“The torture of the animals” (article, published at Elefteros Typos 28.11.2014)
“The torture of the animals”
A few days ago in France, an animal lover recorded with the camera how violently the animals are killed in a slaughterhouse in order to become our food, and then uploaded to the internet. It created a great sensation immediately, and was responded quickly and decisively both by the public and the authorities. According to the French Parliamentary law, which finally gave citizen’s rights to animals, animals are “living beings with sensitivity”. This decision is the result of a long and hard effort by animal lovers, as well as by many prominent intellectuals and artists such as Beuys, of giving a sort of legitimate right to animals. In addition to above-mentioned aspects, this decision shows a change of mentality in this issue as it also triggered a great struggle of Buddhist and of various institutions, such as the Brigitte Bardot. While seeing various documentary films, in which people brutally kill whales, sharks, foxes, or seals in order to get their skin, wings, tail or meat, one may wonder, “why we got there?” Regardless of the mythological dimension of the battle of man to survive in nature from wild animals, there is also a philosophical aspect of the issue. Some consider that animals are not rational, and thus they do not deserve the same treatment with that of human beings. However, that is not the issue.The question is, rather, whether they suffer or not. And all the scientists have confirmed, “yes, they suffer.” Yet, we kill sixty billion of terrestrial animals and one billion of sea animals in the wild every year. This is a real massacre, and we are indifferent to their suffering. Of course we care for our dogs and cats we have at home. Why such a crazy attitude? Why are we so indifferent to rabbits, horses, or laboratory animals, pigs, cats, dogs and so on? Many people would say, “let us first deal with the improvement in the life of humankind, and then we look for the betterment of animals.” Yet, moreover, so many people die of hunger and war. The issue is about hypocritical phraseology. It sounds as if we were dealing with humanitarian issues throughout our time. It also sounds as if we could not deal with both issues together. And here I ask you: “what would help humankind, is it torturing some animals?” Would the fate of Christians in Iraq improve, if thousands of dogs are caught and left to die under torture in China in order to have better meat? Or, again, would the situation of the Kurds improve if we kill cats painfully? Let’s not pretend. It is neither for the sake of the humanization of animals, nor for vitalization of people. We are interested in animals only for eating their meat, but should the process be torturous? Animals are not objects, nor are they things. They are living beings, and thus they should be treated as such. Such laws, as it was passed by the French Parliament, are consistent with the spirit of humanitarian culture. And it is a good first step that these laws came to a vote.