential to good nutrition.
  2. That either animals are humanely cared for, or that they are incapable of suffering.
Sorry; wrong on all counts.

As we've seen, eating the dead remains of animals is harmful to your health. The meat industry hires people like James Garner to tell us that "Meat gives strength," and that it's "real food for real people." But James Garner demonstrated what a meat-based diet really gives you: a triple coronary bypass!

Meat is really food for real sick people who want to stay that way!

Since the evidence of inhumane treatment is so abundant and undeniable in the meat, egg, and dairy industries, rather than try to deny the evidence, many people try to justify their part in perpetuating such cruelty by telling themselves that animals have no feelings.

Non-human animals have nervous systems similar to our own, and one purpose of the nervous sysytem is to convey pain to the brain.

If it were a scientific fact that animals feel no pain, why would scientists use non-human animals to test the effectiveness of pain-killers? And why would scientists use pain-avoidance as a fundamental assumption in so many of their cruel experiments on non-human animals?

There are many good reasons for assuming that animals feel pain: but there are no reasons -- other than wishful thinking -- for believing they do not, feel pain.

Sensible people cannot deny that animals feel pain. So instead some go to the opposite extreme. In an effort to justify their eating of animals, they claim that plants feel pain too. So, switching to a vegetarian diet really would not alleviate the total amount of suffering in the world. It would just transfer it from animals to plants.

There are several serious flaws in this argument, but one will suffice to lay it to rest. If it were true that plants are capable of feeling pain, and if the people who voice this concern are truly concerned with the feelings of plants, then they should become vegetarians (since it requires the killing of many more plants to raise animals for food than it does to eat the plants directly.)

We kill six billion animals a year for food!

To put this number in perspective, let's compare it to other abuses of animals.

  • We kill some 27 million animals a year for vain women to wear as fur coats.
  • 100 million animals are tortured and killed in ignorant experiments which prove nothing.
  • 250 million are tortured and killed by barbaric men with rifles. arrows, and hooks, just for fun.
Animals abused in millions: Fur 27, Experiments 100, Hunting and Fishing 250, Food 6000.

Each animal represented here is more than just a statistic. Each one is a tragic story of our inhumanity. These cold hard numbers represent untold individual pain which could be prevented if those responsible had half as much heart as they have greed and vanity.

Many people are rightly opposed to these practices of animal abuse -- especially in the area of fur coats -- because it's so easy to see how unjust it is to deprive others of their lives for the sake of a luxury item. But many people who oppose the suffering of these millions of animals have never given serious thought to the animals that are murdered for their food (which is also a luxury item, since as we've seen, we can actually get along better without it). The most important thing an individual can do to stop animal abuse is to stop eating them.

For the sake of your own health, for the sake of the environment, for the sake of the millions of starving people in the world, and for the sake of the six billion animals cruely imprisoned and murdered each year.

I ask you to stop, and think about what you're doing.

And then stop eating animals and animal byproducts. It isn't very hard to do, and you'll feel better, and you'll feel better about yourself.
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