Indian Part Two: Hypocrisy?

In my article Indian, I talked about some of man’s cruelty to animals that perhaps most of us are not even aware of. One of the examples I used was the farmed chicken (another was about the tethering or chaining of dogs):

The farmed chicken is one of the most unfortunate creatures on the planet. Imagine being born and raised all of your 45-day life in cramped captivity, fed and injected with chemicals to artificially speed up growth, not once being able to experience sex, and enduring rough transport in a steel cage with little or no protection from the hot sun, wing-to-wing with your brothers and sisters who are just as thirsty and stressed as you, to the slaughterhouse where they cut your throat and let you bleed to death. They don’t even shock you into unconsciousness first.

Ironically, the fighting cock is infinitely luckier. Well fed, well cared for, petted and sheltered, they are not made to fight until they are about a year old. If they die in a fight they often die quickly and painlessly through a blade to the heart, and the last moments of their lives are pure adrenaline. And if they never lose after so many fights, they will retire as studs, chasing and mating with the hens all around.

Although not as lucky as the fighting cock, the native chicken still enjoys better treatment than its farmed cousins. Even though their throats will still be cut to make them bleed to death, at least they get to enjoy life running around and chasing the hens. And when they die, they die being hunted for food like a wild animal, as how Nature intended all animals should die. (from Indian)

Then I had a little predicament. Presently I am trying to raise catfish (hito) in drums, with as many as two hundred per barrel. At first I felt some guilt and even judged myself to be a hypocrite because I was advocating animal rights but violating them at the same time. But then after some pondering, I figured that perhaps the chicken and the catfish are very much different when it comes to being raised in an overcrowded environment.

First, I think chickens are way smarter than catfish because they have social structures and protective instincts towards their young. The catfish’s only social structure, on the other hand, is simply that no catfish smaller than the biggest catfish’s mouth can keep on swimming for long.

Second, I do not inject my catfish with chemicals to speed up their growth. Imagine a 45-day­ old chicken (it’s still a chick actually), with a chick’s bones and internal structure, forced to carry almost one kilogram of its own weight. To us humans, it would be like a child with the body size and weight of an adult, trying to stand up and walk.

Lastly, while the farmed chicken is raised in a hot environment, I always keep my catfish cool by controlling the ambient factors to make their lives as comfortable and happy (catfish-happy) as possible. So when the time comes that someone eventually eats them, at least they lived a life as good as any catfish could hope for.

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Attempts at uncovering the underlying simplicity beneath apparently complex concepts as well as the core complexity within seemingly straightforward issues


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