If people truly were concerned about global climate change and the environment then ignoring the horrific impacts of animal agriculture let alone the inherent cruelty involved is ... well, alarming and more than a little foolish.
Is it up to the consumer, the farmer, or the state to determine what constitutes animal cruelty? Abuse is inherent in the making of the factory farm, and it's the publics' right to see it, and decide if they can stomach the level at which it's happening.
When most people think of a farm, it's fresh eggs and produce in the morning, milking cows, and, sometimes, sending animals to slaughter. Not so if you're an intern at Farm Sanctuary, a vegan-run haven for rescued animals.
We must ask ourselves why we make arbitrary distinctions between the animals that allow some to end up in our homes and others to end up on our plates. If you wouldn't accept this treatment for an animal in front of you, why accept it for an animal behind closed doors?
With our food system the way it currently is, there are many reasons to be angry about industrialized animal agriculture. Check out the slideshow to get informed about the issues surrounding factory farming and learn how to get involved.
In spite of our current low risk, it is just a matter of time before H5N1, H7N3 or another influenza strain evolves into a dangerous form that results in a pandemic. And the events in Mexico and Cambodia beg the question: Are we ever going to be safe from bird flu?
Dr. Melanie Joy wants to engage in meaningful dialogue about the entrenched ideology that allows people to shut their minds to the reality of what it means to be a meat eater and to ignore the cruelty inherent in animal agriculture.
No one can deny that it's better to be less cruel in the ways we confine and kill animals (if we are going to kill and eat them anyway), but if we're interested in long-term change, we can't look at killing with kindness or gratitude as a solution in itself.