I have not read Scully’s piece, but agree wholeheartedly with his position that we should treat farm animals humanely. We are so far removed from the source of our food that we are never forced to face the cruelty inherent in factory farming. I became a vegetarian for a number of reasons, but mainly because I did not want to be a willing partner to this cruelty.
Matthew Scully has written a powerful, emotional and, to my mind, largely persuasive piece about the moral necessity of changing our collective treatment of farm animals. It is framed – somewhat relentlessly – as an argument designed to make pro-life conservatives look afresh at the moral question of animal cruelty, which is, perhaps, a good thing if he wants to break through the noise. But it can alienate readers who may not share Matthew’s pro-life passion – which is a shame because the argument is worth a hearing in its own right – an urgent hearing about an urgent moral atrocity that many of us enable every day of our lives without even realizing it fully.
What I love about Matthew’s essay is that it refuses to let the reader off the hook. It made me deeply uncomfortable about my own eating habits, which I recognize are simply morally unacceptable…
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