Its a beautiful day here at Rooterville. As I look out the window and watch the 6 piglets who now live here as they race each other across the yard and stop to snurdle around the base of a tree and try to pick up interesting things to show off to each other, I am filled with happiness at their adorable antics. And then, just as quickly, I am filled with sadness and my eyes well up in tears at the reality of the millions of just as precious and smart little piglets living right now, at this moment, on factory farms who will never get to run, never smell fresh air, never search for treasures in the soft earth or know the least human kindness. But its not just for them that my heart grieves, but for the ones who close their eyes to the suffering caused by their appetite. The indifference to the cruelty, the hardness of heart necessary to just not care.
It wasn’t all that long ago that it was I who turned the blind eye, I know how easy it is to pretend that the animals I ate had a good life and a peaceful death. But that is all a fantasy, brought to us by an industry that doesn’t want us to acknowledge the truth. When we wake out of that self induced slumber, when we allow ourselves to care, to seek the truth and change our habits to align with our professed values, what a freedom, that brings. When our own eyes are opened to the truth, we want to shake everyone else and wake them from their transe to come into the light of the truth.
But change is hard, its easier to go along with the herd, numb ourselves to the violence and cruelty we support. Some will pontificate that there are more important topics to worry over, like abortion or human suffering. We’ll always have these things with us to worry over. It doesn’t take anything away from human suffering to care about all suffering, especially the suffering that we are directly responsible for. That is just us trying to put a salve over our conscience. As the Apostle Paul calls it, “searing” our conscious.
Matthew Scully, the brilliant writer of the most amazing book “Dominion”, points out the fact: The test of TRUTH is consistency. If it is true that cruelty to dogs and cats is immoral, even illegal, then why is it acceptable when such cruelty is committed against pigs, chickens, cows, bunnies? What is it about us, in our culture, that we are horrified at the sight of the butchering and eating of dogs and cats, yet we happily order cows, pigs and chickens from the drive thru window and pick up packages of their parts at the grocery store? At least the Asians are consistent, in that they are inhumane to all animals without discrimination. They mock the hypocrisy of us, the Americans, who with our “holier than thou” attitudes that we try and impose on the rest of the world. They see it, yet we are blind to it because we’ve been numbed into ignoring it. Or whales, what of them? The Japanese’ best argument for killing them with gusto is that we “sentimentalize” them in the west, they are no different than the pigs and other animals we happily consume, who are we to tell others that this one is ok on the menu while that one, God forbid! What about you? Do you enjoy the comfort of the western double standard? I did and I’m so glad my eyes were opened and I am free of it and able to adhere to my truth that cruelty and abuse is wrong, it is ungodly, it is immoral. I have taken nothing from humanity, instead I have broadened my own contribution to it. So, I celebrate the little bit of happiness that these few that we can save enjoy. I wish it for all of God’s creation. I wish that more people would recognize the lives that they would spare, the suffering that they would end, if they just made kinder choices. Will you join us in making this world a kinder, cleaner, healthier place?