Animal cruelty on free-range farms? My journey as a vegetarian
In the past couple of years I have been transforming myself from a regular meat eater to a semi-vegetarian. The reason being is that while surfing around the web, I came across a YouTube clip about how the meat we eat is processed in slaughterhouses and was absolutely disgusted by it; I saw the fear and depression in the animal’s eyes. This transition was not easy for me, especially as a person whom grew up eating meat everyday; I relapsed after about half a year and was once again a meat eater. But after eating meat again for about half a year, I chose to become a vegetarian again and the reason being is that I forced myself to watch the video that initially made me switch again and also did some research about the meat that we consume and about how to stay healthy as a vegetarian this time around. I am now a semi-vegetarian where the majority of the time I eat plant-based meals and occasionally dairy products, and rarely do I ever eat meat products (usually only when I get cravings or there is nothing else to eat but meat), and I feel great on my chosen diet; I have more energy, I feel like I am stronger, and I just feel better overall (physically and psychologically).
But this isn’t what I wanted to talk about in regards to the notion of vegetarian/vegan. I just wanted to outline my experience with becoming semi-vegetarian to illustrate where my argument is coming from. My argument however, has to do with the support or ideology that animals were created to be eaten.
So before I start my argument, I just want to say that if you as the reader are meat eaters, then that is fine; it is your choice. I respect your choice, so I would also like you to respect mine, thus you should at the very least take my argument into consideration, and don’t just throw to the side because you believe that it is invalid before it was even read. If this is the path that you are choosing to go down, then you shouldn’t read this article at all.
Like harming humans, harming animals is the most horrible thing that anyone can do. And if you have seen the documentary “Earthlings” or “Food Inc.” then you understand the violence that animals have to go through from the beginning at birth on farms. They are tormented and abused as if they were objects for eating, and yes, when a cow or chicken is born onto certain farms they are objects to eat, but these animals have emotions and senses, just like humans; they feel fear and sadness, hence they don’t deserve to be treated in such a harsh manner. So this leads me to free range farms. The animals on these farms are treated much, much better than animals that are raised on big company farms or slaughterhouses, but at the end of the day, they are still born and raised so that people can make food out of them; how humane could they be truly living? But if the animals on free-range farms were dying from natural occurrences, then it could be considered humane.
So regardless of where your meat is coming from, these victims of animal cruelty never truly live humanly and have a joyous life.
Another thing that I wanted to discuss was the whole notion of animals and sustaining the ecosystem. Vegans argue that by killing animals at such large masses, it is messing up our ecosystem, and is therefore putting this planet in an off balance state. Omnivores (or meat eaters) however, argue that if certain animals weren’t killed for meat, then they would be overpopulated and the planet would in turn be off balance also. I however, believe that if the consumption of meat were to go down then, the breeding of animals for meat would also go down. Anyways, if certain animals were to be overpopulated, then it is in my belief that our ecosystem would find a way to balance it organically. If there was an overpopulation of cows for example, then a predator such as a coyote for example could tame the overpopulating by killing off a certain amount of cows. But then some may say that is also cruel. Yes it is cruel, but it is a natural process compared to humans using machines and chemicals to overpopulating, then killing animals for food. I believe that humans have stronger mind functions than say a coyote, and thus we should be better at looking at and rationalizing the functions of the universe. With this superior brain power, we should be able to realize that this planet is delicate, and that we shouldn’t do things such as manually controlling the population of animals because it could and is ruining our planet; we should allow nature to manage our system. And plus, animals such as tigers, lions, and coyotes don’t any other choice, they only understand and know killing as a process of finding food; we as humans are much more intellectual than they are.
But there will be some people whom will argue that if we just let coyote’s for example, control our population of cows, then what would happen if there is an overpopulation of coyotes and these predators begin to attack humans? I believe that there are natural processes to manage the population of predators, but if not, than this is a very tricky question. I don’t want predators to attack me, or my family for example, but I also prefer to not kill these animals off. I believe that as humans, we are be capable of figuring out an ethical process to keeping these vicious animals away from us and keeping us safe. But if a predator were to attack you, it is in my belief that you have every single right to defend yourself, and your family and friends (as well as people who are in need of help) through any means necessary. But, what I am trying to get at with this notion is that we shouldn’t attempt to manage nature ourselves; to me, this is a form of neo-colonialism, where we are using our power as intellectual humans over animals to control them, so that we can gain something in return (in this case meat and power over predators/animals).
We are past the stage of the hunters and gatherers; we are much smarter and much more intellectual now than before; we obtain more facts about life and nutrition, so we should use this intellect to find out healthier ways, for both us and the planet, to finding out other methods of obtaining and sustaining food.