Exploitation of man and animals for economic reasons

In the sixteenth and seventeenth century western people used to travel to Africa to enslave black people and take them away to work on plantations in the "New World". Nowadays some people in the Third World work voluntary for western entrepreneurs while tempted not to grow crops for the local market but to grow fodder for the western factory farming industry. In countries with factory farms animals are exploited as modern slaves, just as inhuman as the "old" human slaves were treated and just as invisible.
The majority of the Westerners have pulled out of the developing areas, however their investments have remained. Developing countries can free themselves from the burden of debts when they agree to produce for western countries. The former yoke of bondage has been replaced by the leading strings of our economic doctrine. The Third World still is under the spell of our economic conviction: "produce fodder and thou shall be rich soon and freedom will result". The flipside is that the local economies have become disrupted and the local population has little to eat or is forced to destroy a new part of the rainforest in order to grow some crops for themselves. This way the Third World not only has sold out its raw materials but the local market has also become the place to sell off western overproduction. When they object to this unequal competition Western governments offer to take away limitations for the Western market, while subsidizing their own entrepreneurs by their own taxes.

Automation has brought about an increase in production and higher profits

Meanwhile factory farming in the western hemisphere is no longer restricted by small-scale production: the farmer is given the opportunity to keep a great number of animals. He often lives away from the farm, in order not to be constantly reminded by the smell and ugliness of the stables and the way he earns his money. Laborers are scarce in demand and the banks and fodder industry cooperate in financing and building big stables. This way it is much easier and cheaper to supply fodder and collect products and animals. The only thing for the farmer to organize is a location to dump the manure, which is injected into the ground as soon as possible. The whole world has become a global market for meat consumption; only legal restrictions to protect the environment sometimes limit the unbridled growth of factory farming. Nobody is confronted with the abuse that takes place in factory farming. Because of the hidden production behind closed stable doors the public is unaware of what is going on and is unlikely to protest. In contrast to the modern way of farming and reminiscent of the old way there are often little goats and swag-belly pigs in the front yard of the factory farms. Many of the changed circumstances have a positive component: a lot of hard intensive labor now belongs to the past. The negative side is that the gained energy is not put into positive goals, but directed to gaining more money. A small group of entrepreneurs profit directly. The public profits indirectly because of the low prices for meat. Greed, easy money and ostentation (another reason to keep exotic pets) make the animals in factory farms groan under the yoke of modern slavery. It is the animal that is paying a high price for the profits of modern farming. In exchange for good care, though limited and completely focused on fast growth without problems, the animals are left with nothing but boredom, awaiting slaughter. No action is undertaken that does not serve the purpose of making more money, leaving the animals in conditions of utter boredom and misery. As modern slaves animals have a right to freedom too. It is the same freedom that is misused by the factory farmer in order to build his empire.
Freedom used to violate animal freedom must be curbed, otherwise freedom will turn into the opposite direction. Revolution on the part of the animal is not to be expected; in turn we get scandals like harmful hormones, resistant germs, dioxin contamination, BSE and swine-plagues. It is everybody's task to defend the borders of freedom: government, consumers, meat producers, banks and the business world. In the old days one would call up for solidarity with the weaker party, but nowadays this would not help, because responsibility is spread over too many parties. It is easy to avoid responsibility and the animal is unable stand up and fight for its own rights. The consumer cries out "I don't have time to buy ecological meat" and states, together with the farmers, that "it is up to the government to make factory farming less attractive and make ecological farming more attractive". Because of this attitude the lives of farm animals are expected to improve only slowly.
People in our society, quite rightly, are unwillingly forced into moral norms and values Society is likely to function properly when it consists of individuals that behave in a responsible way when not being monitored all of the time. For example when consumers stop buying factory farm products, when animals from the wild are no longer hunted for pleasure only or when it is no longer practice that harmful components are mixed with fodder. The solution is to actually implement freedom in our society and our minds. This means that freedom:
  • must be limited (no import of fodder from the third world, just like the ban of exotic animals) and the export of animal products
  • must be made explicit (what are minimal requirements for animal freedom)
  • must be guarded and monitored (the freedom of a factory farmer ends where the freedom of animals begins).
This means also.
  • No subsidy and other support for unfair economic competition.
  • People should free themselves from all kinds of enslaving habits that prevent them from taking responsibility for their own behavior and they should learn to act effectively to improve the lives of animals.
Human action tends to be motivated by economic interests. Improving conditions for animals should therefore be positively linked to our economic interest, whereby the goals and methods are directed to enlarging the freedom for as many parties as possible. Factory farming should be economically unattractive and ecological stock farming should be given a fair chance. This way real freedom is implemented in the whole range of our society.

This article is part of a series on falsities and demagogy.
Some arguments used in debate on the topics in the title simply are invalid. That goes for pro and contra. We selected a few of the most rigid arguments from different situations and placed an appropriate counterargument. Because a more clear and honest way of reasoning helps improve the circumstances animals live in. Mail us if you encounter other or new (counter)-arguments. Apart from the specific issues there are the types of arguments in general. Fallacies are deliberately or accidentally used in a debate. So be aware of the principles and the integrity of an opponent. Click here for tips on how to react to animal-unfriendly behavior of others.

Non-valid arguments (deceptive arguments) for different groups