I think we are born with an innate sense of relationship; it has to be “educated” out of us to accept and participate in the current industrial food system.
As Indigenous writers such as Robin Wall Kimmerer show in Braiding Sweetgrass, indigenous people have much to teach us about holistic thinking, the use of social controls to curtail greed, and how to live with the rest of nature.
What is special about humans that sets us apart from other animals? Less than some of us would like to believe.
Try and choose a bird that has lived the best possible life for the budget you have available, and indulge in your Christmas dinner without the nasty after-taste of animal suffering on your conscience.
In this Trumpian era of alternative facts and truth isn’t the truth, it somehow seems fitting to expand further the fiction of personhood to include animals and Nature in the effort to save the environment. After all, it is their environment too.
Within recent months I’ve been bumping into an increased number of animal rights cases. Last week a horse name Justice was given 15 minutes of fame in the Washington Post (WaPo). The article triggered an “ah/hah” moment; today’s article is the result.
While Elsie’s annoying qualities as a narrator dampen her effectiveness as an environmental agitator, the points she makes are spot on. She eloquently admonishes her human readers, "You can’t just wear the food chain around your neck like a bauble or necklace. You’re part of it and if you keep treating it with disdain, that chain will strangle you."
If you’re a Huffington Post reader, your love of animals has been nurtured by “Hedgehogs Being Adorable,” “Baby Hippo Has Won Our Hearts,” and other such gems.
So why did a small college going the extra mile to be humane and sustainable face an orchestrated avalanche of wrath when it planned to slaughter two of its admittedly iconic oxen?