Nobody should be given a number as a name- not even animals. Of course, the reason why we number our farm animals is clear. We look at them impersonally and then there are way too many of them to name other than with a number.
Number 22815 is a sow. She is one of the millions- perhaps billions
of them who each day of their lives "live" in circumstances which I
can only describe as hellish for any living creature to be in.
I bet any money that some of you- when finding out that this post
would be about a pig - opted out. If so, how sad, especially if you
are one of the millions who enjoy eating the bacon, ham, and pork
chops her cruel existence makes possible for you. Some of us believe
that it should not be this way.
We prefer to see our pigs alive and well enjoying the outdoors where
they can intermingle with their fellow pigs and piglets. As they
need to hydrate themselves with water, we hope they have access
to a clean pool of fresh water, though more than likely they will
have to be satisfied with a mud hole. Still, it is better than
nothing, and they are at least free in our dreams or on small farms
that do exist.
Everyday I pray that the CAFOs from hell will be dismantled and that
the religions of the world will write doctrines of compassion. I
know full well that others will have to join me in this prayer crusade
if there will ever be any hopes of it ever happening. And of course,
many more will have to accept a compassionate vegan or vegetarian
lifestyle as well.
No, I don't ever envision a time when there won't be people who
either believe they need meat for health reasons or want it to please
their palate. Sometimes people will remind me how "bad" it will be
if everyone gave up meat. They say there would be no more farm animals.
This will never happen for the reasons I gave above.
All we are hoping for is a return to smaller farms where the farm
animals will have a decent life in the fresh air, be able to enjoy
the rays of the sun, and be living among their own.
Once when I wrote something like this in a letter to the editor of
the Cleveland Plain Dealer, one person incredibly wrote in response
that the animals should feel grateful that they are free from
predators, are fed and watered, and receive medical treatment if
need be. And to my complete amazement, he said that they should feel
honored to give up their lives to sustain us.
I felt like asking him, and I probably did - would you feel the same
way if you were a chicken, cow, or pig?
Mercy for Animals has described for us the fate of pig #22815 who
was numbered almost like a convict. She was never given a name
nor treated with kindness or compassion. What was her crime?
If anyone considers him/herself compassionate and limits it to the
human condition alone, then in no way can this be considered compassion.
All the virtues have to be universally applied. I can't understand how
my church just doesn't get it. Maybe yours doesn't either.
Mercy for Animals first two paragraphs deserve quoting:
"For years, she stood in her crate alone, never knowing the warmth
of the sun or the feel of grass under her hooves. Never a moment of
play with others. Never a tender touch.
Year after year, again and again. her piglets were taken from her.
She could only watch helplessly as they screamed in pain while they
were castrated and their tails cut off without painkillers. The cold
metal bars that held her captive were unrelenting."
If you can read those two paragraphs and remain unmoved, then I feel
sorry for you. Nothing more need be said in this regard.
For others -Mercy for Animals then relates how the crate she was
confined in was even too small for her to turn around or lie down
She could only take a tiny step forward and then back again. Out of
extreme boredom, she would sometimes gnaw on the bars that imprisoned
her. If she got stuck in the bars, a factory worker would kick her loose
with his boot. What kind of training in compassion did he get while
growing up to treat this living being so callously?
Now she was in pain. Her belly ached and it only grew worse. Nobody
noticed or even cared. #22815 spent her life giving birth to piglets.
She was only a piglet-making "machine." Thankfully, now her life of
misery and imprisonment were over. Her emaciated body covered with
sores faced the last indignity man would bestow on her. In death, it
was spray-painted with the the word "trash." My God doesn't make
trash. This was his beautiful living animal who we tortured.
Mercy for Animals' last observation: "Sadly, the life of sow 22815 is
the all too familiar tale of millions of mother pigs locked within the
confines of factory farms. Regarded as mere machines, they are never met
with tenderness, kindness, or compassion."
I would love to send this to every religous cleric, the Pope, etc., and
you know what - I don't think it would make a difference. Surely, they must
be aware of this cruelty, and the burning question I have for them is "Why
don't you care?"