Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Intelligent Design of Animal Welfare -- Really?

From the earliest memory that I can recollect, in the morning of the Eid festival, after returning home with my father from Eid prayer, I used to go to my room, and closed my ears with my both hands, while tears streaking down my face. The heart of a child could not take the unbearable scream and bleating of dying animals, whose throats were getting cut just around the corner of his home, a whole lot of them, where professional butchers, and their assistance, wearing lungi and Punjabi garment, or white shirt, tackling the sacrificed cows or goats, and the large sharp knife piercing the throat of poor animals, one after another, soaking the ground with warm blood. If the God is the most merciful and benevolent, and the most loving entity that man knows, why would the slaughter or sacrifice of enslaved animals be necessary?

This is not only an yearly or religious thing. My holier-than-thou moment ends right there. Like all the other happily living mortals, I go to the grocery store, buy the neatly packed chickens thighs, or bright red beef steak, slippery fish, in frozen but mint like condition, without giving a hoot where that meat or fish came from. Only in rare moments, reading an article like Johann Hari's The Religious Excuse for Barbarity, or thoughtful books by Barbara Kingsolver (Prodigal Summer) and Disgrace by J.M. Coatzee brings back those tearful memories from childhood. The way that we human beings have completely desensitized ourselves from the pain and sufferings of others, especially of living animals we eat so voraciously, maybe someday in a distant future will be looked upon with disgust and disbelief. In that world, we will be described as folks of dark, dark ages who ludicrously believed in the intelligent design of animal welfare amidst their dying scream.

Here is an excerpt from Johann Hari's article from The Independent:
"faith makes them prioritise pleasing an invisible supernatural being over the screaming of actual living creatures. Doesn't this suggest that faith itself – the choice to believe something in the total absence of evidence – is a danger that can lead you up needlessly nasty paths?"
Link to Johann Hari's article: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-religious-excuse-for-barbarity-2137927.html

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