In the discussions of Animal Right, one controversial issue has been whether or not It is right to eat meat. On the one hand Peter Singers, a well known Australian moral philosopher, argues we should not see animal as a machine, and we shouldn’t chop their heads off whenever we need them to be food supply or cloth materials. On the other hand American author journalist Michael Pollan contends, considering both theologically or economically banning meat product is not a wise movement. It will only cause more death on animals, some species may end up extinct. My own view is, it is impossible to free all the livestock, and force 80% of the population to eat grass and leaf.
In the beginning of the paper Singers states “the recent civil rights past… slowly but surely, the white man’s circle of moral consideration was expanded to admit first blacks, when women, then homosexuals. In each case, a group once thought to be so different from the prevailing ‘we’ as to be undeserving of civil rights was, after a struggle, admitted to the club. Now it was animals turn”
In other words Peter Singers suggests that after a long successful journey of liberation movement, animals shall be the next protagonist after a long time of unfair treatment by us. However, in Pollan’s view “The animal rights movement exclusive concern with individual animal makes perfect sense given its roots in a culture of liberal individualism, but does it make any sense in nature?” He does believe this animal liberation movement may make those industrial farm livestock’s life a little bit better, but this movement seems to be somewhat absurd when it comes to nature.
However, By focusing on Animal Equality, Singer overlooks the deeper problem of nature it self. “The law of jungle,” Is an expression that means “Survival of the strongest,” and it was first proposed by Charles Robert Darwin, a legendary English naturalist, geologist, and biologist. Put it in simple words, the strongest live and flourish, and the weakest die and go extinct. There is never a sense of equality in nature, either you are a predator or you are a prey, this nature default setting affirm the impossibility of animal equality. Pollan himself writes “Animal kill one another all the time. Why treat animals more ethically than they treat one another?” Benjamin Franklin also mentioned this a long time ago. He said “if you eat one another, I don’t see why we may not eat you.”
On the defensive side, Singer and animal rightist had devastating reply, “Do you really want to base your morality on the natural order? Murder and rape are natural, too. Besides, human don’t need to kill other creatures in order to survive; animals do.”
Because Singer and his supporters had focused too much on moral consideration towards animals throughout “Animal Liberation”,they forget that eating meat is part of out identity. As Singer may not be aware, recent studies have shown that how sliced of meat altered the course of human evolution. Meat is a richer source of calories than most of the plants like fruit, also its easier to digest unlike roots which was a main food resource for early humans. With a function of better hunting tool and tactics, early humans started consuming an increasingly meat-heavy diet as they evolved. Combined with cooking techniques that made the process of eating easier, hominids began consuming more calories with less effort, which may have paved the way for larger, energy-hungry brains.
Since the suffering of animal in today’s industrial farming system had lead to a major controversial topic. Both Singer and Pollan had agreed on the wrongness of how they treated animal in American factory farm. Singer describe those place are
“where the subtleties of moral philosophy and animal cognition means less than nothing, where everything we’ve have learned about animals at least since Darwin has been simply… set aside. To Visit a modern CAFO is to enter a world that, for all its technological sophistication, is still designed according to Cartesian principles: animal are machines incapable of felling pain” Indeed Pollan agrees when he writes, “
I do want to say one thing about the bacon, mention a single practice(by no mean the worst )in modern hog production that points to the compound of an impeccable industrial logic.”
However, as much as Pollan and I dislike what is happening behind those steel wall, he also worried about the the momentous position that CAFO stand in today’s economic system, especially to those related industry. Any move of sanction against meat production industrial are made can cause significant impact on the whole economic. But it doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. Pollan had suggested a great idea: The right to look, replace the concrete wall of the CAFO’s and slaughterhouses be replaced with glass. Pollan have proved that most people hold negative view on eating meat because they are not sure those livestock were humanely or note. By doing so it may force those corporation to change something. That little thing can improve the welfare of those animal in to new stage.