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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Animal Liberation
Why (Even If You're Not for Non-Human Rights) You Should UN-OCCUPY Big-Ag
Don't let those who are killing you, occupy your wallet and your table.
Animal-Ag stooges--exorbitantly paid ex-legislators and staffers, now lobbyists--supporting the inhumane treatment of non-humans by employing lies and manipulation to create hysteria and garner public support; with the goal of demonizing and discrediting others who would challenge the brutal concentration camp system of factory "farms," have only ONE agenda -- personal greed. They forfeited their right to credibility when they sold out to the highest bidder, choosing self interest and obscene profits over the best interests of the public they swore to serve. They vigorously abandoned any semblance of morals in order to facilitate lying, stealing, cheating, torturing and murdering to maintain the endless flow of blood-soaked largesse expanding their own bank accounts, via grateful corporate rapists.
What most of these self-proclaimed "experts" on animal rights actually know about the movement could fit on the head of a pin. They have not bothered to educate themselves because they are in the "business" of animal exploitation; they could care less about non-human OR human suffering, the costs to the environment, public safety or ultimately, the deadly consequences to their own children.
They will tell you that animal rights activists care more about animals than they do people. They consistently set up ridiculous, accusatory, either/or scenarios.
[Save the dog, let the child drown.] In their minds, people cannot advocate equally for both humans and non-humans. One wonders if they realize they possess the innate ability to both walk AND talk simultaneously.
The truth is, many animal rights activists have spent lifetimes giving of themselves and their resources to the human beings in their lives; as well as volunteering within their communities to help the poor, hungry, homeless and anyone else in need which crosses their path. This is because individuals possessing genuine compassion and empathy cannot turn it on and off like a faucet, compartmentalizing who is deserving of their support and sympathy, versus who they will unceremoniously trash as being unworthy. When one cares deeply about suffering and injustice it naturally flows into every part of their existence. Attempting to correct the outlandishly cruel treatment of non-humans, who have zero ability to advocate for themselves, is simply an extension of that creed of fairness. Individual ethics, morals and striving for an ever higher level of personal enlightenment is often the driving force behind animal rights activism. And those making their fortunes off of the torture and murder of the helpless, have yet to realize that this movement will continue regardless of their highly nefarious tactics in attempting to crush it.
The real "radicals" are the corporations and their lackeys who write legislation [Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act] which muzzles and criminalizes free speech, labeling those distributing pamphlets on public sidewalks, terrorists, and locking them away far longer than actual violent offenders; or who use the FBI to infiltrate vegan potlucks, inventing their own terrorist plots in an attempt to entrap peaceful individuals whose only crime is choosing a non-violent diet/lifestyle.
They will tell you that the animal rights movement is based on extremist ideologies -- though nothing could be more "extreme" than the perennial, forced subjugation, torture and murder of sensitive beings. They proclaim the goal of animal rights activists is to completely abolish animal "ownership." Even though common sense dictates that domesticated animals are here to stay, and it is complete nonsense to believe that the animal rights movement is focused on ridding people of non-human companions.
Animal terrorists take the view that one has the right to "own" other living beings, with all that egregiously implies. By its nature the term imparts tyrannical powers. A license to dominate which disregards the most basic needs, desires and feelings of its victims.
They refuse to conceive of a world where ALL living flesh and blood, regardless of species, are entitled to certain basic rights. The truth is, for those who "get it," who truly respect non-humans, they already understand it is morally repugnant to view them as property. One "owns" inanimate objects. Furniture, cars, homes. If someone were to say they "owned" their children, they would rightfully invoke the wrath and disgust of most rational people. One is guardian to their children. Non-human members of society should be considered no differently under the law.
Courts appoint guardians--not owners--for minors. Yet, those who are equally as defenseless against exploitation are still at the mercy of barbaric, archaic laws which have been on the books for centuries. Non-humans remain the most maligned, disenfranchised majority of sentient individuals on the planet; flatly dismissed and contemptuously objectified to the point of invisibility on one hand, and yet of crucial importance to man's very survival on the other. The schizophrenic way in which society views and treats non-humans is a mind-bending, disgraceful abomination.
Among one of the most monumental lies told by Big-Ag to consumers, is that animal profiteers treat their charges [merchandise] well. They claim, "Our No. 1 priority has to be the health and well-being of our animals." But the flood of undercover videos shot inside animal-ag hellholes bears witness to something quite different. Big-Ag, which claims such stellar respect for animals, has launched a plethora of fascist legislation in several states--so called "ag-gag" laws--which criminalize First Amendment rights, not only for those filming the industry's rampant abuse, but for those publishing the footage; ample proof that Big-Ag is intent on hiding their criminal behavior and silencing the public's right to know how their "food" is produced. AR activists have exposed their lies for the sheer propaganda it is; meant to maintain the status quo and continue the uninterrupted flow of mega-profits by any means necessary.
There is now indisputable proof that "farm" animals are routinely terrorized and brutally assaulted: beaten with pipes, attacked with axes and hatchets, raped with foreign objects, kicked as they scream and moan in agony, hanged by their necks, suffocated as their chests and airways are trampled and compressed, repeatedly slammed against walls and denied the most basic necessities -- nutritious food, potable water and clean, adequate living areas. Disease-ridden from diets full of chemical gruel, they are bloated with growth hormones and antibiotics meant to keep them hanging on just until slaughter. These sensitive souls languish in the squalor of cramped, ammonia-soaked, feces-laden spaces littered with the decomposing and maggot-ridden bodies of their family members. The acrid stench from factory farm hellholes carries for miles. The pollution which floods streams, rivers and seeps into aquifers, leaving the lands it flows onto, unusable toxic waste sites, is the reality of intensive animal agriculture which these true purveyors-of-terror try desperately to hide.
Mad cow disease, caused by feeding bovines--strict herbivores--the body parts of other cows, is but one example of how profiteers "care" about non-humans. Decomposing flesh [already on hand in abundance] ground into feed is infinitely cheaper than providing their natural diet of grasses. The Avian and Swine flu outbreaks had similar origins as crowded, filthy conditions and diets incorporating rotting corpses into those animals' feed has now become standard practice. Mass contamination from E-Coli, Salmonella and Listeria are killing more and more people every year. Profit--not compassion and not ethics--has always been the bottom line and always will be, unless and until the public rejects such a monstrous system of destruction, abuse and disease.
Animal terrorists and the lobbyists/legislators who lie and whore for them in order to continue a never-ending, unbridled assault on non-humans, must at last, be held accountable. If justice will not come from the courts redefining non-humans as sentient beings, deserving of basic legal considerations, then it must come from the public. Consumers must wake up and realize that animal exploiters DO NOT have their best interests at heart. PROFIT is number ONE. People must take back their power and refuse to support industries which are killing humans and our planet via the saccharin promotion of a rapacious, deadly, rampantly diseased, animal-based food supply.
A system so corrupt that it victimizes society from cradle to grave. First by brainwashing and indoctrinating the public into believing the murderous lies that the human body needs dairy [which studies have found leaches calcium from bones and accelerates tumor growth, among numerous other deadly consequences] and flesh products [which put the body into protein overload, causing progressive kidney damage as well as heart disease, cancer and an ever-growing list of life-threatening conditions].
Those who are prematurely sick and dying as a result of animal-based diets are then victimized and scammed a second time; by putting their faith into the standard allopathic treatments utilizing cut, burn and poison. This, when there is solid, scientific, evidence that plant-based diets can completely reverse non-genetic heart disease, many cancers and reverse or ameliorate Type II diabetes.
Those raking in billions of dollars per year, not only in animal agriculture, but animal research, where behemoth taxpayer grants support repetitive, frivolous, inane and often fraudulent "research," wasting billions of animal lives and killing/maiming millions of humans each year, don't want the public to know that the majority of the diseases afflicting them can be completely avoided, reversed or greatly lessened by a plant-based diet. For them, the gravy train would be over and the Mercedes parked in the driveway, repossessed; the mansion foreclosed upon.
For those of you who value your lives, if not the rights and lives of non-humans, don't let those who are killing you, occupy your wallet and your table.
For those of us who have awakened to a higher level of consciousness, we already understand that species bias is as grotesque as every other form of fascist intolerance. Whether one is denying someone's fundamental rights based on religion, ethnicity, sex, political affiliation, gender, or, as with non-humans, strictly by virtue of the body they possess. It cannot be allowed to continue.
From a strictly physical standpoint, non-human beings should be entitled to EXACTLY the same rights/liberties humans enjoy. [Except for the right to uncontrolled procreation in situations of overpopulation -- which should apply equally to humans.]
They deserve the right to live their lives apart from the victimization of man; the liberty of their ‘physical’ bodies to be their own, free from brutalization and murder, and to do with as their physical/biological urges dictate -- this means gaining the right to their own natural, innate habits, habitats, lifestyles and NORMAL lifespans; the right to fully enjoy their own existence, their familial connections, their social hierarchies and their highly complex, interpersonal relationships with one another. These are all physical, emotional and psychological ‘rights’ which humans grant themselves. And it is the ultimate in speciesist arrogance to believe non-humans have physical, emotional and psychological needs any LESS than our own. In short, non-humans have a right to exist on their own terms, completely apart from man's exploitation and to the highest degree possible, given the limitations/responsibilities for those which have already been domesticated.
Much of what was written in the article above is in rebuttal to Big-Ag's paid stooge, "Charlie" Stenholm. Google his commentary entitled:
STENHOLM: Wrong Approach to Animal Rights
(The Washington Times restricts sharing the article's content/link)
Wikipedia info on Charles Walter "Charlie" Stenholm:
After leaving Congress, Stenholm became a lobbyist, representing various agricultural interests, including the horse meat industry. In 2006, he was the most visible lobbyist for three foreign-owned horse-slaughter plants in the U.S. that are fighting legislation that would force them to close. Meat from these horses is used as food in some European Union countries, Japan and Mexico, for zoo food, and for medical purposes. Since 2005, Stenholm has been a senior policy advisor and lobbyist with Olsson Frank Weeda, a Washington law and lobbying firm that specializes in representing food, drug, and agriculture interests before material federal agencies.
I am not a paid mouthpiece for the Animal Rights Movement. In fact, unlike Big-Ag and its lobbyists who siphon off billions of our tax dollars, then hypocritically scream about "animal rights extremists lobbying Congress," I not only don't make a single dime, but I expend tens of thousands per year to feed, shelter and take care of the basic needs of the non-humans in my life. I am not wealthy, but it IS my money. I don't steal it from the taxpayers. I don't ask for donations (though I find nothing wrong with reputable sanctuaries which do). And I certainly don't give it away to other animal organizations, i.e., PETA, HSUS, etc. in order to enrich people whose goals I find diametrically opposed to the most basic tenets of non-humans' rights. Such organizations believe they have the right kill; PETA for convenience sake, has exterminated thousands of healthy puppies and kittens and has no aversion to killing wildlife; HSUS supports the mass-murder and species enslavement of Big-Ag, who, ironically believes them to be "extremists" for demanding animals be treated like living creatures and not commodities.
My goal as an activist is not to strip the world of domesticated companion animals as the lying, greed-driven, sociopaths pimping for Earth's rapists would have the public believe. A planet without my non-human family members is not one I care to inhabit. I strive to devote everyday toward helping the needy, injured and those suffering because I am compelled to do what's right for those unable to help themselves.
The work is physically hard, financially draining and inevitably, emotionally devastating at times. It is, however, 100% worth it. My companions exist for their own sake and not as an extension of me. And as such, they deserve the same legal protections which human beings enjoy.
Copyright © 2011 Brennan Browne. Permission is granted for reprint in email, blog, print and web media if this credit is attached and the title and content remain unchanged. Brennan's commentaries have appeared on web media and in numerous blogs.
Brennan lives in off-grid isolation; grows organic veggies; has been vegetarian, now vegan for 30 years; is committed to animal, human and Earth rights and is guardian to abused and abandoned non-humans as well as a feral cat colony.