others, including animals, in so called "moral circles"
we know the theory of cognitive dissonance reduction:
a person adapts his beliefs to his behavior. "Because
I eat animals, an animal's life must not be worth much"
instead of "I care about animals, should I be eating
Contrary to cats and dogs, chickens and pigs are not natural allies during the hunt. By breeding in non-aggressive behavior these animals have been made more suitable as docile prey animals, and they became easy to keep in close proximity to farms. By stripping them of their natural dignity even further (they do not raise their own offspring, can't find a mate for themselves, procreation is arranged elsewhere), the animals no longer radiate a sense of pride. They look like junkies with their shabby appearance (docked beaks and tails) and they eat mostly garbage. They have turned into born losers, dependent and aggressive to each other due to stress, but at the same time not rebelling. A chicken or pig does not try to escape from its prison. It is as if they have given up ambition to live.
farmers themselves have become dependent. Because they
have deeply indebted themselves, they are also displaying
junky-behavior: unfeelingly the money-grubber saddles
the prey animals with his addiction to the kick of the
people and animals were driven apart by producers and their sectors.
Consumers consider it a luxury to have access to her meat cheaply and in great quantities.
These animals are endangered anonymous individuals and not endangered species. Their large quantities (450 million in the Netherlands yearly) give people cause for indifference, as if an animal's life is worth less if his species is abundant.
Chickens and pigs nowadays are living in large numbers in stables behind closed doors. They are no longer visible in their deplorable condition.
While man can take the 5th amendment in court, pigs and chickens face the impossible requirement of proving they have feelings before people are ready to be considerate with regard to their interests. People don't have to prove anything to have basic rights; animals are only assigned rights in clear cases of infringement of their well being. Who would take it if their rights were ignored just because something would not infringe on their well being?
Besides, what in people we call feelings and intelligence
is called instinct in animals. But pets such as dogs
and cats are endowed with these characteristics. Such
arbitrariness used to be applied to slaves and women as a form of humiliation, to mask the injustice
of man's own mental disposition.
"Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace" (Albert Schweitzer).
Removing economic pressure and temptation
If animals wants to go back to being respected, and
if we want cattle farmers to act accordingly, then the
economic pressure and temptations have to be taken off
the - proverbial - shoulders of animals and their masters.
Animals must be set free to behave as they (naturally)
want. One effective means is by stopping
Not by producing
massive amounts, but by sharing the risk of an abolishment
of industrial farming with all the parties lending or
borrowing money. The consequences of a bankruptcy would
then be distributed equally among banks, livestock fodder
producers, the government and the farmers themselves.
The government can help retraining cattle farmers to
a more decent profession.