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Towards a Vegan-Based Ethic

Dismantling Neo-Colonial Hierarchy Through an Ethic of Lovingkindness

Micol Kates

The book draws links between colonial and neo-colonial power structures which have sought to maintain hierarchies of dominance, resulting in cruel practices towards people at the bottom of the hierarchy and animals, who, in a colonial mindset, only exist for human gain. To counter these harm-based ideologies, and practices, veganism, as an ethical movement, is seeking to give voice to all those who support animals, and the rights of animals, while also seeking to give a voice to animals themselves. Additionally, veganism seeks to challenge the old-guard power structures and cruel practices perpetuated by colonial and neo-colonial systems associated with the dominant Ego power structure. Vegan ethics represent a shift from the dominant Ego model of human relations represented by a pyramid of power towards an Eco model of human relationships in which all Beings have equal worth and agency.

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7. Animals as Food: Farming Practices and Food Production

Extract

7 Animals as Food

Farming Practices and Food Production

To raise efficiency and cut costs, farm animals began to be engineered for abnormally rapid weight gain, fed unnatural corn-based diets that cause metabolic disorders and liver damage, and injected with pre-emptive antibiotics and growth hormones. To reduce fights and injuries due to overcrowding, animals began to be routinely mutilated—for instance, their beaks, horns, or tails might be chopped or burned off without anesthesia—and they were often confined in tiny crates in windowless rooms. All of these procedures are now standard and legal. As with so many aspects of our economy, the full cost of this enterprise, whether ethical, environmental, or health-wise, has never been factored in. (Arora 28)

Arora provides readers with a glimpse at the driving forces behind the mega farm: greed and capitalism. Adams’, The Sexual Politics of Meat, makes a quietly haunting dedication to the shocking number of animals farmed for human consumption, “[i];n memory of 31.1 billion each year, 85.2 million each day, 3.5 million each hour, 59,170 each minute.” Adams’ dedication is an eerie reminder that non-human animals’ lives and deaths are inextricably linked to every aspect of human lives. More current data shows the number of animals slaughtered is now upwards of 70 billion animals yearly.

The reality of how animals are treated on factory farms, also called agri-farms, mega-farms, or industrial farms, is distressing and inhumane. On a factory farm, the...

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