Grateful and tame domestic animals, especially those born into captivity, are obedient to their master. It doesn’t matter that the man who controls them is precisely the one who prevents them from living in their natural environment, he puts them to work, or makes them get fat and then eats them, he decides whether or not they’ll have a sex life, when and with a member of which species; he puts them in reins, yokes, muzzles, saddles, cages, horseshoes and chains; he castrates or violates them, cuts their wings, tears out their tusks, shouts at them, hits them with sticks to tame them; he brands them with a hot iron and sells them to another; he doesn’t allow any of them to leave the farm, zoo or circus–whichever has been the fate of the beast–without permission. None of that matters as long as the master brings food to the corral, if he vaccinates them so they don’t die at an inopportune moment.

Setting aside some unusual exceptions, animals lack rights, have no means of protest nor any place to do it. It’s acceptable that a goose spends its entire life with a tube in its esophagus being force fed a mixture that favors the creation of liver paté; thousands of chickens are condemned to live under a light that makes them believe night does not exist and which is good for increasing egg production; to meet the urgent needs of transport a donkey can be loaded with two or three times its own weight. If something contributes to the splendor of the spectacle, a horse can be whipped or spurred, a bull can be killed in front of thousands of people, a tiger can be humiliated in public by making it jump, over and over again, through the same stupid hoop.

The spectators enjoy themselves while distractedly eating popcorn; he who receives the cargo doesn’t even look at the mule; meanwhile, who remembers the tortured chickens while savoring the breakfast eggs? On the menu where they offer (perhaps in French), goose paté, it would be in bad taste to describe the macabre process detailed above. And as if that is not consistent with denying animals all rights, and the means to protest and the place to do so, the “mastersapien” has the complacent belief that the value of protection is greater than that of freedom and it’s perfectly sufficient to take fodder to his pigsty and remove the ticks from time to time.

I’ve repeatedly had nightmares where in one country on this planet, let’s say one on an island, the people lack the right to express themselves and are not permitted to associate nor to cross the borders without authorization. They have a generous king who apportions various privileges based upon the submission of each one, but he provides equally to all basic food and health care. The disadvantage is that no one can complain. The rest of the world envies and admires the king.

Advertisements