Posted 11 months ago on Sept. 4, 2013, 12:20 p.m. EST by jart (1091) from New York, NY
It has recently come to my attention that 50 billion land animals (and probably another 90 billion sea animals) are murdered by humans each year for food (source). How could I not have noticed this sooner? To think that all these years I’ve been fighting to “get money out of politics” and “bring back the middle class” while the most prolific outbreak of mass murder in human history has been happening right beneath my nose! I feel ashamed.
I hate to say it, but we’re going to have to put fighting Wall Street on the back-burner for a little while. At least until we’ve made some progress in stopping the animal genocide.
I started a centi-thread on OccupyWallSt.org about this issue three weeks ago, so this topic is already being debated within the movement: http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-goal-of-occupy-should-be-to-end-violence-again/ (BTW I love how the forum I coded from scratch while living in a park is still a thriving community to this day. You guys should really hang out there more often.)
In times like these, I feel it’s a strategic error to focus our efforts on the issues of abstract economic reform like stopping TPP or reinstating Glass-Steagall. No one understands that shit. And even if we were 100% effective in executing our agenda and our opinions on the issue turned out to be correct and didn’t do more harm than good, the best case scenario is that we’ll help a few million or so going through tough times financially over the coming decades. Helping millions may seem noble, but I’d call it’s petty compared to the trillions being murdered and ignored. The animal genocide is the most important issue of our time. History has granted us an opportunity to stand up and fight for what’s right. We must decide if we want to be looked back upon favorably by our grandchildren, or become their source of shame. So today, I’ve officially thrown down the wedge: Which side are you on, boys?
If we accept the discoveries of science that human beings are animals like any other, and we freely choose to accept the opinion that life has value, happiness should be attainable, suffering should not be inflicted unless necessary, and justice comes from ensuring these concepts apply to the greatest number possible—then one must conclude that no issue is more important than ending the animal holocaust. In 2003 alone, casualties were 3.4 orders of a magnitude higher than all the deaths in WWII put together. (
3.4≈log(150e9/60e6), source) I apologize for using engineering notation, but the scale of these atrocities creates numbers so large that they simply can’t be expressed any other way. The fact is that if we don’t act now, the derivative of dead bodies will only continue to rise over time as the third-world modernizes and their emerging middle classes begin demanding the western luxuries we take for granted that are predicated on suffering. The capitalists will continue building factory farms to meet demand because they have no conscience. They’ll keep growing and killing until eventually the whole planet becomes a slaughterhouse and then they too shall meet their demise. Red ink flows like a river of blood.
Perhaps Occupy’s tragic flaw has always been our own selfishness. Always caring about the middle class, sitting around in a park eating animal flesh fresh from the local pizzeria. The only thing we wondered about was who paid for the pizza; no one asked who died for it.
I bring you these revelations at great personal risk to mine activist career. The topic of animal liberation is so taboo that I’m breaking the unspoken rules of social propriety by even bringing it up! I expect some of you will label me divisive or a troll. But in doing so you’ve only affirmed mine ability to rouse your cognitive dissonance. The only thing you have to lose is your ignorance, so expect no pity from me.
But what what infuriates me the most is when people try to defend the meat industry. If you write a reply disagreeing with me, I’d be appreciative if you could explain which of the stated premises you disagree with, or at least own up to the fact that you’ve sacrificed consistency for the sake of lifestyle because you haven’t got the heart for care for these poor animals. Just please, don’t try to rationalize what you’re doing. We both know it’s wrong.
To give you an example of this behavior, I saw an anarchist documentary once where they filmed this poor little fishy—who never hurt anyone and just wanted to swim and be happy—being plucked from its home in the sea only to be beaten to death with a wooden club. An entire lifetime gone, just so some humans could experience a fleeting moment of “tasty” sustenance. Moxie chose to leave this scene unedited, forcing us to watch the murder in its full lengthy glory. But what saddens me the most is that as I sat there cringing, I looked upon the transfixed faces of my friends who unlike me were not perturbed by such brutish behavior. The eyes glazed over as the countenance bore a chilling sense of serenity, like the uncaring psychopath who hungers for a meal. But these are just normal people who support progressive causes and care deeply about social/economic justice. But somehow they have this magical ability to flip a switch that makes them not care about animals.
As for the nature argument: I say that everything we do is natural, which means nothing is natural. If it could be said that we as humans have any nature at all, it would be the ability to choose. This means:
We can choose to get our calories from a source that doesn’t require suffering.
We can choose to shut down the factory farms, using force if necessary.
We can choose to build a new culture that doesn’t require an unterlumpenproletariat class whose sole possession of significant material value is their ability to die.
We can choose to engineer clever harm-free substitutes like synthetic beef.
With choice comes responsibility. Now I know you’re all very responsible people, so I have no doubt you’ll all choose wisely.
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