I have come to abhor the entire PETA movement.
What may have started off as a moral stand against animal cruelty and inhumane practices has become a joke. An organisation that kills 90% of the animals it “saves” is hardly making a change for the better. The reality is that PETA is borne from and continues to grow from a sense of abstraction from the reality of where humans and their food comes from. It targets the worst of the worst and parades it as the norm. When it cannot win a battle with logic, it throws up emotional images and sounds. When that does not work, then they sell sex. Naked women parading behind flimsy placards. Photoshoots that will make Victoria blush over her secrets and simply giving away free porn with every donation.
Personally, I find this kind of protesting abhorrent. If you are going to protest anything, then use that 20% of your energy intake to run that great evolutionary gift that utilises a mere 5% of your total body weight. Your brain. An organ, by the way, that may not have developed without the sort of energy provided by the food we ate – you know, like meat.
PETA are not in the market to improve the quality of life for animals. They are not interested in humane behaviour nor sustainable practices. They are peddling a religion. They will not discuss anything not within their scriptures.
Our Industrial agricultural history is rife with bad practices. I am the first to admit that. However, i am also the first to speak out that many farmers are guardians of the land and of the animals.
For years, Farmers have proven themselves the custodians of the land, and no words are truer than “they have kept the secret to themselves”.
A push against farming life as “backwards”, a mainstream stereotyping of farmers as “simple” and a general societal abstraction from the land, its nature and the food they eat leads to massive chasms in the understanding of what the agricultural industry does. This deaf ear and blind eye approach also leads to a lack of empathy – at which point, you may as well try appealing to a brick wall.
We all know that the urban sprawl causes far more damage to the land and the wildlife (look at how many forests are cleared and all of the beautiful black loamed farming soils given over to build estates that can have bright green lawns). However, if you are a member of society who is unaware of the role of the farmer and abstracted from the food that makes it’s way to the table then it follows in logic that you would also be unsympathetic to those same people, thus are far more interested in tightening the screws on those people you are not connected to.
There are problems. Lots of problems. Mega-farms, feed lots, chemical amendments, long-distance travel, food processing. All of it. It’s an issue. It’s an issue because it is an insult to history. It’s an insult to the basic laws of nature. It’s an insult to the biology of the fauna and flora. It’s an insult to the consumers.
Whether we’re talking about beef cattle or we’re talking about chickens, or we’re talking about broccoli or corn, these wholesale, “take more, sell more” (do we dare add “waste more” as well?) extraction rooted mindset reminiscent of the industrial revoultion and the motor industry will no longer serve us.
We do need to take a step back.
We need now to adopt a new conception of agriculture. One in which we stop treating the planet as if it were some kind of business in liquidation. And stop degrading resources under the guise of cheap food.
Sustainable for the flora. Sustainable for the fauna. Sustainable for the consumer. Sustainable for the farmer.
The great blessing for all of us is that it has started. It’s not new. There are second and third generation farmers who have already started down this path.
This is great news, for consumers who care about the impact. It’s also great news for people that care about food and cooking. Often, the most ecological choice for food is also the most ethical choice for food. Whether we’re talking about brussel sprouts, lamb or foie gras!
PETA need to stop, they need to sit down with the real people on the ground and understand what it is they think they are protesting. Elastration is not humane, Mulesing is not inhumane and foie gras can be natural. Sometimes, the emotive argument is not the right one.
There is one thing that their protests have shown us though, as an agricultural industry player, we do need to be more proactive in informing the public about what it is we do.