Friends take a bow. Open the window and give out a whoop. Let fly the corks ... No agribusiness titan can overlook the mandate: people do not want their animals treated with wanton cruelty.So said the blog of Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society, after the passage of Prop 2, which mandates that, starting in 2015, all chicken cages must be big enough so the chickens can turn around. They'll even be able to extend their limbs. Life is good. Until it ends the same way it always has. Which begs the question: if a jolt of electricity followed by a knife across the throat doesn't qualify as wanton cruelty, what kind of cruelty is it? Compassionate cruelty? Cruelty-free cruelty? "We can't acknowledge it without endangering our fundraising" cruelty? So people do not want their animals treated with wanton cruelty. Okay, fine. But they still want their animals on menus and in refrigerators and on barbeques. That's the problem, isn't it? The narrowed spectrum of the debate. Evil titans of agribusiness on one end, good people who insist animals have room to stretch their legs before the slaughter on the other. Those are the two outer poles. And veganism? The possibility of eliminating the suffering of these animals by eliminating our consumption of animal products? That's off in Siberialand. If Wayne Pacelle mentioned any of that on Oprah, the sponsors would have all hightailed it for Judge Judy. So Prop 2 passes, the chickens can stretch their legs before they're slaughtered and the Humane Society comes away with so much publicity I'm sure they've let fly a few corks of their own.
Two New Essays on Open Democracy
1 month ago