December Days

The festive consumer extravaganza is in full swing here in Scotland. Wandering aimlessly in a supermarket, I see a myriad seasonal items depicting animals; curly-coated lambs, fluffy bunnies, pink piglets, yellow chicks and doe-eyed, long-legged deer delightfully adorning pyjamas, duvet covers and all sorts of consumer tat.

Meanwhile, only a couple of aisles away in the chilly miasma of the mortuary aisles are the dismembered and bloody remains of these very same sweet young creatures, the whimpers of loss, terror and agony that reflect what our species REALLY does, all conveniently swept under the rug of our collective delusions. Meanwhile, we cling to a distorted perception of ourselves as ‘animal lovers’.

A few shelves along, adorned in glossy wrappers and tinsel we find displays of dairy chocolate confections for which despairing and defeated mothers and their panic stricken newborns were torn apart for ever. We are never taught about this as children, are we? We are taught self-serving fantasies about cows being milk machines. We are told that we’re doing them ‘a favour’ by hooking them up to pumping machinery every day. Hens, we are told, exist only as animated dispensers to provide humans with eggs. Some of us, myself included, even reach adulthood without questioning such nonsense, and once habit and custom addicts us to cross-species-breastfeeding, and using other individuals as if their lives were ours, our common sense seems to switch itself off.

In other aisles we find ‘wool‘ and ‘cashmere’, ‘sheepskin’ and ‘leather‘ gifts for our loved ones with luxury labels. We are raised to be ignorant of the slaughterhouse-tainted origins of every flayed skin, of shaved fibres, plucked feathers and fur trims. When we are told of hide pullers and agony, it’s so hard to believe that many reject it outright.

Yet it was those same slaughterhouses that vomited out the body parts and substances  for our glistening festive tables, those slaughterhouses that await the ‘dairy’ mothers and their infants, the egg-laying hens, the wool and cashmere-producing sheep and goats once their life sentences in hell are over; those slaughterhouses that will be the only escape for every individual whose broken body and destroyed life we insist upon to put in our trolleys.

And meanwhile, to the sound of jingling bells, carols and Christmas songs, we buy torment wrapped in tinsel, and the sobbing, agonised whimpers of innocent infants in clingwrap.

We call it a celebration of ‘peace on earth’.

We need to think again. We really do. We need to be vegan or stop fooling ourselves.

Find out about being vegan:

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7 Responses to December Days

  1. squirrelnuts65 says:

    FROM “Beyond Words – What Animals Think and Feel” by Carl Safina:  

    On the summit of Mount Kilauea, in Hawaii, I’ve seen offerings of money and liquor, put there by people who think that volcanoes have a god within who watches, tallies favors, and sometimes acts vindictively. Don’t get the volcano mad by ignoring it….  

    Other animals are exceptionally good at identifying and reacting to predators, rivals, and friends. They never act as it they believe that rivers or trees are inhabited by spirits who are watching. In all these ways other animals continually demonstrate their working knowledge that they live n a world brimming with other minds, as well as their knowledge of those minds’ boundaries. Their understanding seems more acute, pragmatic, and frankly, better than ours at distinguishing real from fake. 

    So I wonder: Do humans really have a better-developed theory of mind than other animals?…. Children talk to dolls for years, half-believing–or firmly believing–that the doll hears and feels and is a worthwhile confidant. Many adults pray to statues, fervently believing that they’re listening…. All of this indicates a common human inability to distinguish conscious minds from inanimate objects, and evidence from nonsense.  

    Children often talk to a fully IMAGINARY friend who they believe listens and has thoughts. Monotheism might be the adult version…. Most leaders of modern nations trust that a sky god can be asked to protect their nation during disasters and conflicts with other nations.  

    …Humans’ “superior” theory of mind is in part pathology. The oft-repeated line “Humans are rational beings” is probably our most half-true assertion about ourselves. There is in nature an overriding sanity and often, in humankind, an undermining insanity. We, among all animals, are most frequently irrational, distortional, delusional, worried.  

    …[O]ther animals don’t need to manipulate logic because their actions are logical….

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Humanity sings joyously about “peace on earth” while simultaneously waging bloody war on nature and the animal kingdom. This seems like nothing less than pure insanity and evil. Thank you so much for so vividly describing it exactly as it really is. “We need to be vegan or stop fooling ourselves.”

    Liked by 3 people

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