Posted in Animal Welfare, Factory Farming, Farmed Animals, Veganism, tagged Animal Protection Organizations, animal rights conference, Farmed Animals, Humane Society, meat, paul shapiro on September 9, 2008|
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During the Midwest Animal Advocacy Conference in June (yes, I’m a little slow on some of my posts!), a lot of the things the speakers said really stuck with me. One of those things came from Paul Shapiro, the Senior Director of the Factory Farming Campaign at the Humane Society of the United States. To paraphrase, he basically said that at some point in his journey to becoming vegan, he realized that just because he wasn’t physically killing the animals he was eating, it didn’t mean he wasn’t responsible for their pain, suffering, and ultimate deaths. He likened it to hiring a hit-man, only instead of hiring that hit-man to kill another human (which is how we typically think of hit-men), he viewed meat eating as paying someone to kill an animal for human consumption. If you are doing that, does that make you any less guilty than the person who’s actually slitting the throats of those pigs, cows, chickens and other animals? He determined that it didn’t and stopped eating animals.
I think it’s an interesting analogy: hiring a hit-man. I mean, it really makes sense. If you hired someone to kill a human, you’d be held responsible in a court of law–just because you didn’t pull the trigger doesn’t absolve you of guilt, so why should we feel any differently about paying for meat at the grocery store? Sure, we’re a few more steps removed – we don’t even meet the person who kills the animals we eat, but that doesn’t mean we’re not responsible for it. In fact, when it comes down to it, if you’re eating meat, you’re more responsible than those slaughterhouse workers – if you didn’t create the demand, they wouldn’t be there doing your bidding.
Something to think about…
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So, I guess it’s time I confessed something: I have watched almost every cycle (that’s model speak for “season”) of America’s Next Top Model. It’s mindless and ridiculous, and I can’t get enough of it. There, I said it. Well, it looks like all that hard work has paid off because now I get to watch a vegan girl take part in the competition. (Yeah, I have no idea what hard work was involved there either.)
Elina is 19 years old and lives in Seattle. On the show, she said she became vegan at the age of 7 and has dedicated her life to the animal liberation movement.
When the judges and host Tyra Banks found out Elina was vegan, Tyra asked her if she would have been able to participate in a photo shoot last year that involved all the models being DRESSED IN MEAT. Yes, clothes made from beef. It was absolutely disgusting.
That’s last year’s winner, Whitney, in steak underwear surrounded by carcasses and flesh and …. EWWW! I hated this episode. I thought it was distasteful and disgusting – AND, I was surprised that not one of the girls refused to do it.
Anyway, when Tyra asked Elina if she would have been able to get dressed up in dead animal flesh, Elina said no. What vegan could? I mean, I just cannot imagine putting on some beef underpants–so disgusting!
I am curious how Elina will do in the competition, speceifically I wonder if there will be anything she feels conflicted about, like confrontations from the other girls or a photo shoot that involves leather or fur or something like that. Hopefully she does well! I guess we’ll see!
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