Last week Swati wrote about how the mind has become fragile in the 21st century.…
The following post may contain graphic images of animal abuse. Viewers discretion advised.
I don’t usually follow recipe books or well-known cuisines, however, I rather experiment with my combinations of spices and herbs. This time I did everything possible to get this right.
Cooking anything requires patience and finesse. Marinated the chicken, let it soak in for a few hours. Prepared the spices, added additional herbs, slow cooked the curry. It looked succulent and appetizing.
One can easily tell how well it would taste depending on how it smells and looks.
Most people say that the meal cooked by oneself doesn’t taste so well to the person. I disagree with that logic, I would enjoy it as much as long it is cooked well.
Something changed this time, the taste was not the same. The satisfaction from chewing the meat didn’t give the same pleasure as it used to.
In the recent events, the world was fast enough to blame China for consuming bat soup that may have led to outbreak of the virus. However, we still lack concrete evidence to prove that.
A Study published by reputable scientists concluded that the virus found in Horseshoe bat has capabilities to mutate. It can recombine itself with other animals and spread to human beings through the consumption of meat.
After the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009, research stated that such viruses will more commonly appear in the future.
We have constantly abused domestic animals in the name of meat consumption. In times like these, it doesn’t bring us guilt then probably nothing else will.
Meat-eating existed as long as the history itself. animal abuse
Meat consumption has existed for 1000’s of years. The domestication of livestock was a need of the hour when the hunting process was failing. The animals required for husbandry needed to qualify a certain criterion. Mostly, their ability to adapt and live among humans, easy to care, reproduce as easily as possible.
One animal killed provided the fiber, food, weapons, and other accessories at the time. In a remote village in Afghanistan in the higher mountain ranges, when they kill an animal they would not let a single organ go to waste.
Even to date, there are many countries that solely rely on animals as a part of their dietary requirement. Some because of their age-old traditions and rituals, while others do that because nothing grows in horrid conditions such as Iceland or Mongolia.
When the world moved from being nomadic to settlers, crop farming and agriculture began. That reduced the dependency for most to strictly rely of meat and with alternate source of food there was a shift in the eating habits throughout the world.
How is meat consumption a form of animal abuse?
An incredible shift happened in the late 19th or early 20th century when we were moving into capitalistic and commercial society.
There’s an interesting story on how chicken farming started. In 1923, Cecile Steel ordered 50 chicks for laying eggs, a shipping mistake resulted in the delivery of 500 chicks. She nurtured and cared for them, eventually turned into a profitable business. Back then Chicken was not a common menu item in the restaurant.
When the commercial animal farming and husbandry took over the world, a common problem was providing a safe haven to the animals (until they are slaughtered).
We were growing so many animals that soon the space and well-being of those animals was in grave danger. From raising crippled animals to disease infected birds were growing in numbers.
The easiest solution was feeding antibiotics to the animals in the husbandry and steroids for growth. These animals grew a lot faster than their body and bones could handle. Which also meant that the animals were ready for harvesting a lot sooner.
Remember that by choosing to eat animal meat, we are voluntarily choosing to consume the antibiotics and steroids that these animals are fed. Anyone with half a brain would know that prolonged intake of antibiotics can lead to the building of resistance in our immune system that would naturally render the effects of such medicines useless when administered during sickness.
Not just that, by consuming the animal meat we are also entertaining the industry that causes intense animal abuse.
Breading of animals in small cages with no room at all, affects their physical growth. It also increases the chances of affecting each other with various diseases.
Chicken is one of the most abused animals in the world. Nearly 50 billion chicken are slaughtered each year for consumption. The kind of suffering the animals receive is beyond imagination.
The chicks bred for laying eggs are layers. They are kept in battery cages that are no bigger than an A4 size paper. The beaks of female chicken get seared off with a hot blade. This is to stop them from picking their feathers that can cause possible infections.
As many as 5-10 birds live in such cages, forcing them to rub their bodies with each other. This causes bruises, losing of feathers, hinder growth, crippled legs, and passing of diseases, all leading to an early death.
Male chicken doesn’t serve a greater purpose because they don’t lay eggs. As soon as they are born they are crushed or ground alive.
Chicken used for meat consumption (Broilers) are fed with growth hormones for a faster increase in weight to match the required standard.
Their bodies and bone structure doesn’t get time to adapt to the sudden increase in weight. They have trouble walking with the excess weight, but they don’t live long enough with the suffering.
Just the killing of animals in itself is a form of abuse, however, just imagine for a second what their lives in cages look like. With the lockdown forced in every country, I am sure at least some of us realized the importance of such freedom.
Cows, Buffaloes and other cattle
There was a row in India about slaughtering cows for consumption. That resulted in a nationwide ban on the consumption of cow meat. It is a sacred animal in Hinduism.
Whereas followers of other religions such as Islam and Christianity found that their freedom of choosing what to eat is taken away.
It wouldn’t have been so wrong to avoid eating cow meat if that ensures peace and respect among each other. There was a moral policing done by so called the protectors of the animal. They did not hesitate in lynching the people who endorsed eating it.
However, one of the industries that hide behind the curtain that causes animal abuse is Dairy.
Cows and Buffaloes will not milk unless they get pregnant, for that they artificially inseminate them. As soon as the calf is born, they are immediately separated from the mother. Those calves don’t get the equal share in the milk that the cow or buffalo produces.
They injected with hormones that force them to produce more milk. The mothers are inseminated right after their birth & the cycle continues until their health deteriorates.
When the animal is of old age and no longer productive, they are abandoned and left on the road to die. We have all witnessed the number of cows on the road surviving on garbage and plastic.
Pigs are far more resilient than other cattle. That doesn’t mean they deserve the abuse and torture. Their situation is no better than other domestic animals, they suffer a similar fate.
History has already proved that Swine flu was a major threat and has similar symptoms such as Covid-19. When the world has already witnessed the spread of the disease to humans through consumption, why didn’t we ever stop eating it.
Why were so quick to judge the Chinese for what they eat, when the rest of meat eaters or dairy consumers can be equally responsible for the outbreak.
Why should we stop eating meat?
There are plenty of reasons why we should stop eating meat for good. At least, the countries that are capable of producing alternate food should do it. So that the Geo-locations that can’t grow anything can depend on it reducing the overall impact.
1. Land Availability
Animal farming takes up 30-40% of the world’s landmass. That’s huge! According to research, it’s a 70-30% ratio between animal and crop farming respectively.
While the world is struggling to fulfill the food requirement, we are giving a significantly large area form animal farming. With this trend, we are always going to fall short of the food for the world.
2. Food For Animals
Animal farming takes up 70% of agricultural land and 1/3rd of cropland is used to grow feed for them. It is unclear how this scenario got so out of hands.
Global meat production has increased 4 times as much in the last 50 years. From 84 million tonnes to 334 million tonnes a year between 1965 to 2017. About 800 million people go hungry and still so much of land is dedicated to husbandry.
3. Bio-waste and Global Warning
Animals consume a lot of food, they also release a lot of waste such as urine and manure. This bio-waste produces large volumes of harmful gases. In the US alone, 80% of the ammonia emissions come from animal waste.
About 20% of the greenhouse gases emitted comes from livestock production. Although Worldwatch Institute estimates this number to be much higher.
Local residents are directly exposed to these gases. The smell and harmful gases have had an impact on the quality of life of these residents.
4. Animal Abuse
If the above three aspects of meat industry and the damage it causes to the planet wasn’t enough, then the animal abuse should be. You and I would cringe if any one of us were to eat human meat. We would not tolerate domestic abuse or any sort of violence towards human beings.
So, why do we let these animals suffer?
A lot of us may argue that humans are on top of the food chain and this is the way. However, human beings are intelligent species too. We have free will and we have the ability to choose. If we think that these scenarios are exaggerated then one should visit such farms and see for ourselves.
Killing these animals is straight out wrong, but what they go through being in those small houses and cages is far worse.
At some point in life, we, the human beings will have to make choices that allow a sustainable life on the planet. We have to be better about the choices and fight for the right for every living being on this planet.
Every life matters, that not only goes for the human beings but for animals too. They can’t speak, they can’t stand up for themselves or their species, we got to do it for them. The pain they go through is real much like what you and I would feel.
Why should we choose to put an animal on our plate that has suffered when alive and slaughtered so that we can enjoy a meal? A friend of mine once told me that by consuming the animals that have suffered pain and fear, I am consuming their pain and suffering too. Of course, as a meat-eater, I was quick enough to dismiss that.
Now that doesn’t seem too illogical. I hope that we learn from experience and make better choices going forward.
Until next time!