Every Mother’s Right

Every Mother’s Right

One of the best arguments Jane Smiley makes in “A Year at the Races” is about mammals…how we are mammals, and how similar therefore we and all other earth mammals are.  I haven’t talked about vegetarianism or veganism on this site because it seems to incite such vitriol among the pro’ers and the con’ers.  Sooo not necessary.  Civilized debate is the hallmark of progress–not change, mind you, because not all change is progress.  You can jump up and down on a pogo stick; you may be moving, yes, but are you advancing?  So we can agree to disagree, on any point, at any time, but let’s keep it civil (otherwise, don’t darken my door again).  I recently wrote my thoughts to CETFA which has launched a special website to promote the banning of cages for sows (female pigs).  A lot of people write to CETFA (Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Farm Animals) so I didn’t expect what I had to say to be any more earth-shattering.  Here’s an exercise for you:  either go to this website and watch their video first, and then read what I have to say, or conversely, read what I have to say, and then go watch their video.  It may seem like “six of one and half-dozen of the other,” but people absorb knowledge different ways.  Find your way.  Here’s the web addy: http://www.helpthepigs.com/page.php?id=introduction

Here’s what I wrote:

What we as Canadians need to think about is what we are ingesting, taking in to our own bodies each time we consume the meat of animals who spent their entire lives unable to be themselves, do anything instinctive, natural, joyful, constrained to such a spare footage that, truly, nothing but madness is bred…bereft of anything uniquely and morally theirs.  In the five minutes it takes us to consume them (and their meat contains all of what is them), we are also consuming that horror (which is all their meat amounts to once we’ve done with them).  Do we wonder why gastrointestinal disorders and gastric cancers have become nearly epidemic amongst meat consumers?  “The illnesses of the soul manifest through the body.”  The body politic in Canada harbours symptoms of an illness which presents as insensate cruelty but exemplifies a complete disrespect for birthing, mothering, nurturing and all the essential rights all mammals need and have a moral right to expect.

So my question is (and this wasn’t part of what I wrote to CETFA):  You can eat as much pork roast, roast pork, pork chops as you want (or as is available for now)…but I ask you, is it right to confine a gestating sow in a space so small she can’t move nor prepare a birthing bed for her babies?  We can eat Babe and Black Beauty and ground Bambi all we want…but do we have to be cruel?  Doesn’t the word “humane” arise from our essential “humanness”, so isn’t abstention from cruelty the definition of “human”?

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