Some people love their dogs and cats more than they love humans. Critics who point this out assume that people are higher beings than animals, but often, they overlook the fact that some people behave worse than some animals and some animals are more humane than some people. Indeed, lambs did not start the Great Depression of the 1930s, cats did not initiate World War II and squirrels do not think about manufacturing nuclear weapons that will eventually annihilate all life on planet Earth. The ones who did all that are evolved primates or animals called “humans” even if there is nothing humane about these acts. Indeed, inhumane or animalistic people destroy the world and abuse humane animals, torturing them for food, clothing, entertainment, sexual gratification, experimentation and the like—raising the question on whether or not some animals should be called human and whether or not some “humans” should be labeled as “animals.”
The most abusive form of animal torture from “humans” is through efficient American food production. For example, “McDonald’s is the world’s largest user of beef, they will never be the corporate paragon of animal welfare,” as About.com (a New York Times company) reports. In 2002, “Shareholders in fast-food giant McDonalds (were) … given the chance to vote on whether the chain should introduce animal welfare standards worldwide,” as BBC News reports. But animal-rights activists such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who were “behind the resolutions” and who suffered “opposition from the McDonald’s board,” were unsuccessful in their campaign for McDonald’s to be humane toward animals.
Thus, people like the Beatles’ Sir Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson, boycott “McCruel” establishments like McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). As, McCartney’s spokesman says through the Telegraph, “Fans should boycott Mcdonald’s, and not just in Liverpool.” Furthermore, PETA activists assert through ThaIndian News that “different kinds of hormones are injected into the chicken to make them breast heavy. But their legs are so thin and their legs are crippled and broken and they are ill treated.” PETA also adds through their website www.kentuckyfriedcruelty.com that “At slaughter, the birds’ throats are slit and they are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious.” Consequently, “KFC’s own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so. Many advisors have now resigned in frustration.” As Pamela Anderson says, their secret recipe’s “main ingredient is cruelty.”
Moreover, some animals are tormented for the products that they create. As ABC News reports, “Undercover videos produced by animal rights groups are fueling a debate over the need for new laws to regulate the treatment of American dairy cows.” In one graphic video, “cows never go outside, have the ends of their tails cut off in painful procedures without anesthesia, and are seen being abused by one employee who hits a cow over the head with a wrench when it refuses to move.” The cows produce milk used to make cheese for “Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Domino’s.”
Artificial growth hormones and sex hormones injected into Western-styled cows to produce more milk and meat also torment these animals. As the Humane Farming Association (HFA) reports, “Milk and dairy products produced in the United States – unless otherwise labeled – may come from cows routinely injected with a genetically engineered hormone called recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH).” In addition, The Meat Trade Daily News (MTDN) reports that “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that over 42 percent of large dairy operations in the United States inject at least some of their dairy cows with rBGH, a synthetic hormone that induces cows to produce more milk.” rBGH makes cow udders swell, and it increases the chances of infection and reproductive-health problems. “In extreme cases,” reports HFA, “cows must wear bra-like harnesses to support their engorged udders.” Dr. Richard Burroughs, a senior FDA scientist wanted to report this and much more, but he was ultimately fired. “I don’t think the FDA is doing good, honest reviews,” says Dr. Burroughs, “They’ve become an extension of the drug industry.”
These hormones also lead to unhealthy humans. “As BGH gains acceptance,” HFA reports, “it paves the way for the use of genetically engineered growth stimulants for pigs, sheep, and other farm animals. BGH itself has already been used in experiments to produce larger, faster growing chickens.” Larger, obese Americans have also resulted from it. A pilot study in Mongolia is comparing the effects of drinking American milk. As the Harvard University Gazette reports, “After a month, the hormone levels jumped among the children fed commercial U.S. milk.” It also claims that “Butter, meat, eggs, milk, and cheese are implicated in higher rates of hormone-dependent cancers in general.” Furthermore, “In another study, rats fed milk show a higher incidence of cancer and develop a higher number of tumors than those who drank water.” Thus, the HFA urges people to “Boycott Hormone-Milk.” Four months ago, the American Public Health Association (APHA) also called for a ban of hormone milk. They now join the American Nurses Association which opposes this milk since a year ago. A former president of the American Medical Association, as the MTDN reports, also calls for a ban of this kind of milk in hospitals.
Unfortunately, another form of abuse is animal testing for experimental purposes. Much of these experimentations are used for cosmetics, drugs, chemicals and personal care products that people can do without. As the Grinning Planet reports, “animals are often intentionally given diseases to see (a) whether a new drug will have an effect on the disease, and (b) whether the drug has any serious side effects.” These animals also suffer similar fates like human prisoners in war-time concentration camps who were also thought to be “inhuman.” Jews, for example, were also experimented on in concentration camps by the Nazis during World War II. Thus, animal-rights activists also call for a boycott on products that abuse animals for testing purposes.
Some animals are also abused for luxury products like fur, ivory and “imperial” meals. As PETA reports, “China supplies more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States. Even if a fur garment’s label says it was made in a European country, the animals were likely raised and slaughtered elsewhere—possibly on an unregulated Chinese fur farm.” Undercover Chinese animal-rights activists discovered that “many animals are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them.” Moreover, ivory traders from Africa kill elephants and rhinoceroses just for their white tusks which are made into piano keys, sculptures or Japanese government seals. Whalers, such as the ones from Japan, also continue to poach whales and dolphins for their meat, an unnecessary imperial luxury for some Japanese elderly. In some parts of Africa, monkeys and gorillas are also eaten for food. In fact, “A horrific trade in apes and monkeys being sold as meat in Britain is threatening chimpanzees and gorillas with extinction,” as the Guardian reports. “Scientists warn that the bushmeat trade has become so large that much of the wildlife in the forests of Central and West Africa is threatened with extinction within decades.” Australians are also now over fishing sharks for wealthy Chinese who eat Shark’s Fin Soup. As the Humane Society International reports, “Many consumers of shark fin soup and even many businesses selling shark fin dishes are not aware of the cruelty, harm to marine ecosystems, and potential health problems associated with consumption of shark fins.”
Although the traditional diet for most Chinese and Indians is vegetarian, growing affluence has influenced some to follow the diets of the emperors and the West. As WebMD reports, “Scan the menu at your local Chinese restaurant and you’re apt to find dozens of meat-centered dishes — General Tso’s chicken, orange beef, twice-fried pork. But don’t be fooled. Most Chinese living in China don’t eat such a meat-centered diet.” WebMD then continues, “For centuries, for reasons both economic and historic, the traditional Chinese diet has been primarily vegetarian.” They eat mainly rice, vegetables, fruits, soybean (tofu) and water or tea. But with growing influence from the West, some wealthy Chinese are now meat-eaters or patrons of imperial dishes such as Shark’s Fin soup. However, WebMD recommends the traditional Chinese diet. As it reports, “In rural China, in fact, the rates of major chronic diseases including breast, colon, and rectal cancer are mere fractions of those reported in the U.S. ‘There are some regions in China in which breast cancer and heart disease are almost unknown.’ ”
On the other hand, some people have unhealthy addictions to the use of animals for entertainment and personal gratification. Some perverts abuse animals for sexual gratification. Others enjoy watching them at the circus, cockfighting arenas, racehorse tracks, the zoo or at Sea World. But animals don’t want to be entertainers. In fact, a killer whale in Orlando’s Sea World recently attacked its trainer and was linked to two other “human” deaths. As Naomi Rose, a senior scientist of the Humane Society of the United States says through NY Daily News, “such tragedies prove that wild animals should not be kept in pens to perform for tourists.”
Lastly, animals are sometimes also abused by pet suppliers and some pet owners. Pet shops such as PetSmart or Petco are often cited for cruelty toward animals. Like neglected prisoners, trapped behind bars, animals in pet stores live in crowded and filthy conditions. Some pet owners may also beat their pets or deny them food as punishment. Later, they may also abandon their pets and leave them to roam around the streets after they get fed up with them. Dog catchers then need to impound them or put them to sleep.
In the end, some people scoff at the idea of dogs and cats being dressed up like humans. They say animals are not humans. But the fact is that some humans behave worse than animals; and some animals are more humane than humans. Perhaps inhumane “humans” can learn from humane animals, just as some animals have learned to keep away from inhumane “humans,” so that they can be truly called human.
Anderson, Pamela. “Kentucky Fried Cruelty.” www.kentuckyfriedcruelty.com. 2010.
ANI. “PETA activists protest against KFC’s cruel treatment of chickens.” ThaIndian News. 4 Jun 2009.
BBC Writer. “McDonalds enters animal cruelty debate.” BBC News. 2 Apr 2002.
Browne, Anthony. “A Monkey Species Was Eaten Into Extinction Last Year – the Gorilla Could Be Next.” The Guardian. 24 February 2002.
Grinning Planet Writer. “MANIMAL AND THE COSMETICS TESTING LABORATORY: Personal-Care Products — An Easy Call on Animal Testing.” The Grinning Planet. 12 Oct 2004.
HFA Writer. “MILK MACHINES – Dangers in the Dairy Industry.” Humane Farming Association. https://hfa.org/campaigns/dairy.html
HSI Writer. “Sharks.” Humane Society International. http://www.hsus.org/hsi/oceans/sharks/
Ireland, Corydon. “Hormones in milk can be dangerous.” Harvard University Gazette. 7 Dec 2006.
Kennedy, Helen. “Killer whale kills trainer at Orlando’s Sea World; whale Tilikum linked to two other human deaths.” NY Daily News. 25 Feb 2010.
Knapton, Sarah. “Sir Paul McCartney calls for McDonald’s boycott.” The Telegraph. 8 Oct 2008.
Lin, Doris. “McDonald’s and Animal Rights.” About.com (a New York Times Company), 2010.
MTDN Writer. “USA – Hormones injected into 40% of dairy cattle.” The Meat Trade Daily News. 27 Dec 2009.
PETA Writer. “A shocking look inside Chinese Fur Farms.” PETA. http://www.peta.org/feat/chinesefurfarms/index.asp
Schecter, Anna and Brian Ross. “Got Milk? Got Ethics? Animal Rights v. U.S. Dairy Industry: Undercover Videos Show Ugly Realities Behind the Scenes of ‘Factory Dairy Farms.’” ABC News. 26 Jan 2010.