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Sunday, March 4, 2012


I have heard it said that a sure signal that a child may end up in prison in later life is if he willfully and maliciously inflicts pain on animals.  Such gratuitous application of pain and suffering foreshadows antisocial behavior in later years.  Today I watched a documentary on Netflix entitled Food, Inc.  It treats the unspeakable cruelty inflicted upon livestock in the American food industry.  The companies that are involved in the trade will not allow cameras to record the dark conditions under which the animals suffer.  Executives in the industry are often recruited for key positions in the government departments theoretically designed to regulate the industry.  All the while, the public seems content with the inhumane treatment of animals so long as meat is abundant and deceptively cheap (deceptively so since the feed grain corn is heavily subsidized).  “Out of sight, out of mind” seems to be the operative ethic.  Not only are animals mercilessly exploited, but so also is much of the labor required in the secretive industry.  It is troubling that exceptional cruelty can be so blithely exercised and tolerated.  What are the implications of willful and persistent blindness upon the tone and tenor of American life?  Can callousness be neatly contained, compartmentalized, and crafted so as to impact only one aspect of life?  Is the public’s affinity for willful blindness to facts in one area detrimental to the pursuit of truth in others?  Is lack of sympathy for animals associated with inhumanity to man?  (Related blog: By Proxy)

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