Animal husbandry—Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, in this case—is humanity’s Mark of Cain …~ilana
To be Right and reactionary (check) you don’t have to be gang-ho about and indifferent to the horrors of industrial livestock production ~ilana
The idea that humanity has only the bug vs. meat-guzzler eating options sets up a false dichotomy and gets a fail on logic and ethics ~ilana
On or around the time of this travesty—the evil, the indifference—of letting 18 thousand cows go up in flames—author Meir Shalev died, aged 74.
For the richness of his descriptions and the depth of the depictions and characters, down to his achingly exquisite unusual sensitivity and sensibility about animals—Shalev is up there with the greatest writers. (Nobel Prize winner Shai Agnon was a vegan.)
Nabokov of the Israelis? Maybe, but Shalev was unburdened by Nabokov’s prurient preoccupation with decadence, mired as he was in it.
Meir Shalev was a soulful innocent.
About the cow, Shalev said that she is the longest suffering, most abused of livestock—made to lactate unnaturally and painfully for a lifespan (which is why milk is puss-filled, by the way; to “regulated” levels, of course), her young removed, and then she, at life’s end, led to the slaughterhouse.
Shalev has described the cries of a heifer when her calf is removed. They go on for a very very long time.
Animal husbandry—Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, in this case—is humanity’s Mark of Cain …
UPDATED: Animal Ethics @TuckerCarlson. NONE.
This update is from a January 18, 2023 tweet. It concerns the tenor on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show when it comes to animal ethics. Many of my readers have long-since abandoned the Republican line of rape-and-pillage-the-earth-it’s-yours. (That’s not in or from the Hebrew Testament!)
One person, whose comment I posted to Twitter and Gttr, appreciated my disgust with the flippancy on conservative shows as to animal ethics and husbandry. Other than dogs and cats, the traditional pets that comply with humanity’s slobbering needs—cons have no animal ethics bar utilitarianism: squeeze all you can from em to sate your ugly big gut.
Nobody on Tucker Carlson made an ethical argument against CRUELTY to one of the longest-suffering animals in the barnyard: the cow.
But great strides in thinking were made thanks to a cute, blond, fashionable farmer girl in serious war-paint (make-up).
AND, blond and cute is more important than ethics anytime.
Today, April 14, 2023, came a repeat performance, in the form of an idiotic segment on bug eating. Run for cover. They’ll force feed you bugs.
The Beef Vs. Bugs Phony Dichotomy
Every country in the West emulates America’s Fox News in producing their own standard issue Tomi Lahren quality thinker and lookers to compete for segments on Tucker. And so it is that the US, Fox News, creates a global marketplace for blond bimbos.
My mother, a Dutch citizen for over four decades, tells me that the Dutch, a serious and glum people, despise such Americanism. Among the Hard Right, the Dutch still carry the torch for that brilliant orator, Geert Wilders, who comes close to Assange in leading a life of martyrdom for truth.
For another, a good journalist would question the so-called veracity of the global plan to force-humanity to eat bugs en masse (don’t believe every conspiracy Tucker feeds ya). Bugs serve important ecological functions. Eat them all and you really won’t have food.
The creation of these false dichotomies and straw arguments when it comes to ethics in animal husbandry is loathsome—certainly irrational and illogical.
One can eat animals if one must and do so ethically. Of course, you cannot mass-produce animals ethically. But the idea that humanity has only the bug vs. meat-guzzler eating options sets up a false dichotomy and gets a fail on logic and ethics.
Moreover, the rah-rah of badmouthing of vegans is also worse than pathetic. Many young conservatives, or sensitive conservatives, are likely not on board. It’s of a piece with the phoniness of the old Republican, red-blooded girl and guy shtick. Not all vegans are activists with pink hair. Most are simply concerned with the ethics around eating animals.
In sum, to be Right and reactionary (check) you don’t have to be gang-ho about and indifferent to the horrors of industrial livestock production.
A great novelist, just btw. I read his novel Four Meals. Yum!
You did? We are interested in Juvenal Early’s observations. Do share.
Ah, Four Meals.
A very sensuous, tactile, earthy Four Meals. Southerners of a certain type would see the value here. Or….are there any Southern Agrarians extant?
Set in the Shalev’s Jezreel Valley. FWIW, the future venue for Armageddon, for all you millenarian Evangelicals.
This book lives and breathes the land, trees, nature, animals, smells, smells, smells. Shalev wants you to smell that citrus, smell that cow manure. The whole of life is there in the town of Kfar David. Fictional town? I think so. I looked it up. There’s a Kfar David in Jerusalem, but I can find no such place in the Jezreel.
The narrator, illegitimate son of Judith, who came to Kfar David in 1931, died in 1950. Somewhere in the middle, Zayde (means grandfather) was born. The real father? Who knows? Three men claim fatherhood: Moshe, the farmer; Jacob, the canary keeper; Globerman, the cattle dealer. Remarkably, they don’t fight over it, but all raise the orphan Zayde, feed him, teach him, see to his well-being. All are fathers to him, and he gives them all their due.
The four meals? Fed to Zayde by Jacob, sumptuous gourmet feasts, offered at long intervals. The four meals are a framing device, a Proustian spark, evoking the memories of Judith and the village. Stories abound. The tone is basically positive.
But perhaps beside the point. The picture of the farming community is idyllic—and yet realistic. There is bounty and security. Alas, there is tragedy now and then. Whose tragedy? Read it and find out. The community is the whole point. Or so I thought. I wanted to live there.
How does it all work out? Who’s the real father? Read it and find out.
But mostly, read it to immerse yourself in a world that is within our reach. Or at one time was. In America, we might call it a Jeffersonian world. Except in America, Jeffersonian (unfortunately) ended up being more or less just abstract.
Yet, don’t think it’s a perfect world. There is inevitably the butcher and the cattle dealer and the slaughterhouse. Those involved in the trade are invariably depicted as coarse. And yet, Shalev is no common, tiresome scold. They are members of the community. Regrettable though their trade may be, they are human beings. They are perhaps even a necessary evil, and most people would do anything at all to not think the worst of such people, who, after all, are law-abiding citizens, good neighbors, men who raise families, and are kind to their children. As Christians might say, hate the sin, not the sinner.
As whimsical and magical as Shalev’s fictional world is, I get the idea that his real-life existence wasn’t so far removed from his Fictional Arcadia. If only Hamilton had lost and Jefferson had won. But I suppose there was no chance of that.