Is animal rights the greatest social justice issue of our time?
At a recent address to the St James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre debating whether or not animals should be ‘off the plate,’ Philip Wollen makes a passionate plea for mankind to stop the torturous, wasteful and destructive meat animal industry.
Arguing that modern factory farms are like ‘gulags of despair’ for our fellow sentient creatures, this 10 minute video is an important and passionate plea for those who are ‘screaming in terror in their slaughterhouses crates and cages’, as animal cruelty is the order of the day for big business.
Making the case that the environment would benefit dramatically if the consumption of animals stopped, Mr. Wollen points out that beef cattle are the largest predators of the oceans due to the fact that the amount of fish harvested for cattle feed exceeds that used for human consumption, and that the amount of resources required to produce beef is outrageously out of balance.
Economic reasons include the consideration that cancer and heart disease, causally related to meat consumption, have over burdened Medicare and our medical system, and that farmers would profit abundantly from producing a plant based diet.
The good news is, however, that worldwide, vegetarians now number over 600 million, which is twice the size of the United States and greater than the population of the combined European Union. This may be a sign that the global shift in consciousness that is happening today is moving toward the inclusion of the rights of animals and the environment.
Ultimately it should be the choice of the individual what to eat, but, our human side begs us to at least be honest with ourselves about the horrifying nature of modern meat production and the self-destructive nature of the foods we consume.
Considering the impact that modern industrial meat animal production has on the environment, and how horrible and torturous the treatment of these animals is, should animals be off the plate?
“If slaughter houses had glass walls, would we even be having this debate?” – Philip Wollen
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