POLICIES                                                                                           2008

Eating Animals

AAS's policy on eating animals is that it is not animal welfare to eat animals or any of their parts.

When are all the people who say they love animals going to stop eating them because only when that happens will most of the cruelty and suffering of animals at the hands of humans end.

Aside from the flat contradiction of eating what you say you love, there is the matter of the terrible suffering the animals endure before being eaten.  Many people who say they love animals have pets who they treat like royalty. Then they eat the animals that aren't 'theirs'.  Some even use these horribly suffering animals to raise funds for their rescued animals - those lucky few that won one of life's cruel lotteries by being rescued.  The body parts of suffering animals are cooked and served at their fund-raisers.  The ethical contradiction fairly screams out loud, but these organizations seem to be deaf.

The most bizarre example we know of is the bird rescue organization which served chicken at one of its fundraisers. As long as members of the animal welfare movement are still eating animals, there is little chance of ending most animal suffering.

The largest, most powerful, most authoritative animal welfare organization in BC, the BC SPCA, went on serving animal parts at its fundraisers even after the massive negative p.r. that resulted from one branch raising money by boiling crabs alive. Has it stopped serving any animal parts at fundraisers now? Many searches of the BC SPCA website hasn't found a 'policies' section.

We have copies of the SPCA's old policies and hope one day to be able to read any new policies.



AAS was asked: "You call for abolition, why don't you be the first? You post and talk about it, why not do it yourselves as a group? By rescuing and keeping animals yourself, you are contributing to the suffering, you have to feed those animals, keep them captive so why not lead the way?"
Anyone can find that AAS has been preaching abolition for years.  A search of the current AAS WatchDog messageboard for the word "abolition" yields six posts, and a search of the archived posts yields forty-seven more.
As for AAS being "first", Judy Stone, founder says, " I am ashamed to admit that I am late-comer to the comprehension that true animal protection and welfare can only be achieved through the abolition of the right to enslave other sentient beings. Far more intelligent persons than I realized it hundreds, even thousands of years ago. I only joined the abolition movement about ten years ago, pre-internet, when I began telling friends that I realized that the cruelty I saw wasn't ever going to end as long as animals were legal property. Nor as long as there is a multi-million dollar slave rescue/welfare/protection industry.  That industry is largely kept in business by donations from millions of animal-lovers who have not been told that their donations will not end the cruelty that has wrung their hearts and wallets.  Only abolition can end cruelty. 
"There is no contradiction in being a contentious objector to war and succoring the war-wounded.  That is all I am doing by bandaging the bleeding heads of the wounded and giving sanctuary to as many as I can, personally and with helpers. Ministering to the war-wounded does not make a person a willing combatant.
"Typically, slavery is defended by slave-owners who point to all the "happy", well looked-after slaves.  Even some of the slaves themselves feel more comfortable in the familiarity of slavery.  I recently listened to a CBC radio show about the capture of children in Africa for the camel-racing industry.  The riders are as young as four years old.  They are almost starved to keep them light.  They are awarded with food for winning and beaten if they lose. The child being interviewed had been rescued by a child-slave rescue Society.  He had been returned to his original family, yet he yearned to return to his camel-racing "family"; the family that he had become accustomed to.
"I know that some dogs that have lived on a chain most of their lives, sometimes abused, sometimes even beaten, yearn at first to return to the familiarity of their chains.  That they do does not justify the chains.  That they become happier on the benign chains that I provide, does not justify my benign slavery.  It's all slavery. I have written many times that it was the good slave-owners who impeded the end of the idea that human slavery is acceptable no matter how benign it is. 
"Just as good human slave-owners justified owning humans, every good animal-owner and every happy pet justifies owning animals. That benign slavery of animals is morally wrong, is the intellectual hurdle that every animal lover must leap. When enough people make that leap, only then will the law say that animals cannot be owned by humans.
As cartoonist Walt Kelly had his wise character, Pogo, say so long ago: "We have met the enemy and he is us". 

"We must support and maintain the lands where these creatures once roamed free, as they were before mankind made other decisions for them. We humans are the sole cause of the invention of the endangered species list; we have pillaged and exploited the land, seas and air that once belonged to wildlife. We must now ensure that this selfish behaviour does not continue in any aspect." Diane Esther

Read all of Diane Esther's WatchDog posts and read veterinarian, Charles Danton's, writing on animal slavery by searching their names on the AAS WatchDog.


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