Posts Tagged ‘animals’

The Pyramid of Life

Following on from my article, ‘The Circle of Life’, I’d like to draw attention to a documentary which, if it were possible (for me), would personify everything I feel about the treatment and complete disregard humanity have for animal-kind.

The documentary ‘Earthlings’ is narrated by acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix. Earthlings is extremely graphic. Although I think every meat-consumer should watch this, I realise, after all, that ignorance is bliss. As a side-note, I couldn’t hold higher esteem for an actor willing to do such a documentary.

In the article I posted some time ago, I highlighted the different views we have towards animals in regard to size and companionship. In this article, and through watching Earthlings, I would like to highlight the ignorance most of us have as to where our food comes from, how it is treated and the utter contempt, as a species, we show to both nature and animals.

A problem within humanity is the air of dominance we quite often possess. It is commonly seen that we cannot treat each other as equals – let alone animals – and that is where we seriously err. Animals, including fish, may not be anywhere near the same intellectual level as we are; yet they have feelings, and they feel suffering and pain. This is particularly exemplified by the despicable way that we, as a species, participate in blood-sports.

All too often, blood-sports are justified by the word ‘tradition’. This is to say, it’s not a barbaric sport but a cultural activity. As ridiculous as that sounds, many people fight to keep these blood-sports alive under this ruse, as we have seen with fox-hunting in England in recent years; though, of course, it has not stopped. Tradition is an essential aspect in many areas of life, though, to evolve, tradition must be pruned. I cannot think of a finer example to consign to the history books.

Here are some examples of a few of these ‘sports’:

Fox-hunting, bear-hunting, deer-hunting, cock-fighting, bull-fighting, dog-fighting, hyena-fighting, cricket-fighting, spider-fighting and rat-fighting, amongst many more.

All of these sports have one thing in common; they are for the entertainment of human beings – and often have financial interests, as seen with betting rings. They all usually end with an animal being killed, usually in great suffering and pain, and with no chance of survival from the start.  I find it quite amazing that such practices are still carried out and justified. It is one of the worst examples of savagery on Earth.

The farming of animals can draw comparisons to the holocaust in many ways. This is especially apparent in beef, chicken and pork farming around the world. In the worst conditions, the animals are often cooped up in an incredibly small area, with limited movement, and forced to live in their own faeces. The restriction of movement often cause deficiencies in the growth of muscles, which can incapacitate and seriously deform the animal. Transport of these animals is much the same. The animals are so tightly packed into transports, without food or water, that many die en-route; albeit, usually, en-route to slaughter. Some animals are quite literally worked to death, which can be seen with the milking cow. As seen in the documentary, a milking cow can live past 20 years. It averages 2 to 3. After being worked to exhaustion, the cow is slaughtered and sold as cheap meat.

The slaughter process is heart-rending. Perhaps the most common way to slaughter an animal for meat is the throat being slit, whilst the animal is hoisted upside-down. This ‘bleeds’ the animal. Quite often the blood is collected in urns as the animal experiences its last few moments. Sometimes the oesophagus is also ripped through, which both makes the animal bleed faster and drowns the animal in its own blood. The most distressing part of this process is that the animal is still alive and often conscious. This ensures the last moments the animal experiences on this Earth are in extreme fear, pain, stress, and suffering. This is after the pitiful existence it was afforded by us. In a lot of cases, this is done in front of their kin. In the worst cases, animals can be clubbed, burnt and beaten to death by the few sadistic beings among us who are allowed to work in slaughterhouses.

Let me point out, these are not the conditions in every slaughterhouse, animals are often rendered unconscious before the slaughtering process. Whether the process is actually ‘humane’ is a matter for your own opinion.

Though a comparison to the holocaust may seem quite shocking and perhaps an over-exaggeration; to me, I think not. Looking into the subject, and watching the brilliant Earthlings, it doesn’t give you much faith in Humanity. To not contemplate animals as equals to ourselves does both them and us a grave injustice. The conditions and plight of these animals is simply an abomination, and an abomination that needs to be addressed.

After-all, are animals not man’s best friend?

The Cycle of Life

My inspiration for writing this article is something that I feel strongly about, yet will never be able to physically change. But hopefully, by the end of the piece, I’d like  to have made some people aware of their actions and possibly change your perspective on certain aspects of the life around us.

The cycle of life is, quite simply, amazing. The complexity of our eco-system is truly breath-taking. Each and every animal or plant you see devours something else in order to sustain life and, considering there are an estimated 10 million different species on earth, the cycle of life is immense.

Think about the number of animals and plants we consume during our lifespan as humans. Say an average person lives for seventy years, the amount of life we consume to stay alive ourselves is phenomenal. This is just one cycle of life, the world as a whole has hundreds of thousands.

Death is integral to life. Without death, life wouldn’t (feasibly) be possible. Though I couldn’t be the one to shoot a cow or catch a fish, I accept that killing animals is part of the lives we have to live.

Vegetarians may well have a different view upon this: a natural argument being that we could physically survive eating only plants. This is a very interesting topic on morality in my view.

Where does plant-life come into it? Surely plant-life should have as many rights as an animal. Plants use the exact same cycles as any animal, though obviously the ingredients to sustain life are different. So shouldn’t the same respect be given to plants as is shown to animals, or does life have to have a brain to become worthy of consideration?

That is simply a thought for your own morality. I really don’t think there will be convictions for a person picking a daffodil in the future

What I find quite distressing is that size really does matter in terms of respect given to animals. It’s confusing to understand why. A person picks a flower in a forest, no-one minds. A person cuts down a tree in a forest, they are condemned. Animals are similarly afforded respect out of their simple uses to humans as well as their size. Why does a dog carry a higher right to life than an ant?

All too often I see people killing animals out of mere annoyance, savagery or even pleasure. Killing a fly for buzzing too loudly, a spider for being a spider, an ant because it’s small. You wouldn’t kill a dog for eating the last sausage roll you dropped. What possible right does anyone have to wipe out a life through annoyance. I truly abhor this notion.

Gamekeeper’s rearing pheasants, nurturing them through childhood, then letting them loose to hunt them down with guns. Fox-hunting and deer-hunting for social and sporting pleasure. Bullfighting for public entertainment. The list goes on and on for the unnecessary killing of animals.

That’s a list of things I’ll never be able to change, and no doubt the government will never effectively ban either.

But I implore you, the next time you see a fly buzzing around that annoys you, or an ant that strays into your path, think twice about needlessly destroying life which is so precious.