My work has also given me the chance to participate in national and international advisory groups exploring some of the deeper issues about food and how to work together to deal with them. Primary topics have included the short- and long-term of pesticides and other pollutants on out food supply, sustainable agriculture, genetic engineering, sustainability of wild seafood, aquaculture, and the welfare of food-producing animals from birth through slaughter.
Source: New Good Food: Essential Ingredients for Cooking and Eating Well, Pages: x
Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals - have an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain.. A sharp distinction between humans and "animals" is essential is we are to bend them to our will, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret.
Whatever the cause, the effect is an unusual amount of confusion on the subject of animals. For at the same time many of us seem eager to extend the circle of our moral consideration to other species, in our factory farms we’re inflicting more suffering on more animals than at any time in history. One by one science is dismantling our claims to uniqueness as a species, discovering that such things as culture, tool making, language, and even possibly self consciousness are not, as we used to think, the exclusive properties of Homo sapiens. And yet most of the animals we eat lead lives organized very much in the spirit of Descartes, who famously claimed that animals were mere machines, incapable of thought or feeling. There’s a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals today in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. Half the dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us ever pause to consider the life of a pig – an animal easily as intelligent as a dog – that becomes the Christmas ham.
We tolerate this schizophrenia because the life of a pig has moved out of view; when’s the last time you saw a pig in person? Meat comes from the grocery store, where it is cut and packaged to look as little like parts of animals as possible. (When was the last time you saw a butcher at work?) The disappearance of animals from our lives has opened a space in which the Peter Singers and the Frank Perdues of the world fair equally well.
Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 306
I am not so arrogant as to presume that only my intellectual superiors can teach me. If such were the case then the teacher would learn nothing from her disciples, the parents nothing from their children, and I nothing from the animals, from whom I have learned so much.