June 22, 2009

"American Pastoral"

The account of the couple who gave up the suburban lifestyle and became farmers of organically raised livestock is troubling (Food: Field Report, by Christine Muhlke). There’s something just plain wrong with killing animals after treating them to a lovely and very short life. Is it better than killing them in horrific slaughter facilities after even shorter, truly miserable lives? Of course it is. But that doesn’t make it right or compassionate or decent.

Those of us who spend time with chickens and pigs know that each has a personality and a rich emotional life, complete with humor, love, fears and worries. Dealing out death to those who cannot defend themselves, who are young and healthy, and who love life as we all do, can’t be justified by fulfilling the human desire for a tastier bit of dead flesh, which is the solid manifestation of the terror and death pain of those who trusted their caretakers to treat them well.

Leverett, Mass.

environment, environmentalism, animal rights, vegetarianism