An in-depth reflection on the issue by the father of the GNU (free software/Linux), Richard Stallman. Long but worth it.
For those who don't have the time, here a brilliant comic from Bansky.
I just read an article that looked behind the meat/dairy/egg industry, to the hardships that the people who work in it must endure. Very interesting details, though interpreted from the conventional point of view.
This is my reply to that article.
Most of these investigations, that supposedly "are counterproductive and accomplish nothing" are carried out by animal-right activist organizations, with an investment of PLENTY of time and effort. It is not easy to get into a farm/slaughterhouse and start shooting a video, it's not something that's done on a Sunday afternoon because we are bored. These animal-rights organizations are usually vegan. So the aim is not to close down one farm, the aim is that we realize that our nature is not to do certain things.
These investigations always result in violence and abuse, place they get in, violence and abuse they "discover", strange, right? Could it be that this is the RULE and not the exception? I tend to think so.
The reason is partly because of exactly what you say. To offer more and more produce, those businesses must keep their costs down, including the salary of their workers.
But there is more to that. Slaughterhouse workers turnout, for instance, is the highest professional turnout in the whole range of industries, beating turnout figures of field workers or similar "hard" professions. Why? Because we are NOT killers in nature (how many of us are sensitive to the sight of blood?). e might be pushed to killing if our life depends on it, but THIS is NOT in our nature.
As social workers need help with their psycho-emotional ordeals when they work with violence victims (of any kind), people who are constantly in the presence of violent death also have something that "breaks inside". Because we are NOT killers!!!
If killing is not in our nature, the consequence is that we are NOT hunters. There is a very simple way of finding out the nature of a unknown creature: observing its habits. If a new species is discovered, a member of this new species could be put in a room with a piece of fruit and a smaller animal, and if it is a carnivore it will eat the smaller animal and play with the piece of fruit. Put a child in a room and give him/her a bunny and a piece of banana, see what the child eats and what the child plays with. Do the same with a cat or a dog or a lion or a snake.
We are NOT carnivores, before supermarkets HOW MUCH meat did we eat (yes, we've always eaten meat, the question is how much)??? Surely much less than today. "Meat" is hard to come by, animals will run and kick and bite and thrush their horns when you try to kill them, fruit and vegetables don't, and they can be grown next to your home.
It is against our nature to witness violent death over and over and over again, day after day, hour after hour, how can this NOT change us inside? How can the meat/dairy/egg industry be humane, for humans and non-humans?
It simply cannot.
A Mind full of Ideas