As we look more closely at the reality of the backyard chicken trend, it becomes increasingly clear that it is the same commodification of animals, packaged in niche marketing to appeal to the modern “conscious consumer”.
Wool often tends to be overlooked by animal advocates because its cultivation does not necessitate the death of the animal. However, the cultivation of wool is far from the pastoral idyll one might imagine.
Donald Watson’s legacy extends beyond providing a name for our movement, but creating the term ‘vegan’ is certainly one of the most salient and perhaps widest reaching of his contributions. The vegans of today and tomorrow can look to Watson as a major catalyst for the formation and proliferation of our principles.
It somehow appears that the light of veganism is so bright that people are afraid to open their eyes to it, even individuals whose eyes are open to the truth behind other social causes. What is it that makes us cling so stubbornly to a practice that is clearly unnecessary, devastatingly cruel, and, if left unchecked, will almost certainly end up destroying us?
When you begin to investigate the huge excesses and waste associated with large-scale animal farming, it becomes clear that assistance from the government is an essential factor in helping this industry to stay afloat.
Although it’s true that the animal industry is an eager and aggressive middle agent, its role is only that of middle agent. As such, while institutionalized exploiters certainly have a lot to answer for, it is consumers who are primarily responsible for animal cruelty through their purchases of animal products.
Simply put, using animal agriculture to feed a vast human population brings with it the unavoidable problem of dealing with vast quantities of sewage.
When you combine the financial motivation of large animal welfare groups and the besieged feeling animal advocates often experience from trying to tackle so many different issues, the result is the current dominant culture of the animal advocacy movement, where the efforts of countless individuals are scattered across countless different single-issue campaigns.
The animal welfare model overwhelmingly benefits industry – not only by providing guidelines which help producers to adopt a more effective business model, but also by assuring consumers that it is possible to breed, raise, exploit, and slaughter animals in an ethical way.
The emergence of vast monocultures that are destroying huge tracts of Amazon forest, catastrophic depletion of water and other resources, colossal pesticide usage, enormous reliance on genetic engineering… It sounds like yet another illustration of the callous disregard for the future of our planet for which the animal industry has become infamous.