Sunday, September 12, 2010

What's A Food Chain?

Recent conversations with a group of animal rights folks, has led me to believe that the food pyramid is going to be changed. Or rather, thrown out.  As in do over, baby out with the bath water, start from scratch. Why you ask? The American public eats way too much meat, waaayyy too much. ITHO (In Their Humble Opinion). We aren’t the top of the food chain, somehow we are above or separate from it.

Well, we eat more because of demand, availability, convenience etc, but are modern farming methods forcing the food pyramid/ food chain? I personally find that quite a reach. But the argue goes that people have nutritional options and because we are caring, the most caring people among us will decide for the rest of us what that is.

But I digress. The opinion that we are no longer part of the food chain is what really intrigued me. That we have evolved into higher beings. Conversations have been held where we are told that the way modern farming method treats animals, isn’t natural and thus can’t be right. I don’t disagree that it isn’t natural, nature is much more brutal. Death is certain for all of us, but for animals in the wild that moment is very uncertain and they live in a state of constant vigilance and fear. Domestic animals are domesticated for a reason, they’ve been bred to live in conditions that don’t resemble nature in any way. An environment void of predators, weather stress, and ample food is something that animals don’t encounter outside of captivity.

But if we raise animals for food, we are causing them to suffer for no reason other than for our own ends, and we have options. Suffering is a part of life. The two are inexorably linked. I asked Megan, if her own life included any suffering and got a curious, “well yes” response. If we are unable to eliminate suffering in the lives of the people around us, it seems to me to be unreasonable to expect us to rid the production of animals for food from “ALL” suffering. It’s an unrealistic standard that no one can attain.

So does that mean we do nothing? Absolutely not. It is our obligation to care for the animals we raise, and to do it in a way that values their lives.  Take only pictures, leave only footprints, is a great motto for national parks, but as we humans leave our mark, time will tell what that means.

No comments:

Post a Comment