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LETTER: Canada lagging behind in our treatment of animals

In the light of the recent outcry regarding the murder of the mother bear and her two cubs in Castlegar that happened to be in a tree that was too close to so called civilization I would like to address humans need to control everything out of fear which shows up many times as cruelty to life around us.

 
Humans have this bizarre belief that we are the most evolved species. Specie centric is the name of this fallacy. There is no comparison because there is a life force, a consciousness within all things. This is what the specie centric attitude gives us; cruel actions thru fear. FEAR or in other words False Evidence Appearing Real has been controlling humankind for eons, causing wars, jealousy, bigotry and destruction of other beings and the earth simply because of this disconnect to who we really are. We are all a part of this earth and everything we do that harms it or other beings will come back to us and doing it in ignorance is no longer acceptable, we know better by now.
 
This insanity happens on a regular basis with our domestic farm animals. Gone are the small farms of yesteryear in which animals were at least treated to open pastures and warm sunshine. Now farms are big business where the animal’s wellness is secondary and you will find chickens stacked in battery cages where they are not allowed to run let alone move. Young calves which produce veal are taken from their moms when they are a couple days old and put in crates where they can barely move and cannot stretch and as they grow older it becomes worse for any movement and this is all to make sure the meat is tender. Then they are slaughtered with never having felt the sun on their face or been able to walk or run in the grass. This is specie centric at its worst.  Can we imagine an animal doing this to our children? We all know that animals do not have this sense of cruelty; they are here to show us love and all we give them is brutality. We do not even honour them in their death to feed us; again they are piled on top of one another hours and days standing in trucks with not even a drop of water to drink and now  since the U.S. banned horse meat in 2007 Canada has stepped up importing horse meat to other countries. The cruelty  is that some of these animals are still alive when they are being slaughtered and in front of all the other animals sensing the panic and terror.
 
Why is this okay for us? Because many have this preconceived idea that when they get there milk or eggs and see a picture of a happy cow on the carton that it is reminiscing of some small farm where animals are treated so well. We know this is false but the commercial industries will still attempt to make you feel secure in this myth. As far as meat people are disconnected from the animals, it is easier not to think about where it comes from.  At this point many will say “What can I do I am just one person?” I myself consciously made a choice a few years back to no longer eat meat because of this brutality however many will say I love my meat, I cannot live without it. This is our choice but we can still make a difference. We can make changes in our lives from finding out if this chicken that we get eggs from was able to run free range or least of all not eat certain meats like baby animals e.g. Veal or lamb.. As Gandhi said “I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man” and he also said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated”.
 
Americans in California voted to ban battery cages for laying hens, gestation crates for pigs and crates for calves to come into effect in 2015. Europe is following suit in 2012. So where is Canada in all this? They are doing nothing towards making any changes for better conditions for the farm animals.  You can go to www.humanefood.ca and let our country know it is not alright to treat our animals in such viciousness and make our voices heard for animals that need us to speak out for them. We can make a difference in our world if we consciously all make some changes.
 
- J.L. Batke