<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

But, they're "just" chickens 

I couldn't tell you how many times I have
heard this phrase uttered. Many times it
is said by someone who considers themselves
to be a kind, compassionate person, too.
At least, as far as humans go. Well, maybe
dogs and cats, too. It depends on the person.

I received an email from someone who said
that he was concerned about the danger these
workers pose to other humans, but that he
couldn't bring himself to care about the chickens
themselves. In his own words, he says,

"Well, I do certainly understand that cruelty is
cruelty. I also have heard the phrase 'You can
tell the character of a man in the way that he
treats small animals and children' and agree
with it.

However, if there is cruel treatment going on
between men and animals, I would really only
be concerned for the humans. I mean, chickens
are nice and all, they're especially cute when they
are newly born, but they're just chickens.

It's like the fate of the farm chicken to live a sad,
short life and whose inevitable ending is to be
killed and eaten.

Chickens are just not people, and so my concern
for them only ranges from 'almost indifferent' to
'very slight'."

Sadly, this attitude is very common, especially
in this area. Indeed, it is this mindset that
allows this kind of behavior to go unchecked. It
continues to grow and fester inside the person
committing the cruelty until the brutality crosses
over into their behavior toward other people.

Think about this: I have heard management
say, "They are just line workers. They are a dime
a dozen." Obviously they care even less about
the chickens processed every night. They don't
strike a single chord on the heartstrings of this
type of person. Before very long, there are no
strings left to strike a chord on. This is inhumanity.
This is also what happens when a person discounts
the suffering of anything by saying, "it is just"
anything. The list only grows longer with time.

It doesn't really matter much what species is
being cruelly abused and mistreated (well, except
to the particular creature suffering). I can agree
with the person that sent this email in that cruelty is
cruelty, no matter who or what it is directed toward.

It is wrong to assume that just because certain
species are raised and slaughtered for food, that
they don't have the right to be treated in a humane
manner. They are still feeling, somewhat intelligent
creatures that feel pain and bleed, just like us.

Society cannot afford to try to draw the line at
which species we allow to be treated in a cruel and
violent way. We have to realize that it does not
matter one bit what kind of creature it is that is
being treated wrong. The problem is that it happens
at all to any living creature.

"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not
to hate them, but to be indifferent to them:
that's the essence of inhumanity."

-----George Bernard Shaw
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