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“Enjoying the BEST chicken dinner.” ~R.W.P

October 16– “Enjoying the BEST chicken dinner — at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.”

October 16– “Back for lunch, an amazing Cuban pork sandwich with homemade chips, so good — at Porto’s Bakery.”

October 15– “Onion loaf — at Tony Roma’s Ribs, Seafood & Steak.”

October 13– “Filet mignon with crab cakes. All gone.”

October 12– “Enjoying desserts — at Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank,CA.”

October 12– “Having biscuits and gravy — at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.”
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Day after day this week, a “Facebook friend” (an acquaintance from high school) made a point to commentate as he ate his way through his southern California vacation.  I held back my strong urge to post a comment on his picture of the dead cow with the dead crab.  The picture of the dead chicken (above)– however– was more than I could take.  After all, I see the chicken trucks regularly on my way to work.  So, I made this comment:

I’m just picturing what those poor tortured birds went through…

The response I got was this:

“Elisa, we get it.  You don’t eat meat.  Please keep your negativity to your own page.  You are not going to change anyones mind.”

My second comment:

My “negativity” is simply the truth.  Those birds were tortured for your meal…no doubt about it.  Yes, you’re absolutely correct– I won’t change any minds that are closed to empathy and compassion.  And yet– I have changed minds.  Those people have told me so.

R.W.P’s next response was to “unfriend” me.

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I’m going to expand on my original response here, now that I’ve had the chance to reflect for a while.  Here are some questions and comments that come to mind.

  1. No, I don’t think R.W.P does “get it” at all.  If he truly got “it,” then he wouldn’t be eating animals either.
  2. “It” is not about me.  “It” is not about what I eat.  “It” is about empathizing with other living beings and acting with compassion.
  3. What is the “we” all about?  “Elisa, we get it.”  Is R.W.P attempting to speak for all of my non-vegan Facebook friends?  Instead of the dialogue staying between us, is he recruiting his own imaginary crew of backers so that he can feel more supported in his animal consumption?  As if animal consumers aren’t already in the majority?  (Yet– in that one Facebook moment, there was just 1 animal advocate and 1 animal consumer.)
  4. Take notice of what R.W.P didn’t say.  He didn’t say, “No, Elisa, you’re wrong.  Those birds weren’t tortured.”   Think about that.
  5. Did I spoil some of R.W.P’s palate pleasure with my negative truth telling?  Did I temper his Facebooking enthusiasm by exposing the experience of the chicken underneath the breading?  For even just a few seconds– did I force R.W.P to also picture what those poor tortured birds went through?
  6. I’m not going to change ANYone‘s mind?  Not even one?  What a horrible world to imagine 😦
  7. I’m not going to change anyone’s minds about what?  (“What” could mean just about anything.)
  8. Finally…

I’m noticing a pattern on Facebook.  “Keep it on your Facebook page.”  R.W.P isn’t the first FB friend to type that, and he certainly won’t be the last.  But, I’ve figured out one thing with certainty through this latest Facebook experience:

As long as my “voice” on behalf of animals stays on my Facebook page, then no one else has to “listen.”  Close-minded people can just scroll down the page.  Pretend not to see.  Refuse to look.  Deny.

On the other hand, when I comment on a friend’s Facebook page, it’s different.  My voice, the animal’s voice, can no longer be ignored.  The ugly, violent, bloody, negative (!) reality demands acknowledgement, whether the friend on the receiving end makes a written comment about it or not.

The “problem” for some people is that they’re suddenly forced to take some of the personal responsibility that they’d been avoiding.  They can no longer pretend that they aren’t an active participant in the violence.  They can no longer pass the buck.  The buck just stopped with them.  It’s threatening.

What might happen next?  You get unfriended.

“Friends like these, huh, Gary?”

Bottom line:  It’s not about me and it’s not about you.  It’s about the bird.  It’s about the living being.  That piece of “chicken” belonged to an animal who cared about her own life.  Please picture the kind of life that the chicken would have wanted.  Please protect that life.

I was listening to the Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals podcast #74 and heard the following quote by David Martosko, speaking at the 2010 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholder’s Summit.  The lecture was entitled, “Exposing Activists’ True Agenda – Will it Build Consumer Support?”

To put it in context– this excerpt is from 08:30-10:01 minutes within a 14:31 minute audio clip posted on the website Truffle Media Networks:  Ag Media You Can Use.  I highly recommend that you listen to the full audio clip.

In the quote, “they” are the animal rights advocates working at HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States.)  After David Martosko points out how much money goes into pension plans every year at HSUS, he points out what he thinks that really means to the animal producers in his audience…

“It should tell you that they’re in this for the long haul. These are people who plan to be doing what they’re doing long enough to retire with benefits. They’re not going away next year or the year after that, regardless of how much you want to accommodate them. They’re in this. This is their career. They don’t go do this for 3 years and then say, “Well, I’ll go somewhere else and I’ll sell socks for a living.” This is it for them.

And so you find yourself in an endless war. I agree fully with Wesley Smith on this. You’re in a war whether you want to be in one or not. And you’ll never fully pacify these guys. I don’t care– if there are pork producers in here– I don’t care if you want to give every pig in America an iPad, and daily rubdowns, and Wolfgang Puck catered lunches, and wide-screen TVs, and waterbeds to sleep on…it will not be enough.

Because the animal rights movement fundamentally believes that animals have legal rights…they deserve moral and legal rights. And, if I have any rights– correct me if I’m wrong– isn’t the top of the list the right to not be eaten? Um, so they believe that every animal on every farm that you guys have ever visited has those same rights. And that’s the number one right they’re fighting for.

‘Cause of all the animals we use– domestically and worldwide– the vast majority of them are food animals. Lab animals, circus animals, captive marine mammals: that scratches the surface.  98+ percent of all the animals that are used in the world for human benefit are animals we eat. So you guys are the top target of these guys. And you’ll never fully make them happy.”

The purpose of this blog post is simply to emphasize the central point that David Martosko expressed so perfectly:

“…the animal rights movement fundamentally believes that animals have legal rights…they deserve moral and legal rights.”

“…if I have any rights– correct me if I’m wrong– isn’t the top of the list the right to not be eaten?”

“…that’s the number one right they’re fighting for.”

“…you guys are the top target of these guys. And you’ll never fully make them happy.”

Yes, yes, and YES:

  1. The animal rights movement believes that animals deserve moral and legal rights.
  2. At the top of the list IS the right to not be eaten.
  3. “Stakeholders” in animal agriculture will never make animal rights advocates happy because their business is killing animals.

Q:  How can animal exploiters make me happy?

A:  Stop the exploitation.  Stop killing animals.  It can be done.  It has been done.  Everyone is capable of change.

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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