It’s Not the Size of the Farm that Matters. {Video}

Via Gary Smith
on Mar 30, 2012
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Using and killing individuals is always wrong.

It doesn’t matter if these individuals were confined in large factory farms or your uncle’s small family farm. Using individuals against their wills, whether they are pet, named and fed organic food,  is still wrong. Since we have no biological need to eat animal products, doing so is always unethical.


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Editor: Kate Bartolotta


About Gary Smith

Gary Smith is co-founder of Evolotus, a PR agency working for a better world. Evolotus specializes in nonprofits, documentary films, animal advocacy campaigns, health/wellness, natural foods and socially beneficial companies. Gary blogs at The Thinking Vegan and writes for elephant journal, Jewish Journal, Mother Nature Network and other publications. Gary and his wife are ethical vegans and live in Sherman Oaks, CA with their cat Chloe and two beagles rescued from an animal testing laboratory, Frederick and Douglass.


10 Responses to “It’s Not the Size of the Farm that Matters. {Video}”

  1. Annie Ory says:

    Gary, I am confused by your cat. That is not a judgment, just a statement of my intellectual state as your reader.

  2. oz_ says:

    I think that you've vastly oversimplified a complicated situation.

    First, define 'will'. How can you tell that animals who are well treated (e.g. the livestock on Joel Salatin's Polyface Farms) are being used "against their wills"? I will stipulate, BTW, that to consume animals from factory farms is unethical and clearly, in my view, violates ahimsa.

    Does it even make sense to apply the term 'will' to a chicken? I don't know and I suspect you don't either. This argument you are making, which hinges wholly upon the notion of 'will,' (which you have failed to define or even characterize) seems VERY similar to me to pro-lifers who insist 'life begins at conception'. It's a purely ideological statement – can't be proven, depends entirely on subjective perception. In an objective sense, it is meaningless. Which is the case here as well.

    As such, this is a terribly flawed argument – it won't change anyone's mind, and it's largely preaching to the choir (just like the pro-life argument cited above). Will is not something that can be quantified in any way – I doubt it's even determinable in the case of many animals. And even if it were to be, then there are a whole host of questions that arise.

    For example, when the government takes taxes out of my paycheck, they do so against my will, especially since I know some portion of this extorted money will go to make bombs and weapons systems that will be used to kill and maim people with whom I have no quarrel and with whom I wish to live in peace. But if I resist paying my taxes, then I can be thrown in jail, and I suspect most people reading this are in favor of such coercive actions against tax protesters. If I strenuously resist being thrown in jail, the government agents can even shoot me. Legally. So, do you object to this 'being used against my will' scenario? And note that I am human, which means there is no question about whether or not I have will that can be gone against. I can think of dozens of examples like this. So even if we stipulated that animals had wills, the notion that those wills are inviolate is silly, because every day we support the violation of human wills and I'm guessing you don't object to that. Or do you have a history of wholeheartedly supporting tax protesters?? If not, then you are guilty of, at the least, selective outrage or a disingenuous argument.

    Rather than 'will, it would be better, IMO, to use something that CAN be determined objectively – cruelty, pain, harm, etc. Ahh but in such a case, then cruelty-free meat can still be arguably consumed without violating ahimsa, and that seems to be your thrust here – to try to make an ethical case that even eating cruelty free meat (i.e. that raised on 'your uncle's small family farm') is 'bad' – but you haven't effectively made that case here because it rests on this vague and ill defined notion of 'will' and that just doesn't stand up objectively. No offense intended, but I'd say your dogmatism is showing.

  3. GeoffOfOz says:

    I am trying to go vegetarian, slowly. Watching something die was horrible. Any killing is violent, and for these reasons I am going vegetarian. But for goddness sake let the video speak for itself. I am not expecting anyone else to, and I stil LOOOVE the taste of meat, I would just like to do a little less harm. Trying to stop hurting stuff just to keep me alive. As much as is reasonable and practical.

    That's sometimes what is missing in the animal rights world; empathy an understanding for human conditions, who's habits they are trying to change.

  4. Gary Smith says:

    Hi Geoff,

    Good for you. Sounds like you went from viewing animals as somethings to someones. While you take this journey, please consider the chickens and cows who suffer and are ultimately killed for eggs and dairy. They deserve the same recognition as the animals killed for meat. Let me know if you need help.

  5. I have to say that for the last few of hours i have been hooked by the impressive posts on this website. Keep up the wonderful work.

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