We as humans, especially those of us in the Western world, enjoy so many luxuries in modern society that our ancestors a century ago would never dream of. Unfortunately, we often go about our daily lives without thinking of the impacts the convenience and choice of our modern lifestyles may have upon animals. Animal activism is not only an interest for the vegetarian. It should be something that is considered important to omnivores as well, and anyone who benefits from animal products.
Consider chickens as an example. Most chicken made available in supermarkets in the US and Europe today comes from factory farms. On these farms, chickens have a terrible livelihood. They are raised from chicks to fully grown chickens in overcrowded coops where they wallow in their own waste and are forced to eat genetically modified food. This cruel and unethical treatment of animals, in turn, negatively impacts the populace who consumes chicken raised on GMOs.
It is very important to advocate for humane treatment of animals. While it is difficult and challenging, many do. One such person is British activist Keith Mann. An animal rights activist since 1982, he was arrested in 1991 for planning to burn a series of meat trucks in protest of the treatment chickens were subject to at factory farms. He has consistently been arrested and brutalized for his protests and extreme activism against animal experimentation.
Many animals endure years of cruel treatment at the hands of their trainers when they are one of the main attractions in a traveling circus group. In their natural environments, lions, tigers, bears and elephants would never voluntarily do all the different tricks they might be seen performing in a circus. The sad fact of the matter is that they are beaten, screamed at, lashed at with bull hooks, and go without food and water in order for their trainers to break their spirit and are essentially beaten and bullied into submission. Elephant rides and circuses should be avoided and boycotted if we want to ensure a better future for animals.
Land creatures are not the only animals treated cruelly and used for man’s own gain. Every year from September through March in the seaside town of Taiji, Japan, over a thousand pilot whales and dolphins are driven into the killing cove, where those with the most aesthetically appealing skins are selected to be sold into captivity. The others have their spines brutally severed by being stabbed just behind their blowholes, and are left to die slow, agonizing deaths before they are processed into meat at the butcherhouse.
Animal cruelty is unjustified. Get involved with your local community and help advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.