And they are not above spreading some lies to achieve their aim.
’56 BILLION animals are crammed into filthy, windowless cages and slaughtered every year to feed our meat addiction’, screams the latest email from one ‘Danny Auron’. He sent that to the 46 million people (like me) on the Avaaz email list.
What does Danny want you and me to do? Well it’s not ‘send them money’ this time. Nor is it signing an Avaaz petition. There is no ‘clicktivism’ involved at all. He wants us to ‘go meat-free just one day a week’.
Perfect design – for our benefit
Leave aside that there are many people in the world for whom a couple of meals of meat a week would provide much-needed protein. And with around two-and-a-half times as much protein in chicken as beans, that’s important. No, this is directed at the West, where you can easily make up in supplements what you aren’t getting in your trendy vegan diet.
There is a lot of grass in the world and sheep and cattle are designed by our gracious maker to eat it. We cannot eat grass. However, they turn it into protein which we CAN eat.
There is a good reason why a sheep spends nearly all its waking hours either grazing or chewing the cud. And there is a good reason us (and the farm cats) spend around half an hour a day actually eating. The grass they eat has low nutritional value. What we eat in a balanced meat-inclusive diet has high nutritional value. Moreover, the Almighty has designed it like that, for our benefit:
Psalm 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
Avaaz have lied about conditions
Now, if people want to go veggie or vegan, fair play. But Danny, don’t lie to persuade them to do so. Where does the ’56 billion’ figure come from? Avaaz have lifted it straight off the Animal Equality website. Not that Avaaz own up to that.
The Animal Equality crew themselves are not averse to a bit of smoke and mirrors. But at least they only say: ‘Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans’. Which makes sense. Just under one billion are slaughtered in the UK alone, according to the Humane Slaughter Association. Most of those are chickens.
But for Avaaz, those animals, every single one of them, are ‘crammed into filthy, windowless cages’. Well, ours aren’t. Our cattle are in the yard right now, eating the silage we harvested for them in the summer. Our sheep are out in the field, happily grazing. On our farm, there is not a single windowless cage in sight. Even in the poultry sector, the momentum is all against battery cages and towards barn-rearing, free-range and organic.
Avaaz: ‘Fueling mass animal torture’
But Avaaz will never use one egg in a pudding when a couple of dozen will easily do. Accordingly, for Danny Auron, every ranch and every smallholding is a ‘disgusting factory farm’. Our meat consumption is ‘fueling mass animal torture’, he yells. And of course, wouldn’t you know it, ‘it’s killing our planet!’
Apparently, ‘Livestock contributes more to global warming than all cars, planes, and buses worldwide’. ‘It’s gotten out of hand!’ he shrieks.
Well, here’s a funny thing. For the World Wildlife Fund: ‘Global warming is caused by human activities like burning fossil fuels, deforestation and farming.’ LiveScience.com say: ‘Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, are increasing greenhouse gas levels, leading to an enhanced greenhouse effect. The result is global warming and unprecedented rates of climate change.’ So, yes, farming contributes, if you accept the global warming hypothesis, but it’s only one part of human activity.
Bible: Dominion over the cattle
Theologically where is this coming from? On their ‘About’ page, Animal Equality say: ‘Our vision is a world in which all animals are respected and protected.’ Therefore, we should not see them as the Bible portrays them, as ‘inferior beings whose reason for existence is to provide us with meat, milk and eggs’ The Bible reports:
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
That, apparently, is ‘speciesism. ‘We need to stop thinking of them as just resources, and to start viewing them for who they are: individual sentient beings whose lives deserve to be respected and valued,’ say the activists.
In that case, there will be none of them. Farmers like us raise meat animals for slaughter. No demand, no animals on the land, however sentient they are. And make no mistake, animals are smart. They evaluate situations and make decisions. But they have no purpose in farming apart from their value to mankind. Even in the wild, they are prey animals who will eventually, mostly, be killed.
Emotional blackmail, dishonesty and hyperbole
People can go vegetarian or vegan if they want. But why does it need emotional blackmail, dishonesty and hyperbole to make the anti-meat case? In addition, if speciesism is a terrible thing, what have the animal rights folk to say about malaria or flesh-eating parasites? Surely the mosquito and the worm have a right to life? Intellectually and theologically their case is unsustainable, and it may well be it is ecologically bereft as well.
Click on the links below to share this article: