Having been involved in livestock farming – sheep and cattle – for the last eight years I have noticed and contributed to many unethical practices and much environmental damage (see The Darker Side of Agriculture Post). What I have noticed most is what I am prepared to do for money.
Everything I own and have purchased in the last eight years comes from blood money. The money I have used has been made off the death of animals and the destruction of the environment*.
This is a sobering thought and not a very pleasant feeling, but it is the truth.
I have been thinking a lot about killing animals for financial gain or stomach gratification recently (An example: Producers/Farmers kill animals for financial gain, Consumers/animal product users eating animals to satisfy addictions). It has brought up a lot of interesting thoughts and hypocrisies for me. In fact there are many emotional ‘crisis’ occurring within me as I begin to look more deeply into the reasons why I have done this. As I begin opening up to feeling the consequences upon my soul for doing so, and ponder and feel about how I can remedy the damage I have done. I have been in denial, living in my false beliefs – such as feeling I am entitled to dominate animals and use them for my financial security, and have deeply buried many of my feelings in order to justify how I make the money to lead the lifestyle I do.
I have been an unethical, hypocritical vegan for about five years and I am only just beginning to actually notice the really big issues and reasons why I felt I was entitled to eat meat now**.
The irony is that it is not about the eating of the meat itself that drives me to support killing or why I used to consume animals. It is other things, for example, feeling I have the ‘right’ to kill animals rather than care for, learn from and enjoy animals while they live out their lives; Fear about not having financial security; My willingness to kill animals when things get ‘tough’ financially – fear of lack; My rebellion and rage that I ought to be able to do as I please if I want to; Trying ‘exotic’ meats or having ‘exotic’ skins to stand out and be ‘different’, and feelings of superiority to other living creatures and intelligent life.
I have been thinking a lot about how we use animals. I find the responses to animal culling/slaughter interesting. When we hear 40,000 elephants*** have been killed in the name of preventing desertification, we get shocked or outraged. When it is reported that thousands of whales**** are used for human consumption or ‘scientific research’ we are in uproar and protesting. When horse meat is found in mince meat in Europe***** it is a world wide media sensation. Not much is reported on the mass killings of millions of sheep and cattle, goats, chickens and many other animals that we kill for food and consume each year, day, minute world wide. There is no protest about eating them or killing them unless it is deemed ‘inhumane killing’. There is little to no protest about the impact that growing meat has on the environment******.
Is killing for meat production ethical and moral******* under any conditions? It is killing, and I am beginning to feel, emotionally, it is wrong.
The protest by media in Australia about the way in which animals are killed in Indonesia was extraordinary******** I do not condone suffering in animals or humans. I just found this interesting as it wasn’t the killing of the animal that was an issue, it was the way in which it was killed that seemed to matter.
How many people are even aware of the process an animal goes through to get to be a piece of meat, a pair of shoes or a handbag? How many people have actually been to places where live stock are killed (abattoirs, farm meat houses etc) and experienced the entire process? How many of us have actually watched footage of the entire process?******** And if we have, how many of us have remained emotionally open, sensitive and felt the animal and our own true feelings while it happened? I suggest if everyone had remained emotionally open, what is happening in the world in regards to animals would be very different right now.
The reality, in most cases, is that agriculture is based on financial gain, in the case of livestock it is about an animals’ worth to the farmer, it’s dollar value. For example with sheep you don’t look at the sheep as a beautiful, incredible animal and a gift of God’s creation who we are the carers of, we look at a sheep in regards to how many lambs it can produce, what kind of mother it is, how many kilograms of wool it cuts/produces, how much it’s carcase is worth as meat.
Agriculture, at this time, is based upon using and selling. In our personal business, the commodity we trade in is livestock. It is generally considered ‘good farming to sell livestock when the monetary gain is high, we are successful based on how much money we get for a sheep or it’s wool. The only reason that we wouldn’t sell livestock is if we felt that they could reproduce more progeny or fibre, or we could potentially get more money than the current market offers.
Animals for generations have been used, often abused, and discarded when they no longer serve a purpose, example: before tractors there were draught horses, what happened to these teams when technology got more progressive? in many cases they were destroyed, mass slaughter, which indicates to me that people didn’t love them, rather they had used them and then got rid of them when they were of no use any more. This is not love between man and beast, this is man using beast for personal gain. Even pets are about meeting our addictions and personal gratification rather than genuine care of the animals. We need to sincerely look at our feelings and attitudes towards animals and the relationship we have with them.
I find it ironic that the majority of those who get outraged about mis-treatment of animals or the environment often sit down to an animal based meal each evening, if not a few times a day and think nothing of it? From my observations people still want to eat meat and animal products. In fact I would go so far as to say they feel entitled to their meat based meal and if it was taken away would feel extremely annoyed, even enraged. Why? That is a good question. I feel it is based upon our emotional addictions, emotional demands, emotional beliefs and other particular emotions we desire to hold onto**********. Check the advertisements out on television of green fields with chooks or cows in them luring you into a false sense that your cow ‘lived a good life’ before it became your dinner – we don’t really want to know the reality, let alone feel it.
People who are likely to stay vegan for their lifetimes are those that make the choice based on ethics and morals, often accompanied by a genuine emotional shift**********. Even if we don’t eat animal products we often use them in other ways, sometimes without even realising, for example in clothing & accessories, cosmetics, wine, vitamins, sweets, vaccines.
I feel that our desire for meat and animal products, the impact that has on animals, the planet and the universe and the rate of destruction of the environment because of our demand and expectations is worth reflecting upon, worth investigating and worth feeling about. It is up to each of us to find out why we do what we do for ourselves and feel about why we do it and if we desire to change or not. If we don’t desire to change I feel it is worth looking at why we don’t want to.
Pete and I have been discussing new and different ways to remedy the issues we have created, contributed to or exasperated. We have been discussing different ways to ensure that food production takes place in a way that is harmonious with Love and how we might convert what we do now into something that gives to the land first, rehabilitates and replenishes the depleted soils and creates abundant, self sustainable eco-systems abundant with intelligent life, as God intended the Earth to have. We have much to feel about where we are right now, and we have lots to discover of how we can move forward in a way that is sustainable and in harmony with God’s Laws. As we embark on this investigation we will share our discoveries, thoughts and ponderings.
I have included in the foot notes some interesting links to investigate and contemplate if you so desire: I do not endorse or agree with everything in these articles, I do feel there are some interesting points to explore and for me reading and viewing these things brought up feelings I had not been aware of before. I also feel it is important to be informed of what is actually going on and to find out why and how I contribute to the suffering and problems in the world personally. Because if I understand my contributions and the emotions in me that cause these things, I have the opportunity to change them. If I live in ignorance the damage continues and no change can occur.
We hope you enjoy exploring, questioning and discovering more about yourself and why you choose to do what you do.
Note: We are noticing that there is a lot of mis-information out in the world. A lot of ‘facts’ lacking real or scientifically based information and embellished or diminishment in order to suit someone’s motives. We feel this is actually manipulative. We notice that often some truth is put with a heap of illogical information that is un-tested and un-verified. We need to examine what we are being told and find out what’s really going on rather than accepting and believing everything at face value.
** 2 While we have domesticated animals we are not truly vegan. We still have emotions and would under pressure be prepared to do things that are unethical and unloving in regards to livestock.I have no desire to eat meat, but I am using animals for financial gain. All the links mentioned in this post I suggest finding out about for yourself and verifying the ‘facts’ before you take it them as the truth. I suggest widely reading and praying to know God’s Truth on the matters discussed. If you have a sincere and genuine desire to know you will find the truth.
***3 Alan Savory youtube clip where he talks about his responsibility in the decision to cull 40,000 elephants and that he now realises that it was wrong to do so. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUMQVqtjUAQ
Articles disputing Alan Savory’s agricultural & farming methods: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2014/aug/04/eat-more-meat-and-save-the-world-the-latest-implausible-farming-miracle
****4 Whaling articles
*****5 horse meat media sensation stories
*******7 Check out Jesus’ talk on ethics and morality
20120513 Ethics and Morality S1 P1
20120513 Ethics and Morality S1P2
*******8 Animal slaughter in Indonesia:
********9 ‘Earthlings’ is a really interesting documentary about how animals are treated, raised and consumed.
‘Cowspiracy’ is a documentary about the impact of livestock, inparticular, cattle on the Earth & environment.
Cowspiracy responses and interviews
Blog response to an article on Cowspiracy.
*********10 To read more about the emotional reasons why people sometimes struggle on a vegan diet check out the following link to Jesus’ letter to Lucette on Veganism. I feel if we dealt with the causal emotional reasons, beliefs and investments we have to eating meat, we would have no need or even desire to eat meat.
**********11 Info on Veganism:
Tasty vegan & vegetarian recipes, by Sarah Britton:
Interesting websites and links to critically explore and feel about:
Water use: http://www.ifad.org/english/water/key.htm
Things you may like to ponder further in regards to this subject:
- The ethics and morality of: (based on Jesus definition of ethics & morality can be found above)
- killing animals
- growing meat and all that involves
- intensive mass farming and the impact this has on the environment
- your personal contribution to these things
- Your personal contribution and your unhealed emotions, beliefs, expectations & demands that cause these things to happen and how you can change yourself to help the world
- Are we using ‘prime agricultural’ land in the most loving and efficient ways?
- Check out the water footprint of growing meat how does this compare to growing plants?
- How do you feel about the destruction of places like the Amazon Rainforest, Desertification in Africa etc? What is your personal contribution to this?
- Reflect on how easy it is to destroy. How easy forests and land are cleared in comparison to the effort it takes to rehabilitate and regenerate forest/rainforest to it’s pristine state. I don’t think that total rehabilitation to it’s original state has ever been achieved by mankind yet. It makes me wonder, if it takes such effort to right the wrongs we have done why do we keep destroying things that work perfectly and work for us? If we stopped destroying and worked in harmony with nature rather than against it, great things could occur.
- How we are changing the water cycle and interfering with the water tables as we clear more land and our demand for more water increases. Are we harvesting the resources we have e.g rain as efficiently as we could? Due to deforestation by human hand, we have messed up collecting the moisture that naturally occurs and so have dehydrated the land even more. Humanity seems to so often be working against nature rather than in harmony with nature, why do we do this? Natural eco-systems are self sustainable and work PERFECTLY who are we to be so arrogant as to think we know better than God? why are we trying so hard to work against God’s perfect design rather than in harmony with it?
- Are you aware of how much water, energy and land is used to support domesticated animals? You personaly? The worlds entire population?
- Do you feel being angry at your partner, child, brother/sister, fellow human is ‘better’ in comparison to killing an animal?
- Find the truth on these matters from God’s perspective.