Animal Suffering: Meat-ing Supply and Demand….

We eat to feed our bodies. Many of us also obtain an emotional gratification when we eat, and most of us humans are omnivores, meaning we eat everything, including meat and poultry. But this was not always the case – originally we were herbivores (…we even still have the remnants of our ancient 2nd stomach – the appendix, and even our teeth are more suited to crushing and chewing vegetation). We can, and have, existed and flourished without needing to eat meat. The Bible also records this fact, and it was only after the great flood that the Bible claims that God apparently then told us it was now OK to slaughter and chop up innocent animals and feed off their bloody, dead, rotting flesh (all flesh begins to rot immediately after death – just ask any homicide cop).  Of course, it might be heresy to contest the Bible, but one must remember that the Bible is a collection of different books or scriptures, and was written by many different men, and over many centuries, so forgive me for suspecting that perhaps some men simply wanted to eat meat and so falsely claimed that God told them that it was now permitted…. but I simply cannot imagine any God condoning or suggesting such hellish carnage and cruelty (a devil, yes, but a God?). Or that He would have double standards (“thou shalt not kill” – no mention of it only applying to humans….).

Jesus also famously said “LET NO FLESH MEAT ENTER YOUR MOUTHS” (Lection 38, Gospel of the Holy Twelve) – and which incidentally was also said long, long after the great flood…..

There are many compelling reasons to move towards a vegetarian diet, many of them health-related. But many people refuse to eat meat because of the inhumane treatment of the animals that are mass-produced to feed the population. Animal farming on the scale that it needs to be to satisfy our modern, over-populated consumption is grotesquely cruel.

Meat-ing Supply and Demand

Fact #1:  Meat is a commodity the more customers there are for it, the more animals needed to satisfy that demand.

Fact #2:  Less customers = less demand = less animals killed, and the market for the product begins to shrink

Fact #3:  No customers = no demand= the farmer stops forcing his animals to breed / stops artificial insemination of cows etc (… and then perhaps goes broke and or the government helps him find an alternative income, as has happened in other extinct industries….).

Just because somethings been done for years or provides a livelihood for some select people does not mean we should never stop it – otherwise we would never have stopped slavery, child labor, child prostitution, work-houses, whaling, and the like.

We also need to address our own hypocrisy too – how can the Western world be such hypocrites as to tell other countries to stop killing certain creatures  (eg: whales, seals, dogs, cats, horses……) for food when we do the same – or worse – to cows, chickens, pigs and other animals? –  All animals have a right to live – not just the ones that you or your society finds “cute” or cuddly.

When you eat meat, you’re eating the flesh of an animal whose life has been artificially shortened by overfeeding it to get it to a slaughterhouse very fast, unnaturally fast. They’re kept in small pens and cages, where they endure chronic stress and often cruel and inhumane treatment – it is not unusual to hear news stories of horrific animal abuse in farms or the slaughterhouses either (a recent example is the video footage of the sickening torture and abuse of Australian cattle within Indonesian slaughterhouses, which caused such an outrage in Australia that the billion-dollar live export trade was actually halted for a time, and has now resumed, albeit with stricter conditions for the animals treatment prior to their slaughter. Note though  that the Australian Government is still allowing their slaughter without any stunning or other strict conditions that are required in first-world slaughterhouses……). If the animals bear their young live, their babies are taken from them soon after they’re born. And if you think that the animals are not distressed or sad at losing their off-spring/parents, then think again – they are. They’re also fed growth hormones and antibiotics and kept from the natural behaviors and actions that characterize the normal life span. Pigs aren’t allowed to dig. Calves are kept immobile.  Chickens are kept in small, cramped cages often so small they sometimes cannot even turn around, and their beaks seared off with a burning hot knife to thwart the aggressive behaviors that are the result of this unnatural confinement. Their short lives are more miserable and hopeless than anything we can possibly imagine, and the carnage even more horrific and numerous than any human holocaust. 

When we talk about the animal holocaust or slaughter, the number of victims worldwide is STAGGERING – estimated to be in the vicinity of SIXTEEN BILLION animals PER YEAR. And that figure is also due to double in the next 20 years…..

Article - Animal Suffering: Meat-ing Supply and Demand. (Image by Sam Bourland, 3 chicks photo montage by

“You Are What You Eat”…..

Pig Pen - photo by Lee Wagner

Pig Pen - photo by Lee Wagner

Do you really think the flesh of the animal is separate from its spirit and its energy? Buddhists would say that they are not separate, but are in fact one and the same. If, as the saying goes, “you are what you eat”, then what are meat eaters are full of? – Rotting Flesh? Artificial Growth hormones? Stress hormones?  Perhaps that is why some babies and young children are suddenly hitting puberty early (yes, you read right – BABIES. The scientific world still does not know what is suddenly causing these anomalies, incidentally, but there is some strong suspicion around the growth hormones and antibiotics used in meat and dairy farming. Whatever the cause is, it is totally un-precedented – We have never before had small children or babies growing breasts and pubic hair, until now….).  The agony, misery and stress that these animals  endure in their shortened lives infuses every cell of their bodies, swamping their flesh – the “meat” – with the animals stress hormones, which meat eaters then consume (….. once all the mess – the faeces , blood, etc – has been washed off the dead carcass , that is  – All animals, and humans too, will defacate after death,  due to fear, shock, or simply the bladder and anal muscles relaxing upon death. Animal bodies must be carefully washed before “processing” (chopped up…) to ensure that no faeces has contaminated the meat……. Then there’s also the parasites and bacteria found within dead meat, such as worms which can be contracted by humans after eating the dead flesh or offal of an infected animal (Yum, anyone hungry?). Consider also the fact that depression and stress can make humans ill, can infect our muscles and organs. Is an animal so very different?

We don’t need meat or milk for survival. We’re no longer a hunting society; we’re merely a consuming society. Or rather, a selfish, totally self-absorbed consuming society.

Isn’t it time we started thinking differently of what we consume in order to nourish our bodies? We’re evolved from herbivores, and yet we’ve veered off our own evolutionary path. One can make a case for hunting and eating meat when it’s the only means for survival, but that’s no longer the case in most if not all  societies today, and our options are now plentiful. We do not have to include eating the flesh of suffering, abused and tortured animals. We do not have to eat dead, rotting flesh in order to live and thrive.  And anyhow, how can that possibly be considered nourishment?

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