No matter where the meat on your plate came from, there is one thing you can be sure about: It came from an animal that wanted to live.
“There is nothing ethical, defensible or necessary about using sentient beings.
We, at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, know the victims of ‘hobby farming’ personally. We pick up the pieces of their broken lives and broken families every day. We spend day and night trying — often unsuccessfully — to repair their destroyed lives. We look them in the face every day. They die in our arms. These individuals are not hypothetical to us; they are real persons with real scars and real lives, all rescued from small, ‘humane’ family farms where they were being raped, tortured, neglected, ignored, used, bought, sold, and murdered by people who saw them as hobbies, as a means to an end, as things. They are the majority of our residents — not the few exceptions.
Any term referring to the “humane production” of animal products is an oxymoron. Members of the public are more confused than ever because they are being told simultaneously by some large animal advocacy groups as well as the animal-using industries themselves that it’s okay, and even good, to use and kill some animals in place of others.
We increasingly see this confusion in the visitors to our sanctuary where, these days, nearly every person or group, regardless of their background, age, sex or socioeconomic position, proudly proclaims, “It’s okay, I only buy cage-free eggs and organic milk.” We hear these same lines over and over when we are tabling or leafleting. Because of this growing trend, our organization recently decided we have to prioritize the debunking of “humanely” produced animal products in all of our campaigns, education and outreach efforts simply because there is no such thing. Some of the most egregious cases of animal abuse we have encountered have come from so-called “cage-free” facilities and “family” farms.
To prove this point, we will introduce visitors to Libby, a hen rescued from a “cage-free” facility. When they see her mutilated body up next to Jewel, a hen rescued from a battery facility, we ask them if they can tell which hen came from which type of operation. They invariably cannot tell the difference. When we describe the conditions at “cage-free” and “free-range” facilities we have investigated, sanctuary visitors are even more perplexed, and even angered.
If being ethical is important to someone, then they ought to consider a way of life that does not inflict intentional harm on any sentient being. Vegan living is abundant, healthy and sustainable. If hobby farming interests someone, they may want to consider veganic farming. I suggest [you] volunteer at a sanctuary and get to know the resident chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pigs, cows, goats, and sheep as the full persons they are, and not as hobby property. Sanctuaries are the only places on earth today where farmed animals are treated with the dignity, care, and respect they deserve, and not like property.”
The public deserves to be told the full truth of who animals are and what is being done to them behind closed doors, as well as the catastrophic impact that the continuing consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products will have on human health, wildlife and the environment. We will do all we can to uphold this public trust.
As animal advocates committed to compassion and justice, we will refuse to take part in the exploitation of others or to collaborate with those caught up in such injustice. We will do our best to present a clear and uncompromised message to the public, a sincere and respectful message that is free of cynicism and manipulation.
Recognizing that progress toward social justice is gradual and depends on more and more people becoming aware of the truth, we will do all we can to ensure that each of the steps our culture takes is toward an accurate understanding of the ways animals are being harmed, and away from the false and misleading idea that the production of meat, eggs, and dairy products can be carried out without cruelty, violence, or injustice.
Recognizing that fostering cultural transformation requires a variety of creative approaches, we will support a broad range of programs and initiatives that eliminate or reduce the use and killing of animals, as well as measures that reduce the level of abuse and agony experienced by animals being exploited for human purposes, provided such measures involve NONE of the following:
1. Offering a misleading or incomplete portrait of the confinement, social deprivation, mutilation, reproductive manipulation, indignity and premature death endured by animals being exploited for profit.
2. Minimizing or failing to reveal the full impact on human health, wildlife and our environment from the continuing production and consumption of animal-based foods.
3. Developing, endorsing, certifying and/or promoting any animal products, including those that are labeled as being “humane,” “cruelty-free,” “cage-free,” “free range,” “organic,” “compassionate,” etc.
4. Developing, endorsing, praising, applauding or promoting “new and improved” methods for using and killing animals.
5. Providing individuals or corporations with promotional or public relations benefits that have the effect of making the use and killing of animals or the sale of any animal product more profitable or more socially acceptable.
For more information on “Humane” farming, including printable PDFs, visit http://www.peacefulprairie.org/humane-myth.html
The Case Against Backyard Livestock- http://www.plantsanimals.org/2011/07/the-case-against-backyard-livestock/