To Whom It May Concern,
Allow me to dispose of the common knowledge of the agricultural industry, utilization of gestation crates and bolt guns, and rather inform you on what made me take the step to veganism. Undoubtedly, I write this letter for the sake of the nonhuman animals in the agricultural industry. It is their ignored pleas for salvation that has me asking you, dear President, to call for a reformation of the animal agricultural industry, and an eventual collapse of the industry altogether. I recommend this, firstly, for the sake of the nonhuman animals who are the real victims whom are in a need of salvation; secondly, as an act of reformation for the environment and nutrition deficits; and thirdly as a means to establish compassion in the American population. I write because to change our treatment of nonhuman animals is to change our treatment of each other.
First, I ask of you to please tell me exactly what Americans are doing to combat the environmental decline. You’ll say that they’re showering less, riding bikes or walking, switching the lights off when they leave a room. However, although animal agriculture is the leading cause of nearly all environmental issues, you’ll say that only few people are refraining from animal products. Why are people refusing to remove meat and dairy from their diets? It’s due to a lack of care and an acceptance of known ignorance. It is this accepted method of ignorance which allows humans to mentally dispose of issues they can’t see and, essentially, can’t control. Flipping a light switch? Simple and controllable. Rescuing a cow hanging from her hind leg about to have her jugular severed? A bit more complicated. The environmental perspective of animal agriculture is highly under scrutinized. Animal agriculture accounts for at least 32 million tons of carbon dioxide per year which averages to nearly 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions , placing the industry as the leading cause of air pollution (Cowspiracy). Animal agriculture is also the leading cause of water pollution, habitat destruction, and species extinction, but please remind me of the last time any regulation in the industry didn’t benefit only the consumers. Regulations in the animal agricultural industry must be long-lasting and efficient. We see how poorly the industry’s protocol for environmental sustainability has been in years prior which is why it is crucial that further action be taken to make the industry more environmentally conscious. The only way to ensure a more eco-friendly animal agriculture industry is to see a series of extreme deductions in the number of captive livestock.
Let’s also examine the obesity and malnutrition epidemic that is ransacking the American population. We are currently growing enough food for 10 billion people, yet our country is on a hunger spectrum that ranges from malnourished to obese (Holt-Gimenez). It has been said that possessing a diet free of animal products is costly and isn’t as efficient as one that contains meat and dairy. However, 1.5 acres of land can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based foods which is capable of feeding more people than the measly 375 pounds of meat produced in the same amount of land (Cowspiracy). This means, it costs less money, less land, and less resources to feed more people on a plant-based diet than can be done on one heavy in animal-based products. If we are to keep fighting American hunger we can’t allow our tastebuds to make our decisions for us and we have to provide assistance to both sides of the hunger spectrum. In order to encourage healthier eating habits and combat malnutrition, more produce needs to be more readily available in American stores. Therefore, to successfully, diminish obesity and malnutrition, it is necessary that serious deductions be made in animal agriculture seeing that more plant-based food can be produced than animal-based food, which ultimately allows more people to have an opportunity to acquire proper nutrition.
As a continuation to the points stated above, I suggest that you, dear President, also consider the American population and their faltering compassion due to a dependency on animal agriculture. It is common knowledge that piglets are smashed against walls, chickens forced to live in their own feces, and cow’s skin branded with hot irons are routine practices in the industry. However, despite this possession of known cruelty, the majority of the population continues to consume animal products. What does this lack of compassion show for the kinds of people residing in America? It is truly appalling how easily one can establish blinders to acts of injustice with the reasoning being “It tastes good”. To reduce, to end, the animal agricultural industry is to establish compassion and morality back into the American population. It is blatant that the endless videos of innocent chickens and celebrity endorsements for faux leather aren’t proving to be effective. Therefore, in order to rekindle American compassion we have to establish a connection between the American people and the animal agriculture industry. Connect with parents by informing them how the industry is harming their children; connect with the overweight by comparing the benefits from a plant-based diet to that of one consisting of animal products; connect with hunters and fisherman by showing how their actions are affecting the environment and their job security in the future. Allowing individuals to see the effect the industry has on themselves and what’s important to them will ultimately make them notice the entirety of the industry and it’s wrongdoings. Ridding the animal agriculture industry is not something that can be achieved with a few individuals and I see it fit that you, dear President, start taking initiative for your people’s lack of morality for others and themselves by heavily informing the population as individuals and heavily reducing the industry as a whole.
Withall, I take the path of least resistance as my act of retaliation, and I propose that an act of civil disobedience be implemented if the animal agricultural industry is to continue as it is. I find that the unnecessary suffering of a life to provide a moment’s satisfaction is not a luxury, but an abuse of evolutionary superiority. I say this with the intent of finally recognizing that “survival of the fittest” is never fair when humans replace claws and teeth with machinery and explosions.
Great change can come out of the mundane act of civil disobedience. An act which will ultimately amount to the elimination of slaughter and the adoption of more generous agricultural methods. The one who approaches the topic of animal agriculture cannot do so without first knowing morality. For how is it just to look at a fish and look at a dog and dictate one as a member of the family or adjacent to the fries on the plate? The species barrier between “friend animals” and “food animals” only removes humans more from the animal kingdom and diminishes our already primitive morality towards others and ourselves. I find that Americans have become complacent with how the agricultural industry functions because they choose to be unaware of who is behind the meal on their plates.
That being said, the problem is not within the average American. The problem is within the succeeding American who is complacent with their status and lack a vigor for valiance. Americans are ever adamant about their love for animals which is displayed with petition signatures for the end of the Yulin Dog-Meat Festival or annual passes to the city zoo. But even though it is now common knowledge that baby chicks are put into grinders if they have the wrong genitalia and the majority of slaughtered cattle are skinned alive, roughly 3.2% of the population refrain from meat consumption. Where did America’s compassion go? Why is it accepted to love only certain species and slaughter others? Why has it become commonplace to turn a blind eye towards known injustice?
Due to the lack of immediate action, I suppose that animal agriculture can join the category which contains poverty, environment deterioration, and malnutrition or obesity: “Things That Are Destroying America But We’re Not Going to do Anything About Them.” It seems to me just that before we complain about all of our problems, we should at least evaluate the actions taken to resolve them. In my opinion, starting with cross-species liberation would be fitting. If we are to be a nation who bares peace alongside our pride, as well as possesses the utilities to successfully vanquish the majority of our problems, we should have a greater urge to readily act on the one solution that can resolve them all.
I look at the perception humans possess of nonhuman animals and question how one can distinguish between food and friend. How there can possibly be something that dictates one life as more important than the other one. Is there a limit to the amount of morality that can be granted to the rest of the world? Is human’s lack of humanity going to be the downfall of the entire animal kingdom? Correction, when will the animal kingdom collapse, before or after humans?
I admit that I am conscious of actions the government is currently taking to protect our nation’s nonhuman animals. However, do tell me President, would you consider any type of slaughter to be humane? Is it possible to appoint price tags to one’s life? Isn’t the imprisonment, routine massacre, and abandonment of morality towards farmed animals just a replication of what we did to the slaves back in the 1800s? How can a nation which advocates for the repression of civil violence continue to disregard billions of lives?
I ask you, President, to realize that serious deductions must be immediately implemented. Not financial, God forbid the thought of taking more money from our economy, but, rather, deductions of the lives being destined for slaughter for the well-being of all of America’s inhabitants.
"Facts and Sources." COWSPIRACY. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Holt-Gimenez, Eric. "We Already Grow Enough Food for 10 Billion People... and Still Can't End Hunger." Common Dreams. N.p., 08 May 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.