Humane Meat is an Oxymoron

Humane Meat is an Oxymoron. If you think about it for a minute, the concept of humane meat or “humane slaughter” makes no sense. But the problem is, we don’t think about it. It’s far easier to put this issue far from our minds. In my latest video, I discuss why people who love animals continue to eat animal products, and why they need to look a little deeper.

Why humane meat makes no sense

There’s really not a humane way to kill someone who wants to continue living. Although we might like to pretend it’s hard to know if animals care about living, it’s probably the one aspect of animal behaviour that is easiest to interpret. Even Rene Descartes, famous for his belief that animals were simply mindless automatons, could tell animals didn’t want to die. He bizarrely postulated that animals avoid pain by mechanical reflex – they cannot “feel.”

Beyond Descartes

Today, even die hard meat eaters would be hard pressed to defend Descartes “automaton” theory. And yet, although we acknowledge that animals feel pain and want to live, we continue killing them. Actually, it’s a little worse than that: we continue raising them in deplorable conditions on factory farms, mutilating them and then killing them. And then we eat them.

Because we aren’t quite as far gone as Descartes, we find other ways of excusing this behaviour. First, we try not to think about it. But if that is unavoidable, we resort to sad excuses like “it’s natural” or “they’d eat me if they had the chance”. Of course, these arguments don’t really hold water, but they are mostly a stop-gap to deflect attention away from the real issue.

We know it’s wrong. So we treat our companion animals with kindness and try to look the other way when it comes to animal exploitation. It’s much easier to just go with the flow.

What can vegans do?

Most importantly, stay vegan! There are many more former vegans than current ones. Vegans are a tiny minority, and it’s easy to get discouraged.

I often feel confused by the “I’m an animal lover/but I love meat” statements. I try to remember that I wasn’t always vegan, and sometimes that helps. But sometimes it gets on my nerves. At those times, it’s really nice to have a supportive community, even if it’s just online!

Thanks for watching,

Margaret

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