New York Newsday, a paper with one of the largest circulations in the US, has published a wonderful op-ed about an escaped and rescued steer now named Moo. The piece, by Ralph R. Acampora, is headed, "The steer who escaped into our conscience." (Sunday July 22.)
"Listen to animal advocates' viewpoint, and you'll be forced to confront what we normally prefer to leave hidden and forgotten: the ultimate destiny of farm animals, namely (dis)assembly-line slaughter. If you have the stomach, you can visit a slaughterhouse or else watch the recent documentary 'Earthlings' (at isawearthlings.com) to reacquaint yourself rather graphically with the gruesome details.
"Interestingly, once we remember or first learn of this reality, it's not so much that Moo gained some unfair advantage over his tamer brothers (as some have been tempted to think), but rather that none of these unfortunates deserve the treatment their demise typically entails. Indeed, the bottom line of supermarket meat-eating is that the consumer buys and ingests something for the sake of taste that cost its original owners their very lives!
"Put this way, and realizing that vegetarianism is a healthier option for dietary nutrition, it's a wonder that we don't close the slaughterhouses and wind down the livestock industry in a massive display of collective shame or gustatory grief.
"And yet we don't. Instead, we usually suppress the knowledge and keep a tight lid on our conscience.
"This willful ignorance manifests in all sorts of ways, from the careful tucking away of killing and corpse-processing plants to the renaming of animals' body parts once they are offered for consumption: steak and beef - never steer or cow; sausage, pork, bacon - not pig.
"Still, quite inconsistently, we are capable of empathetic identification when a story such as Moo's develops."
He goes on to discuss the conundrum, suggesting that our relationship with the earth and other animals has pathological characteristics, which we can accept, or instead we could "ease up, tread lightly on or with our fellow earthlings, and maybe the species-schizophrenia will evaporate."
He ends with, "Our reaction to Moo is a hint that the second alternative is probably worth a try."
You will find the whole piece on line at http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opaca225301374jul22,0,2554674.story
You can post a comment on the story at the bottom of the webpage (without having to register for any site) and there are currently only a couple of comments there, so please add your voice on behalf of the animals. Vegetarians can also use this article as the perfect jump off point for pro-veggie letters to the editor. Newsday takes letters at firstname.lastname@example.org
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Remember that shorter letters are more likely to be published.
Yours and the animals',
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)
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Date: Sun Jul 22 21:29:41 2007
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An animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets.
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