My response to “If you CARE about food – we need to talk”
WDSchumm made this blog entry and posted it to Twitter (https://wendellschumm.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/if-you-care-about-food-we-need-to-talk/). I replied to it, a reply that didn’t get published and when I shared it on Twitter, tagging Mr Schumm, he blocked me (https://twitter.com/VeganRoo/status/596334245666250752). He likes making accusations saying we’re “extreme” and spread “mis-information” but says he “suspects” that many are interested in “productive dialogue”. So why not publish my reply and why block me? I suspect Mr Wendell is not interested in dialogue at all, he’s interested in painting those who spread compassion, so threaten his convictions, as extreme in an attempt to debase their argument. As Nietzsche said “Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.”
I care quite a bit about food. I’ve been vegan for over 13 years and really love the abundance of healthy food, some of which I never knew existed. I also care about animals, people and the environment.
I go on farm365 primarily to encourage people to have compassion for animals, and certainly don’t refer to animals as “food”. I see ARA (Animal Rights Activist) being misunderstood as being about Animal Welfare, i.e. the treatment of animals, quite a lot. ARAs believe animals have rights which, for me, includes the right not to be used and killed unnecessarily. So, it’s not about how they are being treated and killed (which, of course, is important too) but that they are used and killed at all. The bottom line is we don’t need to kill animals for food.
Also the word “abuse” seems to be misunderstood. Wikipedia states: “Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival.”
We do not need to eat meat, dairy, eggs or wear leather, wool or otherwise harm and kill animals for food or clothing. It’s not self-defence and it’s not for survival. That is why I see the farming and slaughtering of animals as abuse. So, even the best farmer who cares, certainly an improvement on the industrial farming, still engages in abuse. I realise that’s quite a shift to make and is not meant in any way as an insult to farmers or people who consume animals.
I used to consume animals and say I cared about them. I did care, as I believe you when you say farmers care, but only now do I realise that I was misguided. How can one care about someone and then eat them? It makes no sense. We are taught not to think about it but to look only at the pictures of happy cows and separate them from that product we call meat/dairy etc. I wish I’d been shown the reality sooner. I grew up in one of the largest dairy regions of rural Australia, a part of the country that also had plenty of cattle farms. I have friends with huge cattle stations. I took agriculture as a subject in school. The school had its own farm and we also did work experience on farms as part of the course. So it’s not ignorance of farming or “where food comes from” that explains my lack of knowledge about what I refer to as “the reality”. It’s more a paradigm shift and aligning my values (caring for animals) with my actions (not killing them) that I think is real and authentic, which I wasn’t being before.
That’s what I’m on farm365 to do, not to “pick a fight” but to inform those people who see pretty pictures of lambs on straw and wide eyed cows to look a bit deeper into it. To connect those individual lives to their untimely deaths and ask themselves if it’s worth it. I’m trying to give those animals a voice that is being denied them. Farmers start using terms like crops, harvesting and processing. Why? To disguise even further the fact that a group of individuals will be rounded up and slaughtered. And for what? We don’t need it!
I certainly don’t attack anyone and your analogy between farmers and fire fighters is way off. To use your analogy, which doesn’t fit, we are not attacking the fire fighters, we are informing people that the fire fighters are the ones lighting the fires.
If you see my attempts at reducing violence and increasing compassion as “extremist” and “militant” so be it. This is not about me.