Reason #4: In addition to concerns about the effects of meat-eating on one’s health, eating animals raises numerous ethical issues. In a recent column, the New York Times’ Mark Bittman discusses the book Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight by Timothy Pachirat. The book, writes Bittman, “shatters any belief you might have about the system treating animals with a shred of decency.”
Pachirat worked for five months in an Omaha slaughterhouse where about 2,500 cows are killed per day; he had taken the job “not as an animal rights activist but as a doctoral candidate in political science seeking to understand the normalization of violence.” Noting that “meat-eaters may assert that this is somehow justifiable, because we ‘need’ to eat meat — just not cats or dogs or goldfish — to live,” Bittman points out that the “system” of industrialized agriculture is simply “perverse.”
This “system” reduces “all of us to a warped state”, says Bittman. The way our culture raises, kills and eats animals reduces the humanity of all, whether we are working in slaughterhouses or consumers of the products wrapped tightly in plastic in the local grocery store.
Do we want to be remembered as the civilization that created, and ate, pink slime?
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