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Meat recall reminds us of the dangers of relegating other creatures to food status
Daily Evergreen - opinion]
Massive meat recall reminds us of the dangers of relegating other creatures to food status
During the past month, the U.S. has been undergoing the nation's largest recall of meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recalled 143 million pounds last week alone, according to CNN.
Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. was secretly investigated for six weeks due to a video supplied by animal rights activists working for the Humane Society of the United States. The video showed footage of sick, crippled cows being kicked, shoved, jabbed in the eyes and shocked to force them into the slaughterhouse.
While some are upset about the inhumane treatment of the sick animals, most people are outraged by the potentially contaminated beef. As an animal rights activist, I feel this represents another way human society continues to commit atrocities against other sentient creatures. While humans demand fair treatment for animals, most people are not willing to expand their compassion for the lives of other sentient creatures' emotional and psychological well-being.
We are guilty of "speciesism," which is "a prejudice or attitude of bias in favor of the interests of the members of one's own species and against those of members of other species," Peter Singer wrote in his book "Animal Liberation." I know many people who love their pets, recognize their emotional states and intelligence, but still support the slaughter and consumption of nonhuman meat. Because they are aware of their complicated biological and emotional lives, dog and cat lovers would never consume their pets -- even if they were factory-farmed and cheaply available.
Yet, if animals are not cute, furry and domesticated, it is acceptable to farm, kill and eat them. Our moral consideration should not stop merely at our level of familiarity.
The massive meat recall gives us a moment to reflect on our treatment of other animals. As a civilization we need to expand our moral compass to include other animals that have interests of their own, pursue their own emotional desires and are able to suffer just as greatly as ourselves.