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RIGHTS VIOLATION ROULETTE

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We have seen the rise of “happy exploitation” and the promotion of allegedly “sustainable” methods of farming such as “pasture fed” cows, but animal agriculture continues its ceaseless quest to maintain the current societal paradigm that nonhuman animals are ours to use as resources. It really is engaged in a game of “Rights Violation Roulette”.

It seems that, at least in some parts of the world, environmental concerns about animal agriculture and health issues surrounding the consumption of flesh and flesh-based animal products are beginning to permeate society’s collective consciousness. For example, according to an article in the New York Times, “Americans ate 19% less beef from 2005 to 2014”. Taken at face value, this looks like good news, but get past the claims of “victory” from industry lobbyists and the picture is rather different.

First, overall worldwide meat consumption continues to rise with the total production of beef, pork and chicken predicted to be its highest ever in 2017. Second, at least in the US, much of the consumption of “red meat” has been replaced by chicken rather than there being a genuine overall reduction in animal products consumption. Since it takes the flesh of an estimated 200 chickens to replace that of one cow, the number of animals raised and killed to fulfil this shift in demand represents a huge additional number of rights violations.

Not wishing to let the wheels of animal exploitation slow down at all, rabbits are now being promoted as the latest “sustainable” source of flesh, according to a piece in Modern Farmer. Obviously, rabbits being smaller animals, a similar issue of the sheer scale of rights violations would exist should there be a trend in that direction. “The problem—in the United States, anyway—stems from those adorably twitching noses and floppy ears. The typical American kid would rather eat Brussels sprouts than Bugs Bunny” says Modern Farmer. Well yes, most people would have the same speciesist concerns about rabbits as they do about the consumption of dogs in certain parts of the world.

Kids should be eating Brussels sprouts instead of any nonhuman animal and vegan education is the only viable means of reducing the demand which leads to the exploitation of so many sentient beings. Humans have no need whatsoever to consume, wear or otherwise use them.

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