Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good News for Foghorn Leghorn

As you'll know, I'm not the most sentimental person when it comes to animals. I respect them, I'm fascinated by them, I enjoy contact with them and, it must be said, I eat them. However, I cannot abide (1) treating animals as if they are people - it devalues us and them, and (2) cruelty. Now, I realise that some of you will say that killing an animal to eat it is surely the ultimate cruelty. But I disagree. Evolution has created a tier structure within nature. It's why there are many more prey animals than predator animals. Mackerel lay eggs by the thousand. Sharks lay eggs in ones and twos. QED. It's the way Nature works ... and Nature is not kind. Nature is cruel. Watch a cat play with a mouse. Watch a troop of chimpanzees hunting terrified monkeys. Watch an orca - the world's biggest dolphin - throwing a seal pup around like a rag doll until it is dead. Put me in a room with a very hungry lion and see how well watching The Lion King 20 times equips me for the reality of Nature 'red in tooth and claw'.

I'd like to think that, as civilised intelligent beings who have, by way of our sentience, had the custodianship of the planet foisted upon us, we can rise above cruelty. It is within our power to give a food animal a good life and a humane death before we eat it. And, if we're being entirely self-centred, it makes the animal taste better too. This is why I've been such an avid supporter of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chicken Out campaign. And I'm delighted to see how hugely successful it's been. Good news for us. Good news for the chickens.

Keep it up you good, good people.

Catch up with the campaign here.

1 comment:

Blog Princess G said...

There is so much to read on your blog, I'm just having a quick look for now. We've had the River Cottage Treatment here on Canada's Food Network. It set me straight on a few things - what a great guy he is!