Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew. –Guillaume Apollinaire
I’m going to take you on this long journey with me and my hope is that by leaving you with questions you’ll look within to find the answers.
Recently I was sent a link to a video that was recorded undercover by a group that is known for doing undercover videos for the intent of exposing animal cruelty and abuse. I hesitated to watch it because I knew it would be something horrendous for an animal lover like me to watch, so I saved it for the time just before I was closing down my work for the day. Not a good idea. I cannot tell you how devastated and terribly upset it made me. However, it was also the catalyst for this article series. Yes, I obviously needed to watch the video. Someone has to be a voice for those who cannot express their voices. But next time something like this comes in, I will not watch it at the end of the day so that it haunts me through the night.
I am not supplying the link to that video here because I’m sure many who are reading this article have more than likely already seen that video, especially since it’s been all over the mainstream news. And interestingly enough the video is not the real focus of this article. It’s more a question: What are we really doing? Are we really aware of what is REALLY going on with regard to animals?
Before I digress let me just share the video in words. In one word: abhorrent. In a phrase: complete disregard for sanctity of life. This video was taken inside of a factory dairy farm. These dairy cows are used their entire lives for milk and then for food themselves when their milk supply is no longer up to the demand. Let me first say before I go on that I am not opposed to using animals for food. Yes I am an animal lover but I also believe it is okay for us to consume animals for food but in gratitude to them for their unwilling sacrifice that can only be honored with the humane, natural care of these animals. As a veterinarian friend Dr. Myrna Milani, said “there are consequences to what we do to animals“. Yes, there are, indeed. Juliette de Bairacli Levy states in her book, The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable that she teaches natural care of animals (according to their species needs) and shuns their treatment as machines forcing the “unnatural” on our domestic animals which brings them much pain, fear, and misery but could all be avoided by their proper, humane, natural care.
Whether animals are our companions, or utilized for food, or for entertainment, or whatever it may be we MUST care for them kindly, humanely, in gratitude to them, and as naturally as possible or there will be and are consequences to our actions. Many animals are highly intelligent and deserve to be respected as the living beings that they are; our problem is that we are wrapped up in our closed little worlds therefore we do not achieve the understanding necessary to work with or live with animals in our personal worlds.
In this video I watched as a downed cow (one that no longer can stand up because of a sick and weakened state) was being repeatedly – and I mean one right after the other – prodded with an electric cattle prod. She was screaming, and also frothing at the mouth in agony. It was obvious she was in agony and also very sick. But the worker continued to prod her. Then seeing that this wasn’t going to work he went and got a forklift to force UNDERNEATH her to lift her and carry her to slaughter. Now imagine this cow is already sick and in agonizing pain. She was repeatedly electrocuted. Then they ice the cake by shoving a painful piece of metal up underneath her. How she lived through all of that is beyond my comprehension. But no matter what, she did not deserve that kind of treatment even if the plan was to use her for human consumption. No animal no matter what deserves that kind of treatment. Never. Ever.
I have friends within the industry that say this sort of cruelty should never happen. I was told by one person that it is a violation to slaughter any downed animal. That’s right, and yet the cow I saw was not the only one that was downed nor was it the only one that was being treated in this manner. There were several that were downed and the workers were using forklifts on ALL of them. There was also a cow that was obviously deformed; she was walking on her hocks not her hooves. She was also in the pen for slaughter.
A filthy, dirty muck of a pen is where these animals resided, I might add. There was absolutely no regard for animal life at this large processing facility. None. And of course when we consume animals raised in horrid conditions like these who are obviously sick, deformed, and even malnourished we consume ALL of that into our bodies. Like it or not, believe all the naysayers who say it isn’t so but that does not negate the facts. And they are facts.
As I watched this video I was sobbing. Not just in shock or disgust but in complete and utter anger. I knew in that moment why so many people want us to be vegan or vegetarian. I don’t even think it’s because it is supposedly the healthiest way for us to eat (I don’t believe veganism is the healthiest way to eat). I don’t even believe it’s for the animals’ rights. I believe it is because it is just plain wrong for us to do these things to other living beings that were created by God. But this article is not about my own convictions and beliefs because therein lies the crux of all these animal problems in the first place.
When predator animals kill and eat prey animals they do so out of a necessity to eat what they were created and designed to eat. They eat what they need and in nature nothing is left to waste. Humans are the only beings on the planet that blatantly waste anything.
Any kind of reasoning that says we have to produce food for the masses in this fast, factory style so that there is enough food for everyone does not make sense because there are more starving people around the world now than ever before. To torture animals to supposedly get more food to more of the masses makes no sense either other than for pure and unadulterated greed on the part of these factories AND for we greedy consumers who don’t need near as much as we perceive ourselves to need to sustain our lives.
At the root of ALL our problems is one thing: greed. We greedily want our way or the highway. We greedily want more to consume. We greedily want more to sell. We greedily want more money, more power, more clothes, more tech toys, more, more, and more. We are never satisfied or content. Animals on the other hand only use what they need. Sure, we have overweight animals, but that is not of their doing; it is of our doing by feeding them what is unnatural to them and that in turn is creating volatile new diseases as well.
These horrific actions against animals push certain groups in an attempt to force everyone to comply with draconian laws that make the book 1984 written by the very insightful Orson Wells pale in comparison. The only ones, who really get punished, though, are the animals.
To open your heart means risking it all – to experience great joy and profound sorrow. Tom Mathews
To be continued…
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