Be the Difference
Ethics defines each individual’s knowledge of what is right and wrong. Every living being needs strength to survive, and we get this energy, this strength, from food. People are not conscious of how our food is processed, and we are manipulated by society, thinking that what we eat is really what we think it is. Information may be found by merely researching; if humans knew how to research, they would be fully aware of the unethical way animals are treated. Jonathan Safran Foer, David Foster Wallace, and Michael Pollan are three authors who explain how our food is processed and how people do not treat animals morally. People are not fully aware of how unethical it is for an animal to be tortured during its life cycle to be our source of food. People ignore the fact that animals also have a sense of pain. Humans are, in a way, persuaded by society to continue eating meat, and ignore the fact that it is unethical the way animals are treated.
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Moreover, humans are not the only ones to feel pain, joy, love and sadness; animals also have sensory responses like every living being. Each one demonstrates their emotions in different ways, and “pain is a totally subjective mental experience” (Wallace 81) of each individual. To understand other’s pain we need to put ourselves in their shoes. Humans, in general, are very selfish because we think that the human race is the only one that matters, and are the only ones that “live on earth,” thus creating a lie. Society has created a superficial mask that we are a supreme race and the most important. Yet, if we were that “supreme,” we would not fall for social media manipulation, which influences people toward thinking, having, and craving what they want. Social media has created an image of food which we do not need to believe in, creating a major demand of it by showing people many different images to persuade their subconscious, and to consume more. For example, like on those commercials that present good looking animals for viewers to eat. Animals are also treated in an unethical and unsanitary way. Humans need to be aware of their food, so that the majority are informed about how animals are tortured. Consumers would want their food to “die in peace,” knowing that animals would not be slaughtered in many awful ways.
On the other hand, food is necessary to survive. People look at meat as something essential and irreplaceable. It is true that meat strengthens a human’s immune system and helps reduce heart diseases; likewise it benefits individuals in many ways. However, though, it can be healthy for us to consume, it is unhealthy the way animals are being treated for our consumption. We are conscious that meat gives people energy, strength and for some it is impossible to take it away from their diet, since their metabolism requires that type of food. We are so attached to food that even the smell makes us crave it. As Michael Pollan, the author of “Fast Food Meal,” states, “generic fast food flavor is one of the unerasable smells and tastes of childhood- which makes it a kind of comfort food” (Pollan 650). Therefore, meat can relay in the category of “comfort food” (650), which also contributes in a hard fact for people to stop eating it. Social media also has been a great factor for the desire for food. Many commercials, for example, show delicious and pleasurable meals; we are not aware that they are just images presented in a trivial way.
Media makes us consume even more animals, and this contributes to their torture. They have also invented many different methods to make people crave food even more, like in food festivals. David Foster Wallace is the author of “Consider the Lobster,” who talks about the different ways that a lobster can be killed and how is it in the Maine Lobster Festivals. Lobsters are a type of animal that do not demonstrate pain in the “normal” way. They do not scream and do not show any physical injury, meaning that we cannot see blood when they are killed. People interpret that lobsters do not have feelings, but in reality this is not true. They show their feelings of desperation when, for example, they are being cooked alive in hot water “lobsters will sometimes try to cling to the container’s sides or even to hook its claws over the kettle’s rim like a person trying to keep from going over the edge of a roof” (Wallace 82). Not because humans have a high cognitive level than other animals, signifies that other living beings do not have senses. Humans need to be conscious that our definition of ethics does not only apply to certain things, but it applies to all living creatures. Some humans ignore all the facts of torturing, since we have been so influenced by society, and especially for the system that we are living in, everything is about capitalism, which makes people not even remember how it was in the old days. It is very difficult for someone to stop and think that it is actually unethical the way animals are killed and that there are many other ways to eat animals.
Furthermore, there are better ways to consume other species by not having a terrible procedure in their treatment. Factories have awful ways to treat animals and it is hard to believe in how much pain animals have to endure to just die and be eaten off. Humans can stop animal torture by consuming them from local and private farms, where at least they have been in good care. Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the book Eating Animals, containing the chapter entitled “Our new Sadism,” which informs us how, during recent years, farming has changed. The animal’s shocking experience in a factory has been cruel, as Foer explains, “At an industrial pig─ breeding facility…, videotape taken by undercover investigators showed some workers administering daily beating, …., and ramming an iron pole a foot deep into mother pig’s rectums and vaginas.” (Foer 181). People need to be fully conscious that animals do not taste better if they are suffering more, they do not have more meat if they are in total harm and they do not give us more nutrients if they are horribly tortured every minute.
Local farming is one of many other ways to contribute to a healthier way to kill animals, “[t]here is a lot of violence in traditional techniques. But there was compassion” (Foer 239), they cared about the animals and wanted them to be as healthy as possible. Factories inflict cruelty that simple words cannot describe. The treatment that people give to animals is not ethical anymore, it is not right and it is getting out of hand. Social media only shows a pretty meal, but behind that meal exists a barbarity, a barbarity that people need to know about, and break, a barbarity that might not continue if people wake up and see what is happening. There are other ways to obtain food, we can obtain it by farming, building slaughter houses or other techniques, were we know that animals would at least be in good care. Jonathan Safran Foer’s chapter entitled “I Am a Vegan Who Builds Slaughterhouses” in his book Eating Animals, which emphasizes how a female vegan wants to build slaughterhouses for animals since she does not want them to keep suffering in the factories; “If you know about factory farming and you’ve inherited anything like a traditional ethic about raising animals, it’s hard not to have something deep inside you recoil at what animals agriculture has become” (Foer 238). It is sad to know how people lost their morality, how they enjoy torturing and accept how farming has change during the years in a negative manner, but is not lost yet we can still recover our sense of morality by buying meat of local farming.
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On the other hand, as we already know, it is impossible to make people stop eating meat, but making them conscious of their food will also be the best way. Some people need to just stop and analyze that not everything is how it is shown. Following our principles and feelings will helps us respect more our knowledge of what is right and wrong. Each individual is able to put themselves in others shoes, even if it is an animal. It assists us in understanding that no one would like it if their family was eaten by a “supreme” species, as well as, no one would want their family to be inhumanly slaughtered. Wallace explains, “the whole animal- cruelty- and-eating issue is not just complex, it’s also uncomfortable” (Wallace 81), since nobody wants to see themselves as cruel and insensitive. If it was the other way around and people where the victims, he or she would like freedom or at least be well treated by others, at least die in a decent way and think that they care about each other’s health, preferring to die immediately than to be awfully tortured.
Farmers have moral principles when it comes to animals, wanting each one of them be in good care, making it a new form of activism, a new form of changing the world through baby steps, and it will be the beginning of a great start. Allowing to have a new and better form of ethical ideologies, since the mind of someone will believe anything others tell them. It is preferred not to follow what social media tells us just to persuade people into becoming consumers; since it changes human’s attitude and behavior. No one wants to be persuaded by others, each one prefers to think and act how they want to, and we do not need to be manipulated like a puppet for their own benefit. People are totally capable of thinking and reasoning by themselves, and following their values and ethics. Nobody wants their subconscious to be manipulated by what others want, so it is the moment that people break the superficial image and see what factories and the world are really made of. Changing the form that we eat animals is a step to overcome a big problem of society’s system, and now is the time for people to make a difference in the world.
- Foer, Jonathan Safran. “Our New Sadism.” Eating Animals. New York- Boston- London, Back Bay Books, 2009, pp. 181-188.
- Foer, Jonathan Safran. “I Am a Vegan Who Builds Slaughterhouses.” Eating Animals. New York- Boston- London, Back Bay Books, 2009, pp. 238-241.
- Pollan, Michael. “Fast Food Meal.” The Bedford Book of Genres: A Guide & Reader, edited by Amy Braziller and Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Bedford St. Martin’s, 2009, pp. 648-656.
- Wallace, David Foster. "Consider the Lobster." The Norton Reader, edited by Linda Peterson, W.W. Norton, 2011, pp. 75-87.
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