Cruelty upon Cruelty
There are many injustices caused by the COVID crisis – treatment of migrant laborers and daily wage earners, increasing racism etc. But one comically cruel injustice that's almost never mentioned is the treatment of animals, who are treated cruelly at best and the crisis is bringing out the absolute worst in humanity.
We know that pandemics are often caused by close contact between humans and domesticated and wild animals bound for slaughter. While we are going on in a racist vein about bat eating Chinese, let's also take a look at some gratuitous cruelty elsewhere too.
Everyone knows broiler chickens are housed in abysmal conditions and are bred to add weight so quickly that their bones break and they're unable to walk. After a relatively short lifetime of extreme misery, they are slaughtered in industrial operations.
What happens when the virus prevents slaughterhouse workers from coming to work? You now have millions of birds that are
- still growing and breaking their wings and legs.
- need to fed with no recouping of costs when they are turned into meat.
Which is to say they are at the bottom of the capitalist hierarchy: a commodity that costs money but doesn't make money. Which is why they are now sold off as trash that can be disposed like trash – the American Veterinary Medical Association has approved of methods that will supposedly be for the bird's benefit, but actually includes methods such as:
” accepted methods incld: drowning in foam (63 secs to death), suffocating w/ CO2 (6-7 mins), & baking alive via “ventilation shutdown” (30 mins – 3 hours)”
Two million sentient beings are going to be treated even more horribly than they normally are because why? If you eat chicken you need to stop now. I hope the COVID crisis spurs a massive shift away from animal agriculture.
Especially factory farming.