Activists aren’t in it for money

I confess, I’m the blogger [mentioned in] “All Up in Your Grill” [Aug. 8]. When I read that article, I had to shake my head. In the year-and-a-quarter I’ve lived here and spent time with Stewart and Terri [David] at protests, I have never seen any hint of the hostility Stewart allegedly showed. 

Ms. Barrett-Knopp’s insistence that Malaprop’s “believe[s] in peaceful coexistence” somehow fails to take into consideration the extreme suffering of animals raised for food. I don’t think there are words that can accurately describe this kind of suffering. It is like war with only one side armed. Don’t mistake me: I think peaceful coexistence is a grand ideal, but for true peace to reign, all species must be included. You can’t have peace when you cause the birth, humiliation, illness and death of other beings.

Pigs who become barbeque are not raised Babe-style on green-pastured farms. Raised on dirty concrete floors in windowless, low-ceilinged warehouses, pigs are penned in by iron bars, with no blankets, straw or even cardboard to lie on. … There is no room to stretch, barely room to move around. Pigs cannot fulfill any of their instincts for cooling off in the summer or keeping warm in the winter. They needn’t worry, however, for most never make it past six months.  They [will be] slaughtered [early] for increased profits. The pigs … do not see the light of day until they are trundled onto trucks with, of course, no temperature control. … In the winter pigs may freeze and in summer become dehydrated or suffer heat stroke as they are hurtled hundreds of miles to their final destination. Though they are supposed to be stunned before they are killed, many are not stunned properly and are fully conscious when sliced open to bleed. … Their bodies are dumped into vats of boiling water. If the pigs are not dead, they will be boiled alive. This is not uncommon.

From birth to death—none of it natural—pigs suffer horribly. That is why people like me find ourselves repulsed by profiting from this industry. Unlike the author and unlike Malaprop’s, animal activists are not in this for profit. We are in it so that maybe one day such suffering will be unacceptable to us all and then it will, finally, stop.

For more information about pigs and pig slaughter:

— Wendy Kobylarz

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3 thoughts on “Activists aren’t in it for money

  1. donaldoro

    And actual Living Plants are grown in long, unnatural rows strictly for your food-pleasure. Grown in unnatural settings to maximize efficiency to bring you a highly domesticated, dummed-down version of a long-ago wild cousin at a very reasonable price.
    i have seen the carnage of working an ‘organic farm’, where, far from the rustic ideal, vegetables are grown in a factory of right angles placed over a circular earth. i have worked the broccoli harvest with my machete, filling my bucket with the ripe ‘heads’, only to look back at the end of the row to see the carnage of 50 yards of headless, whimpering brasicas, mute in their murdered silence, yet with the screams still lingering in my head.
    i have worked the potato fields, with their obtrusive digging, interrupting the beautiful slumber of the peaceful potato. And i have cut the very leaves off of the living lettuce plant, all in the name of bringing you a *fresh*, *healthy* salad.
    yes, folks, i Used to be Vegan, But now, I Eat People.

  2. stephen

    i think what donaldoro is trying to point out is that life feeds on life, and that vegetarians & vegans still consume life

    we all ought to realize that vegetables are alive, but is it fair to compare a cow hung bleeding from one leg to a harvested potato?

    i also think that human beings can distinguish between different levels of suffering, and consume accordingly, if they are of the disposition to do so

    i suppose it depends upon how moved one is when confronted by the truth about what happens to the animals that are raised, transported, and slaughtered on an industrial scale. donaldoro, apparently, is not

    *sigh* there is always someone ready to ridicule those moved by compassion for the suffering of sentient creatures, always someone amused by their own novel, witty, and callous retorts

  3. Robert

    Wendy, I like most people who eat meat and love bacon, knows exactly what goes on in the meat industry. We have heard the same argument over and over again, and still we don’t change. We know that hogs and chickens get boiled alive, we know how disgusting a slaughterhouse is, we know the drawbacks to our health to eating meat and we know what pain feels like. I’m not writing this to fight you on your point. I’m saying that we operate on a different set of morals. I’ve never met anyone that has switched to a vegetarian or vegan diet because someone else pursuaded them to. We have to come around on our own. A very common human reaction to someone who tells them they shouldn’t do something is to turn around and do that very thing. I light a cigarette every time I see an anti-smoking ad. See what I’m saying? Your argument also misses the point on the Malaprop’s scenario. It’s about public use of a sidewalk, as I recall.

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