The Worst Thing in the World– and how to fix it
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke
The worst thing that anyone could do in this world is be indifferent. And yet, despite our best intentions, most of us are indifferent to lots of issues, even ones that we see everyday. I drive by homeless people who have signs begging for food and money, and it’s not because I don’t want to help them. In fact, in pains me not to. It’s just that I don’t feel like I can help one of those individuals without giving more time and money to them than I have. There are two big differences between animal activism and mainstream activist groups; lot’s of people support mainstream groups to a certain extent, while animal activists are a minority, and while most activists are praised for their good deeds, animal activists are criticized and harassed for their beliefs on a daily basis. This is entirely understandable. We [animal activists] make people uncomfortable because, unlike most other causes, consumers are directly responsible for the death and suffering of animals. Most people can’t handle that. And it’s not because they’re bad or anything. Probably, most of my readers eat meat. There’s a lot of reasons that meat has because a social norm and I would like to get into that.
First of all, meat has been a part of human culture since long ago. It supposedly (I say supposedly not because I think it’s wrong but because I don’t think it’s proven) helped us develop our brains and gave us the protein and enzymes we needed to become the supposedly (I say supposedly because I think this is baloney) most advanced, superior beings on the planet. We have eaten meat pretty much as long as we’ve been humans, so it’s pretty hard for us to do anything different. We are a species deeply inclined to not change. Second, as a group, we reinforce our social norms on each other. Anyone watching TV is going to see commercial after commercial after commercial containing or even focussing on meat. If you watch the food network, vegetarians are mocked, especially on competitive shows. Despite ourselves, people as a whole want everyone to conform because it is comfortable for things to be the same. We also have people we trust telling us we need meat to have a balanced diet. Our parents of course try to give us what they think is best for us, which is based on conventional wisdom and what doctors are saying. Doctors get much of their information from national boards and councils that tell them what is right and wrong. All of that would be well and good, if it weren’t for the fact that these councils have agendas.
The dairy council, for example, uses tax dollars to convince people to drink (read: purchase) more milk, even though it’s not even good for you! In fact, it’s pretty bad. And not only is it bad for you, it’s bad for cows. Of course, no one ever tells you that. So when someone tells you the truth about it, it’s totally understandable that you wouldn’t really want to hear it! A lot of people react to this by insulting the person who’s informing them instead of feeling angry at the people who are lying to them, taking their money, and systematically killing animals. This is willful ignorance. http://www.upworthy.com/no-one-applauds-this-woman-because-theyre-too-creeped-out-at-themselves-to-put-their-hands-together?c=upw1 So as consumers of animal products readily defend the people they purchase meat from, big farm companies whisper in the ears of our law makers, our representatives, and get them to protect the industry from the prying eyes of whistle blowers. What am I talking about? Ag-gag laws. I don’t know what it actually stands for, but I always like to think of Ag-gag as “agricultural gagging” because they take away our voices. Animals cannot speak for themselves, so whistle blowers have to, but Ag-gag laws across the country have made it ILLEGAL to film or take pictures inside farms without the consent of the owner. These kind of laws not only fine whistleblowers, but in some states even put activists on the federal list of terrorists. Let me reiterate: mass murderers get to put people trying to save lives on the same list as Osama bin Laden. Not only does this stop animal activists, but also those considered with safety standards for employees, health and disease control, and general consumer use. They succeed in this, because people close their eyes and ignore the truth and support an unsustainable industry in the name of the delicious yet trivial flavor of bacon.