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factory farming as organised crime

At least this is an expression I sometimes use to clarify the difference between animals hunting each other for food and humans factory farming animals for mass slaughter and consumption. The carnivorous animal is primarily motivated by need whilst the later is primarily motivated by greed. Whilst many criminal acts might be motivated by need (money, drug addiction etc) , when we think of “organised crime”, its crime syndicates, drug lords, gangs, corruption .. organizations motivated by money, power, control. Factory farming is just that! We do not need to eat nearly as much meat as we do if indeed we “need’ to eat it at all and we certainly don’t need to be destroying forest to grow grains to feed cattle in feedlots-cattle whose short lives are made utterly miserable just so they can end up being served as hamburger meat to one of a growing number of overweight people in the developed countries.

Factory farming has its paralels with the nazi death camps of WWII – the Jews, like animals, were jammed into train carriages and trucks. When they arrived at the camps the old, very young, weak and lame where quickly eliminated. The rest where put to work under appalling conditions. Consequently many of these workers would also become lame or weak at which point their lives were also quickly disposed of. So, if we are so appalled by what the nazi’s did to the Jews, why then are we not appalled at the terrible suffering of animals in factory farms?

Speciesism has a lot to answer for. The assumption of human superiority over animals is used as a justification for animal exploitation. As Peter Singer points out, intellectually disabled humans may have less mental functioning capacities than a primate, pig or dog yet we certainly don’t therefore consider them exploitable!

Anyway I am digress.. but its this idea of organised crime that is motivating my new series of large drawings. Thinking about outlaws, gangs, military operations etc..

heres a couple of sketches from my journal.



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