“Yet on some level we do know the truth. We know that meat production is a messy business, but we choose not to know just how messy it is. We know that meat comes from an animal, but we choose not to connect the dots. And often, we eat animals and choose not to know we're even making a choice. Violent ideologies are structured so that it is not only possible, but inevitable, that we are aware of an unpleasant truth on one level while being oblivious to it on another. Common to all violent ideologies is this phenomenon of knowing without knowing.

Melanie Joy in “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows:
An Introduction to Carnism, 2010

 

The average British meat-eater consumes around 1,200 animals (excluding fish and other aquatic animals) in his or her lifetime, including 1 goose, 1 rabbit, 4 cattle, 18 pigs, 23 sheep and lambs, 28 ducks, 39 turkeys and 1,158 chickens. Every single consumer of meat is contributing directly to the suffering experienced by these animals in their short lives and during slaughter.

To meet the demand for meat, livestock has to be increasingly intensively farmed. Today, a very large percentage of animals destined for the table in the UK spend their short lives in factory farms and on top, the UK imports huge amounts of meat from countries with much lower production and welfare standards. And anyone who thinks they can buy themselves a good conscience by choosing organic meat should realise that the organic livestock industry is in many cases not much different from the conventional livestock industry and that many organic meat farms today are run as large-scale operations. There is no such thing as “ethical meat”, “humane meat” or “happy meat”. These macabre, oxymoronic labels cannot hide the simple truth that no animal bred to be killed for food has ever been stroked to death. It takes an act of extreme violence to turn a living, sentient creature into a piece of meat – an act that raises the fundamental questions of how we can, firstly, assume the right to kill for human consumption sentient beings with a capacity for suffering (or have them killed on our behalf), and secondly, morally justify this – and to do so even though it is wholly unnecessary and entails such serious negative consequences.

Farmed animals are slaughtered at a mere fraction of their natural lifespan

Small children have no concept of, and are not in a position to reflect upon, the consequences of their actions. They are entirely at the mercy of their parents’ decisions for or against a particular diet. It is up to us to make these decisions, to be answerable for them and to be able to justify them to our children as they grow up and start to ask questions and demand answers.

 

 

And finally, the Summary