The cosy glow of a quiet conscience

life-864384_640Because we so often hear rhetoric and hyperbole about ‘Success!’ and ‘Victory!’ in connection with the treatment of our nonhuman victims, assumptions are made that animal use is ‘not that bad’ and that those who promote a complete end to it are exaggerating, ‘extreme’ or ‘crazy’.

When we allow ourselves to think this way, we are playing directly into the hands of the death industries and the many ‘welfare’ groups who make money from causing, promoting and endorsing harm and bloodshed. We are allowing ourselves to be lulled into believing that ‘everything is regulated’, ‘it’s all done humanely’, ‘Think of all our victories!’, ‘Donate to us and then carry on as usual’.

As a consequence, we feel much better about our use and consumption of sentient individuals as commodities and resources; we feel comforted by the soothing assurances that our donations mean we’re doing all we can; any uneasy conscience we might have had is soothed and quieted.

However, when we allow ourselves to imagine for even a moment that the practice of bringing sentient individuals – mothers, fathers, children with the same emotional range as ourselves – into the world for the sole purpose of using them as unnecessary commodities and resources is, or ever CAN be, anything other than an inherently violent and obscene bloodbath, speaking from experience, we are completely bypassing every shred of our common sense.

The slaughterhouse queues and the death trucks, the ‘milking parlours’ and the chicken sheds still echo with the screams and the whimpers of those whose only crime is not being human. But we, having checked out the ‘welfare approved’ labels and clicked the ‘donate’ buttons, bask in the cosy glow of self-satisfied conscientiousness as we collect pints of horror and vacuum packs of dismembered bodies off the supermarket shelves.

The thing we must focus on is that none of our use of other individuals is necessary; not for them, not for us, not for the planet. Our fight is not for better treatment of our victims, our fight is to teach other humans that we have no need for victims in the first place.

There is only one way to end consumer demand and it’s a way that needs no financial contributions. Becoming vegan and telling others about veganism is the single effective way to end the mistaken view that we as a species somehow require, out of necessity, entitlement or convenience, to use the bodies of others to thrive. We can spread the message quietly or we can shout it out loud and clear, but spread it we must.

We owe nothing less to those whose date in the slaughterhouse is arranged before they have even been conceived, and those generations who will continue to end their pitiful and miserable existences in our blood soaked hells until the sun rises on a vegan world.

Be vegan. Start today. Your only regret will be that it took you so long.

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5 Responses to The cosy glow of a quiet conscience

  1. Pingback: Challenging Our Complacency, Vol. 1 | The Turbulence of Dreaming | South Florida Vegan Education Group Blog

  2. Thank you for your comments, Cushpigsmum and Anne. I must reiterate that I do not support single issues, petitions or any welfarist groups. This is not because I am ‘sacrificing the individual for the whole’ and would never wish it to be inferred from my writing that the life of the individual is not of supreme importance to me.

    Two previous posts that deal with this are https://theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/dealing-with-the-nightmare/ and https://theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/my-thoughts-on-petitions-and-single-issues/

    I started to write a more detailed response to some of the points you mention but then realised that they link to wider issues that deserve a blog post on their own. So thank you for triggering my thought process and I hope you will consider the resulting blog when I finally post it. Vegan best wishes!

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  3. This is an interesting article which mirrors many of my views. I like to say that the only solution is absolution. At the same time, I do believe that the life of the individual is paramount , so would never sacrifice the individual for the whole. That is why some of my advocacy involves what abolitionists refer to as single issue causes, like the dolphins at Taiji. I feel the world needs to know the particulars of the ongoing atrocities in all of our death for profit industries. This is different than the welfare work Gene Baur of a Farm Sanctuary does, for instance, to improve the lives of farmed animals through legislation, while encouraging people to consider veganism. I am not sure where I stand on his position, but there is no denying the good. He has done for farmed animals, by trying to bring their plight to the attention of our collective human consciousness.

    Carol, The subject of freedom and your husband’s view of it is perplexing. This. Must be very frustrating for you. As you mentioned, the intentional breeding and using of other species for our wants, not needs, falls outside of the parameters of what we would call the natural order of things, and as such, cannot be compared on any level to a lion taking down a deer. A caged dog knows it is not free and so do farmed animals. From an evolutionary perspective, it does not make sense to say otherwise. Species need to be able to ensure their own survival and being the prisoner of another species does not guarantee this. Call it instinctive, if you will.
    As for the abused child wishing for life, no matter what the circumstance of his/her time on this earth, I guess we would have to ask the child. In any case, the instinct to survive and breathe the fresh air can never be used as a justification for the maltreatment of any being on this earth and certainly not for calculated time of their death.
    Respectfully,
    Anne

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  4. cushpigsmum says:

    This is the conversation I always have with my non vegan husband, who eats a plant based diet at home but who stubbornly resists going vegan by his own choice. For me,he eats as a vegan most of the time when he is with, me and has given up eating meat. I suppose he is now a pescatarian by choice, and he brings very little, except eggs from rescue hens who will never be slaughtered, into the house.

    But nothing I say alters his view that other animals ‘don’t know’ that – they are not free, they are owned, that their lives will end in a slaughterhouse. They will die anyway, is his argument, as will we all,and that in the wild, predators hunt down and kill many young ones, it is not only humans who kill lambs, calves and young pigs to eat, all predators take the easiest victim, and that is often the young ones. Also, he says, that if vegans believe that all life is to be respected, then we should not be saying that the animals we farm ought not to exist. This is to say that their lives are not, to them, of much value. If given the choice – supposing it were possible – would any creature,domestic or wild, choose not to exist and breathe the good air, feel the sunshine,and know the experience of living?

    Would a child in a slum, an Aids orphan, a refugee child, an abused child rather not be alive at all than have the life they have?

    How can one ask such questions sensibly?

    I repeat to him, often, that this whole vegan thing is about us and our attitude, as must all moral choices be.What sort of people are we? It is about the other animals only in so far as our behaviour impacts on their lives. I ask him why we would wish to do harm and violence to other creatures, when we can choose not to, and should, as moral beings? Why would be want to justify unnecessary killing?

    Sadly he cannot see that the domestic situation, which is of our making, is different to the natural, wild state of being. The animals are fed and kept safe until we kill them, he argues. In my husband’s eyes, this compares favourably with the life in the wild, where starvation and other hardships are common. The life of a domestic farm animal is pretty good, he reckons, and the death no worse than that of a fawn chased by a lion.

    And so, I sigh, and give another donation to Viva.

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